New Blues Review 2-22-23

Paul Filipowicz – Pier 43 (Big Jake Records)– Paul Filipowicz, a veteran Chicago Bluesman, releases his 11th blues album and comes out with his years of experience to show his depth in the Blues Genre and his excellent writing skills. Backed with an incredible backing band and some tasty harp licks by Al Dorn on “Old Time Superstition”, “Pier 43” and “Humdinger”, Paul puts outs some great tunes with great songwriting. I think the genius behind this CD is the range of blues for Paul and his band. From very slow instrumental “Pier 43” to tunes like “When I get to Town” a fast off beat call and response tune between Paul’s voice and his guitar, the flow of the CD is spot on. The band has lots of guest appearances from some talented musicians including “Fat” Richard Drake on Sax and Clyde Stubbelfield on Drums. I think my favorite is probably “Hip Shake”, a Slim Harpo song that Paul does it all his way.  Listen Here.   This is a great album with a nice solid blues content, I will give this a 9 in blues content and an 8 on music content.

Mudslide Charley – Clearwater Junction (Self-Produced)– A band from Missoula, Montana is comprised of 6 dedicated blues musicians in which just about everyone in the band sings or has backup vocals on this album. Liza Ginnings is the main vocalist and has a great low range voice that fits in very well. Although I wouldn’t necessarily call this a Blues album, there are some very cool tunes. “Lil Miss Molasses” reminds me of something that would be in a Monty Python movie!! But the band redeems themselves with “Long Death Ride”, a slow blues song with some great harmonica and slide guitar. “Don’t Look Back” is a nice slow Jazzy tune with spoken words over the music. Think slow “Hot Rod Lincoln”. I think “Reactionary Man”” is probably my favorite song on this one, Listen Here.   This is a good album but I wouldn’t classify it as Blues in my book, I will give this a 5 in blues content and a 6 on music content.

Joe Louis Walker – Weight of the World (Forty Below Records)– Now were talking the blues!! One of my favorite blues voices for an electric band. Walker has put out some amazing blues albums in the past. His first was in 1986 and he’s still going strong. He has won multiple blues awards and has been inducted in the Blues Hall of Fame. He even opened for Muddy Waters, hung out with Jimi Hendrix, Thelonius Monk and lived with Mike Bloomfield during his amazing career. Although this is not my favorite Joe Louis Walker album. He seems to be trying to reach a more diverse audience and not just Blues Lovers. But his “Waking Up The Dead” is a pure blues song with a great riff with an almost New Orleans feel. There are some great Blues tunes on this CD and some great songs that are not so Blues. His voice is as good as ever!! “Count Your Chickens” is another fast Bluesy song that stands out on this CD. “Blue Mirror” is a nice shuffle tune but I think my favorite is the last song on the album, “You Got Me Whipped”. Listen Here. This is an excellent album from a legend in the Blues, I will give this an 8 in blues content and a 9 on music content.

Tas Cru – Riffin’ The Blue (Subcat Records)– Now this is an interesting Cat!! A Vietnam War Vet, PhD in Education, Tas has a great grasp of music in general with many CD releases whose target audience is children. But Tas does know the blues as reflected in this new CD. Some great musicians are on this album like Bruce Katz (Gregg Allman’s band for six years), Mike Zito and Mary Ann Casale. There is some great music on this CD starting with the title track, “Riffin; The Blue”, a strong Rock/Blues shuffle that gets this album going. The songs flip flop between slow to driving piano tunes. I think my favorite is “Miss This Man”. Listen Here. This is a pretty good album with some great music on it. I will give this a 7 in blues content and an 8 on music content.

Damon Fowler & Friends – Live at the Palladium (No Label Records)– Here we go. I really like this one!! I had never heard of Damon, but he is a veteran musician from Tampa Florida that has gotten great respect from his peers for his guitar work. Damon has even been a ongoing guest in the Dickie Betts Band. This CD has it all for the musician/listener. The first song on the CD, “It Came Out Of Nowhere”, is a great driving blues guitar song. It’s followed by “The Guitar”, which reminds me a lot of Mark Knopfler. You can really see Damon’s guitar ability. The famous Jason Ricci blows harp throughout the CD, including the tune “Don’t Feel Like Going There Today”, playing in the high register of the harmonica. There is so much good stuff on this live album, but I think my favorite is the slow Blues Song with some amazing slide guitar “Tax Man”. Listen Here. This is a great album with strong blues content and amazing music, I will give this a 9 in blues content and an 8 on music content.

Reviews done by Juke Jackson, so don’t blame the station!!!

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