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

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Stony Plain Records artist: The Duke Robillard Band - They Called It Rhythm & Blues - New Release Review


 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, They Called It Rhythm & Blues, by The Duke Robillard Band,  and it's another stellar performance by the Duke and his crew. Opening with swing blues, Here I'm Is, Chris Cote on lead vocal really does a nice job with excellent fluid guitar lead by Robillard, and solid backing by Bruce Bears on keys, Marty Ballou on bass, Mark Teixeira on drums and Doug James on sax. Fools Are Getting Scarcer, James really does a great job stepping out on bari and tenor sax solos over a hot R&B feel. Excellent! Kim Wilson takes the lead on Tell Me Why with his trademark vocals and solid harmonica work. Robillard's guitar lead is impeccable and the band is solid. John Hammond is up front on Homeless Blues with his delta based vocal and playing style. I really like Hammond and am glad to see him on this release. With distinctive drum work by Teixeira and piano by Bears, this track is one of my favorites. Freddy King's Someday After Awhile, is a real showcase for both Cote and Robillard with exceptional vocal lead and plenty of room for Duke to stretch. Very nice. Kim Wilson does a rework on Guitar Slim's Things I Used To Do, The Things I Forgot To Do,  and Wilson works it nicely. Duke's guitar soloing really captures the styling of Slim and the piano work of Bears is spot on, with reinforcement by James and Mark Earley on sax. Very cool. Wrapping the release is hot instrumental jam, Swingin' For Four Bills, featuring really nice front work by Duke, Sue Foley and Mike Flanigin.  This is a super track and great closer for Robillard on this newest release. 


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Monday, August 30, 2021

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - B's Testimony - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, B's Testimony, from Al Basile and it's a real cool mix of blues and jazz. Opening with Lucky Man, a lightly funky, New Orleans flavored track with loose drum rhythm by Mark Teixeira, Brad Hallen on bass and Bruce Bears on piano. Adding in a bit of rock to the blues on If All It Took Was Wishing, Basile on cornet works with Doug James and Doc Chanonhouse to get just the right sound. Funky blues, I'm Bad That Way features some real tasty guitar work from Kid Andersen under some of Basile's best vocals on the release as well as a real nice laid back cornet solo that flows perfectly. Horn backing by James and Chanonhouse give it just the right amount of soul. Andersen steps up early on Up Close And Personal Best with some real hot riffs and follows with some absolute stinging solo guitar lead and Basile's muted cornet soloing lays in the slot making this one of my favorites on the release. Shuffle, I Oughta Be Your Monkey, is a lot of fun with just Basile front and center on cornet and lead vocal and a cool interface between Andersen's fine guitar work and the horns of James and Chanonhouse. Very nice. Another tight guitar solo by Andersen highlights It's Your Pain. Kid blends chickin pickin styling with bluesy approach, Basile's own laid back cornet solo laid in and the rich organ work of Bears tying it all together.  On Through Thick and Thin Andersen really gets loose on guitar and if you've never heard that, it's an absolute joy. The guy really can play and he's really inventive. He swings from riff to riff with wreckless abandon and blows the top off of this one. Excellent! Built around a similar musical theme as "A Thrill Is Gone" Would I Do That To You?, is a great R&B shaped blues number. Basile leads on vocal with horn response by James and Chanonhouse. This track is a real sweet showcase of his cornet work and again resolves with Andersen just slaying the guitar. His bends, mixed with his (what sounds like) whammy vibrato is off the hook. Soft horn backing by James and Chanonhouse really add warmth for a strong finish. Wrapping the release is He Said, She Said, a low slung blues number with a real nice piano display by Bears and solid vocals by Basile leading to another hot guitar solo by Andersen. Basile closes the show with a poised cornet solo line. Really cool release. 


