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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 Ilana Katz Katz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ilana Katz Katz. Show all posts

Friday, October 8, 2021

Regina Royale Records artist: Ilana Katz Katz - In My Mind - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, In My Mind, by Ilana Katz Katz and it's an interesting, pop/blues release. Opening with title track, In My Mind, Katz on lead vocal and fiddle sets contemporary pop stage, backed by Johnny Burgin on guitar, Stephen Dougherty on drums and Chris Matheos on bass. Burgin leads off on shuffle, Woman, Play the Blues with traditional delta style riffs. Katz's shows a certain juxtaposition with her contemporary vocal styling and her bluegrass approach on fiddle in this setting. Very interesting. Burgin opens Shuffle/boogie, Won't Pass Me By with a classic Walker style intro, and Katz's simple vocal/fiddle styling. Very cool. On Well, Well Blues Burgin steps up with some of his signature licks. Katz's vocals are some of the best on the release making this my choice for best on the release. Hangman's Reel is another of my favorites with a total venture from the blues to traditional bluegrass. Katz covers the melody on fiddle accompanied only by Porchboard and Matt Isbell on tambourine. Wrapping the release is country soaked ballad, If, with it's solid melody, pure vocal by Katz accompanied by her own fiddle playing and rudimentary percussion. Very nice. 


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Monday, May 11, 2020

Blue Kitty Music artist: Liz Mandeville - Playing With Fire - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Playing With Fire, from Liz Mandeville, and it's a solid blues entry. Opening with smooth shuffle, Bailing the Titanic, Mandeville on lead vocal and guitar is backed by Dario Lombardo on lead guitar, Andy Sutton on drums, and Steve Hart. Comfort Food Blues is one of my favorite tracks on the release with it's Chatmon like sound and excellent slide work from Minoru Maruyama and Darryl Wright on bass. On Chicago style track, I Just Cry, Philippe Fernandez rips some great guitar riffs pushing Mandeville into a great vocal zone. With Gilles Gabisson on harp,  and Andre Howard on bass this track is smokin.  He Loves My Biscuits is a great swing track with my favorite vocals on the release. A smooth delivery, accented by the vocal and violin contributions of Ilana Katz Katz and additional vocals by Carl Uchiyama and real nice guitar runs by Mandeville, makes this another of the top tracks on the release. Peter Struijk shows great guitar style on  Joliet Town, a strong 8 bar number with Dizzy Bolinski on harp, Bass on drums and  Hart on bass.  Hart leads the way on bass, laying down a driving boogie line on Boss Lady. With Bolinski taking the first solo on harp and Johnny Burgin stepping up with some stinging riffs of his own, this track has a great feel. Wrapping the release is John Hartford's country style blues, (Hey Babe) Ya Wanna Boogie? with Mandeville on vocal and washboard, Struijk on acoustic guitar and a cool tuba solo by Hart. Super closer for a cool release.


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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

VizzTone Label Group artist: Ilana Katz Katz - Subway Stories - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Subway Stories, by Ilana Katz Katz and it's a big slice of blues, jazz and Americana all rolled into one. Opening with Boogie track, Don't Forget, Ilana Katz Katz, vocals and fiddle, is joined by ex Canned Heat guitar player and producer, Barry Levenson, Mike Sandberg on drums and Hank Van Sickle on bass. On 12 bar blues number, Subway Blues, Sugar ray Norcia adds his special harp work to the tasty riffs of Levenson and Ilana for one of the more solid of the blues tracks on the release. Motherless Child gets a real soft handling and with it's warm guitar chords, intense blues guitar lines somber violin work and child like innocence on vocals shines as one of my favorite tracks on the release. With it's jazzy slant, Roosevelt Sykes' Ice Cream Freezer Blues features Anthony Geraci on piano and has some of the hottest guitar riffs (and bawdy lyrics) on the release. Super groove, Requiem, is a real nice instrumental jazzy duet featuring Levenson and Ilana over tight drums and bass. Very nice. Instrumental shuffle track, The Excuse, gives Levenson and Ilana a super opportunity to lay out fluid solos over a super blues riff. Wrapping the release is a strong jig (or reel) John Brown's Dream/Subway Light of Mine which along with having great tempo and a great closer is my favorite track on the release.


