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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 Ben Harper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ben Harper. Show all posts

Monday, June 14, 2021

True North Records release: A Sweet Relief Tribute to Joey Spampinato - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (June 25, 2021), A Sweet Relief Tribute to Joey Spampinato, NRBQ founding member and writer of all of the tracks on thie release. Opening with blues rocker,You Can't Hide, by Al Anderson on lead vocal and guitar, with Carl Minor on acoustic guitar, David Dorn on keys, Steve Mackey on bass, and Evan Hutchings on drums. Energetic opener. Los Lobos contributes Every Boy and Girl, with David Hildago on guitar, accordion and vocal, Steve Berlin on sax, Vince Hidalgo on bass and David Hildago Jr on drums. Pop tune, How Can I Make You Love Me, is performed by She and Him with Zooey Deschanel on vocal and M. Ward on guitar and keys. The Minus 5 brings us Don't She Look Good in a slightly punky rockabilly style. Scott McCaughey on guitar, piano, organ, percussion and vocal with Mike Mills on bass, Peter Buck on guitar, and Joe Adragna on drums and with a really cool guitar solo by Dave Depper. I really like Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale's work on How Will I Know. Simple guitar and drum accompaniment under nicely blended the vocal duet is the ticket. Bonnie Raitt's take on Green Lights is electrifying with Scott Ligon on guitar, Terry Adams on clavinet, Casey McMcDonough on bass, John Perrin on drums and wild slide work and lead vocal by Raitt. Excellent! Robbie Fulks does a stright up country work on Chores keeping it fun with Val McCallum on guitar and backing vocal, Davey Faragher on bass and backing vocal and Pete Thomas on drums in support of Fulks on guitar and lead vocal. Very cool. The Nils set out a real straight rocker with edge in That's Alright with Carlos Soria on bass and vocal, Mark Donato on guitar and vocal, Phil Psarakos on guitar, Emilien Catalano on drums, Peter Work on harmonica and featuring Chris Spedding on lead guitar a cool ass kicker. Wrapping the release is Kami Lyle with Joey Spampinato on First Crush. This track is quite cool with a simple Brazilian feel. Kami's vocals backed by her own piano and trumpet, and Joey Spampinato on guitar, bass and vocal is an excellent closer for this ecclectic release.


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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stax Records and Concord Music Group thank you for supporting Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite

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Get Up! - Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite -
A True Musical Event
   Get Up!, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite's acclaimed collaboration, released in early 2013, has become an instant classic.
   From the cover of Down Beat to the stages of Leno, Kimmel, Letterman and Fallon, this extraordinary collaboration has been widely recognized as one of the year's true musical events. 
   They've performed for NPR's World Café, and interviewed on Morning Edition and PBS' NewsHour. They even received an invitation from the President to play at the White House as part of the special celebration of Memphis soul.  
   The duo continues to stoke the fire with live shows and performances that have critics raving.
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Check Out:
The trailer for Get Up!
Acoustic Tour Dates
- 11/14 San Francisco, CA @ Davies Symphony Hall
- 11/15 Santa Barbara, CA @ Granada Theater
- 11/16 San Diego, CA @ Copley Symphony
- 11/18 Los Angeles, CA @ Walt Disney Concert Hall
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Don't Miss:
   Ben & Charlie's backstage interview on the White House: Memphis Soul
   Ben & Charlie's interview on NPR's Morning Edition
   Ben & Charlie's performance on PBS NewsHour
   Ben & Charlie on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic
   Ben & Charlie performance on The Late Show with David Letterman
   Ben & Charlie on NPR's World Café
Ben & Charlie's interview on Tavis Smiley

