When we reviewed ‘Best for Last’ by Wisconsin-based blues troubadour Pete Thelen, we said “it is full of titles that sound “simple” but say so much more, “Lost & Found”, “Move On”, “Part Time Love”, “You Make It Easy”, “New Pain”…the wisdom is found in the words Thelen sings and the music he plays. With his work, you must read between the lines and each letter of every word; there, the meanings are clear as a bell. Pete Thelen’s voice and charm has captivated his fans through the years and continues to bring light into some of the darkest shadows, and with a road worn wisdom he sings from the heart.“
We were not amazed that many of our contemporaries felt the same way about this album, and we wanted to share their thoughts with you.
“Blues Troubadour Pete Thelen has indeed saved his ‘Best For Last,’ as Garry Goldsmith writes here in Blues Highway. Pete’s declaring this his swan song. Not we wanted to hear,” writes Goldsmith. “Now that is an “aawwww” moment, but that’s okay because this recording is definitely one to remember. Thelen puts together a remarkable recording, that is part Pete Thelen and part compilation, as he gathers together some of his closet musician friends to give this send-off a rousing salute.“ – BLUES HIGHWAY US 61
“Pete Thelen is a great vocalist and songwriter. With the right exposure, we would be talking about him in the same way we talk about some of the greats. He has fulfilled his promise to save the Best For Last. Listen with your heart as well as your ears and you will find depth in this musical stranger. I’m sad to have finally heard this wonderful talent on an album he says is his last. I would like for Thelen and his friends to keep on going.“ – PROFESSOR JOHNNY P’S JUKE JOINT
“Best for Last, by Pete Thelen, is a blend of tasty music. Thelen’s vocals on ‘Lost And Found,’ plays nicely against Massoth on sax and Shellans on piano gives this track a smooth relaxing feel. Wrapping the release is ‘Thought Passing Through,’ possibly my favorite track on the release with it’s folk/blues ballad format. Thelen is at his best in this format on piano with and Hans Christian on cello and nyckelharpa. Very nice closer.“ – BMANS BLUES REPORT
“Chicago blues with a Bayou heart, Best For Last will become one of your favorite blues albums in short order. Best For Last is sublime, with the sound and feel of a final record, that ‘looking back on life and what does it all mean’ sort of thing that the blues is so very good at, particularly the song ‘Thought Passing Through.’ Thelen shows us some serious mojo (try Wind Up From Mexico), a sparse track that is very much traditional blues, the kind of stuff that makes you close your eyes as you nod along.“ – THE ROCK DOCTOR
“Pete Thelen talks about how music has changed over the last thirty years, his musical influences, and takes the audience on a personal look into life of a musician with his song ‘Thoughts Passing Through’. Beautiful song!“ – VIZIONS OF ROCK
“Best For Last is a successful swan song, a blues-focused CD with an interesting mix of songs both old and new. It is exceptionally refreshing in presentation, in that Thelen is going out in a shared spotlight. Half of the tracks are recorded by other artists so the listener can experience Thelen’s material through the performing prism of other entertainers.“ – HEAVY JOURNALISTS
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