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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 Maria Muldaur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maria Muldaur. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Stony Plain Records artist: Maria Muldaur with Tuba Skinny - Let's Get Happy Together - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Let's Get Happy Together, from Maria Muldaur and Tuba Skinny and it's captures the sound of the 20's and 30's. Opening with I Like You Best of All, Muldaur on vocal and Shaye Cohn on wild cornet, Todd Burdick on the anchor ... tuba, Barnabus Jones on super trombone, Jason Lawrence on 6 string banjo, Craig Flory with a great clarinet solo, Greg Sherman on guitar, Max Bien Kahn on guitar and Rubin Rupuzzi on washboard. I really like the clarinet / cornet play off each other. It sets the stage nicely and Jones is a strong trombone player so his work with Muldaur's vocals are classic. Taking the pace down quite a bit on Delta Bound, Flory and Jones again really work the track and Burdick's tuba work is terrific under Muldaur's vocals. I Go For That has great pace and excellent instrumental weaving that is so important in this period music as well as all Dixieland music. Very nice. One of Muldaur's showpiece vocals on the release is Big City Blues, originally performed by 30's star Annette Henshaw. Wrapping the release is Road of Stone, a special track to Muldaur who says it was recorded by Sweet Pea Spivey, sister of Victoria Spivey who discovered her. With trumpet lead and cool clarinet wailing, cornet and trombone soloing, this is a perfect closer for a cool release. 

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Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Last Music Company artist: Bill Kirchen - The Proper Years - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Proper Years, from Bill Kirchen and it's strong. I'm certain that most readers know Bill but if not, he was the guitar fingers of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. That being known, you can expect that deep throaty telecaster guitar sound and rich country roots. Opening with Hammer of the Honky-Tonk  Gods, a swangin' country rocker with Kirchen on lead guitar and vocal, backed by Nick Lowe on bass, Geraint Watkins on bass, Austin de Lone on keys, Robert Trehorne on drums, Danny Levin on fiddle and Cindy Cashdoller and David Berzansky on steel guitar. Great opener. Working Man is a cool, country flavored track with solid 2 stepping beat. With great lead vocal and a really great bass background vocal among the others, this track is a standout. Remake of 60's pop hit, Devil In A Blue Dress, has a real bluesy feel with solid backing vocals by Sarah Carroll. Trish Anderson and Suzannah Espie. Kirchen puts on his best R&B vocal and slinky blues riffs. Acoustic rag, One More Day has a great light feel with stellar acoustic guitar riffs and fiddle (by Danny Levin). Excellent! A grungy rocker, Man in the Bottom of the Well features Elvis Costello and some really gritty guitar playing by Kirchen. This song is terrific! Commander Cody joins on I Don't Work That Cheap which is another terrific track with hints of Dylan and the Lost Planet Airmen. Very nice. On Disc 2, Kircher teams up with fleet fingered Dan Hicks on Word To The Wise. Cool lyrics, a great upbeat tempo and of course strong acoustic guitar riffs make for a great side 2 opener. Contemporary blues vocal legend, Maria Muldaur teams up with Kirchen on shuffle, Ain't Got No Time For the Blues. Breaking back to pure country and western on Tell Me The Reason. The is a great track with Kirchen on lead guitar and vocal, Jack O'Dell on drums and Paul Riley on bass and featuring Austin de Lone on piano. Really nice! Truck Stop At The End Of The World is a solid trucker song with classic Kirchen guitar riffs and a driving rock beat. Another classic and one from the Commander Cody songbook, Hot Rod Lincoln has great tempo and of course clever lyrics that accentuate the guitar riffs by Kirchen. Kirchen goes on to run classic country, Americana and rock riffs from the past. Cool flashback through music time. Country rocker, Oxblood has a really great feel with Butch Hancock on vocal with Kirchen who plays baritone guitar on this one. Balancing out the band is Gurf Morlix on guitar, David Carroll on bass, Rick Richards on drums and Austin de Lone on piano. Wrapping the release is Dylan's classic, The Times They Are A-Changin'. This is a complete album with few stones unturned. Well rounded with rock, Americana, blues and country, a lot of something for everyone.

