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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 John Primer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Primer. Show all posts

Friday, May 29, 2020

VizzTone Label Group artists: John Primer & Bob Corritore - The Gypsy Woman Told Me - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the latest release, The Gypsy Woman Told Me, by John Primer & Bob Corritore and it's a great dose of contemporary Chicago style blues. Opening with Keep A-Driving, Primer on vocal and guitar really does a nice job of setting the stage with Corritore supporting nicely and with solid piano work by Bob Welch, Kedar Roy on bass and June Core on drums. With a bit of boogie built in, Knockin' On Your Door, with Primer again leading on vocal gives Corritore a nice chance to spread a bit with great harp tones and Primer's guitar work is tight and well phrased. Lil Son Jackson's Gambling Blues is one of my favorite tracks on the release with quick paced acoustic guitar and fleet fingered lead by Primer and a fatter harp part by Corritore. Primer's own, Little Bitty Woman falls right from the Muddy Waters tree with a bouncy, Chicago blues pace, riding harp and Waters like slide work by Primer. Very cool. Slow blues, Walking The back Street Crying is one Primer and Corritore can both sink their teeth into with super vocal and instrumentals throughout. Sonny Boy's My Imagination gives Corritore a nice time in the spotlight and his harp is A1. Primer's vocals are of course spot on but this track is here for Bob to shine and he really does a nice job. Another favorite is Left Me With A Broken Heart featuring Billy Flynn on guitar, Ben Levin on piano, Mike Hightower on bass and Brian Fahey on drums. Corritore's harp work is particularly expressive and I always like Flynn's guitar styling. Very nice. Wrapping the release is Ain't Gonna Be No Cuttin' Loose with a driving shuffle pace and featuring a real nice solo by Corritore. Flynn again works the guitar nicely working with Corritore to a powerful ending. Solid release. 

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

VizzTone Label Group artist: Bob Corritore & Friends - Do The Hip-Shake Baby! - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Do The Hip-Shake Baby!, from Bob Corritore & Friends and I really like it. Corritore usually sticks pretty close to traditional Chicago style blues but not on this one. He's mixing it up but the mix is great. Opening with Shake Your Hips, Mighty Joe Milsap is upfront on vocals and they are rich and powerful. With Alan West on drums and percussion this track has a swampy rhythmic feel and Corritore's harp work is used like a sharp knife carving in essential riffs. Very nice. Alabama Mike leads on Gonna Tell Your Mother, a classic R&B track with Johnny Rapp and LA Jones on guitar, Adrianna Marie on bass, Fred Kaplan on keys and Brian Fahey on drums. With sassy backing vocals and a slick guitar solo, this track is swinging. Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry gets down, slow and gritty on You Better Slow Down. Corritore has his harp singing on this one over the classic guitar riffs of Perry and Rapp. Very nice. Up tempo shuffle, Trying To Make A Living features Sugaray Rayford upfront with Junior Watson on flat laid out guitar and Kedar Roy on bass. Corritore tees up another super solo giving this track that extra spark. Jimi "Primetime" Smith  sings I Got The World In A Jug in simple Chicago styling. Corritore stretches a bit on this one but as always, contains not dominating the show. Wrapping the release is Rayford again upfront on Keep The Lord On With You! This song is rich in vocal and meaning with excellent vocal, harp and with the excellent addition of Kid Ramos on guitar joined by Marty Dodson on drums and Blake Watson on bass. This is an excellent closer for a very strong release. 

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Friday, May 10, 2019

VizzTone Label Group artist: Tony Holiday - Porch Sessions - New release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Tony Holiday's Porch Sessions and I really like it. Vocalist and harmonica player, Tony Holiday has put together a great release here with a who's who of the blues business. Opening with Pick-Pocket Fingers a cool shuffle track Holiday on lead vocal is joined by James Harman on harmonica, Kid Ramos on guitar, Landon Stone on guitar and Kid Andersen on bass, this is a cool opener. John Primer steps in on lead vocal and guitar on They Call Me John Primer with featured harp work by Bob Corritore and Holiday and Joel Meza Jr. on drums. I always love Primer's slide style and Corritore has beautiful tone. Very nice. An easy, funky track, A Woman Named Trouble, showcases John Nemeth and Jake Friel with Holiday on vocal and harmonica. This is a funky funky track with a great bass line by Anderson. Excellent! Mitch Kashmar and Ronnie Shellist join Holiday for Three Way Party and slower but soulful guitar and harmonica soloing gives this track a rich feel.  Guitar boogie, Goin' To Court features Harman and Ramos and it's hot. With a great rhythm guitar line by Stone, Harmon plays for style and Ramos smokes the frets. Very nice. On Coin Operated Woman, Holiday has the mic again and Chicago guitar man, Rockin' Johnny Burgin fans the frets. Holiday is front and center on harp and does a really nice job balancing his smooth vocals and lead harp and Burgin is restrained but his riffs are tight and aggressive. Wrapping the release is This Time I'm Gone For Good featuring the excellent vocals of William Kidd. Holiday's harmonica nicely surrounds the deep richness of Kidd with only a touch of Stone's precision guitar punctuation. Very nice closer for a strong release. 

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Monday, July 27, 2015

JULY 24 rel-MUDDY WATERS 100 w/Johnny Winter, John Primer, Gary Clark Jr., Keb' Mo', Derek Trucks


                                                                                                                                                
 MUDDY WATERS 100 featuring
 JOHN PRIMER, GARY CLARK, JR., JOHNNY WINTER, JAMES COTTON, KEB' MO', DEREK TRUCKS, SHEMEKIA COPELAND, BOB MARGOLIN
                                                                                                                                                    

"Primer is a terrific singer; strong, strutting and just enough like his mentor Muddy to make these songs authentic but not a mirror image. The performances are spirited without a dud in all 15. And, perhaps most impressively, the sumptuous hardcover package with 48 heavy stock pages of rare photos and a beautifully penned essay from veteran music writer Robert Gordon is the definition of classy." (American Songwriter)

"a worthy tribute and a must for anyone who’s ever appreciated Waters’ sweeping influence. Meaning everybody." (Gatehouse Newspapers)

Chicago, IL - Raisin' Music Records proudly announces the release of "MUDDY WATERS 100" on JULY 24, 2015.

This officially authorized centennial tribute to Muddy Waters, "MUDDY WATERS 100" is a once-in-a-lifetime CD that celebrates, commemorates and contributes to the musical legacy of this American icon. Produced by 2X Grammy nominated producer Larry Skoller ("Heritage Blues Orchestra"/ "Chicago Blues: A Living History"), the CD is contained in a collectible CD-sized hard-cover book with 48 pages illustrated with black and white photography by some of the greatest photographers of Muddy's time. Also included is an original essay by Robert Gordon, Grammy-winning author of the definitive Muddy Waters biography "Can't Be Satisfied - The Life and Times of Muddy Waters".

"MUDDY WATERS 100" includes 15 newly recorded tracks featuring Muddy Waters Band alumni and many of today's most preeminent American blues and roots artists including JOHN PRIMER, GARY CLARK JR., JAMES COTTON, KEB' MO', JOHNNY WINTER, DEREK TRUCKS, BOB MARGOLIN, BILLY BRANCH and SHEMEKIA COPELAND backed by some of the greatest musicians on the Chicago blues scene including The Living History Band featuring Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith (drums -- son of longtime Muddy drummer Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith), Johnny Iguana (keyboards), Felton Crews (bass) and Billy Flynn (guitar).



Vocalist/guitarist JOHN PRIMER, who played with Muddy until his death in 1983, is recognized as one of today's most crucial keepers of the Chicago blues flame. For "MUDDY WATERS 100", Primer gives a deeply personal tribute to the man he knew so very well. Other distinguished Muddy Waters alumni on this recording include harmonica legend JAMES COTTON and guitarist BOB MARGOLIN (who played alongside Muddy for 7 years and was very close to the man and his music. The late great blues guitarist/producer JOHNNY WINTER played on the song "I'm Ready" for this album just a few weeks before he passed away in July 2014. ("I'm Ready" is the title track from Muddy's Grammy-winning album produced by Winter back in 1978 -- one of two albums that Winter produced for Muddy in the late '70s. Cotton & Margolin also played on the Winter-produced "I'm Ready" album). Along with Muddy alumni, this gathering of some of the most preeminent blues and roots artists of today makes this tribute truly a landmark celebration. Billy Branch, Gary Clark, Jr., Shemekia Copeland, Keb Mo' and Derek Trucks embody the spirit of this project: that for a tradition to survive, it must be passed on through generations and must remain in a constant state of evolution by redefining itself in a contemporary context. By pushing the boundaries of this music, as Muddy did in his time, and with their own original voices and stories, these artists are helping to give the blues its future.

It could be argued that Muddy Waters has had more influence on the sound of American popular music than any other single artist of the 20th century. "MUDDY WATERS 100" is a centennial celebration of his musical legacy, his iconic sound and his immeasurable contribution to and influence on American music. Driven by a deep respect for this master of the blues and for the blues traditions that spawned his talent, "MUDDY WATERS 100" tributes the past, embraces the present and recognizes the bright future of the blues for which Muddy paved the way. In the spirit of his legacy, "MUDDY WATERS 100" puts the spotlight on the inextricable mix of old and new school that Muddy left in his wake. The newly recorded songs on this album represent the various periods and styles of Muddy's musical path, from his 1941 recordings on Stovall plantation in Mississippi to his arrival in Chicago and subsequent evolution during the 1940s and 1950s, including his pioneering electric guitar sound at the Chess Records studios. By design, this album has not taken a strictly archival approach in its treatments of Muddy's songs. Some tracks are handled traditionally; there are also contemporary treatments and new arrangements that focus on today's sounds. Whether it be rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, the tube electronics of the earliest five-watt amplifiers or digital samples, drum loops and electronica -- in one way or another these sounds all lead back to Muddy Waters.

"Muddy Waters would be a hundred years old today…The whole story of the blues can be heard, felt, and learned in the life of Muddy Waters…Born April 4, 1915…in the soggy part of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, this mannish boy would soon move north in the delta with his grandmother to Stovall Farms, near where the train lines crossed in Clarksdale, and from there to Chicago. He absorbed the rhythm and feel of the south until it was part of his bones, electrifying that sound in the industrial north. His 1958 trip to England planted ideas there that would awaken America to its indigenous sounds. Muddy's music ignited a cultural revolution...from the brutal and fertile fields of Mississippi, he changed the world. The tiller of the soil became the definer of a nation, the symbol of freedom. Muddy's achievement is emblematic of American democracy, the ultimate triumph of the dirt farmer, bringing respect to the disrespected. He did it with his guitar and with his voice, touching emotions that touched traditions. A century has passed, but we are still building on the foundation that Muddy Waters established, his sound and style still going strong. His influence is everywhere around us." (from Robert Gordon's liner notes essay)

www.muddywaters100.com

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vizztone Label Group artist: Rob Stone - gotta keep rollin' - New release review

I just received the newest release (September 9, 2014), gotta keep rollin', from Rob Stone and it smells of sweet Chicago. Opening with a strong Chicago style blues, Wait Baby, Stone is out front singing and blowing his harp backed by Chris James on guitar. Cool harp work and solid guitar riffs over a solid beat provided by Patrick Rynn (bass) and and Willie Hayes (drums)provides for a great opener. John Lee Willamson's easy stepping Wonderful Time features nice piano work from David Maxwell and a different slice of Stones super vocal work. His harp work complimented by James on guitar makes for an happy go lucky track. Another Chicago style shuffle track, Lucky 13 gives Stone a wide road to play his harp and he takes every inch of it. Cool vocal phrasing, a tight guitar solo from John Primer and a cool melody makes for one of the most memorable tracks on the release. Anything Can Happen features Eddie Shaw on sax and he tears up the solo opportunity as you would absolutely expect. Very cool! Jazz Gillum's, She Belongs To Me, has a subtle easy pace lead by Frank Rossi on brushes giving Stone an easy cloud to sing and especially harp over. Billy Emerson's Move Baby Move, has a great swing and a ringing guitar solo rhythm throughout. James steps out nicely on guitar on this track but leaves room for the super Eddie Shaw to wind it up and blow it out. Very nice! Strollin' With Sasquatch is a very cool instrumental featuring Stone on harp, Ariyo on piano, Maxwell on piano, James on guitar, Rynn on bass and Hayes on drums. Smooth! Wired and Tired has that Muddy Waters jump feel. Featuring Henry Gray on a signature piano solo and Eddie Kobek on drums this track moves. Stone lays out some great harp riffs and James is ever ready on guitar. Super! Willie McTell's Cold Winter Day is a real down and dirty blues track featuring some of my favorite harp work on the release. Maxwell rolling in some really nice piano work and with hot guitar riffs from Primer not only in solo form but also under the melody this is another of my favorites on the release. Excellent! Cornelius Green's It's Easy When You Know How has a certain R&B feel featuring Maxwell on piano under the vocal and harp work of Stone. Having more of a pop feel, this track should have broad appeal. Blues Keep Rollin' On features cool vocal harmonies with Clarke Rigsby and a really infectious melody/rhythm. Not No More' is a great final track for this release with a driving drum rhythm from Hayes, tidy guitar riffs and solo work from James, super piano work from Maxwell, clever lead vocals from Stone, accentuating backing vocals by Mike Mahany and an overall good feeling. Very cool!

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 This track not on this release but a good example of Stone's work:


Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Stone Has "Gotta Keep Rollin'" - Chicago Blues Singer/Harmonica Master Rob Stone Delivers High-Energy Mojo on His New CD for VizzTone Label Group, Due September 9


This Stone Has Gotta Keep Rollin’ – Chicago Blues Singer/Harmonica Master Rob Stone Delivers High-Energy Mojo on His New CD for VizzTone Label Group, Due September 9

Special Guests on Stone’s First Album for VizzTone Include Blues Hall of Famer Eddie Shaw, John Primer, David Maxwell and Henry Gray

NEWTON, MA – The VizzTone Label Group announces a September 9 release date for Gotta Keep Rollin’, the new CD from Chicago blues singer/harmonica master Rob Stone, distributed nationally by Redeye Distribution. Joining Rob Stone and his battle-hardened group of band mates Chris James (guitar), Patrick Rynn (bass) and Willie “The Touch” Hayes (drums), are several special guests, including newly-inducted Blues Hall of Famer Eddie Shaw (sax), guitarist John Primer, Blues Music Award-winning piano player David Maxwell and Henry Gray, former piano man for the legendary Howlin’ Wolf.

From the first notes of the lead-off track, a rousing take on Johnny Jones’ “Wait Baby,” through the album’s closer, “Not No Mo,” (a swingin’ entreaty to a lady friend), it’s obvious that Rob Stone’s music, while steeped in the finest traditions of Chicago blues, is not here gathering dust. It’s exciting, vibrant music for the 21st century with more grooves and high-energy than the law should allow.

Over the course of an dozen high-energy tracks that feature six originals, plus blistering covers of the aforementioned Johnny Jones, John Lee Williamson, (“Wonderful Time”), Jazz Gillum (“She Belongs to Me”), Billy “The Kid” Emerson (“Move Baby Move”), Willie McTell (“Cold Winter Day”) and Cornelius Green (“It’s Easy When You Know How”), Rob Stone and Co. take the listener on a tour of the sounds heard in Chicago-land’s finest blues clubs.  

