Archive for March, 2017

Geoff Achison review…March 21, 2017…

GEOFF ACHISON

ANOTHER MILE, ANOTHER MINUTE

JUPITER II RECORDS  GRACD 19 J2

HIGH WIRE–DELTA DAVE–WORKING MY WAY BACK HOME–I’M GONNA RIDE–A NEW BAD HABIT–I WISH YOU WERE MINE–ANOTHER MILE, ANOTHER MINUTE–MAKE NO MISTAKE–DREAMING I’M AWAKE–SUM PEEPLES GOT ALL DA FONK–BABY COME BACK–I NEED HELP–MAKE MY STAND–FRONT PORCH FAREWELL

We sho’ nuff got a holiday-themed postcard back around Christmas from Australian blues man  Geoff Achison, alerting us to the March release of his first album in nearly ten years.  It’s here, fans, and it was well-worth the wait!  Over the last ten years, obviously the face of the musical landscape has changed, but Geoff has kept his fingers on the pulse of the times, so, over the course of these fourteen originals, we are treated to some fine electric and acoustic blues, soul, funk, and even a gospel-ish cut.

Geoff has won numerous awards for playing and composing, and was named one of the “Top 50 Australian Guitarists Of All Time,” and, as you listen to the varied shades of blues contained herein, you can see why.  Check out the Mississippi-style tale of ol’ “Delta Dave,” whose philanthropical side was his best asset, as he played for tips, and “took what he needed and gave the rest away,” helping any one in need until he “took his last ride in June of “99.”  Geoff gets in a mellow, soulful mood after giving up all his vices, and finds himself in dire need of “A New Bad Habit!”  He closes the set with that reverential, almost-gospel instrumental, the sweet “Front Porch Farewell.”

We had two favorites, too, both on the funky side of the fence.  First up is the mythical tale of a letter belonging to St. Peter that holds the key to “who stays in and who stays out,” and begs for a chance to do it all again, this time vowing to “Make No Mistake.”  And, speaking of funk, “Sum Peeples Got All Da Fonk” takes a tongue-in-cheek look at those of us who have got none, and name-checks Dr. John, Larry Graham, Bootsy, and ol’ Henry Roeland Byrd as great examples!

With killer guitar stylings and that seasoned, burnished vocal delivery, Geoff Achison breathes vivid life into the characters and events of “Another Mile, Another Minute,” making this one a stone groove fest, indeed!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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The Two Tracks review…March 20, 2017…

THE TWO TRACKS

POSTCARD TOWN

SELF-RELEASED

EYES ON THE ROAD–LOST IN THIS CANYON–RAIN DAY–FOUR WHEELS–SOW ‘EM ON THE MOUNTAIN–POSTCARD TOWN–OLD COYOTE MOON–CATCHING YOU–BAJA–DRAGONFLY–BACK TO MEMPHIS

The Two Tracks hail from Sheridan, WY, near the base of the Bighorn Mountains.  For their second album, they drove dang near cross-country to Music City, and, more specifically, to the Butcher Shoppe Studios, to be produced by Will Kimbrough.  The result is a solid, mesmerizing, honest look at life thru the eyes of a band who’s spent much of the last couple of years on the road, in support of their debut album.

This latest album is called “Postcard Town,” and it features eleven band originals, with Julie Szewc on vocals and guitar, David Huebner on vocals, cello, and electric guitar, Fred Serna on drums, and Russell Smith on doghouse bass, with special guest Bruce Bouton on pedal steel on a couple of cuts.  They begin this musical, emotional travelogue with Julie on lead vocal for “Eyes On The Road,” as she encourages us to explore our dreams and be true to ourselves.   David takes the lead on “Lost In This Canyon,” where one’s spirit of exploration and never “letting it all pass by” takes over, much like Henry David Thoreau and Gary Snyder, who each used poetry to seek the truth in their own ways.  David’s cello adds a unique perspective to this cut, as does Bruce’s steel play.

We had three favorites, too.  “Sow “Em On The Mountain, reap ’em in the valley,” is a sweet, old-time mountain gospel tune with the message of turning away from iniquity.  “Old Coyote Moon” is perhaps the set’s bluesiest fare, with its tales of the Great Spirit, disease, acid rains, and wars, and a longing for “the day before Columbus came.”  Will Kimbrough adds a cool touch with electric guitar on this one, too.  And, the set closes as Julie is “finally, finally free” from a controlling lover, and she leaves “the clothes out back hanging on the line” to start her life over by “driving Back To Memphis,” with Will on guitar here, too.

With “Postcard Town,” The Two Tracks reach down into our collective souls with a batch of well-crafted songs that are delivered from a storyteller’s point of view, and the musicianship and harmonies are as sweet as honey in the rock.  Their unique sounds are sure to earn them a huge fan base, and we ,look forward to hearing more from this exciting group!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Jon Zeeman review…March 19, 2017…

JON ZEEMAN

BLUE ROOM

MEMBRANE RECORDS

ALL I WANT IS YOU–HOLD ON–LOVE IN VAIN–NEXT TO YOU–STILL RAININ, STILL DREAMIN–IF I COULD MAKE YOU LOVE ME–ALL ALONE–TALKIN’ BOUT MY BABY–BLUE ROOM–NOTHING IN THE WORLD

Jon Zeeman is a guitarist with a style all his own.  While listening to his latest set, “Blue Room,” we were impressed with the impeccable tone he coaxes out of his guitar, and the ease in which he goes from song to song, even tho they are all different.

Jon played for drummer Butch Trucks in his Freight Train Band, and got invited to play guitar for the ABB at the Beacon Theater.  Jon always wanted to record with Butch, and the iconic drummer appears on two tracks herein, and, by all accounts, are the last tracks he recorded before tragically taking his own life on January 24, 2017.

On “Blue Room,” Jon is on guitar and vocals, and has quite a capable backing band with South Florida players Phil MacArthur on bass, Tom Regis and Bob Taylor on keys, and George Lilly drumming on eight cuts.  They kick things off with a driving, jazzy shuffle, “All I Want Is You,” which has an Allman Brothers feel with Butch on drums over Jon’s vocal of that girl with “the wiggle when she walks!”  And, they revisit that vibe a bit later with the loping strides of “Next To You,” also with Butch on drums.

Jon and his regular band bust out some sweet slow blues with “If I Could Make You Love Me, I’d give up everything I own,” before absolutely funking up the joint with the strut and swagger of “Talkin’ ‘Bout My Baby!”

We had two favorites which showcased Jon’s versatility in both tone and technique.  First up, he works the wah-wah on a cool cover of Jimi’a “Still Rainin, Still Dreamin,” and plays the venerable Robert Johnson’s “Love In Vain” in a pastoral, almost-reverential, country-blues manner, complete with a fine acoustic piano break.

Jon Zeeman has pledged half the royalties generated from “All I Want Is You” and “Next To You” to benefit the family of Butch Trucks and his favorite charity, The Big House Museum in Macon, GA.  “Blue Room” is an excellent set of blues from a guitarist with a big tone and a fine batch of material!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

Billy Price review…March 18, 2017….

BILLY PRICE

ALIVE AND STRANGE

FEAT. BILLY PRICE BAND

VIZZTONE LABEL GROUP/NOLA BLUE  VT-NB003

IT AIN’T A JUKE JOINT WITHOUT THE BLUES–LIFESTYLES OF THE POOR AND UNKNOWN–SOMETHING STRANGE–ONE MORE DAY–NOTHING STAYS THE SAME FOREVER–NEVER GET ENOUGH–WHAT HAVE I DONE WRONG–LICKIN STICK–R. M. BLUES–MAKIN’ PLANS

Pittsburgh’s bona fide Rock And Roll Legend might be best-known to long-time fans as Roy Buchanan’s featured vocalist, going back to the Seventies.  More recently, Billy Price recorded “This Time For Real,” with Otis Clay,  released to high praise everywhere in 2015.  His latest set, for the Vizztone Group under the Nola Blue imprint, is “Alive And Strange,” recorded live at Club Cafe’ in front of an amped-up hometown crowd.  The eleven cuts are a Duke’s mix of originals and covers that come at you just like an old-school funk, blues, and R & B revue show.

Billy is backed by a topnotch group of musicians, including a monster horn section that breathes high-octane energy into this incendiary set.   Check out the horn and keys punch over Billy’s vocal on the Godfather’s “Never Get Enough of that fine foxy thing,” and his burnin’ take on Magic Sam’s West Side anthem to a lost love, “What Have I Done Wrong,” with Steve Delach breakin’ it down on guitar, and Matt Ferrrero on sax.

Billy gets into a reflective mood on the William Bell chestnut, “since you been gone, I’m livin’ the Lifestyle Of The Poor And Unknown,” and then everybody gets in a breezy mode with an uplifting cut asking a lover to “hold on for One More Day.”  The set proper closes with a cut recorded at Carnegie Mellon University School Of Music from December 2012, and it’s a killer.  “Makin Plans” finds Billy involved with the wrong girl, who, “while we were makin’ love, you were makin’ plans” for her own agenda!

We had two favorites, too.  Leading off the live show is a shout-out to blues clubs everywhere, where you might “have a crap game in the back,” but “It Ain’t A Juke Joint Without The Blues!”  And, everybody gets a solo on the live show closer, a “solid send-up” of Roy Milton’s “R. M. Blues.”

Billy Price is a powerhouse vocalist and his band can bring the heat with the best of ’em.  Enjoy them in their natural element, in a live setting, with “Alive And Strange!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Sean Chambers review..March 17, 2017….

SEAN CHAMBERS

TROUBLE AND WHISKEY

AMERICAN SHOWPLACE MUSIC  ASM  7104

I NEED YOUR LOVIN’–BOTTLE KEEPS STARING AT ME–TROUBLE AND WHISKEY–TRAVELIN’ NORTH–CUT OFF MY RIGHT ARM–BULLFROG BLUES–SWEETER THAN A HONEY BEE–HANDYMAN–BE CAREFUL WITH A FOOL–GONNA GROOVE

Sean Chambers began his blues journey some twenty years ago while serving as guitarist and bandleader for the legendary Hubert Sumlin.  During his tenure in this capacity, Britain’s “Guitarist” magazine tagged him as one of the Top 50 Guitarists Of The Last Century.  He wears that crown well, as you will hear as you listen to his latest album, and sixth overall, “Trouble And Whiskey,” on the American Showplace Music label.    Production duties were handled by Ben Elliott, known for his work with Clapton, Leslie West, and many others.

Sean is all over the guitars on this contemporary blues-rock extravaganza, with Todd Cook on bass, Michael Hensley on keys, and Kris Schnebelen on drums.  There are seven new cuts and three waaay-cool covers, and the set starts with one of those originals.  “I Need Your Lovin” has a stomping, almost Hill-Country vibe, with Sean’s bristling lead licks at the forefront of an ode to that special lover that “makes my loneliness through!”  Next up is an all-out slide fest. “That Bottle Keeps Staring At Me!”  The fellows get in a funked-up mood on “Travelin’ North,” due in part to some mighty fine B-3 from labelmate  (and our good friend) John Ginty.

Sean pays tribute to another famous slide master, Roy Buchanan, with a buzzed-out, amped-up, rapid-fire read of “Bullfrog Blues,” then slows things down a bit for the minor-key Clyde Copeland chestnut, “Cut Off My Right Arm.”

We had two favorites, too.  The swagger of “Handyman” has Sean bragging to a lover that “I’ll be your sparkplug/I’ll keep your motor runnin.” and features Jimmy Bennett on guitar.  And, in the grand tradition of B B King,  Sean gives an excellent take on the slow-blues of “Be Careful With A Fool–someday he may get smart!”

Sean Chambers continues to forge his path as one of the premier guitar-slingers on the planet today, and, coupled with his seasoned vocals and fresh material, “Trouble And Whiskey” has a triple-shot of everything a blues fan could want!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Anthony Rosano review….March 15, 2017…

ANTHONY ROSANO

AND THE CONQUEROOS

28 DAYS–GIVE ME STRENGTH–YOU DON’T KNOW ME–LONG ISLAND SOUND–WICKED GRIN–REVOLVE–LOVE GOT A HOLD ON ME–SHAKEN IN THE VEINS–BOUND TO YOU–BLACKBIRD–PROUD OF MY SINS

If you’ve ever been down where the black trees grow, then you know that Louisiana has its own unique musical styles and traditions.  Anthony Rosano And The Conqueroos are now a part of that mystique thru the excellent music found on their self-titled third album, set for release on April 11, 2017.  This eleven-cut juggernaut is all-original material, recorded at the legendary NOLA Studios, produced by Mike Zito, and engineered by Grammy-winner David Farrell.

This excellent blues-rock band consists of Anthony Rosano on vocals, guitar, and mandolin,  JB Bustillos on harp, sax, and vocals, Paul Warren on bass, and  Scott Smith on drums, and featuring a spate of fine special guests.  They come out of the gate swingin’ with the opening salvos of the slide-heavy “28 Days,” with guitar from Mike Zito.  Anders Osborne joins in on the fun with his slide driving the tale of misspent youths, their needles and spoons , and “Shakin’ In The Veins.”

Anthony and the fellows take a quiet, reverent look at his youth, growing up on “Long Island Sound,”this one with strong sax from JB, and guest Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone on accordion.  They close the set with our favorite, featuring, Anthony on mandolin and Michael Harvey on fiddle on a fine swig of country-blues, the story of a man who does the best he can by his family and “I ain’t no saint, but I’m damn sure Proud Of My Sins.”

Everybody knows about all the jujus and hoodoos, gris-gris and voodoos that permeate the music of NOLA.  Enjoy a long pull of a mighty fine brew, courtesy of Anthony Rosano And The Conqueroos!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough review…March 13, 2017…

.  BRIGITTE DEMEYER AND WILL KIMBROUGH

MOCKINGBIRD SOUL

EVERYTHING–BROKEN FENCES–THE JUKE–RUNNING ROUND–MOCKINGBIRD SOUL–RAINY DAY–LITTLE EASY–I CAN HEAR YOUR VOICE–HONEY BEE–CARPET BAGGER’S LULLABY–UNTIL THEN–OCTOBER SONG

Any time two good friends, who just happen to both be extremely talented, get together for some musical fun, great things are sure to happen.  Such is the case with long-time Nashville pals Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough, and their first co-billed album, “Mockingbird Soul.”

Will has been a Nashville staple for years, while Brigitte was a California girl until moving here in 2010.  They met onstage in 2009 on a Music City Roots show, and collaborated on two other albums before putting both their names on this one.

Their chemistry, harmonies, and songwriting skills are as good as it gets over the course of these twelve cuts, and their passions for all things Southern—music, language, literature and various other aspects of life in these parts–is on full display.  Will is on guitar throughout, and Brigitte is on ukulele on one cut.

True love leads off, as both proclaim “all you are to me is Everything.”  “Broken Fences, shall I mend,” teaches the power and importance of forgiveness, while dealing with the impending loss of an aging parent brings back memories and means “I Can Hear Your Voice in everything I’ve known.”

Another cool thing Brigitte and Will bring to the table on this set is that feeling of sittin’ on your front porch with them and just letting the groove flow.  That’s the vibe that drives Brigitte’s honey-drippin’ vocal over Will’s harp on “The Juke,” as well as the ode to  an endless summer, “Running Round,” and their poignant “love letter” of sorts to Will’s sister and mother thru their love for the city of Mobile, lovingly referred to herein as “Little Easy.”

We had two favorites, too.  Brigitte uses her sultry, sexy vocal skills to coo a request to a potential lover to “let me be your little Honey Bee,” and “you can pour yourself a cup of me!”  And, Will defiantly pulls the strings of his vintage Gibson J-45 as he spits in the face of Time in the set-closing “October Song.”

With predominantly spare, sparse arrangements, the music on “Mockingbird Soul” is meant for its performers, Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough, to allow their natural talents to shine.  This set is full of their unique chemistry that will ultimately move you while you have a little fun along the way!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.