New Blues & Soul Adds – 12/3/2019
Diane Blue – Look For The Light (Regina Royale Records): “Ms. Blue is a soul-stirring vocalist, skillful harmonica player whose powerful delivery of Soul, Blues & R&B is captivating. Her performances are charismatic and heartfelt, whether fronting her own world-class band or singing alongside master Bluesman Ronnie Earl. Ms. Blue is the first female member of Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, prominently featured on the band’s most recent five celebrated records, including co-writing credits.” (https://dianebluemusic.com/) This appears to be her fourth release as a leader. Blue sings and plays harmonica and composed six of the ten songs on this disc. Blue is backed up by Kevin Barry (lap steel, electric guitar), Lorne Entress (drums, percussion, acoustic guitar), Dave Limina and Brooks Milgate (Hammond organ, piano), Chris Vitarello (electric guitar) and Jesse Williams (bass). She is also accompanied by Ronnie Earl on two songs. Her blues and gospel sound is truly fine. Click here to listen samples of the songs on this disc.
Ghalia – Mississippi Blend (Ruf): This is singer/songwriter Ghalia’s second release. She wrote or co-wrote all but a couple songs, for instance “Wade In The Water”, and arranged and shared lyric writing on a few. The disc was recorded with special guests Cedric Burnside, Cody Dickinson, Lightnin Malcolm, Watermelon Slim, Dean Zucchero and Smokehouse Brown. That pretty much accounts for the Mississippi blend on this set. The title of this disc is right on target: Ghalia is basically a rocker and the song styles are a mixture of her straightforward singing and slide style. Lightnin Malcolm and Smokehouse Brown bring the heavy guitar. This is a solid set. Click here to check out a song from this disc.
Ghost Town Blues Band – Shine (Self-produced): This appears to be Ghost Town Blues Band’s second release. They have all the trappings of a Southern blues rock band including horns and original Southern blues songs. Matt Isbell (vocal, guitar, cigar box guitar, silverware chest guitar, harmonica) and co-wrote all of the songs with guitarist, singer Taylor Orr. The other players are Kevin Houston (sax, vocal), Suavo Jones (trombone, trumpet, vocals), Matt Karner (bass, vocal), Andrew McNeill (drums, percussion, vocal) and Cedric Taylor (keys, vocal) with Paul DesLauriers and Annika Chambers backing vocals on “Shine”) and Ilana Katz Katz (violin on the final song). This is a party band that would certainly get the audience dancing and partying. Click here to listen to the title song.
Hudspeth & Taylor – Folie a Deux (Self-produced): “In the vein of those great acoustic blues records from the ‘60s and ‘70s on the Vanguard, Arhoolie, and Shanachie labels and such, come the Kansas City duo of guitarist Brandon Hudspeth and vocalist/percussionist Jaisson Taylor for their debut, Folie A Deux.” (https://www.makingascene.org/hudspeth-taylor-folie-a-deux/) Their singing and playing are inviting and their performance really brings back the plain by polished singing and playing of days past. Mighty fine! Click here to listen to samples of all of the songs on this disc.
