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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

Monday, February 18, 2019

Watermelon Slim - Church of the Blues - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Church of the Blues, from Watermelon Slim and it's great! From the time Slim opens on St. Peter's Ledger, this release is hot. Leading on slide and vocal and backed by John Allouise on bass, Brian Wells on drums and Bob Margolin on guitar, this is a super opener. On Muddy Waters' Gypsy Woman, Slim really takes the harp for a trip with hair curling squeals and vibrant Waters style slide work. Excellent!  Funky, New Orleans flavored Post Modern Blues has a great rhythm with Nick Schnebelen on slide, Matt Blagg on trumpet, Kevin Webb on trombone and Chris Hicks on sax. Very cool. Joe Louis Walker lends a soulful hand on electric guitar with gripping punch on Mni Wiconi . The Water Song with a light funk, R&B style horn backing and solid vocals. Really nice. One of my favorite on the release is That Ole 1-4-5 with it's traditional styling, strong vocals and with Ike Lamb and Slim sharing the excellent guitar lead. Mississippi Fred McDowell's 61 Highway Blues is another favorite with a real hill country style. This track really has a great groove. Wrapping the release is Too Much Alcohol with a strong taste of Johnny Winter. Slim's guitar style is different but the vibrancy is there. With Albert Castiglia on guitar and Slim leading the way, this is an excellent track. This is a really great set of tracks making one of the most enjoyable releases that I have listened to in a while. Check it out. 

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Ruf Records artist: Ina Forsman - Been Meaning To Tell You - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Been Meaning To Tell You, from Ina Forsman and it's really strong. Opening with power ballad Be My Home, Forsman presents her vulnerable sounding vocal style over organ and piano by Red Young and gospel like backing vocals by Mark Kazanoff and Alice Spencer. Very nice. On Get Mine, blending hip hop vocal delivery and funky wah wah guitar by the notorious Laura Chavez, joined by Brannen Temple on guitar and Chris Maresh on bass really kicks this release into gear. Stepping high on Genius, Forsman moves further into a R&B groove with an excellent bass line and the Texas Horns (Mark Kazanoff - sax,  John Mills bari sax, Al Gomez - trumpet, Randy Zimmerman - trombone) with yet more sassy guitar style by Chavez. An interesting track, Why You Gotta be That Way has strong lines in neo soul with flavors of one my favorites, Eryka Badu. The band glistens on piano and tight bass and drum lines makes this fusion track one of my favorites. Blues ballad, Miss Mistreated really showcases Forsman's voice and it's rich strength with solid emotion. Also playing right into Chavez's had, Laura grabs the track by the short hairs accenting Forsman's vocal emotion with excellent guitar punctuation. Latin flavored Every Single Beat gets a strong latin rhythm going and you start to wonder if Forsman can do about anything. The Texas Horns are jolly on the spot with just that right tough of punch and Temple's drums and percussion is perfect. Wrapping the release is Sunny showing Forsman alone, acapella and powerful. Nice closer. Who wouldn't be proud of this release. 

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