New Blues News – 10/22/2019
Johnny Burgin – Live (Delmark): Here’s a live set from Johnny Burgin and he is right in the groove! He wrote or co-wrote all but four of the fourteen songs on offer and his bandmates and guests are among the best you could find anywhere. He has been around for several years, but where was I? The rhythm section players are Chris Matheos (bass) and Steve Dougherty (drums) and Burgin also has Kid Andersen (guitar, piano) in top form. Aki Kumar plays harp on two songs and percussion on two. Special guests are Rae Gordon (burning vocals), Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica on two songs) and Nancy Wright (sax on 5 songs). This is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid Of Cracks”! Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this disc.
Teresa James & The River Tramps – Live! (Jesi-Lu): Teresa James is back with one of her best releases in some time. She is supported by Terry Wilson who plays bass, sings in back-up, composed two songs and co-wrote five others. Other players are Billy Watts (guitar, vocal), Herman Matthews who shares drums with Jay Bellarose and Tony Braunagel, Lee Thornburg (trumpet), Darrell Leonard (trumpet), and Joe Sublett and Ron Dziubla (sax). There just seems to be a great deal of electricity in the set. One of James’ best! Click here to catch a live version of a song from this disc: “In The Pink”.
Bob Margolin – This Guitar And Tonight (VizzTone): “THIS GUITAR AND TONIGHT is my first all-acoustic album. Inspired by my 1935 parlor guitar, Muddy Waters (known for his electric playing) telling me 40 years ago he actually preferred acoustic guitar, and Amy Brat’s idea that an all-acoustic album would be a fresh adventure, this album made itself. New original songs came easy. My guests on one song each are harp master Bob Corritore and guitar virtuoso Jimmy Vivino. The recording approach is pure, the music sounds right in front of you, no added sugar. No artificial ingredients.” (Bob Margolin) Seven titles are solo events and Margolin carries everything quite well. Click here and look for the album “This Guitar And Tonight” to listen to songs on this disc.
Biscuit Miller & The Mix – Chicken Grease (American Showplace Music): “David Miller was raised on Chicago’s Southside. He was nicknamed “Biscuit” by his grandma as he wouldn’t get out of her kitchen. He learned to play bass from his older brother’s friend. His first professional gig was playing with Mojo Buford formerly of The Muddy Waters Band. One-day Biscuit received a phone call from Lonnie Brooks who asked him to sit in on bass for the evening. Biscuit remained with Brooks for ten years.” (https://www.makingascene.org/biscuit-miller-the-mix-chicken-grease/) He formed his own band in 2000 and this is his fifth release. The band lineup includes Biscuit, bass and lead vocals; Myron “Dr. Love” Robinson, an original member of The Mix who also played with Koko Taylor and Phil Guy and reunited with Biscuit in 2010, drums; Bobby B. Wilson who has also been with Biscuit since 2010, rhythm guitar; and Alex “Southside” Smith who joined in 2013, lead guitar. Guests include John Ginty, keyboards and Marcus Randolph, lap steel. The general sound is a combination of soul and blues and the themes often bring a smile. If titles like “Two Legged Dog”, “Chicken Grease” and “Creeping” demand your attention, jump on this! This is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks!” Click here to listen to the tale of the “Two Legged Dog”.
Miss Bix & The Blues Fix – We Don’t Own The Blues (Self-produced): “The concept of this collection of songs is inspired by the home of the blues, the Crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Leslie Bixler (aka Miss Bix) spent several months there soaking in the culture and learning the blues from the founders themselves. The songs reflect the culture that permeates the south, “Voodoo Man”, “Black Widow”, “Slave To The Grave”, and “Crazy Bout You” all have the smoky sensuous sound of the bluesy south. At the same time, Bixler creates a sound and voice that is all her own, and each song tells a different story.” (https://www.missbix.com/about) Miss Bix has a straight forward vocal style and her lyrics are haunting and intensified by her laid back and almost matter-of-fact intensity. Backing musicians include Ralph Carter (bass, percussion, guitar and keys), John ‘JT’’ Thomas (keyboards), Gary Mallaber (drums), Franck Goldwasser (aka Paris Slim on guitar), Bill Bixler, (sax) and RJ Mischo (harp). The sound reflects the heat – hot, sultry, taking it easy, but at it’s best, quietly dead serious. Click here to listen to samples of the song on this disc.