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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 Henderson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mike Henderson. Show all posts

Friday, January 23, 2015

Eller Soul Records artist: Mike Henderson Band - If You Think It's Hot Here... - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, If You Think It's Hot Here..., from The Mike Henderson Band and it's quite good! Opening with I Wanna Know Why, a creeping blues number with some great Fender guitar tones. Michael Rhodes lays down a real serious bass lead and Henderson has a voice that is just right for this type of blues rock music. Kevin McKendree really hammers the piano and Henderson gets down serious with some tasty blues riffs making this a great opener. Send You Back To Georgia is a great rock and roller with a serious rocking beat (Pat O'Connor - drums) and McKendree really takes the opportunity to bring this baby to it's knees. Henderson whips out the slide and rides the lower fretboard with some deep grinding grooves. Excellent! On shuffle track, Houndog Taylor's It's Alright is a great 12 bar number with a serious lope. McKendree takes the first leg and Henderson the second on slide for a super romp in blues land. Title R&B style track, If You Think It's Hot Here, has a taste of Soul Serenade by McKendree on piano with a a nice B3 wrth on gospel. Chris and Morgane Stapleton add the cool vocal backing. Henderson takes a nice slide solo on the track and McKendree reall shines as well. Very nice. One of my picks for this release is Weepin' And Moanin'. With a smooth slower pace and "just right" key accents against Henderson's guitar riffs, this track is hot! Muddy Water's Mean Red Spider gets a funky under beat with a great pace set by O'Connor. Another tasty piano solo by McKendree and well paced phrasing by Henderson both vocally and on guitar makes this track shine. On Robert Johnson's If I Had Possession opens with Henderson on acoustic slide laying down some of the hottest riffs on the release. Slowly building the track gains a New Orleans strut with the aide or McKendree on piano and snappy drumming by O'Connor. Henderson steps back uyp but on electric guitar this time leading the track to a close. Very cool! Sonny Boy Williamson's Unseen Eye has a real nice bass line by Michael Rhodes and Henderson lays out some of the blusiest riffs on the release. I really like this track. The extended guitar work on this track really hits it! Blind Lemon Jefferson's Matchbox gets a Carl Perkins' or Ronnie Hawkins' feel but with Jerry Lee Lewis spin and Chuck Berry guitar riffs. Very cool! Melvin Jackson's Gamblin' Blues has a serious Texas feel. I particularly like Henderson's vocals on this track and O'Connor and Rhodes really drive the bottom. McKendree takes a cool barrelhouse piano solo and Henderson steps up with a fat solo of his own. Hot track! Wrapping the release is Rock House Blues, a slow, harp led blues (Henderson) with McKendree on piano. This is a really nice conclusion to a particularly cool release!

  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”

Here's a taste of Henderson if you don't know his work:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mike Henderson

Mike Henderson was born in Independence, Missouri, just outside Kansas City. He grew up in a household humming with music and he’s grateful to his mother for spinning the records of everyone from bluesman John Lee Hooker to big band leader Tommy Dorsey as she did her housework. Listening to Top 40 radio in the 60’s opened Mike’s ears, too. “That was the old Top 40,” says Mike, “there was Slim Harpo, Ray Price, Ray Charles, and The Beatles and everybody was on one station. That’s what you heard. So, I grew up hearing a really wide variety.” Beginning with the harmonica at the age of five and graduating to guitar at around the age of twelve or thirteen, Henderson dove head first into music. During his years in high school he played rock & roll in garage bands but rock music soon wore thin for the teenage musician and that’s when he discovered country music. Mike put away his electric guitar and got hold of a flat top acoustic while listening more and more to folk and bluegrass. Upon moving to Columbia, Missouri, to attend the University of Missouri, he quickly fell in with the local bluegrass and old-time country music crowd and found himself playing fiddle and mandolin for seven years in a succession of bluegrass bands. He also soaked-up old-time fiddle music wherever he could. “I’d play in fiddle contests,” recalls Mike, “ and back up the old guys, too. I learned a lot from them. After his bluegrass gigs ran their course, for a change of pace, Henderson joined a blues band, the Bel Airs, touring the Midwest for five years. The experience helped him develop his distinctive guitar style he aptly describes as “half Bill Monroe and half Muddy Waters.” Mike’s left hand had become pretty strong after playing mandolin for so many years, he had the string action set quite high because as he says, “You’ve gotta crank the action up on a mandolin to get it to be loud, to sound out.” So, anytime he picked up an ordinary electric guitar Mike found himself pushing the strings right across the fret-board, if they didn’t break first! At the time Mike had an old Silvertone guitar and he began to use very heavy gauge strings and kept the action high, just like on his mandolin. It was this that made Mike’s guitar playing sound different to everyone else. Though the gigs in and around Missouri were good, Mike eventually felt a need to reach a wider audience and take his love of country music to another level. His wife agreed: Nashville was the place. When the Hendersons arrived in Nashville in 1985 they didn’t know anyone. He and his wife drove down one weekend, rented a house, turned around and drove back. The next time they drove into in Nashville Mike was behind the wheel of a U-Haul truck with all their possessions stacked in the back. It took Mike around a year to break in to the local music scene, but when he did he found the right people, joining a band called The Roosters along with Wally Wilson, Kevin Welch, Gary Nicholson, Harry Stinson and bassist Glenn Worf. This was the first time Mike had mixed with writers and from The Roosters, and a spin-off band called The Snakes – still fondly remembered in Nashville for their blistering Monday night roots rock shows at the Bluebird CafĂ© and a 1989 album on Curb Records - Henderson built a solid reputation as a distinctive singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist capable of holding forth on electric guitar, harmonica, National/Dobro, mandolin or fiddle. It wasn’t long before offers came pouring in for studio work. Emmylou Harris called Mike in for her Bluebird album and that was followed by John Hiatt’s Stolen Moments, Joy Lynn White’s Between Midnight and Hindsight, and Kelly Willis’ self-titled album. Mike has also worked with other major artists such as Johnny Lang, Bob Seger, Guy Clark, Mark Knopfler, Hank Williams Jr, Dixie Chicks, Sting, Lucinda Williams, Tracy Nelson, Patty Loveless, Delbert McClinton, Albert King, Travis Tritt and others. Mike’s songs have been recorded by a number of acts including Randy Travis, Trisha Yearwood, Dixie Chicks, Neal McCoy, Highway 101, Johnny Lang, and Patty Loveless. Mike’s Powerful Stuff was covered by the Fabulous Thunderbirds for the 1988 multi-million selling soundtrack of the film Cocktail. With these successes came a deal from RCA which led to the 1994 release of Mike’s Country Music Made Me Do It. Sadly, critical acclaim did not produce the kind of country radio airplay the album deserved leaving Mike and RCA to part. Mike’s first Dead Reckoning effort, Edge of Night, went to number one on the Americana chart. Subsequent blues releases, First Blood and Thicker Than Water earned several Nashville Music Awards, a W. C. Handy nomination and Best Slide Guitarist of 1998. Mike spent 2001 recording and touring with Mark Knopfler, from Mexico City to Moscow, and everywhere in between.  

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!