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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 Fred Kaplan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fred Kaplan. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

VizzTone artist: Bob Corritore and Friends - Phoenix Blues Rumble - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Phoenix Blues Rumble, from Bob Corritore and Friends and it's a great blues rumble. Opening with Big Fat Woman 489 LBS. a blues rocker featuring Chico Chism on vocal and drums, Henry Gray on piano, Paul Thomas on bass and Bob Corritore on harmonica. This is a solid opener with plenty of harmonica by Corritore. With a deep, New Orleans, R&B feel King Karl has the microphone on Mathilda, wailing some really soulful lines. With Johnny Rapp on guitar, S.E. Willis on piano Thomas on bass and Doug James on horns, this is a real standout. George Bowman has the mic for slow blues, I Was A Fool and it's one of my favorites on the release with Jon Atkinson on guitar, Danny Michel on rhythm guitar, Troy Sandow on bass and Brian Fahey on drums. Corritore is a standout on this track with thick, heavily hooded harmonica and Atkinson lays in a tasty guitar of his own to tie down the track. Shuffle, Nine Times Out Of Ten, with it's sonny Boy Williams feel, again features Bowman on lead vocal. Atkinson on guitar fans the guitar nicely, Corritore blows a strong solo on harp and Sandow and Fahey hold the bottom tight. Sugaray Rayford leads the way on The Glide with super vocals joined by Junior Watson on guitar, Fred Kaplan on piano, Kedar Roy on bass and Rena Beavers on drums. Watson takes a real nice solo with Kaplan keeping the rhythm on piano. Wrapping the release is I'm Evil, a slower Chicago style track featuring Big Pete Pearson on lead vocal. With Johnny Rapp pulling the strings on lead guitar, Corritore adding essential harmonica lead, Chris James on guitar, Matt Bishop on piano, Patrick Rynn on bass and Fahey on drums, this is an excellent closer. 

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Delta Groove Music artist: Mitch Kashmar - West Coast Toast - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, West Coast Toast, by Mitch Kashmar and it swings. Opening with hot shuffle, East of 82nd Street, Mitch Kashmar on harp is joined by Junior Watson on guitar, Fred Kaplan on keys, Bill Stuve on upright bass and Marty Dodson on drums. Mitch really rocks it on this one and Watson is throwing fire from the frets. Super opener. With a Latin flavor,Willie Dixon's Too Many Cooks, has a cool groove featuring Mitch on lead vocal, claves and harp. Dodson's precision playing and glistening chords from Watson set the pace and Kaplan's solo on piano is strong. Henry Glover's Young Girl is up next with Chicago style. With a solid bottom Kashmar vocals are tops and his harp playing is soulful and adventurous. Cool swinger, The Petroleum Blues, has a super 12 bar feel and and Kashmar sits nicely in the groove. Watson nails it on guitar again with a really nicely styled guitar solo. Slowing the pace down a bit, Mood Indica, gives Kashmar the chance to really milk the blues from his harp. Kaplan's piano work is really cool and blended with Watson's guitar work, this is my favorite track on the release. Cool boogie track, Don't Stay Out All Night, rides nicely on Stuve and Dodson's bottom giving Kashmar space to stretch vocally and Watson to trade solo's with Kashmar. Gritty Chicago blues, My Lil' Stumptown Shack, is as pure as it gets. Kashmar's vocals are deep and a super weaving of blues instrumentation by Kashmar, Kaplan and Watson are planted solidly on the work of Stuve and Dodson. One of my favorites on the release is Alcohol Blues with a straight groove and a nice walking bass line by Stuve. Kashmar's vocals are clear and his harp solos sit nicely on Watson and Kaplans work. Very cool. Wrapping the release is Canoodlin', a silky smooth jazz instrumental which at over 7 minutes gives Kasmar, Kaplan and Watson each super opportunities to dish out some solid solos. Excellent closer for a tasty release.

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  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”

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Delta Groove Music artist: John Long - Stand Your Ground - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Stand Your Ground, by John Long and it has a great authentic feel. Opening with Homesick James' Baby Please Set A Date, Long is stroking the slide, Elmore James style, backed by Fred Kaplan on piano, Bill Stuve on acoustic bass and Washington Rucker on drums. This track could easily have been recorded in the 40's or 50's by Muddy with a rich early feel. In addition to Long's slide work, Kaplan's exceptional piano work is sweet! Great opener. Son House style creeps into Red Hawk and long shows his powerful vocal style as well as his command of House's excellent slide style. Excellent! On country style blues, Things Can't Be Down Always, Long continues to demonstrate his versatility in style and delivery. His vocals are pure and his playing clean. On title track, Stand Your Ground, Long introduces a bit of New Orleans feel with Stuve and Rucker. A cool rhythmic track with a more contemporary feel. Welcome Mat is an excellent Delta blues track with early Muddy /JL Hooker delivery. Because of Long's vocals and guitar phrasing, this may be my favorite track on the release. On No Flowers For Me, Long pulls out his harmonica to assist in his delivery and with his guitar, delivers some of the best vocals on the track. It's really quite hard to imagine that these tracks are contemporary and not 75 years old. Very nice! One Earth, Many Colors has a gospel swing, punctuated by Stuve, Kaplan and Rucker. Kaplan's solo is jangly and stylish and Stuve's bass right in the groove. Healing Touch has a real soulful style and again essential vocals by Long. His harp work is nicely complimentary to his unadorned guitar work. Very nice. Willie Johnson's I Know His Blood Can Make Me Whole is a cool track with slide / vocal melody. A cool entry among mostly all original tracks. Mike Cronic's Mop, Bucket and Broom is a cool, 30's style swing track with Long showing yet another style and doing it nicely with fine picking, chords and a light dusting by Rucker. Blind Wilie McTell's Climbing High Mountains has a spiritual swing but updated with a swing rhythm. Morphing his vocals to a more pure smooth singing style, Long shows he can sing it all. Very nice! Rev. Thomas Dorsey's Precious Lord, Take My Hand maintains much of the original gospel feel but with just a light touch of blues. This is an excellent interpretation of this classic gospel number, given it isn't being sung by the likes of Aretha or Mike Farris and more in the style of Ray Charles. Wrapping the release is Suitcase Stomp, a great boogie woogie track with Long chasing himself on guitar and harp. This is an excellent release with a lot of heart and reality. Check it out!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Raoul and The Big Time - Hollywood Blvd. - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Hollywood Blvd, from Raoul and The Big Time and it's quite good. Opening with Nothin' Gonna Take Me Down, Raoul has enlisted some of the top blues talent on the continent including Rick Holmstrom on guitar, Jeff Turmes on bass, Stephen Hodges on drums and of course Raoul on harp and vocals. A loose blues infused stumble, this track is laced with hot guitar and harp riffs. Title track Hollywood Blvd, has a Latin R&B feel featuring Fred Kaplan on piano. Larry Taylor on bass and Richard Innes on drums give Raoul and Junior Watson a nice rhythm to lay out some great Chicago style solos. Bobby Blue Bland's Someday it given a really nice traditional feel and Raoul does a nice job on lead vocal. Frank Goldwasser really hits the target with hot guitar work on this track, backed by Darren Gallen on guitar, Terry Wilkins on bass, Tom Bona on drums, Pat Caret and Alison Young on sax and Jake Wilkinson on trumpet. Excellent! Shuffle track High Roller, strokes a nice chord with Kaplan on piano and Watson on drums. Raoul steps up on the track and a simple harp solo keeping this a cool compact blues track. Amphetamine is a high strung instrumental blues romp featuring great work from both Raoul on harp and Holmstrom on guitar. Another excellent track! Allan Toussaint track Get Out Of My Life Woman maintains that New Orleans lumber and features Rusty Zinn on guitar. It's always a treat to hear Zinn lay it down and Tyler Yarema adds some nice piano riffs on this track. Of special note on this track is the nice horn work of Carey, Young and Wilkinson. Left Coast Fred is a really cool boogie featuring really tasty guitar work from Watson and harp work by Raoul. Fred Kaplan taked a particularly cool piano solo on this track and Larry Taylor steps up with a nice upright bass solo as well. Staples Singers track Why Am I Treated So Bad is an easy soul track with a simple pop rhythm. Tired is a down and dirty blues track again with hot guitar work from Watson and crisp piano work from Kaplan. Raoul really lays out some nice harp work on this track making this one of the best tracks on the release. Jump track Spoken For again gives a clean dance floor for Watson to torch the fretboard. I mean he's not out there alone, but he really does a nice job. Strong bass work from Taylor and of course vocal and harp work from Raoul are icing on this smoker. Curtis Salgado steps up to the mike on harp on Curtis Charm with great backing from Raoul, Darren Gallen on guitar, Wilkins on bass, Bona on drums and Yarema on piano. A really nice laid back blues track with two fine harp players laying it all out there. Traditional track, In The Shadow Of The Pine brings to mind some of the depression era tracks cut by Ry Cooder. Surprisingly enough, this is one of my favorite tracks on the release featuring Johnny Sansone on accordian, Raoul on acoustic guitar and vocal, Wilkins on bass and John Showman on violin. This is a really quiet conclusion to a pretty hot 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 favorites band! ”LIKE”


