Archive for December, 2014

Nicholas David review…Dec. 14, 2014….

NICHOLAS DAVID

MAKE HOPE

SMILE NETWORK INTERNATIONAL

MONSTERS SLEEP–COOL–LONELY–FRESH–NEVER GIVE UP–SOMETHING BIG

One of the most pleasant surprises of Season Three of NBC-TV’s “The Voice” is the smooth and deeply-soulful talents of Nicholas David.  On his debut six-song EP, “Make Hope,” he continues in the vein that he used to captivate viewers and voters throughout his run on TV.

Check out his apologetic ode asking for a reconnection with a lover, “I lost my Cool,” and the power of “don’t leave me Lonely, even when ‘m wrong.  Subtle banjo and guitar augment the positive message contained in “Never Give Up,” and the set closes with a somber instrumental,  “Something Big.”

With “Make Hope,” Nicholas David spreads not only a soul-filled but an uplifting message to us all.  Here’s hoping a full-length album is in his near future!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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Howard And The White Boys review…Dec. 12, 2014…

HOWARD AND THE WHITE BOYS

ROSA’S LOUNGE

3011 RECORDS

HEAT SEEKING MISSILE–STRUNG OUT ON THE BLUES–TROUBLE FOLLOWS YOU–JUDGE–WHAT WOULD I DO–GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER–BLACK CAT–THE LAST TIME–WALK AWAY–THE BLUES ARE KILLING ME–THAT’S ALRIGHT (STUDIO CUT)

Ever wonder what it would be like to go to an authentic Chicago blues club and see one of the hottest and hardest-working bands on the contemporary scene?  If, like us, you’ve never experienced it, the next best thing is the latest set from Howard And The White Boys, entitled “Rosa’s Lounge,” where this incendiary live set was recorded.

Led by the bold vocals of bassman Howard Mccullum,  these guys have been jamming together since 1988.  They have been mentored by Buddy Guy, who’s had them on tour and at his Legends club as well.

On this set, they are confident and cooking with gas in front of a friendly crowd.  Howard kicks things off with funky, swagger-filled message to all the ladies, that he’s got a “Heat Seeking Missile” ready to get down! Excellent slide guitar singes all the way thru “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner,” as Howard tells his lover to “warn your daddy, ’cause I’m his worst nightmare!”  Speaking of slide guitar, Steve Asmo romps throughout one of the rockingest cuts on the set, “Black Cat.”  “Walk Away” and “What Would I Do” explore the band’s vintage soul side, while the set closes with a studio cut, an uplifting, testifyin’ “That’s Alright.”

We had two favorites, too.  Guitars are blazing all over thru the slash-and-slow-burn of “Strung Out On The Blues,” while the funky “Judge”is a socially-conscious piece on asking society to remember, “don’t judge me and I won’t judge you!”

Howard And The White Boys are veterans on the scene, and know what a crowd wants.  They sho’ nuff deliver, live down at “Rosa’s Lounge.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

Low Society review…Dec. 9, 2014

LOW SOCIETY

YOU CAN’T KEEP A GOOD WOMAN DOWN

ICEHOUSE RECORDS  IHR 9502

CRAMMED AND JAMMED–VOODOO WOMAN–NEED YER LOVE–SON HOUSE SAYS–YOU CAN’T KEEP A GOOD WOMAN DOWN–THIS HEART OF MINE–UP IN YOUR GRAVE–LET ME RIDE–NO MONEY DOWN–YOU GOT A RIGHT–EL DIABLO–SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER

Low Society blends blues, funk, soul, and even gospel led by powerhouse vocalist Mandy Lemons and her slide guitarist and producer, Sturgis Nikides.  Add in Mike Munn on drums and Nick Dodson on bass, and this set simply drips with pure, gritty Memphis soul.

The set is entitled “You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down,” and is twelve cuts, ten of which are originals.  Check out Mandy’s booming vocals and that boogie-fried slide of Sturgis’, on the chugging opener, “Crammed And Jammed.”  Dr. Herman Green, one of Memphis’ best-known sax men, adds his magic to Mandy’s soulful take of “Voodoo Woman,” while Mandy shows her emptional side on the slow-burn of “This Heart Of Mine,” and “Need Your Love.”

“Let It Ride” has a gospel feel,  led by John Shaw’s acoustic piano, as Mandy preaches to us all with a super-charged vocal.  Contrast that with “Up In Your Grave,” as Mandy tells a no-good lover that “I’d rather have you dead than talkin’ out of your head!”  She closes things with the SRV-flavored roadhouse rock of a love gone bad in a hurry, “Should’ve Known Better.”

We had two favorites, too.  Mandy declares her independence on the rocked-up “You Got A Right,” and tells everybody in the Joplin-esque title cut that “I got five more waitin’ in line behind you,” to any potential suitors with agendas.  This one has great acoustic piano from Rick Steff, too.

Low Society is full of the high-energy juiced-up boogie that the blues needs more of.  You can almost taste the barbecue sauce drippin’ off every cut of “You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

Magnus Berg review…Dec. 8, 2014…

MAGNUS BERG

CUT ME LOOSE

SCREEN DOOR RECORDS

CUT ME LOOSE–ONE WAY TO PLEASE YOU–DRIFTING–WHEN YOU LEAVE ME–KANSAS CITY BLUES–SAN-HO-ZAY—WHEN IT’S GONE (W/ KIRSTEN THIEN)–HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN–ST PETE BOOGIE–ONE TOO MANY

Young Norwegian guitarist-singer-composer Magnus Berg played Buddy Guy’s Legends at the ripe old age of seventeen.  Lately, he has been touring with his own band as well as working with Kirsten Thien, who saw him by chance on stage with Mike Zito at a Florida club.  His debut release, “Cut Me Loose,” has seven originals and three covers that showcases his broad scope, fat tone, and overall knowledge of what makes for good blues.

Check out the rockin’ good time Magnus has on the tale of a tough woman to get to know, “One Way To Please You,” with hot harp from Duffy Larsen.  That heavy guitar tone shows up on “Drifting,” as a love affair slowly goes south.  Magnus and Duffy trade licks again on a blistering read of “San-Ho-Zay,” while “Hoochie Coochie Man”is given a funky, slide-and-B-3 treatment, while the set closes with a rollicking, call-and-response tale of a man who’s had “One Too Many.”

We had two favorites, too.  “Kansas City Blues ” has that smooth, country-blues flavor augmented by Duffy’s harp.  And, Kirsten Thien duets on “When It’s Gone,” the poignant, slide-heavy story of when a true love dies, it never returns.

Working on his music career while finishing school, the sky is the limit for young Magnus Berg. With a debut as strong as “Cut Me Loose,” his future is bright, indeed!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

 

A word from Don Crow…Dec.5, 2014….

Hey…

This is Don Crow here.  Off and on since October, I haave been battling a heart valve infection known as endocarditis.  I had a mechanical valve implanted in 2007, and it became infected not long ago.  We battled it with antibiotics until November 12, when I had to go to St. Thomas Midtown Hospital.  The doctors did open-heart surgery on me for a second time on Nov 19, and they sent me home on December 3.  I am still somewhat weak, and the docs are monitoring my left leg, which is mildly infected, altho I am still on some strong antibiotics.  I mainly wanted to say to all our readers that we will be back on the “Review Train” in a few days, as my strength continues to build.  Thanks to my wonderful wife, Sheryl, who has been my rock thru all of this.  Thanks  for all your patience as I work to recover, and thanks for all your thoughts, well-wishes, and prayers.

Sincerely,

Don