New Blues Adds – 11/18/2014

New Blues News – 11/18/2014

Blues Adds:

Magnus Berg – Cut Me Loose (Self-produced): Initial release by 18 year old Norwegian guitar wiz Magnus Berg shows off his great feel for a variety of blues styles on this mix of standards, such as “San-Ho-Zay”, “Kansas City Blues”, and a re-styled take on “Hoochie Coochie Man”, and several originals that demonstrate his understanding of the effectiveness of playing within the song.  He clearly has the chops to fire off raging hot licks, but doesn’t feel the need to go over the top on every take.  His band, Havard Sunde (d), Ray Oscar Pettersen (b), and especially Bjorn Tore Larsen (Harp), are a tight group whose sympathetic support really solidifies the overall sound.    Click here for a live sample from a year ago.

Georgie Bonds – Stepping Into Time (8th Train): Singer Georgie Bonds’ life has been a true blues experience, including multiple health issues which have changed the course of his life several times.  Despite his hardships, Bonds has rebounded first becoming a blacksmith and later a blues singer.  This is his second release and all but two of the songs are originals by him or members of the band. He sings mostly in a declarative style, but as indicated in his acapella rendition of “St. James Infirmary”, he also possesses a deep soulful delivery.  Band members are Neil Taylor (g), Andy Haley or Russ Joel (d), Kenny Githens or James White (b), and Walter Runge or Joey Stout (keys).  Buddy Cleveland adds harp to five songs.  The band is tight and together and songs like “Dyin’ Is The Easy Way”, “What More?”, the uptown “Going Shopping” and the aforementioned “St. James Infirmary” point to a very promising future.  Click here for a link to Bonds’ story and a preview of this disc.

Jerry Lee Gingery & The Juju Kings – Southside Of Nowhere (Mojo Palace): Gingery leads this midwestern rockin’ blues band (he sings, plays guitar and bass and wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on this disc).  Other members include Eddie Narakas (g), Roberto Aguilera Jr (d), and Timothy Romanowski (keys).  Gingery’s unadorned vocals and the straightforward overall band sound is mostly rather laid back. The tracks with the added harp by Brandon Santini have the greatest impact.  Click here for a preview of this disc on Gingery & the Juju Kings’ webpage.

Jim Liban w/ The Joel Paterson Trio – I Say What I Mean (Ventrella): Reunion of former bandmates Jim Liban (harp, vocals) and Joel Paterson (g) playing 14 blues originals.  The musical soundscape is sparse yet expressive, somewhat a throwback to an older swinging style.  Less is often more. Liban, former player in A.B. Skhy, gave up his high-profile career in that increasingly psychedelic blues rock outfit to return to a more traditionally connected blues harp sound.  The man definitely knows his way around the harp. Paterson has also dedicated himself to the earlier blues and country sound (think early Sonny Boy Williamson #2 “Too Close Together” or rockabilly without the frenzy).  The combination creates a tasty swing without the need for earplugs.  The trio includes Beau Sample (b), Scott Ligan (keys) and a variety of drummers shifting from one song to the next.  There is a lot to like here!  Click here for a live performance of Jim Liban with the Joel Paterson Trio from fours years ago.

Low Society – You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down (Icehouse): This second release by blues-soul-rock band Low Society features large and, at times, intense vocals by Mandy Lemons, who cites Koko Taylor, Etta James and Janis Joplin as influences (Janis being the most obvious to these ears).  The remaining band members are Sturgis Nikides (g, vox), Mike Munn (d), and Nick Dodson (b) with occasional support from Rick Steff and John Shaw (keys), Herman Green (sax), and Brian Hawkins (harp).  There is a surprising amount of variety on the disc from covers like Koko Taylor’s “Voodoo Woman” and Memphis Minnie’s “Let Me Ride” and originals that vary from blues rock to soul to vaudevillian stylings to blues ballad to gospel – even a country-style tune!  This group is clearly inviting everyone to their party!  Click here for a video of the title tune.    Click here for a live version of another song from the disc.

Bobby Spencer – Hurricane Unleashed (R Music): Bobby “Hurricane” Spencer is a 45-year veteran tenor sax player who has played with an incredible list of blues, jazz and r&b greats during his career as a member of the house bands at a variety of clubs, such as Eli’s Mile High Club in the Oakland area.  This disc is a collection of songs he enjoys that range from jump blues to ballads to soul jazz.  He has a nice tone and a pleasant voice.  The “bonus” tracks come from an earlier recording and are the highlight of this disc.  Click here for sample performances.

No new Soul or Gospel Adds this week.


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