Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Cave Twins review…March 14, 2019….

THE CAVE TWINS

BEST FRIENDS FOR NOW

TIGER SPA  TST 01

BUDDY I”LL BE THERE–KEEP ON SINGING–WALK TOGETHER–HAPPY ANYWHERE–BFFN–WITH YOU–A LITTLE LONGER–THE YOU AND THE ME–TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES–THAT’S YOURS MY DEAR–WILD LOVES–GRANDMA SONG–LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND

Abby Rose and David Mayfield, The Cave Twins, have each forged their own individual careers, David as a guitarist and mandolin man behind The Avett Brothers, The Black Keys, and Mumford and Sons, and Abby with northeast Ohio’s The Speedbumps.  During all this, life, as it always seems to do, took an unusual turn for them.  Separated at birth, and long after their individual careers were established, they discovered that they are indeed brother and sister, and identical twins, at that.  As fate would have it, they have just recorded this album, “Best Friends For Now,” with a new-found look at their musical careers and directions.  The harmonies herein can only be described as mesmerizing, as only the telepathic communication of siblings can create.

That harmony leads off as our duo offers a light-hearted ode to BFF’s everywhere, “Buddy I’ll Be There!”  Keeping that vibe intact, David takes the lead vocal on “I’m Dancin, every day with you!”  The duo plays a pair of lusty lovers in need of a fix and the bearskin rug on which it occurs, the playful, “Take Off Your Shoes,” while both urge us all to “Keep On Singing, when life gets tough and you’ve had enough!”

We had two favorites, too.  Abby is on vocal on the set-closing “Leave It All Behind,” perhaps a nod to their discovery of one another as siblings, albeit later in life.  And, for us, there’s nothing better than pure old-school mountain gospel, with David on mandolin on the sweet ode to that “Walk Together, all the way home, where no one stands alone!”

The Cave Twins embody a credo of endorsing science and friendship, and the good cheer and light-hearted material in “Best Friends For Now” expertly blends their tight harmonies, musicianship, and songwriting skills into a delicious foray into Americana!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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Dennis Brennan and the White Owls review…March 13, 2019….

DENNIS BRENNAN

AND THE WHITE OWLS

LIVE AT ELECTRIC ANDYLAND

VIZZTONE RECORDS  VT-DB01

CUTTIN IN–NOTHIN BUT LOVE–YES I’M LOVING YOU–THE (NEW) CALL OF THE FREAKS-TANGLE–THREE KIND OF BLUES–I LIVE THE LIFE I LOVE–FOOLKILLER–I’M ON MY LAST GO ROUND–NO EXPECTATIONS

Dennis Brennan has been one of Boston’s unsung heroes of the blues for a number of years.  A consummate vocalist, harpman, and songwriter, you can listen to his music and derive that his influences are heavily blues- and soul-oriented.  Dennis and his band, The White Owls, have been holding down a weekly gig at a local bar, and wanted to record a live album in this familiar setting, and “Live At Electric Andyland” fills that bill.  It features band originals and some obscure, well-played covers from Willie Dixon, Johnny Guitar Watson, Big Al Downing, and, even the Stones.

Dennis puts on his soul man shoes for the opener, Johnny Guitar Watson’s tale of reconciliation with an estranged lover, “I’m Cuttin’ In on you!”  He shows off his harp chops on the rocked-up blues of “it ain’t Nothin But Love that makes me feel this way!  Guitarist Tim Gearan penned the beautiful tale of unrequited love, looking for  “The End Of The Blues,”  Stephen Sadler is all over the lap steel guitar in the humorous tale of “The (New) Call Of The Freaks,” with a great “team” vocal!  Stephen penned one of our favorites, a haunting, percussion-heavy trip down to the Crossroads, introducing Dennis to “Three Kinds Of Blues,” while another favorite was the slide-heavy, amped-up read of Mose Allison’s “Foolkiller, comin’ closer day by day!”  Our final favorite closed the set, on a bit of a pensive note, with Dennis giving a deeply-soulful read of the Jagger/Richards lovelorn tale of “No Expectations.”

With a vibe reminiscent of Dyke And The Blazers and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Dennis Brennan and the White Owls have sho’ nuff paid some dues to play these blues.  His fans have been begging for an album, and “Live At Electric Andyland” will sate them for a while, but, Dennis, please bring us more, and soon!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

Reese Wynans review…March 11, 2019….

REESE WYNANS AND FRIENDS

SWEET RELEASE

J AND R ADVENTURES JRA 61072

CROSSFIRE–SAY WHAT?–THAT DRIVING BEAT–YOU’RE KILLING MY LOVE–SWEET RELEASE–SHAPE I’M IN–HARD TO BE–RIVIERA PARADISE–TAKE THE TIME–SO MUCH TROUBLE–I’VE GOT A RIGHT TO BE BLUE–SOUL ISLAND–BLACKBIRD

If you’ve been a fan of great music sometime within the last 40 or so years, then you’ve heard Rock And Roll Hall of Famer Reese Wynans whether you knew it or not.  The consummate keyboard man, able to play anything for anybody in any style, he’s played behind Boz Scaggs, Mike Farris, Doyle Bramhall and Doyle Bramhall II, Jimmy Hall, and countless others, but gained perhaps his biggest notoriety playing with SRV and Double Trouble.  Hard to believe that this iconic musician has never released a solo album, but, “Sweet Release” becomes his first.  Also, it marks a first time for someone else–this marks Joe Bonamassa’s first time as an album producer, and features co-producers, guitarist Josh Smith, and horn man Paulie Cerra.

This album is a celebration of Reese and his many contributions to music over the years.  The love and good times are in abundant supply throughout.  Of the thirteen cuts several are readily identifiable with Reese’s work behind SRV and Double Trouble, while others hearken back to his days with Boz Scaggs, and his penchant for the music of pioneers such as Tampa Red and Otis Rush.  And, you can always count on some brilliant instrumentals, too.

The set begins with a SRV staple, “Crossfire,” this time with the mighty Sam Moore on vocals, and the Double Trouble rhythm section, Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon.  Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jack Pearson are on guitars, along with the Texicali Horns.  Mike Farris and Paulie Cerra brew up a Memphis soul stew with Willie Mitchell’s “That Driving Beat,” with Reese’s B-3 the perfect complement.  The set closes with two instrumentals.  First, the breezy, sax-and-B-3-fueled, “Soul Island,”  followed by Reese sitting at the grand piano for the finale, a message of both freedom and sadness, Lennon and McCartney’s “Blackbird.”

We had a slew of favorites.  Reese and the fellows give a spirited read of Tampa Red’s “So Much Trouble,” with Joe Bonamassa on vocals and guitar and the venerable Mike Henderson on harp!  The other Tampa Red tune is done up “old-school,” as it was written, with Reese on piano and Keb’ Mo’ on guitar and vocals, “I Got A Right To Be Blue!”  Lastly, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Josh Smith share guitar and vocals on a song from the 1990’s Doyle Bramhall project, the Arc Angels, a rockhouse blueser entitled “The Shape I’m In,” with an extended piano break from Reese.

Damn, y’all.  For a debut solo set, “Sweet Release” rocks the house from the jump.  Reese Wynans’ place in rock history is secured, but this album puts the cherry on top of the sundae, and having the opportunity to review an album from an artist of Reese’s stature has been a pleasure and a privilege.  Thank you, Reese, for a lifetime of great blues!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

Cara Being Blue review…March 10, 2019….

CARA BEING BLUE

GRIT

GRIT–CROCODILE MAN–LEAVE ME IN FLAMES–ONE DAY–YOU DON’T WANNA–SKIPPIN STONE–OLD FEELIN–KIND KINDA MAN–MY DOGGIE–SOME FUN

Cara Being Blue (Cara Lippman) has been a friend of ours since moving here from Boston ’bout ten years ago.  While in New England, she mentored with Shirley Lewis,  honing her vocal chops and live performing skills, but folks ’round these parts know already that she’s got it goin’ on!  She’s just released “Grit,” ten  originals that, along with her jam session  hostess duties around town, has solidified her reputation as a hard-workin, big-voiced woman of the blues who’s equally at home rockin’ the house or layin’ down a slow-and-sultry groove.

The set opens with the title cut, an ode to those who are “fighters” and “all-nighters,” all loaded with “Grit!”  New York Blues Hall Of Famer Dave Fields is on guitar for “Crocodile Man,” that “hoodoo man” who’ll “take your heart, prowlin’ around like a howlin’ stray!”  Trapped in an abusive relationship, our heroine vows that “One Day, you’ll never find me again.”  It’s embellished by another Music City legend, Tim Gonzalez, on the harp.  Speaking of legends, Jack Pearson appears on guitar as Cara bemoans an uncaring lover in the minor-key blues of “You Don’t Wanna.”

We had two favorites, too.  “Kind Kinda Man” is a swingin, horn-driven smooth blues tale of that special man who has that “twinkle in his eye when we kiss goodnight,” while Tim’s harp drives Cara’s fun-filled, funky romp about “My Doggie,” who’s always “chasin’ other kitties in town!”

Cara Being Blue is on the cusp of bustin’ loose into the big time with a set as powerful as “Grit.”  She’s been honored by the Tennessee Jazz And Blues Society for her contributions to the blues, and she’s got sass and soul to spare!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

Glen Clark review…March 9, 2019….

GLEN CLARK

YOU TELL ME

GLENCO RECORDS 1001

YOU TELL ME–ACCEPT MY LOVE–I CAN TELL BY LOOKING–THIS OLD ROAD–WALK ON–WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT–I’M NEVER GONNA STOP LOVING YOU–DREAMER–IN SEARCH OF–THAT’S WHERE YOU COME IN

Texas-born piano man Glen Clark is one of the consummate storytellers of our generation.  He’s played with Willie, Kris, Bonnie Raitt, and, our favorite, his works with Delbert under the collective name of “Delbert And Glen.”  His songs have been recorded by legions of artists, and you can find his works in movies and TV, and on virtually all media platforms.  His move to L. A. led to the formation of The Glen Clark Band, and his first album in 25 years is entitled “You Tell Me.”  It is a continuation of the mix of blues, country, rock, gospel and soul that he has been bringing to fans over his entire musical life.

The party begins with a bad honky-tonker really layin’ it down, as our hero is, once again, “alone at the Motel 6,” as he ponders why “we keep making the same mistakes” in love, and the answer is, sadly, “You Tell Me and we’ll both know!”  “I Can Tell By Looking” is a soul-drenched ode to that one special lover, while, sometimes, “when you’ve given your best” with someone, finally you have to just “Walk On.”  Both these cuts evoke a strong Southern-rock vibe, with vocals that will bring to mind Gregg Allman.

We had two favorites, too.  Our hero is layin’ low for a lover who’s gonna need him one day, “When The Time Is Right!”  This one is stone funky thru and thru, and was co-written by Steve Cropper.  The set closes with an E Street Band-ish groove of a tale of a man who’s all but given up, but, “That’s Where You Come In, to save me with your love!”

Getting a chance to review a set from an artist the magnitude of Glen Clark has been an honor, a privilege, and, above all, a helluva lot of fun!  “You Tell Me” continues the gigantic legacy of this brilliant composer!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

Willie Buck review…March 8, 2019….

WILLIE BUCK

WILLIE BUCK WAY

DELMARK RECORDS  DE 857

YOU WANT ME TO TRUST YOU–ALL I’M DOIN’ IS THINKING OF YOU–BOTTOM OF THE HILL–I GOT YOU AND YOU GOT ME–CAN’T SAY SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT ME–THERE’S A WOMAN–MY MIND FROZE UP–CRAWLIN KING SNAKE–I GIVE SO MUCH TO YOU–HECK OF A TIME–THE MEN OUGHT TO LEARN TO TREAT THE WOMEN RIGHT–PLEASE HAVE MERCY–LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE–WILLIE BUCK WAY–TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN–BLUES BEFORE SUNRISE–I’D RATHER LOVE YOU

Everybody’s favorite “Cell Phone Man,” Chicago blues legend Willie Buck, is back with his first set since 2012, a robust seventeen cuts that add up to “Willie Buck Way” for Delmark Records.  There are twelve originals and well-done covers from Muddy, Leroy Carr, and others.  The backing crew is just as stellar, including Billy Flynn and Thaddeus Krolicki on guitars, Johnny Iguana and Big Spider Back on keys, Bob Stroger on bass, Jimmi Maye on drums, and three killer harpoon men–Scott Dirks, Mervyn “Harmonica” Hinds, and the aforementioned Big Spider Back.

Willie has a surprisingly-powerful upper-register vocal delivery, and he’s been bringing these blues to his fans ever since he hit big town back in ’53.  There are plenty of highlights, too, starting off with Willie’s original, “You Want Me To Trust You, but I don’t know what you want me to do!”  It’s embellished by Scott’s harp and Johnny’s piano, too!  Willie’s “women problems’ continue with “I Give So Much To You, why don’t you act right?”  “Meet me at the Bottom Of The Hill” revisits the “Cell Phone Man” theme, while Willie offers up some sage advice over Billy’s cool guitar, “The Men Ought To Learn To Treat The Women Right.”  The band cooks with gas on one of our favorites,  Willie’s ode to the honorary street named for him, “Willie Buck Way,” while our other favorite is a nod to his Delta roots.  Willie was born near Tupelo, MS, in Houston, MS,  and Thaddeus’ acoustic guitar and harp from Harmonica Hinds take Willie back down home with “My Mind Froze Up.”

Willie Buck is one of the scant few remaining bluesmen who got their careers started during the heyday of the Fifties who is still standing, performing, and relevant today.  Take a spin down “Willie Buck Way” and hear this legend for yourself!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

The Rev. Shawn Amos review…March 7, 2019….

THE REV. SHAWN AMOS

KITCHEN TABLE BLUES, VOL. 1

PUT TOGETHER MUSIC

OOH LA LA–HOLD ON–WHIP IT–HAVE LOVE WILL TRAVEL–JESUS GONNA BE HERE

California bluesman Rev. Shawn Amos first grabbed our attention a few years back with a monster version of one of our GOAT’s—those “Hoodoo Man Blues.”  A gritty harp style and passionate vocal delivery is his forte’, and he parlayed it all into a cool YouTube series that ran for some 90 Sundays back in 2016-2017.  During this time, every Sunday, the ordained minister within the Universal Life Church, whose father, Wally Amos, was the founder of those Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies, would invite guests into his kitchen, and he’d cook and play music, and generally have a bluesy good time.  He has graced us with a five-song EP of selections from the goings-on during those festivities, entitled “Kitchen Table Blues, Vol. 1.”

The five cuts are all staples from the canon of popular music, and all are done with the Rev’s special touch.  Banjo and accordion are the main instruments in the leadoff tale of a man looking back and wishing “I knew then what I know now,” from the Faces, “Ooh La La.”  Alabama Shakes are represented by an acoustic guitar, horn-fueled read of “Hold On,” while the Rev. gets down ‘n’ dirty on the harp on a gotta-hear-it-to-believe-it read of Devo’s “Whip It,” and a grungy version of a Sixties’ garage-rock staple from the Sonics, “Have Love, Will Travel.”  The set closes on a note of positivity with a nod to better days a-comin’, with a blues-gospel take on Tom Waits’ “Jesus Gonna Be Here,,” as the Rev. gets increasingly fired-up as the song progresses!

The Rev. Shawn Amos can take virtually any song and make it his own personal statement, as evidenced by the five cuts from, literally, his kitchen table.  Enjoy “Kitchen Table Blues Vol. 1,” and hang on ’til May for Volume 2.  Rev, just like with your daddy’s cookies, five sho’ nuff just ain’t enough!! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.