New Blues Adds – 12/15/2014

New Blues News – 12/15/2014

Blue Lunch – Above The Fold (Rip Cat):  Eight piece veteran band from Cleveland delivers a variety of blues, retro swing, r&b, and even gospel!  The playing is smooth and tight, the sound is generally mellow, and 12 of the 15 songs are originals.  The group includes Bob Frank (guitar, vox), Peter London (harp, vox), Chris Burge (sax, vox), Mike Rubin (trumpet), Bob Michael (trombone, vox), Mike Sands (piano), Ray DeForest (bass) and Scott Flowers (drums).  Reminiscent of the softer swing of early Roomful of Blues in spots.  Click here for a live sample without the brass from 2012.

JD McPherson – The Warm Covers E.P. (HiStyle/Rounder):  Here’s a quartet of interesting JD McPherson covers:  A very cool and haunting version of Billy Boy Arnold’s “I Wish You Would”, remakes of Jimmy Hughes’ “Steal Away” and Nick Lowe’s “Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day” that use that distant-yet-urgent sound from early Elvis ballads and “Why Lady Why”, the country group Alabama’s second hit.  It’s not evident whether this is a teaser for McPherson’s next release or songs that stayed in the can when his first release came out.  He is expected to release a new full-length disc in 2015.  If you like his swampy rockin’, be sure to check out “I Wish You Would”.  Click here for a free download of this EP!

“Chicago” Carl Snyder – The Blue Keys (Lost World Music):  Veteran blues keyboard player Snyder has a great resume from his days in Chicago, playing with a wide variety of blues folks, including Junior Wells, Son Seals, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Zora Young and Andre Williams.  He subsequently moved to Pennsylvania and set up the Lost World Music label.  This disc is a retrospective of the recordings for the label with the proviso that Snyder played keyboard on each of the songs on display.  The jazzier uptempo songs fare the best overall, with “21st Century Blues” (Al Guerrerro), a nice reworking of “Birdnest on the Ground” (Dan Noland), and a slow shuffle, “I’d Rather Be Homeless” (Billy Sharp) being the most compelling on offer.  I would preview before “airing” or buying.  Click here for a sample from this disc.

Jon Spear Band – Old Soul (Self-produced):  This Shenandoah blues group who recorded this disc in Scottsville features Jon Spear (guitar, vox), Dara James (guitar, vox), Andy Burdetsky (bs), and one time Charlottesville Blues Allstars’ drummer John Stubblefield, and as a special treat, saxophonist Ron Holloway guests on the title track with his outstanding, signature sound.  The band plays a country-soul-blues fusion with clean sound and natural vocals that connect with listeners. They are tightly in sync on this grouping of nine originals and a solid performance of Bob Geddins’ “Tin Pan Alley”.  The lyrics are a high point of the original songs: good narratives and wit, for example “It’s the early bird that gets the worm, but the SECOND mouse gets the cheese.”  Mostly these are tales of a guy who’s been down in the swamp with witches, reincarnations, even the Devil himself… and he’s got stories to tell!   BTW, they’ll be at Miller’s on January 12!  Click here for a sample from a live show last January.

Raphael Wressnig – Soul Gumbo (Pepper Cake):  Austrian B-3 player Wressnig gathered up his friends/associates Alex Schultz (guitar) and Craig Handy (sax) and headed to New Orleans to prepare some musical gumbo worthy of his talent and the world capitol of soul.  Other contributors include Tad Robinson (vox), Jimmy Carpenter and “Sax” Gordon (sax), Stanton Moore (drums), George Porter Jr (bass), Walter “Wolfman” Washington (vox, guitar), Jon Cleary (vox, keys, guitar) and Larry Garner (vox)!  The disc contains a great mix of soul, jazz, funk and blues – all done with precision and style. The overall sound is smooth with just the right blend of spice!  Just what you might expect from a town called the “Big Easy”.  Click here for a sample of the man and his main band and then consider the guest list above!

Copasetically, into the new year to you all from the Professor!


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