Dennis Herrera

You Stole My Heart

(Prescott Kabin Records)

He may look like a blend of Gene Simmons and that clever dude in the Spy Kids films, but Dennis plays a sharp guitar and sings from the heart. This set, co-produced by Rich Wenzel the keyboard ace features some quality players from Northern and Southern California. It’s all own compositions but reflects definite influences here and there. Let’s press PLAY…

Opening cut You Stole My Heart rides in on rocking piano and a Chuck Berry beat with a spirited vocal and rich sax fills. The confidence of the players hits the listener and the Dale Hawkins style guitar break is charm itself. Takes Money has a stabbing tempo and fluid harmonica, Herrera sings with a crisp but relaxed touch.

Fore has a greasy jukebox sway about it, top line sax intro and barroom piano, with percussion touches. It’s a golf session tale, a bit different! On to With No Refrain rolls along on a shuffle beat, warm Hammond chording and that nightclub sax honking away, Dennis sings to his beloved. Look Out gives the drummer some on a Jnr Walker groove, the singer in declamatory mode with a tinge of Albert Collins, I venture? Recovery goes all rhumba on a jazz outing which is a delight, with great guitar and neat electric piano riffing. This shows off the rhythm section so well.

You Can Name It shuffles into earshot, a real easy listen with a Mel Torme resolve and Collins guitar. The cool gear! I name it All Bert! Next up is Backed-Up has highly compressed harp on a foot-tapping number. My Past Time is a slow blues song, with Herrera reflecting with a late night ambience, complemented by the arrangement. Run With The Losers rocks it up on a beauty, thumping tune and a biting lyric-cum-admonition. The final inclusion is a snappy solo acoustic piece with a cute descending bridge. It’s called Bittersweet.

Whilst Herrera will never be an operatic tenor, he has a characterful voice that suits his material which often puts a smile on your face. The group players do a fine job of framing what he’s up to. If he hasn’t opened for Bobby Rush, he oughta…

Pete Sargeant


(Many thanks to Frank R)

Dennis Herrera's new album 'You Stole My Heart' is out now on Prescott Kabin Records.

For more information visit his official website here: