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

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Shrapnel Records artist: Chris Duarte Group - Lucky 13 - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Lucky 13, from the Chris Duarte Group and it cooks! Opening with free wheelin' You Know You're Wrong, Duarte, backed by John McKnight on drums and Kevin Vecchione on bass, this tracks rocks. A relentless drive on the bottom and Duarte's fluid guitar riffs make this a grand opener. Think SRV on an experimental, progressive trip. Angry Man is a cool rock n roller with a nice hook. A simple beat and flashy riffs make this a very appealing track. Crazy For Your Love is a strong blues track with a solid Texas lope. You want a heavy dose of Texas it is! Excellent! Who Loves You is Chris Duarte meets Clarence Brown. With a definite swing and beautiful Gatemouth like guitar riffs, this track is a winner. Here I Come is a lighter pop style blues track with slick guitar riffs and a definite hook. Let It Go is an intense slow blues track with incredibly inspired guitar soloing. This track is over 9 minutes but believe me, it seems like 3. Brilliant! Man Up returns to a more radio sound with a cool Todd Rundgren feel but with firm Duarte signature. Not Chasing It is nice rockin' guitar jam with a certain looseness. A solid base gives Duarte all the room he needs to lay down a cool line and he just lets it rip. Nice! Weak Wheels is a heavy footed blues rocker with a funky bottom. Cool melody, nice vocal harmonies and a wailing guitar riff....This track will stick with you! Ain't Gonna Hurt No More is a Texas style boogie with a real nice drag. Texas style all the way and Duarte lays it down nice and tasty. next up is Meus Via Vita Suite which is 3 separate concepts, the first, Let's Go For A Ride, which is a cool pop track with what sounds like backward guitar riffs. Part 2 is Minefield Of My Mind which has a much more progressive feel. Totally instrumental, lays down a driving rhythm and then just allows a John McLaughlin like guitar solo go. Really interesting! Part 3, Setting Sun, is a ballad which slows way down with a gospel/R&B feel. Clear concise guitar riffs cap this track. Wrapping the release is Jump The Trane, a real cool guitar shuffle track. Excellent finish to a really hot 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”


Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Chris Duarte Group to release the new album "Lucky 13" on Blues Bureau International October 14. 2014

Chris Duarte Group
Lucky 13
Blues Bureau International
14 October 2014

Chris Duarte Group emerged on the scene out of Austin, Texas, in the early 90’s and gained notoriety after wowing a packed room of industry insiders at the South X Southwest convention. In the wake of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s passing, Duarte quickly gained a national reputation as a young man imbued with a playing style comparable at times to the late guitarist.

After fielding interest from a number of labels, Duarte signed to Silvertone Records and his debut album “Texas Sugar/ Strat Magik” reportedly sold in excess of 100,000 units in the United States, no small feet for a blues/rock guitarist. This coupled with Duarte’s strong commitment to touring, was the impetus for Chris’ winning the “Best New Talent” in Guitar Player’s 1995 Reader’s Poll. He also finished fourth in the magazine’s “Best Blues Guitarist” category that year behind legends Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and B.B. King.

Throughout the last decade, Duarte honed his chops as a guitarist, songwriter, and singer as he recorded three more critically acclaimed records, “Tailspin Headwhack” in 1997, “Love Is Greater Than Me” in 2000 and “Romp” 2003, the latter two of which were on the Zoe/Rounder label.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Duarte has constantly worked on his growth as a musician and the years of recording culminated purposefully in this past decade’s “Blue Velocity”, “Vantage Point”, “396” with Bluestone Company, “Blues In The Afterburner”, “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, All Things Blue”, “Infinite Energy”, “My Soul Alone”, and 2013’s “Chris Duarte Group Live”. All records aptly showcase many sides of this brilliant artist in the context of high energy blues rock with moments that bring to mind legendary artists as diverse as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robin Trower, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Johnson.

