New Blues News – 9/20/2016

New Blues News – 9/20/2016

Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters – Maxwell Street (Stony Plain): This is one of the mellowest releases in Earl’s career. While he has crafted his playing without the use of high volume or sound enhancers or distorters, certainly the dedication to the recently passed pianist David Maxwell is the largest reason for this deep blue disc. Maxwell had been a member of the Broadcasters and was respected throughout the blues community. The current Broadcasters include Lorne Entress (drums), Dave Limina (keys), Jim Mouradian (bass) and Diane Blue (vocals). Nicholas Tabarias (guitar) also guests. Click here for an introduction to this disc.

Eric Krasno – Blood From A Stone (Round Hill): Founder of Soulive steps out on his own with ten new original or co-written songs that cover a large span from pop soul to funky soul very light music to some heavy even some rock – trippy even. There is also a taste of New Orleans. In addition to playing guitar, Krasno sings sometimes with a bit of force and at others softly, even D’Angelo-like. Krasno plays guitar (an occasional bass and keyboards) and then the guests arrive: Jeremy Most (organ), Stu Mahan (bass), Chris St. Hilaire and Gary Gemitti (drums), Nigel Hall and Neal Evans (keys), and special guests Derek Trucks (“Curse Lifter”) and Alicia Chakour (“Wicked This Way”). Click here and scroll down until you see the screen labelled “On The Rise”. Click on the icon at the upper left and you can listen to three songs from this disc.

Mighty Sam McClain – Time And Change (FXCD): This is the final recording by Mighty Sam McClain. He died in June, 2015, before production was completed. His singing was as strong and vibrant as ever and the accompaniment was as straightforward as ever. He was certainly one of the last old deep soul blues singers. Accompaniment was provided by Pat Herlehy (guitars, bass, tenor and alto sax, keys), Michael Rossi (bass), Rick Page (drums) Joe Deleault and Barry Seelen (organ, keys), Scott Shetler (tenor & baritone sax), Russell Jewell (trombone, trumpet) and Matt Rivero (trumpet). All but one song was written or co-written by McClain. Soul blues at its best performed by one of the best. Essential. Click here to listen to the title song.

Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat (Rounder): This new disc from composer/singer/harmonica player Bobby Rush certainly ranks as one of the most consistent and polished of his career. In one way that’s credit to the polish of the supporting musicians, but Rush’s vocals, his smoother soul blues and sense of humor are the main keys. The musicians include Vasti Jackson and Shane Theriot (guitars), David Torkanowsky (keys), Cornell Floyd (bass), and Jeffrey “Jellybean” Alexander (drums) with drop-ins Barney Floyd (trumpet), Jeff Albert (trombone), and Jeff Watkins (tenor sax), Khari Allen Lee (alto sax), Kirk Johnson (sousaphone), Roger Lewis (bari sax) and special guests Joe Bonamassa, Dave Alvin and Keb’ Mo’. The countrified / urban mix is highly successful with just the right mix of uptown blues with themes like “Porcupine Meat”, “Catfish Stew” and “Midnight Gardener”. Click here to listen to the title song and you’ll see what I mean. 

Duke Robillard – Blues Full Circle (Stony Plain): Duke Robillard was a co-founder of Roomful of Blues in 1967 and he has been playing his stylish brand of blues with a taste of jazz licks even when he might throw out some fiery notes to spice things up. His current band includes Bruce Bears (piano, organ), Brad Hallen (bass), and Marl Texeira (drums) and there are guest appearances by Sugar Ray Norcia (vocal), Kelley Hunt (vocal, piano), Sax Gordan Beadle (tenor, bari sax), Doug James (bari sax) and Jimmie Vaughan (guitar). Robillard refers to a lapse in touring and recording due to health problems but he is on the mend. His guitar playing is sharp though his voice somewhat labored showing the the years of wear and tear. He deserves the attention and respect of a veteran blues player who has both carried the flame and still brings us the pure blues. So, a good disc, but not his greatest. Click here to listen the songs on this disc.


Professor Bebop


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