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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 Eddie Shaw. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eddie Shaw. Show all posts

Monday, June 3, 2019

Women Of The Blues Records artist: Mary Lane - Travelin' Woman - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Travelin' Woman, from South Side Chicago's Mary Lane and its real nice. Opening with title track, Travelin' Woman, Lane shows why her reputation precedes her large as life. Joined by Travis T. Bernard on drums, Chris Cameron on keys, Jim Trullio on guitar and bass, Terry Ogolini and Gene Barge on sax, Don Tenuto on trumpet and with flaming hot slide work by Louie Zagoras this is a super opener. Up tempo blues track, Leave That Wine Alone, has a great tempo and Lanes vocals are sassy. Johnny Grey on B3, Phil Miller on slide and Paul Mertens bass harmonica work is solid and backing vocals by Simbryt Dortch and Yvonne Gage really add nicely to the bottom. Corky Siegel sits in on harmonica on shuffle track, Some People Say I'm Crazy and with solid piano work by Grey, a very cool track. One of my favorite tracks on the release is soul soaked, Let Me Into Your Heart with it's gripping vocal feel and gospel like piano and B3 reinforcement by Cameron. Lanes phrasing and vocal tension are perfect. Bad Luck And Trouble has a driving shuffle pace with Trullio's bass line leading the way. Cameron on piano and Lane on lead vocal really mesh nicely on this track with a solid guitar solo by Dave Specter. Wrapping the release is acoustic blues, Make Up Your Mind featuring Lane alone with Colin Linden on acoustic slide / dobro. This track is a strong closer for a really cool release.



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Monday, January 23, 2017

Hear And Now Music artist: Derrick Procell - Why I Choose to Sing the Blues - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Why I Choose To Sing The Blues, from Derrick Procell and it's interesting. Opening with The Wolf Will Howl Again, Derrick Procell has the lead on vocal with Eddie Shaw and also plays keys and harp. Joining on this track are Woody Johnson on guitar, Jack Skalon on drums, and Bobby Levine on guitar. Trouble Me No More has a high energy R&B feel with Bob Baglione laying down some real nice guitar riffs. Bob Margolin sits in on The Eyes Of Mississippi with some slick slide work and some of Procell's best vocals on the release backed by his own fine harp work and keys. Cool. On title track, Why I Choose To Sing The Blues, Procell has a nice soul feel in his vocals and a little funk in the groove handling bass, drums and keys. Very nice. With a cool swing feel, They All Find Out features Zoey Witz with guitar "witzardry" and Procell adds bass and key with horn work over a solid bottom. David Steffen handles the guitar work on Broke The Mold and again I like Procell's vocals with a thick soulful feel. Woody Johnson is back on slide guitar on Sorry with nice backing vocals by Meredith Colby, Evvy Procell and Sofie Way. Nice blues track, Who Will Tell Lucille has a soulful sound with particularly nice guitar work by Alex Smith. Another track with rich vocals, this is likely my favorite track with just the right phrasing, arrangement guitar soloing and piano. Revival style track, Back In The Game has a nice warm feel with nice slide guitar by Baglione and super vocal by Procell and nice harp by Billy Branch. I also notice Skalon's drumming on this track adds a cool snap. R&B style Don't Waste A Wish On Me, has great soulful feel with super Ray Charles like vocals and nice guitar riffs by Witz. Very nice. Wrapping the release is blues rocker, Too Much featuring Chris Hanson with some stinging workon guitar and John Torroll on drums. Procell lays out his best harp work on this track making for a solid closer.


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Friday, January 15, 2016

Delmark Records artist: Magic Sam Blues Band - Black Magic - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Black Magic, from Magic Sam Blues Band and it's nothing short of great! Magic Sam passed only days before the original release of Black Magic back in 1969 and this shows Sam with his allstar studded band and a few additional/alternate tracks. Opening with Roscoe Gordon's, I Just Want A little Bit, Sam leads the way on guitar and vocal for a snappy blues rocker. The great Eddie Shaw is right there blowing a great sax solo and Sam handles guitar with Mighty Joe Young. What Have I Done Wrong has a cool R&B underpinning supported by Lafayette Leake on piano, Mac Thompson on bass, and Odie Payne on drums. Willie Dixion's classic, Easy Baby has a super soul feel with strong horn work from Shaw. With it's Boogaloo style, Sam has this track hopping. Slick guitar work and rolling rhythm gives this track extra spark. Lowell Fulsom's, It's All Your Fault Baby has a great unique take showcasing Sam's vocal styling and tidy guitar riffs. Shaw's sax work gives the track depth and classic double stops and beautiful guitar runs make this one of my personal favorites on the release. Don Nix's Same Old Blues has a great swing and excellent solo's from both Sam and Eddie. Excellent! I really love Sam's take on You Don't Love Me Baby with a great tempo and spicy riffs from Shaw and Sam. Freddie King's San-Ho-Zay is a crisp rocker with Sam hittin the strings just right. You Better Stop is a really nice slow blues number with fluid "Magic Sam" riffs over Eddie Shaw tone and Leake piano riffs giving it just perfect balance on Payne's snappy drumming. Excellent! Otis Rush's Keep On Loving Me, Baby really gets up and goes. Sam leads the way with clean, simple guitar riffs, echoed by Shaw and grounded by Thompson and Payne. What Have I Done Wrong (alt)is tight with alternate vocal tracks. The alternate on I Just Want A Little Bit has some great sax work by Shaw so make certain you catch this! The alternate on Everything's Gonna Be Alright has a great feel and stinging guitar solo. Keep On Doing What Your Doing has a great Chicago feel with warm sax from Harris and cool guitar riffs from Sam, coupled with his soulful vocals...very nice! Blues For Odie Payne is a real hot one with Sam and Young each taking an excellent solo before letting Eddie off the chain for a super solo as well. Excellent! The alternate for Same Old Blues has a great groove and Sam is in it. Dig his guitar phrasing on this one! The alternate 2 on What Have I Done Wrong is a great R&B number with super vocals and close work between Shaw and Sam. Wrapping the release is the alternate to Keep On Loving Me, Baby with high energy and powerful vocals. Sam's guitar work is clean and concise speeding to a conclusion about to erupt. Excellent ending to an excellent release! Also included is an excellent 16 page booklet with some great photos and notes not published before.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Blue Kitty Music artist: Liz Mandeville - Heart 'O' Chicago - New Release Review

I just received the newest release. Heart 'O' Chicago from Liz Mandeville and it's quite cool! Opening with Cloud Of Love, a blend of soul, R&B, funk and gospel; I really like the feel! Featuring sax solo's from Oz Landessberg and Eddie Campbell as well as a cool trombone work from Eric Campbell and hot bass from Darryl Wright, this smokes. On These Blues, the band falls back into a calm swing and Mandeville goes from a hot spiritual vocal style to more of a club jazz style. Minoru Wright on guitar and Joan Gand share the instrumental spotlight backed by Wade baker on trumpet, Eric campbell on trombone and Oz Landessberg on sax and the slick stick work of Jeremiah Thomas on drums. Don't Doubt My Love finds Charlie Love in a vocal duet with Mandeville on an easy R&B track. Maruyama lays down a nicely stylized guitar solo on this track which nicely dresses it. So Called Best Friend has a cool groove set by Wright and Thomas and featuring Mandeville on vocal. Billy Branch lays down some real nice harp on this one as does Maruyama with his stinging guitar riffs. Quit Me On Voice Mail has a real nice slow sensibility. Eddie Shaw digs in on this track showing some of his best chops on anything I've heard in a while. Mandeville shows real comfort moving from the slow ballad to the moving R&B and high energy spiritual. Maruyama again steps up with sweet sweet blues riffs. Very nice! Shuffle track, Party At The End Of Time, lead by a rolling bass line from Wright, features Branch back on harp and a cool solo line from Maruyama. Silver Lining (Shirley's Blues) is a cool R&B track again with gospel energy. I have always liked this style of track and mandeville's voice is nicely suited for this. I really dig Wright's bass work on this track and well articulated guitar work from Maruyama is tops. Baker, Campbell, Landessberg and Gand really get this track swinging! Tic Tok has more of a Rock/R&B feel with strong horn backing and nice B3 work from Gand. Why Would A Woman Sing The Blues is a high stepping track with a super nice groove. Mandeville takes one of the most aggressive, raw guitar solos on the release immediately elevating it to one of my favorites. Smart Women Foolish Choices again features a vocal duet with Charlie Love and Mandeville. A slick modern shuffle, features really nice bass work again from Wright and a cool trumpet solo from Wade Baker. (Life Is Like A) Wave takes standard 12 bar format and features Dizzy Bolinski on harp. Mandeville steps up with a little blues swagger of her own on guitar in tandem with Bolinski for a simple conclusion to a very cool release.

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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.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Earwig Music artists: Chris James and Patrick Rynn - Barrellhouse Stomp - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Barrelhouse Stomp, from Chris James and Patrick Rynn and it's a roller! Opening with contemporary Chicago style blues track, Goodbye, Later For You, in traditional fashion, Rynn and James open the release featuring super harp support from Rob Stone and piano work from Aaron Moore. James is always solid on vocals and he lays down nicely phrased riffs on guitar. Just Another Kick In The Teeth has a funky swing to it featuring Eddie Shaw on sax (as well as Jonny Viau, Norbert W Johnson) and Jody Williams on guitar. Viau opens I Feel So Good with a honkin good sax solo and James does a nice job of delivering on this classic blues track with contributions from Willie Big Eyes Smith (drums) and Aarom Moore on piano. Messin' With White Lightning has a spankin quick pace and Jody and James are on it with guitar riffs. Hot piano riffs from David Maxwell highlight this track and Willie Hayes is tight on drums. On slower paced swing track, Before It's Too Late, James digs in with vocal acuity and Moore really shines on keys.  A Fact Is A Fact, a quick paced Chicago style blues features Viau and Johnson on sax and Eddie Kobek on drums. James' vicious slide work and Rynn's steady bass work really make this work. One of my favorite tracks on the release, It Always Can Be Worse, James plays really nice harp along with his vocals and guitar, backed nicely by Hayes, Maxwell and Rynn. I'm Gonna Stop Foolin' Myself has a real R&B feel to it with Johnson and Viau back on mighty sax and Williams lays down some fine riffs on guitar. On classic Vicksburg Blues, Stone is back on harp and Williams on guitar but it's James on vocal and Maxwell on keys that really take this track for a ride. Bobby's Rock is in the tradition of Freddy King with really super fluid slide work from James and fine sax work from Kobek, Viau and Johnson. Take It Easy is a jammin boogie with Maxwell leading the way on keys. This is another track that really highlights James' vocals. Last Call Boogie is a really cool track using the Latin beat under the blues. Full blast sax work, Kobek really smokin the drums, Gray really hammering the keys and nice double stop guitar work from James makes this a terrific wrap to a solid release.  

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Operator - Eddie Shaw

Eddie Shaw (born March 20, 1937, Stringtown, Mississippi, United States) is an African American, Chicago blues tenor saxophonist. In his teenage years, Shaw played tenor saxophone with local blues musicians such as Little Milton and Willie Love. At the age of 14, he was involved in a jam session in Greenville, Mississippi with Ike Turner's band. At a gig in Itta Bena, Mississippi, when the then 20-year-old Shaw performed, Muddy Waters invited him to join his Chicago based band. Shaw more or less divided the tenor saxophone duties with A.C. Reed. In 1972 he joined Howlin' Wolf, leading his band, the Wolf Gang, and writing half the songs on The Back Door Wolf (1973). After the singer's death in 1976 he took over the band and its residency at the 1815 Club; renamed Eddie's Place. Shaw led the gang on Living Chicago Blues Vol. 1 and Have Blues - Will Travel (1980), and recorded albums in different company for Isabel Records, Rooster Blues, and Wolf Records. By the late 1970s, Shaw's own recording career started, with an appearance on Alligator Records' Living Chicago Blues anthologies (1978), his own LPs for Evidence and Rooster Blues, and more recent discs for Rooster Blues (In the Land of the Crossroads) and Wolf (Home Alone). Shaw's many contributions to the blues include arranging tracks for The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions (which featured Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Ringo Starr and others) and performing with a list of blues notables that included Hound Dog Taylor, Freddie King, Otis Rush and Magic Sam (on his Black Magic album).

