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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 Info@Bmansbluesreport.com

Friday, March 24, 2017

It's "Time to Roll" on New MonkeyJunk Vinyl LP Version of Band's Latest Album, as Stony Plain Records Sets May 5 U.S. Release Date


It’s Time to Roll on New MonkeyJunk Vinyl LP Version of Band’s Latest Album, as Stony Plain Records Sets May 5 Release Date


Edmonton, AB - Stony Plain Records announces a May 5 U.S. release date for the vinyl LP edition of Time to Roll, the fifth album by award-winning Canadian blues/rock trio, MonkeyJunk.

Time to Roll is unique in that it incorporates elements of all four of their previous recordings with added maturity in songwriting and instrumentation, cementing MonkeyJunk’s originality and sound as its own. It is also progressive for the band, as they’ve added electric bass on most of the songs. No MonkeyJunk recording to date has included bass, but they felt that it would be a welcome addition to MonkeyJunk’s sound. In another precedent, the band also recorded one acoustic track for the first time on the new album.
Comprised of Steve Marriner on vocals, baritone guitar, bass, harmonica and organ; Tony D on lead guitar; and Matt Sobb on drums, MonkeyJunk is one of the hardest working bands on the scene today, performing at venues and festivals around the world for over eight years. Continually pushing boundaries and blurring genre lines, the Ottawa, Ontario-based trio has added an edge to their music by incorporating swampy blues and rock with thoughtful and intelligent lyrics.

Time to Roll was recorded at Signal Path Studios in Almonte, Ontario, and mixed and mastered in just over two weeks spanning across two months. “The writing and recording process was different on Time to Roll in many aspects,” says Matt Sobb. “All of the past records have been made over periods of six months to a year - starting and stopping many times over those longer time frames. This time, we were only in the studio for about three weeks all-together and that is BY FAR the fastest and shortest time we’ve ever made a record…but it was intentional to do it that way. We wanted to push ourselves to work hard and to work efficiently and focused - to see what we could come up with in a shorter period of time.” 

MonkeyJunk has delivered 10 top-notch tracks that are consistent with the quality and passionate delivery they are known for.  Heading back to their blues roots and drawing on inspiration that runs from John Lee Hooker and Lightnin’ Hopkins to J.J. Grey & Mofo and The Meters, Time to Roll showcases deep grooves, fervent vocals and soulful, original material, plus a cover of Albert King’s classic, “The Hunter.” Time to Roll was co-produced by Ken Friesen, who also doubles as a co-songwriter. Kelly Prescott, Tom Wilson and Stony Plain label-mate Paul Reddick also lent their songwriting talents to the recording.

No strangers to awards ceremonies, MonkeyJunk has won a collective 20 Maple Blues Awards, two Canadian Independent Music Awards, a Blues Music Award (USA), and have been nominated twice for a JUNO Award, winning the award for Blues Album of the Year in 2012. Favorites of Elwood Blues (aka Dan Aykroyd), MonkeyJunk has received great support from the syndicated radio program, The BluesMobile.

Time to Roll Track List
Side A
1.    Best Kept Secret  
2.    Time To Roll    
3.    See The Sign    
4.    Blue Lights Go Down    
5.    Pray For Rain
Side B    
6.    The Hunter    
7.    Can't Call You Baby    
8.    Undertaker Blues    
9.    Gone    

1. Fuzzy Poodle    

West Tone Records artist: Rockin' Johnny Burgin - Neoprene Fedora - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Neoprene Fedora, from Rockin' Johnny Burgin and it's spectacular! I've had the pleasure to review a few Rockin' Johnny releases and also to see him in person and I gotta say, there aren't too many players out there right now that I'd rather see. (Check here to see my recent interview with RJB). He is inventive, his guitar work is clean and distinctive, his vocals are cool and he's music is a lot of fun.

Opening with the title track, Neoprene Fedora, Burgin hits the strip running with a 50's style blues surfer with great great vibrato, and cool phrasing. The Latin beat and the shimmery guitar soloing is out of sight and Nancy Wright's sax work is hot and heavy. Excellent! Joining Burgin are Kid Andersen on guitar, Bob Welsh on guitar, June Core on drums and Chris Matheos on bass. On Guitar King Burgin swings back into his Chicago roots and I really like his vocals. Aki Kumar is back on harp and we know what he can do. Burgin's guitar soloing sets the groove and together with Kumar on harp and Stephen Dougherty on drums...this track hits hard. On Won't Get Married Again, Burgin blends a Bloomfield like vocal delivery with an off beat gait. Playing harp himself and with an odd scatter guitar style, this is a track to hear. Unusually cool. With a slower lope, Give Me An Hour In Your Garden, Burgin delivers solid, expressive vocals with Albert King like sting on guitar. Vance Ehkers bass work on this track helps to set off Burgin's masterful guitar riffs giving this track a memorable sting. Steve Willis opens Kinda Wild Woman, a R&B track, with accordion flair and Billy Wilson's rubbing board work adds to the natural texture.  On Please Tell Me, Burgin's vocals are solid and his slide playing very slick but catch Wright blowing the roof off on this one (on sax). With real Cajun feel, Burgin and Willis create the environment and Welsh adds a nice piano riff giving the track even more texture. Another cool blues swinger, (Let Me Be) Your Teddy Bear has a cool BB King like feel with Rockin' Johnny at his most relaxed, just letting it flow over Ehler's bass line. Very nice. Ultra funky blues track, Smoke and Mirrors even has wah wah pedal. I mean...it's funky. Get ready to dance. Burgin steps into new territory on this one and he's channeling Buddy Guy. With Alabama Mike on backing vocals and Kumar on harp, this track is FUNKY! Alabama Mike takes the mic on I Did the Best I Could and Burgin digs in on guitar with Albert King like attack. This guy can really do it all and continues to show that with every note... I mean this guy has feel...excellent! Another Chicago style blues, Self Made Man, features Kumar on lead vocal and Burgin sits back and just stings the strings. You don't have to listen hard to hear this guy. He sticks it in your ear for you. Buddy Guy has to smile listening to this guy!  On shuffle track, You Gotta Work Fast, Burgin is back up front on vocal. With a great walking bass line from Ehlers and Kumar on harp, Burgin steps high with powerful, solid riffs, which seems to pull his vocals even more into the groove. I Ain't Gonna Be A Working Man No More has super Morganfield feel and Burgin reinforces this on guitar (think Rollin' and Tumblin') and playing is straight and simple, this track just moves. Another funky track, My Life's Enough For Me, has a great bass line compliments of Ehler's and nasty, nasty guitar lead. Burgin's vocals really emphasize his work and I'm glad he continues to develop his own voice. Check how he absolutely slays the guitar solo on this one. Ouch...man that's great! Wrapping the release is slow, Willie Dixon like track, Goodbye Chicago with excellent John Lee Hooker like vocal phrasing and Howlin' Wolf like aesthetic by Burgin. Nancy Wright is so excellent every time I hear her and her playing on this track is no exception. The choice to feature her on this release was brilliant. Burgin pays tribute to all the blues kings as he loosely riffs on guitar with Kumar on harp.  This is really is the path of the contemporary blues. I hope that the young players are listening. This is it! Truly amazing release!



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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ruf Records artist: Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado - Change My Game - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Change My Game, from Thorbjorn Risager & the Black Tornado and it's very interesting. Opening with I Used To Love You, Risager sets a new stage with a calm, poised melody and rich vocals backed by Peter Skjerning on guitar, Emil Balsgaard on keys, Soren Bojgaard on bass, Martin Seidelin on drums, Hans Nybo on tenor sax, Kasper Wagner on sax and Peter Kehl on trumpet. On Funky rocker, Dreamland, the band really hits the groove and the horn section pumping up the work of Bojgaard, Seidelin and Balsgaard I really like this track. Title track, Change My Game has a solid radio format with a spunky beat, clever guitar riffs, a cool funky rhythm and cool horn punctuation. With a blues vamp platform, Risager rides high in a cool, polished blues hollar. Hold My Lover Tight is a solid rocker with a driving beat, super vocals and punchy horns. Another of my favorites. Maybe It's Alright has a universal appeal with a memorable melody, arena beat, cool guitar tones and always strong vocals. Train is a real nice modern blues rocker. With nicely paced vocals, hand claps, rhythmic guitars, tambourine and cool piano, this track is strong. Another track that I really like is ballad, Lay My Burden Down. Risager's rich vocals are really spot lighted here with this beautiful melody over mostly a orchestral accompaniment. Very nice. Wrapping the release is blues rocker, City of Love with saturated guitar, funky horns and nicely arranged vocals. Stiff footed drum work by Seidelin and grinding organ work by Balsgaard really give this track texture for soaring guitar soloing making this track a super closer.



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" 

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