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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 Songs From The Road. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Songs From The Road. Show all posts

Friday, April 6, 2018

NEW RELEASE RUF 1247: Big Daddy Wilson - Songs From The Road

Big Daddy Wilson
Songs From The Road


No matter where Big Daddy Wilson travels on this big, beautiful, mixed-up planet of ours, he takes the South with him.
Listening to the soulful storytelling of the man born Wilson Blount in a small town in the Inner Banks region of North Carolina, it's impossible not to conjure images of dusty back roads, cypress groves, a Saturday night juke joint or Sunday morning revival meeting. It's a nostalgic and – some might say – glorified image of rural America. Yet in an age of ruthless demagogues and divisive politics, Big Daddy Wilson chooses to celebrate the simple things that bond us as human beings – a smile, a shared meal, a helping hand – along with cherished values like faith, perseverance and devotion to family. For more than two decades, he has been carrying his message of hope and unity to each and every show, whether in New York, Paris, Auckland or – in the case of his new live album Songs From The Road – the village of Rubigen in central Switzerland.
The concert recorded at the Mühle Hunziken exemplifies Wilson's uncanny ability to connect with an audience. The key ingredients are honesty, his natural charisma and the sheer power of his voice. This performance from the fall of 2017 is a testament to just how far the American ex-pat and former soldier has come since answering a newspaper ad and summoning the courage to sing "Stormy Monday" for a group of young German blues musicians way back in the 1980s. He's ably supported by a tight and versatile four-piece unit comprising Cesare "Smokestack" Nolli (g), Paolo Legramandi (b), Nik Taccori (dr) and Enzo Messina (k). A band that backs Big Daddy Wilson always has to be at the top of its game, because his music isn't any one thing. From song to song, it may transform into something hard-driving or laid-back, funky or bluesy, joyful or brooding, stripped down or supercharged.
"I tried to give my listener a small view of the journey, the good, the bad, the highs and the lows," explains Wilson in the liner notes to the album. He and the band open the set sounding figuratively uptown: "Wake Up" is a steady grooving call to action, "Drop Down Here" a reggae-tinged plea for help from the man upstairs, "Miss Dorothy Lee" a guitar-fueled tribute transported on a Bo Diddley-like rhythm. The bawdy blues of "Texas Boogie" gives way to the dead serious testifying of "Ain't No Slave." Then it's time for a little side trip to the countryside: "Anna Mae" and, later, "Cross Creek Road," are sun-drenched and pastoral. The band picks up steam again on "Neckbone Stew," ultimately climaxing with the earthy "Baby Don't Like." The twelve-song live CD closes with the eloquent simplicity of "I Just Need A Smile."
As usual with the long-running Songs From The Road series, there are visuals as well. The accompanying DVD in the two-disc set includes 15 songs in all and offers a good long look at Big Daddy Wilson in action. It opens with the familiar gospel blues of "John The Revelator" and closes with something he revealingly calls his "Country Boy Medley." But don't expect to see him standing onstage in overalls and work boots. As always, Wilson is nattily attired in fine threads, a short-brimmed hat and the ubiquitous pair of dark shades.
Some years ago, Big Daddy Wilson told an interviewer that the main reason he wears sunglasses onstage is his inherently shy nature. "I'm no entertainer," he claimed at the time. Songs From The Road delivers some pretty strong evidence to the contrary. And yet, in a certain way, he's right. Wilson's music – like Wilson himself – is real. It's honest. At no point is this man ever putting on a show. "I’m just interested in singing, getting my message out and feeling the people – and hoping I can make them feel me."

