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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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

D.A. Foster's "The Real Thing" Releases Today

D.A. Foster ~ The Real Thing

"Four decades in R&B music. Now it's his time. He's the real thing...."
Mike Finnigan
We're doing some additional work for D.A. Foster above and beyond the work being undertaken by VizzTone. Please reply if you would like a review copy.

D.A. Foster learned to sing the blues from some of the greats, up front and personal. Starting at age 19 and all through his 20's (1971-1982), he was hands-on co-owner of the legendary Connecticut roadhouse, the Shaboo Inn. The Shaboo introduced newcomers like Aerosmith, the Police, Hall & Oates, Journey, ACDC, Cheap Trick, Dire Straits and Elvis Costello, and hosted blues greats by the week — Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, James Cotton, Koko Taylor, B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Bonnie Raitt, and more. When many of these blues legends discovered D.A.'s natural vocal talents, they mentored him and invited him to cut his chops onstage with them.

In 1979 D.A. formed his own band, the Shaboo Allstars. Matt Murphy was just coming off the Blues Brothers movie and jumped at the opportunity to be the guitar player in the band. Foster credits Matt Murphy for launching the band with a license to work anywhere, and they toured the US for the next two years. In 1982 the Shaboo closed its doors, and the legendary Harvey Brooks began a five-year run with the band, during which they did a 7-night run opening for Stevie Ray Vaughan Meanwhile, D.A. continued working as a talent buyer and started a music production company.

In D.A.'s 35-plus year bandleader career, many notables have joined him onstage — Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Keith Richards, Dan Aykroyd, Maceo Parker, Buddy Guy, Mike Finnigan, Kal David, and countless others... and he has a long support history with B.B. King.

D.A. Foster is THE REAL THING — a deep blues & R&B singer of the first order, making timeless music with longtime friends, producers Tony Braunagel and Mike Finnigan, their phenomenal, Grammy award-winning Phantom Blues Band, and a few other very special people.

Charlie Musselwhite ~ Juke Joint Chapel
57th Annual Grammy Award Nominee “Best Blues Album”
2015 Blues Music Award (BMA) Nominee “Harmonica”
June Core ~ 2015 BMA Nominee “Drums”

Gary Clark Jr. ~ Live
2015 BMA Nominee “Contemporary Blues Male Artist”

Missy Andersen ~ In The Moment
2015 BMA Nominee “Soul Blues Female Artist”

Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls ~ Soul Brothers
2015 BMA Nominee “Soul Blues Album” & “Soul Blues Male Artist” (Otis & Johnny)

Vaneese Thomas ~ Blues For My Father
2015 BMA Nominee “Soul Blues Album” & “Soul Blues Female Artist”

Altered Five Blues Band ~ Cryin’ Mercy
2015 Best Self-Produced CD Winner

Anthony Gomes • Bobby Hurricane Spencer • Chris Daniels & The Kings featuring Freddi Gowdy
D.A. Foster • Grady Champion •Hurricane Ruth • Jeremy McEwen • Jon Spear Band
Magnus Berg • Ray Goren • The Reverend Shawn Amos

Delta Groove Music artist: Igor Prado Band - Way Down South - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (February 17, 2015), Way Down South, from Igor Prado Band and Delta Groove All Stars and it's smokin! Opening with Ike Turner's, Matchbox, Sugaray Rayford leads the way on vocal and Prado really romps the guitar. A heavy slung blues, Prado throws stiff riffs and wild trem work making this a terrific opener! John Hunter's, Ride With Me Baby has an easy rock beat with deep blues roots. Kim Wilson has the lead on vocal and Prado shows his fleet fingered guitar work. Yuri Prado on drums and Rodrigo Mantovani on bass keep it tight. Muddy Water's She's Got It, featuring Mud Morganfield on lead vocal sounds like it's right out of 60's Chicago with Ivan Marcio on harp and Donny Nichilo doing a great Otis Spann. Morganfield, Marcio, Nichilo and Prado really do capture Muddy's band sound with a lot of authenticity. Very cool! Lowell Fulsom's Baby Won't You Jump With Me features Ari Borger on piano and Lynwood Slim on vocal with cool jazzy guitar work from Prado and Junior Watson and tight sax work from Denilson Martins. James Lane's, What Have I Done, has a smooth groove led by Mitch Kashmar on vocal and harp. Kashmar really takes a nice romp on his solo as does Ari Borger on piano and Prado shows again that he's got great guitar chops. Jr. Walker and the Allstars' Shake & Fingerpop keep all of the R&B groove of the original with super stinging guitar riffs and lead vocals from Prado, a super bass run by Mantovani. Raphael Wressnig does a super job on B3. On Elmore James' Talk To Me Baby, Rod Piazza takes the mic for lead vocal and harp. Honey Piazza joins in on piano with Prado on lead guitar super charging this track. Excellent! Jerry West's If You Ever Need Me, keeps the original feel of the 60's R&B lead by Kim Wilson on vocal and harp. Very Nice! Joe Tex's You Got What It Takes has a nice twist on the original with Prado and JJ Jackson sharing the vocal lead. Keeping the guitar work tame on this number, Prado's finesse on the fretboard isn't hindered with quiet but cool riffs. Sugaray Rayford's Big Mama Blues has the girth of a Muddy Waters track with Prado and Monster Mike Welch doing the guitar Muddy style. Rayford leading the vocal charge and Borger tickling the keys, this track is right off the Chicago stage. Sweet! Paul Gayten's R&B swing tune You Better Believe It, led by Lynwood Slim on vocal and chased by Borger on piano and Martins on sax make this one really hot number. Prado jumps up and stiff arms the crowd with a flaming guitar solo keeping with the pace of the release. On Jerry West's, Rooster Blues, Wallace Coleman takes the vocal and harp lead and gets right into the Chicago groove. Yuri Prado (drums) keeps this track on a tight leash and Borger lays down a great piano solo. Prado really lets it out on this track proving once again that he can hold his own with just about anyone on the blues circuit. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Omar Coleman's Trying To Do Right with Coleman on vocal and harp. Prado takes the acoustic guitar and shows how powerful the simple instrument can be in the right hands. This is a powerful acoustic track and a great conclusion to a terrific release!

