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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 Dave Keyes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dave Keyes. Show all posts

Monday, February 10, 2020

Popa Chubby - It's A Mighty Hard Road - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, It's A Mighty Hard Road, from Popa Chubby and I hear a real maturing off styles with Chubby that I haven't heard before. Opening with, The Flavor Is In The Fat, a meaty shuffle with certain radio and crowd appeal. Backed by Dave Keyes on piano and organ, Steve Holley on drums, Brett Bass on bass and with a memorable melody and a singable chorus, Chubby is off to a great start. Two stepper title track, It's a Mighty Hard Road, is a blend of rock and blues and could also be a strong radio track. With it's simple melodic format and solid melody and a gritty guitar solo, this song hits home. R&B track, The Best Is Yet To Come is one of my favorites on the release with warm vocals and harmonies. Reinforcing the melody with a clean guitar solo gives this track even more radio traction. I'm The Beast From The East is a great blues rocker with plenty of swagger and featuring Don Castagno on drums. Anther of my favorites on the release is Gordito with it's light Latin flavored instrumental melody, carried by as delicate a solo guitar hand as you've heard from Chubby. Very nice. Straight up rocker, More Time Making Love, again has the radio formula. A solid melody, firm vocals and a great beat make this a certain crowd pleaser. Boogie rocker, Why You Wanna Bite My Bones has a strong walking bass line and Chubby leads the way on vocals, echoed by stiff guitar lead. On Leon Russell's I'd Rather Be Blind Chubby winds the band up, Leon style, and gets the lays down a solid rocker with a blues overtone. I really like Chubby's vocal work on this track where he just lets it all hang out. Very cool. Wrapping the release is a slightly grittier take on Prince's Kiss. The basic arrangement is true to the original but with a funky bass line, a straight up harmonica line, no falsetto vocals and less twitchiness, the track is a solid rocker to close a solid release. 

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Man Hat Tone artist: Brad Vickers and his Vestapolitans - Twice As Nice - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Twice As Nice, from Brad Vickers and his Vestapolitans and it's it's freewheeling blues. Opening with Big Maceo's Worried Life Blues, Vickers on guitar and lead vocal leads the Vestapolitans in a traditional shuffle. With Bill Rankin on bass, Jim Davis on tenor sax, Dave Keyes on piano, VD King on bari sax and Dean Shot on guitar, a solid opener. On Jimmy Reed's Close Together, Margey Peters joins on backing vocal and bass. Her touch gives the track an additional dimension and a raspy sax solo Davis adds a nice spice. Coast to Coast is a cool rocker with hot solos by Vickers, Keyes, and Davis. Very cool. Vickers turns over the mic to Peters for Twice As Nice, deferring his work to bottleneck guitar and with wailing nice clarinet by Davis. Memphis Jug Band's Stealin' Stealin' is my favorite track on the release with Mikey Junior on vocal and harmonica with Peters (who also plays bass) and Vickers on guitar, Rankin on drums, Davis on sax and King on bari sax. Mikey Junior, Davis and Vickers take real nice solos on Look A There Look A There, a super swing rocker with great tempo. Very nice. Wrapping the release is another Peters original, Brooklyn Evenings. With it's rimshot timing and featuring Charlie Burnham on violin, it has an old style blues feel and with Vickers shifting over to bass, Dave Gross' guitar work adds a nice sparkle to the closer. 

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

M.C. Records artist: Marie Knight - The Gospel Truth Live - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Gospel Truth Live, from Marie Knight and it's rich. This performance was recorded on October 19, 2007 at Margaret A. Hart '35 Gospel fest at the Church Street Center in North Adams Massachusetts. Unfortunately, Knight passed in 2009 after a stroke and a bout with pneumonia. Fortunately, these tracks are now available for the public. Opening with Rev. Gary Davis' I Belong To The Band, Marie Knight is pure gospel with strong piano backing from Dave Keyes. Excellent! On Sister Rosetta Tharpe's Beams Of Heaven, Knight shows just how tightly the blues is bound to gospel music. Keyes piano work is terrific and Knight is off the charts. Davis' 12 Gates To The City has a great swing and Knight and Keyes are really rockin'! Knight's rework of Anna Warner's Jesus Loves Me, shows not only pure talent but pure love for the Lord and her work. Another Davis track, Let Us Get Together, has a super gospel swing and exploits the richness of Knight's vocals. Wrapping the release is a powerful cover of the traditional, For Thine Is the Kingdom, a truly excellent closer. if you are even slightly inclined to hear the complimentary work of Tharpe and Davis as performed by Knight, this is a strong release.


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Friday, February 2, 2018

Rose Cottage Records artist: Peter Karp - Blue Flame - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blue Flame, from Peter Karp and it's a cool blues rocker. Opening with Rolling On A Log, Karp on lead vocal and guitar is joined by Kim Wilson on harp, Daniel Pagdon on bass and Paul Unsworth on drums. Kicking it up a gear, Train O' Mine is a hard driving blues rocker with Dave Keyes on piano and Dennis Gruenling sailing on harp. Warming things up a bit with slide resonator Karp gets a little greasy on Valentine's Day. Very nice. Quiet ballad, The Turning Point develops nicely into a radio style track with an interesting melody and featuring a nice guitar solo by Mick Taylor. My favorite track on the release is The Arson's Match with a distinct Elmore James feel. Featuring Karp's best vocals on the release, hot harp from Wilson and Karp and fat fat slide, nice track. A laid back, rural feel is the ticket on From Where I Stand and another of my favorites on the release. A bright melody, clean vocals and mandolin by John Zarra make this another top radio track.  Boogie, The Nietzsche Lounge has a great groove and gets your foot stomping. Karp handling vocal and piano with a great guitar boogie line supporting it makes this another outstanding track. Wrapping the release is Young Girl, a stripped down blues track with raw energy and Karp's overblown vocals with resonator accompaniment. I like this sound. Cool closer. 

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Juicy Baby Records artist: Bobby Kyle - It's My Life - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, It's My Life, from Bobby Kyle and it's a cool, R&B style rocker. Opening with Johnny Copeland's Daily Bread, Bobby Kyle shows his unique styling in vocal and guitar, backed by Everett Boyd on bass, Joel Perry on guitar, Marc Copell on drums, and Dave Keyes on keys. Driftwood has an almost Allman feel is their early, era. Kyle's vocals are solid and Keyes' accordion work gives it a totally different sound. Soul ballad, Highway Man, is one of my favorite tracks on the release with smooth pace, tension and solid horn backing by Laron Land on tenor sax, Alex Harding on bari sax, and James Smith on trumpet. Radio strong track, Blood From A Stone, is another of my favorites with solid soul roots and super horn backing. Sax solos from Land and Harding as well as a nice trumpet line from Smith give this track a cool edge.  Eddie Kirkland's I've Got My Bloodshot Eye's On You is a simple acoustic blues number with Kyle and Perry on guitar, Joey Simon on harp and solid vocals by Kyle. Tripping Out is a real nice R&B track with a light Latin flavor. Copell's percussion work along with Keyes' tight key work really sets the stage for some of Kyle's best vocals on the release. Wrapping the release is Robert Jr. Lockwood's Little Boy Blue performed by Kyle solo on resonator guitar and vocal. This is a super closer for a real enjoyable release. 

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Popa Chubby - Two Dogs - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Two Dogs, from Popa Chubby and it's a straight up rocker. Opening with arena style track, It's Alright, Chubby shows powerful vocals backed by Sam "Freightrain" Bryant on drums, Andy Paladino on bass, and Dave Keyes on keys. With a taste of funk and a rocking backbeat, Tipitina Horowitz on trumpet and Andrew Garrison on tenor sax, punch up the track with Chubby hitting a real nice groove on vocals hot solo guitar riffs. Title track, Two Dogs, has a real cool feel with a slinky dance rhythm and screaming guitar lead under the melody. Very cool. Shakedown is a strong rocker built over a base riff like Heartbreaker/Livin' Lovin' Maid by Led Zep. This is a strong rocker with hot riffs. Latin flavored instrumental, Cayophus Dupree is my absolute favorite track on the release with solid guitar lead throughout over warm organ by Keyes. Excellent! Me Won't Back Down has a jazzy but voodoo sound like a mixture of Dr John and War. I really like this track and it's percussion laden feel and crisp guitar work. Boogie track, Chubby's Boogie has great fluidity with twin guitar leads. Keyes has a nice piano solo to balance out the track and Andy Paladino does a super job on bass giving this track a solid bottom. Very cool. The Stone's, Sympathy For The Devil wraps the release with great tempo, tight piano runs, a solid bass line by Francesco Beccaro, snappy drum work by Andrea Beccaro and a lot of vocal and guitar energy by Chubby. Super closer for a solid release. 

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Keyesland Music artist: Dave Keyes - The Healing - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Healing, from Dave Keyes, and its a breath of fresh air. Opening with boogie shuffle, Change, David J. Keyes on bass lays down a nice groove, with Dave Keyes on lead vocal and piano, Stephen Rushton on drums and Rob Paparozzi on harp backed by Alexis P. Suter, Vicki Bell and Ray Grappone on vocals. Very cool opener. On Bo Diddley flavored, Not So Nice Anymore has a great tom tom beat and nice piano work by Keyes, topped by fiery slide work by Popa Chubby. R&B track, Ain't Looking For Love has a real nice feel with warm vocals by Keyes and a nice duet with Vanese Thomas. I particularly like Paparozzi's harp work on this track. Very nice. Robert Johnsons's Traveling Riverside Blues is one of my favorites on the release with Chubby smoking the strings and Keyes digging in deep on vocals, laying down some real nice piano riffs and with Frank Pagano on drums. Keyes solos out on Boogie for Stefan, an excellent piano boogie. Boogie/gospel...yup! Strange Things Happening is a lively, gospel style number with boogie piano. Keyes shines on piano (of course) and his own vocals, teamed with The Ministers of Sound is really sweet. This is a really cool track and other of my favorites on the release. Faith Grace Love and Forgiveness is a particularly potent track with a John Hiatt feel and definite gospel overtones with 30 piece, The Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir blending beautifully on queue and a soulful guitar solo by Arthur Neilson . Excellent! This release just keeps building steam with ballad, Take You Back, backed by The Ministers of Sound and Neilson again adding tasty riffs. Very nice. Wrapping the release is Box of Blues, an easy flowing, New Orleans flavored track with Paparozzi on harp, a duet with Diane Cricchio, and full horn support from Chris Eminizer on bari and tenor sax and Tim Ouimette on trumpet. Solid closer.


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Manhaton Records artist: Sari Schorr - A Force of Nature - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, A Force of Nature, from Sari Schorr and it's interesting. Opening with Ain't Got No Money, a slinky rocker, Schorr has the lead on vocal and is nicely backed by Innes Sibun and Quique Bonal on guitar, Julian Maeso on keyboards, Nani Conde on bass, Jose Mena on drums and Mike Vernon on percussion. Bouncy rocker, Aunt Hazel has a light country flair. Schorr's vocals are powerful and interesting guitar blending gives the track nice texture. Ballad, Damn The Reason, is nicely supported by Maeso's organ work and Oli Brown steps up with lightning flash guitar riffs. Sassy, Cat and Mouse, shows a different dimension in Schorr's vocals, with a cool funk beat under the track and slick guitar riffs over the top. Ledbelly's Black Betty gets a real nice remake hugging tight to early blues roots but kicking it in a whole new heavy rock style. Very nice! Walter Trout's Work No More features Walter Trout's soaring guitar riffs over a real solid bottom bass line and piano by Dave Keyes. One of the hottest tracks on the release, Trout really lights it up. Demolition Man has an easy shuffle pace, showcasing Schorr's vocals and finds Sibun trading riffs with Maeso. Cool. Oklahoma has a smooth jazzy feel and Schorr's vocals work nicely in this arena. Brown is back with cool ringing chords and nicely articulated lead work. Ballad, Letting Go, showcases the richness of Schoor's vocal style with Jesus Lavillas on keys. Sibun steps up with a really soulful guitar solo on this track making it one of my favorite originals on the release. My absolute favorite track on the release is a soulful take on HDH's Stop! In The Name Of Love, made popular by The Supremes. This is an excellent track and an excellent interpretation that would commonly go unnoticed as a cover. Unquestionably the best track on the release, it features soulful vocals, strong guitar work and solid backing vocals by Rietta Austin. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Ordinary Life, a simple vocal ballad accompanied by piano. Quiet and subtle, a very nice closer for a solid release.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Keyesland Music artists: Harlem Street Singer - Empire Roots Band - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Music from the film, Harlem Street Singer, Music by Empire Roots Band it's it's quite well done. This film and consequently this cd celebrates the music of Rev. Gary Davis. Opening with Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning, this band features the robust voice of Bill Sims Jr. guitar work by Woody Mann, piano by Dave Keyes and bass by Brian Glassman. Each of the performers shows their individual virtuosity on this track. On Search My Heart, Sims Jr. holds a strong line vocally but it's Keyes that shines on through on piano on this track. Opening with really clean piano riffs by Keyes, Mean Old World gets a super rework by Sims jr. and may be my favorite track on the release. Both Keyes and Mann lay down some exceptional riffs. There's A Destruction In This Land has a particularly strong spiritual overtone with it's gospel feel. Genre specific piano riffs and warm harmonies accentuate Sims jr.s lead vocals. I particularly like Mann's lead guitar take off on this track. Opening with some cool slide riffs by Mann, Soon My Work Will All Be Done, is a quiet contemplative track with subtle overtones. Nice finger picking by Mann opens Trying To Get Home and Sims Jr. lays down some of my favorite vocals on the release. A nice blend of Mann's guitar, Keyes on piano and a cool solo by Glassman makes this one of my favorites on the release. An extremely precise chord intro by Mann gives Sunday Church Medley a certain sophistication before breaking into a simple revival feel with blended male vocals and Keyes, Glassman and Mann sharing in the resulting musical bounty. A great intro by Mann and Keyes and a nice bass line by Glassman gives on Hesitation Blues a terrific posture. Excellent! Twelve Gates To The City has a nice almost New Orleans strut thanks to Keyes. Glassman lays out a solid bass solo on this track, lightly punctuated by Keyes and Mann plays close to Sims Jr. really capturing the feel of RGD. On I Am The Light Of This World/I Belong To The Band, Sims Jr.s vocals are more neatly tucked into the basci feel of the music with solid piano throughout. Mann has a few hot riffs but this track is about it's swing. Wrapping the release is Orangitang Rag. This is a really crisp guitar lead guitar track with tight bass riffs and a quick piano solo from Keys. An excellent track to conclude an uplifting release.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Rob Paparozzi , Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Dave Keyes