Big Dave McLean – Pocket Full Of Nothin’ (Black Hen Music): “Big Dave McLean (born August 23, 1952) is a Canadian blues guitarist, harmonicist, singer and songwriter. A veteran performer, his work has had an influence on many western Canadian blues musicians, including Colin James and Wide Mouth Mason.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Dave_McLean) McLean wrote nine of the twelve songs on the disc most of which are medium tempo. He plays straight ahead blues in a Chicago style reminiscent of Muddy Waters, but also likes party style and acoustic instruments. There is something for just about everyone, especially if you like the older style and the occasional joke. In addition to McLean (vocal, National steel guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, cigar box guitar); the players are Steve Dawson (acoustic and electric guitars, vocals); Gary Craig (drums, percussion); Jeremy Holmes (bass); Chris Gestrin (piano, wurlitzer, organ); Malcolm Aiken (trumpet), Jerry Cook (bari sax); and Dominic Conway (tenor sax). Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
Moonshine Society – Sweet Thing (Mojo): “When three young scholars fresh out of Berklee College of Music united under the stars one night in 2009, they sealed a pact to craft their own brand of soulful blues, roots rock and old-school R&B defying the confines of traditional music labels. On that moonlit night in Washington, D.C., their name was suddenly written in the stars — Moonshine Society…. “Sweet Thing” is the first single and title track of Moonshine Society’s second album, released 2019. The song was written by band leader Black Betty and features blistering solos by BMA award-winning harmonica player Jason Ricci and Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Joe Poppen.” (https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/moonshinesociety3) The band members are Black Betty (vocals), Joe Poppen (guitar), Jason Ricci (harmonica), Wes Lanich (keys), Tod Ellsworth (bass) and Rodney Dunton (drums). It appears that songwriter Jenny Langer who wrote five of the songs on this disc and co-wrote two others and she shares the name Black Betty. Several songs have horns thanks to Ron Holloway (tenor sax), Vince McCool (trumpet) and Ken Wenzel (bari sax). This appears to be the group’s second release. This is also a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Earth shaking! Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Sister Lucille – Alive (Endless Blues): “Musical cross-pollination creates unique and rare artists. On their new release Alive, Sister Lucille presents a potent collection of original modern Blues. It’s powerfully delivered with a soulful twang, a mighty rhythm section and sublime guitar work.
Sister Lucille features the wedded duo of Kimberly Dill and Jamie Holdren. When they got together their musical worlds collided in a fusion of Country, rock and blues. Alive encompasses the entire band’s influences in American roots music, which include; Blues, Country, Rock, Soul and Funk.” (https://endlessblues.com/artists/sister-lucille/) There are two covers on this disc: Don Bryant’s “99 Pounds” and Etta James’ “W-O-M-A-N” and the remainder were composed between singer Dill and Holdren. Kevin Lyons (drums) and Eric Guinn (bass) are the rhythm section and their are guests on some other songs, including Mark Muleman Massey (vocal), Peter Climie (tenor and bari sax), Jared Dover (trumpet), Andrew Earle trombone), Chris Stephenson (keys), Jim Scott (tambourine, guiro) and Eric Hughes (harmonica). Click here to listen to segments of the songs on this disc.
Paul Urban and Friends – Tidewater Blues (Blue Star): “Paul Urban & Friends is a Tidewater,VA based contemporary blues and roots rock band . Paul Urban is a well known figure on the Tidewater blues scene having been a member of the blues group Urban Hill. After four years and two CDs with Urban Hill, Paul decided to strike out in a new direction with his own band and a new CD of all original music entitled “ Tidewater Blues “. The CD contains eleven original songs all with music written by Mr. Urban. The lead off song on the album, “Hurricane Woman” features lyrics by Peggy Hiltabidle Wilson. “ See My Tears “, “ Can’t Do This” and “ Her City “ also feature lyrics by Peggy. Filling out the band roster are Julian Burrell bass, Dwight Epps drums and seventeen year old keyboard wizard Tyler Bevington. (https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/paulurbanfriends) Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Mike Zito – Rock’n’Roll: A Tribute To Chuck Berry (Ruf): Mike Zito has gathered numerous musician fans of Chuck Berry to pay tribute to his impact on the creation of rock’n’roll. The disc opens with Charlie Berry III performing “St. Louis Blues” (Berry’s birthplace) and the rest of the guitarists are Joanna Connor, Walter Trout, Joe Bonamassa, Anders Osborne, Ryan Perry, Robben Ford, Eric Gales, Jeremiah Johnson, Luther Dickinson, Sonny Landreth, Tinsley Ellis, Alex Skolnick, Richard Fortus, Ally Venable, Tommy Castro, Albert Castiglia, Kid Andersen, Jimmy Vivino and Kirk Fletcher and Josh Smith. Everyone seems to have a good time. The only thing missing is Chuck himself! Click here to listen to a song from this disc. “You Never Can Tell”!
Various Artists – Swing Out Soul: Blues Mix 30 (Ecko): “Swing Out Soul” time for the club soul dancers. This edition offers twelve songs, five of which have not been previously released. Performers include Donnie Ray, Rick Lawson, David Brinston, Barbara Carr and Val McKnight (one song each) and two songs each by O.B. Buchana, Jaye Hammer, and Ms Jody. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.