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

For You My Love - Eddie Shaw & Abb Locke

Abb Locke is one of the most legendary saxmen of the blues, born in Cottonplant, Arkansas. Picked cotton as a young boy but had a dream to play the sax. He struggled throughout his childhood, living on his own and working his way to fullfill his dream. He came from the cotton fields to Carnegie Hall. This came true when he played with Albert Collins. He has recorded and worked with Buddy Guy (see the Chess box set), Willie Mabon. Earl Hooker, Albert Collins, Koko Taylor, Magic Sam, Eddie Clearwater, Lonnie Brooks, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Howlin Wolf (three or four years in the band and Abb is featured in Wolf's new biography), the Rolling Stones, and many more. “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”

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eddie Shaw & The 757 Allstars - Still Riding High - New Release Review

I was talking to my new friend Jackie Scott a few weeks back and she asked if i was familiar with the new Eddie Shaw recordings. I am now and it is hot! The release has 8 tracks opening with a hopping instrumental, Sack Full Of Blues with Eddie leading the way on sax. It's a screamer! Stilladog! It's the saxbomb! I know you'll love it. It features Shaw on Tenor, Chuck Williams on Alto, Bill Kelly on bass, Mark Hopkins on guitar , Henry M Johnson on guitar and Philip Johnson on drums.(Stilladog is my lifelong friend and blues music aficionado in Maryland). Oh Baby is a laid down boogie featuring Williams on vocals and some hot riffs from HM Johnson on guitar. What Comes First features Shaw on vocal for a standard 8 bar blues jam. Paris In The Fall, a loping swing boogie, features Bruce Gray on vocal and super sax from Shaw and Williams. Tom Fisher does some really sweet piano work on this track. Black-Eyed Peas and Fatback features Shaw and Tom Dikon on harp for a primitive little blues track. Louisiana Blues really picks up the pace with Bruce Gray again on vocals and Dikon on harp. Great piano work again on this track by William Ledbetter. Blues Dues hit's square on the head for me with Jackie Scott taking the lead on vocals (can I say holy crap!) and a really deep blues track. Scott can say more with one note than all of the Star Search/American Idol arpeggios I've heard! Hopkins takes the lead on guitar and really digs in for a nice solo. William Garrett leads off on vocal on Stole My Daughter, a Chicago blues style track. You can smell the smoke. This is a real strong track and the band really gets the groove going. Lickskillett Mississippi gets with that Jimmy Reed sound and Ron Fetner on lead vocals. HM Johnson again throws down some tasty guitar riffs and Dikon is hot on harp. HM Johnson leads off I Got To Go Now with some nice guitar riffs and William Garrett takes the lead on vocal. The sax men step back up front on Rock This House and really get the band hopping. Bruce gray sings lead vocals and Mark Hopkins plays a cool slide solo as well. Eddie Shaw and Jackie Scott team up on vocals for I Want A Pretty Woman, written by Fernando Jones. This track has a a bit of a back beat and sets up well for Scott and Shaw to trade vocal licks. This is a really strong cd is so many ways, vocals, saxes, groove factor... it''s all here! 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”

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bman's Exclusive Interview - Jackie Scott


I have to admit … sometimes I think that I live under a rock. A number of months back I got a cd by Jackie Scott and the Housewreckers , Going To The Westside, for review and I wasn’t familiar with her work. At the time, I gave it a good review and stuck it in a drawer with CD’s to listen to later because it was good. My regular readers know I have been going through that drawer recently and pulling out the best of the best. Jackie Scott is high on the list. Her recording is incredible and when I watch video of her I wonder how I could have missed her. I mean this is the real deal! http://www.bmansbluesreport.com/2012/01/going-to-west-side-jackie-and.html"

Jackie has been kind enough to take some time out to talk with me and I’m ready to listen!

