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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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Showing posts with label Albert Lee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Albert Lee. Show all posts

Friday, July 31, 2020

Cleopatra Blues artist: Joe Louis Walker - Blues Comin' On - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blues Comin' On from Joe Louis Walker and it's a fireplug. Opening with rocker, Feed The Poor, a funky blues rocker, Walker on lead vocal and Jorma on lead guitar, John Bradford on bass, Dorian Randolph on drums, Juma Sultan on percussion and Bruce Katz. This track is heavy. Super backing vocals by Bradford, and Randolph almost give it a Daryl Hall edge. Cool opener. R&B track, Someday, Someway is certainly one of my favorites on the release with Carla Cooke at the mic. Her vocals are terrific and with Walker on backing vocal and guitar and joined by Lee Oskar and his classic harp tone, Eric Finland on keys, Bradford on bass and Randolph on drums. Excellent! Easy shuffle, Old Time Used To Be has Walker on 12 string and vocal, with Joh Sebastian on harp and  Keb Mo on slide. Katz has a real nice piano solo on this one and adds an overall bright feel to the track. Swampy Bowlegged Woman, Knock-Kneed Man has a real nice groove with Walker on super lead vocal and guitar with Rick Estrin on harp and Waddy Wachtel on lead guitar. Funky, Uptown to Harlem is a cool James Brown boogaloo style track  with Jellybean Johnson on lead guitar and Eric Finland on organ. Wrapping the release is Arthur Lee's rad rocker, 7&7 is with Arlen Roth on lead guitar. With full reverb and sixties style guitar lead over some ferocious drumming by Randolph, this is a solid closer for a totally enjoyable release.


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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Cleopatra Records artist: Joe louis Walker - Blues Comin' On - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blues Comin' On, by Joe Louis Walker, and it's a great blend of Blues, Soul, R&B and Rock musical styles. Opening with Feed The Poor, a funky blues rocker, Walker joins with legendary Jorma Kaukonen on lead guitar who brings a ragged edge to this otherwise soulful track. With John Bradford on bass, Dorian Randolph on bass, Juma Sultan on percussion and Bruce Katz on organ this is a strong opener. Carla Cooke contributes lead vocal on Someday, Someway, a real nice soulful blues ballad. Her vocals, backed by Walker, on guitar and vocal, and with Lee Oskar on harmonica, Eric Finland on piano, Randolph on drums and John Bradford, this is definitely one of my favorites on the release. Keb' Mo on slide guitar and John Sebastian on harp join Walker on 12 string laying down a real nice shuffle, Old Time Used To Be. Backed by Katz on piano, Scott Petito on bass, Randolph on drums and Sultan on percussion this track has a great feel. I love the heavy bottom funk on Bowlegged Woman, Knock-Kneed Man featuring Bradford on bass and Randolph on drums. Walker has the lead vocal on this one and does a great job with Waddy Wachtel on guitar, Rick Estrin on harp and Katz on organ. Nice and funky. Another soulful ballad, Awake Me, Shake Me,  featuring Cooke and Walker on lead vocal has real power with Walker really digging in on guitar. Very nice. With a real James Brown "boogaloo" beat, Uptown In Harlem features solid drumming by Byron Case and Jellybean Johnson winding it out on lead guitar under Walkers lead vocal. Cool. Wrapping the release is 7&7 Is, an Arthur Lee track with an early rock feel, featuring Charlie Harper on lead vocal and Arlen Roth on lead guitar. Roth slows this hypnotic pace down with some of the nicest blues riffs on the release, making is a solid closer.


