New Blues News – 7/2/2019
Whitey Johnson – More Days Like This (Blue Corn): Once again, Gary Nicholson transforms himself to take on the persona of Whitey Johnson, an elderly influence from the early 60’s. The story has built up over time, but the main point is that Whitey Johnson became Nicholson’s stage name from time to time to remind people that the foundation of blues and rock’n’roll was built in the Black community. Nicholson still uses his own name sometimes, but frequently when he slides into roots music, he transforms himself into Whitey Johnson just to remind his audience of the foundation. Nicholson songs and plays guitar and is accompanied by Colin Linden (guitar), Lynn Williams (drums), Mike Joyce (bass), Dennis Wage and Kevin McKenrdee (piano, organ), Dana Robbins (sax), Quentin Ware (cornet, bugle), and a guest spot from Delbert McClinton (harmonica 1 song) and back-up vocals by the McCrary Sisters., Jason Eskridge, Jimmy Hall, Colin Linden and Perry Coleman. Nicholson wrote most of the songs, sometime co-writing with Seth Walkr, Delberet McClinton, Guy Clark, Arthur Alexander, Donnie Fritts, Tom Hambridge and/or Jimmy Thackery. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Ross Osteen Band – Williwaw (Self-produced): This is the third release for the Ross Osteen Band, featuring Osteen on guitar and vocals with Patrick Gaynor (drums) and Jim Vint (bass). The band opens like an explosion on “Mannish Boy”, which they surprisingly credit as a band original, instead of listing Muddy Waters and others. Overlooking that, the band is a revved up hard rock trio that kicks out the jams on the nine blues rock originals on offer. They are a tight unit. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
J.P. Reali – A Highway Cruise (Self-produced): Singer/songwriter/guitarist J.P.Reali offers his third release as a leader. He was based in D.C. for a number of years and is now based in New England. Reali composed all five songs on this disc. He is accompanied by Duke Levine (electric guitar, mandolin), Kevin Barry (lap steel, dobro), Jim Haggerty (acoustic and electric bass), Mark Teixeira (drums, tamborine) and Dennis Brennan (harmonica). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Diana Rein – Queen Of My Castle (Golf Coast): This is singer/guitarist/songwriter Diana Rein’s third release. Her style is a melange of rock with a taste of blues and country. She has a straightforward vocal technique with the same blend. She composed all of songs on this disc. She is supported by Dave Osti (bass), Drake Munkihaid Shining (keys) and various back-up singers. The disc is straightforward pop rock. Click here to listen to the title song.
Savoy Brown – City Night (Quarto Valley): “Savoy Brown was formed by guitarist Kim Simmonds in 1965 in London, England. Simmonds has been the group’s guiding hand from the first singles released in 1966 through the band’s newest effort, their fortieth album, to be released in 2019.” Simmonds is as fluid as ever, though he may have dropped a few MPH. He is fully in charge with his solid slide style and his talking lyrical style. His bandmates are Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums. Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc.