New Blues News – 8/31/2015
New Blues News – 9/1/2015
Andy T – Nick Nixon Band – Numbers Man (Blind Pig): Vocalist Nick Nixon and co-leader / guitarist Andy T Talamantez present a totally solid disc spanning from blues to zydeco to old R&B. There’s even a slick, slightly funky instrumental! Nixon is a strong declarative baritone singer and Andy T’s guitar is not overly fancy, but covers the bases just fine. Other musicians include Larry van Loon (B-3), Jim Klingler (drums), and Sam Persons (bass), with guest spots by Anson Funderburgh (guitar, producer), Kim Wilson (harp), Christian Dozzler (piano, accordion), Zeke Jarmon (rub board), Denise Fraser (drums), Rick Reed (bass), Steve F’dor (piano), Kevin McKendree (B-3) and the Texas Horns (Kaz Kazanov – tenor, Al Gomez – trumpet, and John Mills bari sax). There’s probably something here for everyone and it is all sent out in fine form! A classy and enjoyable set. Click here to listen to the title song.
Christian Collin – Spirit Of The Blues (C-Train): Collin is a Chicago-based singer/songwriter/guitarist dedicated to a wide span of blues rock styles. This is his second release under his own name though he has been active for some time as the lead guitarist of Chicago group “Molasses”, appearing on three releases by that band. His backup is provided by Alex Evans (bass) and Chris Morrow (drums), with significant guest appearances by Johnny Iguana (B-3), harp players Matthew Skoller (4 songs) and Billy Branch (1 song) and Jen Williams (background vocals. The songs are all originals. Click here to listen to the title song.
Zac Harmon – Right Man – Right Now (Blind Pig): Zac Harmon is a veteran bluesman who plays guitar and keyboards and sings with a large serving of soul. He has been compared to Bobby Bland (though he doesn’t have that raspy roar) and Robert Cray, with whom there is a definite connection in his use of musical restraint to draw the listener in and then leads to a larger impact when the fire comes. He wrote or co-wrote all but two songs on the disc and he covers John Lee Hooker’s I’m Bad Like Jesse James and Little Milton’s Ain’t No Big Deal On You with great success. Harmon’s style is certainly similar to Milton’s, but he jumps all over Hooker just as effectively. Harmon’s main band includes Buthel (bass), Cedric Goodman (drums), and Cory Lacy (keys) with various guests, the most noteworthy including Anson Funderburgh guitar), Lucky Peterson and Mike Finnigan (organ), Bobby Rush (vocal, harmonica), and Lee Kepics and Chuck Phillips (some very tasty horn touches) popping up along the way. This is a disc whose subtleties demand attention and repays it in full. Click here to listen to a prime example from this disc.
Mississippi Fever – 300 Miles to Memphis (Self-produced): Mississippi Fever is an electric blues trio with a unique sound – this is not a power trio, but a stripped down, even somewhat laid-back combination of Brent Barker’s guitar, Ted May’s bass, and Tom May’s drumming. Though there are a few fiery moments (Out All Night ; The Devil’s Got You Now), but mostly it’s less is more. Barker’s vocals are declarative with a slight rasp and effectively match the musical style. The band is occasionally supported on keys by Steve Grimes or Rick Steff and a guest harp by Brandon Santini on the title song. Their version of Robert Johnson’s Traveling Riverside Blues is a refreshing take of “electric” folk blues as well. Click here to listen to this song from the disc.
Meyer Rossabi – Blues Is The Color (Self-produced): Guitarist / singer Rossabi composed all but two of these blues rock songs on this mostly solo disc. Drums are provided by Marco Romano and Marky Ramone and Rossabi adds bass and occasional harmonica. His guitar style is blues rock with just enough jazz or progressive influence to identify this as jazzy bluesy rock. There is a slick aspect. The vocals are somewhat declarative and smooth enough to give the songs a shade of pop. Click here for a live version of a song from this disc.