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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Aquinnah Records artist: Arlen Roth - Tele Masters - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Tele Masters, from Arlen Roth and it's super. Featuring a who's who of telecaster players, this release has it all. Opening with Remington Ride with Steve Wariner and Cindy Cashdollar, this track has a lot of country spice and great picking. Wariner and Roth each take turns showing their chops and Cashdollar's lap steel work is impeccable as always. backed by Tom Hambridge on drums, Tommy MacDonald on bass and Billy Panda on acoustic guitar, this is a super opener. A funky, lumbering arrangement to Big Bill Broonzy's Key To The Highway gives it a fresh new life. Jack Pearson has a great voice on lead and sharing lead guitar  with Roth, this track has really digs in. One of my favorites. A track featuring a great finger picking shoot out is Bunky with Brad Paisley. If you are wondering if this release is a guitar players album...oh yeah! Will Ray and Roth strut tall with Link Wray's Rumble. Keeping the bottom tight and laying blues rock guitar riffs over the meat makes this track soar. Very nice. Albert Lee and Roth do a really nice job of instrumentalizing Paul Simon's Mrs. Robinson. Maintaining it's pop appeal but throwing on a strong sense of country gives the track a super feel. With a bluesy but country ballad style, Vince Gill and Roth work their magic on a beautiful arrangement of Satisfied Mind. Full out country picking with Brent Mason and Roth on Road Worthy gives each tele Master a great opportunity to show their stuff. With crisp pace and tight rhythms, a super job. Sweet and simple Tennessee Waltz features Lexi Roth on lead vocal. Very clean and strong. Joe Bonamassa even makes an appearance here with a stretched out slower blues track, Joe's Blues. Nobody doubts Bonamassa's chops and he lets it all hang out here pairing with Roth. Roth who is no stranger to the blues stands toe to toe with Bonamassa, each showing his own texture. Very cool. Funky Mama features Johnny Hiland with Roth and always a favorite being almost a telecaster standard. Excellent! Roth lays out some really nice blues pyrotechnics on the intro of Ghost Riders In The Sky featuring great contrast and workmanship between his own and Cashdollar's style. Another tele father with great style is Bill Kirchen on Tuff Tele. Working the tele tone and styling and less the speed, this pairing is tops. Wrapping the release is Redd Voikaert on A Minor Thing. With it's slow, shuffle feel and jazz approach, Roth and Voikaert lay in very nicely executed bluesy riffs before breaking into a double paced shoot off. This is a super track and a super closer for a really strong release. 