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Couldn't find a video for the release but here's one anyway with Al and Kid:

 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Stony Plain Records artist: Duke Robillard & Friends - Blues Bash - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blues Bash, by Duke Robillard & Friends and it may be his best recent release. Opening with Do You Mean It, Chris Cote is up front on lead vocal with Robillard on guitar, Bruce Bears on piano and Hammond, Mark Teixeira on drums and Jesse Williams on bass. With it's up tempo shuffle feel and super lead work by Robillard, super opener. Piano boogie, What Can I Do showcases strong piano by Bears and super sax by Greg Piccolo, Rich Lataille and Doug James and again. With Cote on lead vocal again and some really hot guitar riffs by Robillard, this track spins. With it's bluesy lope, Rock Alley is a great track to show Robillard at his best. His guitar phrasing is terrific and his feel is soulful. A bluesy sax solo by Lataille really adds great spice on this track. Very nice. Michelle Willson steps up on lead vocal on swing track, You Played On My Piano giving it a great feel and a rich, fat, sax solo by James really kicks this track up another notch. On I Ain't Gonna Do It, Mark Braun really sets the pace on piano with Marty Richards on drums, Marty Ballou on bass, Al Basile on cornet and Sax Gordon on sax. Hot track. Robillard handles lead guitar and vocal on Give Me All The Love You Got with it's sturdy blues feel and fat sax bottom. Robillard dances stylistically on the fretboard showing that fluid finger work that he's well known for. Very cool. Wrapping the release is Just Chillin', a cool, instrumental blues jam with a relaxed feel. Piccolo lays in a really nice sax solo, followed by nicely phrased guitar soloing by Robillard. A Hammond solo by Bears adds real texture to the track making this a strong closer for a solid release. 

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - B's Hot House - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, B's Hot House, from Al Basile and it's a great mix of blues, R&B and soul. Opening with So Called Story Teller, a lumbering "Thrill Is Gone" like track with Basile on lead vocal and cornet, and featuring Duke Robillard with some mighty tasty guitar riffs. Backed by Mark Teixeira on drums, Brad Hallen on bass, Bruce Bears on keys, Doug James on sax and Doc Cannonhouse, this is a super opener. Shuffle track, Razor Wire has a great stride with Bears' "Booker T like" organ vibe and Robillard's riffs lead nicely into a cool cornet solo by Basile. Very nice. R&B track, Give Me That Look is one of my favorites with it's easy groove and sax/trumpet accent. Basile's vocals on this track are my favorite on the release as well with solid piano work giving it that polish. Another of my favorites on the release is What Dogs Wanna Do, with Robillard dialing his guitar into warm round sound over a Latin rhythm. Horn chorus behind the lead guitar sounds almost vocal like giving the track an almost gospel feel.  Very nice. Wrapping the release is Time Has Made A Fool Of Me, a bass reinforced shuffle with muted horns on the return. Basile's vocals guide the track and a loose, jazz style trumpet gives the track a cool feel. This is a solid release by Basile and another cool release outside of the guitar mainstream.


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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Smoke Ring Records artist: Paul Gabriel - Man of Many Blues - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Man of Many Blues, from Paul Gabriel and it's got style. Opening with Latin flavored, I Feel Good, Paul Gabriel is front and center on lead guitar and vocal with Frank Davis on bass, Lonnie Gasperini on Hammond, Mark Earley on tenor and bari sax, Doug James on bari sax and Mark Teixeira on drums. On shuffle, Maybe We Can Talk A While, Duke Robillard lays in some real nice guitar lead giving the track just a little more smooth polish. Blues For Georgia is a real cool track with a jazzy edge. Gabriel's guitar lead is really nice, paired with Gasperini's Hammond organ work and the mighty Bruce Bears on piano. Very nice. My favorite track on the release is Just A Bitterness with it's soulful structure and slow bluesy pace. Gabriel's vocal strengths and really showcased on this one and addition of Robillard on guitar gives stinging guitar results. With rich sax work by Earley, this track just hits the nail on the head. Very nice.  Wrapping the release is blues rocker, Dear John Letter. With it's blended lead vocal chorus and Christine Ohlman and it's overall radio styling, it makes for a solid closer and the most likely radio track. Cool closer for a cool release. 

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Monday, August 5, 2019

Reali Records artist: J.P. Reali - A Highway Cruise - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, A Highway Cruise, from J. P. Reali and it's cool and laid back. Opening with My Baby Likes To Boogie, a nice paced shuffle, Reali leads the way on vocal and guitar, with cool guitar soloing  by Duke Levine on electric guitar, hot riffs by Kevin Barry on lap steel, and nice piano work by Tom West, with Jim Haggerty on bass, Mark Teixeira on drums and Dennis Brennan on harmonica. On Chuck Berry flavored, The Ballad Of A Burglar, these guys nail the Berry guitar rhythm and Reali's vocal cadence is spot on. Levine's guitar riffs are crisp, Barry,s slide work creamy and Brennan's piano work adds great texture. Blues for Casey has a real nice Grateful Dead or Arlo Guthrie feel with it's acoustic carefree flow. Barry on dobro and Levine on mandolin balance nicely with West on piano and Brennan on Harmonica. My favorite track on the release. Wrapping the release is Whiskey For Blood, a  country blues track with Dave Bromberg style vocals. I really like this track as well with it's pure bluegrass style instrumentation and cool harp work by Brennan. nice closer for a cool release.



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Monday, July 8, 2019

Stony Plain Records artist: Ear Worms - Duke Robillard Band - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Ear Worms, from Duke Robillard Band it's quite good. Opening with rock n' roller, Don't Bother Trying To Steal Her Love, Dave Howard is up front on vocal with Bruce Bears on piano, Mark Teuxeira on drums and Marty Ballou on bass. Robillard shows his stuff with do real nice low octave tones and country twanging riffs. Chris Cote has lead vocal on Living With The Animals, a smooth bluesy ballad with stinging guitar riffs by Robillard. Beautiful phrasing and tone give this track an extra boost. Traditional pop tune, Careless Love gets some spice with an up bound swing beat and done totally instrumental with solid lead by Robillard and cool Hammond work by Bears. Very nice. Klem Kilmen is on lead vocal on Chuck Berry's Dear Dad, a fiery rocker with slick bluesy bends and tight riffs by Robillard and a cool piano solo by Bears. Allen Toussaint's funky, Yes We Can has some real nice edgy telecaster riffs, wah wah, almost sounding like the late great Roy Buchanan. This may be my favorite track on the release with just a low key bottom rumble and Bears on vocal. Very nice. Teixeira leads the way on the Neville Brothers' Yellow Moon. With it's swaying New Orleans sound, reverby guitar tones and boppy organ, this is another top track. Wrapping the release is classic R&B hit, You Belong To Me with nicely stylized, clean, round lead on guitar rather than vocal. Resting nicely in the warmth of Bears' organ work, and with a rich solo of his own, this is a solid closer for a real nice release.
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Monday, June 24, 2019

Peter Poirier - Empty Arms - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Empty Arms, from Peter Poirier, and it's a solid does of R&B/blues. Opening with BB King's cool shuffle, Bad Luck, vocalist/lead guitar player takes the lead backed by a strong troupe of players including Brad Hallen (bass), Mark Teixeira (drums), Matt McCabe (piano) and Mark Earley (saxes). Sleepy John Estes' Someday Baby maintains much of it's original character  with maybe a little Muddy influence. Playing it fairly straight, Poirier's vocals are clean and his guitar lead tight. BB King's, I Wonder Why, is one of my favorite tracks on the release with a great swing. Earley lays in a real nice sax solo and Poirier's vocals and guitar work are really solid. With a Latin beat, BB Kings' And Like That is compact like BB wrote it with tight, essential guitar soloing and nice sax by Earley. Willie Dixon's I Cry For You has a super Chicago strut and Poirier's vocals are terrific. On Freddie King's,You Know That You Love Me, Poirier's guitar riffs are fluid and the piano work of McCabe's piano work is excellent. Wrapping the release is Freddie King's Heads Up with it's surf beat. Poirier works it hard against the tom tom work of Teixeira for a cool closing instrumental. 

