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CD Review
Mark Winsick
“Straight Upl”
By Bob Silvestri

   Local blues artist Mark Winsick has released a new CD titled “Straight Up”. Recorded live by Dwayne Hall at The Sportsman Tavern in Buffalo the nine song CD captures perfectly the live sound and musicianship of Winsick and his band. The band Kevin Murphy (keyboards), Jim Whitford (bass) and Ray Hagen (drums) are the crème de la crème of the local scene.
   The CD begins with the Winsick penned “Shufflin’ For Blue” a traditional sounding blues vamp that finds Hagen and Whitford deep in the pocket as Winsick fingers his way up and down the frets. “True Love Brings Peace Of Mind” a swampy echo laced number that features Winsick’s vocal prowess. The slow blues of the Winsick original “What Can I Give You” is an outstanding track. Winsick’s brokenhearted lyrics and vocals meld perfectly with the music. Murphy’s piano solo on this is absolutely beautiful.
    The band turns in an impressive eleven-minute version of the Joe Cocker/T.J. White tune “High Lonesome Blues” which leads into the CD’s other killer track “Grew Up Lonely” another Winsick original. His solo picking on guitar is then augmented as each band member joins in as the tempo builds behind Hagen’s slapping, Winsick’s awesome solo, Murphy’s organ and piano parts dancing in and out and Whitford anchoring the whole thing with his steady bass playing. They also tackle Albert Collins’ “Backstroke” and Keb’ Mo’s “Dirty, Low Down & Bad” among others.
    With his Gibson Les Paul, a crack band, great songs and a great sound, Mark Winsick is on the road to success. For more on Mark Winsick go to www.markwinsick.com

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