New Blues News – 5/21/2019
Bad Influence – Got What You Need (Badblues): This is an interesting story: This band was formed 30 years ago and the band membership has been together for 25 years. It also appears to be the first recording by this group. That could mean that they are terrible, but in this case, it means that they are wonderfully together and comfortable with who they are. They are gritty and based in the blues. Most of the songs are covers of songs from James Harman, Jeff Turmes, William Clarke and Chuck Berry, among others. The musicians are Michael “Jr” Tash (guitar, bass), Roger Edsall (harmonica), Bob Mallardi (bass, vocals) and David Thaler (drums) with guests Mary Shaver, Tom Swanton and Ray Tilkens (backing vocals). The guitar is right in the heart of the music and the blues is at the center of the performance. Solid! Click here to listen to sample of the songs on this disc.
The BB King Blues Band – The Soul Of The King (Ruf): This celebration of the great B.B. King brought together numerous members of his band, including James Boogaloo Bolden (trumpet), Eric Demmer (lead sax), Russell Jackson (lead vocal, bass), Walter King (sax), Herman Jackson (drums), Darrell Lavigne (keys), Lamar Boulet (trumpet), Wilbert Crosby (guitar), Brandon Jackson (drums), and Raymond Harris (trombone) with special guests Kenny Wayne Shepherd (guitar solo), Mary Griffin and Taj Mahal (lead vocals and guitar), Kenny Neal (guitar, lead vocal), Kirk Joseph (tuba), Jonn Del Toro Richardson and Diunna Greenleaf (backing vocals), Michael Lee (lead vocal, guitar) and Joe Louis Walker (lead vocal, guitar). The result is truly a wonderful and entertaining tribute to King and his music. The guests honor King and his style. Click here and scroll down to listen to several of the songs on this release.
The Cash Box Kings – Hail To The Kings (Alligator): This is the second release on Alligator for the Cash Box Kings and their styles suit each other perfectly – concise, intense and full size sound. The group features group leaders Joe Nosek (harmonica, vocals, percussion) and Oscar Wilson (vocals), backed by Billy Flynn (lead guitar), Kenny “Beady Eyes” Smith (drums) and John W. Lauler (bass, percussion) and a few guests like Queen Lee Kanehira (piano, organ, electric piano), Little Frank Krakowski (rhythm guitar), Xavier Lynn (lead guitar on 2 songs), Derek Hendrickson (drums) and special guests Shemekia Copeland (vocals on 1 song) and Alex Hall (percussion on 2 songs). The disc alternates between hard core Chicago blues and some jaunty old time styling. It’s fun, intense and strong Chicago style blues! A certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Click here to listen to the opening song – “It Ain’t No Fun (When The Rabbit’s Got The Gun”.
Steve Howell & Jason Weinheimer featuring Dan Sumner & David Dodson – History Rhymes (Self-produced): Steve Howell (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Jason Weinheimer (bass) pair up with Dan Sumner (guitar) and David Dodson (mandolin, banjo) for a session that resembles a front porch set of old favorites in the evening. A rustic and mellow time. Click here to listen to a song on this disc.
Joanne Shaw Taylor – Reckless Heart (Silvertone): This appears to be singer/songwriter/guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor’s sixth release of rock and ballads. She has a full voice but doesn’t resort to shouting. She is an accomplished guitarist as well and composed all of the songs with the exception one that she co-wrote. Her band includes Ron Otis (drums, percussion), James Simonson (bass), Phil Hale and Chris Codish (piano, B3). Solid mainstream rock. Click here to hear a song from this disc.