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - Quiet Money - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Quiet Money, from Al Basile and it has great body!  Basile, hot cornet player and legendary first trumpet with Roomful of Blues is back with Duke Robillard on guitar, Mark Teixeira on drums, Brad Hallen on bass, Bruce Bears on piano, Doc Chanonhouse on trumpet, Rich Lataille on tenor sax and Doug James on tenor and bari saxes. Opening with Blues Got Blues, Basile and Robillard lead the way with balanced lead lines making for a solid opener. On Simple Ain't Easy, Robillard lays out some really tasty lead work under Basile's vocals giving it great feel. Basile steps up with muted cornet and plays off the tempo for super accent. On title track, Quiet Money, James has the bari out and the heft really sets the track. With an easy swing, Basile's vocals ride the groove on this laid back number. Put Some Salt On It, a prime 12 bar number, Basile lays in a real nice cornet lead, complimenting his vocals and Robillard's guitar work is stinging. Jump track, The Time Is Now, has a snappy pace and loose, flamboyant guitar riffs by Robiolard, and well punctuated cornet lead by Basile.  Swing track, I Woulda Been Wrong is one of my favorites on the release with signature guitar riffs by Robillard and some of Basile's best vocals on the release. Robillard really digs deep and lays out some of the most expressive riffs on Not Today.  James really steps up with a fat sax solo on True To Form paired nicely with solos by Robillard and Basile. Wrapping the release is ballad, Who's Gonna Close My Eyes? Featuring the vocals of Basile deep bari work by James, Bears piano finesse and a melodic solo by Basile, this is a solid closer to a solid release.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - Mid-Century Modern - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Mid-Century Modern, from Al Basile and he's spot on. Sporting a who's who of musicians, Basile mixes blues, funk, rock and jazz for a real Mid-Century experience. Opening with Keep Your Love, Where's My Money, a slick new Orleans style track with a cool back beat, Basile and his crew, Rich Lataille, Duke Robillard, Bruce Bears, Doug James, Monster Mike Welch, Mark Teixeira and Brad Hallen set the club scene nicely. Basile sets a real nice table on cornet, complimenting his vocals and super stylized piano by Bears makes this track sing. Funky, Like You or Despise You, has a cool trumpet vamp by Jeff "Doc" Channonhouse and over a nice bass line by Hallen, Basile lays out a really cool cornet riff and Monster Mike's guitar work is slick. On Midnight Blue Persuasion, a straight R&B groove, Basile presents some of the top vocals on the release. This track has a real nice feel, like R&B from the 60's with his own cornet work on showcase. Tickle My Mule is a clever track with innuendo and I really like Monster Mike's guitar work on this track. Excellent! Really getting into the Louis Jordan swing thing , I've Gotta Have Meat, is  great track and the band is really cooking. Rich Lataille and Doug James really shine on this track with hot sax work. Funky, Like A Woman, , Like A Man features Duke Robillard screaming hot on guitar with Albert King like riffs. I love King and this track is hot! Blank Dog has a really nice groove with saxes a blazing and snappy drum work by Mark Teixeira. Nice trumpet work by Doc and excellent guitar riffs compliment Basile's soulful cornet work making this another super track. Shuffle track, Carry These Blues has great warmth and sports great vocals and cornet work by Basile, nice trumpet work by Doc, essential piano backing and some real nice guitar riffs by Welch. Swampy, No Truth To The Rumor, rides heavy on the back of Hallen, with Bears laying in some terrific piano lines and Basile's cornet hot spots. On light shuffle, Listen To The Elders,  Basile goes down more of a big band path with trumpet and sax work taking a stronger spot. James' work on bari sax is really hot and I always love Bruce Bears work on everything he does. Basile has a real nice hand with his cornet laying in just the right amount of seasoning. Soul track, Night Crossing, has strong radio bones with a funky bottom compliments of Hallen. Big Trees Falling is really nice and funky and Hallen is setting the pace. With Doc hitting the trumpet on rhythm, Basile steps up on cornet taking lead. Welch rips some really fat riffs over Bears clever piano riffs giving the track some really traction. Wrapping the release is Lie Under The House with Me, a quiet jazz track with an almost Miles feel. Basile takes some of his best horn rides on this track and Robillard sets up for a slam of his own on this one with nicely articulated guitar work. Calm and soulful, a nice closer for a different taste of blues.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

