CLICK ON TITLE BELOW TO GO TO PURCHASE!!!! CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

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!

Please email me at
Showing posts with label Milwaukee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Milwaukee. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Blind Fiction - Overlook - New release review


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Overlook, from Blind Fiction and it's a cool, blues based rocker. Opening with Better Man, an upbeat, country flavored rocker with a contemporary beat, Tim Wright on lead guitar and vocal, Eric Madunic on bass, keys and backing vocals and Nick Lang on drums set a good pace. Joined by Eric Schoor on sax and Andrew Riehle on trumpet, a solid opener. I really like rocker, Deal With You Later with it's harmonized lead vocals, fanned blues chords and romping bass line. Wright gets loose on this one showing his excellent chops. Mean Old Jack maintains a rock stance but with firm blues footing, and slick slide guitar by Wright. With broad radio styling, Waiting On A Tragedy, utilizes harmony vocals, a strong guitar riff and nice additional keyboard work by Joe Howard, to create the perfect hit combination. Closing the release is You Never Know, with it's basic R&B feel but with a cool hitch rhythm giving it a more contemporary feel. I really like Wright's vocal on this one and his guitar work is understated but very effective. The addition of Schoor's sax solo, Jamie Breiwick's trumpet solo and Tim Preuss on bass gives this track a cool jazz edge. Very nice closer. 

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  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”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 


“Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tweed Tone Records artists: Tweed Funk - Come Together - New release Review

I just received the newest release, Come Together, from Tweed Funk and it's super. I've reviewed a number of Tweed Funk releases and they just keep getting better! Opening with Light Up The Night, a track with a super solid bass line from Eric Madunic giving it's funk feel and the horn work of Andrew Spadafora on sax and Doug Woolverton on trumpet punching up the R&B aspects. Joseph "Smokey" Holman on lead vocals is smooth as silk and David Schoepke is tight on drums. Don't Give Up has that Memphis sound with bountiful horns and a brassy trumpet solo from Woolverton dominate the track with solid vocals from Smokey and cool backing vocals from Crissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen. Muse continues in that soulful vein and Smokey shows some of his best vocals on the release. Sweet Music sets up with an easy guitar rhythm from JD Optekar caressing the soulful vocals of Holman. Always filled with rich horns this release is very consistent. Come Together gets back to a more funky feel with a super bass line from Madunic and alternate horns and backing vocals. Spadafora lays out a real nice sax solo on this track keeping balance with Molman on lead vocal. Embrace digs deep into the soul sound for some of Holman's vocals on the release. Spadafora again blows a rich sax solo in balance with Holman's lead vocals giving the track a certain richness. Instrumental, Who Is This is my favorite track on the release, hands down. With a really funky bass line and punchy horns... how could you not love it! Schoepke really slaps the drums around giving it a hot bottom and Woolverton is on fire with his horn. Sexy sax work from Spadafora is flaming hot and works nicely off of the playful bass lines of Madunic. Excellent! Love Ain't Easy has a fast rolling bass line and cool rhythm guitar work from Optekar. Holman really pushes the vocal line on this track and Spadafora and Wooverton trade hot riffs giving this track a potent ending. Show style soul track, Bullet, has a dramatic feel with deep soul vocals, subdued trumpet work by Wooverton and cool keyboard work from Madunic. Wrapping the release is the hot, Soul Rockin' with it's hot bass line and Optekar flashing his funky rhythm style. This track really kicks it up with Holman's vocals and Woolverton's trumpet harmonies with Spadafora. These two are really hot when they cut loose and they do on this final track, and excellent closer.

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  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”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tweed Funk - First Name Lucky - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (March 31, 2014), First Name Lucky, from Tweed Funk and it's a funky blues party! Opening with Blues In My Soul, a funky blues track that's kind of a mix of Booker T and Albert King. Smokey leads the way on vocals and Jon Lovas on sax and Kevin Klemme keep the horns hot. Time To Burn moves more to a rock/R&B sound and JD Optekar hits some cool guitar riffs on this one. Jon Lovas steps up on sax playing an outstanding solo as well. A song almost thought of synonymously with BB King is up next, Let The Good Times Roll and Tweed Funk keeps a lot of authenticity while having a nice jam at it. Hoodoo Power is a powerful track with Eric Madunic laying down some great bass and Klemme keeping a tight leash on the trumpet. Funky guitar work from Optekar highlights this track. Divided is a very smooth soul ballad with clear guitar accompaniment. Vocals by Smokey are really nicely highlighted on this track and backing by Chrissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen add warmth. Lovas again seps forward with a smooth sax solo as another highlight of this very airworthy track. Sugarfoot is a killer dance traack sounding like it's right off of a James Brown record. Nick Lang on drums and Madunic keep the bottom real and highlights by Klemme on trumpet add to the dynamics. Lovas and Klemme both take cool solos on this track and it's a real mover. Excellent! Deed Is Done has a lot of swing and horn oomph. Smokey steps up the vocals on this track and both horn players are right behind him. This track really moves! Peppermint Harris' I Got Loaded has a New Orleans flair and keeps that authentic street feel. Nice job! Optekar steps up with a nice electric guitar solo but Lang has that rim shot technigue that puts you right back in the street. Sippin Misery has a really laid back blues sound and is likely my favorite track on the release. This is a track that you could feel Billie Holiday singing and Smokey does an excellent job. Horn work on this track from Klemme is excellent. Not a generic trumpet fan but this playing is not (geneic) ... it's hot!! Eddie Floyd's track, Knock On Wood is always a crowd pleaser and a classic R&B track. Madunic steps up on lead vocals on this track and does a real nice job. Horns of course play a large part on this track but it's mostly played straight up. Wrapping the release is Get It On. Brian "Looper" Lucas adds real super harp work on this track but to my ear it's Madunic who leads this track with great bass work. This is the second Tweed Funk release that I have reviewed and this release shows much more maturity and finesse. Looking forward to getting it into my car for a few full listens!

  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 3, 2013

First Madison-Area Show For Altered Five's Since Release Of Band's Critically-Lauded Gotta Earn It"


     (Middleton) - Talented Milwaukee-based blues 'n' soul band Altered Five, riding high on the heels of their critically-lauded new album "Gotta Earn It" (Conclave Records), perform their first Madison-area show since the record's November release at The Hody Bar, 1914 Aurora St., Middleton, Friday, January 11. 9 p.m. Free. Info: (608) 831-1901 or

 Altered Five: Earning Great Reviews For Their New Album "Gotta Earn It:"     

"Original, rib-sticking blues numbers tossed with a little R&B soul...Taylor's voice supplies the sweetness, while guitarist Jeff Schroedl brings the spice."          JOURNAL-SENTINEL

"...A hybrid of stomping blues and pure Memphis soul, driven by the powerfully earthy voice of frontman Jeff Taylor..."                                                        SHEPHERD EXPRESS

"Mix of traditional blues with a healthy dose of R&B..."                     ON MILWAUKEE.COM
"Jaw-dropping, intoxicating cocktail of original blues-rock fusions."            MAXIMUM INK         

  Proclaimed "a staple of the Midwest's band scene" and "a festival favorite" by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Altered Five's delectable brew of blues and soul has a wide audience taking notice. The group's sophomore album, Gotta Earn It, is a ten-song set featuring seven originals. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, front-man Jeff Taylor's voice is"gloriously gritty." The Shepherd Express simply states he sounds like "a voice from Stax/Volt 45s." Altered Five formed in 2002 and quickly gained a reputation for its inventive arrangements and distinctive sound. Isthmus magazine called the band "a rising blues unit" and declared, "The group delivers the element of surprise."
  On the quintet's new release, "JT" Taylor's powerful voice anchors the sound and drives home the message in songs likethe brooding ballad "Three Wishes," the wistful, burning blues of "Older, Wiser, Richer," and the yearning "Mona Lisa." The rhythm section of drummer Scott Schroedl and bassist Mark Solveson grooves hard and enjoys telepathic interaction with keyboardist Ray Tevich and guitarist Jeff Schroedl. Guitar World raves that Schroedl has "hi-tech chops" and contributes "superlative solo work." The group also puts its stamp on three covers: a driving, blues-ified take on the early Marvin Gaye hit "Ain't That Peculiar"; a revved-up reading of Buddy Guy's 1961 Chess recording "Watch Yourself"; and the cool, sassy groove of another Motown original, "You've Got to Earn It."
   It's been said that "the blues is a feeling," so when the Minneapolis Star Tribune states that the band is a "righteous blast," you know they play it right.       

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Conclave Records artist: Altered Five - Gotta Earn It - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Gotta Earn It, from Altered Five. This is one of the more entertaining new recordings that I've heard in the past few months. The opening track, Ain't That Peculiar, a song made popular by Marvin Gaye has a definite R&B feel revved up with Albert King like guitar riffs by Jeff Schroedl. What's not to like! Three Wishes, having more of a soul ballad style really showcases leader Jeff Taylor's vocal abilities and gives Jeff Schroedl a nice opening to again showcase his chops on lead guitar. The title track, You've Got To Earn It, has a definite southern soul sound but holding tight to the blues with blistering guitar riffs from Jeff Schroedl and fine rhythm backing from drummer Scott Schroedl, bassist Mark Solveson and key man Ray Tevich. Keep The Best takes a modern uptempo blues shuffle stance with the ever constant great vocals from JT but unexpected ripping guitar soloing from Jeff Schroedl who not only exhibits great chops but really cool tone when subdued. Older, Wiser, Richer is a driving blues track lead off again with Jeff S. on guitar and he sets a pretty nice table for JT to sing from. Tevich gets a chance to stretch a bit on the 88's and Jeff Schroedl again comes in with beautiful guitar riffs that make you sweat. Mona Lisa is a bit more straightforward R&B ballad with the funky back down low. Jeff Schroedl, a name you'll want to remember plays some neck wrenching riffs on this track as well .... bringing to mind Junior Wells' Snatch It Back (oh baby) And Hold It! Tight Spot is constructed along the lines of a more contemporary blues of Robert Cray but with Albert King influenced screaming riffs by Jeff Schroedl (translation, think SRV arranged by Robert Cray and played by the sons of Albert King and Otis Rush). Dynamite has a much more funky base and it's really cool. The vocal treatment on this track is more Eric Gales but the arrangement and instrumentation sticks to it's truth and the band sounds like Altered Five. Hard to do anything but draw comparisons but the sound is really different and enjoyable. Buddy Guy's Watch Yourself has a really straight up rock attach sounding more like a Little Richard arrangement showing even another dimension of this tight band. Tevich plays a nice long piano stretch and sets JT up to keep the crowd jumping with his crisp vocals. This track has a lot of the energy of an early rock n' roll track hanging onto it's blues roots. Oh yeah...and Jeff Schroedl rips this track a new one with some flashy r n r guitar riffs! Bounce Back, the last track on the release has a laid back feeling and seems like the natural airplay track. JT's vocals are more subdued and the band in general more slick. This is a really strong release from a band that I have not been aware of prior to this listening. Grab a copy. I think you'll really like 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” Sorry that I don't find a current video for the band but better something than nothing.