New Blues and Soul News – 9/3/2017
New Blues Adds:
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band – Lay it On Down (Concord): “Genre-defining blues-infused rock’n’roll” is the description of Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s art. Certainly the variety in the mix on this disc validates that. In fact, he ranges from blues rock in full blown form through blues-inflected rock’n’roll and picks up a soulful voice that blends country and classic soul as well. Clearly, rock is at the center of his playing, but he does have a wide and effective repertoire. He also wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on this disc. Though I prefer some of his styles more than others, there is a a significant range and I would think most blues/rock/rock’n’roll/soul/country fans will find something that they really like. Wayne is a strong singer and guitarist and is supported by Noah Hunt (vocals), Chris “Whipper” Layton (drums), Kevin McCormick (bass) and Jimmy McGorman (keys) with intermittent guests Marshall Altman (backing vocals, keys), Raul Pahl (pedal steel), Carlos Sosa (sax), Raul Vallejo (trombone) and Paul Armstrong (trumpet). Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Walter Trout – We’re All In This Together (Provogue): Walter Trout is the headliner of this new “let’s get all of the hot players we can find and turn out a rockin’ blues disc that will burn up the place” disc. Trout is a solid singer and player and shows that throughout the set. The guests are John Mayall, Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Warren Haynes, Eric Gales, Sonny Landreth, Joe Louis Walker, Robben Ford, Edgar Winter, Mike Zito, Randy Bachman, Joe Nemeth, Charlie Musselwhite and Jon Trout. The rhythm section is staffed by Jonny Griparic (bass) and Michael Leasure (drums) with Deacon Jones, Sammy Avila and Skip Edwards (organ). It’s a good session. Click here to listen to the title song.
Webster Ave – Daylight (Self-produced): “ ‘Daylight’ is the debut album from Webster Ave, a trio of industry veterans out of the NE of the U.S. Fourteen original compositions produced by the trio of Tony Mercadante, David Webster and Andrew Caturano cover the spectrum of roots rock, jazz, Americana, soul, R&B and blues with a smidgen of reggae.” (https://blindraccoon.com/clients/webster-ave/) All three of the lead musicians have served as backup for a variety of performers. The overall sound is pleasant and mellow with significant pop flavor. I regret I am unable to find any samples from this disc.
New Soul Adds:
Isley Brothers & Santana – Power Of Peace (Legacy): This is a rather unique and interesting reunion: Ernie (guitar, backing vocals) and Ronald Isley (lead vocals) with Carlos (guitar, percussion, backing vocals) and Cindy Blackman Santana (lead and backing vocals, drums). Inspired by past connections, this disc offers new renditions of great songs from the past, including “God Bless The Child”, “Gypsy Woman”, “Higher Ground”, “What The World Needs Now” and “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”. There are no Santana or Isley Brothers oldies, but there is a new composition by Cindy Blackman Santana. The sound is a mix of the older styles and a mostly softer soul version of the Santana and Isley styles. The message of love and the search for peace is the main point. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Various Artists – Blues Mix 23 – Ultimate Southern Soul (Ecko): Here’s a new batch of Ecko soul with it’s dance orientation and stories of temptation, desire, and “no holes barred” tales of bad luck, cheating and blues. Frankly, it’s the uptown version of the blues as performed in the disco. The performers include Ms Jody, O.B. Buchana, Jays Hammer, Sheba Potts-Wright, Val McKnight and lesser known artists Mr. Sam, Quinn Golden and Randolph Walker. Click here to check out all of the tunes on this disc.