Blues submissions requested! 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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Duncan Street - Baptized By The Blues - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Baptized By The Blues, from Duncan Street. Guitarist Dave Duncan and Harp player Stan Street open the release with a happy go lucky Watermelon, BBQ and Beer. A light country blues track a cool opener to this new release. Come To Mississippi is up next with emphasis on vocals and resonator guitar. Street who also provides percussive backing plays a nice harp track to go along with fluid slide resonator riffs. Lively blues boogie, Color Me Blue, has a great tempo and feel. With a solid 12 bar format this is one of the coolest tracks on the release. Sharpest Marble In The Drawer takes a slower blues pace and classic guitar blues riffs with a tongue in cheek lyrics. Muddy Waters I Be's Troubled keeps it's original pace and strong blues feel. Harp and slide work together nicely on this track in a clean manner. Love Me Tonight is a cool country blues number with straight acoustic guitar accompaniment. Title track, Baptized In The Blues, has a real rockin feel but not leaving blues alley. With a strong foot stomp as the direction to be followed by Duncan on guitar this is a lively blues number. Shakin' The Bacon Down takes on a New Orleans feel with marching snare drum and vocal duets and more sparing guitar work. Tater Salad Woman has a more raw feel and the sound of primitive blues. Chirping harp is a really nice additive to this particular track where all of the instrumentation seems to have a more human voice. Go Right Back To Bed has an Elmore James feel. A strong Texas style blues, Duncan drives the train on this track with a strong EJ rhythm and hot slide work and Street lays down some of the best harp work on the track. Very nice. The Blues Comes In All Colors wraps the release with a Howlin Wolf kind of track but on the down low all acoustic. This is an interesting release with varied exploration of the blues.  

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”


Healing & Music

Lisa Biales and Doug Hamilton give a special performance 

 Wednesday, April 30th at 7pm 
 Oxford Community Arts Center
10 S. College Avenue, Oxford, OH.

Donations will be taken at the door, and proceeds will go to the
Talawanda High School Grand Piano Fund in Memory of Kathryn Hamilton

Kathryn Anne Hamilton age 15, passed away March 11, 2013. She was a freshman at Talawanda High School where she was an avid soccer player, swimmer and band member. Kathryn was born December 24, 1998 in Nashville, TN to Douglas Hamilton and Barbara Smyth Hamilton. Kathryn had a love of the world and compassion for people. She loved math and technology and dreamed of becoming a race car engineer. 

We live in a wonderful community, and we take care of each other in many different ways. Sometimes we are care givers, other times we receive care.  Let's come together now with the intention of healing our hearts and our minds, and soothing our souls with music.


Lisa's new CD
 "Belle of the Blues" makes the Living Blues charts at #11, 
the Blues charts at #17, and the Acoustic Blues charts at #1.

Available NOW at CD BABY &  iTunes  &  uptown Oxford at 
The Wild Berry

- John Vermelyia, Blues Underground
" Lisa Biales astonished us again with this new album. With her crystal clear vocals and an excellent backing band, this album is a flawlessly produced jewel."


Vote for the Coolest Blues Song in the World 2014

Vote for your favorite song HERE from 
 Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine Sampler #15 Round 1
Voting counts through April 30, 2014 

Votes for Belle of the Blues are greatly appreciated.
Thank You!

Marc and I donated to the Blues Foundation's Raise the Roof! for 
the Blues Hall of Fame. The donation includes our names to be added 
to a brick in the wall. I'd love to see your name there too!   

Janiva Magness pushes roots, rock, soul envelope with new album 'Original,' out June 24.

