CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

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!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Wisconsin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wisconsin. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Blind Fiction - Overlook - New release review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Overlook, from Blind Fiction and it's a cool, blues based rocker. Opening with Better Man, an upbeat, country flavored rocker with a contemporary beat, Tim Wright on lead guitar and vocal, Eric Madunic on bass, keys and backing vocals and Nick Lang on drums set a good pace. Joined by Eric Schoor on sax and Andrew Riehle on trumpet, a solid opener. I really like rocker, Deal With You Later with it's harmonized lead vocals, fanned blues chords and romping bass line. Wright gets loose on this one showing his excellent chops. Mean Old Jack maintains a rock stance but with firm blues footing, and slick slide guitar by Wright. With broad radio styling, Waiting On A Tragedy, utilizes harmony vocals, a strong guitar riff and nice additional keyboard work by Joe Howard, to create the perfect hit combination. Closing the release is You Never Know, with it's basic R&B feel but with a cool hitch rhythm giving it a more contemporary feel. I really like Wright's vocal on this one and his guitar work is understated but very effective. The addition of Schoor's sax solo, Jamie Breiwick's trumpet solo and Tim Preuss on bass gives this track a cool jazz edge. Very nice closer. 


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Friday, May 20, 2016

Tweed Tone Records artists: Tweed Funk - Come Together - New release Review

I just received the newest release, Come Together, from Tweed Funk and it's super. I've reviewed a number of Tweed Funk releases and they just keep getting better! Opening with Light Up The Night, a track with a super solid bass line from Eric Madunic giving it's funk feel and the horn work of Andrew Spadafora on sax and Doug Woolverton on trumpet punching up the R&B aspects. Joseph "Smokey" Holman on lead vocals is smooth as silk and David Schoepke is tight on drums. Don't Give Up has that Memphis sound with bountiful horns and a brassy trumpet solo from Woolverton dominate the track with solid vocals from Smokey and cool backing vocals from Crissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen. Muse continues in that soulful vein and Smokey shows some of his best vocals on the release. Sweet Music sets up with an easy guitar rhythm from JD Optekar caressing the soulful vocals of Holman. Always filled with rich horns this release is very consistent. Come Together gets back to a more funky feel with a super bass line from Madunic and alternate horns and backing vocals. Spadafora lays out a real nice sax solo on this track keeping balance with Molman on lead vocal. Embrace digs deep into the soul sound for some of Holman's vocals on the release. Spadafora again blows a rich sax solo in balance with Holman's lead vocals giving the track a certain richness. Instrumental, Who Is This is my favorite track on the release, hands down. With a really funky bass line and punchy horns... how could you not love it! Schoepke really slaps the drums around giving it a hot bottom and Woolverton is on fire with his horn. Sexy sax work from Spadafora is flaming hot and works nicely off of the playful bass lines of Madunic. Excellent! Love Ain't Easy has a fast rolling bass line and cool rhythm guitar work from Optekar. Holman really pushes the vocal line on this track and Spadafora and Wooverton trade hot riffs giving this track a potent ending. Show style soul track, Bullet, has a dramatic feel with deep soul vocals, subdued trumpet work by Wooverton and cool keyboard work from Madunic. Wrapping the release is the hot, Soul Rockin' with it's hot bass line and Optekar flashing his funky rhythm style. This track really kicks it up with Holman's vocals and Woolverton's trumpet harmonies with Spadafora. These two are really hot when they cut loose and they do on this final track, and excellent closer.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Prairie Dog Blues Festival Presents Howard & The White Boys

"Chicago's Hardest-Working Blues Band " for over two decades is Howard and the White Boys.
They perform at he Prairie Dog Blues Festival in Prairie du Chien, WI this Friday, July 25.


PRAIRIE DOG BLUES FESTIVAL PRESENTS "CHICAGO'S HARDEST-WORKING BLUES BAND," HOWARD AND THE WHITE BOYS, IN CONCERT
                                   Friday, July 25 - 7 p.m.


    (Prairie du Chien, WI) - The Prairie Dog Blues Festival presents Howard and the White Boys, "a/k/a "Chicago's Hardest-Working Blues Band," in concert, Friday, July 25. 7 p.m. performance. Tickets $25. in advance, per day - purchase online at http://www.prairiedogblues.com/buy-tickets/. The Festival is held on scenic, historic St. Feriole Island, on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.

    *Also catch Howard and the White Boys the night before, Thursday, July 24, at 8 p.m. performing at the Blue BBQ Fest in Indianapolis. More at http://www.indybbq.com/

                NEW HOWARD AND THE WHITE BOYS ALBUM COMING!

  The celebrated longtime blues/rock ensemble recently recorded their long-awaited new album (and follow-up to the critically-acclaimed "Made In Chicago") at Rosas' Lounge in  Chicago, scheduled for a Summer 2014 release. Read more about it in this Examiner.com article: http://exm.nr/1nLgftH.

                           MORE ABOUT HOWARD AND THE WHITE BOYS...

     Howard and the White Boys continue to perform through out the U.S., bringing audiences to their feet and out onto the dance floor - much as they have done for over twenty years. Longtime band member Rocco Calipari has also branched out with his successful side project Head Honchos' who have released a well-received debut CD and play regularly throughout the Midwest as well as the rest of the U.S. and Canada.   The members of Howard And the White Boys first met at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb in 1988 and began jamming together just for fun, but their fast-growing popularity soon convinced them they could make a career of it. After only a few months, they got their first big break by opening for Blues legend, B.B. King. The band soon made the move to Chicago and began performing with the biggest names in Blues: Koko Taylor, Albert King, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry (the latter whom they were the backing band for in a headlining capacity at the 2002 Long Beach Blues Festival in Long Beach, Calif.).

    Here's Howard and the White Boys killing it live on their song "Black Cat Bone," recorded at Rosa's Lounge in Chicago.





         

                           www.howardandthewhiteboys.net

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tweed Funk - First Name Lucky - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (March 31, 2014), First Name Lucky, from Tweed Funk and it's a funky blues party! Opening with Blues In My Soul, a funky blues track that's kind of a mix of Booker T and Albert King. Smokey leads the way on vocals and Jon Lovas on sax and Kevin Klemme keep the horns hot. Time To Burn moves more to a rock/R&B sound and JD Optekar hits some cool guitar riffs on this one. Jon Lovas steps up on sax playing an outstanding solo as well. A song almost thought of synonymously with BB King is up next, Let The Good Times Roll and Tweed Funk keeps a lot of authenticity while having a nice jam at it. Hoodoo Power is a powerful track with Eric Madunic laying down some great bass and Klemme keeping a tight leash on the trumpet. Funky guitar work from Optekar highlights this track. Divided is a very smooth soul ballad with clear guitar accompaniment. Vocals by Smokey are really nicely highlighted on this track and backing by Chrissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen add warmth. Lovas again seps forward with a smooth sax solo as another highlight of this very airworthy track. Sugarfoot is a killer dance traack sounding like it's right off of a James Brown record. Nick Lang on drums and Madunic keep the bottom real and highlights by Klemme on trumpet add to the dynamics. Lovas and Klemme both take cool solos on this track and it's a real mover. Excellent! Deed Is Done has a lot of swing and horn oomph. Smokey steps up the vocals on this track and both horn players are right behind him. This track really moves! Peppermint Harris' I Got Loaded has a New Orleans flair and keeps that authentic street feel. Nice job! Optekar steps up with a nice electric guitar solo but Lang has that rim shot technigue that puts you right back in the street. Sippin Misery has a really laid back blues sound and is likely my favorite track on the release. This is a track that you could feel Billie Holiday singing and Smokey does an excellent job. Horn work on this track from Klemme is excellent. Not a generic trumpet fan but this playing is not (geneic) ... it's hot!! Eddie Floyd's track, Knock On Wood is always a crowd pleaser and a classic R&B track. Madunic steps up on lead vocals on this track and does a real nice job. Horns of course play a large part on this track but it's mostly played straight up. Wrapping the release is Get It On. Brian "Looper" Lucas adds real super harp work on this track but to my ear it's Madunic who leads this track with great bass work. This is the second Tweed Funk release that I have reviewed and this release shows much more maturity and finesse. Looking forward to getting it into my car for a few full listens!

  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, August 15, 2013

Severn Records artist: Bryan Lee - Play One For Me - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (September 17, 2013), Play One For Me, from Bryan Lee and it's a soul stirred blues stew. Opening with Aretha (Play One For Me)
has a real nice R&B flow featuring Kevin Anker on keys and Lee on vocals. Freddie King's It's Too Bad (Things Are Going So Tough) has a real nice blues sway and features some real sweet guitar riffs from Lee. A strong soul track written by Bobby Womack, When Love Begins (Friendship Ends) has a great lyrical line and melody. With just the right touch of blues guitar, Lee leads Steve Gomes on bass and Robb Stupka on drums into the mist surrounded by a solid string and horn section. Tasty guitar riffs really highlight what is likely my favorite track on the release. Chester Burnett's Evil Is Going On produces a nice treat with Kim Wilson joining on harp. Anker plays really nice key work underneath the melody providing a nice balance and Lee on vocal and guitar punctuation makes this another hot track. Straight To Your Heart is a nice New Orleans style blues funk track. I've always loved this style of blues playing and Lee has his finger on the pulse. Poison, an interesting slower blues track. Johnny Moeller on guitars and Wilson on harp add a lot to the overdriven vocals and guitar work of Lee who does a nice job on this track. Why has a real nice walking bass line and blues lope with Ankers on organ and Moeller on guitar pushing Lee to the boiling point on his guitar solo on this particular track. Really nice cut. The release ends with high steppin Sixty-Eight Years Young, a funky rhythm track having only the essence of instrumentation under vocal except for a pretty hot guitar solo. This is a great conclusion to a really 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”

The following track is not from the release but is representative of Lee's work:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Smokestack Lightning - Revolver

Revolver is a fiery, hard-driving group based out of the Chippewa Valley. Revolver’s musical goal is to fire up an audience to transcend the mundane and get its groove on as the band performs a rockin’ live show of addictive aural pleasure. Members are Nick Foytik (g), John Nietz (g), Bob Willihan (b), Eric Pierson (k), and Zach Brawford (d) - all are well-known in the musical community for their past individual projects, and now come together to create a “local legends supergroup” influenced by 70s Blues Rock, Boogie Woogie, Jazz, and Funk  

