CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

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!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Lee Oskar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lee Oskar. Show all posts

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Cleopatra Records artist: Joe louis Walker - Blues Comin' On - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blues Comin' On, by Joe Louis Walker, and it's a great blend of Blues, Soul, R&B and Rock musical styles. Opening with Feed The Poor, a funky blues rocker, Walker joins with legendary Jorma Kaukonen on lead guitar who brings a ragged edge to this otherwise soulful track. With John Bradford on bass, Dorian Randolph on bass, Juma Sultan on percussion and Bruce Katz on organ this is a strong opener. Carla Cooke contributes lead vocal on Someday, Someway, a real nice soulful blues ballad. Her vocals, backed by Walker, on guitar and vocal, and with Lee Oskar on harmonica, Eric Finland on piano, Randolph on drums and John Bradford, this is definitely one of my favorites on the release. Keb' Mo on slide guitar and John Sebastian on harp join Walker on 12 string laying down a real nice shuffle, Old Time Used To Be. Backed by Katz on piano, Scott Petito on bass, Randolph on drums and Sultan on percussion this track has a great feel. I love the heavy bottom funk on Bowlegged Woman, Knock-Kneed Man featuring Bradford on bass and Randolph on drums. Walker has the lead vocal on this one and does a great job with Waddy Wachtel on guitar, Rick Estrin on harp and Katz on organ. Nice and funky. Another soulful ballad, Awake Me, Shake Me,  featuring Cooke and Walker on lead vocal has real power with Walker really digging in on guitar. Very nice. With a real James Brown "boogaloo" beat, Uptown In Harlem features solid drumming by Byron Case and Jellybean Johnson winding it out on lead guitar under Walkers lead vocal. Cool. Wrapping the release is 7&7 Is, an Arthur Lee track with an early rock feel, featuring Charlie Harper on lead vocal and Arlen Roth on lead guitar. Roth slows this hypnotic pace down with some of the nicest blues riffs on the release, making is a solid closer.


View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  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”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 

  qrcode

 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE


Monday, July 16, 2018

Soars High productions: JP Soars - Southbound I-95 - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Southbound I-95, from JP Soars and it's really cool. Opening with Ain't No Dania Beach, there's a country flavor but still folky/rock along the lines of the Band...you know...just right. Joined by Travis Colby on organ, Paul DesLauries on ultra cool slide, Greg Morency on bass, and Sam Harrison on percussion, this is a stylin' opener. Swamp funky, Sure As Hell Ain't Foolin' Me, is a great track with a solid bass line and vocal delivery by Soars. His guitar playing is really nice as well, backed by Teresa James on vocals, Oscar Santiago on percussion and Scott Ankrom on trumpet, this is my favorite track on the release.  Title track, Southbound I-95 has great Dale/surf feel with dancing guitar work and a great rocking bass line by Jason Newstead. Excellent! Rock n Roller, The Grass Ain't Always Greener, will really get you moving with a tight piano solo by Colby and a ripping sax solo by Sax Gordon. Very hot! Born In California is another of my favorites with a cool back beat courtesy of Chris Peet on drums and Soars on guitar and bass and his vocals are edgy and cool. Straight up slow blues number, When You Walk Out That Door, features blues masters Jimmy Thackery and JP Soars trading guitar solo's in paced, masterful style. Ouch! With a strong dose of southern R&B, Deep Down In Florida is another great number with blazing guitar work by Albert Castiglia and Soars and a tight beat by Peet and sax work by Ankrom. Spanish flavor on Across The Desert really gives it just the right spice. Soars guitar work in duet with Lee Oskar further cements this release as one of the year's best. Another Latin flavored track, Dog Catcher, this time wide open, has great percussion by Santiago and flavorful guitar work by Soars. Very nice. Heavy tom tom work by Jeremy Staska and a flurry of guitar riffs over a driving bass line by Soars and real nice clarinet soloing by Ankron really sets this track off. Excellent! Wrapping the release is a radio edit of Sure As Hell Ain't Foolin' Me with strong vocals and rich funk. This is one of the must hear releases of the year! Check it out!

