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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 Vaneese Thomas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vaneese Thomas. Show all posts

Friday, April 15, 2022

Blue Heart Records artist: Vaneese Thomas - Fight The Good Fight - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Fight The Good Fight, from Vaneese Thomas, and it's a great mix of R&B and soul. Opening with powerful track, Raise The Alarm, with it's hi stepping Al green styling really gets this release amped up. Thomas has a great voice and plays keys with Wayne Warnecke on drums and bass, Al Orlo on guitars, Jon Cobert on organ, Marc Frankiln on trumpet, Kirk Smothers on bari sax,  Lannie McMillan on tenor sax, and with Emily Bindiger and Kati Mac, this track is a home run. My radio choice for the release is Same Blood Same Bone, a soulful track with excellent lead by Thomas and beautiful backing vocals by Lisa Fisher, a hot guitar solo by Orlo and punchy horns. Very nice. Ballad, Time to Go Home has a gospel richness... Thomas' vocal over Orlo on acoustic guitar and mandolin and the addition of Joe Mennonna on Accordion. Wrapping the release is soulful ballad, Lost In The Wilderness. A strong showcase for the versatility of Thomas' voice and the inclusion of Scott Sharrard on pedal steel as well as lush backing vocals by James Williams and Thomas, this is an excellent closer. 


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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Segue Records artist: Vaneese Thomas - Down Yonder - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Down Yonder, from Vaneese Thomas and it's swampy, funky, soulful blues. Opening with Ebony Man, with it's thick funky blues sound, Thomas on lead vocal is backed by Shawn Pelton on drums, Conrad Korsh on bass Al Orlo on guitar and Tash Neal on dobro. Soul track, I Tried is one of my favorites with it's rich melody, powerful vocals and the addition of keys by Robbie Kondor, horn work by Lannie McMillam on tenor sax, Kirk Smothers on bari sax, Mark Franklin on trumpet and nicely articulated guitar lead by Orlo. Very nice. R&B track, Second Chance has a great radio vibe with nicely blended vocals and full horn backing. Another soulful blues track is Mama He Loves Me with a great melody and clean, tight guitar soloing and rich vocals. Funky, R&B number, Lies, has a great feel and a real strut punctuated by Will Lee on bass, Rick Kriska on bari sax Tim Ouimette on trumpet and Orlo's funky blues guitar lead. Southern gospel flavored, Gone, with it's hand claps and powerful vocals is a strong buildup for closing R&B ballad and title track, Down Yonder. Thomas' careful crafting of the melodic rhythm with Neal's Muscle Shoals like guitar solo and lush vocal backing by Carla Thomas, Bernetta Miles and Vaneese. 

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Segue Records artist: Vaneese Thomas - The Long Journey Home - New release review

I just received the newest release (September 16, 2016), The Long Journey Home, from Vaneese Thomas and it's soul is dripping. Opening with Sweet Talk Me, a soulful pop track, Vaneese Thomas plants her feet and delivers. With solid radio melody, tight guitar riffs by Al Orlo, Paul Mariconda on piano, Paul Adamy on bass and Joe Bonadio on drums and ultra rich back vocals by Lisa Fisher, Erin Pellnat and Sergio Cocchi I like this opener. Another favorite on the release is the R&B track, Mystified. Adamy sets up a nice bass line and Thomas' vocals are gripping. Bryan Davis on trumpet, and Ed Palermo on sax give the track a rich warmness and Orlo and Wayne Warnecke lay down some tasty guitar riffs. On The More Things Change, Adamy uses a single bass line to control the track, changing up for a nice vocal opening and Thomas' strong vocals saturate the track with stinging guitar riffs by Orlo. Prince of Fools has a really nice groove with tight vocals and a real sweet organ solo by Cocchi. Very nice. Opening with a heavy bottom and grinding guitar riffs, I Got A Man In TN, has a super heavy sway and Thomas is stomping it down hard. With great vocal phrasing, cool slide work by Orlo and Tash Neal and nicely complimentary bass and vocal backing, this track is hot. With warm gospel style organ, Rockin' Away The Blues has great presence. Peter Calo's addition of dobro work adds yet another dimension and Adamy's ever solid presence nicely highlights Thomas' super vocals. Excellent! With a simple blues strut, Revelation, shows yet another side of Thomas with a bit of country stirred in. Piano work by Mariconda, acoustic guitar work by Orlo, dobro by Neal and harp by Rob Paparozzi gives this track it's spring. Definitely my favorite track on the release is Mean World, a simple soulful ballad with Thomas accompanying herself on piano, joined by military like rudiment percussion by Bonadio. Really nice melodic guitar riffs add a nice dimension to Thomas' already rich vocals and solitary guitar soloing by Orlo is nicely executed. Wrapping the release is a cover of Fleetwood Mac's The Chain. Nicely interwoven vocals by Thomas, Pellnat, Cocchi and Fischer. Cleanly articulate acoustic guitar work by Orlo, smooth violin work by Katie Jacoby and supplemental dobro work by Neal makes this a cool conclusion to a pretty nice release.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Blind Raccoon Showcases Roots & Blues Artists

Blind Raccoon Showcases Roots & Blues Artists
Blind Raccoon is delighted to announce the line-up for its showcases happening during the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. On January 21, 22 and 23, from 11:30am to 5pm, artists from Norway, Canada, California, Ohio, Illinois, Connecticut, and New York, a smorgasbord of roots and blues talent, will grace the stage. We have two 2015 Blues Music Award nominees - Vaneese Thomas & Missy Andersen, one 2015 IBC participant – Gaetano Letizia and the Underworld Blues Band, as well as several former IBC contestants performing over the three days. Net proceeds from the showcases will benefit The Blues Foundation’s HART Fund, which provides assistance to blues musicians and their families in times of great financial need due to medical emergencies. Emcees are Peter "Blewzzman” Lauro of Mary4Music.com on Wednesday, Brett Fleming, host of Soul Stew, WEVL/Memphis, on Thursday, and Richard L’Hommedieu, producer of Live At The Midnight Circus and publisher of Making A Scene, on Friday. Blind Raccoon is a music marketing firm out of Memphis dedicated to spreading their artists’ music around the globe.

PERFORMERS

Gaetano Letizia and the Underworld Blues Band
2015 IBC participant
Based in OH
www.underworldblues.com

Vaneese Thomas
2015 BMA Nominee “Soul Blues Album” (Blues For My Father) & “Soul Blues Female Artist”
Based in NY, from Memphis
www.vaneesethomas.com

Magnus Berg
Based in Norway
www.magnusbergmusic.com

The Reverend Shawn Amos
Based in CA
www.shawnamos.com

Hurricane Ruth
Former IBC participant
Based in IL
www.hurricaneruth.com

Missy Andersen
2015 BMA Nominee “Soul Blues Female Artist”
Missy Andersen was due to participate in this year’s IBC, but as she was nominated for a BMA, was eliminated from the competition.
Based in CA
www.missyandersen.com

Suit Ty Thurrsty
Based in CT
www.suittythurrsty.com

Anthony Gomes
From Canada
www.anthonygomes.com
Early 2015 will see the release of Electric Field Holler, a guitar driven blues infused rock ‘n’ roll album that showcases Gomes‘ blistering six string work and whiskey soaked voice.   

SCHEDULE

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
11:30am - Gaetano Letizia and the Underworld Blues Band – I hour set
12:45pm - Vaneese Thomas – 45 minute set
1:45pm - Magnus Berg - 45 minute set
2:45pm – The Reverend Shawn Amos - 45 minute set
3:45pm - Hurricane Ruth – I hour set

Thursday, January 22, 2015
11:30am - Missy Andersen – I hour set
12:45pm - Suit Ty Thurrsty – 45 minute set
1:45pm - Vaneese Thomas - 45 minute set
2:45pm - Anthony Gomes – I hour set
4pm The Reverend Shawn Amos – 45 minute set

Friday, January 23, 2015
11:30am - Suit Ty Thurrsty – I hour set
12:45pm - Hurricane Ruth – 45 minute set
1:45pm - Gaetano Letizia and the Underworld Blues Band - 45 minute set
2:45pm - Missy Andersen - 45 minute set
3:45pm - Magnus Berg – I hour set

~ REPRESENTING ~
Charlie Musselwhite ~ Juke Joint Chapel
57th Annual Grammy Award Nominee “Best Blues Album”
2015 Blues Music Award (BMA) Nominee “Harmonica”
June Core ~ 2015 BMA Nominee “Drums”

Gary Clark Jr. ~ Live
2015 BMA Nominee “Contemporary Blues Male Artist”

Missy Andersen ~ In The Moment
2015 BMA Nominee “Soul Blues Female Artist”

Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls ~ Soul Brothers
2015 BMA Nominee “Soul Blues Album” & “Soul Blues Male Artist” (Otis & Johnny)

Vaneese Thomas ~ Blues For My Father
2015 BMA Nominee “Soul Blues Album” & “Soul Blues Female Artist”

Altered Five Blues Band • Bobby Hurricane Spencer
Chris Daniels & The Kings featuring Freddi Gowdy •D.A. Foster
Grady Champion •Hurricane Ruth • Magnus Berg • Ray Goren
The Reverend Shawn Amos

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Segue Records artist: Vaneese Thomas - Blues For My Father - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 17, 2014), Blues For My Father, from Vaneese Thomas and it really hits the spot. Thomas, daughter of Mr. Rufus Thomas has put together 12 cool tracks opening with Southern Central Blues, a swinging soul number. Joined by Buddy Williams on drums, Will Lee on bass, Robbie Kondor on piano, Tash Neal on guitars and Wayne Warnecke on percussion its a bright opener. 10 X The Man You Are has a taste of Dixon's Wang Dang Doodle and a dash of Beatles really showing the strength of Thomas' pipes. Neal breaks loose with a slick guitar solo on this track adding just that dash of flash. Great track. On Wrong Turn, a duet with her sister, Carla Thomas, the girls present a light and airy R&B track that is likely to see good radio reception. Wrap Your Arms Around Me has a slinky, swampy feel with solid rhythms from Shawn Pelton and Neal on dobro. Thomas commands the spotlight with her distinct phrasing on this track and her voice is always spot on. Backing vocals from Angela Clemmons, Alan Gorrie and Ms Thomas really heat up the track. Corner of Heartache and Pain has a strong bass line compliments of Will Lee. This provides a really nice platform for Thomas to dig deep for great blues feel. Paul Schaffer adds nice organ lines and Neal tips in some guitar. Addition of a horn section on this track, Tim Quimette (trumpet), Bill Harris (Tenor/Bari sax) sets the track off nicely. Rufus Thomas sings duet with his daughter on Can't Ever Let You Go highlighted by crisp guitar riffs by Donnie Baer, a cool sax solo from Jim Spake and nice organ work from Ricky Peterson. Tasty! When My Baby Gets Home is a straight up R&B track that could easily attract solid airplay. Nice vocal work and easy smooth dobro work from Neal, highlighted by splashes of horn top this track. Love 'em and Leave 'em Behind has a real strong funky step. The hottest rhythm track on the release, pairs Thomas with Dennis Collins and Sharon Bryant on vocal and plucky bass lines from Paul Adamy. Southern Girl settles down into a smokey soul feel. Sexy sax work from Bill Harris and Kirk Whalum really add substantially to one of the best tracks on the release. A more subtle but equally effective funky soul track, Lonely Me, again really allow Thomas to shine with her solid vocals and smooth phrasing. Covering John Fogerty's The Old Man Down The Road has very little alterations in arrangement from Fogerty's original but do highlight another facet of Thomas' voice, almost Big Mama like. Very cool. Wrapping the release is Blue Ridge Blues, featuring only Thomas on vocal and Rob Mathes on guitar. This is particularly effective and a powerful, spiritual like track to wrap up this release. Excellent!

  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”