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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 Virginia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virginia. Show all posts

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Jon Spear Band - Live Music Is Better - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Live Music Is Better from Jon Spear Band and it's a rocker. Opening with Devil's Highway the band shows it's spunk with Dara James on lead guitar and vocals, Jon Spear on rhythm guitar, bass by Andy Burdetsky and drums by John Stubblefield. Michael McDonald and Robben Ford's, Nothing To Nobody has a real nice R&B feel with James' vocals hitting spot on. Special guest Adrian Duke on B3 adds a nice touch and guitar solos by James and Spear are slick. Shake Your Boogie is a great track with a cool walking bass line under the track and harp by James. Spear takes the lead on vocal and guitar and spikes it. Special guest Haywood Giles lays down a hot sax solo and Duke jams the piano. Hot! Before The Bullets Fly has a cool Albert King rhythm and James' vocals are cool. Spears and James share lead guitar duty on this one giving it a cool kick. Classic funk track, Sissy Strut is up next and the guys do get down. James and Spear each take healthy guitar solos, Giles really gets the sax working, Duke works the B3 over and Burdetsky drives the bass hard. Very nice! James opens, Have You Ever Loved A Woman with a sweet guitar intro over lush chords by Spear. His vocals are silky and smooth and Burdetsky's bass is rock solid. Clocking in at over 8 minutes the guys really work this one over. Very nice! Laid back ballad, Old Soul features James' vocals nicely and Giles blows a real nice sax solo over hot rhythm by Stubblefield. An almost Eric Clapton like guitar solo by James takes the track to it's peak and then back for an solid ending. Delbert McClinton's country rocker, Blues About You Baby comes out swinging with Spear on lead vocal and guitar. I like it's raw edge and rough and tumble feel. With Speak pickin and James sliding this track may be my favorite on the release. I Love My Skin has a great New Orleans feel. With real nice sax work by Giles and lead vocals and super piano by Duke, this track is way cool! With a humble country approach, Paid In Full is a cool ballad with solid vocals and melodic guitar soloing. Very nice! With a bit of rock and a bit of R&B, Beginner at the Blues has warm guitar riffs and real nice vocals by James over tight rhythm guitar and solid bass work, all tied together by Stubblefield making for a cool radio track. Wrapping the release is shuffle track Live Music Is Better. A walking bass line by Burdetsky, cool piano by Duke and tight drums by Stubblefield sets a cool stage for James and Spear to sing and jam. A cool conclusion for a solid live release.
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Monday, June 22, 2015

The Bush League - Didn't See This Coming - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Didn't See This Coming, by The Bush League and it's another smoker! Like their first release, ”Can of Gas and a Match” this release is gritty, raw and bluesy. This release is live and gives The Bush League a chance to stretch out a bit and I think that it pays off in spades. Opening with Hearse, a rambling blues with trace clues to Govt Mule, this track has a really nice underlying bass line by Royce Folks, super vocals by JohnJay Cecil and wild frenzied guitar work by Michael Burgess and Brad Moss over a stiff drum rhythm by Wynton Davis. Real nice! Bringing the pace (but not the heat) down, Show You Off has has a real nice swagger with a woven tapestry of guitar, drums and bass carrying the vocals on a chariot. With an increase in intensity as the track grows, the band is really getting the crowd sweaty. Lowell Folsom's Tramp, one of the great underrated tracks of our time fits nicely into the set. Shelly Thiss joins the band sharing lead vocals with Cecil and she has an excellent voice! She has a great weighted clarity like some of my favorite contemporary blues singers. This is an excellent demonstration of the bands capabilities both vocally and instrumentally! Gimme My Money is a real nice R&B style track in the Otis Redding flavor. Cecil is a great band leader with a super voice and this track is solid as a rock. Can of Gas & a Match is a real nice hill country style boogie. The band really gets would up on this one cranking out an excellent jam with acute dynamics. Frysumfish is a funky track that I'm certain has the crowd on it's feet. How funky you say?...Think Sly Stone! Kick Up Yo' Heels has a Tommy Tucker feel with a few hot guitar solos. Wrapping the release is Muddy Water's Mannish Boy, a 12 plus minute long jam with excellent guitar riffs and also featuring Pete Turpin on harp. This a sweet live performance by one of today's earthiest blues bands. Enjoy!

  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, March 16, 2015

Blues Condition - Moon Over Main Street - New Release review

I just received the newest release, Moon Over Main Street, from Blues Condition and they have put together quite an enjoyable release. Opening with Done Somebody Wrong, an old Elmore James track made popular by the Allmans but with more of an early british sound, this track sounds fresh. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Don't She Look Good, is a old NRBQ track and has that great snappy rock feel. Excellent! Tampa Red track, It Hurts Me Too, gets a bit of a R&B blues flavor and I think that it really takes on a new feel. Most every serious blues band has covered this track but I think that this particular arrangement is just different. Lucky Star, written by Larry Benade, lead singer and guitar player, backed by Bruce Thomas on vocal and bass and Kenny Gott on drums has a rockin' country feel. Robert Johnson's If I Had Posession Over Judgement Day gets a Muddy Waters, Rollin' and Tumblin' feel and Benade rides the slide nicely. Willie Dixon track, Howlin' For My Baby gets a cool rockin' twist with a simple guitar riff. Very Cool! John Lee Hooker's Dimples gets a bit more sophistication than originally by Hooker with chorded rhythm lines. I like this take on the track giving it a real guitar workout. Stepping into a jazz type mode without playing out the full chords gives it a nice touch. Chuck Berry's Oh What A Thrill seems a natural for this band with it's simple 3 piece attack and raw feel. The guitar soloing has a more controlled Keith style than all out Chuck flair. Another cool track. Eddie Boyd's Five Long Years takes BC into it's first slower blues venture on this release and they make good use of the time. Benade has a voice that is well suited for a track like this and he shows his blues chops without getting out too far. Nice job. Fairport Convention's One More Chance gets a redo that has the flavor of SRV or Chris Duarte. I like their spunk laying this track out flat. Nice! Brian Adler's Any Ordinary Man maintains a stable rock beat for a simple radio style track. Made Up My Mind, a track by one of my favorite old British blues bands, Savoy Brown, gets a great cover with a solid rhythm section and traditional guitar riffs. Ballad, How Do I Know, has a nice bluesy feel and solid guitar work. Nothing flashy but very solid. Older R&B track made popular by the Stones, Harlem Shuffle doesn't venture far from the path cut by Keith and Mick but it is very professionally done and enjoyable. The release is wrapped by a rockin' version of Jeannie & Jimmy Cheatham's Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On. A slice between Chuck Berry and ZZ Top, this is a great finisher.

  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, November 10, 2014

George Taylor - Rain or Shine - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Rain or Shine, from George Taylor and it's a solid package or honest American music. Opening with Goodnight, an easy going country rock track featuring Taylor on guitar and vocal, Justin Douglas on bass, Blake Lange on percussion and judy Reynolds on fiddle. The Hard Way has a strong sip of country western and a sober chaser. With a waltz like pace, this track has a certain clarity that is lacking in most of the music that I typically hear. Nice. Railroad Song features Douglas on dobro and Taylor on guitar, harp and vocal. A folksy track, it is soothing and catchy. What Am I Gonna Say? is a serious ballad with simple acoustic guitar accompaniment. On Scenery, paints a story is words with color and texture. Only Blue is a classic country track with Douglas on steel guitar and Taylor adding some real nice harp over his heartfelt vocals. Breakin' In Boots has some of the grittiest guitar work on the release and an almost rock style cushioned by Cody Ground on keys. One of the top tracks on the release. Harvest Moon has a strong root in the blues with a solid foot stomp, vocal and harp melody and greasy slide dobro work. Very nice. A haunting melody amplified by cool reverb saturated guitar and windy steel guitar make The Rain one of my favorites on the release. Excellent. Wrapping the release is Seat With Your Name, an edgy ballad with a country honesty and an almost Neil Young feel is a really nice track. Simple keys, vocals and acoustic guitar give this track a somber sound and the harp just rides on top like a cloud. Very nice.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Planet Full Of Blues - Hard Landing - New release review

I just received the newest release (May 17,2014), Hard Landing,from Planet Full Of Blues and it's a lot of fun. Opening with Big Mouth, a shuffling rock track, lead singer and guitar player Johnny Ray Light takes control. Ron Dameron plucks a cool bass line and Brock Howe keeps the bottom tight on drums. So Special is a bluesy easy going track with warm shimmery guitar chords. Mashed Potatoes and Gravy has a strong tie to older Chicago blues with classic guitar riffs. Light bursts loose with a nice guitar rumble on this track as well as driving the track with Reed like melody. Open Your Eyes has a R&B rhythm and a catchy melody allowing Light the opportunity to step up with some stinging guitar solos to compliment his vocals. Busboy has a funky back beat and crisp Texas style guitar riffs. I Had A Dream is a slow bluesy ballad with a smart meoldy. Light uses the pace nicely to ease out a sympathetic guitar solo along with rich guitar chords which enhance the basis of the track. Big Bright Light has a country rock feel with a particular feel like the Dead. Nice little track with nicely blended vocals. Sunday Drive is a quick paced rock track with fluid guitar riffs and a tight bottom. Felt Like A Tourist is a hard driver with a twist of country. A real toe tapper, has a stripped down feel and a catchy melody. Snake Lady really gets the feel of southern country hill blues with a update. Keeping it simple is the key here and this is a cool one. Shugrue Shuffle has a super loose guitar lead with an almost American Bandstand theme melody. This is definitely my favorite track on the release and a cool wrap for this 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”