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, May 2, 2013

Drowning on Dry Land - Greg Koch

Tucked away in Midwestern obscurity, Greg Koch was a diamond in the ruff, the best kept secret in the guitar firmament. But at some point, he decided to make his move and conquer the world with his unique brand of guitarmaggedon. As he recalls of that pivotal moment, "Seven years ago my wife came home from work one day and said, 'You know what? I want to stay home with the (four) kids. You need to fire up your game.' And I said, 'Well, I'm a musician in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Exactly what does firing the game really entail?'" .. .. Koch had already amassed a strong local following in the greater Wisconsinarea through his gigs and self-produced CDs (on his own Rhymes With Chalk label). He did the occasional recording session in Chicago and also began showcasing his jaw-dropping fretboard facility at Fender clinics a few weeks out of the year. It was at one such clinic, while demonstrating Fender's Cyber-Twin amp at the 2001 NAMM show inAnaheim, that Koch's fortunes changed. An associate of guitar hero Steve Vai caught his pyrotechnic act and within an astonishingly short amount of time, the hotshot guitarist found himself signed to Vai's Favored Nations label. The release of his 2001 Favored Nations debut, The Grip, was met with a flood of rave reviews which alternately described Koch as "a twisted guitar genius" and "fiendishly talented." And suddenly the Milwaukee guitarist was obscure no more. .. .. In his liner notes to that auspicious debut, Koch described The Grip as "Chet Hendrix meeting the Kings (BB, Albert and Freddie) at the first annual Zeppelin-Holdsworth Coffee Guzzlers Hoedown." Writer Matt Blackett later wrote in a December, 2001 feature on Koch in Guitar Player: "The licks keep coming...an impossible stream of riffs jumps off of Koch's fretboard like clowns spilling out of a VW bug -- and when you're convinced that there can be no more, out pops another one." .. .. Greg would subsequently showcase his over-the-top chops and wicked sense of humor on 2003's Radio Free Gristle and 2004's 13 x 12. He followed those primarily instrumental outings with 2005's 4 Days In the South, a song-oriented project (recorded at legendary Allman Bros.-Widespread Panic producer Johnny Sandlin's studio) that combined Koch's potent guitar playing and vocals on a set of clever, well-crafted originals like the James Gang-ish "When Were The Good Old Days?," the Zappaesque "Chicken From Hell", the nasty blues shuffle "Your Face" and the melodious "Keep On Singin'," along with a faithful rendition of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues." As Koch explains, "The material on 4 Days in the South represents a coming to grips with my true love of vocal-oriented bluesy-tinged rock with elements of funk, country and jazz thrown in for flavor. The maniacal guitar and fiendish musical humor prevalent on Radio Free Gristle is still represented here although subdued in comparison and in the context of vocal ditties. This has always been the material I have gravitated to and certainly my period of writing instrumental guitar music happened for a reason, but it was the real deviation from the path and this is a return to it." .. .. Koch continues on that song-oriented path with Live on the Radio, which showcases his current working band, Greg Koch & Other Bad Men. With bassist Roscoe Beck (longtime sideman to guitarists Robben Ford and Eric Johnson), drummer Tom Brechtlein (a former member of Ford's Blueline band and a frequent collaborator with Chick Corea) and the charismatic Austin-based soul singer Malford Milligan (formerly the frontman for Storyville and Double Trouble), Koch again unleashes his considerable chops in the context of song forms on this vibrant live set recorded at the adventurous, alternative Milwaukee radio station WMSE located on the campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. "While I felt some pressure to do the pyrotechnic thing on Vai's label -- and I can't complain because it really put me on the map and gave me notoreity and that kind of stuff -- the core of what I'm really into is more of the bluesy, chicken-icking, funky, quasi-jazzy aspect of guitar playing," says Koch. "I've worked on my rhythm playing every bit as much as the lead playing, trying to have sinewy lead parts along with chunky chord parts and funky rhythm parts, and that comes across on this new recording."-- .. .. But make no mistake, there is also plenty of blistering, mind-bending fretboard feats (or in Koch-ese, "plectrum-fueled skullduggery") for six-string connoisseurs to savor on--Live on the Radio. Koch channels all the right people on this searing collection of blues, funk and R&B, including Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Albert Collins, Jeff Beck and Roy Buchanan with touches of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Danny Gatton and Richie Blackmore thrown in for good measure. And he filters all those killer influences through his own slightly bent prism that is tinted with grunge and tinged with gristle. From faithful covers of Freddy King's "The Stumble," Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" and "Spanish Castle Magic" to soulful interpretations of Sam Cooke's anthemic "A Change Is Gonna Come," T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday" and Delbert McClinton's "Standing On Shakey Ground." Add in some funk with the original instrumental "Mrs. Buckley--, Johnny --Guitar-- Watson--s "Don't Change Horses" and Al Green--s "Ain't No Fun For Me," and Koch's deranged guitar prowess is evident from start to finish. Some call it awesome. Koch calls it "good clean fun." .. .. The evolution of this powerhouse band began when Koch hooked up with bassist Beck (who appears on a few tracks on 4 Days In The South). As Greg recalls, "Roscoe and I met at a NAMM show about three years ago and we really hit it off right then and there, musically speaking. We had a lot in common so we thought, 'We should put a band together.'" Koch later flew Beck in to Milwaukee for a gig at Shank Hall and a couple clinics in the area along with a live appearance at radio station WMSE. "We did that WMSE appearance basically to promote the gig and they recorded it," says Koch. "And when we listened back to the stuff we said, 'This is pretty good! We could actually release this.''" .. .. They subsequently expanded on this formula to make Live on the Radio, which is the first Koch project to feature vocalist Milligan, who had been working with Beck and otherAustin luminaries in the house band for Blue Tuesday at Antone's nightclub. "With Malford handling all the vocals, I can sit back and comp and let the band percolate in a different fashion," says the guitarist-bandleader. "And I enjoy that. Plus, he's got that kind of crazy, go-for-the-jugular manic thing. He's a perfect foil for my psychosis." .. .. While Milwaukee drummer John Calarco and Austin's Brannen Templeappear on a majority of Live on the Radio, Tom Brechtlein was brought in for a track and continues to hold down the drum chair with Koch's group. The band debuted at Festa Italiana inMilwaukee in the summer of 2006 and subsequently went into the radio station to record Live on the Radio. "I think for being completely off the cuff, it's really good," says Koch of this debut outing with His Other Bad Men. "And the fidelity of the record is great. That live in the studio sound where everything is bleeding into everything else is fantastic. We're not messing with anything on this recording. We couldn't really fix anything even if we wanted to. It is what it is. You just gotta crank it up and whatever happens happens." .. .. Opening on a powerhouse note with a letter-perfect reading of Hendrix's "Manic Depression," played with a heavy duty tone that delivers a direct hit to the solar plexus, Koch & His Other Bad Men move into a searing rendition of the Freddy King vehicle, "Goin' Down," which features the guitarist skronking on a Fuzzbender pedal while dropping in references to Jeff Beck along the way. "I couldn't help but live out my '60s fantasies with that particular pedal," says Greg of his fuzzfest on that tune. The funky, Meters-inspired instrumental "Mrs. Buckley" (an inside reference to a line Orson Welles uttered in a tv commercial from an infamous blooper reel) features some slick Univibe-imbued guitar licks from Koch. Then on a show-stopping rendition of the classic slow blues, "Stormy Monday," he tips his hat to Albert King with some vicious string-bending and also salutes Roy Buchanan with some virtuosic volume swells and a solo of tortured, cathartic intensity.-- .. .. On a ripping rendition of Freddy King's "The Stumble," Koch flaunts sustained tones, remarkable speed and masterful command of his instrument during his crackling solo. Milligan turns in some soul-stirring vocals on a faithful cover of Sam Cooke's gospel-tinged "A Change Is Gonna Come-- and also on the funky Al Green selection "Ain't No Fun For Me,-- which features some stinging Tele licks from Greg. His version of Hendrix's "Spanish Castle Magic" (a tune he previously recorded live on The Grip) cleverly morphs into the Band of Gypsys' tune "Who Knows-- and culminates in a wicked wah-wah solo. Koch unveils his substantial slide chops on a unique rendition of the Delbert McClinton tune "Standing On Shakey Ground-- while on Roscoe Beck's uptempo, chops-busting instrumental shuffle "Cotton," he joins together with the bassist on some challenging unison lines on the head. The collection closes on a funky note with Johnny --Guitar-- Watson--s "Don't Change Horses,-- underscored by the Koch--s slinky rhythm guitar work. "I'm pretty proud of this collection of tunes," he says of Live on the Radio. "And I'm looking forward to getting out and playing them with this band." .. .. Born in Milwaukee in 1966, Koch got his earliest musical influences from his brother George, who was 14 years older. He later became infatuated with Jimi Hendrix and by age 12 began playing guitar. After studying jazz guitar for four years at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Greg's musical maturity led to national attention as a fiery instrumentalist, winning 1st Prize in the Bluesbreaker Guitar Showdown judged by legendary bluesman Buddy Guy in 1989. He started his own band, Greg Koch and the Tone Controls, and soon found himself in one of the most renowned groups of the region. The band went on to win five Wisconsin Area Music Awards for Blues Artist of the Year ('93, '95 through '98), and Greg personally took in seven as Guitarist of the Year ('92, '94 through '99). Putting out five independent releases, Greg Koch and the Tone Controls had acquired an increasingly growing base of fans who craved music 'outside of the box.' .. .. He later found himself as the premier clinician for Fender, the world's largest and most prestigious guitar and amplifier manufacturer. Bringing together world-class chops and a humorous ability to articulate sounds and techniques with a genuine devotion to all things guitar, Koch has developed an exceptionally effective clinic. With his own tunes as a backdrop and various Fender devices as the tools, a variety of tones, tricks and anecdotes are willingly shared with those in attendance. Greg's relationship with music publishing giant, the Hal Leonard Corporation, has resulted in an extraordinarily successful catalog of guitar instructional materials including the rewrite of the Hal Leonard Guitar Method with the original author Will Schmidt, which has become the top-selling guitar method in the world. His latest Hal Leonard guitar instruction book, "Guitar Clues: Operation Pentatonic," is geared toward guitarists of all levels. "This is not a beginner's book, nor is it a grand thesis on improvisatory complexity, but folks on both ends of the spectrum can learn something from it," he writes in the introduction to the book. "I'm hoping that the 'Guitar Clues' book will be another one that will perpetuate my thousandaire status," he adds. .. .. Koch's popular Hal Leonard instructional DVDs -- two on the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan (approved by Jimmie Vaughan), one on Lynyrd Skynyrd, another celebrating revered blues stylists like Albert King, Albert Collins, Elmore James and Guitar Slim and one on his own twisted take on guitar called "Guitar Gristle" -- have revolutionized video guitar instruction with a combination of insanity, effective instruction and inspiring musical performances into a package that can only be described as "edu-tainment."-- .. .. Other books on everything from Blues and Country guitar to Lead and Rhythm playing are available by Greg and when Fender and Hal Leonard got together to put out a publication celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster by releasing a book by Tom Wheeler called "The Stratocaster Chronicles", Greg was brought in to record a program called "50 Sounds of the Stratocaster" which included him conjuring up the spirits of some of the greatest players and sounds of the Stratocaster with his trademark dialog for a CD that accompanies the book. The winning combination of Fender/Hal Leonard/Wheeler and Koch continues with the release of "The Soul of Tone" (Fall '07), a history of Fender amplification which includes a CD. of Koch's "Amps Through Time" in the spirit of the "50 Sounds of the Strat." .. .. Along with his instructional guitar books and DVDs and his own CDs as a leader, Koch also appears on synth wizard Roger Powell's 2006 recording,Fossil Poets, which features-- his earthy, toe-curling licks on top of the former Utopia keyboard player's celestial soundscapes.