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Friday, December 29, 2017

M.C. Records artist: Duke Robillard - Duke and his Dames of Rhythm - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Duke and his Dames of Rhythm, by Duke Robillard and it's a mighty swing fest. Opening with From Monday On, Sunny Crownover has the floor, backed by Bruce Bears on piano, Brad Hallen on bass, Mark Teixeira on drums, Jon Erik Kellso on trumpet, Billy Novick on clarinet and alto sax, Carl Querfurth on trombone and of course Robillard on guitar. A bright prance, this track has super clarinet, strong guitar riffs, a powerful bass line and a particularly nice trombone solo by Querfurth. Maria Muldaur had the floor on Got The South In My Soul and again, powerful clarinet soloing by Novick and bright guitar riffs by the Duke really set it off. Kelley Hunt steps up to the mic on Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone, a solid blues ballad with solid vocals, jumping into swing time with Mark Earley's brilliant tenor sax solo. Kellso's trumpet work, Bears' piano work, another clarinet solo by Novick and a tight bass line from Hallen really give this track spank. Madeline Peyroux is a solid choice to deliver the sensuous vocal lines on Squeeze Me. Duke's guitar lines are tight, direct and rich providing a super contrast to the soulful soloing of Novick and the jazzy runs of Kellso. Very nice. Duke steps forward himself delivering perfect lead vocal on Walking Stick. This track has really nice instrumental lead work on it with particularly nice runs by Robillard, Andy Stein on violin and Kellso, with tight instrumental jazz jamming. Excellent! Catherine Russell has the lead on Blues In My Heart, surrounded by the bluesy muted horns of Kellso and Querfurth. On Easy Living, Peyroux has the lead over mild, jazz tones, warm sax harmony, simple piano and tight drums. Novick's tenor sax work on this track is particularly warm and rich and Kellso's trumpet is muted and solid. Ready For The River has a strong Dixieland jazz feel with brassy horns, mellow clarinet undertones and simple cadence. This one of my favorite tracks on the release with really nice balance. Wrapping the release is Call Of The Freaks, an instrumental track with a cool blend of trombone, clarinet, drums and piano stretching out to super guitar and muted trumpet soloing. Strong closer to an interesting release.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lost Cause Records artist: Clint Morgan - Scofflaw - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Scofflaw, from Clint Morgan and it's a winding road of interesting passages. With an intro of children singing This Little Light of Mine, this release covers gospel, blues and country styles. Waco almost smells of John Wayne with a heavy bottom by bassist Dave Roe and Jerry Roe on drums and with Clint Morgan on piano and vocal with raggedy nice guitar by Kenny Vaughan. Early rocker, Wild One maintains a lot of it's country flavor but rips with some nice guitar and piano work and Morgan's vocals are perfect. I Got A Gun is an easy country rocker with Jonathan Yudkin on violin with Morgan painting a cool lyrical story. I Don't Know Where To Turn is a cool boogie woogie track with real nice piano work backing Morgan's duet with Diunna Greenleaf on lead vocals. Dripping country, Vaughan lays out some real nice guitar work on the bluesy track. Eastham Farm has a lot of Johnny Cash in style balanced by nice harp work by Jim Hoke, additional rich vocals by Greenleaf and just the right touch of horns. Country flavored, D.B. Cooper Blues, is right down the middle pre pop country with solid vocals, piano and guitar work. Very strong. David Allen Coe's, I Love Robbing Banks gets a fresh coat of paint with a really hot sax solo and tight drums. Morgan is very comfortable in singing this kind of music along with his piano, sounds like he was born to do it. A Johnny Cash flavored, Bad Man Blues, has the solid acoustic guitar/bass vamp, tight little snare riffs and even steel guitar riffs giving this track it's classic sound. Love it! Boogie track, Thief In The Night, has the droning bass line and low key vocals setting up nicely for a pretty nice guitar score. Bob Dylan/Johnny Cash penned, Wanted Man has the sounds of a prison cam song with effective drum stomp and backing acoustic slide. Morgan's vocals nicely score on the Johnny cash connection and violin and electric guitar work add nicely to the fabric of the tune. The Face In The Mirror is a nicely introspective track with a subtly blistering guitar solo by Vaughan. Two stepper, A Sackful Of Cash, is high energy with a carnival of sounds but with great piano work, sexy sax and flashy country style guitar riffs. Very cool! Bessie Smith's Send Me To The 'Lectric Chair holds that New Orleans blues sound with the rolling piano, bluesy guitar and wailing clarinet, making it one of my favorite tracks on the release. Old hymn, Softly And Tenderly, Jesus is Calling is a duet with Maria Muldaur, handled with the utmost respect backed by piano, mandolin, guitar and dobro. Very nice. I Done Made It Up In My Mind, a spiritual number written by Muldaur, is nicely performed featuring Muldaur on lead vocals. Morgan's secondary vocals are clean and uplifting and his piano and organ work is top notch. The release is closed with an alternate take of I Got A Gun. Gritty and full of western, this is a n appropriate closer for a really western release...dig the guitar effects! This is a really interesting release and make certain you check the liner notes which is plastered with outlaw photos (one in a wooden box) and notorious characters of all kinds.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

40 Years of Stony Plain - New release review

I just had the chance to review the new 3 CD set, 40 Years of Stony Plain and it's a super bag of super recordings and unreleased music.

