New Blues News – 6/20/2016
New Blues News – 6/20/2016
Sammy Eubanks – Sugar Me (UnderWorldIndie): As the title of the opening song on this disc says, it’s “All Blues To Me”. It sounds mostly like blues rock or even rockin’ blues with a dab of country on the side. Sammy wrote three of the ten songs here and added in some classics like Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want To Make Love To You” and Fats Washington’s “It’s My Life Baby” and Cesar Rosas’ “My Baby’s Gone”. Eubanks plays guitar and sings with backing from Darren Theriault (bass), Bob Britt and Matt Hauer (guitars), Chris Kimmerer (drums) and Reese Wynans (keyboards). He included the slogan WWDD? (What Would Delbert Do?) on the inside of the case, and Delbert’s music is probably his greatest influence. I was not able to find any clips from the new disc, but click here for a video of a performance from about 3 years back that is a good sample of Eubanks’ work.
Little Charlie & Organ Grinder Swing – Shronky Tonk (EllerSoul): Little Charlie Baty, late of Little Charlie and the Night Cats could always swing, but now his swing is center stage. This is what was once called club blues – a bluesy groove with jazzy guitar and an organ that screamed blue soul from the heart of “Groovesville”! Lorenzo Farrell brings the Hammond and the bass and J. Hanson the drums. Git Hip or Hep, whatever your time frame! Stay up late for this one. I couldn’t find samples directly from the disc, but click here to catch a live gig of the group doing their thang!
Lisa Mann – Hard Times, Bad Decisions (JayRay): Big-voiced, rockin’ blues mama Lisa Mann has warned a lot of attention in the past few years. She plays driving bass and sings her songs like a human bulldozer. She also wrote two thirds of the songs on offer. In addition to herself, the “Really Good Band” features Jason JT Thomas (guitar), Michael Ballash (drums) and Brian Harris (keys) and there are a host of guest musicians throughout the disc as well. The frequently rotating guests are Andy Stokes (vocal), Louis Pain (organ), Renato Caranto and Chris Mercer (sax), Dave Melyan and Vinny Appice (drums), Alex Shakeri and Steve Kerin (piano), Sonny Hess and Kirk Fletcher (guitar), Joe McCarthy (trumpet), Stan Bock (trombone), and Ben Rice (resonator guitar). If you enjoy big, loud, rockin’ blues, there is a lot to like here. Mann lists Etta James and Koko Taylor as her influences and she does show the attitude and power associated with them. Click here and scroll down a bit to sample the songs on this disc.
Royal Southern Brotherhood – The Royal Gospel (Ruf): Say the magic word and there will be another amazing soul blues funk band associated with the best music New Orleans has to offer. The word? NEVILLE. Specifically, Cyril, in this case. The band has been around for a couple of years and this is their fourth release. The personnel has changed since their beginning: Devon Allman, Mike Zito and Charlie Wooten have moved on and are now replaced by Bart Walker (guitar, vocals), Tyrone Vaughan (guitar, vocals), and Darrell Phillips (bass). Norman Caesar (B-3) has also joined. Yonrico Scott and Cyril Neville bring the beat and have been the center of the band from its inception. All but two of the songs on this disc are originals. The dynasty continues. Don’t take my word for it – click here to listen to a song from this disc.
Various Artists – Alligator Records: 45th Anniversary Collection (Alligator): It’s called “Genuine Houserockin’ Music” and this set celebrates the most amazing avalanche of blues ever produced (with the possible exception of the first generation of modern blues players at Chess). Beginning in 1991, Bruce Iglauer has released anniversary collections every five years to exhibit his favorites and to showcase the incredible breadth of the label’s works. There are 37 songs on this collection by artists like Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Son Seals, Shemekia Copeland, Elvin Bishop, Toronto Cannon, Charlie Musselwhite, Marcia Ball, Carey & Lurrie Bell, Koko Taylor, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Joe Louis Walker, Jimmy Johnson, Delbert McClinton, Hound Dog Taylor, Anders Osborne, Mavis Staples, James Cotton, Albert Collins, JJ Grey & Mofro, Jarekus Singleton, Roomful Of Blues, Lazy Lester, Johnny Winter, Curtis Salgado, Billy Boy Arnold, Ann Rabson, Luther Allison, and The Holmes Brothers among others. The entire catalogue is amazing, but this sampler is a terrific introduction. Click here to listen to the songs on this set.