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!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Dickey Betts - Winterland San Francisco, CA 12/14/1974 - Stilladog - Guest Reviewer

Dickey Betts - guitar, dobro, vocals
Jeff Hanna - guitar
Spooner Oldham - organ
Vassar Clements - violin
John Hughey - pedal steel guitar
Oscar Underwood Adams - mandolin
Stray Straton - bass, vocals
Bonnie Bramlett - vocals, percussion
Jerry Jumonville - alto sax
David Walshaw - drums, percussion
Jerry Thompson - drums
Leon Poindexter - acoustic guitar
Walter Poindexter - banjo
Frank Poindexter - dobro

 By 1974, in large part due to Dickey Betts, Capricorn Records and the Allman Brothers Band were experiencing a success more lucrative than anyone could have dreamed. Betts, as a result, found himself free to pursue almost anything he desired musically, without having to worry about finances in the least. The situation allowed him to record his first solo album, Highway Call, and to perform with countless great musicians for the pure joy of playing, without any expectations of making money in the process. Over the course of the previous year, Betts had found a true, authentic voice, and had begun to distinguish himself within the ABB as a unique stylist, blending his love for country, bluegrass, western swing, jazz and rock into a style utterly his own - and one that would soon prove highly influential on all the Southern Rock bands that followed in the Allman Brothers' wake.

Betts’ Great American Music Show featured many of the players from his solo album, including the greatest fiddle player of his generation, Vassar Clements. Both the Poindexters and the legendary Spooner Oldham were also on board, and all these musicians combined to create a show that authentically traced the history of American music. 

Betts begins this Winterland show by showcasing his more acoustic side, with plenty of tight harmonies, sweet picking and relaxed communication between the musicians. Several of the best new songs from Betts’ solo effort are included, including "Rain," "Long Time Gone" and the superb "Hand Picked." The classic instrumental "Hideaway," as well as Allman Brothers' favorites "Blue Sky" and "Southbound," are given this new treatment with great success. Betts, Clements and the Poindexters then venture into historic American music and straight bluegrass for half a dozen songs, beginning with vintage material like "Old Joe Clark" and "Salty Dog," and closing with Vassar Clements raising the roof on "Orange Blossom Special." 

The set's closer, for which the ensemble goes electric, is perhaps its most interesting and exciting moment. This 40 minute version of "Elizabeth Reed" has to be one of the most expansive versions ever played, and is almost beyond description. Everyone in the ensemble gets several chances to shine on this unbelievable jam. All the elements that influence Betts’ music are represented, from jazz to rock to bluegrass and back. This version literally has it all, and stays amazingly cohesive and inspired throughout. The audience demands more, and the band returns for an encore consisting of the obligatory "Ramblin Man" followed by another of Betts’ most requested numbers, "Jessica." This lovely instrumental showcases the inventive playing of this large ensemble, and ventures into new areas only hinted at in versions with the Allman Brothers.
This is one of the finest examples recorded of musicians playing for the sheer joy of music, with no egos or financial concerns getting in the way. Touring this type of show was destined to be a monstrous undertaking - and ultimately a financial disaster - but thankfully, for a brief time in 1974, none of that seemed to matter.

Introduction / Rain 4:58
Blue Sky 11:05
Hide Away 9:11
Hand Picked 13:54
Long Time Gone 5:32
Southbound 9:06
Old Joe Clark 1:47
Salty Dog Blues 3:13
Carolina 2:24
Rollin' In My Sweet Baby’s Arms 3:29
Hard Time Blues 4:05
Orange Blossom Special 3:08
In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed 41:19
Ramblin' Man 7:59
Jessica 12:16 

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”


Shake-It-Sugar Records artist: Murali Corell - Restless Mind - New release review

