CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

Please email me at

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Packrat's Smoke House - Men Of The Swamp Live - New Relase Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Men Of The Swamp Live, from Packrat's Smoke House and it's swampy delta blues at it's best. Opening with The Night Jack Frost Killed Possum Brown, a slow blues track with a raw edge with traces of Jr Kimbrough. Featuring Anthony "Packrat" Thompson on lead vocal and harmonica, Robert "Lightning Boy" Thomas on guitar, Aaron Pop Watson on drums, Kenny "The Wizard" Sly on bass and Peter Beers on keys. Taped live at Babe James Center, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, this is a really nice set. On Hush Hush, a definite Chicago style shuffle, Packrat's harp work is wailing and Lightning Boy's guitar work true to the style. Very cool. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Smoke Stack Lightning with Lightning Boy leading the way with a real round guitar sound and Packrat's wailing harp, this track is great! Another of my favorites on the release Smokehouse Boogie with a no holds barred guitar boogie. Lightning Boy really winds it out on this one with a relentless guitar lead played with Packrat's rugged vocals and the tight rhythm of Sly and Watson. Very cool. Wrapping the first side and concert one is Hoo Doo Woman's Blues with real R&B spank. Nicely blended vocals, packrat's harp and Beers on keys, this track is a great closer. Disc 2 was recorded at Bradforsville Blues Club and consists of 4 extended blues tracks. The shortest of the 4, clocking in at nearly 7 minutes, Sue City Sue is a solid shuffle with smooth vocals and pronounced bass by Sly. This is an earthy mix of R&B and blues in it's dirty best. Check it out.

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 


 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Legendary Singer-Songwriter Bruce Cockburn Showcases His Acoustic Guitar Technique on New Instrumental CD, "Crowing Ignites," Coming September 20 on True North Records, Supported by 40+ Date North American Tour

Legendary Singer-Songwriter Bruce Cockburn Showcases His Acoustic Guitar Technique on New Instrumental CD,

Crowing Ignites, Coming September 20 on True North Records, Supported by 40+ Date North American Tour

WATERDOWN, ON – True North Records announces a September 20 world-wide release date for Crowing Ignites, the new all-instrumental CD from legendary Canadian (now based in San Francisco) singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn. 

Crowing Ignites was produced, recorded and mixed by Colin Linden, and recorded at the Firehouse in San Francisco. It showcases 11 all-original compositions by Cockburn, who plays acoustic guitar throughout, backed by a stellar cast of sympathetic musicians. Cockburn will support the new disc’s release with a summer/fall tour schedule throughout the United States and Canada. 

In 2005, Bruce Cockburn released Speechless, a collection of instrumental tracks that shone the spotlight on the singer-songwriter’s exceptional acoustic guitar playing. The album earned Cockburn a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Instrumentalist and underscored his stature as one of the world’s premier pickers.

Already, The New York Times had credited Cockburn with having “the hardest-working right thumb in show business,” adding that he “materializes chords and modal filigrees while his thumb provides the music’s pulse and its foundation—at once a deep Celtic drone and the throb of a vigilant conscience.” Acoustic Guitar magazine was similarly laudatory in citing Cockburn’s guitar prowess, placing him in the prestigious company of legends like AndrĂ©s Segovia, Bill Frisell, Django Reinhardt and Mississippi John Hurt.

Now, with the intriguingly titled Crowing Ignites, Cockburn has released another dazzling instrumental album that will further cement his reputation as both an exceptional composer and a picker with few peers. Unlike Speechless, which included mostly previously recorded tracks, the latest album—Cockburn’s 34th—features 11 brand new compositions. Although there’s not a single word spoken or sung, it’s as eloquent and expressive as any of the Canadian Hall of Famer’s lyric-laden albums. As his long-time producer, Colin Linden, puts it, “It’s amazing how much Bruce can say without saying anything.”

The album’s title is a literal translation of the Latin motto, “Accendit Cantu,” featured on the Cockburn family crest. Although a little puzzling, Cockburn liked the feeling it conveyed: “Energetic, blunt, Scottish as can be.” The album’s other nod to Cockburn’s Scottish heritage is heard on “Pibroch: The Wind in the Valley,” in which his guitar’s droning bass strings and melodic grace notes sound eerily like a Highland bagpipe. “I’ve always loved pibroch, or classic bagpipe music,” says Cockburn. “It seems to be in my blood. Makes me want to sip whiskey out of a sea shell on some rocky headland!”

While Cockburn reconnecting with his Gaelic roots is one of Crowing Ignites more surprising elements, there’s plenty else that will delight followers of his adventurous pursuits. Says Linden, who’s been a fan of Cockburn’s for 49 years, has produced 10 of his albums and played on the two before that: “Bruce is always trying new things, and I continue to be fascinated by where he goes musically.”