 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, January 3, 2013

First Madison-Area Show For Altered Five's Since Release Of Band's Critically-Lauded Gotta Earn It"



FIRST MADISON-AREA SHOW FOR ALTERED FIVE SINCE RELEASE OF CRITICALLY-LAUDED "GOTTA EARN IT," AT THE HODY BAR - FRIDAY, JANUARY 11

     (Middleton) - Talented Milwaukee-based blues 'n' soul band Altered Five, riding high on the heels of their critically-lauded new album "Gotta Earn It" (Conclave Records), perform their first Madison-area show since the record's November release at The Hody Bar, 1914 Aurora St., Middleton, Friday, January 11. 9 p.m. Free. Info: (608) 831-1901 or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hody-Bar-Grill/165219870211648.

 Altered Five: Earning Great Reviews For Their New Album "Gotta Earn It:"     

               
"Original, rib-sticking blues numbers tossed with a little R&B soul...Taylor's voice supplies the sweetness, while guitarist Jeff Schroedl brings the spice."          JOURNAL-SENTINEL

"...A hybrid of stomping blues and pure Memphis soul, driven by the powerfully earthy voice of frontman Jeff Taylor..."                                                        SHEPHERD EXPRESS

"Mix of traditional blues with a healthy dose of R&B..."                     ON MILWAUKEE.COM
"Jaw-dropping, intoxicating cocktail of original blues-rock fusions."            MAXIMUM INK         

  Proclaimed "a staple of the Midwest's band scene" and "a festival favorite" by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Altered Five's delectable brew of blues and soul has a wide audience taking notice. The group's sophomore album, Gotta Earn It, is a ten-song set featuring seven originals. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, front-man Jeff Taylor's voice is"gloriously gritty." The Shepherd Express simply states he sounds like "a voice from Stax/Volt 45s." Altered Five formed in 2002 and quickly gained a reputation for its inventive arrangements and distinctive sound. Isthmus magazine called the band "a rising blues unit" and OnMilwaukee.com declared, "The group delivers the element of surprise."
  On the quintet's new release, "JT" Taylor's powerful voice anchors the sound and drives home the message in songs likethe brooding ballad "Three Wishes," the wistful, burning blues of "Older, Wiser, Richer," and the yearning "Mona Lisa." The rhythm section of drummer Scott Schroedl and bassist Mark Solveson grooves hard and enjoys telepathic interaction with keyboardist Ray Tevich and guitarist Jeff Schroedl. Guitar World raves that Schroedl has "hi-tech chops" and contributes "superlative solo work." The group also puts its stamp on three covers: a driving, blues-ified take on the early Marvin Gaye hit "Ain't That Peculiar"; a revved-up reading of Buddy Guy's 1961 Chess recording "Watch Yourself"; and the cool, sassy groove of another Motown original, "You've Got to Earn It."
   It's been said that "the blues is a feeling," so when the Minneapolis Star Tribune states that the band is a "righteous blast," you know they play it right.       

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Altered Five "Gotta Earn It" CD Release Party At Milwaukee Ale House


ALTERED FIVE "GOTTA EARN IT" CD RELEASE PARTY 
AT MILWAUKEE ALE HOUSE - FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14

     (Milwaukee) - Blues/soul band Altered Five presents a CD Release Party for their new album "Gotta Earn It" (Conclave/Cold Wind Records) at the Milwaukee Ale House, 233 N. Water St., Friday, December 14. 9:30 p.m. $5. Info: (414) 276-2337 or www.ale-house.com.

   The Milwaukee-based quintet have received positive reviews since Gotta Earn It was released two weeks ago. "Tight, state-of-the-art band, with some of the coolest music to listen to!," says Dave Johnson, host of the nationally-syndicated Blues Deluxe radio show. "A wide variety of groove that are flat-out fun to listen to," writes Blues 411.  "A really strong release from a band I had not been aware of prior to this listening. Grab a copy, I think you'll like it," states Bman's Blues Report. "I love it when I pop in a Cd from a band I've never heard before and get blown away by how good it is. I just had that feeling from the sophomore release from Milwaukee-based band Altered Five," raves Blues Bytes"Altered Five's delectable brew of blues and soul has caused me to join a wide audience that is taking notice of this highly-talented band," opines Bommerocity magazine.          
 

                               Altered Five - Gotta Earn It (One-Sheet Additional Info.)
  Proclaimed "a staple of the Midwest's band scene" and "a festival favorite" by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Altered Five's delectable brew of blues and soul has a wide audience taking notice. The group's sophomore album, Gotta Earn It, is a ten-song set featuring seven originals. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, front-man Jeff Taylor's voice is"gloriously gritty." The Shepherd Express simply states he sounds like "a voice from Stax/Volt 45s." Altered Five formed in 2002 and quickly gained a reputation for its inventive arrangements and distinctive sound. Isthmus magazine called the band "a rising blues unit" and OnMilwaukee.com declared, "The group delivers the element of surprise."
  On the quintet's new release, "JT" Taylor's powerful voice anchors the sound and drives home the message in songs likethe brooding ballad "Three Wishes," the wistful, burning blues of "Older, Wiser, Richer," and the yearning "Mona Lisa." The rhythm section of drummer Scott Schroedl and bassist Mark Solveson grooves hard and enjoys telepathic interaction with keyboardist Ray Tevich and guitarist Jeff Schroedl. Guitar World raves that Schroedl has "hi-tech chops" and contributes "superlative solo work." The group also puts its stamp on three covers: a driving, blues-ified take on the early Marvin Gaye hit "Ain't That Peculiar"; a revved-up reading of Buddy Guy's 1961 Chess recording "Watch Yourself"; and the cool, sassy groove of another Motown original, "You've Got to Earn It."
   It's been said that "the blues is a feeling," so when the Minneapolis Star Tribune states that the band is a "righteous blast," you know they play it right.       
                          



                                                     
                                                  www.alteredfive.com 


Gotta Earn It One-Sheet

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

10:49 - Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo - New release review

Although I did not receive a copy of this release for my review on of my pals loaned a copy and told me it was worth a listen. This cd was released sometime in 2011. Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo is a 3 piece band consisting of Williams on vocal and guitar, Eric Shackelford on drums and vocals and Z on bass and vocals. The release opens with Boom Boom, a mixture of sounds from the 40's, 60's and now. The drum intro is very reminiscent of the beginnings of rock on the late 40-s before it was rock. The vocal treatment is similar to the sound of early rock in the early 60's and the relentless slide work is very contemporary and raw. Cool track. Next up is Fat's Domino's Sick ans Tired which gets a real rockin' rockabilly treatment. My Turn is a strong soul style blues in the SJ Hawkins vein. Williams gets a chance to dig in on guitar and plays some blistering riffs with a big Hammond behind him to fill out the mix. 10:49 is a cool 12 bar blues number with vocal, slide resonator and harp. Devil's Playground is a blues rocker. The track has a very solid rock beat with loose blues slide riffs and vocals nicely laid over the top. It Is What It Is, is a more straightforward rock track and would most likely be a track for airplay. It has the catch hook and solid instrumental and vocal parts. Let Me love You is a rompin'shuffle tune with very simple melody characteristics but with hot slide riffs carrying the track. Tease Me, Please Me is a funky blues track that will definitely get all the happy feat into the isle. Another track that is likely to get great airplay. The final track on the release, She's Good At What She Does, is a blues based rock track with distorted vocals and tight backing. Overall a very 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 favorite band!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Conclave Records artist: Altered Five - Gotta Earn It - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Gotta Earn It, from Altered Five. This is one of the more entertaining new recordings that I've heard in the past few months. The opening track, Ain't That Peculiar, a song made popular by Marvin Gaye has a definite R&B feel revved up with Albert King like guitar riffs by Jeff Schroedl. What's not to like! Three Wishes, having more of a soul ballad style really showcases leader Jeff Taylor's vocal abilities and gives Jeff Schroedl a nice opening to again showcase his chops on lead guitar. The title track, You've Got To Earn It, has a definite southern soul sound but holding tight to the blues with blistering guitar riffs from Jeff Schroedl and fine rhythm backing from drummer Scott Schroedl, bassist Mark Solveson and key man Ray Tevich. Keep The Best takes a modern uptempo blues shuffle stance with the ever constant great vocals from JT but unexpected ripping guitar soloing from Jeff Schroedl who not only exhibits great chops but really cool tone when subdued. Older, Wiser, Richer is a driving blues track lead off again with Jeff S. on guitar and he sets a pretty nice table for JT to sing from. Tevich gets a chance to stretch a bit on the 88's and Jeff Schroedl again comes in with beautiful guitar riffs that make you sweat. Mona Lisa is a bit more straightforward R&B ballad with the funky back down low. Jeff Schroedl, a name you'll want to remember plays some neck wrenching riffs on this track as well .... bringing to mind Junior Wells' Snatch It Back (oh baby) And Hold It! Tight Spot is constructed along the lines of a more contemporary blues of Robert Cray but with Albert King influenced screaming riffs by Jeff Schroedl (translation, think SRV arranged by Robert Cray and played by the sons of Albert King and Otis Rush). Dynamite has a much more funky base and it's really cool. The vocal treatment on this track is more Eric Gales but the arrangement and instrumentation sticks to it's truth and the band sounds like Altered Five. Hard to do anything but draw comparisons but the sound is really different and enjoyable. Buddy Guy's Watch Yourself has a really straight up rock attach sounding more like a Little Richard arrangement showing even another dimension of this tight band. Tevich plays a nice long piano stretch and sets JT up to keep the crowd jumping with his crisp vocals. This track has a lot of the energy of an early rock n' roll track hanging onto it's blues roots. Oh yeah...and Jeff Schroedl rips this track a new one with some flashy r n r guitar riffs! Bounce Back, the last track on the release has a laid back feeling and seems like the natural airplay track. JT's vocals are more subdued and the band in general more slick. This is a really strong release from a band that I have not been aware of prior to this listening. Grab a copy. I think you'll really like it.

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” Sorry that I don't find a current video for the band but better something than nothing.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's All Over Now - Paul Black and the Flip Kings


This is some down and dirty New Orleans style blues, scraped right out of the gutter, and I mean that as the highest compliment. Paul Black is a wickedly nuanced slide guitarist, playing a mixture of traditional blues (three by Robert Johnson), Stones covers ("The Last Time" and "Factory Girl"), and bunch of originals. Armed with this introduction, I sat down expecting a Stevie Ray Vaughn clone. Boy, was I wrong! Black’s got his own set of moves, with a great bending slide movement, and the set’s about half electric, half acoustic. Black’s got a real funky feel, with a genuinely scary voice that moves from a low gravely rumble to a broken yelp. The Flip Kings, especially Andy Linderman on harp, provide just the right slow-blues backing. The only two misses are the Stones covers, although "Factory Girl" is interesting–actually less bluesy than the original, with a weird repeated percussive chomp driving through the entire song. This is a very nicely recorded (if somewhat highly produced) attempt to reproduce a live sound. The acoustic slide intros to several of the songs have all kinds of fret squawks purposely left in, giving a particularly nasty sound. Warning: playing this album before noon will confuse the brain, since you’ll swear it was 2 a.m. in a swamp nightclub. Paul Black is the real thing–get this album while it’s still hot from the fire.– Bill Kuhn
If you like what I’m doing, 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, August 10, 2012

Down the Road a Piece - Freddie Slack


Frederick Charles Slack (August 7, 1910 – August 10, 1965) was an American swing and boogie-woogie pianist and bandleader.

Born in Viroqua, Wis., he learned to play drums as a boy. Later took up xylophone and at 13 changed to piano. He studied with a local teacher throughout high school. At 17 his parents moved to Chicago where he continued his musical training. He met Rosy McHargue, a well known clarinetist, who took him to hear many leading musicians including Bix Beiderbecke and Earl Hines. His first job was with Johnny Tobin at the Beach View Gardens. He later moved to Los Angeles where he worked wioth Henry Halstead, Earl Burtnett and Lennie Hayton, before joining Ben Pollack in 1934.

He played with the Jimmy Dorsey Band in the 1930s and was a charter member of the Will Bradley Orchestra when it formed in 1939. Known to bandmates as "Daddy Slack," he played the piano solo on Bradley's recording of "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar", one of the early white boogie-woogie hits and a classic of the Big Band era.

After forming his own band in 1942 and signing with the newly-founded Capitol Records, he recorded three songs at the third Capitol recording session on May 21, 1942. His recording of "Cow Cow Boogie," sung by the 17-year-old Ella Mae Morse, was the second record Capitol issued on July 1, and by July 25 it had reached number 1 on the hit parade. It was Capitol's first gold single.[1]

T-Bone Walker was a member of Slack's band from 1942 to 1944 and Slack later accompanied Walker on his first solo recording for Capitol, Mean Old World.[2] This band also had a hit with "Strange Cargo."

Slack continued to record with Capitol until at least 1950, recording some 80 tracks for the label.[3]

Slack also recorded as an accompanist for Big Joe Turner, Johnny Mercer, Margaret Whiting, and Lisa Morrow.

In the original version of the song "Down the Road a Piece", recorded in 1940 by the Will Bradley Orchestra, Slack is mentioned in the lyrics:

If you wanna' hear some boogie then I know the place
It's just an old piano and a knocked-out bass.
The drummer-man's a guy they call 8-beat Mack
You remember Doc and old "Beat Me Daddy" Slack.
Man it's better than chicken fried in bacon grease
Come along with me boys, it's just down the road a piece.

"Eight Beat Mack" refers to drummer Ray McKinley, and "Doc" refers to the band's bass player, Doc Goldberg.

His 1955 album Boogie Woogie on the 88 featured a horn section including jazz musicians Shorty Sherock and Herbie Harper among others, and with arrangements by Benny Carter.

He also co-wrote the 1945 classic "The House of Blue Lights" first recorded with singer Ella Mae Morse and later recorded by Chuck Miller, The Andrews Sisters, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
If you like what I’m doing, 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, July 11, 2012

