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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 Jerry Portnoy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jerry Portnoy. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Stony Plain Records artist: Duke Robillard - The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard (September 25, 2015), by Duke Robillard and I personally think that's it's his best outing in years. This terrific exploration into American music begins with a sensitive acoustic guitar rendition of Stephen Fosters' My Old Kentucky Home. Very nice intro. Early blues track, Big Bill Broonzy's Big Bill Blues features Robillard on vocal and guitar and Matt McCabe on piano with just the right amount of swing. Very nice! Robillard original, I Miss My Baby In My Arms, has a really nice feel featuring Billy Novick on clarinet. His sensitivity on the stick contrasted against McCabes delicate piano work is perfect. Jimmie Rodger's, Jimmie's Texas Blues features Robillard on vocal (and yodeling), resonator and Mary Flowers on slide. An easy country blues track it has a very nice pace and warm feel. Novick is back on Robillard penned, Backyard Paradise, and it has a deliberate pace and Robillard's vocals are easy and smooth. Sunny Crownover takes the lead vocal on Robbie Robertson's waltz, Evangeline. With a pure earth feel, Robllard adds a number of stringed instruments and Jon Ross, the mandolin. Mary Flower on slide and Russell Gusetti on concertina give this track a real Appalachian feel. Excellent! Eric Moore's Left Handed is a solid blues number. Robillard's vocals are solid, acoustic guitar soloing is strong, McCabe hits a clear line on piano and Jerry Portnoy adds lush harp lines. Very cool! Eddie Miller's I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water has a more stripped down feel than what we customarily hear of this track and I really like it. Robillard's vocals are super and with only a uke rhythm and clean articulate acoustic soloing, it clearly stands out as one of the best of the release. There is also a cool solo on what sounds like a bowed bass. Very nice! Crowd favorite, I'm Gonna Buy Me A Dog (To Take Me The Place Of You), is another straight up blues number again featuring Portnoy on harp and McCabe on piano. Given a chance to take a nice walk, Portnoy does it with style. Nashville Blues is a vocal duet with Crownover and a bit of Piedmont guitar accompaniment. Mary Flower takes a real sweet lap slide solo on this number to close it out. WC Handy's Saint Louis Blues gets a real nice tribute with Novick on clarinet and Robillard on vocal. Robillard plays one of his coolest guitar solos on this number with simple and straight forward acoustic drive. Very cool! Hudson Whittaker's What Is It That Tastes Like Gravy? has a cool New Orleans sound with fine clarinet work by Novick. McCabe also takes the floor with strong, stylized piano riffs. Sleepy John Estes' Someday Baby (Trouble No More), keeps much of the primitive styling with Doug James on harp and Robillard on guitar and mandolin. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Hank Williams' Let's Turn Back The Years with traditional tex mex waltz like styling. Cool slide work from Flower and mando and guitar work by Robillard gives this track real traction. Robert Lockwood's Take A Little Walk With Me is a terrific track and McCabe really dresses the piano. Robillard's vocals work nicely with this track and placing electrifying acoustic guitar riffs throughout gives the track a more contemporary feel. Maria Muldaur takes the lead vocal on Santa Claus Blues and does an absolutely excellent job. Doug James on Bari and Dave Babcock on tenor really get this track swinging and Robillard plays some wonderfully wild jazz riffs along with Mark Teixeira on drums giving the track extra kick. Meade Lux Lewis' Profoundly Blue is a spectacular showcase for Robillard on acoustic guitar accompanied by Jay McShann on an extended piano solo. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Ukulele Swing featuring Robilard on a short little Uke ditty. This is a cool little track and a super conclusion to a very strong showing!

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Stony Plain Records Set to Release "The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard" on September 25

Stony Plain Records Set to Release The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard on September 25
A Decade in the Making, Latest Album from Multi-Award-Winning Guitarist Includes Special Guests Maria Muldaur, Jay McShann, Jerry Portnoy and Sunny Crownover

EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records announces a September 25 release date for The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard, a very special album from the two-time Grammy nominee and multi Blues Music Award winning guitarist that focuses on the music that has informed his over 50-year career as a performing artist, bandleader and producer of seminal American roots music. The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard was recorded primarily at Duke’s own Mood Room studio, with additional work done at Lakewest Recording and some live recording done at the Blackstone River Theater in Cumberland, Rhode Island.
“This project has been about a decade in the making for various reasons I won't go into here,” Duke Robillard says in the liner notes about the sessions for the new CD.  “As many of you know, I am, and always have been, a huge fan of American roots music in its entirety. Blues, ragtime, early jazz, Appalachian music, early country, swing, honky-tonk, folk, R&B, soul, New Orleans music, rock and roll and all kinds of roots music have always moved and inspired me the most. Especially the artists that were there at the beginning of each style. Those artists always seem to be the most honest to my ears.”

Accordingly, Robillard has fashioned an album that salutes many of those influences on the new disc, demonstrating in the process the immense scope and breadth of the talent that has made him one of the most revered and beloved musicians in the world.  

