Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Paul Mark CD Single teaser…December 12, 2017….

PAUL MARK

DECEMBER AT THE P. O.

CD SINGLE

RADIATION RECORDS   RDTN 5980

Paul Mark is one of the most eclectic and avant-garde artists on the contemporary scene.  He’s always good for  unusual and thought-provoking material, , and this holiday season finds him spending “December At The P. O.” on his latest single for Radiation Records, from the forthcoming album, “Silent Movies.”  This song is set over a piano-and-strings holiday-themed arrangement, and traces the angst of our hero as he is “an all-night sorter down at the P. O.!”  Simultaneously bittersweet, honest, and humorous, he finds himself on yet another “18-hour Sunday,” with “a trick knee that blew out on a Black Friday lift,” looking forward only to “drinking in the New Year once  this blizzard’s through.”

A perfect fit for this tumultuous holiday season, we anxiously await what’s to come, but for now we’ll settle for “December At The P. O.”    Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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2017 International Blues Challenge #33 review….December 10, 2017…..

VARIOUS ARTISTS

THE BLUES FOUNDATION PRESENTS

INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE #33  2017

SHINE ON–DAWN TYLER WATSON  LET’S HEAR SOME BLUES–JOHNNY FINK AND THE INTRUSION  ‘TILL I GET TO MEMPHIS–RANDY MCQUAY  2029–BRODY BUSTER’S ONE MAN BAND  DON’T DIG TODAY–AL HILL  CATFISH BOOGIE–SOBO BLUES BAND  I DON’T HAVE PROOF–RUTH WYAND AND THE TRIBE OF ONE  GOOD LOVIN (HOT AND FRESH FROM THE OVEN)–THE SOULIZ BAND FEATURING SUGAR AND SPICE  I HATE YOU ‘CAUSE I LOVE YOU–FELIX SLIM  CHAINS THAT BIND–WES LEE  ONIONS AIN’T THE ONLY THING–SAM JOYNER  ELBOW GREASE–RAE GORDON AND THE BACKSTREET DRIVERS  DANGEROUS–KING BEE  MEET ME IN THE COUNTRY–SUGAR BROWN

It’s that time of year again, and we don’t necessarily mean the holidays.  We’re talking about the exciting compilation CD put together thru a joint effort of The Blues Foundation and the good folks over at Frank Roszak Promotions.  Yep–“IBC #33” features fourteen live cuts culled from the hundreds of performances occurring in the week-long festivities during The International Blues Challenge in Memphis back in February of this year.  Players from both the Band and Solo/Duo Category are represented, and the songs are all-originals from the players.

First Place Band winner Dawn Tyler Watson leads off by taking us to Blues Church with the powerhouse gospel overtures of “Shine On.”  Solo/Duo winner Al Hill plays piano on his “Don’t Dig Today,” but his axe skills also brought home the coveted Solo Division Outstanding Guitarist award.

Those who didn’t win have plenty to offer, tho.  Check out Brody Buster’s One Man Band with his apocalyptic tale of what might happen on “September 23, 2029!”  Ruth Wyand And The Tribe Of One touches on the topic of a cheatin’ lover with “I Don’t Have Proof,” while The Souliz Band Featuring Sugar And Spice are in it for a down-home good time on “Good Lovin (Hot And Fresh From The Oven).

We had a favorite, too.  Likely this one is a crowd-pleaser wherever it is played, as Johnny Fink And The Intrusion dig on every classic riff they can get their frets on, from Freddie to Elmo and everywhere in between with the party anthem, “Let’s Hear Some Blues!”

In about six weeks or so, after the turkey is all eaten and the packages are all unwrapped, the festivities will crank up for the 34TH IBC, and if you’re lucky enough to go, you’ll be in the presence of the most comprehensive gathering of blues talent on the planet.  For a taste of what’s coming, grab a shot of what has been with “International Blues Challenge #33!”  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Dave Keyes review…December 8, 2017….

DAVE KEYES

THE HEALING

CHANGE–DANCE IN THE DARK–NOT SO NICE ANYMORE–AIN’T LOOKING FOR LOVE–TRAVELING RIVERSIDE BLUES–BOOGIE FOR STEFAN–COME TO ME–STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING–FAITH GRACE LOVE AND FORGIVENESS–TAKE YOU BACK–BOX OF BLUES

New York-based keyboard wizard/composer/vocalist Dave Keyes is another artist we always look forward to when it comes to new music.  He’s eclectic and unique with a style rooted in traditional blues as well as keeping an eye toward the future.  That spirit drives the eleven cuts that make up his latest set, “The Healing.,” nine originals and two righteous covers.  If you check out our review for Popa Chubby’s latest set, (posted December 4), you’ll notice that Dave Keyes is all over the keyboards on that album, and Popa returns the favor here, swingin’ his mighty axe on five cuts.

The party starts with a harp riff from Rob Paparozzi on the clarion call for “Change” everywhere, “if you don’t like that view,” and be sure to “keep on heading toward the light!”  Vaneese Thomas plays the female lead while Dave is the tomcat on the prowl, as our two paramours “head straight for dessert,” ’cause “I Ain’t Looking For Love!”  Rob’s on the harp here, with Popa on guitar, too.  A cool horn section gives Dave’s original, “Dance In The Dark,” the feel that it coulda been a long-lost gem from Allen Toussaint, while Dave’s mean left hand takes us thru a swingin’ instrumental, “Boogie For Stefan.”  “Come To Me,” a lovely ballad written by Dave and Popa, features Popa’s guitar as Dave pleads for a lover to leave a bad situation.  He stays in that poignant moment for a definitive call for healing through “Faith, Grace, Love And Forgiveness,” this one backed by the voices of the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir.

This one was full of favorites.  Chubby’s slide glides over a Diddley beat as Dave sings of being “tired of living for what I’ve settled for,” “Not So Nice Anymore.”  Dave and Chubby get on down to the bidness of the blues, with a six-minute ride to the Crossroads by way of Robert Johnson’s iconic “Traveling Riverside Blues.”  Then, just as sure as Sunday morning follows Saturday night, Dave’s vocal and piano and the backing chorus do some sweet trstifyin’ on Sister Rosetta’s “Strange Things Happening every day!”

Dave Keyes knows the only way for things to change starts within all of us.  On the music contained within “The Healing,” he offers up some excellent social commentary  and sends a message of hope to a troubled society, and, Dave,  for this we thank you!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Rockie Charles review…December 7, 2017…..

ROCKIE CHARLES

BORN FOR YOU

ORLEANS RECORDS  ORL 1911

BORN FOR YOU–OLD BLACK JOEL–OH MY DARLING LOOK WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO ME–FESTIS BELIEVE IN JUSTICE–SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH OUR LOVE–I NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD, I’M ABOUT TO LOSE MY MIND–DON’T LET ME GO–I JUST CALLED TO WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS–I LIKE TO MAKE LOVE WHEN IT’S POURING DOWN RAIN–THERE IS A RAINBOW HANGIN’ OVER MY SHOULDER

Born in Boothville, LA, Rockie Charles (Merrick) got his inspiration to play guitar from his father, a musician who played in local juke joints.  And, he loved boats and water, growing up along the Mississippi.  At thirteen, his family moved to New Orleans, and his musical career began to take root.  But, there was always the pull of the river, and he became a tugboat captain at age eighteen.  Everyone knows, tho, that you can’t keep a good bluesman down.  Known as “The President Of Soul,” Rockie took out an ad in a local paper looking for gigs, and that got the attention of Orleans Records producer Carlo Ditta.  In 1996, the tacks that would become “Born For You” were laid down.  Twenty years down the blues highway, this Southern soul masterpiece has been re-issued,  now on vinyl and CD, showcasing the plaintive vocals and guitar of this truly unsung hero of the blues.

His quiet, almost reverential, singing voice easily reaches the upper registers, and is part Al Green, part O. V. Wright, and sho’ nuff 100% soul.  He takes eleven looks at life and love thru the eyes, heart, and soul of a true soul/blues pioneer.  Leading off is the title cut, as Rockie tells his lover that “I was Born For You.”  A chance meeting with an old friend leads to childhood reminiscences of “Old Black Joel,” while the plaintive ballad, “Oh My Darling, Look What You’re Doing To Me” features Smoky Greenwell on harp.  Rockie also gets in a playful mode with the pop-flavored “Festis Believe In Justice.”

Rockie gets us into the holiday spirit with “I Just Called To Wish You A Merry Christmas,” and riffs on a groove that a lot of us guys who live down South can relate to, “I Like To Make Love When It’s Pouring Down Rain.”  Our favorite was perhaps the most uptempo cut on the set.  The horns and backing chorus give a danceable groove to “I Need Your Love So Bad, I’m About To Lose My Mind.”

The reissue of Rockie Charles’ “Born For You”  returns to the limelight the incredible talents of “The President Of Soul!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

The Love Light Orchestra review…December 4, 2017….

THE LOVE LIGHT ORCHESTRA

FEATURING JON NEMETH

BLUE BARREL RECORDS   BBR 319952

SEE WHY I LOVE YOU–BAD BREAKS–I’VE BEEN WRONG SO LONG–IT’S YOUR VOODOO WORKING–SOMETIMES–WHAT ABOUT LOVE–POVERTY–LONESOME AND HIGH–SINGIN FOR MY SUPPER–THIS LITTLE LOVE OF MINE–PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE TO LOVE–LOVE AND HAPPINESS

As a lifelong resident of Tennessee, when discussing what is referred to in musical circles as “the Memphis sound,” several images come to mind.  Certainly the Sun/Presley/rockabilly sounds from 706 Union Ave. are undeniable, as are the deeply-soulful music that emanated from the Stax and Hi studios.  And, there’s another category of horn-driven R & B that was played in the clubs up and down Beale, (as well as down on Jefferson Street here in Nashville) in the Fifties and Sixties.  In Memphis, it was popularized by artists such as Junior Parker, Bobby Bland, and B. B.  Obviously, it takes a vocalist with a huge voice to pull it all together, and, for the latest release from Blue Barrel Records, “The Love Light Orchestra” features one of the best there is–two-time Blues Music award winner,John Nemeth.  Along with guitarist Joe Restivo and trumpet man-arranger Marc Franklin, they drive this swingin’ ten-piece outfit thru twelve cuts of pure, unadulterated, joyfully-rockin’ R & B.  Nine are vintage covers, and the three originals are written within the context of the big band sound.

One of those originals, from Joe Restivo, leads off, as John testifies the many virtues of a good lover, “See Why I Love You.”  The horn arrangements and the percussion patterns give “This Little Love Of Mine” and “It’s Your Voodoo Working” a New Orleans vibe, while John brings to life the plaintive Percy Mayfield classic, “Please Send Me Someone To Love,” through his beautiful vocal take.

Every cut is a winner, but we had two favorites.  First up, John gives a cool, upper-register read of Freddie King’s “mama, mama, What About Love?”  And, the set closes with a brilliant re-working of Al Green’s “Love And Happiness,” turning this classic into a toe-tapping shuffle!

Altho there is plenty of guitar work herein, the emphasis is on the sax, horns, and powerhouse vocals from John.  Recorded live at the tiny DKDC Bar in midtown Memphis (sure hope they had a dance floor!), John Nemeth and “The Love Light Orchestra” successfully meld the uptown swing of vintage R & B with the gritty side of straight blues, and John keeps the spirit of this music alive in what is a “must-hear” set!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Jim Vegas review…December 3, 2017…..

JIM VEGAS

SOUL SHATTERED SISTER

GOONZY MAGOO RECORDS  GMR 04

SOUL SHATTERED SISTER–BAD FRUIT IN THE YARD-TILL THE WHOLE THING BLOWS–NOT THAT STRONG–LOVE IS COMING BACK AROUND–EVERYTHING YOU DON’T NEED–FAIRWEATHER FRIEND–FAR FROM YOU–LIGHTNING HIT THE BOX–LIFE IS HARD–SUN IS GONNA SMILE

Kansas guitar slinger Jim Vegas fell in love with the blues the first time he heard a B. B. King album.  On his fourth album, “Soul Shattered Sister,” Jim combines those blues with touches of soul, jazz, and even reggae for eleven original looks at the human condition and how music helps us cope.

Along with Jim on vocals and guitars, Luke Young’s sax gives these cuts that extra special touch of soul.  Check out how it all comes together on the tale of love on the rocks due to “bad fruit on the vine and Bad Fruit In The Yard.”  A reassurance that “Love Is Coming Back Again” follows that reggae groove, while, at the other end of love’s wide spectrum, there’s always that “Fairweather Friend” who’ll hit you below the belt at the first opportunity.

We had several favorites.  Another love affair that bites the dust is the theme of “Lightning Hit The Box, sparks flew, and the lights went down.”  This one has that jazzy, hip feel of the heyday of Becker and Fagen.  The title cut is another story of love in disrepair,  “Soul Shattered Sister,” where “no one can save you if you don’t want them to.”  That becomes Jim’s mantra and a metaphor for a politically-polarized nation.  That feeling is carried over in another socially-charged cut, where “it’s just a matter of time Till The Whole Thing Blows.”  On the set’s bluesiest cut, Jim pays a slide-driven tribute to John Lee Hooker with the endless boogie beat of “Not That Strong,” dealing with man’s ultimate temptation from the opposite sex.

Jim Vegas puts the emphasis on the stories within the songs on “Soul Shattered Sister.”  Upon repeated listenings, we found the clever lyrics and unique characters akin to those of another of our favorite players, Webb Wilder.  Do yourself a favor and give this one a listen!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Little G. Weevil review….December 3, 2017….

LITTLE G. WEEVIL

SOMETHING POPPIN’

VIZZTONE VTLG-02

HERE I COME KNOCKING–SOMETHING POPPIN–SEE ME IN THE COUNTRY–HOW DO YOU WANT ME TO DEAL WITH THIS–YOU CAN’T SAY NOTHING–SCRUB–PUSHERMAN–CRAWLING–I DON’T WANT TO FEEL THE RAIN–TOP MODEL

For his latest set for Vizztone, multi-award-winning bluesman Little G. Weevil has created what he refers to as “21ST Century Rhythm And Blues,” and the nine originals and one cover that comprise “Something Poppin” draw from a deep wellspring of sources.  Little G is a native of Budapest who currently calls Atlanta his adopted home, and this set hearkens back to the days of classic Seventies’ soul, funk, blues, with even a nod to the “blaxploitation” film craze from that era, and he puts his own contemporary spin on each track.

The set opens on a sizzling, percussion-and-slide guitar-driven note with a stone party anthem and ode to groupies everywhere, “Here I Come Knocking.”  The many virtues of the girls here in the South are the theme of the title cut, while Danny Del Toro’s harp adds the spice to the Hill Country stomp of “See Me In The Country.”  He hits that deep 70’s soul groove with “How Do You Want Me To Deal With This,” as he comes to grips with an unfaithful lover, featuring great keys from Matyas Premecz.  Dulzura adds guest duet vocal on the contemporary soul of “Scrub,” while G closes the set with another pounding blueser, the story of a “downtown, uptown” honey who’s hell on heels, that “Top Model,” and G “really wants to make her mine!”

Our favorite was the sole cover.  G and the band hit that rock-solid, wah-wah groove we first heard as teens back in the day on Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly” soundtrack, with its poignant question, “how long can a good thing last,” the sordid tale of the neighborhood “Pusherman.”

Little G. Weevil knows that if you want to hang around in contemporary blues, you gotta have more than good looks and three chords.  He’s upped his game considerably with his groundbreaking approach to the blues with the honesty of “Something Poppin.”   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.