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Dudek, Finnigan, Krueger Band, The: The Dudek, Finnigan, Krueger Band

What would we possibly do without those wonderful folks at Wounded Bird Records, who consistently reissue so many long lost treasures that the major labels just don't have much interest in making available any more? Well, for starters, we wouldn't have the one and only release from the quasi-supergroup DFK Band, or more appropriately The Dudek, Finnigan, Krueger Band. Many will remember guitar virtuoso Les Dudek as the sideman for such artists as Boz Scaggs, The Allman Brothers Band, Cher, Stevie Nicks, and Steve Miller Band, but he also had a few hot solo releases in the late 70's & early 80's as well that tickled the fancy of guitar lovers everwhere and even made a dent on the album charts. He's joined here by former Dave Mason/Big Brother & the Holding Company/Crosby Stills & Nash keyboard player Mike Finnigan, Dave Mason guitarist Jim Krueger, jazz/rock drummer Bill Meeker, and bassist Trey Thompson, with guest appearances by Max Gronenthal (keys/vocals), James Newton Howard (keyboards, who also produced the album), and Bobbye Hall (congas). The music on their self-titled release is more in a pop style, with slight hints of jazz, funk, rock, and prog, very similar to what bands like Ambrosia, Toto, Steely Dan, and the Doobie Brothers were doing at the time. Featuring catchy melodies, tight ensemble playing, and some tasty guitar and keyboard solos, this is a very enjoyable release from start to finish. Dudek & Krueger's weaving guitar licks highlight the memorable pop-rock of "It's All About You", a song that should have been a major hit single, and "Angels Fall" & "Just Like the Weather" have just the slightest element of quirky prog (remember the first two Ambrosia albums?) to go along with their well written pop characteristics. Elsewhere, you have "Drinkin' Alone", a catch rock tune with some impressive Dudek guitar licks, the funky "Just Be Happy", the hard rocker "That's Wrong" (complete with some nasty Dudek slide guitar), and the mix of fusion, funk, and rock on "You Cut So Deep", a tune with great vocal harmonies and some nice keyboard/guitar interplay. Vocals are very solid througout, shared by all three of the main players, which gives the songs plenty of variety.

This reissue includes two previously unreleased songs, the raucous rocker "Livin in Hollywood", featuring some stinging guitar solos and funky piano, and the Toto-ish "Stranger", another catchy rocker with strong vocals, a cool Hammond solo, and punchy riffs. How these songs never made it on the original album is quite the mystery. Fans of Les Dudek and his formidable guitar talents might be a tad frustrated with this release, as he is slightly restrained throughout, especially if you compare this to his solo albums, but his playing is always melodic and tasty, with plenty of fire when he does crank it up. This self-titled debut was more about the songs, and there are plenty of good ones. It's a shame that this was to be their only release, as you can hear the beginnings of what could have been a major rock band.

Track Listing
1. Angels Fall
2. Just Like the Weather
3. Drinkin' Alone
4. I Know You're in There
5. It's All About You
6. Just Be Happy
7. That's Wrong
8. You Cut So Deep
9. Livin in Hollywood-bonus track
10. Stranger -bonus track

Added: August 11th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Les Dudek Website
Hits: 2517
Language: english

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