New Blues Review – 2-14-23
Jimi “Primetime” Smith & Bob Corritore – The World In A Jug (Vizztone, SWMAF)– Jimi Smith and Bob Corritore come together to put out an incredible Chicago Blues album with a sound that could have been recorded from the 60’s. Jimi Primetime Smith is the son of blues woman Johnnie Mae Dunson. She was a major force in the shaping of Chicago blues back in the 1950’s, working alongside of the infamous American blues musician and songwriter, Jimmy Reed. I can really hear some Jimmy Reed in Jimi’s guitar playing and Muddy Waters in his voice. His guitar playing is on point and a big nod to his predecessors. What not to say about Bob Corritore, one of the best harp players on the scene today. I just love his tone and his ability to play that huge fat harp and go up to the high positions without skipping a beat. The track, You and Me, is very represented of what Jimmy Reed would have play back in the day. Soul Food is a fast Cajon influenced blues song about all those tasty dishes from down south and “Walkin'”, one of the many songs written by Jim brings out the slide guitar with super fat, overdrive harp from Bob (So Good). Although most of the album is shuffle type blues, I think “Blinded” is my favorite off this CD, but there is so much good on this one. Listen Here. This is a great album that brings back some of the great blues that we all grew up with, I will give this an 9 in blues content and an 9 on music content. (my highest rating so far!!)
Diane Blue All-Star Band – Live at the Fallout Shelter (Big Blue Records)– Diane has a very soulful voice and can really play the harmonica, although she does not showcase the harp on this CD. Diane has been playing with Ronnie Earl and the Broadcaster for last 7-8 years and Ronnie can be heard on this CD on the song “I Cried” which covers our society’s problem with domestic violence. This album was recorded live and the quality sounds more like a studio album (except for the applause after each song). Diane has such a great range in her voice. Overall the album is a very solid, soulful Blues album with some great backing band riffs and beautiful, deep vocals. The song “By My Side” is a nice full band soul song with some great B3 and a wonderful guitar solo! “Leave me alone” is a slow Blues love song with some lovely guitar licks throughout. I think “Insomnia” is probably my favorite song on this one, Listen Here. This is a great album with some wonderful vocals throughout, I will give this an 8 in blues content and an 8 on music content.
Lone Star Mojo – Rough Around The Edges (Self Produced)– I had never heard of this band before, from what I can find this is their first CD. After listening to the Cd and doing some searches on the web, I would say this is a decent band with some talented musicians. They show no credits for song writing, only that they are NOS (new old songs). So I am guessing they do as Blues musicians have done for a century, take a piece of a known song and make it their own as with “I Pity The Fool” (Bobby Bland classic). “Fine and Nasty” is this off tempo, slide guitar tune that has some great guitar throughout. I think my favorite probably their B3 driven slow tune, “Humpty Dumpty”. Listen Here. This is an OK album with some great moments on it, I will give this a 7 in blues content and a 5 on music content.
Delta Wires – If Somebody Told Me (Mud Slide)– The Delta Wires has been in the blues scene in the San Francisco/Bay area for many years and this is their 7th CD together. The band arose from the Harmonica player, Ernie Pinata, who created an undergraduate project showcasing the blues migration from the Delta to Chicago. The group decided to continue playing gigs and putting out music for their fans in the area. The Wires became finalists in the International Blues Challenge in 2008 and have shared the stage with superstars such as Van Morrison, John Lee Hooker, Freddie King, Bo Diddley, The Neville Bros, Dr. John, The Doobie Brothers, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, John Mayall, Boz Scaggs, Bad Company, The James Gang, and others. This is a full band , 7 piece with horns that really fills out the sound of their band leader Pinata’s harp and vocals. I think the guitar player, Richard Healy, is the star of this album. Strong riffs throughout and keeping the band nice and tight. The title song, “If Somebody Told Me”, is a slow ballad that really showcases the guitar. Another band covering “I Pity The Fool”, but done in a much more traditional way and they cover Sonny Boy’s “Hand Outta My Pocket” really showing Pinata’s Harmonica handy work. I am not a big fan of his vocals, but his harmonica is incredible. I think my favorite is their hard driving “Sloppy Drunk”. Listen Here. This is a good album with some great moments on it, I will give this a 7 in blues content and a 6 on music content.
Steve Hill – Dear Illusion (No Label Records)– Steve Hill is a 27 year Blues veteran in the great north (Canada). This is definitely a Blues/Rock album leaning more towards the Rock side. Super strong guitar and vocals. Steve has put out 10+ albums during his career and there has been countless music awards for this multi-instrumentalist. On this album Steve sings, plays guitar, bass, pedal steel, piano, mandolin and harmonica (I don’t think he likes to share royalties). The song arrangements on this CD are very complicated and well produced and arranged. Steve is all over the place on this CD from “Don’t Let The Truth Get In The Way” (reminds me of early YES) to the title song “Dear Illusion” which reminds me of a contemporary church song. I think Steve covers every pop genre here except for Blues!! Although, “She Gives Lessons In Blues”, is a Delbert McClinton sounding tune with some great guitar leads. Listen Here. This is a good album with some great moments on it, I will give this a 3 in blues content and a 6 on music content.
Reviews done by Juke Jackson, so don’t blame the station!!!