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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 Kansas City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kansas City. Show all posts

Friday, December 2, 2016

Levee Town - Takin' & Givin' - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Takin' & Givin' from Levee Town and it's got flavor. Opening with a country two stepper, title track, Takin' & Givin' shows nice vocal blending between Jacque Garoutte and Brandon Hudspeth who also throws down some cool guitar riffs, backed by Adam Hagerman on drums, Jacque Garoutte on bass & Chris Hazelton on Hammond. High Flyin' Mama is a cool funky rocker with a super bass line by Garoutte. This track is really smoking with hot Hammond work by Hazelton and Hudspeth on guitar. Warm loping blues, Kansas City Woman, features Jaisson Taylor on lead vocal and cool harp work by Jimmie Meade. Mr. Jameson is a cool swing track with fleet fingered guitar work by Hudspeth and cool backing vocals by Garoutte and Hudspeth over a cool walking bass line by Garoutte and slick piano riffs by Walser. Excellent! Walkin' Down The Road is a solid blues track with warm harmonies and clever guitar riffs over tight drum work. Driving blues rocker, You're So Hip, has the loose framework of Hip Shake with a cool boogie beat and solid bass line. Accented by gnarly guitar work and Hazelton on organ, this may be my favorite on the release. With Elmore James like slide riffs by Garoutte, Charlie Brown, has a great feel. Nicely articulated piano solo by Walser and cool harp by Meade gives this track even more texture. Slow blues number, Sunday Afternoon, has a lot of the feel of the early British blues of Clapton and Mayall. Featuring Jaisson Taylor on lead vocal, this track has plenty of room to groove with solos by Hudspeth and Meade. Very nice. Red hot, Letter To My Baby, has solid vocal work and especially nice guitar work by Hudspeth. Cool! Do-Si-Do is an interesting track with an unusual structure but nice roots in the blues. Accented by glistening guitar riffs and warm harp, a very cool track. Wrapping the release is El Grape with a super walking bass line and light fingered guitar work by Hudspeth. A really slick track to wrap a smooth and interesting release.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

JBR Records artist: James "Buddy" Rogers - By My Side - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, By My Side, from James "Buddy" Rogers and it's strong! Opening with Come Back To Me, a solid blues number with a super lope, Rogers had the lead on vocal and guitar establishing firm ground. With Freddie king like riffs and with solid backing from Slammin Mike Wedge on bass, James Hollywood Badger on drums and Lewis Stephens on keys, this is a great opener. On title track, By My Side, Rogers shows a smooth R&B style and his vocals are soulful and fitting. Stephens key board work is bright and clear nicely surrounding Rogers vocal phrasing. Very nice. On rocker, Can't Get You Off My Mind, Rogers had the solid drive of Chuck Berry but doesn't use and stereotypical riffs. His charge is direct and tight. Sweet ballad, You Belong, has an almost Eric Clapton feel with fresh, electric guitar riffs playing under the melody. Don Nix's Goin' Down is up next with a mix of Jeff Beck and Freddie King attacks. Rogers' guitar approach is new and interesting and the track still sounds fresh and compelling. Another blues rocker with a serious attitude, Hell To Pay, has a great swagger. Rogers plays his riffs prudently and with intent. Pop rocker, Runnin' is a cool track with a catchy hook. Albert King like guitar riffs (or Stevie Ray if you prefer) gives this track plenty of sting. Simple ballad, You & I, is quiet and radio geared. With it's solid melody and easy vocals, this track has all the elements of a hit. Am-Ola-Dora is a really cool and funky instrumental track that I'd say has a Freddie King beat. With it's bluesy, funky 60's, organ driven, Latin rhythm, this track soars. One of my favorite tracks on the release, this track is just too cool. Wrapping the release is another radio style track, Change, in the style of Peter Frampton. Nice melody, acoustic in nature with solid vocals, this track is a perfect closer.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