JP Cadillac Records artists: The Knickerbocker All-Stars - Go Back Home To The Blues - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Go Back Home To The Blues, from The Knickerbocker All-Stars and it swings! After reviewing thier previous release, Open Mic At The Nick I was excited to hear this new release and I'm not disappointed. Opening with with the ear catching, 36-22-36, Sugar Ray Norcia leads the way on vocals with really nice piano accompaniment by Al Copley. Powerful horn work from Doug James (sax), Sax Gordon Beadle (sax), Rich Lataille (sax), Doc Chanonhouse (trumpet) and Carl Querfurth (trombone) and Brad Hallen on bass and Mark Teixeira on drums this band is loaded! Willie J Laws takes the mic on You Know That You Love Me and Monster Mike Welch is super laying down terrific blues riff. Excellent! Brian Templeton takes the mic on Cadillac Baby for a real swinger. James plays a really sweet sax solo on this one and the horn section hold up the back. Very cool. Sugar Ray is back on lead vocal on Brand New Fool, with full strut. Copley's piano rhythm and strong horn backing balance the vocal nicely and a screaming sax solo as well as an extended piano solo cap the track. Willie J Laws has the lead vocal on Guitar Slim's Something To Remember You By and Monster Mike digs on Slim's riffs. This is one of my favorite tracks on the release with Mike really doing a nice job. Norcia really swings it on Take It Like A Man and another hot sax solo by James cooks it. Instrumental, Hokin', has a real nice feel with well blended horns and piano. If you like sax, this track is your ticket with warm sax runs end to end. Very nice! Al Basile takes the lead on Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Being Right, a jump track with punchy horn work. A cool cornet solo from Basile traded with a swinging sax solo, and tight drumming makes this another stand out track. Laws gets down in serious blues territory with He Was A Friend of Mine. Morganfield like delivery and solid horns fill the track but for me it's the strong guitar work from Welsh that makes this track tick. His phrasing is always heartfelt and clean. Solid sax soloing and piano riffs from Copley are also nicely executed. Excellent! Templeton does super lead vocals on title track, Go Back Home To The Blues. I really like Copley's piano work on this track and Welch adds some swingin riffs of his own punched up by the horn section making this one not to miss. Blockbuster Boogie is a great name for the next track with all horns coming out blazing. Trumpets take the high road and saxes and piano the middle really rocking this track. Excellent! Annie Get Your Thing On has a Latin flair and nice, excellent Albert King like guitar work from Welch. The track breaks into full "swing" and sexy sax work takes over. Breaking back to Latin rhythm, this track has great contrast. Wrapping the release is I Tried, with an Elmore James like opening and Laws on lead vocals. This track is an excellent closer with solid drive, clean horn and guitar riffs and pedal to the metal.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - B's Expression - New release review

I just received the newest release, B's Expression, from Al Basile and it has a nice groove. Opening with Whole Lot of Good Good Lovin', a smooth blues with a laid back cornet and vocal lead from Basile and Duke Robillard setting on a real nice guitar lead. Mark Teixeira on drums, Bruce bears on keys and Brad Hallen on bass hold down the bottom. On swinging, It Wasn't That Good, Bears on keys, Doug James on sax and Carl Querfurth form a warm bed for Basile's vocals. Bears takes a melodic key solo and Robillard lays down a sporty jazz/rock solo of his own. R&B based, Not Like I Do, has a cool bass line from Hallen. With a bit of a funky hitch, Basile steps up with a really nice cornet solo. Very cool. Hi steppin, Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Being Right really rides on the solid trombone work of Querfurth. Soulful vocals from Basile are tops and Bears lays out a nice piano solo. Basile sets in a short cornet solo of his own but this track is really about the vocals. Funky, I'm Runnin' Late, has a great bass line from Hallen and James and Querfurth pump up the middle. I really like Basile's cornet attack/soloing on this track. Very nice! Have I Given My Best has an earth spiritual feel (Will The Circle Be Unbroken) with a soulful twist. Some of Basile's nicest vocals on the release, this track is an easy airplay. Another hi stepper, Never Good Enough, has a distinct Al Green feel. Querfurth and James really do a nice job of punctuating this track throughout and Robillard adds some cleverly placed blues riffs of his own. I particularly like his guitar solo on this track nicely blending the funky R&B feel with definite blues riffs. Excellent! Somethin's Missing has an easy funky jazz feel again nicely punctuated by the horn section. Setting itself up nicely for Basile on cornet, he takes front and center laying down a nicely articulated solo. An easy sway led by Querfurth and James opens Answer Me, with it's Fagen like vocals. Robillard again nicely fuses hot blues riffs into this fusion track and Basile has great tone delivering solo lines of his own. Very nice! Funky, I Didn't Come Here To Lie, has a hot bass line by Hallen and solid horn lines keeping the track grounded. Basile's cornet work is so casual and sweet it fits perfectly. Ballad, Even Jesus Fell, has a soulful feel with a swing. Based mostly on horn base and nicely executed key work from Bears, it's a nice showcase for Basile on vocal and nice melodic guitar soloing by Robillard. Super R&B track, That Ain't Bad, has a nice weave of funky bass, horns and stinging guitar. Basile knows how deliver the goods vocally on this best of show and his cornet work is tight. Sweet! Wrapping the release is You Know - You Don't Know is opened by jazzy riffs by Hallen on upright bass. A quiet soothing track with carefully dabbed brushstrokes of cornet, piano, trombone, sax and guitar make this a masterful conclusion.


