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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 Tommy Z. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tommy Z. Show all posts

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Tommy Z - Plug In & Play - New Release Review


I just had the opportunity to review the newest release Plug In & Play, from Tommy Z and I really like it. Opening with Pumpin' (Let's Have Some Fun), a full bodied texas blues shuffle, Tommy lets the riffs roll off of his fingers like molasses.  His riffs are sweet, fat and juicy and his phrasing is solid. With Tom Scime on keys pumping up the fullness, Tommy really lets it fly and  David Hulett on drums and Dave Herr on bass, this is a really solid opener. Slow blues, Please Come Back To Me, is one of my favorites on the release with strong vocals by Tommy and controlled lead work that is really effective at raising the tension, balanced with Scime's organ work. Very nice. Title track, Plug in And Play has Rolling Stones or LS style attack on a driving rocker. Tommy MacDonald's bass playing and Tom Hambridge on drums have this track anchored and Z's vocals work great with his guitar swagger. Scowler has a strong radio melody and solid vocal blending by Z over a heavier more contemporary rock guitar tone giving it broader commercial appeal. Wrapping the release is Sticky Lips is a cool, jazzy number with a deep groove. A walking bass line by Dave Herr and light drums by Hulett under the rich organ work of Scime and the rich lead guitar work of Z makes this and excellent closer. 

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Monday, February 15, 2016

South Blossom Records artist: Tommy Z - Blizzard Of Blues - New release review

I just received the newest release, Blizzard of Blues, from Tommy Z and it's got style. Opening with Lovergirl has a nice Chicago feel featuring Tommy Z on guitar and vocal, Damone Jackson on drums and Stanley Swampski on bass and featuring Jeremy Keyes on harp. Nice opener. Rocker, Going To A Party, has the sting of a SRV number with a driving beat, monster bass lines an hot riffs by Z on guitar showing why his releases continuously get rave reviews. Memory Of Love stands out immediately with great guitar tone and added organ work by Kein Urso. I particularly like this track with strong lead vocals, warm backing vocals, floating organ and really rugged lead guitar work. Very cool! Blues for KP is a solid slow blues number with meaty creative guitar riffs planted throughout. I really like this track with over 8 minutes of warm runs, jazz chords, fluid blues phrases and plenty of trem bends. Excellent! Shuffle track, Bags of Cool is a smart track with a great walking bass line by Jerry Livingston. Urso keeps the tension up and Jackson holds tight on drums but this is the Z show and he's full throttle. Super! Title track, Blizzard of Blues, is a modern day blues rocker with plenty of bottom and guitar riffs that spit and roar. Very nice! Ballad, Miracle, has a sweet, catchy melody and Z's vocals are spot on. With a tough of Stevie Wonder style, this is an easy radio sale with a couple of crisp guitar solos as icing. Muddy Waters', My Eyes (Keep Me In Trouble) gets a rocky almost Little Feat spring giving it a real nice groove. Livingston's bass work and Urso's organ work really work it and Z steps up with a melodic guitar solo taking the track into high gear. Wrapping the release is Al's Groove, a truly groovy jazz styled blues. With Livingston walking his way around on bass, nicely leading the way, Z takes a very leisurely walk around the fretboard with top class riffs. Orso gets a chance to stretch here as well and his chops are meaty and essential. This is a laid back bluesy track with style. Very nice!

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Monday, June 17, 2013

News from Buddy Guy, Kirsten Thien, Marshall Lawrence, The CD Woodbury Band and mor

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Six-time Grammy Award winner and 2012 Kennedy Center Honoree Buddy Guy will release his new studio album "Rhythm & Blues" on July 30 on RCA Records. The follow-up to his 2010 Grammy Award winning album Living Proof, this double-disc masterpiece features first time studio collaborations with A-list artists Kid Rock, Keith Urban, Gary Clark, Jr., Beth Hart and Aerosmith members Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. Rhythm & Blues will be available for pre-order at all online retailers on June 25.