VizzTone artists: Katy Guillen & The Girls - Heavy Days - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review Heavy Days, the latest release from Katy Guillen & The Girls and I really like it. Opening with Driving To Wake Up, Katy Guillen & The Girls let you know right up front that they mean business. Guillen on lead vocal and guitar is joined by Claire Adams on bass and vocal and Stephanie Williams on drums producing an authoritative rock sound with edge. Guillen's vocals may be similar to Chrissie Hynde with healthy attitude but with more clarity and blending with the vocals of Adams, a new fresh sound. A stripped down 3 piece sound is all you need and these ladies show that big time. Guillen is also no wall flower when it comes to guitar attitude laying it out there pretty nicely. Heavy Days has an essential blues rock sound and raw energy but with just the right amount of melodic backing harmony to pull you in. These girls are putting on the heat and Williams kicks ass on drums... and that adds real weight as they swing from sweet vocals to heavy axe wielding. Absolutely excellent! Waking Up From You shows a more pop side with really smoothly crafted melody and instrumentation. This track could see solid radio play across genres with J. Santiago like guitar work. Don't Need Anyone is a solid rocker with straight forward beat and aggressive guitar soloing. Very nice. The Load has really nice bass lines by Adams under rhythm and vocals by Guillen. With it's more indie sound, it still has solid rock framework and excellent drum work leading to some less structured guitar work. Very interesting. Humbucker is a real nice blues rocker with standout lead vocals and a solid guitar riff. I am really blown away by how tight this band is and how powerful the rhythm section is. Really solid! Ballad, Cold Was The Night, is a brilliant showcase of Guillen's voice with traces of Amy Winehouse ... I mean seriously? This girl can really sing and her guitar playing is powerful... the entire band is. Mike "Shinetop" Sedovic adds some really nice key work on this track making this already super track even fatter. I mean, check out the rich guitar soloing on this one... think torment...think Big Brother. Excellent! Hot rocker, Can't Live Here Anymore, has a definite power pop feel with plenty of kick and solid rock. Big Joe Williams' Baby Please Don't Go has a sultry edge that I've never heard on any of the previous covers. Guillen really knows how to bring it and Guillen's original guitar vamp is perfect to frame her vocals. Raw and explosive this track is hot! This is a perfect example of how the blues continues to be vibrant in contemporary rock music. Love it! Wrapping the release is Pulling Up From The Grooves, a really sweet track, again based solidly on the strength of Guillen's beautiful voice and very complimentary backing by Adams. Adams' bass work, with light guitar rhythm, Ryan Heinlein's contributions on trombone and the ever sensitive drum work by Williams makes this an extremely memorable closer for a fine release. A definite keeper!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Vizztone Label Group artists: Nick Schnebelen Band - Live At Knuckleheads Vol 1. - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Live at Knuckleheads Vol 1  from Nick Schnebelen Band and I really enjoyed it. Opening fleet fingered rocker, I'm Goin', this band is on fire. Nick Schnebelen, founding family member of Trampled Under Foot, has lead vocals and guitars and he's ripping. Joined by Heather Newman on guitar and vocal, Joe Voye on drums and Cliff Moore on bass, this is a great opener! Newman takes the lead on Willie James, with a little more of a country flare, the band is taking this crowd by storm. Schnebelen's riffs are hot and explosive. Cover of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, featuring Newman on lead vocal maintains it's original pop format but with a snarling guitar solo backing Newman's solid vocals. Slow ballad, Desperate Heart, again features Newman on lead vocal and gives Schnebelen a terrific opening to really kick out the stops on his blues riffs. Clocking in at over 5 minutes and with a touch of old San Francisco, this track is a screamer! With a taste of Son House, Break Of Day, takes on a modern day blues rock format. Schnebelen is back on lead vocal and sticks it on his guitar riffs. Tight backing by Voye, Newman and Moore makes this one of my favorite tracks on the release. Bad Disposition is a modern rocker with blues roots. Elongated guitar riffs and a very strong bass and drum combo give this band some of the best characteristics of Cream. With Muddy Waters like slide work and a stomping pace, Tailgate Swing, featuring Newman on lead vocal has strong underpinning. Willie Dixon's Spoonful has nice interplay vocally between Schnebelen and Newman with super drumming, again putting me in mind of Cream. Very nice. Classic Santo and Johnny track, Sleep Walk, is covered very nicely by Schnebelen on slide. Resurrected by Jeff Beck a number of years ago, this track has become a modern classic and great that it has. Nicely done. Dolly's, Jolene, is up next and Newman covers it nicely with a country inflection in her voice. Schnebelen shows his skills at Knopler style riffs blending nicely with the modern country style. Wrapping the release is driving rocker, New Orleans, by 60's rocker, Eddie Hodges. This track is burning hi octane with Schnebelen on slide and vocal and the band leaving nothing but dust. Great closer to a highly energetic release.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

This is a Man's World - Trampled Under Foot

Siblings Danielle, Kris and Nick Schnebelen grew up with the Blues. Their parents, Bob and Lisa, were active in the thriving Kansas City Blues scene, playing in local bands and competing in the Kansas City Blues Challenge. Bob and Lisa’s band didn’t make it to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis — but their kids did. When TUF arrived in Memphis for the 2008 IBC they were followed by huge, wildly enthusiastic throngs of hometown supporters, eager to cheer for their favorite musical family. And when TUF took First Place in the competition and Nick won the Albert King award for best guitarist, it was a sweet victory for the Schnebelen family and for Kansas City itself. TUF has been on a roll ever since, becoming popular repeat headliners at clubs, festivals and cruises around the world and releasing CDs and a DVD on their own label (TUF Records). Trampled Under Foot’s brand new CD, Badlands was produced by Tony Braunagel, and features guest appearances by Mike Finnigan and engineer/guitarist Johnny Lee Schell. In the future, when people speak of the great Blues dynasties, musical families who breathed the same musical air and produced the highest form of the art, chances are they’ll refer to the Allmans, the Dickinsons, the Burnsides, the Brookses, the Neals… and the Schnebelens.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Blue Edge Records artist: 'Rock-n-Rick' Patterson - Beat A Deamon - New Release Review

