New Blues Review 1-9-23
Voter Poll Results for Best Jazz and Blues Albums for 2023
Best Studio Blues
Taj Mahal – Savoy
Best Live Blues
Christone Kingfish Ingram – Live In London
Best Jazz Studio
Taj Mahal – Savoy
Best Jazz Live
Art Pepper – The Complete Maiden Voyage Recordings
Bob Corritor & Friends – Phoenix Blues Rumble (VizzTone) Blues harp player Bob Corritore moved from Chicago to Phoenix in 1981, and it quickly became a blues hub. Bob played with local bluesmen Tommy Dukes, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Big Pete Pearson and Dino Spells, and persuaded his Chicago friend Chico Chism to move to town. Corritore started his long-running radio show, “Those Lowdown Blues” on KJZZ, in 1984; it’s about to celebrate its 49th Anniversary. He opened the Rhythm Room music club and started bringing blues artists to Phoenix for performances and recording sessions. Those many sessions were to become the fertile ground for his “From the Vaults” album series. Before long Sugaray Rayford moved nearby. Behold the power of Phoenix Blues! Bob has released a few of these friends albums including some of the greats playing the blues with Bob over the years including the highly recommended Bob Corritore & Friends – Down Home Blues Revue album! But this latest one is a nod to those great performers in Bob’s adopted home town of Phoenix. Each one of these artists have a great story of their own, such as the first song “Big Fat Woman 480 LBs” highlights Chico Chism on vocals and drums. Chico toured on the road throughout the United States and Europe with such blues luminaries as Otis Rush, T-Bone Walker, Freddie King, Lowell Fulson and Junior Wells. He is best known for his work with Chester Burnett, better known as the famous “Howlin’ Wolf.” Chico played drums with Howlin’ Wolf during the mid-1970s and was his last drummer. All great music, some of the songs here feel more like early rock and roll but there is such a thin line between that at early Blues. Every song has a story and feels so familiar and legitimate. I think my favorite on this CD “Nine Times Out Of Ten ” with George Bowman on vocals, listen here. I will probably give this a 10 on Blues Content and a 10 on Music Content.
Mitch Grainger – Plug It In (Gent Records) Mitch is an Australian Journeyman of the Roots and Blues music having spent 25 years honing his skills of harmonica, guitar and singing. Now based in Los Angeles, Mitch has released his next musical journey in a twin fashion. His newest double CD is actually two CD, one is electric with a full band and the second is a striped down version with just acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocals. Each CD is filled with the same music, exact same songs just in either electric or acoustic, I think this is a very unique idea and really works for Mitch. But this musician is more than a stage performer, Mitch has invented a new harmonica microphone that allows him to playing electric harp while playing guitar, he has many musicians now using his invention Dyna-Mic, including Bob Dylan for one. Mitch is such a talented writer and musician. I like both the electric version and the acoustic versions of each song. “Plug It In” has such a cool little guitar lick through out the song with some tasty harp sprinkled where it should be. I think my favorite on this CD is the acoustic “Mississippi ”, listen here. I will probably give this a 9 on Blues Content and a 10 on Music Content.
Scott Weis Band – Raise your Hands (Happy Carrot) The Scott Weis Band started in 2005 as a Rock Blues Trio and has not looked slowed down except for a small hiatus when Scott broke his neck!! The power trio has changed line up a few times over the years but this will be Scott’s 10 release as an independent recording artist. Over the Years Scott has shared the stage with Joe Cocker ,Etta James ,Dickie Betts, Greg Allman, Tinsley Ellis, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Dr John, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Blackfoot, Marshall Tucker,38 Special, The Outlaws, Robin Trower, Mighty Sam McClain, The Meters and Many More. With his current line up of Andy Pace on Drums and Todd Lanka on Bass, the Scott Weis Band has released their newest album, “Raise your Hands”. Scott is the real deal as far as guitar players go, very efficient in lead and slide guitar making this a real treat. The CD seems to be put together fairly well with fast pace songs like “Motherless Child” to the slow, almost country song “Shine Down”. I think my favorite on this CD is the rocking song “Raise Your Hands ”, listen here. I will probably give this a 9 on Blues Content and a 9 on Music Content.
Barbara Martin – Shining (Self Produced) Our little community here is Central Virginia has had and still do have many talent musicians and one that sticks out in the Roots/Jazz/Blues genre is our own Barbara Martin. Barbara Martin is the real deal; a true renaissance woman in music genres prone to stereotypes and pigeon-holes. She writes award-winning songs. She plays guitar. She collaborates with other acclaimed artists to produce engaging live shows and music education programs. She’s as comfortable in a New York cabaret show or a major venue like The Kennedy Center as she is in an intimate house concert or a bohemian cafe. Barbara’s expertise and talent place her squarely in the company of the legends, but her ability to transition smoothly from chanteuse to girl-next-door to perceptive poet that makes her delightfully her own woman. There is something “Real” about Barbara’s voice and playing style that transcends to the listener. Barbara has such a vast knowledge of the Blues, but this CD is not in that direction. The Music is great, just not the typical Blues Genre. Many Cville guest stars on this Cd including Gina Sobel on “This Moment’s Knowing” and Vince Lewis playing guitar “Emptying” and “Happiness”. Some great Jazzy/Folk music . I think my favorite on this CD “Ballerina ”, really showcases Barbara’s guitar playing, listen here. I will probably give this a 5 on Blues Content and a 9 on Music Content.
Bob Girard – Statuette of Limitations (Casualrama) Bob Girard is a Charlottesville icon from the best era of music here in the late 70’s through the 80s as Johnny Sport coat and the Casuals with Bob Girard (Col ’71), vocals; Dennis Guinan, guitar; Bryan Yates (Col ’76, Law ’81), guitar; Bob Otte (Col ’80), bass (later Dan Sebring and Sonny Layne); Gibby Dammann (Arch ’88), drums. A college town, with college musicians that have found their place, and Bob is still gigging!! Bob Girard teamed up with Charlie Pastorfield (of the Skip Castro Band), Steve Riggs (formerly with The Charlottesville All-Stars) and drummer Jim Ralston (formerly with Baaba Seth) to form the Gladstones that typically play out from time to time to a waiting audience of fans from the 80’s to new fans of today. This CD is not really Blues again, but some fun folk/rock tunes with great feel that Bob has created all his career. With Jim Ralston on Drums and Tim Ryan on Bass, Guitar, Keys and Background Vocals. I think my favorite on this CD “Subject To Change ”, Nothing online about this CD at all so can’t provide any links to music. I will probably give this a 4 on Blues Content and a 7 on Music Content.