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

Friday, September 11, 2020

Downchild - Live At The Toronto Jazz Festival - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Live At The Toronto Blues Festival, from Downchild (The Downchild Blues Band) and it's packed full of blues and stars. Opening with piano boogie, Can You Hear The Music, with Mike Fonfara on keys,  Chuck Jackson on lead vocal and Donnie Walsh on harmonica, Chuck Jackson and Pat Carey on sax, Gary Kendall on bass and Mike Fitzpatrick on drums, this is a lively opener. David Wilcox joins on shuffle, It's A Matter Of Time adding slide and vocal. With great feel and energy, this is an all out party. I'm Gonna Tell Your Mama is packed with energy featuring Gene Taylor  piano and giving Walsh a great opportunity to really hang out there on harmonica. Very cool. Finland's favorite slide player, Erja Lyytinen joins on harmony vocal and slide guitar on Mississippi Woman, Mississauga Man, a cool blues rocker with Cajun kind of rhythm. Shotgun Blues is one of my favorite tracks on the release with Kenny Neal on vocal and guitar. The longest track on the release, clocking in at over 9 minutes a solid slow blues number with plenty of  room for solos by Neal, Jackson and Carey. Very nice. Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd and band leader Paul Shaffer join on R&B classic, I Got Everything I Need (Almost) and the band gets into full swing. Walsh winds up his harmonica again and the party continues. Wrapping the release is Elmore James' TV Mama with Walsh on slashing slide and Walsh back upfront on vocal. Solid closer for a solid release. 

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Stony Plain Records artists: Monkey Junk - Moon Turn Red - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Moon Turn Red, from Monkey Junk and it's quite good! Opening with Light It Up, lead guitarist Tony D dusts the slide and they're off to the races behind Steve Marriner on lead vocal and harp backed by Tony and drummer Matt Sobb. This is a swift track with slippery slide and rolling harp riffs... a super opener. Driving blues rocker, You, has a really nice guitar vamp (think Whiskey Train) and Marriner sounds quite a bit like Paul Rogers with cool vocal backing and again solid harp work. Very nice! Show Me Yours is a solid rocker but with a taste of Tone Loc with Marriner's smooth vocals and warm keyboard work. David Wilcox's rocker Hot Hot Papa features Wilcox on vocal and guitar and the track has a real ZZ Top like swagger. Stinging guitar soloing and a driving beat make this one of the total standouts on the track. Love Attack has a definite reggae feel and sets a terrific groove. Breaking from the traditional rhythm on the chorus the band adds a more commercial sound but when it returns it hits hard. I really like this track, it's Louisiana feel on percussion, and the intelligent guitar playing from Tony. Live Another Day has a whole different spin with a Uriah Heep kind of feel. One of my least favorite tracks on the release, it still is interesting and well performed. Marriner lays down a solid and progressive harp solo and Tony rips a pretty nice guitar solo of his own. Learn How To Love is a really cool track with excellent guitar effects. It's really a simple ballad but the melody, vocal blending and precise instrumentation is captivating. Lucky One is really Matt Sobb's track to lead with it's hot drum work. Marriner of course is on top with his excellent vocals and Tony D is driving on guitar but it's the beat that makes this track float. Travelin' Light is a straight up rocker with radio styling. A solid melody and a clever rhythm give this track wheels and Tony slides into home on guitar with speed and accuracy. Meet Me At Midnight has a cool R&B feel with a light funk. Nicely blended vocal harmonies and slick guitar work bring this track if for a solid closer.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

MonkeyJunk Shines on New Stony Plain Records CD, "Moon Turn Red," Set for Release on September 25

MonkeyJunk Shines on New Stony Plain Records CD, Moon Turn Red, Set for Release on September 25
Album Features a Guest Appearance from Legendary Canadian Guitarist David Wilcox

EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records announces a September 25 release date for Moon Turn Red, the new CD from multi-award winning Ottawa-based trio, MonkeyJunk.  Comprised of Steve Marriner (vocals, harmonica, keyboards, baritone guitar), Tony D (lead guitar, background vocals) and Matt Sobb (drums, percussion, background vocals), MonkeyJunk plays an energized mix of swamp blues and funky roots rock ‘n’ roll. Moon Turn Red was produced by the band and Ken Friesen, with additional production on one track by Colin Cripps of Blue Rodeo.

