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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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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

17th Annual Ribfest To Feature Howard & The White Boys

Chicago's Hardest-Working Blues Band " for over two decades is Howard and the White Boys.
They perform at the 17th Annual Ribfest in Ft. Wayne on Thursday, June 19.
    (FT. WAYNE, IN) - Howard and the White Boys, known near and far for over two decades as "Chicago's Hardest-Working Blues Band," will rock the blues at the 17th Annual Ribfest, Headwaters Park, 333 S. Clinton St., Thursday, June 19. 8 p.m. Free. Info: (260) 602-1831 or
  The 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 article:
     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.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Walter Trout Appears On-Camera For The First Time Since His Transplant Surgery

Many of you have supported Walter Trout over the past several years while I have been working with him (and of course prior). For that reason, I wanted to share this first on-camera appearance from WT post-surgery.  

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”


Ramsgate Kent Music artist: Nigel Egg - The Blues Is Personal - New Release review

I just received the newest release (July 1, 2014), The Blues Is Personal, from Nigel Egg. This is going to be a fairly different review that you are typically used to sweeing from me because it is quite frankly different than much of what I review. First I want to comment on the record art. The cover, which is presented here is very artsy,attention grabbing and thought provoking. A photo of Egg on the reverse shows Egg as a colorful fun loving guy. Opening with Back To The Blues the track Egg (vocal, harp and guitar) is joined by Bob Exstrand on guitar, Tom Lewis on bass, Greg Schutte on drums, Tony Balluff on clarinet, Steve Sandberg on trombone, Zack Lozier on trumpet, David Stenshoel on violin and Dale Peterson on piano. An easy going track is nicely complimented by a full accompaniment of Dixieland style instrumentation. On the Blues Is Personal, there is a light guitar solo which compliments an other wise simple pop track. On Imagining You Naked, a simple pleasant track is transformed to a vamp with the addition of a nod to The Stripper song (boom da da boom). The Truth of You And Me has simple folk characteristics and blues rudiments including some easy laid finger picking. occupy The Blues Museum has a real straight forward blues set up with a nice walking country blues guitar set up. I've Never Missed You More develops more into full pop track with keys and some cool harp. Hoo My My My! is a catchy track that could get good audience participation just based upon the playfulness of it's execution. My favorite track, Music Man, has strong ties to country blues and a particular similarity to work by Elizabeth Cotten. You Can't Have a Fan On digs a little deeper into the blues with a slower number with tasty guitar riffs and harp to boot. The release closes with Jam Til The Day I Die lays a pop track over a blues vamp. It is really an appropriate close to a different kind of 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”


Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - Kate Voss Guest Contributer

For Grace Potter, and her band the Nocturnals, reaching the level of success and fame they have now has been a slow, steady race since their creation in 2002. Now, hot off the heels of their most successful album release ever, the band is set to change the face (and sound) of modern music. But, how did this unlikely group of musicians from Vermont become one of the hottest alternative music acts out there?
        Well for starters, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have stood out from the pack thanks to their refusal to confine themselves to any one genre. They’re a little bit country, with some definite old school rock n’ roll thrown in, and a fantastic bluesy quality that has become their signature. They’re able to transcend genres and appeal to listeners far and wide with their foot stomping beats and Grace’s soaring raspy vocals. Potter explained the diverse sound of the band to Pop Matters back in 2010, saying “We’re really dynamic. This band does not do one thing—we do a lot of things. Some people may walk in and hear a song and think, ‘Oh God, I hate this song,’ and the next song that they hear can be their favorite song and change their life forever. It’s really interesting how much we change from song to song. That comes from our band [being] new and still honing our musical sound together. But also there’s a stream-of-consciousness thing with our concerts, I don’t like to stop very much, I don’t like empty space at all. I’m very much into the flow of a show. A show needs to feel like something that doesn’t stop.”
    That honing of their sound started when Grace Potter first met Matthew Burr in a coffee shop on the St. Lawrence University campus in 2002. Matthew approached her after being thoroughly impressed by her set. The two started a duo based on their mutual admiration for each other’s sound and were soon joined by Scott Tournet, thus creating Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. In 2005 the group recorded and released their first album, Nothing But the Water. The album gathered enough attention on Vermont radio that Hollywood Records signed them and re-released the album in 2006.
    The group soon released their sophomore album in 2007, This Is Somewhere, featuring the singles “Apologies” and “Falling or Flying”. To promote their album, the band started making the rounds on the talk show circuit, which helped to introduce them to the American public. They scored a coup in 2010 when they were picked to be featured on the soundtrack to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland covering “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane. Later in 2010, the group released their third studio album, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals which featured their biggest hit, “Paris (Ooh La La)”. Hot off the heels of that release, they were asked to write and record the credits soundtrack for the Disney film Tangled, which was released in late 2010. The contribution to Tangled increased the band’s visibility tremendously, as it performed well in the box-office, is a popular streaming option on some websites, and it’s also sold well in the home viewing market.
    Their latest album, The Lion the Beast the Beat proved to be their most successful to date. They kicked off their promotional tour with an appearance on the cult favorite Direct TV’s Guitar Center Sessions in December. The album hit #17 on the US album charts and #2 on the US Taste charts – both new highs for them. Their second single off the album, “Stars” also proved to be their first single to chart in both the US and Canada.
    What makes Grace herself such a likeable figure is both her perseverance (she’s legally blind, unbeknownst to many) and her ability to stay in touch with her roots despite her success. She explained to The Boot her affection for her home state of Vermont: “Those people are my home and every time I come home, it reminds me that there’s something to be said for being in the spotlight but it can never be a whole part of me. So much of myself is consumed with earning my way, doing it myself and never feeling like things are being handed to you. Growing up that way was humbling.“
It just goes to show, that no matter how much fame or how many awards she may win, Grace Potter will always be a small town girl at heart.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats Release "You Asked For It--Live!" On July 8

“These are serious musicians out to have a hotter than hot good time. It’s tough to stay in your seat when Estrin and his musical cohorts get cooking.” –Chicago Sun-Times

“Fabulous, remarkable original material” –Billboard
Alligator Records has set a July 8 street date for You Asked For It--Live!, the first live album from blues masters Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. Harmonica giant, songwriter, vocalist and Blues Music Award winner Rick Estrin, along with The Nightcats— jaw-dropping guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen, singing drummer J. Hansen and dynamic multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Farrell (electric and acoustic bass, organ and Moog synthesizer)—serve up innovative, rollicking contemporary blues. The songs are all injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll and Estrin’s trademark philosophical wiseguy humor. Since the release of their celebrated Alligator Records albums Twisted in 2009 and One Wrong Turn in 2012, the band has toured non-stop, sharpening their musical skills to a razor’s edge. The band is known as one of the most dynamic and exciting live acts in the blues today. Their sound, while steeped in the blues tradition, continues to push the genre into new territory.

You Asked For It...Live! was recorded on October 5, 2013, (Estrin's birthday) at San Francisco’s Biscuits & Blues. According to Estrin, “Cutting loose and stretching out in an intimate, nightclub-type setting is the natural environment for the Nightcats to kick maximum ass. The fact that it was my birthday, in the town where I was born and raised, only added more fuel to the fire.”

You Asked For It...Live! has the immediacy, feel and fun of a true Rick Estrin & The Nightcats performance. “No matter how much fun we have and how relaxed we can be in the studio, there’s still nothing like being in front of, and interacting with, our live audience,” Estrin says. The album features some of Rick Estrin’s best-loved and most-requested songs, dating back to his days as lead singer, songwriter and harmonica player of Little Charlie & The Nightcats (featuring Little Charlie Baty on guitar). The album is an up-to-the-minute and totally accessible slice of original, wry and witty blues with a simmering, funky rock edge fueled by Andersen’s blazing genre-hopping guitar and Farrell’s and Hansen’s dazzling keyboard and rhythm work. One listen makes it clear that this is a group comprised of four world-class musicians, who together form one of the tightest and most original bands in any genre.

Rick Estrin, who holds the 2013 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist–Harmonica, is, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, “an amazing harmonica player, a soulful lead vocalist and a brilliant songwriter.” He ranks among the very best harp players, singers and songwriters in the blues world. His work on the reeds is deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs, while at the same time pushing that tradition forward with his unforgettable original songs. And his hipster, street-smart vocals are the perfect vehicle for driving those songs home. Blues Revue says, “Estrin has created some of the finest blues songs of any artist on the planet. His carefully wrought lyrics penetrate human weakness with the precision of a boxer, though more often than not, he chooses to leave you laughing after the blow’s been struck.”

Born in San Francisco, California in 1949, Estrin grew up following his own path. He discovered an entirely new world when, as a 10-year-old boy, he made his way to the tough Market Street area and befriended many of the neighborhood characters. He had another revelation when his older sister gave him a copy of Ray Charles’ The Genius Sings The Blues when he was 12. Albums from Jimmy Reed, Champion Jack Dupree, Mose Allison, Nina Simone and others soon followed. By the time he was a teenager, Estrin had completely identified with the urban, African-American culture surrounding him. He got his first harmonica at age 15, and by age 18 was proficient enough to begin sitting in at black clubs around the city. Estrin moved to Chicago when he was 19 and worked with South Side bluesmen Johnny Young, Eddie Taylor, Sam Lay and Johnny Littlejohn before meeting and jamming with Muddy Waters, who told Rick, “You outta sight, boy! You got that sound, boy! You play like a man, boy!” Muddy wanted Estrin to go on the road with him, but due to nothing more than a missed phone call, it never happened. Rick eventually moved back to the Bay Area, met Charlie Baty and formed Little Charlie & The Nightcats.

For more than 30 years and nine albums, Rick fronted the band, featuring Baty’s one-of-a-kind guitar acrobatics. The band won international acclaim and toured the world repeatedly. They were nominated four times for the prestigious Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year. With Charlie’s retirement from touring in 2008, Rick rededicated himself to his craft. Hansen and Farrell wanted to keep the band going. Estrin knew the only way to replace Baty’s crazed and unique guitar style was to find someone with an equally insane and individual approach, and he knew that would be a tall order to fill.

As luck would have it, Kid Andersen, who had been working with another harp legend, Charlie Musselwhite, became available. “Kid’s a fearless nut on the guitar,” says Estrin. “He’s really the only guy who could fit in with us.” With an unpredictable, no-holds-barred style that perfectly meshed with Estrin’s wildly imaginative original songs, the new band charged out of the gate with Twisted in 2009 and One Wrong Turn in 2012. Blues Revue raved, “Rick Estrin & The Nightcats are one of modern blues’ most versatile and original bands.”

As a testament to their talent, audiences at their consistently ask to go home with a CD that reflects what they just witnessed. Now, with You Asked For It...Live!, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats can satisfy their fans’ demands. Estrin recalls, “After shows, people are always asking, ’Are any of these CDs live? Which of your CDs is most like what you did tonight?’ Now, I can tell them, ‘This one right here. Thank you. We’ll be happy to sign it.’”

Chris Smither revisits, re-imagines 24 songs from past on 'Still on the Levee,' out July 22 on Signature Sounds

Three projects mark songwriter’s 50 years in music: Double retrospective CD,
lyric book, and tribute album 
featuring Bonnie Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Josh Ritter, Dave Alvin,
Tim O’Brien, Patty Larkin and others.

Photo by Jeff Fasano
BOSTON, Mass. — Blues-folk icon Chris Smither has long been revered for both his guitar prowess and his way with a lyric, inspiring artists from Bonnie Raitt and John Mayall to Emmylou Harris and Diana Krall. He toured as one of the original monsters of folk with Dave Alvin, Tom Russell and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott in 1998, and continues to live up to the title with accolades such as Mojo magazine’s five-star review for his 2012 release, Hundred Dollar ValentineSmither still makes music and tours regularly; his April 2014 appearances at the revered New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival earned him a spot on Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke’s Personal Top 10 list of best festival performances.
As Smither marks his 50th year of music-making in 2014, the New Orleans-raised troubadour takes a look back at his career with Still on the Levee, a two-CD retrospective releasing July 22 on Mighty Albert/Signature Sounds. He’s also releasing his full lyric collection as a book titled Chris Smither Lyrics 1966-2012, and in September, Signature Sounds will salute him with Link of Chain, a tribute album featuring contributions by Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Dave Alvin, Patty Larkin, Josh Ritter, Peter Case, Tim O’Brien and other friends and admirers from his beloved Boston music scene and beyond.
Reconnecting with his roots, Smither recorded Still on the Levee at New Orleans’ Music Shed with longtime producer David Goodrich. Their aim was to give fresh perspective to a selection of songs from his vast career — from “Devil Got Your Man,” his first composition, to recent originals. Among those who joined him on the project are famed pianist Allen Toussaint, members of the band Morphine and fellow folk-Americana artists Wainwright, Kris Delmhorst and Rusty Belle. It’s also a family affair, with backing-vocal contributions by Smither’s sister, Catherine Norr, and fiddling by his daughter, Robin.
On his 16th album, Smither’s mellow, well-weathered tenor carries a mix of confidence, humility and humor. He’s aware, yet unafraid of his mortality, regarding the years gone by and the ones to come with the grace of a man who knows he can’t change the past or predict the future. His fingers remain as supple as his voice, effortlessly delivering the other half of his signature sound: the back-porch feel of intricate acoustic blues picking accompanied by his own boot-heel-on-wood rhythms.
It’s a sound that easily conjures the ghosts of Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins, artists who captivated him early on. Smither, the son of a Tulane University professor, first learned to play his mother’s ukulele, instructed by his Uncle Howard. “He told me if you knew three chords, you could play a lot of the songs you heard on the radio,” Smither recalls. “And if you knew four chords, you could pretty much rule the world.”
When he heard Hopkins and Hurt, his passion for the blues fully ignited. Even now, he claims his elemental style is “one-third John Hurt, one-third Lightnin’ Hopkins and one-third me.”
That’s the sound Raitt fell in love with when they met in the Cambridge folk scene; Smither headed there in 1965 after abandoning his college anthropology studies at the urging of early mentor Eric von Schmidt. Labeling Smither as “my Eric Clapton,” Raitt turned his “Love You Like A Man” into “Love Me Like A Man” and made it a signature song. Their friendship endures to this day; of course, she lends her version to the forthcoming tribute album.
Diana Krall, Esther Phillips, Rosalie Sorrels and John Mayall are among other artists who have covered his work; Emmylou Harris sang his “Slow Surprise” on The Horse Whisperer film soundtrack. Several of Smither’s songs have made their way onto large and small screens; one even inspired an entire film, The Ride, for which he provided the rest of the soundtrack as well.
Not that it’s always been smooth sailing for Smither. Like most creative souls, from his late friend Townes Van Zandt to inspirations such as Tims Hardin and Buckley, Smither battled his share of demons, from label woes to the liquid kind. After recording a couple of albums in the ’70s, he slowed his touring considerably.
In 1984 he returned to music full time, releasing his album It Ain’t Easy. A consistent string of acclaimed albums has followed, including 1993’s award-winning Happier Blue and 1997’s Small Revelationswhich led to the Monsters of Folk tour.
Raitt joined Smither on 2003’s Train Home, duetting on his cover of Dylan’s “Desolation Row.” Another of the album’s tracks, “Seems So Real,” earned Smither a Song of the Year Award from Folk Alliance International.
“Leave The Light On,” the title track from Smither’s 2006 CD, ends both Still on the Levee discs. A quietly extraordinary piece with accompaniment by Rusty Belle, the first version is a lilting, almost jaunty take. The second corrals the devastating power often hiding just beneath the surface of his songs. Over a slow electric groove, Smither delivers an aching duet with Kate Lorenz; his lines include this stanza:
I may live to be a hundred, I was born in ’44
31 to go, but I ain’t keepin’ score
I've been left for dead before, but I still fight on
Don’t wait up, leave the light on
I’ll be home soon. 
The San Francisco Chronicle recently observed, “Smither continues to give ample proof that he's matured into one of roots music's most passionate, soulful songsmiths and interpreters.”
With Still on the Levee, that proof has become irrefutable.

Stony Plain artist: Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters - Good News - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 17, 2014), Good News, from Ronnie Earl and it's really strong! Opening with I Met Her On That Train, an instrumental country finger pickin' infused track Earl is pushed down the track by relentless chugging by Lorne Entress on drums. Very Cool. Sam Cooke's Change Is Gonna Come featuring Diane Blue on lead vocal. I remember early in my music blog writing that I was questioned, then applauded for featuring this same track by Mr Mike Farris, one of today's absolutely top vocalists. The challenge was this being such a perfect track and how anyone else could actually do it justice (and he certainly does). Well, Blue really nails it and between her excellent phrasing and Earl's beautiful guitar work backed hardily by Entress, Dave Limina on keys and Jim Mouradian on bass, this track not only belongs, it stands up really well as not a cover but a hair raising excellent interpretation capable of carrying an entire release. Excellent! Time To Remember is a soothing jazzy blues instrumental with rich chord work, cool bass runs from Mouradian and a nice B3 interlude from Limina. Buddy Guy and Junior Wells' In The Wee Hours is up next, again featuring Blue on vocals. Such a sensuous tender blues guitar interlude isn't recorded very often. Earl is an absolutely excellent guitarist and has a brilliant sense of blues expression. Complimented on this track by Zach Zunis also on lead guitar, this band lays down some of most record worthy modern blues I have heard this year. Weighing in at over 10 short minutes, this track is over in moments. Title track Good News is a gospel revival type track spearheaded by Limina on B3. Celebrating 50 years since Sam Cooke's Ain't That Good News release, Entress plays march strong and Earl punches the track with quick bursts of biting guitar riffs. Debbie Blanchard and Earl write another beautiful melody for Six String Blessing, really reminding me melodically a lot of a Roy Buchanan composition. This is a really sweet track with lead vocals by Blue and generous soloing on B3 by Limina and spacious solos from Earl. Ronnie has a feel for blues delivery that I rarely see in his contemporaries. Rarely a grand stander, Earl just sits back and lets the blues roll from his fingers like rain from the sky... yes...again 9 minutes just floats by. Beautiful! Marje's Melody, another beautiful instrumental guitar ballad played with such feeling and patience. Earl continues to set new bars and defy expectations. I really don't know how he continues to bring forth such rare feeling. I am typically enriched to hear one track of this quality in a month. This release is packed! Blues For Henry has a bit more of a traditional blues sound but retains Earl's signature sound. Limina plays a very soulful solo on this track constantly urging Earl on to the next level. Earl busts it loose on this track reminiscent of Bloomfield breaking from a quiet blues moment to a super crescendo. The blues are deep here! This release is relentlessly great! Puddin' Pie gets a super loping swing groove going and Earl plays with the syncopation at his back making it an absolutely perfect foot stomper. Ilana Katz and Earl composed the final track, Runnin' In Peace, which has the flavor of John Lee Hooker. This is deep primitive (by design) blues with a simple beauty. Blue is highlighted on vocal on this track and along with a round bass lead from Mouradian and cool B3 work from Limina, Earl tears the floor up again with flame thrower like heat and accuracy making this a spectacular choice for the conclusion of one of the best releases of the year.... without a doubt.

  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, June 6, 2014

Your June (Musical) Swoon! - Larry "Fuzzy" Knight's Blowin Smoke Revue@Harvelle's

                                                  On Saturday, June 14,

Santa Monica's Hottest Monthly R&B/Blues/Soul Dance Party For 2 Decades!

   (Santa Monica, CA) - Come get your June (musical) swoon with the return of Santa Monica's hottest monthly R&B/Blues/Soul dance party: Larry "Fuzzy" Knight's Blowin' Smoke R&B Revue featuring the Fabulous Smokettes, in concert for your listening and dancing pleasure at Harvelle's, Saturday, June 14. Showtime 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Admission $10. Harvelle's is located at 1432 S. 4th St., in Santa Monica. Info: (310) 395-1976 or

  Come and find out for yourself why the Blowin' Smoke Rythmn & Blues Revue were voted by MUSIC CONNECTION magazine as a "Hot 100 Live Artist for 2013" in their year-end issue, topping several thousand bands around the United States competing for the honor.


Music Connection reviewer Tim Reid Jr. writes, "(bandleader Fuzzy) Knight must know a thing or two about putting the right pieces in place to make a show, as he has done in this case. Even with a couple of subs in the horn section, the clear fact is that Knight is going to present true professionals whenever Blowin' Smoke takes the stand. Knight himself is a quality bass player and bluesy singer with an almost grittier Randy Newman kind of sound. The Fabulous Smokettes live up to their name - working the harmonies and each singer knowing how to take the spotlight when it hits. "Fuzzy" Knight reminds all of us in the modern technological era that real people with real instruments and real personalities playing music that hits the gut and forces the knees to makes one happy to be alive and in the community of other living people."

"Cross Soul Train with American Bandstand and you get a good idea
of what a Blowin' Smoke Rhythm & Blues Revue show is like!"  

   For nearly two decades, Blues/R&B/Soul group Blowin' Smoke has been one of the most in-demand, successful bands on the Southern California live music circuit. Front and center in Blowin' Smoke is its creator, bandleader/bassist/vocalist, Larry "Fuzzy" Knight - whose impressive musical resume' includes a decade-plus stint as bassist for one of the great SoCal bands to emerge from the psychedelic era of the Sixties, Spirit.  Knight has also recently launched a new band project, Sky King, featuring some top-name musicians, all the while keeping Blowin' Smoke going strong. 

  Here's Blowin' Smoke performing Aretha Franklin's "Something's Gold A Hold On Me" recently at Harvelle's. 


Alastair Greene - Trouble At Your Door


Alastair Greene - Trouble At Your Door - Trailer

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Alastair Greene - Trouble At Your Door - Music Video

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Blues and rock have met at many different crossroads. From Cream and Johnny Winter to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Gov't Mule these blues rock recipes are often boiled down to a simple trio. Such is the melting pot of influences and presentation of the Alastair Greene Band. Greene formed his first blues rock trio with former members of the legendary Southern California band The Pontiax in 1997. The Alastair Greene Band (AGB) has gone through several incarnations and line-ups over the years and had included alumni of the Steve Miller Band, Paul Butterfield Band, and Junior Wells Band. The AGB has also backed many blues artists in the studio and on stage, including Delta Groove recording artists Mitch Kashmar, Frank Goldwasser, as well as the incomparable James Harman. Currently, the line-up has solidified with Alastair Greene on guitar and vocals, Jim Rankin on bass and vocals, and Austin Beede on drums.
Not only is Greene a blues rock guitar slinging and singing front man, but he has also served many years as a side man to some legendary musicians. Currently, Greene is the touring guitarist with Alan Parsons and has been touring internationally with the English pop/progressive rock veteran since 2010. After Greene played on Parsons' 2004 release A Valid Path, Alan was quoted as saying, "Alastair should be out playing guitar with the biggest bands in the world. I belive it's just a matter of time." Heady praise indeed coming from the man who engineered Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, served as second engineer on the last two albums by the Beatles, and has also sold millions of albums with his own Alan Parsons Project. When the guitar slot for Parsons' band opened in 2010, Greene got the call. Alastair has also appeared on albums by high profile artists such as drum legend Aynsely Dunbar as well as Toad the Wet Sprocket front man Glen Phillips.
Alastair Greene has released four studio albums and one live record since 2002. His fifth studio recording will be the Eclecto Groove Records offering Trouble at Your Door. This is sure to be his most explosive recording thus far. The Alastair Greene Band combines a deep respect for traditional forms and themes, but adds a modern approach as an innate ability to shuffle with the best of them, while Jim Rankin's rock solid rhythm & blues and classic rock influences on both bass and vocals have been a welcomed addition to the band. "This is the happiest I've been musically in a long time," Greene said recently. "These guys are so much fun to play music with. We've got a great chemistry, and I can't wait for the world to hear it."

Alastair Greene - Trouble At Your Door

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Delta Groove Music artists: The Mannish Boys - Wrapped Up and Ready - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 17, 2014), Wrapped Up And Ready, from the Mannish Boys and it's a blast. Not only is this release a recording of the Mannish Boys, one of the most talented group of musicians in the business but also features a ton of featured players. Opening with I Ain't Sayin' Monster Mike Welsh gets the hard groove on with great riffs and Sugarray Rayford takes the lead on vocals. This is a terrific opener featuring Fred Kaplan on piano and Welsh really blows the top off. Roy Brown's Everything's Alright maintains a lot of the original vintage sound. Kid Ramos takes the lead on guitar on this track with his own fluid riffs and Ron Dziubla adds just the right amount of sax to the mix. Background vocals by Clifton Curtis and Larry Dobson add authenticity. Funky Blues Struggle In My Hometown features Paris Slim on vocal and lead guitar. This track has a really nice feel as well as a few change ups. Try not to bop along to this one! Title track, Wrapped and Ready features Rayford back on vocal and Kirk Fletcher on stinging lead guitar. Willie J Campbell has the bass and Jimi Bott the drums. Fred Kaplan adds a really nice piano and Kim Wilson shines on harmonica. It Was Fun has a really nice slower Texas style lope and Steve Freund plays some really nice stylized guitar solos behind the super vocals of Rayford. A really smooth track it really shows the versatility of the band. I Can Always Dream has Paris Slim back on lead guitar with a straight up 12 bar blues, Chicago style. This is a really cool track with plenty of smoke. Candy Kane really does a nice job on lead vocals on Ike Turner track I Idolize You. Laura Chavez plays lead guitar on this track and certainly has her own signature style. Cynthia Manley and Jessica Williams and well blended backing vocals to the fire and Randy Chortkoff has a super feel on harmonica. Really nice track. You Better Watch Yourself is pushed along by Fletcher doing a James Brown guitar riff giving it a really super groove. Jacob "Walters" Huffman is featured on harp on this track and really gets a nice sound. Something For Nothing has a super big horn sound and clean guitar riffs by Welsh really stand tall. Rayford's vocals on this track are particularly cool and Kim Wilson is on top on harmonica. This is a great track and Welsh just blows me off my seat. On Can't Make a Living, a blues rocker, Randy Chortkoff takes on lead vocals with Trenda Fox and Fletcher steps up with a really nice guitar solo. The Blues Has Made Me Whole is a deep groove swinger featuring Freund on lead vocal and hot lead guitar. Kaplan is back on piano and Bott does a particularly nice job of setting the track off with drums. Very cool! I Have Love has a really interesting sound and again Rayford back on lead vocals. Bob Corritore adds a really nice harp solo to this track and Welsh rips a really nice guitar solo as well. Excellent! Troubles is an easy going blues track that is nicely crafted around Rayfords voice. Kim Wilson's harp work on this track are the best of his outings on this release with the harp almost wrapping itself around the track. Very nice. Magic Sam track She Belongs To Me has a really hot sound with Kid Ramos getting just the "right" sound on guitar. Rayford again sets the track off nicely with excellent vocals but Ramos sets the thing to flames. Very very nice! Don't Say You're Sorry features Slim on lead vocal and smokin slide guitar. Wrapping the release is an excellent, Blues For Michael Bloomfield. Fletcher absolutely nails Bloomfield's phrasing on this absolutely must be heard instrumental track. Rich Wenzel adds really nice B3 on this track and of course Campbell on bass and Bott on drums are huge creating this sound but let's face it. It's a guitar track about a legendary blues player and it's about the guitar. Fletcher, Slim and Welsh literally blow the doors off of this 8 plus minute guitar extravaganza. Excellent... Mike would have loved it! This will be one of the releases that you must hear this year.

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