CLICK ON TITLE BELOW TO GO TO PURCHASE!!!! CD submissions accepted! 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!

Please email me at
Showing posts with label Al Basile. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Al Basile. Show all posts

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - Mid-Century Modern - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Mid-Century Modern, from Al Basile and he's spot on. Sporting a who's who of musicians, Basile mixes blues, funk, rock and jazz for a real Mid-Century experience. Opening with Keep Your Love, Where's My Money, a slick new Orleans style track with a cool back beat, Basile and his crew, Rich Lataille, Duke Robillard, Bruce Bears, Doug James, Monster Mike Welch, Mark Teixeira and Brad Hallen set the club scene nicely. Basile sets a real nice table on cornet, complimenting his vocals and super stylized piano by Bears makes this track sing. Funky, Like You or Despise You, has a cool trumpet vamp by Jeff "Doc" Channonhouse and over a nice bass line by Hallen, Basile lays out a really cool cornet riff and Monster Mike's guitar work is slick. On Midnight Blue Persuasion, a straight R&B groove, Basile presents some of the top vocals on the release. This track has a real nice feel, like R&B from the 60's with his own cornet work on showcase. Tickle My Mule is a clever track with innuendo and I really like Monster Mike's guitar work on this track. Excellent! Really getting into the Louis Jordan swing thing , I've Gotta Have Meat, is  great track and the band is really cooking. Rich Lataille and Doug James really shine on this track with hot sax work. Funky, Like A Woman, , Like A Man features Duke Robillard screaming hot on guitar with Albert King like riffs. I love King and this track is hot! Blank Dog has a really nice groove with saxes a blazing and snappy drum work by Mark Teixeira. Nice trumpet work by Doc and excellent guitar riffs compliment Basile's soulful cornet work making this another super track. Shuffle track, Carry These Blues has great warmth and sports great vocals and cornet work by Basile, nice trumpet work by Doc, essential piano backing and some real nice guitar riffs by Welch. Swampy, No Truth To The Rumor, rides heavy on the back of Hallen, with Bears laying in some terrific piano lines and Basile's cornet hot spots. On light shuffle, Listen To The Elders,  Basile goes down more of a big band path with trumpet and sax work taking a stronger spot. James' work on bari sax is really hot and I always love Bruce Bears work on everything he does. Basile has a real nice hand with his cornet laying in just the right amount of seasoning. Soul track, Night Crossing, has strong radio bones with a funky bottom compliments of Hallen. Big Trees Falling is really nice and funky and Hallen is setting the pace. With Doc hitting the trumpet on rhythm, Basile steps up on cornet taking lead. Welch rips some really fat riffs over Bears clever piano riffs giving the track some really traction. Wrapping the release is Lie Under The House with Me, a quiet jazz track with an almost Miles feel. Basile takes some of his best horn rides on this track and Robillard sets up for a slam of his own on this one with nicely articulated guitar work. Calm and soulful, a nice closer for a different taste of blues.
View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  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”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

