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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 Brad Absher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brad Absher. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Montrose records artist: Brad Absher - Lucky Dog - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Lucky Dog (January 13, 2015), fro Brad Absher and it has a nice sound. Opening with Woman Who Loves Me, a clean rocker with a 60's beat, features Absher on vocal and guitar, Larry Felcher on bass, Barry Seelen on hammond, Mike Patton on drums and Nicoya Prolar on backing vocal. A steady rocking beat and easy Raitt style slide works highlight this pop melody. R&B styling on I Need A Drink really features a nice bass line by Fulcher and nice bari sax work by Anthony Terry and Tenor sax work from Andy Saad. Bill Withers was really one of the unsung songwriters of his time and his Same Love is up next really nicely complimenting the vocal strength of Absher. Prolar adds nice warmth on backing vocals and Kyle Turner rides nicely on tenor sax. Another R&B style track, I Can't Wait, not only has nicely blended vocals but a nice key solo from Seeelen and cool guitar riffs from Absher. Miss Your Water has an almost gospel like feel with super piano and Hammond work by Seelen. The vocal work on this track is quite nice and Absher stretches a real nice blues guitar solo as well. Wanna Be Your Man stays in that R&B style with a cool beat and particularly nice horn work from Saad and Terry. Leon Russell's Rather Be Blind has a chugging rhythm and Samantha Banks percussion is a nice touch undeer the stinging guitar work of Absher. Very cool! A venture into country, Not Tonight, has a solemn feel with the straightforward vocal attack of Absner and Prolar, Seelen's piano styling and the addition of Brian Thomas on pedal steel. Allen Toussaint's Lipstick Traces has a smooth funky jazz sound with solid Hammond work from Seelen. The style of track seems to show in Absner's vocals. On this particular track his voice has a richer southern style which works nicely with the track. Very nice! Traditional track, Jesus On The Mainline has a modern blues feel with some really warm slide work from Absner. Possibly my favorite track on the release. Funky track Trouble, gets into a cool groove with strong Hammond and so "authentic" dialog gives it a different flair. Twelve bar number Memphis On The Way has a real nice sway with Fulcher leading the way with his solid bass line. Seelen takes a nice piano run and Absner cooks on guitar as well. Saad and Terry stay i swing but play in a morphed New Orleans style creating a really nice pocket. Excellent conclusion to a cool release.  

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Montrose Records Signs Gulf Coast Bluesman Brad Absher & Will Release His Label Debut CD, "Lucky Dog," on January 13

Montrose Records Signs Gulf Coast Bluesman Brad Absher & Will Release His Label Debut CD, Lucky Dog, on January 13

HOUSTON, TEXAS – Montrose Records announces the signing of blues singer/guitarist Brad Absher and an upcoming January 13 release date for his label debut CD, Lucky Dog. The new album was recorded at Montrose Records Studio in Houston and produced by label head Richard Cagle and acclaimed bassist Larry Fulcher (Taj Mahal), who also adds his trademark bass lines throughout the disc. The rest of the musicians involved in the recording are primarily members of Absher’s solid touring band, rightly dubbed “Swamp Royale” for the earthy, soulful sounds they create around Brad’s masterful guitar work and vocals.  

Brad Absher’s Gulf Coast sound recipe includes equal amounts of blues, soul, and gospel, stirred up just right into a magical gumbo that goes down easy and has a spicy kick to it, recalling the best of Memphis and Muscle Shoals, too. The dozen songs on Lucky Dog include a healthy dose of Absher originals that showcase his songwriting prowess in the blues/R&B/gospel field, as well as several outstanding covers of songs by William Bell (“You Don’t Miss Your Water”), Leon Russell (“I’d Rather Be Blind”), Allan Toussaint (“Lipstick Traces”), the traditional gospel tune, “Jesus on the Main Line,” and Bill Withers (“Same Love”). Interestingly, Brad’s warm vocals recall the great Bill Withers in timbre and grit throughout the entire CD. And his guitar work stands out all over Lucky Dog with some greasy lines, strident fills and tangy solos that drip with soul/blues power.

Brad Absher and Swamp Royale have been a fixture throughout the Gulf Coast area for the better part of the past 20 years, becoming a Top Ten Finalist at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis that featured competition for all over the world. Other accolades they’ve won during that time period also include Best Local Album, Best Male Vocals and Best Blues Band in various music polls.

Based in Houston, Brad Absher was raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and his unique sound reflects the area’s “swamp pop” influence he first heard listening to South Louisiana radio stations. After moving to Tulsa in the late ‘70s, a young Brad Absher came under the tutelage of several players, most-notably guitarist Tommy Tripplehorn of Gary Lewis and the Playboys fame. Brad soon added slide guitar to his repertoire after seeing the great Ry Cooder perform live.

Absher’s musical expertise has been recognized throughout his career, and was referred to frequently during his time in Tulsa as a “guitar god.” In 2013, he competed and was selected as Houston’s International Blues Challenge regional winner and later performed during the competition that year in Memphis.

Bad Absher and Swamp Royale’s current set lists include songs from his five previous albums spanning the course of 20 years. Brad can lead his band throughout a show that covers greasy swamp pop to urban blues, all the while keeping the fans groovin’ on the dance floor.

When he’s not gigging in the Gulf Coast area or playing at festivals around the country, Brad shares his guitar knowledge as a staff member at Houston’s well-known Rockin’ Robin Music Store.