I just received a copy of the newest release, Beat A Demon, from Rock-n-Rick Patterson and it's really different. Opening with the title track, Beat A Demon, Patterson unleashes a voodoo sounding blues track that will stick you. With a voice like Captain Beefheart and a melody that could be right off of a Screamin Jay record, Patterson really lays out some cool guitar riffs and effects. St. Louis Girl is an upbeat swing blues with Patterson and Nick Schnebelen on guitar joined by Kris Schnebelen on drums and Danielle Schenebelen on bass. I've Been Thinkin' "Bout You has a cool bass line which really sets the track up nicely. A more contemporary blues rock style makes it practical for broad airplay and the hook is solid. Don't Have To Worry is a spiffy blues infused rock track with delta roots, cocky guitar work and spot on percussion. Sonny Kenner is a story tellers track. I've always liked tracks like this (Billy The Mountain, Mind Bender, Jack The Toad to name a few) and Patterson does a real nice job, complimented by James Whitney on keys. A laid down funky track, Still In The Game, gives Patterson a cool groove to jam over and jam he does. Some of the nicest guitar work (as well as instrumentation) on the release is on this track... think Steely Dan. On rockin' boogie, Don't Need No Woman, Patterson takes a more straight on blues attack and ready rock riffs. The release closes with Evil Train returning full circle to a similar feel of the first track with greasy smimmery guitar riffs and swampy vocals. This is a release that grows on you so you may want to give it a few listens.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

The Rev Jimmie Bratcher Is "Secretly Famous" on New Blues-Rock CD Coming March 5

The Rev Jimmie Bratcher Is Secretly Famous on New Blues-Rock CD Coming March 5 on Ain’t Skeert Tunes

Latest Album from Singer/Guitarist Was Produced by Multi-Grammy-Winner Jim Gaines

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Rev Jimmie Bratcher announces a March 5 release date for Secretly Famous, the latest CD from the blues-rock singer/guitarist, coming from Ain’t Skeert Tunes. Produced by multi-Grammy-winner Jim Gaines and recorded at his Bessie Blue Studio in Stantonville, Tennessee, Secretly Famous marks the second time the two have collaborated on an album project; Gaines also produced Bratcher’s 2006 release, RED.

Secretly Famous is my seventh album but I really feel like it’s my first,” says Bratcher. “This album is different for me because I went further back into my roots than on any of my other albums, back to a time before I became “The Rev.” Back to the blues-rock root that I learned playing that old guitar.”
“That old guitar” Bratcher refers to is a classic white 1964 Gibson SG Jr., which he played on the new CD. And there’s a story behind how he got the guitar and how it set him on the path to become a musician as a youngster growing up in Kansas City.

“In the driveway was a 1958 Desoto; in the house were a 12-year-old boy and his dad with a plan,” recalls Bratcher. “‘Will trade 1958 Desoto for electric guitar and amplifier,’ was how the ad read in the Kansas City Star newspaper. One call came and I went home with a beautiful white Gibson SG Jr. and a Gibson amplifier. That’s where it all started and I still have both the guitar and amp to this day.”

On that day was not only a musician born, but also a self-confessed “guitar freak,” who plays several different vintage guitars and amps on Secretly Famous. “I never understood the attraction to vintage guitars till one day it hit me,” says Bratcher. “There’s something very special about playing a guitar that has had a lifetime of music played through it. I consider playing guitar as a gift. Throughout my life I’ve received many guitars as gifts. In fact most of the guitars that I own were given to me as gifts.  They are constant reminders to me that music is a gift to us all and it’s my honor to play it for you. Oh yeah, the songs I played the SG on are the solos of “I Can’t Shake That Thing” & “Starting All Over Again.”

And if you didn’t already know it, Jimmie Bratcher is a bona fide preacher, who regularly spends his time when not performing at clubs and festivals around the world, visiting souls who need a lifeline, including frequent performances for prison inmates all over the country. 

Backing The Rev Jimmie Bratcher on Secretly Famous  are Craig Kew on bass, known for his work with the group Proto Kaw, which features guitarist Kerry Livgren from the legendary band Kansas; Lester Estelle Jr. on drums, a Nashville-based skin-slammer who is currently touring with Big and Rich and also co-owns Off the Wall Studios on Music Row; and keyboardist Rick Steff,  a mainstay at Jim Gaines’ recording sessions who’s based in Memphis and also plays in the acclaimed band Lucero.

