New Blues News – 10/14/2016

New Blues News – 10/14/2016

Harpdog Brown – Travelin’ With The Blues (Dog House): Canadian bluesman Harpdog Brown and some impressive advocates and friend, several of whom were guests on this disc. The list includes Big Jon Atkinson (drums), Carl Sonny Leyland (piano), Jimmy Morello (drums), Rusty Zinn, Kid Anderson and Little Victor (guitar), and Charlie Musselwhite. Brown plays harmonica and sings and has regular bandmates Jordie Edmonds (guitar) and Pat Darcus (bass). Brown wrote or co-wrote most of the songs as well. Brown has an old style vocal style somewhat like Muddy Waters without the shout and the musical arrangements are in that classic electric Chicago blues way – nothing too fancy, but a mighty punch! Click here for a live performance with the regular group.     Click here to sample the songs on this disc.   

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials – The Big Sound Of…. (Alligator): Li’l Ed is back again, sliding and shouting his way through two revitalized JB Hutto songs 12 original solid blues jumps. Few people can keep the energy this high and the quality so consistent. Ed is fun-loving (try “I Like My Hot Sauce Cold”), but he can also make some solidly realistic commentaries (“Troubled World”). Ed’s slide is as potent as ever and his trade-off with guitarist Michael Garrett offer a nice blend of sounds. James ”Pookie” Young (bass) and Kelly Littleton (drums) make up the rest of the band, but they also get some nice help by keyboard player Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi. The powerful Alligator production is evident throughout. It must be time for a “wang dang doodle”! They don’t call it “house rockin’ music for nothing! Check it out! Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this disc.   

Tom Principato – Robert Johnson Told Me So (Powerhouse): While not strictly a blues disc, it is always good to hear new material by guitarist/singer/songwriter Tom Principato. The flavor is more blue rock with occasional mildly reggae-influenced songs. Principato is a very good good guitarist and always sings and plays within his grasp. All songs are originals. Instrumental support is provided by Joe Wells (drums), Steve Wolf and Willie Weeks (bass), Chuck Leavell, Tommy Lepson, and Tony Nalker (various keyboards), Josh Howell (harmonica, percussion), Chris Watling (bari sax), Antonio Orta (alto sax), John DeSalme and Pete BarenBregge (tenor sax), and Justine Miller and Graham Breedlove (trumpet). This disc was released in 2013. Click here to listen to the title song.  

Tom Principato – Alive And Still Kickin’ (Powerhouse): Two live gigs from 2014, first from the Barns at Wolf Trap and second a week later from France. Principato is good singer, but it is his guitar playing that steals the show. Hearing him live really gives him the opportunity to stretch out and show his chops. Personnel shifts some from one gig and the next: Tommy Lepson (keys, vocals), Josh Howell (percussion, harmonica, vocals), Joe Wells (drums), Jay Turner (bass), Chris Watling (bari sax), John DeSalma 9tenor sax), and Justine Miller (trumpet) played Wolf Trap and while Howell and Turner are also in France, Jim Brock (drums) and Renaud Cugny (keys) replace their counterparts from the earlier gig and there are no horns at the latter gig either. Click here to listen to songs on this disc.      

Sugar Ray & The Bluetones – Seeing Is Believing (Severn): One of the now senior set of bluesmen, Sugar Ray began recording in the late 70s. He is a singer and harp player of note throughout that time. He’s been a member of Ronnie Earl’s band and Roomful Of Blues prior to starting The Bluetones. He composed half of the songs on this disc, while the rest were contributed by band members Monster Mike Welch (guitar), Anthony Geraci (piano, organ), and Michael Muscat ward (bass). The final member of the band is drummer Neil Gouvin. Sugar Ray has settled in as an elder performer who knows his skill and has the certainty that he can honor his voice without hollering or howling and still be a solid blues performer throughout. Though somewhat mellower than some of his earlier work, the disc itself is high quality – sophisticated and jumping throughout. But don’t worry, the fire does still burn bright! Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.   


Professor Bebop


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