Award-winning performer’s eleventh release, out June 24,
brings her songwriting skills and stunning range to the fore, with help from
Grammy nominated producer Dave Darling.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Janiva Magness’ new album Original stretches the artistic boundaries of roots, rock and soul music. Its 11 songs seamlessly weave all three genres into a highly original approach defined by nakedly honest storytelling and the live-wire emotionalism of Magness’ two-and-a-half octave range, buoyed by arrangements that effortlessly blend traditional sounds with edgy experimentation.
 “Let Me Breathe” opens Original with the amplified chunk of an electric guitar and the chime of a glockenspiel followed by the confessional lines, “Nobody’s perfect/Nobody knows that more than me,” setting a tone of frank self-assessment that resonates throughout the entire set, from the Stax-influenced celebration of dignity “Mountain” to the wanton “I Need A Man” to the concluding “Standing,” which confronts insecurity with true survivor’s resolve.
Magness had much to overcome in making this adventurous album. Since 2010 she’s endured the dissolution of a 17-year marriage, the deaths of eight friends and relatives including her foster mother, and an operation for a serious neck injury that could have ended her accolade-filled career. But Original finds the Los Angeles-based artist undefeated — turning in her finest recorded vocal performances, co-writing a majority of tracks for the first time and testing herself by taking risks along with her production foil Dave Darling, whose credits include Glen Campbell, Brian Setzer, Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx and Stray Cats, and whose instincts compelled Magness to tap her deepest creative powers and led the songs to sonically unpredictable places.
“I always want to push myself,” she explains, “but this album demanded a high level of vulnerability to tell the absolute truth in every song, holding nothing back. It was frightening, at times, to be so raw in public. Dave drove me and even tricked me when he needed to. This is also an album that couldn’t be made with another record company, because we needed to be able to go wherever we wanted musically to tell its stories.”
So Magness parted ways with Alligator Records after a six-year period that included 2012’s Stronger For It, 2010’s The Devil Is An Angel Too and 2008’s What Love Will Do, all produced by Darling. During her tenure on the internationally respected blues and roots imprint Magness also won her fourth Blues Music Award for “Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year” plus the “B.B. King Entertainer of the Year” and “Song of the Year” (for “I Won’t Cry,” co-written with Darling) awards, even as she became a fixture of the Americana music scene alongside such similar tough ’n’ edgy roots-based artists as Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and St. Paul and the Broken Bones.
It’s hard, indeed, to pigeonhole Magness, who kick starts Original’s transcendent creative centerpiece “When You Were My King” with her voice alone — albeit bathed in a psychedelic pool of reverb, then accompanied by a jingling moth larva shaker and a snare drum that sounds snatched from a contemporary R&B hit, which in turn relents to the soulful call of Darling’s reverb soaked blues guitar. The song goes on to build an organic electric and acoustic framework around Magness’ warm-blooded, hook-heavy vocal melody, ultimately conjuring the regret and lost magic of a disintegrated relationship with breathless passion.
Magness says that tune might not have happened if Darling hadn’t lured her to his studio to “work on a vocal part.” When she arrived the hit Australian songwriting team of Lauren Bliss and Andrew Lowden were lying in wait. “If Dave had said, ‘I have these people here that I want you to write with,’ I would have made an excuse and begged off,” she relates. Instead, they co-wrote “When You Were My King” and “Standing,” two of the album’s most intensely emotional and superbly crafted tunes. Magness’ friend Dan Navarro of the singer-songwriter team Lowen & Navarro also pitched in, singing on the duet “With Love” and contributing background vocals to “Standing” and “Let Me Breathe.”

Janiva with producer Dave Darling at Studio City Sound
Magness co-wrote seven of Original’s numbers, overcoming a longstanding phobia. “I’ve been afraid of writing songs for most of my career,” she confides. “I was worried I wouldn’t be good at it, or that I would be really good at it. I was married to a great songwriter, and I didn’t want songwriting to be an issue in any way between us.”
But after she and Jeff Turmes split in 2010, Magness began writing under Darling’s encouragement. They co-penned three tunes for Stronger For It. And this time it’s her lyrics and performances that breathe life into Original’s gripping emotional arc —a musical journey through loss and triumphant recovery that reflects her own experiences.
“I’ve always wanted life to be simpler than it is,” she offers. “When I was a young girl, and then a young woman, I really yearned for that. Now I’m a full-grown woman and I understand that life is never black and white. Losing loved ones, losing attachments and relationships, and grieving over it all are things we have to live with. If we can get through that with our souls intact, we learn how to become stronger and to move on with hope and dignity toward whatever comes next.”
For Magness, who is writing a memoir, such challenges arrived early. Her teenage years were turbulent after both of her parents took their own lives. She was placed in a series of 12 foster homes and at age 17 gave birth to a daughter who she gave up for adoption. Magness’ despair was so deep that she tried to end her life. But ultimately, inspired by the encouragement of her final foster mother and a galvanizing performance by the legendary bluesman Otis Rush, she eventually found stability and salvation in music.
Since the release of her debut album More Than Live in 1992, Magness has relentlessly pursued her craft to become one of the most beloved figures in the blues and roots world, reaching a larger and more diverse audience with each succeeding album and developing a reputation as a live entertainer that’s made her a staple of summer festivals. Her collaborations with Darling, in particular, have greatly expanded her fan base as well as her stylistic command. And she has lent her singular voice to the cause of foster care activism, becoming a spokesperson for Casey Family Programs’ National Foster Care Month and an Ambassador for Foster Care Alumni of America.
The fact that Magness’ voice was jeopardized in December 2012 by surgery that left her unable to speak for several weeks makes her performances on Original all the more impressive. In tunes like the powerful “Twice As Strong” and “Badass,” the epic “When You Were My King” and the intimate “Standing” she displays the entire scope of her vocal range — from confidential whisper to soaring declamation — on one of her own albums for the first time.
Magness thanks L.A. vocal coach and cantor Nate Lamm for teaching her how to sing in a way that provides a more sweeping command of her instrument. “I’ve pushed myself hard on vocal sessions for other people” — including Glen Campbell and R.L. Burnside — “but this is the first time I’ve been able to tap every part of my own voice for my own songs,” she attests. “They required everything I had to tell their stories and to express everything that I was feeling about theses experiences.”
“Now, I’m really looking forward to getting out and performing these songs live,” the artist continues. “When you’re on stage in front of an audience that’s singing along to your own songs, there’s no better feeling — and no place I’d rather be — in the world.”

