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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 Vassar Clements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vassar Clements. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hypnotation Records artist: Michael Falzarano - I Got Blues For Ya - New release review

I just received a copy of the newest release, I Got Blues For Ya, from Michael Falzarano and it's a riot. Opening with The Night King Curtis Died, a lumbering 12 bar number, features strong vocals, lead and rhythm guitar from Falzarano, bass by Chris Matheos on bass, Ray Grappone on drums and excellent slide work from Kane Daily who has a lot of the feel of slide master Rod Price. Title track, I Got Blues For Ya, is structured along the Bo Diddley beat with a swampy feel and guitar not unlike Peter Green. Klyph Black joins on bass and Christian Cassan joins on drums. Josh Colow takes the lead guitar on I Never Think About You, a bluesy ballad. Professor Louie adds a cool piano runs and Miss Marie gives the track a warm texture on backing vocals. Colow lays out a few really nice compact solos on this track and the Professor rides the B3 high. A hot riding boogie, Snake Box Boogie, has a super beat and Falzarano really grinds this one out with the Professor and Colow for one of my favorite tracks on the release. Big Fish is one of those great laid back tracks with the Elvin Bishop saunter. Vasser Clements' unmistakable sound on fiddle joined by Kerry Kearney on slide and super chops gives this track a real authentic country blues rock feel. Very cool. Shuffle track, We Got A Party Going On, has really hot rolling piano work by the Professor and cheering backing vocals. Colow lays in a pinched guitar solo backed nicely by Frank Campbell on bass and Gary Burke on drums. Good Good Lovin has a cocky beer chugging Lynyrd Skynyrd feel. Daily lays on a slick melodic "Lindley" style slide solo with Jon Marshall Smith on organ and Lisa Bouchelle on backing vocals. Very nice! One of my favorite blues vocalists, Alexis P. Suter joins Falzarano on vocals for a darker, Hooker style boogie, Crossroads Avenue. Jimmie Fleming on mandolin, Pete Sears on piano, Charlie Wolfe on harp, Frank Celenza on bass and Eileen Murphy provide instrumental texture behind this boogie jam track. Slick blues strut, The Devil's Gone Fishin', featuring Kerry Kearney on lead guitar and the Professor on Hammond and piano has a really nice groove. Kearney smokes the strings up pretty good on this one... enjoy! One of my favorite Rev. Gary tracks caught live, Death Don't Have No Mercy, has a life of it's own here with Falzarano on vocal and acoustic guitar, Mike Miz and Tom Circista on acoustic guitar, Freeman White on keys, Klyph Black on bass, Dave Diamond on drums and featuring Barry Mitterhoff and Jason Crosby with excellent mandolin and fiddle work, respectively. Upbeat shuffle, Trouble, is a cool blues number with rolling piano by the Professor, Farfisa organ by Harley Fine, and fine guitar and slide solos by Falzarano, Daily and Kearney. Wrapping the release is a rocking cover of Wilbert Harrison's Let's Work Together. A nicely blended cover featuring concluding solos by Daily and Falzarano and vocals by Falzarano and Miss Marie make this a super closer.

  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”


Friday, July 25, 2014

Dickey Betts - Winterland San Francisco, CA 12/14/1974 - Stilladog - Guest Reviewer

Dickey Betts - guitar, dobro, vocals
Jeff Hanna - guitar
Spooner Oldham - organ
Vassar Clements - violin
John Hughey - pedal steel guitar
Oscar Underwood Adams - mandolin
Stray Straton - bass, vocals
Bonnie Bramlett - vocals, percussion
Jerry Jumonville - alto sax
David Walshaw - drums, percussion
Jerry Thompson - drums
Leon Poindexter - acoustic guitar
Walter Poindexter - banjo
Frank Poindexter - dobro

 By 1974, in large part due to Dickey Betts, Capricorn Records and the Allman Brothers Band were experiencing a success more lucrative than anyone could have dreamed. Betts, as a result, found himself free to pursue almost anything he desired musically, without having to worry about finances in the least. The situation allowed him to record his first solo album, Highway Call, and to perform with countless great musicians for the pure joy of playing, without any expectations of making money in the process. Over the course of the previous year, Betts had found a true, authentic voice, and had begun to distinguish himself within the ABB as a unique stylist, blending his love for country, bluegrass, western swing, jazz and rock into a style utterly his own - and one that would soon prove highly influential on all the Southern Rock bands that followed in the Allman Brothers' wake.

Betts’ Great American Music Show featured many of the players from his solo album, including the greatest fiddle player of his generation, Vassar Clements. Both the Poindexters and the legendary Spooner Oldham were also on board, and all these musicians combined to create a show that authentically traced the history of American music. 

