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Music Review: Dave Weld And The Imperial Blue Flames – Burnin’ Love

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“’Bout a year I was playin’ the blues / My name is still unknown,” sings Dave Weld on “Ramblin’,” the second tune on Burnin’ Love. That’s not likely to change based on the rather tepid contents on offer. Weld’s an accomplished guitarist, but the Imperial Flames rarely rise above workmanlike, and while the sincerity’s there, there’s nothing particularly distinguished about anything on this collection.

In part it’s due to rather unremarkable songs that never stray from twelve-bar convention but don’t add anything to the canon, either. And despite the presence of the always exuberant Lil’ Ed on slashing slide guitar, the music never really catches fire. Even the tenor sax of veteran Abb Locke sounds thin, like a horn section without the section.

Weld delivers lines like “Keep your hands up off her / You know she’s mine” without a hint of the requisite menace, and alternate vocalist Monica Garcia, for the most part in the background, is utterly abysmal; her lead vocals on the pair of songs she contributed (and for that matter, the songs themselves) are cringe-worthy embarrassments. (“Talk Dirty To Me” is downright creepy, and “Listen To Mama” not much better).

It’s all well-intentioned and competent enough (Ms. Garcia aside), and it’s clear the band is committed and doing their best. But it’s all been done before, and better, elsewhere. Weld’s going to have to dig a lot deeper than this to make his mark.

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About John Taylor

  • dale cotton

    Whoever reviewed this CD is an idiot or maybe jealous of someone accomplishing some great work. This whole CD is a great mixture of great musical and vocal joy. Maybe you should go back to the drawing board on your opinions. I only see a green monster in the lashing of crude remarks toward such a great Bluesman as Dave Weld and his band……

  • Maria Duran

    As far as I’m concerned this is a great CD. I have seen the band live and their even greater. Your a fool and I hope everyone realizes it. Pull you head out of the sand..

  • Cathy Griert

    I love this CD. I just heard from a friend of mine about this blog. I agree with Dale you’re a fool. You’ll be getting a lot more comments from Dave’s fans. All I can say is that this is a great CD and everyone should come and see this group in person.

  • Joel Lamb

    Its been my experence in life…that when in the light of success,trials and test are thrown into the journeys path.a veteran friend of mine once told me…if your not catching any flack….your not over your target!youve already confirmed the true dedication and hard work by dave, monica and the band.To Quote You…weids an acomplished guitarist ,true sincerity,always exuberant Lil’ED,WELL- INTENTIONED AND COMPETENT ENOUGH,ITS CLEAR THE BAND IS COMMITTED,DOING THEIR BEST! if you know your history, then you know Janis Joplin while in Austin was reveiwed as lost,outa sink,no talentand a failure!then receving a letter from Big Brother and the holding co. took a 1 way bus ticket sent to here to go to calif..and we all know wat success and reveiws from there. Monica Garica is dedicated to her music. commented to dave and the bands needs as well for the fans..she is true to Heart and will continue to move foward with her success. perhaps you should reveiw your own reveiw!its acycle of circles that has no worth.

  • dave weld

    I just read your article, and while everyone is entitled to his own opinion, it should at least be accurate. What I actually said was “thirty years playin’ the blues”. thats a giant difference than bout a year, and believe me, there was no diction problem either. I just wonder where you got that because its your lead statement, and every journalist knows to check the facts. I think the rest of the review is ruined by the initial false statement, and by the way, not every song is twelve bar blues, not even close. I don’t know what your agenda is, sorry, no harp on the cd. I have to get to a gig, but the review is harmful and not accurate. I really like Sonny Paynes comments to me from his station in Helena, who loved the cd, and he knows harp players having worked with sonny boy. say hi to Josh for me, and consider a second look at a wonderful cd!

  • Liz Mandeville

    It must be gratifying for John Taylor to see so much passion inspired by his writing and that people (Including Dave Weld) have attributed great weight to his views.
    John is entitled to his opinion, that’s what a review is, an opinion. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with him nor does it make him right. All it means is that particular CD is not to his taste.
    One of the comments (Joel Lamb) compares Monica to Janis. Personally, I would never compare the over-the-top, raunchy, and debauched performance of a Janis Joplin to the uneffected,saucy delivery of Ms Monica (whom, I might add, when I met her was charming, sober & drug-free)
    It’s great to see that Dave Weld has inspired a loyal, devoted & very vocal following in his 30 years of work. I hope all of you are going to his gigs & buying his CD’s.
    For another review of Dave Weld’s CD please visit http://www.chicagobluesguide.com