Artist: Andy Martin
Title: Chosen Ground
Label: Pagina 3    BD1627

For more information go to: www.andymartinblues.com

Well, what do we have here; an English bluesman, living in Italy, playing vintage Delta and Country Acoustic blues, imbuing the music with such a high degree of respect, sincerity and musicianship, it is distinctly possible that you may well not have heard the Blues played this well for quite sometime.

Andy is originally from Leigh-on-Sea on the Thames estuary. He was one of a number of artists that flourished on the London and Southend R&B scene in the seventies. He served his musical apprenticeship playing in a number of London based Blues bands, but  playing alongside such luminaries as; Big Joe Williams, Eddie Boyd and Champion ‘Jack’ Dupree was certainly a high point; one that led to Andy subsequently backing Champion ‘Jack’ on tour later in his career.

Andy, over the years has also played alongside a varied collection of blues artists; Which include, Robert Cray; Marcia Ball; Louisiana Red; Lazy Lester; Guitar Shorty; Ray Norcia; John Mayall; Long John Baldry and Jo-Anne Kelly to name but a few.

After years of travelling, working and playing in countries and continents as far apart as Europe, Russia; and America, Andy finally decided to settle down and make his home in Italy a few years ago.

As the years have passed Andy has focused more and more on the early days of Blues music, whilst incorporating his passion for a wide range of acoustic instruments such as resophonic, lap steel, six, and twelve string guitars, he is also extremely proficient in the playing of mandolins, harmonica and accordion. With these instruments, Andy meticulously sets about creating authentic renditions of vintage delta and country blues numbers.

He believes that these original and unadulterated acoustic numbers are only one step on from the plantation fields ‘hollering’ and the ‘work songs’ that were created by the prisoners that were incarcerated in prison farms and put to work in the fields. The numbers are stark and evocative, they capture the lonely singular essence of the raw emotion that was felt by the artists that first established the foundations of what was to go on and become the blues as we understand them today.

Of the thirteen numbers on this album four are original compositions; I feel that it has to be stated that the style, lyrical content and delivery of the numbers are indistinguishable from the covers.

The music pours forth from the speakers like enriched molasses, thickly sweet and full of period atmosphere that continues to linger in the mind long after it has finished. Andy plays all the instruments and he has recorded the entire album live with little or no overdubs. The music is crafted with great care and affection leaving an indelible mark on the listener.

An example of the high quality of diverse material that is to be found on the album is as follows; Robert Johnson’s “Last Fair Deal Gone Down,” coupled with John Estes’s “Special Agent,”  “Drop Down Mama,”  “Goin’ to Brownsville,” and “Soul of a Man,” by the Reverend Willie Johnson.

This album is not just essential, it should be compulsory!

----- Brian Harman

















Artist: Debbie Davies
Title: Blues Blast
Label: Telarc CD83669 (American release details)

For more information go to: www.debbiedavies.com

The controlled, peerless performances; given from collaborators Charlie Musselwhite, Coco Montoya and Tab Beniot who together with Debbie, who has invited these fine  musicians to play alongside her, on this her latest album; together create that extra dimension which lifts the whole proceedings to another level.

It would be more than fair, to say that rather than everyone focus on their own ‘guest spot’ on the album, we are treated by all of the artists to more of a relaxed and thoughtful ensemble piece. The nine numbers on the album are a mixture of old and new compositions which have clean, crisp, sensitive arrangements that satisfyingly enhance the overall sound. .

The evocative instrumental slowburn harp led numbers merge seamlessly with the shorter punchier vocal, guitar led movers. Debbie’s unique vocals have a resonance that brings to mind two lesser known but nonetheless valid female vocalists, these ladies being Kiki Dee and Lulu; Debbie has a vocal mixture of soul imbued emotion with a biting crosscut saw edge. The quality of guitarslinging from Debbie; Coco Montoya and Tab Beniot is of such a high calibre that it would be churlish of me to cite any of the aforementioned guitarists in particular for any singular praise as all here are very much ‘on the mark’ especially as it is no mean feat to play classic and contemporary hard edged Chicago blues so effortlessly and leanly. Though, I do feel that a special mention should be given to the ‘engine room boys’ Bruce Katz; B3 organ, Rod Carey; bass and Per Hanson; drums. Who keep the ‘motor running’.

All I can say about the album now is; Crank it up and let it go!

----- Brian Harman











STRING DRIVEN THING
Moments Of Truth
Soundseed/ Merchant City

www.stringdriventhing.com

I saw String Driven Thing at Liverpool Empire in, it must have been, 1973. I remember being favourably impressed with their brand of blues folk-rock. Now, after almost three and a half decades away, String Driven Thing is back! The one-time Charisma label act was formed in 1967 and early in the next decade seemed on the verge of making it big – but it never quite happened. The band’s style was originally a mixture of country blues and West Coast harmonies, and there is a strong reminder of this on the closing track ‘So Hard’.
Throughout the album, Chris Adams’ vocals seem to reveal an influence from mid-seventies Bob Dylan though it could just be coincidental, as he and his wife Pauline left SDT around the end of 1973 and returned to Glasgow.
Chris still sounds good, with an acoustic-based sound that can be extremely bluesy on numbers such as ‘I Can’t Lose’, with shades of Ry Cooder and ‘Rolling Stone’ – as with all the numbers here, an original. He still writes beautiful songs too – try ‘Guernica’ for a very fine and meaningful example. SDT will be on the road later in 2007, and those ‘of a certain age’ should check them out.
This album proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can still do it.

----- Norman Darwen


























Artist: Son Seals
Title:
A Journey Through the Blues: The Son Seals Story
Label: Vizztone Label Group/ Sagebrush Productions SB102 DVD

www.vizztone.com 

We have with us here and now this interesting DVD appearing after a period of three years since the sad loss of Frank ‘Son’ Seals in December 2004, who, when he died was a young 64 years of age. This DVD is in essence is a potted history of his life and career. The makers of the DVD are also the same team that brought us the recent Pinetop Perkins release.

Son had a good measure of success with his fine album releases, particularly so with the nine he recorded for Alligator; these, combined with the heavy touring schedules he embarked upon all throughout his life brought him great recognition, he still though never quite felt that he could achieve quite the same level of success as artists such as B.B. King or Muddy Waters; he saw himself as an artist that was continually evolving and had not yet reached his peak.     

The disc comprises of two halves the first, a riveting and absorbing comprehensive documentary with contributions from Son himself in an interview which has been interspersed with other loving, compassionate and emotion filled interviews from such people as Koko Taylor, Dr.John Lonnie Brooks, and his friend, manager and mentor Bruce Iglauer.  Also a heartfelt recollection is given by the actor Steven Seagal His sister Kim and his son Rodney give us some idea of sons’ outlook on family life and his music.

Some bluesmen in their lives were at some point, faced with dangerous situations, sometimes even life threatening. One incident in particular was especially harrowing and potentially life threatening for Son; when an ex-wife shot him through the jaw and could have not only ended his career but his life as well. For most people that would have been the ultimate hint to retire but not Son, his indomitable spirit and doggedness forced him back onto the stage to continue his life’s work; even with a bullet still lodged in the side of his head; sadly, a few years later diabetes would prove to be a tougher opponent and cause him to have his left leg amputated due to complications. After this blow to his health his lust for life slowly rescinded.

Surprisingly the documentary only lasts for half hour.

The rest of the disc is given over to concert footage from various venues; sadly most of them are not particularly enjoyable due (in my opinion) to the less than satisfactory footage used. This ranges from poor quality filming on some of the Venues through to distorted images, bathed in a horrendous hue of marmalade orange lighting, poor sound quality is also a problem. The only satisfying footage on this part of the disc is where Son is appearing at the Chicago 2001 Blues Festival.   

That being said the documentary alone is worth watching from this DVD, especially if you are interested in Son Seals.

----- Brian Harman







TIM HAIN & Sunnysideup
Bleggae
Note Records NCD 1015 2

www.timhain.com    www.note-music.co.uk

Tim Hain is a British singer, guitarist and bandleader who, like many of his accompanists, has worked in both the local blues and reggae scenes. He has now combined these two genres to make ‘bleggae’ – not crudely grafting one form onto the other, as has sometimes been the case in the past when others have tried this combination but making an organic whole. This set is a revamp of his earlier ‘One Man Went To Mojo’ and it finds the warm-voiced singer turning Little Willie John’s ‘Need Your Love So Bad’ and Jimi Hendrix’s ‘The Wind Cries Mary’ into Jamaican skanks and making it sound quite natural. Tim’s playing can sound a little like Albert King, or sometimes a little rockier, and for his own original tracks he has written some pointed, committed and hard-hitting lyrics. Blues fans with any interest at all in reggae should certainly make the effort to seek out this release.