Friday, November 6, 2015

Ruf Records artist: Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado - Songs From The Road - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Songs From The Road by Thorbjorn Risager & Black The Tornado and it's terrific! I gotta say I am really looking forward to getting home and reviewing the DVD concert but I am currently on the road so the CD will have to do for now.  Opening with If You Wanna Leave, a solid blues rocker, Risager's vocals are incredible from the first note! Supported by Peter W. Kehl on trumpet, Hans Nybo on Tenor sax, Kasper Wagner on alto sax and Emil Balsgaard on keys this train moves! Risager shares guitar duty with Peter Skjerning and is backed by Lisa Lystam and Ida Bang on vocal giving the track a real fullness. Excellent opener! Paradise has a real nice strut and hot jazz interweave, punctuated by the horn section, Soren Bajgaard on bass and Martin Seidelin on drums. Very nice! Drowning has the flare of a cabaret but Risager's thick, rugged vocals nicely with the trumpet carrier, sax solo and sweet melody. A real nice cover of Big Joe Turner's Baby Please Don't Go has a driving pace with trumpet and flaming guitars. With an almost surf style guitar solo, this track rocks! Too Many Roads has warm slide work under the melody and caressing gospel like vocal backing presenting a rich envelope. Victor Young's China Gate maintains a stately ballad feel, accented by unearthly slide guitar tones. Excellent! Rock n' Roll Ride rolls out on strong tom tom work by Seidelin and great slide guitar but Risager's voice is so strong that he could perform alone! Backed by horn, piano,Lisa and Ida, this track swings. Excellent R&B track, Through the Tears, is such a terrific track to highlight Risager's vocal talent. With slide guitar riffs & tight horn punctuation, this is one of my favorite tracks on the release. Long Forgotten Track has the of feel a cowboy song but with an easy swing. On My Way is a very rudimentary take on the primitive blues. With only bass, percussion, and basic piano, Risager and his slide deliver the word. Very nice! Rocker, All I Want, in contrast, is full out driving with backing vocals and horns. Risager and Skjerning get into a nice guitar duel on the track showing real pyrotechnics. High Rolling is a strong rocker with a Keith Richards basis. Risager's dominent vocal style and Balsgaard's organ work is nicely carried by Bang & Lystan on background vocal. Risager throws down a few good guitar riffs. Seidelin's drum work is particularly effective on this track punched up by Kehl, Nybo and Wagner. Classic, Let The Good Times Roll is a perfect track for this band to start it's wrap up. Risager and Skjerning show their guitar chops delivering the good without stepping on each other and as they peak, Balsgaard on piano, and full horn compliment set the place on fire. Very nice!! Nicely executed, I Won't Let You Down is a softly delivered duet with only the minimal of guitar and instrumentation. Wrapping the release is funky, Opener, with grinding guitar riffs and hot horn solos, supporting background vocals and tight bass and drums. A great closer to a super concert. Can't wait to get home and watch!

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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”


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spin Doctors Pour A 3-Finger Whiskey Shot with Songs From The Road DVD/CD - Out on June 23rd

Spin Doctors Pour A 3-Finger Whiskey Shot
Offers Fans A Toast With Songs From The Road DVD/CD
Out June 23rd on the Award-winning Ruf Records Series

“…rocks like a rodeo bull on amphetamines and had my blood pumping from the first few chords. “  - No Depression

Atlanta, GA – Ruf Records recording artist Spin Doctors pay their old blues bar band tab with a June 23rd release called Songs From The Road, a live DVD/CD out on the label’s award winning series. The ever-popular band from the 90s had radio hits, million plus album sales and a Rolling Stone magazine cover but they always focused on their live performances. Filmed live at Harmonie Club in Bonn, Germany, this was a perfect setting to capture a dynamite set from a band that has made it their business to blow off the roof.

“We get up onstage and we turn it on,” says Spin Doctors vocalist Chris Barron. “We play our hearts out.”

Stop the man on the street and he might tell you the Spin Doctors are the million-selling legends behind hits like “Two Princes” and “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”. Ask a longer-term, harder-core fan, though, and they’ll remind you that Chris Barron, Aaron Comess (drums), Eric Schenkman (guitar) and Mark White (bass) came up playing for their lives on the sharp-end of the New York blues circuit.

“Those blues clubs were our bread and butter in the late-’80s,” says Aaron, “and people loved that we stretched out and jammed out.” - Mark White

The NYC scene took no prisoners. As such, when hysteria hit – around the time of 1991’s Pocket Full Of Kryptonite album – the lineup was already a stingingly tight live draw. Over the next quarter-century, fashion moved on, but the Docs’ talent for rocket-fuelling killer original songs onstage has only grown with age. And with 2013’s restorative If The River Was Whiskey album giving their catalogue a blues-flavored adrenalin shot, there’s never been a better time to catch them live. “I think a lot of people might come out and see us based on the hits,” says Aaron. “But then they get there and they’re like, ‘Holy shit, these guys have a whole other thing that I didn’t know about.’”

Christopher Barron proves to be a funny, crowd-pleasing frontman…”

Ruf’s popular Songs For The Road live series has always been driven by the concept of capturing a band as they sound from the front row, and with this latest two-disc CD/DVD release, all the stops were duly pulled out in terms of production. Recorded live at the Harmonie club in Bonn, Germany, on October 17th, 2013, you can almost feel the gust of the speakers, the hot bounce of the crowd and the buzz crackle through the venue as much-loved studio material is twisted into bold new shapes. “Aaron, Eric and Chris are the most amazing improvisers I’ve ever played with in my life,” says Mark. “It’s almost like we’re four jet fighters, and we’ve all got each other’s backs.”

"We just all had the same sense of rhythm, and there was a feeling that it was more than four guys playing," he said. "That always felt like magic.”Chris Barron to NY Times (2005)

More than production values, though, Songs From The Road is about the songs with the Doctors chasing through a set list that runs the gamut of genre and vintage. Naturally, there’s a healthy slug of Kryptonite-era material (alongside the aforementioned über-hits, look out for early fan favorites like What Time Is It?” and “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues). But you’ll also find the track listing rooted squarely in the here-and-now, with Whiskey cuts including “Some Other Man Instead”, “About A Train”, “Scotch And Water Blues” – plus the song that Chris deems the best he’s ever written, “Sweetest Portion”. “Our tunes are not a drag to play live,” notes Eric. “It feels seamless from the stage, like any of the new tunes can sit with any one of the Kryptonite songs. We can do any of them.” 

