New Blues Reviews – 1-17-2023
Teresa James – With A Little Help From Her Friends (Blue Heart): From looking at the ‘groovy’ album art and the title of the album, you would think Beatles cover band. Well, you’re not too far off! Teresa James, Houston born, LA based singer has quite the resume of playing or recording with some of the greats today including Tommy Castro, Eric Burdon, Spencer Davis, Randy Newman, Lee Roy Parnell, Neil Diamond, Walter Trout, Stephen Bruton, JP Soars, and many others. Teresa James’ band is also star studded, very profession musicians that came together (Beatles Pun) to create a fun project during the pandemic years that was never supposed to be released. They were so pleased with the music and the reviews from friends and colleagues that releasing the album was a no brainer. If I put on my Blues Music ears, I am not that much of a fan of this album. Teresa’s voice and playing are outstanding to say the least. But if I put on just my music ears, I am really digging the interpretation of these classic Beatles tunes. I already know all the words! They are professionally done with just enough similarities that you can identify the song in the first few notes, but the bluesy/swing melodies really work for this talented group!! My favorite is the first song on the CD, Ticket to Ride but I couldn’t find a link so here is the second best, Taxman. Click here to listen I will give this a 4 for Blues Content and an 8 for Music Content.
Eddie 9V – Capricorn (Ruf Records): Eddie 9V has established himself as a major Blues singer and guitarist with his last two albums, Left My Soul in Memphis and Little Black Flies. His new album titled Capricorn (named from Capricorn Studios in Macon, Georgia and is known for having recordings with the Allman Brothers Band and Otis Redding) starts to get away from his heavy blues roots and dribbles over into soul and maybe a little pop. Eddie includes a wide variety/diversity of his music on this CD, with his amazing singing voice (reminds me Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the broken bones) and really great guitar leads (not flashy, just super tasteful). Eddie 9V is getting a lot traction today in the festival circuit and is touring throughout the US and Europe. I think my favorite song on the CD is Mary Don’t You Weep. It is an unusual song out of the album and I tend to be drawn towards that. The one seeing most airplay is Yella Alligator, Click here to listen . I will give this a 6 for Blues Content and an 8 for Music Content.
Mississippi Macdonald – Heavy State Loving Blues (APM Records): Right from the get go I have a problem having a London based musician with Mississippi in his stage name, but once I started listening to this album I started understanding why. Macdonald has a great gravely baritone voice (reminds me of a raspy Delbert McClinton) and guitar licks in the neighborhood of SRV and Albert King. A three-time British Blues Award nominee, Macdonald has 7 other albums out before HSLB. If you listen to some of each one you can start to see the development and maturity of his song writing and composing. My favorite off this new CD is definitely “Blind Leading the blind”, Click here to listen . I will give this a 9 for Blues Content and a 9 for Music Content.
Jewel Brown – Thanks for Good Ole Music and Memories (Nic Allen Music): Ok, this is my favorite of this week. Jewel Brown, an 85-year-old powerhouse, started performing when she was 12 years old and was “the Beyoncé of her times” in the 50’s and 60’s. She sang with the Louie Armstrong’s band!! In the late 60’s she made the decision to stop performing to work a normal job and take care of her aging parents. She has not been forgotten for her talent. In 2007 she was inducted into the Blues Smithsonian and in 2015 she received a congressional acknowledgment and in 2020 Houston designated December 12, 2020, as Jewel Brown Day! But Jewel is back with a drive to make up for lost time. With a history like this you would expect this CD to be a throw-back to the 50’s but with all new songs, Jewel has put a fresh new spin on her sound. I would shelve this in the Jazz/blues side of the Blues Genre. The band is tight, the variety in tunes is massive and Jewel’s voice is the diamond on top!! My favorite is “Why Did You Do That”, Click here to listen I will give this a 7 for Blues Content and a 10 for Music Content.
Reviews done by Juke Jackson, so don’t blame the station!!!