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 Minnesota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minnesota. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Joyann Parker - Out of the Dark - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Out of the Dark, from Joyann Parker and it's a solid set of radio directed tracks with plenty of beef. Opening with Gone So Long, a country rock flavored track featuring Mark Lamoine on guitar and slide, Bill Golden on drums and Brad Schaefer on bass. With a lightly funky beat by Golden and Schaefer and the addition of Laycey Dreamz and Patricia Lacy on backing vocals, nested nicely on the warm key strokes  of Tim Wick on organ, Carry On is a solid country rocker with strong vocal lead by Parker. Either Way is a really nice ballad and a strong showcase for Parker's voice with only acoustic guitar and slide supporting her vocals. Very nice. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Predator with it's Latin rhythm and seductive vocal styling by Parker, tasty guitar work by Lamoine and the addition of Dave Foley on trumpet. Come On Baby (Take Me Dancing) is an ideal radio track with a catchy melody and upbeat memorable feel. Rocker, Fool For You, is a hard driver with rolling drums, hammering piano and strong slide work by Lamoine under the powerful vocals of Parker. Wrapping the release is soulful title track, Out of the Dark, with the addition of strings by Greg Byers, keys by Parker, backing vocals by Bill Golden, Dreamz, Lacy and strong lead vocal by Parker. 

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 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Tony & Joe - Tin Can Tunes - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Tin Can Tunes, from Tony & Joe (Tony Cuchetti and Joe Flip) and it's a cool retro blues rocker. Opening with stripped down, Mess Around, Tony has the lead vocal, acoustic guitar, and percussion and Joe holds tight on his famous Hayburner oil can guitar. Good opener. With a laid back tempo somewhat like JJ Cale, IJ has a cool melody and super underlying guitar lead. Six Feet Underground has a cool jazzy rhythm and is a nice showcase for Tony's pop vocals. Down Home Girl is a sultry ballad with warm vocals and bluesy electric guitar lead. Wrapping the release is real nice Hayburner guitar/harmonica (guest harmonica Indiana Sfair) cover of Amazing Grace. This is a very nice closer for a cool release.

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


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cop Records artist: Mark Cameron Band - Live at Blues On The Chippewa - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Live at Blues On The Chippewa, by the Mark Cameron Band and it's rough and tumble. Opening with boogie track, Doctor In The House, Mark Cameron has the lead on vocal and guitar with Bill Keyes on harp, Scott Lundberg on bass, Dan Schroeder on drums and Sheri Cameron on flute and percussion. Willie Mabon styling on Dicey makes it a really cool track with mostly spoken lyrics and double stopped guitar and harp work. Borrowed Time is a slower ballad with nice blues bones. Nicely highlighting Mark's vocals and with nice flute work by Sheri, the solemn guitar soloing by Mark is particularly cool... like James Gurley on Summertime. With a slice of two step, Mojo Shuffle cruises nicely with it's tight bass line and harp riff. Willie Dixon's Killin' Floor is up next in the slot between the original and Led Zep's take. With raw vocals and a rock beat, Keyes lays on the harp giving the track a cool blues edge. Rusty Old Model T has a super boogie beat driven by Cameron's slide guitar. Filling out into a country flavored shuffle this track is cool. Wrapping the release is Back Seat Boogie, my favorite track on the release. With clever lyrics and just the right amount of tremelo on his strat, Cameron closes with style.

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" 

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pop star Prince has passed. My prayers are with his family

Pop superstar Prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive and influential musicians of his era with hits including "Little Red Corvette," ''Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry," was found dead at his home on Thursday in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist. He was 57.
His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, told The Associated Press that the music icon died at his home in Chanhassen. No details were immediately released.
The singer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist broke through in the late 1970s with the hits "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover," and soared over the following decade with such albums as "1999" and "Purple Rain." The title song from "1999" includes one of the most widely quoted refrains of popular culture: "Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999."

 The Minneapolis native, born Prince Rogers Nelson, stood just 5 feet, 2 inches tall, and seemed to summon the most original and compelling sounds at will, whether playing guitar in a flamboyant style that openly drew upon Jimi Hendrix, switching his vocals from a nasally scream to an erotic falsetto or turning out album after album of stunningly original material. Among his other notable releases: "Sign O' the Times," ''Graffiti Bridge" and "The Black Album."

 He was also fiercely protective of his independence, battling his record company over control of his material and even his name. Prince once wrote "slave" on his face in protest of not owning his work and famously battled and then departed his label, Warner Bros., before returning a few years ago.
"What's happening now is the position that I've always wanted to be in," Prince told the AP in 2014. "I was just trying to get here."
In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which hailed him as a musical and social trailblazer.
"He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties," reads the Hall's dedication. "Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative."
Rarely lacking in confidence, Price effortlessly absorbed the music of others and made it sound like Prince, whether the James Brown guitar riff on "Kiss" or the Beatle-esque, psychedelic pop of "Raspberry Beret."
He also proved a source of hits for others, from Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" to Cyndi Lauper's "When You Were Mine." He also wrote "Manic Monday" for the Bangles
Prince had been touring and recording right up until his death, releasing four albums in the last 18 months, including two on the Tidal streaming service last year. He performed in Atlanta last week as part of his "Piano and a Microphone" tour, a stripped down show that has featured a mix of his hits like "Purple Rain" or "Little Red Corvette" and some B-sides from his extensive library.
Prince debuted the intimate format at his Paisley Park studios in January, treating fans to a performance that was personal and was both playful and emotional at times.
The musician had seemed to be shedding his reclusive reputation. He hosted several late-night jam sessions where he serenaded Madonna, celebrated the Minnesota Lynx's WNBA championship and showcased his latest protege, singer Judith Hill.
Ever surprising, he announced on stage in New York City last month that he was writing his memoir. "The Beautiful Ones" was expected to be released in the fall of 2017 by publishing house Spiegel & Grau. The publishing house has not yet commented on status of book, but a press release about the memoir says: "Prince will take readers on an unconventional and poetic journey through his life and creative work." It says the book will include stories about Prince's music and "the family that shaped him and the people, places, and ideas that fired his creative imagination."
A small group of fans quickly gathered in the rain Thursday outside his music studio, Paisley Park, where Prince's gold records are on the walls and the purple motorcycle he rode in his 1984 breakout movie, "Purple Rain," is on display. The white building surrounded by a fence is about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis.
Steven Scott, 32, of Eden Prairie, said he was at Paisley Park last Saturday for Prince's dance party. He called Prince "a beautiful person" whose message was that people should love one another.
"He brought people together for the right reasons," Scott said.
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" 


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Joyann Parker & Sweet Tea - On The Rocks - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, On The Rocks, from Joyann Parker & Sweet Tea and it's a strong airplay set. Opening with You, Joyann Parker shows a particularly soulful voice. Backed by Mark Lamoine on guitar, Mick Zampogna on keys, Michael Cavale on bass and Nick Zwack on drums, this is a tight unit. What's Good For You has a firm anthem feel with Zampogna and Lamoine creating a nice blend of instrumentation. Ain't Got Time To Cry is a cool rhythmic track with surprisingly cool accordion work by Zampogna creating an almost cafe atmosphere. What Happened To Me is a straight rocker with a super bass line from Carvale and tight rock n roll guitar riffs from Lamoine. An extended piano solo from Zampogna and a bit more rockin guitar from Lamoine gives this track a good swing. Serious ballad, Jigsaw Heart, is the strongest radio track on the release with a sweet melody and subtle guitar lines under the track. Very nice! Hit Me Like A Train has a R&B feel and you almost expect Tina to burst onto the stage and kick up her legs. Slide work from Lamione and snare work from Zwack gives the track a distinct country twist. Fool For You is a slinky boogie track with a sassy style. Carvale and Zwack set a meaty rhythm and Lamoine takes a slick guitar ride nicely complimenting Parker's strong vocals. Evil Hearted is a cool bluesy track with a cool bass riff and spirited guitar solo, surrounding warm lead vocals by Parker. Another of my favorites on the release. Bringing on the funk, Closing Someone Else's Blinds has a real nice bass line and a cool compliment on keys (think Breaking Up Somebody's Home). Parker's vocals on this track are particularly clear and the track really hits a nice groove! Lamoine brings the pot to a boil with a hot guitar riff just before the conclusion. Go For The Money is a rocker with scorching guitar riffs and a driving beat. Wrapping the release is quiet ballad, Either Way. This is a very simple and nicely written track showing the absolute clarity of Parker's voice and a a cool final track.

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, January 6, 2016

Davina and The Vagabonds To Release Nicollet And Tenth On March 25th....


Minneapolis, MN – Over the past several years, Davina And The Vagabonds, have been building an audience around the globe.  Their shows are filled with New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, dark theatrical moments that evoke Kurt Weill, and tender gospel passages. Singer/pianist Davina Sowers' presence is indelible, while her voice defies simple categorization. Evoking comparisons as diverse as Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday and Betty Boop, she is simply a true original, presenting a personal vision that celebrates a century of American music.

With a full tour schedule already in place for the top of the new year, Davina And The Vagabonds will release a brand new live album: Nicollet And Tenth on March 25th.

Normally when an artist announces they are releasing a ‘live album’ it’s considered a stopgap or throwaway release, not vital to the artist’s collection.  In the case of Nicollet And Tenth, it couldn’t be any farther from the truth.  Davina And The Vagabonds have built their success on the road, and the two studio albums released by the group so far have tried to be a reflection of their rollicking focused performances, clean sound and raging fun. 

With the release of Nicollet And Tenth, the band is giving the listener a front row seat to what has made them popular in the first place, their live show.

“On the corner of Nicollet and Tenth, in downtown MPLS, lies a moody jazz club called the Dakota,” Davina remarked.  “The Vagabonds and I have been playing there for over 10 years. It is our second home and we are welcoming you to come in, grab a drink, and listen to us play our hearts out to you!” 

In 2011, Davina And The Vagabonds released her first full length, all original album Black Cloud. It was named one of the ten best releases of the year by their hometown daily the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and awarded 4 ½ stars from Downbeat Magazine. Their next release in 2014, Sunshine, hit number 13 in the Billboard Blues Chart, which led to an performance on the famed hit BBC show, Later with Jools Holland. 

Watch Davina And The Vagabonds Perform “Red Shoes” live on Later With Jools Holland here:

Knock Me A Kiss
Black Cloud
Ain’t That A Shame
Louisiana Fairytale
Shake That Thing
Muddy Waters
You Must Be Losing Your Mind
Lipstick And Chrome
Start Runnin
I Would Rather Go Blind
Red Shoes
Travelin All Alone
5 ft 2
Bee Sting
St. James
His Eye is On The Sparrow

2016 Davina And The Vagabonds Tour Dates
1/08                 Brainerd, MN                          NP Event Space
1/13                 Northampton, MA                  Iron Horse Music Hall
1/14                 Westerly, RI                            Knickerbocker
1/15                 New York, NY                       City Winery
1/16                 Williamsburg, VA                   Winter Blues Jazz Festival
1/20                 Chicago, IL                             City Winery
1/21                 Wisconsin Rapids, WI            McMillan Memorial Library
1/22                 St. Paul, MN                           Wilebski's Blues Saloon
1/23                 Marion, IA                              Campbell Steele
1/24                 Lansing, IA                             The Other Place
1/29                 Minneapolis, MN                    Crooked Pint
1/30                 Minneapolis, MN                    Crooked Pint
1/31                 Indianapolis, IN                      Jazz Kitchen
2/02                 Vienna, VA                             Jammin Java
2/03                 Richmond, VA                       Tuckahoe's Woman's Club
2/04                 Mifflinburg, PA                      Rusty Rail Brewing Company
2/05                 Wyomissing, PA                     Building 24
2/06                 Philadelphia, PA                     Chris' Jazz Cafe
2/08                 Ann Arbor, MI                        The Ark
2/09                 Grand Rapids, MI                   Tip Top Deluxe
2/10                 St. Louis, MO                         Old Rock House
2/11                 Kansas City, MO                    Knuckleheads
2/12                 Davenport, IA                         Redstone Room @ River Music Experience
2/13                 Racine, WI                              Racine Theatre
2/14                 Madison, WI                           Majestic Theatre
2/26                 Minneapolis, MN                    Dakota
2/27                 Minneapolis, MN                    Dakota
2/28                 Sioux Falls, SD                       Sioux Falls State Theatre
3/04                 Des Moines, IA                       Social Club
3/05                 Bloomington, IL                     American Red Cross Fundraiser
3/10                 Akron, OH                              Jilly's Music Room
3/11                 Cleveland, OH                        Music Box Supper Club
3/12                 New Cumberland, WV           Oak Glen Culture Club
3/19                 Mankato, MN                         Hooligan's
3/29                 Seattle, WA                            Jazz Alley
3/30                 Seattle, WA                            Jazz Alley
4/02                 Eureka, CA                             Redwood Coast Music Festival
4/21                 Minneapolis, MN                    Dakota
4/22                 Minneapolis, MN                    Dakota
4/23                 Zumbrota, MN                        Crossings
4/24                 Minneapolis, MN                    Dakota
5/03                 Hopkins, MN                          Hopkins Center For The Arts
5/12                 Minneapolis, MN                    Lowertown Line Filming
6/04                 Rapids, IA                              Veterans Memorial Building

Friday, March 6, 2015

Red House records artist: Charlie Parr - Stumpjumper - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (April 28, 2015), Stumpjumper, from Charlie Parr and it's a dandy! With his wailing vocals and deft finger picking on his resonator, he gets the set started with Evil Companion. backed by Phil Cook revival like on piano, Ryan Gufstafson on banjo and James Wallace on drums, this track is a real kicker. Empty Out Your Pockets has the sound of a field holler backed by a nice banjo roll and only minimal percussion, rhythm and slide by Parr and Emily Parr on vocal harmony. Very nice! Falcon has a really rural feel... gutsy strumming and bluesy vocals. Remember Me If I Forget is a fast paced folk track with a finger picking /slide technique reminiscent of Leo Kottke. Nicely blended with Emily Parr fits nicely with the overall country blues feel. On Marrying a Woman With an Uncontrollable Temper has a real bluegrass basis but just that twist of blues that is present in the humble roots of all American music. Very nice! The most contemporary folk ballad on the release is Over The Red Cedar, a track with a simple forward melody/harmony blending and cleanly articulated guitar picking. Resurrection has a real swampy sound of original delta blues. A lone resonator guitar with slide and simple vocal melody makes this track particularly effective. Title track Stumpjumper is a uptempo foot stomper with nice resonator slide backing. Simple snare work from Wallace is particularly effective in focus. Temperance River Blues is another simple country blues but with a waltz tempo in this case. Emily is particularly successful in creating the country harmony and Charlie in capturing the rudimentary slide. Frank Miller Blues is a cool acoustic blues track with resonator and drums. Parr hits the blues square on vocally and his guitar pacing is relentless. Cool! Wrapping the release is Delia with a simple soft touch. Keeping the strings on the minimal percussive side, parr carries the track almost exclusively on his strong vocals. Very nice close to a particularly acute country/folk/blues roots 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”


Monday, July 14, 2014

Roustabout Records artist: Davina and the Vagabonds - Sunshine - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (July 15, 2014), Sunshine, from Davina and the Vagabonds and it's actually quite good! Opening with title track, Sunshine, Davina lays all of the pop that I'd care to hear on an entire cd in one track. That's actually a good idea from my perspective. This really sugary sweet female vocal track could easily make a splash on any top 40's radio station. Now that we've got that out of the way, we get sown to some serious fun. Flow has a light poppy feel but with more sophistication and unique vocal styling by Davina, accompanying herself on piano and joined by Daniel Eikmeier on trumpet, Benjamin Link on trombone, Conner McCrae Hammergren on drums and Andrew Burns on bass. Fizzle Out delves even deeper into serious vocal styling and composition. There are traces of Fiona Apple and others in her work but she stands alone with her own sound. Primarily accompanying herself on piano, I like it! One of my favorite tracks on the release, Away From Me, shows maturity and patience. This is a beautifully composed and executed track that can stand with the best ballad compositions that I've heard in recent past. Excellent! I Try To Be Good has a Latin feel with stylistic vocal references to Amy Winehouse. Authentic Cuban style piano with by Davina is really cool and a really nice trombone solo by Link is really nice. Addition of tight percussion work by Hammergren and cool trumpet by Eikmeier also add a nice punch. R&B style track You Better Start Praying shows additional versatility by Davina with musical references to The Band (Ophelia). Red Shoes has a rag style but contemporary presentation and New Orleans flair. Nice New Orleans style piano by Davina, tight drums by by Hammergren and super horn work from Link and Eikmeier compliment the vocal precision of Davina. Throw It to The Wolves retains the New Orleans rag styling with the slick addition of Tony Balluff on clarinet. So far I have been raving about the nice instrumental work by Davina but she is an extremely strong vocalist as well. This track has a really cool uptempo jazz break with a Dixiland feel but it's back to spot and a tight ending. I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water has a strong swing feel and Davina again shows her strength on vocals even though she strongly carries a lot of the weight of the instrumentals on keys. This is a musician who could easily be the featured vocalist or the featured piano player for many contemporary blues bands. An extremely talented composer, vocalist and instrumentalist. On You Must Be Losing Your Mind, Davina takes a a nice jazz styled piano solo to open the track and Link and Eikmeier each take extended, well constructed horn solos, Burns a solid bass solo, and Hammergren a drum solo as well, giving this track serious instrumental merit. On Oh Heavenly Day, Davina is back with an emphasis on lead vocals. A quiet moody ballad this leads up to a bonus track, Under Lock and Key. This bonus track returns to the pop like styling but with grittier vocals earlier associated with Winehouse. I thoroughly enjoyed this release and plan to have it in my car for further review within a few weeks. This is a cool release and one that you should check out.

  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, May 15, 2014

New CD from Davina and the Vagabonds Is a Ray of "Sunshine;" Twin-Cities-Based Band Releases Their Strongest Album Yet, July 15, on Roustabout Records

New CD from Davina and the Vagabonds Is a Ray of Sunshine

Twin-Cities-Based Band Releases Their Strongest Album Yet, July 15, on Roustabout Records

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Twin-Cities based Davina and the Vagabonds announce a July 15 release date for their new CD, Sunshine, on Roustabout Records, distributed nationally by Burnside Distribution. Sunshine was produced by the band, recorded and mixed in December, 2013, at The Pearl Recording Studio in Minneapolis and mastered at Treelady Studios.

Davina and the Vagabonds will celebrate the new album with two special local pre-release party shows at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant in Minneapolis on May 23-24. DATV will be in Europe for most of the summer, and will return to the U.S. just in time to travel to the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival, where they will be playing the two biggest stages of the festival: the Arena and Garden stages, on September 20. At a previous Monterey Jazz Festival performance, the Monterey Herald pronounced them as “…easily among the breakout stars at this year’s festival.” 

Recorded in exquisite analog sound and set for release on both CD and vinyl, Sunshine is a bold statement from a songwriter and band that draws from the last 100 years of American music and sounds truly original. Through the 11 songs (and one bonus track), many facets of the group are represented: there is the unmitigated optimism of the title track and “Flow,” and the irrepressible New Orleans second-line groove of “Red Shoes.” “You Better Start Praying” sounds as if it came from The Band’s Last Waltz album sessions, and “Away from Me” is soul balladry at its most heartbreaking. “Fizzle Out” is an achingly beautiful pop tune, and “I Really Try to Be Good” is a hypnotic minor-key rumba. The relaxed swing of “Throw It to the Wolves for Love” is a nod to Fats Waller, and then the band covers the immortal Fats, himself, with a glorious take of his “You Must be Losing Your Mind.” Besides the Waller tune, DATV has added two additional covers that have also become fan favorites, done Vagabond style. Included is the blues tune, “I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water,” (inspired by Aretha Franklin’s version); and Davina plays a sublime solo version of Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day.” The album closes with the bonus track, an updated version of Davina Sowers’ “Under Lock and Key,” the title track from DATV’s 2007 album (now out of print).
At the heart of the band’s sound are the scintillating keyboard work and soulful vocals of Davina. "Sowers' vocals are unreal,” wrote one reviewer. “She simultaneously evokes Adele and Bessie Smith, and the band’s sound is vintage and fresh, a modern take on old-time blues and jazz.” A British reviewer said of her style, “Think of a meld of Bessie Smith, Etta James, Alberta Adams and Amy Winehouse and you come close to understanding what Davina Sowers is all about …Davina is a real talent who deserves greater exposure.”

Over the last nine years, Davina and the Vagabonds have grown from a down-and-dirty blues band into one of the most exciting acoustic ensembles in the country. This high-energy quintet has established itself with a stellar live show, great stage presence and good old-fashioned hard work: they used to average over 300 shows a year in the Twin Cities area, and now have an ambitious full-time U.S. and international schedule. Davina and the Vagabonds' first album in three years, Sunshine is the latest chapter in DATV's new spin on an old sound mission!

DATV’s last release, 2011’s Black Cloud, was the first to feature all original songs by Davina Sowers. It received 3 ½ stars in Downbeat magazine, and was named one of the Top Ten records of the year by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The national exposure led to additional touring: several festival appearances throughout the U.S. and Europe, including appearances at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival. Over the last 3 years, the band has appeared in 38 states, two Canadian provinces, and 8 European countries. The grueling tour schedule has led to a number of personnel changes, which delayed the writing and recording of new material. After a number of changes, DATV’s Black Cloud tour has resulted in Sunshine!

Davina and the Vagabonds are booked by Intrepid Artists International ( For more information, visit

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sena Ehrhardt opening for B.B. King
SINGER SENA EHRHARDT TO OPEN FOR B.B. KING!Rising Local Star To Perform With Her Idol
Singer Sena Ehrhardt will realize a dream come true when the Sena Ehrhardt Band (which includes her father Ed on lead guitar) serves as the opening act for blues icon B.B. King on May 19th at the Mayo Civic Center in Sena's hometown of Rochester, Minnesota.
Says Sena, "I grew up listening to B.B. King records and he was responsible for turning my Dad on to the blues, so he's an iconic figure for me. I consider B.B.'s Completely Well album the definition of a blues record; I continue to listen to it all the time. I just love his vocal phrasing." In fact, on her upcoming sophomore release, All In, (out on Blind Pig Records March 12th), she covers a B.B. King song from that album entitled "So Excited," which could well describe her feelings about appearing with perhaps the foremost master of the blues. Says Sena, "I get to open for B.B. King, 100% my biggest influence and idol in blues music." 
Sena's brilliant 2012 debut recording, Leave The Light On, announced the arrival of one of the freshest and most dynamic young voices on the current blues scene.  It won Sena the Blues Blast "Rising Star" Award and was nominated for a Blues Music Award as "Best New Artist Debut."  The album also generated widespread critical acclaim, typified by this comment from Jazz & Blues Report: "Make way for a rising star!"
For her second recording, Sena has teamed up with one the foremost producers in the worlds of rock and blues (Santana, Huey Lewis, Stevie Ray Vaughan), multi-Grammy Award winner Jim Gaines.  The result of their collaboration is a groove-rich, exciting exploration of the blues in all its moods.  All In truly delivers on the promise of Leave The Light On and places Ehrhardt among the very best and most versatile of today's blues singers.

For more information visit

Monday, February 4, 2013

What You Gonna Do? - Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, What You Gonna Do? from Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders and a new groove is appearing here! The release opens with When The Sun Goes Down, a rowdy rockin' blues track with a surf twist. Crankshaft has a cast of players on this release including Keith Boyles on upright bass and Pete Henning on drums and percussion. Crankshaft continues moving up in key (on the guitar) as the song progresses creating a sense of increased speed and excitement. Boomtown has a swampy sound with fat distorted guitar and sweet backing vocals by Kashimana Ahua, Rachel Holder and Andrea Bennett-Xiong. Dancin' In The Dirt is a foot stompin' blues rocker staying pretty stripped down but Crankshaft adding a little harp into the mix. There is a certain looseness that is accomplished over a very tight rhythm section that sounds really cool. Trail Of Tears is a nice track that blends some of the Texas boogie bottom with some of the sounds of primitive electrical acoustics. He has gone to a lot of trouble creating just the right studio conditions recording in the hayloft of a rustic barn from the early 20th century. Crankshaft is pushing in a lot of different directions right now and this is a good one for sure! Kingpin has a totally different spin, backed with a Latin rhythm and horns. Jason Fabus on Tenor Sax; Doug Haining on Bari sax; Matt Hazelka on bass trombone, Euphonium and trombone and Zach Lozier on coronet create a different ambiance for a smooth vocal track by Crankshaft and also setting the stage for some really hot guitar riffs. The horn section continues on I Wanna Play, a little ditty of a track where the horns play New Orleans style and do a pretty cool job of it. Bruce McCabe adds some nice piano to this track as well. Waiting For Me is more of a ballad accompanied primarily by guitar and light percussion. There is a funky breakout or two on this track adding a bit of a twist. Earthquake Shake is a straight forward blues rocker and possibly the most airplay anxious track on the release. I really like it (which is typically contrary to attributions to pop acceptability) but this is a pretty nice track that I think everyone will dig. Vocals are perfect, McCabe is under the bottom on organ and the guitar is just dirty enough to make it hot. Let Me Love You is another track that keeps vocals on top with a stripped down melody side and heavier rhythm side. I really like this arrangement. Solid driving bottom! Gotta love it. Don't Leave has that hot drilling punk sound. It's really short but I really like it. Fill It Up falls into more of a country/rockin' groove with a ocean wave in the back. With it's dance break it's sure to be an audience pleaser. The final track, Barkin' Up The Wrong Tree, is a great track to close out this back to basics rocker. I really like this track which is a bit guitar heavy with raw vocals, muted rhythm guitar and clean guitar riffs on the refrain. Crankshaft has put together a really smokin' set of stripped down, surfin' swampy, rockin' blues tracks and if you haven't checked him out yet... now is the time!

  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”


Friday, January 25, 2013

Yo Yo Blues - Tom Feldmann

Folklorist, ethnomusicologist and musician Alan Lomax once said, "You can't kill off a culture until you kill the last person who carries it." That statement resonates deep within Tom Feldmann as for nearly half of his life he has carried on the traditions of the acoustic country blues and gospel music recorded in the 1920's and 30's. Feldmann states, "It is has been my life's passion to help preserve this musical heritage for future generations." Minnesota native Tom Feldmann taught himself to play guitar at age 17 after hearing the recordings of the pioneers of acoustic country blues and states, "Mississippi John Hurt taught me to pick, Fred McDowell taught me to play slide and the mighty Son House taught me to sing." His debut solo album was released in 1999 and Tom has since spent the years writing, touring and recording his own original gospel compositions as well as carrying on the tradition of solo acoustic country blues. Over the last few years, Tom has shifted the focus of his attention from his own writing to the music of the many legendary bluesmen who inspired him to pick up the guitar all those years ago. This journey has resulted in a series of CD's, starting with Tribute (2010) and now continues with Lone Wolf Blues (2012). It also resulted in a string of instructional DVD's for Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop that have received rave reviews and distribution around the world. In 2013 Feldmann is excited to be back on the road after a 2 year hiatus due to his wife suffering a spontaneous dissection of the left main artery. Tom will be appearing at Merlefest in April and teaching a 4day workshop at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch in May and of course a few more DVD titles will be released and filmed. Tom will also begin recording his next CD in the summer/fall. 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!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lubricated, Live and Loud - Crankshaft - New release review

I had the opportunity to review Lubricated, Live and Loud by Crankshaft and it's a crap kickin' great time. Opening with Crankshaft, the concert is off with a huge bang. This is stripped down blues with today's edge at it's best. It's raw, it's edgy and it's real. This is not tapping and hammer ons and pull offs. This is loud and distorted and gut wrenching. Junkyard Rhythm is uptempo and spontaneous. There's no custom shop Stratocaster or Dumble amps here! This is right out of the box. An updated version of Robert Johnson's Terraplane Blues is included giving Crankshaft one of many opportunities to get his slide in order. Nail Driver finds Crankshaft using the minimum of instrumentation with his vocals, keeping the groove with nice guitar riffs. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Nasty, a very loose boogie track. The guitar sounds like it is detuned to a lower octave and the sound is almost rubbery... this is really great... the kind of track that is sure to create a frenzy in an audience. 327 is a more straight forward blues track... I mean this is as simple as contemporary electric blues gets... perfect! Solid Gone is another boogie track that keeps the listener engaged. Crankshaft has a great blend of lyrics, rhythm, flash and raw. Neighbor Boys is another great track and  generally has the sound of an early Bob Dylan track but with kazoo substituted for harmonica. Jestures track Cadillac Man shows strong compositional skills as well and this time featuring Jay Walters on harmonica. Boogie is a great party track and keeps you wanting more and more. Run Chicken Run is really a rock and roll take on a surf song from the country.... top that! This is a really super live recording and one that I can highly recommend! Can't wait to see what Crankshaft has brewing for us next.

 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”

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Parker's Mood - Frank Morgan

Frank Morgan (December 23, 1933 - December 14, 2007) was a jazz saxophonist with a career spanning more than 50 years. He mainly played alto saxophone but also played soprano saxophone. During the 1950s he was known as a Charlie Parker successor and recorded several bebop albums. Morgan's father was a guitarist with the vocal group The Ink Spots. Frank was playing guitar until seven when taken to see Charlie Parker play. Parker suggested starting with clarinet which he did for two years before switching to sax. He moved to California at age of 14 and started taking heroin at 17, subsequently became addicted and ended up spending time in Californian prisons. Formed a small ensemble at San Quentin prison in the 1960s with another addict and sax player, Art Pepper. The Frank Morgan Quartet featured Dolo Coker on piano, Flip Greene on bass and Larance Marable on drums. In 1985 he started recording again, releasing Easy Living in June 1985. He suffered a stroke in 1998, but subsequently recovered and recorded additional albums. 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!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I'd Rather Go Blind - Lamont Cranston Band

From the rural hometown settings of Hamel, Minnesota and the river banks of Minneapolis/St. Paul, the blues influence surfaced as early as the mid 1960's for what was to become "The Lamont Cranston Blues Band". By 1969, The Lamont Cranston Blues Band was well on their way to becoming the legend that it is today. You can't seem to go anywhere today from coast to coast without running into someone that has heard of the band. They are one of the founders of the Minneapolis music scene which is flourishing more than ever to this day. From the clubs, concert halls and festivals to the auditoriums and stadiums, the Cranstons have shared the bill with Muddy Waters, Luther Allison, Albert King, Albert Collins, Jimmy Rogers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Charles Brown, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Thackery, Junior Wells, Keb Mo, Jonny Lang, Robert Cray, Son Seals, Charlie Musselwhite, Sam Lay, Earl King, Mighty Joe Young, Sugar Blue, Otis Rush, Elvin Bishop, Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts, Little Feat, Mick Fleetwood's Blue Whale featuring Ron Thompson, Delbert McClinton, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Percy Sledge, Solomon Burke, Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, Kim Wilson, William Clarke, Tinsley Ellis, The Climax Blues Band, Tower Of Power, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Animals II, Kansas, Yes, Jeff Healy, Wilson Pickett, Bonnie Raitt, The Blues Brothers and many many more. One of the biggest thrills was opening for The Rolling Stones on a leg of their North American tour in 1981. Their visibility increased in the 1980's when RCA reissued the band's smash hit release "Upper Mississippi Shakedown", selling over 100,000 copies and cracking the lower reaches of the Billboard charts. Lead singer, guitarist and harmonica giant, Pat 'Lamont' Hayes has also enjoyed his own success touring with Bonnie Raitt as a member of her band on her 1990 "Nick Of Time" tour; blowing harmonica duets with Charlie Musselwhite in Minneapolis and during a 1994 Hollywood trip after Pat received an invitation from Dan Aykroyd to be a special guest performer at a private pre-grand opening bash at Dan's new 'House Of Blues' nightclub, where he performed with Charlie and his band the first night and with The Blues Brothers band the next. Pat has been hailed by Bonnie, Dan and many others as being one of the best harmonica players around. Dan even called on the boys to play the grand opening of his new Chicago House Of Blues in November 1996, Cleveland in 2004 and Atlantic City in 2005. The Cranston hit 'Excusez Moi, Mon Cheri' (written by Pat's brother Larry Hayes) was recorded by The Blues Brothers on the flipside of their 1979 hit "Soul Man", as well as on the soundtrack of the Tom Davis-Al Franken movie "One More Saturday Night", along with their biggest hit "Upper Mississippi Shakedown". Current lineup: Pat Hayes - Harp, Guitar, Vocals; Rod Smith- Guitar; Brad Pelkey (Lamont alumni) - Bass; Jason Kotecki (Root City Band) - Drums and Brian Risling (Power Of 10) - Saxophone. If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How Blue Can You Get - HAK

HAK was born in 2002 in drummer Andy Coldwell’s bedroom. Coldwell’s schoolmate, Kyle Strohmaier, had brought over his new Epiphone for an attempted jam session. The two boys, 13 years old at the time, managed a couple recognizable verses and choruses of Purple Haze, and were subsequently addicted to the idea of forming a band. Shortly thereafter, Strohmaier contacted Hugh Gilmore, bassist and former bandmate from a short-lived jazz sextet. It was after the addition of the third member that the first-name acronym HAK was chosen as the band name..... Gilmore, Coldwell and Strohmaier quickly became loyal friends; HAK was, and remains, secondary to their friendship. The band underwent rapid musical development, playing cover songs at small gigs when possible, but truly began to experiment with originality and more complex musical texture after the addition of keyboardist Mark Bates in 2004. Led by Strohmaier, the band began to compose and arrange its own music. By 2005, the band had accumulated enough original material – mostly blues and jazz-infused rock – to begin work on its debut album. In Too Deep dropped in May of 2006, the bluesy “Some Kind of Woman” and mellow “Winners Lose” being favorites among audiences. .... In early 2007, a band conflict led to the dismissal of Bates, and the three original members quickly picked up Zach Dimond, an excellent vocalist with some keyboard and guitar skills. The budding friendship and personal similarity between Strohmaier and Dimond led to collaboration on an abundance of new original material. The music shared a similar style with the first album, but took on a new energy and musical precision. In June of 2007, HAK began recording its second album, Greg Minds Think Alike. Whereas lead vocals had been purely Strohmaier on In Too Deep, the task was shared equally with Dimond on HAK’s second studio endeavor. In September of 2007, the band released Greg Minds Think Alike, an eclectic mix of songs that get straight to the point – no musical nonsense. .... Since its formation, HAK has steadily become more active in live performance. In just a few years, the band has progressed from small-scale private gigs to frequent performances at various musical venues in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The combination of a complex but crowd-pleasing repertoire and the shock-factor of the band’s young age has led to HAK’s popularity among bar and club owners. These same factors guarantee that HAK will continue to be dynamic musical pioneers. ..
If you like what I’m doing, 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, August 2, 2012

Boom Boom - Mark Naftalin Band with John Lee Hooker

Mark Naftalin (born August 2, 1944) is an American blues keyboardist, composer, and record producer.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, Naftalin is the son of former Minneapolis mayor Arthur Naftalin; he is married to third wife Ellen Naftalin. His son is the San Francisco Bay Area artist, David Normal.
He moved to Chicago in 1961, and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1964, where he performed on piano at campus "twist parties," popular at the time. It was at these parties that Naftalin first played with blues harmonica player Paul Butterfield and guitarist Elvin Bishop, the nucleus of what was to become the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

He is known for his role, from 1965-1968, in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. On certain albums by this group he is credited as "Naffy Markham". In the late 1960s, after the first four Butterfield albums, Naftalin went out on his own, settling in the San Francisco Bay Area. There he put together the Mark Naftalin "Rhythm & Blues Revue" and has been active in blues and rock recording sessions, solo gigs and revue shows, and as a producer of concerts, festivals and radio shows. He also played with Mike Bloomfield as a duo and in a band (most often called Mike Bloomfield & Friends) from the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, and hosted Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party, a weekly blues show (1979-1983) that featured over 60 blues artists and groups and was the scene of 86 live radio broadcasts and three TV specials.

Naftalin has produced the Marin County Blues Festival (1981-2000), and has been the associate producer of the Monterey Jazz Festival's "Blues Afternoon" (1982-1991). His weekly radio show, Mark Naftalin's Blues Power Hour has been on the air almost continuously since 1979 on San Francisco's radio KALW-FM.

Naftalin co-founded the Blue Monday Foundation and, in 1988, started his own label, Winner Records, which has issued recordings by artists including Paul Butterfield and Percy Mayfield. He continued to perform, both solo and in an ensemble, in the Bay area and elsewhere, often with longtime associate slide guitarist, Ron Thompson.

Naftalin has also recorded with many blues players including John Lee Hooker, Otis Rush, Percy Mayfield, Lowell Fulson, Big Joe Turner, James Cotton, Mike Bloomfield, Jake Walker and Van Morrison, and as a sideman on over 100 albums.
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”