Monday, March 24, 2014

Parkfest Email blast run date 3-24-14

The River City Blues Society of Virginia is proud to announce the second annual Parkfest Blues Festival on Saturday, May 3, 2014, at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County, VA

The Festival begins with In Layman Terms and The UnXpected
– a new generation of blues musicians
The music will continue with the RCBS Band Entry to the 2014 IBC, Herbie D and the Dangermen
Local favorites representing the Ellersoul Record Label come together for your enjoyment as the Ellersoul Blues and Soul Revue. 
Moreland and Arbuckle, from Wichita, Kansas are sure to amaze the crowd as the three piece band tears up the stage. It is no wonder that their album, 7 Cities, is a top blues album. If you have not seen them before, you won’t forget them after their set. 
The evening will end with Albert Cummings. When it comes to blues guitar, Cummings is the real deal, not to mention a talented front man and singer. His recent album, No Regrets, debuted at No. 1 in the U.S., Canada and France on the iTunes Blues Charts and at No. 5 on the Billboard blues charts. 
The festival is set in the Heritage Amphitheater where there is not a bad seat in the house as the stage is elevated. There is ample parking, plenty of shade. The amphitheater has seating and a grassy slope where spectators can set up chairs and blankets. 
Tickets and info at PARKFESTBLUES.COM 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ain't No Tellin - Tevis Hodge Jr.

Born in Virginia, Tevis was exposed to Blues music at an early age. Due to his African-American heritage, and his love for the music, he is compelled to continue the traditions of his people. He has been playing music for 18 years and has played the blues for more than 10 years. Tevis is inspired to keep true to the traditions and techniques of the musicians of yesterday for an authentic experience, while at the same time accenting his own original flare and interpretations, placing himself among the many original blues musicians of the past 80 years. His songwriting coincides with the traditions of yesterday, which keeps an authentic flow from song to song, weather it be his own material, or an old traditional tune. This is where he shines as an artist, being more than a re-creator of the old, he is a contributor to the new in the vein of yesterday. Tevis Hodge Jr now resides in Portland, Oregon where he performs with various band configurations, and as a solo act in the Portland area and the North West. He has performed with a number of artists including Vaudeville legend Baby Gramps, Folk giant Peter Yarrow, Joe McMurrian (winner of The Best Independent Blues Release) , Suburban Slim (three time Muddy Award nominee), Lucy Hammond (top 5 on Roots Music Charts for Oregon) and Kevin Selfe (Muddy Award winner), to name a few.  

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!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

MMRF Artist Pete Whitcher Passes Away

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Pete Whitcher Passes Away  
Pete Whitcher

Our thoughts and prayers are with Pete's family and friends
Junior Ray "Pete" Whitcher of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, passed away on July 15th, we were saddened to hear. Pete was a Music Maker artist for close to twelve years, a talented musician who preferred to stay in his home county. MMRF Founder Tim Duffy met Pete through a friend of the Foundation, Tony Young. Pete was a farm assistant, working many years on the land, and knew some great old country Blues. Tim documented Pete's talent, and MMRF assisted Pete throughout the past years with our Musician Sustenance Program. In 2011 MMRF was provide Pete with an electric guitar from a generous donor.  

Through traveling was not for him, we know Pete's music will live on through all that knew him, and those that continue to play in the old country Blues he loved. He will be missed. 

Harvey Arnold
Little Freddie King
Drink Small
On the Blog: A Guitar for Harvey Arnold
This week's blog explores the importance of a professional quality instrument to a working artist. At MMRF, we strive to ensure our artists have the equipment they need, and often we receive them through in-kind donations from generous supporters. The blog post focuses on Harvey Arnold, a Southern Rock artist who's recording his upcoming album on the MMRF label. Check it out!
Diggin': Whitney's thoughts on NOLA
Whitney focuses her Diggin' this week on Little Freddie King's "Sweet Home New Orleans." It's great timing, we all spent Saturday night listening to Ironing Board Sam at Papa Mojo's, a local Durham venue bringing a little bit of Louisiana up to NC. You couldn't help think of all the other New Orleans musicians MMRF has the pleasure of working with, Little Freddie King being one. Check out her Diggin' and listen to the track!  
Keep up with Music Maker's gigs
Do you need to boogie woogie? Perhaps all night long? See who's playing in your area! You never know when a Music Maker artist will be rolling through your town. Check out the Tour Calendar.