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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 Teresa James. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teresa James. Show all posts

Friday, October 2, 2020

VizzTone Label Group artist: Lloyd Jones - Tennessee Run - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Tennessee Run, from Lloyd Jones and its a cool blend of blues, R&B, funk and pop giving it a bright, energetic feel. Opening with hard driving R&B track, You Got Me Good, Jones on lead vocal and guitar really has the place hopping. Backed by Kevin McKendree on keys, Steve Mackey on bass, Kenneth Blevins on drums, Jim Hoke on sax, Quentin Ware on trumpet and Roy Agee on trombone this is a strong opener. Rock n roller, I Wish I Could Remember Loving You, has a great rhythm guitar pace with Jones paired with Teresa James on lead vocal and McKendree's piano work is outstanding. One of my favorite tracks on the release is funky swamp track, Bayou Boys with McKendree on organ and cool horn interplay by Hoke, Ware, Agee and with Richard Metz on percussion. Very cool. Hoke lays in a really nice bari solo on another funky swamp track, That's All I Want which also features LaRhonda Steele on vocal. Dilly Dally has a Taj Mahal like, laid back bluesy island feel. With wah wah guitar and funky organ, it just makes you feel good. Wrapping the release is Chevrolet Angel, a funky, bluesy strut. I  like Jones' cocky vocal styling on this one with nice backing vocal by Etta Britt and Jackie Wilson and funky lead guitar by Jones, chased by the horn work of Hoke, Ware, and Agee. A fine closer for a fun release. 


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Monday, April 23, 2018

Jesi-Lu Records artist: Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps - Here In Babylon - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Here In Babylon, from Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps and it got a funky yet soulful sound. Opening with I Know I Ain't Been So Perfect, James on lead vocal and piano really captures the new neo soul feel with a great opener, backed by Jay Bellerose on drums, Billy Watts on guitars, Mike Finnegan on B-3, Terry Wilson on bass. Very cool. Laid back, Head Up, Heart Open has a nice sway (think Doobies) with tight backing vocals by Watts, Wilson, Gregg Sutton, Jessie Wilson and James and the warmth of horns added by Darrell Leonard on trumpet and Joe Sublett on sax. Lumbering, Ground Zero, has a solid bottom, courtesy Wilson and a plucky guitar line by Watts. With it's smoky club feel, You Had To Bring That Up is really the nicest showcase for James on piano and vocal. Relaxed, cool and gritty, a really solid track. Piano boogie, I Gotta Roll is another favorite with a super groove, punched up by Leonard and Sublett. Wrapping the release is Find Me A Bar with a hot New Orleans bottom compliments of James and Bellerose. Watts lays in a distorted guitar solo adding to the texture and with a rumbling bass line by Wilson this track is humming. James has a distinctive voice and her phrasing on this track is exceptional with just the right vocal backing. Excellent closer. 

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Upisland Records artist: Andrew Chapman a.k.a. JoJo - Well, It's About Time - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Well, It's About Time, from Andrew Chapman a.k.a JoJo and it's solid. Opening with Louisiana funky, That's The Kind Of Day I Had Today. JoJo on lead vocals slides right into the slot with Terry Wilson on bass, John Herron on piano and featuring excellent slide work from Stephen Bruton and excellent drum work from Tony Braunagel and fine backing vocals by Teresa James and Shake Russell. Very cool! Solid radio track, Still Got The Message has a cool vocal hook, super guitar soloing by Billy Watts, really nicely woven instrumentation and tight rhythms by Braunagel. The Fit & The Feel has a Harry Nilsson feel with and cool underlying pop feel and James on backing vocals. Another funky rocker is She Don't Mess With My Buzz written by bassist Terry Wilson, with nice slide work by Watts, Jeff Paris on keys and James Christie on drums. Cool rocker, Bag of Bones has a cool boogie pace with Braunagel on drums, Wilson on bass, Watts on lead guitar and James on piano. Wrapping the release is Chapman composed, Butterfly which has the strengths of a well written Lindsay Buckingham or Leon Russell track. Mellow and nicely performed, a suitable closer for a solid release. 

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Moondogg Records artist: Johnny Ray Jones - Feet Back In The Door - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Feet Back In The Door, by Johnny Ray Jones and it's quite good. Opening with title track, Feet Back In The Door, Johnny Ray Jones show strong soul roots with a great rhythm and horn section. His vocals are strong, joined by Mike Finnigan on piano, Hutch Hutchinson on bass, and Tony Braunagel on drums and topped off with Joe Sublett on sax, Darrell Leonard on trumpet and Teresa James on backing vocals. Very nice. I really like the bass work on Come Up And See Me Sometime which really carries Finnigan's organ line and sets a cool stage for Jones to strut. Jones' vocals on High Cost Of Loving and Johnny Lee Schell throws down some stinging blues guitar riffs making this one of my favorites on  the release. Z.Z. Hill's, I'm A Blues Man has a great balance of heavy bass, big brass, snappy drums and warm vocals giving Jones and Schell a wide open slate to sing and play. Very nice. Allen Toussaint's A Certain Girl is always a great track with New Orleans flair, and a real nice sax solo by Sublett. The playful vocal interplay is super. Original track, In The Heart Of The City has a real nice melody and Schell's melodic guitar solo further enhances the radio drive on this track. Wrapping the release is Leon Russell's Hearts Have Turned To Stone. Using classic Leon riffs throughout but with his own signature, Jones closes nicely with smart piano flair from Finnigan, nice vocal highlights by James and tight brass punctuation by Leonard.



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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

811 Gold Records artist: Laura Tate - Let's Just Be Real - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Let's Just Be Real, from Laura Tate and it's a light jazzy smooth. Opening with Steve Bruton's Nobody Get's Hurt, vocalist, Laura Tate baits you in with her warm voice, backed by Terry Wilson on bass, Billy Watts on guitar, Jeff Paris on keys, Tony Braunagel on drums, Lee Thornberg on brass, Paulie Cerra on sax and Leslie Smith on percussion. I always like when music is nicely woven like a fine fabric and this track is just that. Original soul track, If That Ain't Love, has a strong radio feel with a catchy melody, nice sax work and an interesting rhythm. Cerra lay out a real nice sax solo on this track and backing vocals add nicely to the mix. lightly salted Latin rhythm on Can't Say No has a great feel and Watts' guitar solo is particularly nice. Thin Lizzy's Boys Are Back In Town gets a balladeer's rework and I find it quite nice. I feel that it will appeal strongly to the pop radio market. With it's orchestral arrangement, Still Got The Blues is a really nice showcase for Tate's vocals and the horns do a really nice job warming the track. Watts lays down a particularly nice job playing a cleanly articulated guitar solo as a highlight in the track. With Teresa James joining on vocals, I'll Find Someone Who Will has a cool jazz/rock feel like one associated with Sting. Another nice sax solo by Cerra and tight brass work by Thornberg dresses this track nicely. I Need A Man is another sultry blues track with particularly nice brass work by Thornberg. With strong piano work by Paris this track strengthens the release ever further. Wrapping the release is pop rocker, Wildest Dreams, a definite radio track and possible movie theme. Tate is enjoying herself and I think you will too.



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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Jesi-Lu Records artist: Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps - Bonafide - New Release review


I just received the newest release, Bonafide from Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps and it's a rocking blast! Opening with R&B track, I Like It Like That, James leads the way on vocal and over the top piano with super bass work by Terry Wilson, Guitar by Billy Watts and drums by Tony Braunagel. Excellent opener. On Spit It Out, James really hits her stride with Al Green like pace. This track really makes you want to dance with hot vocals and nice horn work by Darnell Leonard and with Mike Finnigan's excellent B3 additions. Funky, Hollywood Way has a super groove with Wilson crafting a nice bass line and real nice slide work by Billy Watts. Backing vocals by Wilson and Watts really add to the richness of this track and James' phrasing is tight! A cool soul track, You Always Pick Me Up, is right down the slot with warm vocals and all of the poise of the queen of soul herself. With a spiritual warmth and the addition of trumpet by Lee Thornburg and sax by Ron Dziubla this track is really nice! Funky rocker, What Happens In Vegas, has the sound of New Orleans fused with a bit of Muscle Soul. Mike Finnigan's piano work, a smoky guitar solo by Wilson and Wilson and Watts' backing vocals really set James vocals on top. Too Big To Fail is another track with that swampy funk and Herman Matthews' drum work and Wilson's guitar work nicely compliment James' soulful vocals. Another great soul track, No Regrets goes even further to show how James is really hitting on all cylinders. With basic backing by Finnigan on organ, Lewis Stephens on Wurlitzer and sassy sax work by Ron Dziubla, this track is smoking! Kicking out the jams, You Want it When You Want It sounds like it was written by Keith Richards. With attitude and style, James crafts a solid rocker and gives it spunk. Wrapping the release is a really nice song, Have a Little Faith In Me, written by John Hiatt. I've always really liked this track and James keeps it light and airy with clear vocals and simple instrumentation. Atmospheric guitar work by Watts, percussive piano by James, Finnigan's organ work and a soulful sax solo by Jerry Peterson makes this a super closer for a really super release.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Blind Pig Records artist: Albert Cummings - Someone Like You - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Someone Like You, from Albert Cummings and it rocks! Opening with hot rocker, No Doubt, Cummings sets up a great groove with Reggie McBride on bass, Tony Braunagel on drums and Mike Finnigan on organ. Cummings vocals, blended with Teresa James are prime and his guitar riffs are tight and clean. Excellent! Pop rocker, I Found You has more of a tame sound but Cummings puts his trademark guitar riffs on the track giving it just the right amount of spank. Up Your Sleeve is a real cool shuffle track with fluid guitar riffs and nice double stops. Finnigan has such a great touch on organ just playing a note here and there...but it's the right note at just the right time... not an easy thing to do. A swinging guitar solo ensues and the track really does move. Very nice! So Strong is a quiet ballad with a sweet melodic guitar solo making it a clear radio track. Finally In Love is a clean rocker with a 2 step rhythm. Cummings really has a pretty good voice and his guitar tone on this track is rich! Fluid riffs and a solid snare from Braunagel and icing by Finnigan makes this another solid track. Boogie track, Make Up Your Mind, has a great feel and just the right amount of grind on Cummings strat to perk up my ears. A nice feel for just how much to play makes the difference between average and real nice and this track hits! Slow blues track, Little Bird, my definite favorite on the release starts off with a really creamy blues guitar riff by Cummings that makes you just lay back and breathe. McBride's bass line drives the pace and with Finnigan playing the melodic filler, Cummings controls this track with his soulful vocals and his smoking hot guitar riffs. If you've heard Cummings really dig in before and you're wanting to hear it again...this is it. At over 7 minutes this track is steamy! Peppy swinger Meatlocker, is a quick paced shuffle track with nice jazz influences. Excellent chord selections, crisp percussion and nice guitar lead makes this instrumental another of my release favorites. Understated country blues track, I'm In Love With You, has a nice swagger with authoritative guitar riffs and solid melody line from Cummings. Driving blues track, Old Dog, sets a great groove and Cummings hits every edge with slashing guitar riffs. Finnigan helps to pump up the tension and McBride's walking bass line and tight drum work from Braunagel makes this another key track on the release. Wrapping the release is a hot blues shuffle, Stay Away From My Sister, and Cummings kicks it up a notch with stinging guitar riffs pushed along by Braunagel. Excellent finish to a overall strong release.

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