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  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”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 

  qrcode

“Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Monday, November 25, 2013

Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #21 October 2013 - Stilladog - Guest Contributer


Welcome aboard to the world’s biggest 7 day blues party!  Yes friends, 7 days where you can’t tell the blues artists from the fans. Although everybody’s experience is different –and a blues cruise vacation is exactly what you make it– a good time is had by all… day after day!

So I’m going to tell you about my experience on my 4th LRBC a few weeks ago.   I try to get on board pretty early so I can learn the layout of the ship and how to get from concert venue to concert venue in the most efficient manner.  And by doing so you get to see and talk to some of the artists before any action really starts.  Right off the bat I ran into Cyril Neville who was as lost as my wife and I.  Later I saw Lucky Peterson on a lounge chair outside his stateroom while walking the Promenade Deck. 

The first night they always have a BBQ on the pool deck at departure. This time it was Rick Estrin and the Nightcats hosting the BBQ. The best part being when Kid Anderson went into a guitar solo playing slide with a cell phone. Next came the Virgin and Returnee Parties.  The artists for these are never announced. As a returnee I went for my free champagne at the Showroom at Sea.  And to kick it all off was Los Lobos with Lee Oskar on harp. Talk about setting the bar high.  These guys were fantastic!  I had seen Lee Oskar a few years ago with the Low Rider Band (the band formerly known as WAR but due to legal limitations cannot bill themselves as WAR any more). But I swear Lee was better with Los Lobos who were great in their own right.  The consensus opinion was that this was the best Returnee Party in history.
Lee Oskar jams with Los Lobos at the Returnee Party

After that we stayed at the Showroom to check out Walter “Wolfman” Washington.
  He was one of the artists I specifically wanted to see on this cruise.  Bman had turned me on to Walter back in about 1991 and I’d never gotten a chance to see him live.  I was not disappointed. Wolfman Washington with his jazz-infused, New Orleans funk style blues was great.  Sadly not too many people attended this show. I imagine on account of going to see Ruthie Foster instead. When Ruthie’s set ended the crowd packed into Walter’s gig for the last half hour.

As for me, when Walter’s set ended I went out to the Pool Deck to hear Royal Southern Brotherhood.  But I only heard a few tunes featuring mostly Mike Zito because I had to head back to the Showroom for Irma Thomas.  That’s the dilemma about the Blues Cruise. There’s so many good people to see and you just can’t possibly be in two places at once.  Well, Irma Thomas was great.  She did not work from a set list. She just said “This is not your regular kind of show. I’m gonna call the tunes unless there’s something special you want to hear. Let me know what it is and we’ll do it.”  Irma would not be the only artist to take that approach.

Day two was in Key West, FL.  Supposedly for Fantasy Fest which started the night before.  But by pulling into port at 8:30am all the naked spray painted Fantasy Fest breasts, and other body parts, were all in bed sleeping from the previous evening.  So we had our own Second Line parade up Duval Street led by keyboardist, Mitch Woods, dressed as Liberace and the Wild Magnolias (Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr.).  It terminated at Sloppy Joes Bar where Mitch led a jam that lasted from 10:00am until 3:00pm.
Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr. and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux lead the parade to Sloppy Joe’s

Toward the end of the jam, Walter “Wolfman” Washington joined Mitch and the band for a couple numbers. When he came down off the stage I got to talk to Walter and joke around with him. What a great guy! You may not know this, but Walter was one of the first “name” artists who started to play New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  There are many who say he saved music in New Orleans after the hurricane because so many musicians had fled to Houston, Dallas, San Francisco and all points in between to make a living since most clubs in New Orleans had shut down. But not Walter. He immediately began playing his regular gigs most notably at the Maple Leaf Bar –where he still has a weekly gig. When people saw Walter back, they came back too!

