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 Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Arizona. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arizona. Show all posts

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Until The Sun - Drowning In Blue - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Drowning In Blue, from Until The Sun and it's a cool blues rocker. Opening with title track, Drowning In Blue, finds Bruce Jensen on lead vocal and bass, and Brandon Teskey on lead guitar, backed by Alyssa Swartz on vocal and Chris Tex on drums. With amostly straight line rock feel, a dash of metal and a tad of blues, this is a solid opener.  On Shadow of the Valley, Tesky dons a slide and with a more rural feel lays down a contemporary blues track. This track has a bit of the rawness of the Stripes or Keys but with just a bit more complexity and polish. Rock ballad, 1,000 Miles Away follows a blues rock formula with cool vocals and fluid lead guitar lines by Tesky and a firm bottom by Jensen and Tex. Swartz has the mic on prime radio track, Burning Home, a country influenced blues number showcasing her solid vocals. I like Tesky's guitar solo on this one not only demonstrating strong phrasing but clean technique and feel. Very nice. A traditional blues intro on Doing My Best, shows the band in prime blues form. An 8 bar line by Jensen sets the pace and Tesky moves outside of the box showing not only blues but rock and jazz riffs giving the track a nice jolt. Wrapping the release is soulful, Deathbed Blues with Swartz showing her best vocal on the release, paired with simple percussion and Tesky on resonator and slide. Solid closer for a solid release. 


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" 

  qrcode 

 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE


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" 

  qrcode 

 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Laura Green - Green Eyed Blues - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Green Eyed Blues, from Laura Green and it's a cool mix of rock, blues, country and soul. Opening with country flavored, Bone To Pick, Laura Green is up front on lead vocals, backed by Art Dwyer on bass, Aaron Griffin on slide, Rob Lee on drums and Bob Lohr on piano. Her paired vocal with Rich McDonough who also plays guitar makes this a solid opener. Green really shines on It Ain't Easy, a shuffle track with a gospel structure. With backing vocals by Renee Smith, Chris Shepherd, Ron Roskowske, Michelle Isam and Ellen Kinkle make this one of my favorites on the release. Folk blues, Mama Don't Cry is a real nice track with strong vocal lead by Green over acoustic guitar and mandolin by Charlie Pfeffer. Excellent! Joe Meyer adds a real nice tom tom rhythm to That's Right, a Bo Diddley like track and Griffin's guitar work really shines. Shuffle track, Cry, has a solid blues feel and Green's vocals shine nicely. Wrapping the release is slow shuffle, Don't Know Why, with Green working the melody over some real tasty guitar work. With Bill Murphy on keys and Meyer on drums, a cool closer for a cool release. 


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" 

  qrcode

“Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Black Cat Bones - Tattered & Torn - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Tattered & Torn, by Black Cat Bones and it's a cool blues rocker. Opening with Manslaughter, with it's driving bass line by Jeff Daniels, Black Cat Bones show their blues rock roots. With Charlie Pitts on vocal, Jerry Sommers on drums and Richard Rivera and Gary David on guitars these guys drum up the feeling of the early days of blues rock music and Humble Pie. Dead Broke Blues maintains a rock swagger and solid lead vocals, but what really stands out to me are the impressive guitar accent lines by Rivera and David. Rather than long flowing lines of solos, these guys insert strategically placed accents that set the track off nicely. Slow blues, The Race, has a real solid melody and lead vocal by Pitts and introduces some nice sax soloing by Clay Brown, Carla Brownlee (bari sax) and Amochip Dabney (in this order). Very cool. One of my favorite tracks on the release is rocker, Pay You Back With Interest, with it's tight drumming, double kick drum and cool back beat. The lead guitar lines on this track are definite throw backs with a cool pedal treatment. One of the tracks that has a sort of iridescence is Laying In Wait with a cool, laid back bottom and key overlay. Pitts' vocals carry the track nicely and understated guitar lead is perfect. Wrapping the release is I Don't Care, is an easy rocker with an almost Rolling Stones/country feel. Call and response between Pitts and Daniels on vocals is strong and laid back guitar lead feels great on this track. A solid closer. 

