MAY 2007


















Artist: PINETOP PERKINS
Title: Born in the Honey – The Pinetop Perkins Story
Label: Vizztone Label Group DVD/CD Sagebrush Productions SB101

For more information go to: www.pinetopperkins.com ,
www.sagebrushproductions.com , www.vizztone.com

With the sad news of the recent and untimely death of the legendary harp player Carey Bell, it is fortunate that a biographical DVD/CD release concerning a surviving member of the blues old guard has been made available; so, as to remind us all that some of them are still with us and have not yet become some obscure footnote in the ever changing story of the blues.

Whatever we might think or say, the fact remains that taxes and death are inescapable and before they both claim Pinetop he is going out in style; for even at the age of ninety three he is out there touring, recording and generally having fun.

The hour long DVD is basically split into two halves, the first is a running commentary on Pinetops’ early years with Sonny ‘boy’ Williamson, Robert Nighthawk and Earl Hooker; interspersed with comments from an impishly smiling and contented Pinetop, leading to his forced move north to Chicago, where he eventually became and stayed Muddy Waters piano player for twelve years. As the story unfolds we are shown a mixture of historical and recreated film clips, intermixed with stills. The second is a sparkling, interesting and extremely riveting mixture of  ‘off the cuff’ and  formal interviews of not only Pinetop himself but, also artists including; Bernard Allison, Sam Carr, Hubert Sumlin, Ike Turner, Bobby Rush, Koko Taylor, Bob Margolin and Kim Wilson to name but a few.

The bonus CD is a live hour long recording of Pinetop in concert in Chicago on the occasion of his eighty eighth birthday, the ten numbers on the disc amply display his relaxed demeanour, which is; sprightly, loose and comfortable; whether it is fast boogie, meaningful slow blues or simply running his fingers across the keys, he is still at the top of his game.

I do feel that the recreated stills and film clips featured in the first half-hour detract and distract from the riveting subject matter of Pinetops early life and influences as explained in the commentary. This though is really the only quibble I have with this DVD/CD set.

I have no hesitation in recommending these discs to you; for they are not only of historical interest but they are also, Bloody good too!

----- Brian Harman













































Artist: Gail “Mojo” Muldrow & the Funkin’ Blues Baby One
Title:
Raw, Live and Cool
Label: Feelin’ Good Records (no catalogue number)

Artist: Gail Muldrow
Title: It’s My Life
Label: Feelin’ Good Records (no catalogue number)

For more information, go to: www.gailmuldrow.com or www.feelingoodproductions.com and www.bluesartstudio.com

Here we have two live albums from Gail, both of which are extremely good examples of her astounding vocal and musical ability which exhibits not only rawness and rocking but also a more mature soulful sensitive side. The music on offer here is taken from her recent tour of Italy. Raw, Live & Cool was recorded on the 21st of October, 2006 at The Sonix Music Hall, Imola, and It’s My Life on the 28th of October, 2006 at La Cvavllerizza, Piacenza.

Gail, who was born in San Francisco in 1955 is now one of the few highly talented stalwart multi-instrumentalists that have been playing quality music in the San Francisco area for many  years now and apart from a few eagle-eyed fans only her fellow professionals have been aware of  her talented presence in their midst. To the general public she is only another sideman/woman. Only recently have her abilities and achievements become more widely known.

Early in her in playing career, 1975 in fact, Sly Stone (of ‘Sly & the Family Stone’) invited her to play on his album “High on You,” although at that time she used the name ‘Cousin Gale’. Shortly afterwards she joined the band ‘Graham Central Station’ and stayed with them for a couple of years. Since then she has, over the years played alongside many great artists including; Prince and Chaka Kahn; Gail, has since 1992 been a member of the Johnny Otis Show, when not on tour with Johnny Gail backs artists such as; Sugar Pie DeSanto. If all this is activity is not enough she is also an integral part of a loose group of ex-Sly &The family stone band members that have come together to create ‘Family without Stone’ and ‘The Family Stone Experience.’

Since the release of her debut album “Cleen Spirit” in 2003 Gail’s solo output has been somewhat sparse, but now in 2007 she is releasing these two stunning albums at the same time.

Both albums include similar track listings with numbers such as; Take Me to the River,” “Not Fade Away,” “I Just Wanna’ Make Love to You,” “Wang Dang Doodle,” and “Money,” to name but a few, but the style and manner of delivery is markedly different on each.
On R,L&C Gail takes lead vocals and lead guitar; backed by Luca Tonani; bass, Luca Zamponi; guitar and Lele Zamperini; drums.
The whole album is an engaging, enthusiastic performance with a good number of high points; featuring the raunchy funk filled guitar work of Gail who naturally leads from the front. The numbers are familiar yet fused with a zest and originality you may not have been expecting.
Gail’s wholly distinctive vocal style is energetic and confidently paced; with strong clear projection. That only comes from years of hard-working performances.

The set features a varying mixture of styles Blues, Soul, Funk and the slightest inkling of Rock; but please don’t despair this is an exhilarating, exciting album. However there is one problem with the album, whoever set up the microphones has managed to enable the listener to predominately hear the audience above the band. Please, do not let this fact put you off; for this is a very fine performance and should be heard and appreciated.

I, M, L, is a solo electric guitar and vocal piece which with its apparent starkness merely emphasises and focuses on Gail’s wonderfully evocative voice which I feel indicates that she must surely be ranked as highly as the undoubted talents of the likes of; Little Esther, Etta James and Tina Turner, also Her virtuosity on the guitar is particularly evident when displayed in the circumstances of a solo recording.

One number in particular, “Man’s Gotta’ Go” is highly critical and emotively poignant regarding the apparent indifference of the American Federal Government and  its relief agencies towards the victims of the flooding of New Orleans following in the wake of  hurricane Katrina.

The most remarkable aspect of this collection of numbers is the genuine freshness, enthusiasm and overall sparkling sound Gail imbues into what some might believe are clichéd and hackneyed songs. Once again, they are not all in the Blues bubble but we are treated to some very nice helpings of Blues, Soul and Funk. Also there is an inkling of R’&’R and R’n’B.

I highly recommend both these albums.

----- Brian Harman









Artist: Garry Cogdell, with The Complainers
Title:  Affection & Despair
Label: Self Produced

For more information go to: [email protected]

Here, Garry with his Complainers who are; John DiGiovanni ; drums and Gerry Kirk; bass, have together delivered an exquisite four track CD that just oozes with cool, cool dexterous acoustic, steel and electric blues.
Firstly we have a fuzzy steely electrifying shuffle with “The Key to the Highway,” followed by three original numbers; a lazy, hazy laid back “Quiet Day,” full of acoustic and steel picking that just simply epitomises the sun going down. “Womans Touch,” a groovin’ upbeat shuffle that has you looking forward to groovin’ with your loved one, and lastly, “Affection & Despair,” a slow, slow touchingly mournful electric guitar blues that helps you explore your more melancholy emotions.

Splendid, absolutely splendid!

----- Brian Harman



























MIKE GARNER
CAD’S ALLEY
KFCD-0507

SONGS: Help Yourself/ Billy The Kid/ Louisiana Hurricane/ Cad’s Alley/
Gonna Start Drinking Again/ Leaving Blues/ Have You Ever Loved A Woman/ Tsunami/ How Long Blues/ Love Your Mama/ My Babe Knows What I Like/ What Were You Doing/ Pay Your Blues/ Two Trains Running


Mike Garner, who lives in New Zealand, is a versatile and talented musician and composer. He sings impressive, clear vocals and plays many instruments, including acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, mandolin, and Tahitian ukulele. He wrote nine out of the fourteen songs on this fifth CD. They vary from ballads to boogies to different styles of blues. Two of his ballads are about the Hurricane Katrina and the Malaysian Tsunami and the other ballad is about “Billy The Kid.” This song is a chance to hear the unique djembe, a goblet-shaped African drum, played by percussionist, Warren Houston, one of the three regulars in Mike’s band. The third band member is Nigel Masters, who plays upright and electric bass.

There are seven guest artists on the CD, including Mike’s son, Paul, who plays electric guitar and does background vocals on the repetitive, jazzzy tune, “Love Your Mama.” Mike wrote “Leaving Blues” for Jan Preston, Australia’s queen of boogie piano. Jan adds a solid dimension of early Chicago boogie piano on this track.  Mike’s other boogie is in the style of John Lee Hooker’s boogie, and is the title track of the album. It is about a real place in Singapore which is in the red light district, Bugis Street. Mike plays some very tasty harmonica here as he does in other tunes. There are complete lyrics to most of Mike’s songs in the liner notes.

Many of the songs have a delightful contrast between the rhythm patterns and the vocals. For example, in “Pay Your Dues,” there is a ragtime flavor in the rhythm while Mike states that one has to pay their dues to play the blues. There is a great mandolin and slide guitar backup that contrasts the message in “My Babe Knows What I Like.” His covers of songs are not at all like the originals. His tinkly Tahitian ukukele sound is reminiscent of the Cook Island version of Freddy King’ s song, “Have You Ever Loved a Woman.” The piece de resistance is the very melodic and sweet sound of his Hawaiian style slide in Leroy Carr’s “How Long Blues.” This track is a favorite. Mike must have really stripped down “Two Trains Running,” by Jimi Hendrix to a delta acoustic blues, since it is difficult to imagine Jimi being that basic.


This CD is very imaginative, entertaining, and well-done. It could hold one’s interest through many playings. It is a good representation of Mike Garner’s many talents. Check out his website:
http://www.mikegarner.co.nz for further details or order his CDs from:
http://www.cdkiwi.com .

----- Maria Bainer






















This review has been complimentary written for
your newsletter
by Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro,
a contributing writer for BLUESWAX,
BluesART
and the Blues Editor at www.Mary4Music.com
where you can read many more CD and live show reviews,
view lots of blues photographs and find an abundance of blues material. I can be reached at [email protected]

SMILING JACK SMITH
"THIS BLUE BEFORE"

ROOT CELLAR RECORDS

What are the highlights you like to hear while listening to the blues.  Is it scorching blues guitar riffs?  A very funky horn section or some sexy and sultry saxophone?  Good ol' boogie woogie piano or a lot of hot Hammond organ playing?  Strong rocking rhythm?  Outstanding, versatile vocals that knock your socks off?  Well, If you picked "all of the above", then SMILING JACK SMITH'S new disc "THIS BLUE BEFORE" will surely get you smiling like JACK.

The musicians appearing on this excellent disc are: JACK SMITH, writer of all tracks, on vocals and guitar; DAVE VIDAL on guitar; MILES BLACK on piano, clavinet and B3; QUIQUE VILLAFANE on drums; KEN LISTER on double bass; MIKE HERRIOT on trumpet and trombone; MONIK NORDINE on baritone sax; PHIL DWYER on tenor sax.

On the very funky opening track it doesn't seem like JACK has too much to smile about - again!  After returning home and realizing his lady is no longer his, he gets a bad case of the "DEJA BLUES"....all over again.  This is a great track for introducing the listener to the band.  It features just enough nice work on each instrument to make you want to hear a lot more.

"DON'T YOU BREAK MY HEART" opens slowly with PHIL getting real sultry on the tenor sax and the other horns providing him equally sultry backup.  As for the vocals, if there's such a course in music schools called "blues singing" this is the song they'd have to study.  Undoubtedly one of this discs best tracks.
Unfortunately for JACK, and in spite of music being a comfort and whiskey dulling the pain,  "THE BLUES COME BACK AGAIN".  Another great track on which MILES gets it going, first on piano then again on the B3 and the horns are in a constant tight groove.
"I FOUND THE BLUES AGAIN".....something JACK seems to do a lot.....has several nice tempo changes, and when the tempo is up, it's way up.  MILES again rips it up on piano and KEN & QUIQUE provide some hot and rockin' rhythm.
"EL PESADO" is an all too short instrumental featuring three very nice leads from DAVE on guitar, MILES on organ and PHIL on tenor, while the rest of the band is cruising in a nice tight jam.  A few more minutes of this, I could have easily taken.
One of my all time favorite vocalists is VAN MORRISON and on "SAVE MY LIFE" I would have sworn I was listening to him.  I always thought his style of delivering a song was incomparable - until now.  I'm stunned at how well JACK sung this song.  This one is all about the vocals.
In addition to "WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND AGAIN" being very upbeat, it's also very uplifting.  It took ten tracks, but SMILING JACK is smiling again.  This is one of those very well written songs in which the lyrics should be lived - by everyone - rather than sung.  Even the musicians' solos sound happy.
On the title and closing track, JACK never felt "THIS BLUE BEFORE", and he sounds it.  Other than to use the word amazing, I can't even begin to describe the style of vocals on this track.  They're soft but very deep, partially being sung, partially being spoken and sometimes almost being whispered.  This seven minute track, which features some of the best blues guitar riffs heard on this disc and features an absolutely beautiful trumpet solo by MIKE, is another one of the discs best.

With eight months and about 30 - 35 more reviews ahead of me, as of now, this is the one to beat if you're going to win the BLEWZZY.  Give JACK SMITH a look at www.smilingjacksmith.com and tell him the Blewzzman said he's got something for you to smile about.
 
----- PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO


















This review has been complimentary written for
your newsletter
by Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro,
a contributing writer for BLUESWAX,
BluesART
and the Blues Editor at www.Mary4Music.com
where you can read many more CD and live show reviews,
view lots of blues photographs and find an abundance of blues material. I can be reached at [email protected]

ROBERT PECKMAN
"STIRRING UP BEES"

BONEDOG RECORDS

"STIRRIN' UP BEES" may very well be the farthest I've ever strayed from the blues.  My regular readers pretty much know that if it's not straight up blues, or at least something pretty close, I'm not even listening to it let alone writing about it.  Yet something about this disc - which features songs sounding  more like 60's or 70's R&B, Soul and Funk rather than blues - caught my fancy.  I guess it's just a combination of the good writing, good vocals and good musicianship.

