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B.C. Read "1000 Miles"
With a fine collection of talented friends peppered throughout his newest release, "1000 Miles", B.C. Read, along with his great band once again shows us yet more proof as to why he is considered to be one of Canada's Finest Blues Artists.
"1000 Miles" consists of 12 Tracks which are all originals except for Track 12 "Are You Ready For the Country" (Neil Young). Of the other 11 Tracks, B.C. Read wrote or co-wrote all of them, with co-writing credit also going to George Tennent (Track 4 "Rosalita"), Sheldon Corbett (Track 8 "Diamond Bop"), and Mallard (Track 11 "Train Of Life"). Besides co-writing credit George Tennent and Sheldon Corbett are also part of B.C. Read's band in the capacity of Stand Up and Electric Bass (George Tennent) and Saxophone/Organ/Horn Arrangements (Sheldon Corbett). The other great musicians in the band, which played on all the Tracks or partial Tracks included Kevin Barrett (Piano), Joe Dixon (Drums), Ross Nykiforuk (Organ/Accordion), Glenn Ens (Drum/Percussion), Doug Scarrow (Electric Guitar), Kelly Read (Banjo/Vocals), Kevin Marsh (Trombone), and Barry Redford (Trumpet). In addition to Vocals, B.C. Read played Electric, Acoustic, and Slide Guitars, as well as Harmonica.
In addition to the immense talent of B.C. Read and his amazing band, "1000 Miles" also contained a Who's Who of great Canadian talent, which included Special Guests Suzie Vinnick (Vocals), Big Dave McLean (Harmonica), Jack Semple (Guitar), Ron Clemens (Guitar), Wilma Groenen (Vocals), and Brent Longstaff (Tuba). Each of the Special Guests brought their forte' to the forefront, with Suzie Vinnick featured on Track 4 "Rosalita' (Vocals), and Track 12 "Are You Ready For the Country" where she does an amazing job on Background Vocals, Big Dave Mclean who offers up his Harmonica magic on 4 Tracks, of which my favorite was Track 2 "Number Two", a slow almost Johnny Winterish sounding Track. Jack Semple gets to show us his amazing Guitar work on Track 4 "Rosalita", where he brings the Tex Mex/Latino feel to the forefront, and "(Why Can't We Just) Walk Away". Ron Clemons grabs the Lead Guitar spotlight on Track 2 "The Blue Boy", a R&B song with the influence and feel of a Joe Cocker song. The suggested single off of "1000 Miles" was Track 6 "That's The Deal" in which Wilma Groenen, is featured as part of the Duet with B.C. Read, on this powerful Funky R&B tune. One of my favorite Tracks on "1000 Miles" was Track 7 "Jellyroll Baker", a great Piedmont Style Country Blues song, which was accompanied to perfection with the unique playing of Brent Longstaff on Tuba.
As is always expected and delivered is B.C. Read's singing, songwriting, and musical magic. His ability to deliver on all those levels, is starting to truly bring him to the forefront, as one of Canada's Premier Artists. His vocals, described as Whiskey Soaked, ala Fine 25 Year Old Scotch, cut through each and every song, leaving you with the sense that his singing is truly original and fresh sounding. The songwriting on "1000 Miles", is pretty well second to none, and runs the full gamut from Chicago Blues, R&B, Funk, Country Blues, and beyond. As far as B.C. Read's musicianship is concerned, he offers you plenty of proof that he is one heck of a Guitarist and Harmonica player, with his Guitar work standing out throughout this album, especially his Slide Guitar on Track 3 "Number Two" and his National Guitar work on Track 11 "Train Of Life".
For me, "1000 Miles", was yet another great and unique offering from B.C. Read, along with his outstanding band and stellar lineup of Special Guests. It is an album that has a little bit for everyone and a lot for all, and one that I have no problem Highly Recommending. Great tunes B.C. and looking forward to more in the future.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network) 

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