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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 Gulf Coast Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gulf Coast Records. Show all posts

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Gulf Coast Records artist: Mark May Band - Deep Dark Demon - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Deep Dark Demon, by Mark May Band and it's solid. Opening with Harvey's Dirty Side, a dark blues rocker with a bumping bass (Darrell Lacy), steady drum (Brandon Jackson) and wide open guitar by May and Billy Wells and Barry Seelan on B3. Cool opener. Back has a strong Latin influence with Al Pagliuso on percussion and Jackson on drums and excellent stylized guitar lead by May under nicely blended vocal by May and Wells. Excellent! With a New Orleans beat and paired lead slide, this is a real cool track. Solo slide work by May is strong and warm leading nicely into a nice piano roll by Seelan. Certain radio track, Something Good, has a strong melody and warm vocals over a simple R&B style ballad format. A nicely crafted slide solo by May anchors this track like Bishop's trademark slide solo in Fooled Around and Fell In Love giving it staying power. Wrapping the release is Invisible Man, another R&B style track with a great beat, melody and solid vocals. Limited use of a guitar talk box and jazz style lead guitar soloing makes this track a solid closer. 

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Gulf Coast Records artist: The Proven Ones - You Ain't Done - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, You Ain't Done, from The Proven Ones, and it's a solid blues flavored rocker. Opening with Get Love, a contemporary blues rocker with hints of Jim Dewer, The Fab Thunderbirds and SRV, lead vocalist Brian Templeton has a powerful voice, and with the stinging guitar riffs of Kid Ramos and Mack McCarthy on trumpet, and with Jimi Bott on drums, Willie J Campbell on bass, and Anthony Geraci on keys, a super opener. Gone To Stay pushes further into the grunginess of rock and with a Nirvana like attack, ventures further into the rock arena. Bott's driving drum work really give this track a firm footing. With a firm backbeat, title track, You Ain't Done is one of my favorites on the release with solid vocal blending from Mike Zito and LaRhonda Steele, a great trumpet compliment from Mack, cool slide work from Ramos and a rich organ solo from Geraci. Ruthie Foster lends her fabulous lead vocal to Whom My Soul Loves, a strong ballad with nice piano work from Geraci. Mack steps up with a real nice sax solo on this one too giving it that extra punch. Excellent! Latin flavored, Nothing Left to Give, has great movement in percussion by Bott and with strong vocal lead and full horn compliment gives it even more spice. Fallen has great swagger with the vocal attitude of Templeton, the ace drumming of Bott and perfectly crafted guitar riffs of Ramos. Mack's horn playing is anything but window dressing with this track being really punchy. Wrapping the release is Favorite Dress with all of the rock and roll feel of a prime time Stones track. This is an excellent closer for a really solid release. 

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Gulf Coast Records artist: Albert Castiglia - Wild and Free (Live) - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Wild and Free (Live), from Albert Castiglia and it's a powerful blues rocker. Opening with Big Dog, Castiglia opens the doors and lets the dog off the leash right from the start. This is one guy that I haven't seen in concert that I'd really like to see and he is smoking! Castiglia on lead vocal and lead guitar, is backed by Justine Tompkins on bass, Ephrain Lowell on drums, Lewis Stephens on B3 and piano. One thing that I was really conscious about on Hoodoo on Me is the terrific guitar tome that Castiglia is getting on his rhythm part. Powered by his guitar and Stephens on B3, this track keeps the heavy drive going. With a firm bass line by Tompkins and fluid guitar lead, this track is another killer. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Get Your Ass In the Van and features some terrific slide work from Castiglia. Cool piano work by Stephens and solid vocals make this a hard track not to love. Searching The Desert For The Blues has a thunderous opening with bass, B3, drums and rhythm guitar. Castiglia really has a take no prisoners approach to his show which pins you back in your seat. His lead guitar work is imposing and inspired. Very nice. Mike Zito and John Ginty join Castiglia on Johnny Winter's Too Much Seconal. Adopting a bit of Winters swagger vocally and stinging guitar riffs, and with the addition of Ginty on keys this is pure 70's style blues rock at it's best. Wrapping the release is hard paced Boogie Funk with it's driving bass line and thrashing guitar lead. This is a great release, head to toe. You want to rock (blues style)? Get this cd! Excellent!!!

