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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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rootnine Records artist: Bobby Thompson - Live At IOTA - New Releae Review

I just received the newest release, Live at IOTA, from Bobby Thompson and it's quite good! Opening with Good Things That We Have, a solid R&B style track with nicely blended vocals, a full bass line from Seth Morrissey and a super keyboard curtain from Wes Lanich, this is a really nice opener. Bobby Thompson, who isn't shy as a guitar player rips a pretty dynamic solo to back up his vocal work with Morrissey and Jeff Mills keeps the bottom tight. Nobody's Fool is a straight up pop rocker with a smooth melody and a minimal instrumental ornamentation. Again really has radio track written all over it with a super melodic hook making it a track that I would expect to get multi genre play time. Down To Here is one of my favorites on the release with complex vocal harmonies and a heavier bottom. Playing stinging blues based guitar riffs, Thompson has a really strong voice actually reminding me quite a bit of Jack Bruce. Thompson lets the dog off the leash on this track and has it squealing. Very cool track! Elmore James' Look Over Yonder's Wall gets an almost Freddie King treatment with a funky bottom and loose guitar riffs. With a cool bass line and nicely phrased vocals, this track hits just right. Lanich takes a nice extended organ solo on this track showing his chops and Thompson does a nice job with extended guitar soloing himself. Very nice! On boogie track, Setting Sun, the band hits a cool groove and with vocals that remind me quite a bit of early Grand Funk Railroad, this track is a cool jam. Clocking in at over 7 minutes, Thompson and Lanich both take extended solos. Very nice! With it's Hendrix style swagger, Hard Road really lumbers hard. This is the least vocal track on the release and carries itself nicely on shear rock strength. (Think West, Bruce and Laing). Driving boogie rocker, Look At You Now is a real showcase for the driving drumming of Mills and bass of Morrissey. Sure, Thompson still has this great voice leading the way but this track is deeper than that. Nice to hear the guys let it fly. Very cool! Wrapping the release is funky, On Her Wings Again, with Mills and Morrissey leading the way. Thompson shows his funky side with some smart funky riffs of his own. With this rhythm section, it's hard to keep your feet (seat) still and Thompson paces himself nicely on vocals. This is really a nice conclusion to a very solid outing.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rockfold Records artist: Mick Clarke Band - Ruff 'n' Roar - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Ruff 'n' Roar from the Mick Clarke Band (Live at Scratchers) and it's hot! From the opening riff on the opening track, Elmore James' Happy Home, this release rips. Mick Clarke (guitar and vocal), joined by Chris Sharley (drums) and Eddie Masters (bass) really know how to crank it up. This band has the energy of early Savoy Brown or ZZ Top. What that means is endless boogie with flaming hot slide riffs! On Good Morning Blues, Clarke has his amp tuned in just right for that fat saturation and his riffs are thick. Masters keeps the blues vamp going an Sharley sets a tight bottom for a great romp. On Memphis Slim's Rockin' the Blues, MCB gets that Hooker electric boogie really cranking. This track was "made for" Stilladog. Showing his relentless slide attack, Clarke tears it up! Slowing it down just a little on 9 minute plus, Love Me Or Leave Me, gives the band a breather and solos, including a nice one from Masters and a tense one from Clarke are straightforward and solid. Very nice! Walking Blues, a classic by Mr Son House, gets an update and a solid bottom driver. Clarke blazes a red hot path with his slide guitar. Excellent! Bo Diddley style track, Little Rachel, has the advantage of not only an infectious beat but raw slide work. This is what bands want to sound like live! Cheap has that gritty early ZZ Top beat and that earthy, fat Billy Gibbons tone on guitar. I gotta tell you, there's hardly a serious guitar player on the planet that won't tell you that he admires Billy Gibbons tone and Clarke has it here. Excellent! Who doesn't love Hound Dog Taylor? Everybody loves Hound Dog Taylor. Give Me Back My Wig is a classic and Clark hits it here. He's not copping HDT's tone but he is tearing up the slide so if you are a slide blues freak like me...eat it up! Wrapping the release is Willie Dixon's You Need Love starting with a classic Hooker (Boom Boom ) riff and with Masters and Sharley driving like it's Radar Love. Clarke throws down every blue rock riff you've ever heard (and a few you haven't) in this intense 7 plus minute closer. This is one hell of a show and if this three piece band hits this town...I'm there!

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