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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 Cris Jacobs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cris Jacobs. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

American Showplace Music artist: Cris Jacobs - Dust To Gold - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Dust To Gold from Cris Jacobs and it's quite good. Opening with The Devil or Jesse James, a rugged radio track, Cris Jacobs on guitar and vocal is joined by Todd Herrington on bass, Dusty Ray Simmons on percussion and John Ginty on keys. With a mellow sway, Kind Woman has a real nice groove. Jacobs vocas are smooth and his dobro playing soft and warm. Halleluja Hustler has a sweet melody and with nicely blended vocals, rolling piano by Ginty and swirling guitars by Jacobs, very nice. Jack The Whistle and The Hammer is a snappy, soft rocker with a touch of Buckingham Nicks. Jacobs springs across the fretboard with a tight little guitar solo giving the track just a bit more dressing, backed by Ginty. Very nice. One of the richest tracks on the release, Cold Carolina, has the warmth of the summer sun and the space of high country with Jonathan Sloane on slide. Bone Digger has a real cool funky groove with Jacobs delivering an almost hiphop lyrical skat with tight drum riffs and and clever guitar soloing. Very nice! With an almost Little feat bounce, Delivery Man is a really nicely crafted track with finely woven vocals and intricate guitar and keyboard instrumentation. Excellent! Break Your Fall is the most likely radio track on the release with the rhythmic solidity of tempted, the vocal strength and blending of Michael McDonald but with much more clarity and Ginty's organ work giving the track a soulful bottom. Very nice. Another cool R&B style track, Shine Your Weary Light, has great spring and soul. Sit still listening to this release...you can't. Simmons and Herrington really anchor the bottom and Jacobs' work on electric guitar and dobro really set this track apart. His vocals are soulful and Ginty's organ work really dresses it perfectly. Wrapping the release is acoustic ballad, Leaving Charm City. Jacobs has clearly shown himself as an accomplished, vocalist, songwriter and guitarist. With only Sloane's slide work in the background, this track is a super closer for a really nice release.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

American Showplace Music label artist: John Ginty - No Filter - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, No Filter, from John Ginty and it's super! I had earlier reviewed John's super debut "Bad News Travels" and I like this one even better! Opening Fredo with a very sumptuous guitar organ duo of Ginty and Lou Pallo, this track kicks into a cool strut driven by Ginty on B3, Paul Kuzik on bass and Dan Fadel and Andrei Koribanics on drums and percussion. Very nice! Ball Of Fire features Cris Jacobs warm vocals on a cool bed of keyboards and Latin rhythms and Spanish guitar riffs by Jacobs and Mike Buckman. An easy jazz break takes the track on a cloud like ride and Ginty heats up the keys nicely. This is an excellent radio track with broad appeal. My favorite track on the release, Old Shoes, features none other than the fabulous Alexis P. Suter. Taking a modern blues stance on an old style rhythm, this track really digs in and Suter has the perfect voice for the job. Ginty on piano, Kuzik on bass, Jimmy Bennett on guitar and only enough drums to tie it all together, this track smokes! Instrumental, Elevators, is Ginty's first chance to really let it all hang out on this release and on the driving bass line of Kuzik, that's exactly what he does. Jacobs is featured on guitar on this number and sets out a nice slash of his own. Ripper! Battlegrounds has an easier laid back sound featuring Cara Kelly on lead vocal. A nicely constructed track with a simple rock rhythm and strong vocals from Kelly, and a rich solo from Ginty makes this a solid addition to the release. Rock 'n Roll Sunday has a rock/revival sound featuring Ghost & The Big Sky vocalist, Paul Gerdts and driver with almost Winwood like piano riffs from Ginty. Trading riffs with guitarist Buckman gives the track a lighter feel and Ginty's B3 a more gospel sound against an R&B rhythm...Do You Get The Message (ref Humble Pie)? Annandale has a real somber feel with rich vocals from Cris Jacobs. This is a really nice ballad with a lot of the features of a Gary Moore track. Ginty amps up the B3 and Jacobs lays in a super nice guitar solo. Another of my release favorites. Chugging, No Jelly, starts out on a solid drive from the first note and builds momentum from there. Jimmy Bennett lays on a real nice melodic guitar lead and Ginty takes the first solo on B3. Trading/sharing riffs with Ginty, Bennett keeps up the momentum and backed by Buckman, Kizik, Fadel and Koribanics this track is the most adventurous yet! On Pirates, Cris Jacobs, in harmony with Billy Harvey create a smooth vocal track and Ginty takes the B3 for a solid ride. The rise in dynamics on this track are particularly effective, topped off with an excellent guitar solo by Jacobs. Title track, No Filter, features really clean vocals by Cara Kelly. This track has a particularly theatrical sound and Ginty's piano creates a lot of the emotion needed to balance the creative tension in Kelly's vocals. A switch to B3 and lap steel work by Jimmy Bennett drives the point home. Very nice! Wrapping the release is a totally different take on Fredo featuring a hip hop version of the track by Redman. A funky track to start with, Ginty's B3, and a ton of bottom gives Redman to do his thing. This is a really cool conclusion to a really cool release.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

American Showplace Music artist: John Ginty - Bad News Travels Live - New Release Review

I just received a cool new 2 CD release, Bad News Travels from John Ginty and it's quite live, tight and entertaining. Opening with Switch, a walking bass line driven B3 extravaganza. Paul Kuzik sets the tempo and Ginty takes over where Booker T left off. With a double drums setup featuring Dan Fadel and Andrei Koribanics this is a tight track. Very nice! Arrivals is a funky jam with cool guitar lines by Mike Buckman and Ginty playing against his retort. Next up is Black Cat featuring Albert Castiglia. A slow blues groove, Ginty sets a really nice stage for Castiglia to take the lead on vocal and guitar. I've only ever seen Castiglia on Youtube (never live) and he is an exceptional player. I am looking forward to seeing him if he ever makes it to Phoenix. He doesn't over sing, his phrasing is inviting and his vocals are really nice. Ginty plays both piano and B3 solos taunting Castiglia into a really sweet and extremely fiery guitar solo. Excellent! On funk infused Elvis Presley, again Castiglia takes the lead on vocals with the feel of Boz Scaggs. I've reviewed a few of his releases and all favorable but watching him in person quickly elevates him to the list of people who I want to see in person soon! Castiglia's smokin' soloing played against Ginty's strong improvisational skills on keys makes this one terrific track. Up next is Peanut Butter, an easy shuffle featuring Todd Wolfe. Ginty's B3 work is exemplary and Wolfe grabs his tele just choking the life out of it. I've seen Wolfe in concert a few times and have always walked away smiling but Ginty coaxes a flame thrower out of Wolfe's bag of tricks. Excellent! I think that I mentioned that it was hard for me to fathom a blues band that was primarily built around a B3 player but Ginty is one guy who can really carry it off. He is no wallflower and really cooks the keys. On Rock Ridge, there is a cool phase shift during the B3 intro that messes with your head a little bit. Wolfe uses a coricidin bottle to get his slide tone before breaking into a cool jazz style jam with Kuzin walking the bass lead and Ginty and Wolfe stretching it out. Very nice! Next up is Seven and the Spirit, a bluesy rocker featuring Alexis P. Suter. Last year I reviewed Suter's terrific new release and it's a pleasure to see her join Ginty on stage with her guitar player, Jimmy Bennett. This is one of today's elite female blues singers with Jackie Scott and Karen Carroll in my opinion. Bennett lays into his Les Paul and Ginty adds substantially to the track with his well heeled organ work, along with the drumming of Fadel and Koribanics elevating the track to a full revival feel (Can't Turn You Loose).

Disc two opens with guitarist/vocalist Cris Jacobs and Castiglia, Suter and Ginty on stage for Damage Control, a funky rocker with more than a little taste of country. Jacobs knows his way around the telecaster and plays some blistering solos but also venturing into Jerry Garcia territory in style. Castiglia, playing his custom strat style guitar with rosewood fretboard and what look like some pretty expensive humbuckers. Sharing vocals on this track each player gets a chance to take his day in the spotlight making for a pretty cool jam. The Quirk opens with a cool B3 riff from Ginty, joined by Castiglia and Jacobs. Kuzik is solid on bass and Ginty gets a chance to stretch a bit. Jacobs takes the first guitar solo with a very round sound for a tele. Castiglia is up next mowing the fretboard's upper register. Ginty brings the tension back down with his laid back melody before driving off on his own solo. Off the Cuff is a keyboard feature track for Ginty with primarily drum and bass backing. The duo drumming actually brings me in mind of early Allmans with Trucks and Jainoe. Listening to it multiple times I actually think I hear a trace of Trouble No More hiding in there somewhere. Fadel and Koribanics take a pretty nice drum break showing the cleanliness and coordination of two guys who play a lot together. Ginty takes a free form solo without any backing. Creating a musical impressionistic painting as an abstracted graphic forms on the screen is a definite change. Sliding right in to the beautiful intro of Mirrors, Ginty and Jacobs trade riffs before opening into a funky rock track. Jacobs gets a Santana like tone out of his tele and plays sparingly as Ginty crafts the body of the track, taking extended times breathing very soulful solos from his tele. Very nice! Wrapping the release is Trinity featuring all of the guest artists along with Ginty and band. Again, a tent raising revival style track finds Ginty leading the way. Breaking into a smooth sway Castiglia is fist to take the floor followed closely by Jacobs. Shifting gears again to a bit of a pop feel, Ginty creates a theme line and Buckman gives his first solo. Jacobs isn't far behind with a hot blistering riff followed by Bennett on slide. Castiglia paces himself taking the longer of the solos with plenty of spark. Wolfe is also more patient but lays out a crisp solo as well. Cool conclusion to a really nice show.

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”