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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!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Brandon Isaak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brandon Isaak. Show all posts

Friday, January 18, 2019

Brandon Isaak - Rise 'N' Shine - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Rise 'N' Shine, from Brandon Isaak and it's simply cool. Opening with shuffle track, Right Around The Corner, Brandon Isaak blends his catchy melody with his strong vocal styling, guitar work and Willie MacCalder's piano work for a super solid opener. Another real cool track, Can't Do No Wrong, has that hot jazz swing with excellent finger work, punctual harp, and seductive lyrics by Isaak. Excellent! One of my own personal favorites on the release is PhD in The Blues with a bopping bass line, a slight, funky, Albert King style and hot, smoking guitar. Country style blues, Me And The Blues is a real nice showcase for Isaak's voice and his slide dobro, followed only lightly by Chip Hart on drums is just perfect. Another particularly soulful track, Blame It On The Girl is my personal choice for radio track with an excellent melody and really inviting vocal work by Isaak, with primarily key backing by Aidan Miller and his own sparkling guitar riffs. Excellent! Another really nice country blues number is Perfectly Happy With The Blues showing a pretty happy sounding melody while singing the blues over solid finger picking and slide.  Wrapping the release is Sweet Dana Lee with it's rag styling, featuring Jerry Cook on sax and strong rhythm guitar work by Isaak. His Satchmo vocal styling and fleet fingered guitar soloing makes this a super closer for a really strong release. 

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Monday, January 19, 2015

QUEBEC BLUES ARTISTS SWEEP MAPLE BLUES AWARDS

QUEBEC BLUES ARTISTS SWEEP MAPLE BLUES AWARDS
Montreal's Steve Hill Tops Tally With Four Wins
January 19, 2015 (Toronto) - Blue Monday, thought to be the most depressing day of the year, was anything but last night Toronto’s Koerner Hall, as internationally renowned Canadian Blues Artists from coast-to-coast were honoured by their peers at the 18th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala.

Montreal’s one-man band, Steve Hill took home all of the awards he was nominated for including Entertainer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, Recording of the Year for Solo Recordings Vol. 2, and Guitar Player of the Year. Angel Forrest won two awards including Female Vocalist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. Also representing the thriving Quebec blues scene were Nanette Workman who won the Blues with a Feeling Lifetime Achievement Award and Greg Morency of the Paul DesLauriers Band who won Bassist of the Year. From Montreal, Guy Belanger won Harmonica Player of the Year, sharing it with Vancouver’s Harpdog Brown in the first ever Maple Blues Awards tie.

Vancouver’s Brandon Isaak won the Acoustic Act of the Year award with David Vest taking home the award for Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year. The New Artist or Group of the Year award was presented to Ottawa’s Wicked Grin. Edmonton Folk Festival producer Terry Wickham joined Stony Plain Records president Holger Petersen to present the Blues Booster of the Year Award to Edmonton’s Peter North, who was recognized for his dedication to promoting the blues as a broadcaster, talent buyer and festival Artistic Director.

An additional award was handed out last night as the winners of the first ever Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition were announced.  The creator and benefactor of the award, musician Paul Reddick, presented Digging Roots the grand prize for their song “Hwy 17”, with Rob Lutes and Samantha Martin announced as runners up.

Hosted by renowned musician and broadcaster, Toronto’s own Danny Marks, the Maple Blues Awards included outstanding performances from Maple Blues Award nominees past and present, including the evening’s big winners Steve Hill and Angel Forrest, Joel Johnson,  Downchild, Harpdog Brown and Brandon Isaak, all backed by The Maple Blues Band.


Winners of the 18th Annual Maple Blues Awards
 
 
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Steve Hill
 
ELECTRIC ACT OF THE YEAR
Steve Hill

ACOUSTIC ACT OF THE YEAR
Brandon Isaak

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Matt Andersen

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Angel Forrest

NEW ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
Wicked Grin

RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Steve Hill Solo Recordings Vol. 2 No Label Records; Producer: Steve Hill

BLUES WITH A FEELING AWARD (Lifetime Achievement)
Nanette Workman

BB KING INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Johnny Winter

GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Steve Hill
 
HARMONICA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tied: Guy Belanger and Harpdog Brown

PIANO/KEYBOARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
David Vest

HORN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jon Wong

DRUMMER OF THE YEAR
Tom Bona

BASSIST OF THE YEAR
Greg Morency

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Angel Forrest

BLUES BOOSTER OF THE YEAR
Peter North

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Full Swing Records artist: Dave "Hurricane" Hoerl - Un Twisted - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Un-Twisted, from Dave "Hurricane" Hoerl and it's quite good. Opening with Soul Mate, an easy going 12 bar, Hoerl lays back on the harp and with cool guitar lead from James "Buddy" Rogers. Pure & Simple Blues has a nice swing to it and a cool bass line from Roger Brant. Hoerl plays smooth harp riffs and trades solos with Rogers. Nice! A cool, bouncy cover of I'd Rather Be Blind, Crippled and Crazy gives Hoerl and Dave Dykhuizen on guitar a real nice platform to jam. Vocals by Hoerl are particuarly cool on this track. Period sounding track, Snake Charmer, is nicely done with really nice classic harmonica styling and super guitar work from Brandon Isaak. Fight Of The Century has a show sound with a light James Brown guitar rhythms by Double D and strong organ work from Dave "Cob" Webb. Don't Think It Can't Happen To You is an easy going shuffle with a rich organ solo from Webb and of course nice harmonica work from Hoerl. Grand Old Game has a strong Bo Diddley rhythm and harmonized vocals. Long Highway is swinging shuffle with a cool feel. A Little Off The Top has a nice bluesy feel and Hoerl gets into a real nice groove vocally. Johnny Ferriera skates in with a real nice sax solo on this number and Webb does some real nice piano work complimenting some of Hoerl's best harp work on the release. Closing the release is classic I Left My Heart In San Francisco nicely done and with a lot of the feel of Toots Thieleman. A nice wrap up of an interesting release.  

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”

 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Brandon Isaak- Here On Earth - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Here On Earth, from Brandon "Yukon Slim" Isaak and it's quite good! Opening with Jim O'Jim a quiet finger picked traditional country blues style track Isaak has a solid voice, a firm guitar bass and nice harp. All Night Long is a poppy acoustic track with alternating bass line and nicely complimented harp work. Gamble On Love is a solidly written "Hillbilly Jazz" track with a nice swing, Dixieland influences and jazzy guitar riffs. This track is a lot of fun. Daniel Lapp adds some really nice cornet as well but Isaak has the center stage with some really clean guitar riffs. Meet Me There has gospel feel and nice slide work. Isaak continues to demonstrate that he is really a solid singer/songwriter deserving of much broader attention. Getting loose on slide on this track adds a cool warmth. Dead Ass Fool has a real proper John Lee Hooker style with the foot stomp and all. With primitive but concise guitar riffs and no pretense, I really like this tracks style! Best track on the release! Funky track City Lights sees the addition of drums (Ed White) and bass (Keith Picot). With a little bit of a swampy flavor this sounds like Dr John is channeling. Dianna Was Her Name has that country blues style with smartly articulated finger picking. Smooth vocals added to a well written track and cool hook make this a candidate for solid radio play track. Up The Frisco Line has that rag feel but with a contemporary slickness. Isaak knows how to lay his vocals right on top of the track and really nice fiddle work adds nicely to this track. Excellent! Best You Can finds Isaak on dobro and a solid finger picked /slider blues track but with the rag feel. Maintaining his bright feel this release just keeps adding up points making it a solid winner. Dressed 4 Heaven is nicely complimented on backing vocals adding a swampy feel. Isaak has such a nice voice for music like this that his smart guitar work becomes almost secondary. If It Don't Fit is a quick little rag like you might expect from Ryland Cooder. Addition of guttural harp work and tight guitar work makes this another favorite. Oh Virginia is a quiet little ballad primarily featuring vocal work. Time On My Hands sounds like it was written before the popularity of the 6 string guitar with percussive like guitar rhythm. Cool bass additions from Picot and nice slide work over the rhythm on this track are the ticket. A cool track to wrap up a fun release. Isaak should get really good recognition from this release.

  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”

 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Canadian Bluesman Brandon Isaak Releases New CD Here On Earth March 25th

 
 
 
 
Born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon and currently sharing his time between home and British Columbia, Brandon “Yukon Slim” Isaak is one of Canada's most authentic blues musicians on the scene today.
 
What separates Brandon Isaak from the rest of the pack, besides his professional musicianship and songwriting, is his ability to connect and involve the audience in his live shows. He is a master storyteller with a sharp sense of humour and his affinity for the rawness and spontaneity of the blues is second to none, as anyone who has had the privilege of being in his audiences will tell you. An accomplished and versatile musician, Isaak plays a wide variety of music styles in his one-man shows, including Ragtime, Delta Blues, Piedmont, Gospel and Swing.
 
