New Blues News – 11/12/2019
Altered Five Blues Band – Ten Thousand Watts (Blind Pig): The Altered Five Blues Band certainly serves up some solid blues whether altered or not. They have the presence of a rock band, but this crew is serving BLUES rock rather than the other way around. Singer Jeff Taylor has a voice that can fill the house all by itself, but the blend with Jeff Schroedl (guitar), Mark Solveson (bass), Raymond Tevich (keys) and Alan Arber (drums) is just right on it! Harp player Steve Cohen adds some righteous harmonica on two songs as well. Solid! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Chris “Bad News” Barnes – Live (VizzTone): “Chris ‘Bad News’ Barnes is a live performer. After logging over 2,000 stage shows with Chicago’s legendary Second City comedy troupe, Barnes has brought that expertise to the Blues concert stage. On the Legendary.Rhythm & Blues Cruise #32, along with a crew of world-class musicians including special guest lead guitarist Gary Hoey & harmonica ace Steve Guyger, Chris Barnes delivered three amazing knockout shows. Grammy Award-winning producer Tony Braunagel and engineer Johnny Lee Shell of Ultratone Studios and the Phantom Blues Band, who were also on board playing with Taj Mahal, were able to record and capture the lightning energy of these shows.” (https://bluesmusicstore.com/chris-bad-news-barnes-live/) Barnes is a raver and everybody was in a good mood. Songs include “You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover”, “Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)”, “It’s Tight Like That”, “Whipping Post” and “Raise Your Hand” among others. I regret I am unable to find a sample of the music on this cruise.
Joanna Conner – Rise (MC): “Joanna Connor is an American Chicago-based blues singer, songwriter, and virtuosa guitarist. Connor was born in Brooklyn…. After moving to Chicago, Illinois in 1984, she was drawn to the Chicago blues scene, eventually sharing the stage with James Cotton, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and A.C. Reed. By 1987, she had started her own band, and recorded her first album for Blind Pig Records in 1989. This will be her thirteenth release. Connor is a guitar wizard with dazzling skill and terrific versatility. She sings and plays bass as well. She composed or co-wrote all but two of the songs. The songs she covered are Sly Stone’s “If You Want Me To Stay” and Buddy Johnson’s “Since I Fell For You” and those co-written have solid rap vocals created by Alphonso Buggz Dinero. The other band members are Joewaun Jay Red Scott (bass), Cameron Lewis or Tyrone “Ty Drums” Mitchell (drums), Delby Littlejohn (keys), and Ryan Shea (sax) with additional guests Mike Zito (guitar, vocal) and Ricky Lontones and Keithen Banks (vocal). Click here to check out Conner with Mike Zito.
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes – Cypress Grove (Easy Eye Sound): “Jimmy “Duck” Holmes (born July 28, 1947) is an American blues musician and proprietor of the Blue Front Cafe on the Mississippi Blues Trail, the oldest surviving juke joint in Mississippi. Holmes is known as the last of the Bentonia bluesmen, as he is the last blues musician to play the Bentonia School. Like Skip James and Jack Owens and other blues musicians from Bentonia, Mississippi, Holmes learned to play the blues from Henry Stuckey, the originator of the Bentonia blues. Holmes’ music is based in the Bentonia tuning utilizing open E-minor, open D-minor and a down tuned variant, and is noted for its haunting, ethereal, rhythmic and hypnotic qualities. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_%22Duck%22_Holmes) The music is hypnotic, deep blues blended with the Hill Country style. Dan Auerbach’s guitar is an essential element in this music as well. Strongly modern yet ancient blues as the best Hill Country style does. This is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid Of Cracks!” Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Bobby Thompson – Bobby Thompson (Root Nine): “Awe-inspiring master guitarist and vocalist Bobby Thompson is no stranger to the blues and rock world. He cut his teeth learning to play in the old blues clubs of D.C. from the likes of Bobby Parker. After honing his craft as a much sought after support man, Thompson decided to step out as a solo artist, releasing three albums since 2011. A recent review from Roots Music Report claims Thompson’s songs portray “muscular blues- and soul-rock strong on soulful vocals and cut-above-the-norm originals.” With his smooth, gripping vocal stylings and his perfect musical taste on anything with a string, Thompson is what’s referred to as a “musician’s musician.” (https://www.sonicbids.com/band/revelatorhill/) Thompson’s playing is especially noteworthy in building the mood and focus of his lyrics. His stories are expressive and magnetic and the overall presentation is uniquely inviting and expressive. This is also a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks!” Check out this sample from the disc.