Mike Goudreau Band – The Isolation Blues | Album Review

Mike Goudreau Band – The Isolation Blues  



CD: 14 Songs, 47 Minutes

Styles: Ensemble Blues, Horn Blues, All Original Songs

You might expect an album with edgy, teal-lit cover art and the title of The Isolation Blues, by the Mike Goudreau Band, to be either dark and brooding or a real barroom stomper, showcasing the loudest guitar you’ve heard since Jimi Hendrix’s. Instead, from the first notes, you’ll find it’s a peppy ensemble extravaganza with horns galore. More’s the better, too – the Winter Solstice is coming up, and we need an eye-opening blast of sunshine in the middle of it. Smooth, jazzy-influenced, and boasting crystal-clear vocals, it’s a must-play on New Year’s Eve.

Born in 1965 in Newport, Vermont, into a musical family with an English mother and a French-Canadian father, Mike Goudreau picked up his first guitar at age 14 and hasn’t stopped playing since. His early influences included the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and later, Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Powder Blues and Downchild – to name a few. Such diverse interests help to explain why Mike is comfortable in so many musical genres, especially jazz and blues.

Since 2007, Mike’s songs have been heard on hundreds of network TV shows and films, such as the TV movie The Happiest Season (Hulu), Dynasty (CBS), the Universal Pictures film Dark Waters, the Hollywood film The Banker, starring Samuel Jackson (2020), The Neighborhood (CBS), NCIS Los Angeles (CBS), and Chicago PD (NBC), among several others.

Joining Mr. Goudreau (vocals, guitars, bass and hand claps) are Jean-Francois Begin (think Menachem Begin, not “begin”) on drums and percussion, Dany Roy on tenor sax and trumpet, Ira Friedman on organ and piano, and Pascal Veilette on harmonica.

You know all the shows and films mentioned earlier? Together, they spell diamond-level QUALITY. That’s what’s been poured into each of the fourteen original tracks on this CD. Every note, every musical phrase, glimmers like the light off one of that gem’s many facets. This is real-deal blues, whether in swing/jump form (as on the opener “Let’s Go Down to the River”), the angsty, harmonica-infused title track, the guitar and piano boogie known as “The Mooch,” or the laid-back instrumental “Sea Breeze Blues.” Any band can crank out an album in their garage or basement and deem it good enough, but not Goudreau and his posse. They care about their offerings like Michelangelo cared about David, or Da Vinci the Mona Lisa. That’s because they’re not just musicians. Not just craftsmen. They’re artists, and don’t you forget it.

Got The Isolation Blues? Here’s the cure, or at least the vaccine!

Please follow and like us: