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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 Delbert McClinton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Delbert McClinton. Show all posts

Friday, October 2, 2020

VizzTone Label Group artist: Lloyd Jones - Tennessee Run - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Tennessee Run, from Lloyd Jones and its a cool blend of blues, R&B, funk and pop giving it a bright, energetic feel. Opening with hard driving R&B track, You Got Me Good, Jones on lead vocal and guitar really has the place hopping. Backed by Kevin McKendree on keys, Steve Mackey on bass, Kenneth Blevins on drums, Jim Hoke on sax, Quentin Ware on trumpet and Roy Agee on trombone this is a strong opener. Rock n roller, I Wish I Could Remember Loving You, has a great rhythm guitar pace with Jones paired with Teresa James on lead vocal and McKendree's piano work is outstanding. One of my favorite tracks on the release is funky swamp track, Bayou Boys with McKendree on organ and cool horn interplay by Hoke, Ware, Agee and with Richard Metz on percussion. Very cool. Hoke lays in a really nice bari solo on another funky swamp track, That's All I Want which also features LaRhonda Steele on vocal. Dilly Dally has a Taj Mahal like, laid back bluesy island feel. With wah wah guitar and funky organ, it just makes you feel good. Wrapping the release is Chevrolet Angel, a funky, bluesy strut. I  like Jones' cocky vocal styling on this one with nice backing vocal by Etta Britt and Jackie Wilson and funky lead guitar by Jones, chased by the horn work of Hoke, Ware, and Agee. A fine closer for a fun release. 


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Friday, September 13, 2019

Hot Shot Records artist: Delbert McClinton and Self-Made Men + Dana - Tall, Dark & Handsome - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release. Tall, Dark & Handsome from Delbert McClinton and Self-Made Men + Dana and it's pretty interesting. Opening with foot stompin shuffle, Mr. Smith McClinton really has a groove going. With great sax work by Jim Hoke and trumpet by Dana Robbins, this track is hot. Backing vocals by Vicki Hampton, Wendy Moten and Robert Bailey and a super band including Joe Maher on drums, Glenn Worf on bass, Bob Britt on guitar, Kevin McKendree on piano and B3, Jim Hoke on bari and tenor sax, and Quentin Ware on trumpet, Dana Robbins on tenor sax and Roy Agee on trombone, this band is super. On light swing track, No Chicken On The Bone, McClinton's vocals are well primed and Stuart Duncan shines on violin. Again excellent backing vocals by Hampton, Moten and Bailey enrich the track and Britt on acoustic guitar and mandolin nicely compliment McKendree's piano work. Very nice. With a jazzy undertow, Lulu has a loose, small club feel. A real nice solo by Britt punctuates this track with it's overall swing. Loudmouth is a cool, BB King like blues shuffle. Yates McKendree, Britt and Kevin McKendree lay down some tasty guitar riffs and Kevin's piano work is strong. New Orleans flavored, A Fool Like Me, has rich gumbo, with great stumble drumming by Maher and piano by McKendree. Delaney McClinton vocal paring with Delbert is really fine and the addition of Hoke on clarinet and Bari sax, Ware on trumpet, and Agee on trombone makes this track one of my favorites. Temporarily Insane is another favorite on the track with stripped down backing on McClinton's stark vocals sounding mostly like acoustic guitar but including Mellotron, drums and bass. Excellent! Wrapping the release is A Poem, a quirky track with rugged vocals by McClinton over minimal guitar by Britt and piano by McKendree. Strong closer. 

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Blue Elan Records artist: Janiva Magness - Love Is An Army - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (February 23, 2018), Love Is An Army, by Janiva Magness and it's earthy. Opening with R&B track, Back To Blue, Janiva Magness shows authority in the shadows of Mayfield and Green with Stephen Hodges on drums, Davey Faragher on bass, Arlan Schierbaum on keys, Doug Livingston on pedal steel, Dave Darling on guitar, Phil Parlapiano on piano and Darrell Leonard, Joe Sublet and Alfredo Ballesteros on horns. Also contributing backing vocals are Kudisan Kai, Sugaray Rayford, Gary Pinto, Natasha Pinto, Thrones, Aurelia, Dave Darling and Brie Darling. Excellent opener. Another nice entry is Tell Me with strong vocals and real nice guitar work by Darling. Ballad and title track, Love Is An Army, has a strong melody with warm pedal work by Livingston and really nice vocal duet between Magness and Bryan Stephens. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Down Below with a really earthy feel and featuring Courtney Hartman on guitar and banjo. Faragher's bass line on What's That Say About You really sets the track apart with super vocal blending by Magness and tight guitar riffs from Darling. Another track with super R&B roots, but with a strong blues root is Home, with Cedric Burnside. This is a strong track and has a really firm grim on early blues. Very nice. Wrapping the release is power ballad, Some Kind Of Love featuring Magness on vocal, only backed by Parlapiano on piano. Powerful closer to a solid release.



