New Blues & Gospel News – 1/25/2019
Big Al & The Heavyweights – World Full Of Trouble (EllerSoul): Drummer Big Al Lauro offers a set of mostly originals on this blues based and country-tinged set. Based in New Orleans now, the band was originally led by Lauro and Warren Haynes. The band has released six discs, now minus Haynes, but sporting a mix of music from blues to rock, zydeco to jazz and even country. Band members include Lance Younger and John Lisi (vocal, guitar), Destin Thibideaux or Jason Ricci (harmonica), Wayne Lohr (keys, voices), Dean Galatas (bass), Lance Ellis (sax) and Dwight Brelnad (steel guitar). The group keeps your toes tapping and they push the backroom blues and jump all through the house. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Bloodest Saxophone – Texas Queens 5 (VizzTone – Dialtone): Bloodest Saxophone is a group of 20 year veteran horn players from Japan. They have 11 prior recordings of their own, including performing with Big Jay McNeely. Their sound is based upon the big sax sound of the 1940’s and 50’s – honking and swinging. The band includes Koda “Young Corn” Shintaro (tenor sax), Coh “Colonel Sanders” (trombone), Osikawa Yukimasa (bari sax), Shuji “Apple Juice” (guitar), Takeo “Little Tokyo” (bass) ,and Kiminori “Dog Boy” (drums and congas). (Liner notes) Their manager brought them to Austin’s Texas’ East Side Festival and the fire was lit. The Texas Queens 5 are Diunna Greenleaf, Lauren Cervantes and Angela Miller from Austin’s Soul Supporters, Jai Malano from Austin and Crystal Thomas from Shreveport, LA. Their mix of blues, gospel, R&B, and soul provides the perfect rave reflecting both the the heat and electricity of the jump, honk and stomping swing of the best musical expression of r’n’b based soul music. Only one thing to add: This is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Click here to listen to a brief sample of the opening song.
Baldori & Migliazza – The Boogie Kings – Disturbing The Peace (Spirit): Bob Baldori and Arthur Migliazza are both outstanding boogie players – Baldori got hooked on Chuck Berry and played piano with him for 50 years and Migliazza was a child prodigy who took lessons from Henry Butler, Ann Rabson and Baldori! The duo has been a fixture ever since. In fact, Baldori also plays a totally righteous harmonica and both sing a bit. It is their boogie that is the real treat though. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Eric Gales – The Bookends (Provogue): Fusion rocker Eric Gales really shows his mastery of electric guitar on this release and he certainly sings as well as he ever has. His band includes Mononeon (bass), with Orlando Thompson (bass on 1 song), Aaron Haggerty (drums), Ladonna Gales (backing vocals, percussion), Dylan Wiggins (organ, Rhodes) with Vince Jones adding keys to one song. Special guests are Ken Valdez, Doyle Bramhall (verses and middle solo on “Southpaw Serenade”, Beth Hart (strong vocals on “With A Little Help From My Friends”) and B. Slade for lead and background vocals on two songs). Gales’ singing seems stronger and more comfortable on this disc than on earlier discs and his playing continues to be staggeringly inventive. Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
Tomislav Goluban – Chicago Rambler (Spona): Croation singer and harmonica player Tomislav Goluban offers his tenth release – the first produced in the U.S. Goluban sings in English in a rather plaintive style and he also plays harmonica on all but two songs on which he steps aside for Joe Filisko. Backup on this release are Eric Noden (guitar), E.G. McDaniel (bass) and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith. He’s not at the level of Noden and Filisko, but there are some good moments. He is certainly worth a listen. Click here to listen samples of the songs on this disc.
Little Freddie King – Absolutely The Best (MadeWright): Little Freddie King is comfortably a NOLA blues man these days and this release collects some of his favorite recorded performances from the past decade. King is the centerpiece of each song with “Wacko” Wade (drums, percussion), Bobby diTullio (harmonica) and Scott Craver (bass). All of these songs were composed by King and Wade. The set is intriguing and funky as can be in a countrified set. NOLA certainly is the urban swamp capitol of this style! I didn’t make through the entire disc before declaring “This is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid Of Cracks!” Click here to listen samples of some of the songs on this disc.
