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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 Studebaker John. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Studebaker John. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Severn Records artist: Mud Morganfield - They Call Me Mud - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, They Call Me Mud, from Mud Morganfield and it's got deep soul roots. Opening with title track, They Call Me Mud, Mud Morganfield, son of the great Muddy Waters shows his own take on the blues with a funky R&B twist. A high stepper with punchy horns by Phil Perkins on trumpet and Michael Jackson on sax this is a cool opener. On 48 Days, a soulful blues number Muds vocals are compelling and stylistic guitar riffs by Billy Flynn add real pepper. Mud's vocals on Cheatin' is Cheatin' coupled with E.G. McDaniel's bass work puts one in mind of the great Curtis Mayfield and his quiet soul wailing. Very nice. Muddy's Howling Wolf is definitely straight out of dad's catalog with traditional vocal styling, strong harp from Studebaker John and super Muddy slide emulation by Billy Flynn. Excellent! Another smooth R&B track and one of my favorites on the release is Who Loves You with Lashunda Williams on backing vocals. Smooth styling and just the right amount of rhythm makes this a strong contender for radio play. Shuffle track, Rough Around The Edge has a real nice feel with smart brass work by Perkins and a super bass work by McDaniel leading to real nice piano soloing by Sumito Ariyo Ariyoshi. Flynn gives he guitar a nice ride, paired with Studebaker John for one of the coolest jams on the release. Wrapping the recording is Mud's Groove, a cool War like smooth track featuring Billy Branch on harp and Bryant "T" Parker on percussion. This isn't the sound that I would immediately associate with the name Morganfield, but I like it!

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Delmark 60 Years of Blues - New release review

I just received a new release, Delmark 60 Years of Blues and it's terrific! Opening with Studebaker John's Maxwell Street Kings and When They Played The Real Blues. John on harp, guitar and vocals drives a hard Chicago line on this super track from Kingsville Jukin'. Really hot! Following this track is Junior Wells and Rock me Baby from the Southside Blues Jam sessions. With Otis Spann on piano, Louis Meyers on guitar, and Wells on vocal and harp, this is a band that is hard to beat. Wells is on top of his game and Spann is one of my all time favorite blues pianists so this track is primo! Lindsey Alexander plays Raffle Ticket with Mike Wheeler on guitar Roosevelt Purifoy laying down some excellent piano. Alexander leads a tight ship on this track released on Been There Done That. Magic Sam plays I Don't Want No Woman, from his Live At The Advant Garde. His guitar work is finely articulated and his vocals are inspired. This track is swinging! Quintus McCormick struts in with Fifty Fifty from Hey Jodie. This funky R&B/Albert King styled blues track gets your butt squirming in your seat. Little Walter is up next with Just Keep Lovin' Her, an alternate track to the one included on The Blues World Of Little Walter. This band includes Muddy Waters and Baby Face Leroy. Prime Little Walter. Giles Corey's Stoned Soul plays Oh Mademoiselle, a rockin blues track with a definite contemporary feel. Corey lays down a funky guitar rhythm along with Marty Sammon on clav, Joewaun Scott on bass, and Rick King on drums. This track will be released on much anticipated Giles Corey's Stoned Soul to be released in 2014. Eddie C. Campbell plays Big World, a jump track from his 2008 release Tear This World Up with full horn section. Campbell's slick guitar work with effects make this a standout track. Big Joe Williams brings 44 Blues, an unreleased tape from 1960. This is an excellent early tape with only Williams on 7 string guitar and vocal. Sharon Lewis & Texas Fire covers Blues Train from the Blues Train. This soul infused track is a real mover. Billy Branch steps up on this track with his distinctive harp sound. Delmark really should be commended for putting this release together in such a manner that it flows nicely from style to style ... cohesive yet diverse. Lurrie Bell plays She's A Good 'un from Blues In My Soul. Bell, a standout contemporary blues guitar player lays down some deep grooves on this well paced track also featuring Roosevelt Purifoy on piano. Playing just behind the beat gives this track a real grip! Mississippi Heat turns it up for Let's Live It Up, with Inetta Visor on vocal, the incredible Pierre Lacocque on harp and especially hot on this track are Giles Corey on guitar, Hambone Cameron on organ, Stephen Howard on bass and Blaze Thomas on drums from the releae Let's Live It Up. Again pacing the release, Detroit Jr. plays on of my favorites from the release, Key To The Highway, accompanying himself on piano from Blues On The Internet. Excellent!! Tail Dragger and an allstar band featuring Lurrie Bell and Kevin Shanahan on guitar, Billy Branch on harp extraordinaire, Bob Stroger on bass and Kenny Smith on drums set the Chicago groove with Tend To Your Business from My Head Is Bald, Live From Friendly's Lounge. Sleepy John Estes contributes Stop That Thing from Live In Japan. This track is yet to be release but will be in 2014. Featuring Estes on guitar and vocal and Hammie Nixon on harp this track is hot! Wrapping the release is Toronzo Cannon and John The Conquer Root from John The Conquer Root. This track successfully blends Jimi with contemporary blues for a truly smoking ending for a super release. Yeah, catch the guitar work on this deal! It's not often that I sing praises (ok, I don't sing much at all) of a compilation, but this is a really cool one! If you haven't got all of these releases already (excecpt the ones not yet released, this is a great sampler for what you have missed and if you do already have them, it's a great cd to put on and play if you want a mix of different great bands. No filler here!

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Flippin' Out - Studebaker John

Studebaker John Grimaldi was born in an Italian-American section of Chicago and started playing harmonica at age 7. Under the spell of music he heard on Maxwell Street, Chicago’s famed blues melting pot, Grimaldi began performing as Studebaker John and the Hawks in the ‘70s. The band name referenced the Studebaker Hawk, a car Grimaldi still owns today, and was also intended as a tribute to his friend, J.B. Hutto and the Hawks. John began playing guitar after a life-changing experience of seeing Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers perform. “…Hound Dog started playing, hitting notes that sent chills up and down my spine. He was versatile and powerful and would play rhythm as well as leads. I left there knowing what I wanted to do. I had to play slide guitar.” 1978: After playing at various Chicago clubs, John records his first record, Straight No Chaser, released on Retread Records. His second recording, Rocking the Blues, is released in 1985 on Avanti Records. John continues to work clubs and concerts in Chicago and the mid-west region. 1988: Nothin’ But Fun is released in Europe on Belgium’s Double Trouble label. A European tour follows in support of this recording. Due to the success of this release, Born to Win, also on Double Trouble, is released in 1990 resulting in more European tours. At home, John continues to play throughout the Midwest. The Chicago Tribune hails John as “a blues classic”. 1991: John joins the Yardbirds & Pretty Things to record a St. George and Demon Records’ release of classic Chicago Blues. This recording leads to another Demon Records’ release Wine, Women & Whiskey. 1992: Rockin’ The Blues is re-released on the Double Trouble label. 1993: Canadian filmmaker, Atom Egoyan, selects three songs from Nothin’ But Fun and Born To Win to include in his film, Calendar. 1994: John records Too Tough, his 1st release on Blind Pig Records. Also in 1994, Atom Egoyan produces another film, Exotica, featuring two songs from Too Tough. 1995: Nothin’ But Fun is renamed Outside Lookin’ In and becomes John’s 2nd Blind Pig Records release. 1996: John collaborates with record producer Jim Gaines on his 3rd Blind Pig release, Tremoloxe. Studebaker John & the Hawks tour throughout the USA, Canada & Europe in support of this new release. 1997: Time Will Tell, John’s 4th Blind Pig recording, is released. Songs from the CD are featured in the 2001 film Cowboy Up, starring Kiefer Sutherland and Darrel Hannah. John’s music is also used for a CNN/NASCAR Raceway break-theme and in a Ford Thunderbird commercial shown during the 2002 season premiere episode of Fox TV’s “24”. 2001: Howl With The Wolf, released on Evidence Music, revisits John’s roots, one last look at the past before looking exclusively to the future. 2004: The Avanti Records’ release, Between Life & Death, showcases John’s unique songwriting talents, and his blazing guitar and harmonica technique, creating a new sound that transports the blues genre into the 21st century. CD 2006: Avanti Records’ Self-Made Man contains nearly 80 minutes of all original steamy blues and smokin’ blues-rock, incorporating Chicago, boogie, swamp, swing, and harmonica blues, all recorded with a live-in-the-studio sound that is true to Studebaker John’s stage performances. As a songwriter and musician, Studebaker John has emerged as a major creative force in the world of the blues today. Ahead of the pack, with vision and foresight, creating a new standard and landscape for this music’s future… with John at the wheel, the future is now! 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, April 9, 2012

Delmark Records artist: Studebaker John - Old School Rockin'

Time for the review of the new Studebaker John release Old School Rockin'. If you're looking for John Lee Hooker... look no's not here! What is here is a great rocking blues album. The first track, Rockin' That Boogie is rough, it's raw it's rockin'. It puts you in mind of early ZZ Top or Hound Dog Taylor with the purity of blues and rawness of the groove. Simply perfect. John slides all over the track and it's gets you listening immediately. Disease Called Love is continues in the vein of the rock that emerged out of the early blues. It has a quirky rhythm pattern and well done. Rockin' Hot stays in that ragged blues rock vein with the bass and guitar playing the same melody but with harmonics for a very cool sound. There is something about the simplicity of music that makes it great. Not that it isn't played well...because it is... it is more that the simplicity gives it a purity that is hard for squeeze from something that is overwritten and overplayed.John plays a grimey sounding guitar throughout and then accompanied with a greasy slide sound it just hits the nail. Fine Little Machine again finds that simple rock blues formula and just grinds it out! Old School Rockin' gets that Texas Blues lope going and you wonder what John will come up with next. Throw in the slide and you have everything that you need. Deal With The Devil gets some pretty heavy slide work going and some cool harp licks. I hate to keep repeating it, but this album is consistently great! Mesmerized is a total change from the entire cd with a Latin style beat. It gives John a chance to stretch a bit on guitar in improvisational fashion. Then right back at you with Brand New Rider. This recording is relentless with the driving raw blues rock. If you like this style music... and what's not to like... this cd is really the chit. Tumblin' Down The Road starts with a harp squall and drum driver. John takes the lead with his vocal but his guitar is ever present.

I don't know if you got it but I think that this is a strong recording. Get a copy now!
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Maxwell Street - Studebaker John

John Grimaldi, better known by his stage name Studebaker John (born November 5, 1952, Chicago) is an American blues guitarist and harmonica player. He is a representative of the Chicago blues style.
Studebaker John's father was an amateur musician, and he played early in life at the Maxwell Street flea market. Grimaldi began playing harmonica at age seven. In the 1970s he put together his band, the Hawks, and worked as a construction worker while recording and performing on the side. He recorded extensively for Blind Pig Records in the 1990s. Grimaldi counts Hound Dog Taylor as the reason he began playing slide guitar.[1] Atom Egoyan choose three of John's songs for his 1993 film Calendar, and included two songs in his 1994 film Exotica.
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