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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 Mark Naftalin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mark Naftalin. Show all posts

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cleopatra Records artist: James Montgomery - The James Montgomery Blues Band - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The James Montgomery Blues Band, from James Montgomery and it's a cranking homage to Paul Butterfield. Opening with funky rocker, One More Heartache, Montgomery blows the doors open with his always powerful harp, backed by George McCann on guitar, David Hull on bass and Jeff Thompson on drums and punched up by the Uptown Horns including Crispin Cloe on sax, Larry Etkin on trumpet, Arno Hecht on sax and Bob Funk on trombone. Super opener. Nick Gravenites' Born In Chicago gets a bit more bounce that Nick's original and McCann sports a real nice guitar solo opening the way for Montgomery's harp solo. Very cool. Little Walter's Blues With A Feeling is solid and Montgomery's vocals are raw and gritty. I particularly like the tight guitar work by McCann on this track giving it a casual pace along with stinging riffs. Young Woman's Love just has that snap making it sit solid on your foot. McCann is featured on lead vocal and Montgomery really digs in with fat, well formed harp riffs making this one of my favorites on the release. Sure to be the release favorite, I Got A Mind To Give Up Living, features Jimmy Vivino on lead guitar and he really pours it on. Montgomery's harp work is relentless and his vocals soulful. Excellent! On Elmore James' Shake Your Moneymaker, McCann slips on the slide and the band is loosely tight like Hound Dog Taylor giving this track real life. Good Question is a jazz born R&B track that really sings. Grace Kelly sets up a real nice sax solo and Montgomery rides high on the rhythmic drum work of Thompson and a moving bass line by Hull. McCann cuts loose with a real nice solo of his own and the band circles back for a final refrain. Very cool. With it's walking bass line, One Plus One absolutely struts. Closing the release is Junior Parker's Mystery Train. Cooked in full JL Hooker, boogie style, Montgomery works the band into a real lather for this sensational closer.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Shining Stone Records Signs Guitarist Paul Gabriel & Will Release His Label Debut CD, "What's the Chance," on June 18

Shining Stone Records Signs Guitarist Paul Gabriel and Will Release His Label Debut CD, What’s the Chance, on June 18

Album Produced by Duke Robillard and Also Features Special Guests Mark Naftalin and Roomful of Blues Horns