JP Cadillac Records artists: The Knickerbocker All-Stars - Go Back Home To The Blues - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Go Back Home To The Blues, from The Knickerbocker All-Stars and it swings! After reviewing thier previous release, Open Mic At The Nick I was excited to hear this new release and I'm not disappointed. Opening with with the ear catching, 36-22-36, Sugar Ray Norcia leads the way on vocals with really nice piano accompaniment by Al Copley. Powerful horn work from Doug James (sax), Sax Gordon Beadle (sax), Rich Lataille (sax), Doc Chanonhouse (trumpet) and Carl Querfurth (trombone) and Brad Hallen on bass and Mark Teixeira on drums this band is loaded! Willie J Laws takes the mic on You Know That You Love Me and Monster Mike Welch is super laying down terrific blues riff. Excellent! Brian Templeton takes the mic on Cadillac Baby for a real swinger. James plays a really sweet sax solo on this one and the horn section hold up the back. Very cool. Sugar Ray is back on lead vocal on Brand New Fool, with full strut. Copley's piano rhythm and strong horn backing balance the vocal nicely and a screaming sax solo as well as an extended piano solo cap the track. Willie J Laws has the lead vocal on Guitar Slim's Something To Remember You By and Monster Mike digs on Slim's riffs. This is one of my favorite tracks on the release with Mike really doing a nice job. Norcia really swings it on Take It Like A Man and another hot sax solo by James cooks it. Instrumental, Hokin', has a real nice feel with well blended horns and piano. If you like sax, this track is your ticket with warm sax runs end to end. Very nice! Al Basile takes the lead on Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Being Right, a jump track with punchy horn work. A cool cornet solo from Basile traded with a swinging sax solo, and tight drumming makes this another stand out track. Laws gets down in serious blues territory with He Was A Friend of Mine. Morganfield like delivery and solid horns fill the track but for me it's the strong guitar work from Welsh that makes this track tick. His phrasing is always heartfelt and clean. Solid sax soloing and piano riffs from Copley are also nicely executed. Excellent! Templeton does super lead vocals on title track, Go Back Home To The Blues. I really like Copley's piano work on this track and Welch adds some swingin riffs of his own punched up by the horn section making this one not to miss. Blockbuster Boogie is a great name for the next track with all horns coming out blazing. Trumpets take the high road and saxes and piano the middle really rocking this track. Excellent! Annie Get Your Thing On has a Latin flair and nice, excellent Albert King like guitar work from Welch. The track breaks into full "swing" and sexy sax work takes over. Breaking back to Latin rhythm, this track has great contrast. Wrapping the release is I Tried, with an Elmore James like opening and Laws on lead vocals. This track is an excellent closer with solid drive, clean horn and guitar riffs and pedal to the metal.

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn  

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”


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - B's Expression - New release review

I just received the newest release, B's Expression, from Al Basile and it has a nice groove. Opening with Whole Lot of Good Good Lovin', a smooth blues with a laid back cornet and vocal lead from Basile and Duke Robillard setting on a real nice guitar lead. Mark Teixeira on drums, Bruce bears on keys and Brad Hallen on bass hold down the bottom. On swinging, It Wasn't That Good, Bears on keys, Doug James on sax and Carl Querfurth form a warm bed for Basile's vocals. Bears takes a melodic key solo and Robillard lays down a sporty jazz/rock solo of his own. R&B based, Not Like I Do, has a cool bass line from Hallen. With a bit of a funky hitch, Basile steps up with a really nice cornet solo. Very cool. Hi steppin, Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Being Right really rides on the solid trombone work of Querfurth. Soulful vocals from Basile are tops and Bears lays out a nice piano solo. Basile sets in a short cornet solo of his own but this track is really about the vocals. Funky, I'm Runnin' Late, has a great bass line from Hallen and James and Querfurth pump up the middle. I really like Basile's cornet attack/soloing on this track. Very nice! Have I Given My Best has an earth spiritual feel (Will The Circle Be Unbroken) with a soulful twist. Some of Basile's nicest vocals on the release, this track is an easy airplay. Another hi stepper, Never Good Enough, has a distinct Al Green feel. Querfurth and James really do a nice job of punctuating this track throughout and Robillard adds some cleverly placed blues riffs of his own. I particularly like his guitar solo on this track nicely blending the funky R&B feel with definite blues riffs. Excellent! Somethin's Missing has an easy funky jazz feel again nicely punctuated by the horn section. Setting itself up nicely for Basile on cornet, he takes front and center laying down a nicely articulated solo. An easy sway led by Querfurth and James opens Answer Me, with it's Fagen like vocals. Robillard again nicely fuses hot blues riffs into this fusion track and Basile has great tone delivering solo lines of his own. Very nice! Funky, I Didn't Come Here To Lie, has a hot bass line by Hallen and solid horn lines keeping the track grounded. Basile's cornet work is so casual and sweet it fits perfectly. Ballad, Even Jesus Fell, has a soulful feel with a swing. Based mostly on horn base and nicely executed key work from Bears, it's a nice showcase for Basile on vocal and nice melodic guitar soloing by Robillard. Super R&B track, That Ain't Bad, has a nice weave of funky bass, horns and stinging guitar. Basile knows how deliver the goods vocally on this best of show and his cornet work is tight. Sweet! Wrapping the release is You Know - You Don't Know is opened by jazzy riffs by Hallen on upright bass. A quiet soothing track with carefully dabbed brushstrokes of cornet, piano, trombone, sax and guitar make this a masterful conclusion.

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn  

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”


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Al Basile Creates New Roots Music Masterpiece with "B's Expression," Due September 18 on Sweetspot Records

Al Basile Creates New Roots Music Masterpiece with B’s Expression, Due September 18 on Sweetspot Records

Latest Release Is Most-Fully Realized Album Yet

RUMFORD, RI – Singer/songwriter/cornetist Al Basile announces a September 18 release date for B’s Expression, the new CD from the “Bard of the Blues,” distributed nationally by City Hall Records. Produced by long-time friend Duke Robillard and recorded at Lakewest Recording Studio in West Greenwich, Rhode Island, B’s Expression features 13 all-original Al Basile songs, backed by a simpatico band that includes Duke Robillard – guitars; Mark Teixeira – drums; Bruce Bears – keyboards; Brad Hallen – bass; Doug James – tenor and baritone sax; and Carl Querfurth – trombone.

An original member of the seminal roots music group, Roomful of Blues, Al Basile is a multiple Blues Music Award nominee. He’s written songs for and/or appeared on over 10 Duke Robillard albums, including the Grammy nominated Guitar Groove-a-Rama and Stomp! The Blues Tonight. His songs have also been recorded by such other blues giants as Ruth Brown and Johnny Rawls. 

Following up the critical success of Basile’s last CD, Woke Up in Memphis (2014), the tracks on B’s Expression are firmly rooted in the blues and soul styles of the Memphis sound epitomized by Stax and Hi Records, while offering up a palette of songs that showcase his unique ability as a wordsmith. A widely published poet as well as songwriter, Basile has a way with words not normally heard in roots music. A testament to his scholarly credits, at one point last winter he had work in five different poetry magazines, simultaneously. He’s also given talks on songwriting and metric poetry writing at Boston University's Editorial Institute and the West Chester Poetry Conference.
“It’s pertinent to my branching out as a writer,” says Basile, “that aside from getting a song on Johnny Rawls’ last CD, I’ve been writing custom songs for New Jump Blues, a West Coast band that advertises itself as jump blues and calypso, and has three singers, one of whom is actor Antonio Fargas (“Huggy Bear” from the classic Starsky and Hutch TV show in the 1970s and a bunch of “Blaxploitation” films in the ‘70s/’80s). They put out a CD a year ago and followed it up by playing the Playboy Jazz Festival. Recently, they shot a video of a song I wrote for them for COZI-TV, an NBC affiliated network that shows vintage ‘60s-‘80s television fare. The stuff I write for that band is in classic R&B style, but it’s tailored to the three singers, who assume characters and do a kind of stage show where they sing and dance. Writing for them is a lot like writing for musical theater, which I started doing way back when I wrote musicals at Brown University, except in an R&B style.”

During the songwriting phase of B’s Expression, Basile also did something he hasn’t done before on any of his solo recordings. “While I was writing these songs, I also came up with the arrangements for each of them that I wanted to follow once we got in the studio,” he stresses. “In the past, I’d write the songs and take them into the studio and work out the arrangements with all the musicians who played on the sessions. The result is that this new CD is my most fully- realized album yet.”

While all of the songs on B’s Expression have a story behind their creation, it’s worth pointing out instances for Basile’s inspiration of several of them as listed in the liner notes:

“Answer Me” - “‘Silence is the unbearable repartee’ is variously attributed to Chesterton, Dickens, and Alexander Theroux. Whoever said it first, this song is an attempt to bear the silence of others by giving a little context to a plea for a response. Sometimes it feels like no one is ever going to answer!”

“Don't You Ever Get Tired of Being Right?” – “I wrote this with the jump blues style of Louis Jordan in mind and then changed the groove for this version. The lyric still sports his brand of humor, I think – blues humor can take all kinds of stylistic changes on the musical side (see any Johnny “Guitar” Watson remake, for example).”

“I Didn’t Come Here to Lie” – “Some straight talk to a friend who needs to hear it – but stopping short of judgement. There is always something we can't know about another, no matter how much we do know. We sure like to draw conclusions, though – with or without sufficient evidence.”

“It Wasn’t That Good” – “You could say this was inspired by James Brown's After You Done It. Sometimes songs really do inspire other songs. But sometimes even someone you’ve chased for a long time turns out to be what Gertrude Stein said about Cleveland. Romantically speaking, of course.”

“Somethin’s Missing” – “This is my take on the Ellington It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) theme. Swing is a groove, the first one I ever really loved. But there are others that have come along since, and if you don't have one – you better have another. Can’t even make coffee without one.”