“With this album I honor many of the pioneers of true American music, from close to the beginning of recorded music to the 1940s,” Robillard declares. “This is the time period I love most and find a never-ending river of new music to discover, enjoy and be influenced/inspired by. This recording concentrates on music written and recorded in the ‘20s to the ‘40s, with the exception of some original songs and Robbie Robertson's ‘Evangeline,’ which sounds like it could be from that time period!”

Besides Duke’s lead vocals and multiple stringed instruments performed throughout The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard, the all-star backing cast includes special guest vocalists Maria Muldaur and Sunny Crownover, former Muddy Waters band member Jerry Portnoy on harmonica and the late, Kansas City piano legend Jay McShann. Other players include Mary Flower – acoustic finger style and lap slide guitar and vocal; Marty Ballou and John Packer - acoustic bass; Matt McCabe – piano; Mark Teixeira and Marty Richards – drums; Billy Novick – clarinet; Doug James - baritone sax and harmonica; Dave Babcock - tenor sax; Jon Ross – mandolin; Russell Gusetti – concertina and the Providence Mandolin Orchestra.

Robillard taps into his wellspring of great American music songbook knowledge by covering everything from such blues icons as Big Bill Broonzy, W.C Handy, Sleepy John Estes, Robert Lockwood and Pete Johnson, to country legends Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers and the Delmore Brothers, with a nod to traditional popular music from writers including Stephen Foster. And Duke gets an early jump on the holiday season with the inclusion of “Santa Claus Blues,” featuring the soulful vocals of Maria Muldaur and written by one of America’s best pop music composers, Gus Kahn.    

The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard – Track Listing
1 My Old Kentucky Home 1:25
2 Big Bill Blues 3:35
3 I Miss My Baby in My Arms 3:15
4 Jimmie's Texas Blues 3:08
5 Backyard Paradise 2:39
6 Evangeline featuring Sunny Crownover 3:01
7 Left Handed 3:06
8 I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water 3:25
9 I'm Gonna Buy Me a Dog (To Take the Place of You) 5:15
10 Nashville Blues featuring Mary Flower 3:07
11 St Louis Blues 5:07
12 What Is It That Tastes Like Gravy? 3:04
13 Someday Baby 3:17
14 Let’s Turn Back the Years 2:37
15 Take a Little Walk with Me 7:04
16 Santa Claus Blues featuring Maria Muldaur 2:50
17 Profoundly Blue feat. Jay McShann 3:46
18 Ukulele Swing 0:46

About Duke Robillard

Duke Robillard’s career path was set in 1967 when he founded the iconic Roomful of Blues, later holding down the guitar spot in The Fabulous Thunderbirds (following Jimmie Vaughan’s departure from that band), then working with rockabilly maverick Robert Gordon and recording two albums with the Legendary Blues Band (a sterling group of former members of Muddy Waters’ bands). In addition, Duke has logged countless gigs over the years as a producer, bandleader and guitar player with a plethora of giants of blues, roots and jazz music.  That laundry list includes late icons such as Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Witherspoon, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Jay McShann, Rosco Gordon and Herb Ellis, as well as contemporaries Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Jay Geils, Joe Louis Walker, Billy Boy Arnold and Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne.

Since 1980, Duke’s been a touring bandleader for 98% of the time with nearly 30 albums to his credit under his own name. He is the true link from those great artists of the past to the current and future of roots music. With the recent passing of B.B. King and the aging of other blues elders, Duke continues to carry his blues torch held high, leading the music from the wilderness into the light. In recognition of his lifetime achievements, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in May of 2014.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jerry Portnoy & Guitar Ray

Jerry Portnoy was born in 1943 and grew up in the blues-rich atmosphere of Chicago's famous Maxwell Street Market during the golden age of Chicago Blues. He began his professional career in the late 60s and since that time has performed, live and on television, for millions of people around the world. During a career that includes six years as a member of the fabled Muddy Waters Blues Band, another six as leader of the Legendary Blues Band, four years at the head of his own band The Streamliners, and another four as a featured member of the Eric Clapton Band, his touring schedule has carried him to every state in the union and twenty-eight foreign countries on six continents, with performances at the White House, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, the Smithsonian, London's Royal Albert Hall, and at major jazz festivals worldwide, including the Newport Jazz Festival, the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the Warsaw International Jazz Jamboree, the Hawaii Pacific Jazz and Music Fair, and the Grande Parade du Jazz in Nice, France. Jerry Portnoy has played on several Grammy Award-winning albums while recording with a wide variety of artists, and was a Grammy Award nominee in 1997 for his work with the Muddy Waters Tribute Band. Television credits include appearances on Saturday Night Live, Soundstage, MTV, VH1, and the Disney Channel, as well as writing and performing original music for Sesame Street. In addition, he has lectured at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and his definitive 3/CD instructional package, Jerry Portnoy's Blues Harmonica Masterclass, is widely regarded as the premier teaching tool for those wishing to learn the instrument. Jerry Portnoy now makes his home outside Boston, Massachusetts. 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!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Marijuana Blues- Muddy Waters

Among Muddy Waters famous songs was the Marijuana blues. Pretty daring for his time.
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Go Mud!