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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Regina Royale Records artist: Ilana Katz Katz - Movin' On - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Movin' On, by Ilana Katz Katz and it's original and interesting. Opening with Baby Please Don't Go, Ilana immediately grabs your attention with the lonesome sound of the Appalachian fiddle in a blues setting with Cedric Watson on banjo and in duet with Katz on vocals and Daniel Sanda on drums. Barry Levenson adds masterful guitar riffs to Sweet To Mama with Katz on vocal and fiddle, Mike Sandberg on drums and Hank Van Sickle on bass. Reuben's Train has a pure Appalachian sound with Katz's vocals and fiddle. Tanya switches gears with a stylistic jazz track. Nicely adorned by Katz and Bobby Radcliff this track is soothing and smooth with a solid rhythmic bottom courtesy of Geoff Wright on bass and Dave Moore on drums. On Blues for Bobby Radcliff, Chas Justus and Katz play a cool acoustic blues with traditional Piedmont style. Very cool. I really like Demon Blues which has a bit of a Ali Farke Toure sound with Katz on vocal, Radcliff on guitar, Moore on drums and Wright on bass. Lazy John/Sail Away Ladies again reels back to a more bluegrass sound and lead fiddle. Greasy Cool continues in the vein with Sanda and Watson joining in. Very solid. Wrapping the release is Jack of Diamonds with only Katz and her fiddle. This is a nice closer for a really special release.


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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ilana Katz Katz - I've Got Something To Tell You - New release review

I just received the newest release, I've Got Something To Tell You, from Ilana Katz Katz, and it's quite good. I'll preface this review with a note that this release is strongly bluegrass/ rural feel and has a unique open look at the blues. Opening with Marilyn's Blues Ronnie Earl and Katz trade riffs (guitar and violin) over a solid blues bass line by Jesse Williams. Very nice. On John Lee Hooker's She's Long She's Tall, a strong sense of Hooker and boogie underlies this updated version of a classic blues track. Katz is on lead vocal and violin and Earl provides percussive guitar rhythm. On traditional track Cruel Willie Blues, Katz really takes the lead on what I'd call a traditional fiddle tune, joined by Marylou Ferrante on guitar for a simple country instrumental. Robert Lockwood Jr.'s Take A Little Walk With Me features Diane Blue on lead vocal and she does a really sweet job. Ronnie Earl is back on lead guitar, this track falling square in his wheel house. Really nice. Another traditional tune, Old Medeira Waltz pairs Katz with Dotty Moore for a very sweet fiddle duet. Shove the Pig's Foot A Little Further In The Fire is a continuation of the duet but with a fun, country/Irish reel feel. If you like simple country /bluegrass style tunes, this is really well done. PB Cracker Blues again pairs Ronnie Earl with Katz on a 12 bar blues jam. Earl takes the lead and Katz stays with him on the melody but when it comes to the solo, Earl and Katz each step up their game and make strong statements. Conan's Farewell was written in memory of Katz's deceased cat. A playful tune with only fiddle and rhythm guitar by Ferrante it is relaxing and nicely articulated. Runnin' in Peace is written in response to the bombing at the Boston Marathon and the writers personal experience being there. This is my favorite track on the release with super deep roots guitar riffs from Earl and wailing vocals by Diane Blue. Excellent! Another traditional bluegrass track, Johnny Don't Get Drunk pairs Katz with Ferrante on banjo. This track is a lot of fun and well executed. Memphis Minnie's Ain't Nothin' In Ramblin'/Frisco Town finds Ferrante on vocal and guitar with Katz on fiddle. Delivered with a lot of feeling but maintaining the rural country feel these tracks stand out on their own. Wrapping the release with a traditional fiddle tune, Piney Ridge, Katz goes it alone showing pure mastery of country / bluegrass fiddling. This is a different kind of blues release but one that I find quite entertaining. Want something different with a country blues feel. This is it!

  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”