New Blues and Soul News – 3/31/2020
New Blues Adds:
The Reverend Shawn Amos & The Brotherhood – Blue Sky (Put Together Music): The Reverend Shawn Amos ‘broke it down” in 2018 and he has connected with the Brotherhood of Brady Blade, Doctor Roberts and Christopher “CT” Thomas, a new set of songs and a special guests Ruthie Foster on one song and Kenya Hathaway onto with the Mudbug Brass Band on the final number. Musicians include Brady Blade (drums), Christopher Thomas (bass) and Chris “Dr. Roberts” (guitar). This set is a mixture of old style countrified and electrified blues with a closer that says New Orleans for sure. Click here to listen to “Counting Down The Days” from this disc.
Chickenbone Slim – Sleeper (Lo-Fi Mob): “Gritty, soulful and adhering to classic blues norms, with clever lyrics and classic tone, Chickenbone’s third all original album Sleeper explores various interpretations of modern blues and society in the 21st Century. Recorded at the famed Greaseland Studios in the summer of 2019 with Kid Andersen, this album showcases Chickenbone’s unique sound mixing West Coast swing and Chicago and Gulf Coast blues, balancing originality with an understanding and respect for tradition.” (https://fotosbluesrockandmore.blogspot.com/2020/02/release-chickenbone-slim-sleeper.html) Musicians on this disc are Scot Smart (guitar), Troy Sandow (harmonica), Andrew Crane (bass) and Marty Dodson (drums) with special guests Kid Anderson (guitar), Laura Chavez (Nicki Hill, Candye Kane) and Joey Harris and Jerry Rainey (Beat Farmers). The music is basically straight-ahead blues. This is Slim’s third release. Click here for an introduction by Chicken Slim with a background of his music.
Liz Mandeville – Playing With Fire (Blue Kitty Music): “Inspired by both Koko Taylor and Luther Allison; Liz Mandeville relocated to Chicago in 1979. She started working with both Delmark recording artist Willie Kent, and Alligator recording artist Maurice John Vaughn. She started her own band in 1983. Mandeville has won numerous songwriting awards and only records her own songs. She signed with Earwig Records and recorded four albums the last being 2008’s “Red Top”. In 2012 Mandeville started her own label, Blue Kitty Music, and released “Clarksdale”. Follow up albums include 2014’s “Heart O’ Chicago” and 2016’s “The Stars Motel”. In November 2016, less than three months’ after the release of “The Stars Motel”, Mandeville was in a car accident and suffered a concussion to her frontal lobe. She was told that she wouldn’t perform again as she also had contusions in her heart and chest, and nerve damage to both hands. She was placed on morphine, and later sent home with a script for Oxycodone. She couldn’t work, sing or play guitar. She eventually gave up the Oxy which she replaced with acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and eventually yoga. It took six months but she finally performed her first gig; “I was able to sing for one hour”. She wrote or co-wrote several songs on this disc. Backing musicians include guitarists Dario Lambardo, Minoru Maruyama, Peter Strujik and Big Dez and a variety of rhythm players and two songs accompanied by Ilana Katz Katz and members of her band.” (https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lizmandeville18) Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Ben Rice & RB Stone – Out Of The Box (Middle Mountain): RB Stone (vocals, guitar, harmonica) recorded “his first song in 1985 “Fairweather Friends Blues” to his 16th album “Loosen Up” which was produced by multi Grammy winner “Tom Hambridge” and nominated for 2014 “Rock Blues Album of the Year” for the “Blues Blast Awards”…. He’s been called a Country Bluesman, an Americana Artist, a Roots Rocker and he answers yes to them all. Together with Ben Rice (vocals, guitar) this disc is a celebration of the cigar box guitar. Backed by Dave Melyan (drums), Joseph Barton (bass) and Jimi Bott (tambourine) the program is a tough-as-nails rockin’ good time. The songs are all originals and the gutty sounds are all full-bore cigar box guitars! Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this disc.
New Soul Adds:
James Hunter Six – Nick Of Time (Daptone): “The James Hunter Six are back with another sublime offering of no-nonsense rhythm and blues. Recorded and produced by Bosco Mann, Nick of Time is a shining example of how a master song-smith can continually draw fresh water from a bottomless well. In addition to the uptempo, swinging R&B that has put JH6 on the map, Nick of Time explores so much more! The opening track and lead single, “I Can Change Your Mind”, is a beautiful, mid-tempo rumba that tips the hat to the sound of many early King/Federal releases, but executed with a vibrancy that propels the tune into the 21st Century. The lush arrangements on “Till I Hear it from You” and ” He’s Your Could Have Been” sound like lost tracks from an early ’60s Burt Bacharach session. The straight forward soul of “Brother or Other” (whose timely message is only tantamount to its groove), and the sparse “Paradise for One” (that finds James channeling his innermost Nat King Cole), enrich the album with sounds one may not readily associate with James and Co. – culminating in James’ most exciting full-length release to date.” (https://jameshuntersix.bandcamp.com/album/nick-of-time) Hunter sings and plays guitar with Ridy Albin (drums), Myles Weeks (bass), Michael Buckley (bari sax), Freddy DeBoe (tenor sax), Adam Scone (organ) and Victor Axelrod (piano). I would also rate this as Hunter’s best release! Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.