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

Monday, December 30, 2019

Landslide Records A Tribute to Sean Costello - Various Artists - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent Landslide Records Tribute to Sean Costello and it's really cool. Opening with Same Old Game, Albert Castiglia puts up a rumbling 2 step and lays down some real nice guitar work for an excellent opener. Steve Marriner brings How In The Devil with it's perfect shuffle beat great vocals and harp work. Title track, Don't Pass Me By has an almost spiritual feel with Victor Wainwright leading the way. This is an excellent blues ballad with great tension and stinging guitar work. Bob Margolin's guitar work on Low Life Blues is really outstanding with super Muddy Waters like slide and riffs. I always love the Mississippi All Stars and their rural approach and their treatment of Father is no different. With fat slide work and excellent vocals over a basic essential drum beat and keys make the track my favorite on the release. Debbie Davies brings shuffle track, Don't Be Reckless With My Heart and does a great job with strong vocals and slick Davies riffs. Wrapping the release is Oliver Wood and Amy Helm on Feel Like I Ain't Got A Home, a great soulful number with raw, freewheeling guitar work. This is a solid tribute release and great music. 

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Stony Plain Records artist: Manx Marriner Mainline - Hell Bound for Heaven - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Hell Bound for Heaven by Manx Marriner Mainline and it's solid. Opening with Nothing, a cool blues shuffle, Harry Manx has the lead on vocal and banjo with Steve Marriner on harmonica and electric guitar and timed by Moe Duella on drums. This is a real nice opener showcasing some real nice riffs by Marriner on both harp and guitar. Title track, Hell Bound for Heaven, has a darker delta style feel but with a more contemporary Paul Rogers spin. Manx injecting the eccentric sound of the Mohan Veena adds mystery and even more with slide. Marriner's lead vocal and harp is solid. Rattlesnake is a easy rocking two step blues with Marriner on Baritone guitar, harp, drums and vocal and Manx on slide, backed by Clayton Doley on Hammond. This track has really nice changes in addition to a solid melody. With it's Latin beat and some of Pops Staples' original gospel structure, Wish I Had Answered is one of my favorites on the release. All of the vocals on the track are rich and Doley's Hammond work stands out nicely against Mariner's baritone guitar growl. Mariner makes Rev Gary Davis' Death Don't Have No Mercy his own vocally and using Davis' preferred 12 string backing but Manx's slide work really adds a nice texture. Wrapping the release is a strong ballad, Rise and Fall In Love with Manx on vocal, Marriner on electric guitar and Jim Bowskill on viola and violin.  A warm closer for a nice release. 

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sue Foley, Crystal Shawanda, Jenie Thai, Harry Manx & Steve Marriner, Earle & Coffin to perform at Maple Blues Awards





Sue Foley, Crystal Shawanda, Jenie Thai, Harry Manx & Steve Marriner, Earle & Coffin to perform at Maple Blues Awards


Raoul Bhaneja hosts Koerner Hall National Blues Gala February 4

Montreal’s Guy Bélanger to host lobby afterparty "Winner’s Circle Jam”





(Toronto) – The Toronto Blues Society has announced the performers who will grace the stage at Koerner Hall in Toronto for the 22nd annual Maple Blues Awards gala and concert, to be held on Monday, February 4th, 2019.

Heating up the cold February night will be performances from some the of the hottest Canadian blues artists including, Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk with Harry Manx, guitarist/singer-songwriter Sue Foley, who is nominated in six categories, Jenie Thai, who is nominated for Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year, blues-belter and Female Vocalist of the Year nominee Crystal Shawanda and Newfoundland’s New Artist of the Year nominees Earle & Coffin.

The evening will also feature a performance from Raoul Bhaneja, actor and bandleader of Raoul & The Big Time, who will be hosting the gala for the fourth time. Providing the MBA’s musical background and theme, The Maple Blues Band also accompanies all the special guests who perform as part of that special night.
The Maple Blues Band has been a cornerstone of the annual Maple Blues Awards Ceremony in Toronto since 1999. This world-class, eight-member group includes some of Canada’s highly respected blues musicians, all of whom are multiple Maple Blues Award winners and nominees including Gary Kendall, Teddy Leonard, Lance Anderson, Chris Murphy, Al Lerman, Pat Carey, Jim Casson, and Howard Moore. Following the not-to-be-missed gala event is the popular afterparty and jam, hosted by Montreal’s Guy Bélanger.

Canadian blues fans can vote for nominees online in the eligible categories until December 1st, at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time. Register at www.mapleblues.ca.

The Maple Blues Awards will be held on February 4th, 2019. The gala event is considered to be the premier blues event of the year.  Tickets for the Maple Blues Awards are available online at rcmusic.com or at the Koerner Hall box office (The Weston Family Box Office, located in The Royal Conservatory building at 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto) or by phone at (416) 408-0208. TBS Charter Members can benefit from the ongoing exclusive pre-sale and purchase best available seats for a discounted price, $35.

Koerner Hall is The Royal Conservatory’s 1,135-seat performance venue. It is beloved for its architectural beauty and architectural acoustic excellence. Since opening, it has hosted hundreds of concerts and events reaching more than one million individuals around the world. Koerner Hall is celebrating its 10th anniversary season in 2018-19. To learn more or purchase tickets, please visit rcmusic.com/performance. 



Thursday, December 8, 2016

True North Records artist: Colin James - Blue Highways - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blue Highway, from Colin James and it's super! Opening with Freddie King's Boogie Funk, James is really ripping with excellent guitar tone and pace. Craig Northey is on rhythm guitar, with Norm Fisher on bass and Pat Steward on drums. Simon Kendall's organ work is tops and Steve Marriner's harp is vital. On Peter Green's Watch Out, James steps up on lead vocal and the pace is just right. Jesse O'Brien is up or organ with Steve Pelletier on bass and Geoff Hicks on drums. James lays down a solid guitar solo and Simon Kendall lays in a nice organ solo as well. Tommy Johnson's Big Road Blues gets a more modern rocking beat with James on vocal and slide. With an almost JJ Cale feel, this track could see a multi channel radio play. Made famous by Freddie King and Jeff Beck, Don Nix's Going Down is up next with a solid blues rocking drive. O'Brien's piano work is tight and James' vocals are clear, paving a broad street for some lightning guitar riffs. Very cool! Retreating into the basics of the blues, Muddy Waters' Gypsy Woman is up next and James shows his basis understanding of the blues on both guitar and vocal holding his own...old style. I particularly like O'Brien's piano riffs on this track as well as Marriner's harp work. Very cool. On Jimmy Rogers, Goin Away, James takes a little bit of an Eric Clapton approach to the track with nice slide work and backing vocals by Chris Caddell and Coleen Rennison. Memphis Slim's Lonesome gets a big swing and James steps up with monster guitar riffs. His vocals are smooth, nicely complimented by O'Brien's piano. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Junior Wells' Hoodoo Man Blues. This track is really tight to the original and James vocals and guitar riffs work nicely, highlighted by the masterful harp work by Marriner. Setting a cool acoustic blues set is Willie Dixon/ Jimmy Reed, Riding in The Moonlight / Mr. Luck. Light and snappy, James holds down acoustic guitar and vocal balanced with Marriner's harp. Very nice. Soulful William Bell track, Don't Miss Your Water gives James a chance to really show off his vocal chords and smooth they are. With simple arpeggiated chords and with horn backing by Jerry Cook and Derry Byrne this track has a super sound. Blind Willie McTell's Ain't Long For Day is up next and of course drawing out a really nice slide solo by James. It is more soulful than bluesy but heartfelt had solid. Very nice. Wrapping the release is Robert Johnson's Last Fair Deal done in standard Piedmont style. With James only on guitar and vocal, he gives the track some acoustic flair but holding true to the blues. A nice little closer to a really nice release.


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Better For You - Chris Antonik - New Release Review

I just received the new release (released formally on March 26, 2013), Better For You, by Chris Antonik and it's quite interesting. The release opens with Long Way To Go, a funky rock track with some really cool guitar by Antonick and harp work by Steve Marriner. Turn To Shine has the warm feeling of a Delaney and Bonnie track and it really feels like you're taking a bite of the old ATCO/Muscle Shoals/Capricorn stuff. Josh Williams' vocals are great and his guitar playing has the over driven sound of Duane and the rhythmic pacing of Dickey. Very cool! Come From A Good Place is a softer edged song with a lot of airplay potential. Like the song before, sweet horns back the track and in this case, lead vocals are handled by Shakura S'Aida who is obviously solid and Antonik grinds in some really hot guitar riffs. Broken Man features Mike Mattison singing a soulful ballad over a quiet background and light jazz rhythm. Up next is Walter Horton's Have A Good Time, a simple understated blues track and Josh Williams steps up on harmonica and vocal to compliment Antonik on guitar. Shake Me Down is a very cool track with a strong back beat and featuring Williams on organ. This is a warm backing for Antonik to not only sing but to lay out some funky wah wah guitar riffs. This track has a bit of jazz under the wool and that adds to the general texture of the track giving Antonik a bit of room to flex his fingers. Better For You is a bluesy ballad with an easy soul feel. I really like this track. It lays nicely in the groove and Antonik plays smoothly through the track drawing out some real nice blues riffs. Nothing I Can Do is another track with a bit of funk in the stew featuring Williams on keys and vocals and a bit of horns. Antonik takes a nice extended guitar solo on this track. Tell Me What You Need is a easy going radio style ballad. A lonely electric guitar playing in the field of openness behind Antonik's voice, not unlike an effect created by Dire Straits (different riffs of course) is really nice. Julian Fauth joins Antonik on piano for I'll Help You Through, a blues ballad (along the lines of New York State Of Mind). This is a nice smooth ballad with an equally smooth guitar solo to compliment Antonik's vocals on this track.   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 favorite band!
This is not from the new release but I was unable to find something that is. This is a good example of Chris' work.