  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”

Monday, January 26, 2015

Celebrating The Blues With Heartfelt Gospel Feeling

Celebrating The Blues With
Heartfelt Gospel Feeling

Seven veterans of the blues unite and share the feeling with the world

About six months ago Neil Barnes, a west coast bluesman here in the United States, contacted me about a project he had been working on for years.  He told me about his idea of assembling great soulful, powerful voices along with a band that could deliver a sound as if it came out of heaven. I must say that Neil had my attention. So we worked together and created the one sheet that would accompany the new release as it went into radio distribution.

Months would go by and every once in a while I would get a note from Neil letting me know the project was very much alive and that he was grateful for my patience and my assistance.  In one such note he let me know that he had retained Todd Glazer, the Alaskan Blues Radio promoter.  This meant Neil was getting close to a release date.  A few days later I received two CDs in the mail.  I listened to it and then I listened to it again.  I called Neil and asked him if I could send it my good friend, Ron Haney, of Take One Creative.  Ron received the CD and wrote me immediately. This is what he wrote:
"Neil Barnes, on his latest CD release, Hyde and Seek, has gathered a group of musicians and vocalists that are so true to the genre they couldn’t hide it if they wanted to. From the first track, Don’t Let the Devil Ride, to the last, Tears, Tears and More Tears, the listener is taken on a blues pilgrimage that exemplifies what the genre is all about while at the same time embracing the essence of other powerful genres like gospel, rock and even R&B. It’s so refreshing to hear a group of players and artists just simply do their material without trying to convince us of anything. When the true authenticity and God-given gifts are present and allowed to speak forth no convincing is necessary. The music, message and delivery stands for itself."  I was totally blown away by Ron's remarks.

Then the Hyde and Seek team sent the video link that I have attached within this press release.  I attached it because once again I am blown away.  The video is not a music video per se, no, it's the story of how these people brought this piece of work to life. You know what this new release is - it's that feeling that occurs when soulful, heartfelt music reaches your ears. The kind that touches you and you embrace it, that's exactly what it is...  Enjoy        
  Hyde and Seek Artists

  Hyde and Seek Tracks & Times

Copyright © 2015 John in Houston PR LLC, All rights reserved.

VizzTone Label Group artist: Billy Walton Band - Wish For What You Want - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (1/27/15), Wish For What You Want, from the Billy Walton Band and it's a rocker. Opening with the title track, Wish For What You Want, lead vocalist and guitar player, Billy Walton sets a nice pace driven by William Paris with a great bass line. Walton and Paris sing nicely in tandum and Walton gets the guitar screaming over the top. A bit more rock than blues but strong bones. True Lovin Man has a bit more of a R&B flavored rock feel again with Walton leading the way on vocal. Mike Finnegan adds some solid key work and Paris blends nicely on backing vocal. With Eric Clapton like accuracy and backed by John D'Angelo on drums, Ian Gray on trombone, Steve Hyde on trumpet and Sean on Sax this is a solid radio player. Mountain is a solid rocker with a stiff bass drum line. Blistering guitar riffs and a driving bottom carry this track. Felix Cavaliere's Come On Up has a real Mitch Ryder feel but with a bluey guitar riff. Cool! Blues Comes A Knockin has a simple country pace with quiet percussion and vocals complimented by Walton on resonator slide guitar and Southside Johnny on harp. Forgive And Forget has a driving bass line and rowdy guitar riffs reminding me quite a bit of Jeff Healy's style. Solid pop styling and horn backing make this a super track for airplay. Change has a swampy feel and iridescent shimmery guitar sounds. Finnegan lays in just the right keys and D'Angelos latin rhythm is spot on. Worried Blues has the structure of a Robert Johnson song but is laid out more like Robert Palmer. A cool electric guitar solo on this track gives it a nice punch. Till Tomorrow, led off by a nice key intro by Finnegan walks the line between R&B and rock. I think this is one of my favorite tracks on the release with a well crafted melody and nicely blended musical lines. Willie Deville/Doc Pomus track, Just To Walk That Little Girl Home is an easy pop track with a Eagles flair. Walton has a nice voice and this track is all about his vocal blending with Paris. Saxman Joey Stann leads It Doesn't Matter from the first note. With the general influences of the likes of Elvis Costello, Bruce Springstein and 80's rock, this track should have broad appeal. Wrapping the release is Hudson County Star has a basic country feel with simple vocal harmonies and a simple pace. Kicking it into high is drummer D'Angelo followed by Walton on slide and super piano work by Finnegan. A full blown country blues rocker, this is a great track to conclude this release.  

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”