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Mike Goudreau & The Boppin' Blues Band "20 Years Of Bop & Blues" (Canada) 

 2012 marks the 20th Anniversary for Mike Goudreau & The Boppin' Blues Band and over those 20 years, they have not only gained the respect of their peers, but also many accolades from their critics. "20 Years Of Bop & Blues" marks that milestone with 13 new and original songs that offer up a unique tapestry of music, ranging from Swing to Gospel and many other styles in between.
"20 Years Of Bop & Blues" marks their 6th album, and although that may not seem like a lot over a 20 year span, once you are aware of Mike Goudreau & The Boppin' Blues Band and their music, it becomes quite apparent that it is more about quality than quantity.
Of the 13 new and original songs on "20 Years Of Bop & Blues", all of them were written by Mike Goudreau, with additional co-writing credits going to Jonathan Boudreau (Movin' To The Groovin & In The Pocket), Lorrie Goodman (I'll Be On Your Side & See You Later Babe), Jean Francois Begin (In The Pocket), and Michel Aubin (Ca Peut Pas Marcher). Michel Aubin was the only co-writer that was not a member of the band.
"20 Years Of Bop & Blues" starts the show rolling in great Boppin' Blues style with the opener 'I'm Headin' Out The Door', and right then you know you are in for a great ride. Nice Guitar work from Mike Goudreau as well as great signature Vocals from Mike, as well.
Next up, 1 of my early favorites 'Mean Old Man', was a song that had a nice ZZ Top reminiscent riff throughout.
Track 4, 'I'll Be On My Way' gets the Harmonica groove going courtesy of Special Guest Pierre Lacocque. In addition to Harmonica, Pierre Lacocque is also the Band Leader and Songwriter for the famed Chicago Blues band Mississippi Heat. Fantastic Harp work, with the rest of the band helping out on this one, especially the great beat kept by Jean Francois Begin on Drums and once again spot on Guitar from Mike. Another one of my favorite Tracks. 
One thing that really stands out on this album was not only Mike Goudreau's amazing Guitar work, but also his Vocals, which reminded me just a bit of Michael Buble. Mike really got a fine silky smoothness to his singing. This comes through on all the Tracks especially Track 5 'She's Spreadin' Rumors', which also has a dynamite close by David Ellas on Sax.
Track 7, 'Movin' To The Groovin' is the instrumental on "20 Years Of Bop & Blues" and while it gave Mike a rest on Vocals, it doesn't give a rest to the instrumentalists as they really do get in the Groove and show off all their immense talent. This one has got a nice little Jazzy feel to it and I quite liked it.
Track 11 'I Had To Draw The Line' slows it down a bit as Mike gets a little Soulful and once again lets his Vocals shine. As always the Band, especially the Horn section, bring it all together as they weave in and out of this song with their magic. Great work also from Lorrie Goodman on Organ.
For Track 12, Mike Goudreau & The Boppin' Blues Band switched it up a bit with a song with all French lyrics, and I for one am really happy they did. 'Ca Peut Pas Marcher' is not the first time French songs have appeared on Mike Goudreau & The Boppin' Blues Band albums, in fact their 4th album was an all French album of 12 original blues songs. Great work again especially from David Ellas who once again shines on Sax, as he takes over for nearly a minute of this song. Mike Goudreau finishes off the Track with his sizzling Guitar work. Again a song with a little bit of Jazzy feel and just a hint of a Santana feel beat to it.
"20 Years Of Bop & Blues" closes with 'See You Later Babe', the longest Track on the album, and they do so in fine Mike Goudreau & The Boppin' Blues Band style. Everyone gets a chance to get in on the action and shine on this one; a really great choice for the closer.
Mike Goudreau & The Boppin' Blues Band, have once again done what they do best, and that is bringing their special style of Boppin Blues to the forefront.
"20 Years Of Bop & Blues" was a 5 year wait from their 2007 release "Boppin 15" and considering the music on this one, the wait was well worth it.
"20 Years Of Bop & Blues" is another winner from one of Canada's finest bands.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
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