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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 Hank Mowery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hank Mowery. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Jim Diamond review - Friends & Family - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review to most recent release, Friends a & Family, from Jim Diamond Review and it's a swinging party. Opening with I'm Cryin', Jim Diamond Boyington leads the way on lead vocal and some stellar guitar riffs. I love the bari work of Ryan Stiles and John Reese Pleasant's organ really works nicely, backed by Beth Deminski-Boyington on drums, Chris Herndon on rhythm guitar, Mark Wagner on bass and Joe DiGiuseppe on tenor. Great opener. Tight Mini Skirt is a cool jump track featuring Hank Mowery showing real nice harmonica solo throughout. Sometime In June is a cool instrumental which almost seems to want to break into a Latin rocker but maintains a southern R&B flavor with Stiles again ripping a solid bari solo and cool organ work from Pleasant. Jim's guitar solo is nicely phrased and extended. Very nice. Funky, I'm Walkin', has a great bass line by Wagner, with Nick Mowery screaming a strong guitar solo and DiGiuseppe adding a cool tenor solo. One of my favorite tracks on the release is straight up blues number, Hi-Dee-Hey, Hi-Dee-Ho with a great lope and killer slide by Joe Litteral and Mowery on lead vocal and harp. Very cool. Wrapping the release is easy paced 15 Below with dark sax work by Ray Warfield. Pleasant gets a chance to shine on this one with a solid organ solo and Jim's guitar work is exciting with quick burst riffs closing the track. 

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Blue Bella Records artist: Hank Mowery - Excuses Plenty - New release review

I just received the newest release, Excuses Plenty, from Hank Mowery and it's a cool mix of rural country, R&B/soul and blues. Opening with Anna Lee, a country rocker featuring Mowery on harp ad vocal, Troy Amaro on guitar, Chris Corey on piano, Patrick Recob on bass and Theo Ndawillie II on drums. I Don't Want to Know is a nice R&B ballad with strong radio appeal. Jimmie Stagger and Claude Nine add some real nice guitar work to this track but in a melodic contained envelope. Title track, Excuses Plenty, has a country 2 step feel but a euphoric harp wail that really gives the track a special feel. Troy Amaro adds some nice guitar work on this track as well. Country rocker, Walk With Me has a strong pop influence. Mowery's vocals are really super and Mike Morgan adds some hot guitar riffs to Mowery's own lead harp line. Straight up Chicago blues number, One And Only, has a real nice vocal duet with Recob and Morgan is really fluid on guitar backed by Pete Curry on drums and Larry Taylor on bass. Little Bit Of Rhythm has a light touch and a lot of swing with Corey and Amaro playing a really nice instrumental duet. Early 60's style rocker, Cry For Me, has a surf feel but without the tremolo shimmer. Clavoline work by Corey add a , backing vocals by Matt Mason and vocals give it a country twist. Bluesy ballad, Would You Still Love Me On A Rainy Day, features serious vocals by Mowery and some ultra tasty harp work by harp maestro, Dennis Gruenling. This is some serious dramatic harp work and joined by Doug Deming on guitar this is my pick of the release. Hot blues stomper, Telephone Is Ringing, also features Deming and Gruenling with Danny Banks on drums, Andrew Gohman on bass. This is a hot track really stoking the fire before the close. Mowery's vocals on this track are super and the track really hits! Wrapping the release is Skip James' I'm So Glad, an acoustic number with Piedmont style picking by Amaro. Excellent conclusion to a versatile release.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Old Pal Records artist: Hank Mowery - Account To Me - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Account To Me, by Hank Mowery and it's a classic blues rocker. Opening with Spend A Little Time, Mowery has the room jukin and rollin with a classic track. Account To Me, a newly discovered Gary Primich track, features Mowery on vocal and harp and ansl showcases Troy Amaro with classic blues tremolo riffs. Put The Hammer Down has a distinct Primich sound with a touch of Everlys and a touch of rockabilly. Amaro really lays down some clean guitar riffs on this track and Mowery follows through with great harp riffs. Chicago blues style track, If I Knew What I Know, really digs in to the grit and Mowery not only sounds great on harp but delivers some of the best vocals on the track. With classic Chicago style delivery and instrumentation including Patrick Recob on bass, John Large on drums and Amaro on guitar, this is certainly one of my release favorites. Banana Oil has a Latin Beat and features Chris Corey on B3. Mowery takes a really nice ride on harp on this track and shows a different side of the blues. Nice! Another Primich track, Tricky Game, has a New Orleans twist accented by crisp percussion from Large and piano from Corey. Mowery of course adds some really cool harp work on this track as well with smooth harmony vocals as well. Primich's, My Home, gives Amaro a chance to really play some hot tasty riffs on guitar nicely complimenting Mowery on vocal. The harp work is smooth as silk and the Texas lope of this track sets up great fret work in solo position as well. Pray For A Cloudy Day, another Primich track is a fitting, laid back blues track for addition to this cool release, a collaboration with the Primich family. A driving boogie, Target, written by Primich's former bass player, gives the players a loose structure in which to jam. Finishing up with an unexpected finger style blues by Rev. Robert Wilkins, That's No Way To Get Along, the band featuring Jimmie Stagger on vocal and National and of course Mowery on harp. Very nice!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Old Pal Records Set to Release New CD from Hank Mowery, "Account to Me," on August 6

Old Pal Records Set to Release New CD from Hank Mowery, Account to Me, on August 6

Album Offers an Appreciation of the Late Blues Singer/Harmonica Player Gary Primich and Features Five of His Songs, Including Two Previously
Unrecorded Tunes

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Old Pal Records announces an August 6 release date for Account to Me, the new CD from singer/harmonica player Hank Mowery featuring five songs written by the late singer/harmonica player Gary Primich, including two previously-unrecorded tunes. Account to Me will be available for sale through CD Baby and iTunes, with additional sales info available at     

“We don’t consider this a ‘tribute’ CD, but more of a collaboration with the Primich family,” says Hank Mowery about the new album, which also features Gary’s former bassist Patrick Recob, and detailed liner notes about the songs as well as Primich’s importance to blues by Severn Records singer/harmonica player Tad Robinson, a long-time friend.

Account to Me showcases five Primich compositions: “Put the Hammer Down,” “My Home” and “Pray for a Cloudy Day,” plus two unearthed never-before-recorded songs, “Tricky Game” and the title track; two Hank Mowery originals; a new song from Patrick Recob; and covers of Memphis Slim’s “Banana Oil” and Rev. Robert Wilkins’ “That’s No Way to Get Along.” All of the tracks fit together seamlessly and one could imagine very easily Gary Primich, himself, recording an album such as this.
“‘Account to Me” is just a classic Gary tune,” says Mowery about the newly-discovered song. “He was such a great story teller and this really paints a picture that is hard to listen to at times, knowing his history.  On the vocal track we kept, I almost had to stop multiple times and could barely get through it.  I just kept thinking about him writing this and his family hearing it for the first still gives me a lump in my throat.  After the song ended, it wasn't perfect but I knew I would never get as close to that song as I was in that moment, so we kept it.
Mowery calls the other new song, “Tricky Game,” “another classic Gary tune, with a lot of meaning and a touch of humor.  We were all in the studio looking at Gary's lyrics trying to figure out what direction to take on the song and what Gary was thinking on a couple of the parts. We were having a lot more trouble on this than with ‘Account to Me.’ Our piano player, Chris Corey, quietly stood up, walked over to the piano and played a lick....we all stopped and said ‘that's it!’ At that point everyone stood up and started working on their parts; it was a great moment and maybe one of the most creative moments I have ever been a part of,” he recalls.
The Hank Mowery originals include the album’s opener, “Spend a Little Time,” a rocking barroom blueser that kicks off the CD in grand style; and “If I Knew What I Know,” which asks the universal question we all ask when tragedy happens to a friend. “I had the idea for the song right after Gary passed in 2007 but never finished it,” Mowery remembers. Maybe a little too honest for me at the time, but when we started this project I knew it was time to finish it.”
The catalyst for recording Account to Me had its beginnings in 2012 when Mowery did a tribute show in Grand Rapids for Gary on the fifth anniversary of his death. Mowery and Primich had first met in 1995 when Hank was running a blues club in Grand Rapids and the two hit it off really well, with Mowery booking Gary anytime he came through town. After he left the club, Mowery stayed in touch with Primich and when he knew Gary was struggling with some issues, flew the bluesman into Grand Rapids to do a couple so shows to help his friend. Another trip was planned for the following year but never happened because of Gary’s death.
“That 2012 tribute show in Grand Rapids included Doug Deming, Dennis Gruenling, their band, Peter Madcat Ruth and my band,” says Mowery. “When Gary's family heard about it they got very involved and Gary's dad, JV, came up for the was really great...he addressed the crowd and had every single person laughing and crying at the same time.
“About a month after the show I got a call from Gary’s sister, Darsha, asking if I would record these two songs they had found lyrics to after Gary passed. I told her that there were many other players (more famous than I) that would jump on this chance and that maybe she should rethink the offer. She said that they trusted me to do what needed to be done and respect Gary. I was very honored and humbled to be asked to do it. After we started the project, Darsha wanted us to do a few covers as well, so we said no problem. I then asked Darsha if she wouldn't mind if I did a few originals and made a full CD out of it. That is when she made the offer to release it on Old Pal Records.
“I asked Primich bassist Patrick Recob to come in for the project and he accepted. I asked Tad Robinson to do the liner notes because he was a long-time friend of Gary's. I contacted Kate Moss to design the CD because she and her husband Nick had become somewhat close with Gary and actually had recorded with him not long before he passed away. I found an all-analog studio in Grand Rapids where we could record it like Gary would've wanted it. And I only included players that either knew Gary or understood the weight of the project and could respect its significance. I wanted to surround the sessions with people that were up for trying new things to create unique textures throughout the CD, would give honest feedback, leave egos at the door, not worry about how many of their licks were used on the CD and generally get into and enjoy the spirit of what we were doing.”