New Blues Review – 7-18-23

Greg Sover – His-Story (GSGS Music)– Philadelphia raised Greg Sover is releasing his 4th album and is taking on some of his best music so far. With a wide variety of players on this album, Greg writes 8 out of 10 songs with two Jimi Hendrix covers, Manic “Depression” and “Remember”. For the Hendrix tunes, Greg brings Bill Cox from the Band of Gypsies to play bass on this album. I love Sover’s approach to music, full throttle and full passion for most of his work. His main cast of musicians include such icons as veteran bassist Kenny Aaronson, the fellow Brooklyn native who has played with everyone from Bob Dylan, Rick Derringer, Billy Idol, Joan Jett and Sammy Hagar to the New York Dolls, Foghat and Hall & Oates, and drummer/podcast host David Uosikkinen of Philly’s the Hooters. All the songs are produced very well. Freedom Part 2 is a great tune with an almost Gospel feel to it. “Temptation” is a great stripped down Blues Song that has some amazing leads sprinkled through out the tune. “Tonight” is a slow ballad that really shows Sover’s vocal ability. I think my favorite is “Song 28” a great shredder showing Sover’s guitar skills. I couldn’t find it on line yet, but here is a liver performance of Greg playing Voodoo Child, listen here. I will probably give this a 9 on Blues Content and a 9 on Music Content.

Reverend Freakchild – Songs of Beauty for Ashes of Realization (Treated and Released Records)– So this is one for us Blues Lover’s that like something different and in this case Freaky! The Reverend tends to reach for the Psychedelic side of the Blues, definitely Blues Based with Jam Band feel. The Rev has played in many bands in the past including the psychedelic jam band Bananafish, the experimental A-tonal Rock Band ‘Jim’, The Neptune Ensemble, The Soul Miners (w/ guitar virtuoso Matt Rae), The Lucky Devils, The Davenport, The Lost Get Back Boogie Band, and The Cosmic All-Stars touring internationally.  The problem and the blessing for this type of music is that all the songs seem to flow together and don’t have any unique features of each. It is a free flowing jam that is actually a great driving music. I think my favorite is “Hippy Bluesman Blues”, listen here. I will probably give this a 6 on Blues Content and a 9 on Music Content.

Mick Kolassa – Wooden Music (Endless Blues)– Mick Kolassa is a Journey Man of the Blues with a voice similar to Dr. John. This mainly acoustic album shows Mick’s song writing skills and his diversity in the Blues Genre. “Michissippi Mick” Kolassa lives in Memphis but was born in Michigan and lived in Mississippi for nearly 30 years, where he was given his nickname.   He has played blues in solo and duo acoustic formats and with his bands for years.  Mick has performed in legendary blues venues such as Ground Zero, The Rum Boogie Café, Biscuits and Blues, Martha’s Midway Tavern, The Bradfordville Blues Club, Darwin’s, Blind Willie’s, Underground 119, The Capitol Oyster Bar, the National Blues Museum, and many more. This album kinds of flips back and forth between standard Blues songs and singer songwriter stuff. Mick does bring some heavy weight musicians to this recording including Bob Corritore, Doug MacLeod, Tas Cru and Reba Russel. The Blues stuff is pretty good including “Educated By The Blues”, “Sugar in Your Grits” and “Baby Took A Limo To Memphis”. The singer songwriter stuff like “Gas Station Sushi, “One Hit Wonder and “Hurt People”, while whimsical and great lyrics, seems out of place on this album. I think my favorite is “Sugar On Your Grits”, listen here. I will probably give this a 6 on Blues Content and a 6 on Music Content.

Tim Woods – For You (Self Produced)– Tim Woods has been playing music for over 5 decades and has lived the life of the Blues, learning his chops from the masters. This is Tim’s 5th album and he has brought Producer Bobby Lee Rodgers, with special guests Paul Hornsby (Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels, The Hour Glass) & Erik Lawrence (Levon Helm Midnight Ramble Band, Little Feat). While this recording is ok for me, it seems to missing any energy. Songs like “It’s Time” and “Believe” seem to take the album in a weird direction. “Can’t Stop Rockin” is a catchy tune that probably would have been a good direction for the whole CD to go. I think my favorite is “For You”, listen here. I will probably give this a 4 on Blues Content and a 5 on Music Content.

Franck L. Coldwasser – Who Needs This Mess (Cross Cut)– Paris born guitarist/singer has gone full circle from Paris to California to Portland Oregon to Georgia and now back to Paris. Decades of Bands, Festivals playing with his mentors has created what we have now, Franck’s best recordings to date. A guitarist that has played with many legends including David “Honeyboy ” Edwards, Big Jack Johnson, John Primer, Bob Stroger, Bobby Lee Rodgers and Jeff Sipe, Franck has built his arsenal of blues chops to prove his place in the Blues. Franck has brought some great musicians to this recording including RJ Mischo and Charlie Musselwhite on Harmonica, Kirk Fletcher on guitar, Jim Pugh on Keys, Ralph Carter on Bass and Johnny Morgan on drums. “Skwurley” is a great harmonica/slide guitar driving instrumental, followed by “What Am I To Do?”, a great old time blues/early rock and roll tune. ” Who Needs This Mess?” is a nice old timey blues songs with Musselwhite on Harmonica. I think my favorite is “Who Needs This Mess”, listen here. I will probably give this a 9 on Blues Content and an 8 on Music Content.

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