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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 Mike Eldred Trio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mike Eldred Trio. Show all posts

Friday, May 13, 2016

Great Western Recording Company artist: Mike Eldred Trio - Baptist Town - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Baptist Town, from Mike Eldred Trio and his stuff just keeps getting better. This new release is gritty, bluesy and raw. Opening with rockin' boogie, Hunder Dollar Bill, Eldred is really cranking with excellent harp soloing from John "Big Nick" Samora and backed by John Bazz on bass and Jerry Angel on drums. Excellent! Papa Legba has a really swampy, sweaty sound with excellent backing harmonies from Jarvis Jernigan. Eldred steps up with a really nice stinger of a guitar solo on this track as well. Eldred and Jarvis share lead vocals on the slave blues sounding, Somebody Been Runnin' with terrific backing vocals from the Emmanuel Church Inspirational Choir featuring Vicki Dove and Michael Buccowich. Absolutely excellent! Simple acoustic blues track, Run Devil Run is Eldred and resonator joined by Lauren Brown tap dancing and James Pennebaker on mandolin. Very nice. Ballad, Roadside Shrine, is a quiet break in the center of wild dark creativity. John Mayer adds simple electric guitar and nicely presented lap slide creating a warm ambiance. Bess is an upbeat, Cajun flavored country track. With David Hidalgo on accordion and Jarvis and Tracy on backing vocals, this track has a pure sensitivity. Primitive blues based, Black Annie, starts off very quiet with only vocal and percussion almost like from a transistor radio but burst open full and heavy. Backing vocal by Jervis and spontaneous raw guitar work on this track gives it real life. Excellent! Hoodoo Man has a great rhythm with cool vocals and fat slide guitar work. This track is really hot! Hard driving, Sugar Shake, is a direct rocker with scorching rock guitar riffs, solid guitar rhythm, bass and drums. This track would be the track where everyone gets up and dances so you cant see the band. Very nice! Blues rocker, Kill My Woman, is a blend between Roy Head and Hound Dog Taylor. Raw blues rock, this track has a great feel and snappy guitar riffs. Title track, Baptist Town, has a bluesy Latin rhythm and clean, neck pickup electric lead by Robert Cray. His distinct styling against the light rhythmic backing is magical. Heavy and lumbering, Lennon and McCartney's Can't Buy Me Love gets a raw, bluesy rework. Hard worked lead guitar riffs, heavy guitar and bass runs and killer cymbal work take this track places the Beatles never thought of. Creative and well done, this track will surprise you! Wrapping the release is the gospel fused, You're Always There, featuring Lead vocals by Jarvis Jernigan, Vicki Dove and Michael Buccowich on vocals with Eldred and inspired organ work from Papa John De Francesco. Excellent closer to an excellent release!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Watch the Mike Eldred Trio's New Video for "Somebody Been Runnin" Track Off Their New CD, "Baptist Town," Out May 6

Mike Eldred Trio’s New Video for “Somebody Been Runnin” Track Off Their New CD, Baptist Town,  Out May 6

The Mike Eldred Trio has just released a new video clip for their tracking of the song, “Somebody Been Running’,” at historic Sun Studio in Memphis, a cut off their new CD, Baptist Town, which releases on May 6.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Mike Eldred Trio Visits "Baptist Town" on Delta Blues Sojourn as Told on the Group's New CD, Releasing May 6 & Recorded at Historic Sun Studio in Memphis

The Mike Eldred Trio Visits Baptist Town on Delta Blues Sojourn as Told on the Group’s New CD, Releasing May 6 & Recorded at Historic Sun Studio in Memphis

Band’s 4th Album Includes Special Guest Appearances by Grammy Winners John Mayer, Robert Cray and David Hidalgo

LOS ANGELES, CA – Roots music “super-band” The Mike Eldred Trio announces a May 6 release date for their fourth album, Baptist Town, on the Great Western Recording Company label, distributed worldwide by CEN/RED Distribution, a SONY-owned company. “We’re excited to be working with the Mike Eldred Trio on the release of their new album, Baptist Town; it’s an amazing recording and a welcome addition to the CEN/RED roster,” said Adam Pollack of CEN/RED. The Mike Eldred Trio is offering fans a special pre-order date of April 8th, which includes a bonus instant download of the lead-off track, “Hunder Dollar Bill.”