Monday, April 21, 2014

Roots Guitar Guru on "Mountain Stage" radio show
Photo: Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Roots Guitar Guru's Performance To Be Broadcast Friday
A performance by Damon Fowler and his band will be broadcast on National Public Radio's "Mountain Stage" program this Friday, April 25th.  Their live performance was recorded in February in Charleston, West Virginia, where the band played four songs from their new album, Sounds of Home, to a standing ovation.
The radio show will be heard on over 130 stations around the country.   For a complete list of stations and broadcast times, please click HERE. The following week their set will be available for streaming at Mountain Stage's website and via mobile devices through the free NPR Music app.
To watch the Damon Fowler Band performing the title track of the new CD in their home state of Florida, please click HERE.

Watch and Learn About Dudley Taft


Screaming In The Wind will be out on 5/20 

Starting on this Tuesday, April 22nd, there will be a teaser of the new songs from Dudley's CD, "Screaming In The Wind", posted twice a week on his social media sites. He will be starting with the last song first all in Taft fashion of course leading up to the release date on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is where you see how he gets his mojo going to give his music that extra umph. So follow along with the links below! 
DT Twitter
DT Twitter

Dudley will have a 5 day exclusive video run on the mag's site starting MAY 12 for his song, "Screaming In The Wind". 
Guitar Master Dudley Taft Is Screaming in the Wind on Latest CD, Coming May 20 from American Blues Artist Group

New Album of Blues-Rock Produced by Grammy-Winner Tom Hambridge Features Special Guest Reese Wynans on Keyboards
CINCINNATI, OH – Blues-rock guitarist Dudley Taft announces a May 20 release date for his new CD, Screaming in the Wind, on his American Blues Artist Group label. The new album was produced by Grammy-winner Tom Hambridge, best-known for his work with Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, George Thorogood and Johnny Winter, and recorded at The Switchyard and Rendering Plant in Nashville, as well as Taft’s new Muchmore Studio in Cincinnati. The new recording facility is part of the house and property Dudley recently purchased from legendary guitarist Peter Frampton.  

The new CD features a dozen songs, most of which are originals penned by Dudley Taft, including several co-written with Tom Hambridge (who also plays drums on a couple tracks) and Richard Fleming, plus scintillating covers of songs by Skip James (“Hard Time Killing Floor Blues”) and Freddie King (“Pack It Up”).

Screaming in the Wind is my third solo effort and the first album I’ve done produced by someone outside the band. Several songwriting sessions in Nashville with producer Tom Hambridge and songwriter Richard Fleming helped the songs take shape before recording them,” says Taft. “It was refreshing to work with other great songwriters for the first time, and it gives Screaming in the Wind a different flavor.”

Taft’s regular band of John Kessler on bass and Jason Patterson drums is augmented by the addition of former Stevie Ray Vaughan keyboard player Reese Wynans on the sessions. “Reese plays some wicked B3 organ on the CD,” exclaims Taft. “He really shines on a bunch of the songs, elevating them to levels I never imagined. Check out his ripping solo on ‘The Reason Why’.”

