New Blues & Soul News – 5/12/2015

New Blues and Soul News – 5/12/2015

New Blues Adds:

J.B. Hutto & His Hawks w/ Sunnyland Slim – Hawk Squat (Delmark): Here’s an expanded flashback on the power of the raw urban blues being created in Chicago in the 50’s and 60’s.  This raw blues was the sound that resonated in juke joints on the dark side of town and it was also the music that electrified and inspired both Brits and Americans who, in turn, reinvented and rejuvenated rock’n’roll.  Hutto sang with an edgy shout and his slide cut like a knife. He is supported by a constantly shifting set of players, including Sunnyland Slim on piano or organ, Lee Jackson or Herman Hassell on guitar (bearing in mind that ALL the slide is Hutto), Junior Pettis or Dave Myers on bass, Frank Kirkland on drums, and Maurice McIntyre on sax.  Twelve of these recordings were issued in 1994 (though recorded in 1966 or 1968), while the rest are alternate takes or formerly unreleased songs from 1968.  The liner notes are also terrific.  The disc is essential listening!  Click here for some live JB Hutto from the blues movie “Thank You For Your Kindness (1970).

Hank Mowery – Excuses Plenty (Blue Bella): A former understudy of Gary Primich who established his national reputation before his death at 41, Hank Mowery issued his first release as a leader, Account To Me (2012) in dedication to Primich and paid homage to his style. Since then, Mowery has further refined and broadened his own style. This disc fully represents his individual style which covers a much wider range than that of his mentor.  Mowery’s singing style is unadorned and declarative. Overall, his originals sound more blues-rock-tinged than hard core blues, but his playing covers many styles from simple and melodic to full and rhythmic. BTW, he also identifies himself as  a “William Clarke geek” and performs Clarke’s “Telephone Is Ringing” on this disc. That being said, Mowery is not a powerhouse player like Clarke, but he is versatile. Seven of the ten songs are originals. Mowery’s band, The Hawktones, add guitar (Troy Amaro), keyboards (Chris Corey), bass (Patrick Recob) and drums (John Large) to the leader’s harp and vocals and form a tight outfit. There are also several notable guests, including guitarists Mike Morgan and Doug Deming, harp player Dennis Gruenling, and bassist Larry Taylor.  Click here to hear a sample from this disc.

Sugaray Rayford – Southside (NimoySue): Sugaray Rayford has been around for a long while and, in this brass-based, old time blues (think Bobby Bland), mixed with strong, gospel-based soul vocals and a fluctuating, but ever-present, country-funkiness, he presents a hybrid soul blues that is captivating, classic and yet it’s own style.  All of the songs on this disc were collaborations between Rayford and bassist Ralph Carter or by Rayford on his own. There is a wide variation of style and theme, including love (All I Think About) , lust (Miss Thang), heartbreak (Take Away These Blues), and deep social comment (Call Off The Mission). The music insinuates its messages and power rather than smacking you in the face.  Given the old-time sound and presentation, it make take more than one listen to fully appreciate the disc’s true strengths, but it is well worth the extra listening. I’d suggest listening all the way through at least twice or more before making up your mind.  Try some of these grits and homestyle gravy. The band includes Gino Matteo (g), Lavell Jones (d), Allan Walker (tenor), Gary Bivona (trumpet), Leo Bombecki (keys), and a guest appearance by harp player Bob Corritore.  Click here for a live performance from Sugaray Rayford and his band.  Note: This performance is not on this disc.

Roy Rogers – Into The Wild Blue (Chops Not Chaps): Veteran guitarist / singer / producer Rogers is most noted for his slide playing, his guitar tenure with John Lee Hooker and co-production of four of Hooker’s most commercially successful albums, such as The Healer and Mr. Lucky.  His own recordings have varied between more traditional styles and blues rock. This disc has significant tylistic variety. Rogers sings and plays guitar (slide and not) and wrote or co-wrote all of the songs. Supporting musicians Steve Ehrmann (b), Kevin Hayes (d), Jim Pugh (keys), and on a few takes, Carlos Reyes (violin and beautiful stringed harp).   Click here for a sample of Rogers’ playing.  Note: This performance is not on this disc.

New Soul Adds:

Ms Jody – Talkin’ Bout My Good Thang! (Ecko): Ms Jody is back with a new collection of songs for the dance floor focusing on just about all aspects of relationships from her “Good Thang”, to temptations galore (“If He Knew What I Was Thinking”), her resolution to confess her own unfaithfulness (“I Ain’t Gonna Lie This Time”),  her warning to her man about spreading himself around (“I’m Gonna Take It Laying Down”) and breaking it off (“I’m Gathering Up The Trash”).  This is uptown blue soul for the club scene, complete with good mid-tempo rhythms, lyrics that put things right out into the open with just enough funk to keep you moving.  Ms Jody has a strong voice and is certainly one of the most popular singers in this genre.  Click here for a sample from this disc.

I’ll be on the road for the couple of weeks, but I’ll send out the next Blues & Soul adds as soon as possible on my return.  Kopasetically, Bebop


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