“Whole Lot of Good Good Lovin’” – “No, it's not Good Lovin’ and it's not Whole Lotta Love. It’s not even Fats’ Whole Lotta Lovin’ or JB's Good Good Lovin’. But there’s been bragging in blues since forever, and if the shoe fits....”

“You Know – You Don't Know” – “The idea for this started back in the Roomful of Blues days; when we first worked with Cleanhead Vinson, he looked at us thoughtfully one day and murmured, ‘You don't know. You don't know.’ Exactly what he meant is anybody’s guess, but I took the phrase and applied it to the dramatic situation that's described in the lyric. This is an example of a song allowing someone to say something he couldn’t otherwise put into words.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Al Basile Sets July 15 Release Date for New Jazz CD, "Swing n' Strings," on Sweetspot Records, Produced by Duke Robillard

Al Basile Sets July 15 Release Date for New Jazz CD, Swing n’ Strings, on Sweetspot Records, Produced by Duke Robillard
Basile Will Perform Special CD Release Show on Thursday, July 24, at Rhode Island Historical Society’s “Concerts Under the Elms” in Providence

RUMFORD, RI – Singer/songwriter/cornetist Al Basile announces a July 15 release date for his new swing-based jazz CD, Swing ‘n Strings, produced by Duke Robillard, on Sweetspot Records. Backing Al Basile (cornet and vocals) on the new album are Marty Ballou (bass) Fred Bates (guitar)., Rich Lataille (alto and tenor sax) and Bob Zuck (guitar and vocal on “I Know What I’ve Got, Don’t Know What I’m Getting”).
To launch the new disc, Al Basile will perform a special CD release show with the members of the band who recorded the new album with him on Thursday, July 24, at the Rhode Island Historical Society’s “Concerts Under the Elms” series in Providence.
While a complete departure from his recent Woke Up in Memphis CD released in May, Swing n’ Strings is a natural progression for Al Basile, whose sound is informed by many influences, including, blues, soul, gospel and - in this case - jazz. The drummer-less band is modeled on the Ruby Braff-George Barnes quartet and gives Al a chance to sing songs from the Great American Songbook that first influenced his singing and songwriting, and stretch out on longer cornet solos than he usually takes on his other CDs.
“I was already working with Duke Robillard on my tenth solo CD, Woke Up in Memphis, for my Sweetspot label, which used him and his band to back me on 14 of my own new songs in a ’60s Memphis soul/gospel/R&B vein – very different from the swing-based jazz of Swing n' Strings, especially when it came to the vocal style,” explains Basile. “It made for a busy and rather schizophrenic summer and fall for me, as we worked on both records simultaneously, often switching from one day to another. But it was exhilarating as well. I'm especially proud of the way Fred and Bob took to the studio experience, which was a newer one for them than for the rest of us. It's certainly a lesson on how one rainy day's disappointment can be transformed into a lasting source of satisfaction.”

The “rainy day” circumstances on how Swing ‘n Strings came to be recorded, originated from a situation that initially didn’t start off so promising, according to Basile.  “We were booked to play an outdoor concert for the Rhode Island Historical Society's summer series in July of 2013,” he recalls. “It had been a long time since we'd played out, so it was easier to work up a new set list and new arrangements than to try to remember the old ones. Fred and Bob began meeting at my house for rehearsals in February, and they did a lot of great work arranging the songs we chose for two guitars and bass. We brought Marty and Rich in for later rehearsals and were ready to play when heavy rain on the day of the concert forced a cancellation. The Historical Society had already committed their rain date to a band which had been rained out earlier in the summer, so the best they could do was offer us a date in 2014. This was very kind, but I knew it involved a problem: since we worked so little, we would have no chance to repeat the new arrangements enough to set them in our memories. After a year passed they'd be forgotten.”

At this point, a special opportunity presented itself to Al that enabled him to utilize both the new songs and arrangements in a recording situation and have them ready to perform when the 2014 concert series show came around. “I got a brainstorm,” he remembers. “Let's record the new arrangements with the band and have both a handy reference for us when next summer arrived, and a CD we could have available to the concertgoers to commemorate the event they'd just heard.”