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" 

  qrcode

 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Rockin' Johnny Burgin at the Rhythm Room - March 9, 2019


We all see ordinary talent in shows around town but there are a few bands that will draw me out late at night every time they tour because of their artistry and Rockin' Johnny is definitely one. When I saw that he was playing the Rhythm Room, definitely the best place to see a band in Phoenix, I made it a date. The club was packed and I sat in the corner because I arrived just before the show started but I wouldn't miss it. Johnny came on stage carrying his classic Emperor and his classic tone. He did a short set, maybe 6 or 8 tracks and he didn't take a note to get on track. He was hitting on 12 cylinders from note one. I don't know if you've seen Johnny, but this is a guy who is all about style. He isn't Jeff Beck who wrote every trick in the books, nor Joe Bonamassa who plays every Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton riff. This is a pure Chicago blues guy who has been around the block and has assembled some absolutely terrific old style riffs that he applies at just the right time and in style. He's a serious player and an excellent singer. I don't think that he knows how good a singer he is having played lead guitar behind leaders like Tail Dragger but this guys vocals are strong and sometimes downright exceptional. But the really cool part about Johnny's playing is his style. Here's a guy who is standing up with a band of 3, carrying most of the weight himself, and then just blowing out a riff that curls your hair. We're not talking about blistering speed like a metal rocker. We're talking old school riffs that make you go...wow...that was a great riff and the man can go! But here's the great part... after he plays it, he seems to look around quietly and say to himself... I did it... and smile with accomplishment.  No pretense...pure love for his trade. The band took a short break and then club owner and world renown harp player Bob Corritore stepped up to the mic announcing that they had some surprises for the crowd. Due to a larger blues event, Blues Bash, that was happening in Phoenix this weekend, there were a number of performers on hand. A man with deep blues roots and quite a pedigree, Jimi "Prime Time" Smith was there and took the stage with Rockin' Johnny and Corritore. The crowd really loved Smith with is silky vocals and license plate guitar. He put on a really good show including walking the audience while playing and singing.


Johnny Main, guitar and lead vocals of the 44's set up (using Rockin' Johnny's guitar) and a really hot guitar player that I hadn't seen, Henry Carvahal (Rod Piazza Mighty Flyers among others) was on fire. This guy is a powerhouse and has great hands. matched with the balance of RJB's band these guys were electric.

After another short break, Rockin' Johnny took the stage again with Corritore, and local blues legends, singer George Bowman, and guitar player Donnie Dean. This bands focus was primarily prime Chicago style blues providing a stable base for players who don't play together daily and Corritore's harp work was really strong. Bowman's vocals were solid and guitar exchanges between Dean and Burgin really cool. After maybe another 5 tracks, Burgin took the stage back to his basic 3 piece ensemble and closed out the night. He brought along a solid bodied Danelectro and in open tuning, played some really nice slide. Johnny really knows how to put on a show and with a sea of talent in the room, this was a really great show for what is a fairly small club. This was likely one of the best blues shows in Phoenix for 2019. If it sounds like I had fun, I rolled into bed around 2am. This band literally played till shutdown. Very very nice. Watch for a review of Corritore's upcoming release, Do The Hip-Shake Baby! in the next few weeks. 

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" 

  qrcode
 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Monday, October 23, 2017

Rockin' Johnny Burgin @ The Rhythm Room In Phoenix - October 2017


I saw a great show at the Rhythm Room, the premiere blues club in Phoenix, last week and it was great. The Rhythm Room is a real Phoenix landmark that took over where the mason Jar left off. That's where I last saw Albert King. At the Rhythm Room I've seen a number of super shows and artists including Johnny Winter, Joe Bonamassa and Jimbo Mathus. I moved a while back and live outside of the city now. It makes it a lot tougher to see a mid week show, but when I heard that Rockin' Johnny was playing town, I knew I was going to be there. I've seen Johnny a number of times both on his own and with Tail Dragger.  I remember seeing him on film a number of years ago where he was playing backup player and just with a few riffs, he stood out and got my attention.