Betts begins this Winterland show by showcasing his more acoustic side, with plenty of tight harmonies, sweet picking and relaxed communication between the musicians. Several of the best new songs from Betts’ solo effort are included, including "Rain," "Long Time Gone" and the superb "Hand Picked." The classic instrumental "Hideaway," as well as Allman Brothers' favorites "Blue Sky" and "Southbound," are given this new treatment with great success. Betts, Clements and the Poindexters then venture into historic American music and straight bluegrass for half a dozen songs, beginning with vintage material like "Old Joe Clark" and "Salty Dog," and closing with Vassar Clements raising the roof on "Orange Blossom Special." 

The set's closer, for which the ensemble goes electric, is perhaps its most interesting and exciting moment. This 40 minute version of "Elizabeth Reed" has to be one of the most expansive versions ever played, and is almost beyond description. Everyone in the ensemble gets several chances to shine on this unbelievable jam. All the elements that influence Betts’ music are represented, from jazz to rock to bluegrass and back. This version literally has it all, and stays amazingly cohesive and inspired throughout. The audience demands more, and the band returns for an encore consisting of the obligatory "Ramblin Man" followed by another of Betts’ most requested numbers, "Jessica." This lovely instrumental showcases the inventive playing of this large ensemble, and ventures into new areas only hinted at in versions with the Allman Brothers.
This is one of the finest examples recorded of musicians playing for the sheer joy of music, with no egos or financial concerns getting in the way. Touring this type of show was destined to be a monstrous undertaking - and ultimately a financial disaster - but thankfully, for a brief time in 1974, none of that seemed to matter.

Introduction / Rain 4:58
Blue Sky 11:05
Hide Away 9:11
Hand Picked 13:54
Long Time Gone 5:32
Southbound 9:06
Old Joe Clark 1:47
Salty Dog Blues 3:13
Carolina 2:24
Rollin' In My Sweet Baby’s Arms 3:29
Hard Time Blues 4:05
Orange Blossom Special 3:08
In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed 41:19
Ramblin' Man 7:59
Jessica 12:16 

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”


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Real Gone Music : John Hartford - Aereo-Plain/Morning Bugle: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings - New Release review

John Hartford was an incredibly creative, talented, irreverent and funny musician and song writer. For the general public, Hartford's work is condensed to one track, Gentle On My Mind, made popular by Glen Campbell. I was more attracted to Hartford's incredible musicianship, ability to attract the absolute best talent in the bluegrass world and get them focused on his projects and just to write creative stories and funny songs. Hartford would "tap dance" along with his banjo playing to add his own percussion having fabricated a wooden platform with a microphone underneath to amplify his foot steps. Hartford also performed a number of bluegrass standards and, along with the likes of David Bromberg, Jerry Garcia and the New Grass Revival, brought the joy of the bluegrass movement into the public eye. This double cd recording includes the original 16 tracks from Aero-Plain plus an additional 4 unreleased tracks. The release opens with Turn Your Radio On, the opening track which is as earthy as they come. Done in a very pure form this track is a real treat. Hartford is in the middle of his most creative period when this recording was released and Up On The Hill Where They Do The Boogie is a good example. Followup track, Boogie, was always a crowd favorite and it still brings a smile to my face when I hear it. The most heartfelt grunts ever recorded! Presbyterian Guitar has a beautiful melody and holds its own with most any Lennon McCartney melody. Symphony Hall Rag gives the guys a great opportunity to just stretch out and do what they do best...sit back and enjoy! Tear Down The Grand Ole Opry, a collaboration with Taylor, is distinctively Hartford because of his vocal style but the arrangement of the vocals on this track are particularly smart. Leather Britches featuring Clements is another standout. If you have never seen Vassar, he's a treasure. Sweetheart Can't You hear Me Calling, the first of the unreleased tracks, is a terrific track with traditional bluegrass picking and harmonizing. Taylor and Blake wrote Weave and Way and that should be enough to perk your ears in itself. If you love listening to people who can really play.... this is it! Cumberland Gap adds fuel to the instrumental fire and the boys just jam out concluding with Orange Blossom Special. This is a terrific recording in it's entirety. The second cd, Morning Bugle includes the original 11 tracks plus 4 additional unreleased tracks. This is an extremely strong contemporary bluegrass recording, some of my favorites being Old Joe Clark, instrumental track My Rag, Got No Place To Go where Hartford creates and world of his own both with candid instrumentals and unique vocals and the extremely traditional sounding Flower Power. Among the unreleased tracks, Don't Let Your Deal Go Down gets a great Hartford-esqe treatment. Back Up And Push is another great instrumental that is a fortunate find. Hartford closes the package with original track Bye-Bye where the boys rip it up and Hartford has a good time on his vocals. A perfect send off. This package is also supplemented with a beautiful 14 page booklet which include the original liner notes and covers, 4 pages of history, a great photo of Hartford performing with Earl Scruggs and Norman Blake, one of Hartford playing banjo in front of the White House and another candid photo of Tut Taylor, Vassar Clements, Norman Blake and Hartford. 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”