And so was born Swing n’ Strings, a jazz album of material composed primarily from such iconic songwriters as Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, Victor Young, Ned Washington, Irving Berlin, Jimmy Van Heusen, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. The one departure from that repertoire is the inclusion of a swinging version of the Lennon/McCartney classic, “Things We Said Today,” which recalls the kind of treatment guitarist Wes Montgomery often did back in the ’60s/’70s jazzing up pop tunes of the era.

“We give ‘Things We Said Today’ a ‘Moondance’ groove with a swing bridge,” explains Basile, “and I found the original phrasing works fine over the different background. Soloing over the form makes it seem different from the Beatles song I grew up with. Fred slipping into ‘Secret Agent Man’ over Marty's ending groove was spontaneous so we left it in.”

For more information, visit
Rhode Island Historical Society’s Concert — Swing n’ Strings with Al Basile
Date: Friday, July 24, 2014 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Ticket Price: $10 per person. Free for RIHS members and children under 12 years old
Venue: The John Brown House Museum, 52 Power Street, Providence, RI 02906
Phone: (401) 331-8575 x133

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - Woke Up In Memphis - New Release review

I just received the newest release (May 20, 2014), Woke Up In Memphis, from Al Basile and it's a giant bowl of R&B and soul. Opening with Yesterday You Left, a poppy R&B track with solid sax contributions from Rich Lataille and Doug James and cornet and vocals from Basile. Duke Robillard plays a plucky solo on this track supported by Bruce Bears on organ, Mark Teixeira on drums and Brad Hallen on bass. Don't Make Me Beg has a super feel with Basile really getting in the groove vocally. A loose and airy cornet solo followed by a tight guitar riff from Robilard tops this track. When Things Get Tough is a straight up R&B pop track. One More Stone In The Pitcher has a really nice feel along the lines of Al Green with warm vocals and well balanced horns and keys. Bears takes a real nice organ solo on this track also letting the door open for Basile to follow with a really melodic solo of his own on cornet. Title track, I Woke Up In Memphis, is a quick paced almost spiritual track also featuring Robillard playing some finger picked guitar and punctuation from Basile on cornet. Jimmy & Johnny has a traditional Memphis ballad sound and a catchy melody. I particularly like the rich guitar work of Robillard on this track. Saved By The Blues has a great strut with horns pushing the way. Basile's vocals are well integrated and soulful. Both Robillard and Basile lay down some nice solos on this track. Nibblin' Through The Fence is a nice easy ballad with tasty little riffs by each player. Make A Little Heaven features Sista Monica Parker on vocals and classic Memphis horn work making this a nice pop R&B track. Too Tough has a really distinctive swing and Basile really capitalizes on it both vocally and instrumentally. Possibly my favorite track on the release, Robillard really steps it up with a great bluesy guitar solo over bears on organ and Basile also does some of his strongest cornet work on this track as well. Nicely done. You Choose Me is another stand out track with a strong strut. Basile's vocal strength is supported by solid horn work by his own cornet work and of course the work of James and Lataille. Drummers never get the pats they deserve but Teixeira really keeps a tight ship on this release. The release is wrapped by Masked Man, a funky R&B track allowing some of the most effective soloing by Basile on the release. Robillard also hits a nice groove on this track of course supported by Bears, Teixeira, Hallen, James and Lataille. This is a cool release capitalizing on the R&B styling from Memphis and I think that he does a nice job of pulling in cool blues, jazz and rock influences for a unique package.  

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”

  This video is not from the current release but representative of Basile's work.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Al Basile Delivers a Jolt of Bluff City Soul on His New CD, "Woke Up in Memphis," Coming May 20 on Sweetspot Records

Al Basile Delivers a Jolt of Bluff City Soul on His New CD, Woke Up in Memphis,
Coming May 20 on Sweetspot Records

Latest Disc by Former Roomful of Blues Alumnus Features Special Guests Duke Robillard, Rich Lataille, Doug James and Sista Monica Parker

RUMFORD, RI – Al Basile announces a May 20 release date for Woke Up in Memphis, the new CD from the singer/songwriter/cornetist and former member of Roomful of Blues, on Sweetspot Records, with distributtion by City Hall Records. Produced by Basile’s lifelong friend and musical collaborator Duke Robillard, who adds his trademark guitar sounds throughout, Woke Up in Memphis is also fueled by a dynamite horn section that includes Basile, current Roomful tenor sax player Rich Lataille and former member Doug James on baritone sax, along with Mark Teixeira on drums and percussion, Bruce Bears on keyboards, Brad Hallen on electric bass and special guest vocalist Sista Monica Parker.