Now with a number of his own excellent releases under his belt, Rockin' Johnny puts on one hell of a show! He pulls from his most recent release Neoprene Fedora as well as a few other terrific releases including Greetings From Greaseland and Grim Reaper. Johnny is a great showman and at the Rhythm Room he plays 2 sets. Obviously what originally got my attention was Johnny's powerful if not often wild guitar riffs but Johnny is actually turning out to be a really good singer. Every time I see him I think, man this guy is really a good singer but I always remember those power riffs of his. Johnny isn't a Bonamassa or Clapton clone and he doesn't ape Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page or any of the other spectacular guitar players like most of his contemporaries. Johnny has his own style which is a mix of classic, underplayed riffs and his own style and blues, R&B, soul and rock. I don't take a lot of notes at a concert (hell, I'm there to drink beer and listen to a band just like you). Johnny hits the floor hard and pushes himself to gets things hopping fast. After only a few tracks, he really settles into a groove and it just keeps getting better and better throughout the show. I believe he played most every track from his Neoprene Fedora release (which is terrific by the way) and my recollection is that he played the title track near or at the end of the first set.



Excellent!  Club owner and renown blues harp player, Bob Corritore, joined Johnny on stage for a few hot Chicago blues numbers and Bob never fails to impress. He's a great harp player and extremely knowledgeable blues enthusiast, running a blues radio show on National Public Radio for many years.



Recalling the show, I'm certain that he played Guitar King, Won't Get Married Again, Give Me An Hour In Your Garden, Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear, and  Goodbye Chicago. there were a few tracks that were just over the top. From Greaseland I remember Cold Chills, She's A Hit and Homework as well as the highlight of the show for me, Johnny's take on The House Of The Rising Sun. Unfortunately the footage was unusable for reasons out of my control. Grim Reaper and I Did The Best I Could were among the best of the rest but the ultimate best groove is Smoke and Mirrors. I really think that this is one of the best grooves caught on a contemporary blues release in years.

 Off the floor, Johnny is a hell of a nice guy and just wants to put on a great show. Catch him in a smaller club while you can. It may not be next week, but this guy really has something special and you should get your share.

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" 

  qrcode

 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Friday, July 1, 2016

Relaunch of the Squirrel Nut Zippers - 2016 Concert Tour - Marquee Theatre Tempe, Arizona - Review

I saw the "New" Squirrel Nut Zippers last night and the show was wild. I had mentioned to a few friends that I was going to see the Squirrel Nut Zippers last night and they either looked at me with a puzzled look or they knew exactly what I was talking about. What the hell is a Squirrel Nut Zipper... well, that I can tell you.       Jimbo says, "Nut Zippers" is a southern term for a variety of old bootleg moonshine, and the band's name comes from a newspaper account which related the story of a highly intoxicated man who climbed a tree one night, refusing to come down even after authorities arrived. The article's headline read: "Squirrel Nut Zipper."     Now what does that have to do with a band and who are they? This band is absolute energy with as much animation as a 30's cartoon and as crazy wild as a drunk squirrel. Mathus is a terrific performer and this band of high level New Orleans style jazz musicians put as much energy into entertaining as they do playing their respective instruments... and that is a bunch!

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I have really become intoxicated with the music of Mississippi native, Jimbo Mathus, since first seeing him with Buddy Guy in the early 2000's. Mathus first formed the Squirrel Nut Zippers in the 90's with Mathus' now ex wife, Katharine Whalen, along with Tom Maxwell, Chris Phillips, Don Raleigh and Ken Mosher. Due to other projects and the breakup of Jimbo and Whalen, the project had gone idle. I've got to tell you I'd never seen a SNZ show nor had I ever really heard their music except in passing one weekend about 10 years ago. When I saw that they were playing in town and that Jimbo was leading the pack, I decided to check it out. The new lineup is Jimbo Mathus — vocals, guitar, slide guitar, tenor banjo, trombone, piano; Chris Phillips — percussion, contraption kit, drums; Ingrid Lucia — vocals; Tamara Nicholai — bass; Justin Carr aka Dr. Sick - fiddle, banjo and saw; Charlie Halloran — trombone; Kevin Louis; Dave Boswell; Henry Westmoreland - saxophone; Kris Takorski on keys; and Kevin O'Donell.

