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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 Release. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Release. Show all posts

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Broke Fuse - Rocket Ride - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Rocket Ride, by Broke Fuse, and it's a solid blues rocker. Opening with  The Stephenson Swamp Stomp, Jay Moonah, the man behind Broke Fuse, lays down some cool blues harp work, backed only by tambourine, setting the pace for the release. Title track, Rocket Ride, is a driving blues rocker with a great bass/drum rhythm, keyboards and lead vocal, all by Moonah and nicely blended female backing vocal by Debbie Fleming and featuring Mike McKenna on slide guitar. Very cool. Shuffle, One Shot, has a bit of blues and a bit of rock with piano by Eric Lambier and vocal, harmonica, drums, organ and bass by Moonah. A definite radio track candidate. Stingray Blues has a slow easy pace with guitar and drum rhythm. Moonah's vocals are understated but his harp playing sails. Very cool. Pop rocker, Miss Me When I'm Gone, has a really lively beat and is another top radio style track with it's solid melody and rhythm. Strong lead vocals and harmonica work by Moonah highlight the track. Instrumental, Los Detalles Del Diablo, is a cool track with a firm Latin beat with Moonah playing harmonica melody over tight guitar riffs. Wrapping the release is The Ballad of Sonny Shade with Moonah and Matthew Bartram, Paul Butters and Neil Bennett on vocal, Bartram on organ, and Moonah on guitar, harmonica, drums and bass. Slipping is a few nice guitar solos are 1st Butters and then Alex Matthews. Cool closer. 

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

New Release RUF 1264: The Ragtime Rumours - Rag ’N Roll

The Ragtime Rumours
Rag ’N Roll

Release: 19.10.2018
Format: CD
Label: Ruf Records GmbH
EAN: 0710347126423

Calling all jaded music-lovers. The Ragtime Rumours have come to prick up your ears. In an era when the dead-eyedmusicindustryclings to tired formulas, these time-travelling Dutch visionariestear up the rulebook – and that rebel attitude is all overRag ’N Roll. Anything goes on this revolutionary debut album, as the ghosts of Robert Johnson and Django Reinhardt meet the influence of Tom Waits and Pokey LaFarge, driving eleven self-penned originals and one traditional that could have been written in 1920 or 2018.“We combine our inspiration for ragtime music with the styles of blues, gypsy jazz and rock ‘n’ roll,” explain the band.“We call it rag ‘n’ roll…”
It’s been a rocket-fuelled rise for the lineup of Tom Janssen (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo, Niki Van Der Schuren (upright bass, vocals, flute, baritone sax), Thimo Gijezen (electric guitar, accordion, piano, vocals) and Sjaak Korsten (drums, kazoo, washboard, vocals).Rewind just a few short years, and The Ragtime Rumours set out like any other young band: busking, grafting, playing any dive-bar and hell-hole that would have them. But this talentedquartet quickly rose above the pack, announcing their pedigree with a run of high-profile competition victories:they took first place at 2015’s BRUL contest, stormed the finals of the 2017 Dutch Blues Challenge, represented the Netherlands at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, and – perhapsmost impressively – won this year’s European Blues Challenge in Hell, Norway.
All that silverware – plus triumphantinternational tours across Norway, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and the UK ()– have left no doubt thatThe Ragtime Rumours can shake a live stage. We’ve had early hints, too, of their alchemy in the studio, with acclaimed EP Ain’t Nobody and standout single Love & Lust rarely leaving the radio playlists on their Netherlands home-turf. Now, Rag ’N Roll bottles the exuberance and megawatt energy of watching this livewire band from the front row. “Making this album,” they remember, “was a lot of nonsense, fun and music, as usual. We wanted this album to sound sincere and organic. It’ll give people the live feel, just like it does onstage.”
The other thing thatRag ’N Roll gives us, of course, is a fistful of new songs that confirm The Ragtime Rumours as one of the most creative forces in modern music.Way Too Smart kicks off the tracklisting in style with its high-velocity groove and hard-luck lyric, and the gems keep coming, from the bluesy harmonica-driven stylings of Hookman to the quicksilver Django-worthy guitar licks ofThe Cigar. There’s a change of pace with the honky-tonk intro of Stop That Train,while the broken-down jazz of Holly Woedend, sung withheart-rending poignancy by Van Der Schuren, will move you to shivers.
The album’s other ace card, of course, is the lyric-sheet.Anything but the usual boy-meets-girl, these words areoften funny, occasionally dark, sometimes surreal (or a combination of all three).There’s the topic of money, represented on both the flat-broke Way Too Smart and tight-fisted Turn Every Dollar (“I’m a cheap, cheap, cheap fucker”). There are failed relationships, addressed by Everywhere I Go, as Janssen tries to outrun an old girlfriend (“Drove planes, boats, trains, cars, rode on a camel’s back, oh, in my head I knew you would be back”). Then there are the classic story-songs like Hookman and Stop That Train, with their mad cast of characters.“The songs are about everyday life very exaggerated,” reflect the band. “And the remarkable and unfortunate people we’ve met.”
In a world where you think you’ve heard it all before, The Ragtime Rumours’ talents add up to the freshest debut album you’ll hear this year. This band might roll back the years with their irresistible vintage/modern music – but their time is now.