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Bejeb Music artist: Deb Ryder - Grit Grease & Tears - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Grit Grease & Tears from Deb Ryder and it's quite good. Opening with Ain't Gonna Be Easy, a smooth driving jazz track, Ryder steps up big time on lead vocals backed by Tony Braunagel on drums, Ric Ryder on bass and the great Mike Finnegan on Hammond. Johnny Lee Schell is wicked on guitar with some really hot riffs and the horn section, Joe Sublett on sax and Darrell Leonard on trumpet really top it off. Get A Little Steam Up is a cool high stepper with Ryder sharing lead vocals with Sugarray Rayford. This track has a great groove and Kirk Fletcher and Johnny Lee Schell sharing guitar lead. Very nice. Boogie rocker, Blink Of An Eye, features some real nice slide work by Schell and heavy drum riffs by Braunagel. Title track, Grit Grease & Tears is a lumbering soul rocker with especially warm harp work by Bob Corritore and a simple, solid drum work from Braunagel. R&B track, Sweet Mary Anne, is a solid radio track with warm backing vocals by Schell, Ryder, Leslie Smith and Finnigan. Sublett and Leonard give the track just the right touch of horns paired with Finnigan's keyboard to balance Ryder's vocal lead. Fletcher and Schell set a nice platform on blues number, Lord Knows I Do, with T-Bone Walker style and Finnigan's mastery nicely highlights Ryder's vocals. One of my favorite tracks on the release. With a bit of JG Watson like style, Panic Mode gets the funk on. Fletcher blasts a rel nice solo with Finnigan, Leonard and Sublett juicing it up and solid male backing vocals by Finnigan. Little Feat style sets the pace for Just Her Nature. Kenny Gradney's bass work and Braunagel's drum work really anchor this one. Albert Lee's shows real finesse on guitar and Ryder's vocals are super. Very nice. New Mechanic (Patrick's Blues) has a real hard boogie bass line courtesy Ric and Pieter Van Der Pluijm works it with Finnigan, Schell and Fletcher to set a great blues stage in this solid boogie. Prisoner of War is another hot boogie ... like a hot update of Hip Shake or ZZ Top's La Grange. Yes, this thing smokes with Van Der Pluijm on harp, Braunagel on drums, Ric on bass, Finnigan on keys and Schell on guitar. Excellent! Wrapping the release is easy paced Chicago style blues number, Right Side Of The Grass. With it's super walking bass line by Ric, tight drums by Braunagel, energetic organ work by Finnigan, and Deb's grinding vocals, with a dash of harp by Corritore and a few hot riffs by Schell and Fletcher, this track is a great closer for a really nice release.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Stony Plain Records artists: James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett & David Wilcox - Guitar Heroes - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Guitar Heroes, from James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox and it's quite terrific. Not since Danny Gatton passed have I heard such a tastefully done release of tele rippin guitar riffs in one spot. These tracks were recorded live in a one time special performance at the Vancouver Island MusicFest on July 12, 2013 and is being released on both Cd and 180 gm vinyl. Opening with Big Boy Crudup's That's All Right featuring Albert Lee on vocal and each of the featured guitarists soloing. First Albert with his country style picking, then James with his trademark chicken pickin', then David more traditional country styling, Amos who has a distinctive riff styling of his own and then back to Albert all backed by Jon Greathouse on keys, Will MacGregor on bass and Jason Harrison Smith on drums. Great opener! Greathouse takes the mic on Suzie Q and Wilcox is up first with a real nice riff, followed by Burton with a real authoritative solo of his own. Garrett's solo steps out of the box with his solo with a bit more of free approach followed by a nice key solo by Greathouse. Garrett brings forward a really nice interpretation of Johnny and Santo's Sleepwalk. Excellent bending, chording, double stops and feel! On Ray Charles' Leave My Woman Alone, Lee is back on vocal. Lee takes the first solo and it is strong and crisp interwoven with piano work by Greathouse. Lee then leads off a flurry of solos followed by Burton and Wilcox. Hot! On You're The One, Wilcox takes the mic as well as a lead slide riff. Wilcox lets out some of the best vocals on the release and Burton, Lee and Garrett proceed to unload extended guitar solos each nicely complimenting the other on this easily paced blues number. One of my favorite tracks on the release. On Latin influenced instrumental, Comin' Home Baby, Wilcox leads the way with a cool sliding/bending solo followed by Burton, Lee and Garrett. Very very nice track. Wilcox is back at the mic again for blues shuffle, Flip Flop and Fly. He has a real interesting slide sound with a richness almost like a lap steel guitar. Lee is up next with fleet fingered riffs as clean as a whistle. Garrett really captures the swing feel and his guitar tone with echo is tops. Closing it out is Burton with slick riffs of his own. Very nice! Jimmy Seals' instrumental, Only The Young, is a quiet introspective track with lead chords by Burton, an extended key solo by Greathouse and inventive "jazz" solos by Wilcox, Garrett, Lee and Burton. Beautiful execution! Tony Joe White's Polk Salad Annie goes totally instrumental with the first melodic solo by Burton. Garrett has a more aggressive blues rock style solo followed by MacGregor who keeps it tight. Greathouse bridges the guitars with a short key solo and then it's Lee who literally blows the doors off. Wilcox is last on the list but certainly not least with a country blues attack. Two stepper, Bad Apple, features Wilcox on lead vocal with simple kicked back guitar solos by Garrett, Burton, Burton and Wilcox. Wrapping the release is Albert Lee's Country Boy featuring Lee on lead vocals and of course Lee setting the pace with his tasty rapid fire soloing right up front. Wilcox takes the second (third) solo with a real steel like sound that really sets him out. Very nice. Greathouse lays down a real nice finger wrenching piano sol before Albert steps back up to close the track. Excellent!

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

BEJEB Music artist: Deb Ryder - Let It Rain - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (April 21, 2015), Let It Rain, from Deb Ryder and it swings. Opening with That's Just How It Is, Ryder comes out hot and heavy with powerful backing from Kirk Fletcher, Ric Ryder on bass, Mike Finnigan on B3 and Tony Braunagel on drums. Fletcher really hits the groove and Finnigan lays it flat out. On Latin/shuffle track Can't Go Back Again, Braunagel sets a mean line and Johnny Lee Schell joins Fletcher on guitar with Lee Thornburg on Trumpet and Lon Price on sax. Very nice! On You Won't Be True Thornburg and Price give the track a much heavier swing and Schell and Fletcher lays down some really hot riffs. I really like Ryders vocal work on this release. Excellent! On the smokey, Guilty As Sin, Ryder guides her listeners down a dark slinky alley. Finnigan's B3 punctuation is particularly effective, Kim Wilson tips in some warm harp work on this track and Fletcher steps up with a few real nice R&B style blues guitars solo as well. Very smooth! Cry Another Tear has a spiritual undertone with Finnegan leading the way on both piano and B3. With a hand clapping revival feel, Ryder shows she has it all joined by Johnny Lee Schell and Finnigan on backing vocals. Fletcher steps up with a flight fingered country style solo on guitar which I would have sworn was Albert Lee. Very nice! Ryder's solid bass work drives the train on Hold Your Lamp High with rich horn work from Thornburg and Price. Finnegan creates the tension on B3 but it's the super lead vocals by Ryder that shines brightest on this track. Thornburg takes a cool muted trumpet solo on this track giving it a quiet jazz sound for a bridge but Ryder drags it back into the soul arena with her gritty voice. On boogie stack, Money Monsoon, Fletcher again shows his fast finger work and Finnegan, Thornburg and Price push it over the top. Excellent! On quiet ballad, Kiss and Dream, the entire band softens it back with James Hutchinson on double bass and Finnegan on piano accompanied by Braunagel on brushes. Ryder shows the clarity of her vocals and Price lays out a really nice sax solo. Title track, Let It Rain has a R&B feel and Fletcher steps up and delivers Robert Cray style. Kim Wilson blends his harp work in nicely with finesse and control. This is really an ideal radio track with a catchy melody, simple but tight instrumentals and of course the super vocal work of Ryder. David Fraser joins on accordion for New Orleans flavored Ma Misere and Albert Lee takes the lead guitar role bouncing off of the super piano work of Finnigan. Wrapping the release is a stripped down bluesy track, Round and Around with Ryder on vocal, Wilson on harp, Schell on guitar and backing vocals. Nice wind down from a really pretty hot release!

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Friday, March 6, 2015

James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox Are "Guitar Heroes" on New Live CD, Coming May 5 from Stony Plain Records


James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox Are Guitar Heroes on New Live CD, Coming May 5 from Stony Plain Records

Dream Team of Telecaster Masters Create an Historic Roots/Rock Extravaganza on CD and Vinyl, Recorded Live at Vancouver Island MusicFest 

EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records proudly announces a May 5 release date for Guitar Heroes, a very special live recording that teams acclaimed guitar masters James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox for what promises to be one of the most heralded albums of the year. Stony Plain Records (which is distributed in the U.S. by ADA) will release Guitar Heroes in both CD and vinyl LP formats. The LP version will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl and also include a card enabling purchasers to download the full 11 tracks on the CD edition.   

These four Telecaster Masters shake up the rock and roll universe on this historic release, recorded during a one-time special performance at the Vancouver Island (Canada) MusicFest on July 12, 2013. Rooted in blues and rockabilly influences, each of the four legends have shaped and changed the sound of popular music since the mid-1950s. The musicianship, good taste, camaraderie and energized interplay showcased on stage that night made guitar history, now preserved on recordings for everyone to experience. As Albert Lee, himself, proclaimed that night, “Welcome to my dreams here!”

Backing the four Guitar Heroes for this concert were the members of Albert Lee’s regular touring band: Jon Greathouse (keyboards/lead vocals), Will MacGregor (bass) and Jason Harrison Smith (drums/background vocals). The 11-song repertoire recorded for the program is presented just as it was heard that night, with no editing, overdubs or studio sweetening. Just four amazing guitar players having fun together and creating a magical night of music. Songs run the gamut of roots music, with explorations into blues, rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and a touch of country.

Musical highlights on Guitar Heroes abound, such as James Burton recreating his classic guitar licks on “Susie Q,” just as he did on the Dale Hawkins’ original single back in 1957; Albert Lee going on amazing guitar runs all over the album’s closer, “Country Boy;” Amos Garrett launching into the stratosphere with his string-bending take of the rock ‘n’ roll gem, “Sleep Walk;” and David Wilcox going full-out with two masterful solos on “Comin’ Home Baby.”

“As Artistic Director of the Vancouver Island MusicFest, I get to dream up collaborations like these for what will hopefully become once-in-a-lifetime musical experiences,” says Doug Cox on the album’s liner notes. “This one worked. It's truly rock and roll heaven, right here on Earth where there is indeed, a hell of a band!”

Burton, Lee, Garrett and Wilcox arrived on Vancouver Island a day early to rehearse at the local Cumberland Hotel. The mutual respect was clearly evident from the moment the four guitarists started to play together. “I remember standing out on our main street, thinking how surreal it was to have James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox in our local watering hole in the middle of the day swapping licks,” recalls Doug Cox in his notes. “It was like a gunslingers gathering in an old saloon; one where all the survivors got together to enjoy each other’s company like only survivors can. High-test, take no prisoners, expect no mercy, guitar slinging at its best.”

And no wonder: each of these players has a resume that would be the envy of any musician on the planet. “James Burton, with his trademark ‘chicken pickin’ style, has created one of the most influential styles in country music and rock and roll,” writes Cox. “His playing has become a well of inspiration for many players, including the other musicians on this recording. Albert Lee took influences from James’ style and made it his own, with tone to die for. To quote his buddy Eric Clapton, Albert plays ‘like a jazz musician, but with country scales; like Django, but with a bluegrass past.’ Amos Garrett, known as the inventor of multiple string-bending on the guitar, is one of the most well versed players in the business, with a history steeped in blues, country and jazz (including classic solos, such as his work on Maria Muldaur’s “Midnight at the Oasis.”) And iconic guitarist David Wilcox, who is perhaps one of Canada's best kept secrets, has influenced a generation of Northern pickers with his funky rhythms, quirky surprise licks and searing slide guitar that identify him as one of our countries most unique players.”

James Burton (born Aug. 21, 1939, Dubberly, Louisiana)
Career highlights: “Susie Q,” with Dale Hawkins (1957), 11 years with Rickie Nelson, Elvis Presley (1969-77), Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris' Hot Band, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Denver, Merle Haggard, Roy Orbison, the TCB Band and thousands of sessions.

Albert Lee (born Dec. 21, 1943, Lingen, Herefordshire, England)
Career highlights: Heads, Hands and Feet (1971-73), The Crickets, Emmylou Harris and The Hot Band, five years with Eric Clapton, the Everly Brothers, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, Rodney Crowell, 20 plus solo albums and thousands of sessions.

Amos Garrett (born Nov. 26, 1941, Detroit, Michigan)
Career highlights: Ian & Sylvia's Great Speckled Bird (1969-70), Maria Muldaur's “Midnight At The Oasis,” Paul Butterfield's Better Days, The Amos Garrett, Doug Sahm, Gene Taylor Band, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Garcia, Martin Mull, Jesse Winchester, etc.

David Wilcox (born Jul. 31, 1949, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Career highlights: Great Specked Bird (1970-73), Nashville North and The Ian Tyson (TV) show, Maria Muldaur, many Canadian hits and gold and platinum albums as a solo artist. One of Canada's most influential roots music guitarists, singers and songwriters.

“There are moments of deep musical inspiration on these grooves; the kind that only happens when the music becomes bigger than the individual players,” Doug Cox summarizes in his liner notes. “All egos were put aside, nothing to prove, no young, nervous energy, just veterans digging in with musical colleagues in the truest sense. Thank goodness we recorded the show, although at first it was just to be a souvenir for the players. Once we heard the results we knew it had to be shared with the world. This is pure, passionate music.”



Guitar Heroes CD Track Listing
1. That's All Right (Mama) 5:18
2. Susie Q 5:26
3. Sleep Walk 4:13
4. Leave My Woman Alone 7:39
5. You're The One 7:57
6. Comin' Home Baby 4:32
7. Flip, Flop And Fly 4:32
8. Only the Young 6:15
9. Polk Salad Annie 5:44
10. Bad Apple 6:29
11. Country Boy 5:54

Guitar Heroes Vinyl LP Track Listing
(Includes download of all 11 tracks featured on CD & in digital outlets)
    Side One
1. That’s All Right (Mama) 5:19
2. Susie Q 5:27
3. Sleep Walk 4:13
4. Leave My Woman Alone 7:40
    Side Two
1. Flip, Flop And Fly 4:33
2. Comin’ Home Baby 4:32
3. You’re The One 7:58
4. Country Boy 5:54

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fun Ranch Boogie - Eric Clapton and Albert Lee


Another of Erics workhorses was Albert Lee.

Albert Lee, born 21 December 1943 in Leominster, Herefordshire, England, is an English guitarist known for his finger-style and hybrid picking technique.Albert grew up in Blackheath, London. His father was a musician, and Albert studied piano, taking up the instrument at age seven.[1] During this time, he became a fan of Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis. He took up guitar in 1958 when his parents bought him a second-hand Höfner President which he later traded in for a Czechoslovakian Grazioso, the forerunner of the Futurama. Albert left school at the age of 16 to play full-time.