New Blues News – 6/2/2020
Mike Dangeroux & Inetta Visor – It’s About Time (Raw Dog): Instrumentalist/singer Mike Dangeroux and singer Inetta Visor have joined forces and are making the club rounds. Dangeroux wrote nine of the songs on offer and Visor wrote five. When they are good, like on Dangeroux’s “Under My Skin” or Visor’s “Big Brown Frame”, they are really good. Their weakness is that several songs are repetitious of others lyrically and instrumentally. The good songs certainly show possibilities, but they’ll need to bring variety to their sets. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this disc.
Alex Dixon – Presents The Real McCoy (Vintage Dixon): “If electric Chicago blues is your bag, Alex Dixon’s The Real McCoy offers the real deal. The grandson of Willie Dixon, Alex represents the younger generation of Chicago blues royalty and carries on the family tradition as a talented producer, bassist, and pianist. His family also actively works to preserve the history of the genre in the Windy City through the Blues Heaven Foundation, located in the historic Chess Records building. Sharing his love of this history is precisely what Dixon set out to accomplish with his new project: “We were trying to go for authenticity, and I wanted to showcase some of the things that I learned from my grandfather and make the album I’ve always wanted to do.” Joining Dixon in this endeavor are two blues harpists – Sugar Blue and Steve Bell, son of famed harmonica wizard Cary Bell – and other assisting musicians including Lewis “Big Lew” Powell on vocals, Melvin Taylor and Gino Matteo on guitar, and Alvino Bennett on drums.” (https://blackgrooves.org/alex-dixon-the-real-mccoy/) Rico McFarland adds his guitar to two songs as well! This IS a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Click here to check out the opening song on this disc.
Ruthie Foster Big Band – Live At The Paramount (Blue Corn Music): Ruthie Foster offers a live concert from her home town (Austin) and she reaches out with an offering of styles and songs that demonstrates her greatest strengths: straight-forward singing focused on the lyrics and blending her soulful and churchy style with a wide selection of songs. In this set, she opens with “Brand New Day”, then acknowledges her connection to William Bell on “Might Not Be Right” (co-written with William Bell), and continues broadening the songbook including “Ring Of Fire”, “Stone Love”, and “The Ghetto”, until she closes out with “Fly Me To The Moon” and “Mack The Knife”. This is a wonderful concert from beginning to end. This is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Click here to watch “Phenomenal Woman” from the video of this performance.
HeavyDrunk – Holywater (4142 Music): HeavyDrunk is a Nashville based band that describes their music as “blues-soul”. All but two of the songs are originals by members of the band. The two covers are the Rolling Stones’ “Slave” and Mike Mattison and Derek Trucks “Midnight in Harlem”. Band members include Will Beeman, Kurt Stowe and Rob Robinson (guitars); Bill Ferri and Brian Allen (bass); Bernard Bell and Dave Diefenthal (drums); Tyler Summers (sax), Roy Agee (trombone), Eric Bikales (keys) and James Hooker (piano). This group is mostly laid-back with a side of funk. Click here to check out their OFFICIAL video.
Jose Ramirez – Here I Come (Self-produced): “At the age of thirty-two Jose Ramirez is Costa Rica’s premier blues guitarist and vocalist. In 2020 he represented the D.C. Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and he finished second place in the band competition….Ramirez who now makes his home in Florida has teamed up with producer/guitarist Anson Funderburgh to record his debut album. They recruited an all-star band including Jim Pugh, piano and Hammond organ; Nate Rowe, bass; Wes Starr, drums; and the Kaz Kazanoff led Texas Horns.” (https://www.makingascene.org/jose-ramirez-here-i-come/) Ramirez plays with great control, a rarity these days. It is refreshing to hear a guitarist who prefers to play one note or chord when so many other players seek to play as many as possible. Jim Pugh is in terrific form as well and Funderburgh sits in on two songs. Click here for an introduction to Ramirez and his music.