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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 Provogue Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Provogue Records. Show all posts

Monday, May 11, 2015

Provogue Records artist: Sonny Landreth - Bound By The Blues - New release review

I just received the newest release (June 9, 2015), Bound By The Blues, by Sonny Landreth and I think it may be his best yet! Opening with Delta blues track, Walking Blues, Landreth maintains a sense of the original but with just the right amount electric slide and drums to make it sound fresh. Very nice! Title track, Bound By The Blues, has a more modern sound but it's basic bones are very primitive. I like his mixture of acoustic and electric instruments and the driving beat which gives it it's certain footing. The High Side has a cool funk but set over a mostly acoustic sound. A unique track for these reasons alone but coupled with Landreth's skillful slide work and a catchy melody, it's really nice! Tampa Red track, It Hurts Me Too, again done stripped down with only basic backing to Landreth's vocals and slide this track is a screamer. It is great to see Landreth laying down on the blues straight up and he's doing it here. Excellent! Latin jazz influence on Where They Will has an entirely different flavor and I really like the smooth slide work on this track for a lot of reasons. Very cool! Skip James' Cherry Ball Blues has a total rework, but maintaining it's primitive grittiness. Fat slide runs and a solid blues base makes this one of the killer tracks on the release. Firebird Blues is done in memory of the great Johnny Winter. Winter, who dominated the blues rock scene for more than 40 years was a figure to be reckoned with,with lightning fast riffs, outrageous slide work and voracious energy. This is a nice 12 bar number with just basic cardboard box drum by Brian Brignac and ukulele bass backing by David Ranson. Robert Johnson's Dust My Broom is done shuffle style with a real nice drum lope. Instead of Elmore James style slide riffs which anyone else would have done, Landreth steps back and rips melodic slide lines of his own, giving in only on the track close with these sliding landmarks. Very nice! Big Bill Broonzy's Key To The Highway, played by just about everyone and especially popular by Derek & the Dominos with Clapton and Duane Allman, is up next. Landreth seems content to keep it simple as a basic blues track for a chorus or so but them opens the can and lets out the dogs. Fat slide tones and nicely thought through guitar runs, leading to a full blown slidathon makes this one of the releases strongest outings. Wrapping the release is cool instrumental boogie, Simcoe Street, with a great walking bass line by Ranson. Landreth takes a remarkable slide journey with tight backing by Brignac and Ranson capping a spuer outing by Landreth.

  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, February 26, 2015

Provogue Records artist: Robben Ford - Into The Sun - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (March 31, 2015), Into The Sun, by Robben Ford and I really like it! Opening with Rose Of Sharon a smooth bluesy track with a very clean melody, Ford strokes a well articulated solo making very use of single and double time for emphasis. Day Of the Planets actually has an garage rock feel but but delivered on a polished silver platter. Howlin' At The Moon hits the road with a funky staggered rhythm. Brian Allen on bass lays down a nice funky groove with Wes Little on drums and Ford plays off the funk delivering a solo that rides the rumble. Very cool! Rainbow Cover is a straight up rocker with organ highlights and clean guitar riff adornment. Juttified features guests Keb Mo' on vocal and Robert Randolph on pedal slide. An easy blues swing with rolling piano and stylized fiddle set a super floor for Ford to highlight his nicely stylized solo. Breath Of Me featured ZZ Hill on lead vocals for possibly my favorite track on the release. Hill's soulful vocals are nicely complimented by Ford on beautifully clean solo runs. Excellent! High Heels And Throwing Things has an interesting light funky jazz feel with an almost Steely Dan polish. Warren Haynes lends his hand at guitar on the track giving it a feel of it's own. Cause Of War has a low slung, lumbering feel, a solid melody and with a hot guitar riff following each line of vocals. A heavy "bass solid" romp with tight drums makes this track tick. So Long 4 U features Sonny Landreth has an almost Little Feat swampy feel. I particularly like Ford's vocal delivery on this track and Landreth's slide tone really sets this track off. Excellent! Same Train feeds up more of the jazzy funk and it really has a contageous groove. Ford on guitar and lead vocal is chased by a tight harp line which I really like. This track is infectious with Ford really digging in on guitar and Allen and Little holding a tight bottom. Very very nice! Wrapping the release is Stone Cold Heaven and Ford trades hot guitar riffs with Tyler Bryant. This track with it's swampy rhythm gets really steamy with Ford and Bryant trading riffs and rich backing vocals. An excellent completion to a very cool 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, December 1, 2014

Provogue Records artist: Jimmy Barnes - Hindsight - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (January 27, 2015), Hindsight, from Jimmy Barnes and it provides a brief summary of his 30 year career with songs of special significance paired with special guests. Opening the release is Lay Down Your Guns featuring The Living End. A track with a strong pop theme and a touch of arena over a rock beat. Barnes leads the way with vocal and is supported by Chris Cheney on guitar, Scott Owen on bass and Andy Strachan on drums. Time Will Tell features Baby Animals on a straight up rocker. Barnes and Suzie DeMarchi share lead vocals with Dave Leslie on guitar, Dario Bortolin on bass and Mike Skelton on drums. Ride The Night Away features Steven Van Zandt on lead guitar on this pop rock track with an Elton John feel. There is a stinging Keith Richards like guitar riff but overall pop rock. The backing band is Jackie Barnes on drums, Michael Hegerty on bass, Ben Rodgers and Danny Spencer on guitars, Lachian Doley on keys, Lee Thornburg on trumpet, David Woodford on sax and Van Zandt, Mahalia Barnes, EJ Barnes and Elly-May Barnes on backing vocals. Stand Up features Mahalia Barnes and the Soul Mates with Mahalia and Jimmy sharing lead vocals. A spirited, driving soulful rocker finds Lachian Doley on keys and Dave Hibbard on drums with Ben Rogers on bass and Gary Pinto. I'd Die To Be With You Tonight features Diesel and Mark Lizotte joining Barnes on lead vocal. Jackie Barnes on drums, Ben Rogers on bass and Mark Lizotte on guitar keep a tight rock track. Stone Cold features Tina Arena sharing lead vocal and Joe Bonamassa on lead guitar for a slower paced rock ballad. Joined by Jackie Barnes on drums, Michael Menell on bass, Arlan Schierbaum on keys, Lee Thornburg on trumpet, Dave Woodford on sax and Lenny Castro a strong radio track with nicely orchestrated horns and a supple Bonamassa guitar solo make this a standout for guitar thirsty listeners. Working Class Man features Jonathan Cain and Ian Moss again has a feel of Stones and Elton. With a straight forward beat from Greg Morrow on drums joined by Barnes on lead vocal, John Dymond on bass, Ian Moss on lead guitar and Tom Bukovac, Dan Dugmore and Steve Sheehan on guitars, Jimmy Mattingly on mandolin, Howard Duck on B3, Jonathan Cain on piano this is a full blown rocker. Going Down Alone opens with a nice slide solo from Bonamassa and features Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain. Joined by Jackie Barnes on drums, Michael Menell on bass, and Lenny Castro on percussion this track has a solid rock feel and Schon lays down some trademark riffs. Love and Hate featuring Shihad had a much heavier feel with a metal backing provided by Tom Larkin on drums, Karl Kippenberger on on bass, Phil Knight and Jon Toogood on guitars. No Second Prize has a really catchy Elton John like composition. With an arena beat Barnes is joined by Charley Drayton on drums, Ben Rogers on bass, Davey Lane, Franco Raggatt and Ben Rogers on drums. I'd Rather Be Blind features Jon Stevens with Barnes on lead vocals with Jackie Barnes on drums, Michael Hegerty on bass, Stuart Fraser on guitar and Jade MacRae, Juanita Tippins and Mahalia Barnes on backing vocals. When Your Love Is Gone, an R&B influenced pop track features Barnes on lead vocals, Jackie Barnes on drums, Michael Hegerty on bass, Ben Rodgers and Danny Spencer on guitars and Lachian Doley on keys. A nice slide solo on this track is particularly tasty. The Other Side, a REO like track, features Barnes on lead vocals, Jackie Barnes on drums, Michael Hegerty on bass, Ben Rodgers and Danny Spencer on guitars and Lachian Doley on keys. Walk On, another somber ballad features David Campbell with Barnes on lead vocal supported by Jackie Barnes on drums, Michael Hegerty on bas, Rogers and Spencer on guitars, and Lachian Doley on keys. Wrapping the release is I'm Still On Your Side featuring Bernard Fanning on vocal and acoustic guitar supported by Charley Drayton on drums, Charlie Owen on dobro, Lachian on piano, Ben Rodgers on bass and Jeff Bova on orchestration. A cool track with a different feel, it is a nice conclusion to this 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”


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Provogue artist: Bernie Marsden - Shine - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Shine from Bernie Marsden and it is solid. Opening with Linin' Track, a classic work song, Marsden opens as a solo vocalist but is quickly joined by an explosion of blues rockin' including Mark Feltham on harp and particularly strong drums. Nice! Next up is Wedding Day and Marsden and some drone note finger picking on electric guitar. Very cool ! With a catchy melody and contemporary feel Marsden rips out a nice guitar solo icing the track. Walk Away has a real pop feel and bright keyboard work. Marsden lays down some of his solid guitar riffs making this arena rock track complete. Kinda Wish She Would is a ragged rocker with a lot of bite. With it's great drive, piano support and biting guitar riffs, it's likely my favorite track on the release. Ladyfriend has a distinctly British rhythm (think When The Levee Breaks) and a crying harp. What's not to like. Next up is Trouble featuring David Coverdale on lead vocal. This is a hot blues rocker with super drum work and well placed organ dialogue accentuating the Marsden's guitar work. Who Do We Think We Are? is another track with a strong radio theme. Marsden plays a particularly melodic guitar solo on this track with nice backing vocals from Rob Cass and Pearse Macintyre. Cherry Lee Mewis takes the lead vocal on Bad Blood. This track has a great driving bass and drum line setting a solid blues base. Marsden steps up nd lets his guitar do the talking with well placed searing guitar phrases. Very nice! Joe Bonamassa is featured on lead guitar on Shine, an open wheeled racer with vocal harmonies. Rumble rhythm drum and bass work adds a nice accent to this solid rocker. Dragonfly is a haunting track with Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green's) like glistening guitar chords. A cool guitar melody makes this another of my release favorites. Tandem guitar leads, smooth vocals and a straight forward rock beat make this track a rocket to the radio. Hoxie Rollin' Time has a real cool blues rollin' beat with a nice lope and Marsden rides the wave. Clever drum riffs and tight organ work make this another of my picks for this release. Wrapping the release is NW8, an acoustic resonator track with a nice melody supported by keys and light percussion. A very nice track to close an interesting release from Marsden.  

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, November 4, 2014

Jimmy Barnes To Release HINDSIGHT on January 27, 2015

15th Studio Album Marks Barnes' 30th Anniversary of Debut As Solo Artist, and Features Little Steven, The Baby Animals, Tina Arena & Joe Bonamassa, Family Members Diesel and Mahalia, and More in Celebrating Extraordinary Milestone

New York --- Mascot Label Group's Provogue label and Jimmy Barnes have announced a January 27, 2015 release date for HINDSIGHT.  The album marks his 30th anniversary as a solo artist, and his 15th studio release since stepping away from Cold Chisel. No Australian artist has enjoyed a more prolific, legendary career down under than Barnes, who has enjoyed fame and success on a global scale.  He enjoyed an unparalleled and unbroken streak of six chart-topping albums in a row, spanning the 1980s and into the ’90s. Just like Cold Chisel previously, his solo work literally provided the soundtrack for a generation of Australians.  The incredible statistics of nine number one albums in total (all but one of his 14 studio albums debuting inside the Top 3), alongside his dual induction in to the ARIA Hall of Fame (as a solo artist and member of Cold Chisel), have cemented Barnes legacy as one of the great Australian recording artists of all time.

HINDSIGHT sees Barnes surrounded by family and friends, revisiting some of the biggest hits from throughout his solo career, along with a few deeper cuts.   His family members contributing to the album include daughter Mahalia, son David Campbell and brother-in-law Diesel. His friends who collaborated on the recordings feature Jon Cain and Neil Schon of Journey, The Living End, Tina Arena, Steven Van Zandt, Joe Bonamassa and more.

Barnes shares, "I was trying to do something special for the 30th anniversary. Chisel did STANDING ON THE OUTSIDE, where we got a lot of our favorite bands to record our songs. It’s a great idea, but everyone’s been doing it. So I thought, I’ll get all my favorite acts and I’ll get to sing with them! It’s either me being the singer, or doing duets.  I tour a lot and I’m always stimulated by support bands and all the musicians I work with. Over the years I have done lots of collaborations – DOUBLE HAPPINESS was an album of duets, and I’ve recorded with Tina Turner, INXS, John Farnham, Joe Cocker and many others."  He continues, "These songs are important to me - I wouldn’t go out there and change the essence of the songs.  But I didn’t bring in all these great artists to tell them what to do - I’m actually working with them because I’m learning from them. It was like, ‘What are we going to do with this and have fun with it?’ They sound like new songs now and really fresh to sing.  I’d come up with a shortlist. Basically, I had a good idea of the artist I wanted for each song - I didn’t want to put square pegs into round holes. The whole thing has been made quite quickly and spontaneously.  The first track we put down was ‘Ride The Night Away’ which was originally on FOR THE WORKING CLASS MAN album.  Back then Steven Van Zandt sent that song to me via Gary Gersh, who was the A&R man for Geffen Records in America. It was a little demo that he’d recorded on a Dictaphone. There was nothing else on it, just Steven scatting. Steven and drummer Steve Jordan had written this song specifically for me. When I got it, it was just the perfect demo. I just put it in the right key for me and I did it. I’ve been a fan of Springsteen since 1973 – the E Street Band is one of my favorite bands in the world, but I’d never seen them live – we’d never crossed paths and I was always working when they were touring. But when they came back to Australia this time (March, 2014), and I was working with them in New Zealand, I got this idea in my head that I would like to do the song with Steven. I went up to him and said, 'This song you sent me 30 years ago, I wouldn’t mind recording it with you.' So Steven came to my house. My son [Jackie] played drums, and I got Steven playing the guitar solo and singing harmonies. Virtually, it was take three, but we spent about 12 hours together, just talking."

Kevin Shirley reconvened with Barnes to produced HINDSIGHT, collaborating together for the first time since Cold Chisel’s final album NO PLANS.  Shirley brought Joe Bonamassa in to the sessions, where he is featured on ‘Too Much Ain’t Enough Love" and also plays on "Stone Cold."   From there, it snowballed. Mark Lizotte, Diesel, The Living End, Barnes' daughter Mahalia, and one of his personal favorites Jon Stevens joined the fold.  He reflects, "I recorded ‘I’d Rather Be Blind’ with Jon Stevens, one of my favorite singers of all time. We’re dear mates, we’ve grown up together. He used to support me when he was a young singer, and now we do gigs together all the time. So to get Jon to sing with me was really special.  Baby Animals doing ‘Time Will Tell’ is a great, great version.  LOVE AND FEAR and PSYCLONE were albums that were reasonably lost compared to the others, so to go back and cover songs like 'Time Will Tell' and ‘Love and Hate’ (with Shihad) was a great experience and gave us a chance to breathe some fresh life into them and reintroduce those songs to people who buy my records.”  In celebrating this occasion collaborating with his brother-in-law Diesel (Mark Lizotte), he offers, "'I'd Die To Be With Tonight' was a big song for me, one of the pivotal songs of my career. I wanted to work with Diesel and I said, ‘What song would you like to do?’ and that was his first choice loved. It’s modernized the song but also took me back to 1987, or whenever it was when THE INJECTORS album came out and when I was first recording that song.“  Perhaps most special is the featured appearance of his daughter Mahalia, who sings "Stand Up" with Barnes.  He states, "Mahalia is a beast – she’s a phenomenal singer. She’s one of the best girls I know. I know I’m biased, because I’m her father, but she’s got a great work ethic, she sings harder than anyone I know, she’s a caring person, a great mother and she’s a great mentor for young artists.  She picked ‘Stand Up’, which is one of my favorite tunes from the HEAT album. Mahalia and her band, The Soul Mates, did it first take, and it was just frightening – it reminded me of Sly and the Family Stone."

Barnes is a gifted artist who has made extraordinary contributions to the global music scene.  This truly is a celebration wherein songs that have been the soundtracks to the lives of millions find a reinvention with freshness, energy and a new timeless appeal. The complete track listing includes:
"Lay Down Your Guns" w/ The Living End; "Time Will Tell" w/ The Baby Animals; "Ride The Night Away" w/ Little Steven; "Stand Up" w/ Mahalia Barnes & The Soul Mates; "I'd Die To Be With You" w/ Diesel; "Stone Cold" w/ Tina Arena & Joe Bonamassa; "Working Class Man" w/ Jon Cain and Ian Moss; "Going Down Alone" w/ Neal Schon and Jon Cain; "Love And Hate" w/ Shihad; "No Second Prize"; "I'd Rather Be Blind" w/ Jon Stevens; "When Your Love Is Gone"; "The Other Kind"; "Walk On" w/ David Campbell and "Still On Your Side" w/ Bernard Fanning.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bernie Marsden To Release SHINE on 9/30/14 via Mascot Label Group's Provogue Records

ANNOUNCE SEPTEMBER 30 RELEASE DATE FOR SHINE Premieres Lyric Video For "Linin' Track" Today

New York, NY --- Bernie Marsden and Mascot Label Group's Provogue Records have announced a September 30 release date for SHINE.  Marsden has been a prolific artist since the early 1970s, contributing performances to approximately one hundred albums.  He has enjoyed a successful long-running solo career, alongside being a key member of ensembles that include Whitesnake, UFO, Wild Turkey, Babe Ruth, Paice Ashton & Lord, Cozy Powell’s Hammer, Alaska, M3 and others.  An album trailer can be screened here:  Additionally, has premiered the lyric video for "Linin' Track" today which can be screened here:

Looking towards the release of SHINE, the Buckinghamshire-born guitarist shares, “To me, it’s a classic rock album with a modern feel.  When I asked the bosses at Provogue what type of album they wanted from me, they simply replied: ‘Make a Bernie Marsden album’. And that’s what I did.” 

The light, airy commercial feel of ‘Shine’ is largely attributable to producer Rob Cass, who pieced together its contents in Studio 3 of the legendary Abbey Road facility, though the backing tracks for three of its selections were cut at Riverside Studios in Somerset. During the 1980's Cass had actually spent six months as the lead singer of Marsden’s group Alaska before carving a career as a successful producer with a wide range of rock, pop and classical artists. It was Cass who sought out Marsden, emailing him to suggest they catch up over a reunion lunch at the home of his production company, located at Abbey Road Studios.

Marsden offers, “Rob wanted to thank me for having sent him an air ticket to come to London from Ireland [to join Alaska] and helping to get his career underway.  Coincidentally, I was looking for a producer because I’ve been writing, playing and producing for too long. I really liked the sounds that Rob gets, and that’s how the whole thing came together. If people think I was recording at Abbey Road because Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again’ made 18 gazillion quid then they’re quite wrong… though it did make 17 gazillion quid!”

Marsden believes that the famous facility has an atmosphere that permeates the sounds created within its walls – hence the album’s final instrumental song is titled NW8, after the studio’s postcode. He reflects, “The Beatles recorded Revolver, my favorite album of theirs in Studio 3, so it has that sense of history.  I honestly believe Abbey Road to be the best studio in the world.”

Although Marsden was wary of flooding the credits with too many special guests, SHINE does feature some extremely well-known names, from Joe Bonamassa to Whitesnake singer David Coverdale, and the Deep Purple duo of Ian Paice (drums) and Don Airey (keyboards). Jimmy Copley of Jeff Beck fame behind the kit and Mark Feltham of Nine Below Zero also supplies some breathtaking harmonica playing.  Marsden states, “I can’t help it, I’ve got a lot of mates – and quite a few of them are guitar players."

The complete track listing of SHINE is: "Linin' Track," "Wedding Day," "Walk Away," "Kinda Wish She Would," "Ladyfriend," "Trouble," "Who Do We Think We Are?", "Bad Blood," "Shine," "Dragonfly," "You Better Run," "Hoxie Rollin' Time," "NW8."  Mascot Label Group's Provogue Records will issue the album on August 18 in Europe.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Matt Schofield Announces Summer Plans - Dates Begin 7/18 in Sacramento


Provogue / Mascot Label Group Debut Far As I Can See
Further Establishes Schofield As One Of The Blues Brightest Stars

New York, NY --- Matt Schofield has revealed summer touring plans that include an extensive west coast itinerary.  The guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer will launch the run on July 18 in Sacramento, CA at Harlow's Night Club.  Additional appearances will take him through California, Oregon, and Washington before wrapping the western swing at the Kaslo Jazz Festival in British Columbia on August 2.  Schofield will then spend August in the Northeastern U.S., and September in the Midwest.  Prior, he is touring in Europe where he has become a significant attraction.  In North America, the legend inches closer, supported by fans, the Blues community and publications such as the L.A. Times who stated, "In Schofield the UK has produced the best blues guitarist from any country in decades.  Head and shoulders above the herd."

Provogue / Mascot Label Group released their Schofield debut FAR AS I CAN SEE on February 18th to raves.  Schofield has been frequently lauded as the British blues guitarist of current times, and on release Glide Magazine wrote, "One of his strongest works to date," while Blues Rock Review introduced a Q&A with the artist publishing, "A member of the British Blues Awards Hall of Fame, Matt Schofield is widely respected as one of the UK's top contemporary blues guitarists."  Overseas, Guitarist Magazine published simply, “There isn’t a better British blues guitarist playing currently.” With his debut album for Provogue, Schofield finds himself as representative for the long tradition of British Blues on the ultimate blues guitar label, and gaining a home amongst his peers - the world's greatest contemporary Blues players. 

Schofield's career has been gaining momentum for the last several years on both sides of the Atlantic.  Successful runs in the UK, Europe and North America have been met with critical acclaim and exponentially increasing audiences.  FAR AS I CAN SEE is Schofield's fifth album, offering two choice covers from his musical heroes alongside nine original tracks.  Long-time fans will anticipate the epic slow blues of "The Day You Left," as the guitarist re-harmonizes a traditional 12-bar form.  The album's second cut "Clean Break," is a classic trio shuffle, while "Getaway" exhibits Schofield is eager to continue finding new ways to play the Blues, integrating odd time signatures into the genre.  The instrumental cut "Oakville Shuffle," features a cameo by Denny Ilett, one of Schofield's favorite U.K. jazz/blues guitarists. With "Hindsight," the horn section is in full flight in a setting Schofield describes as "What if Albert Collins and Maceo Parker sat in with Tower of Power." Additional tracks include an upbeat and simple organ trio track "Everything," the Texas-blues nod to Jimmie Vaughan "Tell Me Some Lies," and "Red Dragon," which is a tribute to Hendrix's approach to the Blues -- one take, all live, late at night, with the band following his every move.  As a life-long fan of Albert King, Schofield pays his respect when taking on "Breaking Up Somebody's Home," and covers the classic "Yellow Moon." 

Schofield is an inspired character.  His lyrical approach is driven by inspiration from all facets of life's experiences, and the impact what he reads, watches and absorbs has on his deepest thoughts.  This is best displayed with the album opener, "From Far Away."  The singer finds  inspiration from Carl Sagan, and offers, "I'm a big lover of science, humanism and their related philosophies.  Lyrically I have known for a long time that I wanted to do something inspired by Sagan’s incredible and inspiring monologue 'Pale Blue Dot' - this song is my tribute to his beautiful, stirring words."

He is no stranger to accolades, and has been honored as the recipient of major awards that include British Blues Awards Guitarist of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2012, making him the first guitarist in the British Blues Awards Hall of Fame.  He also was complimented by Mojo Magazine with Blues Album of the Year in 2011, and received the nod for British Blues Awards Album of the Year 2010.  He was rated in the top ten British Blues guitarists of all time by Guitar & Bass Magazine alongside such icons as Eric Clapton and Peter Green.  In the Penguin Book of Blues Recordings, Schofield is cited as one of only two living British artists to gain a maximum four-star rating.

Confirmed Appearances Include:
7/18     Sacramento, CA                                              Harlow's Night Club
7/19     Santa Cruz, CA                                               Moe's Alley
7/20     San Francisco, CA                                          Yoshi's SF
7/22     Napa, CA                                                        City Winery Napa
7/24     Walla Walla, WA                                            Main Street Studios
7/25     Portland, OR                                                   Star Theater
7/26     Seattle, WA                                                    Highway 99 Blues Club
8/02     Kaslo, BC                                                       Kaslo Jazz Festival
8/08     Gravenhurst, ON                                            Peter's Place Live
8/09     Kitchener, ON                                                Kitchener Blues Festival
8/12     East Harwich, MA                                          Cape Cod Jazz Festival
8/14     Bearsville, NY                                                Bearsville Theater
8/15     Woonsocket, RI                                              Chan's
8/16     Morristown, NJ                                               Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival
8/17     Bay Shore, NY                                               YMCA Boulton Center For The Performing Arts
9/11     Chicago, IL                                                     City Winery
9/12     Danville, IL                                                     Phases of the Moon Music & Arts Festival
9/13     Auburn Hills, MI                                            Callahan's Music Hall
10/11   Helena, AR                                                     King Biscuit Blues Festival

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Provogue Records artist: Walter Trout - The Blues Came Callin' - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 10, 2014), The Blues Came Callin', from Walter Trout and it is nothing short of super. This release, marking Trout's 25th anniversary as a solo artist is a nice addition to his catalog. Opening with blues rocker Wastin' Away, Walter and his troupes sound tight and ready to rock. A slight melodic tip to Humble Pie's I Don't Need No Doctor, Walter sings I Feel Like I'm Wasting Away as he fires up his strat like a flame thrower. The World Is Going Crazy (And So Am I) has a rhythm putting me in mind of The Shape I'm In (The Band) but Trout is nothing about that laid back country rock stuff and much more about the hot running blues. Stepping up again he shows that there is no loss of imagination or feel. The Bottom Of The River opens with acoustic guitar/resonator guitar work. Developing a heavy bottom and with the addition of harp, the intensity slowly grows until Trout is full out on electric guitar. Take A Little Time is a sweet shuffle track with nice boogie piano under the melody. A Chuck Berry/Keith Richards like guitar solo crowns this track and it's really a lot of fun. The Whale is a straight up rocker with hot blues riffs. Willie is a smokin' boogie track with screaming harp and Trout playing in tandem. This is one of the hottest tracks on the release. Mayall's Piano Boogie is a cool track of course featuring strong piano work in front. Trout lays back in the wings as the melody develops stepping up with slick Texas style guitar riffs. Very nice! Bound to be one of the most popular tracks on the release, Born In The City, has a solid slung blues pace directed by a solid bass line (like Fool For Your Stockings). Trout really takes over on this track with crisp vocals and the best guitar riffs on the release. Instrumental Texas shuffle, Tight Shoes has a SRV swagger and Trout really knows how to walk the walk. This is an excellent track and one that definitely see strong airplay for the right reasons. Title track, The Blues Came Callin', is born out of the sound of John Lee Hooker even featuring some traditional Hooker riffs. All electric, all the time, John Mayall takes a nice walk on the keys leading up to one of the fiercest solo's on a Trout release in a while. This is Trout swinging his axe at his best. Hard Time is a blues rocker with a light funky twist. Trout really hits a cool slot on this track. Egged on by a funky drum beat, Trout holds back using rhythmic dynamics rather than faster fingering. Very nice. Wrapping the release is another slower blues track along the lines of "Help Me". Nobody Moves Me Like You Do has a modified bass line built over this classic blues vamp and it's terrific. Again Trout holds back and allows the track to breathe as he sings the melody with only small licks of fire. Then he slowly lets out the leash and lets the big dog eat. If you love blues and want to hear Trout play fine explosive but spontaneous blues guitar solos, this is a great opportunity.

 I suspect if you have been following my report of even a casual fan of the blues you know that Walter is battling liver disease. This release was recorded throughout 2013 and is finally ready to hit the road running. here's well wishes that Walter is soon on the road to recovery.
Currently in production and scheduled to be shown in the summer, the exclusive documentary features Walter talking in depth about his life and music. Also featured in the documentary are many of the people who influenced Trout personally and professionally. To coincide with the release of the album, Provogue Records has orchestrated an extensive concert tour, a collectible re-issue limited edition vinyl series, and a book biography. "The Blues Came Callin'" will be available on 180 gram vinyl, CD, and as a limited edition CD/DVD combo. The DVD will contain a 2014 full-length documentary about Walter Trout.

 Walter is currently hospitalized and in urgent need of a liver transplant! Walter has been battling severe liver disease bravely for the past many months. He has continued touring and recording until a few weeks ago - he loves playing for people, and it has been the best medicine for him. We were given hope that medicinal treatment could reverse his condition but we now know that this hasn't worked. His liver has failed, and doctors say his survival depends on receiving a transplant. He is at UCLA in and out of Intensive Care, which is a prime facility for liver transplants. Walter has health insurance but this will not cover the full cost of his treatment. The medical expenses, co-pay, medication, after-care, etc. are going to be immense. Walter will need to cancel much of the tour planned for 2014 leaving him and his family with little income. By helping support this effort, you can help give Walter peace of mind and focus solely on his health and recovery before, during and after the transplant. The timeline is uncertain at this point. Waiting for a suitable liver donor in the hospital can be a lengthy and costly process of many weeks or even months. There will be considerable cost for rehabilitation, re-training and physical therapy post-surgery Quote From Walter's Wife Marie: "Thank you for coming here and sending your love towards Walter. It means the world to him and to me to feel surrounded with your love and prayers at this difficult time. Walter has lost 100 pounds and most of his muscle tissue in the past year, and suffered much pain. It has been heart wrenching to watch him go through this. He has tried to put on a brave face for us all - he has kept playing, composing, singing, touring, and recording because music and communicating through music has always been his life line.. But he has reached the point, where he is too sick to stand up or even hold a guitar. Thank you again on Walter's behalf for your love and support." - See more at:

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Walter Trout - The Blues Came Callin' - June 10 Release Date Announced


Los Angeles, CA --- Last year, Walter Trout was struck with a life-threatening liver disease, and as a result lost 100lbs. Marie Trout shares, "For five years, Walter, Provogue Records, and I have worked towards making Walter's 25th year as a solo artist a special celebratory event.  But the festivities will have to wait.  Walter is urgently in need of a liver transplant.  It has been heart-breaking for me to watch Walter struggle through these past many months, as we tried various treatment options provided by Walter's doctors and liver specialists.  One by one the treatments failed.  Yet through it all, Walter's courage and determination continually amazed me.  Even as he has become a shadow of his former self, after losing 100 pounds and much of his strength, he continued touring, writing, playing, singing and recording.  Music and playing for people offered Walter what it always has: It is therapy and a life-line for him when the Blues comes callin'.  Thus the theme of this album is colored by his confrontation with mortality combined with a deep, all-abiding desire to persevere, and a good dose of typical Walter'esque life-affirming defiance!" Provogue and Mascot Label Group's Ed van Zijl offers, "When Walter re-joined Provogue in 2008 we talked about a plan leading up to the 25th Anniversary of his career as a solo artist which is this year, 2014.  besides a brand new album we also made a book and a documentary.  Not only to make people aware of the 25th anniversary, but also to have people realize just how good and how important an artist Walter is for the blues rock genre Worldwide.  A phenomenal guitar player and an even greater person.  Always speaking from the heart and always in for a good joke.  The touring set up for 2014 was fantastic with shows at the prestigious North Sea Jazz Festival and the Carre Theater in Amsterdam amongst many other great ones.  Instead of being out there on the road giving his usual all to his many fans night after night, Walter is fighting for his life and there is nothing to celebrate at the moment.  This is so very, very sad and we are all praying for Walter to come out on top.  The album will be released as planned, and Walter definitely wants this one to be heard.  In the meantime our hearts are with Walter and his family."

Provogue / Mascot Label Group will release Walter Trout's THE BLUES CAME CALLIN' on June 10 in North America, as Walter Trout looks back at an almost 50-year commitment to playing and singing the blues.  The album was recorded throughout 2013.  The songs reflect Walter's thoughts about mortality and his renewed appreciation for being alive.  An EPK can be screened here (with an embedded link provided below):

As he became physically weaker, he fought to continue touring, and found that playing for people was powerful medicine.  Like the title of the new studio album, the Blues definitely came callin' for Walter.  It kept him fighting, and in the process, it made him more determined than ever.  Walter is currently awaiting a liver transplant at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.  A fund raising initiative began last week to support Walter and his family which can be viewed here:

Trout offers, "To play my music for people has become even more important to me.  When I think about looking out into the crowds of people and connecting with everyone on a soul level, and sharing the experience of music with them, this is what keeps me fighting to get back: My family and my music is my lifeline.  These days, it means more to me than ever before."

Recorded throughout 2013, THE BLUES CAME CALLIN' features twelve new songs, ten of which are originals.  One is written by John Mayall for the occasion, and the other is a J.B. Lenoir cover. Trout searches his soul on this album and lays it bare allowing the celebration of his career to be infused with new appreciation for life.  The upcoming official biography is co-written with British music journalist, Henry Yates.  The manuscript will be released simultaneously with the new album. Titled Rescued From Reality - The Life and Times of Walter Trout, the book features previously untold stories, and is packed with rare photographs from the musician's personal archive. The book documents an initially blissful childhood, shattered by divorce, abuse, and violence.  As the story unfolds, it leads us through Walter’s life of heartache, poverty, living on the street and being “the only white guy” struggling in famous blues bands in LA in the late 1970’s.  Walter reflects on his time in the 1980’s when nobody cared to hear the blues, to being “discovered” and having long-time gigs as a hard-playing and hard-drinking and drugging globetrotting sideman with Canned Heat and John Mayall.  The book chronicles how Walter eventually became drug-free, broke out on his own and embarked on a solo career in 1989.

Currently in production and scheduled to be shown in the summer, the exclusive documentary features Walter talking in depth about his life and music.  Also featured in the documentary are many of the people who influenced Trout personally and professionally.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Robert Cray, legendary blues guitarist to release new LP "In My Soul"

Visit Mascot Label Group's Robert Cray Shop

Legendary guitar musician and singer-songwriter Robert Cray releases "In My Soul" in the UK on March 31, 2014 on the Provogue label. This will be the seventeenth studio album for the 5x Grammy winner, 15x Grammy nominee and multi-platinum selling artist.
The release of the album will be followed by an extensive UK and European tour that kicks off at the Anvil in Basingstoke, UK on May 2nd.
Produced by American multi-instrumentalist, composer, musical director, Grammy Award-winning artist and longtime Cray friend Steve Jordan (John Mayer, Keith Richards), "In My Soul" captures Cray at his finest with an outstanding 10 song collection of Stax and Chess influenced soul and blues that showcases his trademark guitar playing and his extraordinary vocals. A bonus track "Pillow" is also be included on the limited edition CD.
From the driving original classic Cray "You Move Me" with its scorching guitar leads, to the melodic 60’s sway of "Fine Yesterday" featuring Cray’s trademark soul drenched vocals, "In My Soul" draws listeners in very quickly.
Recorded at Santa Barbara Sound and engineered by Niko Bolas, "In My Soul" features the Otis Redding cover "Nobody’s Fault But My Own" that finds Cray trading vocals with drummer Les Falconer and features a punchy horn ensemble and catchy guitar verse.
Photo Credit: © Jeff Katz
The moving Cray penned "What Would You Say" pierced with his unique guitars licks, has Cray dreaming about a better world and in traditional Cray fashion asking listeners, "What would you say if we quit waging war, children felt safe to sleep. One of these days we may all learn to talk over a table with something to eat. What would you say? Can we do that? What would you say?"
Longtime band mate Richard Cousins co-wrote the Booker T homage, an instrumental entitled "Hip Tight Onions" as well as the poignant 70’s tinged "Hold On" that talks about relationship perseverance during difficult times. Cries of lost love are told in both "Pillow", the haunting bonus track co-written by Cray and Jerry Friedman as well as "I Guess I’ll Never Know"  - a funky hard driven tune co-written by Falconer.

Photo Credit: © Jeff Katz
The album also features a version of "Deep In My Soul" a staple in the set list of the great soul and blues singer Bobby Blue Bland as well as a version of the Isaac Hayes / David Porter cover "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)" first recorded by Motown’s Mable John in 1966 and then became a hit single for Lou Rawls in 1969.
New Yorker Magazine (Sept 2013) calls Cray "One of the most reliable pleasures of soul and blues for over three decades now… "and Rolling Stone Magazine (4/2012) credited Cray’s "Strong Persuader" album to having reinvented the blues with his "distinct razor sharp guitar playing" that "introduced a new generation of mainstream rock fans to the language and form of the blues."

Photo Credit: © Jeff Katz
Robert Cray has written or performed with everyone from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, from Bonnie Raitt to John Lee Hooker.  Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at the age of 57, he is one of the youngest living legends to receive the prestigious honour. With over 12 million records sold and his own line of Fender guitars, Cray has established himself as a genre defining artist- breaking through the pop ceiling with his gate crashing/blues-edged trademark sound and distinct style that has become a signature blend of R&B, pop, rock, soul and traditional blues. 
The New York Times says, "His voice, alternately smooth and craggy, is often richer and more emotive than Mr. Clapton’s, and he knows the best ways to use it," while Guitar Player Magazine noted, "Robert Cray is not only making great music, he's making history."

24 Hour Ticket Hotline - Ticketmaster 0844 844 0444
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The Anvil, Basingstoke
Friday 2nd May 2014

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Cheltenham Jazz Festival
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London Barbican
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Tunbridge Wells, Assembly Hall Theatre
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Cardiff St. David’s Hall
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Manchester Bridgewater Hall
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Edinburgh Queen’s Hall
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Guildford G-Live
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Photo Credit: © Jeff Katz
Robert Cray – Official Website
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Provogue Records- Your Guide to the Blues


Boy do we have a great year of music for you. For those of you who ARE familiar with Provogue, you already know that we are an international favorite in the blues world. With artists like, Robert Cray, Walter Trout, Beth Hart, Popa Chubby, and Leslie West it's no surprise that we took home 7 honorable mentions in The Blues Magazine's Best of 2013 edition, not to mention 2 Blues Foundation nominations, and a Grammy nomination!  That's why it's no surprise we plan on making a lot of noise in 2014! 


Fresh Artists + Brand New Releases

Whether you're into classic blues, Chicago blues, a good ol' shuffle or even your new-age progressive blues there's a big buzz coming from Matt Schofield. His latest release "Far As I Can See" serves an entree of well thought out songs that take you for a journey. The album is available worldwide on February 18th, you can click here to pre-order now. 

-Guitar Magazine

March 4 "A Day In Nashville" - ROBBEN FORD
April 1 "In My Soul" -  THE ROBERT CRAY BAND


- Los Angeles TIMES


Be sure to tune into the 56th annual Grammy's Sunday, January 26th, 2014 on CBS!

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