Spot of Blue
Music Reviews: FEBRUARY 2006
Gary Hankins Spot of Blue,"Livin’ Life This Way" (Indie Release)
A great mix roadhouse country blues and ballads that don’t swing to the slick pop-trendy country that permeates most country radio airwaves today. There is a twist of rockabilly and Appalachian bluegrass to give this the album a unique sound. "Just a Cowboy" starts out like a country version of the Beatles "Blackbird" giving a very interesting song. At times Gary Hankins has an Elvis Presley voice, especially on the slower songs. A great alternative to today's average country and special kudos to the excellent guitar playing.
Review by Scott H. Platt
KWEEVAK Music Magazine
SPOT OF BLUE – LIVIN' LIFE THIS WAY: Spot of Blue is founder Gary Hankins and a band of diverse, talented players. Gary is a singer/songwriter and rhythm guitar player. Hankins grew up in a musical family and has lived and worked in various parts of the United States. Gary pens poetic, real songs about America, life and travel. His music has a down-home flavor that blends a country base with assorted genres. Livin' Life This Way is Spot of Blue's impressive debut release. It features eleven earthy yet well-arranged songs that are light yet layered and serious. The CD explores a range of moods and "Hankins' vocals can capture the weary cynicism of Johnny Cash or the soft optimism of Jim Croche." 'Acey Deucey' is the playful opening track with cutting guitar chords and breaks flowing over a snappy rhythm. Hankins' vocals on the first song flip from gruff to smooth. The title track has a slow almost jazzy feel as Gary softy sings about the state of people and the planet. A subtle violin and backing vocalists also adds to the rich, reflective nature of the song. 'Amber' is a colorful tune that explores a full spectrum in under four minutes. Gary Hankins is an imaginative artist and Spot of Blue hits the spot!
• Recommended Tracks: (1,6,7) [USA/TX 2005 - web] (2006 Review by Laura Turner Lynch for Kweevak.com)
Music Reviews of World Music, Adult Contemporary, Reggae, Jazz, Blues, Classical
The windy plains of Texas is the home of Spot of Blue. The main songwriter for the band is Gary Hankins and his guitar play swaggers between blues rock, countrified rock-n-roll, and roots rock. His unconventional voice reminds one of a smart blend of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Spot of Blue could easily rock a juke joint or any bar east and west of the Mississippi. Good tight songwriting with an emphasis on rockin’.
ARTIST BIOGRAPHY-SPOT OF BLUE
Spot of Blue, a collection of songs that, like their creator, are made from the richness and variety of the world.
With a growing list of talented musicians, Spot of Blue has reached new levels. His own varied history blended with the inspired performances of his band mates creates an inspired sound, something that mixes a palette
of the American landscape and harnesses it into a beautiful and unique composition.
Spot of Blue contains the freedom of the sea, the open air of Texas, the delicate colors of Hawaii, and the music is unlike anything else.
Sometimes the music is haunting, other times forceful and laden with the triumphs and failures of a rich life. Hankins' vocals can capture the weary cynicism of Johnny Cash or the soft optimist of Jim Croce.
Spot of Blue's debut "Livin' Life This Way," is sure to capture fans from across the musical spectrum.
The music is full of imagination and it is not hard to imagine that while listening, we might be drawn into the curving spray of the California coast or thrust into the shadows of a lonely foothill. Spot of Blue has the power and honesty to inspire, but the rest is up to you.
Spot of Blue has a sound that seems to follow the mind of its creator: some songs bounce with a joyful rhythm while others tug at the emotions of the listener drawing them into a lonely embrace or the melancholy shine of
a tear drop. Hankins talks about love, death, and life with a wisdom and empathy that comes from experience.
Hankins is a storyteller and with Spot of Blue, people are finally beginning to hear his story.