Joseph Veloz – Offerings | Album Review

Joseph Veloz – Offerings  

Big O Records

CD: 8 Songs, 34:51 Minutes

Styles: Contemporary Electric Funk, Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, Blues Covers

Periodically, yours truly calls the blues songs and CD’s that artists send her “offerings”. It was only a matter of time before she received an album with that very title, from Michigan’s Joseph Veloz. He and his band have dedicated eight eclectic tracks to Someone far higher, in the grand scheme of things, than an aspiring blues critic. The gifts Joseph presents to God, and to funk and blues fans all over the world, are vibrant with instrumentation and a 1970’s party atmosphere. Heads up: You have to be in the right mood for this music, the right frame of mind. Imagining a rowdy roadhouse with peanut shells on the floor won’t be conducive to it. From the first song to the last, Offerings offers “something completely different” for those who are looking for it. On three original tracks and five covers, Veloz and his posse push the envelope of these two genres. Our protagonist brings his bass to the forefront, proving to lead guitar lovers that his instrument of choice need not be relegated to the background. This is delightful and refreshing to hear.

Joseph offers some autobiographical details on his website. “As a child I was inspired early by jazz, soul and classical music recordings that I heard in and around my home. I took that passion and applied it to education. Beginning at the age of eight, my aptitude and understanding of music history and theory just added to my natural ability to perform. With studies at Blue Lake Music Camp and Interlochen National Music Camp as a teenager, I became an outstanding classical upright bassist for my age, earning positions in both the Michigan Youth Symphony and the Saginaw Symphony, respectively. I continued my education with studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and Jazz studies at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, IL. There I applied my accumulated experience to bass guitar and immersed myself in the Chicago music scene, most significantly, the blues scene!”

Performing alongside boisterous bassist Veloz are Jim Alfredson and Jim David on keyboards; Dylan Dunbar, Erich Goebel, Greg Nagy, and Shawn Kellerman on guitar; John Lee on piano; Ray Podhornik on trumpet; David Rodenburg on sax, and Andrew “Blaze” Thomas and Scott Veenstra on drums.

Right from the get-go, these artists invite us to fall down the rabbit hole into a weird wonderland.

Track 01: “Just Jammin’” – As a kid and teenager, I would fill sheets of notebook paper with random drawings, sketching whatever came into my head at the time. This album’s opener reminds me of those pages and those good times. It’s a marvelous instrumental mishmash, beginning with Jim Alfredson’s outta-sight, outer-space keyboard work. Get out of your seat and on your feet, live crowds and those at home. Don’t worry about how you look when you dance the Funky Chicken. After all, these guys are “Just Jammin’,” and they want you to join them.

If you love funky blues, then Joseph Veloz and company have made eight Offerings just for you!

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