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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 Traveling South. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Traveling South. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Mikey Junior album on VizzTone

VizzTone is proud to welcome a new artist to the family with this slammin' new album!


What is the future of the blues?  Who will lead the charge?

Well, for blues fans in the Northeast United States, that question is routinely answered every night Mikey Junior hits the stage. His infectious personality and absolute command of his medium leave little doubt the blues is in good hands.

Self-taught from his impressive collection of blues vinyl, Mikey was a full time musician before he graduated high-school. By the time he was in his early twenties, seasoned players were taking notice and it wasn’t long before one blues society after another scrambled to get him to their stage. Before long, Mikey was a staple of the summer blues circuit on the East Coast.

So it came as no surprise that his newest release found its way into the eclectic and youthful roster of the VizzTone Label Group. TRAVELING SOUTH reveals a young blues artist at the top of his game, telling stories we can all relate to, while drawing us deep into the roots of blues music via his utter mastery of the diatonic and chromatic harmonicas.

Produced by Dave Gross for SwingNation/VizzTone, this album has a level of depth, maturity, restraint and musicality that reaches the soul through his impassioned vocals, bringing a whole new dimension to his already impressive catalog. Well-written originals and choice covers are brought to life with a vision that truly separates Mikey from his contemporaries.
"Mikey Junior has a new recording… that displays a maturation in his artistry. A triple threat as a singer, songwriter and harmonica player, “Traveling South” marvelously produced by Dave Gross ...From the opening title track, Mikey Junior’s vocals and harmonica display a presence and authority that Gross’ production enhances...While well-grounded in the blues tradition, Mikey Junior brings his own voice for a terrific Traveling South."
    — Ron Weinstock, In a Blue Mood (click HERE to read the entire rave review)

"A raw, sinewy set of fresh harmonica blues...his best album to date, highly recommended."
     — Thomas J. Cullen III, Bucks County Blues Society

TRAVELING SOUTH is AVAILBLE NOW at fine retailers everywhere.

Click to preview and/or buy the music at:

Also available in the label-wide sale in the VIZZTONE ROOM on iTunes!

CLICK to see the Traveling South VIDEO:


Friday, March 21, 2014

Swingnation Records artist: Mikey Junior - Traveling South - New Release review

I just received the newest release (March 25, 2014), Traveling South, and it's great! Opening with Traveling South, Mikey Junior shows that he's got a great voice for the blues and absolutely great harp chops and tone to match. A stripped down track with emphases on drums by Michael Bram this track has a dark sound and guitarists Dave Gross and Dean Shot and Mikey on harp really make the best of it! Excellent! Nobody Does It Like It Like Me has a nice lumbering pace driven mostly by Matt Raymond on bass. This is old school blues with emphases on vocal and harp... but that is old school...not old! It's really nice! Morning On My Way opens with tom tom beat and guitar riffs. Mikey's vocals are really super and his harp work paired with the sparing use of crisp guitar inserts it mighty fine. Mill Tavern has a great pace with just the right amount of syncopation that gives New Orleans music it's flair but with harp and guitar instead of horns. Jeremy Baum adds really cool piano work on this track and again a laid back guitar solo is nicely executed. This may be the best vocal track on the release. Katie Lynn has just a touch of country rhythm but with a rockin beat. Different rhythm and paces give harp players a different phrasing and this track shows us yet another side of Mikey's diverse palate. Cool track. Bad Time Blues opens with a cool guitar riff with heavy hand vibrato. I like the sound. A more conventional blues track with a cool story line. Mikey again controls the tempo of this track with is vocal phrasing and the band shows just how tight a blues band can be on a low slung track. Mikey shows his chops again on harp and Short rips these great signature guitar riffs placing this bands high on my want to see list. The Cheat opens with squawking harp and rim shots. A blues rock track with a lot of swagger, Mikey again steps up and takes authority with his harp like few players I've seen do today. It isn't flashy, just crisp and direct. Very nice. You opens with an interesting guitar riff and what I'd call a stumbling drum riff. I like it already! I can see Mikey performing this track in my mind. It's a theatrical piece with a lot of sonic animation. Mikey (with Lee Oskar like tone) and Shot trade punches over this stumbling beat...excellent! Possibly my favorite track overall. She's Good At Being Bad, with a vocal melody, tremelo laden guitar chords and percussive drum stiffeners is a cool listener. A different approach to your basic blues number and one that has real merit. Please Come Back is much more down the middle of blues highway with R&B bass line. A definite James Brown return on this track gives it a cool feel and Shot again steps up with a really nice guitar solo followed by Mikey on harp. This track has a really nice riff filled ending with vibrato bends on guitar... excuse my excessive guitar interest but that's who I am! Wrong Number, the first soul ballad on the release is really nicely written and executed with Baum stepping up on B3. Mikey again shows how strong his vocals really are. An easy radio play... really! The last track, Trying To Do the Best I Can, is the surprise of the release with an acoustic country blues feel. With only acoustic guitar, harp, upright bass and what sounds like sand paper (or brushes), the crew does a super job to wind down from an explosive release.

 Love this guys tone! This will definitely be on my yearly review list!

  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”