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Friday, June 12, 2009

Review: Blues Divine - Shine Like The Sun

Blues Divine - Shine Like The Sun
2009, Wide Eye Music

Philip Franchini is the force majeure behind new blues act Blues Divine. With deep Blues roots running the gamut from Magic Sam to Robert Johnson and Elmore James, Franchini's Blues Divine can deliver traditional blues as well as modern takes on the art form. Blues Divine's debut album, Shine Like The Sun, infuses gospel and jazz as it loosely follows the evolution of blues as it rolled out of Mississippi and down the great river. Traditionalists will be thrilled with Franchini's style, and modern Blues fans will find a lot to like here.

Shine Like The Sun opens with Knockin’, a great bit of old school Rockin’ Rhythm N Blues. The guitar work here is excellent. Down By The River brings in the gospel sound that Franchini seems to adore, while Don’t Settle For Less heads straight for a 1970’s groove with a hybrid of Jazz, Blues and Rock N Roll with just a touch of Funk thrown in. Apocalypse Blues is a great deal of fun, the sort of thing you might hear in a blues club on a Saturday night. Things get a bit rough in the middle of the album, but by the time Blues Divine comes to My Father’s House they’ve found perfect form. This is a southern Gospel tune that is played here in a Rockabilly/Blues mix that is amazing. This seems to be the sound that most becomes Blues Divine. Shine Like The Sun is done in a country arrangement that is definitely worth hearing, and Sacred Ground, the last track, is perhaps the best on the album. The piano, organ and guitar work perfectly together here on this Gospel and Blues hybrid.

Blues Divine has a sound that while not wholly original, is distinctive. Shine Like The Sun is a strong presentation, although the middle of the album is a bit rough at times. Blues and Gospel fans will enjoy this offering. Give it a few listens; it’s one of those albums that opens up to the listener more and more with successive listens.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Blues Divine at You can purchase a copy of Shine Like The Sun at CDBaby.

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