Gotta Strange Feeling is the latest release from the blues band Li’l Ronnie and the Grand Dukes. Fronted by Ronnie Owen, these guys sure know how to jam. They have been around for quite awhile and it shows in their musical skill. Gotta Strange Feeling has much to offer listeners, as every song has a distinct sound with nothing being repetitive about this album. With the summer months just starting, this is the soundtrack for sitting outside and watching the sun set.
The sweet sounds of the blues hit you with the force of colliding trains the instant “Can’t Buy Me Love” starts. I suggest turning the volume dial up a bit for this one. The harmonica is a front display on “Cold Hard Cash” and the addition of the female backing vocals goes well with the main vocals. It makes for a pleasant contrasting sound. Overall, the song has a cool hip sound that muses on the importance of money with some sharp lyrics. Following it up is the slightly depressing “Love Never Dies.” The title makes it sound like it would be upbeat, but the lyrics turn it into somewhat of a downer. Turning the atmosphere around is “Sweet Sue,” as it comes out with a jolt of energy.
Nearing the halfway point of the album, “She’s Bad Bad News” is a fun song about woman troubles. The instrumental “Fat City” kicks off the second half of the album in a triumphant way. This is musicianship at its finest. When the drums kick in, it is just magnificent in its melody. If you do not like this song, then you probably do not like music. “Late Nite Blues” is another song that stands at the top of the album. It is another instrumental that is pure passion and feeling. This is one that will make you hit the repeat button. “You Can Never Tell (C’est La Vie)” is a jumping song that brings the album to a conclusion on a high note.
Gotta Strange Feeling by Li’l Ronnie and the Grand Dukes is a fine addition to the collection of any blues fan. Even if you are not a fan of the genre, this album is worth a look because there is a good chance that you will find something that you will enjoy.
Key Tracks: Cold Hard Cash, She’s Bad Bad News, Fat City, Late Nite Blues
Brian McKinnon - MuzikReviews.com Sr. Staff
June 14, 2012