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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 Chicago. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Delmark Records artist: Mike Wheeler Band - Turn Up!! - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Turn Up!!, from the Mike Wheeler Band, and it cranks! Opening with high energy R&B style blues number, Sweet Girl, Wheeler leads the way with his silky vocals on call and his guitar on response. Brian James on organ lays out a real nice solo and Wheeler follows with a energetic solo, backed by Larry Williams on bass, Cleo Cole on drums and great horn work by Kenny Anderson on trumpet and Hank Ford on sax. Another modern fusion of R&B and blues follows on You Won't Do Right, showing that Wheeler's vocals are every bit as solid as his guitar work. Funky, Yeah!, has a real nice feel with James' keyboard work and a lot of punch from the horns. Wheeler takes a real nice ride on his strat with just a minimal amount of wah on his sound. Very cool! Heavy bottomed, Brand New Cadillac, is one of my favorites on the release with a lot of rhythmic swagger and powerful blues rock guitar riffs. Excellent! Shuffle track, Talking To Myself, has a super swing and cool organ work by James. Light fingered guitar work by Wheeler compliments his vocals nicely. Really kicking up the R&B high stepping, the horns are pumped and ready on title track, Turn Up!!. On easy soul track, Nothing Lasts Forever, Wheeler guides the band with smooth vocals surrounded by warm backing vocals and nice guitar phrasing. Taking his guitar for a nice ride on this track, Wheeler continues to show his various expressive styles. With a New Orleans flair, I Can't Do That, has a super drum beat and a super cool piano solo. Wheeler steps up with really nicely crafted blues riffs giving the track a real bite. Nice! Living My Dream is a funky R&B rocker with really nice guitar work popped by the horn guys. Hot blues number, A Blind Man Can See, slows down the pace but cranks up the heat. Wheeler again demonstrates his soulful voice with only light keys, bass and drums. Excellent blues riffs roll off of his fretboard once he lets his guitar do his talking really smoking up the place. Very nice! Coming back to the funk, That's What Love Will Make You Do, is a tight, organ, drum, bass and rhythm guitar backing for Wheeler's vocals. Stepping up with fiery guitar riffs and Cole's drum work, this track is hot. Williams steps up with a smoker of a bass solo of his own making this a real standout track. Kicker, I'm Hooked, has a terrific rolling beat and Wheeler's vocals are so smooth at this pace. Organ backing and horn punch provides an excellent platform for Wheelers' stinging guitar riffs. Very nice! Wrapping the release is Sad State Of The World, with a real slinky blues feel and cool piano and organ tracks. Wheeler's vocals are top notch and Williams' bass lines are spot on. The guitar phrasing on this track is really sweet, reminding me a bit of Vernon Reid. With just a tough of gospel influence, this is a super closer for a solid release.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Delmark Records artist: Corey Dennison Band - Self Titled release - New Release Review

I just received the self titled release, Corey Dennis Band and it's way cool! Opening with Getcha' Pull!, Dennison, who has an incredible voice and also manages lead guitar is joined by Gerry Hundt on guitar and organ, Nik Skilnik on bass and Joel Baer on drums. This opening track has a little bit of rural country flavor with an easy picking rhythm but his vocals are truly off the hook! On Tugboat Blues the track oozes Chicago with a hint of Mud and a Hint of Elmo. I like Dennison's open guitar styling with a cool understated strut. Excellent! The Deacon is a high stepper with a funky underbelly. Just listen to this guy sing. Firm guitar riffs and a driving bass and drum lines carry Dennison proudly on it's shoulders. Room To Breathe is a laid back R&B style track that is bound to hit the airwaves (and encourage lots of couples to the dance floor). Very cool! City Lights also has a funky R&B carriage and Dennison not only sings the blues, he picks it well. Each track on this release reinforces that this is for real. She's No Good swings back toward the country styling but with roots in Gimme Back My Wig of T for Texas. Country style picking and riding snare/hi hat define the track but the blues prevails. Very nice! Aw, Snap! really digs in with a nice bass groove. It is like James Brown playing with Albert King. I love this track. It's great! Don't Say You're Sorry conjures feelings of the impressions. You can see where this guy lives. Super vocals, blending and feel. Ok. You been waiting for that slow, screamer. Here it is... A Fool's Goodbye. Dennison plays stinging guitar riff after riff behind his lush vocals. Skilnik sets down a really nice bass line giving Dennison the floor to Albert King it up and King it up he does. It doesn't sound like Mr King himself...nor does it sound like SRV doing Mr King, but in the big picture... this is great. Dennison has King's spirit and with real nice rhythm guitar by Hundt, Dennison squeezes the neck till it squeals and his vocals are spot on. Excellent! Jasper's Hop is a cool instrumental with traces of the MG's. Understated guitar riffs with clean articulation makes this track sing. Shame On Me has a really nice groove... a bit of funky under the soulful blues. I can't say enough how much I like this guys voice. His voice has just the right amount of grit but smooth and his phrasing is perfect. With Skilnik riding a nice groove, Dennison lays out really smooth riffs. Excellent! On Strange Things Happenin', a driving James Brown style track, it's Baer's drumming that drives the train with Skilnik riding high but again Dennison shines on vocals and his guitar talks for itself. Chicago style blues number, Good Enuff, wraps the release with a great swagger. Dennison sits on the beat and wails on vocals. His guitar work is tight and precise. This is a very nice closer to an absolutely excellent release!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chicago-Based Blues and Roots Singer/Guitarist Christian Collin Embraces the "Spirit of the Blues" on New CD, Coming July 10 on C-Train Records

Chicago-Based Blues and Roots Singer/Guitarist  Christian Collin Embraces the Spirit of the Blues on New CD, Coming July 10 on C-Train Records
CHICAGO, IL – Christian Collin announces a July 10 release date for Spirit of the Blues, the new CD from the Chicago-based singer, guitarist and songwriter devoted to blues and American roots music. Produced by Christian Collin and Grammy Award-winning engineer Brian Leach and recorded at Joyride Studio in Chicago,  Spirit of the Blues pays homage to his blues heroes while leaving a musical mark all his own. On the album’s dozen all-original songs, Christian is backed by his longtime road band featuring Alex Evans on bass and Chris Morrow on drums. He is joined by notable guest musicians Billy Branch and Mathew Skoller on harmonica; and Johnny Iguana on piano and organ.  Rounding out the package is Pete Galanis from Howard and the White Boys on slide guitar, Jen Williams on background vocals and Rodney Brown and his crew playing horns.
“Christian Collin makes the grade with breathtaking precision on his latest album,” writes former Detroit Blues Society president George Seedorff in the CD’s liner notes. “Collin rocks it up with a selection of soul blues from Jackson, Mississippi, tied end-to-end with Memphis style R&B, all wrapped up in hard-as-steel rockin' lead guitar and slide the way it was done in Beaumont, Texas, by the great Johnny Winter some 50 years ago. It's clear that Christian Collin has paid his dues. With a red hot crew of back-up singers, a tightly-tooled band and lots of tasty harp playing, Collin has combined razor sharp guitar licks right out of the west side of Chicago into something new. Serve it up with some tasty ribs and sauce and you are ready for a mighty fine barbeque. All of this is really no coincidence at all---it's the side of the street that rock ‘n’ roll came from in the first place.”
Christian Collin was born in the Detroit area to a musical family. His father sang and played guitar and was an A&R man for Capitol Records, as well as road manager for Bob Seger. At an early age, Christian was immersed in the sounds of Motown, classic rock ‘n’ roll and the many variants of American roots music.  Musicians gathered at the family home and their singing and guitar playing made a lasting impression on Christian as a child. His parents took him to see Little Feat shortly before the passing of Lowell George in 1979 and that concert profoundly influenced Christian, who began playing guitar at age 13. Having honed his musical chops playing bars and roadhouses across the Midwest for the last fifteen years, he is a seasoned bandleader whose dynamic performances leave audiences consistently impressed. 
Collin was previously the front man for Molasses, a blues rock band that performed regionally and recorded two critically acclaimed albums. In 2012, he released his first full-length solo album, American Art, which received substantial radio airplay. Drawing from his nearly two decades of experience playing blues and rock ‘n’ roll, Christian is now primed to take his music to the next level with Spirit of the Blues.
Christian’s strong songwriting, soulful vocals and exceptional musicianship create a musical stew that excites and inspires. His voice has been described by one critic as “city-grit soulful and as honest as the lyrics he sings;” while another raved about his “heartfelt lyrics and a guitar that can testify!” Favoring Fender Strats, Telecasters, and a Gibson Les Paul Junior, Collin’s guitar playing is powerful and passionate, yet melodic and refined. He has a wide-range of musical mentors, and while these influences may be evident in his music, he is obviously his own man and has created a sound infused with originality.
On Spirit of the Blues, highlights abound throughout the disc, including “One and Only,” the high octane funky rock and blues opener that showcases the musical dynamism of the Christian Collin Band; “Player’s Game,” a catchy rockin’ blues shuffle documenting the trivial sexual pursuits of a big city womanizer; “A Woman Like You,” a fun southern blues rocker with honky-tonk piano; and the change-of-pace “Without You,” a slow and sensual R&B ballad that sounds like it was written by Bill Withers.
The title track of the album is a very personal song for Christian, delivered as a slow blues anthem that describes how the blues has inspired him and encourages others to find their own musical inspiration. “Highway Song,” showcases an upbeat blues shuffle featuring the interplay of Christian’s lead guitar and Mathew Skoller’s talented harmonica playing. Shifting gears again, the album moves on to “Dead Man Walking,” a unique and bluesy dirge about a lonely and desperate man. Having a dark, ethereal vibe and hypnotic rhythm, it’s the only song on the album that features Christian’s eerie and atmospheric slide guitar playing. 
Other standout tracks include “The River (Unplugged),” a modern take on old school acoustic blues featuring Billy Branch on harmonica; and the album’s closer, “Forever Friends,” an emotionally charged soul ballad about two lovers going their separate ways, both with heavy hearts. With tasty Jimi Hendrix-meets-Steve Cropper inspired guitar licks, it’s the only song to feature a horn section, and is reminiscent of the classic ‘60s Stax era.         
With the impressive release of Spirit of the Blues, Christian Collin tips his hat to the rich legacy of America’s musical forefathers, while aiming to leave his own mark as a contemporary bluesman. As the liner notes so aptly state, “there’s a rarely achieved sense of authenticity on this album that screams out the best in American Music … with screaming guitar work, killer vocals, catchy hooks and lyrics that stick in your head, this is how blues can really rock when it's done right.”

Saturday, January 17, 2015

THE YOUNG PRINCE OF BLUES - THEO HUFF

Chicago’s Southern Blues and R&B singer, Theo Huff was raised by his Mississippi mother and grandmother. Both women gave him high principles and values that he holds today. At an early age his mother encourage him to sing at church. Theo Huff at an early age had the pleasure to perform on the same stage with the likes of Koko Taylor, Bobby Rush, Harold Melvin,s Blue notes, Gene Chandler, Willie Clayton, Denise Lasalle, Albertina Walker, Garland Green, Darius Brook, and Ms. Millie Jackson. When he became a member of the Black Ensemble Theater, musical director, Jimmy Tillman took Huff under his wing. This experience enhanced his energetic personality in showing strong emotions that captivate his audience. He only recently begun to hone a proper nightclub act. He received nominations for most promising Actor, and best featured Actor for “That Sensuous Seductive. His blend of traditional and the contemporary is the cause of his success performance at The Liri Blues Festival in Italy and nominate for the best of Chicago 2009 music – Best Blues Act. Blues Festival in Italy and nominate for the best of Chicago 2009 music – Best Blues Act.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Earwig Music Company artist: Johnny Drummer - Bad Attitude - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Bad Attitude, from Johnny Drummer and it's really good. Opening with funky R&B style Is It Love Or Is It Lust, with James Brown style and nice horn backing from Rodney "Hotrod" Brown on sax and Kenny Anderson on trumpet. On Chicago style blues track, Drummer has a familiar story with Another Rooster Is Pecking My Hen. A clever lyric and warm horn basics make this a cool track. Drummer takes a nice harp solo on this track and Anthony Palmer is right in there with some slick riffs on guitar. Bit Her In The Butt has a real cool funky feel along the lines of JG Watson. Title track Bad Attitude is a cool shuffle track leading off with Palmer laying down an easy stroll. Drummer has a nice delivery on vocal and Palmer keeps the riffs coming making this a real natural track. Make You Happy has a R&B feel in the most traditional sense. Authentic era horns bring up the rear and although Drummer doesn't have Al Green's voice, this track falls into his orbit. One Size Fits All is a high stepping strut with strong bass work from Kenny Hampton. Palmer lays down some of the finest hot stinging riffs on the release right here right now. Ronnie Hicks also adds a real nice electric piano solo on this track. Sure Sign Of The Blues comes from the roots of Morganfield. Easy going guitar work and harp work with a solid organ line from Drummer highlight his vocals. Don't Call Me Trash takes a clever look at the less fortunate keeping the instrumentation simple with tight horn call/response but allowing a hot burst of guitar flame in the door. Ain't No Secret In A Small Town is a solid blues track with cool instrumental arrangement throughout. Palmer really lets the dog out on this track with just the right amount of push. U-Turn On A One Way Street, again in the R&B format gives the floor over to Brown on sax and Palmer does step up with a smokin hot riff to polish the track off. On swing shuffle, Better Than Good, Drummer really gets the band rockin. Palmer shines again with stylized riffs and Drummer has the lyrics dancing. Closing out the track is Brown on sax. Cool. My Woman My Money My Whiskey is the track most likely to be remembered years from now. It has a low slung pace, lyrics that we can all relate to and a nicely articulated guitar solos off the beat. Very nice! Also of note is the guitar work of Sir Walter Scott, and drumming of Jeremiah Thomas and Terrance Williams. Wrapping the release is Star 69, a slick funky track. A heavy horned tune that struts like a banty rooster.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Severn Records artist Lou Pride - Ain't No More In This House - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (October 15, 2013), Aint No More Love In This House, from Lou Pride and it's solid soul. This,the final recording from Pride was just recorded prior to his death in June of 2012. Opening with the title track, Ain't No More Love In This House, Pride establishes that he he was a force to be reckoned with. This is a richly vocal backed track featuring Christal Rheams, Paige Martin and Daryl Duff and horns by Kenny Rittenhouse (trumpet and flugelhorn), Liesl Whitaker (trumpet and flugelhorn), Morgan Price (Sax) and Reginald Cyntje (trombone). On I Didn't Take Your Woman, Pride gets a solid groove going vocally and Benjie Porecki on keys along with the horn section provide a smokey backdrop for the lead work and crisp guitar work of Johnny Moeller. Steve Gomes lays down a very cool bass line keeping this track rolling tight. Speaking the intro to Take It Slow, Pride walks you into his smooth soul groove and envelopes you with the warmth of this track. Never is an easy tempo track which has been covered by several Reggae bands and the thread remains constant with the horn harmony. Pride adjusting back and forth from his natural singing voice to his falsetto voice is particularly successful on this track. Moeller opens the doors with hot guitar riffs on She Boom Boom Me, the track showing traces of JG Watson. Moeller is alive on this track really stiring up the flames and Rittenhouse and Whitaker riding high on the wave. Excellent! Love Come Got Me is a bopping cool soul track with Robb Stupka showing strong drum chops and Moeller and Porecki providing the basis for the track and Rittenhouse and Whitaker adding punctuation throughout. Solid vocal backing really gives pride free rein to guide the track. I Gotta Move On Up has a super sway and pride lays back on the track just riding the melody. He has an excellent feel for this style of music and it's a genuine pleasure to listen to him roll it out. Moeller takes a cool guitar solo on this track as well punching up the track. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast, has Pride in a somewhat spiritual posture singing lead over a smooth bed of keys and percussion. Adding his lead vocals over a cloud of backing vocals really works especially well on this track. Wrapping the release is Holding Back The Years, a faster soul track with a cool groove. This entire release has strong character and warmth which makes it an absolute pleasure to listen to.

  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” This track is not from the new release but characteristic of Lou's work.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Deb Ryder - Might Just Get Lucky - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Might Just Get Lucky, from Deb Ryder and it's smokin'! Opening with Get A Grip, Kirk Fletcher pulls out some super riffs and Ryder shows her incredibly rich pipes. Larry David steps up on harp blowing a cool 8 and Ryder keeps a firm "Grip" on this track, shuffle style. On Blue Collar Blues, Ryder takes us on a swingin' ride and Albert Lee adds his own guitar wizardry to the mix. Brad Swanson on drums and Paul Kenedy on bass round out the mix. Greasy shuffle, Really Gone is a real hot potato with sassy vocal work from Ryder and great guitar response from Fletcher. Stan Behrens takes the harp on this track and a nice job he does. Fletcher shows why he is a wildly requested session man playing some really cool solo work on this track. Somber ballad, Might Just Get Lucky, takes an easy pace reflecting the jazzy side of the blues. Ryder has the opportunity to show the more reflective side of her work and this track is very strong complimented by nicely played keys from Greg Hilfman. The up tempo R&B/funky Come On Home To Me finds Ric Ryder leading the way on bass. Fletcher again steps up with some flaming hot guitar riffs punching up the mix. On Louisiana infused Ce Soir Ce Soir, Fletcher, Ryder, Hilfman and Swanson make a cool gumbo to highlight Ms Ryder's vocals. Bad Bad Dream is a really heartfelt slower blues track and not only highlights Ryders vocals but also puts the spotlight on Fletcher for some of the richest guitar work on the release. Excellent! On The Angels Cried, Ryder paints a vivid picture vocally on a blues/R&B track along the lines of Robert Cray. Fletcher again is up to the job laying down some articulate riffs in the mix. On boogie track, Love Stealin Liar, Dave Dills really pulls out the stops on his guitar ride. This is a swinging boogie and Ryder gives it a kick with Dills pushing all the way. These Hands, a country gospel style track wraps the release with the smooth dobro work of James McVay and some of the most compelling vocals on the release. This is an especially cool vocal release with obvious hot guitar work and super supporting instrumentalists.

  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”

 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Harmony Bar & Grill in Madison Presents: Howard and the White Boys

Howard and the White Boys

















 Harmony Bar & Grill in Madison Presents:
HOWARD AND THE WHITE BOYS

One Show Only - Saturday, October 26
 
   (MADISON, WI) - The Harmony Bar & Grill  presents "Chicago's Hardest-Working Blues Band," Howard and the White Boys,  for one show only, Saturday, October 26. 9:45 p.m. $8. Located at 2201 Atwood Ave., Madison. Info: (608) 249-3333 or log onto www.harmonybarandgrill.com.

  The longtime Chicago blues band recently recorded their long-awaited new album (and follow-up to the critically-acclaimed "Made In Chicago") at Rosas' Lounge in  Chicago, scheduled for a late-2013 release date. Read more about it here: http://www.examiner.com/article/howard-and-the-white-boys-recording-live-cd-at-rosa-s-lounge-chicago?CID=examiner_alerts_article.
  The veteran blues quartet continue to perform through out the U.S., bringing audiences to their feet and out onto the dance floor - much as they have done for over twenty years. Longtime band member Rocco Calipari has also branched out with his successful side project Head Honchos', who have released a well-received debut CD and play regularly throughout the Midwest as well as the rest of the U.S. and Canada.   
   
  Below is the band performing a new song "That's Alright With Me" live in Wisconsin during 2012.
      

                
  The members of Howard And the White Boys first met at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb in 1988 and began jamming together just for fun, but their fast-growing popularity soon convinced them they could make a career of it. After only a few months, they got their first big break by opening for Blues legend, B.B. King. The band soon made the move to Chicago and began performing with the biggest names in Blues: Koko Taylor, Albert King, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry (the latter whom they were the backing band for in a headlining capacity at the 2002 Long Beach Blues Festival in Long Beach, Calif.).


                                                             

Friday, October 11, 2013

Help Me - LZ Love & Lightning Red

LZ Love is a vocalist, percussionist and songwriter; Born in Chicago, back to Louisiana at age 3, then raised in Berkeley California. As so many great American singers have, LZ began singing gospel in a southern church…at age five. Having sung and toured with a long list of icons including Mary Wells, Joan Armatrading, Billy Preston (the 5th Beatle), Parliament Funkadelic, Luther Vandross and Stephen Marley, her credentials are impressive. A favorite of Tommy Castro and Michael Franti, her voice appears on their releases, as does theirs on her CD. LZ Love’s s solo career began in 1995 when her song Lift Me Up reached number two on the European dance charts. Mainly known for her back-up vocals and co lead vocals, LZ has had the pleasure to record with many great artists. LZ made a name for herself with releases in the UK of her dance singles from 1999 to 2005. When residing in London, LZ’s dance-music career was interrupted by the severe illness of her mother. After caring for her dying mother in California, her career took yet another path. In 2001 she co-wrote ‘ONE’, her first album, and the song Been Lonely became a favorite on the San Francisco scene and was released on ‘San Francisco Bay’s Best Blues’ by Epitaph Records. In addition to singing in the Broadway production of ‘The Lion King’ in San Francisco, 2003 saw the release of the acclaimed CD ‘Standing Wide-legged & Proud’. Relocating to Austin, Texas (The Music Capital of the World) in 2004, with her song-writing partner and their lead guitarist, LZ continues to release dance-singles in Europe, albums in the US, and lend her amazing vocal abilities to other projects. In 2006, she released her debut solo album, 'My Higher Ground', featuring her incomparable songwriting and vocal talents. 2006 saw her adding supporting vocals on a Michael Franti Spearhead CD and Lightning Red’s first acoustic release. LZ and Lightning Red's duo recording, 'Gut Bucket Blues' in 2007 has led to label interest and tours. It's Stumpdown acoustic - raw blues at it's best! 2007 was a banner year for LZ. LZ took her band on several short tours, receiving accolades from Clubs, Blues Festivals and Blues magazines. She sang the Star Spangled Banner for the San Antonio Spurs NBA Playoff Game on May 2. LZ also recorded with Calvin Russell on his latest CD, 'Unrepentant' adding backing vocals on 2 songs. The City of Austin declared November 29th as LZ Love day and presented her with a proclamation. Her song, 'My Higher Ground' has been selected to appear on the Austin Convention & Visitor Bureau's compilation CD Volume 7, as well. In 2008, she released her second solo CD, 'Dancin' With The Blues' to much acclaim. LZ performed at several Blues Festivals and took her band on a few tours. In 2009 she Recorded on Ouachita's new CD in the studio. In 2010, she performed on Sara Hichman's new project, "Theater Action" - featuring Willie Nelson, Ray Benson, Ruthie Foster, Carolyn Wonderland, LZ Love, Shelley King and many more. LZ also spent the greater part of 2009 writing and refining her new music and sound while looking for a record producer to take her music to the next level. LZ found her producer in Matt Smith of the "Monstas" fame. Together, they formed a music partnership that has made "MYSTERIOUS" such an amazing album in 2010. LZ is off on a tour of Europe and Blues Festivals in late June for several weeks to pump up the volume on her new album. She plans to tour extensively this year and beyond.

  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 favorite band!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lotta Blues-za Indeed!: Howard and the White Boys to Perform at Lotta Blues-za Festival

Howard Logo
            "Chicago's Hardest-Working Blues Band...For Over Two Decades!"
Howard and the White Boys












                              Lotta Blues-za, Indeed!: 
Howard & The White Boys Performing At Lotta Blues-za Festival  
          Friday, August 16 - at LaPorte County Fairgrounds
 
   (LaPorte, IN ) - The Dog Days of Summer are upon us, but the music is still rockin' full-steam with "Chicago's Hardest-Working Blues Band," Howard and the White Boys, set to perform locally at the Lotta Blues-za Festival, LaPorte County Fairgrounds, 2581 W. State Rd. 2, LaPorte, Friday, August 16. 6 pm-1 am. $10. advance, $15. day of show. Info: (219) 229-0775 or http://www.lottabluesza.com/intro.cfm. Also appearing is popular area attraction, the Elwood Splinters Blues Band, plus three other great groups.

  This past weekend H&TWB recorded their long-awaited new album (and follow-up to the critically-acclaimed "Made In Chicago") at Rosas' Lounge in  Chicago, scheduled for a late-Summer release date. Read more about it here: http://www.examiner.com/article/howard-and-the-white-boys-recording-live-cd-at-rosa-s-lounge-chicago?CID=examiner_alerts_article.
  The veteran blues quartet continue to perform through out the U.S., bringing audiences to their feet and out onto the dance floor - much as they have done for over twenty years. Longtime band member Rocco Calipari has also branched out with his successful side project Head Honchos', who have released a well-received debut CD and play regularly throughout the Midwest as well as the rest of the U.S. and Canada.   
       


                
  The members of Howard And the White Boys first met at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb in 1988 and began jamming together just for fun, but their fast-growing popularity soon convinced them they could make a career of it. After only a few months, they got their first big break by opening for Blues legend, B.B. King. The band soon made the move to Chicago and began performing with the biggest names in Blues: Koko Taylor, Albert King, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry (the latter whom they were the backing band for in a headlining capacity at the 2002 Long Beach Blues Festival in Long Beach, Calif.).


Howard and the White Boys Interviews/ Promotional Materials On Request 

                         
  
  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Live At the Hermosa Saloon - Phil Gates - New release review

I just received a copy of Live At The Hermosa Saloon by Phil Gates and it's really tasty! Opening with Addicted to The Blues, Gates hauls out a basic shuffle with a nice swing. Supple vocals and sassy guitar riffs define this track. On Messin' With The Kid, Gates stays close to the original arrangement and a nice organ solo by Morris Beeks opens the door for some hot rippin guitar work. Ron Battle leads Away I Go with a funky bass line. Vocal harmonies define this track which has a bit of a pop line but doesn't limit the instrumental interludes on keys and guitar. Keith Williams keeps the beat tight on drums throughout. Gates takes Allman like free flowing guitar solo's complimenting the track nicely. You Used Me Up is a cool R&B style track along the lines of You Hurt Me Too. Again , Beeks steps up with a full organ solo and the barn door flies open letting the slide out. Absolutely rippin slide solo's really trigger this track and are like molasses for blues fans! Up Tempo End Of Time finds Gates in an Albert Collins style track again with solid organ work from Beeks. Gates doesn't mince words when it's time to play , stepping up and just slamming it down. Real nice! Evening Train takes a Chicago/ Muddy Waters /rockin blues approach and turn out a solid jam. Wrapping the release with a more contemporary sounding Get Around To Me with a Seasons of the Witch like melody and John Mayer like rhythm, it would appear to be a great track for solid radio play. Gates plays a grinding guitar solo which really has a lot of south in the riffs but with nice fluidity without going overboard with showmanship. This is a solid release which should satisfy existing Gates fans as well as win him a boatload of new ones.

  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, July 22, 2013

Maurice John Vaughn

Maurice John Vaughn (born May 10, 1952) is an American blues musician from Chicago, Illinois. He is a guitarist, saxophonist, keyboardist and singer. Vaughn began playing professionally in 1968 as a saxophonist in Chicago R&B groups. He recorded with The Chosen Few in 1976, and played and recorded with Phil Guy, went on tour in Canada in 1979. He played as a sideman with Luther Allison, Son Seals, Junior Wells, Valerie Wellington, and A.C. Reed. His debut solo record was 1984's Generic Blues Album, released in plain white packaging on his own Reecy Records record label; Alligator Records reissued it in 1987. In the 1990s, Vaughn played with Detroit Junior, but spent much of his time working in A&R for Appaloosa Records, and produced albums by Shirley Johnson, Zoom, Maxine Carr, B.J. Emery, and Velvet McNair. Vaughn and his band backed up Detroit Junior on the latter's two releases on Blue Suit Records, "Turn Up The Heat" and "Take Out The Time." In 1994, his song "(Everything I Do) Got To Be Funky" was released on the soundtrack for the film Major League II. The song was also a part of his 1993 release, In the Shadow of the City.  


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 favorite band!



Monday, July 15, 2013

Crazy About My Baby -- Richard "Rip Lee" Pryor

Richard "Rip Lee" Pryor is the son of the legendary Snooky Pryor. He was born in Chicago in 1958. At a very young age he started playing his dad's discarded harmonicas, mimicking his dad's records. Rip played guitar in several local soul bands while in high school. In 1994 he started playing guitar with his dad netting a CD recording "Mind Your Own Business" and a Japan tour. Rip formed several blues bands in the Carbondale area singing and blowing harmonica. He recorded a CD in 1998, "Pitch a Boogie Woogie" then Rip eventually got into doing a solo act playing guitar and harmonica. With the hassle of music and a day job he got out of the music business in 2000. After retiring from his day job and a bout with bone marrow cancer in 2010, Rip is back and very strong. Rip has been working steady with his One Man Blues Show and has taken two South American tours and scheduling a tour for Europe in 2013.  

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 favorite band!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Yellow Dog Records artist: The Soul of John Black - A Sunshine State of Mind - New Release Review

I just received the new release, A Sunshine State Of Mind, from  The Soul of John Black and it's really enjoyable. John A. Bigham, playing most of the parts as singer, songwriter and instrumentalist really delivers a nice package here. Opening with Magic Woman a rock/R&B style track, JB provides a solid package with a catchy hook and snappy beat. Echoing his voice with layers of backing vocals and lead guitar melody, this is a track that easily find it's way to the airwaves. Beautiful Day is a great soul track with a certain Al Green feel... excellent! East LA Lady has an uptempo club beat but not venturing far from the soul thread established by Marvin Gaye. Higher Power is another soul ballad again with an Al Green style structure. No real question where influences come from here. My thoughts, listen to masters to make masterful music. Johnny Bear (Give It To Me), is another high energy dance track with R&B rhythms. I know that I make references to legendary artists in comparison but this music sounds fresh. Everyone is influenced by someone. It's what they do with it. JB is doing something new. With ripping guitar riffs JB pierces the standard for R&B dance music. Lenny Love Cha Cha is a great soul track strongly showing the vocal and rhythmic strength of JB. This is a great release to just lay around the pool and sip a beverage and take in the day. Too Much Tequila again has strong ties to Al Green and if I haven't made it clear, I really like Al Green. Again, not a clone but a branch of a great style. Wrapping the release with Summertime Thang, JB does a marvelous job of pulling all of the feeling of a great classic soul track (which this may be). I've only had the opportunity to listen to this release a few times, but it will be in my car soon, and I expect to listen to it quite a bit more... Very Strong!

  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”

 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Delmark Records artist: Lurrie Bell - Blues In My Soul - New Release Review

I just received a copy of the new release, Blues In My Soul, by Lurrie Bell and it certainly lives up to my high expectations. Bell is one of those guys that continuously puts out great music! Opening with T-Bone Walker's Hey Hey Baby, a really strutting blues track bringing to mind Albert Collins and Gatemouth Brown, Bell plays some sting riffs backed by Marques Carroll on trumpet, Chris Neal and Mark Hiebert on sax and strong key work from Roosevelt Purifoy. Blues In My Soul is a great slow blues track allowing Bell the opportunity to bare his soul, both vocally and on the fretboard.... excellent! On Bill Broonzy's I Feel So Good, Matt Skoller adds really cool harp riffs leading the way for Bell to swing. She's A Good "Un has a real smooth groove and Bells syncopation on his solo on this track is particularly effective. On 'Bout The Break Of Day, Bell really digs in on the intro making you sweat just listening. This is a great track featuring Bell but also with a lot of warth on the bottom from Purifoy. Melvin Smith on bass and Willie Hayes on drums keep the bottom effectively tight giving Bell all the room to bend well articulated solos. His vocals on this track are among the best on this release. Going Away Baby, along the lines of Rollin' and Tumblin' just smells like Chicago. Bell keeps it light on guitar and Skoller rides along nicely on harp. On 24 Hour Blues, a nice loping blues number Bell again has particularly strong vocals and his riffs are slick. Purifoy on piano adds brightness nicely complimenting the track. My Little Machine is a super tight slow blues track with crisp guitar riffs ... taste the heat! Big Walter's I Just Keep Loving Her is a jump blues giving Skoller and Bell each a chance to shine and they use the opportunity very nicely. Another T-Bone Walker track, T-Bone Blues Special starts with a really traditional Walker riff, then into a swing track with nice harp work from Skoller. Eddie Boyd's Just The Blues is a particularly strong cut, possibly my favorite track on the release with a nice balance between Bells vocals, Purifoy on piano and really soulful guitar work by Bell. Southside To Riverside turns up the funk a la Albert King and Bell riff off backed strongly by the horn section. Purifoy plays a cool organ solo on this track but it's really all about playing the funk against the blues ... nicely done. One of my all time favorites, Otis Spann's Blues Never Die is up last to wrap up the set. Skoller and Bell both hit super accents to Bells vocals delivering a very nice rendition of this smokin track. Both soloists do super jobs on this track making it a fitting completion to a very strong blues set.

