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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 Slow Burn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Slow Burn. Show all posts

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Al Lerman - Slow Burn - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the latest release, Slow Burn, from Al Lerman and it's quite entertaining. Opening with a modern shuffle, Don't Push Your Mess On Me, Al Lerman takes the lead on vocal, guitar and harp backed by Omar Tunnoch on bass, Bucky Berger on drums and Jana Reid on vocals. A cool track with a memorable melody, nice opener. On It Takes Me All Night Long, Lerman backs it off a bit with an easy pace. His harp work is smooth and soulful complimenting his vocals nicely. With a light Latin flair, Bad Luck Blues, has a pop sound with Lance Anderson on piano. Lerman steps up with a harp solo with crisp tones giving the track a shot of blues. Gonna Have To Wait is a definite radio track with a catchy hook and solid bones. Rocker, Now That Your Man's Gone, has a real nice southern kind of R&B feel with a guitar hook. This is one of my favorites on the release with just the right groove. With a New Orleans kind of feel and a stumble rhythm, Totally Out Of Whack, is really tight. Lerman's vocals are point on and his harp work works really nicely with Anderson's piano, Fraser's bass and particularly clever drum work by Al Cross. Easy flowing, Younger Than Me, is one of the bluesiest tracks on the release. With sparkling piano work by Anderson, soulful harp by Lerman and warm guitar chords, this track is the spot. On rocker, Any Way You Want, Lerner steps out a bit on guitar with some cool double stop licks and duet vocals give it a cool feel. Country blues style, Better Off Taking Chances, has a Randy Newman sound with it's dusty drums, lyrical delivery and casual delivery. Very cool. Kokomo Arnold track Kokomo is a solid blues driver with a super Chicago style. Lerman sits in the groove with his vocals and tops it off with some real nice harp playing. Wrapping the release is instrumental title track, Slow Burn with a more delta style... tasty guitar and harp. Very nice conclusion to a cool release.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016



June 24, 2016

Al Lerman has worn many hats in his forty-plus years as a career musician. He leads the 2X Juno Award winning band Fathead, plays saxophone & harmonica in the Maple Blues Revue, and more. In addition to being a bandleader and sought-after sideman, Lerman is a master songwriter and tours regularly as a solo acoustic artist. On Slow Burn his third solo release, Lerman shines on harmonica and vocals while showcasing his song writing abilities and solid guitar work. Playing both amplified and acoustic harmonica​ on this outing, the warm, rich, woody tone of a seasoned pro is clearly evident. ​

Recorded and mastered at Grammy Award-winning engineer Peter J. Moore’s E-Room studio in Toronto, the sessions were produced by Alec Fraser, one of the most respected roots producers/musicians on the scene today. With a fresh batch of newly written songs Lerman gathered some of his favourite musicians, booked the studio time and recorded for two days. With guitar in hand, he sang live while being backed by two different rhythm sections; Alec on bass with drummer Al Cross, and Fathead’s Omar Tunnoch with Bucky Berger. (Tunnoch, who also paints, contributed the artwork that was used for the front cover). Lance Anderson added some piano on a handful of tracks to round things out. The result is a vibrant recording catching some seasoned hands doing what they do best. 

This 12-song set features all original material, save for a first take, kick-ass reworking of the delta blues classic “Kokomo”. The disc opens with the rollicking “Don’t Push Your Mess On Me”, a gospel tinged rocker helped along by Jana Reid’s powerful backing vocal. “It Takes Me All Night Long” is Lerman’s tongue-in- cheek take on aging as he sings “….to do the things I used to do all night long”.  The Latin-tinged standout track “Bad Luck Blues” grooves wonderfully as he recounts the events of an infamous bank robbery that happened long ago in the tiny village of Havelock, Ontario where he now makes his home. Another standout track is the radio-friendly and catchy “Gonna Have To Wait” while “Tattoo Like You” explores a swampy, voodoo feel along with a touch of humour, while the title track instrumental “Slow Burn” highlights Lerman’s guitar and harp, getting low down and dirty.

“He is unique”, says producer Alec Fraser. “Every song is a big idea. Lerman sounds like Lerman. This album is a real gem.”

RIYL: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Fathead, Morgan Davis, Keb' Mo’, Paul Butterfield

Slow Burn Track List

1. Don't Push Your Mess On Me 
2. It Takes Me All Night Long
3. Bad Luck Blues 
4. Gonna Have To Wait
5. Now That Your Man's Gone
6. Totally Out Of Whack
7. Younger Man Than Me
8. Any Way You Want
9. Tattoo Like You
10. Better Off Taking Chances
11. Kokomo
12. Slow Burn

Upcoming performances

May 19 - Ironwood, Calagary, AB*
May 20 - Yardbird Suite, Edmonton, AB*
May 21 - Yardbird Suite, Edmonton, AB*
May 22 - Dan/Lyn Studio House Concert, Sherwood Park, AB*
May 24 - Mikey's Juke Joint, Calgary, AB*
May 27 - Vernon Folk Club, Vernon, BC*
May 28 - Dream Cafe, Penticton, BC*
May 29 - Brother Rat Concert Series, Edgewood, BC*
* With Tim Williams

June 22 - Hugh's Room, Toronto CD Release Party 

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Betty Fox Band - Slow Burn - New release Review

I just received the newest release, Slow Burn,from The Betty Fox Band and I really like it. Opening with a modified James Brown style R&B chugger, Think About It, Fox comes out kickin ass and takin names. She has a really mature attack and with a little Prince and Ella Fitzgerald this track takes off. Kid Royal sets down a real tight funk riff and also shows some cool riffs. Backed by Barry Williams on bass who runs some nice lines of his own, warm keystrokes by Shawn Brown and a not so quiet drummer in Sam Farmer this track is a great opener. A Curtis Mayfield like feel creeps out in Sweet Memories and the richness in Fox's voice is even more apparent... think tastes of a female Al Green. Royal steps up again squeezing droplets of soul from his guitar like a great session musician on an old Muscle Shoals session. Title track, Slow Burn, is a cool soulful ballad that really gives Royal his nicest showcase and he doesn't waste a note. Excellent! Funky, Solid Ground, shows solid spunk and true gospel enrichment not unlike Bonnie Bramlett. This kid has range and style. Crisp, plucky guitar riffs break the vocal train but not the feel, bringing the track to a smokey level. Light hearted swing track, Please Come Home shows so much versatility and vocal control and Royal is up to the task as well ripping right along as Fox scats. Really really nice! On low slung R&B number, Our Love, Fox sets a really nice groove and Williams has a real nice bass line which really carries the track. Royal steps up big again with really nice guitar riffs. Ok...let's just say this band is really tight! Otis Redding's, Remember Me, is the most challenging track so far, with every other track so far being an original composition. Fox takes the opportunity to take a classic singers track and makes it her own. Unlike some of the other vocalist's that others have drawn comparison to, Fox absolutely has her own voice and she is paving her own way. Royal is of course ready on cue to lay out some nicely executed blues riffs and does it without a hitch. Soulful, expressive lines are his game and he does it so sweetly. This is an excellent performance! Light funk sets into this R&B style track, Take A Walk With Me, and Fox shows that she's been listening. Phrasing is top notch and I really like how she avoids the star search elevation and drives her notes into the ground. A sign of someone with real range.With a light jazzy George Benson like flare, Royal carries his solo before turning it back over to Fox for her summation. Nice! Let The Light Shine has a light rock frame but with roots in R&B. Possibly my least favorite track on the release, it still grooves nicely and Royal still hits it once for good measure. Baby Please is really rich! You want to hear why Fox is compared to Janis...this is it. Does she sound like Janis? Hell no! She sounds like Betty Fox and she should be damn proud of that. This track has the raw energy of Summertime or Ball and Chain and there are a few vocal inflections that Janis did use that show up here but this is no second rate copy. This is the real deal and actually exciting. Fox's voice has a totally different timbre from Janis and her range is quite cool! Royal steps way forward with his solo on this track and really lights it up. Just as a comparison to Janis may be drawn by some of Fox's phrasing on this particular track, so also is the Big Brother Band overall sound. I really like it! Who's Holdin'?, a quick swinger is up next and Royal steps up his game with hot riffs that really smoke. Fox's vocals dance nicely over the tight phrasing of Farmer and walking bass line of Williams. Very nice! Jazz chords flow to open Goodbye, a Latin rhythm R&B track with a tempo change loping blues. Fox sings with all of the confidence of an old pro, as well she should and snappy drum rhythms from Farmer give Royal a solid floor to riff over. Strong! Wrapping the release is Willie Nelson's Angel Flyin' Too Close to the Ground. No Willie has a pleasantly smooth but gravely voice but I can tell you that he never sang this track where he sounded like an angel. Fox, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar closes the set nicely alone. This is really an outstanding release and one that certainly warrants solid listening!
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  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”