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Friday, December 8, 2017

Casey James: Strip It Down - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Strip It Down, by Casey James and it's quite good. Opening with blues rocker, All I Need, Tommy MacDonald sets a Ray Manzarek style bass groove and Casey James on lead vocal and guitar takes the bait. His vocals are gritty and his guitar tone is warm and rich. Backed by Kevin McKendree on Wurlitzer, Tom Hambridge on drums and Ron McNelley on rhythm guitars, this is a band made in heaven. Two stepper, Bulletproof, has a great feel and Delbert McClinton joins on vocal giving it great style and screaming harp work gives it great edge. Hurt Me More has a real nice Texas lope where McKendree's dancing key work nicely compliments James' vocals and guitar riffs. Very nice. Pat Buchanan's harp work sets the tone for Latin flavored blues number, I Got To Go with a great sound. Hambridge's tight rhythm patterns drive this track, McKendree's B3 solo adds color and James guitar soloing and vocals are top notch. Little Willie John's, Need Your Love So Bad, is one of my definite favorites on the release showcasing James' vocal style and providing just that right forum for an expressive guitar solo. Excellent! With a taste of R&B, James steps forward on strong radio track, Different Kind Of Love with a solid melody, joined by Wendy Molten on backing vocals and potent horn work by the Muscle Shoals Horns. Very nice. McKendree opens Makin' Up, a potent rocker, with a rolling piano riff and they're off to the races. A definite foot stomper, and excellent piano/guitar exchange make this another of the favorite tracks on the release. Wrapping the release is Fight You For The Blues, a raw blues number with James on lead guitar and McNelley on slide giving the track real grit. McDonald's bass lines and McKendree's B3 work add to the tension and Hambridge's perfect accent drumming really kick it. Super closer.



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Thursday, October 1, 2015

15 South Records artist: D.L. Duncan - Self Titled - New release review

I just received the newest release, D.L. Duncan from Dave "D.L." Duncan and it has a good feel. Opening with I Ain't The Sharpest Marble, a rockin boogie track, Duncan lays down a cool groove on vocal and guitar with David Hood on bass and Vince Santoro on drums reinforcing the bottom. Kevin McKendree hammers out a real nice piano line making this a solid opener. Dickerson Road has a super guitar rock sound (think All Along The Watchtower) and Duncan sets his strings searing into the stratosphere. On Walter Vinson style blues track,You Just Don't Never Know, McKendree adds nicely to the texture on the track and the McCrary Sisters provide a warm background as Duncan sings lead, Delbert McClinton plays harp with Duncan's guitar adornment. Very nice! Your Own Best Friend has a distinctively Gregg Allman sound and Sonny Landereth adds a heaping share of his distinctive slide sound. McKendree takes a really nice piano solo over B3 and with the McCrary Sisters on vocals, this is certainly one of the best tracks on the release. I Know A Good Thing is a high stepping stripped down blues track with a solid bass line and drum beat keeping it tight. Duncan's own guitar work which rides the melody is quite effective. Super! Sending Me Angels is a solid blues based pop track sounding like an Eric Clapton hit. The McCrary Sisters really warm up the track along with Duncan's smooth vocals as well as resonator. McKendree on B3 and piano adds just the right touch of gospel style keyboards giving the track an embracing feel. Orange Beach Blues has a R&B sway with warm jazz overtones. Duncan's vocals are pure and his guitar work clean as a whistle. The McCrary Sisters again add just the right mix of warmth with McKendree on B3 and Duncan pairs with Guthrie Trapp on guitar giving the track a super overall sound. St. Valentine's Day Blues is an easy paced R&B style blues track with Duncan's vocals leading the way balanced nicely with McKendree on keys. Duncan does some of his nicest guitar work on this track throwing down some really sweet blues riffs. Sweet Magnolia Love is another track which to me has a distinctive Eric Clapton pop style. A nice hook and warm backing vocals from the McCrary Sisters along with twin guitar riffs from Duncan and Trapp make it perfect radio track. Wrapping the release is All I Have To Offer You Is Love, a simple bluesy ballad with nice acoustic slide guitar work and rich lead vocals from Duncan. McKendree always seems to have just the right amount of throttle on keys adding nicely to most anything he touches. The slide work on this track is sweet and well manicured making this an excellent closer for a solid release.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

News and Updates from the Jon Spear Band






Dear Friends, Fans and Family –

We have a number of enjoyable events planned for the summer,  and we're looking forward to seeing you at one of the fine venues listed below.  We're especially excited to be the opening act for Delbert McClinton this coming Friday July 17, at Charlottesville's venerable Jefferson Theater.  We've followed Delbert for years and we own a small mountain of his CDs – so it's an honor and privilege for us to be on the same billing with a performer of his caliber and reputation.  There are still tickets available so if you want to save a few $$$ by purchasing your tickets at the advance price, please click here.