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Friday, December 6, 2019

Gulf Coast Records artist: Odds Lane - Lost & Found - New releae review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Lost & Found, from Odds Lane and it's mixes rock, pop and blues for a catchy set. Opening with Don't Give It Away, a solid rocker with a great bass line by lead vocalist, Doug Byrkit, and spanking drum beat by Brian Zielie with solid guitar work by Mike Zito. Lost and Found is a super radio track with just a sprinkle of country flavor. Byrkit and Zielie have a real flair for radio style melodies and this may be the best one on the release, topped with a straight but cool guitar solo. Moth To A Flame is set over a James Brown style boogaloo beat. This will keep your feet tapping and Zito's slide guitar work hits solid on target. Very nice. A solid blues rocker, Blood On The Van, has a great thumping bass line, underscored guitar lead by Brykit along with smooth vocal blending with Zeilie and nicely executed slide work by Zito. Latin influenced, Little Too Late, has a bright, almost jazzy feel with balanced instrumentals, smooth vocals and a really nicely phrased guitar solo. Wrapping the release is White Castle Blues, so strong a closer that it should be a tv theme song. With it's perfectly balanced melody and vocals, and searing slide work by Zito, a solid closer. 

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Gulf Coast Records artist: Billy Price - Dog Eat Dog - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Dog Eat Dog, from Billy Price and it's old school R&B. Opening with Funky rocker, Working On Your Chain Gang, Price, who has one of the smoothest voices on the circuit leads the way with strong support from Alex Pettersen on drums, Jerry Jemmott on bass, Jim Pugh on keys, John Halblieb on trumpet, Jack Sanford on sax, Kid Andersen on guitar and organ, and Walter, James and Dwayne Morgan on backing vocals. Very cool. Smooth pop jazz track, Lose My Number sounds like it's right off of a Steely Dan record with it's strong melody and supple vocals over a organ lead backing melody. Eric Spaulding adds a real nice sax solo on this one giving it a real kick. With a smooth dance groove, title track, Dog Eat Dog is really in the groove with great lead vocals by Price, tight backing vocals by Lisa Leuschner Andersen and Alabama Mike, cool congas by Vicki Randell, the super sax work of Spaulding and great harmonica by Rick Estrin. Dark soul track, My Love Will Never Die, is one of my favorites on the release with screaming vocals, and ripping guitar work by Kid Andersen. Excellent! Another favorite is funky, New Orleans flavored, All Night Long Café. Price really rides high on the rhythm on this track with Jon Otis on congas and percussion, and power horn work by Spaulding, Sanford and Halblieb and a funky bluesy guitar solo by Mike Zito. Really cool. Wrapping the release is radio style track, You Gotta Go with heavy tom tom driven rhythm and glistening key work by Pugh. Andersen's guitar attack is direct and essential as always and Price's vocals are as solid as when I saw him in Pittsburgh with Roy Buchanan a lot of years ago. Price's best album in years. 

