New Blues News – 11/11/2016

New Blues News – 11/11/2016

Murali Coryell – Mr. Senator (Self-produced): Coryell (guitar, vocals) offers a new selection of six original songs with backup provided by Ernie Durawa (drums, percussion) and Chris Alcatraz and Tony Levin (bass) with guest spots by Bill Evans (sax)Louis Ortega (guitar, vocals). The material covers a lot of stylistic ground from blues to blues rock to soul oldies such as “This Masquerade” and “Higher Ground” and a Tejanos number. There’s even a political commentary. He plays guitar well throughout and it mostly overshadows the vocals. Click here to listen to samples from this disc.   

Donald Ray Johnson & His Gas Blues Band – Bluesin’ Around (Self-produced): Blues singer Donald Ray Johnson relies on the classic electric blues styles from the 60s through the 90s. He did write one song on offer and one was written by his band. The remainder are covers of songs from BB King, Willie Dixon to Joe Louis Walker, Phillip Walker and Lucky Peterson. The style is solid blues. The band includes “Gas” Gaspard Ossikian Guitar), “Little Peter” (Pierre Cayla, guitar), “Pompon” Phillippe Scemama (bass), and “Papayan” Yannick Urbani (drums) with guests Daniel Antoine (keys), Samuel Dumont (sax), and Nicolas Gardel (trumpet). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.   

JW Jones – High Temperature (Solid Blues): Jones is a veteran Canadian blues singer/guitarist/songwriter with many releases to his name. His guitar playing is strong and straightforward like other guitarists who play that “country rock with a touch of blues” style. In addition to Jones, the players include Colin Linden (guitar), Laura Greenberg and Dominic John Davis (bass), Mathieu Lapensee and Bryan Owings (drums), Kevin McKendree (keys), Liam Russell (backing vocals) and Jaida Dreyer (vocals). Jones wrote five of the thirteen songs on offer here. Click here to listen to a song from this disc.   

Billy Seward – South Shore (Self-produced): Singer/guitarist Billy Seward began his musical career in West Side Chicago, but was bitten by the Hi sound of Al Green, Syl Johnson and Otis Clay. That drove him to move to Memphis where he adopted the style and attitude. He has released at least one disc prior to this one, but has obviously spent most of his time absorbing and playing the soul blues he loves so much. The sound on this disc is a ringer for the great “Hi Soul Sound”. He wrote seven of the eleven tunes on offer, as well. In addition Seward’s vocals and guitar playing, the musicians include Marty Binder (drums), Harlan Lee Terson (bass), John Kattke (keys) and guests Jimmy Johnson (vocals, guitar), Tom Moore (harmonica), Wille Henderson (bari sax), Doug Corcoran (trumpet), Steve Elsen (tenor sax) and producer guitarist Dave Specter taking a couple of solos as well! Th disc is a great connection between the West Side and Memphis. This slice is not just down in the cut, it stands solidly on holy ground. A Certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid Of Cracks”! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.   

Tony Vega Band –  Black Magic Box (Silver Belly): Singer/songwriter/guitarist Tony Vega has several releases to his credit. This new issue spotlights his outstanding guitar playing and the tightness of his band to the utmost. Vega wrote five of the nine songs and among the covers the band plays raved up old R&B (“Drinking Beer”), a revised “Begin The Blues” (Barney Kessell) and Lyle Lovett’s “Penguins”. The band also includes Damien Llanes (drums), Eric Przygocki (bass), Randy Wall (keys), and guests Guy Forsyth (harmonica, resonator guitar), Johnny Moeller (guitar) and Oliver Sleck (accordion). This would no doubt be a great band to catch live. Click here to listen to a song from this disc.   


Professor Bebop


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