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Paul Garner - Love Vs. Blues (Independent)
Reviewed by Ricardo Jan 2006


A nice mellow jazzy blues record that manages to avoid being bland and which throws up some decent songwriting along with Paul's undoubtedly impressive guitar work.

Backed up by his high quality, fellow Kiwi bandmates, Paul pulls off an impressive selection of blues grooves. The songwriting's maybe in the early Robert Cray mould - especially evident on 'Blue Monday Light' which owes a bit to Cray musically too. There are hints of Mose Allison and some flavourings of early George Benson too, especially when the band get locked in some of the classily and subtle organ work, which is outstanding throughout.

Overall it's easy on the ear, but far from being 'easy listening' - whilst far from being a blues shouter, Paul's vocals have an edge to them which keep things interesting and, though the band are clearly all excellent musicians this is no slick-session-guy-romp-though. It does sound like they were all having a good time making it.

The final word has to go to Paul's guitar effort though. He's got chops. He's also got taste and style and dynamism and invention. Although clearly steeped in a wide range of styles he manages to distill a cliche - free sound that's all his own. Good work fella!

CD available to buy from various sources, including i-tunes - check through Paul's website for more details: www.paul-garner.com