Gotta Keep Rollin’ is Stone’s fourth album as bandleader and first for VizzTone. His previous CD, Back Around Here (Earwig – 2010) scored big on the blues radio charts and was also named by Living Blues magazine as one of that year’s top release. Prior releases also include No Worries (1998) and Just My Luck (2003), which was nominated for a Chicago Music Award in the “Best Blues Album” category. Rob was also prominently featured in the Martin Scorsese-produced “Godfathers and Sons” episode of the critically-acclaimed blues series that aired on PBS stations nationally in 2003.

Now based in Los Angeles, Rob Stone cut his musical teeth in the gritty clubs of Chicago’s north, south and west sides, learning from the masters. He got his start at age 18, when he slipped into a blues joint in his native Boston to check out harp great Charlie Musselwhite and was instantly transfixed. He bought his first harp the next day and began listening to recordings of Little Walter, Big Walter Horton, Junior Wells, James Cotton and the two Sonny Boys.  Before long, Rob was learning the finer points of the instrument from ex-Muddy Waters mouth organ maestro Jerry Portnoy and playing regularly with Rockabilly legend Sleepy LaBeef. Relocating to Colorado in 1990, he got his feet wet playing with biker bands on the smoky bandstands around Colorado Springs. Then in ‘93, legendary drummer Sam Lay invited the young harpist to sit in with his combo, leading to a job offer and a move to Chicago the next year. Touring internationally with Sam Lay for four years introduced Stone to blues fans worldwide. Despite leaving Sam’s band in 1998 to form the first incarnation of his current band, the C-Notes (with Chris James and Patrick Rynn), Rob and Sam continued to perform together over the years, and Sam has appeared on several of Rob’s albums. “I have worked with many harmonica players, and he turned out to be the best,” says Sam (quite an endorsement, considering Lay was a member of Paul Butterfield’s vaunted mid-‘60s band and also kept impeccable time for Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter). “That cat is a monster harmonica player and musician!”

Besides headlining his own club tours, Stone has opened major shows for a wide-range of stars, including B.B. King, Sheryl Crow, Robert Cray, Los Lobos, James Cotton and Etta James. He’s also gaining a wide reputation as an emerging talent throughout Europe with consistent overseas touring, as well as in Japan, where he’s built an impressive following of fans.

Rob Stone’s hard-hitting, honest and highly-danceable blues never fails to delight crowds at his shows. Firmly committed to spreading the blues gospel, Stone is nevertheless his own man, carving out a niche for himself with exceptional singing and harp work, plus a knack for writing terrific original blues songs.

Rob Stone and his band will support the release of Gotta Keep Rollin’ with non-stop touring both in the U.S. and abroad.

For more information, visit www.robstone.com and www.vizztone.com.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Blues Blast Music Awards


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2014 Blues Blast Music - Nominations

The 2014 Blues Blast Music awards are coming up and some of our very own Delta Groove artists have been nominated. We would love for those who support the label to take a brief look at the nominees and cast your vote!



John Primer & Bob Corritore


John Primer & Bob Corritore's album "Knockin' Around These Blues" has been nominated for "Traditional Blues Album" of the year. This is a great accomplishment and they deserve the support from fans and followers of Delta Groove Music during this voting period.

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Terry Hanck


Terry Hanck's album "Gotta Bring It On Home To You" has been nominated for "Soul Blues Album" on this years Blues Blast Music awards. We love Terry and passionately believe that he can win with the support of our fans worldwide.

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The Mannish Boys


Everyone loves The Mannish Boys! We are happy to announce their nomination for "Blues Band" of the year. Album after album they never fail to amaze blues fans around the world. Keep them in mind when casting your vote!

Vote Now




Bob Corritore


Of course! Bob Corritore has been nominated for "Male Blues Artist" in this years Blues Blast Music awards. Following up with the release of his latest album "Taboo" this would be a great accomplishment indeed. Vote for Bob today!

