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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 Toronto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Jimmy Byron - Transition - New release review

I just received the newest release (April 15, 2016), Transition, from Jimmy Byron and it's quite good. Opening with a classic drum riff tied to The Shangri-Las of the early 60's but with takes a hard turn with traces of the Who, Zappa and Lou Reed. Chris Staig on lead guitar lays out some really outrageous riffs joined by Mitchell Thompson on bass and Josh Hicks on drums. Excellent! It's Sad has a very cool early 60's British rock sound with Byron on vocals and with the addition of David Poulin on strings and Staig's guitar riffs in an almost Mick Ronson style sets a nice tone. Can't Get Ahead has a Buddy Holly/Bo Diddley rockin feel and Byron gets things hopping. Jack Breakfast on piano and Byron on lead vocal and harp give this track a real vintage feel. Title track, Transition, is a good urban rocker with a punky, cocky attitude. With a lot of swagger and Reed style vocals, this track kicks! The Job has a folkier sound with an early Bob Dylan delivery and rural fiddle and guitar instrumentation. Very cool! (You Don't Do) What You Used To is a driving rocker with a slightly off beat rhythm. Again Staig sets up the guitar lines, Dennis Mohammed drives the bass, Breakfast on piano and Hicks carries the drums. Very cool. Lucy is a beautiful ballad with simple lines but strongly reminding me of one of today's best songwriters, Frank Black. Definitely one of my favorites on this release with a lot of good tracks to choose from! Don't Reckon has a cool rock blues feel with an early Jorma/Hot Tuna feel. Cool off beat piano lines, sax riffs by Jim Bish and clever guitar riffs gives this track a different kind of heat. Wrapping the release is Big Bad Wolf, a simple country style rocker with solid vocals and really nice slide work from Burke Carroll . Rhythmic acoustic guitar strumming and light honky tonk piano styling carry this track through to the end of a very fine, versatile release.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mr. Rick - Mr. Rick Sings About God + Booze - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Mr. Rick Sings About God + Booze, from Mr. Rick and it's quite entertaining. Opening with One Kind Of Favor, an adaptation of Blind Lemon Jefferson's See That My Grave Is Kept Clean, has a hillbilly jazz feel with a hot beat. Lead acoustic guitar and vocal by Rick, Alec Fraser on bass, Drew Jurecka on fiddle and Ted Hawkins on drums show this track with a real spark. On It's The Bottle Talking, Ricks solid vocals lead the way with cool fiddle riffs by Jurecka and light percussion by Hawkins. Blind Willie Johnson's You'll Need Someone on Your Bond gets a real cool boogie take with slick guitar riffs from Steve Briggs, Tyler "Uncle Junior" Thompson on bass and cool backing vocals by the Ted Hawkins singers. Traditional hymn, I'll Fly Away, gets a Piedmont style and Mr. Rick keeps it simple and clean, joined by "Blues Doctor" Julie Hill. Very nice! Sister Rosetta Thorpe's Two Little Fishes retains the blues solidity but with a definite Louisiana taste with real nice clarinet work by Jono Lightstone and warn deep backing vocals by the Ted Hawkins singers. Excellent! Sleep John Estes' Liquor Store Blues is up next with a rural country feel but warm vlcals and a cool rock a billy guitar riffs by Briggs and fiddle solo by Jurecka. Very nice! Another spiritual track, Hush, gets a really cool, traditional uptempo country rework with a shuffle drum rhythm, and fun country guitar riffs. This is almost Porter Wagoner or Bob Wills territory...yes. Very cool! Mississippi Fred McDowell's Death Come In My Room has a real eerie country/blues feel with mando-guitar by Rick and the simplest of drums with fiddle by Jurecka. Classic track doe with a nice twist. Very cool! Champagne Don't Drive Me Crazy, a rework of Taj Mahal's Ain't Nobody's Business is real nice with clean Piedmont picking and fiddle work. Rick really knows how to work these tracks and with his arrangements, vocals and rhythm, really presents this material as fresh. I Know I've Been Changed is a hot track. I think it was penned by LaShun Pace but this track really sounds like the work of Gary Davis. This is probably my favorite track on the release with a terrific arrangement, super backing vocals, cool guitar riffs and wailing clarinet by Jono Lightstone. Excellent! Ernest Tubbs' Drivin' Nails In My Coffin is up next and retains a bunch of it's classic country swing honesty. Rick and the Hawkins Singers do an excellent job on this track and Rick's guitar work is clean and tight. Don't Put My Bourbon Down is a super country swing track with a great hook and clever lyrics with a real nice bass solo by Uncle Junior. Very cool! Wrapping the release is Sister Rosetta Thorpe's, Beams of Heaven, with an almost Elvis arrangement. Warm, 50's style rock ballad with an almost Hawaiian twist seems a perfect closer to this really surprising delight of a release. You really owe it to yourself to check this out!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Jake Chisholm - No More Sorrow - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, No More Sorrow, from Jake Chisholm and it's super! I reviewed Chisholm's earlier release, Diamond In A Coalmine and this is a great followup showing a nice maturation. Opening with the title track, No More Sorrow, Chisholm, backed by Sly Juhas on drums and Chris Banks on bass show just how funky and stripped down blues can be. With a super driving bass line and tight drums, Chisholm riffs off on his guitar with fluid runs and double stops showing that Dan Auerbach isn't the only north easterner who knows how to make a great 3 piece band so good it stops you in your tracks. Excellent opener! I'm On Fire, is a blues based rock and roller in the vein of Jerry Lee Lewis. With rockabilly style guitar soloing and loose echo fused vocals, Chisholm exhibits a modern twist on early rock. Very cool! Weigh You Down is a real cool progressive blues rocker with threads of Robin Trower, the Black Keys and Govt Mule but with fresh air. Paul Reddick adds a cool harmonica track on this one giving it more texture. Is There Another Man has a real cool primitive approach on blues rock with tidy guitar riffs played over rock solid bottom. Merry-Go-Round has a catchy melody but loose instrumentation giving it a good opportunity for cross air lay. I like the bass lead (Jameson Elliot)/ guitar answer interplay on this track. R&B based, Just Because You Want To, is a very strong track with an almost Gregg Allman writing style. It's warm instrumentation, solid vocals and a Hendrix run, make it a commercially strong track as well. Swamp Stomp finds Chisholm on guitar and mandolin with an almost acoustic Led Zeppelin sound. I'm Still Alone has a slinky, funky feel with chord driven riffs and a solid bass bottom. This track is a bit more adventurous with a strong guitar led, solo interlude. I Want You The Way You Are is back to the stripped down blues rock style and shows just how good this band is at minimization on a basic theme. This is a real cool track with well phrased vocals and rudimentary guitar work just hammering away. Chisholm breaks out a nicely distorted solo on this track complimenting the overall style and reinforcing its solidity. Very cool! Wrapping the release is You Never Will, a nicely executed blues track with raw edges and strong bones. This is a really super closer and one that leaves you wanting more. Nicely done!

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Sugar Brown - Poor Lazarus - New release review

I just received the newest release, Poor Lazarus from Sugar Brown and I quite like it! Opening with rocker Walkin' With Frankie, a Frankie Lee Sims track, it has a certain crude construction quality that I find particularly cool. Sugar Brown leads on guitar and vocal, joined by Joolyah Narveson on rhythm guitar and sax, and Art Maky on drums. Meet Me In The Country is a great delta style blues track with an authentic guitar riff throughout. Growing to a loud jangle this track keeps it's backwoods sound and primitive sound. Very nice! Boogie track, What A Comrade Left Behind has a Hound Dog Taylor feel with just a minor pinch of C&W styling. Love the loose guitar soloing by Brown. Tom Waits track, Get Behind The Mule has a RL Burnside rockin blues sound with real intensity, joined on this track by Pat Phillips on drums and Tyler Stoddart on maracas. Brown has a cool voice and gets a cool guitar groove going. On RL Burnside's Goin' Down South Narveson switches over to upright bass and Art Maky plays drums following Brown in a chant like blues track. Poor Lazarus is a real cool remake of a traditional track about the shooting of a black man at the hands of a vengeful sheriff, with a heavy Doors like blues feel and descending bass work from Narveson. Bharath Rajakumar joins on chromatic harp. Very cool track! Instrumental, Blue Lights Hooker is possibly my favorite track on the release with a traditional Chicago styling...nice and slow. Rajakumar lays it down heavy on chromatic harp and with predominantly only a bass line played under the melody and joined by Phillips on vibes. Tokyo Nagaremono is an unusual track in that it is a theme song from a Japanese film , Tokyo Drifter. This track doesn't have a blues construction but it is in fact a very cool eerie ballad. Train Sixty-Four feels like a Morganfield track with a deep delta root. Written in fact by Brown, it features raw vocals by Brown, a simple guitar track and is supplemented by Rajakumar on harp, Narveson on upright, Maky on drums and Phillips on percussion. With a Johnny Otis/R&B/Bo Diddley fusion, Brown takes a Lewis Carroll poem, The Mad Gardener's Song: Part 1 and makes it into a contagious rocker. Cool! Burn It Down visits the Jimmy Reed blues book with a great driving blues rhythm, solid vocals and screaming harp. Very nice! The Mad Gardener's Song: Part 2 gets an eastern twist but still over a basic stripped down blues rocker grinds out a real cool track. With a twist on Willie Dixon, Brown comes up with Not Your Backdoor Man. Staying with that Mississippi Hill style, Brown gets a solid groove and certainly understands how to deliver the vocals. His raw, fat, jangly guitar work rides nicely on top of a solid bed of rhythm by Narveson, Maky, Phillips. Wrapping the release is Willie Dixon's Weak Brain and Narrow Mind but with a very solitude interpretation. This track is a real surprise on the release, very understated but powerful. This is a real strong release that packs a punch!

  View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn  

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”


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Artist Spotlight: Singer-songwriter Lee Palmer

Artist Spotlight: Singer-songwriter Lee Palmer

Like Elway a strong third release from veteran artist

Toronto based roots singer-songwriter and guitarist Lee Palmer released his third album Like Elway on May 12 and since the release has received glowing reviews and repeat positions on the !earshot national campus and community charts. Like Elway was the #1 ranked album for the month of June on Stingray Music's The Blues channel. Palmer's take on roots, blues and country music have earned him deserved accolades from critics and fans alike. 

 “I am very pleased with the response to Like Elway thus far. A lot of compliments on the production quality and song writing, which is greatly appreciated”, says Palmer. “I just demoed a tribute to JJ Cale called “That Tulsa Sound” which may just be the title of my next album. Cale integrated many musical genres into his recordings and is definitely someone I hold in high esteem. Album four should be out late in 2015 or early in 2016.”

Palmer has also made some big changes to his website, Have a visit and stay a while!

Here's what some of the reviewers had to say about Like Elway:

"With this new album Palmer once again underlined the statement that he is not easy to categorize. With a quirky mix of elements from genres like country, folk, Americana, blues and jazz roots for he covers a lot of ground.” - CTRL. ALT. COUNTRY

“His sound mixes blues, folk, and country styles with a gentle ease, and his mellow voice has an ingratiating warmth” - Kerry Doole, New Canadian Music

“The album has blues, jazz, swing, and rock elements, making it a dynamic album with something for everyone… Palmer knows what he’s doing, so listen and you might learn a thing or two about country, blues, and every genre in-between” - Brendan Tracey, National Country Review

“…it is one of the best discs I’ve heard in the last decade … the musicianship is superb- uncluttered and unrushed… this is a seriously outstanding album” - The Rock Doctor, Gonzo Online

“He has a laid-back style, and a mellow, friendly, light-hearted streak. I actually hear a lot of Mose Allison in his style, the jazz singer and piano player who had lots of irony and commentary in his music. There's a little Willie Nelson too, in his story-telling” - Bob Mersereau, CBC East Coast Music


About Lee Palmer

With a unique mixture of blues, country, jazz and Americana, Like Elway features nine tracks, with every song showcasing Palmer’s talents as a singer and songwriter. The writing for this album started with a 10-day trip to Nashville this past summer. Two tracks, “Like Elway” and “Lonely at the Top” were a direct result of that musical emersion in Tennessee. The balance were written in the fall of 2014.

The album was recorded live at Noble Street studios with JUNO winner George Seara behind the mixing console. The players for the session included Al Cross, David Woodhead, Lance Anderson and Elmer Ferrer. Later additions to the recording included cameo appearances by: Roly Platt on harmonica, vocalist Mary McKay and Joaquin Nuñez on Cajon and percussion.

The album serves up a mix of emotions from light and witty, (Axe to Grind, Rockin’ this Chair, This Feels Like One of Those Days and Lonely at the Top) to serious tunes like (Life’s a Mess, Maybe That’s Why and Those Winter Blues). Palmer also serves up some unique spins with the talking country-blues title track Like Elway and rockier Have a Wonderful Life, co-written with friend, guitarist and co-producer, Elmer Ferrer.

Palmer doesn’t slide into any one genre easily. In past reviews, his musical sound has been compared to musically diverse talents like Willie Nelson and the early Downchild Blues Band. One thing is for sure, he continues to write and share his musical stories in an honest and straight from the heart fashion.

The debut of Like Elway is sure to further showcase Palmer’s musical talent as a vocalist, and songwriter. “I continue to learn each time I go into the studio,” says Palmer, “I feel this is my best effort yet and I am extremely thankful to those who have helped me on my journey.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bad Taste Records aertist: Danko Jones - Fire Music - New release review