----- Norman Darwen





THE MELLO-KINGS MEET THE FIVE SATINS
SPV/ Blue 50972 CD


www.SPV.de

Two vintage New York doo-wop groups from the fifties. The Mello-Kings were a white outfit inspired by and at times sounding very much like Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers. Many of their 17 songs here have full arrangements; brass, strings, a South African penny whistle, even a bassoon – all crop up. The focus here is on innocent fun and teenage angst, the sound of a truly bygone age. The Five Satins began by recording for Bobby Robinson and despite some full arrangements, their sound is often much bluesier – try ’The Jones Girl’ for a good example, and there is also a little a capella material and even an ‘Annie’ song (as in ‘Work With Me Annie’) among their 13 tracks. Hardly an essential purchase but collectors of those late fifties group sounds will find this an excellent example of that style.

----- Norman Darwen









COMMANDER CODY AND HIS LOST PLANET AIRMEN
The Early Years 1967 - 1970
SPV/ Blue 50922 CD


www.SPV.de

A bunch of stoned-out hippies from California, right? Well, kind of… These guys have been credited with inventing ‘country-rock’, but this compilation of early demos, radio shots and live recordings shows that they not only had some southern roots, but that they may also just have invented what is today known as ‘Americana’.

The early sessions get by on as much enthusiasm as talent, but even here the possibilities are there. Fiddle and pedal steel guitar predominate. The two CDs contain 35 tracks in all, and cover material that can be defined as Western Swing, Honky-Tonk (Hank Williams is a big favourite), and rockabilly – all forms of music shot through with the blues, of course, and particularly so in these performances. As the set progresses, vintage rock and roll gets thrown into the mix, and even doo-wop, whilst Hank’s ‘Jamabalaya’ gets a reasonably authentic Cajun shakedown. Not for everyone, but a lot more than just a footnote in America’s musical history – and great fun too. Yee-haaa!

----- Norman Darwen













BLUE MONDAY BLUES BAND
......Still Alive
(own label)

www.bluesband.at

Maybe the website address gives it away – others may argue, but the guys themselves are in no doubt they ARE Austria’s blues band. The Blue Monday Blues Band was formed in 1987, with their debut CD appearing five years later. Thomas Keckels (vocals, guitar, harp), Joe Blocher (guitar), Michael Wocher (keyboards), Hannes Schneeberger (bass) and drummer Tibor Naphegyi are now responsible for this new set, a very fine CD of contemporary blues.
It is instructive to examine the sources of the material the band have borrowed for this recording: modern masters Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard and Kim Wilson are all represented and tribute is paid most tastefully. The high energy Alligator sound is referenced with two versions of Johnny Winter’s ‘TV Blues’ (the alternate take that closes the album sounding just like a Robert Johnson 78), a wonderful cover of Hop Wilson’s ‘Black Cat Bone’ drawn from the Cray/ Copeland/ Collins ‘Showdown’ album, and maybe even ‘That’s The Truth’ which is as close to Hound Dog Taylor as it is to compose J B Hutto. Just as impressively though, the classic jumping Rhythm & Blues sound of Nappy Brown and Roy Milton is performed with ease, and Jimmy Rogers ‘Rock This House’ is recreated as a jump-blues rather than rock and roll, and Germany’s BB & The Blues Shacks are even covered in a rather nice touch!
Muddy’s ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied’ is nicely down-home and organist Hank Marr’s ‘Travelin’ Heavy’ is given a fine jazzy treatment.. It does all make for a very fine CD indeed.

----- Norman Darwen









RENE TROSSMAN BAND
Postmarked Illinois
Faust Records


www.renetrossman.com

I first encountered Czech guitarist Rene Trossman on the CD ‘I Write The Checks’, credited to excellent keyboards player Jan Korinek and featuring American singer Eb Davis heavily. Despite the presence of these two major talents, Rene’s playing impressed me with its clean tone and the thought and care that had gone into it.
For ‘Postmarked Illinois’ Rene steps out front and those admirable qualities are still strongly in evidence. He stretches out over a tight little band (Jan Korinek producing and filling organ and piano duties), playing in a style that owes a little to T-Bone Walker and more to the great sounds of the Chicago blues clubs of the sixties – Earl Hooker, Magic Sam, and Otis Rush, for example. He sings too, in a manner reminiscent of his big hero, the sadly under-rated Windy City bluesman Kenneth ‘Buddy’ Scott, and his own songwriting (four originals out of 12 tracks) is fine.
Look out for this ‘new’ talent - only 20 years of blues experience! - on the European scene.
We will be hearing more of him, I am sure.

----- Norman Darwen






PAUL JONES & DAVE KELLY
Live At The Ram Jam Club Volume 2

SPV/ Blue 49702 CD


www.SPV.de

The follow-up to SPV 49672 presents more intimate guitar and harmonica duets from these two members of the Blues Band (and both veterans of the UK sixties blues boom) recorded over two days at the Ram Jam Club in Kingston, Surrey, to the west of London.
Paul’s wailing blues harp and Dave’s razor sharp guitar recall the earlier forms of blues, and both men are of course accomplished singers. The material comprises several originals, plus borrowings from the likes of Charley Patton, Jimmy Reed, Peg Leg Howell, Muddy Waters, Big Boy Crudup and Blind Willie Johnson.
As with the earlier CD (and DVD) this is indispensable for lovers of the UK blues sound.

----- 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]

112 NORTH DUCK
"I TOOK THE HOOK"
APPLECOPTER RECORDS


I generally like to visit a bands website before starting a review of their CD. More often than not, some valuable information is available which, from time to time, may be worthy of mention in the review. On this particular visit I was hoping to discover a clue as to how the band got their name.  Unfortunately, nothing relating to that was found. However, inasmuch as they may not want that to be known, they do want you to know how to say it. You can bet I was relieved to see the phonetic explanation of: Pronunciation: wun-twelv-north-duk. To think, all along I was saying 112 NORTH DUCK.

112 NORTH DUCK'S newest release is titled "I TOOK THE HOOK", and it features eleven outstanding band originals - covering several styles of blues - out of thirteen tracks. The strong group of talented musicians that make up 112 NORTH DUCK are: BRENDAN RILEY, vocals, guitar and percussion; MICHAEL BEEBE, guitar and vocals; BRIAN LUGER, bass; J. E. VAN HORN, drums.

On one of my particular favorites, it seems that this poor guy has such a vicious woman, doing him enough emotional harm, that she'd have no problem even bringing a "TEAR TO A GLASS EYE". Great lyrics and vocals to go along with the very progressive jam the bands got going. Smokin' rhythm highlights this one.

Some excellent guitar work is to be found on a ballad called "END OF THE ROAD". This being one of the more traditional blues tracks easily makes it another one of my personal favorites. J. E. setting the drums on fire is another of this one's highlights.

I'm sure that at the 112 NORTH DUCK live shows, "THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT" is one of their most popular songs.  As a matter of fact, if you listen carefully, you can nearly hear the rowdy crowd singing along with this "Honky-Tonk" like song all the way over here.  OK, maybe not, but I'll betcha they do get into it.

Guitar heads will be airing it out to "SOUL OF THE DUCK". This four minute instrumental is all about the guitars - lead and bass.

Country blues is well represented on "THE GAME". This one's hot.  When it comes on just stop what yer doin' cause yer not goin' to be able to pay attention to anything else. I guarantee this one will have your fingers snappin', your toes tappin' and your hands slappin'. Good stuff right here.

Having a woman that can't be satisfied can become a serious problem. Especially when she goes from being a gold digger to being your "GRAVEDIGGER". This is good old, low down dirty blues at it's best.  Lots of scorching blues guitar licks accompanied by scorching, soulful blues vocals.

Take the sounds of Jerry Lee Lewis smokin' it on "Great Balls of Fire", mix it with Chuck Berry tearin' it up on "Johnny B Goode", add steroids, and you now have "MOUNTAIN MOVIN' MAMA".  Need I say more?

Other tracks on "I TOOK THE HOOK" are: "I TOOK THE HOOK", "SHE CAUGHT THE KATY AND LEFT ME A MULE TO RIDE", "ROLLIN' LOW", "THE TURN", "BEHIND THOSE EYES", and "GET AWAY FROM ME".

You can check out 112 NORTH DUCK by going to www.northduck.com, and while you're there, tell them Blewzzman (Pronunciation: Blooze-Man) already told you how to say their name.

----- Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro








DANNY BRYANT’S RED EYE BAND
Live

Rounder CBHCD 2010

www.redeyeband.co.uk

“Blues is what I play, Blue is what I love” sings Danny on ‘This Is The Blues’. Purists may disagree but Danny is right. Despite being born in Cambridge, England in 1980, singer and guitarist Danny is one of the old-school blues-rockers, playing songs with blues structures – albeit loudly, very loudly – rather than rock songs with a bit of string–bending thrown in.
One of Danny’s big heroes is Walter Trout, who appeared on the last of Danny’s four albums for the independent Blues Matters! label. Now Danny is on Rounder, playing his hard edged sound to a (hopefully) wider audience – a very appreciative audience too, judging from the enthusiastic reactions to this gig at the Flowerpot in Derby in England’s midlands.
Danny has absorbed the playing styles of some who were blues veterans before he was born, but like them, he has forged his own style, executes it masterfully, and deserves his place high in the pantheon of British blues musicians.

----- 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]

JOOK BOURKE
"JUST A MINUTE"


As the saying goes, history does repeat itself.  Just about three and a half years ago I wrote these words
........."This CD consists of one right after another of very interesting, sometimes humorous, often truthful and always cleverly written songs"......about a disc I was reviewing - "MY MOJO'S JUST TOO WEAK" - by JOOK BOURKE.  Well, here I now sit, reviewing "JUST A MINUTE", the latest JOOK BOURKE release, and the best way to describe this disc is to simply say it again - "This CD consists of one right after another of very interesting, sometimes humorous, often truthful and always cleverly written songs".  When quality is involved, consistency is a beautiful thing.

On "JUST A MINUTE", JOOK BOURKE once again takes topical events such as hurricanes, and every day happenings like answering the telephone, and turns them into eleven masterfully written and superbly delivered original songs.  Of course, he's also does all the vocals, plays the guitars, bass, hand drum and harmonica and created all the drum loops.

The title track, "JUST A MINUTE", is one of the most beautiful love songs I have ever heard.  The lyrics simply state that by seeing his woman's smile or hearing her voice - even if just for a minute - is all he needs to soothe his blues.  JOOKS singing of these remarkable lyrics make them sound even more remarkable.  It took me a good 25 minuets to listen to this 2:47 track.  If this song ever gets discovered and recorded by a mainstream artist I guarantee it will top the charts.  This is the only track that featured another musician and CHRISTIAN HOWES did a beautiful job on the violin.

Living in the area where notorious hurricanes "FRANCIS" and "JEAN" struck within a two week period, JOOK'S unfortunately got experiences to relate on a track called "IT'S A HURRICANE".  Unfortunately, I live in the same area and just talking about makes me nervous, so you'll just have to listen to this track to hear what JOOK, and myself, think about these beasts.

The title of another great track is not just the title, it's also an explanation of sorts.  Ya see, you can't always be on top of your game and when some low down misery gets the best of him, JOOK'S got no problem with letting folks know that "SOMETIMES I JUST NEED TO FEEL THIS WAY". More great vocals and top notch acoustic guitar pickin' highlight this one.

"AREA CODE 212" is, of course, all about New York, New York - a place which as JOOK says -"Is so important, you've got to say it twice".  Having wished he moved there sooner when he could have bought the whole place for $24, you can imagine his disappointment when his moving truck got a ticket for five times as much.  New Yawkers are going to love this one.  Great harp and bass playing and JOOK doing his own background vocals make this one of the discs best.

The lack of caller ID has JOOK in a constant debate - with himself, as to if he should he answer the phone or not. You see, it's very obvious that "SOMEBODY'S CALLING", but who could it be?  The many possibilities cause the phone to be on it's thirteenth ring on this very hilarious song.  More great lyrics and vocals on this one.

Other tracks on "JUST A MINUTE" include: "HOT PEPPER SAUCE", "NOBODY CAN DO WHAT I CAN DO", "REACH OUT", "I NEED TO GET HOME", "THIS AIN'T WHERE I BELONG" and "BOCA RATON"

Here's the place to check JOOK out at...... www.jookbourke.com..... and make sure you tell him the Blewzzman sent ya.  While you're doin' that, I'm going back to listen to "JUST A MINUTE" a few more times.

----- Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro











ALVIN LEE
Saguitar

Repertoire R.A. R. E RAR1004

www.rarerepertoire.com

Alvin Lee playing his red Gibson, tearing off unbelievably fast blues licks at Woodstock is one of those truly iconic moments. The same guitar makes the cover of this CD and for those of us of a certain age, it makes the heart beat that little bit faster just seeing it!

This CD is the proof that the old master can still do it – he may no longer feel the need to scatter notes like confetti at warp speed, but that love of blues and old-time rock and roll is plainly evident. Alvin has done some work with Sun Records legend Scotty Moore recently, and a couple of numbers are in a rockabilly bag, a couple of others more mainstream fifties rockers – nothing new for Alvin of course, the reason he called his band ‘Ten Years After’ was to mark the time that had elapsed between him forming the band and the birth of rock and roll. The blues is there too, of course – a little of it in a relatively pure form, much more in the blues-rock style that Alvin pioneered (there is even a blues-rock/ rap amalgam but maybe we’ll by-pass that one!).