New Release RUF 1260: Mike Zito, Bernard Allsion, Vanja Sky - Blues Caravan 2018

Mike Zito, Bernard Allsion, Vanja Sky
Blues Caravan 2018

Release: 19.10.2018
Format: CD + DVD Video
Label: Ruf Records GmbH
EAN: 0710347126027

This was no ordinary club tour. This was the Blues Caravan 2018. If you’ve followed Ruf’s rolling revue since it started life in 2005, you’ll already know that these shows are must-see events, throwing together three stellar artists on one bill – then letting the chemistry do the rest.
Traditionally, the Blues Caravan lineup has showcased the label’s breaking talent – from Aynsley Lister to Samantha Fish – and given fans a chance to catch the blues titans of tomorrow before they go ‘boom’. But in 2018, it’s time to mix things up. On this year’s Blues Caravan, you’ll not only find one young gun with a dazzling career ahead of her, but also two heavyweights with a sky-high reputation. Let’s welcome them to the stage…
This CD / DVD release revives a unique Blues Caravan! A unique live piece to experience the Blues Caravan of 2018 again and again!
The accompanying DVD was recorded on 27.01.2018 at Café Hahn in Koblenz!
Ruf’s tireless dedication to the blues means it hunts far beyond the US and UK for its new signings – and the label has struck gold with Croatian gunslinger Vanja Sky. Channelling the fire and flair of Rory Gallagher, Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan, this 23-year-old hot-tip has already broken out in her home country and bordering Balkan States. On this CD / DVD she presents songs from her first studio album "Bad Penny". Vanja says, „I’m very excited to play on the Blues Caravan 2018,” she says, “and looking forward to meeting a lot of new people and sharing my music with them. My shows are filled with great energy and I always give everything when I’m on stage. I’m gonna play songs from my debut album, and also some cover songs – so people can definitely expect some great music and fun.”
Some surnames command instant respect on the blues scene. As the son of the mighty Luther Allison – the late Chicago blues titan who was Ruf’s first signing back in 1994 – Bernard Allison has added to the family legend and carved out his own mythology as a world-class songwriter and performer. For this year’s Blues Caravan, he’ll be drawing on an acclaimed back catalogue that includes 1997’s US debut Keepin’ The Blues Alive and 2000’s classic Born With The Blues, and slipping between genres as only a master can. “My show is all about sharing my musical talent and presenting different styles like blues, rock and funk. There’ll be lots of energy, because I feed off of my fans and love interacting with them on and off stage. You can expect a fun time – the Allison way!” says Bernard.

If you’re remotely serious about modern blues, you’ll have followed the twists and turns of Mike Zito’s fascinating career. The Missouri-born bandleader overcame his crippling early addictions to become one of modern America’s sharpest songwriters, and few artists have written with such stark eloquence as he did on 2011’s Greyhound album. In 2012, Mike threw us a curveball, lining up alongside Devon Allman and Cyril Neville as a key member of Royal Southern Brotherhood – and went on to stay with the supergroup for two critically feted albums. But the call of his own muse was too strong, and in 2014, Mike burst straight back into his solo career with Keep Coming Back and Make Blues Not War. “I have long wanted to join the Blues Caravan and run away, so I’m excited,” he says. “My shows are energetic and passionate: I try hard to give everything I’ve got and make every note count. You can expect rocking blues guitar, with a dose of soul vocals, and a mix of my best songs.”