Recorded at the iconic Sun Studio in Memphis, Baptist Town paints a musical picture steeped in the rich history of the South and the folklore that is so important to American culture. The trio’s members are guitarist/vocalist Mike Eldred, a former member of Stray Cat Lee Rocker’s Big Blue; and the potent rhythm section of bassist John Bazz and drummer Jerry Angel, both from The Blasters. The album was engineered by 2016 Grammy Award-winner Matt Ross-Spang, who recently engineered Jason Isbell’s latest CD, Things That Can’t Be Undone.
Baptist Town is a monumental achievement in roots and blues storytelling, presented as a multi-layered blues journey through Mississippi juke joints, prisons, churches, and Baptist Town, itself. For the recording sessions, the trio invited several friends to lend a hand, and David Hidalgo, Robert Cray, and John Mayer all joined in for the magic. To watch a documentary about the recording session that features Robert Cray, see below:

The catalyst for the album is the small neighborhood outside Greenwood, Mississippi, where legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson was murdered in 1938.  The track “Somebody Been Runnin’” references the final chapter of Johnson’s “deal with the devil” made at the crossroads, and some say fulfilled in the tiny community of Baptist Town the night he died.

Baptist Town also focuses on the poverty and racism of the past, which still exists to some parts in the Deep South today. Baptist Town remains mostly as it did in Johnson's time and is a stark contrast to the surrounding city of Greenwood, Mississippi. The dichotomy between love and hate, rich and poor, sin and salvation, black and white, are apparent throughout the record, and reflect many of society’s struggles that continue to haunt us all.

“This is our fourth album, and even before I wrote the songs for it, I knew I wanted to record it at Sun Studio,” recalls Mike Eldred about the sessions. “I had taken a trip down to Mississippi with my daughter because she wanted to do a road trip with me through the South, and we found Baptist Town while searching for Robert Johnson’s grave. I was immediately struck with the harsh poverty and the contrast between the city of Greenwood, just across the railroad tracks, and the tiny, mostly unchanged community of Baptist Town.

“It hit me hard, and I have been back to Baptist Town at least four times now, getting to know the people, interviewing them, etc. It was that first trip that turned out to be the catalyst, though, to write about my experiences down there.”

All 13 tracks on Baptist Town literally drip with authenticity and soul, like Spanish moss hanging from a Mississippi hardwood tree. It’s all here: lowdown blues, uplifting gospel, field hollers, ghostly chants and flat-out rockers, plus a blistering cover of The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” that is completely turned inside out. “The songs are about traditions, folklore and culture, but also about what we all see in America… poverty, racism, over-indulgence, hate, and love. They poured out. Seeing that part of our heritage changed me forever,” says Eldred about the songwriting process.

“These contrasts are apparent throughout Baptist Town, and the thought came to me to have Robert Cray play the solo on the title cut,” remembers Eldred. “His guitar is so pure, and placed on a very dark canvas like “Baptist Town” really sets the tone of the record.

“I was having dinner with John Mayer the night before I was going to record with Robert, and I told John about the recording, and he says, ‘I want to be on it!’ So, of course we set it up and found a cool track to record with him on lap steel and electric, and me on acoustic (his guitar) and vocal. John graciously offered to have me come to his home in Montana and record it there with Chad Franscoviak engineering that session.

“On ‘Bess,’ we asked David Hidalgo from Los Lobos to come in and play accordion and sing background vocals on it. We brought him into El Rancho Del Soul Studios in Arizona, and filled the room with tequila and Carnitas, making this crazy blues-Tex-Mex-Ranchera tribute to Bessie Smith.”

With a wealth of history and legendary recordings made within its walls, Sun Studio in Memphis seemed like a no-brainer to record the majority of the tracks on Baptist Town.