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Friday, December 19, 2014

Robin Banks - Modern Classic - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Modern Classic, from Robin Banks and it has an appeal all it's own. I've listened to this a number of times now and it has a clearness and clarity that is rarely heard in today's music. Opening with A Man Is Just A Man, Banks demonstrates the clarity of her voice and also her intentions of making a album of music that came out of a '57 Chevy. It has that kind of simple human quality. Superhero is a easy bop with really nice guitar work from Duke Robillard. Again the sound is early sixties pop. I Really Dig You goes back even a bit further to possibly Dinah Washington and that early pop jazz sound. Bruce Bears on keys and Robillard spice up the track with clarity and swing and Mark Early lays out a real nice sax solo as well. Crazy has some really cool guitar effects and Doug James really lays in some nice Bari sax. Mark Teixeira keeps the rhythm tight giving it a nice sparkle and again Early steps up and kicks it! My Baby Loves Me has a real nice easy swing and Doug Woolverton hits the muted trumpet. The bluesiest track on the release is also my favorite and possibly the best demonstration of Banks vocal style. Robillard lays down some really nicely articulated guitar solos and Doug James bottom supplied sax is tops. A Little Bit Of Heaven has a Latin feel with Teixeira coaxing pure rhythm out of the track. Bruce Bears riffs sound like they were born in Cuba and Banks is spot on vocally. Robillard lays in a light fingered Latin guitar solo and Brad Hallen takes on the lead instrumentally with Bears as the track steps up to full swing. I'll Meet You There has an Al Green R&B feel but with more southern soul vocals. Early again steps up with a hot sax solo and Banks vocal duet and Woolverton on trumpet gives it that Memphis sound. Bears opens Tonight with spy piano riffs and Banks gets into that pop jazz swing. Bears and Robillard trade instrumental lead on this track and even Hallen and Teixeira get into the action. Cool! Bite Your Tongue has that good southern funky soul with horn punctuation. Bears takes a hot organ solo and Robillard throws down as well. A sassier vocal style on this track really lends itself nicely to the styling. On boogie track, You Boogie Too Fast For Me, Bears and Hallen give the boogie a ride. A slick piano interlude by Bears adds significantly to the overall feel. Ballad, A Place In The City, finds Bears delivering a gospel or Robbins if you will, piano style giving the track a country sound. Robillard lays down some double stop guitar work that even more enforces the overall country sound. Wrapping the release is Some Day Soon, another pop jazz track with Banks swinging out. Bears is light and bright on the keys and Teixeira on brushes allows the warmth of Hallen to come through having the feel of a true jazz trio (quartet with vocal). This is a different kind oof blues for a lighter listen but I believe that there is a strong audience out there for exactly this.