 This was a packed house of people who mostly knew every word of every song. They weren't obnoxious singing over top of the band but it was apparent when the lead vocalist would step back from the mic that the crowd picked up the  slack. Jimbo Mathus is the ultimate showman and blows out every bit of energy that he has on stage. Comes dressed in a wool band suit,  in dark burgundy, complete with gold trim  with a full vest and terrific boots and a derby and a wild black and white striped shirt. This outfit looks like it was bought right off of the back of a musician from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (sans the policeman's style bill hat). Ingrid Lucia is dressed in a period black dress with a lacy "flounce" and openings down to the waist. This show is pure vaudeville with Jimbo taking every opportunity to throw sly one liners in the very brief moments between songs and the music is punk. I mean high energy, raw and irreverent! I managed to get the play list so here it is:

1) Good Enough For Grandad
2) Club Limbo
3) Put A Lid On It
4) Got My Own Thing Now
5) Blue Angel
6) La Fitte's
7) It Ain't You
8) Suits  (video below)
9) Ghost of Stephen Foster
10) My Drag
11) Wished For You
12) Prince Nez
13) Bad Businessman
14) --- Hell
15) Memphis Exorcism
16) Plenty More

They also played a 2 song encore consisting of:

17) Bedlam Ballroom
18) I Found A New Baby

One of my favorites of the evening was the last song of the set, Plenty More, with lyrics like "They say all the boys are monsters, All the girls are whores, So when you lose the one you love,There's always plenty more". Mathus, who delivers the song with such sincerity, gleans in joy  with his eyes wide (Think Mantan Moreland , almost bugging)

Mantan Moreleand
and a mischievous grin revealing his famous gold tooth on delivering the punch line.

Mathus, the primary writer for all of the band's material is a veritable jukebox of musical knowledge, able to play in most any style. Last night I saw him playing with rich jazz chords and rag time strumming as well as neatly articulated riffs and fluid jazz runs.  Lucia's voice is solid yet unusual, adding to the band's "tricks" and complimenting their strengths. Each of the horn players took a number of solo's bringing out the flavor of New Orleans embedded deep in the roots of this band and Carr's strength on fiddle both in bowing and plucking is a showcase of it's own. He also strums it like a banjo, thumps it for impact and lets not forget his featured saw playing. Yes, this band has it all.

With a remastered twentieth anniversary edition of Hot slated for release July 29 on Hollywood Records and a reunion tour to follow, Billboard is exclusively debuting "The Puffer," a never-before-released bonus track written with the late Stacy Guess. The song, which is named for an old steam train, has a Duke Ellington feel and is "kind of a creepy and very typical Zippers," says Mathus.

Listen to Unreleased "Puffer" Jimbo also notes that he's working on new material in the Squirrel Nut Zipper motif so likely we will be looking for a new release altogether in the near future!


SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS - 2016 TOUR DATES



Date

CityVenueTickets
6/29/2016 Tucson, AZ RialtoBuy Tickets
6/30/2016 Tempe, AZ MarqueeBuy Tickets
7/1/2016 Flagstaff, AZ OprheumBuy Tickets
7/2/2016 Las Vegas, NV The Downtown Grand
7/3/2016 Park City, UT Deer Valley ResortBuy Tickets
7/9/2016 Montreal Jazz Festival M├ętropolisBuy Tickets
7/30/2016 New Orleans, LATipitina'sBuy Tickets
8/31/2016San Diego, CABelly Up TavernBuy Tickets
9/1/2016Los Angeles, CATeragram BallroomBuy Tickets
9/2/2016 Tuolumne, CAStrawberry Music FestivalBuy Tickets
9/3/2016 Sausalito, CA Sausalito Arts FestivalBuy Tickets
9/19/2016 Nashville, TN City Winery (Two Shows)Buy Tickets
9/22/2016 Atlanta, GA City Winery (Two Shows)Buy Tickets
10/18/2016 Alexandria, VA The BirchmereBuy Tickets
10/23/2016 Black Mountain, NC LEAF Festival Buy Tickets
11/11/2016 Cape May, NJ Exit Zero Jazz Festival Buy Tickets
11/12/2016 Englewood, NJ Bergen Performing Arts Center Buy Tickets


