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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 Rusty Zinn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rusty Zinn. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Delta Roots Records artists: Battle of the Blues Chicago vs Oakland - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Battle of the Blues, Chicago vs Oakland id it's drips soul. Opening with Broke Ass Man, a sweaty, R&B track by Mz. Sumac, you got honest to goodness soul and hot vocals over warm organ and piano by Chris Burns, and deep bass by Aldwin London. Willie Nelson's, Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away has a great soulful take by Aldwin London, a super singer and bass player with soulful sax by John Brumbach singing to the music. Very nice. Take It Easy features the lap steel soloing of Freddie Roulette over a cool Twist Turner melody.  Rusty Zinn's slashing guitar style steps forward on Good Morning Mr. Blues and the vocal prowess of Nat Bolden. Pure blues all the way with Leo Q. Allen on trumpet, a great track. "Mr Excitement", Del Brown belts out a soulful, Now That I've Gone. Showing incredible soul prowess, Brown has a powerful voice that carries the understated instrumentation. Brumbach is back with another powerful sax solo pumping the track even higher. Very nice. Another hot guitar instrumental is Red Tide and Roulette again shows incredible feel. Gerald McClendon's solid entry, Cold In The Streets, is one of my favorites on the release with super vocals and Mark Wydra's guitar work over the bass lines of Art Love are magic. Wrapping the release is Emery Williams Jr. on soul track, Mama Don't You Weep, with Bernard Anderson on sax and a great bass line by Art Love. This is a really nice release of R&B, Soul and Blues and a great way to wrap up the year. 

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Electro-Fi Records artist: Mark Hummel - Harpbreaker - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Harpbreaker, from Mark Hummel and it's one of the best Chicago style blues records that I've heard in a long time. Opening with terrific harp boogie, Harpoventilatin', Mark Hummel wastse not a second showing why he's one of the top blues harp players in the world today. With strong pace, and great phrasing, Mark Hummel leads the way joined by Charles Wheal on guitar, Steve Wolf on bass, Marty Dodson on drums and Bob Welsh on keys. Jump track, Rotten Kid really is hot with Wheal laying out some terrific guitar riffs working nicely with Hummel's own featured playing. Excellent. With a super strut, Walkin' With Mr. Lee has just the right snap. Featuring Wes Starr on drums, RW Grigsby on bass, Charlie Baty and Anson Funderburgh on guitars, this track is terrific. Slow blues, Cristo Redentor has such a presence with it's soulful melody and smooth guitar phrasing by Kid Anderson. Excellent! Senor Blues has a beautiful Latin feel with a floating melody and features confident solos by Hummel, Chris Burns (keys) and Johnny bones (sax) backed by Rusty Zinn on guitar, Lech Wierzynski on trumpet, and Willie Panker on drums. Smooth shuffle, Glide On, features nice solos from Zinn, Burns and Hummel. Very nice. Harp boogie, Chuckaluck, is a great showcase for Hummel with Dave Eagle on washboard, Aaron Hammerman on piano and Billy Flynn on guitar. Sweet. Wrapping the release is classic blues number, See See Rider with Zinn on guitar and Hummel on harp, about as stripped down as a modern blues gets. Super closer for an excellent release.



