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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 David Maxwell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Maxwell. Show all posts

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vizztone Label Group artist: Rob Stone - gotta keep rollin' - New release review

I just received the newest release (September 9, 2014), gotta keep rollin', from Rob Stone and it smells of sweet Chicago. Opening with a strong Chicago style blues, Wait Baby, Stone is out front singing and blowing his harp backed by Chris James on guitar. Cool harp work and solid guitar riffs over a solid beat provided by Patrick Rynn (bass) and and Willie Hayes (drums)provides for a great opener. John Lee Willamson's easy stepping Wonderful Time features nice piano work from David Maxwell and a different slice of Stones super vocal work. His harp work complimented by James on guitar makes for an happy go lucky track. Another Chicago style shuffle track, Lucky 13 gives Stone a wide road to play his harp and he takes every inch of it. Cool vocal phrasing, a tight guitar solo from John Primer and a cool melody makes for one of the most memorable tracks on the release. Anything Can Happen features Eddie Shaw on sax and he tears up the solo opportunity as you would absolutely expect. Very cool! Jazz Gillum's, She Belongs To Me, has a subtle easy pace lead by Frank Rossi on brushes giving Stone an easy cloud to sing and especially harp over. Billy Emerson's Move Baby Move, has a great swing and a ringing guitar solo rhythm throughout. James steps out nicely on guitar on this track but leaves room for the super Eddie Shaw to wind it up and blow it out. Very nice! Strollin' With Sasquatch is a very cool instrumental featuring Stone on harp, Ariyo on piano, Maxwell on piano, James on guitar, Rynn on bass and Hayes on drums. Smooth! Wired and Tired has that Muddy Waters jump feel. Featuring Henry Gray on a signature piano solo and Eddie Kobek on drums this track moves. Stone lays out some great harp riffs and James is ever ready on guitar. Super! Willie McTell's Cold Winter Day is a real down and dirty blues track featuring some of my favorite harp work on the release. Maxwell rolling in some really nice piano work and with hot guitar riffs from Primer not only in solo form but also under the melody this is another of my favorites on the release. Excellent! Cornelius Green's It's Easy When You Know How has a certain R&B feel featuring Maxwell on piano under the vocal and harp work of Stone. Having more of a pop feel, this track should have broad appeal. Blues Keep Rollin' On features cool vocal harmonies with Clarke Rigsby and a really infectious melody/rhythm. Not No More' is a great final track for this release with a driving drum rhythm from Hayes, tidy guitar riffs and solo work from James, super piano work from Maxwell, clever lead vocals from Stone, accentuating backing vocals by Mike Mahany and an overall good feeling. Very cool!

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 This track not on this release but a good example of Stone's work:


Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Stone Has "Gotta Keep Rollin'" - Chicago Blues Singer/Harmonica Master Rob Stone Delivers High-Energy Mojo on His New CD for VizzTone Label Group, Due September 9


This Stone Has Gotta Keep Rollin’ – Chicago Blues Singer/Harmonica Master Rob Stone Delivers High-Energy Mojo on His New CD for VizzTone Label Group, Due September 9

Special Guests on Stone’s First Album for VizzTone Include Blues Hall of Famer Eddie Shaw, John Primer, David Maxwell and Henry Gray

NEWTON, MA – The VizzTone Label Group announces a September 9 release date for Gotta Keep Rollin’, the new CD from Chicago blues singer/harmonica master Rob Stone, distributed nationally by Redeye Distribution. Joining Rob Stone and his battle-hardened group of band mates Chris James (guitar), Patrick Rynn (bass) and Willie “The Touch” Hayes (drums), are several special guests, including newly-inducted Blues Hall of Famer Eddie Shaw (sax), guitarist John Primer, Blues Music Award-winning piano player David Maxwell and Henry Gray, former piano man for the legendary Howlin’ Wolf.

From the first notes of the lead-off track, a rousing take on Johnny Jones’ “Wait Baby,” through the album’s closer, “Not No Mo,” (a swingin’ entreaty to a lady friend), it’s obvious that Rob Stone’s music, while steeped in the finest traditions of Chicago blues, is not here gathering dust. It’s exciting, vibrant music for the 21st century with more grooves and high-energy than the law should allow.