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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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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Gulf Coast Records artist: Jimmy Carpenter - Soul Doctor - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Soul Doctor, from Jimmy Carpenter and it's cool mix of blues, rock, soul and R&B. Opening with blues rocker and title track, Soul Rocker, Jimmy Carpenter on lead vocal and sax sets the pace with hot guitar work by Nick Schnebelen, Red Young on keys, Jason Langley on bass and Cameron Tyler on drums. Shuffle, Wild Streak has a cool swing and features a real solid sax solo by Carpenter and so great slide by Trevor Johnson. New Orleans flavored, Love It So Much is one of my favorites on the release with hot drum work by Tyler, a great bass line by Langley, Doug Woolverton on trumpet, Mark Earley on Bari sax and of course strong vocal and sax work by Carpenter. Slower blues track, Need Your Love So Bad really gives Carpenter a chance to shine on vocal and sax and Johnson's lead guitar work is very nice. Funky, Wanna Be Right is a solid radio entry with excellent key work by Young, super vocals by Carpenter, Chris Tofield, Carrie Stowers, Queen Aries and Al Ek. With Carpenter's warm sax soloing and underpinning by Langley, this track is super. Stepping into James Brown / Boogaloo territory, Carpenter rolls a great sax lead on Boots Randolph's One Mint Julip. Wrapping the release is Eddie Hinton's R&B track, Yeah Man and Carpenter's featured lead vocal work. This is a prime entry for radio track with a solid melody, vocals and clean guitar and organ work under the lead and prominent sax soloing, supported by glistening slide work. Nice closer for a solid release. 

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Gulf Coast Records artist: Diana Rein - Queen Of My Castle - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Queen of My Castle, from Diana Rein and it's a solid blues rocker. Opening with Yes I Sing The Blues, a cool shuffle, Rein is up front on vocal and lays down solid blues drenched rock riffs. Backed by Michael Leisure on drums, Dave Osti on bass, and Drake Munkihald Shining on keys, a solid opener. Title track, Queen of My Castle is Rein's best vocal track with clean bluesy guitar riffs as accents. One Foot In is a lumbering rocker with a funky rhythm guitar line, solid vocals and a nice blues guitar lead. One of my favorite tracks on the release is driving rocker, It's You, with a springy guitar rhythm and a real nice bass line. Slick lead guitar riffs and nice backing vocals by Steve Polacek, Vaughn Polacek, Lincoln Clapp, Melissa Bonning, Julia Clapp and Mackenzie Clapp give the track just the right texture. R&B track, Chill of the Night is the definite radio track with it's perfect melody and smooth vocals. A full, rich organ solo by Shining leads into a stellar guitar solo by Rein giving this track a real sheen. Wrapping the release is instrumental, Zoe, my favorite track on the release with just the right amount of tension and clean and richly expressed guitar lead. Having the classic lines of a SRV instrumental, this is sure to be a fan favorite. Very nice closer. 

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Gulf Coast Records artist: Tony Campanella - Taking It To The Street - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Taking It To The Street, by Tony Campanella and I really like it. Opening with title track, Taking It To The Street, Tony Campanella, and it's an aggressive blues rocker with a veracious guitar sound and a Jimi style swagger.  Shuffle's have never sounded so good as when SRV was cooking but Pack It Up sounds great. Mike Zito's rhythm guitar is fat and solid and Campanella's lead is firm and authoritative. Very nice. Slowing it down a bit on One Foot In The Blues, Campanella shows he has great vocal shops and his lead guitar work is strong and soulful. Backed by Terry Dry on bass, Matt Johnson on drums, Lewis Stephens on keys and Zito on rhythm, this track is hot! My first exposure to Good Morning Little Schoolgirl wasn't Sonny Boy or even Johnny Winter. It Was Alvin Lee and Ten Years After. Every take I've heard on this track has been solid but this is a real nice one with hard kick bass drumming and tight guitar riffs. Kicking in the funk, Finger On Your Trigger, has a super bottom giving Campanella a great rhythm to jam over. His riffs are clean stinging. Very nice. Eddie Cleanhead Vinson's Mr. Cleanhead gets slowed down a notch and Campanella throws not only great vocals but super, quick Albert King flavored riffs on the mix making this one of my favorites on the release. Excellent! Texas Chainsaw is a primitive style blues with rugged vocals and Campanella matching guitar solos with Mike Zito. This is a loose jam but with great feel. Wrapping the release is blues ballad, Those Are The Times with simple BB King styling. Campanella's vocals shine bright and his guitar retort is gripping and smooth. 

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