Get this crazy baby off my head!


Matt O'Ree and the Blues Hounds

Matt O'Ree and the Blues Hounds - 88 Miles - 1998 - Matt O'Ree

"Matt O'Ree and the Blues Hounds slam out electric blues on "88 Miles" (self-release), producing a whopping rock sound that prowls Johnny Winter/Stevie Ray Vaughan turf with an exciting edge. O'Ree is an energetic singer with a hard-edged voice, and his guitar constantly lays out metallic spikes of rhythm and leads - it's power trio stuff with a fat blues-rock sound. Best cut, the instrumental title track where O'Ree's steam-hammer licks ride high." - Blues Revue" magazine

"Matt is a bad motor scooter and a bear go getter with a band to back it up. I hail him..." - Buddy Miles

If you like blues rock in the "I’m the next Stevie Ray Vaughan" mold, you might enjoy 88 Miles, the slick, independently produced CD by Matt O’Ree and the Blues Hounds. If you’re bored, however, with the three-piece blues rock formula that has been driven into the ground by thousands of bands in this country (including some who should really know better), you might want to reconsider these guys. O’Ree has accumulated a sizable fan base in his native New Jersey, and cuts from this CD, including the title cut, have climbed into the top 10 in local radio station charts. In his mid-20s, O’Ree has been dubbed a "guitar prodigy" and lauded by Buddy Miles, who called Matt "a bad motor scooter and a bear go getter with a band to back it up." O’Ree also scored a finalist slot in a recent Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition. It’s not that Matt O’Ree can’t play the guitar, and play it well. It’s that everything he’s doing has been done before. As the CD raced frantically from cut to cut, there were times I got the feeling that Matt was only interested in playing as fast as possible. When he and his band settled down, however, they did some fine playing. "Something to Say," one of nine originals penned by O’Ree, is probably my favorite song on the CD. It’s sparked with soul and feeling and isn’t just a bunch of fast guitar over-indulgence. O’Ree really needs to let his guitar breathe. As Muddy Waters told me many years ago, "You white boys play too many notes." Another really nice cut is "Theresa," which brings to mind Jimi Hendrix and "Little Wing." The CD is dedicated to Theresa Brent and I assume this cut is for her. Very cool. Very tasteful. O’Ree obviously has considerable talent and I’d like to see him move forward and find his own voice. I look forward to hearing his next CD. I loved and still love Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray but when I want to hear them I go to the original. By & © Sonny Boy Lee © 2000-2004 Sonny Boy Lee Productions CD review courtesy of http://www.sonnyboylee.com/

In recent years it's very difficult to read a review of a blues rock album where the lead guitarist is not compared to some other blues great. Music reviewers and critics are forever comparing modern day blues guitarists to artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and many more. This comparison "thing" should not be taken too seriously. Stevie Ray was influenced by Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters. Jimi was influenced by B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Albert King and Elmore James. Who was Elmore James, BB King and Albert King influenced by? There is nothing wrong in playing like some of these guys. Blues music is forever evolving. Matt O'Ree is just another piece of this evolutionary process. In general, Blues guitarists are not always deliberately trying to emulate other great guitarists. In blues music, it is virtually impossible not to be influenced by another blues artist, and that's the way music is. This process applies to all musical genres, and certainly doesn't stifle originality and innovation. Sonny Boy Lee says that "I loved and still love Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray but when I want to hear them I go to the original". To reiterate, the "original" mentioned here was also part of the evolutionary process of blues. There are people out there trying to play like Matt O'Ree, and good luck to them! "88 Miles" is a good blues rock album, and Matt O'Ree is a highly skilled guitarist. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 147 Mb]. Buy Matt's great "Shelf Life" album and promote and support great blues rock


1 Tell Me
2 Bringing The Blues
3 Messin' With The Kid
4 Everything I Need
5 88 Miles
6 Devil In Me
7 What I Had In Mind
8 Something To Say
9 Better Way
10 Killing Floor
11 Theresa
12 Dust My Broom

All songs by Matt O'Ree except Track 3 by Mel London, Track 10 by Chester Burnett aka Howlin' Wolf, and Track 12 by Elmore James


Matt O'Ree - Guitars, Vocals
Eric Lee Collier - Bass
Bill Cherensky - Additional Bass
Bob Pantella - Drums
Bob Butterfield - Additional Drums


