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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, June 23, 2017

Special Men Industries artists: King James & The Special Men - Act Like You Know - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (July 21, 2017), Act Like You Know, from King James & The Special Men and it's quite good. Opening with Special Man Boogie, band leader, lead vocalist and guitar player Jimmy Horn shows what he has up his sleeve and it won't be a secret for long. He has a great band. On this New Orleans/Latin flavored track Horn, joined by Ben Polcer on piano, Rob Snow on bass, John Rodli on guitar, Chris Davis on drums, Scott Frock on trumpet, Jason Mingledorff on tenor sax, Travis Blotzky on tenor sax and Dominick Grillo on bari sax these guys are tight. With Guitar Slim style, New Orleans R&B track, Baby Girl really sits in the groove with fat horns and super lead vocals, highlighted by classic guitar riffs.  Eat That Chicken has a cool strut and really nice guitar soloing, capped by a super tenor sax solo. Very nice. In the style of Ray Charles, Tell Me (What You Want Me To Do) has great soulful vocals. The strong piano lead, paired with Frock's trumpet work set the stage for excellent sax lead making this one of my favorites on the release. Another classic NO style track, The End Is Near, has powerful sax, gritty guitar work and strong piano reinforcement, but it's a terrific vocal on this track that gives it real teeth.  Excellent! Wrapping the release is 9th Ward Blues with it's Bo Diddley beat and and NO party atmosphere. This track is a full out instrumental blast and clocking in at nearly 14 minutes, is a super closer.



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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blues Music Award-Winning Band, The Nighthawks, Display Their Versatility on New CD, "All You Gotta Do," Coming July 21 on EllerSoul Records



Blues Music Award-Winning Band, The Nighthawks, Display Their Versatility on New CD, All You Gotta Do, Coming July 21 on EllerSoul Records

WASHINGTON, DC – Legendary blues and roots band (and Blues Music Award winners) The Nighthawks, announce a July 21 release date for their new CD,
All You Gotta Do.

The band is also enjoying critical acclaim for Michael Streissguth’s award-winning documentary film about their history, The Nighthawks – On the Blue Highway, which is now available on DVD from the group’s website, as well as Amazon.com. The film will also be screened prior to the ‘Hawks’ June 30 performance at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson in Baltimore.      

Eclectic? All over the map? The material on All You Gotta Do, The Nighthawks’ latest release, can certainly be described in these terms. Yet, throughout the nearly five decades of its career, the band has sourced songs from everywhere and anywhere. The prototype recording, Rock and Roll, although it had no originals, established this template in 1974. Three years later, Sidepocket Shot, showed the band capable of nearly all original material and spanning an even wider range of genres, this time in an array of production styles a la the Beatles' Revolver. All You Gotta Do does not have any outside players, only the band itself, with a minimum of overdubs. Yet the band still sounds like a hard Chicago Blues band from the mid-1950s, adding the vocal harmonies that Miss Honey Piazza once dubbed “the Doo Wop Blues.”
     
The new disc opens with Mark Wenner's rocking version of Brenda Lee's title track, the kind of pop rockabilly that was in full swing at the end of the ‘50s. Mark Stutso proceeds to give a moving interpretation of Levon Helm's personal farewell, “When I Go Away.” Wenner follows with the always mandatory Muddy Waters song, with no attempt to be anything other than the Chicago Blues.
     
Randy Newman's “Burn Down the Cornfield” was learned by the band for a D.C. multi-band performance of his songs for band house gigs. Johnny Castle steps into the fray with “Another Day” that can only be described as a modern day protest piece from his own pen, and Stutso follows with his own tale of the tortures of love with “Voo Doo Doll.” Wenner gives a thumping take on the Sonny Boy Williamson rocker, “Ninety Nine,” using the big C 12 hole Marine Band harmonica honking in the lower register. The heart-wrenching ballad, “Three Times Your Fool,” gleaned from his solo CD and written with his Pittsburgh collaborator, Norman Nardini, is sung as only Mark Stutso can.
     