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Monday, June 25, 2018

VizzTone Label Group artist: Billy Price - Reckoning - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Reckoning, from Billy Price and it's quite good. Opening with soul fused blues number, 39 Steps, Billy Price has surrounded himself with a who's who of musicians including Kid Andersen on guitar, Alex Pettersen on drums, Jerry Jemmott on bass, and Jim Pugh on keys for a solid radio style start. Dreamer is a strong track with a really nice bass line by Jemmott, nice pinched soloing by Andersen, and excellent backing vocals by Lisa Leuschner Andersen and Rusty Zinn. Very cool. Title track, Reckoning, has a real nice feel and an almost Al Green vibe. Price's vocals are smooth and warm keyboard work by Pugh, clean trumpet lines by Konstantins Jemeljanovs, lead bass lines by Jemmott and slick riffs by Andersen make this one of my favorite tracks on the release.  Another of my picks for the release is One and One, with its super melody, some of Price's best vocals on the release and cool sax work by Johnny Bones. Funky soul number, Never Be Fooled Again, has a tight bass line from Jemmott and warm backing vocals by Andersen and Courtney Knott. With a laid back attack, Kid Andersen lays in some mighty tasty licks on guitar. Expert Witness stays in the funky stream with power horn work by Nancy Wright. Very nice! R&B track, Love Ballad could easily have been a strong radio player in the early seventies with it's rich vocals, melody and that tale tell sitar work by Andersen. Lisa's backing vocals on this track are particularly nice. Wrapping the release is Your Love Stays With Me with a country blues feel. Warm horn work, coupled with Prices own smooth vocals over Jemmott's bass line set this track apart and Bones sax solo is really sweet. Cool closer to a cool release.


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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Dog House Records artist: Harpdog Brown - Travelin" With The Blues - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Travelin' With The Blues, by Harpdog Brown and I really like it. Opening with Better Days, a rolling blues number, Harpdog is upfront on vocal and his signature harp work with Jordie Edmonds on guitar, Pat Darcus on bass, Carl Sonny Leyland on piano, Jimmy Morello on drums and featuring Kid Andersen with some hot guitar riffs. On Otis Spann's Must Have Been The Devil, Brown settles down nicely into the Chicago style on vocal and strong harp with Edmonds and Little Victor laying down some real tasty guitar. On Latin flavored, Moose On The Loose, Brown and Charlie Musselwhite play off of each other on harp. With Mike Thorne on cowbell, and solid guitar riffs by Edmonds, this track rocks. Boogie Woogie track, For Better or Worse, features Andersen laying out some really nice rocking riffs with a nice twang. Excellent! Slowing it down a bit on What's Your Real Name, Brown tells it Bishop style, but subbing harp for Red Dog. Rusty Zinn lays in some really nice rhythm and under the vocal lead work giving this track cool texture. Anther Chicago style track, Home Is Where The Harp Is swings right into the groove with solid vocals and crisp harp work from Brown. Tight track. Muddy Waters track, Hard Days Blues has great character and Brown's vocals and harp work are spot on. Wrapping the release is Hayward Boogie, a cool instrumental with Brown and Edmonds just jamming out. Very cool closing to a solid release.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Delta Groove Music artist: Andy Santana & the West Coast Playboys - Watch Your Step - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Watch Your Step, from Andy Santana & the West Coast Playboys and it's a mover! Opening with Fran and West 50's R&B track, Knock Knock,Santana delivers with a full New Orleans swing. Bob Welsh handles piano in fine form, joined by Anthony Paule on guitar, Kid Andersen bass, Robi Bean takes on the drums and Frankie Ramos hits a hot sax solo. Very nice! Bobby Parker's Watch Your Step has a cool Latin rhythm and Santana carries lead vocal and some really tasty lead guitar. Kid Andersen kits the sax on this track adding some key lines and Nate Ginsberg handles the keys. Dave Bartholomew's swing boogie, Playgirl is a really nice track to feature the fine harp work of Santana. He also takes a great lead guitar solo on this track backed by Kid Andersen as well as Mike McCurdy on bass and Robi Bean on drums. Hot track! ZZ Hills R&B track, One Way Love Affair had some real nice dynamics compliments of Eric Spaulding on sax, Jack Sanford on bari and Manny Angel on trumpet. Santana again takes center stage on guitar laying down some really gritty lead riffs backed by Rusty Zinn. Ginsberg is back on B3 and Mike Phillips lays down some real nice bass lines. Hi steppin R&B track, Love Sickness, penned by Bonny Rice features Bob Welsh on lead guitar Lorenzo Farrell on B3, Phillips on bass, and D'Mar on drums but it's the groove that pumps this track. Gill and Jones', up tempo jump boogie track, You May Not Know, features solid vocals by Santana and again he gets a fine opportunity to hit the harp. Welsh on piano and warm vocal backing by Lisa Leu Andersen add a solid middle as Paule hits it hard on lead guitar solo. Rick Estrin track, No Double Talk, has a 60's rock feel with wild guitar effects from Kid Andersen and keys by Welsh. Chuck Willis' super nice slow blues number, Can't You See, features Santana on some of his strongest vocals and Paule steps up on lead guitar. Farrell's B3 work compliments Paule's extremely tasty guitar riffs with B3 warmth, Welsh pulls out some strong piano lines, Phillips riding on bass and June Core keeps the drums low and tight. Phillips really drives rocker, Take Me Back,on bass and Santana shows his guitar flash once again with cool retro guitar riffs. Very cool! Funky Greaseland, is a cool instrumental with Santana, Paule, Mighty Mike Schermer and Welsh each taking turns at lead guitar. Santana even takes an interesting Moog interlude on this one. Phillips plays a pretty plucky bass line and Core holds down the bottom on drums. Very nice! One of my favorite tracks on the release, You Smell Like Cookies, a straight up Chicago style shuffle. Jammin the harp balanced against Welsh on piano and featuring Paule on lead guitar, this track is really sweet! What's Wrong? has some really interesting components over a basic blues rocker including some cool keyboard tones from Farrell and and surf machine gun guitar from Andersen. Wrapping the release is another Dave Bartholomew R&B track, Go On Fool. A country style guitar riff by Andersen and a hot sax solo by Ramos gives it flair and Spaulding, Sanford and Angel on horns and LL Andersen on percussion and shouts give it a bit of a New Orleans finish. Cool closer to a very enjoyable release.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Greaseland Records artist: Aki Kumar - Don't Hold Back - New Release Review

