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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 Phil Berkowitz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phil Berkowitz. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

VizzTone Label Group artist: The Lucky Losers - Standin' Pat - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Standin' Pat, from The Lucky Losers w/ Cathy Lemons & Phil Berkowitz and it's an interesting mix of rock, blues, funk and soul (and more). Opening with Pack Up The Bags, a rag fused pop track with a bluesy edge, Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz harmonize on vocals and Berkowitz lays in some nice harmonica, backed by Chris Burns on keys, Endre Tarczy on bass and Jon Otis on drums. Also featured are Kid Andersen on lead guitar, Mike Rinta on trombone, Michael Peloquin on tenor sax, and Brian Catania on trumpet. Swamp funky, Somewhere In The Middle has a terrific bottom courtesy of Tarczy and Otis and featuring Berkowitz on vocal and guitar is one of my favorite tracks on the release. A solid R&B track, Down In Memphis Town has the strong bones of a 60's radio hit. Lemons has the lead on another of my favorite tracks on the release with cool slide and organ work by Andersen. Soulful ballad, They Wrecked My Town features Lemons on lead vocal over Burns on piano and a real firm bass line by Tarczy. A melodic harmonica solo by Berkowitz and strong lead guitar by Andersen really adds another dimension making this a solid radio track. Wrapping the release is title track, Standin' Pat, another R&B based track with Berkowitz leading the way on vocal and real nice sax lead by Terry Hanck making it a strong closer. 

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Lucky Losers Deal Winning CD, "Blind Spot," on May 18 from Dirty Cat Records

The Lucky Losers Deal Winning CD, Blind Spot, on

May 18 from Dirty Cat Records

San Francisco’s Finest Male/Female Duet-Fronted Band Delivers the Goods with Soul and Style on Their

Third Album

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Veteran blues vocalists Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz, aka The Lucky Losers, deliver a soulful ‘60s retro sound on their third CD, Blind Spot, coming May 18 on Dirty Cat Records, distributed through CD Baby.

Watch a video about recording the new CD here:

Recorded at award-winning Greaseland Studios (John Nemeth, Wee Willie Walker, Billy Price) in San Jose, California, Blind Spot continues The Lucky Losers’ long-standing relationship with acclaimed producer/engineer, Kid Andersen. Bringing back the lost art of the vocal duet, the album is solely comprised of original material created by Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz alongside their illustrious and multi-talented songwriting partner, Danny Caron (Charles Brown). Blind Spot features scintillating musical contributions from six-time Blues Music Award nominated guitarist, Kid Andersen, International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Award winning violinist Annie Staninec (Rod Stewart), 2018 BMA nominated saxophonist, Nancy Wright, and guitarist Laura Chavez (Nikki Hill), who was listed as one of  the “Top 50 Sensational Female Guitarists” by Guitar Play Magazine.

Vocalist/harmonica master Phil Berkowitz says about the recording sessions: “Cathy, Kid and I are all on the same page musically. And Kid has an intuitive understanding of our creative vision. When people hear this album, they will be reminded of Willie Mitchell's Hi Records, as well as Stax. We love singers like Ann Peebles and O.V. Wright. We went to great lengths to make our album sound like it came from that late ‘60s and early ‘70s era. We were going for that warm, live, Memphis sound with all that great, spontaneous ensemble playing. We also drew heavily from early ‘70s psychedelic soul. When you hear ‘Alligator Baptism,’ for example, artists like Curtis Mayfield might come to mind.  You will hear all the percussion, the horns, the harmonies, the street-wise stories, etc. But that is just one facet of our diverse style. We also love electric Americana pioneers like J.J. Cale, The Band and Bob Dylan. But we are blues artists at heart—Cathy and I—so you will hear plenty of blues in the mix. We brought in marvelous Bay Area players, and we blended these styles together.”

Blind Spot is a road warrior’s tale. The album is a primal call to awareness in the eye of an irresistible storm. Caught between hope and catastrophe, The Lucky Losers take a fearless ride into the unknown, witnessing the good, bad, and ugly of contemporary America through a fractured rear-view mirror. Traveling through a winding soundscape of modern blues, vintage R&B, and Americana, Blind Spot presents unvarnished testimony to the fragile and fleeting state of our world. From the redemptive embrace of love in “The River,” to the erosion of human dignity in “Alligator Baptism,” to the “do or die” determination of “Take the Long Road” and “It’s Never Too Early,” The Lucky Losers express the challenges they face as they try to maintain a firm grasp on the wheel.

“Phil and I have travelled some of the loneliest highways in America to bring our music to the people,” says Cathy Lemons. “And in all those travels what we see is a kind of distraction everywhere--almost to the point of madness. I feel so overwhelmed by all this information pouring in from my phone, from the news, from tragic headlines. Now that can be a funny or it can be deadly. For example, in a song we wrote called ‘You Left it Behind,’ we talk about losing our wallets, our keys, our passports, our clothes--on the road. But on the other side of the slapstick comedy there is the dark side. ‘Last Ride’ is about the mass shootings, the natural disasters, and all the divisiveness we are seeing right now in America. This album is about this separation from real experience--seeing life through a screen.”

The Lucky Losers are hitting the road across the country to tour in support of Blind Spot Cathy Lemons - vocals/percussion; Phil Berkowitz - vocals/harmonica; Ian Lamson – guitar (who toured with Elvin Bishop and plays on the album); Robby Yamilov – bass; and Jon Otis - drums (son of the legendary Johnny Otis).

The Lucky Losers Tour Dates

Thursday, April 12, Flagstaff Brewing Company, Flagstaff, AZ

Friday, April 13, The Rhythm Room, Phoenix, AZ

Saturday, April 14, The Raven Cafe, Prescott, AZ

Sunday, April 15, House of Bards, Tucson, AZ

Tuesday, April 17, Cowgirl BBQ, Santa Fe, NM

Wednesday, April 18, Santa Fe Brewing Company Santa Fe, NM

Thursday, April 19, Funky Door, Lubbock, TX

Friday, April 20, Keys Lounge, (w/Ally Venable Band), Fort Worth, TX

Saturday, April 21, Kingfish, Fayetteville, AR

Sunday, April 22, Huey’s Midtown, Memphis, TN

Tuesday April 24, The Local, Nashville, TN

Wednesday, April 25, Lafayette’s, Memphis, TN

Saturday, April 28, Blind Willie’s, Atlanta, GA

Sunday, April 29, Daniel Day Gallery, Birmingham, AL

Tuesday, May 1, Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music, Columbus, OH

Thursday, May 3, Slippery Noodle, Indianapolis, IN

Saturday, May 5, Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago, IL

Sunday, May 6, Smoke Daddy BBQ (Wrigleyville Location), Chicago, IL

Tuesday, May 8, BB’s Jazz and Soups, St. Louis, MO

Wednesday, May 9, Nathan P. Murphy's, Springfield, MO

Thursday, May 10, The Jazz Depot at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall Of Fame, Tulsa, OK

Friday, May 11, Puebla Tacos Y Tequileria, Norman, OK

Saturday, May 12, The Shamrock, Wichita, KS

Sunday, May 13, Lincoln’s Roadhouse, Denver, CO

Thursday, July 2, 2015

West Tone Records artist: The Lucky Losers - A Winning Hand - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, A Winning Hand, from The Lucky Losers featuring Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz. Opening with Change In The Weather, a bluesy pop track, with just a touch of funk. Phil and Cathy share lead vocals and Michael Peloquin (sax), Tom Poole (trumpet) and Mike Rinta (trombone) add a nice horn section. Upbeat rocker, I Take What I Want, features a nice harp solo from Phil and drums with Robi Bean. Jimmy Rogers' What Have I Done, is up next with a cool easy swing beat. Cathy and Phil share lead vocals and Chris Burns carries the load on piano. Title track and southern rocker, A Winning Hand, features Steve Freund on lead guitar. This track has a familiar feel like a blend of (Sweet Home Alabama, Werewolf of London and Last Dance with Mary Jane). Suicide By Love has a primary bluesy jazz feel. Joe Kyle on upright bass and Jay Hansen on drums set the stage and Chris Burns lays down a nice sheet of piano. Lemons takes the lead on vocal and this may be the coolest track on the release, featuring a nice solo from Phil on harp and Kid Andersen on guitar. Bob Dylan's What Was It You Wanted gets a funky bottom compliments Steve Hazlewood on bass and Robi Bean on drums. Chris Burns' B3 work on the track adds a nice warmth and Marvin Green hits the note on lead guitar as Cathy and Phil share lead vocals. Allen Toussaint's What Is Success has a nice warm jazzy feel with Ben Rice on slide guitar mimicking the note sliding effect of Cathy and Phil's voices and Burns does a particularly nice job on piano. Long Hard Road is Phil's best vocal effort on a funky jazz number. Marvin Greene is back again laying down some tasty guitar riffs backed by Kevin Zuffi on organ, and Peloquin and Poole on horns. Uptempo blueser Baby You Got What It Takes has a great driving rhythm courtesy of Kid Andersen, Marvin Greene and Steve Hazlewood. Phil steps up with a hot harp solo on this number as well making it one my favorites on the release. Cry No More has a touch of Latin rhythm making for a nice pleasant ride. Zuffi rolls the Nord keyboard for a nice flavorful solo and Bean keeps the bottom tight. Driving blues track, Detroit City Man, gets a nice boogie groove going with Bean on drums, Evans on bass and Berkowitz on harp carrying the load as Lemons has the lead vocals. Wrapping the release is Don't You Lose It, a slow country blues ballad. Burns creates a nice effect with his Wurlitzer piano, the tempo and vocal blending on this track and the guitar work by Andersen make this a great finisher.

  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”