“The room is overwhelming sometimes, especially when you realize where you are and what you are doing,” offers Eldred. “The last two songs we recorded were acoustic. Very quiet. You could hear the room. It’s ‘The Ghosts of Sun’ as Jerry Angel described it. Beautiful. There was a time during the recording and I was just looking down at the floor, realizing that it’s the original tile floor… and I thought, ‘Man, Howlin’ Wolf stood there…’ Crazy.

“Sun is a magical place, and we were brought into that space by Grammy Award-winning engineer Matt Ross-Spang, who ushered us through an amazing part of our lives. We will never be the same for sure.”

Voted one of the best guitarists in Americana/Roots/Blues music, Mike Eldred formed the trio with John Bazz and Jerry Angel to make the kind of music they always wanted to make. Their first CD (The Mike Eldred Trio) sent shock waves throughout the Americana/roots blues community garnering rave reviews and extensive radio airplay. The band's second CD (61 and 49) was voted one of the Top Ten CD releases of 2011 by The Los Angeles Times. Besides their own headline touring, The Mike Eldred Trio has been opening tours for artists such as Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, Los Lobos and George Thorogood, among others.

The band enlisted several key components to help tell the story of the concept and recording of Baptist Town so that the listener could actually be as close to the process as possible.
       Photo documentation by Associated Press photographer Matt York.
       Video throughout the recording process and historical background shots by Adam Genzink.
       Shooting at Sun Studio and in and around Memphis and Mississippi.
       Film and photos of the community of Baptist Town with interviews.
       15 page blog outlining the concept, writing, preparation, and recording of “Baptist Town” here: Baptist Town Blog

Along with the recordings, The Mike Eldred Trio has been assembling a full-length documentary film to engage the viewer with the creative process, the recording of the album, the history and continuing issues with the South, and to enlist the Secretary Of Interior to recognize the neighborhood of Baptist Town as a National Historic Landmark as the place of death of one of America’s most significant and influential musicians, Robert Johnson. The film will feature interviews by many artists including Billy F. Gibbons, Robert Cray, David Hidalgo and Scotty Moore.
“We envisioned this project and knew it would be interesting to see how it would unfold, but I never realized it would unfold like this,” summarizes Eldred. “We wanted to make a record that reflected the soul of the South, acknowledge the poverty and racism that continues to exist, and celebrate the culture that has helped define American music.”

For more information, visit

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rip Cat records artist: Mike Eldred Trio - Elvis Unleaded - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Elvis Unleaded, from Mike Eldred Trio and it's a real rocker. Eldred (vocal and guitar), John Bazz (Bass) and Jerry Angel (drums)breathe new life into music from my dad's generation. Opening with one of my least favorite Elvis tracks ever, Burning Love, Eldred makes it sound fresh and plays a stirring guitar solo to boot. Up next is I Feel So Bad, which I have always identified with Little Milton and Foghat. I can't hear Elvis in it at all (which is good) and this is a true rocker and a great track. Rip It Up, another track that I identify more with Bill Haley or Little Richard is another great track. Eldred really works the rockabilly riffs on this track and the band is hot and tight. Gene Taylor plays some hot piano riffs on this track as well. Don't, more of a traditional ballad is nicely presented with authentic 50's style vocal backing. Bossa Nova Baby definitely has an Elvis sound.... like Eddie Murphy said, Elvis could sing about anything and make it sound cool. Eldred play it up and even ... back in with Scott Yandell on trumpet. Keeping the authentic era sound these boys rock it. Next up is Little Egypt, a track that I associate with the Coasters and Eldred really does a super number on this lost track. Jerry Donato smokes the sax and the track has all of the campy humor of the original but it's still a great track. On You're So Square, Eldred definitely captures Elvis for sure but not the old ballad Elvis or the young rocker but the movie Elvis. The enthusiasm which is produced by the band carries this track. Love Me, another ballad captures Elvis in his crooner era. You like nostalgia in music...this is it. Lawdy Miss Clawdy is a great old rocker and Eldred and crew find a great swing groove. Eldred adds a nice guitar interlude n this track as well. Treat Me Nice is really trademark Elvis style but Eldred again breaths freshness into the track while keeping much of the realism of the original backing. Girls, Girls, Girls... yeah ...what would Elvis think of next. Eldred keeps the track rockin and it really doesn't sound like a cover as much as a band playing authentic 50's music. Cool era correct guitar riffs help to reinforce the track. Donato puts icing on the cake with hot sax work. Nice job. Jailhouse Rock is an excerpt of Elvis at his best. Hell, even Jeff Beck covered this track. This is a great track and a great cover of a great track. She's Not You, I think is an old Lieber and Stoller track and has a real southern swing country sound to it. Excellent! Blackwell track Long Tall Sally is a great rocker and Eldred is relentless as a rocker. Gene Taylor plays great driving keys on this track and Eldred's vocals are a good as any. Jimmy Reed's Big Boss Man is up next and it actually sounds like Eldred doing Elvis doing Jimmy Reed. Donato does a really nice job on sax on this track and Angel keeps the bottom simple and clean. Fats Domino's One Night of Sin retains a lot of the Bayou but definitely has a dose of Elvis in it. Nice double stop rocking guitar riffs are the tops on this track. Witchcraft has a strong New Orleans sound but with a bit more of a rockin beat. Donato and Eldred both take some of the best of their solos on this track. Ok... Heartbreak Hotel... pretty hard not to sound like Elvis doing this track. Eldred does a nice job of keeping the song straight forward and not overemphasizing Elvis' singing techniques. I think this enhances the song as a whole. Again Taylor on piano does a nice job throughout this track. King Creole is performed with a lot of thought to making the best track and with minor rearrangements I like this much better than the original. Eldred again plays a really cool guitar solo on this track. Wrapping up the release is T-R-O-U-U-B-L-E, a fast rocker and Eldred and the band do a nice job of tying the set together. Never been a big Elvis fan but I did enjoy this quite a bit. If you like pure rock and will too!

