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

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Blind Pig artist: Mitch Woods - A Tip Of The Hat To Fats - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, A Tip Of The Hat To Fats, by Mitch Woods and it's terrific. (Live from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2018) Opening with boogie track, Solid Gold Cadillac, Mitch Woods is slammin right out of the gate. With his smooth vocals and hot piano riffs, Mitch it rockin'. Backed by Amandee Castenell on tenor sax, Brian Cayolle on tenor sax, Roger Lewis on bari sax, John Fohl on guitar and Terence Higgins on drums, this track great. Down Boy Down is another excellent track with smoking riffs by Fohl and Castenell. Woods shows his New Orleans chops on Mojo Mambo and Fohl isn't shy to lay down dome riffs of his own. Flavorful! Rolling into a Fats Domino set, Woods pulls up Blue Monday featuring real nice tenor and bari sax solos setting the pace. Walking To New Orleans is another nice showcase for the horn section with Woods leading and fanning the flames. Getting the piano rolling boogie style, Woods pulls out Rocket 88 and a real romp. Driving the train with super piano runs, Woods sets the charge and with a full horn compliment drives it home. Wrapping the release is classic, The House of Blue Lights. Woods' vocals are solid and his piano playing on fire. This is a great show and one that the crowd was sure to enjoy.



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Monday, September 14, 2015

VizzTone Label Group artist: Mitch Woods - Jammin' On The High C's - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Jammin' On The High C's from Mitch Woods' Club 88 recorded live on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise and the talent was really flowing. Opening with Big Mamou, Woods, along with members of Roomful of Blues lays down a full tilt boogie. An excellent trumpet, sax and piano solos on this track make it an excellent opener. Next up is Tain't Nobody's Bizness with a stripped down swing. Victor Wainwright and Julia Magness join in giving a different feel vocally... and great piano work contribute to an excellent track. Classic rocker, Rip It Up features Tommy Castro and he really adds some great rockin' guitar riffs to Woods' piano and vocal talents. Backed by the Roomful of Blues horns this track rocks. Lucky Peterson is featured on vocals on Bright Lights Big City, maintaining much of Jimmy Reeds original feel. Breakin down with a little Zydeco, Dwayne Dopsie brings Jambalaya on accordion and vocal. Woods tickles the ivories adding a real nice touch. Billy Branch brings it on Eyesight To The Blind. A lot of real Chicago feel and great harp work are the key to this track. Nicely executed guitar additions and Woods on piano add to the overall blue feel. Boogie track, I Want You To Be My Baby features Popa Chubby on vocal. Woods does an excellent job of driving the boogie and soloing. Popa throws down some wicked rockabilly riffs on guitar making this track shine bright. Coco Montoya takes the lead on Rock Me Baby which has a bit more of a rock swing/boogie feel. He soloing is intermixed with Woods piano work and crisp. Victor Wainwright is back for a real doozie of a boogie, Wine Spo Dee O Dee. This is easily the shining piano track on the release. Woods holds tight on Broke as he sings the story and pushes the rhythm on piano. With audience participation, this track is a lot of fun. Branch and Montoya are back on Boom Boom. A more laid back swing than the Hook wrote it, Woods keeps the rhythm as Branch and Montoya solo. Popa Chubby is back on Wee Wee Hours and a nice easy boogie. Woods takes a particularly nice piano solo on this track giving way to Popa for a plucky guitar solo of his own. Wrapping the release is a hot, fast paced boogie, Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On featuring Dwayne Dopsie. Cool closer for a fun party release.

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 Not from this release:


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grammy Award ballots


NEWS FROM THE VIZZTONE LABEL GROUP

The first-round Grammy Awards Ballots are out!
First-round ballots have gone out to members of the Recording Academy, to determine who the final GRAMMY Award nominees will be.  This year VizzTone is proud to have thirteen artists represented on the official entry list! 

Our congratulations to:

MICHAEL BRAM • DOUG DEMING & THE JEWEL TONES • DENNIS GRUENLING
CANDYE KANE (FEAT. LAURA CHAVEZ) • LONG TALL DEB • JAMES MONTGOMERY BAND
ANN RABSON w/ BOB MARGOLIN • DAVE RILEY & BOB CORRITORE
RUFF KUTT BLUES BAND • GINA SICILIA • LITTLE G WEEVIL
MITCH WOODS • AUSTIN YOUNG & NO DIFFERENCE



     

    

     

       

      

      




If you're a member of the Recording Academy, please consider voting for these great artists!
But even if you're not, please check out full-song samples from these albums and many more

 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mitch Woods CD/DVD - Blues Beyond Borders / Live in Istanbul!



VIZZTONE NEWS — IMPORTANT STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW! 

NEW MITCH WOODS CD/DVD
Blues Beyond Borders - Live in Istanbul!

click the CD to listen or buy at VizzTone.com   ;-)


VizzTone is proud to present Mitch Woods' latest CD/DVD
Blues Beyond Borders / Live In Istanbul!
    Boogie Woogie piano maestro Mitch Woods brings his all-star Rocket 88s, featuring noted players from his two home bases, New Orleans and San Francisco, on a five week tour of the Republic of Turkey.  Mitch brings the sounds of Boogie Woogie, Jump Blues, Swing and New Orleans Rhythm & Blues to an eager new audience and proves that Blues is truly BEYOND BORDERS.

    "In October 2010, I embarked with my band the Rocket 88’s on a tour of Turkey with the Efes Blues Festival, playing 26 shows in 20 cities over 5 weeks.  I was deeply impressed with the warmth and hospitality of the people and their openness and enthusiasm for the American musical form we call “the Blues.” It made me realize that we are musical ambassadors – able to cross cultural, religious, and national borders that most people cannot.
    In this CD and DVD I document our tour of the Republic of Turkey, a secular nation with 99% Muslim population that straddles the border of east and west, geographically and culturally. On this journey I realized in my heart and soul that music truly crosses all boundaries and Blues is certainly beyond borders.   
I am happy to share it with you.  So let’s hop on the bus, and as they say in Turkey— “Bastan basa Blues” — “the Blues is everywhere!”
            — Mitch Woods


THE BAND (l to r):  Adam Gabriel - guitar, background vocals / Larry Vann - drums / Mitch Woods - piano, vocals / Amadee Castanell - sax, background vocals / Cornell Williams - bass, vocals



DVD EXTRAS:  Live Concert in Istanbul  •  The Journey  •  Exploring  •  The Culture  •  Adventures On the Road and On the Bus / The Band  •   Turkish Independence Day Izmir  •  The Pozitif Crew

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You Don't Need a Passport to Enjoy Boogie Woogie Piano Master Mitch Woods' New 2-Disc Set, " Blues Beyond Borders," Out Oct. 30

You Don’t Need a Passport to Enjoy Boogie Woogie Piano Master Mitch Woods’ New Two Disc Set, Blues Beyond Borders: Live in Istanbul, Out October 30 on Club 88 Records World Premiere of CD/DVD Set for the Mill Valley Film Festival on October 7 at Sweetwater Music Hall MILL VALLEY, CA – Boogie Woogie piano master Mitch Woods announces an October 30 release date for his new CD/DVD set, Blues Beyond Borders: Live in Istanbul, on Club 88 Records, distributed by VizzTone. The new CD/DVD was recorded in the fall of 2010 at the Efes Blues Festival in the Republic of Turkey, as part of a tour where Mitch and his band played 26 shows in 20 cities over five weeks in that country. Mitch Woods will celebrate the release of Blues Beyond Borders: Live in Istanbul with extensive touring, including the world premiere of the CD/DVD as part of the Mill Valley Film Festival on October 7 at the Sweetwater Music Hall in his hometown of Mill Valley. The two-disc specially-priced set includes both a CD and DVD of the performances, with the video including insightful extras of the band’s adventures on the road, a travelogue of Turkey, impressions of the Turkish culture and the group’s experiences as “blues ambassadors” around the world. Joining Mitch Woods (piano, vocals) are His Rocket 88s: New Orleans all-stars Amadee Castenell (sax/background vocals) and Cornell Williams (bass,/vocals), as well as Adam Gabriel (guitar/background vocals) and Larry Vann (drums). The album features a number of fan favorites that display Mitch’s amazing versatility on the piano, covering jump blues, rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues and his personal favorite salute to the sounds of New Orleans music in all its flavors. Included are such cover staples as “Down Boy Down,” “I Got a New Car,” “What Can I Do,” “Crawfishin’,” “Third Degree,” “Rocket 88” and “House of Blues Lights;” plus a slew of Mitch’s original fan-favorites such as “Solid Gold Cadillac,” “Mojo Mambo,” “Boogie Woogie Bar-B-Q,” “Queen Bee” and “Long Lean & Lanky.” A special highlight of the show is “In the Night/Lambaya Puf De,” in which Mitch and the band combine New Orleans R&B with a classic Turkish song, which generates a wildly ecstatic response from the hometown crowd grooving to every second of the ten-minute-plus extravaganza. “I was deeply impressed with the warmth and hospitality of the people and their openness and enthusiasm for the American musical form we call ‘the blues,” says Mitch Woods in the album’s liner notes. “It made me realize that we are musical ambassadors, able to cross cultural, religious and national borders that most people cannot. This CD and DVD documents our tour of the Republic of Turkey, a secular nation with 99% Muslim population that straddles the border of east and west, geographically and culturally. On this journey I realized in my heart and soul that music truly crosses all boundaries and blues is certainly beyond borders. I am happy to share it with you. So let’s hop on the bus, and as they say in Turkey-“Bastan basa blues”- “The blues is everywhere!” Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88s have been the torchbearers of a great American blues heritage for over three decades. Taking their inspiration from the great jump and boogies outfits of the late ’40s and early ’50s, they breathe fresh life into the music that gave birth to rock and roll. Woods styled his combo after the jumpin’ and jivin’ bands of greats such as Louis Jordan, Wynonie Harris, Joe and Jimmy Liggins, Amos Milburn and Roy Milton.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I Got A New Car For You - Mitch Woods


Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s have been the torchbearers of a great American blues musical heritage, not for two years but two decades. Taking
their inspiration from the great jump n' boogie outfits of the late 40s and early 50s, they breathe fresh life into the music that gave birth to rock n'
roll. Woods styled his group after the jumpin' n' jivin', shoutin' n' honkin', pumpin' n' poundin' bands of Louis Jordan, Wynonie Harris, Joe and Jimmy Liggins, Amos Milburn, and Roy Milton. Adding a healthy dose of New
Orleans rhythm and blues, piledrivin' piano, and some of his own contemporary playful lyrics, Woods and His Rocket 88s forge their own brand of music they call "rock-a-boogie."
Born in Brooklyn in 1951, Mitch Woods began playing classical piano at eleven, but his real initiation into blues and boogie piano had already been assured at age eight. "My mom would hire this superintendent of the
building, a black man, Mr. Brown, to take me to school, and we stopped off at his cousin's house, where somebody was playing boogie-woogie piano. It really hit me."
Woods was putting together bands in Greenwich Village by his mid-teens. By the time he entered the University of Buffalo, Woods was sitting in at local clubs and discovering records by boogie woogie pioneers Meade Lux Lewis,
Albert Ammons, and Pete Johnson. It was during a class on Afro-American music taught by noted jazz sax player Archie Shepp in 1970 that Woods finally realized he was bound to be a pianoman. Perhaps it was Shepp, a known curmudgeon, who cemented his resolve in an offhand way, Woods remembers. "I was very interested in learning about this
music, but it turned out to be reverse racism, he was putting down white people a lot, and I was one of about three white kids there, but I had a
love for black music, I wanted to learn about it. Blues and jazz, I wanted to learn about that culture, where this music came out of, and he said,
'There's no white guy that can play the blues,' and I said 'Hey, I don't agree with you.'" "He said, 'Well go ahead and name me one white guy who can
play the blues,' and I named guys like Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, he says 'They're not so great,' and I said 'Well, I can play.'" As if to say "oh yeah?," Shepp challenged Woods to attend a local jam session. "I steeled my nerves, I went down to the session, and fortunately
for me there was no piano there, but at that point he respected the fact that I came down." That broke the ice - Shepp gruffly accepted Woods and they became close. "He started telling me about who to listen to, but he still kept his opinions."
Woods came to San Francisco in 1970, and for the next five years performed as Mitch Woods and His Red Hot Mama (with singer Gracie Glassman). One night Oakland guitarist Hi Tide Harris heard Woods opening for Charlie Musselwhite and was reminded of the sound and theatrics of early R&B
pioneer Louis Jordan. Indeed, Jordan has always been a primary influence on Woods. "I actually did see Louie Jordan in Oakland. He was the bridge
between swing and rock and roll. He would do a five or six piece band, get a lot of power out of that."
That kind of power was to become rallying cry for Mitch's next project, Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s, which started in 1980 and quickly rose to the top of the Northern California club circuit. Their first album, Steady Date (Blind Pig Records) got hot reviews in 1984 and led to appearances at
two San Francisco Blues Festivals, openings for the Fabulous Thunderbirds,
Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Blasters, The Neville Brothers, and James Brown. By
1987, Woods was doing a six-country Europe tour highlighted by a rousing
performance at the Belgium Rhythm and Blues Festival.
In 1988, the 88s released Mr. Boogie's Back In Town (Blind Pig Records) and music pundits started to acknowledge Woods' place in the ranks of American
music: "Woods lays down an authentic 50s-vintage rock piano groove, comparable in power and and rhythmic nuance to classic recordings by the young Jerry Lee Lewis," said Keyboard Magazine.
On 1991 album Solid Gold Cadillac, Woods and his band were joined by Ronnie
Earl, Charlie Musselwhite and the Roomful of Blues Horns. Woods himself was
starting to become a guest star, appearing on that year's new releases by
John Lee Hooker and John Hammond, and the boogie pianist headlined both the
Amsterdam Blues Festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Woods was developing his passion for bandleading and discovering the power
of being a strong singer. "I'll always consider myself a piano player, but
my voice has developed over the last few years. It's an incredible release, when
you can sing, it's like blowing an axe, and it's great to entertain an
audience," he says. Another interest was taking hold, too - the funky
piano-driven music of New Orleans. Woods had long been infatuated with the
music of the Big Easy. "I'm a boogie woogie and blues piano player for the
most part, but I also incorporate other styles within that, like the New
Orleans influence. New Orleans R&B piano playing, like Dr. John, of course
Professor Longhair. "New Orleans has been a really great source of inspiration, it's a piano town. New Orleans reveres the piano player. People respect me and I
appreciate that. I've always been able to feel a real sense of music there;
if you're a good player, you get in. For the past 25 years it has become my second home, " Woods says. "I've gotten to play with all the great players who live there, and I just hire them, guys from Fats Domino's band, like Red Tyler, sax player,
Johnny Vidakovich, drummer with the Professor, and George Porter on bass.
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”