"STIRRIN' UP BEES" features fourteen tracks of which thirteen are ROBERT PECKMAN originals.  Joining ROBERT on lead vocals, background vocals, bass and percussion are: BRANDON BARNES on drums; JIMMY BRITON on keyboards, vibes and background vocals; STEVE DALACH on guitar; DAN DONOHOE on trumpet; ROBBIE KLEIN on saxophones; JOHNNY DAYE and BO WAGNER on lead and background vocals; PETE HEWLETT on background vocals.
If you're a dancer, you'd be heading to the dance floor three seconds into the opening track, "PUT IT IN THE POCKET".  I'm not, but it even had me feeling like stepping up from the keypad and bouncing around my office.  Everyone's at their peak on this track - what a way to open.  This is fierce funk at it's finest.
Telling a joke that isn't funny, robbing a bank and getting no money, and "STIRRING UP BEES".....and not getting any honey.....are all comparisons as to what's happening to ROBERT as he makes his move on a woman.  At least the song sounds a lot better than ROBERT'S doings.  Great vocals and horns on this one.
"A MAN MUST STAND FOR SOMETHING"......or he will fall for anything, is another sample of some of the very well written lyrics on this disc.  The vocals - lead, background and harmony - highlight one of this discs highlights.
Once again, along with the horns getting very funky, the vocals and harmonizing rise to the top on this very "top ten type" Motown sounding track titled "STOP AND TAKE A LOOK".  This one's for singing along with.
"LETS TALK IT OVER" features STAX recording artist JOHNNY DAYE, who prior to this recording had not been in a studio since 1968.  Amazing, after nearly a forty year layoff he sounds like what most singers today wish they could sound like.  After hearing what I just heard, I'm thinking - and certainly hoping, that a comeback could be a strong possibility.  Great rhythm and guitar on this one, which the slow dancers will absolutely love.
"DON'T BE A REAPER" will definitely get you movin' & shoutin'. More great lyrics and harmony are featured on this wonderful Gospel track. Great drum and piano work by BRANDON and JIMMY add to another one of this discs highlights.

Other tracks included on "STIRRIN' UP BEES" are: "BAMBOOZLED", "PLEASE COME HOME" "I WANNA GO DOWN TO NEW ORLEANS", "BETTY CAN GET MAD", "SLEEPIN' ON THE JOB", "JUST A FEW WORDS", "HEY JOHN R" and "STRUGGLIN".

Although my name is the Blewzzman and NOT the Rhythm & Blewzzman,  I'll have to admit that this little stroll outside the blues genre was a most enjoyable listening pleasure. ROBERT PECKMAN will never convert me however, he did impress me.

----- PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO












DAVE HOLE
ROUGH DIAMOND
Blind Pig Records BPCD 5114

SONGS: Rough Diamond Child/ Can’t Stop Loving You/ Vintage Wine/Yours For A Song/White Trash Girl/ Since I Met You Baby/ I’ll Get To You/ Something Inside of Me/ Rambling On My Mind/ Think It Over/ I’m A King Bee

Dave Hole’s  awesome slide guitar playing is always amazing to hear. In fact just concentrating on his mesmerizing slide guitar playing throughout the CD is a trip in itself. This talented, versatile player can go from a very melodic blues to a rockin’ Hendrix-like style, and points in between, on this CD. His guitar soars, stings, and sings. Dave puts his all into each tune. His vocals blend well with the band. He puts his unique sound with all the eleven tracks, whether it be four of his originals, an incessant boogie, or cover songs of some his favorite bluesmen. His highly entertaining style and his incredible talent are mind-boggling!

Hailing from Perth, Australia, Dave has been recording for fifteen years. This CD is his first release on the Blind Pig label. Over this time, he has released nine CDs and toured North America and Europe, and has gained international fame. He is regarded as one of the very best slide guitarists playing today. This CD showcases his talents in high style. It is an excellent one to add to your collection. This CD will be released on the Black Cat Label (through Shock ) in Australia on May 19,2007. This CD will be available in Europe on the Dixie Frog Label. Check his website: www.davehole.com for further information, or to order his CDs.

----- Maria Bainer







ABRAM WILSON
Ride! Ferris Wheel To The Modern Day Delta
Dune CD016
www.dune-music.com       www.abramwilson.com

The young trumpeter and singer Abram Wilson was born in Arkansas, raised in New Orleans and now lives in London, where he has established himself as a leading light on the UK jazz scene. With this set he relates the fictional story of Albert Jenkins, a talented trumpeter set to take over the family’s jazz club but who opts instead to tour with a hip-hop brass band, a path leading to tragedy.
The music is wonderful – blues and jazz intertwine inseparably, with the blues guitar of Giorgio Serci and the incredible harmonica playing of Errol Linton mixing freely and naturally with New Orleans brass band styled music and even the harmonically advanced Charles Mingus/ Art Ensemble Of Chicago styled jazz of some tracks – try ‘Blow To The Head (Part 1)’ or ‘After The Storm’ for good examples. This set covers the ground from work-songs to hip-hop and is indeed a wonderful and thought-provoking listening experience. I hope Abram will do more in this style – he is already touring this album with a blues trio, the Londonorleans Brass Band and his jazz group. Very, very impressive......

----- Norman Darwen






CLAUDIO SCOLARI
Dreams And Emotions Of City
Principal Records SCSV03
www.claudioscolari.com

Experimental Italian composer and drummer/ percussionist/ pianist Claudio Scolari has come up with a set that should certainly intrigue and fascinate the more (or very!) broad-minded blues lover. Whilst some tracks seem to owe almost everything to contemporary classical music or free form jazz, and some are poems, music that sets a mood and creates images in the listener’s mind, some are jazzy in a Duke Ellington or Miles Davis kind of way thanks to the trumpet playing of Simone Scolari.

The closing number is almost – almost - conventional jazz-funk. Several feature the unfettered electric blues playing of guitarist Donnie Romano, who can play sweet and melodic (try ‘City Man’) or out-and –out blues-rock (take a listen to ‘Calatrava’s Bridge’ or ‘Walk Out In The City’) . This may not be the kind of thing you’ll play over and over again but it is certainly intriguing and a different use of blues shadings. Claudio obviously does not believe in playing it safe!

----- Norman Darwen






Katherine Davis
“Rock This House – Live!”.
The Sirens 2006.
www.thesirensrecords.com/

Fabulous record of singer Katherine Davis, which becomes a prime masterpiece for its amazing beauty and flavour. For the cd Davis has chosen a band with high level musicians and great instrumentists "The Chicago Blues Ensemble". Leaded by piano player Erwin Helfer, they include two generations of musicians, John Brumback, John Whitfield and Willie Henderson among the older ones and Kenny Smith or Lurrie Bell among the second generation. Katherine Davis is a real diva with an immense impressive voice who performs with a charismatic tone twelve powerful convincing songs, including some classic standards like ‘Rock This House’ or Stella Mama Yancey’s "Make Me a Pallet On The Floor” she had so often performed together with Erwin Helfer during her last living years. Great album which becomes essential to good music lovers and specially Katherine Davis’ good fans. GREAT.

----- Vicente Zúmel






JAN PRESTON
Boogie Boots
(own label)
www.janpreston.com

Born and raised in New Zealand and now based in Australia, Jan is indeed the Antipodean boogie queen – but as this admirable album shows, there is much more to her than a simple ‘beat me daddy, eight to the bar’! Yes, she can boogie – try the opening Jimmy Yancey inflected title track, but she can play that good old rocking R’n’B – take a listen to ‘Rocking Pneumonia’, ‘She Walked Right In….’ or ‘Ugly Papa’ for three very different but extremely accomplished examples; she can write some excellent and memorable songs – ‘Eat Chocolate And Cry’, ‘Driving Back To Sydney’ and ‘Angel, Having Trouble With My Wings’ are all very fine – and she can summon up days long gone: ‘Small Town Girl’ is very personal, reminiscent of ‘St. James Infirmary’ (nice tuba too), whilst ‘Winnie Played The Rag’ will bring a smile to the face of anyone who ever heard or saw the popular Jamaican born entertainer (and raggy pianist) Winifred Atwell.
Jan has some excellent musicians helping her out and she is generous with the instrumental breaks, making this a richly varied and totally enjoyable listening experience.

----- Norman Darwen








JUJU CHILD
Roots & Soul
(own label)
www.jujuchild.com

R. Jamil Williams was born in New Orleans and raised in Mississippi and has played jazz, blues, reggae and zydeco. He now lives in France and works with an international band making a sound that is unlike any other outfit around on the blues scene. As far as I am aware this is his only CD – and it is definitely a good ‘un. Juju opens with an African inflected blues and I hope he will develop this style; he then dives headfirst into a full-blown and full-blooded tribute to (but not an imitation of) John Lee Hooker and then continues in his own distinctive fashion, with the support of some excellent musicians. He can play and sing convincing straight blues – there is a lovely cover of Hooker’s ‘Dimples’, though again, in no way a straight imitation - as well as displaying a slight seventies jazz influence in places, and the closing ‘Color Doesn’t Matter’ is an excellent genre hopping effort (containing a rap in French) with an important message.

Hopefully we will hear more from young Mr.Juju soon. This is an excellent CD from an artist (oh yes, he painted the rather nice cover too!) who should have a big future ahead of him.


----- Norman Darwen








KARA MAGUIRE
Nobody’s Girl
Albatross 001
www.albatrossblues.com

Originally from the East Coast and now working out of Los Angeles, Kara is an excellent, expressive young vocalist fronting a smoking band of the city’s veteran musicians in an original programme of mainly Chicago styled blues and gutsy rhythm & blues – nice to note this is fairly straight, with little modern rock influence.
Kara is extremely talented but I have to admit that it would be difficult not to sound good with the backing of guitarists Tom Harkenrider (who also produces) and Jerry Rosen (who wrote much of this fine material), bassist Tyler Pederson and drummer Paul Fasulo, whilst harp maestro J.T. Ross adds some extremely fine playing to several tracks.
And just to show that she knows just what that California swing-blues is all about, she throws in ‘Drive Me Crazy’, a wonderful example, to finish off a memorable CD. Remember Kara Maguire’s name – we will be hearing a lot more of it.

----- Norman Darwen






Bobby Rush
“Live At Ground Zero Blues Club”.
Music Video Distributors 2007. (DVD).
mvdb2b.com/

I was lucky to enjoy Bobby Rush’s show at a jazz club near Barcelona about four years ago and I was pleasantly surprised. In this recently recorded DVD, Rush appears with all his ‘troupe’ and give us a superb live show from Ground Zero Blues Club. For fifty years Bobby has been into the music business world and he has become a huge singer, song writer, showman, musician and entertainer who will give joy, excitement and feeling to the most impassive human being.

The DVD gathers eleven songs, all them full of blues, funk, rhythm & blues and soul/blues, where he shows all the magic, bright coloured and poweful passion he is able to give in every show he does, full of provocative sexuality together with en enormous professionality and mastery he has for years for years been performing along the afroamerican black southern circles with great impact, In fact people who have seen him always say they have been totally fascinated by the powerful communication, joy and happiness he always transmits on stage.
A dvd jewel you should take into account, not only for those of you who love Bobby Rush but also for those people who have seen him in Martin Scorsese’s blues documentary film ‘The Road To Memphis’, directed by Richard Pearce, which was mostly devoted to B.B. King and Bobby Rush. ESSENTIAL.

----- Vicente Zúmel



MATEJ PTASZEK & LUBOS BENA
Sound From The Street
Tonstudio Rajchman
www.lubosbena.sk

A nicely old-fashioned programme of folk-blues and older blues styles is what is on offer here from singer and harmonica man Matej from tahe Czech Republic and the excellent resonator guitarist Lubos from Slovakia, who proves himself a wonderful rhythm player with that true ‘down south’ sound. Matej’s fine harp work draws a lot from the first Sonny Boy Williamson and the pre-war players, but it is his authentic, world-weary vocals that take the listener by surprise. He sings through an old gramophone horn that imparts a real depth to his voice and which is also visually quite stunning – and no doubt attracts a lot of interest when the two men are playing on the streets However, this is no mere novelty release but a fine blues CD that will interest those who like their blues plain and simple – and that is a recommendation in my book!

----- Norman Darwen










THE SEAN CARNEY BAND
Life Of Ease
Nite Owlz Records
www.seancarneyband.com

I knew this was going to be good before I’d even listened to it. You see, there is a fine cover photograph of Sean with a hollow-bodied guitar in the background, the material is mostly original but the covers are from the likes of T-Bone Walker, Pee Wee Crayton, and Louis Jordan and guesting on vocals on two cuts is the late great Joe Weaver, one of the unsung pioneers of Detroit blues. As it turns out, I was correct. Sean is a fine vocalist in his own right, with just the right timbre for that early post-war R&B sound he so obviously loves. His guitar playing is equally impressive, and his taste impeccable – all lovers of that early fifties Texas/ California style should check this one out as he ranges from the aforementioned mentioned Pee Wee style to Albert Collins, but always maintaining a tasteful approach.

He has a first-class band comprising the pulsing Steve Perakis on upright bass and Eric Blume on drums, John Popovich excelling on piano and organ, and Chuck Moore on tenor and baritone saxes. They are augmented by many others, most notably (although it is a little unfair to single anyone out) King Saxe Gene Walker, and other guest vocalists include a vibrant Teeny Tucker on one number and a mighty fine Willie Pooch on two others. A lot of time and love has gone into this release and it shows – the final result is certainly worth the effort.

----- Norman Darwen








SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE McGHEE
Whoopin’ The  Blues

SPV 49402

LITTLE RICHARD
He’s Got It
SPV 49412

PERCY MAYFIELD
My Blues
SPV 49422

LOUIS JORDAN
Jack You’re Dead
SPV 49432

www.SPV.de

If you don’t know who these people are, buy these CDs.

Wait, I suppose I had better write more than that. These four releases may seem to cover a lot of ground, from Sonny & Brownie to Little Richard, but in truth, the gap is not quite as wide as it may seem. At one time Sonny & Brownie were seen as the epitome of the ‘folk-blues’, but as these recordings, covering the years 1944 to 1955 show, they could not only perform rural-sounding East coast blues and its transplanted New York form, but they were just as happy recording Rhythm and Blues material – try ‘I’d Love To Love You’ or ‘Dangerous Woman (With A 45 In Her Hand’) - as they were performing for the folk revivalists. Little Richard’s CD starts with 1951’s rhythm & blues but as the set progresses he begins to do justice to his reputation as ‘the wild man of rock ‘n’ roll’ and the string of hits for Specialty is very impressive. Percy Mayfield was one of the blues’ most gifted songwriters, but that is to overlook the fact he was also a fine performer in the West Coast blues style and a big influence on Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, whilst Louis Jordan should certainly need no introduction, and neither should the jumping material on his set (although the later Aladdin sides may be less familiar).

I’ll add to that opening statement: “if you don’t have this material, these are essential recordings”. In fact they are part of the Essential Blue Archive, in slimline digipaks and with fine notes from Neil Slaven. As Louis Jordan says, “Let the good times roll!”

----- Norman Darwen







TOM FELDMANN & THE GET-RITES
Side Show Revival
Magnolia Recording Company MRC003
www.tomfeldmann.com

Now this is something a little different – Minneapolis based singer guitarist and songwriter Tom Feldmann has a gravelly, lived-in voice that is just perfect for the kind of Blind Willie Johnson styled songs he tackles here, and he also has a knack for the kind of bluegrass gospel vocal that merited the phrase ‘the high, lonesome sound’ in the first place.
So far, so good, if not so entirely unexpected since the movie ‘Oh Brother Where Art Thou?’ A little less obvious though is the rhythm section of the Get-Rites, upright bass courtesy of Paul Liebenow and drums from Jed Staack, plus a guest vocalist on one track and a guest vocalist on another – their playing is occasionally akin to the rhythm section behind Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup on his influential Victor recordings. On some track though it sounds like hip-hop rhythms, which bring a completely different and contemporary feel to this album – and it works so well, a little like listening to a live band playing the kind of sampled, remixed sound that is popular in some quarters. Yes, I liked this one a lot…..


----- Norman Darwen






















EDDIE TAYLOR JR.
Mind Game
Wolf 120.813 CD
www.wolfrec.com


The Taylor family is a Chicago blues dynasty. Eddie Taylor Sr.’s multipurpose rhythm guitar drove the majority of Jimmy Reed’s 1950s and 1960s hits. The senior Taylor would sit in front of Reed in the studio, coaching him when to sing, blow harmonica, and play guitar. Taylor Sr.'s records did not sell as well as Jimmy Reed’s did, so he spent the vast majority of his career as a sideman. He died in 1985 leaving behind an American music legacy as well as his seriously talented offspring. “We’re proud of our heritage,” states his third son Eddie Jr., who is now in his 30s. On his second CD, Eddie (guitar, vocals) is assisted by several siblings who include the drumming of Tim (a shuffle king) and Larry along with the singing of Brenda, Demetria, and Edna. Aided by rhythm guitarists, bass, and piano, they perform traditional electric Chicago blues.

An accurate account of what Chicago’s modern blues scene has to offer can be heard on Mind Game. Pink Champagne contains Detroit Jr.’s rollicking keyboard and a guitar twang that listeners will associate with Jimmy Reed. More informed listeners will realize this sound was originated by Eddie Taylor Sr. Magic Sam’s That’s All I Need is an urban groove that I dare say can only be achieved by Chicago blues bands. I’ve Made Nights By Myself is a basic shuffle groove with big, fat sounding notes plucked succinctly on guitar in the vein of the song’s writer Albert King. Sugar Pie DeSanto’s Use What You Got is the definitive take on whether size really matters. Forty-Four is one of my all time favorite blues standards, but Taylor Jr. only gives it a tolerable reading. His vocals fail to present the essence on yet another classic Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home. There are only two songs which were written by Eddie Jr. The rhythm of his Trying To Play A Mind Game is simple, but it’s heartfelt and soulful.

Throughout, Eddie Jr.’s vocals are bittersweet. Their smoothness covers up a lack in range. Likewise, Brenda’s vocals aren’t strong. They falter and lack authority on her original I’m So Blue. Demetria’s vocals are stronger. In fact they practically growl.

Too many cover songs are included, but this CD does feature authentic Chicago blues bar music. I love the absence of excessive guitar solos which feature too much in today’s blues music. Yet, substandard singing and drab production are the CD’s pitfalls. This style of blues has already been recorded aplenty, and Taylor Jr.’s brand of it isn’t the best Chicago has to offer. If flamboyance was added to the mix, this disc could have grabbed international attention.

---- Tim Holek





DOUG MACLEOD
The Blues In Me: Live In Concert
Black & Tan DVD B&T1001
www.blackandtan-shop.com

Black & Tan’s first foray into DVD and a real winner it is too; it helps that Doug is such a fascinating character. This presents the American solo singer/ guitarist in an intimate gig in Holland in November last year, with the live show lasting around an hour and a half on this DVD. He is a fine singer and his classic Mississippi styled playing is as impressive as ever – and he has set a very high standard for himself over the years – as he works through a programme of almost entirely original material. One of the delights of this set though is to be able to see and hear Doug’s between-song patter, which is almost as entertaining as the songs themselves, and gives a good idea of the man’s background.

Do, though, also check out the interview that is also included on this DVD. Doug has been a round a long time and this is truly insightful. There is also a separate section entitled ‘Stories’, covering aspects of his career and revealing anecdotes of a few of the many blues greats that he has associated with over the years. Both the ‘Stories’ and ‘Interview’ sections are sub-divided into short sections, though it would be useful to be able to run them straight through. A slide show of some vintage photos of Doug with associated luminaries completes a very attractive package.

----- Norman Darwen






























This review has been complimentary written for
your newsletter
by Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro,
a contributing writer for BLUESWAX,
BluesART
and the Blues Editor at www.Mary4Music.com
where you can read many more CD and live show reviews,
view lots of blues photographs and find an abundance of blues material. I can be reached at [email protected]

BLACK CAT BONE BLUES BAND
"TOO BLUES TO SUCCEED"
BLACK CAT BONE PRODUCTIONS

For the longest time now I have been very aware of the popularity of American Blues Music in other parts of the world.  Many touring blues artist have done much better for themselves overseas than they have right here in the states.  On the other hand, I've never given much thought to what, if any, the "local blues scene" would be like in these far away places.  However, since being involved with www.Mary4Music.com for the last seven years, access from and to these places has changed all that.  I now know, from the discs I receive from countries I'll probably never visit, that just as in the states, there are many good local bands in many different cites, in many different countries, all over the world.  That my friends, makes me feel great.  The blues is being kept alive all over the world.

One of the places that seems to have an abundance of good local blues bands is the home of my forefathers - albeit they were not blues fans - and that's Italy.    BLACK CAT BONE is the latest of many Italian Blues Bands that I've had the pleasure to listen to.  The band consists of GENNARO CARRILLO on vocals, harmonica and rub board, GIANNI DI RUVO on guitars, NUNZIO DRAGONETTI on keyboards, CLAUDIO DE PALO on bass, and MIRCO DAL BARCO on drums.  Special guests are the DADAMA HORNS featuring DAVIDE SPARANZA on trumpet, DANIELE BRUSETTI on tenor sax and MARIO VALENTE on alto sax with a choir consisting of ADELE URPI, VANDA MAZZERELLI, PAOLO CORDIO, CLAUDIO DE PALO, GIANNI DE RUVO, NUNZIO DRAGONETTI, and MIRCO DAL BARCO, and PAOLA IMPOSIMATO on background vocals.

"TOO BLUES TO SUCCEED" consists of a dozen very well done tracks of which about half are BLACK CAT BONE originals and, quite interestingly, a few of those are done in their native tongue.  The disc opens with the band taking a safe and sure way of introducing themselves to the listener - covering two classics, "CORINA, CORINA" and "GIVE ME BACK MY WIG" - and doing a great job on each.  On both of these tracks the vocals, the harp blowing, the guitar solos and the piano playing are all top notch.  The rhythm section, not to be outdone, adds a very dominant bass to "CORINA, CORINA" with the drummer taking charge on "GIVE ME BACK MY WIG".

On an original titled "I'M 45", GENNARO sings about his characteristics at what I guess is his age.  Some of those are he's too old to be sexy and too young to die.  Now, before I go any further, let me set this young man straight....."Hey GENNARO, us Italians are sexy at any age".   He then goes on to sing about things that happened to him at various ages of his life -  all of which seem to have made him very happy.  The song is very interesting with great piano background and a very good guitar solo right at the end.

"UN PICCOLO BLUES", is a real slow and very sultry song featuring lots a serious harp riffs, and it's sung in Italian.  No matter what the language, it's very clear GENNARO'S got the blues on this one.  MARIO'S amazing sax work makes this one of the discs highlights.

"CRAZY, WRONG AND CONFUSED" is a hot original.  NUNZIO and GIANNI tear it up on organ and guitar, and GENNARO blows some of the best chromatic harp (which I'm generally not a fan of) I've ever heard.

"THERE'S A WOMAN" is a great original blues ballad.  And on it, there's a woman - PAOLA - who adds a lot to the track with some absolutely beautiful backup vocals.  Maybe next time around the guys will put her on a few more tracks, hint, hint, hint.  Great guitar work once again by GIANNI.

The disc closes with yet another original, a red hot, jamming instrumental called "RED ONIONS".  Move your speakers away from the smoke alarms and turn up the volume on this one.

Other tracks featured on "TOO BLUES TO SUCCEED" are "PERFECT LOVE", "WATCH ME MOVE", "DON'T LET IT GO", "SO EXCITED" and "SABATO SERA".

Now that you're aware of the fact that not all Italians are actors on the Sopranos, and that some of them are actually out here making some very good blues music, why don't you contact the guys and tell them that the Blewzzman said "la vostra musica è molto buona e dovrei averlo nella mia accumulazione". You can do that by going to http://www.blackcatbone.it/

----- PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO


















KOKO TAYLOR
Old School
Alligator ALCD 4915
www.alligatorrecords.com

The Queen of the Blues, KOKO TAYLOR. is as almost as dramatic and emphatic as ever in her latest CD, “Old School.” “I love singing the real, old school blues,” she says…That’s me.” Many of her tunes have a “Wang- Dang- Doodle” rhythm pattern. From beginning to end of the twelve tracks on the album, Koko belts the songs out with her powerful full-throated vocals as she has done for 30 plus years. Several emotional slow blues are interspersed throughout the album. Koko sings heartfelt renditions throughout the CD. It is refreshing to hear a pure blues album which reflects the feel and spirit of the 1950s blues.

Koko had several musicians to choose from which were veteran Chicago bluesmen who could capture the feeling of the old school blues on the 50s. All in all, eight musicians played on the CD and her own band, the five-piece Blues Machine, updated the final Willie Dixon song, “Young Fashioned Ways. Koko wrote five of the 12 songs on the CD. The other songs were covers of obscure songs  written by people that Koko had a meaningful association with.

One of the best things is that Koko was still able to record this album, since she had such a scary brush with death and then spent months in the hospital and rehab in the late 2003s and 2004s. As Bruce Iglauer. president of Alligator Records states: …”Koko, at the age of 78, totally threw herself into these performances… and delivered the unvarnished, old school vocals that have made her one of the blues’ true legends…I don’t think I’ve heard her sing with more soul, more joy, and more excitement.” And so it is – another great CD  of Koko Taylor.

As an indication of hard times for the independent record labels, this CD arrived in just a plastic wrap, without a jewel box which would have added a finishing touch to the album. This means I have to buy a jewel box or develop a new filing system. These plastic wrapped CDs are not easy to find in one’s collection. Let’s hope that the jewel boxes will be back soon!

----- Maria Bainer











EUGENE HIDEAWAY BRIDGES
Eugene Hideaway Bridges
Armadillo ARMD 00025
www.bluearmadillo.com

A simple title, a simple set – but didn’t someone say the simplest ideas are the best? That is certainly the case here, as Texas out of Louisiana singer/ guitarist Eugene goes for a minimalist approach. He sets out his stall on the first number, Gospel inflected in arrangement and words, sounding a lot like Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers until the bridge when a BB King styled guitar adds to the instrumentation and the effect – wonderful. This is followed by an achingly beautiful love song – though again this could easily be a gospel lyric – which could be classed as country-soul, out and out country, or a singer/ songwriter number. Eugene’s guitar is supplemented by the pedal steel playing of Lucky Oceans, who appears on a further two titles, to maximum effect.

.…And so the album continues, with Eugene’s wistful vocals frequently recalling that fragile beauty of Sam Cooke’s voice/ There is a hint of ‘People Get Ready’ in ‘Special Friend’, excellent early sixties Rhythm & Blues on ‘In Your Arms Tonight’… then from track 8, ‘Ain’t Got Time’ the blues content suddenly increases – try particularly the vintage BB King sound of ‘Love Got The Best Of Me’, just Eugene with Clayton Doley on Hammond.

This is a marvellous set for anyone who appreciates the sound of sixties rhythm & blues and soul served up with a side dish of top-notch blues. Thanks Eugene, thanks Armadllo.

----- Norman Darwen



















Artist: Steve Lauer & Voodoo Chile
Title: Live at Strohhenge
Label: Self Produced

For more information go to: stevelauer-online.de or +49 9261 4277

Most live albums fall into one of three categories; 1, a contract filler which will only appeal to die-hard fans, 2, A concept that seemed a good idea at the time, or 3, an example of a musicians’ / bands’ musical talent that is inevitably ascending to; or is established at the peak of their talents or career and which displays their high quality of skills in a performance that is captured and encapsulated in time for all the world to hear and experience.

This album, I am glad to say fits comfortably into the third category, although for some blues lovers the style and content may seem somewhat extreme; for Steve’s influences are mostly confined to the rocky and at times heavy and hard rock end of the blues spectrum. His style is garnered from such artists as; Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Ritchie Blackmore, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter. These influences have shaped and formed Steve’s own particular manner of playing and delivery. With the passage of time his style has evolved into a confidently strident, fluidly forceful, yet clearly lyrical sound; which features at times a very abrasive fuzzy edge.

Jürgen “Berches” Bergmann on lead vocals has a delivery that has serious echoes of Lemmy from Motorhead. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing) the rest of the gentlemen assisting Steve are; Thorsten “Groove” Langhammer; drums and Stefan Kratofil; bass.

Five of the eleven numbers here are covers which include Jimi Hendrix’s “Message of Love,” Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Tin Pan Alley,” and “Couldn’t Stand the Weather,” also here is Robin Trowers’ “Bridge of Sighs,” and “Day of the Eagle.”

I found this album to be well played and paced, although it is virtually hard rock blues I, nevertheless found it thoroughly enjoyable and excitingly different. In fact, it is an absolute blast.

Recommended!

----- Brian Harman














Artist: Nelsen Adelard
Title: Unplugged
Label: Blue Track Records BT8008

Artist: Nelsen Adelard
Title: Take Me Back
Label: self produced NA7472

For more information go to: www.nelsenadelard.com

Although Nelsen has been playing the blues for a good number of years; he did not embark on a recording career until 1999 and so far his album tally is four. Here we have the third and fourth respectively. During his long and varied career Nelsen has on occasions, supported artists ranging from the late great Muddy Waters through to James Cotton, Matt ‘guitar’ Murphy and Johnny Winter.

As the years have progressed Nelsen’s style has evolved into an instrumentally rolling, easygoing New Orleans gait, which fits snugly into a warm and smooth vocally chocolate cocoon.

Both these albums display to great effect the homely, acoustic, intimate atmosphere that Nelsen obviously enjoys playing, with his extremely well gelled band, which consists of; John Duzik; bass, Ben Beckley; drums and on the superlative saxophone; Mark Norris (Jerry Wolfe; supplies a fruity trombone on  the album “Take Me Back”) . Nelsen himself not only takes lead vocals & guitar, but he also contributes to the proceedings a fat sounding Harmonica and trumpet.

The “Unplugged” album has an open, engagingly warm and cosy, ‘relaxing with friends, pull up a chair round the fire’ feel. The eight numbers here are a mixture of Nelsen originals and covers, which are; “Shake, Rattle & Roll / Honey Hush,”  “Backdoor Man” and “She Moves Me /Standin’ Round Cryin’.”

“Take Me Back” offers all of the above in a similar vein, but with a more of a professional, polished ‘on your toes approach,’ but, hugely inviting and thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. Nelsen chooses eleven numbers here, in which to delight us with; again, a mixture of covers and self-penned originals. The covers here, being; “Big Mamou,” “Backyard Blues” and St.James Infirmary.”

Both these albums are worthy of investigation.

----- Brian Harman



























This review has been complimentary written for
your newsletter
by Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro,
a contributing writer for BLUESWAX,
BluesART
and the Blues Editor at www.Mary4Music.com
where you can read many more CD and live show reviews,
view lots of blues photographs and find an abundance of blues material. I can be reached at [email protected]

TAB BENOIT
"VOICE OF THE WETLANDS"

LIVE AT THE NORTH ATLANTIC BLUES FESTIVAL
PRODUCED AND EDITED BY PAUL E. BENJAMIN & RICHARD PELLETIER
RECORDED BY JUKE JOINT VIDEO

It must be a drag going to your favorite blues artist's website and seeing that they will be in all the cool juke joints in all the big cities while you are living in Smallsville or Tinytown which are both 50 - 100 miles outside of Hickton or Blinksburgh which are both 100 - 200 miles from any city that even has a cool juke joint.  I can feel your pain.  I'm living in a big city and I sometimes have to still drive 4 hrs round trip to a good blues gig.  I'm thinking there are some blues fans out there that may never, or at very best, rarely ever get to see a really good blues show.  To you folks I have only one thing to say, after offering my sympathy of course, and that's DVD.

One in particular is TAB BENOIT'S "VOICE OF THE WETLANDS", recorded live at the North Atlantic Blues Festival.  The video features, who every female blues fan that I know refers to as the hunk of the blues, TAB BENOIT on vocals and guitar, CARL DUFRENE on bass and DARRYL WHITE on drums.

TAB wastes no time getting into the groove.  On the opening track, "WE MAKE A GOOD GUMBO", within 15 seconds of being on stage, he's tearing up guitar riffs and that's pretty much what you can expect throughout the whole nine minute track.  The shows just starting and the crowd is already wild.....Woo Hoo!

After a brief but interesting interview about how, what and who got him into the blues, hosted by PAUL E. BENJAMIN, TAB showcases his excellent vocal ability on "BLUES SO BAD".  The songs wonderful lyrics consist of innuendos such as "The blues don't sing but it swings", "The blues don't burn but they smoke" and "The blues come but they don't go".  Great song with great close ups.

Another smoker is a song which features the words that I'm sure every one of us has used one time or another....."WHY ARE PEOPLE LIKE THAT?"  Between asking why people do all the dirtbag crap they do to each other TAB lays down some of the best guitar work on the video.  Ladies, ya gonna love this one.  Many great shots of TAB'S intensity on this one.

Those boozers amongst the bluesers will appreciate "I GOT LOADED".  The song tells of getting loaded last night on a bottle of gin, getting loaded the night before on a bottle of whiskey and getting ready to get loaded tonight on a bottle of wine.  Watch out the day after tomorrow.  Great Delta blues song.

Dirty doesn't only describe the dishes, it describes the song as well on "TOO MANY DIRTY DISHES".  This is good old straight up down and dirty blues at it's best- which always leads to making a particular track my favorite - and this one is.  The singing and guitar work are unreal on this one.

In addition to a second short interview with TAB about the cause he is heavily involved in - Saving the Louisiana Wetlands, there is footage featuring scenes of the picturesque wetlands.  The video also features "WHEN A CAJUN MAN GETS THE BLUES", "THE BLUES IS HERE TO STAY" "GOT LOVE IF YOU WANT IT", "LOUISIANA MAN" and "LOUISIANA SUNSHINE".

If you're a T. B. fan, regardless of whether you've never seen him or you've seen him several times, you'll love this video.  I highly suggest going to www.jukejointvideo.com  and picking one up.  And don't forget, when they ask ya how ya heard, tell them it was from the Blewzzman.

----- PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO















Artist: Billy Jones
Title:  My Hometown
Label: Black & Tan CDB&T030
www.black-and-tan.com/

Billy has been playing professionally since his early twenties; during that time he successfully toured, a wide range of army camps across the length and breadth of America with his own band ‘The Incredible Rock City Band.’ (The name is taken from his hometown of North Little Rock, Arkansas). As his skill and experience has increased over the years he has become a solo artist and has featured as an album /concert backing  player for such artists as;  Vernon Garret, Willie Clayton, Bar-Kays and Chick Willis to name but a few.

Now, with this his second solo album we have a mature, solid and extremely focused piece of music. Billy portrays and explains in words and song; the harsh’ realities of everyday life today, which sadly, has changed very little over the years for the majority of people living in the inner cities of the modern world.

To complement the contemporary hard edged urban blues feel, which is found throughout the album; a rich seam of seventies soul textures, brightly illuminate, uplift and injects the proceedings with welcoming rays of musical sunshine.

The ten tracks here cover a wide and varied collection of subject matter ranging from love, jealousy, adultery, fear, poverty and the ever present spectre of death by drugs and guns. Billy, who takes lead vocals and guitar, is ably assisted by Ramon Goose; guitar, keyboards and programming, Joe Goose; bass, and Gary Leach; drums. (These gentlemen are also known as the band, Nu Blues).

I would say, it was just the thing, for a slow and easy summer Sunday morning.
Recommended!

----- Brian Harman

























This review has been complimentary written for
your newsletter
by Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro,
a contributing writer for BLUESWAX,
BluesART
and the Blues Editor at www.Mary4Music.com
where you can read many more CD and live show reviews,
view lots of blues photographs and find an abundance of blues material. I can be reached at [email protected]

DANNY DRAHER
"BIG FUN TONITE!"

DOUBLE DYNAMITE RECORDS


The notes inside DANNY DRAHERS CD, "BIG FUN TONIGHT", have me puzzled.  I'm siting here in sheer amazement wondering to myself how this guy could have been involved in everything he's been involved with, and yet he's not a household name within the blues community.  Forgive me for not even attempting to list his credentials.....space just doesn't allow.  You'll just have to go to his website and read it for yourself.  Or better yet - get the disc, and as your reading about his life's accomplishments, relish in his musical accomplishments.

 "BIG FUN TONIGHT", features thirteen original tracks by DANNY that showcase him shuffling between jazzy, funky and slow blues.  Joining DANNY, on guitar and vocals, is a very impressive ensemble of distinguished guests that include: DR. JOHN and BRIAN MITCHELL on Piano; BERNARD PURDIE, MIKE CLARK, GREG ROCKINGHAM,TOBY WILLIAMS and GEORGE RECILLE on drums; WILBUR BASCOMB on bass; BOB MALACH on sax; LARRY ETKIN on trumpet and CHRIS FOREMAN, REUBEN WILSON and EVERETTE DE VAN all on the Hammond B3 organ.  If your an organ fan, I'm sure by now your salivating.

 "BIG FUN TONIGHT" isn't just the title of the disc and the title of the opening track, it may very well describe what you'll be doing as your listening - having big fun.  The bands real tight on this hot shuffle.  As you'd expect from the bands introductions, and you can expect this on most of the tracks,  CHRIS on the B3 is just one of this tracks highlights. DANNY'S vocals and his extended solo at the songs end are others.

The rapid rhythm of GREG on drums and WILBUR on bass set the blazing pace on this smokin' instrumental called "GARLIC & ONIONS".  The leads, passed back and forth 'tween DANNY on guitar and CHRIS on the Hammond are phenomenal. This one's spicy hot.

Anyone who has ever read one of my reviews knows that on discs featuring different styles of blues, it's the low down dirty blues tracks that are always my personal favorites.  "DON'T KNOW MUCH" is one of those tracks.  It opens with some serious blues guitar riffs and very soulful vocals by DANNY before it's turned over to the DR for some scorching blues on the piano.  After the horns and the Hammond kick in it's DANNY all over again.  This is nine and a half minutes - and that's if you resist hitting replay, which I couldn't - of ass kickin' blues.

The jazz lovers will just love "32nd & 3rd".  It even sounds like a corner you'd expect a jazz joint to be on (who know's, perhaps it is).  Once again, GREG and WILBUR are setting to pace.  However, it's a much smoother and slower pace this time around.  The kind that gets the foot tapping, the head bobbing and the body swaying like a Jello mold.  Meanwhile, DANNY and CHRIS are putting on a virtual music class on the guitar and the organ.  Another 9.5 minutes of musical bliss.

"GOIN' HOME" and "I DON'T KNOW WHY" are both quick 3 minute tracks with excellent drum work.  On "GOIN' HOME", With everyone in jam mode, some fast and furious stick work can be heard by GEORGE and on "I DON'T KNOW", its GREG layin' down the beautiful beat.

The rest of "BIG FUN TONIGHT" features "MY DESIRE", "LI'L GIRL", "DISCO WOMAN", "BLUES FOR C. L.", "GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?" and "JIGSAW".

Most people, as the saying goes, prefer quality over quantity.  With nearly eighty minutes of absolutely excellent music on "BIG FUN TONIGHT", you enjoy the pleasure of both.  Give DANNY DRAHER a shout and tell him the Blewzzman said your record collection should include this disc.

----- PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO



























This review has been complimentary written for
your newsletter
by Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro,
a contributing writer for BLUESWAX,
BluesART
and the Blues Editor at www.Mary4Music.com
where you can read many more CD and live show reviews,
view lots of blues photographs and find an abundance of blues material. I can be reached at [email protected]

LITTLE MILTON
"HIS LAST CONCERT"

LIVE AT THE NORTH ATLANTIC BLUES FESTIVAL
PRODUCED AND EDITED BY PAUL E. BENJAMIN & RICHARD PELLETIER
RECORDED BY JUKE JOINT VIDEO

Being asked to offer my opinion on this project is an absolute honor.  Having been a life long fan of the late, great MILTON CAMPBELL, it is with great pleasure and lots of respect that I write the following words.

It absolutely shocks me that I'm actually looking at what turned out to be LITTLE MILTONS last live concert.  Watching this 70 minute performance, in a torrential downpour, MILTON looked and sounded as good as I ever remember him looking and sounding.  These eyes and ears would have thought he'd be touring at least another ten more years.

Looking quite handsome in his green suit and sporting enough gold and diamonds to create his own sunshine on this quite dreary day in Maine, MILTON pleased a very loyal and very drenched crowd, in conditions that were not quite so pleasing.

The DVD starts off with an intro which&nbs