The album is rich in styles from folk and blues to jazz, all genres Cockburn has previously explored. But there are also deepening excursions into what might be called free-form world music. The hypnotic, kalimba-laden “Seven Daggers” and the trance-inducing “Bells of Gethsemane,” full of Tibetan cymbals, chimes and singing bowls, are highly atmospheric dreamscapes that showcase Cockburn’s world of wonders—and his improvisational gifts on both 12-string and baritone guitars. Each track was wholly created in the makeshift studio he and Linden put together in a converted fire station in Cockburn’s San Francisco neighborhood.

Singing bowls, Cockburn explains, are an endless source of fascination to him, dating back to a trip he took to Kathmandu, as seen in the documentary Return to Nepal. There, Cockburn stumbled on a man selling the small inverted bells sometimes used in Buddhist religious practices and became instantly captivated by their vibrational power. “I had no particular attraction to them as meditation tools or anything,” says Cockburn. “I just thought they had a beautiful sound. After buying half a dozen in Kathmandu and more since, he now has a sizeable collection.

Two tracks on Crowing Ignites had their origins elsewhere. “The Groan,” a bluesy piece with guitar, mandolin and some collective handclapping from a group that includes Cockburn’s seven-year-old daughter, Iona, was something Cockburn composed for a Les Stroud documentary about the aftermath of a school shooting and the healing power of nature. And Cockburn wrote the jazz-tinged “Mt. Lefroy Waltz” for the Group of Seven Guitar Project on an instrument inspired by artist Lauren Harris and custom-made by luthier Linda Manzer. It was originally recorded, with cornet player Ron Miles, bassist Roberto Occhipinti and drummer Gary Craig, for Cockburn’s 2017 album Bone on Bone, but not released until now.

Cockburn doesn’t set out with any particular agenda when composing an instrumental. “It’s more about coming up with an interesting piece,” he says. “Who knows what triggers it—the mood of the day or a dream from the night before. Often the pieces are the result of sitting practicing or fooling around on the guitar. When I find something I like, I work it into a full piece.”

“Bardo Rush,” with its urgent, driving rhythm, came after one such dream, while the contemplative “Easter” and the mournful “April in Memphis” were composed on Easter Sunday and Martin Luther Day respectively. “Blind Willie,” named for one of Cockburn’s blues heroes, Blind Willie Johnson, features a fiery guitar and dobro exchange with Linden (Cockburn has previously recorded Johnson’s “Soul of a Man” on Nothing But a Burning Light). And the idea for the sprightly “Sweetness and Light,” featuring some of Cockburn’s best fingerpicking, developed quickly and its title, he says, became immediately obvious.

Meanwhile, “Angels in the Half Light” is steeped in dark and light colors and conveys ominous shades as well as feelings of hopefulness, seemingly touching on both spiritual and political concerns—hallmarks of Cockburn from day one. “It’s hard for me to imagine what people’s response is going to be to these pieces,” he says. “It’s different from songs with lyrics, where you hope listeners will understand, intellectually and emotionally, what you’re trying to convey. With instrumental stuff, that specificity isn’t there and the meaning is up for grabs. But I’m glad if people find a message in the music.”

More than 40 years since he embarked on his singer-songwriter career, Cockburn continues pushing himself to create—and winning accolades in the process. Most recently, the Order of Canada recipient earned a 2018 Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year, for

Bone on Bone, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from SOCAN, the Peoples’ Voice Award from Folk Alliance International and was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017. Cockburn, who released his memoir, Rumours of Glory, and its similarly titled companion box set the same year, shows no sign of stopping. As his producer-friend Linden says: “Like the great blues players he admires, Bruce just gets better with age.”

                                                                 Bruce Cockburn US Tour Dates

SEPT  7                                                   Sisters, OR                                         Sisters Folk Festival

SEPT  20                                                 Nashville, TN                                    City Winery

SEPT  21                                                 Ferdinand, IN                                   Ferdinand Folk Fest

SEPT  23                                                 Nelsonville, OH                                Stuart Opera House

SEPT  24                                                 Goshen, IN                                        John S Umble Center

SEPT  25                                                 Grand Rapids, MI                            Covenant Arts Center

SEPT  27                                                 Chicago, IL                                         Old Town School

SEPT  28                                                 Chicago, IL                                         Old Town School

SEPT  29                                                 Minneapolis, MN                            Cedar Cultural Center

SEPT  30                                                 Fargo, ND                                           Fargo Theatre

