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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 Steve Freund. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steve Freund. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wette Music artist: Wendy DeWitt with Kirk Harwood - Getaway - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Getaway, from Wendy DeWitt with Kirk Harwood and it swings. Opening with Sonoma County, Wendy DeWitt really gets the piano rolling and Kirk Harwood creates a New Orleans rhythm. Super horn backing from Mike Rinta (trombone), Tom Poole (trumpet) and Keith Crossan (tenor sax) really punches up the track. With an easy night club swing, the horn section opens up the floor for DeWitt on vocal and smooth piano. Crossan rips a nice sax solo capping the track. On bluesy ballad, Sometimes I Wonder, DeWitt really digs in on piano giving it a cool feel. Built To Last has super piano work over a cool blues line. Steve Freund adds some really tasty guitar work on this track giving it an additional dimension. Chuck Willis' Feel So Bad gets an easy swing with Freund laying in some tasty blues riff, paired with DeWitt's piano work and Steve Evans on bass for a nice overall sound. Big Joe Turner's 29 Ways has a light poppy funk and Freund plays off the rhythm with additive guitar riffs, also slipping in some shimmery guitar lines. Very cool. On Folks Like You, Harwood and DeWitt share lead vocals in a Jimmy Rogers style blues. Freund steps up again with some tasty riffs over DeWitt's excellent piano work giving the track that extra something. I Want To Believe You, is my choice of the release with a strong bass line from Evans and DeWitt's best vocals. Freund steps up again with some really tasty guitar lines nicely complimenting DeWitt's piano work for a well balanced track. Rocker, Never Be Too Much, has a solid James Brown back beat with DeWitt's piano style on the melodic soloing. Very cool. Trouble is a cool boogie with DeWitt pushing the train. Her piano work on this track is hot and the horns really punch it at just the right time. Very nice! Wrapping the release is Everybody's Crying for Something, an easy paced blues rocker.
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Delmark Records artist: Steve Freund / Gloria Hardiman - Set Me Free - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Set Me Free, from Steve Freund and Gloria Hardiman and it's quite entertaining. Earlier released on Razor Records in 1983 (LP) this release is now available on CD with a few unissued tracks. Opening with R&B style You Got Me (Where You Want Me) Hardiman shows her command of the genre and Freund plays some hot riffs really getting the release off to a good start. On Jimmy Rogers track, That's All Right, Hardiman brings it down a bit and shows some rich blues feeling. Freund is always standing ready with a loaded fretboard making most anything that he touches come to life. Accompanied by Sunnyland Slim on this track it's good to hear the master at work. Bob Stroger on bass and Fred Grady on drums keep it simple while Freund plays a frenzied guitar solo sitting you back in your chair. Jammin' With Sam, a hot swinging instrumental track features a great lead melody by Sam Burckhardt on tenor sax and again solo work from Sunnyland and Freund. Ike Turner's The Way You Love Me, gives Hardiman a great opportunity to showcase her vocal style and Freund rips a nice solo lead. Harlan Terson sits in on bass on this track and Eddie Turner handles the drums. Ken Saydak lays down a really nice spiritual style piano line on King Curtis' Let Me Down Easy, giving Hardiman the opportunity to perform some of the best vocal work on the release. Freund isn't far from the mark when she takes a breath and crisp guitar riffs flow like water. On Aretha Franklin's Dr Feelgood, both Hardiman and Freund hit a nice groove, Freund really getting some smoking riffs off. On Guitar Slim's, Well I Done Got Over It, Hardiman really belts out the lead and Freund is always ready to throw some fuel on the fire with the guitar. New Orleans Hop Scop Blues is a swinging boogie like track with a nice guitar intro by Freund. Saydak really kicks it on piano on this track and of course Freund's contributions and certainly noteworthy. Things That I Used To Do, another Guitar Slim number is hot as a poker with Freund smoking the strings. Freund also takes the lead on vocals with a pretty nice vocal impression of Slim. Sunnyland Slim is back on piano and his personal styling, especially on this track is spot on. Possibly the best track on the release. Cleanhead Vinson's Kidney Stew Blues, a hot swinging blues instrumental is up next with great work from Burckhardt on tenor sax, Saydak on piano and Freund on guitar. Excellent! Otis Rush's Homework, never before released maintains the 60's rock beat and features Ron Sorin on harp and excellent vocal backing by Diane Holmes, Gail Washington and Gloria Hardiman. Freund punches the track with quick jabs and Gary Heller adds guitar work as well. Brook Benton's free wheeling, Kiddio, another never before released track has super piano presence from Saydak and Sorin is back on harmonica making this a great inclusion. Shoppin' And Snackin' features Saydak on vocal and piano as well as Bob Levis on guitar for a cool swinging piano blues. Wrapping the track is a boogie instrumental version of Swanee River Boogie. Saydak really hammers it out for a great conclusion of a very cool release.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Stony Plain artist: Maria Muldaur -First Came Memphis Minnie - New Release Review

I have just received a copy of Maria Muldaur's newest release, ... First Came Memphis Minnie (available October 9, 2012). Muldaur has elnisted a virtual who's who of blues royalty including Rory Blck, Ruthie Foster, Bonnie Raitt, Phoebe Snow, Koko Taylor, Del Rey, David Bromberg, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Roy Rogers, Steve James and Steve Freund. First up is Me And My Chauffeur Blues with Muldaur on vocals and Roy Rogers on guitar. This is a really nice cover and one of Minnie's gems. Bonnie Raitt and Freund do a great version of Ain't Nothin' In Ramblin'. On I'm Goin' Back Home, Muldair teams up with Alvin Youngblood Hart for a very classic sounding duet. (Certainly one of my favorites tracks on the release). I'm Sailin' featuring Muldaur on vocals with Del Rey and Steve James on guitars shows Muladur's voice at it's best. Rory Block takes the lead on When You Love Me both on vocals and guitars. Long As I Can See You Smile, again with Muldaur, Del Rey and James is a bit more uptempo and very solid. The deliberate guitar of Del Rey on work on Lookin' The World Over is a very cool accent to Muldaur who really gets Minnie's style. Another of my favorites on the recording is In My Girlish Days performed by Phoebe Snow and David Bromberg. This track is exceptional. Muldaur and AYH are back together again on She Put Me Outdoors. Though not as effective as their earlier track together, it is still quite a nice track with addition of mandolin by Dave Earl. One of my personal favorite tracks by Minnie, Keep Your Big Mouth Shut, is performed here by one of my favorite contemporary female vocalists, Ruthie Foster, accompanied here by Steve Freund. Beautiful. The intro on Tricks Ain't Walkin' has some really nice resonator work as well as mandolin by Earl. Muldaur puts here heart into the track and it really makes the track come to life. Again a sweet guitar intro by James and Del Ray on Crazy Cryin' Blues leads to some moaning by Muldaur on one of Minnie's more soulful tracks.Koko Taylor takes it home with Black Rat Swing. This of course is a great track and features Bob Margolin on slide. Taylor lets it all hang out hear for a great conclusion toa very cohesive tribute recording.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Stranger Blues - Steve Freund

Steve Freund (born July 20, 1952, Brooklyn, New York City, New York) is an American blues guitarist, singer, bandleader and record producer. Although Freund has toured throughout the United States (including stops in New York and Chicago), he is presently based in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is best-known
His mother (who played classical piano) initially inspired Freund. In 1976, Freund moved to Chicago and began to play regularly with Sunnyland Slim, which then led to concerts playing alongside such notables as Hubert Sumlin, Big Walter Horton, Pinetop Perkins, Paul Butterfield, Luther Allison, Koko Taylor and Little Charlie & the Nightcats.

He appeared at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 2005, the Chicago Blues Festival in 2007, and many other major festivals worldwide.
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