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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 Eller Soul Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eller Soul Records. Show all posts

Friday, February 15, 2013

Eller Soul Records artist: 4 Jacks - Deal With It - New Release Review

I just received a new release, Deal with it, from the 4 Jacks and it's a killer! With an allstar cast of Anson Funderburgh, Big Joe Maher, Kevin McKendree and Steve Mackey this is a band of bands. The title track, Deal With It is the opener and has that Stax sound with a round, plucky lead guitar melody and keyboard soloing with the solid bottom on an instrumental that is instantaneously cool as cool gets. Funderburgh plays a real nice lead solo and shows that taste that he is so well know for. Great opener! Have Ourselves a Time is a hot swingin blues featuring Big Joe on vocals. Mackey drives this track on bass and Funderburgh sets down a real nice groove on this track as well. I Don't Want To Be President brings out the Albert King funky blues style and prolific lyrics don't get lost behind the magic. She Ain't Worth A Dime is a classic 12 bar with each player contributing some smoke here. McKendree lays down some particularly hot piano licks on this track. Love's Like That is a real smokey track with tom tom drum beat as rhythm and Funderburgh blistering the paint as punctuation under the smooth vocals of Maher. Bobcat Woman is a great Texas loper and Funderburgh throws down some great guitar phrases on this track. I remember the first time I saw Funderburgh was on the Sanborn show on TV and I was an instant fan. I saw him a few years later (possibly I'll share a photo of us sometime) and I remember asking him to step forward and play more. Funny ... me telling AF that he should step up and play more. He probably thought I was some kind of hick. This is really tastefully done and well balanced with heat all around. Your Turn To Cry is a real slow blues just simmering and waiting to burst into flames. The vocal placement in the mix is particularly cool. I'm not a recording expert but it is just forward of the band, and it sounds great. Funderburgh plays some of his most inspired riffs on the cd and I'm really diggin it! Thunder And Lightning is a fast paced track along the lines of Big Boss Man or Howlin For My Darlin and the band hits it right on the screws. Texas Twister is a great honky tonk style track with Funderburgh taking the lead and McKendree playing some great keys under the top with solid bass and drums from Maher and Mackey all through. This is style! Ansonmypants is a boogie track with some comedic lines to open leading into a full out rocker. These off beat tracks are killer! Funderburgh takes this one deep and T-Bone is taking notice! The band sounds great! Bad News Baby is another slow number with great keys intro and vocal call and guitar response... I mean...who won't love this! It's good that the band held this track off until late in the release because it will be hard to top it. Mackey keeping a nice simple walking bass line going and a low mix on great key work by Mckendree...just simple rim shots from Maher, this is terrific! Ok... for the closer. Painkiller has a simple guitar/bass riff over a simple electric organ track slowly letting the cat out of the bag. MacKendree really shines on this track and Funderburgh steps forward and takes a few really nice solos of his own. This is a great funky instrumental strut and a great conclusion to a great release.

 By the way...straight to the best of 2013 candidates!!

  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”

You know I hate putting up a review without a video. This one isn't off of the release but a suitable track to get a flavor of the band if you are not familiar with the players.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Eller Soul Records artist: Li'l Ronnie and the Grand Dukes - Gotta Strange Feeling - New Release review

I just received Gotta Strange Feeling, the newest release from Li'L Ronnie and the Grand Dukes. This is a really interesting blend of blues sounds featuring Li'L Ronnie Owens on vocals and harp, Ivan Appelrouth on guitar, John Sheppard on bass, Mark Young on drums, John Fralin on piano and North Side Slim on percussion. Owens wrote or co wrote 12 of the 14 tracks on the release demonstrating well his capabilities not only to play and sing but also as a writer. The recording starts off with Can't Buy My Love, a slow shuffle tune. The track shows a slinky tightness as well as nice guitar and harp riffs. Cold Hard Cash is a great southern funk track along the lines of Little Feat.They get a great groove going here and nice vocal harmonies. Sweet Sue is a smart jump style blues and gives Owens the opportunity take a sweet harp solo. One of my favorite tracks on the recording is She's Bad Bad News, a loping Texas style blues. On Louis Jordan track, Buzz Me, Appelrouth gets a chance to step out a bit. He is a very stylistic player and I enjoy his playing quite a bit. The harp tones on Fat City are great. This is what people listen to harp players for. The title track, Gotta Strange Feeling, is a cool swing blues and everyone gets a chance to stretch a bit. It's always nice to hear the supporting players step up and show what they got. Late Night Blues is a great slower blues with Owens showing his capabilities again with great harp tones and Appelrouth getting some spot time. Bring Your Love Home is a great swing blues and Appelrouth lays down some really tasty riffs on this one. Fralin also gets a pretty good shot on keys to keep the groove moving. Owens brings it all home with is harp playing to finish the track.

I found this a surprisingly good recording and one that I believe many listeners will really love.
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”
The following is not from the cd.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Eller Soul Records artist: Andy Poxon - Red Roots - New Release Review

I just received a copy of Andy Poxon's recording Red Roots. Clever title for a kid playing blues roots music with a large red "natural". The recording is comprised of 13 original tunes with a number of different flavors. There are tastes of Boogie, Funk, Country, Soul, Pop, and a good dose of Blues. Being from Maryland, Andy likely gets exposed to everything as it is a melding pot of music in that musical hub. Andy is actually a pretty good singer in the style of young Jimmy Hall and shows real potential as a guitar slinger. The recording overall is a great first effort and I'm anxious to see how he does as he matures. His playing shows real depth in melodic understanding and I feel that once given the opportunity to explore a bit more, he could be a real powerhouse. There were a few standout tracks on the recording, Hottest Thing in Town, a Boogie played on guitar a 'la Gatemouth Brown, No Love a funkier tune sung over a blues base and Is There Anything I Can Do which resembles a Don Robey song but plays out very nicely. Definitely worth the listen and catch him live and see what he can do!
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