Secretly Famous features an even-dozen tracks including 10 originals and two scintillating covers: The Rev’s boogie-in’ take on John D. Loudermilk’s classic “Tobacco Road;” and a beautiful reading of the Association’s ‘60s hit, “Never My Love,” that brings s new depth of feeling and emotion to the song. Another track of note is “Check Your Blues at the Door,” an original blues shuffle destined to become a fan favorite and blues lover’s anthem. 
“I wrote most of the songs on Secretly Famous and had the honor of co-writing the opening track, ‘Jupiter & Mars,’ with my son Jason,” says Bratcher. “The song was Jason’s idea and once I read the first line – ‘Blinding light, flash of chrome, hot-head blonde in a tricked out Ford’ - I was hooked. There’s also something about my playing on this song that is just wrong enough to be right and the groove drags you into the song so you can’t help but feel it. All the songs I wrote on Secretly Famous are for people like me.  People that hurt, that love, that laugh, people that need to forget about their troubles and enjoy life.”

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Little Red Rooster - LARRY DAVIS

Larry Davis (December 4, 1936 – April 19, 1994) was an American electric Texas blues and soul blues musician. He is best known for co-composing the song "Texas Flood", later recorded to greater commercial success by Stevie Ray Vaughan. Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, Davis swapped playing the drums to learn to play the bass guitar. In the mid 1950s, Davis had a working partnership with Fenton Robinson, and following the recommendation of Bobby Bland was given a recording contract by the Duke label. Davis had three singles released, which included "Texas Flood" and "Angels in Houston". Thereafter, Davis had limited opportunity in the recording studio. He resided in St. Louis, Missouri for a while, and played bass in Albert King's group. He also learned conventional guitar at this time, as the original guitar playing on Davis's recording of "Texas Flood" was by Robinson. Several single releases on the Virgo and Kent labels followed, but in 1972 a motorcycle accident temporarily paralyzed Davis' left side. He returned a decade later with an album released by Rooster Blues, Funny Stuff, which was produced by Oliver Sain. He won four W.C. Handy Awards in 1982, yet a decade on he was known only to blues specialists. His 1987 Pulsar LP, I Ain't Beggin' Nobody, proved difficult even for blues enthusiasts to locate. In 1992, Bullseye Blues issued another Davis offering, Sooner or Later, that highlighted his booming vocals and Albert King influenced guitar work. Fate then came calling again and Davis died of cancer in April 1994, at the age of 57 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”