For our friends in the DC/MD/NOVA area, we have a great EARLY gig scheduled at JV's in Falls Church for Sunday, July 26 from 4-7:30 pm – so you can enjoy our music, have time for dinner, and still get home early!  Bandmembers Jon Spear and Andy Burdetsky both used to live in the DC area and they really enjoy seeing their old friends when we're back in town.

2015 is shaping up as a great year.  Our "Old Soul" CD has just started its 5th month on the Roots Radio Report "Top 50" Chart and has also been getting regular airtime on SiriusXM Bluesville satellite radio.  Come to any of our gigs and we'll have CDs available for sale and even autograph them if you want.  We've had some great reviews and, on top of that, we're appearing at events alongside the likes of Debbie Davies, Delbert McClinton, the Iguanas, the Chris Duarte Group, and Memphis Gold.  So what could make us happier?  – seeing YOU at one of these great upcoming events.

Friday July 17 with Delbert McClinton


Delbert McClinton is a legend among Texas roots music aficionados. He's been entertaining appreciative audiences for over 40 years with his formidable harmonica playing, brilliant song-writing and and super-talented backup band.  The Jon Spear Band is going to get the Jefferson Theater in a rocking good mood for Delbert's appearance on July 17 and we're looking forward to seeing you there!



Queen City Brewing Company

Friday July 24 – 7:30-10:30 pm
 834 Springhill Rd, Staunton, VA 24401



JV's Restaurant

Sunday, July 26 – 4:00 to 7:30 pm
6666 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church VA



Charlottesville Fridays After Five

Friday, August 14 at 5:30 pm
nTelos Wireless Pavilion
 



Starr Hill Brewery

Sunday August 23 – 2:30 to 5 pm
5391 Three Notched Rd, Crozet, VA



Chili Blues n' Brews
Saturday, Sept. 19 – 2:30 pm

Chris Duarte Group, Anthony Rosano & the Conqueroos, Memphis Gold, Fatty Lumpkin & the Love Hogs, and the Jon Spear Band @ Lumos Plaza, Waynesboro, VA



Our "Old Soul" CD has just entered its fifth month on the Roots Music Report Contemporary Blues Album "Top 50" Chart.  Meanwhile, across the pond, "Old Soul" was listed at #17 in the Top 50 list compiled monthly by the UK Independent Blues Broadcasters Association in March of this year.  To date, our CD has been heard on over 60 stations on every continent except Antarctica, and we've signed up fans as far away as Japan, South Africa and Australia.  If you'd like to purchase your own copy of the CD and see what all the excitement is about, please visit CD Baby, Amazon.com, or iTunes





Thursday, May 23, 2013

New West Records artists: Delbert & Glen - Blind, Crippled And Crazy - New Release Review

I just received the new release (June 18, 2013); Blind, Crippled And Crazy; From Delbert (McClinton) & Glen (Clark) and it's good rip roaring fun! Opening with the tongue in cheek, Been Around A Long Time, a great lyrical track with a bit of country and a bit of rock, The band is a who's who including Gary Nicholson on guitar, Tom Hambridge on drums, Bob Britt on guitar, Kevin McKendree and Bruce Katz on keys. This track is way sophisticated for "country music" but with a great country swing attitude it really is a fun track! Up tempo 2 stepper, Whoever Said It Was Easy, brings a smile to your face as it is obvious that D&G are having as much fun making this track as I am listening to it. A slick country pickin guitar solo sets off nicely in the middle of the track but this is really all about the singers and this is entertainment. Oughta Know, featuring Anson Funderburgh, has a real Texas lope to it and of course lots of really tasty guitar. This is a great track that happens to feature great guitar licks by the master. World of Hurt has a real solid strut to it and a slick guitar solo accenting a really cool vocal arrangement. Someone To Love You is another great rocker featuring D&G's voices in tandem and hot little guitar riffs sprinkled throughout. Sure Feels Good is a laid back track again showing the magic of D&G's voices together. A nice harp solo by McClinton on this track breaks the duet and leads to individual vocal bridges. Steel guitar work on this track also gives it a bit of a country flair. Peace In The Valley really starts to broach on funk sounding like a Billy Preston track. This is a happy go lucky track with individual lead singing, fat guitar riffs and cool funky piano filler. There is also a short slide solo on this track adding a bit more paint to an already colorful palette. Peace In The Valley is a great country rocker with driving guitar with piano pushing the vocalists to a higher level. I really like this track and rate it among the best on the release. Good As I Feel Today has a distinctive New Orleans sound and the vocal blend is great. I also want to mention that I especially like the piano work on this particular track. The final track on the release, If I Could Be Your Lover, is really different with a Spanish twist. Acoustic guitar backing as well as really nice nylon string guitar soloing played against beautiful violin work makes this a great finish to a really interesting new release.

