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Music Review: The Cazanovas – ‘Just Gettin’ By’

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The Cazanovas are a very popular group in the burgeoning Atlanta blues scene. With their new CD, Just Gettin’ By, blues fans outside of Georgia and the surrounding states have the opportunity to discover just how excellent this group really is. Local fans have a quality recording to enjoy as well.

All of the songs on Just Gettin’ By are originals, credited to the entire group. They feature amazing harmonica from Maurice Nazzaro, who also handles vocals, sizzling lead guitar from Danny Vinson, skillful bass by Jacob Holliday, and solid drumming by Theron Peterson. Stylistically, the group provides energetic Chicago-style blues intended to get you up and moving.

The CD was recorded at Bakos Amp Works in Atlanta and the sound quality is excellent. The exception is track four, “Ease My Mind,” which has an echoey sound that may have been deliberate, but it’s distracting and does not fit with the clear sound of the rest of the recording.

While all of the songs here are enjoyable, some numbers do stand out. For instance, “Walk With Me” has a great Fats Domino, New Orleans vibe to it. Another tune, “Finish Line” captures that feeling of never quite being able to get where you’re trying to go, and accomplish what you want to accomplish, without someone moving that line. It is full of wry humor and has a great spoken interlude that adds just the right weary, but not defeated, touch.

cazanovascoverOther highlights are the two songs that feature guest artists. “Worried Mind Blues” shines from the combination of Nazzaro’s great harp and keyboards from guest Matt Wauchope. “Who’s Foolin’ Who” features Jeff Baker on harmonica and vocals. Baker and Wauchope are also popular Atlanta musicians and they add extra spark to these two numbers.

The CD ends with a great instrumental jam, “Boppin’ at Bakos,” which reflects all the joy the band feels about making music together. It’s a lot of fun for everyone who is listening.

Pick up this CD and discover new original blues that’s likely to find a frequent place on your personal playlist. This is a worthy offering from a band which deserves wider recognition outside the South.

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, Southern Crossroads: Georgia Bluesand Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.