To watch a special EPK about the making of Moon Turn Red:

On their fourth CD for Stony Plain, MonkeyJunk displays their passionate and edgy roots-based music with an unfettered delivery, and Moon Turn Red is certain to further cement the band’s popularity around the globe. “With each record we make, we feel like we’re pushing more boundaries,” says the group’s Steve Marriner. “Moon Turn Red is no different in that regard. I really think some of the songs on this album are some of the best we’ve written. We explored grooves we’ve never hit on before and experimented with some new sounds, while paying particular attention to the melodic passages of the songs,” he adds.

MonkeyJunk truly shines on the new album, with ten scorching tracks varying from straight-up rockers like “Light it Up,” “You,” “Hot Hot Papa,” “Live Another Day,” “Lucky One” and “Travelin’ Light;” the reggae-tinged “Love Attack;” the funky “Show Me Yours;” and soulful, goose bump-inducing love songs, “Learn How to Love” and “Meet Me at Midnight.”

Moon Turn Red also features a guest appearance from legendary Canadian guitarist David Wilcox, who plays guitar and sings on MonkeyJunk’s cover of his classic “Hot Hot Papa.” “It was a real thrill for all of us to work with David Wilcox as he is someone we have been a fan of for many years - one of our musical heroes,” says Matt Sobb. “We listened to his music growing up, have covered his songs in previous bands and still listen to his albums in our van while on tour. He was very generous with his time and talents and it was truly an honor that he was so gracious and genuinely invested in making the track sound great with us.  And it was great to have Colin Cripps onboard to produce that song too - his musical sensibility and keen ears really harnessed the best out of all of us!”

Another coup for the band was having Gordie Johnson (of Big Sugar and Grady fame) lend his talents to the recording. As Marriner states, “He possesses an acute sensibility for melody and groove, a champion of ‘riff-rock’, while his role on our album is more supportive than feature, he brought all sorts of vibe to the session that I believe we effectively captured on tape that day.” Tony D adds, “Gordie and I both come out of the blues. We’ve known each other for over 25 years. It was serendipitous that he happened to be touring in the vicinity of the studio in Almonte, Ontario, and after all these years we finally got a chance to work together!”

Moon Turn Red is not only an outstanding addition to an already impressive body of work and a turning point for MonkeyJunk, it is an example of musical camaraderie and brotherhood; the trio of long-time friends and colleagues just seem to click in a way that is at once natural and otherworldly.  Their passion, conviction and dedication to their music are evident with every lick, every beat and every lyric. MonkeyJunk is a reminder to listeners that musicianship, ability and strong song writing will always triumph.

About MonkeyJunk

The 2008 birth of the Ottawa-based band MonkeyJunk came along just when music fans needed them the most. They brought an accessible and refreshing blend of swamp-rock roots and blues to the table and haven’t looked back. In the relatively short time they’ve been performing and recording together, the members of MonkeyJunk have won a collective 20 Maple Blues Awards, two Canadian Independent Music Awards, a Blues Music Award (USA), and have been nominated twice for a JUNO Award (The Canadian Grammy), taking home the coveted hardware in 2012.  

