New Blues News – 1/20/2015

New Blues News – 1/20/2015

New Blues Adds:

Tas Cru – You Keep The Money (Crustee Tees):  Most recent release (his 5th) from bandleader Cru (guitars, vox, writer of all songs on this disc) with backup by Mary Ann Casale (vox, dulcimer), Alice “Honeybea” Ericksen (vox), Dick Earl Ericksen (harp), Chip Lamson (piano), Guy Nirelli (organ), Bob Purdy (bass), and Dave Olson and Bob Holz (drums).  The songs range from up-tempo good time rockin’ blues to some beautiful, contemplative ballads.  The group is tight and has a nice sound.  Cru recently received the 2014 “Keeping the Blues Alive” Award from the Blues Foundation.  Click here to go to Cru’s webpage and some samples from this CD (scroll down and look on left).

Mulebone – Mulebone (Red Tug): Recordings from 1996 and 2000 (released in 2012) from this intriguing duo featuring Hugh Pool on guitar, vocals and harp and John Ragusa on flute, tin whistle, fife, cornet, vocals and “twanger” performing mostly older blues from the likes of Rev. Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, Son House and Muddy Waters. You may have guessed based on the instrumentation that these guys are not particularly content to copy originals.  If so, you’re on target.  Mulebone frequently shifts the texture of the classics they cover. For instance, the old timey atmosphere is enhanced on “Candy Man” by a crackling background from what sounds like a stylus at the end of the last track of a scratchy record.  At the same time, their performances are completely respectful of the original material.  A very nice release.  Click here for a live version of one of the songs on this disc.

Junior Wells – Southside Blues Jam (Delmark) : Recorded and originally released in 1970, the first eight tracks comprised the second release by vocalist/harp hero Wells for this seminal Chicago label.  Wells and his main partner Buddy Guy (guitar/vox) are joined by Louis Myers (guitar), Otis Spann (the great pianist’s final studio recording), Earnest Johnson (bass), and veteran Fred Below (drums) on these eight and an additional unreleased seven tracks recorded at this two-day session.  Fantastic, spare and intense classic Chicago blues from this all-star group, including some of Wells’ finest singing and playing.  A certified Professor Bebop ‘Wax Devoid of Cracks”!  Click here for a live performance Wells and Guy from the same time when this disc was being recorded.

New Soul Adds:

Sheba Potts-Wright – I Came To Get Down! (Ecko): Here’s a new batch of the highly stylized soul that is Ecko’s specialty.  Potts-Wright has a strong declarative voice and is quite at home with the mostly mid-tempo, synth-drenched, soul blues that fills this disc.  It’s all very smooth and stylized music for the mid-tempo adult dance crowd. Click here for a live performance of a song from this disc.

Various Artists – Blues Mix 15 – Down Home Soul (Ecko): A dozen slices of soul blues from Ecko, one of the most active producers of the genre today.  In this case, eight of the twelve are previously unreleased and performers include Sheba Potts-Wright, Ollie Nightingale, Lee Shot Williams, Ms. Jody, and O.B. Buchana and a few lesser known lights.  The Ecko style is a “just outside of town and as slick as you can be when you’re not uptown” mix of soul based blues that is designed for an adult night out.  Lots of observations and advice about L-U-V.  (My favorite lines include “Your love is good enough to put in a pot full of greens” and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what that means!)  Standout songs include Mz. B’s “I’d Rather Wait Till He’s Hittin’ It”, O.B. Buchana’s “Take My Wife Back”,  and its answer “I Can’t Take Your Wife Back” by Donnie Ray.  Rated PG.

Copasetically,   Bebop


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