I just received the newest release, Fire Music, from Danko Jones and it rips! Opening with red hot rocker, Wild Woman, Jones and his band, Rich Knox (drums) and John Calabrese (bass) crank it out. I've been waiting for a release like this since the Distillers broke up and this one hits the spot. Yes, Brody Dalle did just come out with a new release and it's great but this release has the bite that I needed. A driving rocker with the tightness that you only get from a 2 or 3 piece band is here. Jones has a great voice and with a straight up guitar solo and a really cool drum riff, this track is smokin! High energy The Twisting Knife has a great beat and melody and Jones' driving guitar riffs really set it off. Gonna Be A Fight Tonight, possibly my favorite track on the release, really gets you moving with all of the drive of the best rock. With a take no prisoners attitude, this track has teeth. Jones lays his guitar chops on the line slashing his way through the dust. Excellent! Body Bags is a great driver and one that I shouldn't listen to in my car while I'm driving in traffic (it's made for the open road)! This track is packed with a hard punch and great melodic vocals that are hard to ignore. Excellent! Live Forever slows down a little providing a contrast but still with a great rock beat. I've been listening to this release all day and I have to say it's the best rock of this type I've heard in a long time! Do You Wanna Rock has a totally different type of feel with more of a dance feel and "nervous" vocals. Frenzied cowbell and drumming by Knox gives this track it's edge. Getting Into Drugs is a simple rocker with more directed lyrics. It's likely to be popular for radio play. Watch Your Slide kicks it back into high gear with a real train rumble from Knox matched by blazing guitar work from Jones. A great rocker, this track is hot! I Will Break Your Heart is a clearest radio track on the release. Powerful guitar riffs, a solid melody and a driving beat make this an excellent radio track. Piranha kicks it back into overdrive with great guitar, bass and drum power. Jones leads the way with super vocals and grinding guitar riffs. Again, stay away from your gas pedal. This track breathes fire! Wrapping the release is She Ain't Coming Home, a powerful rocker with great lead and backing vocals. A driving drum beat by Knox pushes this track along and Jones lays out a great melodic guitar solo. This is a great closer for a super release..... ah hell. I'm riding top down tonight!

  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”


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Those Winter Blues: New Release and Video from Singer-Songwriter Lee Palmer

Lee Palmer, Al Cross, Lance Anderson, David Woodhead, Elmer Ferrer
Toronto based singer-songwriter and guitarist Lee Palmer has released two full length CDs, both recorded live off-the-floor. His third recording is set for release in Spring 2015.  

“Those Winter Blues” is a sneak peek from Lee Palmer’s third album, Like ElwayThe seasonally correct single highlights well known Toronto musicians Al Cross, David Woodhead, Lance Anderson and Elmer Ferrer. Elmer Ferrer also mixed, co-produced and co-wrote the track “Wonderful Life”, from Like Elway, to be released in the Spring of 2015.

Respected recording engineer, George Seara recorded the 10- track, live album at Noble Street Studios in Toronto. It all took place one cold winter day, this past December.

“Those Winter Blues" is available on CD Baby, Radio Submit and Airplay Direct.

"...Americana with a big arching A, incorporating blues, folk and country ... You get the feeling that in those years before he started making his own records, that Palmer was a bit of a collector of stories and was probably more than a bit player in a lot of them, there is a tone, a quality to the material that suggests a real sense of ownership." - Neil King, Fatea Magazine
"A first-rate singer-songwriter. Worthy to be heard, this Lee Palmer. Where have you been all this time, Lee?" - Fred Schmale, Real Roots Cafe

Those Winter Blues - view on YouTube
Radio Download Links:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lee Palmer - 60 Clicks - New Release review

I just received the newest release (June 17, 2014), 60 Clicks, from Lee Palmer and it's quite enjoyable and at times downright great! Opening with Do What I Does, an easy paced pop track featuring Palmer on vocal and acoustic guitar, Roly Platt on harp and Al Cross on percussion. Burke Carroll lays down a lite slide guitar solo staying in play with the feel of the track. Parent's Child takes a few steps in the country direction but still retaining a pop feel with an emphasis on vocal and percussion. Harmonizing by Neil Donnell is a particularly nice touch. Waiting On My Love To Come is a blues flavored pop track with warm vocal harmonizing and harp work. Solo's by Platt and Carroll both add nicely to the track. Sometimes is a nicely constructed ballad that should find an easy route to the airwaves. I particularly like the slide work by Carroll on this track. Things Are Too Good To Be Blue moves toward the country swing feel and Bob Wills arena. This is a cool track highlighting sweet vocal harmonies, nice acoustic guitar work from Palmer and Elmer Ferrer and nice pedal steel from Carroll. Title track, 60 Clicks, has a very simple country ballad structure. Reliant heavily on Palmer's songwriting and singing and he does a nice job. Again, a track that is airplay bound. Changed Man opens with some really sweet Spanish guitar work from Ferrer. Continuing along the Mexican theme with traditional fingering and harmonica this is a really nice ballad. Fighting The Blues, a laid back track with just a light swing, an almost rock rhythm shows yet another flavor of easy. Wendell Ferguson adds some electric guitar riffs on this track and Platt taps in some really appropriate harp riffs but it's the harmonizing of vocals between Donnell and Palmer that makes this track click. My absolute track on the release, bar none, is Wrong Not To Write. Playing straight country western, Palmer hits the nail on the head with this track and sweet steel guitar work by Carroll leads the way along with simple electric picking from Ferguson. This track best highlights the strength of Palmer's vocals. Excellent! Wrapping the track with Together We Roll, Palmer ventures into a little bluegrass feel and again hits it running. Vocal harmonies, precise harp work, and nice bass work from Alec Fraser tie this together in one nice package for a super ending to a cool release.