  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”


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rip Cat Records artist - Mike Eldred Trio - 61/49

I've been told that 2013 is gonna be a great year. If the quality of music coming across my desk this year is a sign... we're in for a windfall. I am reviewing the just released Mike Eldred Trio release, 61/49 on Rip Cat Records and it's a blast! Opening with Eldred original, Don't Go Down There, an acapella spiritual number this recording is off to a terrific start. Eldred shows that he has the voice to carry off this type of track and is backed by the Emmanuel Church Gospel Choir. This track is authentic, real.... terrific! Every track on this release is an Eldred original and next up is Jake's Boogie. This is a fast paced Texas style guitar boogie (instrumental) and it's a 1st class ripper! Louise has got a bit of lope to it and Eldred belts out this rockabilly flavored blues track and plays smokin' blues riffs along with Kid Ramos keeping the track hot end to end. She's A Rocket takes a real dip into the R&R featuring Ike Turner on piano and keeps you boppin with Jeff Turmes on Bari sax honking out great bottom. This is a trio and Eldred is back on each tune by John Bazz (bass) and Jerry Angel (drums). Ruby's Blues is a soft sultry track giving Eldred a great opportunity to show his slow blues guitar chops and that he does. You like slow blues... you'll love this track. This Old Train is a easy going pop track reminicent of early Ricky nelson accompanied by Cesar Rosas on nylon string acoustic guitar. This is a track destined for airplay. Jimmy, Jimmy is a great rocker with hot piano by Ike Turner pushing the rhythm. Eldred really gets the recording charged with this number and his vocals and guitar work are great! Ms. Gayles Chicken House ... just the name conjures up an image and the instrumental light jazz boogie meets the bill. One of the best tracks on the release, this has a great groove and also features Scotty Moore on second guitar. Don't take my word for it. This is cool. I Ain't Comin' Back has a great bottom and uses construction techniques similar to the early Brit blues players playing real blues in the 60's. Eldred plays really hot riffs on this track and his tone is spot on. Lookie Here is a step right out of the early rock blues transformation and Eldred and the gang have the sound down to precision. Again Eldred's vocals are well placed in the track and his guitar work is straight forward and really clean. Swingin! 61/49 is the last track on the release and done acoustically on a resonator...closing the release as it opened... on a primitive earthy real note. This is a great release and one that is certainly a candidate for Bman's Best of 2013 list.

  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”