Jimbo Mathus is a regular southern gentleman, a great musician and songwriter,  a real card, and appears to be humbled and appreciative of every single face in the crowd and every clap of the hand.
I am extremely happy that I made the choice to go see this esoteric band of gypsies weave their magic. They are a fun group of talented musicians and their show is an absolute blast!

Bravo!


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" 

 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Robben Ford ‘Into the Sun’ Tour Rhythm Room, Phoenix, AZ USA 06/13/2015 - Ellisjames - Guest Writer



Robben Ford performed more than ninety minutes of non-stop craftsmanship to a very appreciative desert town crowd at The Rhythm Room, Phoenix, Arizona. The set list contained a pleasing baker’s dozen plus one encore of songs both from his current release, ‘Into the Sun’ (Mascot Label Group, NY, NY USA) and a potpourri selection from his vast catalog of work.
Perhaps the show was extra spirited as it was the last stop on his current 2015 tour prior to departing for a few shows in France. None-the-less, the sound mix and tone was amazing partly due to vintage amp and obvious journeyman chops from Robben and the others. Each member of the group more than held their own when given featured solos and as a unit throughout the performance.
The set kicked into high gear with ‘Just Like It Is’ from the 1997 Tiger Walk release followed up with ‘Howling At the Moon’ from the new CD. Ford dove into an extensive bridge solo more than demonstrating his talent and command of his rosewood-necked Telecaster.  2014’s A Day in Nashville cut, ‘Midnight Comes Too Soon’ preceded ‘Same Train’ then ‘Rose of Sharon’ featuring guitarist, David Grisson who ripped into his PRS as if it were the last song he was ever going to play. Great stuff!
Two more cuts from the current CD, ‘Rainbow Cover’ and the female response favorite, ‘High Heels and Throwing Things’ were no less than a guitar clinic for anyone who could follow the fret work by both Grissom and Ford. The tempo changed into jazzy blues via the 2013 ‘Bring it Back Home CD song ‘Slick Capers Blues’.  This song provided a chance for each band member to shine. Ford and Grisson took  their turns then left the stage followed by Bassist, Brian Allen and drummer,
Wes Little. Returning to finish ‘Capers’, the band took a breath, allowing Robben to switch to his sunburst Stratocaster for two songs from his ‘Renegade Creation’ Bullet release. ‘People Like Me’ and the soulful ‘Nazareth’ with Griss playing acoustic.
The back half of the show included ‘Indianola’ from the Soul on Ten CD, the 2013 Fool’s Paradise and a wonderful and rousing version of ‘Lovin Cup’, first performed on stage by Ford in 1998 as part of the ‘Robben Ford and the Blueline Authorized Bootleg’ and seen on the 2005 ‘New Morning, The Paris Concert’ DVD.
The crowd was not about to go without an encore! Graciously, the band sent everyone home with ‘All Over Again’.  Thanks to the band and staff at the Rhythm Room, unofficial home of the Phoenix Blues Society and owned/operated by harmonica pro, Bob Corritore. Strong recommendations to catch Robben Ford and band when they return from France and play California and Colorado in late July and August before heading to the East Coast in the Fall.