  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 favorite band!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Alligator Records artist: JAMES COTTON - COTTON MOUTH MAN - New release Review - Ellis James guest contributer



Blues harmonica legend, James Cotton releases his new CD “Cotton Mouth Man” which will be available at local and online record stores beginning May 07, 2013. May is also a time in which Cotton’s 77 year old face fills the cover of the current issue of Living Blues magazine. Writer and walking Blues almanac, David White provides a 10-page look at a career spanning nearly 60 years. This CD was premiered at a live performance, Saturday, May 25, 2013 at the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonerry, New Hampshire.

Cotton Mouth Man follows the trend of collaboration and featuring key players to round out the disk filled with 13 no-nonsense blues tunes. This by no means is a compromise but in this case is a certain gift to the listener. Guests as they appear in order are Joe Bonamassa, Gregg Allman, Keb’ Mo, Warren Haynes, Ruthie Foster, Delbert McClinton and vocalist Darrell Nulisch, long time veteran of Cotton's road band. The backbone of Cotton's band on this CD are the great Tom Hambridge on drums, Rob McNelley on guitar, Chuck Leavell  on keys, and Glenn Worf  on bass.The title track, Cotton Mouth Man,  features Joe Bonamassa on  guitar played with the fervor and sound of  Ten Years After at Woodstock. Next up is Midnight Train  featuring Gregg Allman. Subtle harmonica intro that kicks into a full band punch. A healthy and strong sounding Gregg Allman delivers the vocals and organ amongst great doses of Cotton’s distinctive harmonica and tasty guitar licks from beginning to end. Mississippi Mud featuring Keb Mo is next as acoustic juke joint piano lays down the solid foundation for Cotton’s harp, tasty electric guitar with Mo’s distinctive and cool vocals covering the top. This is one cut wherein there is an extra nice harmonica bridge solo that is quite cool. A none too subtle homage is given to Muddy Waters in both name dropping tip of the hat and song title inference. Something For Me wakes things up with the Warren Haynes' slip and slide which seems to fit hand and glove to the harmonica work. Touches of the ZZ Top like ‘buzzin’ and processed vocals add to an over all effect. Heartfelt female vocals from Rutie Foster gives a great change up in style in the Wrapped Around My Heart torch song.  A more complex harmonica arrangement meshes perfectly with the blistering guitar riffs and passionate lyrics.  
Saint on Sunday gives a two-for-one “Devil on Saturday and Saint on Sunday” view of two women rolled into one. This is a straight ahead driving song with prominent harp and bass line with the organ taking a more subtle back seat. Delbert McClinton lends his distinctive vocal delivery and guitar to a definite dance tune. Hard Sometimes reminds us the of difficulties of getting someone out of your mind with a funky double entendre to boot.  Drums and Bass are featured more than other cuts in the respect lent to Young Bold Women. Three words that work well together in describing what makes everything alright. Beginning with an almost a Calypso skip beat morphs into a straight up basic 4/4 blues beat only to bounce back and forth between the timing changes resulting in a song that would be easy to believe as a fun romp for the players to perform. Story telling is  key to the lucky find of a Bird Nest On the Ground. Once again a good Cotton bridge solo which stands out as my favorite example of James’ notable talent on this recording. I have to admit that Keb’ Mo is one of my favorites for vocal style and his ability to tell a story. Wasn’t My Time To Go draws in the listener with more round house piano and subtle harp with what sounds like a tasty arch-top
Blues is Good For You is a pleasant bass-driven walking blues with a simple story filled with references to Southern style and a strong platform for Cotton to blow his blues away. This is sure to bring a tap of the toe and a smile to your face. Bonnie Blue features Cotton on vocals and harmonica laid over a basic resonator guitar.  It’s great to hear Cottons voice both because of the texture that he gives to the song and as a testament to his right to call himself a bluesman. 


If you are a fan of harmonica blues then this is certainly a release that demands your spin time and attention. Less is more in this case. Production values are superior and a definite recommended collection!

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 favorite band! Here's James live in concert. Not a cut from his current release.