New Blues & Soul News – 4/25/2016
New Blues & Soul News – 4/25/2016
New Blues Adds:
Mike Eldred Trio – Baptist Town (Great Western): This is Eldred’s fourth release and it reaches for the roots that stoked the original fires at Sun Studio, where it was recorded. There are blues, gospel, country proto-rock influences all over it. The sound ranges from acoustic blues to raunchy, thumpin’, gospelized blues rock. The trio features Eldred, formerly a member of Stray Cat Lee Rocker’s Big Blue, on guitars and vocals, a rhythm section of bass man John Bazz and drummer Jerry Angel, both of the Blasters. The guest list includes David Hidalgo, John Mayer, and Robert Cray among others. All songs are originals except for a gutsy, blues rock version of the Beatles’ “Can’t By Me Love”. The lyrics reflect the current day plight of of Baptist Town (MS) and the issues that still haunt the rural Southern community. Click here for an introduction to the disc by Mike Eldred.
Moreland & Arbuckle – Promised Land Or Bust (Alligator): Guitarist Aaron Moreland and singer/harmonicat extraordinaire Dustin Arbuckle have just signed up with Alligator and there is serious damage to be done! They open with enough energy to shake the ground for miles around! Supported by drummer Kendall Newby and guests Scott Williams (bass) and Matt Bayles (keys, guitar), this is blues rock at its best. The sound varies from a “wall of sound” to a folksier pop ballad feeling, but if you like full drive harmonica and crunching guitar that is as revved as rock but as blue as can be, you will want to check this out. Click here for a sample.
C.W. Stoneking – Gon’ Boogaloo (King Hokum): Nostalgia of this sort has been pretty scarce ever since the Yazoo and Blue Goose recordings of the 1970’s, but now we have a new offering of original songs by C.W. Stoneking blending a variety of styles for your entertainment. What exactly is “hokum”? Here’s the most succinct definition I could find: “In a general sense, hokum was a style of comedic farce, spoken, sung and spoofed, while masked in both risqué innuendo and “tomfoolery”. It is one of the many legacies and techniques of 19th century blackface minstrelsy. Like so many other elements of the minstrel show, stereotypes of racial, ethnic and sexual fools were the stock in trade of hokum. Hokum was stagecraft, gags and routines for embracing farce. It was so broad that there was no mistaking its ludicrousness.” (Wikipedia) Twelve original songs performed by Stoneking on electric guitar and vocals, Andrew Scott (bass), Jacob Kinniburgh, Kanchana Karunaratna and Lucky Piriera (drums, percussion), and backing vocals by Vika Bull, Linda Bull, Maddy Kelly, and Memphis Kelly. Click here to sample this “old timey” yet current version for yourself.
Sugar Blue – Voyage (MC Records): No one plays harmonica like Sugar Blue! His tone, variety of styles, and the breadth of his musical styles is unparalleled. He also sings, but to be honest, his vocals aren’t the main attraction. This new disc finds Blue playing blues, funk, pop, boogie, an old time rag, even a soul tune with a strong gospel bent. He is supported by Rico McFarland (guitar), Damiano Della Torre (keys), Joewaun Scott,Bill Dickens, Johnny B. Gayden, and Ilaria Lanterieri (alternating on bass), and Michael Weatherspoon and CJ Tucker (drums), with guests Harry Hmura, Sergio Montaleni, Max de Barnardi (guitar), Eddie Shaw (sax) and Maya Azucena & Sonix The Mad Scientist. Blue characterizes the music on this disc as follows: “Music is a vehicle that takes us on a voyage through time and space; we use the songs of our hearts and minds to power the engines of life’s journey. Music is an excursion through infinite vistas of emotion: a universal language that speaks to our souls with rhythmic melodies… Come sailing with us on the roiling seas of emotion as we venture our journey on waves of sound.” This is definitely a trip worth taking! Click here to listen to the closing song on this disc.
New Soul Adds:
Sam Frazier Jr – Take Me Back (Music Maker Relief Foundation): Soul lovers, take heart! The soul era was so fertile that there is a massive cache of great tunes that didn’t even see the light of day! (The Rum Cove shares lots of these each Monday at noon on “Soulful Situation”!) Unlike numerous reissue companies, Music Maker Relief Foundation shares great music that was unsuccessful in its day but whose royalties will still benefit the artist! Frazier is a solid vocalist from the late 60’s and early 70’s who clearly would have been a match for his contemporaries if he had connected with the right recording company. Perhaps, he was a bit too “down home” for the 70’s! Too bad for then, but not for today! Click here and scroll down to listen to samples from this disc!