Archive for May, 2018

Michael Kaeshammer review…May 30, 2018…

MICHAEL KAESHAMMER

SOMETHING NEW

LINUS ENTERTAINMENT

SCENIC ROUTE–DO YOU BELIEVE–COME ON HOME–SHE’S GONE–JOSEPHINE–WHO ARE YOU–HEAVEN AND EARTH–DIXIE HAS THE BLUES–FORBIDDEN LOVE–SWEET GEORGIA BROWN (INST.)–WEIMAR (INST.)

Canadian keyboard master Michael Kaeshammer has several Juno Award nominations, (the Canadian equivalent to our Grammy Awards), within the jazz idiom, and, for his latest release, he does, indeed, offer up “Something New.”  This time, he ventured way down yonder to the Treme District of New Orleans, specifically to the Esplanade Studios to create this mellow-fine set of eleven cuts of prime jazz mixed with a shot of blues, courtesy of several famous blues-renowned guests.

One of those guests, drummer Johnny Vidacovich, is strong throughout this set, but shines on the opener.  It’s a cool update on “Route 66,” this time with Michael and the fellows rollin’ thru Ferriday on the way to the Big Easy, taking that “Scenic Route.”  Up next, Curtis Salgado is on harp and vocals on the second-line romp of “Do You Believe,” with its powerful message of love and unity.  “She’s Gone” is a song about just that–Jim Byrnes is on vocal as his girl up and turned “together to alone,” with Michael’s loping piano augmented by Amos Garrett on guitar and Sea Level’s iconic Chuck Leavell on the Wurlitzer.  “Who Are You” features Colin James on vocals and BTO’s Randy Bachman on guitar, and it urges us not to forget those who are less fortunate, and  “step outside your comfort zone” to make the world a better place.  A deeply-personal love song features Cyril Neville on vocals, vowing to move “Heaven And Earth” to prove his love.

We had two favorites, both featuring solo performances from Michael.  First is a humorous look at other regions across the world and what they have to offer, but, “Dixie Has The Blues,” done up in all her second-line finery.  And, ever since seeing the Harlem Globetrotters in our adolescence, we’ve been in love with that girl that has “two left feet, but oh so neat,” that “Sweet Georgia Brown.”  Michael presents it herein as a dazzling piano instrumental, taking it to dizzying heights, much the same as the ‘Trotters did with basketballs.

For Michael Kaeshammer, the unique and enticing “Something New” is a hit on all counts.  Excellent musicianship and a slew of special guests make this one a “can’t miss.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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McMains review…May 29, 2018….

MCMAINS

AMERICAN SOUL

WELLAND INTERNATIONAL

WOULD IF I COULD–DEVIL DON’T CARE–DON’T SAY GOODNIGHT TONIGHT–SINCE I STARTED LOVING YOU–IS IT OVER–SHENANDOAH–END OF THE DAY–HELLO HEARTBREAK–TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS–NEVER 2 LATE 4 LOVE–SLOW DOWN MY HEART–TIME WELL WASTED–UNDER THE SUN

Americana-roots troubadour Mick McMains has just released his first full-length album since 2012, this one entitled “American Soul.” On this well-crafted set, the listener is treated to some love songs, some drinkin’ songs, and a couple of cool, more traditional cuts. Yep, McMains explores many aspects of everyday life thru this material, which is sometimes biting and gritty, and sometimes done with a keen sense of humor.

On guitar and vocals, McMains leads off with a song that identifies the fact that, in life, “the path is the thing,” and “I Would If I Could, do it all over again, with you.”  This one features Dave Pearlman on the pedal steel.  “Don’t Say Goodnight Tonight” chronicles a man looking for another shot at true love, and reaches the pinnacle in the lyrics of “Never 2 Late 4 Love,” with that catchy chorus, “look at me, I’m falling in love again.”  He closes the set with two more cool looks at love.  First is the tale of spending one’s time by living life to the fullest, where, even naysayers who decry he’s wasting his time, learn that time spent with his true love is “Time Well Wasted,” indeed!  The final cut is an island-flavored look at spending a lifetime with that special someone, “on an island lost at sea,” “Somewhere Under The Sun.”

McMains also tackles two iconic songs from the canon of traditional music.  “Shenandoah” features a sweet duet vocal from Cheyenne Jolene, while the unique use of accordion from Derek Reymer adds a bit of Cajun spice to the sprightly-uptempo arrangement of “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

Mick McMains is a true believer that the journey of life is best served with a healthy side of great music.  You can get plenty of that with “American Soul!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

John Clifton review…May 28, 2018….

JOHN CLIFTON

NIGHTLIFE

RIP CAT RECORDS RIC 1803

STRANGE LAND–SAD ABOUT IT–LAST CLEAN SHIRT–LONG AS I HAVE YOU–BRAND NEW WAY TO WALK–SWAMP DUMP–HOW ABOUT THAT–STILL A FOOL–NIGHTLIFE–WILD RIDE–NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW–EVERY NOW AND THEN

John Clifton is one of those powerhouse players who triple-threats on vocals, harp, and guitar.  Known the world over for his red-hot live shows, he has just released his latest for Rip Cat Records, “Nightlife.”  It’s twelve cuts of vintage blues that gives you a good taste of what goes down when these guys are on stage.  Along with John, we have Scott Abeyta on guitar, Matt Moulton on bass, Bartek Szopinski on keys, and drums from John Shafer and Roman Rivera.

They kick off on a blistering note, with the chugging backbeat and John’s wailin’ harp on Charlie Musselwhite’s  “stranger in a Strange Land.”  Bartek’s piano rings true throughout the good times of Little Walter’s “Long As I Have You, ain’t nothin’ I wouldn’t do,” with a fine harp solo at the break.  John and the fellows dig down deep with a rockabilly groove on his original, “found me a New Way To Walk,”  and they close the set with another original, nine minutes of a mouth-watering slow blues tale of never quite being in the right place at the right time, “Every Now And Then, good Lord, let me catch a break!”

We had two favorites, too.  The title cut hearkens back to Sixties’ psychedelic pop with a taste of the blues, where  the “neons are gleaming and the gamblers are dreaming” in the “Nightlife.”  And, that pounding beat and wailin’ slide that drives those “two trains running” is a sho’ nuff cool, echo-washed read of Muddy’s “Still A Fool.”  John’s mournful, pleading vocal makes you feel his pain, as “she’s the one I hate to lose.”

Rip Cat Records prides itself in bringing out artists who are well-versed in the jumpin’ swing of authentic West-Coast-styled blues.  John Clifton and his band understand the history involved in the music they play and keep it fresh for contemporary audiences.  Be a part of the “Nightlife” from this most excellent blues band!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

The Bridget Kelly Band review…May 27, 2018….

THE BRIDGET KELLY BAND

BLUES WARRIOR

ALPHA SUN RECORDS  2018

LI’L HONEY BEE–CABRINI-GREEN–STOLEN–NO GOOD MAN BLUES–ALONE–TROUBLE IN TEXAS–LET GO–BLUES INSIDE OF ME–IT’S A SHAME–SNOW FALL–NAMELESS NOBODY–SUGAR SWEET BABY–CHEMO

The Bridget Kelly Band is another group we simply cannot get enough of.  Their fifth album for Alpha Sun Records in the last six years is entitled “Blues Warrior,” and that they are, indeed, continuing to spread the word of the blues from their home base in Florida to fans all over the globe.  Bridget’s got a voice to die for, sultry, soulful, and sexy, (often all at the same time!), while Tim Fik is the consummate guitar-meister, with influences as varied as B. B., Jimi, and Dickie Betts, and everyone in between.  He also serves as the set’s producer.  They were Semi-Finalists in both the 2015 and 2016 IBC’s, and, this year, Tim collared a prestigious KBA, a lifetime achievement award given to those who have dedicated their lives and careers in Keeping The Blues Alive and preserving and promoting its heritage.

As you can see, this group has a boatload of accolades, and now we gotta git’ to gittin’ on the excellent material contained herein.  On this set, the band takes one huge, altruistic step forward, using their music to call attention to society’s problems of homelessness, drug addiction, domestic abuse, and human trafficking.

Things do start off on a playful note, tho, as Tim lays down some fancy lead lines over Bridget’s declaration of forever love to  “my Li’l Honey Bee.”  She comes back a little later and rocks him again, this time with the help of Chris Alexander on piano on the juke joint romp of “Sugar Sweet Baby.”  (Tim Fik, you are one sho’ nuff lucky man!).  “Cabrini-Green” recounts the deplorable living conditions in that fabled North Side neighborhood in Chicago, as Bridget calls a “time for change!”  “Stolen” has a beautiful intro from Tim, giving way to Bridget’s shout-out to victims of human trafficking, begging to be spared from “this den of thieves.”  The all-too-often-ignored people in “Nameless Nobody” recalls the plight of the nation’s homeless, “as the city bustles by,” while the burning, slow-churn of “No Good Man Blues” deals with the pain and suffering of domestic abuse.  And, the sad consequences of a life of dependency on the “needle and the spoon” are laid bare in the stark “Snow Fall.”  They close the set on a bittersweet note with the poignant “Chemo,” a tribute to Bridget’s grandmother and Joyce Hanken, and also to fallen-but-never-forgotten blues sister Candye Kane.

The Bridget Kelly Band has used the music of “Blues Warrior” to empower all who suffer from any of the plights that plague modern society to take every step possible to stand up and fight back.  An excellent blues album under any circumstances, this one is made even more appealing by the band’s philanthropic outlook of “giving back” to their fans and the blues community who knows of someone suffering in silence.  Thank you, guys–we love you!  Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

 

Joyann Parker LIVE SHOW….

HEY Y’ALL

 

JOYANN PARKER WILL BE PLAYING A LIVE SHOW TOMORROW, MAY 27TH, AT THE COBRA NASHVILLE, 2511 GALLATIN AVENUE.

 

OPENING WILL BE  SUGAR LIME BLUE AND WREN FIONE, AND THE COVER IS FIVE BUCKS, STARTING AT 8 PM

 

HOPEFULLY, THE RAIN WILL SUBSIDE AND EVERYBODY CAN HAVE A GREAT TIME!

 

SAFE TRAVELS TO ALL, AND HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY….SHERYL AND DON CROW

Allman Goldflies Band review….May 26, 2018….

ALLMAN GOLDFLIES BAND

SECOND CHANCE

EVER BEEN SO LONELY BABY–STANDING IN THE GEORGIA RAIN–SOUTHERN’S ALL I EVER WANT TO BE–YESTERDAY’S BLUES–FADIDDLE–BABY SHOW ME HOW–PRETTY GREEN EYES–CAN’T TURN BACK NOW–YOU GAVE ME LOVE–WHEN JESUS CALLS

Vocalist and keyboard man Gary Allman is indeed a cousin to Gregg and Duane Allman, with Soutern rock’s greatest dynasty’s blood flowing thru his veins.  He’s also got that unmistakable growl in his voice that is so reminiscent of Gregg.  David “Rook” Goldflies was bassist for the ABB from 1978-1982, during the time that “Enlightened Rogues.” “Reach For The Sky,” and “Brothers Of The Road” were released.  Rook had the uncanny ability to play the more advanced chord structures on the extended jams with incredible ease.  These two have pooled their immense talents to release “Second Chance,” under the name Allman Goldflies Band.

This set of ten originals, all written by Gary, Rook, and C. Menfi, blends their collective passions for Southern rock, blues, jazz, and a shot of gospel to celebrate their involvement in keeping this classic genre’ alive and moving forward.  Leading off is “Ever Been So Lonely Baby,” a tune that has vintage ABB DNA all thru it, and includes a fantastic bass solo from Rook.  Rook shows that he’s much more than just a bass player, too, as he crafted a sweet instrumental showing off his mighty impressive fiddle chops, “Fadiddle.”  The haunting “Pretty Green Eyes” recounts the life of a traveling bluesman and the one thing he misses most while “traveling on down the line.”  Rook’s bass gets another workout on the funky, danceable tale of searching for that Great American Dream by doing what you love best, “Can’t Turn Back Now.”  The set closes by taking us all to church with Gary’s organ-heavy tribute to his mother, “When Jesus Calls, you got to be ready.”

Our favorite was easy.  Southern rock has been in our souls since we first heard the Fillmore album in 1971.  and Gary and Rook, thru all their connections to this great music, keep it alive and flourishing with “Southern’s All I Ever Want To Be!”  Amen, brothers!  Until next time..Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Brother Dege review…May 25, 2018…

BROTHER DEGE

FARMER’S ALMANAC

PSYOUTHERN RECORDS   PSY 002

PARTIAL TO THE BITTERS–COUNTRY COME TO TOWN–THE EARLY MORN–THE SHAKEDOWN–BASTARD’S BLUES–THE MOON AND THE SCARECROW–THE BALLAD OF INGO SWANN–LAREDO–WHITEBOY–NO MAN A SLAVE–PARTIAL TO THE BITTERS, PART 2

Ever wonder what it might’ve been like to have had that mythical, mystical hell-hound on your tail?  We may never know, but you can sho’ nuff get close to that feeling by listening to composer, singer, and slide-guitar master Brother Dege, with his latest album, “Farmer’s Almanac,” for Psyouthern Records.  This album is a tremendous tribute to life here in the Deep South, and plays out as a true “concept” album.

Brother Dege (Legg) grew up deep in the heart of Cajun country in Louisiana, working a slew of odd jobs in between bouts with depression, drugs, alcohol, and run-ins with the law.  He even had a run-in with suicide, too, backing off at the last moment to turn his life toward his dream of songwriting.  But, one can never take these life experiences out of a man, and Dege’s songs resonate with guys and gals that suffer from some serious character flaws.  One of those opens the set, the perhaps-autobiographical “Country Come To Town, from the smallest town and the lowest rung.”  “Bastard’s Blues” recounts a young man who went bad at the age of twelve, and, by twenty-two, “they say I killed a man,” and awaits his fate by hanging.

Another “murder” tune served as our favorite.  On “No Man A Slave,” our hero would rather take a chance with a life on the run than spend it in jail, “I’d rather run away,” for “how can I keep the peace when the war is all I got?”

Brother Dege has had songs featured in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” and secured a coveted headlining showcase to help kick off SXSW 2018, in Austin, down at Antone’s.  The pre-release scuttle for “Farmer’s Almanac” said it all–between the instrumental intro and outro, this thing gets nasty and stays nasty!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.