Chris’ recordings have always been rooted firmly in the blues with a rock and roll edge which further established Duarte as one of the rare musical talents of his generation. “Lucky 13” continues in the tradition of contemporary blues rock with bursts of fusion, pop, and heavy psychedelia throughout. This CD contains a heavy dose of Duarte’s legendary blues guitar chops over a diverse set of grooves and lyrical themes.

1. You Know You’re Wrong
2. Angry man
3. Crazy For Your Love
4. Who Loves You
5. Here I Come
6. Let It Go
7. Man up
8. No Chasing It
9. Weak Wheels
10. Ain’t Gonna Hurt No More
11. Meus Via Vita Suite:
      a. Let’s Go For A Ride
      b. Minefield Of My Mind c. Setting Sun
12. Jump The Trane’

Points of  Interest
• The Blues Bureau label has developed a strong following for its superior blues rock recordings. Chris Duarte takes his place among artists in the label’s legacy that includes such blues rock legends as Rick Derringer, Pat Travers, Eric Gales, and Leslie West.
• Chris’ masterful guitar and vocal performances on “Lucky 13” portend a great response from these loyal blues fans, as guitarists of this quality and intensity are few and far between.
• The Chris Duarte Group is a perennial touring act, and have played as many as 300 dates in a single year, and has developed a legion of loyal fans spanning across the United States.
• Guitar Player Magazine has revered Duarte, and its readers have named him one of the greatest guitarists in the industry in a reader’s poll.
• Fans of guitar-oriented music have followed Chris Duarte for nearly two decades and his fans are waiting in anticipation of this phenomenal record.
• As a guitarist, Duarte has been compared to some of the greatest players of all time. This record, while featuring some of his most impressive and extended guitar work to date, also reveals him to be a strong singer/ songwriter in the blues rock genre.

Official Website:



10/9 - THE GREY EAGLE - Asheville, North Carolina
10/10 - THE RUSTY NAIL - Wilmington, North Carolina
10/11 - ANDREWS BREWING CO. - Andrews, North Carolina
10/12 - THE POUR HOUSE MUSIC HALL - Raleigh, North Carolina
10/24 - BRADFORDVILLE BLUES CLUB - Tallahassee, Florida
10/25 - SKIPPER'S SMOKEHOUSE - Tampa, Florida
10/26 - EARL'S HIDEAWAY LOUNGE - Sebastian, Florida
10/28 - OLDE FISH HOUSE - Matlacha, Florida
10/30 - "Bike Night" at TWO BROTHERS BAR & GRILL - Punta Gorda, Florida
10/31 - THE ALLEY - Sanford, Florida
11/1 - THE FUNKY BISCUIT - Boca Raton, Florida
11/11 - THE IRIDIUM - New York City, New York
11/13 - COURT STREET GRILL - Pomeroy, Ohio
11/14 - THE BEACHLAND BALLROOM - Cleveland, Ohio
11/15 - MOONDOG'S - Blawnox, Pennsylvania
11/16 - SPORTSMEN'S TAVERN - Buffalo, New York
11/18 - VIOLET'S VENUE - Barrie, Ontario, Canada
11/19 - CHAN'S - Woonsocket, Rhode Island
11/20 - THE HUNGRY TIGER - Manchester, Connecticut
11/21 - THE ELKS LODGE - Franklin, New Hampshire
11/22 - THE STONE CHURCH MUSIC CLUB - Newmarket, New Hampshire
11/23 - ABILENE BAR & LOUNGE - Rochester, New York
11/25 - HILL COUNTRY LIVE - Washington, D.C.
11/29 - SMITH'S OLDE BAR - Atlanta, Georgia
12/3 - GEORGE'S MAJESTIC LOUNGE - Fayetteville, Arkansas
12/4 - THE VANGUARD - Tulsa, Oklahoma
12/5 - THE BUFFALO ROSE - Golden, Colorado
12/6 - CRYSTOLA ROADHOUSE - Woodland Park, Colorado
12/8 - TAOS MESA BREWING - Taos, New Mexico
12/9 - THE RHYTHM ROOM - Phoenix, Arizona
12/10 - THE SKYLIGHT - Santa Fe, New Mexico
12/12 - KEYS LOUNGE - Fort Worth, Texas
12/13 - DAN'S ELECTRO BAR - Houston, Texas
12/14 - THE ROOST - Austin, Texas
12/15 - EXECUTIVE SURF CLUB - Corpus Christi, Texas
12/16 - SAM'S BURGER JOINT - San Antonio, Texas
12/17 - The Guitar Sanctuary - McKinney TX  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Shrapnel Records artist: Indigenous featuring Mato Nanji - Time Is Coming

