Andy B.AND review…April 19, 2017….

ANDY B.AND

MY ROOTS ARE SHOWING

SELF-RELEASED

GREAT TIME COMIN’–ONE MORE RIVER–IN MY DREAMS–SLOW DANCIN’ BAREFOOT–MARY ELLIS–BREAK SOMEONE ELSE’S HEART–BETTER DO SOMETHING ‘BOUT THAT–INCANDESCENT LIGHTBULB BLUES–MY BABY’S GONE

For the last 25 years or so, Andy B. (Bernstein) has been the driving force behind roots-rockers The VooDUDES.  When they recently celebrated the quarter-century mark as a band, Andy realized he had several songs that didn’t quite musically “fit in”  with the sound the ‘DUDES were creating.  But, the expanding Americana, blues-rock, and other niches’ were a perfect forum for these cuts, nine of which comprise “My Roots Are Showing.”  Luckily, he discovered us thru fellow bluesman Bob Lanza, and these showcase his writing versatility across several genres.’

We were unfamiliar with Andy, and much had been made of his vocals, with one scribe comparing his voice to a “whiskey bottle lined with gravel.”  As for us, we likened him to more of a “full-grown baritone” along the lines of Music City legend Webb Wilder.

The set begins waaaay back in history 3000 years or so, with Moses standing on the Rock and declaring “let my people go,” and ends with a clarion call for peace and unity, knowing the end may be “closer than it seems,” “Great Time Comin.”  Gary Ambrosy adds a fine touch on the dobro, too.  Next up is the Sun-drenched gospel-rockabilly of “One More River,” with Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Mohammed all “sittin’ at the table!”

A couple of cool Fifties-inspired tunes are up next, “In My Dreams,” which features accordion from the set’s producer, John Pittas, and wailin’ sax from John Asti.  Then there’s one for all the lovers out there who enjoy “Slow Dancin’ Barefoot On Valentine’s Day!”

Our favorite was easy.  That fiddle from Perry Leandro adds a ragtimey feel to Andy’s ode to Thomas A. Edison and his “Incandescent Light Bulb Blues,” that “don’t burn in Jersey no more!”

Our only wish for “My Roots Are Showing” is that it could’ve been a little longer.  Andy B. draws from blues, soul, gospel, and rock to bring fans a strong collection of tunes that will undoubtedly appeal to a broad cross-section of fans!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Godboogie review…April 18, 2017….

GODBOOGIE

PLAY MUSIC AND DANCE

VIZZTONE LABEL GROUP

PLAY MUSIC AND DANCE–HONEY BADGER–WOUNDED–IT’S A PARTY–KITTY–SO FAR AWAY–SIGN OF THE TIMES–DRAGON KING–THE WAY TO HEAVEN–REAL DUDE–CALL ON MY LOVE–WORKSHOP–TIGERS, HORSES, KINGS, AND QUEENS

Jerome Godboo has been rockin’ the blues in Toronto as well as all around the world for the last 30 years or so.  A mean harp-man, he sho’ nuff won Best Harp at the 2014 IBC’s, and he’s got a gritty, soulful vocal style, too.  He’s joined forces with Eric Schenkman, guitarist for the Spin Doctors,  Shawn Kellerman, bassist for Lucky Peterson, and drummer Gary Craig, who most recently was a part of the touring band backing the singers from the “Nashville” TV series, to form a “supergroup” of sorts, entitled Godboogie.  The four of ’em have just released “Play Music And Dance,” for the Vizztone group.  It’s a potent blend of all band originals that draws from all their combined influences and crosses several genres,’ while making sure that having a good time is front and center.

That’s the vibe of the set-opening title cut, as Jerome lays down a Fat Tuesday groove as he doubles on vocals and accordion, reminding us all to enjoy life, for it is much too soon over, and “Play Music And Dance!”  “It’s A Party” is a stone slab of funk that keeps the bon temps rouletting, while the ‘fore-day creep of “Kitty” ponders the musical question, has anybody seen my Kitty/there’s a pain in my chest where she used to be.”  “So Far Away” is chooglin’ boogie-blues at its finest, while the more somber tune regarding the sadly-ultimate escape from an abuser finds Jerome wondering aloud if she ever found “The Way To Heaven.”

We had two favorites, too.  the set closes on a positively-Hendrixian note, as “Tigers, Horses, Kings, And Queens” explains how to hold on to a lover, and uses swirling guitar and harp interplay that builds to a crackling climax.  And, “Wounded” is a minor-key classic that has a decidedly  Chicago’s-West-Side flavor in the vein of Jimmy Dawkins, Otis Rush, or Magic Sam Maghett.

You can’t beat these guys for uniqueness and a flair for great blues-rock.  Let Jerome Godboo and the fellows of Godboogie  lift your spirits high with “Play Music And Dance.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Davis Coen review…Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017…

DAVIS COEN

THESE THINGS SHALL PASS

SOUNDVIEW RECORDS  SP 1008

WORKING FOR JESUS–STAND BY YOU–DIAMONDS IN YOUR BACKYARD–SAINT CHRISTOPHER–WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS–SHIFTING THE TIDE–JESUS’ HAND (FEAT. PATRICK MCCLARY)–LORD, LET ME DO RIGHT–YOU ARE THE ONLIEST (GOD I KNOW)–THESE THINGS SHALL PASS–LESSER MAN–OLD RUGGED CROSS

Just like us, Davis Coen grew up in the South, y’all–more specifically, in Mississippi, and his music reflects everything he absorbed as a young man.  His roots lie in a country-blues-gospel style, and his tenth album overall is perhaps his most ambitious  project to date.  He’d always wanted to do an entirely-gospel based set, and “These Things Shall Pass” fills the bill.  It is twelve cuts mixing traditional old-time gospel favorites with some contemporary covers and originals that recall any typical Sunday Down South, at churches everywhere just like Bethany Baptist, whose sign adorns the front cover photo as well as the photo on the CD inlay.

No set of this nature would be complete without nods to the Southern gospel traditions, and Davis treats us to two good ‘uns, the piano-and-steel-driven “What A Friend We Have In Jesus,” and “The Old Rugged Cross,” which will be “exchanged some day for a crown.”  The latter features a swirling mandolin that adds to the authentic feel of this classic.

It’s what Davis does with the rest of the album that was impressive to us.  He leads off with a fine rendition of Willie Meeks’ “Working For Jesus, altho it’s hard sometimes.”  Shimmering guitar and keyboard lines clear the way for one of Davis’ originals,  “in the boat on the river deep and wide, with the Good Lord Shifting The Tide,” while Patrick McClary, from Billy Joe Shaver’s band, joins Davis on a tune they wrote together, done in that old-time tradition, “I keep holding on to Jesus’ Hand.”

Our favorite again featured Patrick, as he and Davis appeal to the patron saint of safe travels, with “swoop down, Saint Christopher, and ride with me!”  This one has a fine Delta-blues vibe, and those tinkling ivories add to the fun the fellows had with this one.

This is a season of rebirth and renewal, as well as one of eternal love and faith.  Thru the cuts on this album, Davis Coen reassures us that, as far as the tribulations of the world are concerned, “These Things Shall Pass,” and love will light the way!  Happy Easter, everyone!  Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

Steve Krase review,,,April 15, 2017…

STEVE KRASE

SHOULD’VE SEEN IT COMING

CONNOR RAY MUSIC  CRM 17-001

BRAND NEW THANG–CRAZY FOR MY BABY–LET THE FOUR WINDS BLOW–THE WORLD’S STILL IN A TANGLE–SHOT OF RHYTHM AND BLUES–SHOULD’VE SEEN IT COMING–TRAVELIN’ MOOD–TROUBLES, TROUBLES–MAKE YOU LOVE ME BABY–REPO MAN–WAY BACK HOME–SHOUL’VE SEEN IT COMING (EXPLICIT)–REPO MAN (EXPLICIT)

Steve Krase is known among blues fans as the harmonica force behind Trudy Lynn’s three albums for Connor Ray Music, and his live shows are the stuff of legend down on the Houston scene.  Steve’s fourth album for Connor Ray is “Should’ve Seen It Coming,” and features his high-octane harp on a thirteen-cut set of originals and covers, and also features guest appearances from Trudy, as well as guitarists Mark May and Bob Lanza.

Steve has a clever way with his lyrics, as can be heard on his originals, often spiced up with a touch of humor.  Right outta the gate is the loping swing of “Brand New Thang,” an ode to a lover who’s always “in the groove,” and Steve and Mark May lay down their own sweet groove on this one.  Steve pays a cool tribute to a couple of New Orleans legends, by way of Fats’ “Let The Four Winds Blow,” and Frogman Henry’s “Troubles, Troubles,” which features spirited interplay between Steve’s harp and Randy Wall’s piano.  The Texas twang of “Shot Of Rhythm And Blues, with a little rock and roll on the side” has Bob Lanza on guitar and Trudy on backing vocals.

We had three favorites, too.  Alisha Pattillo on sax has some call-and-response fun with Steve on harp on the cool story of the neighborhood “Repo Man,”  from whom there is “no place to hide!”  Trudy is on the backing vocals here, also.  Alisha’s sax is in play again on the title cut tale of an ill-advised affair with someone just a wee bit too young, “Should’ve Seen It Coming,” featuring Steve singing in a unique, echo-effect style.  And, in a hilarious remake of Jimmy Rogers’ classic story of social unrest in the Fifties’, Steve brings us “The World’s Still In A Tangle,” now full of “salmonella in my burger” and “E. Coli in my lettuce, too.”

Steve Krase was a semi-finalist at the 2017 IBC’s a few months ago, and intended for “Should’ve Seen It Coming” to be a set you can crank up in your car on your next road trip.  So, do indulge him and turn this one up—-LOUD!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Sipp review…April 14, 2017…

MR SIPP

KNOCK A HOLE IN IT

MALACO RECORDS  MCD 7551

KNOCK A HOLE IN IT–BAD FEELING–STALKING ME–SEA OF LOVE–GOTTA LET HER GO–GOING DOWN–BABY YOUR MINE–JUKE JOINT–STRINGS ATTACHED–TURN UP–LOVE DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE–LOVE YOURSELF–LITTLE WING

Castro Coleman is better-known to the blues and gospel community as that ol’ “Mississippi Blues Child,” Mr. Sipp.  Mississippi-born and raised,  he’s been involved in music all his life, beginning as a player in several gospel groups.  He joined the Malaco family in 2015, and is back with his latest set, a stomp-down good ‘un entitled “Knock A Hole In It.”  Sipp’s on guitar and vocals throughout, and that mighty axe cuts thru everything in its path over these thirteen originals.

Speaking of that axe, Sipp explains that he’s been “swinging it for thirty years” on the high-octane leadoff title cut, ready to “Knock A Hole In It.”  Next up is the gritty tale of a man with a “Bad Feeling that my baby’s got another man,” and then finds out the dangers of social media and somewhat over-zealous fans in a story that could only happen in the 21 st century, “Stalking Me.”

Sipp shows off his gospel roots with some mellow-riffic balladry on “Sea Of Love” and “Baby Your Mine,” and sho’ nuff gets his voodoo chile vibe on with “Going Down” and the set-closing “Little Wing,” which morphs into a sweet “Star Spangled Banner” at ’bout the six-minute mark.

Our favorite was easy.  Sipp is all about a good time, and where better can you have one than kickin’ it “down at the Juke Joint,” ridin’ that down-home riff for all it’s worth!

It wasn’t that long ago that another Southern soul legend, Theodis Ealey, urged us all to “Stand Up In It.”  Well, Mr. Sipp is poised to “Knock A Hole In It,” and, to paraphrase yet another very famous man, “you can bet your last money this one is a stone cold shot of sweet down-home blues!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

Todd Adelman review…April 10, 2017…

TODD ADELMAN AND THE COUNTRY MILE

TIME WILL TELL

PORCH LANTERN MUSIC  PLM 11106

TIRED OF BEING TIRED–ALL MY TEARS (BELONG TO YOU)–I’M GONNA LOVE YOU–COMING HOME-ROAD OF TIME–ALL THAT’S LEFT IS THE BLUES–IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU–NOT A DAY GOES BY–OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN–I’M NOT YOUNG ANY MORE–NOT SURE WHAT SCARES ME MORE–MY TOWN TOO–UNDERDOG–WILD WOMEN, WHISKEY, AND WEED

Nederland, Colorado is where Todd Adelman calls home.  He is a consummate storyteller, guitarist, and composer, and his latest album, (and sixth overall), this one for Porch Lantern Music, is entitled “Time Will Tell,” and the fourteen originals herein take a long look at love, getting old, changing social mores’, and numerous other aspects of coping with everyday life, often with tongue planted firmly in-cheek.  As you listen to these songs, you can tell that Todd has listened to his share of Townes, Willie, Jerry Jeff, Springsteen, Jason Isbell, and, even that “other Jason”–Ringenberg, of legendary Scorchers fame, and they all make the story-in-the-song the thing!

The first “love song” on the set isn’t the good kind.  No, with “Alll My Tears (Belong To You),” “you left me at the altar,” with “no keepsake to hold on to.”  But, when you do find that special one, be sure to follow the lead of “I’m Gonna Love You ’til the color fades out of my eyes!”

Having trouble coping with getting older?  Hey, it happens to us all, folks, but Todd reminds us in “I’m Not Young Any More” that “I once had Time, but she was a whore–she up and leaves you for another score.”   And, in answer to the question of whatever happened to “drive-ins, five-and-dime stores, and Woody Guthrie songs,” well, they’ve all “drifted away, down the Road Of Time.”

“If It Weren’t For You, I’d be a wrecking ball” is a fine shot of alt-country, as is the set-closer, the honky-tonkin’ good time that assures us that, “on the other side of the Pearly Gates,  I know there’s gonna be Wild Women, Whiskey, And Weed!”

We’ve all had our share of good times and hard times, but Todd Adelman And The Country Mile  use the tunes in “Time Will Tell” to let us all know that it’s ok to cry, laugh, have a drink or a toke, as long as you enjoy this set in helping you cope!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

 

Billy Flynn review…April 8, 2017…

BILLY FLYNN

LONESOME HIGHWAY

DELMARK  DE-850

GOOD NAVIGATOR–IF IT WASN’T FOR THE BLUES–SMALL TOWN–LONESOME HIGHWAY–THE “IN” CROWD–NEVER HAD A CHANCE–WAITING GAME–HOLD ON–THE LUCKY KIND–JACKSON STREET–LONG LONG TIME–THE RIGHT TRACK–YOU ARE MY LOVER–I FEEL ‘UM–BLUES EXPRESS–SUFFERIN’ WITH THE BLUES–CHRISTMAS BLUES

Billy Flynn is an amazingly-versatile guitarist, singer, and composer who has ten albums under his belt as a leader, but he may be best-known for his work as a sideman on a myriad of projects for other artists, including Kim Wilson, Jimmy Dawkins, The Cash Box Kings, and a host of others too numerous to mention.  It is fitting, then, that Billy gets his due from Delmark, as they issue his first release for them, “Lonesome Highway.”  It is sixteen originals plus one too-cool-for-school instrumental cover of “The “In” Crowd,” that shows not only what a mighty six-stringer he is, but just how good a writer, vocalist, and harp man he’s evolved into.

His uniqueness and versatility are why he is such an in-demand player for some of the world’s best bluesmen.  As we listened, we tried to guess in which direction he’d take the next tune, making this set tremendously fun to work with.  There’s the “West Side rules” funk of  “Never Had A Chance,” and again with the stinging “If It Wasn’t For The Blues, I wouldn’t have a song to sing.”  He boogies like ol’ John Lee on “Waiting Game,” and lets his slide do the talking, Robert Nighthawk-style on the tale of his favorite little “lovin’ machine,”  who lives “over on Jackson Street!”

Along with the aforementioned instrumental of Ramsey Lewis’ “In” Crowd,” there’s another good one, too.  Billy’s guitar is on fire ridin’ the “Blues Express,” fueled by Doug Corcoran’s trumpet.

We had two favorites, and they bookended the set.  Close your eyes and listen to Billy’s guitar lines on the set-closing “Christmas Blues,” and you’ll swear it’s B B and Lucille!  And, the set opens just like ringin’ a bell, with Billy and duet partner Deitra Farr gettin’ down with the Berry-licious tale of traveling thru life with that one special “Good Navigator!”

It is almost surreal the way Billy Flynn can emulate the styles and signatures of the legends, while making everything his own.  He writes from personal experiences and things he’s seen over countless hours on the road, making his Delmark debut, “Lonesome Highway,” one of the year’s best thus far!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.