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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 Portland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Portland. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ben Rice - Wish The World Away - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Wish The World Away, from Ben Rice and it's light and airy with great guitar riffs and cool melodies. Opening with Dirt Road Home, a driving understated boogie, Rice shows just how much music can be played with just vocal, guitar and drums by Jimi Bott. Cool opener. Peace Will Overcome has a really nice rhythm set up by Bott, Julio Appling on bass and Dave Fleschner on piano, topped by excellent slide work by Rice. Very nice. Mojo Hand feels like hill country with a lot of rag tag and a lot of rockin blues. Rice's vocals are perfect for this track and his resonator guitar work is tight and clean with highlights drawn by Mitch Kashmar on harp and Dave Melyan on percussion. Very nice. Soulful track, Hardtimes is one of my favorites on the release with the best vocals on the release and rich organ tones of Dave Fleschner. Very nice. Stevie Wonder's HigherGround get an acoustic rework and retains a lot of the original energy with only the power of Rice's excellent vocals and tight slide guitar work. Wrapping the release is Don't Worry Mama with the mourning sounds of Rice accompanied by his steel resonator. This is a very strong release with contemporary blues roots.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Swingsuit Records artist: Jeff Jensen - Road Worn And Ragged - New Release Review

I just received the new release, Road Worn and Ragged from Jeff Jensen. Assembling a strong cast of supporting players Jensen hits it hard right out of the chute with Brunette Woman, a blues rocker with hot harp from Brandon Santini and rippin' guitar riffs from Jensen. Tom Waits' Heart Attack and Vine has a Cab Calloway style with a mostly spoken lead vocal and a slinky rhythm. Again solid guitar work gives the track a special something but laying the table open for some slick organ work from Chris Stephenson. Possibly my favorite track on the release, Pepper is a fast swing number with a bright and lively guitar lead. Les would be proud... a d*** fine track! Classic blues/jazz track, Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You gets a really strong blues infused jazz treatment and with a slow pace is instrumentally super. Jensen playing Montgomery style licks really shows polish. Morganfield's Crosseyed Cat has an interesting pace with James Cunningham playing almost military style drum riffs. Santini does an exemplary job on harp on this track and Jensen isn't far behind with riffs which have been bubbling over for a while just waiting to get out. Another Jensen (and Victor Wainwright) original, Raggedy Andy, has a moderate swing pace and lends itself to a real nice piano break from Wainwright as well as a few nice riffs from Jensen. Wrapping up the release is R&B style track, Thankful, penned by Jensen. Bill Ruffino establishes a solid groove on bass and Cunningham dress the track out with cool drums. It's on this track that I appreciate Jensen's voice the most with his free flowing vocal style having just a slight similarity to one of my contemporary favorites, Macy Gray. This a a cool release with some interesting tracks, hot guitar riffs and plenty of solid instrumental work. It will be available August 6, 2013.

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, May 3, 2013

Clothes Inna Matchbox - Dk Stewart Sextet

This all-star Portland quartet (plus horns) infuses classic cuts, obscure nuggets and DK Stewart originals with a fresh take on the blues, New Orleans funk and R&B... Stewart, whose two-fisted stride blues and jazz piano style has been a driving force behind such Northwest blues giants as Robert Cray, Paul deLay and Curtis Salgado often works as a compelling solo vocalist/performer with only a piano for back-up...In addition he has, for the past several years been tearing up major festival stages with his latest creation, the DK Stewart SEXTET. The band features the "Soul Survivor Horns" that includ Chris Mercer on sax and Joe McCarthy on Trumpet. Stewart serves up an evening of uptempo, jump-blues and traditional swing with material by Nat Cole, Charles Brown and T-Bone Walker along with hard-grooving New Orleans funk by Professor Longhair, Clifton Chenier and the Meters. The band also brings hard-core, stinging Chicago blues to their set with songs written by Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Magic Sam; along with Stewart's own soulful, compelling originals... In 2012 Chris Mercer and DK Stewart collaborated to create the "Tell Momma" Etta James Tribute, a collection of some of the NW's finest female volcalists assembled into an evening of introspective appreciation of the late Etta James' material. Featuring the Dk Stewart Sextet with the addition of percussionist Bobby Torres and guitar master Chris Carlson, the band produced an amazingly fine "live' performance at the Alberta Rose Theater in April of 2012. Singers Duffy Bishop, LaRhonda Steele, Lisa Mann, Rae Gordon and Amy Keys bring their best to this performance before a sold-out crowd and are filmed using state of the art HD video and a 32 channel digital-audio console by Rex recording. This CD has propelled the band into the regional if not national spotlight this year and brings a world focus on the tremndously talented pool of artists that due reside and thrive throughout the northwest, in spite of not being near more nationally recognized music scenes. Stewart has performed with such blues legends as Big Walter Horton, S.P. Leary, Hubert Sumlin, Sunnyland Slim, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, James Cotton, Albert Collins, George "Harmonica" Smith, Joe Louis Walker, and Roomful of Blues, and has appeared on bills with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Junior Walker, Clifton Chenier, Ray Charles, Paul Butterfield, and BB King. Stewart's keyboard virtuosity can be heard on recordings by Robert Cray, Paul deLay, Curtis Salgado, Lloyd Jones, The NW Ray Charles Tribute and on his own three solo projects, featured at CD Baby including the band's latest releases, ""live In Olympia" and "For The Troops". The latter recording features extra bonus tracks and proceeds go directly to the USO to support the families of deployed service members overseas. As a band leader and a featured sideman, Stewart has appeared at major blues venues throughout the US, including Portland's Waterfront Blues Festival, the San Francisco Blues Festival, New York Rhythm & Blues Festival, The Texas T-Bone Walker Festival, Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival, Winthrop Blues Festival, Mt. Baker Blues Festival, and the Legendary R&B Cruise. .. Stewart also presents a stripped-down version of this same music format with less emphasis on big-stage production with former Lloyd Jones and Paul deLay drummer/percussionist Mike Klobas and the amazing Joseph Conrad on stand-up and fretless bass, recently with the band "Rhythm Culture". Original materials are also featured in this ensemble. Guests of the 3-DK Trio Plus One include the very exciting tenor sazophone work of Tim Jensen, guitarists Peter Dammann and William Chapin and recently harmonica soloist Tim O'Hare.  

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”


Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Delta Groove Music is very pleased to announce the participants in their first annual Blues Stimulus Program, an opportunity for blues talent around the world to become members of the successful Delta Groove Family.  Over the last decade, Delta Groove Music has set the new standard for producing, promoting, and booking exciting blues and roots music talent.  Now they’re sharing in their success by inviting emerging blues acts to submit their recordings for review, and each year Delta Groove will choose two U.S. and one foreign blues act to come on board with one of the biggest success stories in blues in this millennium! 

After much careful review and painstaking consideration over the last several months, the producers and talent scouts at Delta Groove have chosen the Nashville-based Andy T and Nick Nixon Band, and Portland, Oregon’s Kevin Selfe as this year’s U.S. participants in the Blues Stimulus Program. 

Guitarist Andy T and singer/guitarist Nixon are both veteran blues players who enjoyed long and successful careers on their own for years before joining forces to create one of the most dynamic and soulful blues bands in Nashville – a town with no shortage of great musicians.  Andy T’s fiery yet tasteful guitar provides the perfect backdrop to Nixon’s deeply bluesy, church-schooled vocals, an appealing combination that caught the attention of Texas blues guitar legend Anson Funderburgh, who produced and guests on their debut CD for Delta Groove.

Virginia native Kevin Selfe is one of the most exciting and tasteful young blues guitarists and singers on the scene today, with that golden combination of reverence for the masters and the fire and passion of an artist from a new generation, out to write his own chapter in the blues history books.  Selfe has been on the scene since 1997, and appeared on numerous CDs with The Fat Daddy Band and Little Roger and The Cheap Thrills.  In 2005 he formed Kevin Selfe & The Tornadoes in his native Roanoke, VA, eventually relocating to the other side of the country in Portland, OR.  Since then he’s continued to hone and perfect his own unique sound, using his mastery of traditional blues as a springboard into his own exciting blend of cutting edge attitude and original songs that speak to several generations of roots music and blues fans.

The debut CDs on Delta Groove by Andy T - Nick Nixon Band “Drink Drank Drunk”, and Kevin Selfe “Long Walk Home”, are scheduled for release by Delta Groove in February of 2013. 


Andy T - Nick Nixon Band
"Drink Drank Drunk"

Anson Funderburgh
John Garza
Christian Dozzler

and more!
"Andy was a great musician when we started and I think he's an even better player now. His dedication to the music that he loves is unstoppable…And Nick is one of the greatest singers in blues today. When people hear his voice, they are moved."
– Anson Funderburgh
"Andy T Band, featuring James "Nick" Nixon is one of those amazing artists that rarely surface today."
– Bman's Blues Report
"Nick and Andy T are both world class performers with a show that offers something for everyone."
– Peter Fleming co-founder, Nashville Office – AirPlay Direct

Kevin Selfe
"Long Walk Home"

Jimi Bott
Mitch Kashmar
Gene Taylor
and more!
"Selfe plays with rare thoughtfulness and taste…his clean tone and deep well of approaches keep things fresh."
- Blues Revue
"They have originality of lyrics, individuality of playing their chosen instruments and a collective output which ranks at the best of the modern era in blues" - Blues Matters
"Kevin draws the crowds to the band with fiery
fretwork that gets"wanna-be" guitar heroes excited
and professionals listening closely."
– Greg Johnson, President, Cascade Blues Association


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Would I Lie - Big Monti Amundson

His name is Monti Amundson but most people call him Big Monti. Not just because of the man’s physical appearance, but because of his larger than life voice, guitar virtuosity, and sheer presence. When Big Monti takes the stage, it’s clear that there’s more going on than the usual extended guitar solos – the man plays and sings larger than life.

Monti’s breakout band, The Blubinos (pronounced blue-bye-nose), were a dominant force in the Northwest music scene from 1987 to 1992 and shared concert stages with some of the biggest names in the business, including John Lee Hooker, Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy. In 1991 The Blubinos won Portland Music Association’s award for “Outstanding Blues Act”. In 1993 Monti signed on with Munich Records in Holland and promptly moved his headquarters to Amsterdam. Over the next six years Monti recorded five albums and toured extensively in Europe, developing a huge fan base.

When Monti gets compared to Stevie Ray Vaughan or Johnny Winter he just says “thank you”. The fact is, the big man has his own style. “I’m a blues guitar player in a band that plays rock n’ roll,” is how Monti explains it. He doesn’t so much as straddle the line between the genres as bend it, ignore it, or race back and forth across it until both sides go up in flames. The blues of Big Monti comes straight from the heart, cuts through your soul and is as real as it gets.
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”

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Treat Me Like The Dog I Am - Lloyd Jones

Portland, Oregon roots artist Lloyd Jones has recorded six critically acclaimed albums, toured internationally, and racked up dozens of major awards and accolades. He’s a relentless road dog, hitting festival stages, Delbert’s annual Sandy Beaches Cruises (he’s been a regular on six winter cruises), and clubs all across the land to enthusiastic crowds who can’t get enough of his swampy blues, his backporch picking, his serious-as-anthrax funk, soul, roadhouse two-beats, and old-school rhythm and blues (back before the R&B tag was somehow appropriated for other musical purposes, apparently when we weren’t looking). Yet he may be the most invisible, best-kept roots/blues/Americana secret on the contemporary scene.
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, April 26, 2012

Massa John - Alexander's Realtimeband

Alan Alexander III is a singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist with numerous credits. As a performing musician he has toured internationally (US, Europe, the Caribbean and Japan), headlining and opening for artists like UB40, Jimmy Cliff, Ziggy Marley, Taj Mahal, Third World and many others. He is perhaps best known as the former lead singer, principle songwriter and producer for the critically acclaimed world beat band, Dub Squad. Alan has composed source music and original scores for several motion pictures including: 'Hear No Evil' (20th Century Fox), 'Alien Invaders' (National Endowment for the Arts),'Street Talk and Tuxes' (Susan Shadburne Productions) and, most recently (summer 2011), the feature length independent film 'Stuff' by director Larry Johnson. He resides in Portland Oregon.
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”