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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 Colorado. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colorado. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

VizzTone Label Group artist: AJ Fullerton - The Forgiver and the Runaway - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Forgiver and the Runaway, from AJ Fullerton and it's a solid blues rocker with a rural feel. Opening with Remind Me Who I Am Again, AJ Fullerton on lead vocal and guitar exudes confidence with Anna Ruddick on bass, Glenn Milchem on drums, and strong key work by Jesse O'Brien as well as warm vocal backing by Chantal Hendricks and the Marrinaires. Very nice. Slippin' Away is a cool, contemporary shuffle with a super melody and great lead vocals. A smooth balance between the solo guitar work and the piano lead really works nicely. Rocker, Say You'll Stay is one of my favorites on the release with  harmonica work by Paul Reddick and vibrant guitar lead by Fullerton and Steve Marriner. Another of my favorite tracks on the release is Never Was with a distinct C Berry rhythm pattern that makes you feel the beat. An excellent solo of excellent pedal steel work by Aaron Goldstein contrasts really nicely with soft backing vocals work great with Fullerton's lead vocal. With a bit of influence of the laid back country rock of JJ Cale, Homesick is likely the top radio track on the release, with a solid melody and again, super steel acoustic guitar work by Fullerton. Wrapping the release is Hook's In The Water with a laid back country blues styling. With hints to Taj Mahal or other like contemporary blues artists, this is a solid closer. 

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

16th Annual Blues From The Top Festival, Star-Studded Lineup


   Taking place Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24, Blues From The Top is jam-packed with great artists both days: Saturday, June 23 includes performances by, among others, guitar ace Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band; harp great (and 2018 Blues Music Awards "Traditional Blues Male Artist" and "Blues Song" winner), Rick Estrin And The Nightcats; 2018 BMA "Best Emerging Artist Album" winner, Memphis soul/blues band, Southern Avenue. On June 24, the North Mississippi All-Stars; popular L.A.-based guitar-powered R&B band, Vintage Trouble; and Nick Moss Band with harp virtuoso, Dennis Grueling. Hideaway Park, 78820 US Highway 40. Gates open 10am; music from 11am to 6pm (Saturday) and 11:00am to 6pm (Sunday). Currently, General Admission tickets are $35. (one day), $60. (2 days). V.I.P. Experience: $100.00 per day per person, $185. for two days. V.I.P. Seating features Stage Right starting at the Front Row; Daily Buffet; Private Bar with two Complimentary Drinks each day; free water and soft drinks; Shade Tents with tables and chairs; and Private Restrooms. Kids 12 and under, free (when accompanied by an adult). Tickets/info: Presented with pride by the Grand County Blues Society.

  Expect some diversity of sounds at this year's Blues From The Top. "Until recently, Blues From The Top primarily has been straight-up blues music," explains Maria Chavez, President of the Blues from The Top Festival, in a recent Blues-E-News interview. "However, we realized that if we want the festival to grow and diversify and to also reach a younger audience, we needed to add more blues “roots” music into the mix – indie blues, blues rock, rock and soul. This includes bands such as Honey Island Swamp Band, North Mississippi All-Stars and Vintage Trouble that help break down what “blues” music is. Blues is the seed, creating roots and watching other musical forms grow from these musical blues roots, " adds Chavez. "We also are very prideful of our program Blue Star Connection which provides musical instruments for children with life threatening illness in over 57 hospitals nationally."

Monday, July 11, 2016

7-14 Productions artist: Eddie Turner & Trouble Twins - Naked ... In Your Face - New release review

I just received the newest release (July 14, 2016), Naked...In Your Face, from Eddie Turner & Trouble Twins and it's electrifying. Opening with R&B track, Jody, this tight 3 piece unit featuring Eddie Turner on vocal and guitar, Anna Lisa Hughes on vocal and bass and Kelly Kruse on vocal and drums get the joint hopping. Recorded live at the Blues Can, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the mix is real nice. Mistreated drops nicely into the slow blues slot with Turner laying down really nice blues solos and Hughes taking the lead on vocal. One of the things that I particularly like about Turner's playing is his freedom of expression and style without losing the boundaries of the basic blues format. Funky, So Many Roads is a cool track with a solid bass line, reinforced by Turner's rhythm guitar playing and slashing percussion by Kruse. His vocals are well suited for a track like this and I really like Hughes' plucky bass lines. Very cool. Rise is a 11 plus minute jam with ringing harmonics and featuring super bass work. On Nick Gravenites', Buried Alive In The Blues, Hughes bass is really aggressive and I really like it. She also takes over on lead vocals and her voice is strong and seductive. With a really nice arrangement of this classic blues number, it may be one of my favorite covers that I've heard and possibly the best track on the release. Soulful guitar lead by Turner and clean rhythm by Kruse makes this track sail. Blues Fall Down Like Rain has a swampy, New Orleans kind of funk. Turner lets the dog off the leash on this one with voracious snarling guitar riffs. Excellent!  On Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, another classic, written for Nina Simone and made popular by Eric Burdon and the Animals, Turner's band gives this track a fresh feel with Hughes again on lead vocals and solid bass work. Burning guitar lead sets this track on fire and Hughes and Kruse fan the flames. Very nice. Boogie track, Dangerous, clocks in at over 12 minutes with the simplest of rhythm patterns. This is an excellent jam with gnashing of teeth and fire and dynamite. Possibly worth the cost of admission on it's own! Wrapping the release is Secret, a floating rock track with a bit of Jimi flavor. Adventurous, head bobbing and loosely tight, this is a really cool track to close up a serious new release.
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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival: Trampled Under Foot Reunion, Much More!


Two Big Days - Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26
At Winter Park, CO


    (WINTER PARK, CO) - This year's 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival features its finest music lineup yet, with a reunion by renowned Blues-Americana group, Trampled Under Foot! The festival - presentede by the Grand County Blues Society- takes place Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, at Hideaway Park, 78820 US Highway 40, in Winter Park. A portion of the festival's proceeds benefit Blue Star Connection, now in it's tenth year of providing access and ownership of musical instruments for children and young adults with cancer and other serious challenges, as well as providing music therapy departments with instruments. Tickets (now through Sunday, May 15): $20. (1-day Pass) or $35. (2-day Pass), available at the website, Radio Shack in Fraser; and the Winter Park Visitor's Center. Ticket prices after May 15: General Admission 1-Day Pass (Saturday or Sunday), $28., General Admission 2-Day Pass $49. Kids 13 and under, free. Buy tickets/additional info:

           All other Festival information:

    Grand County Blues Society Mission Statement is "To support the Blues by bringing National and International Blues Artists to Grand County on a regular basis, and to bring Blues Education into the schools of Grand County." 

Trampled Under Foot reunites for the 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival. 
They perform on Saturday, June 25 in the headlining slot.

   Each day of Blues From The Top features a star-studded lineup. Saturday it's a Trampled Under Foot Reunion Show, the Albert Castiglia Band (with Josh Smith and Kate Moss), Monkey Junk, Kara Grainger, Josh Hoyer & Soul Collective, and the Austin Young Blues all-Stars featuring Michaela Rae, Michael Hornbuckle and others. Sunday's lineup is headlined by guitarist Eric Gales, Samantha Fish Band, Jimmy Hall with My Blue Sky, Willie K and the Warehouse Blues Band, John Nemeth with Deana Bogart and Jimmy Carpenter, and the High Mountain Gospel Choir with Renee Austin, Tempa Singer, Southern Review, Bart Szop, and more.
Both days also feature a "Keeping The Blues Alive" stage with many of today's best young national and regional blues talent.  

        Colorful blues guitarist Eric Gales (pictured) headlines the Sunday, June 26  star-studded 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival lineup.

About The 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival Headliners

   Trampled Under Foot: The soul blues trio Trampled Under Foot consists of siblings Danielle Schnebelen (lead vocals and bass), Nick Schnebelen (guitars and vocals) and Kris Schnebelen, (drums). They grew up with the blues in Kansas City. Their father, Bill, was a blues guitarist in the band Little Eva and would regularly take his three children to jam sessions. Growing up, the siblings played separately in numerous bands over the years. Danielle was in Fresh Brew (1999-2004), Kris was a staple at blues clubs, and Nick was in Killing Floor (or K-Floor), and briefly, Buddahead. Missing the family camaraderie, the siblings formed Trampled Under Foot in 2000. The band released four studio sessions: Trampled Under Foot (2006), May I Be Excused in (2008), and Wrong Side of the Blues in (2011). They also issued Live at the Notodden Blues Festival in 2010. The combination of those releases and non-stop touring caught the attention of the jazz and blues label Telarc, who signed the band in 2013. They issued their fifth studio album, Badlands, that same year. In 2016 the famed trip reunites to perform at the 14th Blues From The Top Festival.
     Eric Gales: Blues guitar phenom Eric Gales was born and raised in Memphis, learning to play at age four from older brothers Eugene and Manuel in imitation of their upside-down, left-handed style (a tradition actually passed down from their grandfather, Dempsey Garrett Sr., who was known to jam with the likes of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf). Winning his first blues contest at 11, four years later Eric signed to Elektra to issue his 1991 debut LP, recorded with Eugene on bass; Picture of a Thousand Faces followed in 1993. Manuel (who previously performed under the alias Little Jimmy King) reunited with his siblings for 1995's Left Hand Band, credited to the Gales Brothers. A newly matured Gales returned in spring 2001 to release his debut for MCA, That's What I Am. Often billed as the second coming of Jimi Hendrix, Gales, an adequate singer at best but a dynamite guitarist, suffered for the comparison. With Gales always influenced by Hendrix and the power trio format, his next albums, 2006's Crystal Vision and 2007's Psychedelic Underground, both released by Blues Bureau Records, seemed like facsimile Hendrix albums, right down to the album art. His next two releases from Blues Bureau, 2008's The Story of My Life and 2009's Layin' Down the Blues, found the Hendrix influence muted somewhat, but Gales, a breathtaking guitarist at times, still seemed to be looking for a way out of the Hendrix shadow and into his own voice. Gales returned in 2010 with Relentless, a collection of 13 originals, and followed it with the passionate Transformation a year later in 2011. The all-instrumental Ghost Notes arrived in the fall of 2013.




