New Blues News – 6/24/2018
Buddy Guy – The Blues Is Alive And Well (Silvertone / RCA): Buddy Guy (guitar, vocals) is back with the best disc he has released in a loooooong time! He is in terrific voice and his playing is at the top of his game as well. Drummer / producer / songwriter Tom Hambridge is also at the very top of his game as well! He composed 13 of the fifteen songs on this disc, two with Guy. Other players are Rob McNelley (rhythm guitar), Kevin McKendree (B3, piano, clavinet), Willie Weeks (bass), James Bay (guitar, backing vocals), Emil Justian (harmonica) and special guests Keith Richards and Jeff Beck (guitar) on one song each, Regina McCrary, Ann McCrary and Rachel Hambridge (backing vocals on one song) and the Muscle Shoals Horns (Charles Rose, trombone, arrangements; Steve Herrman, trumpet; Doug Moffet, tenor sax; and Jim Hoke, bari sax) on two songs. Even Mick Jagger joined in on one song. A certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Click here to listen to the title song.
Steve Howell & The Mighty Men – Good As I Been To You (Out Of The Past Music): Vocalist/guitarist Steve Howell grew up in the Shreveport, LA area and has been playing blues material for many years. His wife Katy Hobgood Ray also sings as does Dave Ray. The remaining players in the group are Chris Michaels (electric guitar), Dave Hoffpauir (drums), and Jason Weinheimer (bass, organ). Most of the songs are older blues written and performed by Leadbelly, Walter Davis, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Blake with a couple of newer pop songs from the 60s. The overall sound is mostly folky and laid back with simple and straightforward instrumental backing. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Kat Riggins – In The Boys’ Club (Bluzpik): Kat Riggins is a blues based soul singer with a good bit of attitude. This appears to be her third release and she wrote all of the songs on offer. Her band features Darrell Raines (guitar, keys), George Caldwell (bass), Johnnie Hicks (drums) with guests Josh Rowand (lead guitar on 2 songs), Albert Castiglia (lead guitar, vocal on one song ) and Clay Goldstein (harmonica on 3 songs). When she rocks, she truly rocks, though her blues sides is tempered with her soul chops. Her ballads are very nice as well. Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
The Wayne Riker Trio – Blues Breakout (Self-produced): Guitarist Wayne Riker plays five original songs based upon blues oriented structures and often with a rock and roll orientation or a touch of country swing. Riker is accompanied by his brother Walt Riker on drums and John Simons on electric bass. The outcome is upbeat and lively, while keeping the blend mentioned above in a swinging mode that doesn’t depend on fire. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Waydown Wailers – Backland Blues (Woodstock): The Waydown Wailers are based around the New York Canadian border and aim to celebrate the “original roots blues country rock Americana style” that has been the centerpiece or blend that has developed over the past 50+ years. The band members are David Parker (guitar, vocals), Christian Parker (lead guitar), Connor Pelkey (bass, vocals) and Michael Scriminger (drums, percussion) with special guests Professor Louie (Hammond organ, piano, keys, backing vocals), Miss Marie (backing vocals), Ron Keck (tambourine) and Alexander Scriminger (backing vocals). This is the band’s third release. Click here to listen to a song from this disc.