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”

 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Jimbo Mathus & the Annunaki Playboys Live at The Raven Cafe in Prescott, Arizona

I caught wind that Jimbo Mathus was playing a show about 2 hours north of my home and I hightailed it to Prescott, AZ. I know that this doesn't seem like much of an effort but you got to know, I listen to new music every day, OK ...lets say 250-300 new releases yearly and for me to drive very far to see a show.... it better be damn good. Well, Jimbo Mathus never disappoints and yes, it was damn good! I arrived in Prescott just in time to get a seat and a beer before the Captain hit the stage to a standing crowd only performance. I was not one of the 500 million people who knew Mathus from his Squirrel Nut Zippers band and was delighted to find this guy through his association with Buddy Guy. The truth is I went to see Buddy Guy with a fellow guitar player and who watches the opening act . We were sitting there jawing away and waiting on Buddy Guy and I said to my buddy..."who is this guy?". Jimbo Mathus was the opening act and that day back in like 2001 was the day I found Mathus. He not only had the opening act, but he also played in Guys band. He knocked me out then and he knocks me out now. Jimbo's music is strongly rooted in the people, with heart. His passion for the music is genuine and his love and appreciation of his audience is obvious. Mathus played 3 sets beginning at around 8 and ending at Midnight. He did take 2 short breaks to catch his breath and sell a few t shirts, albums and CD's.

 I'm not great at taking notes but I do have some recollection of detail. His first set was laden nicely with tracks from his newest release Blue Healer, which is terrific by the way. I know that he played the title track, Blue Healer (above), which is one of my 2 favorites from the release as well as Coyote (below- which is the other). He also played Old Earl which is one of his story telling tracks. If you don't know Mathus' story telling, you are missing the boat. Mathus, like all of the true great performers, not only can get around on his instrument (I think he plays about everything) but can captivate his audience with clever tales. Old Earl is the one from the Blue Healer release.

 When I go to a concert, I really don't go as a reporter but as a part of the audience so forgive me for just enjoying the concert. I know that he played Shoot Out The Lights, a hot rocker, Tallatchie, a rural feeling song that I really love and one that I want to ask Mathus about later. It has one clever line that I will always remember... "Can't see you no more, newspapers say I sing". Excellent! Fire In The Canebreak, a swampy funk rocker along the lines of Little Feat, Tennessee Walker Mare, Aces and 8's, a tex mex track and Shine Like A Diamond.

His second set was really geared to audience participation with a Chuck Berry track, some R&B, Lowell Folsom's Tramp which was recorded by Mathus and Guy 15 years ago. Mathus played guitar with reckless abandon, something that I rarely see anyone but Buddy Guy do...superb! He also did real nice versions of Guitar Slim's, Things That I Used To Do and Hank Williams', Hey Good Looking. At my request he did one of my favorite country ballads, Fallen Angel. Mathus has a unique ability to take you somewhere that you want to be through his music. Another crowd favorite was John Fogerty's Stuck In Lodi. Whether it's blues, country, R&B, rock... this man has been there and he does it with intention. Raven Cafe employees were kind enough to clear a few tables for some tiny dancers near the stage and the crowd had a blast. I can't say that Mathus' music is for everyone. What I can say is, I don't get paid to do this. I do it because I love it. I go to see who I want to see, and when I see something terrific, I try to tell my friends. Well friends, this guy captures the soul of the blues in whatever he does. What does that mean? Listen to Skip James, early JL Hooker, Son House. These were men who believed in what they were doing. They liked to make a little money along the way, but they were playing real music, without the polish and all of the processing. Jimbo Mathus is the real deal. Go see him without expectations that he will blow you away on guitar. He can, he may... but go there to see a real artist perform his craft. You can thank me later!

The Annunaki Playboys are  Eric "Carlos San Pedro" Carlton - keys, Stuart "StuBaby" Cole - bass, Scott "Pako" Goolsby - guitar and Alex "Youngblood" Holeman - drums.