 "In Musselwhite, Harper has found a kindred spirit: an understated virtuoso able to push past tradition without losing himself.  They've made a set that feels timeless and right on schedule."  3.5 STARS - Rolling Stone
"Hot-blooded...a fortuitous jam session with moments of gospel elevation." - New York Times
"They really do draw out the best in each other: Harper has never sounded so powerful, Musselwhite so free to showcase his full range of emotion while sounding consistently raw." - San Francisco Chronicle
"Harper and the harmonicist make a righteously blues twosome, digging into roots originals that feel gritted up from decades of dirt and dust." - People
"[Musselwhite's] tender harmonica beautifully counterpoints Harper's bruised, emotionally charged vocals."  4 STARS - Mojo
"A beguiling mix of acoustic and electric blues, with harmonica legend Musselwhite weaving in and out like a roadhouse virtuoso."- Boston Globe
"A blues pairing this good hasn't occurred since Johnny Winter made Muddy Waters 'hard again' back in the '70s." - Elmore
"It's a marriage made in blues heaven." - Pop Matters
"That'll have to be one heck of a record that tops this. Grade: A.- Tampa Bay Times
"The first great album of 2013." - No Depression  
"A successful combination of two talented veterans feeding off each other's dusky, creative spirit." 4 STARS-  All Music Guide

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Don't Believe A Word You Say - Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite

Charlie Musselwhite (born January 31, 1944) is an American electric blues harmonica player and bandleader, one of the non-black bluesmen who came to prominence in the early 1960s, along with Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield. Though he has often been identified as a "white bluesman", he claims Native American heritage. Musselwhite was reportedly the inspiration for Dan Aykroyd's character in the Blues Brothers Charles Douglas Musselwhite was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States. He has said that he is of Choctaw descent, and he was born in a region originally inhabited by the Choctaw. However, in a 2005 interview, he said his mother had told him he was actually Cherokee. His family considered it normal to play music, with his father playing guitar and harmonica, his mother playing piano, and a relative who was a one-man band. At the age of three, Musselwhite moved to Memphis, Tennessee. When he was a teenager, Memphis experienced the period when rockabilly, western swing, and electric blues and other forms of African American music were combining to give birth to rock and roll. The period featured Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, as well as lesser known musicians such as Gus Cannon, Furry Lewis, Will Shade, and Johnny Burnette. Musselwhite supported himself by digging ditches, laying concrete and running moonshine in a 1950 Lincoln automobile. This environment was Musselwhite's school for music as well as life, and he acquired the nickname "Memphis Charlie." In true bluesman fashion, Musselwhite then took off in search of the rumored "big-paying factory jobs" up the "Hillbilly Highway", the Highway 51 to Chicago, where he continued his education on the South Side, making the acquaintance of even more legends including Lew Soloff, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Sonny Boy Williamson, Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, and Big Walter Horton. Musselwhite immersed himself completely in the musical life, living in the basement of, and occasionally working at Jazz Record Mart (the record store operated by Delmark Records founder Bob Koester) with Big Joe Williams and working as a driver for an exterminator, which allowed him to observe what was happening around the city's clubs and bars. He spent his time hanging out at the Jazz Record Mart at the corner of State and Grand and the nearby bar, Mr. Joe's, with the city's blues musicians, and sitting in with Big Joe Williams and others in the clubs, playing for tips. There he forged a lifelong friendship with John Lee Hooker; though Hooker lived in Detroit, Michigan, the two often visiting each other, and Hooker served as best man at Musselwhite's third marriage. Gradually Musselwhite became well known around town. In time, Musselwhite led his own blues band, and, after Elektra Records' success with Paul Butterfield, he released the legendary Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band album in 1966 on Vanguard Records (as "Charley Musselwhite"), to immediate and great success. He took advantage of the clout this album gave him to move to San Francisco, where, instead of being one of many competing blues acts, he held court as the king of the blues in the exploding countercultural music scene, an exotic and gritty figure to the flower children. Musselwhite even convinced Hooker to move out to California. Since then, Musselwhite has released over 20 albums, as well as guesting on albums by many other musicians, such as Bonnie Raitt's Longing in Their Hearts and The Blind Boys of Alabama's Spirit of the Century, both winners of Grammy awards. He also appeared on Tom Waits' Mule Variations and INXS' Suicide Blonde. He himself has won 14 W. C. Handy Awards and six Grammy nominations, as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Monterey Blues Festival and the San Javier Jazz Festival in San Javier, Spain, and the Mississippi Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 1979, Musselwhite recorded The Harmonica According to Charlie Musselwhite in London for Kicking Mule Records, intended to go with an instructional book; the album itself became so popular that it has been released on CD. In June 2008, Blind Pig Records reissued the album on 180-gram vinyl with new cover art. Charlie Musselwhite at the Liri Blues Festival, Italy, in 2000. Unfortunately, Musselwhite, as with many of his peers, fell into alcoholism, and by his own admission[citation needed], he had never been on stage sober until after he stopped drinking entirely in 1987. In 1990 Musselwhite signed with Alligator Records, a step that led to a resurgence of his career. In 1998, Musselwhite appeared in the film Blues Brothers 2000. He provided the harmonica position in the super-ensemble The Louisiana Gator Boys, which also featured many other rhythm and blues legends such as B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Eric Clapton, Koko Taylor, Jimmie Vaughan, Dr. John, and Jack DeJohnette. Over the years, Musselwhite has branched out in style. His 1999 recording, Continental Drifter, is accompanied by Cuarteto Patria, from Cuba's Santiago region, the Cuban music analog of the Mississippi Delta. Because of the political differences between Cuba and the United States, the album was recorded in Bergen, Norway, with Musselwhite's wife ironing out all the details. Musselwhite believes the key to his musical success was finding a style where he could express himself. He has said, "I only know one tune, and I play it faster or slower, or I change the key, but it’s just the one tune I’ve ever played in my life. It’s all I know." His past two albums, Sanctuary and Delta Hardware have both been released on Real World Records. Musselwhite plays on Tom Waits' 1999 album Mule Variations. He can be heard at the beginning of the song "Chocolate Jesus" saying "I love it". Waits has mentioned that he feels this is his favorite part of the song. In 2002, he featured on the Bo Diddley tribute album Hey Bo Diddley - A Tribute!, performing the song "Hey Bo Diddley". Musselwhite lost both of his elderly parents in December 2005, in separate incidents. His mother, Ruth Maxine Musselwhite, was murdered. Musselwhite joined the 10th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers. He was also a judge for the 7th and 9th Independent Music Awards. Charlie Musselwhite was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010. 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, October 28, 2012

Faded - Ben Harper

Ben Harper (born October 28, 1969) is an American grammy-winning singer and songwriter. A native of California, he grew up listening to blues, folk, soul, rnb, and reggae. Harper’s blend of groove-laden funky soul and folky handcrafted acoustics helped him to gain cult status during the course of the 1990s and widespread attention toward the end of the decade. Harper combines elements of classic folk singers, blues revivalists and jam bands and is embraced by critics and college kids alike. Harper’s body of work sells consistently and he tours constantly, building a solid, dedicated fan base. Harper began playing guitar as a child in his hometown of Claremont, California (in California’s Inland Empire). He eventually specialized in the acoustic slide guitar (Weissenborn guitars). As a young man, he recorded an LP (Pleasure and Pain) with fellow folk guitarist Tom Freund. After this limited edition record, Harper got a record deal with Virgin Records, who released his debut album, Welcome To The Cruel World (1994). This was followed by the incendiary Fight For Your Mind (1995) which became a college radio favorite and generated an abundance of songs which still fill his set list to this day. In 1999 at the Santa Barbara Bowl, Harper met Jack Johnson, who was unknown at the time and had not recorded. Harper obtained a demo tape of 12 of Johnson’s songs that he forwarded to his producer, J.P. Plunier, with whom Johnson recorded his first album 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! - - -