Vote Now




Sugaray Rayford


How can we forget Sugaray Rayford! He is also nominated for "Male Blues Artist" of the year. His music and talent is admired by many. Vote for the hardest working man in show biz today.

Vote Now

Thursday, May 30, 2013

John Primer

John Primer (born March 3, 1945, Camden, Mississippi) is an American Chicago blues and electric blues singer and guitarist. He played guitar at Theresa's, a club in Chicago, between 1974 and 1980. He was influenced by Muddy Waters' former sideman, Sammy Lawhorn, who taught him to play slide guitar. He joined the Chicago Blues All-Stars of Willie Dixon in 1979, then the Muddy Waters's band until the latter's death in 1983. Then he joined the Teardrops of Magic Slim and began a solo career on Wolf Records. In 1995 he released, The Real Deal, with songwriting and singing techniques showing the influence of both Dixon and Slim. In 2013, Primer had a nomination for a Blues Music Award in the 'Traditional Blues Male Artist' category  





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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Delta Groove Music artists: John Primer and Bob Corritore - Knockin' Around The Blues

I just received the much anticipated new release from Delta Groove, Knockin' Around The Blues from John Primer and Bob Corritore and it's great! Both Corritore and Primer are known for their traditional Chicago style and this is right on it...but it is a solid square hit. Opening with The Clock, you're in Chicago and the best band in town is up and making that statement isn't far off. These guys, both superstars themselves, have a full hand of musicians with them. Primer of course handles lead vocals and he's always terrific. Corritore can really be magic on the harp and his playing on this track is very strong. Barrelhouse Chuck adds terrific riffs throughout and Chris James and Primer both do nice jobs on guitar on this track. Blue and Lonesome opens with a great intro from Chuck and Primer and Corritore exchange call and response. This is slow dirty blues like you love it. One of the comments that I've had of some recordings of Corritore in the past have been that he gets lost in the mix. Not on this recording! Corritore is well highlighted and sounding great. James and Primer are both highlighted on guitar on this track as well and there is a blood curdling solo on this track that is not to be missed. When I Get Lonely is an uptempo blues track and Brian Fahey is light in the front on drums. Primer has a great voice and Corritore takes a real nice solo early in the track complimenting his singing. Great harp tone! A smokin' Chicago loper, Cairo Blues, is up next and Billy Flynn (guitar), Bob Stroger (bass) and Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith join the mix. Corritore really gets the harp screamin on this track and Chuck adds really nice punctuation throughout. Leanin' Tree opens with some smokin guitar riffs but them paring back to highlight to allow Primer to lead the way on vocal. One of my favorite tracks on the release, James, Primer and Corritore all take nice solos on this track. Harmonica Joyride is an absolute blast! Corritore takes a step to the front and demonstrates clearly why he's regarded as on of the top harp men in the business today. (Yeah stilladog...this track's for you pal). Little Boy Blue, of course the great track by Robert Jr. Lockwood is a nice slow in the pocket track. Corritore again blowin exceptional tone on this track. Chuck of course is always spot on and this track is no exception. Opening with a real slick slide intro, Dixon's Just Like I Treat You is bright and full of energy featuring Patrick Rynn on bass and Brian Fahey on drums. Again the mastery of Corritore is well documented on this track. Chuck takes a cool piano solo on this track opening for Primer on slide. Saw Primer a short while back at the rhythm Room and his second set blew the doors off the place. This is a guy who can really do it all in his genre. Man Or Mouse gets right into the groove. Billy Flynn takes a nice solo on this track and Chuck keeps the ivories hot. Finishing up with Going Back Home, an old Lightning Hopkins track, the band is tight and lays down the last of 10 solid performances. Corritore takes the first of the solos on this track is it's really apparent how deeply he feels about getting just the right tome. Excellent. Chuck belly's up with a really clean solo but James and Primer really step it up on this track and knock it out of the park. This is a great contemporary recording of traditional Chicago blues played by a group of exceptional blues musicians. This is one not to be missed.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Your Imagination - John Primer

