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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!


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Monday, August 14, 2017

Multi-Blues Music Award Nominee Al Basile Makes a Loud Statement on New CD, "Quiet Money," Coming September 15 from Sweetspot Records



Multi-Blues Music Award Nominee Al Basile Makes a Loud Statement on New CD,
Quiet Money, Coming September 15 from
Sweetspot Records


RUMFORD, RI – Sweetspot Records announces a September 15 release date for Quiet Money, the new CD from multiple Blues Music Award nominee Al Basile. Quiet Money was produced by Duke Robillard, recorded by Jack Gauthier at Lakewest Recording Studio in West Greenwich, Rhode Island, and features a baker’s-dozen 13 songs, all penned by Al Basile.

It’s been 44 years since Al Basile joined Rhode Island’s legendary jump blues band Roomful of Blues as its first trumpet player, and while his last few solo releases have moved closer musically to the styles Roomful played in: jump blues, urban and Texas blues, swing, and classic R&B, Quiet Money draws directly from that template. Its songs were inspired musically by Buddy Johnson, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin, Saunders King, Charlie Rich, and even the Coasters and the Pilgrim Travelers, but as always Al marries the music to his own personal storytelling lyrics, creating songs that are musically familiar to original Roomful fans, but range in theme from the current state of blues in the music business (“Blues Got Blues”) to classic double-entendre blues (“Put Some Salt on It”) to several songs on taking stock near the end of life (“Not Today,” “Who’s Gonna Close My Eyes?”), and in the title song, wondering why money seems to leave the many and hang out with the few (a song influenced by the hipster ‘50s vibe of the Coasters’ classic, “Shopping for Clothes”).

Having his old Roomful boss, perennial producer, and guitar wizard Duke Robillard on board, along with original Roomful alums Rich Lataille and Doug James in the horn section, ensures that the sonic fingerprints will match up for older fans of that band. The rhythm section from the current Duke Robillard Band: Mark Teixeira on drums; Brad Hallen on bass (with the addition of Bruce Bears on piano and Jeff “Doc” Chanonhouse on trumpet) has provided the underpinning for most of Al’s albums over the last ten years, and they continue to nail every style Al asks them to.

“After a few recent songs based on classic R&B models like Louis Jordan, I went into full nostalgia mode for my old Roomful of Blues days when I wrote this group of new songs,” Basile says about the sessions. “We used to listen to all the flavors of ‘40s and ‘50s R&B, and every kind of blues and jazz, especially from swing to bop, in that band, and our set lists reflected that. I decided to write in that spirit musically, but with my modern lyrical bent as usual, and here’s the result. Of course having Duke, Doug, and Rich along didn’t hurt!”

Al’s unusual combination of singer/songwriter/cornetist continues to come to the fore. In 2016, he was nominated for the 6th time as best horn player by the Blues Foundation, and his 2016 album, Mid-Century Modern, was nominated as best contemporary blues album. His even-more-rare combination of musician and prize-winning poet was underscored by the recent publication of his second poetry book, Tonesmith, by Antrim House.

Al's reviews consistently comment on his strengths as a writer. He uses his lyrics to tell stories with universal appeal, bringing to the task his poet's skills but keeping the words strong, simple, and evocative. There is often a teaching or sharing-of-lessons-learned element in his lyrics. His ease and strength as a singer continues to grow with each release, and his cornet playing is rich, nuanced, and succinct, informed by jazz but instantly communicative as an alternate voice. His songs are all lyrically and melodically deep, and the characters and situations are like compressed theater.


Al is often referred to as the “Bard of the Blues” – he's a rare combination of formal poet and singer/songwriter. He's a model for his generation in showing how to have sequential careers, remain independent, and produce work that is both accessible and thought-provoking. His music sounds good – you can put it on while making dinner – but if you have time for a careful listen – the deeper you look, the more you'll find.

Tres Lobas Enterprises artist: Antry - Devil Don't Care - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Devil Don't Care, from Antry and it's full set of diverse melodic music. Opening with title track Devil Don't Care, a smooth shuffle track featuring Steve Mason on lead vocal, harmonica and guitar, Greg Morrow on drums, Michael Rhodes on bass and Rob McNelly and Pat Buchanan and Brent Mason on guitars.  Always With Me is as smooth and mellow a pop track gets. With warmly blended vocals and easy backing, this track has radio all over it. Leon Russell's dynamic, Prince of Peace gets a stylistic remake with a bit more bite on the vocals and some crisp guitar attack displacing the hammering piano work of Russell. Shaun Murphy's soulful vocals really add nicely maintaining the rowdy feel of Russell's original recording. Antry shows over and again the he has a really warm voice capable of doing most anything he wants, demonstrated nicely on the somber ballad, Borrowed Angels. Anthony Gomes sits in on Devil Gone Fishin' with some scorching hot modern blues riffs. Antry does a modern pseudo blues/reggae track, Get Up, pairing his own vocals with a nicely woven backing by David Smith and Mike Rojas on keys and Shaun Murphy on excellent backing vocals. Very nice. Wrapping the release is an update on Jimmy Duncan's fifties hit, My Special Angel. Antry has an incredibly clear voice and uses it to close hit debut release. 

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Jon Spear Band - Hot Sauce - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Hot Sauce, by Jon Spear Band and I quite like it. Opening with Bottom of the Bottle, Jon Spear Band gets into a really nice groove somewhat like Come and Go Blues but with more texture, cooler guitar riffs and better vocals for my taste. With Dara James on guitar, harp and vocal, Jon Spear on guitar and vocal Andy Burdetsky on bass and vocal John Stubblefield on drums and vocals, this is a super opener. Geographical Cure has a more pop styling, clever rhythm and warm vocal harmonies making it an ideal radio track. Title track, Hot Sauce is a spicy track with smoking sax work from Ron Holloway trading on guitar riffs and and great vocals. One of the top tracks on the release. With it's R&B/Blues feel (Help Me/Green Onions) this track is really smoking hot and in your face. The vocals are strong, the percussion is tight and the guitar riffs tasty. With a uptempo, jazzy feel, Hit The Quarter really gets you moving with driving bass lines and grooving guitar riffs. Very cool. Bluesy ballad, Wintertime seems a parallel to classic, Summertime. This is a real nice track with soulful vocals and really nice guitar lead. Super. Wrapping the release is Natchez Burning, a really nice spiritual like or work track. This is a really cool closer with acapella vocals, stomps, claps, dobro and atmosphere. This track blows up into a heavy lumbering track with searing electric guitar lead. Excellent closer! 

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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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