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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 Mitch Kasmar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mitch Kasmar. Show all posts

Monday, November 16, 2015

Vizztone Label Group artist: Kevin Selfe - Buy My Soul Back - New release review

I just received the newest release, Buy My Soul Back, from Kevin Selfe and it really gets down. Opening with rockin' blues track, Picking Empty Pockets, Selfe leads the way on vocal and guitar. His clever turnaround riffs and wild solo is highlighted by a super sax solo by Peter Moss and supported by Allen Markel on bass, James Pace on organ, Steve Kerin on piano and Jimi Bott on drums. Great opener. Chicago style blues shuffle, Fixed It Til It's Broke, features Mitch Kashmar with some great harp work and a great bass lead by Willie J. Campbell. Title track, Buy My Soul Back, has a R&B feel with solid horn backing from Joe McCarthy on trumpet, Chris Mercer on tenor sax and Brad Ulrich on bari sax. Pace provides a nice bed of organ and Selfe handles the lead vocals nicely, backed by Lisa Mann and also lays in some really nicely styled guitar riffs giving the track a bit of a sting. Digging My Own Grave has a old blues feel with a grungy blues guitar riff under the driving vocal and drums. Selfe cuts loose with some tasty slide guitar riffs but still remains in the primitive blues style. Very nice. Bluesy ballad, All Partied Out, has definite radio clues with a catchy melody and solid horn backing. Selfe does cut loose with a real nice guitar stinger of a solo giving the track a definite tension. Very nice! Rocker, Keep Pushing Or Die Trying, is driven by Allen Markel on bass and features some real nice key work from Kerin on piano as well as a country influenced guitar solo by Selfe. Blues funk, Albert King style is up next on Bluesman Without The Blues. With funky guitar riffs and horns this track really moves. Selfe takes a real nice guitar lead in support to Sugaray Rayford on lead vocal. This is an excellent track and Bott really shines on this track. Every once in a while there is a track that I just don't like and this next one is it. I may be one of the only humans on the planet that doesn't love Bruce Springsteen but there it is. His I'm On Fire is next and Selfe does an interesting alteration to it making it sound a bit less processed and with harp compliments of Kashmar and the more country acoustic guitar treatment by Selfe, it has a less pop and more wholesome feel. Boogie track, Don't Tear Me Down, has a real nice upbeat accent giving it a bit of a lope. Gene Taylor's piano work nicely accents a really soulful sax solo. Keeping the track well grounded, Selfe lays in some stylized, double stop accented, guitar lines complimented by Mercer and Ulrich on sax. Very nice! Double Dipping has a easy country feel with country blues guitar riffs and simple backing by Campbell on bass, Taylor on piano,Bott on drums and Moss on Bari. Virginia Farm has a really basic rural blues feel with only Selfe accompanying his on vocal on acoustic slide guitar. Very cool! Texas style shuffle, Pig Pickin' is a particularly cool instrumental with Campbell on bass, Bott on drums, Pace on organ and Selfe on guitar. Almost breaking into a jazz feel Pace and Selfe each take nice solo's making this one of my favorite tracks on the release. Wrapping the release is Starting Up At The Bottom, a revival style track featuring Selfe on lead vocal and guitar, Kerin on piano, Markel on bass and Bott on drums. Pace takes a cool organ solo and Lisa Mann's backing vocals add substantially to the overall spiritual feel of the track. Great closer.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Delta Groove Music artist: Igor Prado Band - Way Down South - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (February 17, 2015), Way Down South, from Igor Prado Band and Delta Groove All Stars and it's smokin! Opening with Ike Turner's, Matchbox, Sugaray Rayford leads the way on vocal and Prado really romps the guitar. A heavy slung blues, Prado throws stiff riffs and wild trem work making this a terrific opener! John Hunter's, Ride With Me Baby has an easy rock beat with deep blues roots. Kim Wilson has the lead on vocal and Prado shows his fleet fingered guitar work. Yuri Prado on drums and Rodrigo Mantovani on bass keep it tight. Muddy Water's She's Got It, featuring Mud Morganfield on lead vocal sounds like it's right out of 60's Chicago with Ivan Marcio on harp and Donny Nichilo doing a great Otis Spann. Morganfield, Marcio, Nichilo and Prado really do capture Muddy's band sound with a lot of authenticity. Very cool! Lowell Fulsom's Baby Won't You Jump With Me features Ari Borger on piano and Lynwood Slim on vocal with cool jazzy guitar work from Prado and Junior Watson and tight sax work from Denilson Martins. James Lane's, What Have I Done, has a smooth groove led by Mitch Kashmar on vocal and harp. Kashmar really takes a nice romp on his solo as does Ari Borger on piano and Prado shows again that he's got great guitar chops. Jr. Walker and the Allstars' Shake & Fingerpop keep all of the R&B groove of the original with super stinging guitar riffs and lead vocals from Prado, a super bass run by Mantovani. Raphael Wressnig does a super job on B3. On Elmore James' Talk To Me Baby, Rod Piazza takes the mic for lead vocal and harp. Honey Piazza joins in on piano with Prado on lead guitar super charging this track. Excellent! Jerry West's If You Ever Need Me, keeps the original feel of the 60's R&B lead by Kim Wilson on vocal and harp. Very Nice! Joe Tex's You Got What It Takes has a nice twist on the original with Prado and JJ Jackson sharing the vocal lead. Keeping the guitar work tame on this number, Prado's finesse on the fretboard isn't hindered with quiet but cool riffs. Sugaray Rayford's Big Mama Blues has the girth of a Muddy Waters track with Prado and Monster Mike Welch doing the guitar Muddy style. Rayford leading the vocal charge and Borger tickling the keys, this track is right off the Chicago stage. Sweet! Paul Gayten's R&B swing tune You Better Believe It, led by Lynwood Slim on vocal and chased by Borger on piano and Martins on sax make this one really hot number. Prado jumps up and stiff arms the crowd with a flaming guitar solo keeping with the pace of the release. On Jerry West's, Rooster Blues, Wallace Coleman takes the vocal and harp lead and gets right into the Chicago groove. Yuri Prado (drums) keeps this track on a tight leash and Borger lays down a great piano solo. Prado really lets it out on this track proving once again that he can hold his own with just about anyone on the blues circuit. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Omar Coleman's Trying To Do Right with Coleman on vocal and harp. Prado takes the acoustic guitar and shows how powerful the simple instrument can be in the right hands. This is a powerful acoustic track and a great conclusion to a terrific release!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Monday, July 4, 2011

Goin Down Slow - Mitch Kashmar and the Pontiax


The musical styles of The Pontiax drew on a wide range of influences including Chicago Blues, New Orleans R&B, West Coast Jump Blues and Swing, Boogie Woogie, Louisiana Swamp Rock, Texas Blues and straight forward Jazz. The Pontiax also became very popular within the music community being called into action on stage as back up band with many legendary blues musicians such as Albert Collins, Charlie Musselwhite, Luther Tucker, Pinetop Perkins, William Clarke, Kim Wilson, Roy Gaines and many of the aforementioned artists.

Mitch’s blues harp playing is second to none for creativity, drive and excitement. And he’s also just as witty and imaginative in the role of songwriter. Moving on to a solo career recording “Crazy Mixed-Up World” in ‘99, Kashmar started making a name for himself and touring with his own band but it wasn’t until his 2005 effort “Nickels & Dimes”, featuring guitar great Junior Watson on Delta Groove Music’s label, that his stock really began to rise. Kashmar was recognized two consecutive years in a row by the Blues Music Awards with nominations in 2006 as Best New Artist Debut and followed in 2007 as Best Instrumentalist - Harmonica.
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