John Primer (born March 3, 1945, Camden, Mississippi) is an American Chicago blues and electric blues singer and guitarist He played guitar at Theresa's, a club in Chicago, between 1974 and 1980. He was influenced by Muddy Waters' former sideman, Sammy Lawhorn, who taught him to play slide guitar. He joined the Chicago Blues All-Stars of Willie Dixon in 1979, then the Muddy Waters's band until the latter's death in 1983. Then he joined the Teardrops of Magic Slim and began a solo career on Wolf Records. In 1995 he released, The Real Deal, with songwriting and singing techniques showing the influence of both Dixon and Slim. 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, January 30, 2013

Delmark artist: Al Miller - In Between Time - New Release Review

I just received and have been listening to the newest release, In Between Time, by Al Miller. Due to some family issues I found my self in sunny Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last week and had the pleasure to listen to this release numerous time while on the road. While driving, I rarely have time to look at the liner notes but now that I am writing my review, some of my passing thoughts actually make sense. I'll begin by saying, I kept thinking that I was listening to a Mike Bloomfield or early Paul Butterfield album. In reading the press release, I note that Miller was a part of the '60's Butterfield scene and played often with Bloomfield. This does not sound at all like a clone. It sounds like the real deal. The release opens with McCracklin/Taub track, Rockin' All Day. A rockin' boogie, this starts the entire release with a great groove with Billy Flynn (guitar), Willie Big Eyes Smith (drums), Barrelhouse Chuck (piano), and of course Miller on vocal and harp. BB King's Need You So Bad has a nice foamy lope to it. John Primer leads the way on this track playing guitar and singing. Dave Specter plays some cool guitar riffs on this track joined by Mike Schlick on drums and Harlan Terson on bass. Definitely a hot track! Johnny Young's My Baby Walked Out features some of Millers best vocals and harp and Chuck really does a great job on the 88's on this track. Original track Old Friends has a Latin beat featuring Kenny Smith on drums, Ken Saydak on piano and hot Albert King like riffs by Dave Specter. Miller pulls out the stops on this track blowing some great harp riffs. In Between Time, another original by Miller, shows Miller with a guitar in hand playing some cool primitive slide work over a very stripped down track. Another Johnny Young track, I Got It, is a smokin' hot harmonica blowout. Pushed by Flynn, Smith and Saydak this is a great track. Willie Dixon's Dead Presidents finds Primer again at the helm with vocal and guitar. Accompanied by Mike Schlick on drums and Harlan Terson on bass Miller plays cool harp riffs and Barry Winograd and John Brumbach add a nice sax solo. Another Miller original, A Better Day,features nice guitar work by Flynn and Specter. One of the most enjoyable traditional tracks on the recording, Miller really gets into his vocal strength. On another Johnny Young track, Tighten Up On It, I can smell the beer and cigarettes. This is the Chicago blues just the way it was meant to be played. Never hear this on contemporary records anymore. Barrelhouse Chuck lays down the riffs and the mix is perfect.Flynn is also guilty of some superb riffage on this track with Big Eyes keeping the bottom tight. Elmore James' 1839 Blues features Primer again on vocals and he does a superb job. Ken Saydak shows why his piano work is in high demand and the tone from Millers harp is spot on. Primer takes a nice guitar solo on this track and it is solid and enticing. Billy Flynn's Billy's Boogie is a real rocker of course featuring some outstanding guitar work from Flynn ... not to be missed. Miller plays a hot solo on harp on this track as does Saydak and Mike Schlick keeps it all together. Excellent track! Percy Mayfield track Bachelor Blues really conjures up the feeling of the old Bloomfield days for me. Again Miller shows his best on vocals and harp on this track. Barrelhouse Chuck and Big Eyes are right on the spot and the track creates the feel of the real deal... it is! Eddie Taylor's If You Don't Want Me Baby fits perfectly into this set with a bit of a HD Taylor beat. It's a great pickup track before the great track by Miller, Lake Michigan Waters. Billy Flynn plays some flaming hot work on this track with what I'd even say sound reminiscent of old Bloomfield riffs. Along with the great playing of Miller and Saydak this track may be one of the most intense on the recording. Specter and Primer step out a little on guitar on Lawhorn Special. Miller knocks down some cool riffs as well but it's the guitars that take this cake. Al Miller original Blizzard wraps up this really coherent authentic Chicago blues release. Flynn and Primer playing some stinging guitar riffs over heavy reverb riffs on this track and kenny Smith is really particularly crisp with his beat on this track. This may be one of the best modern "Chicago" blues albums to come out in a long time.

