Review by Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
Well it has been a long time Neil, where have you been the last three years? The answer is right here on this CD all tied up in the words and music.
Carswell sings the blues about going to hell and back and then the switch to becoming a repentant soul to answer for his sins. And thankfully for all of us listeners, he rocks with country blues oozing out of his pores, like a man born to pick up a six-string and tell his story.
Carswell does it again and makes the long wait worthwhile on Keep You Guessing. Neil keeps good company again in studio with a roster graced with incredible talent including Stu Kimball (producer, guitarist), Chris Anderson (guitarist, The Outlaws and Blackhawk), Johnny Neil (keyboards, The Allman Brothers and Govt. Mule), Larry Campbell (multi-instrumentalist, guitarist for Levon Helm), Don Herron (multi-instrumentalist, Bob Dylan and BR549) Judd Fuller (bassist, Rodney Atkins), Kevin Rapillo (drummer, Rodney Atkins) Barry Goudreau (Grammy winning Guitarist, Boston) as well as Victor Krauss (bassist), Mike Levesque (drums) and Kim Keyes (vocalist).
Not a bad roll call and certainly every one of these great musicians compliment Neil’s country-blues drenched vocals. To pick any particular track as one that stands above the rest almost seems unfair as all 15 tracks seem to fall together into one story that is genuinely from the very essence of his soul backed with some smokin’ blues-country-rock that only Neil Carswell can set up right and do it justice. There is a good balance of acoustic picking, electric licks, and slide to satisfy anyone’s musical palette.
I have to mention a few favorites anyway, “Gypsy Lady”, the title track and ”Since I Meet You” caught my ear and made me understand the man behind the music a bit more. That is the whole point and once you hear it you will find meaning in the music and perhaps a better perspective of what holds true in your own life.
Neil Carswell keeps on keepin’ on “Till the Blues Come In” and set him off on another trail that leads to the bastards and bitches he runs into during his journey that influence his thought process and choices (as he explains in his liner notes) then he is back in the studio cutting a classic rendering of true life like Keep You Guessing.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 24, 2009