Straight out of the gate, MonkeyJunk quickly became one of the most popular new bands on the scene, performing at festivals and packed venues across the country, amassing a large audience of devoted fans, affectionately called “MonkeyJunkies.” In fact, they hit the road for a tour before their debut album, Tiger in Your Tank, was even released. They are not a fluke, one-off collective or “ordinary Joes” who decided to start a band. These are three musicians who individually had established careers prior to forming MonkeyJunk. Steve Marriner, the trio’s vocalist, baritone guitarist, harmonica and organ player, was well known as the ‘go-to’ guy as a producer, sideman and session player. He’s also toured the world performing alongside Harry Manx.  Steve is also the consummate musical networker and stage guest, having been invited to join many artists in concert such as Randy Bachman, Colin James and Big Sugar. At the age of 19, lead guitarist Tony D performed for three nights in Buddy Guy’s band. In 1982, he opened for Stevie Ray Vaughan.  These events helped propel him into a long-standing career with his own popular project, The Tony D Band. He has also toured with some of this country’s greatest musicians, including the late Dutch Mason.  Before MonkeyJunk, drummer and percussionist Matt Sobb was a very busy session drummer around Ottawa and has backed up several regional, national and international artists live on stage, touring and in studio over the last 24 years such as Kim Wilson, Jeff Healey, Tom Wilson (Blackie & The Rodeo Kings), The Tony D Band and his brother's band, Marty Sobb and The Mobb, among many others.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Stony Plain Records artists: James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett & David Wilcox - Guitar Heroes - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Guitar Heroes, from James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox and it's quite terrific. Not since Danny Gatton passed have I heard such a tastefully done release of tele rippin guitar riffs in one spot. These tracks were recorded live in a one time special performance at the Vancouver Island MusicFest on July 12, 2013 and is being released on both Cd and 180 gm vinyl. Opening with Big Boy Crudup's That's All Right featuring Albert Lee on vocal and each of the featured guitarists soloing. First Albert with his country style picking, then James with his trademark chicken pickin', then David more traditional country styling, Amos who has a distinctive riff styling of his own and then back to Albert all backed by Jon Greathouse on keys, Will MacGregor on bass and Jason Harrison Smith on drums. Great opener! Greathouse takes the mic on Suzie Q and Wilcox is up first with a real nice riff, followed by Burton with a real authoritative solo of his own. Garrett's solo steps out of the box with his solo with a bit more of free approach followed by a nice key solo by Greathouse. Garrett brings forward a really nice interpretation of Johnny and Santo's Sleepwalk. Excellent bending, chording, double stops and feel! On Ray Charles' Leave My Woman Alone, Lee is back on vocal. Lee takes the first solo and it is strong and crisp interwoven with piano work by Greathouse. Lee then leads off a flurry of solos followed by Burton and Wilcox. Hot! On You're The One, Wilcox takes the mic as well as a lead slide riff. Wilcox lets out some of the best vocals on the release and Burton, Lee and Garrett proceed to unload extended guitar solos each nicely complimenting the other on this easily paced blues number. One of my favorite tracks on the release. On Latin influenced instrumental, Comin' Home Baby, Wilcox leads the way with a cool sliding/bending solo followed by Burton, Lee and Garrett. Very very nice track. Wilcox is back at the mic again for blues shuffle, Flip Flop and Fly. He has a real interesting slide sound with a richness almost like a lap steel guitar. Lee is up next with fleet fingered riffs as clean as a whistle. Garrett really captures the swing feel and his guitar tone with echo is tops. Closing it out is Burton with slick riffs of his own. Very nice! Jimmy Seals' instrumental, Only The Young, is a quiet introspective track with lead chords by Burton, an extended key solo by Greathouse and inventive "jazz" solos by Wilcox, Garrett, Lee and Burton. Beautiful execution! Tony Joe White's Polk Salad Annie goes totally instrumental with the first melodic solo by Burton. Garrett has a more aggressive blues rock style solo followed by MacGregor who keeps it tight. Greathouse bridges the guitars with a short key solo and then it's Lee who literally blows the doors off. Wilcox is last on the list but certainly not least with a country blues attack. Two stepper, Bad Apple, features Wilcox on lead vocal with simple kicked back guitar solos by Garrett, Burton, Burton and Wilcox. Wrapping the release is Albert Lee's Country Boy featuring Lee on lead vocals and of course Lee setting the pace with his tasty rapid fire soloing right up front. Wilcox takes the second (third) solo with a real steel like sound that really sets him out. Very nice. Greathouse lays down a real nice finger wrenching piano sol before Albert steps back up to close the track. Excellent!

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Friday, March 6, 2015

James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox Are "Guitar Heroes" on New Live CD, Coming May 5 from Stony Plain Records

James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox Are Guitar Heroes on New Live CD, Coming May 5 from Stony Plain Records

Dream Team of Telecaster Masters Create an Historic Roots/Rock Extravaganza on CD and Vinyl, Recorded Live at Vancouver Island MusicFest 

EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records proudly announces a May 5 release date for Guitar Heroes, a very special live recording that teams acclaimed guitar masters James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox for what promises to be one of the most heralded albums of the year. Stony Plain Records (which is distributed in the U.S. by ADA) will release Guitar Heroes in both CD and vinyl LP formats. The LP version will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl and also include a card enabling purchasers to download the full 11 tracks on the CD edition.   

These four Telecaster Masters shake up the rock and roll universe on this historic release, recorded during a one-time special performance at the Vancouver Island (Canada) MusicFest on July 12, 2013. Rooted in blues and rockabilly influences, each of the four legends have shaped and changed the sound of popular music since the mid-1950s. The musicianship, good taste, camaraderie and energized interplay showcased on stage that night made guitar history, now preserved on recordings for everyone to experience. As Albert Lee, himself, proclaimed that night, “Welcome to my dreams here!”

