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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 Full Circle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Full Circle. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

EllerSoul Records artist: Rev. Billy C. Wirtz - Full Circle - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Full Circle, from Rev. Billy C. Wirtz and it's a blast. Opening with a Rock n Roller, Too Old, Wirtz takes the lead on piano and vocal with great flair. Joined by Mark Wenner on smoking harp, Mark Stutso on drums, Johnny Castle on bass, and with Paul Bell ripping some hot riffs, this is a great opener. On Smokie, Part 2, a swinging boogie, Wirtz and Bob Driver on guitar lays down some really nice instrumental lines. One Point Five is a clever track about not being number one in someone's life but the alternatives that aren't all bad. With it's country flavor and some cool country riffs, this is funny. With it's stripped down piano accompaniment, Mama Was A Deadhead, Wirtz tells a clever story of the live of Dead fan's children. Another rock n roller, Rockin' Up To Gloryland has a great feel with a tight bottom and cool lead soloing by Bell and Wenner. With it's somber, ballad pace, Floyd Cramer's Your Last Goodbye is a real nice instrumental track featuring clean piano melody by Wirtz. Charlie Rich's Breakup is a real kicker with super pace and a driving rhythm. Rewritten lyrics to the Chi-Lites, Have You Seen Her, I'm A Senior makes light of the growing old and pulling no punches in a light hearted way. Another piano boogie, Wine Spo-Dee-o-Dee, written by Stick McGhee is a natural for Wirtz with his piano style featuring Bob Driver on guitar, Steve Riggs on bass, a cool guitar solo by Paul Bell and super harp by Li'l Ronnie Owens. Another sacrilegious track, Mennonite Surf Party is a cool piano boogie with stinging guitar riffs and piano to compliment it's vocal attack. Excellent! John Butler's The Hand Of The Almighty pulls no punches at all and tells it straight. (Stilladog, this is for you). This is a really strong release front to back. If a little crudity offends you, better shy away but if you like it in the spirit that it was delivered, this is a super release.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Singer-Songwriter John Zipperer Comes "Full Circle" on New CD, Due February 25, 2014, from Ziptunes

CD Release Show Set for March 1 at Thousand Oaks Library Live Concert Series

LOS ANGELES, CA – Singer-songwriter John Zipperer announces a February 25, 2014, release date for his new CD, Full Circle, on his Ziptunes imprint. Distribution is through CDBaby and the album will be available at Amazon, iTunes and other quality outlets. He’ll celebrate the release of Full Circle with a special show on March 1st at the Thousand Oaks Library as part of their “Live at the Library” concert series, along with an additional artist performance from Ernest Troost. For more information about the show, visit

The 13 tracks on Full Circle include a dozen originals, as well as his unique take on the Van Morrison classic, “Brown-Eyed Girl,” slowing down the tempo to create an even higher focus on the lyrics, which have special relevance to Zipperer. “This recording is a reflection of the love I lost due to my own failings,” he says. “It’s a look back at a wonderful girl whom I hurt through the blindness and the stupidity of my youth. I've always love this song and Van Morrison. I played this in cover bands for years. It always struck me how sad the lyric sounded. I hope Van hears it and likes it.”

The rest of the songs on the new album, which was produced by Nick Kirgo at Disarray Studios and feature backing from members of John’s regular touring band, are very personal in their genesis, yet universal in appeal, dealing with love lost and found, as well as the joys of life, itself.

The opening track, “Sailing Away,” has a decided Jimmy Buffett vibe to it and that’s no accident. “I spent my junior and senior high school years in Jacksonville, Florida, against the backdrop of the St. John’s River,” Zipperer recalls. “A river gets in your blood and brings Jimmy Buffett along for the ride. There is nothing like the peace of being out on the water - and the wardrobe ain't bad either.”

Another song with Jacksonville roots is “Going Downtown.” “Growing up in the southeastern United States you will be influenced by the blues,” he states. “Lynyrd Skynyrd was royalty in Jacksonville and they looked up to artists like Son House, who was a huge influence on artists like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. His song ‘Death Letter’ really reached me. I hope he smiles and chuckles a bit at my nod to him and to all the greats. We kept it as earthy and gritty as we dare.”

The title track is another autobiographical song about how John got to this point in his life and career. “I came out to Los Angeles originally to study music but detoured into pursuing acting,” he remembers. “That was a rough yet occasionally rewarding life, but when I came back to music, everything just flowed and I realized I had come back around to my first love. I came full circle.”

“Sing with Me” deals with John’s return to the music he loved. “When I got back into music I started playing with a 78-year-old spoons player named Ed Terry. Eddy didn't sing but it sure didn't take much arm twisting to get him started. He would sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and he was so charming he would light up the whole room. Everyone would sing with him and I loved it. There is something so amazing about a whole room coming together in song and emotion. I know how much it meant to Eddy and all who heard it. This song is about that: those moments. When we perform this song live, we always let the audience have the last chorus. I know they like it but I LOVE it. Some nights the joy of that sound is overwhelming.” 

A former TV actor and stuntman, John Zipperer’s second chance came rolling down the highway of life, not on a carefully controlled movie or commercial set, but while changing a tire for a friend along interstate 285 in Atlanta.  John was hit by a ten-wheel oil truck. After flying 40 feet and landing in the hospital, John was told by the critical care doctor, “You should be dead!” To John this seemed like a clear sign that life is, or could be, too short.  He packed everything he owned into his Camaro and headed out to Los Angeles to pursue a life in music.

Today, John Zipperer & Friends shows feature tight harmonies, infectious melodies and heartfelt lyrics that reach fans in places they didn’t know they had. When John Zipperer and the band take the stage, this stellar lineup of musicians add their magic and soon heads are bopping, hands are clapping and folks are dancing and singing along.