Bman: Hi Jackie! Where did you come from? I mean you are off the charts with talent and you can’t just be starting out! Tell me what you have been up to and how you got started.

Jackie: I actually started singing blues about 10 years ago after my son left for college. Prior to that, I sang in church. Going from gospel to blues was an easy transition for me simply because blues is the only music I know that can move me like gospel. They both speak to me in different ways but moving all the same. The musicians where I live were playing blues long before I came on the scene and I’m so glad they did. They gave me a foundation to draw upon, inspired me and left the door open for others like myself that were just getting into the blues .

Bman: I thought that there might be some gospel in there. There is a whole feeling to gospel and how it is so real. That’s where I see the real blues come from. That feeling.

Jackie: I attended a wedding in Chicago and had the opportunity to hear live Chicago blues in it’s element. It was there in Chicago that I received my baptism into the blues. I was swept off my feet. I fell hook, line and sinker in love with the blues. I can really say that my life was never the same after that. It became my passion. I don’t know if I found it or it found me but whatever it was I knew that I’d find it in Chicago. Months later I was flying back to Chicago to understudy with Ms. Nellie “Tiger” Travis. Long story short I learned a lot from listening, watching and being surrounded by the Chicago sound and the musicians and entertainers that have made Chicago a great Mecca for blues. She was a blessing and helped me to develop in the blues arena. From there I’ve had the opportunity to witness some of the most talented musicians and entertainers in the world right there in Chicago. No place like it!

Bman: This recording of yours, Going To The Westside, is really strong. Have you been working on the material for a long time or are you really prolific?

Jackie: It funny how things kinda work out. GTTW was dedicated to Eddie who many know as a Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf alumni. I had an opportunity to interview Eddie (Shaw) while in California with Nellie. I was moved by recollections of Howlin Wolf and their very special relationship. I was blown away by his candor, humor and of course his vast knowledge and experiences in the blues. Like with Nellie, I became a student and couldn’t wait for the teacher to start class. I learned and continue to learn so much from them and many, many others. Over the years I’ve collected a lot of Eddie’s music and know much, much more about him as a musician and the very special part he has played in blues. Excellent writer... I mean creative and inspiring. Even Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon have recorded his songs. As an arranger, the Unk and the Funk album by Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf’s London Session are some of his handy work. I could go on and on.The fact of the matter is, I thought it would be fitting to honor, in the small way that I could, his contribution to those of us that are passionate about the blues. I wrote the title track, GTTW in honor of Eddie. He often would tell me stories about the Westside of Chicago and painted a very vivid picture of what the blues scene was like years ago. I never tire of hearing it.

The bible says there is nothing new under the sun and I believe that to be true. Everything has been here before and I think music is the same way whether it be a bass line or the lyrics in song. All words and notes we’ve heard before. What makes them different is the way they are expressed. Prolific ?? I think not. Blessed … yes !!! I’ve had the privilege to encounter and interact with really, really great musicians and entertainers who in themselves are inspiring.

Bman: Really love your sound! I’ve included a clip of you performing How Much Woman Can You Stand from back in 2010 and it is really hot.

Jackie: Eddie came down and celebrated my birthday with me and I had a wonderful time. He loves it here and my town really gave him a king’s welcome from start to finish. It was up close and personal. Friends, family, fans and everybody that loved the blues was there. It was a night filled with hot smoking blues … the way it’s supposed to be. People are always talking about blues being on the decline but for me it never will be. I can listen to some of this stuff over and over again and each time it brings me more joy. I recently took my grandsons to see Black Joe Louis & the Honeybears and they really liked them. I wanted to introduce them to something that they wouldn’t normally listen to. We had a great night out together and they were introduced to blues with a twist.

