For Junior

Deep Detroit is easily one of the best local blues releases to come out this year, and it just might wind up at the top of the heap when all is said and done.

It’s not just the rawboned, stripped-down quality of the songs that makes this effort stand out; it’s the feel. At the beginning of the album, Harmonica Shah dedicates this recording to Buddy Guy and the late Junior Wells, and there’s no doubting that the spirit of the back-in-the-day collaboration between the two legendary bluesmen is in effect.

Recorded in Glazer’s basement home studio, the songs all have the sound of way-back-when before the days of high technology recording, but without the thinness and uneven quality that sometimes resulted. These songs are nice and fat.

But it must be said that Harmonica Shah is what makes this CD crackle and pop. Shah, who has been on the Detroit scene for years, has never sounded better on a recording than he sounds here. Both his voice and harmonica come through with an authenticity, a passion and an urgent power that really need to be heard to be fully appreciated. This is not to detract from the other musicians, all of whom deserve applause for their good work – especially Glazer, who served as guitarist, sound engineer and producer – but I think even they would admit that on this recording, it’s Harmonica Shah who puts the "Deep" in Deep Detroit.

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