New Blues Review – 4-25-23

Joe Krown – Tribute Joe Krown (Independent) – So, not a tribute to Joe Krown, but a tribute to New Orleans type piano players by Joe Krown with many guests on this newest CD. Joe Krown is a very successful Piano player and B3 musician with an incredible resume including playing in the Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown Band,  Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson’s band and most recently with the Kenny Wayne Sheppard Band. Joe has 14+ solo albums out and many more playing with the above mentioned bands. If you don’t like piano music, then this album would be hell for you. But if you do like the New Orleans piano style then this might be the best album of the year. It has a star studded band including Mark Brooks on Bass, Doug Belote on drums, John Fohl and Jack Miele on guitar, Michael Skinkus on Percussion and Kassie Netherland on Backup Vocals. 8 Instrumental songs and 3 with vocals, Joe showcases the different styles of New Orleans piano, paying tribute to the sounds of Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John and James Booker. Joe also includes some legends including Ivan Neville, Noah Hunt, Walter Wolfman Washington, Leo Nocentelli, Jason Ricci and Joe Sublet. Some Great funky sounds like the first on the CD, “All of it” by Allen Toussaint. Followed by “Such A Night”, a Dr. John feel song with Ivan Neville singing. Lots of great stuff here but I think my favorite is “Something on my Mind” with Jason Ricci on harmonica. Listen Here. I think I will give this one a 6 for Blues and an 8 for music content.

Johnny King & Friends – Call It Confusion (Soul Island Music) – Johnny King and blues legend Tony Coleman are locals to WTJU living in Clifton Forge, Virginia. When Johnny means Friends, he is not kidding with over 34 performers on this CD! So I won’t even try to list them! Johnny is a multi-instrumentalist with a great voice and an excellent guitarist. Johnny wrote all the songs (sometimes with help from Tony Coleman) except for the last song on this CD which is a Slim Harpo remake of “I’m A King Bee”. King has a nice variety of songs on this Blues CD including straight ahead Texas blues, a nice spiritual type song “Oh My Captain” and a great instrumental “That’s It!” with Bobby Rush creating a call response between Harmonica and Johnny’s Guitar. Lots of fun blues stuff here but I think my favorite is “Call It Confusion” with Bobby Rush on harmonica. Listen Here. I think I will give this one a 9 for Blues and an 8 for music content.

Ana Popovic – Power (ArtisteXclusive Records) – Ana has been on the Blues stage for coming on 25 years with her amazing guitar skills and wonderful voice. She received nominations for eight Blues Music Awards and has had 9 highly successful albums. Her 10th CD is titled Power and might be the most important pack of songs in Ana’s life. After losing her mother to breast cancer, 3 years later Ana found herself in the same situation. After many rounds of Chemo and on the verge of retiring, Ana has come back strong with some amazing song writing and working with Buthel (Ana’s Bass Player) wrote and produced the album, which was then mixed and mastered by multi-talented Grammy Award and Dove Award-winning producer Jeremy Bishop Hicks. Personally I am not a fan of this album as far as Blues, but her song writing, singing and guitar playing is top notch. Highly produced, almost on the Pop side as example her 4th on this CD, “Luv’n Touch”. I think my favorite is “Turn My Luck” , Listen Here. I think I will give this one a 6 for Blues and an 8 for music content.

Deb Callahan – Backbone (Blue Pearl Records) – Deb is probably more of a Soul Singer, but she has an amazing voice that fits in the Blues Genre very well. This Philadelphia based singer released her 6th CD, Backbone with a dynamite band including Deb Callahan – Vocals, Allen James – Guitar, Tom Walling – Drums, Garry Lee – Bass, Danny Schogger – Keyboards, Jay Davidson – Sax, John Colgan Davis – Harmonica, and Charlene Holloway – Backing vocals. Deb, with the help of Chris Arms, Danny Schogger and Allen James wrote 10 out of the 12 songs with covers of Sean Costello “Anytime You Want” and Percy Mayfield’s “Danger Zone”. Again a very Soul based Blues album but probably the best song to me is the slow tune “Rogue”, Listen Here. I think I will give this one a 7 for Blues and a 7 for music content.

Tony Holiday – Motel Mississippi (Forty Below Records) – Tony released his latest 8 song CD (come on 8 songs??), Motel Mississippi with 6 of the songs written by himself and/or his guitar player A.J. Fullerton. Tony starts off with an amazing rendition of Paul “Wine” Jones’ “Rob & Steal”. Tony also covers Asie Payton’s “Nobody But You”, a great groove that gives a modern feel to this Delta Classic. Tony Holiday on Vocals and Harmonica, A.J. Fullerton on guitar and Banjo, Dave Gross on Guitar, Accordion, Backup vocals, Keys, Percussion, and Moog Synth!! Also Victor Wainwright on keys, Terrence Grayson on Bass and Lee Williams Jr. on Drums. The whole album reminds me of North Mississippi. Great one chord songs with vocal and lead guitar in unison. “She’s So Cold” is a great song with banjo, harmonica and some blazing electric guitar leads. Some super song writing and old North Hill music that gets you dancing. I think my favorite is “You Know Who I Am”, Listen Here. I think I will give this one a 9 for Blues and a 9 for music content.

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

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