New Blues & Soul News – 3/9/2017
New Blues Adds:
Lisa Biales – The Beat Of My Heart (Big Song Music): Singer Lisa Biales began her professional singing career in 2003. She has released several discs each in a different style, including folk, blues, stage music, Americana, covers and originals. This disc, her ninth, combines soul, various blues styles, and even a touch of jazz. Her back-up band is a “Who’s Who” from the blues/blues rock/ country soul crowd: Tony Braunagel (drums, percussion), Larry Fulcher and Larry Taylor (bass), Johnny Lee Schell (guitar), Jim Pugh (piano, organ), Darrell Leonard and Lee Thornburg (trumpet), Joe Sublett (sax) and numerous back-up singers. Biales does a really wonderful tribute to her mother (using a 78 by her mother as the opener) and she is a earnest club style singer herself. This is a solid performance with great back-up. Click here and then click on the black bar at the top of the page to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Beth Garner – Snake Farm (Self-produced): Singer/guitarist/songwriter Beth Garner is a product of the Texas hill country and she has the punch and sass that one would expect from a blues-country-rock artist who respects and fires up all of the component parts. On top of that, she has a swampy, seamy side that will take you on the dark side of town with “Backroads Freddie” or the “Snake Farm”. Garner wrote or co-wrote six of the seven songs on this disc. Additional musicians on this disc are Rory Hoffman (bari sax, keys, rhythm guitar), Wes Little (drums, percussion), Steve Forrest (bass) and Angela Primm and Gale Mayes (backing vocals). Click here for a sample song for this disc.
Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band – Standing On Faith (Self-produced): Born in Texas, but with relatives in Louisiana with whom he spent some summers, Corey Ledet became fascinated with zydeco music at a very young age. He has studied with masters like Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis, but at this stage of his life, his is a more modern iteration of the style which still honors the early masters. Ledet wrote or co-wrote all but one song on this disc. He plays accordion, drums and washboard and sings. Musical support is provided by Jesse Delgizzi (guitar, bass, Moog, vocals) and Cecil Green (keys) through a variety of styles including trad and pop. Interesting hybrid! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Nina Massara – Watch Me (CSP): Vocalist Nina Massara has a style that is reminiscent of “Betty Boop” and other kewpie dolls. She wraps her little girlish chirps around nine songs written by Morten Wittrock (keybords) and Ray Weaver (who does not perform on the disc). The subject matter, however, is clearly adult material. Massara plays the innocent sounding, but seriously teasing gal about town. The songs range from pop to jazzy to blues or blue country. She is supported by Colin Brooks and Jens Runge (guitar, backing vocals), Mads Dalsgaard (guitar), Chris Maresh (bass), John Chipman (drums), Lars Ringgaard (harmonica), Hans Nybo (sax), and Peter Marott (trumpet). The music is quite stylized. The best way to know if it suits your taste is to listen, of course. Click here to listen to samples of all of the songs on the disc.
Delbert McClinton & Self-Made Men – Prick Of The Litter (Thirty Tigers): Delbert McClinton is back with a new set of songs, all but one of which he wrote or co-wrote. On this disc, he’s somewhat more sentimental, like a wry and charming but crusty Jesse Winchester without the latter’s gentility. McClinton sings and brings out his harmonica once. His country twang is still infectious. Supporting musicians include Bob Britt (guitar), Michael Joyce (bass), Jack Bruni (drums), Kevin McKendree (piano, keys) with the occasional addition of horns courtesy of Jim Hoke (sax), Quentin Ware (trumpet), and Roy Agee (trombone). Special guests include Jimmie Vaughan and Al Anderson (guitar), Lou Ann Barton and Glen Clark (vocal). If you’ve enjoyed McClinton in the past, you should definitely check this out. He’s not as wild as he used to be, but that twinkle in his eye is still alive and well. Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc.
New Soul Adds:
O.B. Buchana – Swing On With O.B. Buchana (Ecko): Initially a lead gospel singer with the Mighty Sons of God, Mississippi born O.B. Buchana eventually joined the ranks of the soul singers and, at this point, the dance club style of soul. He has established himself very successfully in this genre. He also co-wrote four of the songs on this disc. The music is targeted to adults for dancing and themes mostly deal with hooking up or dealing with the problems of getting caught slipping around. Buchana has a smooth voice with a shade of road ware. The music is funky with some synths but mostly with straight-up instruments. Titles include “There’s A Right Way To Do Wrong”, “It’s Booty Shakin’ Time” and “Freak In The Sheets”. Click here to listen to the opening song.