New Jersey-based frontman, singer, & harmonica player Rob Paparozzi has been a blues performer since 1967. But Rob is far from being strictly a blues musician. In fact, he's at home playing a wide range of music, ranging from rock to blues to jazz to pop. This versatility is reflected in the long and remarkably diverse list of major artists Rob has worked with, including B.B.King, Dr. John, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Carole King, Roberta Flack, Culture Club, Cyndi Lauper, Randy Newman, Jimmy McGriff, and James Galway.





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Friday, October 18, 2013

Keyesland Music artist: Dave Keyes - Right Here Right Now - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, , from Dave Keyes and it's a variety of good time, boogie, blues and R&B... I mean it's a literal party! Opening with Here She Comes Again, Keyes has a great band playing feel good blues music a la Elvin Bishop. This is such a great style blending horns and vocals featuring Keyes on vocal and keys, Frank Pagano on drums,Sue Williams on bass, Chris Eminizer on sax, Tim Ouimette on trumpet and Popa Chubby screaming away on guitars! You Think I Don't Know is a soul ballad remaining somewhat contained making it a prime radio track. Popa takes a few bars to add his personal signature to this track and it blends beautifully into the mix. Nothing Left To Lose has a bit of a Latin feel but with R&B style keys and vocals. With a little Louisiana piano roll keeping the track moving along, Eminizer and Ouimette add a great horn backing. Guitarist Dave Fields steps up for a flaming guitar solo on this track adding some additional spice to the gumbo. Shadow Boogie is a great piano rumble. You want to hear someone play traditional piano boogie without the modern added crap...here it is! Sit Right Here opens with a gospel style piano intro but develops quickly into a R&B infused Wet Willie style track again with Eminizer, Ouimette and Fields cooking the back as Keyes leads the way. Fields plays some outrageous slide work characteristically heard from the Lowell George camp. Excellent! A cool track, Who Stole The Baby Jesus features special guest Diane Cricchio on vocal duet with backing from Paul Smith, Jeanie Brower and Keshia Baldwin and a great sax solo from Eminizer. This track has such a great gospel vibe and delivery! Never Say Goodbye, the second ballad on the release features primarily Keyes on vocal and piano. Jeff Pevar takes a very warm resonator solo on this track adding substantial to an already supple cake. Now's My Time, a cool shuffle track features David J. keyes on bass, and Steve Rushton on drums while Keyes trades piano riffs with Popa Chubby on hot slide. Delta Queen has a rolling blues sound with a taste of early Allmans. Popa is back on guitars backed by George Naha on rhythm. Keyes vocals on this track are reminiscent of Jack Bruce. Wrapping the release is Wronged Man Blues, a lightly executed spiritual style track. Woody Mann plays guitar to Keyes piano in a very well balanced acoustic boogie. This is a release that you should definitely check out!  

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Although not on this release, this is a good representation of Keyes at work: