New Blues News – 8/20/2019
Arthur Adams – Here to make you Feel Good (Cleopatra Blues): This appears to be Arthur Adams ninth release. He has a smooth approach which would best qualify as blue soul. He has a mellow voice and creates a pleasant sound throughout. He wrote or co-wrote each song. Backing musicians include James Gadson (drums), Hense Powell (keys), Reggie McBride, Lou Castro or Freddie Washington (bass), David Leach (percussion), Ronnie Laws or Bill Bergman (sax), Lee Thornberg and Lester Lovett (trumpets), and Bruce Fowler (trombone). Click here to listen to the title track.
Smoky Greenwell – Blues And The Power Of Peace (Self-produced): This is Smoky Greenwell’s twelfth release. He learned harmonica in earnest in the mid-1970’s and began sitting in with the venerable blues masters Furry Lewis, Piano Red and Mose Vincent. He composed or co-wrote eight of the songs on this disc. He has a relatively talky style with a churchy side. Many of the songs are political statements. The sides here were recorded in New Orleans or Nashville. Backing musicians in Nashville include Johnny Neel (keys, vocal), Dennis Gulley (bass, vocal), Chris Anderson (guitar, vocal), Daryl Burgess (drums, vocal), and Melissa Alesi (vocals) and in New Orleans are Jack Kolb (guitar), David Hyde (bass) and Bob Burke (drums). This overall feel of the disc is a talky, front porch gathering in the evening. Down home. Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
Coco Montoya – Coming In Hot (Alligator): Coco Montoya has “gone from drumming for blues icon Albert Collins to holding the lead guitar spot in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers to leading his own band and touring worldwide.” (https://www.alligator.com/artists/Coco-Montoya/) This disc features one original – the title song – and collects some great songs which are fresh rather than remakes of songs that have been constantly performed. The other players on this disc are Mike Finnigan (piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer), Johnny Lee Schell (rhythm guitar except for three songs when Billy Watts takes over), Bob Glaub and Mike Mennell trade off on bass and Tony Braunagel (drums). Jon Cleary plays piano on one song. The outcome is very enjoyable rockin’ blues in the Alligator style. Click here to sample the songs on this release.
The Nick Moss Band – Lucky Guy! (Alligator): Nick Moss (guitar, vocals) began his musical career as a bass player for Jimmy Dawkins and later joined singer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and longtime Muddy Waters’ drummer, who leader of the Legendary Blues Band. Finding himself in need of a guitarist, Smith insisted Moss switch instruments and his career as a guitarist began. He has a large declarative voice and plays guitar like a man busting concrete blocks! He formed his own band in 1997. He wrote eleven of the songs on this disc. Moss is joined by “harmonicat” Dennis Gruenling who wrote two songs on this release and sings as well and Taylor Streiff (keys), Rodrigo Mantovani (bass) and Patrick Seals (drums). They cover several styles but always have the deep Chicago at the center. A certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid Of Cracks”! Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Various Artists – Battle Of The Blues – Chicago vs Oakland (Delta Roots): “When thinking of historic hometowns of the blues, cities like St. Louis, Memphis and Chicago quickly come to mind, but Oakland California, historically a focal point of the West Coast blues and jazz scenes, is often overlooked. The city has a significant art scene and claims the highest concentration of artists per capita in the United States. Drummer, songwriter, producer and certified blues man, Twist Turner, spent several years living and working in the Oakland area where he began this album project in 2013 to ‘produce a recording of the unknown and under-appreciated blues men and women of the Bay Area’. When Twist returned to Chicago, after his 6-year stint in California, he found several artists in need of the same boost.” (http://blindraccoon.com/clients/battle-of-the-blues/) Some of these tracks are solid blues or soul sounds and the quality does vary. Certainly Freddie Roulette is the best known for his lap steel playing. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.