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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 Greaseland Studios. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greaseland Studios. Show all posts

Monday, January 13, 2020

Electro-Fi Records artist: Mark Hummel - Wayback Machine - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Wayback Machine, from Mark Hummel and it old school Chicago style blues. Opening with Flim Flam, a cool blues number with a great bass line courtesy of R.W Grigsby, with Mark Hummel on harmonica and lead vocal, backed by Rusty Zinn on guitar, Aaron Hammerman on piano and some great percussion by Dave Eagle. Super opener. A real nice Chicago flavored shuffle, Cut That out really provides a nice platform for Hummel on harmonica and Billy Flynn shows his chops on guitar, also joined by Kid Andersen. Hummel original, Road Dog is a super harmonica piece with eccentric percussion by Eagle giving it a real primitive feel.  One of my favorites on the release is Breathtaking Blues, a cool, harmonica lead instrumental with a nicely executed piano solo by Hammerman and Eagle's zany percussion. Very cool. Another favorite is Gillum's Crazy About You with a really cool pace, with barrelhouse, rat a tat percussion and Hummel's personal touch on vocal and harmonica. Very nice. Slow blues, Pepper Mama has really nice framework for interwoven harmonica, piano, vocal and guitar by Flynn, Hammerman and Hummel. Hammerman takes the mic on Rag Mama Rag with it's authentic blues flavor and it's loose instrumental jam. Joe Beard joins on Five Long Years adding excellent vocal and guitar to this Boyd classic. With Hummel's solid harp work, this is a strong 1st generation style blues track. Another early style track is Say You Will also featuring the guitar and vocal work of Beard is up next and hits it right down the pipe. If you love delta blues, you will love this track!  Wrapping the release is country style blues Mean Old Frisco, featuring Beard on vocal and guitar but with Andersen on bass and Hummel on harmonica giving it a more current and polished feel. This is a really enjoyable release with a lot of effort to inventiveness on originality. Very nice. 

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Monday, November 25, 2019

Little Village Foundation artist: The Mike Duke Project - ...Took A While - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, ...Took A While, from The Mike Duke Project and it's a soulful southern style release packed with musical elite. Opening with Little Miss Ponytail, a certain radio track, Mike Duke on lead vocal and piano leads the way with Bill Stewart on drums, Phil Yeager on bass, Ronnie Brown on guitar and Rick Kurtz on guitar. Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do features Duke with Jimmy Hall and the vocals are not only warm and solid but this is really a strong track. Let Me Be Your Fool Tonight is a real cool track with the addition of Lloyd Meadows, Angela Strehi  and Lisa Lueschner Andersen on backing vocal and featuring super accordion work by Bruce Gordon. I'm Not Sad Tonight sounds like it could be pulled right out of Van Morrison's songbook with distinct vocal phrasing and poise and the addition on Jim Pugh on B3. Very nice. Gospel flavored Torn & Scarred is Duke, accompanying his vocal lead on piano with  Andersen on bass. Short but very nice. I Can't Let You Go is a bluesy ballad with all the right notes. Certain radio compositional style and Elvin Bishop's trademark slide work makes this track a release favorite. Another soulful ballad, Coming 'Round Again is certainly one of my favorites on the release with some of Duke's best writing and vocals. Backed by Bill Connell on drums, Paul Hornsby on bass, Ray Honea on guitar Don Finney on sax, Larry Finney on trumpet and Roger Dennison on trombone, this track has real traction. Wrapping the release is Nicasio, a short piano track with Duke showing his stylistic chops. This is really a rich release on one to hear.

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Little Village Foundation: Junior Watson - Nothin' To It But To Do It - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Nothin' To It But To Do It, by Junior Watson and I really like it. It's become a theme, but I like most of what comes out of Greaseland, Kid Andersen's shop. Opening with Up and Out, an up tempo blazer led by Sax Gordon, Junior Watson opens this release like a showman with horns blazing. Gordon really has it humming with great underpinning by Kedar Roy on bass, Andrew Guterman on drums and Jim Pugh on keys, swinging the door open and letting Junior Watson run on guitar. Excellent! On swing boogie, Louella, Watson has lead vocal and guitar with big time sax work by Gordon. This track really has presence and Gordon shares the spotlight with Watson who shows why he's one of the best loved contemporary guitar players on the circuit. A Shot In The Dark is a terrific slower blues with Alabama Mike really working vocals upfront and giving Watson the space to work over his fretboard and he really does give it a great workout. One of my favorites on the release. Excellent Tex Mex track, Summer Love is a really nice showcase for Watson and his versatile guitar style. Moving quickly from Spanish to jazz, this is an excellent instrumental. Boogie track, That's Tough gives Watson, Gordon and Pugh all good shots upfront with Alabama Mike on lead vocal. Very cool. Gary Smith adds some real nice harmonica work on shuffle track, Well, You Know with Watson on lead vocal and some really cool lower octave guitar soloing. Another real cooker is Space Flight with Roy leading the way with his thumping bass line. Pugh, Watson and Gordon each taking monster solos. Excellent! Wrapping the release is You're Gonna Need Me Before I Need You featuring Lisa Anderson on lead vocal. This is the best showcase of her vocals on the release and with solid blues riffs by Watson and a firm bottom by Roy and Guterman, this is a solid closer. 

