New Blues Adds – 10/15/2014


First a quick note!  I want to welcome Ann Porotti back from her travels and thank her for allowing me to fill in on posting new jazz and blues while she was away.  We have decided to split the task of publishing the new recordings in order to make the task more efficient and get the new acquisitions in the studio and on the air sooner.  Ann will resume introducing you to the jazz discs and I will continue with the blues.  I’ll also keep working on my picture insertion skills!  So, let’s get at it!

Copasetically, Dave “Professor Bebop” Rogers

Blues Adds: 10/15/2014

Rory Block – Hard Luck Child (Stony Plain):  Rory Block returns with the next, and possibly final, chapter in her personal campaign to honor the blues masters she met and whose music formed the virtual core of the folk blues revival of the 60’s.  Having already dedicated discs to Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Reverend Gary Davis, and Mississippi John Hurt, Block offers an introductory song summarizing the early life and musical background of Nehemiah Curtis “Skip” James, followed by her performance of nine of his essential compositions.  Taken together, the songs create a fantastic image of the man and his Muses. Block performs solo and offers a introduction and overview of James’ influences and triumphs.  Click here for an excerpt of a concert from a couple of years back.

JW – Jones – Belmont Boulevard (Blind Pig): Canadian singer/guitarist/writer’s 7th disc presents seven Jones originals (some with collaboration) and covers of Bobby Parker and Buddy Guy.  His guitar is central to the sound and is strong yet mostly under control (Jones does turn it loose on a renamed version of Magic Sam’s “Looking Good”.) Instrumental support comes from Laura Greenberg and Dave Roe on bass, Jamie Holmes and Tom Hambridge on drums, Reese Wynans on keys and Rob McNelley on guitar.  Jones’ voice is pleasant with no defined style.  Style is more rockin’ blues and the closer to blues-based tunes Jones is, the better the sound. This disc certainly could appeal to fans of today’s rock and roll as well.  Click here for a live version of “Watch Your Step” that Jones recorded in studio for this disc.

Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls – Soul Brothers (Catfood): Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls have established a periodic partnership in the past year or so and this disc is the first to bill them as the duo “Soul Brothers”.  Both focus on vocals, singing such classics as “Momma Didn’t Raise No Fool”, “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” and “Turn Back The Hands of Time” as well as several songs written or co-written by Rawls.  The band, The Rays, who formerly backed Kay Kay Greenwade and Rawls himself is a tight aggregation and this blue soul gig fits them just fine.  The line-up Johnny McGhee (g), Richy Puga (d), Bob Trenchard (b), Dan Ferguson (keys), Andy Roman and Nick Flood (sax), Mike Middleton (trumpet), and Robert Claiborne (trombone) and they are smooth and tight!  Click here for a live version of a song on this disc.

Mississippi Heat – Warning Shot (Delmark): Do you love those Chicago harp-centered blues  bands inspired by Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Junior Wells, etc?  Well, here’s Mississippi Heat, (terrific blues since 1991), centered on the versatile and compelling harp playing of Pierre Lacocque and the full-voiced Inetta Visor and supported by some well-known guests (Carl Weathersby (g), Kenny Smith (d), Sax Gordon (sax)) and a band full of excellent, if not-so-famous players.  This band plays a wide variety of styles, all of which are authentic and terrifically executed.  The vast majority of the songs are originals and guaranteed to make you cop a boogity-woogity.  “A PHENOMENAL PERFORMANCE!”  (Charlie Musselwhite)  “A certified ‘Professor Bebop Wax Devoid of Cracks’! “ (Professor Bebop)  Play it! Listen to it! Buy it!  Click here for a sample from a 2012 concert.  Some band members have changed, but not the basic sound.

Duke Robillard Band – Calling All Blues (Stony Plain): Duke Robillard returns with a disc he “envisioned…as an album of blues and blues related, mostly original songs that touch on a few of the many styles of American music based on the blues.”  Duke’s playing is a bit more jagged this time out and his voice has some road-wear, but his band supports him well, making this a nice set.  His basic band includes Bruce Bears (keys, vox), Brad Hallen (b, vox), Mark Teixeira (d) and guests include Sunny Crownover (vox), Rich Lataille (sax), Mark Farley (sax), and Doug Woolverton (trumpet).  The mellow thrust is the natural Robillard we’ve come to expect.  A venerable performance from the founder of Roomful of Blues.  Click here for a live concert from 2013.  Not exactly the same band, but the performance is consistent with the new disc.

Jimmy Thackery – Extra Jimmies (Blind Pig): Reissue of 13 out of print tunes by former Nighthawk and guitarist-singer Jimmy Thackery.  Four are from ’92, five from ’98 and there are four live tracks from ’95. The live ones are the hottest, but the quality is strong throughout.  These re-mastered recordings sound great and are a terrific reminder of how many strong performances Thackery has given us over the years.  Click here for a sample of Jimmy Thackery live in 2009.

Gospel Add:

George Dean and G4 – Back To The Basics Again (Ecko) : This is modern, updated, uptown gospel!  Veteran George Dean has transformed the Gospel Four into “G4” and the result is smooth and polished. Supported by solid harmony from Deven Taylor, Kendrick Blair, and Jeremy Menses and a host of musicians, the Dean and G4 move back and forth between the more traditional call and response to the highly pop-influenced oh-so-slick and dazzling vocal group sound.  I have to do two of these!  Click here for the lowdown on what uptown gospel IS (and actually was 50+ years ago)!  AND!…here’s a live version of one of the songs on this disc – Click Here!


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