Over the course of an dozen high-energy tracks that feature six originals, plus blistering covers of the aforementioned Johnny Jones, John Lee Williamson, (“Wonderful Time”), Jazz Gillum (“She Belongs to Me”), Billy “The Kid” Emerson (“Move Baby Move”), Willie McTell (“Cold Winter Day”) and Cornelius Green (“It’s Easy When You Know How”), Rob Stone and Co. take the listener on a tour of the sounds heard in Chicago-land’s finest blues clubs.  

Gotta Keep Rollin’ is Stone’s fourth album as bandleader and first for VizzTone. His previous CD, Back Around Here (Earwig – 2010) scored big on the blues radio charts and was also named by Living Blues magazine as one of that year’s top release. Prior releases also include No Worries (1998) and Just My Luck (2003), which was nominated for a Chicago Music Award in the “Best Blues Album” category. Rob was also prominently featured in the Martin Scorsese-produced “Godfathers and Sons” episode of the critically-acclaimed blues series that aired on PBS stations nationally in 2003.

Now based in Los Angeles, Rob Stone cut his musical teeth in the gritty clubs of Chicago’s north, south and west sides, learning from the masters. He got his start at age 18, when he slipped into a blues joint in his native Boston to check out harp great Charlie Musselwhite and was instantly transfixed. He bought his first harp the next day and began listening to recordings of Little Walter, Big Walter Horton, Junior Wells, James Cotton and the two Sonny Boys.  Before long, Rob was learning the finer points of the instrument from ex-Muddy Waters mouth organ maestro Jerry Portnoy and playing regularly with Rockabilly legend Sleepy LaBeef. Relocating to Colorado in 1990, he got his feet wet playing with biker bands on the smoky bandstands around Colorado Springs. Then in ‘93, legendary drummer Sam Lay invited the young harpist to sit in with his combo, leading to a job offer and a move to Chicago the next year. Touring internationally with Sam Lay for four years introduced Stone to blues fans worldwide. Despite leaving Sam’s band in 1998 to form the first incarnation of his current band, the C-Notes (with Chris James and Patrick Rynn), Rob and Sam continued to perform together over the years, and Sam has appeared on several of Rob’s albums. “I have worked with many harmonica players, and he turned out to be the best,” says Sam (quite an endorsement, considering Lay was a member of Paul Butterfield’s vaunted mid-‘60s band and also kept impeccable time for Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter). “That cat is a monster harmonica player and musician!”

Besides headlining his own club tours, Stone has opened major shows for a wide-range of stars, including B.B. King, Sheryl Crow, Robert Cray, Los Lobos, James Cotton and Etta James. He’s also gaining a wide reputation as an emerging talent throughout Europe with consistent overseas touring, as well as in Japan, where he’s built an impressive following of fans.

Rob Stone’s hard-hitting, honest and highly-danceable blues never fails to delight crowds at his shows. Firmly committed to spreading the blues gospel, Stone is nevertheless his own man, carving out a niche for himself with exceptional singing and harp work, plus a knack for writing terrific original blues songs.

Rob Stone and his band will support the release of Gotta Keep Rollin’ with non-stop touring both in the U.S. and abroad.

For more information, visit www.robstone.com and www.vizztone.com.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shining Stone Records artist: David Maxwell - Blues In Other Colors - New Release Review

I have just received a copy of the newest David Maxwell release, Blues In Other Colors. This is a 13 track composition with all songs written and performed by Maxwell. Joining Maxwell (keys) is Harry Manx (Mohan Vina and guitar), Jerry Leake (Indian and West African percussion) Fred Stubbs (Turkish ney),Boujmaa Razgul (Oud and Moroccan raita), Troy Gonyea (guitar), Eric Rosenthal (drums), Marty Ballou (double bass), Paul Kochanski (electric bass) and Andy Plaisted (congas). The recording is fairly hard to describe with conventional melodies and familiar sounds woven with the sounds of the east and Africa. Movin' On as an example, has a very traditional western styling which is carried throughout on piano but features the overlay of Mohan Vina and African percussion. The sounds are almost a juxtaposition of cultures. Conversely, Blue Dream begins with more of an eastern feel and is overlaid with piano as a woven compliment. The entire recording has a contiguous flow more in a jazz vein with some particularly straightforward taps on the blues. Cryin' The Blues finds Maxwell playing very direct piano blues riffs and Gonyea playing straightforward blues riffs on guitar. The Turkish ney is featured on Heart of Darkness along with the balafon giving is a much more eastern cultural feel. Manx plays some bluesy riffs on the Mohan Vina but this is still very eastern in nature. Rollin' On is a take on Rollin' and Tumblin' and takes a fairly straight forward shot at it with conventional instrumentation for the most part as does Just The Blues. Overall a very well composed and soothing recording.
  “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson 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”

