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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 Jeff Jensen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeff Jensen. Show all posts

Friday, May 6, 2016

Swingsuit Records artist: Jeff Jensen - The River City Sessions - New release review

I just received the newest release, The River City Sessions, a live recording from Jeff Jensen and it's smokin! Opening with T-Bone Walker's, T-Bone Shuffle, Jensen steps right up on lead vocal and guitar and shows what everybody has been talking about for years. This guy can play! Backed by Bill Ruffino on bass and vocals and Bridgeforth Robinson on drums, this is a great opener. Up tempo blues rocker, Make It Through, has a nice running bass line and a bit of the Wet Willie funk. A light breezy track with a cool hook, a definite crowd pleaser. Empty Bottles is a quirky little country style blues with clever lyrics. A casual but deliberate pace winds up into a boogie and Jensen shows a little rockabilly flair. Very nice! JJ Boogie is a cool hard driven boogie with a solid drum lead, working bass line and slick guitar riffs. Excellent! Slow blues, Find Myself All Alone, shows a lot of emotion both vocally and on the fretboard. Sit back and catch the show here... Jensen really swats it! Brunette Woman has a nice swagger driven by the walking bass line of Ruffino. Relentless machine gun guitar work by Jensen gives this track a sound of it's own blending right into Elephant Blue, a quick paced jazz track. Ruffino takes a really tasty bass solo and then Jensen really catches fire making it one of my favorites on the release. Wow! Tom Waits' Heart Attack and Vine is a terrific track with a slow pendulous pace. It's suspenseful timing and of course Waits' theatrical writing make this track ideal for juicing with Jensen on guitar. Full blown guitar wringing is the name and Jensen is the man for the job. Excellent! Can't Believe We're Through has a nightclub jazz approach with rimshots and bass lead. Jensen plays lush chords developing into a solid radio track with shared lead vocals with Ruffino. The band cranks it up as the track nears the end developing more and more power as it goes. Very cool! Ash and Bone is a solid ballad with a fat guitar solo. This is a real nice track with the simplest of melodies but great dynamics. Wrapping the release is Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower. Jensen takes a road not far from Hendrix's with a little more jazz influence and openness. His attack and phrasing is all Jensen and the track is a really strong finisher for a super live release!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Swing Suit Records artist: Mick Kolassa - Ghosts of the Riverside Hotel - New Release Review

I just received the most recent release, Ghosts of the Riverside Hotel, from Mick Kolassa. A cornucopia of blues like last years release by Kolassa, "Michissippi Mick" , the net proceeds will go to The Blues Foundation and Generation Blues. Opening with Hank Williams' Ramblin' Man, Kolassa on lead vocal and guitar, Jeff Jensen on Lead guitar, Bill Ruffino on bass, Robinson Bridgeforth on drums and Chris Stephenson on organ, this is an interesting track with march like rudiments and tasty guitar work. Slow swinging blues track, Grapes & Greens, featured nice electric guitar and slide work from Jensen and Eric Hughes on harp coupled with solid lead vocals by Kolassa. Lou Singer's depression era, One Meatball, gets a light reggae rhythm treatment under the vocal harmonizing by Reba Russell and bright piano passages by Victor Wainwright. I Always Meant To Love You is a swinging 12 bar with some real jazzy riffs from Jensen, complimented nicely by Kirk Smothers on sax and Wainwright on piano. Lighthearted Trouble, written by Todd Snider, has a cool swing. Kolassa's vocals are spot on, Santini takes a real nice harp solo on this track and Jensen throws in a few country influenced riffs of his own. Nothing Left To Lose (Robin's Blues) is a smooth jazzy blues ballad featuring Smothers on melodic sax. Kolassa's most serious vocal of the release are restrained but well placed and pointers by Smothers and Jensen are perfectly executed. Very nice! If I Ain't Fishin' has a cool pace with Wainwright and Hughes teaming up with tension against the calm. Randy Newman's, Mama Told Me Not To Come, made popular by Three Dog Night, gets a modified Chicago blues remake and a totally different type of cover. Kolassa uses an almost spoken delivery and Santini really wails on this one giving it it's best showing to my ears. On Whiskey Woman, Cole Layman trades lead guitar lines with Jensen and Logan Lyman lays down some cool funk bass. Chris Stephenson's organ solo punches up the track eliciting nice guitar soloing and even more pluckiness from Layman. Walkin' (Dead) Blues capitalizes on the current zombie obsession. With an Elmore James basic track, Kolassa gets the band cranked up with his frantic vocal antics. Santini gets his harp rolling hard and Jensen kicks out his best set of riffs on the release. Tongue in cheek but the hottest track on the release! Following a Magic Sam format, Mama's Got A Mojo, is a cool track with shimmery guitar soloing by Jensen over solid organ work by Stephenson. Real nice! Wrapping the release is Delta Town featuring Watermelon Slim on dobro and harp. Bridgeforth and Ruffino give the track a bit more structure and Kolassa leads the way. This is quite an enjoyable release with a bit of something for most blues lovers.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Jeff Jensen - Morose Elephant - New release review