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Stony Plain Records artist: Billy Boy Arnold - The Blues Soul Of Billy Boy Arnold - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (October 21, 2014), The Blues Soul of Billy Boy Arnold, from Billy Boy Arnold and it's solid. Opening with R&B track Coal Man, Arnold leads the way on vocal with heavy support from Rich Lataille on sax, Mark Earley on sax and Doug Woolverton on trumpet. Hopping right on the harp on the intro of the classic I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water, Arnold plays this boogie out with slick guitar work from Duke Robillard and Bruce Bears who always shines on piano. Taking the last solo spot on the track Arnold rips out a nice one chased by Mark Teixeira on drums. You Give Me Nothing To Go On has a solid R&B feel with Robillard stepping up with a nice solo. Arnold hops on a cool solo of his own and Bears rolls high under the melody. 99 lbs., another R&B laden track is straight up rolling straight to the radio with it's hook. Joe Tex's A Mother's Prayer is a high stepper with warm backing vocals from Anita Suhanin and Jack Gauthier. On classic St. James Infirmary Arnold opens with a solitude harp solo, breaking into a smooth swing number. Arnold really has a relaxed vocal style on this track, complimented as Bears plays a really nice piano solo and Robillard some tight guitar riffs. Don't Set Me Free has a Latin rhythm and a tight fast paced night club sound with round backing vocals and full horn backing. Lataille lays down a really nice sax solo and the deep bottom is nicely complimented by Earley as Woolverton wraps the track with a hot trumpet riff. 12 bar blues number, What's On The Menu Mama, has a great blues feel and Arnold gets a nice groove going. Bears adds substantially throughout the track with great piano riffs and Robillard lays in a real nice guitar solo as well. My favorite track on the release, BB King's Worried Dream, is a perfect blend of Arnold on vocal and Robillard's guitar. Brad Hallen lays down just enough bass to cook this track and Robillard really digs deep creating that eye closing moment when you just sit back and groove. Very nice! Next up is Chuck Berry's Nadine. Holding much of Berry's original feel but with just a little bit more boogie, this is a cool track. Robillard also lays in a stylized Berry like riff closing the track. The classic, Work Song, seems a natural for this band with it's lineup. Arnold sings somewhat "naked" for a bit of the track but building backing as the track rolls. Bears takes a really nice jazzy solo first and as always his style is stellar. Robillard is up next and there's no questioning his unmistakable talent and taste. Very nice! Dance For Me has a basic Hooker form at it's core with raw vocals, uneven timing, stripped down harp and guitar. Very nice! Boogie track Ain't That Just Like A Woman really is the best track to feature bears on piano and he doesn't miss a second. Arnold does a real nice job on vocals and plays a loose harp solo on this track. Robillard spins a hot solo of his own bringing Arnold back to wrap it up on harp. Closing the release is well known, Keep On Rubbing, and Arnold delivers his vocals in a sly style with Robillard adding just the perfect riff to polish up the track. “Like” Bman’s Facebook page. I use Facebook to spread the word about my blog (Now with translation in over 50 languages). I will not hit you with 50 posts a day. I will not relay senseless nonsense. I use it only to draw attention to some of the key posts on my blog each day. In this way I can get out the word on new talent, venues and blues happenings! - click Here

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - Woke Up In Memphis - New Release review