Acclaimed not only for his sweet cornet playing, but also his literate blues songwriting, Al Basile lays down a groove of 14 originals on the new CD that sound as if they’d be right at home on a Stax or Hi Records session in the 1960s, but with a contemporary feel that makes them vital. With song titles such as “Don't Make Me Beg,” “When Things Get Tough (the Tough Get Things),” “Saved by the Blues,” “Too Tough,” “Big Like Elvis” and the title track, fans of roots music will feel like they “Woke Up in Memphis” from the moment the first sounds emanate out of the speakers.

Celebrating 15 years on his own Sweetspot label, Woke Up in Memphis is Al Basile's tenth solo CD, collecting 14 of his new songs inspired by classic ‘60s Memphis musical styles: soul, R&B, and gospel. The new album builds on the success of his last recording, At Home Next Door, which reached the number 12 spot on the Living Blues airplay chart and earned Al his third Blues Music Award nomination. It mixes secular lyrics with the first of Al's gospel songs to appear on one of his releases, a duet with Sista Monica Parker on the powerful “Make a Little Heaven.”

At Home Next Door drew universal kudos for its inspired mix of blues, soul, and R&B sounds. “Al is a complete master of music, of many genres,” said Blues Underground Network, “but I am telling you right now, that I really enjoyed the wonderful potpourri of musical styles … Al has exactly what it takes to capture your attention, regardless of what musical genres you prefer.”

“Basile is a great songwriter with a great musical feel for presenting a song, and he is backed by a terrific band that has played with him for nearly 25 years,” wrote Sunday Night Blues Project in its review. “I think this is the best music Basile has made so far in his career--his ease and strength as a vocal storyteller continues to grow with each release, and his cornet playing is rich, nuanced, and succinct.”

“Al Basile has raised his profile considerably over the past few years. His past four discs have charted in the Top 15 on the Living Blues airplay charts and he’s been nominated for multiple BMA’s as Best Horn Player. This retrospective/new release should raise his profile even more, showcasing his versatility as a songwriter, singer, and musician.” -  Bluesbytes

“I haven't heard the phrase ‘blue-eyed soul’ in a while, but I suppose it applies here. A consummate professional, Basile does what he does with feeling and intelligence, and he makes you want to come back for more.” -

For more information, visit

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - At Home Next Door - New Release Review

I have just received and had the opportunity to check out the new recording, At Home Next Door, by Al Basile. This record is produced by none other than Duke Robillard and is set for release on October 16, 2012. This is a two cd set packed full of great tunes. The first disk, At Home, is comprised of 14 solid blues and swing blues tracks and alone would qualify as a great blues release. The recording opens with Go Back Home To The Blues, a new Orleans style swing blues and featured Robillard with some great hot riffs. I Got to Be Loved and Be Loved takes the lead from Muddy with a Chicago style blues. Jerry Portnoy joins on harp for another great track. On Termites In My Basement, Ray Noica joins the group for a stripped down blues track with Bruce Katz on keys. Basile demonstrates why Robillard wanted to team with him so many years ago with a great vocal style. Daddy Got A Problem features a bit of coronet by Basile and and again sweet riffs from Robillard with just a touch of horns to warm up the bottom. I Really Miss You slows things down a bit and again Basile shows his vocal capabilities echoed by Robillard on guitar. This is a hot track with some particularly tight rhythms and really hot riffs by Robillard. Rich Latille opens this track with some really nice alto sax work and Doug James comes in behind him on Bari sax to heat up the bottom. Basile plays a really nice coronet solo on this track backed by Bruce Katz. Robillard plays very fluid guitar runs and this track seems to end it's 7 minute trek extremely quickly. 80 Bells wraps up the first disk with an acoustic number with a delta flare. Disk two, Next Door, has a totally different feel with a lot more horns and a strong funk and R&B feel.  The band lineup here is more condensed with Mark Teixrira on drums, Robillard on guitars, Scott Hamilton, Doug James, Rich Latille and Carl Querfutti on horns, Bruce Bears on keys, Jack Gauthier on keys and Brad Hallen on bass. This 13 track cd would be the more airplay driven disk featuring more pop oriented tracks, Basile on vocal and coronet. A standout blues track on this disk, A Mystery To Me slows the pace down a bit with cool solos by Robillard and Basile. It Is What It Is is another strong airplay contender with interesting thematic writing and a smooth sax solo. My Phone's Got A Mind Of It's Own is a clever track and falls more into the RFB swing blues track. Robliiard plays a particularly sweet guitar solo on this track and Latille plays a really nice sax solo. This 2 cd package is jammed full of blues, R&B and pop rhythm tracks. I found it really enjoyable and think that most blues, soul and R&B lovers will really like this new set. Great job!
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson 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”