OCT   24                                                 Brooklyn, NY                                     Murmur Theatre

OCT   25                                                 Albany, NY                                         The Egg

OCT   26                                                 Collingswood, NJ                            Scottish Rite Theatre

OCT   27                                                 Washington, DC                              The Birchmere

NOV  10                                                 Seattle, WA                                       Neptune Theatre

NOV  11                                                 Missoula, MT                                    Wilma Theatre

NOV  12                                                 Boise, ID                                             Vac Theatre

NOV  14                                                 Salt Lake City, UT                            State Room

NOV  15                                                 Grand Junction, CO                        Avalon Theatre

NOV  16                                                 Durango, CO                                     Henry Strater Theatre

NOV  17                                                 Boulder, CO                                      Boulder Theatre

NOV  19                                                 Phoenix, AZ                                      MIM

NOV   20                                                Los Angeles, CA                               McCabe’s Guitar Shop

NOV   21                                                Berkeley, CA                                     Freight & Salvage

NOV   22                                                Berkeley, CA                                     Freight & Salvage

Josh Newcom To Release "The Blues Gonna Getcha" On June 28th - Video Debut Today



Prolific Entertainer Plans Vast Itinerary to Support Multiple Upcoming 

Studio Albums Scheduled Over the Coming Year




Rose Bud, AR --- Josh Newcom is an anomaly. As a musician and entertainer, he is continually in a whirlwind of creation. His mind never hits pause, and inspiration comes from all facets of life, family, his travels, alongside any subject that enters the bandwidth of his mind. Over the course of the last year and a half, he self-produced ten albums, each genre specific. As opposed to confining his talent to a sole genre, his love of all music has been the inspiration to pool these individual creations in to collected bodies of work, each loosely defined as Country, Bluegrass, Blues, Rock and others.  First up on June 28 is the release of The Blues Gonna Getcha via Warpaint Entertainment (  That forthcoming album  is available for sale here:

Newcom shares, “My love for the Blues was first and for most inspired by Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughan. When I first heard Muddy Waters sing and play his songs in that raw and sweaty sound, I knew that was going to be a huge stimulant for my creativity. And hearing Stevie Ray Vaughan play the Blues changed everything I thought about guitar. It literally made me drop everything and focus only on the Blues for many months. Now B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James, Mavis Staples, Buddy Guy, Rosetta Tharpe and many more are who I turn to for inspiration ensuring my soul flows out freely through my voice and fingers.”

Listening to The Blues Gonna Getcha, there is no question the pure powerful, natural intonation is there as Newcom delivers his lyrics in song. And as a player, he is real, taking inspiration from the forefathers of the genre who came before. When asked about which specific carry the most significant meaning to him personally, he offers, “I’m not the type of songwriter who writes just to have another song. I love every song I put out equally or I wouldn’t put them out. That being said, some are written to carry the torch for how I want an album to flow, and the overall feeling I’m looking for. I wrote ‘Girl Got The Mojo’ with full intentions of it starting the album off, and revealing exactly what the album was. The same goes for the ending with ‘When She’s Shakin’. The title track ‘The Blues Gonna Getcha’ is exactly what I wanted a song to be to exhibit the inspiration I got from my blues heroes.”

As an artist, he has been a work in progress, growing through self-discovery and a work ethic second to none. He began his career a decade ago, finding peaks of success, and some heartache along the way. In his past, he has been a sought-after music video director based out of Nashville which led to a relationship with Merle Haggard, and a hired gun engineer who also performed all of the instruments on demos for a number of entertainers who are major artists today.  Newcom is driven by belief in himself, performing over two hundred shows a year across The United States with his wife and family in tow. Some of those journeys are captured on the long-form episodic series “Renegades, Outlaws & Gypsies” which can be screened on his web site here:

Newcom will be appearing across the country in support of this release, and albums forthcoming throughout 2019 and 2020.  On June 28, he’ll appear in Indianola, Mississippi at B.B. King’s Club Ebony with all box office proceeds earmarked for donation to the B.B. King Museum. For more information please visit  Confirmed performances include:

6/21     Tupelo, MS                                         The Thirsty Devil (Band)

6/22     Decatur, AL                                        Hard Docks (Band)

6/28     Indianola, MS                                     B.B. King’s Club Ebony

6/29     Little Rock, AR                                  South On Main (Band)

7/06     Mobile, AL                                         Veets (Band)

7/07     Navarre, FL                                        Juana’s Pagodas 

7/08     Navarre, FL                                        Juana’s Pagodas

7/09     Navarre, FL                                        Juana’s Pagodas

7/10     Perdido Key, FL                                 Flora Bama (Band)

