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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 Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Blind Pig's featured artists at the Chicago Blues Festival!

Blind Pig Records will be well represented this month at the 32nd Annual Chicago Blues Festival in Grant Park, with performances by the Andy T-Nick Nixon Band, The Cash Box Kings, Shawn Holt and the Teardrops, and Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues.

Andy T’s jazz-tinged guitar style is influenced by T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Magic Sam, and Albert Collins among others, yet it remains his own. Andy has toured internationally with blues greats Guitar Shorty and Smokey Wilson, and has performed with a long list of major blues artists around the country.
The velvet-voiced Nixon, whose singing recalls Jimmy Witherspoon and Billy Eckstine, was part of Nashville’s thriving blues scene in the 60’s, was a longtime member of The New Imperials, recorded for Chess Records in the 70’s and has performed with many of the top blues and R&B artists in the world.

Blind Pig Records will release the new album by the Andy T-Nick Nixon Band, entitled Numbers Game, on August 28th.

Award-winning fan favorites, The Cash Box Kings continue their mission of carrying on the spirit of the 1940's and 50's post-war Chicago blues sound as well as the Delta blues music of the 20's and 30's.  Living Blues said they are simply "one of the best blues bands in the land."
Fronted by vocalist Oscar Wilson and harp player Joe Nosek, these illustrious torchbear­ers also add a bravado, energy and freshness to the mix that results in a distinctive musical expe­rience. They showcase the music of Chess Records and Sun Records while add­ing a healthy dose of original music that captures the essence of early Memphis and Chicago blues sounds. As No Depression put it, "The ghosts of Muddy Waters, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins and Little Walter must be smiling."
The Cash Box Kings' new Blind Pig release, Holding Court, is currently the most played record in the country at blues radio, topping the Roots Music Report's blues radio chart for the last four weeks.  To watch their new video, please click HERE.

Shawn Holt is the son of the late legendary blues master, Magic Slim. The high energy, hard-driving sound of the Teardrops is still alive and well with Shawn, a chip off the old block, fronting his old man's band. Shawn's booming vocal presence is more than a little reminiscent of his father's, and his guitar playing, while similar to Slim's, exhibits a broader mix of classic and contemporary influences.  
The band's Blind Pig release, Daddy Told Me, won the "Best New Artist Debut" Blues Music Award, as well as the Blues Blast Music Award in the same category.

  Over a career spanning close to forty years now, three-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch has become one of the blues’ most eloquent spokespersons and an ardent evangelist and teacher of the blues, not to mention an award-winning veteran artist on the Chicago, national and international music scenes.
Branch will perform with his band, the Sons of Blues, at 5:00 pm on Sunday. They'll perform songs from their Blind Pig release entitled Blues Shock, a fascinating mix of daring, and full-bodied new compositions and fresh-sounding standards that followers have long savored at their live shows.  Living Blues said the CD "provides ample proof that Branch's unique blend of rootsy integrity and exploratory zeal remains potent."  To watch a video of the title track, please click HERE.

After that set, Branch will join members of Willie Dixon's family for a musical tribute to that Chicago blues icon.  Billy toured with Dixon’s All-Stars for about six years.  “I can’t over-stress how influential he was,” says Branch. “He ate, slept, talked blues all the time. He was deeply, very, very proud that he was a blues man and that his people were the inventors of blues.”

The schedule of performances by Blind Pig artists:
Fri., June 12 Andy T-Nick Nixon Band Front Porch Stage 3:00 - 4:00
Sat., June 13 Shawn Holt & the Teardrops Crossroads Stage 4:15 - 5:30
Sat., June 13 The Cash Box Kings Front Porch Stage 4:30 - 5:30
Sun., June 14 Billy Branch & Sons of Blues Petrillo Music Shell 5:00 - 6:05
Sun., June 14 Billy Branch (Dixon tribute) Petrillo Music Shell 6:20 - 7:45

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blind Pig Records artist: Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues - Blues Shock - New release review

I just received the newest release, Blues Shock, from Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues and it's a real butt kicker. Opening with Sons of Blues, a blues/R&B/funk mixture, Branch has a modern sound with solid vocals and harp work. With horns blazing (The Chicago Horns featuring Bill McFarland on trombone, Hank Ford on sax and Kenny Anderson on trumpet) this track is made to get you on your feet. On Willie Dixon's Chicago boogie, Crazy Mixed Up World, Branch lays down some real nice harp riffs and Sumito Ariyoshi is tight on piano. Blues Shock is a blend of temtations and Charlie Daniels. Country soul? This would be the most practical radio track so far with a catchy melody and slide riffs from Dan Carelli. Branch gets loose on harp and Ariyoshi is chasing. Dog House is a cool slinky blues track. Both Branch and Ronnie Baker Brooks take the opportunity to lay down some great riffs on this track. Very nice. Function At The Junction has a strong R&B flavor and backing vocals by Mae Koen, Nanette Frank, Dianne Madison and Nadima, reminiscent of the prime years of R&B. Going To See Miss Gerri One More Time is a solid radio ballad in my mind along the lines of Ray Davies, an underrated writer. Back Alley Cat is a cool shuffle track with understated harp melody acompanied by Ariyoshi on piano, Nick Charles on bass and Moses Rutues Jr on drums. John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom is a definite shot in the butt with strong pace and super harp work. John Lee Hooker is the king of boogie and this is a good track! Slow Moe is a cool slow (Chicago style) blues drag featuring Rutues jr. on lead vocal. Ariyoshi plays beautiful piano riffs on this track and Branch of course is making the harp breath hard. Carelli also lays down some deep riffs on guitar on this track. Excellent! Baby Let Me Butter Your Corn is a terrific jump track with heavy horn backing and Andrew Blaze Thomas pushing the bottom on drums. Carelli again hits it hard with a slick guitar solo and Ariyoshi is great on keys but this track is tee'd up for Branch and he kills it! Closing the release is Song For My Mother sounding to me like a track from the early Lee Oscar and War songbook. It has a nice Latin jazz instrumental sound with harp lead on melody. Each of the players has an opportunity at the front and this is a great overall track.

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