New Blues News – 5/26/2020
Jim Gustin & Truth Jones – Lessons Learned (Self-produced): Jim Gustin and Truth Jones (Jeri Goldenhar) offer their third release – eleven originals which share their lessons and reactions from the “lessons they have learned”. Their singing is straight ahead in a declarative style to assure that the messages are the focus. Gustin plays guitar and sings sometimes in a coarse style or a mellower declarative style, while Jones is the melodic singer of the group. The other band members are Steve Alterman (piano, organ, vocal), Scott Duncan (bass, vocal), Chuck Strong (drums, vocal) and Lawrence Tamez (sax). The group has a journeyman style mostly but when they turn it loose, they are sensational! The lyrics are usually straight ahead, but when the singers work as a duo, as they do on “My Love Is True”, their passion really shines. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Louisiana’s LeRoux – One Of Those Days (Self-produced): “Their 1978 Capitol Records press release read, “LeRoux takes its name from the Cajun French term. “Their 1978 Capitol from the Cajun French term for the thick and hearty gravy base that’s used to make Gumbo. LeRoux’s eponymous first album was a musical gumbo that blended various instruments and music arrangements into a spicy, mouth-watering southern rock sound!” (https://fotosbluesrockandmore.blogspot.com/2020/05/release-leroux-one-of-those-days.html) The players are Jeff McCarty (Lead Vocals), Jim Odom (Lead & Rhythm Guitar, BG Vocals), Tony Haselden (Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Slide Guitar, BG Vocals), Rod Roddy (Piano, Rhodes Piano, BG Vocals), Nelson Blanchard (Hammond Organ, BG Vocals), Joey Decker (Bass Guitar, BG Vocals), Randy Carpenter (Drums) and Mark Duthu (Percussion).” Tab Benoit joins the group for the final song as well. At their best, they in a class with the Allman Brothers and others of that time. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this disc.
Misty Blues Band – Weed ‘Em & Reap (Misty Blues): “Gina is a graduate of Williams College. She began singing in 1990 on a dare by her co-workers and hasn’t turned back since. She began performing in a duet, The Siblings. Gina shortly started her own duet, Cole-Connection, which blossomed to a five-piece band that allowed her to showcase some of her original music. Gina has performed in the Williamstown Theater Festival as the lead gospel singer in “A Raisin in the Sun.” She also made several appearances at NYC’s famed Bitter End. Misty Blues was a featured group at Mass MoCa’s blues festival. Gina and the band have had the pleasure of performing with Charles Neville….” (https://www.mistybluesband.com/gina) This set is a blend of blues and folk with the unique blend of Gina’s vision. The band members blend with her vision wonderfully. They are Gina Coleman (Vocals, Cigar Box), Jason Webster (Guitar, Vocals), Bill Patriquin (Bass, Vocals), Ben Kohn (Keys, Vocals) ,Rob Tatten (Drums, Vocals) and Aaron Dean (Sax). Spell-binding! Click here to listen to “Misty Blues” from this disc.
Wildcat O’Halloran Band – Deck Of Cards (Self-produced): Veteran guitarist and singer Wildcat O’Halloran has sharing his originals and favorite blues specialties for over 20+ years combining his humorous songs and some covers just for everyone’s entertainment. It’s all in good fun. One of the fun things he does is to list his band members but doesn’t identify their instruments. However, from the picture on the back cover, Emily Duff plays sax, Kathy Peterson (bass), Mark Chouinard and Gil May trade off on drums, and Sarah Halloran (sings back-up). The set has Clarence Carter’s “Tell Papa”, Ray Charles’ “I Wonder Who”, Ronnie Dunn’s “Cost Of Living” and “Got Love If You Want It” (traditional). Wildcat offers the rest. “In their new album Deck of Cards, The Wildcat O’Halloran Band adhere to the simple principles of American blues in their quest to get everyone in the room moving to the rhythm of their groove-packed sound, and while only slightly experimental in tone, their artistic efforts produce some surprisingly urbane results. In the songs “Blues Energy,” “They Told Me,” “But” and “If Ifs Were 5ths,” this blues unit get feisty with the guitars and even a little excessive with the swing in the beat, but for what the material lacks in polish and conservative aesthetics, it provides a slew of rare sonic gems not commonly found in the underground (nor the mainstream, for that matter) nowadays. I regret I am unable to find a sample or two from this disc.
Samoa Wilson w/ The Jim Kweskin Band – I Just Want To Be Horizontal (Kingswood): Jim Kweskin? Where has he been? Well, based upon Samoa Willson’s voice and sass, no puzzle for long! “Since she was 12 years old, Samoa Wilson has been captivating audiences with a voice the New York Times calls “sweet, effortless, old-timey”. Raised in the riverbed of traditional North American folk music, she came up in the Boston scene, under the wing of jug band and folk legend Jim Kweskin.” (https://www.samoawilson.com/) Wilson sure has the goods whether she’s singing “After You’ve Gone”, “Inch Worm”, “Until The Real Thing Comes Along” or “Kitchen Man”. It’s not quite as crazy as Kweskin’s earlier work, but it is a wonderful set. Wilson and Kweskin have some fine backing players as well: Titus Vollman (lead guitar, slide guitar, ukulele), Mike Davis (trumpet, cornet), Paloma Ohm (alto sax), Dennis Lichtman (clarinet, fiddle, mandolin, alto sax), Sonny Barbato (piano, accordion), Matthew Berlin (bass), Jeff Brown (drums) and Sean Read and Maddie Read Clarke (harmony backup on “At Ebb Tide”. Click here to listen to the title song.