7/13     Jackson, MS                                       Martin’s Downtown (Band)

7/19     Memphis, TN                                      Hi Tone (Big Room)

8/03     Oklahoma City, OK                            Margarita Island (Band)

8/17     Mountain Home, AR                          Royal 66

9/06     Houston, TX                                       Firehouse Saloon (Band)

9/07     Sargent, TX                                        Sargent Fest (Band)

Dallas Root Rockers, The 40 Acre Mule To Release Disc August 23th

Dallas Roots Rockers The 40 Acre Mule

To Release New Disc On State Fair Records July 19th
"It used to be called boogie-woogie. It used to be called rhythm & blues. Now, they call it rock & roll."
Chuck Berry’s words are at the very heart of Roots Rock & Roll 5-piece, The 40 Acre Mule. The self-described “Rhythm & Blues Outfit” are a powerhouse of vintage revival with a reputation for seamlessly blurring the lines between country, soul and rock audiences with songwriting that borders between blues drenched heartbreak and an old school riot in the streets.
Influenced by the pillars of Rhythm & Blues like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Ray Charles and inspired by recent artists such as J.D. McPherson, Nathaniel Rateliff and Gary Clark Jr., The 40 Acre Mule features J. Isaiah Evans - guitar & vocals, Robert Anderson - drums, Tim Cooper - bass, Chris Evetts - baritone sax & percussion, and John Pedigo - guitar & vocals. They quickly built their own unique sound by blending vintage Rock & Roll, R&B, Soul with a touch of Country. It was a sound that soon caught on with The James Hunter Six, The Reverend Horton Heat and Alejandro Escovedo, just to name a few.
Since forming in 2015 in Dallas, The 40 Acre Mule has built a loyal following the old-fashioned way, playing countless bars and packed clubs. As the crowds caught on, so did the likes of legendary promoter Scott Beggs and Jim Heath (The Reverend Horton Heat) who gave The 40 Acre Mule their first break with an opening slot at a sold-out show at Dallas’ legendary Bomb Factory.
L-R: Chris Evetts, Robert Anderson, J. Isaiah Evans, Tim Cooper & John Pedigo            Photo Credit: Casey Kinney

Playing to diverse crowds has made their fanbase explode. "We’ve gone from 10 to 15 friends in a dive bar on a Tuesday to playing full-on festivals without even having an album out yet. That says something. I think we’re making music that people from all walks of life…country fans, soul fans, rockabilly fans…find comfortable and familiar. It’s because all those genres can trace their roots to Rhythm & Blues, the very backbone of Rock & Roll ", says J. Isaiah Evans.

After years of paying their dues, The 40 Acre Mule are following in the footsteps of good friends and emerging Americana stars, The Vandoliers and Joshua Ray Walker, and signed with State Fair Records. The good times kept rolling with a show stealing appearance at the 2019 HomeGrown Festival with Tripping Daisy, Toadies and The Suffers as well as tour stops with JD McPherson and Charley Crockett. Now, fresh off their nomination for Best Rhythm & Blues Act by Central Track, The 40 Acre Mule is set to make more noise with the release of their upcoming full-length debut, Goodnight and Good Luck on August 23, 2019.


King Bee & The Stingers - Meet Me In Memphis - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Meet Me In Memphis, by King Bee & The Stingers featuring lead vocalist, Sarah Menefee who's vocals are dripping with soul. Opening with You're All I Need, a cool R&B track with a fat horn laden bottom by Tom Clark, The Stingers show light footed prowess with Mark Menefee on harmonica, DK Buchanan on guitar, Buddy Mitchell on drums and Ken meadows on bass. Rolling blues number, Half A Mind has a romping rhythm with Mark showing his harp chops and giving Buchanan a clear path for some tight riffs of his own. Title track, Meet Me In Memphis is one of my favorites on the release with Sarah showing the richness of her lower octave. With only a minimal of backing, Mark's harmonica seems to hang in the air like smoke and Mary Druin's guitar soloing slices cleanly. Very nice. Another favorite on the release is an interesting rework of Howlin Wolf's Smokestack Lightning. I really like Sarah's vocal styling on this track with solid attack and control. Very cool. Rock n roller, Buzz a While has a springy rhythm and gets your foot tapping. Big Mama's Hound Dog gets a smoldering Latin flavored rework and Sarah and Mark really work it over. Reverb saturated guitar work by Buchanan gives the track a loose feel over the snappy drum work of Mitchell. Wrapping the release is Devil Train, a country blues rocker where Sarah's vocals actually sound quite like Chrissie Hynde. This is a cool closer for an interesting release. 

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 


 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE