Michal Bailey

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Michal Bailey34 year old Michal Bailey is a reformed rock and roller who converted to the blues a dozen years ago. After fronting Blues Generation for the first half of the 1990's and jamming with the late great Billy Landless, he relocated to West Branch in 1995.He returned to the area in 1997,though he and the band have only gotten out for a handful of shows per year since that time. The current version of blues generation is drummer Greg Varney, bass guitarist Lenny Earls(his dad Jack recorded for Sun Records before Elvis)and either Jimmy David or Tony Karem at the piano. Varney, Earls ,and Karem are on board for this recording as is bassist Frank Greenhalgh on a few cuts. Devils Ride is one of the best locally produced efforts of the past couple of years. Michal Bailey is a remarkable guitarist who claims Albert King and Freddie King as inspirations, though to his credit he sidesteps any easy comparisons. He is his own player and undeniably brings some of his rock and roll background to the project. Outside of superb takes on the Mel London classic "Sugar Sweet" and Eddie Boyd's "ain't Doin To Bad" the tunes are Bailey originals. He's a fine songwriter, good vocalist, and a first-rate guitarist. Opening with "The Rooster" his take on the sometimes cocky attitude of musicians, Bailey and the band come fully loaded and ready to play."Waiting By The Phone" features his tasty guitar work, somewhat jazzy in structure though decidedly bluesy in execution."Outlaw Blues" is a rocker that mines a few cliché , though a cliché in the right hands still impresses. "piece of sky" a composition that reminds of the Boz Scaggs/Duane Allman version of "loan me a dime" is the standout piece on the disc. Bailey wrote this for a son he lost a dozen years ago and says he doesn't play it much because it's too emotionally taxing. This is a transcendent piece of guitar work that melds deep emotion with intelligent and well thought out guitar work." overqualified" with an intro nod to Hendrix and buoyed by great organ work, speaks to the singers blues resume("I've been down so low/I couldn't find a place to hide....too many days at the mill/it's a wonder I'm still alive")and showcases a suitcase full of wonderful guitar chops. The closing title piece is interesting enough, though it sounds like a Lynyrd Skynyrd ballad rather than a blues number. One throwaway ain't bad. The rest of this is loaded with chops to spare. I can't wait to see and hear this band on stage. This is as sonically impressive(recorded at Reel Life Recorders in South Lyon)as musically captivating.

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