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Al Basile Is "At Home Next Door" on New 2-CD Set Coming October 16 from Sweetspot Records

Al Basile Is At Home Next Door on New 2-CD Set of 1960s-Style Memphis Soul/Blues, Plus a Retrospective Compilation Disc Coming October 16 from Sweetspot Records

RUMFORD, RI – Singer/songwriter/cornetist Al Basile announces the October 16 release of At Home Next Door, a special two-CD set from the former member of the legendary Roomful of Blues that includes both an album of all-new songs done in a ‘60s Memphis style, as well as a 14-track retrospective of his earlier works on his own Sweetspot Records label. This is the ninth Duke Robillard-produced album from two-time Blues Music Award nominee Al Basile, and distribution for the new double set is by City Hall Records. The new release also comes during a watershed year for him, with the recent publication of a career retrospective book of poetry, A Lit House.
Disc one, titled At Home, includes 13 re-mastered blues songs from Al's Sweetspot catalogue (1998-2010) featuring Duke Robillard and the cream of New England blues talent, plus a new acoustic blues song with Al singing live to Duke's solo guitar accompaniment.
Disc two, titled Next Door, is comprised of 13 all-new original songs from the pen of Basile, whose style showcases both his poet’s talent as a wordsmith, as well as his film noir flair for storytelling. The new tracks display a 60s Memphis R&B flavor, with accompaniment from Duke Robillard, the Duke Robillard Band (Mark Teixeira – drums, Brad Hallen – bass), Roomful of Blues alumni horns (Doug James – baritone/tenor sax, Rich Lataille – alto/tenor sax, Carl Querfurth – trombone) and special guest Scott Hamilton on tenor sax.
“Great songwriting is in short supply, and, dare we say it, especially in the blues. You'll find no recycled mediocrity in the work of Al Basile,” wrote Michael Cote in Blues Revue. “Perfect for those who expect a little intelligence in their music, thanks to his reputation as a published poet,” said the Jazz & Blues Report. “If you want to hear swinging blues, this is the place,” reported Steve Jones in Crossroads Blues Society.

Al Basile has had a prolific career as a singer/songwriter/cornetist in blues and jazz circles; as a poet/playwright/fiction writer; and until a few years ago, as a teacher/coach at an independent school in his native Rhode Island. Al has focused more on reaching the public since leaving teaching, and his last four CDs placed in the top 15 on the Living Blues airplay charts in the months of their release. He has been nominated for two Blues Music Awards as best horn player in 2010 and 2012.

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 skills as a published poet but keeping the words strong, simple, and evocative. His ease and strength as a vocal storyteller 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.

While Al kept his various artistic talents alive and growing throughout his 25 year teaching career, he has moved into the public eye quickly since leaving that profession. 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 fore a careful listen – the deeper you look, the more you'll find.

“Blues – is it a form or a feeling? People who like to talk 8-12-16 bars and 1-4-5 chords will find plenty of blues on the first disc in this collection,” says Al Basile in the liner notes. “These songs of mine are drawn from my Sweetspot catalogue going back to 1998 and they stick pretty close to the form while covering different styles. I think they show that I’m At Home with the Blues.

“Those who aren’t sticklers about stylistic hybrids and different chord changes and song forms will find lots of blues feeling on the second disc, which is grounded in 60s Memphis soul-blues, but like most of my song collections has a mix of blues, soul, classic R&B, swing, gospel, and even a bow to Motown. I think these new songs show that I’m equally comfortable in the musical territory Next Door to the Blues.

“Personally I'm a blues-is-a-feeling guy, but you can make up your own mind, or even have it both ways. This is all music I loved writing, performing, and recording – I don't dye my hair, but my roots are showing.”

For more information, visit