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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 Connecticut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Connecticut. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Mark Daniel - New Truth - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent New Truth release from Mark Daniel and it's a solid rocker. Opening with Slow Setting Sun, Daniel who handles lead vocal and guitar is joined by Mickey Curry on drums and Marc Hickox on bass. Heart Stops Beating is a heavy footed rocker with a tight bottom. Daniel's vocals are crisp and his guitar playing loose and colorful with blues and metal influences. Very cool. Walk Through Fire is a definite radio track with a solid melody and a great bass line. Coming Down is an interesting rocker sounding a bit like The Police but with a more forward drive. Wrapping the release is Got It Bad with a solid melody and tight rhythm. This is a cool first release (February 23, 2018) for Daniel.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Robert Zott - Baroque Blues Vol. 1 - New Release review

I just received the newest release, Baroque Blues Vol. 1, from Robert Zott and it is quite adventurous to say the least. I first need to say that I don't often get works that are literally pieces of art to be experienced and less resemble conventional music, but I do welcome new experiences. There are parts of this release that have familiar themes and passages and others that defy my description. Opening with I'm Just Me, the most musical track on the release, finds Zott singing through a nautical singing tube along with minimal acoustical guitar, electronics and Morse code. This track sounds like it could be from my favorite David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust) era and I must say, I really like it. Next up is an interpretation of Willie Dixon's Red Rooster. Now this is a really loose interpretation with electric guitar and basic bass and percussion for atmosphere with dog barks and rooster crows, supplemented by random thoughts. Interesting at the least! Timepiece is a melodic instrumental with finely picked electric guitar over rhythm with minor soundscape additions. It is almost like a transition song between movements of a play. If I Could Rule The World is a spoken work piece. The more that you listen to it the more interesting it becomes. It is posed as a comparative to Alan Lomax's documentaries of toasting in Juke Joints as shown in The Land Where The Blues Began. Title track, Baroque Blues, is a peculiar pop melody sung partially in falsetto. Sung through a nautilus seashell used as a loudspeaker it has it's own sound. Eased by background vocals, acoustic guitar and miscellaneous tones and sounds (some possibly reversed) it is a composition to be experienced... not danced to :). Walk In The Park is an eccentric track with unmetered waves of sound presented as the carrier for the music. Twinkling tones from a 12 movement music box constructed from a black box flight recorder chimes the tones familiar from commercial travel. Zott has succeeded in stretching my listening to a different orbit for at least a short time. This recording is ultra clean and clear having been direct recorded in a bathroom with a single microphone and using pro tools.

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Way You Do - Josh Smith

Josh Smith was born October 7, 1979 in Middletown, Connecticut. Before he was 1, his family relocated to Florida, eventually settling in Pembroke Pines, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. At age 3, he received his first guitar and at 6, he started taking guitar lessons. Josh was exposed to the blues at an early age. He listened to a variety of artists, such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Albert King and T-Bone Walker. He also started going to concerts, including the Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. By 12, Josh was playing at established professional blues jams in South Florida, such as Musicians Exchange Café in Fort Lauderdale and Club M in Hollywood, FL. When Josh was 13, the Rhino Cats, house band at Club M, asked him to be the lead guitarist. Musicians Exchange owner Don Cohen was so taken aback by the talent of this young musician that he offered to help manage and develop Josh’s career. The Café was renowned for bringing in the best national touring blues bands, and Josh was quick to learn how to approach these blues greats, many of whom would invite Josh to sit in with them, thinking it may be a “novelty” to have a 14-year-old kid playing the blues. The novelty quickly wore off and was replaced by musicians stopping, watching and listening as this “kid” wailed out blues licks better than many of the touring guitarists on the circuit. Josh began sitting in with such greats as Jimmy Thackery, Tinsley Ellis, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Double Trouble, Joanna Connor and Kim Simmonds, among others. Jimmy Thackery said of the 14-year-old, “Josh is three heartbreaks away from being a true blues guitar genius.” At 14, Josh released his first CD, Born Under a Blue Sign, and at 15, he released his second CD, Woodsheddin. While performing all over South Florida, Josh Smith and the Rhino Cats quickly became one of the most in-demand blues bands in the area. In 1994, while Josh was only 15, they received the Florida Jammy Award for best blues band and were selected as XS Readers Choice Winners in 1995 for best blues band. In 1996, then a senior in high school, Josh was put on the cover of the national magazine High School Senior, which hailed him as an “Up and Coming Guitar Legend.” That same year, Washburn Guitars Int’l recognized Josh’s talent and offered him an endorsement. They flew Josh to Chicago and guitar luthier Grover Jackson built him a custom guitar. Although Josh was an honor student, after graduation from high school in June 1997, Josh followed his heart and began pursuing what he was best at. His first national tour ensued with his newly formed power trio, Josh Smith and the Frost. Josh was now the band leader and vocalist, so he not only had to continue developing his guitar chops, but had to concentrate on his vocal prowess. In September 1997, Josh enlisted world-renowned producer Jim Gaines, whose credits include Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Luther Allison, Steve Miller and Jimmy Thackery, to produce his third CD, Too Damn Cold. By 1998, Josh had completed four national tours with his band. In January 1998, Billboard Magazine took note of the rising young talent in a Continental Drift article. In February 1998, Josh was asked to support B.B. King on a number of theatre dates. In March 1998, the TV show Chicago Hope purchased the rights to the tune “32 degrees” from Too Damn Cold. An international CD release, The Mentos Freshmaker Tour, included the title cut, “Too Damn Cold,” in the spring of 1998. Josh toured nationally all of 1999 and in October of that year, he entered the recording studio again with Jim Gaines and produced Woman, his fourth CD. This CD was released and well received in the spring of 2000. Josh continued to tour the East Coast from New York to Florida through 2001 with his band. In June 2002, he married and he and his wife decided to move to Los Angeles. Josh was ready for something new and wanted to be around a variety of musicians. He also began being a sideman. Within a year of moving to L.A., he was retained by Virgin recording artist Ricky Fante. He played nationally and internationally with Ricky for the next two years. In May 2006, Josh recorded his fifth CD, Deep Roots. A more traditional blues CD, his music was once again well received by Blueswax and Blues Revue magazine. Josh continued to play with a variety of artists, such as actress Taryn Manning, Universal hip-hop artist Benny Cassette and Tara Ellis, to name a few. In January 2007, Josh was hired by 2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks to be his lead guitarist. They completed two national tours from February-September 2007 with monthly dates and charity events until June 2008 when Taylor started Grease! on Broadway. In July 2008, Josh was hired by Raphael Saadiq. Since that time, Josh has played such high profile gigs with Raphael as backing Mick Jagger at the Grammy Awards in 2011 and the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2011. Josh continues to tour nationally and internationally with Raphael. Josh released his 6th studio CD, “Inception,” in 2009. This is an all-instrumental CD with a variety of genres that was once again well received by the public and critics alike. In 2010, Josh was signed to Crosscut Records, a label based out of Germany. Crosscut re-released Josh’s CD, “Deep Roots,” as “I’m Gonna Be Ready.” In October 2012, Josh’s CD, “Don’t Give Up On Me,” was released in Germany. Josh continues to live in the Los Angeles area with his wife and two children.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Whammer Jammer - Magic Dick

Richard "Magic Dick" Salwitz (born May 13, 1945) is an American musician, and the harmonica player for The J. Geils Band. In addition to the harmonica, Salwitz plays the trumpet (the first instrument he learned) and saxophone. Born in New London, Connecticut, he attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he met John "J" Geils and Danny Klein and became a founding member of The J. Geils Band in 1968. Salwitz's harmonica playing became a major and distinctive element in the J. Geils Band's sound during their hard-rocking 1970s heyday. Critics have described his performance of "Whammer Jammer" on the J. Geils Band's live album Full House as proof of his remarkable harmonica skill. To this day, aspiring harmonica players the world over attempt to emulate that musically challenging performance which several harmonicists have cited as the inspiration that started their interest in the instrument. In The Rolling Stone Record Guide series music critic Dave Marsh has described Salwitz as possibly the best white musician to ever play blues harmonica. Magic Dick's work on the six-minute jam "Detroit Breakdown" is a highlight of the J. Geils Band 1974 album Nightmares...and Other Tales from the Vinyl Jungle. On the track "You're the Only One" on the band's 1977 album Monkey Island, Magic Dick is found "impersonating Stevie Wonder at his most romantic" by one reviewer. After the J. Geils Band parted ways in 1985, Salwitz spent time working on a harmonica design of his own, which he labelled the "Magic Harmonica", a co-invention with Pierre Beauregard. In 1992, Salwitz re-united with his old friend and band mate J. Geils and formed the band Bluestime. Bluestime featured Steve Ramsey on drums, Jerry Miller on guitar, and Roy McCloud on bass. McCloud was later replaced by Michael "Mudcat" Ward, who played with the band for several years before leaving to pursue other interests. Ward was subsequently replaced by bassist John Turner. The band was a fusion of Chicago blues and classic jazz. The band released two records on the Rounder Records label: Bluestime (1994) Little Car Blues (1996) Bluestime toured heavily up to at least 2002, as both a solo act and as part of B.B. King's Bluesfest. Magic Dick contributed his harmonica playing and some vocals as part of a live recording called "Command Performance" by the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue featuring The Tommy Castro Band, Deanna Bogart, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and others. He toured as part of the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue on different Blues Cruises, and again on land-based shows during 2007-2008  

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hot Dog - Hash Brown Band

Hash Brown (Brian Calway), born September 22, 1955 has been playing the blues since 1973. He moved from Connecticut to Dallas, TX in 1983. Since moving to Dallas, Hash Brown has played with many of Texas's finest bluesmen, including ZuZu Bollin, Sam Myers, Henry Quails, Ray Sharpe, Big Al Dupree, Robert Ealey, and U.P. Wilson just to name a few. Currently, Hash Brown runs no less than 3 blues jams a week, and plays in a multitude of different arrangements of musicians, everything from solo Texas and Mississippi style blues, to a trio playing a wide range of modern sounds, 4,5 and 6 piece bands playing Chicago style blues or jump style big band. Hash Brown is a multi-instrumentalist, and besides being a great talent on guitar, he is a superb harmonica player and vocalist. If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tony Sarno Group

Tony Joe Sarno is a guitarist, singer, producer, and songwriter. As a recording artist Tony has toured the United States, Europe, Australia, and Argentina. As a songwriter he has over 20 published songs and has co-written with Keith Christopher ("Over the top"-Ray Charles), Eddy Shaver ("Live forever" -Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings & Kris Kristofferson) and Fred Koller ( "Angel eyes"-Jeff Healy). As a guitarist he has played with David Clayton Thomas' Blood Sweat and Tears, The Crystals, Del Shannon, Essra Mohawk, and Peter Tork. As a record producer, Tony produced international releases Thunderhawks, his Tony Sarno and Silent night records, and co-produced Dee Archer Band's "Sooner or later" and Tony Sarno & the screamin' blue demons "It's a blues thing". He has shared numerous concert bills with B.B. King, as well as bills with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Hall & Oates ,Johnny Winter, and Little Feat. Tony has recorded for CBS/Holland, Icehouse/Priority, Marconi, and Bandwidth Records.
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Blues in Tel - Aviv - Lazer Lloyd

Lazer Lloyd is a World Renown Blues/Rock singer/songwriter/guitar player that lives in Israel. He record’s and performs both acoustic and electric. Lazer has toured around the world and has warmed up for such artists as Johnny Winter, Prince, Snowy White, Olie Brown…as well as headlining major festivals in his home country Israel.

Lazer was raised on The Blues. That was his religion growing up in CT/USA. At age 15 Lazer was playing in night club’s and around the Connecticut Shoreline/New Haven in his successful group Legacy. At 18 Lazer went to major in music at Skidmore College where for 4 years he played extensively and studied under famous blues men such as Milt Hinton (bass player for Louis Armstrong) Randy Brecker (Blood, Sweat and Tears) and Gene Bertoncini.

After college Lazer returned to CT to form his own band The Last Mavericks which played Lazer’s original energetic and emotional Blues/Rock. The Last Mavericks became very popular and their first Demo gained them a showcase with Atlantic Records. Toby Mofet from A&R at Atlantic brought Lazer into Manhattan to record more material and wanted Lazer to go to Nashville to work with producer Gary Talent(Bass player from The E street Band). Lazer came and lived in Manhattan and by miracle was given a gig with his most famous blues musician/guru of all time Shlomo Carlebach. Shlomo told Lazer that he want’s him to play with him in Israel and the rest is history. Lazer in 1994 went to conitinue his deep search for his own blues in Israel.

Lazer has recently finished his own acoustic album as well as his own Electric Blues album and is touring non-stop around Israel.
Lazer’s has had major success in the Israeli media with appearances on TV on Channel’s 2/10/8/23… Yoav Kutner, Ben Red 88FM, ABC TV, Kutiman, Tal Friedman Guitar Heroes… Yediote Achronote, Jerusalem Post…

Lazer is married to his savior Elana and they live together with their 5 kid’s in Beit Shemesh. Lazer does not like to be referred to as Jewish or Religious or Chassidic – just REAL. LOVE PEACE AND MUSIC DUDES…
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Start It Up/medley - Blues Bettie

This Anaheim, California, Blues, Funk and Soul band melds a diverse group of SoCal musicians, who integrate their musical styles and experiences to deliver a fresh 'SoCal Style' musical edge to the blues. Powerful vocals, signature guitar work, a tight rhythm section, and the world renowned Blues Bettie Horns give the band versatility and musical strength, and Blues Bettie knows how to deliver this musical experiance straight into your soul. Their audiences are growing, validated by four nominations as the best Blues Band by the OC Music Awards.
Shari Puorto Vocals
Claude von Trotha Guitar, Vocals
Tommy Bellone Hammond, Piano
Billy Pulliam Bass, Vocals
Felix 'D-Kat' Pollard Drums & Percussion
Louis Van Taylor Tenor Sax
Adam Schroeder Bari Sax
Ryan Porter Trombone
Bijon Watson Trumpet
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Call My Name - Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts

Just got a copy of Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts new cd, Call My Name, and it really fine! The recording is made up of 11 band penned tracks and starts off with Anti-Blues Pill,a spartan blues rocker with just the right mix of vocals, guitar, harp and rhythm. Love At First Sight is a driving blues rocker track with a really cool guitar ripper in the middle. One More Night is a R&B track with a strong vocal lead. The harp solo on this track shows not only good feeling but also great tone. When It Rains has that Texas Blues lope with harp and slide base. This is a pretty strong track. Call My Name has a bit of the R&B sound with a southern twist. These guys have obviously done their homework. I Choose The Blues is a great song set around the Link Wray style sound...reverb and all. It sets a cool ambiance and then uses the contrast of the vocal with the guitar trem and the harp to blow it out.... excellent! Real Prince Charming gets into the Chicago groove and the harp of course leads the way. This song moves along really well and I think that it will be really well recieved by most blues fans. Kaboom! is the recordings "wild card" with a harp driven song over a traditional style European beat. It gives Hartt a great opportunity to blow a cool solo. Sleepwalkin' is back in the Chicago 8 bar style but with a great swing. The shimmering guitar chords underlying the vocal track are very effective. Hartt again blows some cool harmonic riffs on the harp. New Love, Old Love Part II is a blues/jazz rocker with a nice guitar interlude that sets it off very nicely. I mean it isn't really's actually nice work. Hartt again plays some really cool harp riffs to compliment the track. Dartboard has it's roots in country but is pushed up as a Blues rocker. I really like it.

The band is made up of Ryan Hartt on harmonica and vocals, Eric Ducoff on guitar and vocals, Nick Toscano on drums and percussion and Jeff berg on bass and vocals and slide guitar on When It Rains.

This is a very strong cd and if you have a hint that you may like what I will!!

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Drop Anchor - Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts

“YOU GOT TO LIVE IT TO GIVE IT”, states the first line from Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts’ latest CD, “Call My Name”. In their 12 years together, Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts have, indeed, lived it. They’ve logged countless gigs and countless miles in a Honda minivan, playing clubs and festivals throughout the Northeast and beyond. Being in a blues band in today’s music market is never easy. Nonetheless, the band keeps moving forward, outlasting musical trends and clubs that have come and gone.