CD One called Singers, Songwriters and much more features tracks by Colin Linden; Spirit of the West; Corb Lund; Doug Sham; Harry Manx & Kevin Breit; Emmylou Harris; James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett, David Wilcox; New Guitar Summit; Rodney Crowell; Valdy & Gary Fjellgaard; Jr. Gone Wild; Tom Hus; Ian Tyson; Jennifer Warnes; Steve Earle; & Eric Bibb featuring Taj Mahal, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Ruthie Foster. This CD has a real rural feel with folk, country and grassy feel. Louis Riel by Doug Sham is a super track with a Tex Mex country sound. Rockabilly, That's Alright by James Burton and crew is another standout. New Guitar Summit's Flying Home throws a bit of swing jazz in with super nice flavor. Tim Hus's Wild Rose Waltz has real traditional country feel and is pure as snow. Eric Bibb and crew deliver a really rural rural Needed Time featuring Taj Mahal on vocals and breaking into a very sophisticated gospel style track . This is an excellent closer for Dics 1.

CD Two called Blues, R&B, Gospel, Swing Jazz and even more is full of huge names. Kenny "Bues Boss" Wayne, Joe Louis Walker, Rosco Gordon, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, Mauria Muldair featuring Taj Mahal, Long John Baldry, Paul Reddick, Monkeyjunk, Jay McShann, Jeff Healey, Billy Boy Arnold, Rory Block, Big Dave McLean, Ruthie Foster, Sonny Rhodes, Jim Byrnes, Amos Garrett, Ellen McIlwaine,and king Biscuit Boy. Opening with Blues Boss on Bankrupted Blues and followed by Joe Louis Walker on Eyes Like a Cat this CD is smoking right off the top. Ronnie Earl gets a classic blues going on It Takes Time and a more contemporary blues rocker Monkeyjunk rips on Mother's Crying. Jay McShann has a really nice blues/jazz run on Goin' To Chicago and Big Dave McLean's Atlanta Moan is masterful. Ruthie Foster is one of the new artists that is in a class on her own, delivering on Keep Your Big Mouth Closed and Sonny Rhodes shuffle track, Meet Me At The 10th Street Inn in a slick blues romp. Wrapping disc 2 is King Biscuit Boy's Blue Light Boogie... always a favorite.

 CD Three is Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material opening with hot potato Ain't Gonna Do It by Duke Robillard. In My Girlish Days shows Maria Muldaur really grinding in her classic seductive style followed by her classic I Belong To The Band. David Wilcox really does a great job on acoustic instrumental, Uptown Bump, followed by 2 super tracks, I Hate That train and All Night Long by the terrific Sam Chatmon and his Barbeque Boys. Wrapping this disc and the entire package is Walter "Shakey" Horton with Hot Cottage playing a deep fried Shakey's Edmonton Blues. This is an excellent closer for a really super set. Congratulations to Stony Plain for assembling a great package.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Stony Plain Records Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary with Special 3-CD Set of Music Including Rarities and Previously Unreleased Tracks on June 3rd

Stony Plain Records Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary with Special 3-CD Set of Music Including Rarities and Previously Unreleased Tracks on June 3rd

EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records, Canada’s premier roots music label, announces a June 3rd release date for a special 3-CD set, 40 Years of Stony Plain, which includes cuts from its illustrious history of albums, as well as a complete disc of rarities and previously unreleased tracks.

“Celebrating Stony Plain’s 40th Anniversary by putting together this specially priced three CD set has been a joy,” writes label founder/president Holger Petersen in the album package. “Not only going back over those years and selecting some of our favorite tracks, but to also dig deeper to find rare and previously unreleased material by old friends Eric Bibb, Duke Robillard, Maria Muldaur, David Wilcox, the late Bob Carpenter, Walter ‘Shakey’ Horton and the legendary Sam Chatmon and His Barbeque Boys from 1979. With extensive notes and packaging, this stunning collection of 47 songs will be a joyful surprise for true music fans everywhere.”

Long-time label friend and celebrated Canadian publicist Richard Flohil contributes an insightful timeline to Stony Plain’s history and contributions to the music industry in his liner notes. 

“As I write, I realize that this is the seventh time that I’ve written this opening sleeve note for a collection of music tracks for a Stony Plain Records compilation,” states Flohil. “What’s ‘new’ in the history of this unique Canadian roots music label? Answer: Not much — except, amazingly, that Stony Plain’s still here, still releasing new music. And that it’s the oldest independent record company (in Canada) that’s persevered for four decades with the same ownership.

“Every five years, starting with the label’s 10th anniversary, Stony Plain has released a compilation of new and old material from the vaults. And every five years, an opening sleeve note introduces (or re-introduces) the Stony Plain story to the people who are listening to the music.”

Recognized worldwide for its consistent quality roots and blues releases, one of Stony Plains early fans was legendary Atlantic Records music producer and label executive Jerry Wexler, who singled out the independent label for praise. 

“The Independent Label is the soul of the record biz; on one hand the fount and nurturer of the new and untested, the eschewer of the Commercial Compromise,” said Wexler. “On the other, it is the Enunciator of the Gospel of Low Overhead. Behold the Stony Plain catalogue, not large but lapidary, and wonder how (Holger Petersen) has done it with such small staff. And he always returns my phone calls. He has a wonderful label, he presents wonderful music, and I congratulate him.”

Stony Plain Records has earned 6 Grammy nominations and a shelf full of Canadian accolades, including 11 Juno Awards, some 20 Maple Blues Awards, and Canadian Country Music Association awards as well. The Blues Foundation named Stony Plain as the 2014 label of the year, and Holger Petersen as broadcaster of the year in 2008. This year, he marks his 30th year as the host of Saturday Night Blues, nationally broadcast every week on CBC Radio; he also continues to host Natch’l Blues each week on CKUA after 47 years.

“Since 1976, Stony Plain has reflected its owners’ eclectic tastes, survived, and continues to release vibrant, substantive music,” Richard Flohil writes. “The label’s genesis goes back a little further than that — Petersen has been a music addict since he was a little kid, and his enthusiasms have led him (often simultaneously) in a variety of different directions.

“Petersen’s also earned two honorary doctorate degrees from Athabasca University and the University of Alberta, and — most important of all — was inducted into the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civil honor, for his services to Canadian culture in 2003.

“Having released more than 400 albums since the label began at the kitchen table of a suburban Edmonton house, Stony Plain continues to flourish. Amid dire predictions of recorded music’s demise over the years, Stony Plain is still here, thanks to the determination and enthusiasm of the people that founded the label and those who work there. And Holger Petersen, at 66, is still having fun and still finding artists and music and songs that turn him on and which he thinks will appeal to people who care about the roots of popular music.”

For A Tour of the Stony Plain Offices: Produced by The Image Works, Connie Edwards and Doug Cole.

40 Years of Stony Plain Complete Track Listing
1. Colin Linden - No More Cheap Wine (4:43)
2. Spirit Of The West - The Crawl (4:03)
3. Corb Lund - I Wanna Be In The Cavalry (3:10)
4. Doug Sahm - Louis Riel (3:50)
5. Harry Manx & Kevin Breit - Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep (5:29)
6. Emmylou Harris - Where Will I Be (4:22)
7. James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett, David Wilcox - That's All Right (Mama) (5:18)
8. New Guitar Summit - Flying Home (4:12)
9. Rodney Crowell - Funky And The Farm-boy (4:06)
10. Valdy & Gary Fjellgaard - VLT (2:30)
11. Jr. Gone Wild - Poet's Highway (4:16)
12. Tim Hus - Wild Rose Waltz (5:32)
13. Ian Tyson - Cottonwood Canyon (3:19)
14. Jennifer Warnes - Blue Mountains Of Mexico (3:16)
15. Steve Earle - Rivers Of Babylon (3:02)
16. Eric Bibb - Needed Time (feat. Taj Mahal, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Ruthie Foster) (6:28)

1. Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne - Bankrupted Blues (3:09)
2. Joe Louis Walker - Eyes Like A Cat (3:49)
3. Rosco Gordon - Sit Right Here (4:38)
4. Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters - It Takes Time (4:55)
5. Maria Muldaur - Soul Of A Man (feat. Taj Mahal) (2:52)
6. Long John Baldry - Midnight Special (3:24)
7. Paul Reddick - Mourning Dove (4:55)
8. MonkeyJunk - Mother's Crying (4:36)
9. Jay McShann - Goin' to Chicago (4:32)
10. Jeff Healey - Hong Kong Blues (3:12)
11. Billy Boy Arnold - Bad Luck Blues (3:16)
12. Rory Block - Candy Man (3:42)
13. Big Dave McLean - Atlanta Moan (4:12)
14. Ruthie Foster - Keep Your Big Mouth Closed (3:15)
15. Sonny Rhodes - Meet Me At The 10th Street Inn (3:18)
16. Jim Byrnes - Wrapped Up, Tied Up (3:30)
17. Amos Garrett - Lost Love (4:10)
18. Ellen McIlwaine - All To You (4:01)
19. King Biscuit Boy - Blue Light Boogie (5:00)

1. Duke Robillard - Ain't Gonna Do It (3:31)
2. Duke Robillard - Rehab (5:21)
3. Eric Bibb - Shingle By Shingle (4:06)
4. Eric Bibb - Wayfaring Stranger (6:19)
5. Maria Muldaur - In My Girlish Days (2:28)
6. Maria Muldaur - I Belong To The Band (4:30)
7. David Wilcox - Uptown Bump (3:47)
8. Sam Chatmon and His Barbeque Boys - I Hate That Train (feat. Colin Linden, Doc MacLean) (3:51)
9. Sam Chatmon and His Barbeque Boys - All Night Long (feat. Colin Linden, Doc MacLean) (2:51)
10. Bob Carpenter - Satan's Golden Chain (4:02)
11. Bob Carpenter - Mister Blue (2:45)
12. Walter 'Shakey' Horton with Hot Cottage - Shakey's Edmonton Blues (3:02)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

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

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

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Duke Robillard

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

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Legendary Roots Singer Maria Muldaur on the Road with her New "Way Past Midnight" National Tour

Legendary Roots Singer Maria Muldaur on the Road with her New “Way Past Midnight” National Tour

Multi-Grammy nominee and Stony Plain Records artist Maria Muldaur is touring North America with her “Bluesiana Band,” performing a very special tribute to her 50-year career as a recording artist, dubbed the “Way Past Midnight Tour.” And Maria, herself, is bringing a special message to her fans.

“Greetings from the road!,” says Maria. “We've just finished the second week of our Way Past Midnight Tour. We're happy to report that every single gig has been sold out, and we've received a very positive response to this new show that way exceeded our expectations. People are just loving it, and telling us how special they think it is. We're really enjoying revisiting these old song gems; folks are telling us that hearing their old favorites brings back many happy memories and that they are really enjoying the multimedia aspect of the show as well! We want to be sure you know about these tour updates, and we're very excited to announce that we'll be ending the tour with a show in our beloved New Orleans. Hope to see you at one of our shows soon!

“2014 marks 40 years since my big hit, “Midnight at the Oasis,” was riding at the top of the charts and I’ve released 40 albums in that time!!! To celebrate this milestone, I've created a multi-media retrospective - WAY PAST MIDNIGHT - chronicling my 50 year journey “to the Oasis and Beyond.” This special presentation features all my hits, many of your most-requested-over-the-years fan favorites, as well as the best of my most recent work. I will share stories of my personal encounters, friendships, and collaborations with many of the greatest names in music, along with photos and videos from my early days in the ‘60s folk revival with The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, through my years of ‘pop stardom’ and on to my continuing exploration of American Roots Music, Blues, Bluesiana, Jazz & Gospel. This is a chance for you to hear all of your old, rarely performed favorites, so I do hope you'll come out for this special show!”

Maria Muldaur Way Past Midnight U.S. Tour Dates

10/14                     SPACE                                                                                  Evanston, IL
10/15                     Music Box Supper Club                                                 Cleveland, OH
10/18                     Moondog’s                                                                         Pittsburgh, PA
10/19                     The Sportsmen Tavern                                                  Buffalo, NY
10/21                     The Iridium                                                                        New York, NY
10/22                     The Stanhope House                                                     Stanhope, NJ
10/23                     Building 24                                                                         Wyomissing, PA
10/24                     Boulton Center for the Performing Arts                Bay Shore, NY
10/25                     Tupelo Music Hall                                                           Londonderry, NH
10/26                     Iron Horse Music Hall                                                    Northampton, MA
10/28                     Sellersville Theater 1894                                              Sellersville, PA
10/29                     Blues Alley Jazz                                                                Washington, DC
10/30                     Bridge Street Live                                                            Collinsville, CT
10/31                     Chan’s                                                                                  Woonsocket, RI
11/1                       Wellfleet Preservation Hall                                       Wellfleet, MA
11/4                       The Grey Eagle Tavern                                                  Asheville, NC
11/5                       Smith’s Olde Bar                                                              Atlanta, GA
11/6                       Bradfordville Blues Club                                              Tallahassee, FL
11/7                       Skipper’s Smokehouse                                                 Tampa, FL
11/8                       Funky Biscuit                                                                     Boca Raton, FL
11/14                     Snug Harbor                                                                       New Orleans, LA