“Their  sound  hasn’t  aged  a  bit:  it  still  reflects fondness  for  the  honky-tonk  lurch  of  the  Rolling  Stones,  the  psychedelic  reach  of Jimi  Hendrix  and  the  rubberized  funk  of  the  Red  Hot  Chili  Peppers.” – New York Times

So pull up a ringside seat at the rebirth of the Spin Doctors. This is Songs From The Road; no smoke, no mirrors. They come armed with their best material yet, they are still playing for their lives. They are just an honest band; “Some bands, you go and see 25 years later and they’re just up there going through the motions,” says Aaron. “But I think because everybody is so serious about their craft, to me, we sound better than ever. We sound world-class now, I think.”

Stream A Song: “What Time Is It?

2015 Tour Dates:
5/23/15          Reserve Casino & Hotel                                                   Central City, CO
7/04/15          House Of Blues/Kissimmee Lakefront Park                  Kissimmee, FL
7/24/15          Friday Night Live Series                                                    Rutland, VT 
8/01/15          Fremont Street Experience                                             Las Vegas, NV
8/08/15          FolsomFest in Rodeo Park                                               Folsom, CA
8/21/15          Craft Brew At The Zoo                                                      Powell, OH
9/05/15          Guild Hall                                                                                 East Hampton, NY

Monday, January 5, 2015

Gutsy Soulful Blues-Rocker Dana Fuchs Heads Home For US Tour Dates

Gutsy Soulful Blues-Rocker Dana Fuchs Heads Home
From Europe to Conquer The U.S.!

Dana answers her Fans’ Pleas!

“To look at, Fuchs is willowy flower-fairy with a head of Titian curls…Her voice, though is juke-joint dirty and illicit, evoking Joplin, Jagger, and a fag butt bobbing in a glass of bourbon.”
- Classic Rock UK

Atlanta, GA – Ruf Records recording artist Dana Fuchs has become a powerhouse vocal sensation in Europe with her Robert Plant meets Janis Joplin vocals, along with a Mick Jagger stage-like swagger, her songs and lyrics come straight from the depths of her tortured yet joyous soul to her audiences. Fuchs is now set to conquer the U.S, as she continues her World Tour in support of her latest release Songs From The Road with a string of key US dates in 2015. 
You have to see Dana live to believe it and she has just delivered her fierce live show to her fans’ living rooms with her new live CD/DVD combo, captured at Highline Ballroom in New York City on March 14th 2014 in front of a sold-out, hometown crowd. The reviews have been stellar.
Its the voice that grabs you first. That big, whiskey-flavored tonsil showdown that can kick your butt one minute and soothe your ills the next. Once she has caught your attention, Dana Fuchs will proceed to give you a piece of her heart with her arsenal of songs that were built from feelings, experiences, some good times, some bad times and a lot of soul searching in a world that can be loving and cruel. Fuchs definitely knows her way around a totem pole of emotions.” - Glide Magazine
(To view the trailer of SFTR please
click on the CD art above)