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I apologize that the band featured is not the band on the recording, but Al Does play harp here so I'll post a new one when I can find it. Enjoy!



Monday, January 7, 2013

John Primer with the Rhythm Room All-Stars and special guest Barrelhouse Chuck at the Rhythm

The Rhythm Room Presents
JOHN PRIMER
& The Rhythm Room All-Stars
with special guest Barrelhouse Chuck
Friday January 11th, Saturday January 12th 2013
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Monday, February 13, 2012

John Primer at the Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ



I had the pleasure of seeing John Primer at the Rhythm Room this weekend. If you don't know the Rhythm Room it's the kind of place that you want to go see a real blues band. Dark, great acoustics, beer... and great music. John was joined onstage by Bob Corritore and the Rhythm Room Allstars as well as Barrellhouse Chuck. Primer played two nights this weekend and from what I could see it was pretty much packed both nights. If you haven't seen Primer, he lays out a solid set of Chicago style blues just mixing in a little soul (and even some Marshall Tucker - "Can't You See"). Primer is a fine guitar player as well as vocalist and Bob Corritore is a great harp player although the place was so packed that Bobs harp was a little sucked up by the bodies... lot of great riffs but in some cases you had to strain to hear his soloing. The rest of the band wasn't too loud... just the highs of his harp weren't cuttting through...but the tone was golden. Primer plays primarily a Epi Casino and it sounded great. They started at 9:15p and played till 1:15a with only a short intermission. Barrelhouse Chuck who played as a featured guest of the allstars actually played a few numbers during the break as well. it was a great night of entertainment and oh yeah...Rolling Rock behind the bar!

One comment I have to make is as the crowd gets older the harder it is for them to stay up past 12. The crowd thinned a little in the last 45 minutes and I'm sorry for the players as they may have taken it for a disapproval of their performance but I got to tell you...those who stayed were really in for a treat. In my honest opinion, the best part of the concert was the last 25-30 minutes. Primer donned a Les Paul and played a number of slide numbers. He played slide earlier in the show as well...but the last few songs were killer. I wasn't in a state of mind to determine which but I suspect in alternate tuning... think Elmore James! Corritore also stepped up more and overall the mix was just perfect at the end. If you left early...good for me!!

In any case, it was a great show and if John is coming your way...don't leave early!!
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Friday, February 10, 2012

This Friday and Saturday a Chicago Blues celebration at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix with John Primer!


The Rhythm Room proudly presents John Primer with the Rhythm Room All-Stars (Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey) and special guest Barrelhouse Chuck on Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11. Expect a very special two nights of pure Chicago Blues! Also of note is Saturday's pre-show featuring jazz guitar great Bobby Broom & The Deep Blue Organ Trio who will appear for a 6pm set before John Primer's 9pm show. The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85014. Please also note that John Primer and Barrelhouse Chuck will also be guests on Bob Corritore's radio show on Sunday February 12. The radio show, Those Lowdown Blues, can be heard online at www.kjzz.org or in Phoenix at 91.5FM, 6pm to 11pm (Arizona time) each Sunday night.
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