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CD REVIEW: Gaby Velazquez - Sweet Cali Groove
By Dan Cohen - 05/26/2010 - 02:44 PM EDT

Artist: Gaby Velazquez
Album: Let Me In
Website: http://myspace.com/gabyvmusic
Genre: Acoustic Folk/Rock
Sounds Like: Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Jack Johnson
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Seamstress, Dreams, Sway, Leslie
CD Review: From the first notes of Gaby Velazquez masterful new cd, you can tell your in good hands. The production, the musicians, the arrangements are all top-notch, and they get that laid back, Cali-funky pop groove going in fine style. Though listed on iTunes as 'country', this ain't yer mama's country. With some nice originals, a fresh take on the blues, and a killer band, Let Me In is far out, and one of the best albums of the year.

Whatever you call it, it's clear that Mr. Velazquez has done alot of playing (despite bio describing his doing time as a mortgage loan officer- hey, everybody's gotta eat!), alot of grooving in front of an audience- of friends, relations, co-workers, boardwalk strollers, whomever. He's got great acoustic chops, the tunes and the band all have an easy, loping sort of groove to them, and the band-- my my, you don't get friends like these by sitting around in your living room screaming at the tv! Dan Lebowitz is a standout on slide guitar. There's tasty keyboard support from Colin Hoops. But the rhythm section is just flat out sick- subtle, steady Mark Calderon on bass and flashier yet pocket-centric Inx Herman on drums creat irresistible grooves. No doubt they could play the proverbial phone book and make it sound like Duke Ellington. Or Zeppelin. Here they take simple, fun, bluesy tunes like 'Seamstress'


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