NEW BLUES REVIEW – 3-14-2023

Eric Bibb – Ridin’ ( Stony Plain)– What’s not to like about Eric Bibb, a true Bluesman and musician that has had an incredible career. Bibb received Grammy nominations for Shakin’ a Tailfeather in 1997 and Migration Blues in 2017. He has been nominated for several Blues Music Awards (formerly known as the W.C. Handy Awards). He won the award for Acoustic Artist of the Year in 2012 and 2013. In 2017 he won the award for Acoustic Album of the Year for The Happiest Man in the World. He started his guitar education very early, at the age of 7. By the age of 19 he worked intensively on learning pre-war Blues and World music. With 20+ released CDs, Eric has put all of his musical knowledge and production in this latest CD. The first track on this album is a great hybrid song called “Family”. Great acoustic sounds with almost gospel feel throughout this song. The next song “Ridin” is a cool resonator type riff with a drone feel with lyrics about the freedom train. “Blues Funky Like Dat” is another great resonator song including Taj Mahal and Jontavious Willis with a great call and response between voice, guitar and harmonica. Eric is such a good storyteller as can be heard on the track “500 Miles”. Eric shares the spotlight with many great artists on this album, including Taj Mahal and Jontavious Willis but also Jazz guitarist Russell Malone, French Bluesman Amar Sundy, Canadian Bluesman Harrison Kennedy and Malian musician, Habib Koite”. I think my favorite song on this album is “Sinner Man”, Listen to it here. This is a great CD with so many good songs, I will give this a 10 in blues content and a 10 on music content.

The Maple Blues Band – Let’s Go (Cordova Bay Records)-The Maple Blues Band is a super-group, ten-piece band, featuring some of Canada’s most accomplished musicians. The band has performed for 24 years as the feature of The Maple Blues Awards presented by the Toronto Blues Society. This is an instrumental only album which I did not think I would like, but after listening to it, I have come more fond of it. All the musicians are very good and the styles of songs are Blues related but really fall into other categories. “Hey Nola” is a cool Cajun jumping blues. Savona Shuffle is a great B3 based song with excellent guitar leads throughout. “Baker’s Groove” starts out with a great slide guitar lick then right into screaming overamped harmonica! The music in every song is so good. It has great leads from Guitar to B3 to Harmonica to Horns even to Bass. I think my favorite is “Zanzibar”. It’s a very cool B3 tune with great guitar and horns, listen here. Really like this CD. Best for me as background music when I am working, I will give this an 8 in blues content and an 8 on music content.

Walk That Walk -Big World of Trouble (Self Produced)– Walk That Walk is an incredible Blues Band from the Boston area. They were the backing band for touring artist Bo Diddley and Johnnie Johnson, who was the pianist in Chuck Berry’s legendary combo. They have also backed Carey Bell – Chicago blues-harmonica ace. They have been a mainstay act in the renowned Boston Blues Festival for many years, performing alongside greats including Levon Helm, Gatemouth Brown, Eric Burdon, Son Seals, and Big Jack Johnson. This band is lead by the singer and guitarist, Poppa C DeSnyder. Backed by Drums, Keyboards, Bass and Harmonica, Poppa covers a lot of different flavors of the Blues!! Their cover of John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Chillen” is spot on and sets the basis for the rest of the album. “Get Up Get Out” is a funky groove with a great lead guitar in the middle. Some great slide guitar, great harmonica, I think my favorite is “Mississippi Jukin”, listen to it here. I think this a solid Blues CD . I will give this a 9 in blues content and a 7 on music content.

Danny Liston – Everybody (Blue House Records)– Danny has been playing in band’s since he was 14 years old, starting out as a drummer. He has embraced many genre’s of music during his career but feels that Roots and Blues is his home. Danny joined his brother, Pat Liston, in forming Mama’s Pride. Mama’s Pride worked the Southern rock circuit along with bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Wet Willie. They eventually signed with Atlantic Records and released several albums. But it was not where Danny wanted to be. He took a few years off and returned with a spiritual album that got some great reviews. Everybody is his latest release. He’s hoping to show his Rock and Roll and Blues chops. Although Danny has some great vocal talent and songwriting, I have a hard time calling this a Blues CD. Lots of “poppy” songs and very laid back music. There is some good music, but I think “Everybody” is probably my favorite. Listen Here. This is a good album with some great moments on it. I will give this a 5 in blues content and a 6 on music content.

Jeff Pitchell – Playin’ With My Friends (Deguello Records)– Alright! A true Blues Album. Jeff is a Blues Hall of Fame winner and put out a chart topping album, Heavy Hitter. Jeff is famous for taking 70’s pop songs and turning them into legitimate Blues Songs. Over the years Jeff Pitchell has shared the stage with J. Geils, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Jaimoe, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Rick Derringer, Dave Mason, Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, Bo Diddley, Ben E. King, Clarence Clemons, Elvin Bishop, Pat Travers, James Cotton, Phil Lesh, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Simon Kirke of Free and Bad Company, Joe Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult, and so many more. Jeff’s latest CD, Playin’ With My Friends, shows his true Blues chops but he also dabbles into Atlantic Rhythm Section’s “So Into You” and does an amazing rendition. You never know what you will get with Jeff, from the SRV feel for “Your Magic Eyes” to the Jerry Lee Lewis type piano jam with “All Night Long”. Some great blues here, lots of variants. My favorite is probably the Kenny Wayne Shepard style song “Blinded By Desire”, Listen Here. This is a great blues album that I will give this a 9 in blues content and an 8 on music content.

Tammy McCann – Do I Move You? (10 Canto Music) This is probably not what I call a Blues Album (thanks Rus!!) but I have to say it is probably one of my favorite CDs I have heard in a while. This wonderful singer has one of the best voices in music right now. I would probably pigeon hole this a Jazz album, but she has Blues on here like the slow Nina Simone tune “Do I Move You?” The rest is fairly jazzy. She starts with one of my favorite songs, a rendition of Bill Wither’s “Grandma’s Hands” followed by a Duke Ellington tune, “Don’t You Know I Care”. She includes another Nina Simone tune “Blackbird” but we can’t just have one Blackbird. She follows this with the Beatles song “Blackbird”!! Again this is a great album with some Bluesy feels, but it can’t be boxed into Jazz or soul or Blues. It stands by itself to whoever loves great music and great vocals. I have to go back to the first song on this CD to be my favorite, Grandma’s Hands, Listen Here. This is a wonderful album with a very talented singer/artist but I will give this a 6 in blues content and an 9 on music content.

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

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