Stilladog and Walter “Wolfman” Washington sharing a joke outside Sloppy Joe’s in Key West 
 So at 5:30 the ship had to leave Mallory Square in Key West cause if any of you have ever been there for the Sunset Party (Circus) which happens every night… well you just can’t have a huge freakin’ cruise ship obstructing your view.  But that’s OK with us ‘cause Our Ship Kicks Ass and we gonna have a good time anyway.

And sure enough we did. Reason why? Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers!  Over the course of the cruise I saw these guys play 3 gigs and they were absolute Zydeco Dynamite on every one!!  Led by accordionist Dwayne Dopsie, and fueled by saxophonist Reginald Smith and washboard man, Paul LeFleur (The Marlboro Man) they rocked the ship.  What a passionate performance! I can personally attest to the fact that the man was soaked from head to toe at the end of every set.  Even the dude’s jeans were completely soaked!
Pool Deck zydeco duel between Dwayne Dopsie & Paul LeFleur


A day at sea is always filled with great blues and it took us a day and something to get from Key West to New Orleans. It was a Sunday and we got the day started with a Gospel Brunch with Ruthie Foster which was fantastic! 

The rest of day three was highlighted by more of Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, the hardest working band on the ship! A set by Popa Chubby on the Pool Deck was particularly good. Man he really ripped the place up. I was extremely impressed with Popa Chubby.   I knew he was good, but not that good!  Reminded me of Leslie West.  In fact, better than Leslie West even. And that’s saying something.  

Popa Chubby rocks the Pool Deck

Coming up the Mississippi into New Orleans I had the pleasure of enjoying the ride with Dion Pierre – bass man for the Zydeco Hellraisers and Kevin Minor –drummer for the Zydeco Hellraisers (and alumni of Hopewell High School in Aliquippa, PA) both of whom call New Orleans home.  We passed the bayous and levees.  Up past the New Orleans Battleground where Andrew Jackson and the pirate, Jean LaFitte, defeated the British in 1814.  To the canal in the 9th ward where Minor pointed out to me “That’s the canal that flooded and fucked up all this area over here.” Very few people approach the city from this direction and it was clearly impressive even to the folks who live there.

The city was impressive too. My wife and I walked about 8.5 miles that day. Started out for an Oyster Po’ Boy at Mother’s on Poydras.  Then down past the House of Blues on Decatur into the French Quarter.  Up to Preservation Hall. Past the Old Absinthe House. Over to the St. Charles Trolley and a trip out past the Garden District to the famous Maple Leaf Bar home of New Orleans blues, jazz, zydeco, and everything in between for as long as anyone can remember. A few beers and some serious music discussion with Regan the bartender and then a trolley trip back into town. Arriving just in time for a bus ride out to the Mid-City Lanes Rock N Bowl where we heard the wonderful guitarist June Yamagishi (who you can see in the HBO series Treme’).

June Yamagishi at Mid-City Lanes Rock N Bowl


Another day at sea followed featuring Ft. Lauderdale guitarist, Albert Castilia, whose set was accompanied by guests, Samantha Fish and Mike Zito.  It is about at this point in the trip that musicians who jam together until 4:00am every night on the pool deck begin to crash each other’s scheduled sets and you never know who you might see or where.  Johnny Winter? Kim Wilson? Rev. Billy C. Wirtz?  Andy Forrest? Dave Keyes? Jimmy Carpenter? They were all there and would just show up. It was great!!  Lucky Peterson was also a high point of the sets I saw on our way to Progreso, MX.

In Mexico, I guess the people who took the tour of the Mayan ruins enjoyed Mexico but I opted to stay on the ship and drink poolside all afternoon.  It was a good choice. It was a day of relaxation for the musicians. And they were hanging poolside too. I never intruded on their personal time but it was very cool to observe, for instance, a conversation between Kim Wilson, Rick Estrin, and Lee Oskar.  Now that’s some harp royalty right there!  Ruthie Foster and her band just kicking back with some fans. We caught a bit of Anson Funderburgh and Eric Lindell’s set early that evening too.