Mark Wenner got a chance to sit in on Jesse Winchester's "Isn't That So" at a casual jam. Remembering almost all the lyrics, he tried singing it.  At the next Hawks' sound check, the harmonies fell right into place and it became a part of the repertoire. The band takes a fun romp of R.L. Burnside's “Snake Drive,” changing the groove from Hill Country Mississippi to D.C. Go Go, followed by a funny take on “Frere Jacques,” titled “Blues for Brother John.” This melody is one that Wenner uses to teach precise note bending in cross harp position. The final track shows off Johnny Castle, for all the styles he has played, to be the true King of Garage Rock in his salute to Washington D.C. on “Dirty Water.”
     
Although he sings no lead, Paul Bell is a major voice in the harmonies and shows off his ability to function freely in any of style of picking, from the snazzy jazzy licks on “Brother John” to the screaming slide on “Cornfield.”

But before we take any of this too seriously, in the famous words of Hound Dog Taylor, “Let's have some fun!”




Nighthawks Tour Itinerary
6/23     Tally Ho Theater                                                         Leesburg, VA
6/24     Rommel Harley-Davidson                                          Annapolis, MD
6/30     Creative Alliance at the Patterson                              Baltimore, MD
7/1       Abingdon July Festival (w/Bob Margolin)                 Abingdon, VA
7/7       New York State Blues Festival (w/Bob Margolin)     Syracuse, NY
7/8       Black Rock Performing Arts Center                           Germantown, MD
7/21     Bright Box Theater                                                     Winchester, VA
7/26     Lee District Nights                                                     Alexandria, VA
7/28     Jilly’s Music Room                                                     Akron, OH
7/29     Rip Rap Roadhouse Festival (w/James Solberg)        Dayton, OH
8/4       Hiawatha River Cruise                                                Williamsport, PA
8/5       Gotta Swing Dance/Spanish Ballroom                       Glen Echo, MD
8/11     Jammin’ Java                                                               Vienna, VA
8/12     Apple Mountain Motorcycle Rally (w/Foghat)          Little Orleans, MD
8/19     Rollin’ on the River                                                    Keokuk, IA
8/25     TGIF Concerts                                                            Wheaton, MD
8/26     Old Glory Harley-Davidson                                       Laurel, MD
8/27     Verdun Adventure Bound                                          Rixeyville, VA
9/2       Blue Note Grille (w/Rev. Billy C. Wirtz)                   Durham, NC
9/16     Niagara Falls Blues Festival                                        Niagara Falls, NY


Additional dates forthcoming ….

Cop Records artist: Mark Cameron Band - Live at Blues On The Chippewa - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Live at Blues On The Chippewa, by the Mark Cameron Band and it's rough and tumble. Opening with boogie track, Doctor In The House, Mark Cameron has the lead on vocal and guitar with Bill Keyes on harp, Scott Lundberg on bass, Dan Schroeder on drums and Sheri Cameron on flute and percussion. Willie Mabon styling on Dicey makes it a really cool track with mostly spoken lyrics and double stopped guitar and harp work. Borrowed Time is a slower ballad with nice blues bones. Nicely highlighting Mark's vocals and with nice flute work by Sheri, the solemn guitar soloing by Mark is particularly cool... like James Gurley on Summertime. With a slice of two step, Mojo Shuffle cruises nicely with it's tight bass line and harp riff. Willie Dixon's Killin' Floor is up next in the slot between the original and Led Zep's take. With raw vocals and a rock beat, Keyes lays on the harp giving the track a cool blues edge. Rusty Old Model T has a super boogie beat driven by Cameron's slide guitar. Filling out into a country flavored shuffle this track is cool. Wrapping the release is Back Seat Boogie, my favorite track on the release. With clever lyrics and just the right amount of tremelo on his strat, Cameron closes with style.



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  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”

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