 The following video is not of a song from the CD. It is attached here for the reader to see the quality of work performed by Maxwell as raved about by Bonnie Raitt, James Cotton and Otis Rush. If I am able to find a more suitable video it will be added later.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Multiple Award-Winning Pianist David Maxwell Mixes Blues & World Music on His New CD, "Blues in Other Colors," Coming October 16 from Shining Stone Records

Grammy and Multiple Blues Music Award-Winning Pianist David Maxwell Mixes Blues and World Music on His Palette for Blues in Other Colors CD, Coming October 16 from Shining Stone Records   

Special Guests Include Multi-Instrumentalist Harry Manx

MIAMI, FL – Shining Stone Records announces an October 16 release date for Blues in Other Colors, the latest CD from Grammy and multiple Blues Music Award-winning pianist David Maxwell. The talented Boston-based keyboard player, known for his creative explorations of the blues format, deftly mixes piano blues and world music on his latest effort, and is joined by a host of studio all-stars along with special guest Harry Manx, who plays the Mohan Veena, an Indian instrument he frequently uses on his own recordings, as well as guitar.

For the 13 all-instrumental tracks on Blues in Other Colors, David Maxwell blends traditional keyboards, guitars, bass and drums along with exotic instruments from India, West Africa, Morocco and Turkey for a delicious palette of sounds that transcend the traditional boundaries of the blues. The CD was recorded and mixed at Wellspring Sound in Acton, Massachusetts. 

Maxwell is coming off another Blues Music Award-winning release in 2012 for “Acoustic Album of the Year” on his Conversations in Blue CD, which paired him with the great Otis Spann. He won that same award in 2010 for his duets album with the late Louisiana Red, You Got to Move. With an impressive resume of blues, jazz and improvisational styles, he’s amassed a large collection of awards, including a 1996 Grammy for his work on the James Cotton album, Deep in the Blues. Besides his 2012 and 2010 Blues Music Awards, he’s also been nominated for 11 other awards from the Blues Foundation. Additionally, David’s won two Boston Music Awards and reader’s polls in his Boston hometown.

Blues in Other Colors represents a snapshot of the melding of traditional blues with music from other countries to which I've been drawn,” says David Maxwell. “There is a ‘blues’ sensibility in the vocal and instrumental folk and classical music from many places around the world. For instance, one can ‘feel the blues’ in some of the traditional music of Spain (flamenco), Northern and Western Africa, many countries in what is referred to as the Near and Middle East, as well as parts of Asia, India and Japan. This album came together when I approached Harry Manx from British Columbia about doing a project together. He was touring in the Northeastern US and we arranged for some studio time. Harry is a stellar singer and songwriter with award-winning CDs, who plays, among other instruments, the Mohan Veena, a kind of hybrid guitar/sitar. I fleshed out a few arrangements and called up some friends who live in the Boston area, too. So, we have an oud and raita player from Morocco (Boujmaa Razgui), a Turkish ney player (Fred Stubbs), a master percussionist of West African and Indian styles (Jerry Leake), an inventive blues guitarist who is a regular member of my blues band (Troy Gonyea), a drummer (Eric Rosenthal) and a bass player (Marty Ballou), with whom I've played many gigs from blues, jazz and beyond. Paul Kochanski (electric bass) and Andy Plaisted (additional percussion) completed the picture. Relax and enjoy the trip!”
David Maxwell has played piano with some of the greatest and well-known musicians in the blues. David plays many styles of blues, jazz and improvised music, but he is best known for his soulful virtuosity and unmatched ability to reach the heart of post-war Chicago blues. Through his work, he has gained the respect of artists, critics and fans and has established a reputation as one of the finest blues pianists alive, having played in the touring bands of Freddie King, James Cotton, Jimmy Rogers, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, Bonnie Raitt, Otis Rush and Hubert Sumlin.
“I don't think anybody could be tighter playing the blues on the piano than David Maxwell. He plays the blues like it should be played. He plays the low-down, dirty, funky blues. He’s got it all together,” said John Lee Hooker. “Dave has always been one of the most amazing piano players I've ever heard,” remarked Bonnie Raitt about his playing. “David Maxwell plays with fire and soul. He keeps the spirit of Otis Spann alive,” said  James Cotton about their work together. And Otis Rush said about Maxwell, “You remind me of the old guys - T-Bone Walker, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles. You've got a lot of talent on your hands.”
David Maxwell has been involved in well over 50 recording sessions and can be found playing keys on many blues albums that have been released over the last 25 years. He backed up Keith Richards and Eric Clapton for Hubert Sumlin’s CD, About Them Shoes, released in 2005. His music was used in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes and in the TV series Touched By An Angel. Maxwell’s diverse experience, technical virtuosity, sense of timing and rhythm, and ability to complement other band members has earned him a reputation as one of the finest blues pianists alive.