Other special guests on Screaming in the Wind include the acclaimed McCrary sisters, who bring their smooth gospel harmonies to the song “Barrio,” while the Muscle Shoals Horn Section shines on “Pack It Up.”

“So far, I have done a Freddie King song on every CD, and this was no exception,” states Taft. “I love the funky vibe and tight arrangement of ‘Pack It Up.’ We poured gasoline on it and lit a match.”

The title track of the album started as a custom instrumental riff Taft did for the “American Blues Scene” website. “They told me it should be a song,” he recalls, “and I think it may have turned out to be one of the strongest on the album. Tom Hambridge and I worked hard to find the key imagery in the lyrics to tell the story.”

Speaking of instrumentals, Dudley Taft really cuts loose on the appropriately named track, “Red Line,” demonstrating why he’s been dubbed one of the hottest guitarists on the planet. Fans of classic ZZ Top riffs will be smiling from ear-to-ear when they hear Taft “spanking the plank” on that one.

“The riff from Skip James’ ‘Hard Time Killing Floor Blues’ got stuck in my head last year,” Taft remembers. “I thought giving it a Led Zeppelin ‘Black Dog kind of interpretation would make it fresh.”

The final song on the CD, “Say You Will,” has what Taft calls “an epilogue, where the gears shift and a David Gilmour influence surfaces, taking the listener off into oblivion. That was such a fun track to record!”

Dudley Taft’s last CD, Deep Deep Blue, released in May, 2013, received universal acclaim from fans and critics alike, including being named on several “best of” lists at the end of that year. He will support the new CD release with touring both in the U.S. and overseas, where he already has a European tour planned in May and June that will take him to the Netherlands and Germany. 
"... so Delta you can almost smell the swamp" - Premiere Gutiar
"The time shifting boogie ‘Red Line,’ reminds us it’s all about the guitar as Taft demonstrates what he has learned as a disciple of Billy Gibbons and the Texas sound." Rick Bowen/Examiner (Seattle)
Dudley's perfectly crafted rock/blues gets a cool nod by producer Tom Hambridge
MAY 20 2014

This appeared last year for his CD
Deep Deep Blue in the magazine.
Read more about it by clicking on the logo! 
Deep Deep Blue
Released 2013
American Blues Artist Group

CD art is linked to iTunes

Stony Plain Records artist: Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne - Rollin' With The Blues Boss - New Release review

I just received the newest release (April 22, 2014), Rollin' With The Blues Boss, from Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne and its quite good. Opening with Leavin' In The Morning, opens the release with a R&B infused blues track and a fine guitar intro by Tom Lavin on guitar. Wayne on vocal, organ and piano gets the band hopping and Loren Etkin on drums and Russell Jackson on bass hold down the bottom. You Bring The Jungle Out Of Me has a bit more funk and Jerry Cook (sax) and Vince Mai (trumpet) add nice horn work on the track. Wayne takes a nice organ solo on this track topping it off. Hootenanny Boogie-Woogie has a bit of that New Orleans feel with the piano and funk along the lines of WW Washington with nice backing vocals from Christine Best. Roadrunner has that gospel like key work that has made Leon Russell so popular (with me anyway). A straight beat on drums by Etkin offsets that "Mad Dogs" sound keeping it straight in the R&B style. Baby, It Ain't You is one of my favorite tracks on the release ... right down the soul blues highway, it also features the best vocal work on the release. Sibel Thrasher, Cecile Larochelle and Christine Best add really nice backing vocals on this track. I Can't Believe It is a rumbling R&B style track with polished jazz like phrasing. Two Sides is another super track with with great piano work and a rockin' gospel boogie blues feel. Again harmonizing vocals add a key component to this track. Slow Down has a bit of a country ballad feel... say like Gregg Allman. Sherman Doucette adds some nice harp work to this track. Ogopogo Boogie has a real solid New Orleans piano boogie sound. Wayne and Mai (trumpet) lead the way on this hot instrumental. Excellent! Keep On Rockin' stays in that New Orleans feel and Wayne's hand for the New Orleans sound is super. With a blues/boogie feel, a rock beat and sax contributions from Drew Davies, this track is easily one of the hottest tracks on the release. Out Like A Bullet is a real classic style piano boogie and Wayne really hits a homer here. An excellent track to wrap up a really cool release.  

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”

 This track isn't from the new release but does demonstrate his sound: