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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 Raoul Bhaneja. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Raoul Bhaneja. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Raoul and The Big Time - Hollywood Blvd. - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Hollywood Blvd, from Raoul and The Big Time and it's quite good. Opening with Nothin' Gonna Take Me Down, Raoul has enlisted some of the top blues talent on the continent including Rick Holmstrom on guitar, Jeff Turmes on bass, Stephen Hodges on drums and of course Raoul on harp and vocals. A loose blues infused stumble, this track is laced with hot guitar and harp riffs. Title track Hollywood Blvd, has a Latin R&B feel featuring Fred Kaplan on piano. Larry Taylor on bass and Richard Innes on drums give Raoul and Junior Watson a nice rhythm to lay out some great Chicago style solos. Bobby Blue Bland's Someday it given a really nice traditional feel and Raoul does a nice job on lead vocal. Frank Goldwasser really hits the target with hot guitar work on this track, backed by Darren Gallen on guitar, Terry Wilkins on bass, Tom Bona on drums, Pat Caret and Alison Young on sax and Jake Wilkinson on trumpet. Excellent! Shuffle track High Roller, strokes a nice chord with Kaplan on piano and Watson on drums. Raoul steps up on the track and a simple harp solo keeping this a cool compact blues track. Amphetamine is a high strung instrumental blues romp featuring great work from both Raoul on harp and Holmstrom on guitar. Another excellent track! Allan Toussaint track Get Out Of My Life Woman maintains that New Orleans lumber and features Rusty Zinn on guitar. It's always a treat to hear Zinn lay it down and Tyler Yarema adds some nice piano riffs on this track. Of special note on this track is the nice horn work of Carey, Young and Wilkinson. Left Coast Fred is a really cool boogie featuring really tasty guitar work from Watson and harp work by Raoul. Fred Kaplan taked a particularly cool piano solo on this track and Larry Taylor steps up with a nice upright bass solo as well. Staples Singers track Why Am I Treated So Bad is an easy soul track with a simple pop rhythm. Tired is a down and dirty blues track again with hot guitar work from Watson and crisp piano work from Kaplan. Raoul really lays out some nice harp work on this track making this one of the best tracks on the release. Jump track Spoken For again gives a clean dance floor for Watson to torch the fretboard. I mean he's not out there alone, but he really does a nice job. Strong bass work from Taylor and of course vocal and harp work from Raoul are icing on this smoker. Curtis Salgado steps up to the mike on harp on Curtis Charm with great backing from Raoul, Darren Gallen on guitar, Wilkins on bass, Bona on drums and Yarema on piano. A really nice laid back blues track with two fine harp players laying it all out there. Traditional track, In The Shadow Of The Pine brings to mind some of the depression era tracks cut by Ry Cooder. Surprisingly enough, this is one of my favorite tracks on the release featuring Johnny Sansone on accordian, Raoul on acoustic guitar and vocal, Wilkins on bass and John Showman on violin. This is a really quiet conclusion to a pretty hot release.  

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Toronto Actor and Musician Raoul Bhaneja Set To Host The Maple Blues Awards

Toronto Actor and Musician Raoul Bhaneja Set To Host The Maple Blues Awards
Maple Blues Awards Will be Held on Blue Monday, January 21

For Immediate Release: September 13, 2012; (Toronto, Ontario) – Blue Monday, typically thought to be the most depressing day of the year will be anything but as Raoul Bhaneja, a Toronto actor and musician most noted for his work performing Shakespeare’s Hamlet solo and his blues band Raoul and the Big Time, is set to host the 16th annual Maple Blues Awards on January 21, 2013 at Koerner Hall in Toronto.

A yet to be announced cast of some of the best National blues musicians will be performing at the ceremony, all backed by The Maple Blues Band featuring Gary Kendall, Michael Fonfara, Teddy Leonard, Al Lerman, Tom Bona, Chris Whiteley, Pat Carey and Chris Murphy. Following the ceremony will be the popular after-party, featuring live music. Tickets for the Maple Blues Awards are on sale now for $35 - $65 and can be purchased at The Weston Family Box Office, located in The Royal Conservatory building at 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto or online at https://tickets.rcmusic.ca/public.

After many years of performing the duties of co-chairs of the Maple Blues Awards nominating panel, both Brent Staeben and John Valenteyn have stepped down to focus on their many other commitments in the blues community. The Toronto Blues Society is happy to introduce a new steering committee for the nominating panel that includes Deborah Cartmer, Program Director at CFBU FM radio in St. Catharines, Yves Trottier, Program Director at Dawg FM and Paul Norton, Programmer at CFRO FM and CITR FM radio in Vancouver.

The Maple Blues Awards is Canada’s national blues awards program. Its goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field. Each year, the Maple Blues Awards recognizes a leader in the blues community with the Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award).

The Maple Blues Awards will be wrapping up the biennial Blues Summit, a weekend of panels, discussions and workshops for blues artists, promoters, agents and festivals. On Sunday, January 20 the keynote speaker for Blues Summit Six is Holger Petersen, who in addition to being the president of Stony Plain Records, is also the host of CBC Radio’s popular program, Saturday Night Blues, host of CKUA’s Natch’l Blues and programmer of the Galaxie Blues channel.


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