Songs From The Road is jam-packed with material spanning the years since Dana left her home in Florida at age 19 to pursue her music career full time and pay her dues in NYC. Dana took NYC’s gritty blues scene by storm garnering attention that led to her first big break under the bright lights of Broadway playing Janis Joplin in the critically acclaimed Love, Janis. Her role got the attention of world-renowned film and stage director Julie Taymor, who cast Dana to star as Sadie (a part written specifically for Dana by the director) in the 2007 Academy Award nominated Sony Pictures Beatles musical, Across The Universe.
In 2009, Dana Fuchs cemented herself as a world-class singer & songwriter with the release of her second critically acclaimed studio album Love To Beg on Ruf Records described by Relix Magazine as a “must buy.”   Proving she had staying power, her third studio album Bliss Avenue (Ruf Records 2011) was hailed by critics with Classic Rock Magazine UK describing her “ash tray battle cry” as getting its “best canvas to date.”
Dana’s life story is not one for the faint of heart. Arriving in NYC alone and broke, clawing her way out of poverty, addiction, the seedy life of strip joints and enduring the tragic suicide of her sister, gave Dana the will to purge her soul through music and invite her audiences to share and bare their souls with her. Dana says, “Each show is about my connection to the audience. They are half of the show and a huge part of the whole experience.  We all share the same desire for joy and we have lived our own pain. My goal at every show is to make sure we connect and celebrate life in all its beautiful, painful glory.”
Now Dana takes Songs From The Road on tour in the U.S.A. where audiences will get a supercharged two hour show as Fuchs exhibits “blisteringly raw vocals” and “gut-wrenching honesty” to forge a true “emotional connection” with them according to Blues & Soul Magazine UK.
Dana is booked by Intrepid Artists out of Charlotte, NC and her radio is handled by Mike DeUrso with Ruf Records at the following email:
Publicist: Jill Kettles Miss Jill PR – T- 404-213-8542 and Email:
To download a hi-res photo of Dana: Dana Fuchs color photo
1/16                      Narrows Center For The Arts                          Fall River, MA 
1/17                      Sellersville Theater 1894                  Sellersville, PA 
1/18                      Brooklyn Bowl                                                  Brooklyn, NY
2/6                        Gypsy Sallys                                                     Washington, DC 
2/7                        Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival Lancaster, PA 
3/13                      3rd Annual Blues Summit                Plymouth, NH
3/14                      Sugarloaf Mountain Resort                            Carabassett Valley, ME
3/17      Jazz Alley                                                           Seattle, WA   
3/18                      Jazz Alley                                                           Seattle, WA     
3/19                      Jimmy Maks                                                     Portland, OR
3/21                      Jazzbones                                                          Tacoma, WA     
3/22                      The Seasons                                                      Yakima, WA
3/27                      Redwood Coast Music Festival                      Eureka, CA USA 
3/28                      Biscuits and Blues                                            San Francisco, CA
3/29                      Sainte Rocke                                                     Hermosa Beach, CA 
4/02                      Rams Head                                                       Annapolis, MD
4/04                      Funk nWaffles  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ruf records artist: Mike Zito & the Wheel - Songs From The Road DVD - New Release Review

I had promised a follow up on Mike Zito and the accompanying DVD to the CD that I reviewed before Thanksgiving. I finally found a spot in my schedule so here we go. The concert opens with Didn't Break A Leg and I have to say it is a terrific opener. Zito and Jimmy Carpenter really smoke the place and that's no crap! Second up is Greyhound, a Keith Richards flavored country style rocker and Zito lays down some really nice slide work. Although the video quality isn't spectacular, the musical quality more than makes up for it. I Never Knew A Hurricane is a quiet ballad and Carpenter harmonizes nicely with Zito on vocal as well as plays warm sax solo fillers. Hell On Me has a cool boogie beat and Zito grinds out a really nice tele solo driven by Scot Sutherland on bass and Rob Lee on drums. Pearl River is a cool bluesy number with a great melody and light arpeggiated guitar work. Zito steps it up and rips the sack wide open on this track letting all the meat out.... very nice! Dirty Blonde is a swinging boogie with solid piano work from Lewis Stephens and super nice guitar phrasing on multiple solos from Zito. Dueling sax /guitar solo on this track really cooks! One Step At A Time finds Zito moving to a hollow body guitar and more of a ballad track. Vocal harmonies with Carpenter and strong piano support from Stephens make this a cool radio track. Subtraction Blues has a cool swampy funk sound and a real nice extended piano lead from Stephens. Zito's vocals on this track are particularly cocky and his guitar spanky. Very cool! Judgement is a solid rocker with full over the top horn work from Carpenter and manic guitar work from Zito. Smokin! Gone To Texas is a basic country rocker with straight up vocals and melodic guitar soloing. On Let Your Light Shine On Me, Zito takes center stage with only his hollow body guitar accompanying himself on vocal lead. The band rejoins Zito back on stage for Natural Born Lover and he breaks out his Fender necked v. Laying down some real nice slide work this is a great track for an extended jam. Excellent! Wrapping the concert and the release is Texas Flyer, a hot funky number with Carpenter chasing Zito's vocals with hot sax riffs. Changing keys and ripping a hot stinger of his own Zito gives the track extra zip. Carpenter really shows the power of the horn with a hot solo of his own. Zito steps back up and these guy cumulatively raise the roof. Excellent!

 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”