I just received the newest release, Time Is Coming, from Indigenous featuring Mato Nanji. Opening with a strong radio player, Grey Skies, Nanji and company, Jeff Martin (drums), Steve Evans (bass) and Jesse Bradman (keys)set the stage for a strong blues rocker. I'm Telling You, another track with strong musical hooks, adds a mild funk bottom and Nanji leads with certain vocals and fluid guitar lines. Heated guitar solo work on this track gives you a strong taste of Nanji's flair. Good At Feelin' Bad is a straight up rocker with a Latin twist. Nanji keeps the heat on during the entire track with crisp creative guitar riffs complimented by Martin's percussion. Time Is Coming, staying in the blues vein, works in a country rock flavor. A ballad by construction, this track has a really strong hook and displays some of Nanji's best vocal efforts, supported by Bradman on backing vocals. Sun Up, Sun Down has the characteristics of a mountain country primitive blues track. Nicely blended vocals and a solid rhythm appointed by Bradman on keys makes this another solid track for airplay. Around The World is another track with a strong melody and nicely blended vocals. Nanji plays clean guitar riffs behind the melody throughout but breaks loose for a nice solo digging up some cool grinding riffs and clever phrasing. Won't Be Around No More has a really cool swampy groove (think Voodoo Chile) led by Steve Evans on bass and with an almost Hendrix attack on vocal and guitar takes you to a whole new level. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the release. You're What I'm Living For picks the pace back up for a much more rocky format but not leaving the blues roots. Nice bass lines from Evans and driving drums from Martin provide a solid framework for Nanji's solid vocals and flashy guitar riffs. Cool. Day By Day is right down the blues line, like it is right out of Hound Dog Taylor's song book. All of the grit is there but some of the roughness has been polished up a little. Nanji does a really nice job of keeping the grit of Taylor but giving it a new smoother texture. I really love HDT and music bred from his influence so this is one of my favorite tracks on the release. Excellent! So Far Gone has a bit of Rock N Roll or Texas 2 step like Under Pressure which make it an immediate crowd pleaser. Nanji steps up and rides the wave with one of the hottest guitar leads on the release. Smokin! Give Me A Reason has a more contemporary rock sound with a Bo Diddley beat and nicely blended vocal harmonies. Something's Gotta Change steps right into Willie Dixon territory and has a real swagger. Nanji drives the train on guitar and the band keeps it tight as he plies his trade. Don't Know What To Do wraps the release with a deep, dirty, slow blues track certain to grab every blues guitar lover and shake them by the neck. Nanji digs deep for just the right feeling on this track taking command vocally and making ever bend and note count. Clocking in at over 8 minutes, this track rips!

