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  • Jonathan Widran


Take note! When you enter Al Gold’s Paradise, leave your regional musical stereotypes at the door and keep an open mind. As you’re enjoying the raw, rootsy, rumbling and untamed blues/soul energy the deep voiced vocalist and slick electric and slide guitarist cooks up with his wildly jamming 11 piece ensemble (featuring organist Jared Gold and guitarist Dave Stryker), you might just rethink your previous thoughts about New Jersey music and the blues.

Gold and co. create their wild, distorted garage band flavored rave-ups in the land of Springsteen and Bon Jovi, putting authentic blues and roots music (the kind we normally hear from the Delta region or in Chicago) on the Jersey map.

Dubbing it “soul with a Delta coating,” Gold and his pals have a grand old time jumpin’ off the front porch and into tight city traffic on grooved out, quick rolling romps like “Mr. Banker” and “Rambling Pony Blues,” while waxing super funky and jazzy romantic on “That’s My Baby,” showcasing a bit of Gold’s gentler, heartfelt side on the plaintive ballad “Paradise (Downhome)” and then finding redemptive freedom riding on the traditional blues energy of that latter track’s corollary, “Paradise (Uptown).”

Truly a state of mind as much as a fun, thought provoking musical statement, Al Gold’s Paradise is a real eye opener – and may just be one of the most dynamic blues recordings you’ve ever heard.

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