I just received the newest release (Feb 3, 2015), Morose Elephant, from Jeff Jensen exhibiting a broad spectrum of cool music. Opening with Make It Through, a happy springy bluesy track, Jensen leads the way on vocals and lays out some pretty nice guitar riffs. With a taste of R&B, Victor Wainwright adds a Whirlitzer layer and Reba Russell adds to it's spiritual feel. Get Along is a pretty straight up rocker with Bill Ruffino on bass, Robinson Bridgeforth on drums and Kirk Smothers and Marc Franklin bringing up the horn section. Jensen shows he's no beginner with some really hot guitar riffs as well. Ballad Fall Apart with its soulful lead guitar work coupled with Jensen's vocals, Chris Stephenson on keys and Smothers and Franklin on horns make this one of the strongest tracks on the release.  Going Home is given a little funk with great backing vocals by Russell and nice horns by Smothers and Franklin but Jensen really shines at the lead on both guitar and vocal on this track. Excellent! Paper Walls is a clever blues like chant (think Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning) with simple instrumentation. Stephenson on piano, Ruffino on bass, Cunningham on drums and Jensen whipping on the guitar as he tells the story, this track has some oomph! On Boogie track, What's The Matter With The Mill Wainwright does a great job on vocals and hammers the keyboard for a super conclusion to a solid blues track. Easy paced ballad, Ash and Bones is primarily Jensen accompanying himself on acoustic guitar complimented by Russell on vocal and Anne Harris on fiddle. Very nice! Cool jazz instrumental track, Elephant Blue, really pops. Jensen gives the fretboard a hard workout and and Bridgeforth, Stephenson and Ruffino push him the whole way. Hot! Bad Bad Whiskey has an easy saunter pace with Eric Hughes complimenting the vocals on harp. I'll Always Be In Love With You cranks the levelup to more of an open horn band with perky vocals. A nice cool walking bass line by Ruffino and light guitar soloing. Wrapping the release is Empty Bottles, Jensen accompanining himself on guitar and complimented by Gary Allegretto on harp. A quick bluesy ditty, a slick little track to close a cool and curious release.

  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”


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Raggedy Ann - Jeff Jensen

Growing up listening to 50’s, 60’s and 70’s Rock –N-Roll, the Blues was always just a step away. So when Jeff started playing guitar at age 11 the significance of blues was overwhelming. Flirting with different styles of music like Rock and Roll, Funk, Punk Rock and Jazz through high school, Jeff landed his first blues gigs at age 19 as a guitarist. Soon after he was hired to front a southern California blues band that gigged a few times a month from San Diego to Ventura. In 2003 Jeff Jensen and Chris Sabie founded the Santa Clarita Blues Society. Jeff and Chris travelled to Memphis for the 2004 IBC. Jeff came home from that a member of the Blues Foundation and fully charged and inspired to form his own band. May 2004 the Jeff Jensen Band was born. From 2005-2009 the band performed 200+ shows per year. During this time the Jeff Jensen Band was in the 2005, 2006, and 2007 IBC’s, regularly performed west coast blues festivals and opened for BB King at part of his 80th Birthday tour. In 2007 the band’s debut album “Self-Titled” (Swingsuit Records) was released. “Self-Titled” received great reviews form several respected Blues publications. ”Self-Titled is a tour-de-force debut release by a band that breathes new life into the blues scene. The themes may be tried and true, but they are delivered with a fresh dose of enthusiasm form one tight band.” – Dave Ruthenberg (Living Blues, 2007) Album also hit The Living Blues Charts and the Roots Music Charts that year. 2008 Jeff was asked to produce longtime friend and musical associate John Parker’s album. This was very challenging and emotion because by this time John was quickly losing his 5 year battle with cancer. The album was completed just weeks before John passed. It was released a few months later and contains some inspirational blues songs about his battle that serve to this day as anthems for several America Cancer Society events around the country. 2009 Jeff Jensen Band released their second album “I’m Coming Home”. This album was a big production featuring the very tight “Pandas Horns” and lots of special guests. It hit the Roots Music Charts in 2009 as well. And is still played on hundreds of blues formatted radio stations. After moving to Memphis in 2011, Jeff spent 2 years as Harmonica Sensation Brandon Santini's guitar player and Musical Director. Jeff is now touring as Jeff Jensen Band and promoting his 2013 release "road worn and ragged". You can hear Jeff Jensen on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and 200+ other radio stations around the United States as well as stations in Denmark, England, Canada, Australia, Germany, Argentina, Belgium and more.

  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 favorite band!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Swingsuit Records artist: Jeff Jensen - Road Worn And Ragged - New Release Review

I just received the new release, Road Worn and Ragged from Jeff Jensen. Assembling a strong cast of supporting players Jensen hits it hard right out of the chute with Brunette Woman, a blues rocker with hot harp from Brandon Santini and rippin' guitar riffs from Jensen. Tom Waits' Heart Attack and Vine has a Cab Calloway style with a mostly spoken lead vocal and a slinky rhythm. Again solid guitar work gives the track a special something but laying the table open for some slick organ work from Chris Stephenson. Possibly my favorite track on the release, Pepper is a fast swing number with a bright and lively guitar lead. Les would be proud... a d*** fine track! Classic blues/jazz track, Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You gets a really strong blues infused jazz treatment and with a slow pace is instrumentally super. Jensen playing Montgomery style licks really shows polish. Morganfield's Crosseyed Cat has an interesting pace with James Cunningham playing almost military style drum riffs. Santini does an exemplary job on harp on this track and Jensen isn't far behind with riffs which have been bubbling over for a while just waiting to get out. Another Jensen (and Victor Wainwright) original, Raggedy Andy, has a moderate swing pace and lends itself to a real nice piano break from Wainwright as well as a few nice riffs from Jensen. Wrapping up the release is R&B style track, Thankful, penned by Jensen. Bill Ruffino establishes a solid groove on bass and Cunningham dress the track out with cool drums. It's on this track that I appreciate Jensen's voice the most with his free flowing vocal style having just a slight similarity to one of my contemporary favorites, Macy Gray. This a a cool release with some interesting tracks, hot guitar riffs and plenty of solid instrumental work. It will be available August 6, 2013.

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”