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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 Alex Schultz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alex Schultz. Show all posts

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Vizztone Label Group artist: the Chris O'Leary Band - Live At Blues Now! - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Live At Blues Now! from the Chris O'Leary Band and it has a super groove. This release was recorded live in Basel, Switzerland in March of 2014. Opening with Give It, a one-chord modal blues structure with a repeating guitar figure and Diddley-style rhythm, O'Leary leads the way into this live set on vocal and harp. Joined by Chris Vitarello and Alex Schultz on guitar, Andy Stahl on tenor sax, Chris DiFrancesco on bari sax, Matt Raymond on bass and Jay Devlin on drums this band is tight. On jump track, Trouble, the band ramps it up with Schultz laying down some hot smokin' guitar work. O'Leary cranks it up as well with a mighty solo of his own. Very nice! Louisiana Woman has a swampy sound with a nice bass lead from Raymond. Cool shimmery guitar effects from Vitarello as well as a soulful guitar solo and the masterful harp work from O'Leary make this a really cool track. R&B style track Walk The Walk really invites the horn work of Stahl and DiFrancesco. A thick and juicy sax solo from Stahl and aggressive guitar work from Vitarello highlighted by the tight drumming of Devlin. Water's Risin' is a funky rocker with Vitarello and Schultz trading bluesy chicken pickin' style guitar solos. Billy Boy Arnold's I Wish You Would is a perfect showcase for O'Leary on harp. With solid sax work and complex drum rhythms this track has a life of it's own and even a little tribute to Lee Oscar. Mr. Used To Be has a western style blues swing but with sax instead of steel guitar giving it a totally different flavor. O'Leary lays down a real nice harp solo on this one proving to be a real crowd favorite. My favorite track on the release, Blues Is A Woman, slows it way down and O'Leary really does a hot job on lead vocal. Vitarello plays heavy T-Bone Walker stylized riffs making this track seven plus minutes particularly memorable with DiFrancesco and Stahl giving the track heft. Excellent! King of The Jungle has a real nice lope and with it's Chicago style, gives O'Leary a great chance to play his harp out. Vitarello lays in a few real nice riffs tying it all up. Tchoupitoulas has a real cool New Orleans sound and DiFrancesco really adds bottom. The sax work on this track is over the top and complimented with sly guitar riffs and marching drum style so I really do like it! Waiting For The Phone To Ring opens with some great bari sax and a great story telling style. Overlayed sax and guitar riffs make this one of my favorite tracks on the release. Wrapping the track is History, which has a great new Orleans funk feel. This is a groove that you have to love. Clocking in at 9 plus minutes, this is a New Orleans style lovers dream. Filled with excellent guitar, harp and sax work, this is a super way to wrap up a fine concert recording.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Big Dave & the Backbones with Alex Schultz

Big Dave Reniers (born 1969) began playing harmonica at the age of 14. A few years later he got in touch with blues music listening to harmonica-players such as William Clarke, Kim Wilson, James Harman, etc..

He formed “the Dizzy Dave Band” when he was seventeen and they played steadily for about eight years.

Learning more and more about the old-school blues he wanted to play forties and fifties style and so co-started “the Electric Kings” in 1994. This band knew a lot of recognition in Europe with their mixture of Swing, Jump and Chicago-blues.

The last few years you could also hear Big Dave play as a sideman in “the Elmore D. band” (pre-war blues with a 21st century approach).

Influenced by all the great harp-players (both Walters, both Sonny Boys, G. Smith,...) Big Dave plays a fat-toned, straightforward harp while singing with a strong relaxed voice.
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Payback - Tad Robinson Band with Alex Schultz

Tad’s upcoming new CD on Severn Records is in the works! The recording is happening at the beautiful new Severn studio in Annapolis, Maryland. Check back to find out when the disc will be available! If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Alex was born in new york city in 1954, and at a young age became
immersed in the city’s legacy of jazz. Studied with guitarist George Barnes and at Berklee College of Music in boston. Early exposure to BB King, James Cotton and the Butterfield Blues Band planted seeds of a lifelong love of blues music.

Schultz moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and established himself as both a bass player and guitarist on the roots music scene, working for two and a half years with rock and roll/rhythm and blues pioneer Hank Ballard. This provided some early road experience, including playing Antone’s in Austin, Texas in 1986 and sharing stages with Jerry Lee Lewis, Albert Collins and many other greats.

Beginning 1986 worked with L.A. harmonica master William Clarke: recorded the W.C. Handy award winning album “Blowing Like Hell”, played and recorded with Smokey Wilson, and made appearances on all 4 of Clarke’s releases on chicago’s Alligator label.

This period saw gigs with a who’s-who of the los angeles roots music scene, including Coco Montoya, Debbie Davies, Finis Tasby, Steve Samuels, Rob Rio, and countless others.

In 1988 began a seven year, five record association with Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers, touring Australia, Japan, Europe and Scandinavia. Recordings included two albums on the Black Top label and “Live at BB King’s” recorded in Memphis. During this time the Flyers backed Jimmy Rogers, Lowell Fulsom, Louis Myers, Pine Top Perkins, James Cotton, Robert Ward, Earl King, Snooks Eaglin, Albert Collins, Larry Davis, etc. and supported the likes of Albert King, BB King, Al Green, Robert Cray, Dr. John, The Neville Bros., The Allman Bros. and more. Schultz left the group in ‘95 to pursue other projects as a free agent.

The first of these was a three year collaboration with blues rebel Lester Butler (ex- ‘Red Devils’ harmonica and vocals ) which resulted in the HighTone album “13 Featuring Lester Butler” and 4 european tours.

At the same time, Schultz appeared on two Delmark releases with old new york friend Tad Robinson, a collaboration that continues to the present day: co-producing and playing on Tad’s 2005 Handy nominated “Did You Ever Wonder” on the Severn label, numerous festival appearances in the U.S. and Europe, and playing on Tad’s upcoming (2007) release “A New Point Of View”.

A wide variety of freelance work has resulted in many recordings and tours, with artists including Italian harmonica player Egidio ‘Juke’ Ingala, Washington DC jump blues masters Big Joe & the Dynaflows, nu-swing band Royal Crown Revue, ‘Sax’ Gordon, Sugar Ray Norcia, Jimmy Morello, keyboardist Benjie Porecki, Kirk ‘Eli’ Fletcher, Mickey Champion, Frank ‘Paris Slim’ Goldwasser, Germany’s BB & the Blues Shacks, Italian guitarist Enrico Crivellaro and Austria’s Raphael Wressnig.

Finally, in october 2004, after playing on over 40 discs, Schultz’s first solo CD, “Think About It”, was released on the Severn label, bringing it all back home.
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