New Blues Adds – 11/1/2018
The Blues Disciples – Gravy Train (Self-produced): The Blues Disciples call Milwaukee home though they credit the Chicago Blues of the 50’s and 60’s as their root and the influence of Jim Liban and Billy Flynn have certainly put the smooth in their groove. In fact, Flynn plays guitar on three songs and Liban drums on two others. The main line-up features Jim “Barefoot Jimmy” Schwarz (harmonica, vocals), Paul Stilin (lead, rhythm guitar), Dave Cornette (drums, backing vocals), Karl Dvornik (bass), Chris Lehnert (organ) and the most wonderful Erica M. Johnson (vocals on four songs). Tom Sobel (saxes) and Jack Naus (trumpet) add additional jump to the proceedings as well. There is also a long list of guests who join in on the disc. This is solid jump blues with polish and demands some toe tapping or rug cutting if you just can’t sit down. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Regina Bonelli – Love Letter (Self-produced): This appears to be singer/organ player Regina Bonelli’s second release and she has both grit. Bonelli is a blues-inflected singer with some solid punch. She’s not a shouter exactly, but she sings with authority. She also wrote or co-wrote half of the nine songs on this release. She has a tough side, but also offers a range from the “in-your-face” warning of “Don’t Put Your Hands On Me” to her cooled down remake of “Paint It Black”. There are some fine tunes to check out along the way. She sounds as tough as Brooklyn, which is where she lives. Bonelli also gets some solid backup from her band, which features Tomas Doncker (guitar, vocals), Michael Hill (guitar), Kevin Jenkins and Mike Griot (bass), Nick Rolfe (organ, keys), Gary Schreiner (organ, harmonica), Tony Lewis & James Coley (drums), James Dellatacoma (guitar, washboard), Artur Uronen (pedal steel guitar) and Mark Henry (sax). Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc.
Dry Johnson – Long Live Them Blues (Self-produced): Sure it sounds like one person, but it’s really Terry Dry (bass) and Matthew Robert Johnson (drums) and a few friends who came by to raise some sand and shake down some blues! Also on hand are Mike Zito (guitar), Annika Chambers (vocals), Trudy Lynn (vocals), with John Del Toro Richardson, Mighty Orq and James Wilhite trading off on guitar, Steve Krase (harmonica), and beloved Houston musician Kevin “Snit” Fitzpatrick on vocals! This is NOT your fancy uptown blues. It IS your straight-forward, have a beer and dance or maybe stomp your foot blues. And, there are some folk or acoustic blues as well. If you don’t need your blues too flashy or loud, but just straight across, you will find a lot to like here! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Dave Keller – Every Soul’s A Star (Catfood): This is singer/songwriter/guitarist Dave Keller’s fifth release and he continues to create songs reminiscent of the Southern Soul of the 60’s. In fact, the only cover on this release is “Baby, I Love You”, a song performed by Aretha Franklin in 1967. He certainly can’t match her singing, but his heart and style are definitely in the right place. Keller is backed by the Catfish “Rays”, featuring Bob Trenchard (bass), Dan Ferguson (B3, Wurlitzer, keys), Richy Puga (drums), Mike Middleton (trumpet), Nick Flood (tenor & bari sax) and Johnny McGhee adding guitar solos on three songs. Keller sings well and his country soul is enticing. This is a fine hook for fans of the Southern Soul of the 60’s and I would recommend it for any soul fans. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Laurie Jane & The 45’s – Late Last Night (Down In The Alley): Laurie Jane Duggins offers a disc dedicated to Sara Martin, who may have been the first blues woman to record the blues (1922). Though surpassed in popularity by Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, she recorded for OKeh for many years. In this tribute, Laurie Jane (vocals) does some songs in the old tradition and you can even hear the megaphone sound or its equivalent at times. Four of the songs were written by her and the rest were composed by Clarence Williams, W.C. Handy and Sylvester Weaver, among others. The band features Cort Duggis (guitar, piano), Jason Embry (bass) and Scott Dugdale (drums) with guests Brian “Boss” Hogg (horns), Screamin’ John Hawkins (guitar) and Eric Snyder (trumpet). One other very wonderful aspect of this release is that some of the songs are done in a more modern style with touches of swinging blues or rock’n’roll. I truly think anyone who likes or at least has enjoyed this old style of blues will find this disc a real winner. In fact, this disc qualifies as a certified “Professor Bebop Wax (or shellac) Devoid of Cracks”! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Bryan Lee – Sanctuary (Self-produced): Singer/guitarist/songwriter Bryan Lee, who lost his sight at 8 years old, offers a blues gospel recording, meaning the music style is based in the blues while the gospel creates the lyrics. In that way, this is a fairly unique style. Lee also wrote or co-wrote eight of the eleven songs on offer. The music is performed as a live show. Backing musicians include Deidre Fellner (backing vocals), Marc Spagone and Adam Douglas (guitar), Greg Koch (dobro), Jack Berry, Per Oyster Erstad or David Kasik (bass), Matt Liban (drums), Jimmy Voegeli or Per Oyster Erstad (keys) and Paul Ryan and Steve Hamilton (percussion). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Poor Until Payday (Thirty Tigers): The Reverend Peyton has come back with a brand new set of original tunes and more than a little attitude. The man is shouting and stomping pretty much throughout. He’s playing finger style and slide guitar, blowing harmonica and singing lead, while the lovely Washboard Breezy Peyton adds her own vocals and plays washboard and percussion and Maxwell Senteney beats the drums and other percussion and sings a bit himself. The Reverend issues some warnings like “You Can’t Steal My Shine”, suffering being “Poor Until Payday” and even sounds like he’s having a hard time at the pulpit. Things are rough all over, it seems. Click here to see just how bad things are.
Teeny Tucker – Put On Your Red Dress Baby (TeBo): Teeny Tucker (nee Regina B. Higginbotham) offers her sixth release of soulful blues with more than a nod to the funky r&b past carved out by singers like her father, the late Tommy Tucker who passed away in 1982. Several of Teeny’s songs mirror her father’s style. She composed or co-wrote eight of the twelve songs on this disc. She is supported by Robert Hughes (guitar, backing vocal), Robert Blackburn (bass) except for 1 song when Dwight Cartier takes over, Linda Dachtyl (piano, B3) and Ryan Parkevich (drums). David Gastel adds harmonica on the opening song. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Joe Louis Walker / Bruce Katz / Giles Robson – Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues (Alligator): A new line-up and sound for Joe Louis Walker who plays and sings on this release with Bruce Katz on piano and Giles Robson on harmonica. With the exception of Robson and Walker’s “G&J Boogie”, the rest of the program focuses on titles by Papa Lightfoot, Sunnyland Slim, Rice Miller, Blind Willie McTell and Big Maceo Merriwather among others. Walker has done a few discs in this vein before and he shines, right along with Katz and Robson. If you like the acoustic blues, you will absolutely go for this. If you’re not sure, there is a good chance you’ll like this, too! Click here for an introduction to this disc by the players.
Raphael Wressnig – Chicken Burrito (XYZ): Keyboarding ace Raphael Wressnig composed all of the songs on this release, except for sharing writing lyrics with Larry Garner and Alex Schultz on the song “Born To Roam”. BTW, the accompanying players are Alex Schultz (guitar) and James Gadson (drums, tambourin). The disc spends its minutes in the hip and groovy zone with terrifically jazzy and funky soul jazz. It’s hip to the tip and don’t give me no lip! Check it out! Click here to listen to a song on this disc.