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ruf Records artist: Mike Zito & The Wheel - Songs From The Road - CD/DVD - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Songs From The Road from Mike Zito & The Wheel and it's terrific! This like a number of other releases in this series is a 2 disc set and in this case, one a DVD and I'll tell you, I can't wait to get this thing home and watch it! I'll do a separate review of the CD here and a follow up for the DVD shortly. Opening with Don't Break A Leg, a real hot funky number is cooking. With Zito on vocal and guitar and hot sax lines from Jimmy Carpenter, a funky organ solo from Lewis Stephens, Scot Sutherland laying down a funky bass line and the tight rhythms of Rob Lee on drums, this is Zito at his best! Next up is Greyhound with an almost Keith Richards attitude but with a bit more country flavor. Carpenter rides high on sax with soul and clarity. A change up is a quiet remake of Prince's Little Red Corvette and again the supple vocal like sax leads of Carpenter. Another rocker with attitude is Rainbow Bridge. I really like the slick slide guitar work and fat riffs backed by Carpenter on sax and and that swampy, rocky feel. Excellent! Pearl River is a bluesy ballad with warm chords and a sultry sax chaser. Zito's vocals really shine on this track and his guitar tone is rich! Hell On Me is a rolling rocker with some really grinding guitar work. Pushed along by snappy drum work from Lee, this track really hits. C'Mon Baby is an easy R&B style ballad with a country twist. Organ work from Stephens cushions the vocals nicely making for a definite radio track. Judgement Day is a solid high stepper with a pounding down beat. Zito steps out with a much more rock style guitar solo on this track the excellent snare work of Lee really makes it work. An over the top sax solo by Carpenter iced the deal on this one. Dirty Blonde has a real country/rock blues feel and Zito take a page from the Gatemouth Brown book. With R&B richness the band develops a real nice jam and Stephens lays out a great electric piano solo opening the floor. Zito follows short behind with a free flowing guitar solo of his own. Carpenter steps up and trades riffs with Zito making for a really enjoyable rocker. Subtraction Blues has a real New Orleans funky blue sound that is hard not to really like. His vocals have a rawness that contrast nicely against the polished sound of Stephens on the electric piano. His stylized guitar work adds without overwhelming the track and his phrasing is really cool. Wrapping the CD portion of the release is Gone To Texas, a subdued and well written ballad. Carpenter and Zito really light up the solos giving the CD portion of this release a super close.  

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”


Monday, November 10, 2014

Ruf Records artist: Dana Fuchs - Songs From The Road - New Release Review - CD/DVD

I just received the newest release, Songs From The Road from Dana Fuchs and it's quite dynamic. Recorded Live at Highline Ballroon in New York City, Fuchs opens with Bliss Avenue. Fuchs hits the stage hard with a dramatic vocal entrance and a stinging tele solo from Jon Diamond really turned my head. Next up is Handful Too Many, a track showing a lot of commercial potential with a pinch of country and warm backing from Elaine Caswell, Nicki Richards and Bettie Sussman (The Screaming Sirens). Livin' On Sunday is a really cool track with a funky revival back beat. The "Screaming Sirens" really give it that extra edge and may be one of my favorite tracks on the release. How Did Things Get This Way really has a Stones feel and Fuch's "Pearl" like vocals shine through. Diamond is again hitting the frets hard this time on Les Paul but this track is a hard driven rocker. R&B track So Hard To Move is a really nice ballad and both the solid bass work of Jack Dailey and keys from Pete Levin are instrumental in making the track so easily controlled by Fuchs. Another powerful tele solo by Diamond ices this cake. Summersong is another R&B number with sweet backing vocals from The Screaming Sirens. I would be totally amiss if I didn't mention how cool Dailey's Jazz Bass looks with it's 50 year old black worn finish. Set It On Fire is a pop rocker with solid commercial potential. Tell Me I'm Not Drinking is a strong acoustic number featuring Fuchs and Sirens on rich vocal harmonies and Diamond on acoustic guitar. Another acoustic number, Sad Salvation, features Fuchs on a quiet country ballad backed by Diamond on vocal and acoustic and Matt Beck with nice crying tele backing and a real sweet slide solo. Kicking it back up into country rock mode, Love To Beg has a taste of Skynyrd but built on more of a pop ballad bass. Diamond again wields his mighty axe where it isn't as much about speed as about intensity. Very nice. Rodents In The Attic has a real country western rhythm emphasized by Joe Dailey's drum patterns. Fuch's shows absolute comfort and composure on this track. Getting down more into a honky tonk feel, Nothin' On My Mind, gives Levin to show his country chops and Diamond twangs his tele as well. Very nice! Vagabond Wind actually reminds me a little bit of Macy Gray (a real compliment) but of course with the biting vocal style more akin to Joplin. A very strong track, this is my favorite tune on the release. Long Long Game is a basic country rock track with well blended instrumentals throughout. Diamonds solos on this track are a bit more progressive on this track but Fuchs, maintains front and center with her dynamic personality. Keep On Walkin' gets back into a funky rock feel with Fuchs getting tight with the Sirens and Diamond taking a short crisp solo. On Otis Redding's soul classic, I've Been Loving You, Fuchs may best show the qualities of her vocal skills and Diamond lays down some of the beefiest guitar riffs on the release. This is the hottest track on the release... smokin! Wrapping the release is John Lennon's Don't Let Me Down. You do have to wonder how one would close a set after that last track and Fuchs pulls out the perfect track in this rock classic. Using Lennon's basic arrangement but with solid organ work from Levin, a great bass line from Dailey, Diamond throws a stiff guitar solo, warm vocals from the Sirens and some of the most tame vocals on the release, you feel a closure with this set. Very nice.