Backing the four Guitar Heroes for this concert were the members of Albert Lee’s regular touring band: Jon Greathouse (keyboards/lead vocals), Will MacGregor (bass) and Jason Harrison Smith (drums/background vocals). The 11-song repertoire recorded for the program is presented just as it was heard that night, with no editing, overdubs or studio sweetening. Just four amazing guitar players having fun together and creating a magical night of music. Songs run the gamut of roots music, with explorations into blues, rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and a touch of country.

Musical highlights on Guitar Heroes abound, such as James Burton recreating his classic guitar licks on “Susie Q,” just as he did on the Dale Hawkins’ original single back in 1957; Albert Lee going on amazing guitar runs all over the album’s closer, “Country Boy;” Amos Garrett launching into the stratosphere with his string-bending take of the rock ‘n’ roll gem, “Sleep Walk;” and David Wilcox going full-out with two masterful solos on “Comin’ Home Baby.”

“As Artistic Director of the Vancouver Island MusicFest, I get to dream up collaborations like these for what will hopefully become once-in-a-lifetime musical experiences,” says Doug Cox on the album’s liner notes. “This one worked. It's truly rock and roll heaven, right here on Earth where there is indeed, a hell of a band!”

Burton, Lee, Garrett and Wilcox arrived on Vancouver Island a day early to rehearse at the local Cumberland Hotel. The mutual respect was clearly evident from the moment the four guitarists started to play together. “I remember standing out on our main street, thinking how surreal it was to have James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox in our local watering hole in the middle of the day swapping licks,” recalls Doug Cox in his notes. “It was like a gunslingers gathering in an old saloon; one where all the survivors got together to enjoy each other’s company like only survivors can. High-test, take no prisoners, expect no mercy, guitar slinging at its best.”

And no wonder: each of these players has a resume that would be the envy of any musician on the planet. “James Burton, with his trademark ‘chicken pickin’ style, has created one of the most influential styles in country music and rock and roll,” writes Cox. “His playing has become a well of inspiration for many players, including the other musicians on this recording. Albert Lee took influences from James’ style and made it his own, with tone to die for. To quote his buddy Eric Clapton, Albert plays ‘like a jazz musician, but with country scales; like Django, but with a bluegrass past.’ Amos Garrett, known as the inventor of multiple string-bending on the guitar, is one of the most well versed players in the business, with a history steeped in blues, country and jazz (including classic solos, such as his work on Maria Muldaur’s “Midnight at the Oasis.”) And iconic guitarist David Wilcox, who is perhaps one of Canada's best kept secrets, has influenced a generation of Northern pickers with his funky rhythms, quirky surprise licks and searing slide guitar that identify him as one of our countries most unique players.”

James Burton (born Aug. 21, 1939, Dubberly, Louisiana)
Career highlights: “Susie Q,” with Dale Hawkins (1957), 11 years with Rickie Nelson, Elvis Presley (1969-77), Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris' Hot Band, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Denver, Merle Haggard, Roy Orbison, the TCB Band and thousands of sessions.

Albert Lee (born Dec. 21, 1943, Lingen, Herefordshire, England)
Career highlights: Heads, Hands and Feet (1971-73), The Crickets, Emmylou Harris and The Hot Band, five years with Eric Clapton, the Everly Brothers, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, Rodney Crowell, 20 plus solo albums and thousands of sessions.

Amos Garrett (born Nov. 26, 1941, Detroit, Michigan)
Career highlights: Ian & Sylvia's Great Speckled Bird (1969-70), Maria Muldaur's “Midnight At The Oasis,” Paul Butterfield's Better Days, The Amos Garrett, Doug Sahm, Gene Taylor Band, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Garcia, Martin Mull, Jesse Winchester, etc.

David Wilcox (born Jul. 31, 1949, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Career highlights: Great Specked Bird (1970-73), Nashville North and The Ian Tyson (TV) show, Maria Muldaur, many Canadian hits and gold and platinum albums as a solo artist. One of Canada's most influential roots music guitarists, singers and songwriters.

“There are moments of deep musical inspiration on these grooves; the kind that only happens when the music becomes bigger than the individual players,” Doug Cox summarizes in his liner notes. “All egos were put aside, nothing to prove, no young, nervous energy, just veterans digging in with musical colleagues in the truest sense. Thank goodness we recorded the show, although at first it was just to be a souvenir for the players. Once we heard the results we knew it had to be shared with the world. This is pure, passionate music.”