Bman: I agree with you. I don’t see a decline in interest in Blues music at all. What I may see is a decline in the purity of some of what is being produced now. The real blues music, the heartfelt music will always be here. And of course the pop trend will change in cycles as it always has. What may be more noteworthy is the demographic of people who frequent live venues. As that demographic has stayed the same, those who truly love the blues music are less likely to go out.

Are you touring right now? Coming to Phoenix?

Jackie: I work a regular job so I’m not touring although we’ve had the opportunity to perform at great festivals and venues. I was blessed to perform at the 2012 Chicago Blues Festival as part of the tribute to Koko Taylor and then to tour with Cookie, Koko’s daughter, to continue that tribute around the country. If I wasn’t working a regular job it might be a different story. We’ve toured areas in a 8 hr driving range. Beyond that it’s little pay by the time you take care of your expenses. I, on the other hand, have been further out and performed with other bands. It’s kinda panning out that way since very few venues and organizational are willing to take on the added expense of getting a band to their events.

I would love to come to Phoenix !! Every region seems to have their own take on blues. Chicago has it’s sound, New Orleans has it’s sound, St. Louis, etc. It’s very interesting to see what the blues scene is like around the country. Who knows. One day I might just be in the neighborhood!

Bman: That would be excellent.

You aren’t alone suffering that “not enough cash in travel” issue. There are really well known artists that I have loved for years, that don’t do much but major festivals outside of their home area. That road life is hard and the pay isn’t always great. Are the Housewreckers a band that you tour with or are they a studio band? They are really hot as well.

Jackie: The Housewreckers are my band and we’ve been in the studio together 3 times so I guess that kinda makes them both. Some played on one project and some on another. It just depended on what the songs called for. Of course the longer you play together and get a feel for each other the band becomes tighter.

Bman: I can definitely see that. I hear that you’re working on material.

Jackie: I recently completed a cd project called “Eddie Shaw & the 757 Allstars..Still Riding High”. I asked Eddie to come to Norfolk to do a project that would help to promote blues and live entertainment in this area (757 is our area code) and encourage area musicians to continue to perform blues. Eddie was kind enough to let us record from his vast catalogue of songs that have spanned his 60 year career in the blues business. We had about 14 people to participate in the project and it was just amazing. No big I’s and little u’s. Eddie treated everyone with respect and as equals. Just musicians jamming together. It was a testament to the drawing power of the blues and it’s ability to stand the test of time. They really bonded and became a team. It was a project just waiting to happen. Eddie’s love and commitment to the blues just overflowed into everybody that was involved in the project. I have a saying …Blues is our inheritance. Passing it on gives it value. We have to begin to reach back and pass the blues forward to continue to give it value and introduce it to a new generation of music lovers. Eddie has done just that.

It was released on Jul 6th in Virginia Beach at a venue called the Jewish Mother. It was a packed house and the 757 showed up and showed out. I raised part of the money by doing benefits and other projects and then with blues lovers who support the blues and picked up the rest with a Kickstarter project. It was really encouraging to see how folk came together to support the project. The cd is available at Http://www.eddieshaw.com. It’s really is a great project.

Bman: I need to get a copy of that! What can we expect as far as solo work? Is there any timing for the release?

Jackie: Professor Fernando Jones, who teaches at Columbia College in Chicago and runs the Fernando Jones Blues Camp in Chicago, has written a few songs that I’m crazy about and I will be going there very soon to record them for my next cd project, Hell On Wheels. I’m not gigging as much now. I wanted to take some time to really focus on writing more. I don’t have any idea as to when it will be released. I’m just gonna put the cake in the oven and take it out when I think it’s done.

Bman: Well, I for one can’t wait! Thanks a lot Jackie. I really appreciate your time! Is there anything else that you’d like to share with your fans?

Jackie: Check out the CD with Eddie! G to his website to read more about it.