Matt O'Ree, a man and his Stratocaster cranking out the blues, has all the trappings of a genuine guitar hero. This 29-year-old guitar slinger plays with fire in his fingers and blues in his soul. Anyone who has experienced his music will only say but the best. At age 13, he sunk his roots in the blues-Albert King, Howlin' Wolf, to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. After establishing a good foundation, at age 15 started playing in various bands, honing his skills through time and pure dedication. This lead to an accomplished studio musician only two years later. Some of Matt's most recent accomplishments include the stage with world famous drummer Buddy Miles, an invite to play at Les Paul's Birthday Party, and was also one of the finalists in the Jimi Hendrix Electric Guitar Competition. Matt went on as a music major in college, picking up studio and live gigs anywhere he could. But it was there where he began collaborating with bass player, Eric Lee Collier. Also a NJ music scene veteran, Eric began his career by playing in many local bands, absorbing multiple styles into his technique. Eric had the drive, passion, and the style comparable to James Jamerson and John Paul Jones, which was a key factor in creating the Blues Hound's sound. After auditioning several drummers, they decided on local talent, Bob Pantella. Bob has played and toured around the country in a range of different styles, which earned him chops unlike no other. Bob brings a pounding beat to the power trio much like legendary drummer John Bonham and Mitch Mitchell, adding a creative passion to an old style of music. With the line up complete, they began writing and recording material that evolved into their debut CD, "88 Miles." Released in 1998, it gained national reviews and airplay, pushing the Hounds to a higher level including opening the show for national recording artists like Gov't Mule, Robin Trower, Bernard Allison, Chris Duarte, Indigenous, Robby Kreiger, and Walter Trout. - from ALBUM NOTES http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/blueshounds2#


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Eric said...

"Bob Butterfield - Additional Drums"

I know him, he hails from my neck of the woods.
Used to see him in a few different bar bands yrs. ago.
Last I heard ( this is awhile ago) he was running a drum studio.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers, Eric! I thought at first that he might have been related to Paul Butterfield. Just Googling him, he seems to have played a lot with different outfits. Gotta check what other albums he played on. Thanks, Eric. TTU soon...P

Eric said...

Yeah, no relation to Paul.
He used to drum in a N.J. club band called "Edgar Cayce" they featured members from another N.J. band that was slated for big things back in the late 80's- early 90's "Prophet".

Know some of the guys casually as i lived in the same apt. building back then as their guitarist Kenny.

"Edgar Cayce" did alot of power trio stuff like Trower's "Day Of The Eagle".
Saw them many times back then @ club gigs.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Eric. You're lucky to be in such close proximity to so many great artists....Maybe "lucky" isn't the word. I'm thinking of your "Freaker's Ball" episodes again (lol)! TTU soon...P

Eric said...

"I'm thinking of your "Freaker's Ball" episodes again"

@ Paul, lol yeah being in the general NYC area certainly has it's perks.

B.B.Kings Bar & Grill is about 30 min. away...

All the famous NY jazz clubs are here (expensive).

The NJ scene has kind of tapered off as far as my tastes, but The Stone Pony is still going.

Really all the artists will almost always hit NYC or NJ because it's a key market.

On the downside many of my favorite European acts will never cross the pond as there's sadly not enough demand.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Howzitgoin', Eric? I can only repeat the legendary words from the Monty Python
"Four Yorkshiremen" sketch from "The Secret Policeman's Ball"...which are..."You lucky bastard"! I wish I had so many great venues near me! You're spoiled for choice, Eric! It may be a small world but N.America is a big continent. I know you need talent and a lot of luck to catch on over there. I guess I've seen plenty of gigs from both American and European acts, so that is definitely a big +. I've seen Dylan, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Canned Heat, loads more, as well as Supertramp, Camel, John McLaughlin....too many to mention! I forget to mention the Eagles' 987th Farewell concert in London! I've never seen Little Feat. That would be something! To digress, did I ever tell you about the time I saw a Steely Dan cover band in Vancouver back in the '80's? Miss X and I were staying in a hotel near the airport...going home the next day. We were in the sack at about 1.30 am. I heard "Deacon Blues" being played in the club downstairs. I went down to investigate, sat down, had a few beers and listened to this incredible band playing stuff from Gaucho and Aja. The joint was rumbling! The lead vocalist and guitarist were spot-on. I can't remember the name of the band now. I CAN remember what Miss X said to me at 4 am! (lol) Not a great story, but it brings back memories. Still no news of Mr.Fagen's "new" album. When is Halleys comet due again?...TTU soon, Eric...P