New Blues News – 2/16/2016

New Blues News – 2/16/2016

Blue Largo – Sing Your Own Song (Self-produced): Veteran guitarist Eric Lieberman had to overcome significant dystonia problems in his right arm that prevented him from holding and playing with a pick. He retrained himself so that he could perform again and this disc is a celebration. He formed the original band with vocalist Alicia Aragon and, over ten years later, they are able to record again. Half of the repertoire on this disc are covers of various blues chestnuts, such as “Guitar Rhumba”, “Okie Dokie Stomp”, “I Need You So Bad” and “Sitting On Top Of The World” and the remainder are original compositions. The style is swing blues like the less intense sides cut by early and more recent Duke Robillard. Aragon’s somewhat quavery vocals seem to fit the music well. The remainder of the players include Jonny Viau and/or Dave Castel de Oro (saxes); Marcus P. Bashore, Ron Felton or Marty Dodson (drums); Art Kraatz or Joey Jazdzewski (bass); Taryn Donath or Rafael Salmon (keys); and Nathan James (guitar, bass). Click here for a sample song from the disc.

Calvin Conway – Dark Horse Deluxe (Tone Royale Music): Calvin Conway is a veteran blues player from Chicago who is a solid harp player, who also accompanies himself on this disc on bass, guitar, lap steel, violin, piano, electric kazoo, saw blade, seed roaster and various other accoutrements. He even whistles! The sound is earthy, mostly gut bucket electrically overblown blues, but as with the instrumentation, incorporates several styles (old timey, gospel, classic blues). Click here to listen to sample songs from the disc. There are four, but the last two are live versions of those two titles and those takes are not on the disc.

The Dave Muskett Acoustic Blues Band – Recorded Live At The Slippery Noodle Inn (Muskett Music Media): Singer/songwriter/guitarist Muskett presents this live recording with his Acoustic Blues Band, featuring Mark Carnes (harmonica, backing vocals), Jay Arnold (bass, backing vocals) and Charlie Bushor (drums) performing a dozen original songs. Muskett’s vocal style is reminiscent of David Bromberg with a somewhat fuller/grittier quality.  The lyrics are truly witty. Examples include “If she can’t lose, she can’t give the blues to me” or “if you ain’t got it all, you ain’t got it all to lose”. On top of that, the band, blending well throughout, is especially tight on the syncopated “Rain Song”. This was a great gig – surely a lot of fun for the audience and band. Click here to see a introduction to this disc with some very nice samples.

The Riff Riders – Hit The Road (Self-produced): Five piece blues rock band from Erie, PA presents an original set of songs about relationships, cars and personal troubles of various sorts in a full bore guitar-laden, in-your-face style. The production is loud, as I imagine the band is. The line-up includes Amy “Shally” Shallenberger, a forceful, big voiced, declarative singer; electric guitarist Sean Seth, Otis James on harmonica, Tony LaPaglia on bass, and Joe Caprara on drums. The group is tight and smooth. The music is uncomplicated, but fluid. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

Tommy Z – Blizzard Of Blues (Self-produced): Second release from Buffalo’s singer/guitarist/blues rocker Tommy Z., supported by Damone Jackson (drums); a shuffle of bass players, including Stanley Swampski, Walter Riggio, and Jerry Livingston; and guests Jeremy Keyes (harmonica on the opener) and Kevin Orzo (organ on six of nine songs).  The music is quite fluid and the musicians blend seamlessly. The final number shifts moods significantly into a wonderful jazzy blues instrumental. Very nice! All but one of the songs are originals. Click here to listen to samples of songs on this disc.


Professor Bebop


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