 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”


Monday, October 20, 2014

Be On The Lookout: Mike Zito DVD/CD Out On November 11th

Mike Zito and The Wheel Makes
An Illegal Turn In The Right Direction
Live CD/DVD Songs From The Road Out November 11th

Atlanta, GA – Ruf Records artist, Mike Zito is set to release his Songs From The Road Live CD/DVD on November 11th .  Zito, an award winning artist and producer, wows the Texas home crowd with his blues boogie-woogie one winter night in January 2014, at Houston’s Dosey Doe only a few miles away from where he lives in Beaumont.

Straight from the start, Mike takes command of the stage with songs from his vast catalog over the years, with songs like Greyhound, “Gone To Texas” and “Pearl River”, co-written by the great Cyril Neville, won a Blues Music Award in 2011. Even a clever cover of the Prince classic ”Little Red Corvette”, would impress the Purple Rain man himself. Mike’s guitar work soars, sings and cheers against his velvet voice perhaps only after years of perfecting the two. Mike has cultivated this sound, one that stands on its own head with songs that talk about taking that leap, to somewhere else, has become his life story.

"Zito is a solid singer and songwriter with the technical prowess as a guitarist and producer to confidently execute his vision.” -BLINDED BY SOUND

A blasting concert with the full band starts the DVD, but there is a bonus after the lights have been turned off– a tender acoustic storyteller set where Mike stops to tell his side of his life. Three songs are performed “Dead Of Night”, “Death Row” and “Gone To Texas” with only Mike and his acoustic guitar. He tells the behind the songs, which is worth the price of the show.

"Zito’s actual backstory, coupled with the kind of soul you can’t help but pick u if hailing from that close to Memphis, probably explains why his particular brand of blues-rock seems not only more honest, but more flexible, than many of his contemporaries." – OFFBEAT

His band, The Wheel backs him up and adds color to the show. The Wheel consists of Jimmy Carpenter on saxophone, Scot Sutherland on bass, Rob Lee on drums and on Hammond B-3 and piano, the legendary Lewis Stephens (Delbert McClinton, Freddie King). Mike is able to pick, slide and strum on his guitars in and out as they create the musical back drop.

"Mike Zito and his collection of top notch musicians in The Wheel delivers songs with incredible artistry and a frankness that should never ignored"- LIVERPOOL SOUND & VISION

“The audience was on fire from the first note. The band played with such energy and passion. I was overwhelmed many times throughout this performance by the sheer energy of love that poured out of every soul in that building. It was a truly magical night, one I’ll never forget.” Mike beams with excitement about the show.

           A trailer of the show is ready to view on You Tube:

Mike will be out on the road this fall and winter, supporting his release, around the states as well as Europe at clubs, theaters and festivals. He is booked by Blue Mountain out of North Carolina and managed by Rueben Williams at Thunderbird Management.
Mike Zito is found on the internet: as well as all social media outlets.
To arrange an interview with Mike, please contact: Jill Kettles at Miss Jill PR by email: or tel: 404-213-8542.
To download a hi-res photo for editorial needs, click here:
US Dates:
10/14/14           Memphis, Missouri       VFW/Lil Memphis Blues Society         
10/15/14           Galesburg, IL                Fat Fish Pub    
10/16/14           St. Louis, MO               Broadway Oyster Bar   
10/17/14           Kansas City, MO          Knuckleheads Saloon   
                                                            W/ Samantha Fish
10/18/14           Columbia, MO              Mojo’s 

European Dates:
11/01/14           De Korenbloem            Zingem                        Belgium
11/02/14           Nix en Meer                 Enschede                      Netherlands
11/04/14           Beaverwood                  Chislehurst                   UK
11/05/14           Wolverhampton                        Robin 2                                    UK
11/06/14           Edinburgh                    Jam House                    UK
11/07/14           Carlisle                         Bluesfest                      UK
11/08/14           Haringe                                    Bluesfestival                 Belgium
11/09/14           Ottersum                      Roepaen                       Netherlands
11/11/14           Bristol                          The Tunnels                 UK
11/12/14           Swansea                       The Scene                    UK
11/13/14           Derby                           Flower Pot                    UK
11/14/14           Sutton                          Boom Boom Club         UK
11/15/14           Berlin                           Quasimodo                   Germany
11/16/14           Sumperk                       Blues Alive                   Czech Republic
11/18/14           Bonn                            Harmonie Bonn                        Germany
11/19/14           Lindewerra                   Gemeindesaal               Germany
11/20/14           Bensheim                     Rex                              Germany
11/21/14           Basel                            Volkshaus                    Switzerland

