CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

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!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang. Show all posts

Monday, December 5, 2016

Southpaw Steel 'N' Twang - Stat(u)e of Mind - New release review

I just received the most recent release, Stat(u)e of Mind from Southpaw Steel 'N' Twang and it's terrific! This is a creative release with a lot of diversity. Opening with Gateway, a subtle instrumental, JP Monkkonen on bass, acoustic and baritone guitars, Tero Mikkonen on drums, percussion and ukulele, and Ville Leppanen on steel, electric, resonator and vocals, this is a really nice tune with lead primarily in resonator. Gentle Storm has a blend of progressive with a touch of country with Leppanen on lead steel. Funky instrumental, Aloha Garage, has a snappy drum beat, strong bass line and a cool lead steel making this a cool rocker. Water, has bit of a Latin feel and at times sounds like The Mars Volta with rowdy vocals but cruising swing on steel. Very cool! Route 68 really jazzes it up but with a modern touch. Excellent jazz chords and jamming with a bit of twang bar laid in is just the right touch. This track really opens up with strong addition of drum work by Mikkonen. Excellent! Another jazz number, Blue Jean, is smooth as silk with bluesy guitar runs and beautiful articulation. On Lotto, the band has a real nice rock fusion groove and Pekka Grohn adds real nice keys. llO is a really interesting composition with a bit sounds like traces of King Crimson blended into an otherwise jazz rock track. With it's more classical styling, this track takes a nice ride. The second of the vocal tracks on the release, Something, is a strong ballad with a strong melodic line and vocals. It puts me in mind of the earliest of Elton John music with a nice blend on melody and composition. Very nice. Duel is a really cool track that reminds me quite a bit of older western type bolero's. With exceptional guitar work upfront, not unlike Akkerman in Focus, anchored by Mikkonen's drums, this track takes a full ride adding Jouko Auramo on trombone, Jermu Kolvukoski on trumpet and Perttu Pannula on sax. This track is a serious composition! Wrapping the release is Sergio, another track with a western flair. With nicely arpeggiated chords, twang bar bends and strong tom tom work in the background, this track is an excellent closed to a really cool release!

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  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”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 

  qrcode

 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hale's Pleasure Railway - Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang - New Release Review

I just received a new release, Hale's Pleasure Railway from Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang and it's really an eclectic blast! Opening with Open Field, Ville Leppanen plays some distinctively American country style pedal steel guitar riffs over jazz grass riffs on guitar. Joined by Tero Mikkonen on drums and JP Monkkonen on bass, these guys have concocted a formula that really successfully blends country, jazz, blues and bluegrass sounds in an exciting way. Bayou, again with pedal steel lead has a bit of muted strings and jazz fusion funk sounds. This is a great track. Alternating between picking and slide is a cool effect for this all instrumental track. Secret Sunset has a distinctively Hawaiian sound even including ukulele. Ville breaks away from the solid Hawaiian slide work and picks a bit giving the track texture but this thing is all tropical. Bad Alley has a beautiful classical (electric) intro before entering into a modern take on swamp blues and gypsy jazz with tremelo chords (think Les Paul style). Ville plays harmonics on guitar over a nice bass lead by Monkkonen. This is an enchanting and tactile track. Excellent! Butterscotch breaks into straight bebop jazz (with hints of country riffs). Excellent lead work from Ville on electric guitar coasting along on the drum work of Mikkonen and Monkkonen on bass make this another must hear. Title track, Steel 'n' Twang, takes a venture away from this guitar laden for a track backed by handclaps (percussion) and vocals by Ville and Jukka Haikonen. Cool. Red is an extremely well composed guitar lullaby. With soothing guitar sounds and light drum work, Ville plays a very nice baritone guitar solo. This may not have the pyrotechnics of Jeff Beck (but it doesn't need it), one of my personal favorite fusion players, but this is really masterfully done. The Game has a twin guitar lead with 6 string and pedal steel. Over a rocky beat by Mikkonen and tight bass work by Monkkonen this track has a nice groove. Stepping up into the heavier zone but still maintaining the fusion feel Dark C is a hot track. It's hard to compare (appropriately) any of my favorite artists but when trying to describe what I hear, think J Beck, Pete Carr, Mahavishnu, King Crimson, Trey Gunn, with a new twist. Feather Weather shows a solid return to classic 40's style slide jazz work. Jukka Haikonen adds organ on this track keeping the track light and bouncy. Wrapping the release is Still, a quiet steel guitar led ballad with minor hints of progressiveness. If you are at all open minded and love guitar music, this is a release that I highly recommend. These guys have really put together a fine piece of work!  

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”