New Blues News – 2/18/2015
New Blues News – 2/18/2015
New Blues Adds:
Jeff Jensen – Morose Elephant (self-produced): The soft soul beginning of this disc didn’t prepare me for the variety and not always so easy, but always swinging blues and boogie that follows. In fact, it’s the swing this disc delivers that carries the day. Jensen (vox, guitar) wrote or co-wrote seven of the eleven songs on offer and the variety stretches from blues to swing to ballads even a bit of gospel and folk. The Morose Elephant Band features keyboard killer/singer Victor Wainwright, Bill Ruffino (bass), and James Cunningham or Robinson Bridgeforth (drums), Kirk Smothers (sax), Marc Franklin (trumpet, flugelhorn), and frequent back-up vocals by Reba Russell and some one offs by Chris Stephenson (keys), Anne Harris (fiddle), and Eric Hughes and Gary Allegretto (harp). It’s a little uneven, but there is some very solid music on this disc as well. Click here for a live sample of one of the songs on the disc. The guitar playing is MUCH hotter here than on the disc where things are smoother and more controlled.
Little Freddie King – Messin’ Around Tha’ Living Room (MadeWright): Though the title is “Messin’ Around Tha’ Living Room”, you might well associate this music with the front porch or on the street. King’s music is raw, rugged and filled with stories. Jim O’Neal, founding editor of Living Blues magazine, describes King’s style as “the roots and rawness that’s missing from a lot of blues today…. He’s the real thing.” This is “down home Mississippi” throbbing blues (check out “Two Days Two Nights” or “I Wanna See Dr. Bones”). King sings and plays electric guitar with support from William Jordan (b), Bobby Lewis diTullio (harp), “Wacko” Wade Wright (d) and guests Luke Winslow King (slide guitar) and Vasti Jackson (g) and he and Wade composed all but one of the songs (a nice instrumental version of “Soul Serenade”). There’s a great hypnotic dance song (“Do Da Duck Quack Quack”), too! Click here for a live performance from last year to catch the flavor of King’s style. This song is not on the current disc.
JD McPherson – Let The Good Times Roll (Rounder): McPherson is back with his swampy, primal, rockabilly r&b, a low key reincarnation of Johnny Burnette (from the Trio days) that flat gits it! This cat IS the real, let-me-electrify your soul, updated reincarnation of the original rockabilly blues! JD is not an impersonator, but rather today’s version of the fire that blended hillbilly and r&b and created rock’n’roll! The man has a touch of blues, more than a touch of Little Richard in his voice and enough swagger to “domino your lame act”! The band – McPherson (vox, g), Jimmy Sutton (killer bass, vox, percussion), Jason Smay (drums, vox), Raynier Jacob Jacildo (keys, vox) and Doug Corcoran(sax, steel, keys, vox) – just DO the primal rock’n’roll to the limit. A certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks!!! Click here for a live performance of the title tune and more.
My Own Holiday – Reason To Bleed (Eclecto Groove): Blues rock duo from CA featuring Joey Chrisman (guitar, vox) and Nick Bartolo (drums) performing 13 originals. Some are quite bluesy while others verge in the folk-rock direction. In his best moments, Chrisman plays some nice blues guitar reminiscent of the amped-up blues disciples of the 60’s and 70’s like early Peter Green with Fleetwood Mac or some of Savoy Brown, but only in the stripped down style. These guys are not about rediscovering the great blues of yesteryear but rather use the form for their own bare knuckles, somewhat grungy expression. Click here for a sample of a song from this disc.
The Temperance Movement – The Temperance Movement (Fantasy): This British band certainly recalls the time when the blues revival shifted from recreating the classics from Chicago to creating songs that used the form to create “blues rock” and when bands like the Allman Brothers spread the country rock sound. In fact, their own publicity lists them as a rock band. It’s all here: the raspy lead vocals of Phil Campbell, the chord-crushing guitars of Luke Potashnick and Paul Sayer, standing on the bass of Nick Fyffe and drumming of Damon Wilson. This is hybrid country-tinged/blues/ROCK. Here’s a sample: Click here for a video of the opening song.