Set for release on March 25, 2014, Here on Earth is the follow up to his debut solo album Bluesman's Plea. It was recorded and produced in Whitehorse at Blue-Star Studios by his brother Chris Isaak. This all original album showcases Isaak’s exemplary songwriting, organic vocals and tasteful guitar thus proving he is one of the top acoustic acts in the country. Here on Earth features special guests including Keith Picot on upright bass, Daniel Lapp on cornet and fiddle, fellow Yukoners Andrea McColeman on concertina and Ed White on drums.
 
It is a compelling and thoughtful album that takes the listener down some new roads. It proves that Brandon Isaak is willing to share his soul and wear his heart on his sleeve with his true stories of the colourful characters he has met throughout his journey here on Earth.
 
www.brandonisaak.ca
Listen to "Jim O'Jim" on  Soundcloud 
 


 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bluesman's Plea - Brandon Isaak


"There comes a time in your life, if you are very lucky, that you get the opportunity to realize that you are doing exactly what you were meant to do, Brandon Isaak, I believe has finally reached that stage in his life, and his amazing new debut release, "Bluesman's Plea" proves that to the rest of us."
- John Vermilyea, Blues Underground Network

Bluesman's Plea was recently selected as the best artist debut album and best artwork in the Blues Underground Network's Year End Review 2011.

Maple Blues Magazine Review, January 2012 by John Valenteyn

Bman's Blues Report Review, December 27, 2011


What separates Brandon Isaak from the rest of the pack, besides his professional musicianship and song writing, is his ability to connect and involve the audience in his live shows. He is a master storyteller with a sharp sense of humour and his affinity for the rawness and spontaneity of the blues is second to none, as anyone who has had the privilege of being in his audiences will tell you. An accomplished and versatile musician, Isaak plays a wide variety of music styles in his one-man shows, including ragtime, Delta blues, Piedmont, gospel and swing.

Isaak is best known as the front man and main songwriter /guitar player with the popular Canadian jump band, The Twisters, based out of Vancouver. In 2010 Brandon was nominated for Song Writer Of The Year at The Maple Blues Awards, was one of 13 artists selected to write songs about their home town for the CBC Great Canadian Song Quest 2011.

Over the years Brandon has had a chance to perform with some of his favourite musicians and main influences, such as Corey Harris, Guy Davis, Taj Mahal, Colin Linden, Jim Byrnes, Jeff Healey, Joe Louis Walker, Kenny Wayne, The Sojourners and more.

Isaak has just released his first solo album called Bluesman’s Plea, a versatile and diverse roots album featuring 14 originals based on true stories of life, love and death; where only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

www. brandonisaak.ca
www.sarahfrenchpublicity.com


Track Listing
1. A Bluesman’s Plea
2. You Gotta Pray
3. Leavin’ This Town
4. Hard Workin’ Woman
5. Tell Me Why
6. Forever Yours
7. Ain’t No Pleasin’ You
8. A Little Wine
9. Jump Start Me
10. Take My Message
11. Gotta Let You Go
Bonus Tracks
12. 40 Yr’s O’Lovin’
13. Good @ Bein’ Bad
14. Water Your Garden






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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New release - Bluesman's Plea - Brandon Isaak - review


I just received the new release from Brandon ' Yukon Slim" Isaak, Bluesman's Plea. The release is made up of 14 tracks all of which are self penned. I found the release enjoyable to listen to and overall lighthearted and upbeat. Isaak's liner notes indicate that the songs are true stories about love, life and death only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. OverallI found the release to be fingerpicking Piedmont style blues with roots in the blues and spirituals.

Brandons earlier career included a charteer member of the Twisters.

My favorite track is the offbeat A Little Wine.

Of special note is Brandon is donating $1.00 from each cd sale toward cancer research.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Good Ol' Days - Brandon Isaak


This young red haired guitar player has monster tone and technique. He moved from his home town of Whitehorse, Yukon to Vancouver, BC in 1999, where he joined the Twisters. He has shared the stage with many great blues artists, including Taj Mahal, Lil' Ed and the blues imperials, Robin Ford, Jeff Healy, Canned Heat, Zora Young, Big Dave Mclean, Rusty Zinn just to name a few. Most recently, Brandon returned from a 2 month European tour, where he played along side Joe Louis Walker, Willie Hayes and Ken Faltonson, on numerous festivals and TV shows. Brandon Played guitar on the 2006 Juno award winning album "let it loose" with Kenny "Blues Boss"Wayne, and appears on 11 albums with many different artists. When he plays, he travels to a different time and space and you can hear it as well as see it.
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