Though the band will always be rooted in the Chicago and West Coast blues they have built their reputation on, “Call My Name” expands their sound with soul, proto-rock & roll and even ska. Their songwriting has matured equally. Certainly the common blues themes of love lost and found are here, but the songs on “Call My Name” also reflect the changes and growth of the band members over the last seven years with topics ranging from depression to choosing music over a relationship to the grind of a gigging blues band. Yet no matter what, as the last line of the of the last song says, Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts “will be back next Friday night”.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Out Of My Mind - John Mayer

While not traditionally known as a blues player... Mayer sure gets a rise out of the predominantly young crowd when he plays it.... is there still some thought that the blues is in poor health? BS
John Clayton Mayer (play /ˈmeɪ.ər/ may-ər;[1] born October 16, 1977) is an American pop rock and blues rock musician, singer-songwriter, recording artist, and music producer. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and raised in Fairfield, Connecticut, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He moved to Atlanta in 1997, where he refined his skills and gained a following, and he now lives in New York City. His first two studio albums, Room for Squares and Heavier Things, did well commercially, achieving multi-platinum status. In 2003, he won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Your Body Is a Wonderland."

Mayer began his career performing mainly acoustic rock, but gradually began a transition towards the blues genre in 2005 by collaborating with renowned blues artists such as B. B. King, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton, and by forming the John Mayer Trio. The blues influence can be heard throughout his 2005 live album Try! with the John Mayer Trio and his third studio album Continuum, released in September 2006. At the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in 2007 Mayer won Best Pop Vocal Album for Continuum and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Waiting on the World to Change". He released his fourth studio album, Battle Studies, in November 2009. He has sold over 10 million albums in the U.S. and 20 million albums worldwide.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cause We Ended As Lovers - Desiree' Bassett

Desireé Apolonio Bassett (born September 11, 1992) is an American rock music guitarist and recording artist. Considered a child prodigy, she has performed alongside mainline performers such as Sammy Hagar, Ted Nugent, Living Colour, Barry Goudreau, the Marshall Tucker Band and members of the Allman Brothers Band. She was named "Best Musician" by Talent America in 2005, has released two studio albums and has performed many times on both coasts of the United States.
In 2005, Bassett was voted Talent America's "Musician of the Year" in New York City. After Bassett performed on the side stage at Ozzfest in Hartford, CT, Bassett started playing open microphone events around Connecticut. Bassist Doug Wimbish discovered Bassett at an open mic in Hartford, Connecticut and invited her to play at his annual Wim-Bash the following night. Now playing shows in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont and performing alongside artists like Living Colour, Andy Aledort, some members of the Allman Brothers Band, Johnny Vibrato, Pete Scheips Band, and the XY Eli Band[clarification needed]. Bassett, in August 2005, recorded five songs, performing all of the instruments; selling several hundred copies of the self-made CD.

In September 2005, Bassett played an event at the Meriden Motorcycle Club and an event in Ashford. Local musicians in the area heard her play, many later offering their services as band members. The resulting group, the Time Machine, was initially composed of bassist David Stoltz (later Rob Laramie), a former member of the Dickey Betts Band and Robert Gottfried. By November, she had built a local following. In December 2005 she took second place at the Olympics of Entertainment in New York City. She played gigs in Hartford CT, with Kal David, Andy Aledort, and the band Living Colour before several hundred fans. Shortly afterwards, she performed at the 2006 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. Sponsorship followed from Peavey Amps., Schecter Guitar Research, and production agreements from Nova Sound Studios and Long View Farm Studios recording studios in North Brookfield, Massachusetts. When she returned the following year to play at the NAMM Show, she was introduced as "the future of rock and roll."

In 2008, Bassett sat in with the Marshall Tucker Band at a benefit concert in Willimantic, Connecticut, and began developing her first CD, Power & Force.[citation needed] During production, she continued performing locally, and in August 2008, opened for Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie Ray Vaughan's brother. Shortly afterward, Bassett played lead guitar for Sammy Hagar and his band at the MGM Grand Foxwoods Casino
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