I just received the newest release (May 20, 2014), Woke Up In Memphis, from Al Basile and it's a giant bowl of R&B and soul. Opening with Yesterday You Left, a poppy R&B track with solid sax contributions from Rich Lataille and Doug James and cornet and vocals from Basile. Duke Robillard plays a plucky solo on this track supported by Bruce Bears on organ, Mark Teixeira on drums and Brad Hallen on bass. Don't Make Me Beg has a super feel with Basile really getting in the groove vocally. A loose and airy cornet solo followed by a tight guitar riff from Robilard tops this track. When Things Get Tough is a straight up R&B pop track. One More Stone In The Pitcher has a really nice feel along the lines of Al Green with warm vocals and well balanced horns and keys. Bears takes a real nice organ solo on this track also letting the door open for Basile to follow with a really melodic solo of his own on cornet. Title track, I Woke Up In Memphis, is a quick paced almost spiritual track also featuring Robillard playing some finger picked guitar and punctuation from Basile on cornet. Jimmy & Johnny has a traditional Memphis ballad sound and a catchy melody. I particularly like the rich guitar work of Robillard on this track. Saved By The Blues has a great strut with horns pushing the way. Basile's vocals are well integrated and soulful. Both Robillard and Basile lay down some nice solos on this track. Nibblin' Through The Fence is a nice easy ballad with tasty little riffs by each player. Make A Little Heaven features Sista Monica Parker on vocals and classic Memphis horn work making this a nice pop R&B track. Too Tough has a really distinctive swing and Basile really capitalizes on it both vocally and instrumentally. Possibly my favorite track on the release, Robillard really steps it up with a great bluesy guitar solo over bears on organ and Basile also does some of his strongest cornet work on this track as well. Nicely done. You Choose Me is another stand out track with a strong strut. Basile's vocal strength is supported by solid horn work by his own cornet work and of course the work of James and Lataille. Drummers never get the pats they deserve but Teixeira really keeps a tight ship on this release. The release is wrapped by Masked Man, a funky R&B track allowing some of the most effective soloing by Basile on the release. Robillard also hits a nice groove on this track of course supported by Bears, Teixeira, Hallen, James and Lataille. This is a cool release capitalizing on the R&B styling from Memphis and I think that he does a nice job of pulling in cool blues, jazz and rock influences for a unique package.  

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”

  This video is not from the current release but representative of Basile's work.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Eller Soul Records artist: Andy Poxon - Tomorrow - New Release Review

I just received a copy of Tomorrow, the newest release by Andy Poxon. This is a much more mature release than his earlier release, Red Roots, which came out on Eller Soul records last year. This release, produced by Duke Robillard, opens with Too Bad, a R&B style blues track blending really nice vocal harmonies, horns and flashy Texas style blues riffs. You Lied has a strong melody line and with the Rich Lataille and Mark Earley on sax backing, Poxon is really starting to sound like a young Jimmy Hall in musical style. A tasty guitar player he takes a short guitar break but sticks to the business of what is basically a strong radio track. College Boy brings a rock n roll piano boogie lead by the great Bruce Bear and bringing all of the spirit of JL Lewis. Don't Come Home really starts to solidify Poxon as a vocalist with experience, the great sax arrangement behind the track really warming up the bottom and with an beautifully tasty guitar solo in the middle makes this a choice for crowd pleasers. The title track, Tomorrow, is a bluesy ballad, is a really strong track and Doug Woolverton plays some really crisp trumpet riffs over the melody. This band is killer and it's not surprising that Mark Teixeira, Lataille, Earley and Woolverton show up on a lot of recordings. There is a really strong jazz guitar instrumental in the center of this track that is just right. Duke Robillard and Poxon share the guitar chair and they make a great team. The arrangement on this track is perfect. Just beautiful. Latille takes a great sax solo on All By Myself complimented by some great Nashville picking by Poxon. There are little things about this recording that really make it special like the dixieland horn treatment in one area of this track really set it off. On You Don't Love Me, a basic Latin style blues track, the bluesy breaks are really productive with smokin guitar riffs and using Poxon's voice as an instrument to push the track. Really nice. Please Come Home has a more traditional R&B styling with a real familiar feel. Opening with Bear and his clean piano work, Poxon takes another opportunity to stand up front and sing, with the sax men carrying the bottom. There is a guitar break and extremely melodic guitar riffs. I don't know how much influence Robillard had on Poxon in this recording but the guitar work on his most recent recording, his strongest in years, seems to be carried forward here. On One More Time, Poxon shows his vocal youth but also his willingness to explore other music. This track one of the 13 written by Poxon on this 14 track endeavor, sounds like it could be right out of the Porter Wagoner songbook. Quite a switch from the polished jazz and blues tracks throughout the release but nicely done. Frankie Blandino add some nice steel work to this track giving it some real C&W flavor and I really like the honesty of the track. Last up is Jammin' At Lakewest, the only Robillard composed track on the release. This is a really slick guitar bop jazz jam. Extremely tasty and strong. Robillard has brought a whole new world to Poxon's feet and he has made good use of it. Now we have to wait and see what he does next. I'll be looking forward to it!

  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”