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ooo Ouch Stop - Big Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner (born Joseph Vernon Turner Jr., May 18, 1911 – November 24, 1985) was an American blues shouter from Kansas City, Missouri. According to the songwriter Doc Pomus, "Rock and roll would have never happened without him." Although he came to his greatest fame in the 1950s with his pioneering rock and roll recordings, particularly "Shake, Rattle and Roll", Turner's career as a performer stretched from the 1920s into the 1980s. Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Known variously as The Boss of the Blues, and Big Joe Turner (due to his 6'2", 300+ lbs stature), Turner was born in Kansas City and first discovered his love of music through involvement in the church. Turner's father was killed in a train accident when Joe was only four years old. He began singing on street corners for money, leaving school at age fourteen to begin working in Kansas City's nightclub scene, first as a cook, and later as a singing bartender. He eventually became known as The Singing Barman, and worked in such venues as The Kingfish Club and The Sunset, where he and his piano playing partner Pete Johnson became resident performers.[2] The Sunset was managed by Piney Brown. It featured "separate but equal" facilities for white patrons. Turner wrote "Piney Brown Blues" in his honor and sang it throughout his entire career. At that time Kansas City was a wide-open town run by "Boss" Tom Pendergast. Despite this, the clubs were subject to frequent raids by the police, but as Turner recounts, "The Boss man would have his bondsmen down at the police station before we got there. We'd walk in, sign our names and walk right out. Then we would cabaret until morning". His partnership with boogie-woogie pianist Pete Johnson proved fruitful. Together they headed to New York City in 1936, where they appeared on a bill with Benny Goodman, but as Turner recounts, "After our show with Goodman, we auditioned at several places, but New York wasn't ready for us yet, so we headed back to K.C.". Eventually they were spotted by the talent scout, John H. Hammond in 1938, who invited them back to New York to appear in one of his "From Spirituals to Swing" concerts at Carnegie Hall, which were instrumental in introducing jazz and blues to a wider American audience. Due in part to their appearance at Carnegie Hall, Turner and Johnson scored a major hit with "Roll 'Em Pete". The track, basically a collection of traditional blues lyrics featured one of the earliest recorded examples of a back beat. It was a song which Turner recorded many times, with various combinations of musicians, over the ensuing years. In 1939, along with boogie players Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis, they began a residency at Café Society, a club in New York City, where they appeared on the same bill as Billie Holiday and Frank Newton's band. Besides "Roll 'Em, Pete", Turner's best-known recordings from this period are probably "Cherry Red", "I Want A Little Girl" and "Wee Baby Blues". "Cherry Red" was recorded in 1939 for the Vocalion label, with Hot Lips Page on trumpet and a full band in attendance. The following year Turner moved to Decca and recorded, "Piney Brown Blues", with Johnson on piano accompianment. But not all of Turner's Decca recordings teamed him with Johnson; Willie "The Lion" Smith accompanied him on "Careless Love", while Freddie Slack's Trio provided the backing for "Rocks in My Bed" (1941). In 1941, he headed to Los Angeles where he performed in Duke Ellington's revue Jump for Joy in Hollywood. He appeared as a singing policeman in a comedy sketch called "He's on the Beat". Los Angeles became his home base for a time, and in 1944 he worked in Meade Lux Lewis's Soundies musical films. Although he sang on the soundtrack recordings, he was not present for the filming, and his vocals were mouthed by comedian Dudley Dickerson for the camera. In 1945 Turner and Pete Johnson opened their own bar in Los Angeles, The Blue Moon Club. The same year he signed with National Records, and recorded under Herb Abramson's supervision. His first national R&B hit came in 1945 with a version of Saunders King's "S.K. Blues". He recorded "My Gal's a Jockey" and the risqué "Around the Clock" the same year, and Aladdin released his duet with Wynonie Harris, on the ribald two-parter, "Battle of the Blues." Turner remained with National up to 1947, but none of his records were big sellers. In 1950, he released "Still in the Dark" on the Freedom label. Turner made many records, not only with Johnson but with the pianists Art Tatum and Sammy Price and with various small jazz ensembles. He recorded on several record labels and also appeared with the Count Basie Orchestra. In his career, Turner successively led the transition from big bands to jump blues to rhythm and blues, and finally to rock and roll. Turner was a master of traditional blues verses and at the legendary Kansas City jam sessions he could swap choruses with instrumental soloists for hours. In 1951, while performing with the Count Basie Orchestra at Harlem's Apollo Theater as a replacement for Jimmy Rushing, he was spotted by Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegün, who signed him to their new recording company, Atlantic Records. Turner recorded a number of hits for them, including the blues standards, "Chains of Love" and "Sweet Sixteen". Many of his vocals are punctuated with shouts to the band members, as in "Boogie Woogie Country Girl" ("That's a good rockin' band!", "Go ahead, man! Ow! That's just what I need!" ) and "Honey Hush" (he repeatedly sings "Hi-yo, Silver!", probably in reference to The Treniers singing the phrase in their Lone Ranger parody "Ride, Red, Ride"). Turner's records shot to the top of the rhythm-and-blues charts; although they were sometimes so earthy that some radio stations would not play them, the songs received heavy play on jukeboxes and records. Turner hit it big in 1954 with "Shake, Rattle and Roll", which not only enhanced his career, turning him into a teenage favorite, but also helped to transform popular music. The song is fairly raw, as Turner yells at his woman to "get outa that bed, wash yo' face an' hands" and comments that she's "wearin' those dresses, the sun comes shinin' through!, I can't believe my eyes, all that mess belongs to you." He sang the number on film in the 1955 theatrical feature Rhythm and Blues Revue. Although the cover version of the song by Bill Haley and His Comets, with the risqué lyrics incompletely cleaned up, was a bigger hit, many listeners sought out Turner's version and were introduced thereby to the whole world of rhythm and blues. Elvis Presley showed he needed no such introduction. Presley's version of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" combined Turner's lyrics with Haley's arrangement, but was not successful as a single. Suddenly, at the age of 43, Turner was a rock star. His follow-ups "Well All Right," "Flip Flop and Fly," "Hide and Seek," "Morning, Noon and Night," and "The Chicken and the Hawk" all continued the good-time feel of "Shake, Rattle and Roll". He appeared on the television program Showtime at the Apollo during the mid 1950s, and in the film, Shake Rattle & Rock! (1956). "Corrine, Corrina" provided Turner with another massive seller in 1956. In addition to the rock songs he found time to cut the classic Boss of the Blues album in 1956. On May 26, 1958, "(I’m Gonna) Jump for Joy," the twentieth and last of Turner's run of hits, entered the US R&B record chart After a number of hits in this vein, Turner left popular music behind and returned to his roots as a singer with small jazz combos, recording numerous album in that style in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1966, Bill Haley helped revive Turner's career by lending him the Comets for a series of popular recordings in Mexico (apparently no one thought of getting the two to record a duet of "Shake, Rattle and Roll", as no such recording has yet surfaced). In 1977 he recorded a cover version of Guitar Slim's song, "The Things That I Used to Do". In the 1960s and 1970s he was reclaimed by jazz and blues, appearing at many music festivals and recording for the impresario Norman Granz's Pablo label, once with his friendly rival, Jimmy Witherspoon. He also worked with the German boogie-woogie pianist Axel Zwingenberger. Turner also took part in good natured 'Battles of the Blues' with Wynonie Harris and T-Bone Walker. It is a mark of his dominance as a singer that he won the Esquire magazine award for male vocalist in 1945, the Melody Maker award for best 'new' vocalist in 1956, and the British Jazz Journal award as top male singer in 1965. In 1977, Turner recorded "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" for Spivey Records, featuring Lloyd Glenn on piano. Turner's career stretched from the bar rooms of Kansas City in the 1920s (at the age of twelve when he performed with a pencilled moustache and his father's hat), on to the European jazz music festivals of the 1980s. In 1983, only two years before his death, Turner was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. The same year saw the release on Mute Records of Blues Train, an album which paired Turner with Roomful of Blues. Turner also receives top billing with Count Basie in the Kansas City jazz reunion film The Last of the Blue Devils (1979) which also features Jay McShann, Jimmy Forrest, and other players from the city. He died in Inglewood, California in November 1985, at the age of 74 of a heart attack, having suffered the earlier effects of arthritis, a stroke and diabetes. Big Joe Turner was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 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!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lather, Rinse Repeat - Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Lather, Rinse, Repeat from Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats. The line up is Vivone on vocal, guitar and harp; Matt Bustamante on drums, Jeremy Clark on bass; Paula Crawford on vocal and guitar; Imani Glasgow on vocal and percussion and Ben Hoppes on vocal and banjo. The release opens with a seductive I Hear A Heartbeat, a Texas Boogie style track with tempting lyrics and rippin' cigar box slide. Baby Fat using a tongue in cheek rhythm features Vivone on solo vocal and minimal band backing except a slide melody and drums. The Nina, The Pinta, The Santa Maria is a sped up Chicago blues with 50's style vocals and classic blues riffs but with a touch of humor and instrumentals. The Black Lone Ranger, loosely based on a Muddy Waters track and with a touch of George Thorogood, keeps the groove and again gives the slide king a chance to show his stuff. One Hot Mother, a prototypical 12 bar blues track allows Vivone the freedom to sing clever lyrics to anotherwise basic track. My favorite track on the release by far, Photograph, has the characteristics of a Tex/Mex blues along the lines of something Ryland Cooder would do. I like the melody and the slide work is controlled and interesting. Do The Nod has hints of Bo Diddley and further modern punk music. It breaks away form a lot of the balance of the recordings in that it is much more loosely recorded. Liquid Diet is a funky scratch track on the simplest basis. Medusa Blues wraps the recording with a more complex track... not in execution but in composition. This song has very simple components but is actually quite interesting with a quiet wailing harp. This is a party blues recording so get out your stuff and have a ball.

