• Bryon Harris

Grit's Guitar - Runs Like a River'

Review by Patrick Joseph

“Runs Like a River” is the title track, released in advance of the album, of New Orleans jive blues instrumentalist, Harold “Grit” Vondenstein. "Runs Like a River " was produced by his wife, Paula Vega Vondenstein. “Runs Like a River” is an exploration in blues guitar playing. Grit's Guitar executes licks with a clear inspiration of previous masters of the art form. In particular, the use of “BB King” style soaring, stabbing high-pitch expressions is present. The use of pentatonic scales, blues notes, and chromaticism is ubiquitous.

Grit’s guitar tone is edgy yet clean. All of Grit’s inflections are heard clearly. His comping tone is differentiated nicely from his lead tone. The hypnotic rhythm of the song is steadily maintained from beginning to end. The piece is set against light percussion, bringing Grit's guitar center stage.

“Runs Like a River” has a meditative feeling to it. A static 12 bar form is the backbone of this piece. Bass lays out for the 1st chorus and then joins the rhythm guitar and drum track for many choruses of guitar solo. The solo builds well and finds new dynamic heights with each chorus. Grit's Guitar is both soulful and down to earth.

When you think of grit, you may think of a rough and unrefined sound, music that is strong and striking. Or you may think of a musician who has a strong resolve and can really dig in. Grit’s Guitar is all of this and more. If you are a fan of blues guitar, you will love “Runs Like a River.”


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About Grit's Guitar & Bible Belt Blues


After witnessing her husband Harold Vega Vondenstein’s guitar playing skills blossom, his wife, Paula, knew that she needed to create a new platform where Harold could explore his full range of creativity as a guitarist. She gave him a new name, Harold “Grit” Vondenstein, and Grit’s Guitar was officially birthed. “Runs Like a River,” the title track of their upcoming album of the same name is a New Orleans jive blues instrumental by Harold “Grit” Vondenstein and produced by his wife, Paula Vega Vondenstein. “Runs Like a River” contains 1 drum track, 1 bass track, and 3 guitar tracks, all original and created by “Grit.” Reminiscent of the fabulous guitar solos of the 70’s, each guitar instrumental on their upcoming album “Runs Like a River” will be between 9-10 minutes long and will cover a full gamut of genres including blues rock, rock, grunge blues, New Orleans jive blues, and romantic guitar instrumental.


Harold “Grit” Vondenstein, is part of the award-winning Gospel Blues Duo, Bible Belt Blues, with his wife, Paula, and have produced two albums, “I’m Not Ashamed to Be a Christian” and “My God, My God.” Bible Belt Blues won the coveted 2019 Josie Music Award for Gospel/Christian Duo and the 2020 W.A.M. Music Award for Best Lyrics for their Gospel/Christian song, “We Worship the King of Kings.” Bible Belt Blues has also placed for two consecutive years with the InterContinental Music Awards (two 2020 Finalist Awards for “Are You Ready?” and “Down the Rabbit Hole” and one 2021 Finalist Award for “Unstoppable.”)


The Vondensteins have a lot to be excited about with their recent 2021 Josie Music Award nomination for Album of the Year for their much-acclaimed 2nd album “My God, My God,” the signing of eleven of their songs (including two Grit’s Guitar instrumentals) on five Bongo Boy Records compilation albums, and twenty-eight of their songs having already received radio airplay. Grit’s Guitar had its official debut with its blues rock instrumental, “Anticipation” on the recently released Bongo Boy Records rock album, “Krypt II Knight Vol. II,” and its grunge blues instrumental, “No Man’s Land” on Bongo Boy Record’s Backroom Blues Volume Ten compilation album.


The Vondensteins are currently working on completing their 3rd Bible Belt Blues album, “Preacher and the Bluesman” as well as their Grit’s Guitar instrumental album, “Runs Like a River.”


For more information on Grit's Guitar, please visit his website.


For more information on Bible Belt Blues, visit the duo website.

 

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