New Blues Releases – 1/19/2021
Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi – Are You Ready? The Mississippi Sessions (Hill House): “Texanadians Danny Brooks and Lil Miss Debi (formerly of Toronto Canada) met Tom Easley of AVA Entertainment in 2019 and discussed making a record, making a real recording, blending old school with new tricks and now have a recording that some listeners are calling “new vintage”. Recorded in Raymond Mississippi (a suburb of Jackson), Tom assembled some stellar musicians such as Chalmers Davis and Sam Brady, who he had worked with at Malaco Records (as an engineer). Rhythm section is brothers Micah and Joel May from Jackson Mississippi. James Lawlis, horn guru form Toronto Canada, Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters adds his guitar style along with John Fannin (formerly with Rusty Weir/Jerry Jeff Walker). Rounding things out is Geri O’Neil adding some bass and background vocals , along with Lil Miss Debi and Danny Brooks. Special thanks to Professor Andrew Lewis, who added piano/B3 on “We Do Whatever It Takes”, and who helped enormously on bed-tracks. Says Tom Easley, “this is a recording for these times, and people need to hear these songs and what they are saying!” The recording hearkens to a time when artists lived what they sang about, and wrote from the depths of those life experiences seared into their souls. You cannot scrub the Mississippi grit that clings to each of these tracks on “Are You Ready? The Mississippi Sessions!” Perhaps Greg Martin said it best years ago, and a little prophetic,”Listening to Danny Brooks is like driving out of Memphis Tennessee on a Sunday morning into the Mississippi Delta, listening to WDIA. It’s one of those things where time stands still. A dash of Eddie Hinton (Jerry Wexler referred to Eddie as the white Otis), Solomon Burke, Reverend James Cleaveland, and Howlin’ Wolf are all ingredients in Danny’s soulful, musical stew!” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137833073-danny-brooks-amp-lil-miss-debi-are-you-ready-the-mississippi-sessions-2020.html) Click here to hear “Jesus Had The Blues” from this set.
Catfish Keith – Blues At Midnight – Original Songs Of Catfish Keith (Fish Tail): “World-touring acoustic blues pioneer CATFISH KEITH presents his 19th album, BLUES AT MIDNIGHT, an album of some of the best of his original songs, written over his 40-year career. Catfish says, “A big part of my life since the beginning has been digging in the treasure trove and finding inspiration in the places where it all started. My own songs are in the spirit of heroes from the first generation of blues and roots music. You will hear echoes of Jessie Mae Hemphill, Johnny Shines, Lonnie Johnson, Blind Blake, Joseph Spence, and so many others. These songs are all my own, yet straight out this beautiful tradition. I am very proud of this record!” (https://www.catfishkeith.com/product/blues-at-midnight-cd/) Click here to listen to the title song on this release.
Jeremiah Johnson – Unemployed Highly Annoyed (Ruf): “Jeremiah Johnson takes the dangers of the COVID-19 virus as seriously as his music career. But no matter how you look at it, the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has effectively put him out of work. Unemployed Highly Annoyed is Johnsons response to the adverse situation. Quarantined at home for months, Johnson decided it was time to get creative. Being forced into unemployment has been beyond frustrating. I decided to produce an album of songs inspired by the Covid-19 Pandemic and try to turn the roller coaster of emotions into something musical. This is truly a concept album. Johnson exclaims. The final product is a first-class Blues/Roots Rock record that is packed full of stunning guitar work coupled with soulfully passionate bluesy southern vocals. Unemployed Highly Annoyed is a striking musical reflection of the times that delivers a message the entire world can relate to. Jeremiah Johnson blends the sounds of the south, with Mississippi River blues and a touch of country flair. Emotionally charged southern blues rock, powered by the common mans passion for life and all the struggles in-between. Songs with meaning, a powerfully persuasive voice and master class musicianship. Unemployed Highly Annoyed has caught lightning in a bottle with this masterful snapshot of these difficult times and is truly a testament to his talent. Possibly the best record of Johnsons career, born from the most challenging time in his life as a musician. “Unemployed and Highly Annoyed” was produced, recorded and mixed by Paul Niehaus IV at Blue Lotus Studios, St Louis MO. and is Jeremiah Johnson on lead vocals and guitars; Paul Niehaus IV on bass, keys and backing vocals; Tony Antonelli on drums, percussion and backing vocals. “Quarantined at home, forced into unemployment because of Covid-19, I have been going crazy. The lyrics to this song come from the headlines being broadcasted, in a nearly constant 24/7 news cycle of fear, on TV. In the end, Unemployed Highly Annoyed, pretty much sums up how I have been feeling! I hope you enjoy this jam.” – Jeremiah Johnson (Blues Magazine Click here to listen to a title on this release.
Dudley Taft – Cosmic Radio (Self-produced): “Dudley Taft grew up in the American Midwest, where he learned the values of friendship, roots blues, rock ‘n’ roll and a good ear of corn. With a background that includes Berklee College of Music as well as years touring with rock bands Sweet Water and Second Coming…. Dudley Taft has been playing blues rock since 2006, when he formed Dudley Taft Blues Overkill with like-minded Seattle musicians. After playing clubs and casinos in the Pacific Northwest for a couple of years, he released the album Left For Dead. Since 2010, Taft has recorded and released a total of six studio albums and one live CD, recorded on the European tours of 2014 and 2015. His songs, his rough-hewn voice, his stinging lead guitar, all recorded in his own Cincinnati studio (that he bought from Peter Frampton in 2013), shows an artist maturing into the kind of dire threat who will not back down. (Goldmine Magazine)” Click here to listen to the title song on this disc.
Peter Veteska & Blues Train – Grass Ain’t Greener On The Other Side (Blind Raccoon): “Not to be daunted by the particularly challenging year that is 2020, guitar journeyman Peter Veteska reloaded, regrouped, and recharged his band, Blues Train, to complete his fifth album. “Grass Ain’t Greener On The Other Side,” a 10-song set, is a departure from his previous jazz and funk influences, with the renowned hard-working guitarist going for a purer rock and blues sound. Peter V and longtime bandmate drummer, Alex D’Agnese, joined forces with rock solid bassist Coo Mo Jhee, and legendary blues, rock, and funk keyboardist, Jeff Levine, who has recorded and toured with Joe Cocker, Hall and Oates, Clarence Clemons, the Chambers Brothers and John Fogerty, to name just a few. The quartet is joined by special guests, Mikey Junior on vocals and blues harp, powerhouse vocalist Jen Barnes, and Delaware blues guitar veteran Roger Girke.” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137832135-peter-veteska-amp-blues-train-grass-aint-greener-on-the-other-side-2020.html) Veteska offers a straight ahead blues style that is welcoming rather than offering the overblown styles many blues rockers prefer these days. Nice set of six originals and fresh covers of “Baby You’ve Got What It Takes”, “Learning The Blues”, “Heartbreaker” and “You Don’t Love Me”. Click here to listen to the title song.