11 songs time-50:44
“Fade To Blue” is Nashville based guitarist-singer Mike Pachelli’s sixteenth CD release, bringing together an amalgamation of his previously visited genres of music. Mike and the band for the most part stay in blues-rock and straight ahead rock territory, with occasional tinges of jazz coloring. The basic four piece unit is augmented by auxiliary musicians at times. Mike’s fluid and precise but not slick guitar skills, as well as his songwriting bring to mind the approach of Robben Ford. His vocals range from a smooth rasp to a more pronounced delivery. Mike and keyboard man Kevin Mckendree provide the brunt of the soloing, with Rich Russo on drums and Baba Elefante on bass laying down the rock solid foundation.
The slow jazz-meets-blues approach to “You Got Me Where You Want Me” brings up the Robben Ford comparison to the fore right from the get go. With Mike’s double-tracked smooth rasp vocal the comparison ends right there. It’s evident from the first track that the production by Mike himself puts each instrument out there crystal clear and well defined. “Mediocre Lovin'” showcases more great guitar and organ solos as the narrator professes that he is satisfied with mediocre loving, nothing too heavy.
A nice upbeat and breezy vibe and more of that guitar goodness provide for a very attractive “You Make Livin’ Fun”. Text book guitar string bending soars through “Magenta Haze” along with a perfectly suited vocal and organ and piano. The organ throughout this recording is the perfect foil for Mike’s guitar. Textured and classy Robben Ford-like guitar once again show up in “I Need My Baby By My Side”.
The guys slow down on the discourse by the singer on his invention of “That Thing They Call The Blues”. Slow burning guitar and mellow organ permeate this nicely done tune. The lovely wailing assist vocal from Regina McCrary add to the funkiness of “Steppin’ Stone”. The horns supplied by Bryan Cumming propel the jumpy “Let’s Cut A Rug” along with jazzy guitar styling’s. Hold on there sports fans, more rug cutting ensues on “Do Your Dance” as Mike proceeds to cut through the atmosphere with some soaring and distorted guitar.
How to explain the sad condition of the world that is left to a sibling is the subject of the heart-tugging “What’ll I Tell My Son”. Some beautiful soaring guitar makes this song a genuine masterpiece. Things close out with the slow, mellow and melodic guitar instrumental showcase “These Arms” that builds in intensity over the cushion of Lance Abair’s B3 organ.
It doesn’t get any better than this kids-All original songs crafted by skilled musicians. This record is definitely a “keeper”. I wish I heard of this guy and the company he keeps a whole lot sooner. Pick this baby up, you’ll get tons of listening enjoyment. Take it from the ol’ Bluesdog.