  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!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hot House - Charlie Parker

Charles Parker, Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), also known as "Yardbird" and "Bird", was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career and the shortened form, "Bird", which continued to be used for the rest of his life, inspired the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as "Yardbird Suite", "Ornithology", "Bird Gets the Worm", and "Bird of Paradise."

Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop,a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and improvisation. Parker introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas, including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. His tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet and somber. Many Parker recordings demonstrate virtuosic technique and complex melodic lines, sometimes combining jazz with other musical genres, including blues, Latin, and classical.

Parker was an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, rather than an entertainer.
Charlie Parker was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, the only child of Charles and Addie Parker. Parker attended Lincoln High School.He enrolled in September 1934 and withdrew in December 1935, just before joining the local Musicians Union.

Parker began playing the saxophone at age 11, and at age 14 joined his school's band using a rented school instrument. His father, Charles, was often absent but provided some musical influence; he was a pianist, dancer and singer on the T.O.B.A. circuit. He later became a Pullman waiter or chef on the railways. Parker's mother Addie worked nights at the local Western Union office. His biggest influence at that time was a young trombone player who taught him the basics of improvisation
Parker died in the suite of his friend and patron Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter at the Stanhope Hotel in New York City while watching The Dorsey Brothers' Stage Show on television. The official causes of death were lobar pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer but Parker also had an advanced case of cirrhosis and had suffered a heart attack. The coroner who performed his autopsy mistakenly estimated Parker's 34-year-old body to be between 50 and 60 years of age
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wild Oats - Kimberly Allison Band feat. Francesca

Kimberly, who is originally from the Kansas City area, has played in clubs from the age of sixteen. She graduated from The University of Southern California with a degree in jazz guitar. She has worked with saxophonist Joe Houston, Zola Moon, The Shirelles, and JJ "Bad Boy" Jones. Kimberly has toured the U.S. and Canada playing venues such as The Portland Rose Festival, The Playboy Jazz Festival (Pasadena) and The Santa Monica Twilight Concert Series (sharing the stage with Roomful of Blues). In 1998, she was nominated as "outstanding guitarist" by the L.A. Music Awards. Kimberly's first solo CD, Old, New, Borrowed and Blues, has been the subject of rave national and international reviews in publications such as Blues Review. It also received world-wide airplay and was picked up by BDC, a national distributor. In 2001, tunes from the disc made it to the finals for the awards-a competition for independent music. Kimberly is also an active educator with fifty plus students per week.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Roll 'Em Pete - Jeannie Cheatham

Jeannie Cheatham, along with her husband, bass trombonist Jimmy Cheatham, has co-led "the Cheathams" (also known as the Sweet Baby Blues Band) since the mid-1980s. It is surprising that more groups have not tried to emulate this band, for the Cheathams perform music that crosses over between Kansas City-type swing and blues, always featuring several notable horn players, Jeannie's vocals and plenty of spirit. Their music is very accessible and swinging, yet creative within the swing tradition.
Jeannie Cheatham started studying piano when she was five, became a professional early on, and worked with Big Mama Thornton on and off for ten years. She gigged with a variety of top blues greats, including T-Bone Walker, Dinah Washington, Jimmy Witherspoon and Joe Williams, and in 1984 she toured with Cab Calloway. Jimmy Cheatham through the years has played bass trombone with Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Thad Jones and in a backup group with Ornette Coleman. the Cheathams, who met and married in the 1950s, worked with Chico Hamilton (Jimmy was Hamilton's musical director for a time) in the '60s, and they both taught at the University of Wisconsin before moving to San Diego in 1978. Jimmy taught at the University of California at San Diego for many years. Since forming their enjoyable band, the Cheathams have recorded regularly for Concord (starting in 1984) with such sidemen as trumpeters Snooky Young and Clora Bryant, Jimmie Noone Jr. on tenor and clarinet, altoist Curtis Peagler, bassist Red Callender, Rickey Woodard on tenor and clarinet, and many guests (altoists Charles, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Hank Crawford, tenorman Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, violinist Papa John Creach and guitarist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown), performing their fresh and happy version of Kansas City jazz at a countless number of festivals and concerts.
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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rockin' After Hours - "Chuck" Norris

Blues guitarist Charles "Chuck" Norris was born in Kansas City, MO. on August 11, 1921. Between 1947 and 1951 he recorded several records in Los Angeles for Coast, Imperial, Selective, Mercury and Aladdin. His final two recordings were made in New York City for Atlantic in 1953. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be a compilation that rounds up all of his recordings, even though his Atlantic sides have been reissued for a number of years. Norris passed away in 1989.
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Boogie Woogie Dream - Albert Ammons & Pete Johnson

Pete Johnson (March 25, 1904 – March 23, 1967) was an American boogie-woogie and jazz pianist.

Journalist Tony Russell stated in his book The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray, that "Johnson shared with the other members of the 'Boogie Woogie Trio' the technical virtuosity and melodic fertility that can make this the most exciting of all piano music styles, but he was more comfortable than Meade Lux Lewis in a band setting; and as an accompanist, unlike Lewis or Albert Ammons, he could sparkle but not outshine his singing partner". Fellow journalist, Scott Yanow (Allmusic) added "Johnson was one of the three great boogie-woogie pianists (along with Lewis and Ammons) whose sudden prominence in the late 1930s helped make the style very popular".
Johnson was born in Kansas City, Missouri.

He began his musical career in 1922 as a drummer in Kansas City. From 1926 to 1938 he worked as a pianist, often accompanying Big Joe Turner. Record producer John Hammond discovered him in 1936 and got him to play at the Famous Door in New York. In 1938 Johnson and Turner appeared in the "From Spirituals to Swing" concert at Carnegie Hall. This concert started a boogie-woogie craze, and Turner and two other performers at the concert, Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons, worked together afterwards at Café Society for a long time; they also toured and recorded together. In 1941 Lewis, Ammons and Johnson were featured in the movie short Boogie-Woogie Dream.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Release by Mary Bridget Davies - Wanna Feel Somethin' - Review

I just received this debut release Wanna Feel Somethin' by Mary Bridget Davies. Excuse my French but this cd kicks ass. Seven of the 10 tracks on this release are self penned and the band just cooks. Davies has a great blues voice and a lot of Aretha's flair. That's a killer combination. Your Kinda Love has roots in Muddy with rhythm along the lines of Hoochie Coochie Man but this song is strait up and Davis sings with conviction. Won't pay You Mind is a jump blues and has great guitar lead track which gets you going. Again Davies has terrific vocal style. There are some cool horn and guitar solos throughout that give the already great track some real some weight. Same Ol' Blues slows things down and gives Davies the chance to show her vocal styling which by the way doesn't resemble American Idol (whew!). Again Davies vocals are punctuated with very nice guitar accompaniment by Dave Hayes. Here is where you can really see some of the Aretha influence come through where she passes on the Star Search pyrotechnics. Real Thing gets a funky groove going and is handled a lot like "the real thing" as opposed to later pretenders mimicking the funky soul groove of the 60's and 70's. Great track. Gettin' Stronger.... starts off with a great little slide interlude and leads into again a soul based blues tune from earlier times. Excellent. The title track, Wanna Feel Somethin' is a soul, blues, funk fusion track that works well with the set and I can't say a negative thing about Davies' voice..I really like it. Trick The Devil begins with a country blues like slide guitar hook and gives Davies a solid basis to stretch her wing vocally again telling stories and picking up steam toward the end developing into a full swing. The recording ends with a couple of cover tunes, Wonderwall and Thunder and Lightnin' which are not as strongly written as Davies' own compositions. Here voice is still strong and these tracks give her to show different sides of her voice but don't add significantly to the overall release. And I do want to mention the band: Dave Hayes on guitar and vocals, Gary Roberts on bass and vocals, Chris Hazelton on Organ, Keys and vocals, Joe Voye on Drums and vocals, Pete Carroll on Trumpet and vocals, Mick Rowland on sax and vocals and Aaron Thomas on tambourine do a terrific job,

I really like this recording. Mary Bridgett Davies is a great up coming singer/songwriter and I'm looking forward to see what she comes up with next.