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Little Village Foundation artist: Howell Devine - Howl - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Howl, from Howell Devine and it's quite cool. Recorded at the acclaimed Greaseland Studios by Kid Andersen, this release has a great old style yet current vibe. Opening with Sonny Boy Williamson's The Key, Joshua Howell on vocal, guitar and harp melds nicely with Pete Devine on drums and Joe Kyle Jr. on bass. With it's lumbering pace, the track has deep blues roots. RL Burnside's Going Down South develops a rumble with solid bass lines and super vocals by Howell. Kickin it up a notch, Howell drives his guitar hard without breaking Burnside's basic monumental style. Very nice. Sookie Sookie has that great Booker T feel complimented by Kid Andersen on organ but this track is really a showcase for Howell's harp work. Very cool. One of my favorite tracks on the release is original composition, Sirenic Woman with raw slide playing and tom tom heavy drums and exaggerated bass lines by Kyle. Excellent! a traditional cover of Robert Johnson's Come Into My Kitchen will always be a welcome addition to a rough and ready blues release and HD does a real nice job on this one with clean, under exaggerated vocals and real nice slide work. Very nice. Showing broader influences, The Meter's Funky Miracle is a cool break away from the traditional style blues but tight never the less. Andersen, Howell, Devine and Kyle trade riffs like kids with a ball giving the track a real playful feel. Solid. Blind Blake's Rope Stretching Blues is another really nice primitive style cover with particularly sensitive snare work by Devine, complimenting particularly clean guitar and vocals by Howell. Wrapping the release is original composition, PM Blues with solid strong tension on a traditional, SBW style theme. With the addition of Danny Brown on tenor sax and Fil Lorenz on bari sax this is a great closer with a wide open road for Howell's harp work. Very nice.



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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Travis Green - A Little Too Late - New release review

I just received the newest release (July 8, 2016), A Little Too Late,from Travis Green and it's quite good. Opening with title track, A Little Too Late, Travis Green on super lead vocals, shows country two step style, with Kid Andersen on guitar, Randy Bermudes on bass, Jason Hansen on drums, and nice key work from Jim Pugh. Cowboy styling on Please Don't Cry has a lot of polish with Lisa Leuschner Andersen on harmony. This is a real nice track that should hit the radio. Everybody Knows crosses over more to a rock sound, still influenced by country flavor. With the line "Everybody Knows That You're A Bitch A Heart" it is an auto hook that will certainly be a crowd favorite. Solid bass work from Bermudes and sassy sax work from Nancy Wright give this track a solid kick. Blues based ballad, The Only Love, has really nice organ work by Pugh giving it a great feel. Kid Andersen lays in some real nice bluesy country guitar riffs for good measure. Very cool. Keep You Off My Mind has a really strong rockin blues beat with a driving bass line. Green takes his vocals to a new level sounding every bit like a 50's country star and Andersen's guitar work is clean and classy. Damage Done is a solid country rock/pop track with memorable lead vocals and with sweet backup vocals from Lisa and Courtney Knott. Andersen's steel playing sets this track off giving it that extra bite. Caroline is one of my favorite tracks on the release with a rockin' boogie beat. Wright's hot sax work, with Pugh's key work and Lisa and Courtney on backup make this a top track. Excellent! Road Runs Cold is another well written track and Green sings within a swampy ambiance. Hansen really creates the spell with his tom tom work and Kid A. lays in shimmery guitar riffs that glisten off of his solid soloing. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Don't Forget, a track with a cool country funk and a touch of gospel. This is a great closer with Green's super vocal phrasing, Pugh's organ work, nice guitar riffs from Kid and Hansen's drum work. Nice closer.

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