New Blues & Soul News – 10/12/2015

New Blues & Soul News – 10/12/2015

New Blues Adds:

Fiona Boyes – Box & Dice (Blue Empress): Fiona Boyes is a unique bluesician: she sings and plays (in this case, a variety of cigar box guitars, a National Reso-lectric baritone guitar, a regular electric guitar, and drums and percussion), with authority. In fact, it is reported that non-other than Pinetop Perkins described her as “the best gal guitarist I heard since Memphis Minnie.” She IS tough on the frets! On this disc, her voice has a declarative rasp that testifies to her affinity for down-home, country-funky blues and her experience singing unadorned blues for over 20 years. She is backed up by Dean Addison on bass and Mark Grunden on drums and percussion on nine originals, including dynamic versions of rootsy blues like “I’m A Stranger Here”, “Walking Round Money”, “Mama’s Sanctified Amp” and “Tiny Pinch of Sin”.  She also does one of the most original covers of  “Smokestack Lightning” ever!  Click here for a live version of a song on this disc. Note: this performance is not on this disc, but she does perform it on this disc.  

Sam Butler – Raise Your Hands! (Severn): Guitarist, singer, and former member of the Blind Boys of Alabama (he played guitar but did not sing with them) has released a new solo recording that is as accomplished as it is surprising!  First of all, the songs are all modern compositions from artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, and Tom Waits to Curtis Mayfield, Van Morrison, Nick Cave, and Eliza Gilkyson. Secondly, Butler sings and plays guitar with gritty intensity throughout! His band includes Roosevelt Collier on pedal steel, Marco Giovano on drums, and Viktor Krauss on bass. Butler’s voice may show his age, but his passion takes care of that. Releasing a project like this as his first release as the leader certainly took conviction and the modern “in your face” delivery sure shows the depth of everyone’s commitment.  Click here to listen to songs from this disc. 

The Jimmys – Hot Dish (Brown Cow): The Jimmys have a solid blue soul sound with a twist jazzy horns. They play straight ahead “I know this is a roadhouse and that’s where I belong” sound. Named after singer / keyboard player Jimmy Voegeli, the band also features Mauro Magellan (drums), John Wartenweiler (bass), Perry Weber (guitar), Pete Ross (sax), Darren Sterud (trombone) and Mike Boman (trumpet) with wonderful vocal help from Al Falaschi, Alison Margaret and Faith Ulwelling throughout the disc. This is the sort of band that doesn’t go after you with a lot of slash and dash, but they are a tight ensemble and get the most out of each chord. They don’t dazzle, but they do get into your head and under your skin over the course of the disc. Click here for a recent live performance by the Jimmys.

Andrea Marr Band – Live Blues Party At The House Of Blues (Self-produced): Australian blues band fronted by vocalist Andrea Marr (strong voice and composer of five of the nine songs performed here). She’s backed by a quartet of tightly synced soul/bluesicians (Dean Matters, drums; Clint Healy, bass; Jeff Mead, sax; and Greg Dodd, guitar). This is a tight full bore performance. In addition to the originals, the band performs two Freddie King compositions and one each from Elmore James and Frank Guida and Jerry Royster – New Orleans – great party/dance number). They obviously had a great show on April 12, 2015, and it seems they would undoubtedly kick out the jams on a routine basis! Click here to listen to a sample from this disc!

New Soul Add:

Jaye Hammer – I’m The Right Man (Ecko): Jaye Hammer is back with another soul/disco dance disc whose themes fall mostly into the “I/you have got what I/you need/want” or the “complications of relationships” categories, including a manageable amount of boasting about prowess. The music itself has rhythm tracks provided by John Ward, who also plays guitar, and James Jackson, who also takes care of overdubs, and background vocals from O.B. Buchanan, Latoya Malone, Morris J. Williams and Donnie Ray Aldredge (who duets with Hammer on “Is She Waiting On You?”).  This is party music for those seeking a consistent groove and lyrics with the appropriate focus. My favorite is “Is She Waiting On You?” because the woman is apparently playing BOTH men and they’re each hoping, as they discover they are both heading to the same address, that she’s really not interested in the other guy. If you have checked out Hammer’s earlier releases, you’ll know exactly what to expect.   Click here to listen to this tune from the disc.


Professor Bebop


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