  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”


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Shrapnel Records Artist: Chris Duarte Group - My Soul Alone - New Release Review

I just received, My Soul Alone, the new Chris Duarte Group release and it's interestingly different. I've been Listening to Duarte for quite some time and one thing that is consistent is quality music that is predictably unpredictable. The CD opens with Show Me That You Want It, a loping Texas style blues with smokin hot guitar riffs... what i typically associate with Duarte. Duarte's music has similarities to SRV but you know, SRV had style similarities to others so it is unfair to make a comparison. This sounds like Duarte... nice and hot! Yes, It's You takes has more of a pop flavor on a Texas contemporary country rock track. Definitely radio time. Take Me Now starts a stronger veer toward jazz/rock with a very light touch on guitar and a Latin rhythm. Duarte shows a strong command of his craft and versatility in guitar style sounding more like Steely Dan. A Dollar Down And Feeling Low is a deep electric blues and one which is destined to be one of the big callers on this release. There is a real attraction by blues guitar enthusiasts for tracks like this and Duarte blends his voice nicely on this track with very heartfelt guitar soloing. Step back and let the man scream! Very cool! On I Bucked It Up, another loping Texas style blues track, Duarte picks the listeners up from the bottom and feeds them Joe Walsh like vocals over hot, stinging guitar riffs. Yes...this is what you expect! Outta My Way is a Jimi Hendrix styled rocker with layered guitar work. You like Hendrix style... this is right up your alley. Leave My Soul Alone, is a modern yet primitive style blues track. Steve Evans (bass) and Aaron Haggerty (drums) give Duarte a lot of room on their solid steady rhythm to create a smokey blues rock track with a lot of free flowing guitar riffs. Yes, it is a really cool track! Lazy Afternoon, the second of two slower blues tracks is set over some lush guitar chords. The track is staged such that Duarte plays some uncharacteristic jazzy blues riffs which really differentiate his work from many of his contemporaries. Yes, this is a very strong track. Can't Shut Me Out is a guitar rock extravaganza with hard driving bass and drums. Duarte takes another opportunity to stretch the envelope with speed and distortion. Carelessness is a really cool track featuring Mads Tolling on violin. This is a really strong track sounding like it could have been an excerpt from a Mahavishnu John McLaughlin or Jerry Goodman release. I really like J/R fusion when it's done well...and well it is. Kudos to Haggarty and Evans (and of course to the featured Duarte and Tolling) for the intensity it takes to keep this groove going. Great finish!

  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 favorite band!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Jazz-Fusion All-Star Trio Scott Henderson Jeff Berlin Dennis Chambers To Release New CD 'HBC'

Asheville, NC – Much to the excitement of musicians and jazz aficiondos worldwide, the highly anticipated CD release by jazz-fusion legends Scott Henderson, Jeff Berlin and Dennis Chambers, will be released on Tone Center Records (a division of Shrapnel Records) on October 16, 2012. Considered one of the most phenomenal trios in the history of jazz-fusion, HBC's debut CD delivers a full dose of virtuosic performances guaranteed to thrill and inspire all who listen.

“The trio is all about interplay,” explains guitarist Scott Henderson. “Jeff and I have always had a very high level of communication when we play together, and putting Dennis in the mix notches it up even higher. He's an extremely musical drummer, but at the same time has the ability to bring the energy up to scary levels.” Bassist Jeff Berlin adds, “We pretty much have the same vision of how three strong players should sound together. We function well on many levels; we're friends and love to hang. We're also individually dedicated to high standards of playing.”

The music on the CD reflects the influences and spirit of HBC. Tracks include covers by Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham and originals penned by Henderson and Berlin individually. Says Jeff. “We all agreed to the repertoire but Scott picked most of the songs.” Scott explains, “I thought it would be cool if a guitar trio covered songs by keyboard players like Joe Zawinul and Herbie Hancock, though we did some Wayne Shorter tunes as well.”

Before recording their debut album, HBC hit the road first, refining their repertoire in front of thousands of elated fans. “We try to find new ways to play at every gig,” Jeff explains. “When we are gigging our motor is always set to high.” Scott adds, “Because the three of us have so much experience playing different styles of music, we're able to go from graceful straight-ahead jazz to heavy metal and just about everywhere in between, so it's an extremely versatile band, which makes it a lot of fun.”

