New Blues News – 1/12/2015

New Blues News – 1/12/2015

New Blues Adds:

Wanda Johnson – Call Me Miss Wanda (Erwin Music) : Latest disc from South Carolina singer-songwriter Johnson, whose style is bluesy soul with a clear church (as opposed to gospel) influence.  All songs are originals: half by Miss Wanda and the rest by producer Gary Erwin.  Her vocals are pleasant,  straightforward, laid-back declarations.  The band features Shrimp City Slim (vox, g), John Etheridge (D, vox), Chuck ‘The Cat’ Morris (harp, box) and Silent Eddie Phillips (g).  They are a solid group and support her well.  The songs adhere to soul or club blues styles – don’t expect vocal or instrumental pyrotechnics.  Overall, a nice outing that grew on me with each new listen. Click here for a live performance. This post contains a certain amount of translation from English but keep watching and listening!  (Note: this is a great testimony for live music. The version of this song on the disc disc is good but much more restrained.) 

Vance Kelly – Live At Kingston Mines (Wolf) : Live blues and soul in Chicago from journeyman Kelly (guitar, vox) and his band (Jownne Scott – bass, Tyrone Mitchell – drums, Delby Littlejohn – keys, and Ethel Reed – percussion, vox) and it’s time to party!  Lots of blues and r&b standards jammed out for a good time – even some synthed-up ballads for the lovers in the crowd.  Kelly covers a lot of ground stylistically, but is at his best playing jumpin’ party blues.  Click here for a live performance.

Bill Phillippe – Ghosts (Arkansas Street Records) : Phillippe presents some favorite Delta tunes like “Come On In My Kitchen”, “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning” and “Death Letter” and sprinkles in some intriguing originals as well.  He has a clear, melodic, and largely unadorned vocal style and accompanies himself effectively on guitar throughout.  It is noteworthy that Phillippe does not try to mimic the older performances, some of which are quite well-known, but instead respectfully tailors them to his voice and guitar style. This result is a fine tribute to the early Delta blues and its heritage in the new compositions by Phillippe. Click here for a live sample of a song on this disc.

The Skip Castro Band – Boogie At Midnight (Hook Films) : From the moment this 1980 disc begins, it announces a rockin’ good boogie time is guaranteed to you by one of Cville’s terrific foundational bands.  This is the second edition of this “partying’s for everybody” institution, meaning that it includes more material than the original LP, which comprises the first five cuts. The next four are live performances from 1982, including “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” and three other classic styles of blues, rock’n’roll and classic r&b and the disc closes with three originals –  outtakes from the first sessions.  Bo Randall (g), Danny Beirne (keys), Corky Schoonover (d), and  Charlie Pastorfield (b) continue to spread the great joy and fire of boogie today and our music community owe them a terrific debt of gratitude. Click here for a 2010 live performance, joined in progress.

Bobby Smith – Back Home (Exploding Rabbit) : Long-term DC area musician presents a collection of blues from the archives (songs from BB King, Mississippi John Hurt, Fred McDowell, John Lee Hooker, and Skip James), rock (Chuck Berry’s “Go, Go, Go”) and several originals including a tribute to Link Wray (“Leslie Caron Doesn’t Always Come Back”), blues ballad “Shirley”, blues jump “A.A. County”, and the NOLA styled “If This House Could Talk”.  Personnel include Smith (g, fox), Danny Beirne (keys), John Previti (b), Jimi Lethridge (d), Robert Lighthouse (g) and occasional brass by Gary Hendrickson (trumpet), Gene Meros and George Reeder (saxes).  A wide-ranging collection with some nice surprises.

Copasetically,  Professor Bebop



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