I just received the newest release from Aki Kumar and it's a solid dose of Chicago blues. Opening with Snooky Pryor's Judgement Day, a smooth slinging number, has Kumar on vocal and harp and Little Jonny with crisp guitar work. On Hank Ballard's Hoochie Coochie Coo, Kumar really gets the band in the groove with his focused vocals. Frankie Ramos adds a real nice sax soloing to the mix and Bob Welsh lays down some real nice piano lead. I particularly like Rusty Zinn's guitar soloing on this track. On title track, Don't Hold Back, Ramos again adds the heat on sax and June Core on drums as well as Vance Ehlers on bass really hold the line. On James Moore's Buzzin', Core sets a snappy snare rhythm and Kumar sets up a nice harp melody. Johnny Cat Soubrand and Little Jonny lay down some nice guitar on this track as well. On original track, Let Me Get Closer, Kumar really sets a nice table both vocally and on harp. On Jimmy Reed's She Don't Want Me No More, Welsh rolls a super nice piano solo and Kumar slams down hard with a nice ripper of his own. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Drifting Blues, has an almost John lee Hooker like drive to it. With essentially no bridge, this track is a full blown train rolling down the tracks and Kumar is blowin the harp. Very nice! Little Walter track Blue Baby has a real nice simple pace backed by Welsh on piano and with nicely placed harp riffs throughout. A real nice harp solo carries the melody on this track making it another of the best tracks on the release. On Willie Dixon's I'll Get You Too the band gets a bit of the 60's rock feel with a distinct drum pattern and sax work from Ramos. Kumar on vocal and Kid Anderson on organ nicely embellish the authentic feel of this track. LC Fraiser track, Wish Me Well, has a real nice groove complimented by Welsh and Soubrand and Little Jonny and Kumar does his best harp work on this track. Classic blues track Freight Train finds Litte Jonny on lead vocal and Kumar laying down a great train riff along side of simple acoustic country slide. Very nice! An extremely hot jump track, The Mumbai Express, is up next and a perfect showcase for Kumar to show what he's got. This is a great shuffle track with Soubrand laying in some really nice guitar riffs. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Yeh (A Strange Story), which has a definite eastern twist. With it's 50's styling, it shows a world interpretation on our native blues. Unconventional guitar patterns and vocal styling complimented by traditional blues sax riffs make for an interesting conclusion to an otherwise straightforward Chicago blues release.

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