New Blues & Soul News – 1/6/2016

New Blues & Soul News – 1/6/2016

New Blues Adds:

The Beat Daddys – Hoodoo That We Do (Melrose Hill): The Beat Daddys were formed in 1986 by Larry Grisham (vocals, harmonica, rhythm guitar) and Tommy Stillwell (lead guitar, backing vocals) and have released eleven discs since then. The current rhythm section consists of David Parks (drums) and John Gillespie (bass). Patrick Preston adds organ on two songs and Greg Franzman percussion. All but the opening song were composed by Grisham and/or Stillman. The sound is mostly swampy and laid-back blues shuffles, perfect for those on the dance floor who prefer the sultry, dirty boogie or the decidedly after-hours blues. Click here to listen to samples.

Colin Lake – One Thing That’s For Sure (Self-produced): Seattle native Colin Lake is one of innumerable souls who have been enchanted and ultimately captured by magic that is New Orleans, which is now his home. Lake wrote all of the songs on this disc and while several are love songs, he has also been filled with the positive vibe most evident in New Orleans’ music and he both endorses and celebrates the joy so associated with the Crescent City’s musical community. This is a solid blend of folk, pop and NOLA.  Click here to listen to the first two songs on this disc.

Hurricane Ruth LaMaster – Winds Of Change (Self-produced): Hurricane Ruth’s second release, this time an EP of her soul/blues/barroom style. The songs here were written by Willie Dixon and Delbert McClinton and others who reflect that general style. Vocalist Ruth and her instrumental support: Dick Garretson (trumpet), Mike Gillette (tenor sax), Doug Wilcox (trombone), Frank Huston (guitar), Brian Curtis (keys), Frank Huston (guitar), Gary Davis (bass), and John Sluzalis (drums) bring it all back home, much like a well-seasoned club band would do. Click here to listen to samples from this disc.

Randy McAllister – Gristle To Gold (Reaction): Veteran singer / songwriter / harmonica player McAllister offers ten original songs that musically blend elements of blues, southern rock and soul in differing strengths, depending upon the personnel on each particular song. McAllister sings on everything and plays harmonica on half of the songs. The typical instrumentation adds guitar by Rob Dewan (adding second guitar by Mike Morgan on a couple of songs), bass mostly by Matt Higgins (Morgan takes one song and Rich Stanmyre covers two), Carson Wagner adds keyboards on most tracks, drums by several players, background singing is handled by Benita Arterberry-Burns or Andrea Wallace, and there are even horns and a fiddle on a couple songs. This would, no doubt, be a strong dance or party band. Click here then scroll down to the Sound Cloud list on the right and click on “The Kid With The Really Old Soul” to sample the opening song on this release.

Chris O’Leary – Gonna Die Tryin’ (American Showplace Music): Singer/songwriter/harp player/guitarist O’Leary has a commanding voice, a BIG harp sound, and some strong opinions and observations about the economy, the plight of US soldiers, and our socio-political state. This is his fourth disc as a leader. He apprenticed with Levon Helm’s Barnburners (with whom he eventually became the bandleader). The band includes Chris Vitarello (guitar), Andy Stahl (tenor sax), Chris DiFrancesco (bari sax), Matt Raymond (bass), and Jay Devlin (drums) with guest appearances by Bruce Katz (keys), Vinnie Nobile (trombone), and Willa Panini McCarthy and Libby Cabello (vocals). This performance, all originals by O’Leary, is “forty feet wide and tougher than saddle horse steak!”  A certified “Professor Bebop wax devoid of cracks!”  Click here to check out the opening song on this disc. 

Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers w/ Little Mike & The Tornadoes – Genuine Blues Legends (Elrob): Here’s a live performance from 1988 at the Grand Auditorium in Ellsworth, ME featuring blues giants Pinetop Perkins and Jimmy Rogers with Little Mike & The Blues Tornadoes (Little Mike – harp; Tony O’Melio – guitar; Brad Vickers – bass; and Mike Anderson – drums). The sound is excellent and the song selection is filled with classics, from “Kidney Stew” and “I Had My Fun” to “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie”.  As expected, the group is most deferential to Pinetop and he definitely rises to the occasion. Rogers also often chooses a subordinate role with solid but subtle guitar playing and his laid back vocals. The rest of the players work hard to keep the energy high without taking over. Little Mike’s harp is a highlight as well. Click here to listen to samples from this disc.

Tim Williams – So Low (LoudenProud): 50+ year acoustic and often solo performer Tim Williams, who recently was voted best guitarist and solo performer at International Blues Challenge in Memphis, offers a mix of songs ranging from classics by the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Boy Fuller and Tampa Red to more recent compositions like Johnny Cash’s “Big River”, Mose Allison’s “If You Live”, and three originals. His plaintive singing suits the selections just fine and his playing is terrific. Great playing – rhythm and melody. Fans of acoustic blues and folk should definitely check this out!  Click here to sample songs from this disc. 

Various Artists – Classic Chicago Blues – Live & Unreleased (Wolf): Who exactly are these various blues artists?  Blues shouter Bonnie Lee (in TOP form), bassist/vocalist Nick Holt (younger brother of Morris “Magic Slim” Holt), drummer/vocalist Earl Howell (who played with many blues greats, including being a member of Magic Slim & The Teardrops), and guitarist John Primer, who played with numerous Chicago greats, including Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, before joining Magic Slim and then starting his own band. Many musicians and critics considered the Teardrops to be THE best live blues band in the world for a number of years.  Amazing that these recordings were unreleased until now! This is a killer release from top to bottom!  A certified “Professor Bebop wax devoid of cracks”!  Click here to listen to a sample song form this disc.

New Soul Adds- 1/6/2015

The Soul Investigators – Home Cooking (Timmion): “It all goes back to the 1998, to a desolate suburb called Matinkylä, just outside the outskirts of Helsinki. There in a small two-storied cottage, the band began to practice their craft and the aim was to create funk that was stripped down to the bare essentials.” This appears to have been the first recording / LP release (2002?) on the Timmion label by the Soul Investigators. Tracking their exact history becomes more complex because of the many recordings they have participated in to support other performers such as Myron & E and Nicole Willis. The band can definitely cut a funky groove!  The leader of the band appears to be guitarist Pete Toikkanen, but I haven’t been able to determine the identities of any of the other players (obviously organ, bass and drums). Must be time to hit the floor! Click here and scroll down looking on the right to listen to “Home Cooking, Pt. 1”

The Soul Investigators – Soul Groove (Timmion): This new release includes Jimi Tenor on flute and vibes, along with an unnamed brass section with sax, trumpet and trombone and the rest of the group, including guitarist Pete Toikkanen. The additions modernize the sound somewhat and also soften it. It appears that these discs may be constructed from collecting the group’s singles over some months and then compiling the “long player”. Click here to listen to two tracks on this disc, released as a single earlier.


Professor Bebop


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