New Blues & Soul News – 5/16/2016

New Blues & Soul News – 5/16/2016

New Blues Adds:

Alabama Mike – Upset The Status Quo (Self-produced): Alabama Mike (Benjamin) began his professional singing career in 1999. Born in Alabama, and he actually began his introduction and love of blues while stationed in the San Francisco area. He has a has a decidedly big-voiced gospel style and lays down some serious country funk in the midst of this very “in-town” musical setting. The result is quite soulful yet centered on the blues. Musical support is provided by Jerry Jemmott and Kedar Roy (bass); Derrick D’mar Martin and Ronnie Smith (drums); Jon Lawton, Kid Andersen and Bob Welsh (guitar); Aki Kumar (harmonica); Bernard Anderson (saxes); Jim Pugh and Kid Andersen (B-3); Sid Morris and Bob Welsh (piano); and Loral Christensen and Lisa Leuschner (backing vocals). Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of several songs on this disc.   

Big Jon Atkinson & Bob Corritore – House Party At Big Jon’s (Delta Groove): Fans of the older style of electric blues, stop reading and go buy this disc! Big Jon Atkinson plays guitar and sings in the style most prevalent in the 1950’s – metallic, not too “fancy”, cut to the bone, totally captivating. When he’s not singing, he’s replaced by Dave Riley, Willie Buck, Alabama Mike or Tomcat Courtney (all veteran bluesmen). Then consider Bob Corritore, a blues harp master who studied and learned from greats like Big Walter Horton, Little Mack Simmons, Louis Myers, Junior Wells, Big John Wrencher, and Carey Bell. Supporting musicians include Danny Michel (guitar), Troy Sandow (bass), and drummers Malachi Johnson, Brian Fahey, and Marty Dodson sharing the drum kit from song to song. This performance is straight blues at the heart of the original electric sound and it will shake you to the core. Click here to listen to an introduction.   

John Long – Stand Your Ground (Delta Groove): John Long creates some great old time blues right now. He also sings, plays guitar (mostly resonator), and blows the harp. He had a couple of earlier releases, the most recent 10 years back. Long was “schooled” by Homesick James and considers him to be his teacher and father. Two thirds of the songs are originals, but they sound as if they were created and played by the old masters. Covers include “Baby Please Set A Date” (written by Homesick James), Blind Willie Johnson’s “I Know His Blood Can make Me Whole”, Blind Willie McTell’s “Climbing High Mountains (trying To Get To You)” and Thomas A Dorsey’s “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”. Long has occasional accompaniment by Fred Kaplan (piano), Bill Stuve (bass) and Washington Rucker (drums). If you like old style blues, you absolutely owe it to yourself to check this out! Click here for an introduction to this disc, including sample songs.   

Tweed Funk – Come Together (Self-produced): Tweed Funk is a soul jazz band that leans more on the soul side than most.  That’s no doubt the influence of lead singer Joseph “Smokey” Holman who was a young protege of Curtis Mayfield and briefly recorded for Custom records releasing “Soul is Love” and “This is the End” in 1971. Fast forward to 2012 and the formation of Tweed Funk with Holman on vocals, Eric Madunic (bass, keyboards, guitar, backing vocals), Dave Schoepke (drums), Andrew Spadafora (saxes), Doug Woolverton (trumpet), and JD Optekar (guitar) with Chrissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen on backup vocals. The music is somewhat mellow, but it can get pretty funky and there are really nice selections. Click here for a sample. 

New Soul Add:

The Bo-Keys – Heartaches By The Number (Omnivore): Bo-Keys bassist and band leader explains the history of Memphis soul, the band and this new release as follows: “…the collision of gospel, blues, jazz, country. When you get integrated bands, I think you get a mix of sounds that you wouldn’t get any other way. In the Sixties, you had this amazing thing happening where everyone was influencing each other, and it didn’t matter if somebody was black or white. If they could play, that’s what mattered…Everything we’ve done up to this point has been pure Memphis soul heavily influenced by the Hi Records sound and the Stax sound.… For this new album, I’ve gotten more into the Muscle Shoals sound and what was going on at Fame Studios in the Sixties. Also, what Chips Moman was doing at American Studios here in Memphis….The core of that material is this amazing songwriting and guys who were writing country songs, but recorded them with a soul band. It came out as this really cool soul-country hybrid.” (Austin Chronicle interview). Add guest vocals by veteran soul singers Percy Wiggins and Don Bryant and that’s the main dish. Click here for an introduction to this disc.   


Professor Bebop


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