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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 Malaco Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Malaco Records. Show all posts

Friday, May 12, 2017

Malaco Records artist: Mr. Sipp - Knock A Hole In It - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Knock A Hole In It, by Mr. Sipp and it's a hot funky blues rocker. Mr. Sipp is the the alter ego of gospel guitarist, Castro Coleman and he's a force to be reckoned with. Opening with title track, Knock A Hole In It, Castro Coleman, vocalist and lead guitar player really shows fire with this band. Jeffrey Flanagan on bass, Carrol McLaughlin on organ and Stanley Dixon create an extremely heavy bottom for Coleman to romp and romp he does. Excellent! With up tempo R&B track, Bad Feeling, Coleman is charging vocally and with driving guitar riffs. The supporting organ work of McLaughlin is super over the solid bottom of bass and drums. Dropping back into the slot, Stalking Me is a grooving R&B track. Sounds along the Sam and Dave line, Coleman shows his roots in R&B but shows definite rock influences in rock, especially Hendrix. With a great, SRV style guitar lope, Gotta Let Her Go, is a super blues rocker with stinging blues riffs. Smelly, funky guitar riffs set the pace on Going Down, firmly reinforced by McLaughlin's organ. With a lumbering bass and drum line and fiery guitar licks, this track is smoking. On Soulful, blues ballad, Baby Your Mine, Coleman shows not only his soulful vocals but his fluid blues guitar runs for a solid radio track. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Turn Up, a deep track with exceptional feel,tension and gripping guitar work. In the path of Marvin Gaye, Love Yourself has a real cool R&B feel. Driven by the bass work of Flanagan and exceptional vocals of Coleman, backed by The Jackson Horns (Kimble Funches on trumpet, Jessie Primer III on sax, Robert Lamkin on trombone) this track is smooth. Wrapping the release is an extremely lively cover of Jimi Hendrix's Little Wing. With a bit of orchestration this band really lays out a great eight minute plus workout on this always stellar track. Coleman hits the key blues notes at just the right angle and his lead runs are fluid and meaningful. An abnormally interpretive take on the National Anthem closes the track and leaves your head spinning.  I really like this release and suggest you check it out...definitely! 

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Malaco Records artist: Grady Champion - One Of A Kind - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, One Of A Kind, from Grady Champion, and it has variety. Opening with Bump and Grind, Grady Champion on lead vocal and harp along with Ken Smith on bass, Eddie Cotton on guitar and Carroll McLaughlin on keys set an early groove, not unlike a more polished Jesus Just Left Chicago. Nice opener. With a R&B feel, Heels and Hips floats along with a really cool bass line by Smith and nice backing vocals by Champion, Jewell Bass, Eddie Cotton and Lisa Palmer. Shuffle track, House Party, gets deeper in the groove with the addition of Kimble Funchess on trumpet, Jessie PrimerIII on sax, Sydney Ford II on bari, Robert Lamkin on trombone and champion's harp backed by nice vocals by Bass and Palmer. On Life Support, Champion really gets the band swinging on harp and some of his best vocals on the release. Myron Bennett's bass work is tight and vital giving this track just the right weight. Classic, Chicago style blues track, Leave Here Running, features Theodis Ealey on guitar and Champion really opens up his harp for a super run. Ealey throws down a cool solo of his own giving this track even more spirit. Another R&B track, Move Something, has a real nice feel, pumped by the bass work of Smith and the Jackson Horns. Soul tune, One Of A Kind, is one of my favorite tracks on the release with just the right amount of warmth, a nice sax solo by Primer, guitar solo by Ealey and most soulful vocals by Champion backed by super horns and backing vocalists. Stone In My Path has an Albert King kind of feel with Champion's gravely vocals balanced against his harp punctuation over nicely executed piano work by McLaughlin. Thin Line has a rolling bass line edged along by cool backing vocals. Champion's lead vocals and harp capper gives the track a real nice feel. What A Woman has a bit of a Willie Dixon lumber with vocals along the lines of the Wolf. Mr. Elvin Bishop adds slide guitar to the track giving it that extra bit of texture. More contemporary track, When I'm Gone has a cool funky edge, with nice backing vocals from Bass and Palmer. Clean piano work by McLaughlin stands out on this track bumped along by Scott's drum work. Wrapping the release is GC Boogie, a slick instrumental featuring Champion playing harp riffs and Cotton playing guitar riffs over a plucky bass line by Bennett and McLaughlin riding on organ. Cool closer.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Malaco Records artist: Grady Champion - Bootleg Whiskey - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Bootleg Whiskey, from Grady Champion and it's an interesting blend of R&B, Blues, Soul and Gospel. Opening with Beg, Borrow, Steal; Champion has his harp on point and Taylor Scott is hitting it hot on guitar. With a twist of country and rock, this blues number is fast paced and nicely crafted to feature Champion's skills on harp. Bootleg Whiskey has a definite R&B feel with warm backing vocals from Darrell Luster, Ray Braswell and William Purvis. Addition of horns by Kimble Funches on trumpet, Micah Brown on sax, and William Brown on Trombone add additional depth to a very cool track. Don't Waste My Time takes a definite turn to the blues featuring Champion laying down some nice vocals with strong horn support. Home Alone maintains that horn feel but with a funkier groove. David Hood plucks a nice bass line driving the track and Champion alternates between vocal lead and harp echo and solos with a smooth feel. Ten Dollars has a real nice laid back feel and Champion put out some of the finest vocals on the release. A full horn sound punching the vocals and and Forrest Gordon setting the line on drums punctuates this as one of my favorite tracks on the release. South Side oozes R&B and Champion really captures the "South Side" feel. William Purvis on keys and Michael Thomas on B3 fill out the track nicely and backing vocals are perfect. Who Dat has that "special feel" bringing Al Green to mind. I love Al Green so his basic sound is a great start for anything. JJ Thames adds lush backing vocal on this track and Castro Coleman adds some cool guitar riffs. Very nice! I Tripped And Fell In Love has an easy R&B groove with Vick Allen and Sonya Allen adding really nice backing vocals to a solid front line vocal from Champion. Mr. Right is an easy going soul infused pop track. It has a smooth melody and a cool hook. Wrapping the release is White Boy With The Blues, having a really solid gospel like backing from The Crowns Of Joy (singing richly including Amazing Grace). Champion speaks the story as The Crowns carry the vocal melody and Clayton Ivey on warm enriched key work. Very nice!

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