Dee Miller Band – Leopard Print Dress (Self-produced): Vocalist Dee Miller has a great sense of the blues while honoring her own expressive strengths. This disc opens with an original song by the band and then shifts to classic songs composed by Bekka Bramlett and Gary Nicholson, the Eagles, George Jackson, Mike Mattison and Derek Trucks, among others. It’s mostly a cover set, but they have chosen such terrific songs to cover and she and the band do a terrific job. The core of the band is Craig Clark (vocals, guitar), Eric Meyer (bass, vocals), Jesse Mueller (keys) and Mike DuBois (drums) and the guests include Toby Marshall (organ), John Pinckaers (piano), Paul Mayasich (steel guitar), Steve “Boom Boom” Vonderharr (blues harp), and Dylan Salfer (slide guitar). It’s a fine set performed by a truly solid band and singer! Definitely worth checking out and continuing to follow! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Paul Nelson – Over Under Through (Riverwide): Singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Nelson offers a laid back but powerful disc. The tone is like JJ Cale or Tom Rush with that little rasp of Stephen Stills’ when he sings ballads with a deeper shade of blue. The performances are generally quiet and with Nelson’s laid back vocals draw the listener to his lonesome lyrics. He even transforms the one cover in the set – Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line”. Despite the promise in the lyrics, it sounds like he’s almost holding his breath because of an earlier transgression that eats him up while he tries to keep his past transgression buried. This is a solid work throughout. In addition to Nelson (vocal, acoustic guitar, mandolin, Fender Rhodes, percussion), music contributors are Kevin Barry (electric, acoustic, lap steel guitars), John Sands (drums), Richard Gates and Paul Kochanski (bass),Tom Eaton (percussion, B3, “backwards” Rhodes), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn, trumpet), and Kristin Cifelli, Ellis Paul and Nick Fuller (harmony vocals). Highly recommended! Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Benny Turner & Cash McCall – Going Back Home (Nola Blue): “Blues legends Benny Turner and Cash McCall’s friendship began in Chicago over sixty years ago. The pair reunited to revisit their roots and the songs they once played nightly in South and West Side nightspots for…” this release. “The duo trade off on lead vocals with Cash handling guitar and Turner laying down the bass as he did for years in his big brother Freddie King’s band. The ten songs each hold a special place for Cash and Turner and are a collection of Chicago era favorites and rare gems….” (https://blindraccoon.com/clients/benny-turner-cash-mccall/) The songs range from classics like “Spoonful”, “Shake Your Moneymaker” and other Willie Dixon classics, “Built For Comfort” and “Bring It On Home” to “The Dirty Dozens” and McCall’s “Money”. They also trade off as lead singers and share leads on several songs as well. Billy Branch (harmonica, vocal) guests. There are time when the road wear is apparent, but overall this is a very enjoyable and accessible release. Click here and scroll way down to listen to a sample from this disc.
New Gospel Release:
Reverend Charlie Jackson – God’s Got It (CaseQuarter): This release is both an electric gospel collection and a historical collection. “Essential. These recordings are among the most exciting and intense gospel recordings you are ever likely to hear.” (Roots & Rhythm) “Jackson’s music is deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta tradition, and his singles for the Booker label in New Orleans, and his own Jackson label make manifest the inseparable connection between the sinning music of Saturday Night and the sanctified music of Sunday morning. Like Fred McDowell and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jackson’s sound is one that comes from the well of the body. These 18 tracks reflect history certainly, but more than that they offer a striking view of how country blues became urban blues-in the arms of the Southern churches.” (All Music Guide) This music is hard-hitting and truly connections between the blues and gospel. Essential! Click here and scroll here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.