Guitar Heroes CD Track Listing
1. That's All Right (Mama) 5:18
2. Susie Q 5:26
3. Sleep Walk 4:13
4. Leave My Woman Alone 7:39
5. You're The One 7:57
6. Comin' Home Baby 4:32
7. Flip, Flop And Fly 4:32
8. Only the Young 6:15
9. Polk Salad Annie 5:44
10. Bad Apple 6:29
11. Country Boy 5:54

Guitar Heroes Vinyl LP Track Listing
(Includes download of all 11 tracks featured on CD & in digital outlets)
    Side One
1. That’s All Right (Mama) 5:19
2. Susie Q 5:27
3. Sleep Walk 4:13
4. Leave My Woman Alone 7:40
    Side Two
1. Flip, Flop And Fly 4:33
2. Comin’ Home Baby 4:32
3. You’re The One 7:58
4. Country Boy 5:54

Friday, July 13, 2012

That Hypnotizin' Boogie - David Wilcox

David Wilcox (born July 13, 1949 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian rock musician.
Montreal native, David (Karl William) Wilcox drew inspiration from musician Elvis Presley at the early age of six. Wilcox soon picked up the guitar and began playing, having his first live performance (to a room of ex-convicts) at fourteen years old.

In 1970, Wilcox replaced Amos Garrett in Ian & Sylvia Tyson’s band, Great Speckled Bird, playing backup for acts such as Anne Murray, Carl Perkins, and Charlie Rich. In 1973, after two records, Wilcox left the band to go solo and never looked back.

Wilcox's first band, David Wilcox and the Teddy Bears, hit local stages as a flashy character with an oversized waxed moustache, a baggy suit and a flower in his lapel. His debut album, Out of the Woods came out in 1977. Out of the Woods produced his three top hits, "Do the Bearcat", "Bad Apple", and "That Hypnotizin’ Boogie". Wilcox signed with Capitol Records in 1982, re-releasing Out of the Woods, which became Wilcox’s first album to reach gold status.

Wilcox's second album My Eyes Keep Me in Trouble, released in 1983, featured "Downtown Came Uptown" and "Riverboat Fantasy". It was his second straight gold record and another series of tours followed.

Wilcox became popular among students on the college concert scene in the 1980s, for his guitar skill, humorous lyrics and quirky vocal styling.
Wilcox at a concert in Spencerville, Ontario in 2006

Motivated by the success of his tour and two gold records, Wilcox went back into the studio in 1984 to record Bad Reputation. A year later he released The Best of David Wilcox, his first compilation album, as a hit-inspired collection of his songs. It was also the debut album for "Blood Money" and "When You Mistreat Her".

Later that year, Wilcox was honoured with the COCA (the Canadian Organization of Campus Activities) for Entertainer of the Year award (1985) (Biography, 2007).

Wilcox’s next album to be released was yet another compilation of previously recorded successes and was part of Capitol Records' series Over 60 Minutes with...

In the late 1980s, Wilcox moved away from his past raw live-in-the-studio approach, to a more produced synthesizer and drum program modern rock sound. The album Breakfast at the Circus (1987) featured "Layin' Pipe","The Song He Never Wrote", sounding like a Wilcox tribute to his excessive side. After more tours, he returned with 1989's The Natural Edge. It featured the title track, "The Natural Edge", the sweet anthemic pop of "Lay Down in Your Arms", "Ivory Tower", "Pop Out World", and the leadoff track "Still Life".

It was not until some years later, in 1993, when Wilcox came out with his next album, a box set titled, The Collected Works 1977-1993. It featured live versions of "That Hypnotizin' Boogie" and "Trip Out Tonight". It also featured unreleased material such as "Needle in a Haystack" and "The Groove".

Thirteen Songs, released in 1996, featured acoustic-based music played with a small band, playing sax-and-organ jazz "Rainy Night Saloon", country storytelling "Shotgun City" and deep blues "Three Past Midnight". "God Is On a Bender" is considered one of Wilcox's best songs. Wilcox released Greatest Hits Too in 1997, with much of the album being produced by Wilcox.

Wilcox's record producer released him in 1997 due to slumping sales. In 2002 he was able to pick up a contract with Edmonton-based Stony Plain Records, and he produced the album Rhythm of Love which featured "Play That Guitar Rag", "Easy Like Rain" and "Rattlesnakin' Daddy". In 2003 Wilcox released Rockin' the Boogie: The Best of Blues and Boogie, featuring many of his best known work. In 2007, Wilcox released Boy in the Boat
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