New Blues News – 10/7/2016

New Blues News – 10/7/2016

Lurrie Bell – Can’t Shake This Feeling (Delmark): One of the truly great Chicago bluesmen is back on the scene. Guitarist / singer / songwriter Lurrie Bell has been active since the late 1970s bringing the “rough-cut-but-ain’t-no-fooling-straight-up BLUES” and this disc is no exception. HIs voice shows the wear and tear, but on a song like his original “This Worrisome Feeling In My Heart” it only adds more authenticity. His guitar playing is still in top form. The disc presents both straight Chicago electric blues and acoustic, countrified blues, four new originals and covers of songs by the likes of Eddie Boyd, T-Bone walker, Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis, and Willie Dixon among others. He even covers one of his late father Carey’s songs. Bell’s back up band includes Roosevelt Purifoy (keys), Matthew Skoller (harmonica), Melvin Smith (bass) and Willie Hayes (drums). There’s not much of this pure Chicago style being recorded anymore and Lurrie Bell has been one of the best for a long time. Click here for a sample.

Fiona Boyes – Professin’ The Blues (Reference Recordings): Aussie blues woman Fiona Boyes seems to have begun her career doing Piedmont style blues and her own compositions and has settled into those styles quite wonderfully over the years, whether she’s playing acoustic or electric. She’s continued to grow as a writer as well. In fact, all but one of the sixteen songs here were composed or co-written by her. She shifts across guitars from 4-string cigar box guitar and National Reso-phonic to standard acoustic. Some of her songs are sassy and some reflective and she has terrific style. The quality is high throughout the disc. Click here for a sampler of songs on this disc.

Bruce Katz Band featuring Chris Vitarello – Out From The Center (American Showplace Music): Lots of variety and fire on this new disc. According to Bruce Katz (keys), “This album is rightfully titled ‘Bruce Katz Band featuring Chris Vitarello’, as Chris really steps out singing on four tunes and writing and co-writing a number of the others.” That has both inspired and given room for Katz to be more innovative. In addition to Katz and Vitaerello (guitar, vocals), the disc also features Ralph Rosen (drums, backing vocal), Jimmy Bennett (lap steel, guitar) and Peter Bennett (electric bass). Lots of musical directions here and they’re all done so well! Click here and scroll down to songs on the left to listen to songs on this disc.

Liz Mandeville – The Stars Motel (Blue Kitty Music): Veteran singer/songwriter/guitarist Liz Mandeville, influenced by Luther Allison and Muddy Waters among others has a club style swing and swagger on this disc. Her vocals reflect that style as well. She has a half dozen previous releases to her name and has the confidence one expects from a veteran performer. Mandeville co-wrote all eleven songs on offer here with various guitarists, including Scott Ellison, Dario Lombardo, Rachelle Coba and Minoru Maruyama, all of whom play on the disc. Other musicians include Matt Kohl, Matt Cartwright, Heather Tackett Faludo, Darryl Wright and Jon Paris (bass); Robbie Armstrong and Andy Sutton (drums); Joan Gand (piano andB-3); and adds occasional horns by Steve Hart (tuba), Alex Leong and Johnny Cotton (trombone), Jeannie Tanner (trumpet), and Charlie Kimble (sax). Diazy Bolinski plays harp on one song.  Mandeville projects the the strengths and occasional weaknesses of a woman, but she’s is always her own self. She was inducted in to the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2013. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

Alexis P. Suter Band – All For Loving You (American Showplace Music): When this disc opens, you hear an impact big enough to move mountains and tear down walls. That would be the voice of Alexis P. Suter once again serving notice that the new queen of the blues shout is back again. Backed by Jimmy Bennett (guitar), Ray Grappone (drums), Peter Bennett (bass) and Vicki Bell (backing vocals) with John Ginty on keyboards, this performance shows power, variety and control and probably tops the band’s premiere disc from some months ago. All but the closer are band originals and the closer is a terrific performance of “Let It Be”. This disc is a “certified Professor Bebop wax devoid of cracks”. Check it out! Click here and scroll down for sample tracks. The ones listed in CAPS are on this disc.


Professor Bebop


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