 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, May 28, 2013

Blue Hoss Records artist: Frank Bang & the Secret Stash - Double Dare - New Release review

I just received the new release, Double Dare from Frank Bang & The Secret Stash. Bash, an ex Buddy Guy band member delivers his 5th release and it's quite unpredictable and interesting. Opening with the title track, Double Dare, Bang has the joint rockin. Having traces of Rory Gallagher and Jimi Hendrix, Bang plays some wicked slide. Burnin' Up The Wind is a cool modern blues rock track with traces of Willie Dixon. Russ Green plays some drifting blues riffs on harp and Bang sings the blues complimented by nice slide work. Next up is Lose Control demonstrates a unconventional approach to the blues such as that shown by Chris Duarte or Eric Gales. Bang has a sound all his own with hot horn interludes from Greg Ward and interesting guitar work.. God Fearin' Man is a great blues rocker with a crisp drum rhythm by Bobby Spelbring and continuing a strong set of driving blues rock tracks. Wonder Woman has a more solitary sound featuring excellent vocals and resonator slide work from Bang. As the track picks up steam it starts to take on the life of a Led Zep style track with nice electric slide work, additional harp work from Green, Ryan Fitzgerald on bass and really nice drums work from Spelbring. Nice track! My Own Country Way is a catchy acoustic foot stomper with real nice resonator guitar work from Drew Pentkowski and Phil Miller and some of the best vocal work on the release. 18 Wheels of Hell rings back to the trucker sounds of the 70's or the country rock sound first popularized by the likes of Charlie Daniels. Spelbring really drives this track home being right on the mark. Finishing up with acoustic number Mattie's Girl, Bang accompanies himself with some real nice finger/slide guitar work and soulful vocals. This is a pretty cool release with a slice of blues rock, country and acoustic blues to please less hard core listeners.  

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 favorite band!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Planetary Blues Band CD Release Party at Buddy Guys Legends



 

Announce The Release Of Their New Album,
"Once Upon A Time In The South Loop"
Perform Live: Buddy Guy's Legends - Wednesday, May 15 
(CD Release Party)
  
  (Chicago, IL) -  Rising blues-rock ensemble The Planetary Blues Band, celebrate the release of their new album, Once Upon A Time In The South Loop," with a CD Release Party at Buddy Guys Legends, 700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, Wednesday, May 15. 9:30 p.m. $10. Info: (312) 427-1190 or log onto https://www.facebook.com/events/440327829379607/?ref=ts fref=ts. The band considers Legends their 'home-away-from-home' - gigging at the famed blues venue regularly the last few years to large crowds.  

   Other upcoming show dates: CD Release Party at The Franklin House in Valparaiso (Friday, June 7); Buddy Guy's Legends (Friday, June 28); Leroy's Hot Stuff in Porter (Friday, August 9). 
 
  This unique trio of brothers (Martin Schaefer-Murray, guitar-vocals; Michael Schaefer-Murray, guitar-vocals; Bobby Schaefer-Murray, bass; also Nick Evans, drums) got their start playing, and being influenced by, the Blues. The band was born in Valparaiso, Indiana in 1999 in their mother's basement, where they spent countless hours learning entire albums by Chicago Blues greats like Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, and Son Seals. From there, over the course of the past ten-plus years, Planetary has held onto those roots while expanding outward into various other corners of the musical universe.
                                
"We decided to keep it simple, and write with the Blues as our focus. The idea for this album, and our albums to come, is to explore the Blues genre as fully and concisely as possible." - Martin Schaefer-Murray in All Access Magazine interview (read entire interview here: http://allaccessmagazine.com/2013/04/25/the-planetary-blues-band/).

   With the release of Once Upon A Time In The South Loop, The Planetary Blues Band take a giant step towards fulfilling their goals - "
pushing our new album, getting more radio play, and gigging as much as possible....(also to) work, write songs, and pay tribute where it is due.  
  "We know the blues scene and we know our unique selling points. A plan is in place. Any goal without a plan is a wish, and we have big goals."

  Check out The Planetary Blues Band at Buddy Guys Legends performing spot-on renditions of "Somebody's Got To Go" by blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson and "Tell Me Mama" by the great Little Walter:


 
                   

      
Once Upon A Time In The South Loop CDs & Band Interviews Available. 
 
 ALL ACCESS MAGAZINE - Interview