Archive for July, 2014

Dexter Allen review…July 3, 2014…

DEXTER ALLEN

BLUEZ OF MY SOUL

DEEP RUSH RECORDS

COMING HOME TO MISSISSIPPI–RIDE THIS TRAIN–STILL CALLED THE BLUEZ–MONK DONKY–COME OUT AND PLAY–HAVE A TIME–BLUEZ PARTY–DEEP INSIDE–PUDDIN AND RICE–I DOUBT IT–THAT SAME THANG

One of the best jobs in all of the blues world simply has to be as guitarist in Bobby Rush’s band.  On the one hand, you get to watch one of the true blues masters ply his craft on stage every night. And, on the other hand, there are those two booty-licious dancers about ten feet in front of you!  All jokes aside, tho, Dexter Allen did spend several years as Bobby’s guitarist, playing all over the USA as well as France, Spain, and Germany, and many other foreign lands.  Dexter has just released his third album overall, entitled “Bluez Of My Soul,” but this one is just a little different.  Yep, Bobby Rush himself has endorsed Dexter by releasing this set of originals on hs own Deep Rush label.

Bobby has a ton of respect for Dexter, saying that he sees Dexter as a younger version of himself.  Dexter had a background in gospel before joining Bobby’s revue,  and those experiences have certainly paid off in his solo career.  Dexter can play virtually any instrument, but sticks mainly to guitar and a little bass over these eleven cuts.

Dexter sho’ nuff knows how to have a good time, and makes sure you have one, too!  Bobby Rush blows the harp over Dexter’s opening cut, letting everybody know that no matter how many great places you visit, there’s nothing better than “Coming Home To Mississippi,” and that good ole “cotton and catfish!”  It’s also a positive message tune,  because there’s nothing more important than love of family!”   “Bluez Party” keeps the good times rolling, as does “Have A Party,’ where it’s a sure bet that “no one is going home alone tonight!”   ‘Deep Inside” is a powerful ballad done in tribute to his lover, while he closes the set with a serious shot of funk, talkin’ ’bout “That Same Thang that makes the birds and the bees all get along,” again featuring Bobby on harp.

We had two favorites, too.  “Monk Donky” is a call-to-arms to all the women to hit the dance floor and shake their favorite body parts!  This one has Dexter really smokin’ the strings at the bridge, too.  “Still Called The Bluez” touches on some topical subjects, such as “mothers against daughters,” and “everybody lookin’ for an easy way out,” as well as the fact that now “a lot of people have money, but they still have problems, too!”

Dexter Allen is proving himself very worthy of the praise heaped upon him by Bobby Rush.  With the stone-cold funk of “Bluez Of My Soul,” it’s easy to see why!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

Brigitte DeMeyer review…July 1, 2014…

BRIGITTE DEMEYER

SAVANNAH ROAD

SAVANNAH ROAD–SAY YOU WILL BE MINE–BOYS GOT SOUL–PLEASE BELIEVE ME–BIG MAN’S SHOES–CONJURE WOMAN–HONEY HUSH–WORKER–HOME GROUND–LIGHTNIN’ POOR–SIMMER RIGHT–BUILD ME A FIRE–MY SOMEDAY

Not so long ago, singer-songwriter Brigitte DeMeyer met up with Gregg Allman, then later read his biography and became intrigued by the history of his home base of Savannah, GA.  A born storyteller, Brigitte turned her studies of this storied region into her sixth album, “Savannah Road.”   It is thirteen originals, each of which has its own inspiration, with many written from personal experiences.

Also of note on this set are the sparse, minimal arrangements that allow Brigitte’s beautiful voice to shine thru.  As she studied the history of the Savannah region, she found parts of it to be haunting and downright spooky.  Thus, these arrangements go a long way in cementing that eerie vibe.  And, it sho’ nuff doesn’t hurt to have some of thee greatest players on the planet adding instrumentation throughout, including Will Kimbrough, Ricky and Micol Davis, and Jano Rix, to name just a few.

The title cut leads off, with its summery images of peach country, and “fill those barrels, pick the fruits, and shake those trees down to their roots.”  Fine examples of Southern culinary delights are wrapped up in a couple of love songs, with the “biscuits and jelly” of “Baby, give me some of that Honey Hush,” while love is the key ingredient to that special stew that has to “Simmer Right,” and features sweet harmony from the McCrary Sisters, too.  Brigitte traces her mother’s journey out of Nazi Germany in WWII with the poignant “Build Me A Fire.”    And, Jeff Coffin’s clarinet gives a ragtimey feel to an ode to Man’s Best Friend, who’s “favorite song is your footsteps,” entitled “Big Man’s Shoes.”

We had two favorites, too.  “Lightnin’ Poor” is the tale of a perhaps-mythical street corner bluesman with a “cigar box guitar and chicken-wire strings” who “drives a Cadillac but doesn’t have a telephone!”  This one embodies the spirits of the legends of the past, from Hank Sr.’s Tee Tot right on down to ol’ Curtis Loew.  The McCrarys again add their special touches to this one, too.  And, “Miss Ella James” is the “Conjure Woman” who Brigitte enlists to put a voodoo spell on her lover.  Blue Mother Tupelo’s Ricky Davis brings the mojo with excellent slide guitar, and the lovely Micol Davis adds harmony vocals, and when these two lovely ladies’ voices entwine, it is a little slice of Heaven, indeed!

Brigiitte DeMeyer turns the summer heat up a notch with “Savannah Road.”  Her storyteller’s soul and sparse arrangements that accentuate her delivery makes this one quite an entertaining listen!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

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