Archive for September, 2013

Dave Riley and Bob Corritore review—September 19, 2013…

DAVE RILEY AND BOB CORRITORE

HUSH YOUR FUSS

VIZZTONE  SWMAF  11

HUSH MY FUSS–BABY PLEASE COME HOME–NO CUSSIN–SNUFF DIPPIN WOMAN–MISSISSIPPI PO BOY–HOME IN CHICAGO–HARD HEADED WOMAN–HAPPY AS A MAN CAN BE–GO AHEAD AND BLAME ME–MY BABY’S GONE–OIL SPILL BLUES–LAUGHING BLUES

Imagine sitting on your front porch on a lazy summer afternoon, the cold libations flowing freely, and being entertained by two of the absolute best instrumentalist/storytellers on the scene today.  That’s the feeling we got as we listened to the third collaboration between singer/guitarist Dave Riley and Blues Award-winning harpman Bob Corritore.  “Hush Your Fuss” is twelve predominantly-acoustic numbers that proves down-home Delta blues is still alive and well.

Dave Riley grew up in Mississippi, and later moved to Chicago’s West Side before returning home in later years and becoming associated with the sounds of players such as Frank Frost, John Weston, and Sam Carr.  Bob Corritore has blown harp on countless releases for others as well as for himself, and these guys really feed off each other musically.

The cuts are original songs with that deep Delta feel, and the fellows are joined by Dave Riley, Jr. on bass, Brian Fahey on drums, and Gloria Bailey on organ.  Dave is the consummate storyteller, and he’ll have you in stitches with his tales of “swearing off swearing” in “No Cussin,” and the “Snuff Dippin Woman” who “kissed me once but she’ll never kiss me again!”  “Mississippi Po Boy” is Dave’s minor-key autobiography of hard times, with Gloria’s organ adding to Dave’s poignant vocas and Bob’s mournful harp.  “Home In Chicago” traces Dave’s move northward, done in an uptempo shuffle, where Dave proudly sings “you can take me out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of me!”  Dave is on electric guitar here, and the whole thing has a cool juke-joint feel.

We had two favorites, too.  The title cut has deep-rooted gospel undertones, as Dave sings of “laying my burdens down:” and “ain’t gon’ study on war no more.”  “Oil Spill Blues” is playfully naughty, as Dave decries his “drilling prowess” to all the ladies in town!

Dave Riley and Bob Corritore have a connection that goes deeper than just musical.  They are two “old souls” that understand the near-spiritual power of the blues and how to play ’em.  “Hush Your Fuss” is highly recommended listening!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

Advertisements

Todd Wolfe review…September 18, 2013…

TODD WOLFE

MILES TO GO

AMERICAN SHOWPLACE MUSIC  ASM 3007

NOTHIN BUT YOU–SUNNYVALE–LOCKET FULL OF DREAMS–FORTY FOUR–DAY TO DAY–I STAND ALONE–STAY WITH ME BABY–AGAINST THE WALL–COME WHAT MAY–THE INNER LIGHT

Perhaps best known for his work as the guitarist in singer  Sheryl Crow’s band earlier in her career, Todd Wolfe steps out on his own and joins the parade of recent releases that highlight great blues guitar playing with “Miles To Go.’  It is ten cuts that combine not only blues, but rock, reggae, and soul with his smooth, varied vocal styles and killer guitar chops.

On this set, Todd is also joined by a stellar cast of backing players.  They include Justine Gardner on bass and Roger Voss on drums, plus a few very special guests.

The set starts with the breezy, jangle-pop ode to summer romance, “Nothin But You,” which could have easily been a part of Crow’s catalog back when they shared the stage.  So, too, does the wistful title cut, whose lyric appears in the tale of life on the road, “I Stand Alone.”  “Come What May” is a fuzztone and wah-wah-heavy instrumental that follows a reggae pattern, and features fine keyboard work from John Ginty.  Todd closes with a brilliant cover of George Harrison’s “The Inner Light,” with echo-effect vocals and guitar lines that recall Middle Eastern ragas.

We had three favorites, too, all on the bluesier side of the fence.  “Sunnyvale” is a love song that churns up straight outta the Delta with some very well-played acoustic slide from Todd, while “Day To Day” is as sweet a slab of vintage Southern rock that we’ve heard in a while.  And, “Forty Four” is done in a slowed-down arrangement, set over a cool, marching beat, with Todd supplying the Wolf-like echoed vocals and Steve Guyger on harp.

Todd Wolfe has come out blazing with a fine set of blues and blues-rock that fits his incredible talents.  “Miles To Go” is a winner all the way!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

Howard Glazer review…September 16, 2013…

HOWARD GLAZER

STEPCHILD OF THE BLUES

LAZY BROTHERS RECORDS   LAZ 13001

DON’T LOVE YOU NO MORE–SHAKIN–GAS PUMP BLUES–TELEPHONE BLUES–HONEY AND SPICE–SOMEWHERE–CRIED ALL MY TEARS–LIQUOR STORE LEGEND–HURTFUL FEELING

We last heard from Howard Glazer around 2007, with his “Liquor Store Legend” album.  (Well worth checking out, by the way!)  On his latest CD, “Stepchild Of The Blues,” Howard revisits that great song along with eight other originals that find him delivering some mighty fine blues-rock full of not only his trademark electric guitar, but slide and acoustic Resonator as well.

He wastes no time and gets right to the point in the leadoff rocker, “Don’t Love You No More,” with some serious guitar licks.  “Shakin” follows a Diddley beat, while “Honey And Spice” rides a soulful bass line over Howard’s leads, as he extolls the virtues of two lovers, “one from Detroit and one from Tennessee.”  This one also has a cool extended solo at the bridge.  “Cried All My Tears” is another tremendous slide workout, this time set over a throbbing, Hill-Country beat., while “Telephone Blues” is a smokin’ slow-blues about a lover who, even tho Howard bought her a new phone and a watch too, she still won’t give him the time of day.  This one has excellent keyboard work from Larry Marek, who complements Howard’s guitar perfectly.

We had three favorites, too.  We simply cannot get enough of one of Howard’s signature songs, the story of a man whose drinking reputation preceeds him “from Detroit to New York,” the “Liquor Store Legend.”  Another fine Detroit bluesman, harpist Harmonica Shah, joins old friend Howard on a couple of cuts that really shine.  First up, Howard bemoans the sorry state of the Motor City with his Resonator and Shah’s tasteful harp in “Gas Pump Blues,” where “you can’t fill up your tank without robbing a bank!”  And, they close the set with the deep, slow burn of “Hurtful Feeling,” featuring Howard on electric slide and Shah’s harp making the pair sound like a modern-day Muddy and Walter.

It is a pleasure to hear a new album from Howard Glazer, as he has always possessed some serious “old soul” guitar chops.  The pairings with Harmonica Shah are very well done, and “Stepchild Of The Blues” is a set that will satisfy blues fans everywhere!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

JP BLUES review Sept 14, 2013…

JP BLUES

MAKE ROOM AT THE TABLE

MIDNIGHT CIRCUS RECORDS  MCP 10003

KEEP ON WALKING–LOVE SO COLD–OLD MAN JOE–MAKE ROOM AT THE TABLE–ANOTHER TIME ANOTHER PLACE–MOVE ASIDE–HOLY ROLLER–GOOD ENOUGH–DON’T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD–TROUBLE ON HEELS–WE AIN’T GOING NOWHERE–DAY BY DAY

Blues fans, lets “Make Room At The Table” for one of the hottest young players on the scene today, JP Blues.  The JP stands for John Pagano, and this is his third set for Midnight Circus Productions, and it places him squarely in the mix of the young guns that are determined to keep the blues alive and well into the 21ST century.

Cliches’ such as “jaw-droppingly-awesome” may be overused, but, one listen to this incendiary set and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a new term of description for his immense talents.  He puts a modern spin on the time-honored traditions of “walkin’ blues” with the loping stride of the leadoff “Keep On Walking,” which also features JP on keys as well as guitar.  “Holy Roller” uses a combination of acoustic and electric leads to rail against the evils of excess, while JP uses a cool echo-effect vocal over a driving riff to describe a woman who knows how to use what she’s got to get what she wants, and is truly “Trouble On Heels.”  This one features an extended slide solo at the bridge.  A man who wonders if his meager means is “Good Enough” to satisfy his lover is set over a modified reggae beat, with a quirky horn section for spice.

We had three favorites, too.  JP rocks a mean Hill-Country beat on “Old Man Joe,” which rides Yonrico Scott’s drums over JP’s sweet lap-steel, while JP’s slide conjures up the ghost of Duane Allman on the devilishly-cool title cut.  And, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” is presented herein as a vastly different version than the original, with sparse guitar over JP’s haunting vocal.

Fans, JP Blues is the real deal, and he’s making sure that the future of the blues is in good hands.  “Make Room At The Table” for this one, and add it to your collection!  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow

Nuno Mindelis review…September, 11, 2013…

NUNO MINDELIS

ANGELS AND CLOWNS

FEAT. THE DUKE ROBILLARD BAND

SHINING STONE RECORDS  SSCD  004

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE–IT’S ONLY A DREAM–ANGELS AND CLOWNS–MISS LOUISE–HELLHOUND–27TH DAY–PERFECT BLUES–TOM PLAISIR–(HOW?) TO MAKE LOVE STAY–BLUES IN MY CABIN–LUCKY BOY–HAPPY GUY–JAZZ BREAKFAST AT LAKEWEST

Nuno Mindelis was born in Angola, during that country’s divisive civil wars.  Already a guitar prodigy by age nine, he and his family were forced to leave the country for their own safety, eventually finding safe haven in Brazil.  There, during his formative years, young Nuno began to flourish on guitar, taking particular notice of the “Clapton Is God” graffiti that he saw from news footage from the UK.

As time has passed, he has achieved a unique level of stardom in not only his native South America, but across the world as well.  For his USA debut, Shining Stone Records has just released “Angels And Clowns,” thirteen originals that cover several genres’ in scope, and hearken back to the days of his youth, when, if he heard a song on the radio, he’d go home and learn it on guitar.

Nuno’s talents are endorsed wholeheartedly by Duke Robillard, who produced this set, and adds guitar on a few cuts.  His band, consisting of stalwarts Brad Hallen on bass, Bruce Bears on keys, and Mark Teixeira on drums, round out the ensemble.

With this album, Nuno wanted to reach as wide an audience as possible, and creates quite an array of blues, rock, roots, and jazz herein.  He’s joined by labelmate Sunny Crownover on vocals on the leadoff “It’s All About Love,” tracing the shadows and lights of a relationship.  Another pair of star-crossed lovers are the subject of the poignant “27TH Day,” while the age-old question of “(How?) To Make Love Stay” is done in a jazzy, low-key style with Nuno providing somewhat muted lead lines.  “Happy Guy” is a punchy, uptempo groover with finee acoustic piano from Bruce, and serves as Nuno’s biography.  It also features a sweet, extended, B. B. King-inspired solo at the bridge.

There’s some good ole gutbucket blues for the purists, too, and those served as our favorites.  “Blues In My Cabin” is a classic “my baby left me” rocker, while “Miss Louise” low-rides along a laid-back groove reminiscent of recently-passed legend J. J. Cale.

In Brazil, it is not uncommon to see graffiti that proclaims “Nuno Is OUR God,” in reference to Clapton.  To us, that HAS to be the ultimate compliment, and one listen to Nuno Mindelis and “Angels And Clowns” will prove his talents are undeniable!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

Toronzo Cannon review…September 9, 2013…

TORONZO CANNON

JOHN THE CONQUER ROOT

DELMARK RECORDS CD   DE 831

JOHN THE CONQUER ROOT–I’VE BEEN DOING FINE–COLD WORLD–GENTLE REMINDER–IF YOU’RE WOMAN ENOUGH TO LEAVE ME–SHAME–YOU MADE ME THIS WAY–BEEN BETTER TO YOU–BIG RAY BOP–LET IT SHINE ALWAYS–SWEET SWEET SWEET–ROOT TO THE FRUIT…SHE’S MINE (REPRISE)

Toronzo Cannon has seen a lot in his twenty-odd years as a city bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority.  So much so, that he uses ideas he gets from listening to and watching life go by thru that windshield to create songs for his blues albums and shows.  Yep, as well as a driver, he’s also one of Chicago’s hottest blues guitarists, singers, and composers.  He has just released the follow-up to his debut, “Leaving Mood,” this one entitled “John The Conquer Root.”  It is another sizzling thirteen original cuts that shows his love not only for Chicago blues, but funk, soul, and even gospel as well.

Let’s get right to this great music.  He uses his autobiographical tune, “Gentle Reminder,” to let everyone know that he’s all blues all the time, and is bringing the genre’ into the 21ST Century, because “this ain’t 1952.”  His guitar lights this one up like the sky over Lake Michigan on the Fourth of July, and Toronzo even gives a shout-out to the good folks at Delmark for believing in him.

Toronzo saves some of his best material for his clever insights into life, love, and relationships.  Check out the rockin’ guitar shuffle that defines his plea to a lover to STAY GONE because “I’ve Been Doing Fine” without her!  He gets in-your-face with a cheatin’ lover in the streetwise, “If Youre Woman Enough To Leave Me, I’m man enough to watch you go,” then has a helluva big surprise for another no-good chick in the slow, jazzy, “You Made Me This Way,” who’s about to find out that “you reap what you sow!”

Toronzo shares some poignant moments on this set, also.  “Cold World” lets us all know that nothing in life is guaranteed, and does so over a sanctifying, soul-stirring setting.  In perhaps the set’s most somber cut, Toronzo, along with label mates Mike Wheeler and Joanna Connor, take three unique looks at death, always remembering to “Let Your Light Shine”  no matter what the circumstances.

We had two favorites, too.  Omar Coleman adds some tasty harp over the catchy riff that drives “Shame,” which is a strong social commentary on the fact that no actions come without consequences.  And, in a recent interview for Blues Revue,” Toronzo indicated that he’s a huge Hendrix fan.  On the stellar title cut (and its set-closing reprise) Toronzo uses fuzz-tone leads and crunching riffs throughout in tribute to Jimi, riding a swampy groove to tell the tale of a man who uses every hoodoo, mojo, and voodoo known to man to win over a lover!

Toronzo Cannon is proud to be a “left-handed, Aquarian bluesman” and he’s carrying the torch for the tradition of real-deal Chicago blues.  “John The Conquer Root” is a set that is sho’ nuff’ keepin’ the faith!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

Jim Allchin review…September 7, 2013…

JIM ALLCHIN

Q.E.D.

CD–JA-003

STOP AND GO–GETTIN’ OLD–CHIME BLUES–REAP WHAT YOU SOW–TRUST ME (FEAT. MYCLE WASTMAN)–THINKING OF YOU–TRASH–RUNNING AWAY–TRIED AND TRUE–DROWNIN’–EVIL MINDED WOMAN–COME ON HOME–NO WAY OUT

Jim Allchin was born on an orange grove in a yet-to-be-developed rural area of central Florida.  On the side, he played guitar as a teen, leaning toward blues and Latin music.  But, his affinity for math and the growing computer industry sent him to his first career in software with Microsoft.  A health scare caused him to take a serious look at his “bucket list,” topped  by becoming a bluesman full-time.  Now completely cured, he’s still blazing a path in contemporary blues.  His follow-up to 2011’s “Overclocked” is here, this one entitled “QED.”  it’s thirteen cuts that show Jim’s incredible chops and a vocal style that fits his material perfectly.

Jim takes varied looks at people, love, and life in general with his own unique visions.  The leadoff “Stop And Go” is a blast of blues-rock that tackles the eternal yin and yang between men and women.  Jim’s “foot is on the gas,” but she says “go slow,” while he slyly sneaks in a reference to a sho’ nuff  “hot crankshaft.’  He takes a musical spit in the face of the doctors who told him in “Gettin’ Old” that, “son, you’d be better off dead.”

There are four outstanding instrumentals included also.  “Chime Blues” follows a breezy, jazz-inflected pattern, while Brooke Lizotte’s piano adds to the wistful dreamscape of “Thinking Of You.”  Perhaps the highlight of the whole set is the brilliant slow-burn of a man who does indeed appear to be “Drownin” in his own blues.  And, the set closes with a Latin flurry, “No Way Out.”

We had two favorites, too.  “Tried And True,” the tale of a cheatin’ lover, and “Trash,” which deals with Jim gettin’ rid of all the bad things in his life, both are reminiscent of the great shuffles from Albert Collins, due not only to his icy, stinging lead work, but to the witty humor of the lyrics as well.

In translation,  “Q. E. D.” is Latin for “that which must be proved.  As for Jim Allchin, he’s got absolutely nothin’ left to prove as a bluesman.  And, in the world of contemporary blues, we’ll close with another well-turned phrase that explains Jim best–“Veni Vidi Vici”—he came, he saw, and he conquered!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society