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”

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Handyman - Michael Packer Blues Band with David Maxwell



MICHAEL PACKER is a singer-songwriter, guitarist who was born in New York City in 1950. He did his first gig at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village at the age of 15. In 1969 he formed the group 'Papa Nebo" which included saxophonist Bob Mintzer who went on to play with the Grammy award winning "Yellowjackets". Papa Nebo recorded an album for Atlantic records. They were personally signed by Ahmet Ertegun.Today it is a collectors item.

Packer soon took his sound to the West Coast with buddy Sandy Allen, playing on the streets of San Francisco during the day and The Coffee Gallery in North Beach at night, Michael met George Thorogood and was turned on to the blues.

Eventually Packer and Allen made their way back to New York where they started another project "Free Beer"."Free Beer" was born at Gerdes Folk City in Greenwich Village (1973) where they added singer-songwriter Bob Potter. Free Beer recorded 3 albums for Buddha and RCA records and toured extensively with the likes of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Johnny Rivers, Dr.Hook, Clifton Chanier to name a few. All of the albums made the Billboard top 100 and they were well on their way. But nothing lasts forever in the music industry and Free Beer broke up.

After the demise of Free Beer in the late 70's Michael opened for John Hammond Jr. and sang with the Matt Murphy Band. In 1984 in Boston he fronted a 10 piece band called "Coolstep" and opened for Huey Lewis on a New England Tour. After dropping out of the music scene in the late 80's and early 90's Michael Packer hit the skids. His drinking had escalated and he found himself living on the streets. He did a year in Rikers Island for attempted robbery but that seemed to be the turning point in his life. Even in prison he had a band. HBO did a special "The Prisoners of Rikers Island in which he appears.

Michael Packer has been sober 16 years now and life is good especially his music. He has become a well known and respected member of the New York City Blues scene. The Michael Packer Blues Band has received rave reviews in Living Blues, Blues Matters, Blues Revue magazines for the live @ Sweet Rhythm album (Woodstock Records). A Best of Michael Packer has been released and also reissues of his earlier recordings Papa Nebo and Free Beer. Packer also released a solo album "The Sunny Side of Me" in 2007 featuring lyrics for the title song by a 8 year old girl from Albany NY named Gabby Kasper. Later that year Packer and his band with special guests Jimmy Vivino, David Maxwell, Sandy Allen, Dave 'Snakeman' Runyan and Felix Cabrera recorded a live session @ Lucilles (BB King's) NYC . All of these recordings were released by Alan Lorber's Iris Music Group. A Michael Packer anthology was also released in 2008. In 2009 and 2010 Michael Packer was a semi-finalist in the solo/duo competition @ the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and the Iris Music Group released the CD "Rikers Island Blues" which included liner notes by Blues Wax editor Don Wilcock and was awarded best self-produced CD by The Jersey Shore Blues & Jazz Foundation. The 2011 release of the "My Time To Cry" CD which features unreleased 40 year old Atlantic Record recordings is getting rave reviews.

Michael Packer has recently found a new home with the Chicago blues label Blue Skunk Music who have released his new CD "Free Beer" and as a result of this he now has the honor of playing 2nd guitar and touring with the 2 time Grammy award winner the legendary Delta blues guitarist David "Honeyboy" Edwards who knew and played along side Robert Johnson.

Michael Packer has lived the blues and now he is back playing the blues with style. Michael Packer will be inducted into The Blues Hall Of Fame on September 25th, 2011.