Friday, March 28, 2014

Delta Groove Music artist: Bob Corritore - Taboo - New release Review

I just received the newest release (April 15, 2014), Taboo, from Bob Corritore and I have to say it's absolutely spectacular! I won't have to review this in my car a month from now to know whether I will like it next time around. It is simply that good! Living in the Phoenix metro area for a long time, I have seen Corritore many times and been to his famous blues club, The Rhythm Room many times as well. I have to say that this is surpasses every live performance that I have ever seen Bob do, and will easily make it into one of the must have releases of the year. This all instrumental, yes, all instrumental release opens with Potato Stomp, a cool Chicago style blues track with Junior Watson on guitar, Doug James on sax, Fred Kaplan on keys, Kedar Roy on bass and Ray Innes on drums. Corritore is forward in the mix and playing strong. A nice sax solo leads to a stutter stepped guitar solo from Watson. Excellent! Many A Devil's Night, one of my favorite tracks on the release has a real bluesy ballad feel to it. Corritore really hits the note on this track and Junior Watson plays some really outstanding riffs on this track. Kaplan lays down some mean keys and it's not just filler. This is the real deal guys. Harmonica Watusi pretty clearly describes what you might expect. Corritore grabs that famous tone and bouncing against Kaplan they get a good groove on. Slamming guitar riffs ... surf style give this track a fun feel and is a cool sorbet cleansing the palate for the next bite of blues. Taboo  is a quiet tune with understated harp and beautiful light guitar chords with tom tom. This song has that 50's soundtrack feel and I really like it. This release really is excellent! Harp Blast is a straight off Chicago boogie. Corritore is leading the way with great harp work and supported by solid work from Kedar Roy. If this doesn't get your foot stompin... get someone to check your pulse. Mr. Tate's Advice is a really nice Chicago style number with Corritore again taking a strong position with some of the clearest harp playing I have heard in a long time. James keeps a strong horn riff going under the melody and also plays a tight solo to be reckoned with. Papa John supports the bottom with organ and Dowell Davis plays clean articulate drums as well. Jimmie Vaughn lays down some really tasty guitar riffs on this track trading off with DeFrancesco on keys leading back to a unified ending. Really nice! 5th Position Plea has a slower blues gate and smooth T Bone Walker like guitar riffs from Watson. Corritore lays down some less conventional harp sounds that give the track a whole different feel and Kaplan really does a nice job on piano. This track is a slow burner.... yeah! Fabuloco has a bit of Latin rhythm mixed into the track giving Corritore a clean slate to solo over. A bright little blues track with spunk. Shuff Stuff is a hot shuffle track with a solid bottom. Corritore blows a mean harp on this track and Doug James is right on his tail. Fluid guitar riffs are the name of the game for Watson on this one and the boys pull it together Chicago style for the big ending. (Looking forward to see what Stilladog thinks of this one.) T-Town Ramble has a strong Morganfield feel a Corritore shows he's definitely one of the big boys. Great tone and muted amplification make for a great sound leading to a nice clean piano solo from Kaplan. Wrapping the release is a down and dirty Bob's Late Hours. Watson lays back on guitar with Kaplan on piano laying a bed of music for Corritore to play the blues. This is really a strong showing for Corritore. I believe that he has never been captured at full potential and that this recording will do a lot to elevate his acknowledgement as one of the best blues band leaders today.

  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”


Friday, August 16, 2013

Delta Groove Music artist: Sugaray Rayford - Dangerous - New release review

I just received a copy of the newest release (September 17, 2013), Dangerous, by Sugaray Rayford and it's quite impressive. Rayford, well know as the featured voice of the Mannish Boys, has cut loose with his own release and he is backed by a huge list of talent. Opening with Country Boy and a strong smell of Chicago, Rayford's robust voice paves the way and Sugar Ray Norcia has the harp screaming. Anthony Geraci adds really nice key work on a solid bass by Willie J Campbell (bass) and Jimi Bott on drums. Stuck For A Buck has a bit of the James Brown shuffle going with Gino Matteo rippin fine guitar lead and Fred Kaplan warms the track with organ play. Rayford of course nicely handles lead vocals and a solid horn section made up of Ron Dziubla and Mark Pender cooks the track. On I'm Dangerous, Rayford and Norcia really grind deep in the blues. Norcia plays outstanding harmonica solos on this track making it one of my favorites on the release. Norcia shares the lead vocals on Two Times Sugar and Monster Mike Welch drops in for a really hot guitar solo. This is cool swingin blues that could make solid airplay. Another of my favorites is Pee Wee Crayton's When It Rains It Pours. Super soulful vocals by Rayford are nicely complimented by the strong guitar work of Frank Goldwasser and piano by Fred Kaplan. Super smokn track! Rayford's vocals on Charles Brown's Depression Blues have a beautiful lope and Kid Anderson takes the guitar solo to the edge... really sweet. This is another of the top highlights on the track. Bill Stuve adds a nice solid bottom on acoustic bass and Pender and Dziubla really round out the track. Goin' Back To Texas is a slow paced blues featuring some real nice slide wirk from Goldwasser, nice harp work from Kim Wilson and some of the richest vocals from Rayford on the release. I Might Do Somethin' Crazy has a real nice Willie Dixon style to it. Rayford's vocals really play into this track nicely and Kid Anderson again steps up with some spectacular guitar riffs. Excellent! Again on In The Dark, a swingin blues track, Rayford sings up a storm and really opens the doors for Anderson who kicks the guitar solo in the nuts. (Strong horns too!) Need A Little More Time takes an acoustic attack with strong vocals from Rayford backed by minimal percussion by Bott, and meaty work on National Steel Guitar by Goldwasser and harp by Chortkoff. Big Pete is featured on harp on Keep Her At Home, a quick paced boogie. The release is concluded with Son House's Preaching Blues. Goldwasser handles the slidework like a deer going through open pasture and with only like percussion, Rayford show surefooted command as his own band leader. Really super 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 favorites band! ”LIKE”

This track is not from the release but is a good example of the music presented.

Monday, October 29, 2012



Friendly blues reminder for blues harmonica lovers!  See you TONIGHT - MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2012 - for the Blues Harmonica Heaven with a cavalcade of top notch blues greats!  

All details below were sent in a previous e-mail.

Your blues pal forever,
Cadillac Zack



 7:00 pm - Audience Seating Begins 
 8:00 pm until 9:30 pm - Harmonica Heaven Concert
 9:30 pm til 1 am - Open Blues Jam Rages On 





We expect a tremendous turnout
when BLUES HARMONICA HEAVEN hits the stage; featuring a plethora of brilliant and legendary blues artists including Lynwood Slim (west coast harmonica legend), Bharath Rajakumar (brilliant harp master from Canada), Junior Watson (famed blues guitar icon), Fred Kaplan (legendary pianist from The Hollywood Fats Band), Rick Reed (bass player for Paul Butterfield), Rena Beavers (drums from the Little Milton and Coco Montoya Bands) plus many, many more surprises!.  

Check out video from the last Harmonica Heaven concert with Jason Ricci:

Your blues pal,
Cadillac Zack


        LYNWOOD SLIM !       




  ** RICK REED **  

  ** RENA BEAVERS **  




From approximately 9:30 pm til 1:30 am, a huge blues jam with So Cal's finest blues musicians will rage on. If you would like to bring your full band to do a 15-minute showcase we'd love that, but please e-mail us first so that we can schedule you and give you the details.  We have a limited amount of these slots.



Due to the overwhelming popularity on Monday night at The Maui Sugar Mill we recommend coming early to grab a table and chair - say around 7:30 pm.  You may also bring your own food to the Sugar Mill.  

There is a two drink minimum per person.



  SHOW TIME: 8 pm to 9:30 pm  
   THIS MONDAY OCT. 29, 2012  

 But a donations are needed and seriously appreciated.  We kindly and gently suggested $15 or $20 donation, if you can, per person for this event, to help with the costs associated with keeping high-quality blues music alive in Southern California. 

Maui Sugar Mill Saloon
18389 Ventura Blvd.
(one-block east of Reseda Blvd.)
Tarzana, CA 91356



This incredible weekly blues jam has become very popular amongst blues lovers.  Every Monday a legendary blues artists drops in to play or just hang out, including: John Mayall, Kim Wilson, Coco Montoya, Arthur Adams, Finis Tasby, Robert "Bilbo" Walker, Barbara Morrison, Phil Upchurch, Deacon Jones, James Harman, Larry Taylor, Al Blake & Fred Kaplan, Roy Gaines, Albert Lee and many others!  If you are a great blues musician PLEASE come jam with us!

 Sign up begins at 7:30 pm.
The jam typically starts at 9:30 pm and rages until 1:00 am.   Please note: Due to the popularity of this weekly event, musicians are only guaranteed to play if they sign up before 9 pm, although, we've never turned anyone away in 4 years.  Wait times vary from 1/2 hour up to 3 hours, depending on how early you sign up.  Last week we had 36 jammers.