 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page. I use Facebook to spread the word about my blog (Now with translation in over 50 languages). I will not hit you with 50 posts a day. I will not relay senseless nonsense. I use it only to draw attention to some of the key posts on my blog each day. In this way I can get out the word on new talent, venues and blues happenings! - click Here Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cash Box Kings coming to Phoenix, AZ!

blindpigrecords.com
  THE CASH BOX KINGS PERFORMING IN PHOENIX, AZ!
"The Cash Box Kings' cast of aces sizzle the hip side of classic Chicago blues with an old delta branding iron. A prime homage to the blues' rich history with creative, enthusiastic twists." - Hittin' the Note
The Cash Box Kings make an appearance in support of their latest award-winning CD, Black Toppin',  as follows:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18THTHE RHYTHM ROOM
1019 E. INDIAN SCHOOL RD
602-265-4842
8:30 PM  $10
These illustrious torchbear­ers skillfully capture the essence of postwar Memphis and Chicago blues, while adding their own bravado, energy and freshness to the mix.  No less an authority than recent Grammy winner Charlie Musselwhite said, "The Cash Box Kings play with taste and feel and it was faith restoring to know there are guys out there that still know and appreciate real blues."   
Black Toppin' won the Blues Blast Music Award for "Best Traditional Blues Album" and is a 2014 Blues Music Award nominee in the same category.  The release was also named one of the "10 Best Blues Recordings of 2013" by Apple iTunes. In addition to delivering authentic, back-in-the-day Chicago blues, they display their deep af­finity for Delta and Louisiana swamp blues, jump blues and their own signature "blues-a-billy."
http://mailman.305spin.com/users/blindpigrecords/images/CashBoxKings5150thumb.jpg 
Living Blues magazine proclaimed their release, "a great record by one of the best blues bands in the land," while No Depression added, "The ghosts of Muddy Waters, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins and Little Walter must be smiling.  Black Toppin' might be the best blues album you'll hear this year."
 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

High Energy Act coming to Phoenix, AZ!



blindpigrecords.com
HIGH ENERGY PERFORMER BRINGING HIS SHOW TO PHOENIX, AZ! 
JW-Jones, a red hot young Canadian guitar slinger/singer known as a high-energy crowd-pleaser, will bring his dynamic show to Phoenix as follows:
 SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST
RHYTHM ROOM
1019 E INDIAN SCHOOL RD.
 9:15 PM $10
http://mailman.305spin.com/users/blindpigrecords/images/JW-Jones5162Web.jpg  Jones, a popular and highly acclaimed artist in Canada, widely regarded as one of that country’s premier touring blues acts, is set to break out in the U.S. and worldwide markets with his first release on acclaimed American roots music label Blind Pig Records, entitled Belmont Boulevard.
The album was produced in Nashville by Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge, who’s helmed projects for Buddy Guy, George Thorogood, and Susan Tedeschi.   Jones said, "Signing with Blind Pig is truly an honour and major milestone in my career.  I am ecstatic to be on a label that is a fixture in roots music."
Jones has played in nineteen countries in his brief career, and recently opened tours for the late Johnny Winter and Jimmie Vaughan, one of his strongest influences. Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, based in Toronto, referred to Jones as "one of this country's top blues guitar stars."  Billboard called JW part of "a new wave of young talent moving onto Canada’s blues stage."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jimbo Mathus demolishes Phoenix's Rhythm Room - David Luning Band a shocker!

Jimbo Mathus and the Tri-State Coalition hit Phoenix last night like a meteor. I don't give strong endorsements to many bands so listen up. I got to the Rhythm Room a little early last night and the opening act was just setting up.




I have to tell you that the opening band, David Luning Band, was the surprise of the year for me. First off I have never heard of them but then reading their bio, they go places that I never go... like American Idol? Now before you shut this down, give me a second. If someone told me that I would like someone that was on American Idol they would get a pretty smug look of disbelief (if not a stiff defiant finger) but to actually sit in a room with this band, listen to strong, creative, concise songwriting performed by a really nice group of fellows was just inspiring.

Luning, a good looking young man who could easily have been the lead for British Band "Faces" or fit into the Beatles, has a super voice. This band doesn't sing pop music like I would expect from an American Idol candidate, but Alt American country/rock/folk/blues thing with really nicely blended vocals (think Humble Pie), creative stories (think Gerald Colliers or Arlo Guthrie) and a rowdy feel (think Keith Richards). This band really captivated the audience and based upon their 5 or 6 song performance, I am an immediate fan. Luning who handles lead vocal and acoustic lead guitar is joined by Linden Reed (drums), Dave Sampson (guitars), and Ben Dubin (bass and harp), who all participate on vocal harmonies. I don't know of anyone who is doing anything quite like them and I do suggest strongly that you search them out and give a listen. I have a copy of their latest CD, Just Drop On By, so expect a review of it in the next few days. Very nice performance men!



