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Feels Like Home: Feel Good Blues And American Music

May 22, 2015

Warm and delicious as hot buttered cinnamon toast, as easy and relaxed as a rewarding after-dinner talk and as soothing as Sunday morning.  That’s my immediate reaction to Feels Like Home, the new album by Shari Kane and Dave Steele.  It’s a perfect complement to the couple’s first recording, Four Hands Blues.  They continue their loving exploration of classic American music including Piedmont and Delta blues along with mountain gospel, Appalachian ballads and ragtime swing guitar.  What differentiates Feels Like Home from Four Hands Blues is the home setting.  Shari and Dave actually built a home studio and took their good sweet time working through each song as we eavesdrop on their intimate conversation involving call and response from acoustic guitar to mandolin to voice.  

Matured Vocals and Harmonics

Dave Steele’s voice has grown richer and warmer over the years since he was the lead singer for the legendary Ann Arbor blues jump band, Big Dave and the Ultrasonics.  His inflection and natural vibrato are the magic touch necessary to tell these heart-felt stories.  Shari’s harmony is delicate, yet deep.  Even a cursory listen illustrates her keen ear.  Their voices blend perfectly as do their instruments.  Both are highly sought as guitar teachers.  They possess terrific technique, but moreover they share honest feeling and emotion.

Already Feels Like A Classic

In our era of downloads and single selections, this is old-school listen all-the-way-through music, like a classic Mississippi John Hurt or Reverend Gary Davis album.  It is very difficult to pick out a standout selection among the fourteen melodies they interpret, but I’ll try:  for mandolin mastery go for the Doc Boggs’ tune Country Blues.  For tight harmony don’t miss Early This Morning / Ton Of Blues and for syncopation revel in Guitar Blues.  Better yet, pick up the album and come up with your own favorites.  Bet you can’t pick just one.  

Upcoming Live Performance

Shari Kane and Dave Steele will celebrate Feels Like Home's newly released on Big Bones Music on Thursday, June 4th at The Ark along with special guests Mr. B and The Red Tail Ring.  It will be an evening of homespun Ann Arbor music at its finest.