New Blues Review 5-30-23
Babaux and the Peacemakers – Moments in Time (Contra Basso Music) – Babaux, real name Christian Basso, actually was raised in Shenandoah Valley where at a young age, got to meet Legendary John Jackson and got his first influence of music. Well, this new album by Babaux has nothing to do with John Jackson, Piedmont Blues or the Blues (except for a little dobro playing). This is more of a root/rock album. Christian Basso handling the vocals and dobro, Eric Martinez on guitar and Alana and Niek Velvis on drums and bass respectively, create their own style of playing. Basso has a very deep singing voice that gives his music a storytelling feel. Band is tight and the songs aren’t bad but not great if your looking for the blues. “Never Let Go” is a cool riff driven song that seems to grow on you as you listen to it more and more. The album overall seems to be lacking a music cohesiveness and Basso’s voice while low, does feel out of key from time to time. I think my favorite is “Fly On Love”, Listen Here. I think I will give this one a 3 for Blues and a 5 for music content.
Eric Heideman – Third Degree Gravity (Blue View Music) – Eric Heideman is a Bluesman out of Salt Lake City, Utah and is in the beginning of a promising career. This latest album is Co-produced by the great bluesman Victor Wainwright. Again, not what I would call a Blues Album although Eric can play the guitar. His singing, while ok, seems a bit on the singer songwriter side of the Blues Genre. The first song on the CD, “I Didn’t Do It” features Victor Wainwright on piano and has a nice New Orleans country feel to it. Second song, “Moneyman” beginning, sounds just like “I Am So Into You” by the Atlantic Rhythm Section. Lawsuit possibly?? “Never Felt This Way Before” is the only straight up blues tune on this CD. I believe Eric is better live than on record and seems more bluesy when he is forced to play the blues like at a Blues Festival or at the IBC. I really didn’t have a favorite on this CD but here is a live song that I really like, Listen Here. I think I will give this one a 4 for Blues and a 4 for music content.
Brad Guitar Wilson – Lovers Before Sunrise (Cali Bee Music) – An international guitarist/singer /songwriter, Wilson achieved the #1 USA Blues Rock album in July 2022. The first single, “Tales Of Brave Ulysses,” also charted at #1. This worldwide smash album, Brad ‘Guitar” Wilson, had four additional songs charting in the top 20 blues rock songs. Definitely a West Coast Bluesman, songs do have a Blues sound to them but also a Beach Festival feel. “Big Fish” has some nice “BB King” phrasing on the guitar and humorous lyrics. Brad’s first cover on this CD is actually a pretty good electric guitar version of Leroy Carr’s “Blues Before Sunrise” as is his cover of “Sunshine Of Your Love”. Most of the songs on this CD are written by Brad, but I think the best are his covers including his version of “I’m Ready” by Willie Dixon. I think my favorite is his original slow ballad “I’m Still Breathing”, Listen Here. I think I will give this one a 7 for Blues and a 7 for music content.
Adrena – Recipe For The Blues (Sweet Success) – Alright, this is a good one. Adrena, a very soulful Blues Women from Jackson Mississippi has released her first EP as a Blues phenom. Powerful voice with some great song writing, the only complaint is that it is only a 6 song CD. Adrena has a very classic Blues Voice like Koko Taylor or Aretha. She came in 2nd at the Vicksburg Blues Competition and has teamed up with the incredible Mr. Sipp to help write and produce her music. There is not a lot about the other members of her band, but they are smokin’ and the perfect conduit to Adrena’s fabulous voice. “The Blues Chose Me” starts off the album and is in your face almost Albert Collins starting a show. So Good. The next song ‘Borrow My Pans” reminds me of something Ma Rainey would sing, classic piano blues. Really great stuff on this one. Keep an eye out for Adrena in the future. I think my favorite is her up-tempo blues “No Ring No Thang”, Listen Here. I think I will give this one a 9 for Blues and a 9 for music content.
Eli Paperboy Reed – Down Every Road (Yep Roc) – Eli Reed has had a wonderful career already, signing with Virgin Records, later going to Capital Records. Come And Get It!, Reed’s major label debut, was produced by Mike Elizondo. Reed stated the album was strongly influenced by the late 1960s/early 1970s Chicago soul music recordings of artists such as Tyrone Davis and Mel & Tim. Reed was nominated for Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2009 MOJO Awards. He definitely has a very soulful voice and can do the blues, but this newest CD is a cover of Merle Haggard songs. At first glance, this doesn’t sound good but Eli puts his own spin on all of the songs, making a very pleasant CD in whole even if you don’t like Merle. “Teach Me To Forget” has a beach music feel to it and works well with Merle’s lyrics. “Mama Tried” has a fast tempo with some great flat picking guitar and great vocals. There is some great stuff here even if you have never heard of Merle but I think my favorite is his rendition of “Workin Man Blues”, Listen Here. I think I will give this one a 5 for Blues and a 9 for music content.