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 Info@Bmansbluesreport.com

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Full Force Music Management artist: Sterling Koch Trio - Place Your Bets - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Place Your Bets, from Sterling Koch and it's more purely pop blues than previous releases. Opening with SRV's House Is Rockin', Koch is joined by Jack Kulp on harp and backing vocals. On Hound Dog Taylor's It's Alright, Koch again keeps the bottom easy but hits the slide nicely as well as complimenting with a sweet articulated guitar solo. Kulp again does a nice job on harp. Jimmy Reed's Dizzy doesn't vary much from Reed's original but with an easier approach. Again backing vocals from Kulp add to the breadth of the vocals and Koch's slide playing is top notch. ZZ Top's Tubesnake Boogie sees the addition of backing vocals from Jennifer Dierwechter. Again keeping it to a simple acoustic style, this track has a totally different feel from the heavy romper that Gibbons throws down. On Albert King's, Don't Bother Me, Kulp opens the track on harp and some of the most slicing slide work on the release bites through. Sonny Boy Williamson II's, Checkin' Up On My Baby defaults from lead harp to some real nice clean slide work. Kulp does check in with a nicely blown harp solo for one of the coolest track on the release. John Lee Hooker's Dimples, has a real nice swing, taking Hookers original feel to the next slickest step. I had noticed on earlier recordings Koch's proficiency on guitar but on this release, I have more of an appreciation of him as a vocalist. Neat and clean guitar and harp riffs fill this track. Otis Rush's My Baby (She's A Good 'Un) is up next and with a little twist of that southern flare and even maybe a taste of Johnathan Edwards, this track has some of the best harp work on the release. Kenny Wayne Shepherd's Blue On Black is a well known ballad with quiet approach. Jennifer Dierwechter has a more dominant role vocally and Koch, along with a rhythmic acoustic strumming, fills the air with sweet slide runs. Original Koch track, Nothin' But The Blues, has a super, wide open open slide solo and Kulp follows with a cool harp solo of his own. Wrapping the release is Peter Green's Oh Well!. Koch continues to reaffirm his skill as both a vocalist and guitar player. Nice job. If you're looking for a release where you'll remember each track and love slide work, this may be your ticket.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vizztone Label Group artist: Sean Costello - In The Magic Shop - New Release Review

I just received the newest release of artist Sean Costello's work, In The Magic Shop and it is spectacular! This release was recorded at the Magic Shop studio in 2005 but never released. The spontaneity is remarkable. Opening with BB King's It's My Own Fault, Costello digs in on his guitar and plays some of the most lush guitar riffs that I have heard this year. This thing is off the hook! Primarily but not exclusively an instrumental, even Costello's vocals are spot on. Brilliant! Next up is Can't Let Go, a catchy R&B track joined by Paul Linden on B3, Melvin Zachery on bass, Brian Jackson on Wurlitzer, Liz Tormezand Brianne Winter on backing vocals and Ray Hangen on drums. On Hard Luck Woman, a bouncy blues track it's hard not to get infected. With Linden adding in some harp work, this is a tight track and on that on melody and rhythm alone should hit the airwaves. Really nice! Ned Wever's beautiful ballad, Trust in Me, is up next and Costello shows how expressive he can be just as a showcase vocalist. Excellent! Feel Like I Ain't Got A Home is a blues rocker with a straight forward drive. This is another excellent radio for different reasons. A catchy melody and driving rhythm makes this a track that will stick with you. Fenton Robinson's You Don't Know What Love Is, is a spectacular funky blues number. With Costello singing with great clarity over Matt Wauchope on B3 and grabbing his guitar by the scruff, this track defies you to sit still. Excellent! Bobby Womack's Check It Out retains all of the R&B sound and Costello's voice is perfect for delivery throughout. Succinct guitar riffs punctuate the track. I really really like it! I Went Wrong is a beautiful BB King styled track and Zachery's bass line setting the bar. Costello really does an excellent job on vocals and Linden keeping the groove on keys, Costello takes a really nice guitar solo. A totally unexpected track, Rod Stewart's You Wear It Well, would be a natural track for the radio as it was a huge track for Stewart years ago. Solid writing and a solid performance makes for a solid interpretation by Costello and addition of 12 string guitar work by Jimi Zhivago. Told Me A Lie is a really unusual track with soulful vocals and an interesting bass line. Although I'm not blown away by the guitar tone, the overall feel is still excellent. Make A Move is a light jazzy but funky track with a cool groove. Costello's tone seems pinched but his playing is really nice. Hagen really sets the tone on drums and backing vocals by Greta Gettler and Dayna Kurtz add texture. Wrapping the release is Johnny Fuller's Fool's Paradise. A really pretty melody is a super basis for this track with Costello again showing that he's not just another excellent guitar player. But an excellent guitar player he is. Playing light articulate riffs against Linder on keys, this track is a really nice close to an excellent release. I have a number of Sean Costello albums but this is a must have! (Profits to Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research)

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