Scott Henderson is considered one of the premier jazz-fusion guitarists performing on the planet today. Although Henderson claims to be more of a blues-rock player, with influences like Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Ritchie Blackmore, it was the influence of jazz that led him to the style of playing and composing he is now famous for. Henderson has recorded and toured with such notable artists as Chick Corea's Elektric Band, Jean-Luc Ponty, and a four year stint with Weather Report legend Joe Zawinul. He formed the band Tribal Tech in 1984 with bassist Gary Willis, and recorded ten critically acclaimed albums. In 1991 Scott Henderson was named by Guitar World as the #1 Jazz Guitarist, and in January 1992 he was named #1 Jazz Guitarist in Guitar Player's Annual Reader's Poll. Henderson has also released three well-received solo albums as well as two releases with Vital Tech Tones, a trio collaboration with bassist Victor Wooten and ex-Journey/Vital Information leader Steve Smith on drums. As is often the case with a musician of Scott's caliber, the demand is great that he share his knowledge with the current generation of guitarists. He is on the faculty at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, and has written columns for Guitar Player, Guitar World and Guitar School magazines.

Jeff Berlin is a legend of the electric bass, considered by many to be the finest electric bass player in the world. A true master of the bass, Jeff Berlin has played with the likes of Bill Bruford, Alan Holdsworth, AWBH and George Benson. Jeff Berlin's resume reads like the who's who of the higher echelon of music artists. Jeff Berlin was even asked to join Van Halen, an invitation that he actually turned down. Not only is Jeff Berlin a innovator in the jazz field, but rock players are constantly siting him as their major influence. Carlos Santana called Jeff the “best bassist in the world”, while Rush’s Geddy Lee used the phrase “best bassist on the planet!” Jeff Berlin's innovative bass playing has influenced a generation of bass players world-wide. He was voted #1 Jazz Bassist by the readers of Guitar Player Magazine. Jeff also pioneered a technique called 'two handed tapping', when he performed this style on the track "Motherlode" from his 1985 debut solo album called 'Champion'. The founder of The Players School of Music in Clearwater, Florida, Jeff has also been at the forefront of music education for almost 30 years. His columns in Guitar Player and Bass Player magazines were the most read columns due to their controversial content of music education. Jeff single-handedly has re-vamped music education by dismissing popular methods of learning such as using electronic tuners, metronomes, handgrips, tablature, or any study method that does not include musical content.

Dennis Chambers is a miracle in modern music; a formidable, ferocious and ultra-funky presence behind the drum kit in such celebrated ensembles as Parliament-Funkadelic, Steely Dan, Santana and the Brecker Brothers, as well as incendiary fusion outfits led by guitarists John Scofield, Steve Khan, Mike Stern and John McLaughlin. A remarkably versatile drummer who has shown limitless abilities to swing on a small kit in traditional jazz settings or flaunt his stylistic chops in rock-fusion super sessions, Dennis Chambers is one of the most recorded and sought after drummers in the world of Jazz-Fusion. In 2007, just before Led Zeppelin was scheduled to perform at the O2 Arena in London, John Bonham's son Jason was asked in an interview, if he was to give up the drum seat for the reunited Zeppelin, who would he recommend to fill the coveted drum throne. He replied, “I would probably want a jazz drummer with a strong swing feel. Dennis Chambers...I think he would 'get it', whereas other rock drummers wouldn't.”

And now, these three icons of jazz-fusion have come together to form a supergroup that has recorded a ground breaking debut CD! “I'm happy with it,” Scott says of the new CD, “and for me that's saying a lot because I'm very self critical. Being a big fan of the musicians we covered, I worked really hard to make the songs sound as huge and textural as they are on the original recordings, which meant doing a lot of layering.” Jeff concludes, “I coundn't be more pleased with the results.”

'HBC – Henderson, Berlin, Chambers' will be available on Amazon, iTunes, Shrapnel Records and local record stores on October 16, 2012.