Produced by Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter and longtime collaborator Tom Hambridge (Skin Deep, Living Proof), "Rhythm & Blues" captures the 76 year-young Guy at the peak of his creativity. Replete with heartfelt vocals, straightforward lyrics and mesmerizing guitar licks, "Rhythm & Blues" not only exemplifies how blues continues to be the foundation of all genres of today’s music, but it also illustrates why Guy has been influential in the careers of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many more.

The Rhythm disc includes rhythm and blues-style blues with deep grooves, such as the Junior Wells’ 1960 hit “Messin With The Kid” featuring Kid Rock, the touching “One Day Away” with Keith Urban, and “What You’re Gonna Do About Me,” a rousing duet with Beth Hart. Guy rounds out the disc with “Best In Town,” “Whiskey Ghost,” Guitar Slim’s “Well I Done Got Over It” and more.

The Blues disc taps into the genre’s rich history with “Meet Me In Chicago,” “I Could Die Happy,” “Never Gonna Change” and “All That Makes Me Happy Is The Blues.” Aerosmith’s Tyler, Perry and Whitford contribute to the musical lesson with “Evil Twin” while Gary Clark, Jr. joins Guy on “Blues Don’t Care.”

In a career that spans nearly 50 years with over 50 albums released, the incomparable Buddy Guy recently added the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors and NARM Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement to his long list of achievements. Guy is the recipient of 30 awards and accolades, including 6 Grammy Awards, 28 Blues Music Awards, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, the first annual Great Performer of Illinois Award, a Billboard Music Awards’ Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, the Presidential National Medal of Arts, in addition to being listed as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone.


In support of her new release "Solo Live from the Meisenfrei Blues Club," Kirsten Thien will undertake a “Solo Live!” tour this July, stopping at venerable blues venues across the Midwest, Texas, and Southeast. From local honky tonks to the festival stage, Thien will hit the road as a contemporary “Wild Woman” of the blues, her Taylor acoustic guitar in hand, bringing the magic and intimacy captured in front of a German audience on "Solo Live" back to the heartland of the USA.

As with new album, Thien’s sets will go deep into her own blues, soul and rock 'n' roll catalog (drawing from the best of"Delicious"and "You've Got Me"), and will also branch out into engaging covers of songs originally done by Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Sippie Wallace, Elvin Bishop, Bill Withers, B.B. King and Freddie King.
Tue, July 16 Indianapolis, IN The Slippery Noodle
Wed, July 17 Springfield, MO Nathan P. Murphy’s
Thurs, July 18 Kansas City, MO Knucklehead’s Saloon
Sat, July 20 Tulsa, OK Charity Event
Tue, July 23 San Angelo, TX Sealy Flats (Eddie Turner headlines)
Wed, July 24 San Angelo, TX Sealy Flats (Eddie Turner headlines)
Sat, July 27 Midland Texas Tall City Blues Fest (KT Trio feat. Eddie Turner)
Thurs, Aug 1 Montgomery, AL Capitol Oyster Bar
Sat, Aug 3 Kitty Hawk, NC Outerbanks Brewing Station
Sun, Aug 4 Manteo, NC Poor Richard’s on the Dock

Thien’s unlikely path from a Georgetown University Business School graduate to a Blues and Roots Rock singer/songwriter began when just weeks before graduation when she decided to forgo a life on Wall Street for a career in music. Since then she has released four full-length albums, toured the East Coast extensively, opened for (among others) Dickey Betts, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Guy, and made two headline tours of Europe/UK. Her album "Delicious" received much acclaim and worldwide radio airplay, debuting at #11 on the USA Blues Radio Charts and climbing to #2 on B.B. King’s Bluesville’s new music charts. The record also includes two tracks featuring Blues guitar legend Hubert Sumlin. Thien’s studio albums and the new "Solo Live" highlight Thien’s award-winning songwriting talent, impressive voice, and abilty to command a room or a stage with a unique and honest presence.

“If you think she is impressive on her full band recordings, this solo set will blow you away as she’s unafraid to expose raw nerves to deliver the goods.” 
Chris Spector, Midwest Record
“Every track becomes a mini book and a look into her soul exposing every emotion possible. Put it this way, l just love this album.” Peter Merrett, PBS, Melbourne, Australia 
“This fire-haired songwriter’s voice strikes a perfect balance between the precise but homey crooning of Bonnie Raitt and the sheer incendiary power of Janis Joplin.... "Delicious" will have you asking for seconds.” Stephen Fortner, Keyboard

While comparisons abound, from Keb 'Mo' to Sheryl Crow, Thien has carved out her own unique contemporary blues/pop sound that travels the highway between 1955 Chicago, 1969 Memphis, and present-day New York City (Thien's current home in the space-time continuum). 

Marshall Lawrence ~ House Call

Marshall Lawrence has been very busy performing and promoting his new CD “House Call” since releasing it in May.  It sure has been a whirlwind of activity for this Neo-Delta Blues & Roots musician.  Marshall’s Blues Army continues to grow with every performance as audiences experience his conviction and respect for the past, present and future of acoustic blues and roots music. 
Marshall has also begun writing tunes for a new project that is sure to please. He continues to explore and push the boundaries of acoustic blues and roots music. 

Although “House Call” has only been released a short time ago it has steadily been garnering wide critical acclaim from reviewers, DJs and fans.  Here are some highlights:

"5***** for "House Call"... I highly doubt there will be a better Acoustic Blues Album released in Canada for 2013."  John Vermilyea, Blues Underground Network

“…One of the best acoustic blues-albums of 2013 (House Call)." Nathan Norgell, Wasser-Prawda Magazine

“…As good as his previous release was, Marshall Lawrence surpasses it with House Call, giving the Delta Blues a fresh original spin.” Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes

“…Mixing smart chops with found music edginess .... Lawrence knows how to reach those who like their music coloring outside the lines." Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“Marshall Lawrence is the real deal and House Call is one fine piece of work.”  Bill Wilson, Billtown Blues Association

“…Lawrence gets it.  He knows how to play the blues…. His voice is pleasant, his guitar work grooves, and his stories communicate the blues.  This is a nice acoustic set that deserves to be enjoyed.” Nik Rodewald, Review
Lawrence's kinetic fretwork, his highly original songwriting, and his fresh interpretations of classic blues tunes really stand out… Lawrence's original tunes are uniformly excellent and his delivery, both on guitar and singing is very entertaining…If you're a fan of acoustic blues, you'll like this one. If you're not a fan, you will be after you listen…” Graham Clarke, Friday Blues Fix

The CD Woodbury Band ~ Monday Night!

#1 Roots Music Report Washington State Chart June 14
Debuted at #27 On RMR's Blues Chart June 14

The guys would like to thank everyone for their support of  the band and the new release. In the past couple of weeks Amazon MP3 download tracking has verified your support - Top ten in overall Electric Blues Guitar, Top 20 in Modern Blues, Top 100 in Blues, Top 25 in Hot New Releases: Blues, Top 10 Hot New Releases: Modern Blues, and #1 Hot New Releases: Electric Blues Guitar.
Here are a couple of reviews to whet your appetite:
"CD Woodbury genre-surfed before committing to the roots blues style that is a really good way for his voice to play nice with backing instrumentation. The CD Woodbury Band plug blues into caffeine-stoked chord changes and make a great appearance with the results on Monday Night. Though independent musicians continue the bloodlines of music as the Pop machine declares what is, their road is not always smooth. Those fine looking musicians you see on stage, the ones that put your life into a forty-minute set and story lines that make you feel good about your decisions, well, they are people too. “Pawn Shop” slows it blues to an appropriate level for the subject matter, but amps up the riffs to make sure it has your attention. Mr. Woodbury is making a trip to hock his Gibson, pennies on the dollar. Real life is a non-sing-a-long bitch. Can I get a hallelujah that we can hear about it in song?" The Alternate Root
"A rocking album, full of burning guitar, tasteful keyboards, soulful sax, and great tunes, Monday Night! is a solid debut for the CD Woodbury Band.  Full of rocking swing-revival, classic Texas shuffles, seasoned with hints of R&B and jazz, the album features a band that can downright play. The album kicks off with “These Blues Keep Me Right Here,” a classic shuffle.  “Pawn Shop” is a slow blues featuring screaming guitar and tasteful piano.  “Burn the Bridge” is a funk-inspired tune with a tasty guitar ostinato and soulful B3.  “SauBall Blues” features some nice brush work from drummer Don Montana and an outstanding sax solo by Mike Marinig.  It is the best tune on the album.

