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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Steve Kozak Band - It's Time - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, It's Time, from Steve Kozak Band, and it's quite good. Opening with shuffle track, Cane Sugar Sweet, Kozak on lead guitar and vocal is backed by Dave Webb on keys, Roger Brant on bass and Chris Nordquist on drums. On Jody Williams track, You May, Kozak brings the tempo down to a cool swing and lays down incredibly fine guitar riffs. On Magic Sam's, Every Day and Every Night, Shawn Hall joins on harp pushing Kozak to dig in with smoking blues guitar riffs. If you haven't heard this guy... you're missing the boat. R&B with a twist on That's Cool With Me, features warm sax work and clean jazz guitar runs. One of my favorites on the release, Stranger In My Hometown, has warm Hammond tones and solid vocals by Kozak topped off with crisp piano and guitar solos. One of the coolest tracks on the release is Love, Life and Money with just the right pace, soulful guitar solo and bright, expressive piano work. Very nice. Original track, Trouble adds Matthew Rogers on guitar (who also produces the release) and is part of the duo, the Axe Murder and the Harpoonist with Hall. Wrapping the release is Goin' Fishin' a laid back blueser with harp support from Shawn Hall and cool slide work. A cool closer for a real solid release.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Vancouver's Steve Kozak Band Release 'It's Time' March 17th

Vancouver's Steve Kozak Band Release 'It's Time' March 17th

The latest offering from this seasoned Canadian bluesman offers a tasty mix of blues as seen through a decidedly West Coast lens

Preview/Stream Tracks from It's Time on SoundCloud

You only need three things to play the blues: a good guitar, an innate understanding of the music and thirty years in which to do it. Maple Blues Award winner Steve Kozak qualifies on all three counts. The latest offering from this seasoned Canadian bluesman offers a tasty mix of blues as seen through a decidedly West Coast lens.

The aptly named new release It's Time prophetically and succinctly states that putting in time is indeed a prerequisite of being a great musician, with some veteran bluesmen even attaining the status of venerable, beating time itself at its own game. Time is also about understanding the past. One cannot play American roots music with conviction and credibility without a solid understanding of the evolution of the genre.

This new album is a mix of fairly obscure covers and self-penned tunes. After several listening sessions, it soon becomes apparent that Steve Kozak is coming into his own as a talented songwriter. Augmented by very tasty licks and understated riffs, it is a cohesive musical statement weaving different facets of the blues into a seamless ensemble.

A cover of the very cool Brook Benton song “Kiddio” particularly appeals, with its catchy turnaround and infectious melody, Kozak has put a real polish on this tune. The Magic Sam number “Every Night and Every Day” conveys a sense of immediacy and delves deep into the blues.

Kozak's own “Trouble” evokes a real Louisiana Bayou feel and could have been recorded in Eddie Shuler's garage at Goldband Records, but with less whiskey and more microphones. Then there is another Kozak composition called “That's Cool with Me”, a rollicking R&B number reminiscent of the heyday of Specialty Records with a hint of Louis Jordan; a real barn burner.

Two other stand-out tracks are “A Stranger in My Hometown” and “Goin' Fishin'”, both written by Steve Kozak, are autobiographical and deeply personal.The former can be interpreted in several ways. One can think of rock 'n' rollers feeling out of place in rapidly gentrifying urban centres. In a broader sense, it can also be indicative of the alienation the average working musician may feel in this digital age. The latter track is more straightforward and literal. It speaks of the simple joys of going fishing. If there is one thing that Kozak loves as much as guitar slinging, it's getting out on the water for a day of fishing.

All in all, It's Time offers a colourful palette of musical expression with a cohesive theme that gives a loving acknowledgement to that multifaceted thing we call the blues.

It’s Time Track Listing

1.   Cane Sugar Sweet (3:10)
2.   You May (3:53)
3.   Messed Up (2:59)
4.   Every Night and Every Day (5:06)
5.   Kiddio (3:58)
6.   Trouble (3:41)
7.   One Woman I Need (4:33)
8.   That’s Cool with Me (2:47)
9.   Stranger in My Hometown (3:57)
10. Tell Me Why (5:54)
11.  Love Life & Money (5:46)
12. Goin’ Fishin’ (4:33)

Steve Kozak – guitars and vocals
Dave Webb - piano and Hammond organ
Roger Brant – bass
Chris Nordquist – drums
With special guests The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, Jerry Cook & Dave Vidal  @SteveKozakmusic

Upcoming Performances:

Every Wednesday 
Pat's Pub & BrewHouse403 E. Hastings StreetVancouver BC

February 24
Dubh Linn Gate Pub1601 Main StreetVancouver BC Canada

March 11
The V Lounge at The Red Lion Hotel3366 Douglas StreetVictoria BC

March 19 ** CD release party
Rio Theatre1660 East BroadwayVancouver 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lookin' At Lucky - Steve Kozak with special guest James Harman - New release review

I just received the newest release, Lookin' at Lucky, by Steve Kozak and it's quite good! This recording is packed with 12 solid tracks, 5 originals by Kozak and the balance by such names as Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Walter, JD Miller and William Clarke. Lookin' at Lucky opens with the title track, a bright swing blues with Kozak laying down cool guitar riffs and Dave Webb backing him up with notably nice keys. Blues Dance Party takes a rockin' boogie posture and again Kozak is right on the guitar attack. Kozak also sings these tracks and his voice is well suited to deliver the news. Your Funeral and My Trial features James Harman on harp along with the balance of Kozak's band. This track by Williamson is a a solid swing with an anchored beat.Chris Nordquist keeps this tight on drums and Webb and Harman sound like they have been playing with Kozak for years. Kozak plays a particularly hot solo on this track ... maybe Canada's best kept secret! Lay Low and Go Slow takes that Jimmy Reed lope and each artist gets his chance to put up. Harman, Webb and Kozak each take their turns showing their stuff and generating a great balance. Harman's track Is It Yes has the Latin beat and traces of N'awlins with the piano roll. This is a really nice track with well executed instrumentals. Little Walter track Little Girl is a nice slow blues that really finds Harman digging deep in to the Chicago sound. Come To Me is a a rockin' swing blues and with backing vocals by Catherine St. Germain and Kelly Brock, reminds me a lot of music done by Elvin Bishop in the early 70's. This is a great track. Big Walter song Need My Baby finds Kozak taking an understated initial approach on guitar but building as the tracks gets going. I Know You're Fine, a William Clarke track is a bit of a blues rockabilly track and Tim Hearsey plays some nice bass runs kicking Kozak up a notch on his guitar. James Harman's Read My Mind with heavy piano on the back beat sets a nice swing tempo. Another sweet piano solo from Webb tops this track and leaves a good trail for Kozak on guitar to close out. JD Miller's I Hear You Knockin', a boogie track has a strong lope to it as well great vocals by Kozak. Harman leads Kozak down the solid path and he rips off a nice finish to a really cool release. If you like Chicago style blues with harp and T-Bone walker style licks, you should really check this release out.

  “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson 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, December 31, 2011

Groove - Steve Kozak

Steve Kozak was born in Vancouver BC Canada in 1956 and since the mid eighties has been a mainstay on the Vancouver scene as a guitarist, band leader, singer, songwriter, and tireless cheerleader and promoter of Blues and Roots music. Backed by some of Vancouver’s top musicians, Steve has built a reputation as one of the premier Blues acts in western Canada.

Steve began playing guitar and singing at age sixteen and took to the Blues like a duck to water. His passion for the Blues flourished after meeting and hanging out for a few memorable nights with the legendary Muddy Waters in May of 1977. Muddy encouraged Steve and set him straight on a few things. After that Steve was ‘on a mission’-- his musical future as a Bluesman was sealed.

Throughout his career Steve has shared the stage, and played with many Blues greats including; Pee Wee Crayton, Big Joe Duskin, Sonny Rhodes, Eddie ‘The Chief’ Clearwater, ‘Ice Pick’ James Harman, Duke Robillard, Rod Piazza, Rick Estrin, Mark Hummel, Lee Oskar, Nick Curran, Big Joe Louis, ‘The Shuffle King’ Tom Holland, Kenny Blues Boss Wayne, The Twisters, and Rockabilly guitar legend Evan Johns.
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