  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”


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Guitarist / Songwriter Sean Pinchin Releases Rust Bucket

Guitarist / Songwriter Sean Pinchin Releases Rust Bucket
November 12, 2013 

Watching Toronto-based guitarist Sean Pinchin perform live, it's hard to see the separation between the man and his instrument. Each slide and bent note is delivered with a shocking balance of passion, intimacy and also bewilderment.
Where does Sean begin and his guitar end?
His new album Rust Bucket illustrates the evolution of his music from rocker to folk/roots singer to bonafide major player in the blues scene - marking the start of what will surely be a long and exciting career.
Juno winning producer Rob Szabo gives Rust Bucket a ton of mileage and revisits Sean’s electric days informed by the influences of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Lang and Chris Whitley. "Sean is an extraordinary talent, a total natural with a dirty feel when he plays that you can't fake. We recorded most of the album live off the floor in 2 sessions with Sean playing slide guitar and singing live with the band. Very few players can pull that off. Sean is the real deal." says Szabo.
Firmly planted in the blues, the title of the album captures Sean’s musical and personal journey. He says, “Rust Bucket is a reference to my body, mind and guitar. They are all strong but weathered from years of abuse and accomplishments. Music has saved my life again and again.”
The album is supported by a cast of some of Toronto's finest musicians including Adam Warner on drums (Jill Barber, Royal Wood), Mark McIntyre on bass (Danny Michel, Dean Brody), and Toronto singer/songwriter Emma-Lee provides backing vocals.
Thematically Sean delivers stories of personal struggle and triumph after living with depression for many years. Realizing that his grief could be put to constructive use he began writing about everything that caused him pain, fear and heartache. The result is a stunning collection of songs ranging from barn burners like “Broke Down Automobile” and “Boo Hoo” to moody, evocative pieces like “Comin’ Home” and “Can't Stop Falling In Love”.
The confidence heard in his voice and songs on Rust Bucket are not without a history of hard work – averaging 150 shows per year, Sean has worked tirelessly at promoting himself and gaining fans at a grassroots level. Despite its name, Rust Bucket is a gleaming gem ready for the road and destined to bring Sean Pinchin into the spotlight.
Track List:
1.    Broke Down Automobile
2.    Boo Hoo
3.    High Heel Shoes
4.    Wanna Stay in Bed  
5.    Gotta Move
6.    Comin’ Home
7.    Dirt Poor Blues
8.    Complete Fool
9.    Confession Blues
10. Can’t Stop Falling In Love
Media Contact:

Sarah French Publicity
Sarah French
416-566-4188 |


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dan McKinnon - As Sharp As Possible - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (November 19, 2013), As Sharp As Possible, from Dan McKinnon and it's a rockin blues riot! Opening with Ain't Looking Back, a strong blues rocker with hot drumming from Jon Foster, this 3 piece band plays with a lot of snarl. Aaron Carter plays with the intensity of Dusty Hill and Mc Kinnon uses his lead work as a flame thrower through hot dry timbers. King Of The Hill has a lot of swagger with a melodic edge a bit like Foghat. This is no slide guitar extravaganza so don't ask me why I say that but the music just has that sound. Very cool. Lucky One has a Chicago/jazz/Latin feel with a real nice touch by Foster. Clean, precise riffs paired with nasty dirty riffs make this a real interesting track. Got It Bad comes out of the gate like old Procol Harem (w/ Robin Trower) but with more of a groove. McKinnon takes no prisoners on his soloing clearing the way for vocal harmonies. Killing Time is a slow blues number with a lot of breathing space. McKinnon takes a couple of vocal bars but this track is all about the guitar as he shoots off riffs like ducks in a barrel. Nice! Heart Attack is a high speed rocker and the band is very tight. This is the radio track for sure capitalizing on it's catchy melody and raw attitude which is so popular right now, but also adding some jazz changes and smoking guitar riffs... oh yeah! Perfect Ten has a Buddy Guy like intro but turns into a standard 12 bar with a lot of pop appeal. Again, McKinnon steps up and lights up the strings. Boy can play! The Recipe is a cool jazz influenced instrumental track. McKinnon joined by Jack Deyzer let the guitars do all the talkin' on this Freddie King style track and it is certainly my personal favorite on the release. On One Regret, McKinnon falls back to a retro style of early rock and blues with blends of R&B and T-Bone Walker. Another track that could easily find mass airplay, this is a nicely constructed and executed tune. Wrapping the release is Different Road with a strong nod to Rollin' and Tumblin'. A straight up rocker with strong blues roots, McKinnon finishes the release in style with blistering guitar riffs. This is a cool release that should win McKinnon a lot of new fans.

  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, July 22, 2013

Mark Bird Stafford - Live At the Delta - New Release Review

I just received the new release (July 23, 2013), Live At The Delta, from Mark Bird Stafford and it's sensational. I have read a few of the clippings on Mark's work and I keep seeing key figure in Canada's Blues Scene and Canada's Blues elite but this guy is world class. His tone and phrasing are terrific! Stafford has put up a Live set for us consisting of all blues standards. Opening with Junior Parker's Pretty Baby, Stafford and crew, Aaron Griggs on guitar, Fabio Parovel on guitar, Tyler Burgess on drums and Dennis Pinhorn on bass are smokin! SBW's Born Blind gives Stafford a great bed to play on and his riffs are cut. Slick guitar riffs on this track give Stafford a chance to set up for solid vocals and then back to the harp. Sweet! Walter Jacobs' Juke (ish) is a hot instrumental that really should not be missed (you listening still a dog). Another Jacobs track, Mellow Down Easy shows how well Stafford's vocals work with these tracks and then he cuts loose... nice instrumentals on harp and guitar! Jimmy Reed's I Found Joy is particularly notable for super harp tone. SWB's I Don't Know carves a great groove with super guitar riffs from Aaron Griggs on guitar. Slim Harpo's Got Love If You Want It is driven by Burgess on tom tom and again Stafford takes command on vocal. Super understated guitar work also works really well with this track. Willie Dixon's Can't Hold Out Much Longer starts the triple threat close to this release. Stafford has a way of phrasing his vocals and carries the track nicely punctuating his vocals with superb harp work. This is thick and fat and ready to boil over. This is likely the best track on the release but there is a lot here to choose from. It's Too Late Brother pushes up the tempo a bit and with a cool uptempo swing, Stafford has it by the short hairs. The band staying on the down low and giving Stafford room to blow his distorted harp is acoustically really cool. Finishing with Up The Line takes the band to a nice quick Latin tempo. With guitar rhythm and melodic riffs under the heat, Stafford gets a frenzy going. The fans who saw this show live back in July of 2012 got to see a great show. This is a really enjoyable release with great harp playing and strong blues tracks played by solid musicians. I really enjoyed it. Hope you do too!

  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”


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Scott McCord and the Bonafide Truth - Self Titled - New Release Review

Opening with Deploy The Bird, Scott McCord and the Bonafide Truth comes out, horns blazing. Gotta Be Something is a funk, soul, pop track with a bit of Philly sound to my ear. Lead vocalist Scott McCord is backed by Ben Rollo (drums,percussion), Charles James (bass,vocals), Simon Craig (Electric guitar), David Atkinson (Keys), Todd "Storm Shadow" Porter (bari sax), Steve Dyte (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocal and Christian Overton (trombone, vocal) with a high energy, horn infused sound. A relaxed and unusual cover of Beatles track, Baby You're A Rich Man, adds a different flavor featuring primarily McCord on vocal, accented with horns. A little track, Interlude, is actually a very nice little instrumental intro to contemporary sould ballad Where Did You Go. Bringing to mind the work of Michael Franks, McCord sings a very strong vocal pop track with soul roots. The instrumentation is very smooth and subtle. Very nice. Turn Around starts out very quiet and acoustic but opens into a full blown rocker. McCord has a great voice for this style of music and should win loads of new fans with this track and some nice slide guitar. Bad For You, another strong radio style track puts me in mind of Squeeze blended with Steely Dan backed by the Tower of Power. Very interesting mix. Overall this is a very cool release with plenty of horn infused soul/pop tracks and great vocals.

  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”


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Get Together - David Rotundo Band

Toronto blues harpist David Rotundo heard James Cotton perform at the El Mocambo in 1991. “He blew one note on the harmonica that hypnotized me...” The next day, Rotundo went out and bought a harmonica. “…and I’ve been playing the blues ever since.” Obsession with the blues led Rotundo on a diesel-fuelled roots tour of blues epicentres of the United States including - New Orleans, Clarksdale, Austin, Memphis and Chicago with little more than his wits and a bag full of harmonicas. "I wanted to hear and experience the real thing.” He returned to Canada with a visceral perception of the blues and a deep knowledge of blues history. After making the stories his own, he earned the right to tell them. Rotundo has developed his own language of the blues, honing the technique that gives the voice power and authenticity. In 1997, Rotundo led a band called The Blue Canadians (with Peter Schmidt, Shane Scott, Julian Fauth and Doc MacLean) who played the Toronto circuit. In 2000, he was asked to join the legendary Jack de Keyzer Band, while continuing to tour internationally with The Blue Canadians. He was thrilled by the opportunity to play with “one of the best Canadian guitarists”. Aside from de Keyzer, Rotundo has performed with Lee Oskar (from the legendary band War), Ronnie Hawkins, ex- Muddy Waters drummer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Madagascar Slim, Mel Brown, Jeff Healey, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Finis Tasby, James Cotton, Magic Slim and The Tear Drops, Elvis Costello, Shakura S’Aida, members of Downchild, among many others. Rotundo’s 2001 debut album “Blowin’ for Broke” featured twelve original songs written by David and produced by bassist and engineer Shane Scott of Stone Pillar Productions. The album was nominated "Blues Album of 2001" by the Canadian Independent Artist Association and was winner of the MapleBlues Award "Best New Artist of The Year 2002". In 2003, David returned to Stone Pillar Studios with his newly formed international "David Rotundo Band", resulting in the highly popular, critically acclaimed "Blues Ignited" album featuring international guitarist Enrico Crivellaro. Rotundo, as well as writing the material for this album, also co-produced it with bassist/engineer Scott. After much fan demand, in late 2007, David recorded and released his live album - "Live at Roc 'N Doc's" which captured the true essence of the band’s high energy live performance. In 2008 it was considered in the top twenty blues albums released that year by various community radio stations with blues format shows. As a songwriter who easily pulls inspiration from the world around him that fuels his continual writing, Rotundo choose twelve new original songs that graced his fourth album “No Looking Back”, which again featured Enrico Crivellaro on guitar as well as Jeff Healey’s keyboardist Dave Murphy on organ. Released in March of 2009 to overwhelming response from fans both new and old, as well as industry - bright prospects continue to lie on the path ahead, which goes to prove, that for The David Rotundo Band, there really is no looking back… When you see David Rotundo live, you’ll know instantly that he lives for what he does.

 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!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

International Recording Artist MISS ROBIN BANK$ 2012 European Tour and Cew CD with Duke Robillard

International Recording Artist MISS ROBIN BANK$
2012 European Tour and a new CD with Duke Robillard
Toronto based recording artist Miss Robin Banks is set to embark on her third Eurpoean tour with Texas based Viennese piano player Christian Dozzler to continue promotion for their duo CD "Livin' Life", which was recorded in Texas and released internationally in 2009. Popular on the European blues festival circuit, Banks and Dozzler will be performing in Austria, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Banks' first appearance in France at the Boogie Woogie Festival in Beaune in December.
Miss Banks is currently in preparations to for her next CD, with recording scheduled for February 2013 which will take place in Rhode Island. The CD will be produced by award winning artist, guitarist and producer Duke Robillard and will be recorded with Robillard's band in his studio.

"I'm really excited to be working with Duke on this one." Banks explains "He's an artist and a man that I've admired and respected for so many years. I really love his work, and his band is as good as it gets. I have a feeling it's really going to be a lot of fun musically. And this will be the first all original full band studio recording I've done in 11 years, since "Honestly", so I'm definitely due! I'm putting everything I got into this one - the whole of my heart and spirit. I think I'm a different singer than I was on "Honestly". I think I've grown as a vocalist and a songwriter... Duke seems to like the batch of tunes I sent him and that's a great place to start! I'm feeling real good about the record."
Stay tuned for more information
Miss Robin Banks has her roots deeply dug. Clearly comfortable with Jazz, Classic R&B and Soul, even Reggae, she's also known for her bold and brassy, classy but sassy, Texas and Chicago electric Blues style. In 1999, Miss Banks became a staple in the Texas music scene and continues to enjoy, and record in, the Lone Star state. She has 4 independently released CDs and one single to her credit and makes regular tours to Europe and the Caribbean, but recently made Toronto Canada her home.

A master of tone and phrasing, Robin Banks has a vocal style, strength and clarity that has been compared to Etta James and Dinah Washington. She is a recipient of a Maple Blues Award for New Artist of the Year and was three times nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year. In 2010, she performed at Massey Hall in Toronto as part of the celebrated annual Women's Blues Revue event.

No matter the genre, she is known in the industry as the real deal.
Christian Dozzler is an accomplished Blues musician of 40 years. In Europe and Texas he's known as "Vienna Slim" or "Two Metres of Blues". He performs regularly with American Blues guitarist Anson Funderburgh. He sings and plays harmonica and accordion as well as Blues piano very much in the style of Otis Spann.
"Robin's got soul, class and most of all good taste!" - Duke Robillard

"Robin Banks is Canada's first lady of the Blues! She has an electrifying presence and one of the best Blues Bands in the country" "She's a pro's pro!" - Mike Fitzpatrick, Downchild Blues Band

"Robin sings with a simple coolness that can break your heart and still make you beg for more. She is absolutely my favorite blues singer"
- Teddy Leonard, Fathead

"Robin Banks is the real deal, playing in her world class band is a joy"
- Gary Kendall, Downchild Blues Band

Robin Banks, she'll kick your ass and break your heart, all in about a minute!
- Lee McBee

Upcoming Performances
November 23
Davis, Vienna (Austria)

November 24
Altes Kino, St.Florian (Austria)

November 29
Schalander, Seligenstadt (Germany)

November 30
Jazzkeller, Sargans (Switzerland)
December 1
Incontri, Rohrbach (Germany)

December 3
The Maple, Ertvelde (Belgium)

December 7 & 8
Boogie Woogie Festival, Beaune (France)

December 10
Jazzland, Vienna (Austria)
Miss Robin Banks

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Terraplane Blues - Colin Linden

Colin Linden (born 16 April 1960) is a Canadian musician, songwriter and record producer. He has worked with a wide variety of artists including Bruce Cockburn, Lucinda Williams, T-Bone Burnett, Colin James, Leon Redbone, Rita Chiarelli, Chris Thomas King and The Band. Linden is primarily a electric blues guitarist, although he frequently collaborates with country and folk performers. He is also a member, with Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson, of the group Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Linden was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he was still an infant, his family moved to White Plains, New York. The ten-year old Linden heard rock performers in New York venues, such as Van Morrison, the Flying Burrito Brothers, James Taylor, John Mayall, Johnny Winter and Taj Mahal. When the family moved back to Toronto, Linden became interested in performers such as Taj Mahal, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Howlin’ Wolf. When Howlin’ Wolf played at Toronto’s Colonial Tavern, the then-11-year old Linden spent three hours talking with the elder bluesman. A young Linden began performing at a local coffee house, the Fiddler’s Green Coffee House, singing and strumming a guitar. By 1973, Linden began learning how to finger pick. When Linden met David Wilcox, Linden decided to learn how to play slide guitar. Wilcox gave 140 blues albums to young Linden, to help Linden to learn about blues styles. Paul Mills, the producer of Sylvia Tyson’s Touch the Earth show, at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and an outlet on CBC Radio for acoustic roots music, booked Linden in 1975 . At the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Colin met Mississippi bluesman Sam Chatmon, and later that year made a pilgrimage to US to meet South Detroit's Sippie Wallace. North Carolina's Peg Leg Sam, and Mississippi's Son House. In 1976 Wilcox had asked Linden to join his band, the Teddy Bears, which meant that Linden had to learn to play the electric guitar. In 1977, he played solo gigs and did his first western Canadian tour, which was booked by Holger Petersen. In Edmonton he met then 13-year old Colin James, also a budding blues performer. In the late 1970s, Linden formed his own group, the Group du Jour, which played a mix of covers and a few Linden originals. In 1979, Linden recorded the Sam Chatmon album. In 1981, Linden recorded his album Colin Linden Live!. As well, he played as a sideman for Joe Mendelson, Willie P. Bennett, Gwen Swick and Amos Garrett. Linden's second album, Colin Linden and the Immortals was released by the Stony Plain Records label in 1986. Linden has acknowledged the influence of The Band. In the early 1980s, Linden met three of the original members, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm. Members of The Band contributed to Linden's recordings, and songs like "When the Spirit Comes" got radio airplay and "Miles Away from You" made the rock charts. When the Spirit Comes was released by A & M in 1987. Linden signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell and did producing for Mendelson Joe, Morgan Davis, Jackson Delta and Hans Thessink. In 1991, Bruce Cockburn recruited Linden as a sideman, and for three-and-a-half years, Linden playing guitar. Subsequently, Linden became Cockburn's co-producer. Linden's blues album of 1993 titled South at Eight, North at Nine was distributed by Sony Music in Canada, and won a Juno Award in the Blues and Gospel category. Guests on the album included Bruce Cockburn as well as Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm of the Band. As Linden got more interested in gospel records, he began taking vocal lessons from Bourbon Tabernacle Choir singer Dave Wall, such as breathing and warm-up exercises. In 1996, Linden won a Juno in the Blues/Gospel category for his producing Lennie Gallant's The Open Window. Linden co-wrote Colin James' hit song "Real Stuff". As well, and, Linden joined with Tom Wilson of Junkhouse and Stephen Fearing to form Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. This band was a tribute to Canadian singer songwriter Willie P. Bennett. After the album High or Hurtin’ on True North Records, the second album Kings of Love won a Juno. In February 1998 Linden shared the Maple Blues Producer of the Year award with Colin James. A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf was released by Telarc Records in 1998. In 1999, A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Traditional Blues Album. In 1999, Linden received the Toronto Arts Award. In 2000 Linden won three Juno awards, of which the "Blues" category award was as the producer of Ray Bonneville's Gust of Wind. In the Roots and Traditional: Solo Artist category, Linden won as the producer of Bruce Cockburn's Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu. Finally,in the Roots and Traditional: Group category, Linden won as a member of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. In 2000, Linden produced Sue Foley's Love Comin' Down and Paul Reddick and the Sidemen's Rattle Bag. For the album Big Mouth, a more acoustic recording, Linden recruited Keb' Mo', Bruce Cockburn, and other musicians. In 2002 Big Mouth won a Juno for Best Blues Album. In 2002, an album Linden worked on, Timeless, won the Grammy for Country Album of the Year. In 2002, he co-produced Stephen Fearing's That's How I Walk and Bruce Cockburn's You've Never Seen Everything. In 2003, a third Blackie and the Rodeo Kings album, BARK, was released, and in 2006 they released Let's Frolic and Let's Frolic Again. “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!