Friday, January 5, 2018


I spend much of each January catching up with all the albums released the year before that I didn't have time to review. It's simply a matter of having too many choices and not enough time to do them all, but I still feel bad for missing many of them. Umm, not you Sir Ringo, you get enough attention and make the same album year-in, year-out. But there are lots more that still deserve a little love, and January is mostly open, with very few releases on the schedule.

It's never too late to talk about a greatest hits, and in Canada's blues world, Toronto's Jack De Keyzer certainly deserves such a set. He's been making solid music since the late '70's, consistently polished and soulful. I always think of De Keyzer as making tight, melodic and very enjoyable tracks, lively and fun music. Gambler's Blues from 1999 shows he's comfortable in the jump blues style, while 1994's Cotton Candy is a solid, Stones '69 riff rocker, showing his edge.

This is a generous 16-track collection, clocking in over 70 minutes. It concentrates on discs from the '90's and 2000's albums, 12 in total, but there are also four bonus cuts, three unreleased and one guest appearance from a Willie Big Eyes Smith live album. These are no mere add-on's however; My Love Has Gone is a tremendous live cut, De Keyzer turning up the passion. Rock 'n Roll Girl is the oldest cut here, a CBC recording from 1985 when De Keyzer was nearing the end of his rockabilly days (he was in The Bopcats), and sizzles. Good times follow this guy.

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