A lovely album, unashamedly straightforward, guitar based and proud of it!

----- Norman Darwen













EB DAVIS & The Superband
Live At The A-Trane Berlin

Soul Defender 005

www.ebdavis.com

America’s loss is Europe’s gain. If there were any justice, Eb would have found fame in America and would now be a revered figure on the international blues scene. As it is, he left his native Arkansas, sang with the Drifters and has been based in Berlin for many years. Growing up in the fifties and sixties, he absorbed influences from many of the blues and soul greats and as this CD so aptly proves, he has a fine, swinging vocal style that owes more than a little to the criminally under-rated Junior Parker. Eb has a way with blues and soul-blues numbers that should have ensured him the legendary status often accorded lesser talents who recorded one of two obscure sides during the ‘Golden age’.
He has also kept up with recent developments in the blues - check out his cover of Larry Garner’s ‘Shack Bully’ – and there are not many who could (or would have dared to) close out a predominantly blues set with a funky James Brown cover and a straight doo-wop encore – but Eb does and pulls it off!

This is a live set and so I should close by paying tribute to the accompanying musicians, the aptly named Superband, who are a talented a bunch of individuals are you are likely to find on this side of the Atlantic (and maybe on the other side, come to that). Check out Eb Davis – you won’t be disappointed.

----- 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]

THE PREACHERS
"YEAH BABY"


    "YEAH BABY!"......OK, now hold on just a minute - that was not meant to be read as the discs title, that was a reaction.  Did you notice the exclamation point?  That's right, "YEAH BABY", the new CD by THE PREACHERS has the Blewzmann saying "yeah baby".

THE PREACHERS are a Southern California based upbeat, alternative blues band led by BRIAN BATCHLEY and DAVID REO, who combined to write all of the discs tracks. Musician wise, the ensemble on "YEAH BABY" consists of: BRIAN BATCHLEY on harmonica, vocals and rhythm guitar; DAVID REO on guitar and vocals; SAM BOLLE on bass; DAXX NEILSEN on drums; JIM CALIRE on piano and organ; ANGIE MATSON on backup vocals and "meows"; The 24/7 Singers on background vocals and hand claps.

  "YEAH BABY" opens with the title track.  It's a hot shuffle that will surely have you singing along to the chorus line.  Musically, it's an all out jam.  The rhythm sections right on the mark and along with tearing it up on guitar, DAVID's vocals are outstanding.  Great job by ANGIE on the sexy "yeah babies" as well.

"JIVE STUFF" opens with a "whammer jammer" style intro by BRIAN on the harp then continues into a very rhythmic six and a half minute takeoff on "Hand Jive".  Great drum work by DAXX on this one.

"LOVE MY MONKEY" is another smoker.  This one starts out fast and never looks back.  Some of the CD's best harp and drum work can be heard right here.  BRIAN'S vocals, along with help from the 24/7 Singers, add additional highlights to this - one of the discs best tracks.

The blues don't get any better than what you'll hear on "911".  I've got half the disc to go and have already decided I'm listening to the best track on it.  This is my kinda stuff - great blues harp and gritty, soulful vocals by BRIAN, plenty of flame throwing guitar riffs by DAVID and the soft and steady groove of JIM on the Hammond B3 organ, constantly in the background.  This was the best seven minutes of my day.

   "24/7" and "BETTY JOE" are two more smokers that will surely get you shakin'.  As with "YEAH BABY", everyone's locked into a tight groove on both of these shuffles.  JIM'S keyboards highlight both tracks.  On "24/7", he's tearing it up on the piano and on "BETTY JOE", he's once again working his magic on that Hammond Organ.  More good stuff right here.

Fortunately, for this listener anyway, both of the discs longest tracks were the two low down and dirty blues numbers.  Taking nothing away from the rest of the band, this one is all about the bandleaders.  On "BRING ME A WOMAN", you will unquestionably hear some of the best guitar, harmonica and vocal work on the disc.  BRIAN and DAVID took it up a notch on this one - another of "YEAH BABY'S" highlights.

Click onto www.thepreachersbluesband.com and check out THE PREACHERS.  If they happen to ask you if the Blewzzman sent ya, just say "yeah baby".

----- Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro

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