I just received the newest release, Restless Mind, from Murali Coryell (yes, it's Larry's son)but not at all following in dad's footprints. Opening with country rock styled Waiting and Wasting Away, Coryell is out there on lead vocal and guitar sounding more like Glenn Frey than Larry Coryell. Joined by Ernie Durawa on drums and Chris Alcaraz on bass this group is tight. Kiss Me First has a bit of R&B but with a bit more tasty guitar indulgence. Again, not the chorded jazz infused playing but more wide open SRV style wailing. On title track, Restless Mind, Coryell has more of an introspective take, with a quiet approach to this strong ballad. Cleanly articulated guitar solos over Lating percussion make this track tick. I'm So Happy returns to the country rock style and really reminds me quite a bit of Steve Miller with it's rockin sound and vocal blending. No slouch on guitar Coryell lays out a few nice guitar riffs to spice the track up. Sex Maniac is a straight forward rocker with a lot of cockiness. With a high stepping strut the band band lays it out there and coryell gets some really nice round guitar tones on his soloing. Crime of Opportunity, a R&R style track is one of my absolute tracks on the release. Coryell gets into a super groove vocally and the band sets up nicely right behind him. A well executed guitar solo caps this track making it one of the coolest tracks on the release. I Can't Give You Up has a funky rock feel and the addition of Joe Morales on sax and Jimmy Shortell on trumpet warm this track up nicely. A super radio track. Tag Along is a smooth shuffle track again with nice horn backing. A real nice sax solo from Morales and a hot trumpet solo from Shortell are the topper on this track..... check it out! I need Someone To Love has a real bluesy feel with a shuffle tempo. Coryell uses the blues tempo to his absolute advantage throwing down so hot guitar riffs really popping the track up. Very cool. Latin ballad Lonely Eyes features nice vocal harmonies and it really is a strong radio track contender with it's simplicity and strong hook. Everyday Is A Struggle has a real funky blues lope with SRV/A King flavors. This rhythm has to coax the flaming guitar riffs out of a man and it certainly does. This is the hottest guitar track on the release by far and a smokin' groove. The release is capped by Marvin Gaye's Let's get It On. This is done pretty much right along Gaye's arrangement but with updated instrumentals. Coryell lays down some real nice funky riffs on this track making it not only a great tribute to Gaye but a great track with hot riffs. Very nice!  

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”

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Deep Rush Records artist: Dexter Allen - Bluez Of My Soul - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Bluez Of My Soul, from Dexter Allen and it's hot! Opening with southern country blues funky track, Coming From Mississippi, Allen has you squirming in your seat leading the way with his own solid vocals and joined by Bobby Rush on harp. Joey Robinson lays down a snappy drum rhythm and Allen compliments himself nicely on lead guitar. Ride This Train, pushed along by Rush on harp, has a spiritual feel... you can almost feel the tent rising with excitement. Allen breaks loose with a few tight guitar riffs but this track is all about lifting the spirit with music. Still Called The Bluez has a real nice slow blues slide to it. A R&B style track with beautiful vocal work and hot guitar chaser makes this definitely one of the best tracks on the release. With the feel of BB King and the funky chop style of WWW this track is way cool. Monk Donky has a fast funk sound not unlike Robert Parker. letting the guitar out for a walk on this track, Allen coaxes himself along like a modern James Brown. Another slow blues track, Come Out And Play, draws Allen's soul out through his fingers. Accompanied by Joey Robinson on keys, Allen squeezes the fretboard for every last drop of soul. Very nice! Have A Party has a lighter, jazzier R&B feel with a balance of guitar, drums, lead and backing vocals. Bluez Party is a cool swing blues track... you can almost see BB King popping his palm with his fist. Allen has a cool voice and knows how to play call and response with his guitar. Robinson takes a nice key solo on this track warming up the bottom and Allen stretches it out a bit with a solo of his own. Nicely written and arranged Allen rocks this one. Deep Inside is a real nice soul rooted blues track with just the perfect balance of soul vocals, horn accompaniment and hot blues guitar riffs. Excellent! Pudding and Rice is a rocky R&B number with a cool hook. I Doubt It is a funky pop track with a cool guitar chaser. This is the track that could most easily cross radio lines for broad audience appeal. Wrapping the release is soul track, That Same Thing. Allen has a warm soulful voice, a cool sense of style and a hot guitar hand. Very nice compliment. 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” 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”