 Trying to summarize a Jimbo Mathus concert is like trying to count raindrops. If you have never seen Jimbo in concert and have only heard a bit of his music, you have only seen a blurry 40's B&W of the real deal. Now I was captivated by Jimbo's originality when I first saw him open for Buddy Guy over a decade ago. I recall specifically that I was sitting in Mesa Center for the Arts talking with one of my guitar jam buddies while the opening act started to play. After just a short intro I asked my pal, "Who are these guys?". We both quickly scoured the floor for a program and dummied up to catch the rest of his spontaneous set. We were talking a lot about how different this guy was and we really enjoyed him when the main show began. Everybody was there to see Buddy Guy (me included). On steps Jimbo Mathus again, the featured guitar player with Buddy Guys touring band. You are shitting me! Yep. This guy was featured on two of Guys most significant releases of the past decade.

 Skip ahead to June 19, 2014 at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix AZ. Jimbo and his Tri-State Coalition hit the stage running. Mathus doesn't have what I would call a "Mathus" sound, a hook or a riff, and that really works strongly to his artistic advantage but he does have recognizable brush strokes. Something that an art collector uses to discern a masterpiece from a copy. Primarily an introspective story teller and a philosopher, Mathus uses different colors from his musical paint box to get just the right feel for each song. These are some of the songs from last night's set. Dirty Hustling, a funky street rocker flavored by a dash funky guitar (think JG Watson or WW Washington). It gets you right down in the street where it's happening. Using the style of the track, I mean really crafting the track to it's subject matter, makes it so much more effective. I Wanna Be Your Satellite retains a rocking country sound but more like Canadian band, the Byrds. You aren't really conscious as you are listening but Mathus is taking you on a journey and he is controlling not only the mental picture with his words but smoothly crafts his own vocal style as well as the texture and style of the backing music to create the perfect ambiance. The title track from Mathus' newest release
Dark Night Of The Soul is a perfect example where his vocals are almost the sound of a man in pain. Mathus and crew take this track to rock on with serious intention. One of my all time favorite Mathus songs, Who'll Sop My Gravy raises some philosophical questions but with that sense of humor that you will see gleaming through much of Mathus work. Taking the texture of this track down to it's lowest denominator, pure rural country folk music with that special Louisiana blues twist, Mathus is able to pull the listener into the earthy feel of the track and then slowly slides a funky beat under their seat. Tennessee Walker Mare is presented as a country ballad and the delivery is perfect. Let me make this clear. Listening to regular music is like watching regular tv. Listening to Jimbo Mathus perfect his craft is like watching in 4k (Ultra High Definition). He creates the stage, he sets the plot, he creates the background music, he shoots the bad guy! Casey Caught The Cannonball is a really entertaining tale with twists and turns. Delivered with a "The Band" like feel with a bit of easy country funk and a dash of fun. Shines Like A Diamond is a country rocker with a stiff bite and a nod to Van Morrison. There is a common thread that runs through all of Mathus music and that is honesty in music, a sincere belief that what he is doing is right and a genuine desire to write the best music possible in hopes that someone may actually get where he's coming from. It is clearly apparent from watching Mathus on stage and from talking with him briefly after the show that he is genuinely grateful to have people listening to his music, to be playing what he wants and to be gaining an audience without compromising his efforts. I see few performers on stage performing with such commitment and devotion. Mathus is a guitar wielding powerhouse on stage but is a humble and kind man face to face. Along with a few songwriters that you could count on one hand, Mathus is one of the premier unsung songwriters of today. I remember seeing Jeff Beck in clubs this small not a long time ago and with the kind of show Mathus puts on, you better see him while you can.

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”