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Milligan Vaughan Project Announces Debut Album, "MVP," for August 4 Release on Mark One Records

The Milligan Vaughan Project Announces Debut Album, MVP, for August 4 Release on Mark One Records 

Austin-Based Duo of Singer Malford Milligan and Guitarist Tyrone Vaughan Launch Their New Group with CD Produced by David Grissom and Omar Vallejo

AUSTIN, TX – The dynamic Texas duo of celebrated singer Malford Milligan and guitar slinger Tyrone Vaughan have already begun their first extensive tour of the Lone Star State in-between Austin recording sessions for their first album, MVP, produced by David Grissom and Omar Vallejo, now set for release August 4 on Mark One Records.  MVP will be distributed on CD and digitally through CDBaby and The ConneXtion. 

Watch a special “making of” the MVP album here: 

The MVP album features nine studio tracks recorded in Austin at Arlyn Studios and 512 Studios, as well as two tracks taken from their live show debut at the One 2 One club in Austin during SXSW. The studio tracks include originals written by Milligan, Vaughan and producer David Grissom, as well as Buddy Guy’s “Leave My Girl Alone,” “Compared to What” (popularized by Les McCann) and Rev. James Cleveland’s “Two Wings,” a beautiful acoustic gospel tune with just Milligan and Vaughan. The two bonus live tracks include the Grissom-penned “What Passes for Love” and the Freddy King signature tune, “Palace of the King,” that closes the album.

The music on MVP is a powerful mix of blues, soul, rock and funk, with flourishes of jazz and gospel textured throughout. That sound emanates from the musical DNA of both Milligan and Vaughan and manifests itself throughout the new disc, whether it’s the driving kick of “Soul Satisfaction” and “Little Bit of Heaven;” the funky-jazz of “Compared to What;” the rockin’ “Dangerous Eyes”; the flat-out blues of “Devil’s Breath” and “Leave My Girl Alone” (each powered by Milligan’s soulful vocals and Vaughan’s blistering guitar attack); or the tender, soulful ballad, “Here I Am.”
Backing Milligan and Vaughan on the studio sessions are a cadre of all-star players, including Chris Maresh and Jeff Hayes on bass; Brannen Temple and Kenneth Furr on drums; Michael Ramos and Jay D. Stiles on keyboards; Jorge Castillo on guitar; and  Mike Cross on background vocals.    
The group has already been burning up stages in Texas on their first tour dates that will last through the rest of the summer. The Milligan Vaughan Project has recently been added as special guest on Bob Schneider’s July 14 show at Antone’s as part of that legendary Austin club’s July anniversary month of shows. They’ll also do a special pre-release in-store at Cactus Records in Houston the afternoon of July 15, preceding their show that night at Fitzgerald’s (as special guests for Tab Benoit). Additional shows scheduled thus far include July 21 at One 2 One in Austin; August 9 for SUN Radio at Guero’s Taco Bar in Austin, August 11 at The Guitar Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas, (outside of Dallas) and August 12 at The Texan Theater in Greenville, Texas.
After an inaugural performance for Austin’s SUN Radio, followed by their first public show at the One 2 One Club during the 2017 South by Southwest in March, Malford Milligan and Tyrone Vaughan are well on the way to establishing their own exciting musical identity.
The Milligan Vaughan Project (or MVP) is a musical partnership between Austin’s highly acclaimed vocalist Malford Milligan and guitar slinger Tyrone Vaughan (son of the legendary Jimmie Vaughan), both of whom have a rich musical history steeped in blues and rock ‘n’ roll.
Some of Tyrone Vaughan’s earliest memories go back to the early days of Antone’s, “Austin’s Home of the Blues.” Blues icon Muddy Waters once gave him one of his harmonicas on a notable night. He also found himself sleeping in Boz Skaggs’ guitar case and as a kid wearing out his toy guitars in no time. His first true guitar given to him on his 5th birthday by his uncle Stevie Ray Vaughan was an old Harmony scored at the local pawn shop. Later on it was Stevie, Lou Ann Barton and WC Clark all pitching in and buying Tyrone a Fender Musicmaster. Stevie Ray was very proud of that small-neck guitar and happy that his nephew was following in his and his father Jimmie’s footsteps. Since those early years, he has performed with Billy Gibbons, Doyle Bramhall, Doyle Bramhall II, (Little) Jimmy King, SRV’s Double Trouble, Pinetop Perkins, John Popper and Eric Gales. In April of 2015, Vaughan joined Royal Southern Brotherhood, featuring Cyril Neville on vocals, for two albums on Ruf Records: one recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals; and the other album recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, Louisiana.
No stranger to the blues, Malford Milligan was born in Taylor, Texas, and in 1981 after a short stay in Lubbock as a student at Texas Tech, moved to Austin to begin studies at the University of Texas. Instead of academics, singing took precedent and Monday night blues jams became the beginning of a life in music. His local band, Stick People, launched his career as a talented singer. In 1994, he helped form the Texas super group, Storyville, with David HoltDavid Grissom and the rhythm section from Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble: bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. Storyville released two stellar albums on Atlantic Records, along with the independently released CD/DVD titled Live at Antone’s. As a session singer, Milligan has always been in great demand. He toured and worked on albums together with other outstanding musicians, including Hal KetchumMarcia BallAlejandro EscovedoSue Foley and Eric Johnson. He has also appeared on “The Voice” NBC-TV series in 2013 and has been named “Vocalist of the Year” at The Austin Chronicle Music Awards.
Both Malford and Tyrone have a deep love for the blues, along with a strong mutual respect for each other, and both share a part in Austin’s rich musical history. At the time when each were looking to see what the future held and what musical path they might take,  one phone call followed by a short meeting brought the two together,  and The Milligan Vaughan Project was launched. There is a feeling of family here. Though not technically related, the bond between them is strong. The stage is where they are both most comfortable and the synergy between these two musicians is already bringing audiences to their feet.

Milligan Vaughan Tour Dates

7/1                         Continental Club                                                              Austin, TX
7/14                       Antone’s w/Bob Schneider                                         Austin, TX
7/15                       Cactus Records In-Store (3:00 PM)                           Houston, TX
7/15                       Fitzgerald’s with Tab Benoit (evening)                    Houston, TX
7/21                       One 2 One                                                                          Austin, TX
8/9                         SUN Radio @ Guero’s Taco Bar                                  Austin, TX
8/11                       Guitar Sanctuary                                                              McKinney, TX
8/12                       The Texan Theater                                                          Greenville, TX
8/13                       KLBJ/Ernie's on the Lake                                               Austin, TX
10/1                       SRV Ride/Ernie's on the Lake                                      Austin, TX
Additional dates forthcoming ….

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Neoprene Fedora New CD release and tour! 

"Neoprene Fedora" Rockin' Johnny Burgin CD release and tour!   

Rockin' Johnny's new CD is OUT and available at all shows and at CD Baby.  "Neoprene Fedora" documents Johnny's move to California after a long and illustrious career in Chicago.  Like his previous effort, "Greetings from Greaseland", this CD shows a true Chi-Cali blues summit going on!  This time around, he's written 11 originals ranging from surf to zydeco to gut-bucket blues.  There's a great mix of talent on this disc: BMA nominees and winners like Kid Andersen on guitar, piano and the recording console, drummers Stephen Dougherty and June Core (Charlie Musselwhite, Little Charley and the Nightcats), guest vocalist Alabama Mike, and saxophonist Nancy Wright, and bassist Vance Ehlers all contribute great performances.  Rising Bay Area harmonica star Aki Kumar contributes two guest vocals and great performances throughout.  Aki and Johnny's remarkable synergy is in great abundance-- you can see why recent tours of their West Coast Meets Chicago package are meeting with rave reviews and capacity crowds.  Steve Willis, long-time accordion player for Elvin Bishop, shines on Johnny's zydeco numbers.  Noted Bay area veteran Bob Welsh, who also plays with Elvin Bishop, plays excellent guitar and piano as well. Rockin Johnny's seventh CD since 1998 shows an artist at the height of his powers as a songwriter, singer and guitarist. Get your copy today.

ON TOUR:   It's been a great tour since 1.31-- 28 dates so far swinging through AZ, NM, TX, MS, IL, IN, WI and MN.  Thank you to all the fans who have been coming out!
Wed, March 15: The Wheelhouse, Waupaca, WI
Thurs, March 16: Lagunitas Tap Room, Chicago, 4.20-7.30   solo show
Thurs: March 16: BLUES on Halsted, Chicago, 9.30-1.30  CD Release Party! ft Bennie Rickum, harp
Fri, March 17: The Smoke Daddy, Chicago, 9-12  CD Release Party! ft Bennie Rickum, harp
Sat, March 18: WLUW 88.7 radio interview w author James Porter, 11 am Chicago
Sat, March 18: KJ McKeown's, Morris, IL 7-11
Sun, March 19: The Blue Goose, Toronto, CANADA, w Gary Kendall and Sugar Brown
Mon-Wed, March 20-22: Recording session w Sugar Brown
Thurs, March 23: Mississippi Queen Foods, Hamilton, ON, CANADA, w Sugar Brown
Sat, March 25: Castro's, Toronto, CANADA, w Sugar Brown
Mon, March 27: Martyr's, Chicago, solo show.  Triple bill with Hugh Trimble and Justin Howl
Thurs, March 30: Sonograph, Le Thor, FRANCE, w Aki Kumar and Demetria Taylor
Fri, March 31: Salais Blues Festival, Salaise Sur Sonne, FRANCE w Aki Kumar and Demetria Taylor
Sat, April 1: Jazz En Nord Festival, FRANCE, w Aki Kumar and Demetria Taylor
Sun, April 2: Pub 23, Kouvola, FINLAND, w Aki Kumar
Sun, April 9: Blues Kitchen, Shoreditch, London, UK, w Big Joe Louis and Aki Kumar
Mon, Tues, April 10-11: dates with Giles Robson and Aki Kumar, details TBA
Thurs, April 13: JAM Club, Moscow. RUSSIA w Aki Kumar  WEST COAST MEETS CHICAGO tour
Fri, April 14: Roadhouse Blues Club, Moscow, RUSSIA, w Aki Kumar
Sat, April 15: Port Arthur, Saint Petersburg, RUSSIA, w Aki Kumar
Wed, April 19: Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago
Thurs, April 20: Leadbelly's, Champaign, IL w Joe Asselin
Fri, April 21: Joe's Bar, Marysville, KS
Sat, April 22: ZOO Bar, Lincoln, NE double bill w the Iguanas
Sun, April 23: The Corner Bar, Fremont, NE
Mon, April 24: The Garage on Beck, Salt Lake City Utah
Thurs, April 27: made it back to CA!  Little Lou's, Campbell, CA w Aki Kumar and Trickbag from Sweden.
Fri, April 28: Murphy's Law, Sunnyvale, CA, w Aki Kumar and Trickbag
Sat, April 29: The Torch, Sacramento, CA, w Aki Kumar and Trickbag

For complete tour dates, check out my NEW site,
See you at the shows and thank you very much!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Guy Coming March 24!

On March 24, M.C. Records To Release
Sonny & Brownie's Last Train
By Guy Davis & Fabrizio Poggi
Northport NY – On March 24, M.C. Records will proudly release Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train by the Ambassador of the Blues, Guy Davis and international harmonica sensation Fabrizio Poggi. The deep, acoustic blues sessions took place in Milan Italy and were recorded live in the studio. The result captured the special musical connection that Guy and Fabrizio possess from the years of playing and recording together.
The release will be available digitally, on CD and vinyl! The first time Guy has a released a recording on vinyl! Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train marks the 14th recording by Guy Davis in his storied career and his third with M.C. Records. His first “Juba Dance” was produced by Fabrizio Poggi and also recorded in Italy.
Guy Davis explains the concept of the recording, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry were two musicians whose work will not be surpassed, let alone improved on. This musical opus, was produced by Fabrizio Poggi. It features our combined musical talents, and is not meant to compete with the originals. It’s meant to be a love letter to Brownie and Sonny signed by the both of us. They were two of my favorites.

1. SONNY AND BROWNIE'S LAST TRAIN                                               6. TAKE THIS HAMMER (4.08)
2. LOUISE, LOUISE (4.50)                                                                            7. GOIN' DOWN SLOW (5.24)
4. SHORTNIN' BREAD (3.35)                                                                        9. EVIL HEARTED ME (4.13)
5. BABY PLEASE DON'T GO BACK TO NEW ORLEANS (4.52)             10. STEP IT UP AND GO (2.28)

Guy Davis On Tour
For all of Guy's dates go to

01/13/17 - Sahuarita, AZ - Border Issues Fair

01/14/17 - Sahuarita, AZ - Common Ground on the Border

01/22/17 - 01/29/17  - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Legendary Blues Cruise - With Fabrizio Poggi, harmonica

02/03/17 - 02/04/17  - Queens, NY - Flushing Arts Council

02/08/17 - 02/12/17  - Boquete - Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival - Panama

03/18/17 - Windsor, CT - Northwest Park Nature Center - With Fabrizio Poggi, harmonica.

03/23/17  - Glen Cove - Page One - With Fabrizio Poggi, harmonica

03/24/17  - Saratoga Springs, NY - Caffe Lena - With Fabrizio Poggi, harmonica.

03/25/17  - Bethlehem, PA - Blast Furnace Blues Festival - with Fabrizio Poggi, harmonica.

03/30/17  - New London, NH - Flying Goose Brew Pub - With Fabrizio Poggi, harmonica.


Danish/American Singer Nina Massara Clicks Her Heels, Winks And Says WATCH ME - Out 3/3

Danish/American Singer Nina Massara

Clicks Her Heels, Winks And Says WATCH ME

With Her US Debut Out On March 3rd

Nina Massara is putting everything she has into a sound she hopes will bring the music she loves to every generation, young and old.

Nina has the looks of a retro black and white movie star with a sassy voice that will remind you of modern day belters like Rhiannon Giddens, Victoria Williams, and Valerie June. With a tinge of “I told you so” in her voice, Nina takes on critics and fans with her U.S. debut, Watch Me. This album is set to release on March 3, 2017, on CSP Records, an independent label out of Texas. Label President Jimmy Rogers, who has spearheaded many a blues artist over the past 40 years, was so knocked out by her that he signed her on the spot.

“Look out world; Nina Massara is a fantastic new artist!” Jimmy Rogers, CSP Records.

Recorded and produced by Morten Wittrock both in Denmark and at Austin’s famous 5th Street Studios, Nina brings her distinctive vocal and personal style to a fabulous collection of original Americana songs written by producer Wittrock and Ray Weaver. These two music veterans were able to wrap the melodies and words to fit this young budding talent. Ray Weaver is an American songwriter living in Denmark whose work has been compared to Kevin Welch and Steve Earle. Combine that with Morten’s rocking blues the two succeed with songs like, “Impossible To Resist” a duet with Colin Brooks, who is a former member of Band Of Heathens now an Austin session player. The two bring a playful and flirty flavor to the tune with a funky back beat. A Bourbon Street drenched “Big Easy” recalls her American father’s Louisiana roots complete with a slide guitar that echoes a slow gait down the sidewalk. 

Raised in Denmark by her American father and Danish mother, Nina grew up listening to legends like Delbert McClinton, Keb’ Mo, Taj Mahal and Bob Dylan while working beside her father in his local Mexican restaurant. That myriad of influences continues as Nina accompanied her parents when they did the backstage catering for artists like B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Feat, John Hiatt and more. The music of legends flowed deeply into Nina’s heart, and she couldn’t wait to make her own music.

She began working in the studio with the award-winning Danish producer Morten Wittrock when she was just 15-years-old, doing everything from making coffee to editing Pro Tools tracks. When she turned 18, she bartended at Copenhagen’s storied Mojo Blues Bar continuing her musical education through experience.

Nina’s unique blend of New Orleans earthiness, a little Etta James vocal styling along with some Scandinavian sweetness this young songbird, brings a magical mojo to every song. Her voice, along with the playing and production creates a listening experience that honors both Nina’s deep commitment to her musical roots and her desire to do something entirely new.

Earlier this year this young woman moved to New Orleans to experience their extraordinary culture first hand and now she is residing in Nashville, TN to embed herself in their music community. She is brave, unafraid and determined. Nina Massara will be bringing her remarkable blend of the best of the past and the future to music lovers for many, many years to come.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Delmark Records artist: Lurrie Bell - Can't Shake This Feeling - New Release Review

I just received the most recent release, Can't Shake This Feeling, from Lurrie Bell and it's a big helping of Chicago blues. Opening with Blues Is Trying To Keep Up With Me, Lurrie Bell opens with a flash. Handling lead vocal and guitar, he is joined by Roosevelt Purifoy on keys, Matthew Skoller on harp, Melvin Smith on bass and Willie Hayes on drums. A cool shuffle track, Bell airs our his guitar and Purifoy dazzles as well on piano leading up to Skoller who takes it home. On upbeat, Drifting, Bell really gets a great groove going. His vocals are powerful and Purifoy's harp work is tight. Slowing it down a bit, I Get So Weary, shows Bell on some of his most expressive guitar riffs on the release. This track is smoking! On stripped down, One Eyed Woman, Bell and Skoller pretty much handle the instrumentation making it a real simple and effective track. Very nice. Excellent blues track, The Worrisome Feeling In My Heart, is propelled by really soulful vocals by Bell and particularly effective rhythm guitar work by Bell. His lead guitar work is pointed and biting. Very nice! Back up to speed, Sit Down Baby is back on the Chicago groove. A well balanced track with effective vocals and clean harp and piano, this track hits solid. Hold Me Tight has a real bounce with a tight bottom compliments Smith and Hayes. Bell takes a different kind of guitar solo with a T-Bone Walker feel . Very nice! Sinner's Prayer continues along a T-Bone Walker theme sounding quite a bit like Stormy Monday. Providing a super floor for Bell and Purifoy to solo, this track really is tasty. I Can't Shake This Feeling gets back into the Chicago groove and Bell rides it high. Skoller lays out his own solo and then in tandem with Bell. Very nice. Born With The Blues has a bit of a BB King flare with short compact response guitar riffs to his call vocals. Clocking in at over 6 minutes, this track is really packed with blues and heat. On shuffle track, Do You Hear, Purifoy lays a cool piano riff over Smith's bass line and Skoller plays some of his hottest riffs. Wrapping the release is down and dirty, Faith and Music, a really nice piece with Bell accompanying himself electric guitar and vocal. This is a particularly effective track with tasty riffs supporting his vocals. Very nice closer.

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  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”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Jimbo Mathus EP 'Band of Storms' coming May 6

Nine-song collection a mini-primer of “folk music”
from the fertile pen of the born-and-raised Mississippean
and Squirrel Nut Zippers founder

TAYLOR, Miss. — Trying to pinpoint the musical proclivities of Jimbo Mathus is a bit like trying to predict the path of lightning. You never know where his seemingly limitless creative energy might take him next. But you can bet those bolts of inspiration will produce something you need to hear.
His latest project, the nine-song EP Band of Storms, out May 6, 2016 on the Big Legal Mess label (via Fat Possum), is a brilliant collection of what he characterizes as “just some odds and ends … you know, folk music.”
Well, that depends on your definition of folk music. If it includes Stonesy R&B grooves, straight-outta-Nuggets rawk, deep blues, barrelhouse honky-tonk, a string-laden murder ballad and Louisiana-accented bluegrass, then yeah, we could call it folk. As filtered through the fertile mind of a diehard Southerner, born and raised in Oxford, Miss., not much more than a stone’s throw from Tupelo, Holly Springs and Clarksdale. That is, right in the birthplace of American roots music.
“It’s just a continuation of the work I’ve been doing for, shoot, the past 20 years,” Mathus says. “There’s no big overall, arching thing. It’s just random notes out of my brain.”  
But then he reveals that there is a theme of sorts, and that most of the subject matter is reflected right in Erika Jane Amerika’s cover art. It features a maniacal-looking Mathus standing near a cypress swamp, holding his lightning-struck Epiphone guitar in one hand and a fiery bible in the other. A lightning-zapped Econoline van hovers above him; gathered at his feet are an alligator, his Catahoula dog and a snake-handling Yemayá (the “great mother” of Santeria religion).
All his writing has basically the same theme, Mathus says. “It’s dealing with nature — forces beyond us — and trying to sum it up in my little cave paintings that we call recorded songs.”
Those “little cave paintings” were created at Dial Back Sound, the Water Valley, Miss., studio owned by Fat Possum Records partner Bruce Watson. Mathus has birthed loads of material there; he’s able to jump into the studio just about whenever motivation strikes. The situation is so ideal, Mathus closed his own successful studio a few years back; he was no longer interested in running it after finding so many fulfilling opportunities at Dial Back, including producing and accompanying other artists. 
He uses the winding eight-mile drive from his home in the tiny artist enclave of Taylor, Miss., to think about projects. “If it’s me or if it’s somebody else, it’s all the same,” he says. “We just study on it, trying to make it as great as we can.”
Mathus doesn’t even list individual credits on his albums because, he says, they’re so collaborative. But he plays just about all the instruments, augmented by helpful friends. In this case, they include Watson as executive producer; Mathus produced. Bronson Tew engineered, mixed and mastered — and played many instruments, too. Also contributing are Ryan Rogers, Eric Carlton, Will McCarley, Jamison Hollister, Jim Spake, Mark Franklin and Stu Cole, who plays bass in Mathus’ most renowned musical endeavor, the Squirrel Nut Zippers. (He’s also a member of pal Luther Dickinson’s South Memphis String Band with Alvin Youngblood Hart, and credits Luther’s late dad, famed pianist/producer Jim Dickinson, as the source of much of his musical mojo.)
The result is an ode to what Mathus calls the “primal Southern groove.” 

