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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 Rockhouse Party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rockhouse Party. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Severn Records artist: Big Joe and the Dynaflows - Rockhouse Party - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Rockhouse Party, from Big Joe and the Dynaflows and it's super. Opening with super shuffle, Driving Wheel, Big Joe Maher on lead vocal and drums sets the pace with Tom Mookie Brill on bass, Kevin McKendree on keys, and Yates McKendree and Robert Frahm on guitars. A low slung blues rocker, this track is an excellent opener. Excellent guitar phrasing, coupled with powerful lead vocals on So Mean To Me makes it a real standout. Brill takes the lead vocal on slot on Eight Men and Four Women and his vocals are out of sight. This track, with warm key backing by Kevin, and vocal backing by Erin Coburn is excellent! Guitar shuffle, Overdrive is an excellent showcase for the McKendrees with nice phrasing and great pace. Uptempo Go With The Flow, is a real toe tapper with hot riffs and solid vocals. On Vibrate, a rockabilly romp, guitar flurry and stylized  vocals give this track high power. Wrapping the release is easy flowing, slow blues, Two Years of Torture. Big Joe's vocals are sweet and Kevin's piano work super. Rich lead guitar lines and chords give the track nice depth. This is a real nice closer for a surprisingly good release.

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Big Joe and the Dynaflows Are Throwing a "Rockhouse Party" and Everyone Is Invited!

Big Joe and the Dynaflows Are Throwing a Rockhouse Party and Everyone Is Invited!

New Blues/Roots Album Set for February 15 Release on Severn Records

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Severn Records announces a February 15, 2019, release date for Big Joe and the Dynaflows’s new album, Rockhouse Party, featuring acclaimed blues singer/drummer Big Joe Maher. With distribution by MRI/The Orchard/Sony, Rockhouse Party will be released on both CD and vinyl formats. The colorful album cover graphics were designed by Big Joe’s good friend, Marty Baumann, who works for Disney-Pixar Films.

The new album was produced by Big Joe and Kevin McKendree, who also contributed piano and organ on the sessions, which were recorded at McKendree’s Rockhouse Studio in Franklin, Tennessee (hence the album’s title). The rest of the players on Rockhouse Party included three-time Blues Music Award bassist “Mookie” Brill (who also sings lead vocals for the first time on record), plus the talented guitar tandem of Robert Frahm and Yates McKendree, Kevin’s then- 16-year old son (who’s now a ripe old 17). Another teenage phenom, Erin Coburn, adds her tasty guitar licks on one song and backing vocals on three more. The tracks showcase both a number of original songs as well as several cool covers.

Rockhouse Party represents my love of pure blues and R& B,” states Big Joe Maher. “The songs I write come from my heart and tell the same story as all the great blues artists have done for the last 100 years: the story of life!”

Big Joe is also proud and honored to announce that he’s playing drums on Delbert McClinton’s upcoming CD and will be performing for the 15th time on McClinton’s legendary “Sandy Beaches Cruise” in early 2019. Additionally, Maher has been playing gigs with his long-time buddy Anson Funderburgh, and will be performing with him in Europe next month.

Rockhouse Party also reunites Big Joe Maher with Severn Records, the label that released his 2011 CD, You Can’t Keep a Big Man Down, 1998’s I’m Still Swingin’ (which won a Washington Area Music Association award for “Best Blues Recording”) and his 2000 release, All Night Long.

“This album was something I have wanted to do for a while,” relates Maher. “It brings together some of my favorite musicians - the McKendrees for one. I gave Kevin his start in the music business with his first gig with the Dynaflows back in 1987. We have played together off and on since then; and then his genius son, who I have known since his birth, he’s simply the best. Only way I can describe Yates is that he’s a 50-year-old man in a 17-year-old body. I have known Robert Frahm since he was about 17 and now at 37 is a true bluesman on the guitar. I met Tom “Mookie” Brill playing the now-defunct Double Door Inn in Charlotte, North Carolina, in about 1982. From the minute I met him, we hit it off. We are kindred souls who think alike, love great singing and follow the same deal. If you can sing we love you! Tom had never sung solo on a record before and I felt it was my duty to feature him on this project. The end result - he knocks it out of the park!”

Based in the Washington, DC area, Big Joe Maher has been performing blues and jazz for almost 50 years. In his high school jazz band, he was able to play with such jazz greats as Clark Terry, Urbie Green, Mundell Lowe and James Moody, which helped develop his innate style of swing playing that permeates his music to this day. Over time, he’s shared the stage and backed up a diverse group of blues, R&B and soul performers such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Willie Dixon, Lazy Lester, Bullmoose Jackson, James “Thunderbird” Davis, Nappy Brown, Otis Rush and Earl King, among others. In the late ‘80s, after performing (and managing) a nine-piece DC swing band, The Uptown Rhythm Kings, as well as several years as the drummer in the Tom Principato Band, Joe formed his own five-piece jump-blues group, Big Joe & the Dynaflows. In between touring and recording sessions, Joe was musical coordinator for Mick Fleetwood’s club in Alexandria, Virginia, in the mid-90s. His knowledge of local and national blues and jazz performers made him a natural for that gig, and the club was booked with top-notch talent during his tenure. Joe’s also produced a number of blues, jazz and R&B albums, including one by local DC saxophone legend Joe Stanley.

In addition to his previous releases on Severn Records, among the other labels Big Joe has recorded for include Black Top Records out of New Orleans (his Layin’ in the Alley album won the 1994 WAMA award for “Best blues Recording”), as well as the DC-based Powerhouse label, which released his Good Rockin’ Daddy CD.

“I have always loved blues; it’s like an infatuation with me,” Maher proclaims. “I have been blessed to have played with some of the greatest blues and R& B artists ever. All in all, this CD is ME.....this is the music I love and will play till my last sit back pour your beverage and let the Rockhouse Party begin !!”