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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Frosty - Leon Estelle"Mr.Blues" and Glenn Patrik"Mr.BluesJr."and friends

Born January 10, 1929, Leon Estelle was given The Mr.Blues of Kansas City Award by The Mayor of Kansas City! In 1958 Leon was Awarded The Best Blues Guitarist in The 5 State area.After spending a few years in Chicago hanging out with musicians such as Elmore James and others he returned to Kansas City.And it seemed like people came out of the woodwork to pick up on what he was laying down.This is a great example of some of the people that would want to see what Leon and his friends/family were up to.K.C.Kelsey and D.C.Belamy and others stop in. Glenn Patrik traveled from California to lay down some guitar work.Other musicians I recognize would be Duck Warner-trumpet,Chris Baker -sax Henry Hart -harp,Jessie "Spoon" Wilson percussion,Steve Shoemaker -trombone to name a few.One thing I would like to mention,Leon adopted 2 young guitar players and I'm proud to say I adopted him as my second Dad as well!The other is Glenn Patrik who he called Mr.Blues Jr.which he titled one of his albums so keep an eye out for my Mr. Blues III that I plan to record in the near future.And as Leon would say at the end of a phone conversation"in a minute"!
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rock Me Baby - Smooth Down Under

Home based in Branson Mo., Smooth Down Under has been performing their blend of Rocking Roadhouse Blues, since early 2010 in the Branson and Springfield Mo area, as well as Northern Arkansas. The membership is comprised of 3 unique artists from different parts of the U.S.A., who found each other in Branson and came together as Smooth Down Under. More recently with shows in K.C., Mo. And Lake of the Ozarks.

On guitar and lead vocals is Richard Lee Wilson, the newest member to the band. Richard comes to us from Blue Springs, Mo. He's been known more recently in the K.C. area with his own band, The Sunday Morning Casualties.
On bass is Steve “Smooth Thunder” Cole. Originally from K.C. Mo. Steve has been playing bass for over 36 yrs. He moved to the Ozarks in 1999 to get away from the fast pace of the city. Along with a the many rock acts he’s performed with, he has shared the stage with many of the legends that makes Kansas City Blues what it is.
On Drums, is Eric Sokol, originally from K.C., Mo. Eric recently moved back to this area from L.A. & has extensive session work under his belt on the west coast.
Smooth Down Under is available for nightclubs, private events, casinos etc. and will provide a fun, high energy, rocking blues experience with a touch of funk, and classic rock thrown in to please everyone who comes to a show.
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Dust My Broom - T.D. Bell & Erbie Bowser

Tyler D. "T.D." Bell (Dec. 26,1922- Jan 1999) Guitarist/vocalist Bell is a local legend, the leader of the hottest band on the East Side, T. D. Bell and the Cadillacs, during the heyday of the Victory Grill in the 1950s. Bell, who came to Austin in the early 1950s, provided early performing experience in his bands for many of the blues and jazz players on the East Side of Austin.

Bell's bands, which generally featured Erbie Bowser on piano, backed up virtually all of the touring blues and R&B acts to come through Austin in the 50s. He had a long association with Victory grill owner Johnny Holmes. One of the few older musicians in town to work full-time during his early years, Bell did not take on outside work until later in life. He now has a small trucking business and had essentially retired from music until Erbie Bower asked him to reform their band for the Victory Grill reunion in 1987.

While Bell has some touring experience, he never worried about making the big time and has been happiest as an Austin musician. Bell, who has lived in the same neighborhood for over 40 years, knows intimately the history of the East Side's decline.

Born 5 May 1918, Davila, Texas, USA, d. 15 August 1995, Austin, Texas. Like his partner, guitarist T.D. Bell, Bowser had to wait until old age to be recognized outside his home state. One of nine children, he taught himself to play the piano after his family had moved to Palestine in east Texas. He first played in public with the North Carolina Cotton Pickers and after high school, the Sunset Royal Entertainers. During World War II, he was seconded to the Special Services band and played USO shows throughout Europe and North Africa. Back in Odessa, Texas, in 1947, he was recruited to join T.D. Bell And The Cadillacs and established a long-standing friendship with the band's leader. Moving to Austin, he worked with local bands and played alongside Robert Shaw and Grey Ghost. Given their advanced years, It's About Time proved to be a worthy memorial to both Bell and Bowser.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If You Remember - Big Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner (born Joseph Vernon Turner Jr., May 18, 1911 – November 24, 1985[1]) was an American blues shouter from Kansas City, Missouri. According to the songwriter Doc Pomus, "Rock and roll would have never happened without him." Although he came to his greatest fame in the 1950s with his pioneering rock and roll recordings, particularly "Shake, Rattle and Roll", Turner's career as a performer stretched from the 1920s into the 1980s.
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