There’s only one co-write — the twangy “Play with Fire,” also credited to his late friend Robert Earl Reed. “He and I were pretty close collaborators,” Mathus reflects. “This was one he wrote right before he passed. He left me all his music to carry on with, and every so often, I’ll just pull out one of his sheets and cut one of his songs. He had never recorded this one. I just showed the band and we did one take.”
Mathus says he loves its almost desperate imagery, and when he sings, “Yes, let’s play with fire/Let’s cross in front of trains in the darkness, feel the flames/oh, yes, let’s play with fire,” he draws each “yes” into a long hiss. 
Of those sibilant s's, he says, laughing, “I’m getting into character. If you wanna sing like the devil, you gotta hiss like a snake.” Then he adds, “The way you say the words is very important. If it’s a rock ’n’ roll song, you maybe got 20 words. You gotta squeeze the most out of ’em.”
He does exactly that in “Massive Confusion,” the garage-rocker that serves as a straight-up homage to the Replacements, Bobby Fuller Four and the Ramones — and contains what he’s sure is the first-ever rhyme of “yemayá” and “FBI.”
“I wrote it when I was getting audited by the IRS and I was trying to save my fuckin’ ass,” Mathus explains. “It’s just super-punk rock. I came up in the ’80s and the Replacements turned me on to songwriting. They showed me that I could actually write songs. I’m 48, but I’m still a punk rocker.”
Mathus has stories about every song, starting with the rollicking, horn-pumped rock of the opener, “Gringo Man.” He wrote it on a cheap guitar rig he picked up at a Christian supply shop in Jackson, Tenn.
“Sometimes a guitar will write its own song,” Mathus says. “It was like a little cardboard amp with a plastic cord going to it; I made that almost clichéd little rock ’n’ roll riff. But it’s like Keith Richards said about Jimmy Reed: He wrote the same song over and over, but he never did the same thing twice. It’s about celebrating the groove.”
The honky-tonk blooz of “Can’t Get Much Higher” was one for the piano player, Mathus says. He borrowed some of its lyrics from one of his heroes, Charley Patton — father of his nanny, Rosetta Patton.
Dramatic pedal steel and strings give “Stop Your Crying” a Southern gothic turn, with Mathus’ voice going from big and angry to almost plaintive as the song reaches its murderous climax.
“I think it’s one of my best vocals I’ve ever done. But it’s extremely personal. I wrote it for someone very special,” he says, not mentioning who.
“Wayward Wind,” inspired by an Emmylou Harris lyric, has elements of an Irish/English/Scottish drinking song — and was, indeed, written while Mathus was playing U.K. beer halls with his “brother from another mother overseas,” Ian Siegal. “With songwriting, you just pick up scraps and try to turn ’em into a whole page. This one kind of fits in with the theme of desperation, of somebody leaving,” Mathus says. “The blues is all about movin’ on down the line.”
Resonator echoes convey the more elemental blues of “Slow Down Sun,” on which he beseeches the sun, the wind and the rain not to hurt his true love with lines like, “Hold up rain/don’t let your waters down/I’m afraid my baby might slip in and drown.”

“Keep It Together” sounds as if George Harrison might have written it, but Mathus says it came to him after watching the documentary about fellow Southerners Big Star.
“I listen to blues, jazz, country and gospel, but I’ve never listened to rock bands at all, since the Replacements and the Ramones — since the ’80s,” he says. “But I was really touched by the sounds, the chords, the layering of the guitars and the melodies that they brought.”
He leaves us with the mandolin plucks, boot-heel stomps and yowlin’ yelps of “Catahoula” — written, like many of these tunes, in the dog days of summer. “You’d be surprised how much rhymes with Catahoula,” he says, laughing again. “It’s going back to the old balladry days where you state your case right at the top of the song; you give the geography and the whole synopsis right there at the top.”
Speaking of synopses, we should mention Mathus’ career credits include working with Buddy Guy and Elvis Costello, among other luminaries. He says he’s also getting ready to fire up the Vaudeville-meets-swing band Zippers, who had a platinum-selling album and played President Clinton’s second inaugural, among other high-profile gigs. But in the meantime, he remains ready to catch those bolts of “rambunctious creativity” whenever they strike.