While Woodbury’s guitar is impressive, Chris Kliemann’s tickling of the ivories warrants special attention.  His solos are tasteful, his comping excellent.  The band has yet another outstanding soloist in Mike Marinig, whose saxophone technique and vocabulary is impressive, and his musicianship excellent.  Marinig also doubles on lead vocals.  Marinig is a strong lead singer, with a gutsy voice and just the right amount of grime for a band paying homage to the roots of the blues. The album is well worth a listen.  Not only is the playing and production quite good, but the style is unique.  Of course, the band draws heavily on more traditional blues influences, but their sound is not old-fashioned.  Quite the contrary, they are a new and unique addition to the blues tradition." Review

North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic
June 28 - 29, 2013
Hwy 7, Betty Davis BBQ, Waterford, MS

Friend & Client, Ian Siegal, On The Bill
2012 & 2013 Blues Music Award Contemporary Blues Album Nominee

Tommy Z Joins The Blind Raccoon Family
Grand Marquis Are Back In The Fold!
Tommy Z ~ Sometimes
Grand Marquis ~ Blues And Trouble

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

South Blossom Records artist: Tommy Z - Sometimes - New Release Review

I just received the newest recording, Sometimes, by Tommy Z and it's killer!! First I've got to tell you that I wasn't earlier familiar with Tommy's work and if you aren't, it's high time! The release opens with Roger That, a hot Texas blues guitar powered instrumental along the lines of Coundn't Stand The Weather. This track is flaming white hot and readily fills the void for original hot guitar riffs that have been missing for a lot of years now. Backed by Frank Reino on bass and Damone Jackson on drums this track cranks! Z and the gang take on JG Watson's Gangster of Love and add horns by Sam Guarino, Barry Arbogast and  Gil DeBrasse laying out a great blues butt whoppin version of an already great track. Old Love is a soul style blues with a nice bass lead riff by Jerry Livingston. The singing on this track is definitely in the blue eyed soul (Philly sound) vein set down by Todd Rundgren and Darrel Hall decades ago but the instrumentation is pushed more into the blues. This is a really strong track and could easily make general audience airplay. Z chokes his strat squeezing out some really soulful solos as well as showing that he has great fluidity of style. Livingston plays a nice bass solo on this track as well. Sweet! Snooty Funk, (an update on the Meter's Cissy Strut) is really hot! If you like funk and you like fusion this is the track for you. Adding JJ Moscato on organ, this is an outright license to rumble. Get on your dancin' shoes or set your head to bobbin'! I absolutely love your drummin' is definitely noticed! Livin' In A Blue State is a more mainstream kind of track but with some fuzz blown Texas guitar riffs under the melody leading to some hot soloing throughout. Z really has a cool voice for this band this track does explore some interesting ground vocally as well as instrumentally. So Tired Of Being Lonely is a straight up slow blues along the lines of Otis Rush and a great opportunity for Z to express his blues chops. His vocals are very solid and the band is really tight with Barry Arbogast and the Riverside Horns cementing the middle. This is a 1st class blues number and one that should win Z a lot of notoriety. Excellent! I Got Your Back is a new twist on the Help Me line and a really cool take it is. A dash of John Lee Hooker, a dash of modern Texas style and a dash of Louisiana flare, Z creates a great track with hooks that are certain to get noticed. Sometimes is a really cool track with a strong root in the R&B circuit. Z has this track nailed and although really booked as a guitar slinger, Z is a really strong vocalist who plays an exceptional blues riff. If he couldn't sing he'd be an exceptional blues guitar player. Tommy's Boogie is a hot guitar boogie instrumental. Z pulls out all of the stops and shows every kind of riff known to appear in a contemporary blues song. Clocking in at just under 6 minutes...this is one hell of a guitar track! Here's a recommendation from me, Buy this! Don't wait to find it used on ebay! This is a great cd!

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”