Archive for October, 2019

Teresa James And The Rhythm Tramps review…October 30, 2019….

TERESA JAMES AND THE RHYTHM TRAMPS

LIVE!

JESI-LU MUSIC

IN THE PINK–I LIKE IT LIKE THAT–PUT THE SQUEEZE ON ME–EASIER SAID THAN DONE–FORGETTING YOU–SHE’S GOT A WAY WITH MEN–DON’T MAKE A HABIT OF IT–IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU–SHOORAH SHOORAH–THE DAY THE BLUES CAME TO CALL-EVERYDAY WILL BE LIKE A HOLIDAY–I WANT IT ALL–LONG WAY FROM TEXAS

Houston-born Teresa James and her band,  The Rhythm Tramps, know a thing or two about laying down some fine grooves.  Witness their last album, “Here In Babylon,” which was nominated for a Grammy in 2019.  Still riding that high, she has just released the band’s first live album, aptly-entitled “LIVE!,” six originals and seven favorite band covers laid down at Bogie’s, one of the band’s favorite haunts.  The performances were culled from four nights, with, uniquely, four incarnations of the Rhythm Tramps, providing a truly amazing representation of what this band is all about.   The core of the band, with Teresa on vocals and keys, has her hubby Terry Wilson on bass, and Billy Watts on guitar.  The other players involved are all well-respected members of the blues community, including sax men Ron Dzuibla and Paulie Cerra, and three drummers, one of which was Tony Braunagel.  The varied lineups give a different vibe to the whole set.

There are a tremendous number of highlights. The party starts with one of our favorites, as Teresa calls out some of her blues heroes who led her down this musical path, “since I found the blues, I’m In The Pink!”  A shout-out to a lover is the Fifties-inspired “baby, please Put The Squeeze On Me,” giving way to the Motown romp, “She’s Got A Way With Men, but she isn’t gonna get away with mine!”  Billy Watts duets with Teresa, who’s on piano, on the smoldering, “I can’t love nobody, If I Can’t Have You.”

Another of our favorites came from her Grammy-nominated album, the deeply-moving ode to “The Day The Blues Came To Call,” marking the passing of Gregg Allman.  The set closes with our final favorite.  It’s a roadhouse-rockin’ tale of life on the road, with Teresa again on the 88’s, tellin’ everybody not to worry, “I’m a Long Way From Texas, but I’m gonna make it home tonight!”

Teresa James And The Rhythm Tramps glide easily from blues, roadhouse rock, Big Easy grooves, and powerful ballads.  Please enjoy “LIVE!,” from this Grammy-nominated group of premier players!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

Troy Gonyea review…October 28, 2019…..

TROY GONYEA

CLICK CLICK SPARK

LOTUS EATER RECORDS

A FEW WORDS FROM OUR CHARMING HOST–(DO THE) CURL UP AND DIE–THAT’S WHY I’M CRYING–AS I AM–BRING IT ON HOME–TELL HEAVEN–GEORGIA SLOP–JUMPING AT SHADOWS–I AM FEELING SO GOOD (OWED T’DON)

Troy Gonyea first picked up a guitar at age thirteen, and he’s never looked back.  He’s played with Muddy, Booker T., James Harman, Anthony Geraci, and countless others, and did a turn as lead guitarist for The Fabulous Thunderbirds.  He’s played on two Grammy-nominated albums, and was nominated for a Blues Music and a Boston Music Award.

His favorite part of performing, tho, is the spontaneity of performing live, and that’s what we are treated to with his latest set, a nine-cut live set entitled “Click Click Spark.”  Troy’s dazzling guitar and incredibly soulful vocals resound throughout, and he is backed by Marty Ballou on bass, Marty Richards on drums, and Brooks Milgate on keys.  Troy covers several genres’ on this wish-it-was-longer set, opening with the Berry-licious riffing of Troy’s original, “(Do The) Curl Up And Die.”  It’s West Side Rules with the guitar-centric, blistering take of Magic Sam’s “That’s Why I’m Crying,” and keeps the good times rolling with a fun take on Little Walter’s (by way of Willie Dixon) “Bring It On Home,” with Troy on the harp.  Everybody has a good time on one of our favorites, where they “don’t give a hoot about no police,” on Jimmy McCracklin’s “Georgia Slop.”  Brooks offers up some Hell-fire, “Killer” piano here, too!

Two more favorites closed the program.  The soul in Troy’s voice literally drips from the grooves in our hero’s look back at his life, and the “coulda, woulda, shouldas” that might’ve been, in the deep, slow-burn of “Jumping At Shadows.”  The set closes with a Hill Country-by-way-of-Sun Records stomp entitled, “I Am Feeling So Good,” driven by that “endless boogie” originally done by Junior Parker.

Troy Gonyea is one of the most powerful and versatile artists on the contemporary scene.  He loves to play live, and “Click Click Spark” is right in his wheelhouse!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

Andy B.AND and SoulFolk review…October 28, 2019….

ANDY B.AND (FEAT. SOULFOLK)

LOOK WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN

INDIE ON AIR RECORDS

JUSTINE–WAY THAT MEN BE–MARY ELLIS–MASTER’S SHIP–CANDYMAN–LEAVIN TRAIN–ANOTHER CLOUDY DAY–INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULB BLUES–(A MIGHTY FUNKY) GROOVE THING

Jersey-based Andy B(ernstein) and the Andy B.AND recorded their debut in 2017, “My Roots Are Showing,” to a glowing array of positive reviews and feedback.  They are back with their latest, “Look What The Cat Dragged In,” a collection of originals and traditional fare that shows the band’s affinity for roadhouse rock as well as a variety of roots music.

Andy B. is on vocals and harp, and is backed by SoulFolk–Gary Ambrosy and Greg Stier on guitars, Paul Daloia on bass, and Bill Homeyer on drums.  They open with a sweet second-line groover, as our hero’s got it bad for “Justine.”  Roots-rock is the theme of the cool tale of the differences in men and women–hey, it’s just “The Way Men Be!”

One of our favorites was a song originally written in the aftermath of 9/11, the gospel-flavored, uplifting, “when the Master’s Ship comes in,” featuring Andy on harp.  A cool cha-cha groove drives another song about the constant struggles between men and women, as Andy declares that J. Geils was right, “Love Stinks,” and he’s hittin’ that “Leavin’ Train!”

Our other favorites closed the set.  A Berry-licious backbeat drives the musical history lesson about Thomas Edison and his “Incandescent Light Bulb Blues,” which just “don’t burn in Jersey no more!”  Then, a mythical conversation between Luke The Drifter and Howlin’ Wolf finds these two unlikely characters loving the music of the other, making everything a sho’ nuff (Mighty Funky) Groove Thing!”

The Andy B.AND and SoulFolk continue to bring the best in blues and roots to fans not only in Jersey, but everywhere else good music is played.  Enjoy the most excellent “Look What The Cat Dragged In!”   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

 

Brody Buster review…October 26, 2019…..

BRODY BUSTER ONE MAN BAND

DAMN!  I SPILLED THE BLUES

VIZZTONE VT–BOOGA-01

OLD DOG BLUES–BAD NEWS–2029–THE WIND–THE REASON–ALLIGATOR BLUES–LIKE ‘EM LIKE THAT–THE HUSTLE–WEEK LONG–THIS TIME I GOT THE BLUES

Louisiana bluesman Kenny Neal has just developed his own record label, BOOGA Music, under the Vizztone umbrella.  The first release from this label is from a fellow who busted out big at the 2017 IBC’s in Memphis.  Yep, Brody Buster,  the One-Man Band, won Second Place in the Solo/Duo Competition, and took home the top prize in the Harmonica category.  Judge Kenny Neal was so enamored of him that after the competition, he brought him to his Louisiana studio to begin work on Brody’s debut.  It is entitled “Damn!  I Spilled The Blues,” and all ten cuts are Brody originals and co-writes, done up in the style that captivated the judges in Memphis.

Leading off, our hero is hopelessly in love in “Old Dog Blues,” but shows his devotion by being willing “to learn some new tricks!”  A cheatin’ lover who “takes three hours to run to the store” is given the boot, as she is sho’ nuff “Bad News,” while one of our favorites is a clarion call for the Apocalypse, scheduled for “September 23, 2029!”  It rocks from start to finish, given the tenuous subject matter!  “Alligator Blues” is another Delta-fied, harp-a-licious rocker, as is Brody’s penchant for the rather zaftig women, “Like “Em Like That!”

Our other favorite closes the set.  Brody is bemoaning his continued string of bad luck and his bad dreams that keep coming true, “This Time I Got The Blues!”

It is easy to see why the judges all dug Brody Buster.  A personable artist with a knack for a good lyric, Brody plays all the instruments on “Damn!  I Spilled The Blues,! keeping alive that tradition that goes back to the glory days of Sun Records and Dr. Isaiah Ross and Joe Hill Louis!  It’s also a dazzling beginning for Kenny Neal’s new label!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

Bob Margolin review…October 25, 2019….

BOB MARGOLIN

THIS GUITAR AND TONIGHT

VIZZTONE RECORDS VT SRR 004

THIS GUITAR AND TONIGHT–EVIL WALKS IN OUR WORLD–OVER TIME–DANCER’S BOOGIE–BLUES LOVER–GOOD DRIVING SONG–CAN’T TAKE THOSE BLUES AWAY–TOGETHER–PREDATOR

When blues legend Muddy Waters passed away in May, 1983, guitarist Bob Margolin and the surviving members of Muddy’s band–James Cotton, Pinetop, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and, from the Blue Sky days, Johnny Winter–carried on in various incarnations until, sadly, all those legends  passed on.  The literal last man standing, Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, sounds as powerful and as vibrant today as he did while standing at Muddy’s side for all those years, and he continues to tour and record extensively.  His latest set for Vizztone is a first for him also.  “This Guitar And Tonight” is an all-acoustic affair, with all the music written and played by Bob, save for appearances by Bob Corritore and Jimmy Vivino on one cut each.

Bob offers up a jumpin’ call for everyone to “get out on the floor and dance,” and, most importantly, “don’t look at your phone,” on the way-cool “Dancer’s Boogie.”  Bob Corritore is on harp on a shout-out to Phoenix, AZ, and the world-famous Rhythm Room, to chronicle a true “Blues Lover,” looking for “all the blues she can.”  Jimmy Vivino adds second guitar on the title cut, and Bob sings of “the love of my life” in the tender blues of “Together.”

Our favorites were topical in nature, and equally as scathing.  The cancers of “open racism,” anti-Semitism,” as well as “fake news” and “fake politicians” are the subjects of “Evil Walks In Our World,” with Bob’s slide growling like the proverbial HellHound.  However, he saved his best for last.  He traces his life growing up in Berkline, MA, through Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Carter, up to the current “Predator of the United States,”causing Bob to grieve not only for this country, but the world as well.

Every adjective used to describe Bob Margolin’s talents and contributions to the blues community has already been written.  We’ll close by saying that Bob is a great friend, and continues to carry this bidness on with the excellent acoustic “This Guitar And Tonight.”  We love you, man….Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

 

 

Myles Goodwyn review October 24, 2019….

MYLES GOODWYN

FRIENDS OF THE BLUES 2

LINUS ENTERTAINMENT  270421

HIP HIP–LIKE A DOG AIN’T HAD IT’S DAY–ALL OVER NOW–YOU GOT IT BAD–FISH TANK BLUES–SPEEDO (REVISITED)–DADDY NEEDS NEW SHOES–BEING GOOD (WON’T DO US ANY GOOD TONIGHT—FEAT. ANGEL FORREST)–I LOVE MY GUITAR–HELP ME BABY–WHEN YOUR SHIP CAME IN (I WAS AT THE TRAIN STATION DRINKING)–SICK AND TIRED (OF BEING SICK AND TIRED OVER YOU)–EVEN SINGING COWBOYS GET THE BLUES (BONUS TRACK)

Myles Goodwyn gained quite a measure of fame back in the day as the leader of the multi-platinum-selling rock group, April Wine.”  He’s always had a “thing” for the blues, tho, and his debut blues release, “Friends Of The Blues,” earned him a Juno nomination and the whole enchilada at the East Coast Music Awards, for Blues Recording Of The Year.  That brings us to his latest, aptly-entitled, “Friends Of The Blues 2.”  It features thirteen originals and a cool cover and also has some of the cream of the Canadian crop of backing blues musicians.

Myles’ voice has always had that instantly-recognizable quality that goes all the way back to the April Wine days, and that voice carries the day on these cuts.  Check out the opening cut, as Myles perhaps chronicles his youth, “marked for sin,” and “the girls kept comin’ in,” “Hip Hip,” with keys from Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne.  The set’s lone cover, Bobby Womack’s “All Over Now,” has more of a stuttering, Louisiana-swamp groove than other versions, and has “Shrimp Daddy” Reid on harp.

One of our favorites was a re-working of the Cadillacs’ “Speedo,” from 1955.  The song opens with a minute or so of that original, giving way to Myles’ vocal, talkin’  ’bout that woman-stealer whose “real name was Mister Earl,” with hot sax from Jeff Mosher.  It keeps the spirit of the original with a fine backing chorus, too.  The boogie woogie rolls on with the roadhouse rock of “Daddy Needs New Shoes,” and Myles takes us all down to the Delta with a vintage-sounding take on his original, “When Your Ship Came In (I Was At The Train Station Drinking).”

The set closes with our other two favorites.  Rockin’ blues is the theme of our hero’s shout-out to a lover, who’s been long gone, but “tonight, I Saw Someone Who Wasn’t There (And It Was You).” The final cut is a country-tinged, yodel-licious tribute to Myles’ late friend, Ralph Murphy, entitled “Even Singing Cowboys Get The Blues.”

Myles Goodwyn’s career would have been a resounding success just thru his work with April Wine.  If you got the blues in you, tho, they’ve got to come out, and “Friends Of The Blues 2” is a perfect companion to its predecessor!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

Nick Nace review…October 23, 2019…..

NICK NACE

WRESTLING WITH THE MYSTERY

FLOUR SACK CAPE RECORDS   FSCR  008

ONE MORE SONG–BACK ON THE RADIO–FLY IN A BOTTLE–WINE AND DINE–HER FAVOURITE DIRTY JOKE–OLD RECORDS–MOONBABY–WAKE UP NEXT TO YOU–WHITE TRASH SOUTHERN BELLE–ARKANSAS TRAVELER–CLARKSDALE KATIE–GRANDPAS OLD GUITAR

Originally from Ontario, Nick Nace spent his formative years in New York, before chucking it all for an East Nashville basement apartment, sight unseen, in December of 2015.  Once there, he fit in perfectly within that flourishing community of artists, singers, and composers.  His latest collection of originals is entitled “Wrestling With The Mystery” for Flour Sack Cape Records.  They all deal with Nick’s journey thru life, and the characters he has known and the stories only he can tell.

Leading off is his goodbye to the Big Apple, as Nashville looms on the horizon for “just One More Song.”  “Back On The Radio” chronicles gettin’ older in this bidness, with our hero “decades past my heyday,” and shows full of “groupies who are all wrinkled!”  Past lovers and their individual tendencies play out as does a jukebox full of “Old Records, where their music never fades,”while two lovers with eternally-roving eyes are described in “Arkansas Traveler,” as “two-timin’ diamonds” wherever they go.

We had two favorites, too.  An ex-lover who is now the victim in an abusive relationship says “everything is fine,” but that “Fly In A Bottle” knows better.  The set closes with the true story of “Grandpa’s Old Guitar,” his love for “The Crawdad Song,” and the regrets Nick carries by not getting to spend more time with him before his passing.

If there was a Nobel Prize for East Nashville songwriters, Nick Nace’s name would sho’ nuff be in the mix.  His songs and characters are brilliantly-conceived, and, for a man “Wrestling With The Mystery,” he’s done a helluva job in getting his points across!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.