Thursday, March 10, 2016

Blue Star Connection Presents Guitar Great Ana Popovic In Concert


Saturday, April 9, 2016 -  BUFFALO ROSE

(Golden, CO) - Blue Star Connection presents a very special evening in concert with Ana Popovic, Saturday, April 9, at Buffalo Rose, 1119 Washington Ave., in Golden. Showtime is 8 pm. Tickets $15. (General Admission), $25. (Reserved). Purchase tickets here. Info: (303) 278-6800 or Denver's hot up-and-coming Austin Young Band featuring guitarist, Michaelea Rae, are the Special Guest opening act.

                                                                  Ana Popovic

  Ana Popovic is an award-winning, hard-touring, guitar slinger blending smoking electric funk and slide guitar, jazzy instrumentals and a tight blues groove with soulful, feminine vocals. Add to the mix her incredible stage presence, all of which makes her an irresistible force in the world of contemporary blues music.

  Popovic was the only female guitar player added to the 2014-'16 All- Star Experience Hendrix lineup, a nationwide tour celebrating the music and legacy of Jimi Hendrix with Buddy Guy, Bootsy Collins, Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Zakk Wylde and many more world-renown artists. She’s been nominated for five Blues Music Awards and has previously appeared on the cover of both Vintage Guitar and Guitar Player. Her albums 'Can You Stand The Heat' and ‘Unconditional' were Pick Of The Week by USA Today and featured on NPR Music. Nearly all of Ana's albums have made it the Top 5 of the Billboard Blues Charts and are  played regularly on US radio.

  Ana Popovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia) and grew up in a warm family where music was very important. All throughout her youth, her father would invite friends over for nightly jam sessions. In this atmosphere, she quickly learned her father’s impressive blues and soul record collection, grabbed his guitar and started playing at the age of fifteen. Since then, Ana has developed into an phenomenal guitarist/vocalist with a growing legion of fans throughout the world.

  Popovic and her powerful band are tirelessly touring, playing major blues, jazz and rock festivals. She is endorsed by Fender, Mesa Boogie, Ovation and DR strings. Ana has shared headlining stages with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Joe Bonamassa, Gary Clark Jr., Jonny Lang and many others. When not on tour, she resides in Memphis, TN.

Austin Young Band featuring Michaela Rae

Austin Lee Young is a Colorado native who picked up his first guitar at age 12 and hasn't put it down since. Self-taught, Austin churns out the blues and displays his music with an electrifying passion that defies his young age. Young engages his audience and can match any seasoned performer that currently draws large crowds. His inspirations run the gauntlet of the Blues from historical giants such as Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters to contemporary masters like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Currently, Austin and his band perform locally and nationally in established music clubs, as well as appearing at numerous music festivals, private functions, and special events. He incorporates the sheer honesty of the blues and performs it with a modern, high energy sound that remains faithful to its traditional roots. The Austin Young Band recently performed on the Keeping The Blues Alive "Blues Cruise", performing on the same stage with such greats as Joe Bonamassa, Blues Traveler, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and Shemekia Copeland, to name a few. Guitarist Michaela Rae, also Colorado-based, has been likened to Ana Popovic due to her superb guitar playing.

                                     About...Blue Star Connection

   Blue Star Connection, in association with Grand County Blues Society, provides musical instruments to children and young adults facing cancer and other serious challenges. "For a child who is seriously ill, having a (musical) instrument can not only be fun, but can also help them relax, cope with their experience, talk with therapists and improve their sense of self-worth", explains Lauren Servos, Musical Therapist at Riley Hospital for Children, past recipients of musical instruments from Blue Star Connection.