MIAMI, FL – Shining Stone Records announces the signing of Connecticut-based guitarist Paul Gabriel, and will release his label debut CD, What’s the Chance, on June 18. Produced by Duke Robillard, What’s the Chance features Paul Gabriel backed by a core band of Billy Bileca on bass, Nick Longo on drums and Larry “Buzzy” Fallstrom on keyboards. Special guests on the new album include Duke Robillard on guitars and background vocals; former Butterfield Blues Band alumnus Mark Naftalin on piano; Bruce Bears on keyboards; Steve Pastir on guitar; and the Roomful of Blues Horns consisting of Rich Lataille on alto/tenor sax, Mark Earley on tenor/baritone sax, and Doug Woolverton on trumpet.
For decades, Paul Gabriel has been a regional treasure in New England, and his previous forays into recording have brought him accolades from fans, critics and fellow musicians alike. In a career that spans over 40 years, Gabriel appeared on three albums by legendary singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, played slide guitar on Rory Block’s Grammy-nominated album, Mama’s Blues, toured with Michael Bolton and recorded and toured with his several of his own bands.
Now, with the release of What’s the Chance, Paul Gabriel truly steps into the spotlight on an album of 13 tracks that not only showcases him as a distinctive, bluesy guitarist, but also a talented songwriter and a master of diverse musical styles. Throughout the new disc, he takes the listener on a trip of blues, R&B and even excursions into jazz, as evidenced by the two instrumentals on the CD, “328 Chauncy Street” and “C.M.C.” On the lone cover, Chris Kenner’s “Something You Got,” Gabriel does the Crescent City proud with a lowdown and swingy take on the New Orleans gem.
Gabriel and Robillard have known each other for many years and the two had a great simpatico in the studio, trading guitar solos on several cuts, including the jumpin’ opener, “Old Time Ball,” “Ride, Ride, Ride” and the aforementioned”328 Chauncy Street.” Original Paul Butterfield Blues Band member Mark Naftalin joins in the fun on two tracks, playing piano on “Devil’s Daughter” and the duet spot with Gabriel on “Fine At’tire,” a hipster/rhythm and blues tune that recalls the best of the early ‘50s sound.         
“I first saw Duke Robillard perform around 1968 with a new band called Roomful of Blues.” recalls Gabriel. “Our paths crossed many times over the next few years leading to the eighties, and at some point I realized that I needed to absorb what Duke was doing. Eventually we got together (1983), sat down and just played at Duke's house. He encouraged me about the things I did well and helped me correct the things that I was doing wrong, all the time treating me as a peer and always giving me little clues that would help develop my style further. During the ten years with my band, Blue in the Face (1987-1997), I did numerous shows opening for Duke, continuing to learn from him. In 2011, I did a show with him, playing solo and performing some new songs I had written in anticipation of a new release. One of the songs I played was called 'Roomful of Blues.' Duke asked me if I had recorded that yet, and I said I was saving it for the new release. Later that year, I headed to Rhode Island to start recording the new album with Duke producing. Right from the beginning, the magic was happening. The band, engineer Jack Gauthier and Duke all became one, as the chemistry created something very special, and in my opinion, the best album I have ever done.”
What’s the Chance was recorded and mixed at Lakewest Recording. “Some very special equipment was used during this recording,” said Gabriel about the sessions, “including a Sony 24-channel tape recorder, real tape delays and a lot of really great guitars and amps. I used a 1954 Gibson ES-5, a 1963 Fender Stratocaster, a 1966 Fender Jazzmaster, a 1965 Fender Super Reverb and a 1965 Fender Twin Reverb. Duke played a variety of Fender guitars, Teles and Strats, Epiphone Casino, a Gibson Midtown, and a 1947 Gibson L-7 archtop.  Billy Bileca used a 1966 Fender Precision bass and a 1947 Kay upright bass.  Mark Naftalin played a real piano and Larry Fallstrom a 1961 Hammond B-3 and Leslie tone cabinet. Nick Longo used a lot of old drums and Bruce Bears played a variety of keyboards by Nord. The horn section used a variety of 50s and 60s era instruments that produce a sound that only they can.”

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rock Me Baby - Charlie Musselwhite, Luther Tucker, Bobby Murray

Recorded at the Sleeping Lady Cafe, Fairfax, California, July 6, 1981 Charlie Musselwhite, harmonica & vocals Luther Tucker, guitar Francis Clay, drums Mark Naftalin, piano Bobby Murray, guitar Henry Oden, bass Gary Silva, drums Guitarist Luther Tucker was born on January 20, 1936, in Memphis, Tennessee, but relocated to Chicago's South Side when Tucker was around seven years of age. His father, a carpenter, built Tucker his first guitar, and his mother, who played boogie-woogie piano, introduced him to Big Bill Broonzy around that time. He went on to study guitar with Robert Jr. Lockwood, for whom he had the greatest admiration and respect. Tucker worked with Little Walter Jacobs for seven years and played on many of Walter's classic sides. He also recorded with Otis Rush, Robben Ford, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Jimmy Rogers, Snooky Pryor, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Elvin Bishop, and James Cotton. In the mid-'60s, Tucker was featured in the James Cotton Blues Band and traveled with that band extensively. He relocated to Marin County, California in 1973 and formed the Luther Tucker Band. He played in clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area until his death on June 18, 1993, in Greenbrae, California. Luther Tucker, who was soft-spoken and even shy, was one of a handful of backup artists (the Four Aces/Jukes were others) who helped to create and shape the small-combo sound of Chicago blues. Unfortunately, they seldom get much credit. Yet, as the history of Chicago blues gets written, there will be more and more time to discover the wonderful understated rhythmic guitar mastery of Luther Tucker. 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!