Richard  Ray  Farrell

"The blues will never die, because it's not a fad, it's a way of life."

Stuck On The Blues (By Craig Ruskey)

14 tracks, 48 minutes. Excellent. It's not apparent who suggested pairing the talents of Richard Ray Farrell, a native of the United States, with the Italian-born and raised Marco Pandolfi, but a tip of the hat is in order along with a complimentary cocktail or two. Farrell is a deft and rhythmic guitar player who packs an incredibly soulful voice in his luggage while Pandolfi offers his own richly expressive harmonica to an all-acoustic set of blues. Honey Bee, You Gonna Quit Me and I Once Was A Gambler mark a few of the well-chosen covers while Farrell's own Walkin' On Thin Ice, Stuck On The Blues and Hook, Line & Sinker display original songwriting skills that easily stand up with the best of the genre.

The duo delivers from beginning to end with their remarkably relaxed and conversational approach coming through whether calling on Chicago, Piedmont or Texas influences, and while an ocean sits between their respective homes, the tandem gives the impression of having grown up as next-door neighbors. While passports, scheduling headaches and language differences may be a small handful of issues that separate Richard Ray Farrell & Marco Pandolfi, their musical communication is seamless, respectful and real. Maybe we can drop some not-so-subtle hints to the pair and request an encore performance on disc (with a lengthy tour in support) that displays both the acoustic and electric abilities of both artists. Wonderful stuff this is!

© 2008 by Craig Ruskey