Joe “Blues” Butler – Full Figured Woman (Nikkie): Born in Mississippi and currently living in Memphis, Joe Butler brings some older style blues to this disc. He’s a writer and a singer and his stories mostly concern love and love-making, along with a couple of songs about the younger generation or just the blues itself. Backing musicians include John Ward (guitar), Leroy Hodges (bass), Reginald “Crow” Ectoy (drums), Curtis Jones (keys), Dr. Feelgood Potts (harp) and a horn section that includes Anthony Royal (various), Charles Campbell (trumpet) and John Sangther (tenor, bari sax). Most of the songs are medium paced in the old Delta style and the 73 year old Butler’s vocals clearly show the mileage, while adding some authority and authenticity to his performances. Click here to listen to a sample song from this disc.
Durand Jones & The Indications – Durand Jones & The Indications (Colemine): “Bayou-born soul sensation, Durand Jones got his start in the church, after being forced to sing in the choir of his rural hometown Hillaryville, Louisiana because his grandmother thought he sang too much at home. When his music career took him to Bloomington, Indiana, he was selected to join the legendary Indiana University Soul Revue, and it was through his involvement there that he met the writer/producer duo Aaron Frazer and Blake Rhein. The three began writing original soul music, recording themselves straight to tape….” (Bio, Colemine Records) The trio wrote five of the songs on this disc together, Frazier and Rhein composed one, Rhein wrote another, and Frazier co-wrote the remaining song. Musicians include Frazier (drums, vocals), Rhein (guitar), Kyle Houpt (bass)and Justin Hubler (organ, electric piano) and added horns by Alexander Young and Alex Geddes (tenor sax), Christian Allmendinger (trumpet), Steven Banks (bari sax) and Anastasia Talley (backing vocals). The music is based on old soul and funk though the vocal and sound are, at times, reminiscent of Charles Bradley without the intense wailing. The group is also reminiscent at times of St. Paul & The Broken Bones. In other words, this is a new group bringing the old style of soul back for another round. Check it out! A certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid Of Cracks”! Click here to check this disc out!
Soul Scratch – Pushing Fire (Colemine): Moving west for some California soul, here’s Soul Scratch, a sextet that creates a funky rhythm reminiscent of the James Brown sound as interpreted by the Bar-Kays. Vocalist Dale Spollett who has the style and fire of St. Paul & The Broken Bones’ testifier Paul Janeway without the latter’s gospel fervor but with just as much passion. The remainder of the group is Joel Givertz (guitar), Johnny Chou (bass), Adam Greenberg (drums), Matt Real (trumpet) and Ian Anderson (sax) with Roger Rivas, Dan Hastie and Joel Givertz (keys) and Cassandra Kocoshis (percussion). The band composed all ten of the songs on this disc and while they don’t quite have the fire of the Broken Bones’ first disc, the energy is strong throughout. Highly recommended for fans of funky soul or St.Paul. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Southern Avenue – Southern Avenue (Stax): Named after the street that runs from the easternmost part of the Memphis city limits all the way to Soulsville, the original home of Stax Records, Southern Avenue is a killer multifaceted soul blues and rock band that is being described as the epitome of Memphis music. First of all, lead singer Tierinii Jackson is a stunning, vocal stylist whether singing gospel, soul, rock or ballads. Secondly, the band has a range of styles and unity of performance that will appeal to fans of older soul music, as well fans of current day soul blues and gospel. In addition to singer Tierinii Jackson, the band includes Daniel McKee (bass), Tikyra Jackson (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Jeremy Powell (keys) and flaming guitarist Ori Naftaly. Nine of the ten songs on the disc are band originals and the one cover is the best performance of George Jackson’s “Slipped, Tripped And Fell In Love” that I have ever heard. A certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid Of Cracks”! Click here, then click on the triple white lines and click listen to hear samples of the songs on this disc.