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”

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Delmark Presents :It Ain't Over - 55 Years Of Blues


I opened the mail yesterday and found a real treat. I received a copy of the recording, It Ain't Over celebrating Delmark's 55 years in business live at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. I have been in this club many many times and this would have had to be the blast of all blasts. The opening track finds powerhouse singer Zora Young doing some power funk with a backing band featuring Lurie Bell and Scott Cable on guitars, Roosevelt Purifoy on keys, Bob Stronger on bass and Kenny Smith on drums. Young's Till The Fat Lady Sings is a great opener for this show. Bell throws down some great blues riffs on the funk playing his 335 and as Purifoy starts to rap out the funk on the keys Young starts to channel the godfather of soul with some squeals that would make JB proud. The rhythm section on this band is remarkably tight and Cable gets in some hot riffs on his Strat. I notice three amps on stage throughout the night which appear to be a Brownface Vibroverb, a Pro Tweed and a Blackface Twin.
Next up is Jimmy Johnson who does two great songs; Cold Cold Feeling and You Don't Know What Love Is. Johnson's vocals are very strong and deliberate and grab you good. He also manages to squeeze some terrific blues solos out of what I have found to be in general a sterile guitar. It's like they say, Jeff Beck can play a toy guitar and it will still sound like Jeff beck. Well. this isn't a toy and Johnson knows how to play it really well. Johnson is backed by Dave Specter on guitar, Brother John Kattke on keys, Harlan Terson on bass and Marty Binder on drums. Kattke gets the opportunity to show his stuff on You Don't Know and Spector takes a cool second guitar solo on his Epi 335 with the mini pickups.
Aaron Moore takes the stage for two vocal/ piano numbers with Kenny Smith on drums. It's all about style and Moore delivers the goods on Wading In Deep Water and Why You So Mean To Me.
Little Arthur Duncan leads the next set of Pretty Girls Everywhere and I Got To Go of course featuring Duncan, ever the showman, on harp and vocals, Rick Kreher on Strat, Nick Moss on a JazzMaster, Bob Stronger on bass (Fender Jazz) and Kenny Smith on drums. I hadn't mentioned it earlier but Stronger is right in the pocket and always tight. Moss takes short crisp solos on each track.
Lurrie Bell is up next with Don't You Lie To Me and Reconsider Baby. Bell is joined by Purifoy, Stronger and Smith. He plays both pickups most of the time and seems to opt for more of a twangy single coil tone that really suits his playing style. (The more I watch this video the more I am impressed by Stronger's incredibly tight playing). Bell really digs in on Don't You Lie To Me and lays down a very cool shuffle solo. On Reconsider Baby Bells vocals are impressive and he has fattened up his tone somehow and really takes the 335 down. Some extremely impressive playing by Bell in choice not only of riffs and style but neck position for effect and dynamics.
Bell's crew stays on stage and they bring up Shirley Johnson to sing a terrific version of As The Years Go Passing By. Johnson has a great deep rich voice and Bell keeps stinging the tune with impeccable taste. Bell gets another chance to shine and he steps up. He is relentless on the 335 and squeezes every drop of blues out of it!
Eddie Shaw replaces Johnson with Bell and crew and rips onto the stage playing a great tenor sax into to For You My Love. He leads the band in vocals and Purifoy's presence is more prominent. Shaw blows some major league riffs and the place is hoppin. The Sun Is Shining, a great loping blues tune gives the band a great opportunity to stretch a little first with Shaw on tenor, then with Purifoy on keys and bell on guitar. This turns into a cool boogie jam.
Last up is Tail Dragger with the addition of Big D. on Harp, Kevin Shanihan on Strat for Tend To Your Business. Big D. takes a great swat on harp and the band lays back and lets TD have the floor. Bell takes a particularly articulate stretch on this track and Shanahan gets in a quick tasty shot of the blues. For the final track Tail Dragger does a great version of My Woman Is Gone. His vocals are impressive and the band is tight. Billy Branch joins on harp and blows out some terrific riffs.
This is a great show commemorating the 55th year of Delmark and the declaration of Delmark Records Day (March 7, 2008) in Chicago by Mayor Richard M. Dailey and the hard work done by founder Bob Koester of such a meaningful blues milestone.
Special features including a pretty insightful discussion of the history of Delmark, it's development and the blues. It's a great listen.
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”