New Blues, Gospel & Soul News – 4/7/2020
Leroy Ellington & Sacred Hearts – Live and Kickin’ It! (Infinity Group): “This is a live record with no overdubs of a gritty, potent band. At times unpolished, and with a sound quality that isn’t always the best, this is raw live music from one of Cincinnati’s best bands. Leroy Ellington does all lead vocals and plays a honking saxophone on just two tunes supported by Max Gise and Marcos Sastre on guitar, Mike Grosser on bass, Charlie Fletcher on keys and John Parker on drums. In other words, this is one raging sextet, which is also augmented by two background vocalists (The Soul Flower Singers) and two horns (The Blowin’ Smoke Horns) on four tunes, three of which feature both units.” (https://www.makingascene.org/leroy-ellingtons-sacred-hearts-live-and-kickin-it/) Ellington wrote or co-wrote eight of the eleven songs on this disc. His style is blue rock and soul with a twist of country. The style is somewhat laid back and it will draw you in. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Piedmont Bluz Acoustic Duo – Ambassadors Of Country Blues (Piedmont Bluz): “Just when people think the old country blues of the Mid-Atlantic has faded away, along come the wonderful husband and wife duo of Valerie and Ben Turner who are the heirs to the Piedmont blues tradition. They are known as the duo ‘Piedmont Blūz’ and play the truehearted, authentic country blues with love. It’ll warm you heart. Keep your ears on Piedmont Blūz.” – Frank Matheis, Editor/Publisher of thecountryblues.com and Contributing Writer for Living Blues magazine” (http://piedmontbluz.com/presskit.html) This set covers songs from Elizabeth Cotton and Mississippi John Hurt to Tommy Johnson and Gary Davis and the Turners play and sing them in the old style. Delightful and righteous! Click here to catch a live version of Lightnin’ Hopkins “Needed Time” , one song that is on this disc.
Watermelon Slim – Traveling Man (Northern Blues Music): Two solo live performances by Watermelon Slim from 2016. Eighteen songs, twelve of which are originals. The covers include “16 Highway Blues”, “Smokestack Lightnin’”, and “Two Trains Running” and some lesser known tunes. Both performances are terrific! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this set.
The Legendary Ingramettes – Take A Look In The Book (Virginia Folklife): “Six decades of music, sixty-five years of song, generations tied together through the force of will of a matriarchy of powerful women. This is the story of The Legendary Ingramettes, founded by Maggie Ingram (who passed away in 2015) as a way to keep her family together through hardship, and taken up by her daughter Almeta Ingram-Miller as a way to continue Maggie’s legacy. Inspired by the black gospel male quartets of the 1940s and 50s, The Legendary Ingramettes bring roof raising harmonies and explosively powerful vocals, all driven by the voices of women. Based for many years out of Richmond, Virginia, they were led by the indomitable will of the woman they all called “Mama,” but now that Mama is gone, Take A Look in the Book is the group’s first efforts with Almeta at the head. The album showcases Almeta’s bold new vision and towering vocal abilities, drawing songs from new Appalachian sources like Ola Belle Reed and Bill Withers, and reworking family favorites, some of which date back to old spirituals. Produced by state folklorist Jon Lohman as part of the Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities, Take A Look in the Book was recorded over just three days in Richmond, with most songs being cut in one take to keep the power of the group’s incendiary live performances. A live show from The Legendary Ingramettes is a house-rocking affair, with audiences literally whipped to a gospel fervor, and the recording seeks to capture the electrifying nature of the group’s performances. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Ju Evans – All About Soul (Ecko): This appears to be Ju Evans’ second release and he also plays bass as well as singing and co-writing the songs with keyboard player Jessup Crosby. The music is smooth and the lyrics. There is a bit more variety than many of the releases on Ecko, but not by a lot. Smooth and silky but without an overbearing amount of sonic sweetness. Click here to check out samples of the songs on this disc.