New Blues Review 3-5-24

Thee Sinseers – Sinseerly Yours (Colemine Records)  “To say that Thee Sinseers play oldies would be a misnomer. Fronted by bandleader and son of East Los Angeles Joey Quinones, the group has quietly chipped away at the sounds of R&B and soul for the last half-decade. Quinones and his crew have continuously created a distinctive vibe that explores all aspects of a timeless genre, bringing together their interpretation of music through an unmistakable modern lens. With their most recent effort, the aptly titled Sinseerly Yours (Colemine 2023), the band recorded most of the album live in the studio. With Quinones on vocals and keys, vocalist Adriana Flores, Christopher Manjarrez on bass, Francisco Floreson on guitar, Bryan Ponce on guitar and vocals, Luis Carpio on drums and vocals, saxophonists Eric Johnson and Steve Surman, and Jose Luis Jimenez on trombone, Thee Sinseers achieves their most fully realized sound to date.” Although not officially Blues, this album is killer if you like Soul or Early Rock and Roll. Quinones voice is really the star here but the patience with the songs is foundation of their sound. Highlights for me are “What’s His Name” and “Can’t Do That To Her” but I think my favorite on this CD is “Hold On”, listen here. I will probably give this a 7 on Blues Content and a 10+ on Music Content.

One Dime Band – Side Hustle (Tone Blanket Records)  “Paul and John’s love of American Roots music started in New York State where they first met in High School, teaching each other Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly songs at the age of fifteen. The next year they formed their first band and began to incorporate Blues numbers into their repertoire.   Musical fate led them to Boston, MA in 1986. Their goal was to write and perform music professionally, so they formed a Blues band called The Roadhouse Sheiks, playing live extensively (even hosting a Blues jam at Jonathan Swift’s in Brighton, MA) into the early nineties. The two eventually went on to pursue separate musical endeavors, ultimately reuniting as a duo in early 2000, focusing on acoustic Blues.   In June of 2017, after more than 2 years of writing, recording, and mixing, they released their debut album of twelve original songs, Gonna Take Sweet Time, on their own label, Toneblanket Records.    Hoodoo & Holy Water, their follow up album, was recorded at Woolly Mammoth Sound in Waltham, MA. Engineered and co-produced by Rob Ignazio, released in February of 2020, it received notable recognition, including Blues Music Fan Radio’s Top 20 albums of the year and Blues Music and Metronome Magazine’s Top 20 lists of 2020.   Winners of the 2022 Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge solo/duo category, One Dime Band performed in Memphis competing in the 2023 Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. Most recently on June 4th, they won the 2023 Granite State Blues Society Challenge and are headed to Memphis again to compete in the 2024 IBC.” Although this band has quite a resume for the Blues, this latest release has a lot more depth in Pop, Country and New Orleans Sound. Plenty of Blues components, like little lick here and there, some resonator slide on “What Have You Done” and “Blackfoot Sun”. “Brooklyn Town” has a nice rag time feel and “Rib Grease” is a nice syncopated tune with some really wonderful horn work. I think my favorite and most Bluesy song on this CD is “Gator In My Pond”, listen here. I will probably give this a 9 on Blues Content and a 9 on Music Content.

Seth James – Lessons (Qualified Records)  “Music––especially the blues––has a history of jumping through generations, continents, and races thanks in large part to old roots that are gnarled, broad, and strong enough to bust through crowded city sidewalks––and lonely mesquite-pricked pastures. Working cattle on his family’s ranch in King County, James wasn’t inundated with pop culture like other 90s teenagers. He was isolated, and if he wanted music, he’d have to dig. “There’s not a radio on a horse,” James says with a soft laugh. “I was musical, but music didn’t seem like it was everywhere. I was always hunting for it.”  James found Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins––then Booker T. & the MGs, NRBQ, Delbert McClinton, and ultimately, a sound entirely his own. A couple of decades ago, he emerged with an easy voice that can croon and soul-shout, campfire storytelling chops, and moody, virtuosic electric guitar playing capable of blistering rides, New Orleans drama, and roadhouse funk.” Seth has an incredible voice, maybe his music leans a little more towards Country, he definitely has Blues in his blood. He reminds me a lot of early Jack Johnson. Some of my highlights are ” Real Good Itch” Definitely Country, “Ruby Louise” and “The Rub”. I think my favorite on this CD is “Maybe Someday Baby”, listen here. I will probably give this a 9 on Blues Content and a 9 on Music Content.

Brothers Brown – NoWhere Left To Go (Woodward Avenue)  “The bluesy roots and jam band, Brothers Brown, deliver their sophomore effort with Nowhere Left To Go. The two “brothers” who front the unit, met at the Grammys so it’s a bit of serendipity that brought them together. L.A. based singer-songwriter guitarist Paul Brown who has won two Grammys and produced more than 60 number one singles for the likes of George Benson, Al Jarreau, and Norman Brown, teams with Memphis-born, Nashville-based Grammy nominee and keyboardist, Brother Paul Brown (Waterboys). Brother Paul also has over a two-decade history as a close associate of Bobby Rush, having produced four albums, garnering three BMAs, and a Grammy nomination for Down in Louisiana. The rest of the band share glowing credentials as well. They are Nashville-based bassist and primary vocalist David Santos (Billy Joel, John Fogerty, Elton John) and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Peter Young (Loretta Lynn, The Burrito Brothers). Nowhere Left To Go follows the band’s 2016 debut, Dusty Road.” Blues? Well probably not, But Paul’s voice is really good, a great story telling voice. Paul Brown, Not Brother Paul Brown (I am so confused) can really play guitar too. Nothing real flashy but tasteful licks. This is a great album to put on loud and work around the house. Some of my highlights of this album is “My Baby”, “Brand New Day” and “Running Blues” but I think my favorite on this CD is “No Where Left To Go” with Bobby Rush singing with Paul, listen here. I will probably give this a 7 on Blues Content and a 9 on Music Content.

Blind Raccoon and Nola Blues – Collection Volume 6 (Blue Heart)  “This sparkling set, like the earlier ones, is the brainchild of Betsie Brown, who heads the music marketing organization Blind Raccoon, and Sallie Bengston, who, with Brown, operates the Blue Heart label. They are responsible for the impressive selection of talent represented here, with original songs taken from existing and upcoming albums, as well as previously unreleased material.” While not your straight ahead Blues music, there are a lot of great tunes on this CD. “Survival” is played by Harpman Douglas Avery offers his original “Survival,” featuring Franck L. Goldwasser on guitar, sounds so much like the Doors. Other hightlights for me were “Tidal Wave” is an organ based instruments, “I Do My Drinking On The Weekends” sung by Teresa James, “Never Buy My Soul” sung by Ange Kogutz with Anson Funderburgh  on guitar and “Pookie Po Po, a New Orleans flavored tune that is super fun by Dave Keyes. I think my favorite on this CD is the remake “House of the Rising Sun” by Blind Lemon Pledge, not Blues but has a lot of character to it, listen here. I will probably give this an 8 on Blues Content and a 9 on Music Content.



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