At 6:30 the next morning I headed back to the pool for the Sunrise Party except there was no sun.  It was cloudy and we had some pretty damn rough seas. So rough the pool water was completely splashing out 7 feet high!! Somebody smuggled in some tequila and vodka and I mixed my own Bloody Mary and hung out with my fellow cruisers for a jello shooter to celebrate our last day in Blues Heaven on water.  Had a hell of a time keeping my balance but I was better off than those who get seasick.

The feature of the last day was the Lucky Peterson Jam on the pool deck which was going great until Lucky decided to play some disco music and everybody kinda just walked away.  Right up until that it was smokin’.  But artists need to understand it’s the blues people come to hear and even though I agree with the Etta James claim that “It’s all blues, baby” other’s don’t. 

The last set I saw was Marcia Ball who also just said, “Call the tune and I’ll play it.” I had not seen Marcia since 1999 at the Superdome in New Orleans and not much has changed except we’re both older and grayer.  She still rocks on that electric piano and swings her long crossed leg the whole time.
Marcia Ball


Back in Florida I found myself waiting for my family to pick us up at the port alongside Popa Chubby. We all just turn into one big blues family on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.  It is an experience I highly recommend not only because the music is fantastic but it’s a very relaxing vacation.  I’ll be on the next one in January too, hope to see you on board. I’ll be hanging in the Crow’s Nest.  Just say, “Whatcha drinking, Stilladog?” And I’ll know you are a Bman’s Blues Report fan.       

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cisco Kid - Lee Oskar w/ Lowrider Band


Lee Oskar (born March 24, 1948, Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish harmonica player, notable for his contributions to the sound of the rock-funk fusion group War, which he formed with Eric Burdon, his solo work, and as a harmonica manufacturer. He currently plays with Lowriderband , with Harold Brown , Howard Scott and B.B.Dickerson
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1948, Oskar was six years old when a family friend gave him his first harmonica. "I came from an area where every kid on the block had a harmonica," he remembers. He grew up listening to Danish radio, enjoying all types of music and cites Ray Charles as the biggest influence from that period. When he was 17, Oskar decided that the United States was where a harmonica player should make his career, so he moved to New York at the age of 18 with little more than a harmonica in his pocket. With no money, Oskar played harmonica in the streets of New York. Eventually arriving in Los Angeles, California, via Toronto and San Francisco, Oskar soon met and joined forces with Eric Burdon who had recently disbanded The Animals and was searching for new collaborators. Together, the harp-playing Dane (born Oskar Levetin Hansen) and the British blues-rock singer made the rounds of the L.A. clubs, eventually hooking up with the soon-to-be members of War. Burdon agreed to the novel idea of pairing up Oskar's harmonica with Charles Miller's saxophone to form a horn section. This team-up set War apart from the start, giving Oskar room to display the full spectrum of his improvisational prowess. Oskar's harmonica magic was always a vital element in War's music and performances. Oskar continued with War for 24 years non-stop. At the end of 1992 he made the decision to end his association with that group in order to have the time to pursue his solo career.
Lee Oskar who has been described as "a virtuoso," "the harmonica whiz" "a war hero," "legendary," "musical wizardry," and as "generally regarded to be among the best rock-blues-soul harmonica players." His role as a founding member and former lead harmonica player of the pioneer funk-jazz group War won him international renown for over two and a half decades (1969–1993). Oskar's signature solos helped to define the War sound from the band's beginning in 1969, adding dashes of color to its R&B, jazz, rock, and Latin influences. Oskar's position with War was a prominent one from its early days with singer Eric Burdon onward. "My playing has become more aggressive over the years," he says. "In the beginning, my role was playing horn lines. Today, it's evolved to the point where I'm playing a lead instrument. If I'm not doing a solo, I'm playing counterlines—I try to paint within certain spaces in the music to help create the overall picture."
Like my Facebook Page, Post your video on my Wall or post your Photos of great blues events! Share your favorite posting and get more exposure for your favorites band! ”LIKE”