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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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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chris O'Leary - Live At BLUES NOW!



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Recorded Live in Switzerland
with special guest Alex Schultz

    The VizzTone label group and Fidellis Records are proud to present the Chris O'Leary Band's new release, LIVE AT BLUES NOW!  Chris enthuses, "This special night was recorded earlier this year in Basel Switzerland with very special guest Alex Schultz! The room was beautiful, the crowd was great, and we had a blast!"

    Chris O’Leary has put in his time on the front lines – as U.S. Marine Corps infantry squad leader, and seven years as singer, harp player, and front man for Levon Helm’s Barn Burners.  His two Fidellis Records/VizzTone label group releases, Mr. Used To Be (2010) and Waiting for the Phone to Ring (2012), established the Chris O’Leary Band as a major force in the blues world.  The recordings gleaned rave reviews, international airplay, a Blues Music Award nomination, and the Best New Artist CD Award at Chicago’s prestigious Blues Blast Awards.  Most of the band’s material consists of Chris’s original songs, known for their moving, funny, and incisive lyrics set on top of killer grooves.

    The Chris O’Leary Band hail from New York’s musically-rich Hudson Valley, though their tours take them around the globe.  In March, 2014, the Chris O’Leary Band traveled to Basel, Switzerland to perform at the prestigious BLUES NOW! concert series.  Joining the band as a special guest was renowned blues guitarist Alex Schultz.  Schultz’s storied musical career includes long associations with blues harmonica players William Clarke, Rod Piazza, and Lester Butler, so his driving, swinging style was a perfect fit with the band.

    As the band hit the BLUES NOW! stage, Chris and his band mates sweated out their incendiary blend of Chicago, Memphis, and New Orleans styles to the delight of the packed house.  They hit hard with original selections from their first two studio albums, as well as their own version of the Billy Boy Arnold classic, “I Wish You Would.”  There was the trademark interplay between O’Leary’s powerhouse harmonica, the fat-toned guitar, and the horn and rhythm sections with the added jolt of Schultz on second guitar.  The crowd responded wildly, as the band proceeded to tear the roof off that Swiss concert hall.  The resulting recording, The Chris O’Leary Band / Live at BLUES NOW! is a great live record in the best sense, with the musicians and the crowd energizing each other and producing music that is pure magic.

    The Chis O’Leary Band features Chris O’Leary on vocals and harmonica, Chris Vitarello on guitar, Andy Stahl on tenor sax, Chris DiFrancesco on baritone sax, Matt Raymond on upright and electric bass, and Jay Devlin on drums.

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