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ruf Records artist: Coco Montoya - Songs From The Road - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Songs From The Road, a double live summary of Coco Montoya's work recorded at Seattle's Triple Door venue on August 17 and 19 00f 2013. Opening with I blues rocker, I Got A Mind To Travel, Montoya shows a strong trace of his time spent with Albert "Iceman" Collins. Joined by Brant Leeper on keys, Rena Beavers on drums and Nathan Brown on bass this is a terrific opener. Montoya plays stinging solos and Leeper rides the organ for a nice solo. On Latin influenced blues track, Hey Senorita, Leeper again plays a strong organ solo and Montoya lays down some realy tasty guitar riffs complimenting his strong vocals. Too Much Water has a R&B style and Montoya lays out some of his more stylistic riffs on the release so far. His vocals lend themselves nicely to this Robert Cray style and showing Montoya's versatility. Smokey Robinson's, The One Who Really Loves You, made popular by Mary Wells, is a really nice soul track and Montoya does a really nice job of covering this true soul classic. Stretched into an 8+ minute track, this is one of my favorites of the first set. Love Jail is a real Texas blues with a heavy lope. If you wanna get that strong blues swing, this is it. Open strat, guitar ripping, blues beating track.... Excellent! Don't Go Makin' Plans sets down in a solid funky groove provided by Brown and Beavers. You wanna feel the grip, here it is! Leepers and Montoya both play cool solos on this 11 minute plus extended jam. If you like to hear what they got...this is it! Very nice! Wrapping CD one is I Wish I Could Be That Strong, is a solid R&B track that should definitely garner a lot of blues airwaves. Opening side two is Buster Brown's Fannie Mae, with a serious Texas blues lope. This is likely my favorite track on the release with some of the hottest guitar riffs and strong key work on a very beefy bottom. Excellent! The classic soul track, Good Days' Bad Days is a super ballad and with it's nearly 16 minutes of girth, with a lot of Philly sound. This is my overall favorite song with solid vocals and Buchanan like guitar riffs. Backing vocals by Beavers, Brown and Leeper make you think that you are listening to Darryl Hall or Todd Rundgren but the soulful guitar work of Montoya and nicely articulated piano work of Leeper are distinct and beautiful. A very warm and provoking bass solo from Brown is an extremely nice addition. When you are going to take a soul track and play it out for 15 minutes, you had better have a plan and I can tell you the concert goers were glued to their seats during this super track. Excellent! I Need Your Love In My Life has a Keith Richards like riff as a starter but moving into a R&B style track with strong snare work and sweet vocal harmonies. Again, Montoya takes the strat for a nice ride with rock style riffs. I Want It All Back also has a Richards like feel (which is good cause I like Richards)but Montoya and crew do a strong R&B vocal track again with articulate guitar work making this another track that should get a good amount of airplay. I Won't Beg has a high stepping R&B styling and sets up nicely for a tight guitar solo from Montoya. Hard driving You'd think I'd Know Better By Now has a lot of the northeast swing. A different kind of guitar soloing and tonality on this track sets it aside from the rest of the release. With it's walking bass line and cool vocals, Montoya drives this track, then steps on the throttle and unleashes his guitar fury. Very nice. Wrapping the release is My Side Of The Fence, a 50's style blues ballad. A nice key solo on this track is very cool but when Montoya whips out the slide, his fat tone takes over. A very nice conclusion to a super set of live music.  

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Monday, September 23, 2013

New Joanne Shaw Taylor Live Album, "Songs From The Road," 2-Disc CD/DVD Set for Release on November 12 from Ruf Records


2-Disc CD/DVD Set

U.S. Release Date on Ruf Records:
November 12, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - One night. One shot. No safety net. If there was pressure afoot as Joanne Shaw Taylor walked onstage at The Borderline club in the U.K. on May 12th, 2013, then the bandleader used it as rocket-fuel, channeling the vibe into the set of her life. Now, that explosive performance is captured on Songs From The Road: a live album with the soul power to jostle the greats off the podium, coming November 12 on Ruf Records.

“I’m really pleased with it,” says Joanne. “It’s everything I wanted it to be.”
As the latest release in Ruf Records’ acclaimed Songs From The Road series, this CD/DVD set is the live album her fans have been screaming for. “The timing is good,” agrees Joanne. “My fans, and especially the blues fans, have been asking me for a live album for a while now. I’m glad that we waited, and didn’t do it two years ago, because hopefully I’ve improved. We’ve done three studio albums now, so I think the live album ties all the albums together.”

A seasoned road-warrior since 2009’s debut album, White Sugar, Joanne has nothing to fear from the stage, but the demands of her diary meant Songs From The Road presented a logistical challenge. “We only had one chance to do it because of my schedule,” she reflects. “If I’d have played terribly – which fortunately I don’t think I did – it would have been unusable. It worked out really well, and I think a big part of that is because the fans were so good.

“We wanted to do it in London,” Joanne continues, “and the reason for picking The Borderline was because I wanted something small and intimate. I grew up being inspired by those small Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins club gigs, and I wanted to have that same ‘everyone-packed-in-like-sardines’ vibe – as opposed to a big production and losing some of that intimacy.”

If the crowd brought the atmosphere, then Joanne brought the songs. While some bands merely sleepwalk through the hits live, Songs From The Road finds the bandleader pulling her back catalogue around by the hair, ensuring that from early favorites like Going Home to current roof-raisers like Soul Station, these songs are very different beasts to the studio originals.