The Moon Is Shinin - Alex Wilson


ALEX WILSON grew up in a family of talented musicians..... Alex's grandmother, Rosa Saviano was a renowned professional jazz singer in Chicago in the 1940's and 50's. Tom Wilson, Alex's father, is a multi-faceted musician who has had the distinct pleasure of accompanying nearly every blues performer to pass through the Milwaukee/Chicago music scene in the last thirty years. Marc Wilson, Alex's uncle AND drummer, is one of the most sought after drummers in the country. He's played with B.B.King, Big Walter Horton, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Rodgers, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Susan Tedeschi, Anson Funderburgh and Sam Meyers to name but a few..... Alex picked up the guitar at five years old and never put it down. Immersed in the Milwaukee blues scene, Alex was surrounded, and influenced by such local luminaries as Stokes, Lee Gates, Jim Liban and Milwaukee Slim..... Alex formed his own garage band at thirteen. By seventeen he began to dig deep into the blues, learning the songs and styles of masters such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix and Magic Sam..... At seventeen Alex began playing professionally and by twenty-one he had joined Milwaukee's Blue Rubies and was performing regionally while still playing part-time with his own band. Playing up to 25 gigs a month, Wilson honed and sharpened his skills as a singer/songwriter, guitar player and over all entertainer..... In '05 and '06 Alex began to focus solely on his own project, booking shows, finding his own sound and the right players from the mid-west music scene to take his show on the road. .... With Alex's uncle Marc Wilson on the drums, and Alex's brother Matthew singing harmonies and playing bass, Alex is running with one of the toughest bands on the scene today. It's no surprise that they won the 2007 WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) Award for blues group/artist of the year..... After playing a series of shows for the Chinese New Year in Beijing with Grammy nominated blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite, Alex returned to the states to find himself a triple nominee for the WAMI Awards in 2008!.... A versatile musician, Alex effortlessly switches between genres. He plays everything from sweet Beale Street blues to West coast swing. From hard Texas grinders to stone cold Chicago grooves with a feeling that's said to be timeless. Alex's style and tasty originals matched with his undeniable stage presence and unmistakable guitar style will drive you to the dance floor. His long-awaited and freshly nominated debut CD, Tell Me Why, has been released on "Rathskeller Records"..... To say that Alex Wilson is one to look out for down the road is an understatement. Taking the Midwest by storm, this young musician is a force to be reckoned with......... MARC WILSON, born in Chicago, raised in Milwaukee, picked up his first drum stick at age 12. With "Stone-Cohen Blues Band" his first band in high school to the "Alex Wilson Band" today, Marc has been in the blues business for 30 + years..... Marc got a solid foundation early on, traveling with an inner-city gospel group, playing churches through out the Chicago/Milwaukee area. Soon after this time, Marc joined the popular regional band "Brian Lee Band"..... In 1978 Marc moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and started playing with the "Heart Murmurs", the house band for the infamous "Zoo Bar". At the "Zoo Bar" Marc had the unique opportunity to play with all the great touring blues bands of our time. This is where he met Anson Funderburgh and Sam Meyers which led his path to Texas, where he toured extensively throughout the US and Europe with "Anson and the Rockets", winning 4 WC Handy awards in 1988. During this period Marc also recorded on Black Top records with many other blues artists..... In 1989 Marc hooked-up with another guitar slinging band, "Mike Morgan and the Crawl" which was also very successful in the US and overseas, and had their tunes recorded on some national TV shows. Marc also played with Marcia Ball while in Texas..... Coming full circle, Marc moved back to his roots in the Chicago/Milwaukee area to play with his old friend, harmonica great, Mathew Skoller and the "Mathew Skoller Band". With family in Milwaukee, Marc also found himself playing with his two nephews in the "Alex Wilson Band". This band is 100 percent Wilson, featuring Marc's two talented nephews Alex and Matthew Wilson, creating a very special family affair..... Marc has traveled to 4 continents and recorded tracks on over 50 CD's which include critically acclaimed records by Anson and the Rockets, Snooks Eaglin , Joe Guitar Hughes, Nappy Brown, Henry Qualls, and Robert Ealey to name a few. Marc also has recorded some tracks on a major motion picture "China Moon"..... Marc has had the privilege to play on stage with blues masters, contemporaries and rockers such as BB King, Buddy Guy, Big Walter Horton, Jimmy Rodgers, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Vaughn, Susan Tedeschi, Boz Skaggs, Donovan, Charlie Musselwhite, and Johnny Johnson, and the beat goes on and on......... MATTHEW WILSON was born in to a world of music. Surrounded by roots music and musicians from the time he was in the cradle, Matthew has led a life of musical privilege. As a small child, he was in regular attendance of the performances of his father and uncle. By 5, Matthew was given drum sticks and had been taught basic rhythms and beats that would only continue to grow stronger with age. These experiences planted a seed that would eventually blossom into a talented, young musician..... With a foundation in the blues, Matthew developed a grade school love of the Beatles. This relationship was interrupted when a friend gave him Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced". Within a year, Matthew formed his first band..... At the same time, Matthew began to frequent his father's open blues jam at Milwaukee's Up 'n' Under Pub, where he began regularly performing with his father Tom and brother Alex. By age 10, he was sitting in, playing guitar and bass and at 14, he became part of the house band, playing with such local luminaries as Stokes, Lee Gates, Milwaukee Slim, Jim Liban and blues legend Hubert Sumlin. These weekly jams are where Matthew first cut his teeth, playing guitar, bass and drums. .... In 2006, Matthew began singing and playing bass with his brother, Alex Wilson. Since then Matthew has been privileged to play with WAMI award-winning drummer Craig Panosh, funk drummer and pioneer Clyde Stubblefield, formerly with James Brown, two time W.C Handy award winning drummer AND uncle, Marc Wilson, and most recently with Grammy nominated blues legend, Charlie Musselwhite..... Things have been going very, VERY well for this bright, young musician and the future only looks brighter!.... .. ..
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”