New Blues And Soul News – 3/19/2019
Rosie Flores – Simple Case Of The Blues (Last): Veteran singer Rosie Flores offers her first disc in seven years. She has been releasing discs since 1987, but the releases have been less frequent over time. This disc offers three songs she co-composed and an interesting set of covers from Dwight Yoakam’s “There Was A Way” to Leiber and Stoller’s “I Want To Do More” (originally recorded by Ruth Brown) and several other “oldies” like Roy Brown’s “Love Don’t Love Nobody”, Wynonna Carr’s “Till The Well Runs Dry” and Wilson Pickett’s “If You Need Me”. She doesn’t try to duplicate the old songs, but she does try to sing them in a way that suits her voice and style. Flores is backed by Kenny Vaughan (guitar), Charlie Sexton (rhythm guitar), Dave Roe (bass), Jimmy Lester (drums), T. Jarrod Bonta (piano, Wurlitzer), Michael Flanigin (B3), Cindy Cashdollar (lap steel) and occasional horns from Greg Williams (sax), Kevin Flatt (trumpet) and Paul Deemer (trombone). There are some fine offerings here. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Scott Ramminger – Rise Up (Self-produced): Singer/songwriter/sax player Scott Ramminger offers eight original songs that are blues based or in some way connected. He shifts the intensity depending on the nature of the song so that “88 Reasons”, a more political song has a harder sound and “Ice Cream” is an old timey love song almost sounding like a Tin Pan Alley rendering. Backing musicians include Wes Lanich (keys), Shane Theriot (guitar), Paul Langosch (bass) and Emre Kartari (drums) sound more blues oriented, but also work to serve the style of each song. Click here to listen to the title song on this disc.
Brandon Santini – The Longshot (American Showplace): Singer/songwriter/harp player Brandon Santini offers his first release and it seems he is creating a solid stir. His playing has influences from James Cotton among others and is more centered on the Chicago blues harp than many of the newer players. He also has a full voice and a fine growl. He wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on this disc except for Willie Dixon’s “Evil (Is Going On)” and he has crafted a new approach on that song. Back-up musicians include Timo Arthur (electric guitar, backing vocals), Jed Potts (acoustic guitar), Greg Gumpel (slide guitar, 3 songs), Jimmy Bennett (guitar,1 song), Chuck Combs (bass), John Ginty (keys, percussion), and Reid Muchow (drums). This is a strong disc and fans of harmonica and straight up Chicago style blues should definitely check it out. I regret I am unable to find a sample of the songs on this disc.
Reese Wynans and Friends – Sweet Release (J&R Adventures): Reese Wynans (keys, vocals), best known as a member of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, offers his first release as leader of the proceedings, but his history is much deeper than many people realize. First of all, he was a member of the band that ultimately became the Allman Brothers Band and when Duane Allman created the new alignment, he also recommended Wynans to Bob Scaggs with whom he recorded and performed until joining Double Trouble. Now, he has gathered an amazing group of musicians including his former bandmates Chris Layton (drums) and Tommy Shannon (bass) and friends and guests Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jack Pearson, Josh Smith, Jack Pearson, Doyle Bramhall II, Joe Bonamassa, Warren Haynes and Keb’ Mo’ (guitars); Darrell Leonard (trumpet) and Joe Sublett (sax) of the Texacali Horns; Michael Rhodes and Travis Carlton (bass); Lamar Carter (drums); Mike Henderson (harmonica); Pauline Cerra (sax) and vocalists Mike Farris, Paulie Cerra, Mahalia Barnes, Jade MacRae and Juanita Tippins, Keb’ Mo’, Jimmy Hall, Bonnie Bramlett, Vince Gill, Noah Hunt and Warren Haynes. They certainly got the title right on this disc! What a wonderful celebration! Click here for an introduction to this disc.
New Soul Add:
The Suffers – The Suffers (Self-produced): “The Suffers are a contemporary version of the great R&B/funk bands of 70s and 80s…Rufus, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang, with a powerful lead vocalist in Kam Franklin and spot-on musicianship that is all too rare these days,” says Shanachie Entertainment General Manager, Randall Grass.” (http://www.thesuffers.com/about) The group made an immediate splash in Houston in 2015 with the release of their first EP, “Make Some Room”. That set was expanded some months later to this ten song expanded version. The group’s style is a fresh version of soul and R&B with the splash of a large band sound that is their own. Vocalist Kam Franklin is a terrific singer. A certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks!” Click here to watch a live performance of “Gwan”.