“I think there’s a very different energy live: that’s probably the main thing,” she notes. “I’m a live guitar player. There’s definitely more guitar in my live show than on any of the albums. I tend to lose all sense of control once I get onstage and everything is twenty beats faster than it’s meant to be! And there were no overdubs, so what you hear is what you get.”

Sold out venues. Screaming crowds. Her name in lights. Joanne Shaw Taylor never anticipated any of that at the start. Back then, she was just an ordinary “black country” schoolgirl, bored with the disposable pop she heard on the radio growing up in her native Birmingham, England, rifling through her father’s record collection for sunken treasure, and falling for albums by SRV, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix.
“Guitars were lying around the house,”recalls Joanne.  At 13, she’d picked up her first electric and practiced every minute.

At 14, she defied her teachers to play at the legendary Marquee and Ronnie Scott’s clubs in London, and began to overcome insecurity about her voice. “I never set out to be a singer,” she modestly told Classic Rock. “I’ve always had a deep voice. I think it came from my influences as a kid. When I was singing to records, I was listening to Albert Collins and Freddie King. When I was a teenager, I became a big rock fan: Glenn Hughes, Skin, Doug Pinnick. I wouldn’t get far on The X Factor.”

Joanne left school at 16 and ran straight into her big break, as a twist of fate directed her demo into the hands of Eurythmics icon Dave Stewart after a charity gig.

Reflecting on his first impressions, Stewart recalls that “she made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.” His call the following day proved the start of a lasting friendship, with Joanne seeking his advice on the industry and even accompanying his DUP supergroup across Europe in 2002.

Stewart gave Joanne her first deal, but when the label ran into financial trouble, it gave her a chance to regroup and work on her songwriting. Until then, original material had perhaps been a neglected side of her talent.

“I never really wrote songs until I was 21.” Suddenly the dam broke. In 2008, Ruf won the rush for Joanne’s signature, and soon she was working with veteran producer Jim Gaines (Carlos Santana, Johnny Lang, SRV), bassist Dave Smith and drummer Steve Potts on the songs that became her debut album, White Sugar.

We recorded it in this little backwater town in Tennessee,” she recalls, “and if we needed a break, we’d walk to the shop and buy root beer.”

When White Sugar dropped the following year, taking in gems like “Bones” and “Kiss The Ground Goodbye,” it turned out the press had a sweet tooth, with Classic Rock crowning it Blues Album Of The Month and Guitarist noting “she plays with more attitude and flair than most – massive potential here.”

Soon enough, the buzz was building, with Joanne both raising her profile supporting Black Country Communion, and honing her craft on 2010’s Diamonds In The Dirt. This second album was another step up, from the explosive lead breaks on “Can’t Keep Living Like This” to the heavier influence of her adopted Detroit hometown on the crunching country-blues of “Dead And Gone.” Not bad, considering she had written the material in just two days and recorded it in less than a fortnight: “It’s the dreaded second album curse. You have ten years to do the first one, and ten days to do the second!”

By then, she was unstoppable, with Diamonds In The Dirt proving not only a classic record, but also a skeleton key to every door in the industry. Having received a nomination for “Best New Artist Debut” at the auspicious British Blues Awards for White Sugar, Joanne scooped consecutive wins in the “Best British Female Vocalist” bracket at both the 2010/2011 events: a haul that cements her position, as Blues Matters put it, as “the new face of the blues.”

Since then, it’s gone stratospheric, with Joanne breaking into the notoriously hard-to-crack U.S. market, beating the stereotypes of her age and gender, and being watched by 17 million viewers as she played an angel-winged solo during Annie Lennox’s set at Queen Elizabeth’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert. That same summer gave us Almost Always Never: a bar-raising third album that found Joanne dodging expectations, writing the songs her muse dictated, and diving in at the deep end with just her talent to keep her afloat.

Recorded in Austin, Texas, those 12 cuts on Almost Always Never moved from the savage Les Paul solos of “Soul Station” and the strutting hooks of “Standing To Fall,” to the failed relationship achingly depicted on “You Should Stay, I Should Go” and the title track’s refrain of “You crash, you burn/you live, you learn.” She’d never sounded more open and honest. “I’ve loved every album I’ve made for many different reasons,” reflects Joanne. “But I’m so proud of these songs. It’s the perfect and truest example of who I am as an artist to date.”

Maybe so, but if you only know Joanne Shaw Taylor as the songwriter and studio magician, then it’s time you heard Songs From The Road. Released in November, 2013 on Ruf Records, it’s a candid snapshot from the road that makes your front room feel like the front row. “That night was just really good fun,” she reflects. “And I think that translates on the album.”

Joanne Shaw Taylor - Official Website

Joanne Shaw Taylor - Official Facebook