New Blues & Soul News – 6/26/2015

New Blues and Soul News – 6/25/2015

New Blues Adds:

Gaye Adegbalola & The Wild Rutz – Is It Still Good To Ya? (Self-produced): Gaye Adegbalola returns to the “roots” with a substantially a cappella offering with her group “The Wild Rutz” and it is a winner! It has acoustic warmth and the great poignant humor that has typically characterized Adegbalola’s songs over the years. There are interpersonal songs like “Is It Still Good To Ya?” and “The Dog Was Here First”, social commentary like “Sick Leave Blues” and “I Know You Wanna Change (But Yo’ Momma Won’t Let You)” and a totally infectious set of vocal and rhythmic experiences that will draw you in and force you to share the magnetic power of this vocal and lyrical warmth.  For my ears and head, this may well be Adegbalola’s best ever! BTW, here’s the line-up: Gaye Adegbalola (guitar, scrub board, percussion, wrote all but one song, and co-wrote the outlier); Marta Fuentes (percussion); Gloria Jackson (percussion, vox); and Tanyah Dadze Cotton (percussion).  Possibly, the most inviting, while challenging, work of Adegbalola’s career. Sweet sound and deep thoughts! Give this a listen!  Click here for a sample from this disc.

Henry Gray – The Henry Gray / Bob Corritone Sessions, v1 (Delta Groove): Powerhouse pianist Henry Gray could and can still roll a boogie and totally stomp the ivories! He has been recording and performing with Bob Cortisone (harp) two decades and this disc presents some of the best performances they have brought to life during that time.  They also performed with numerous blues greats (old and young) during that period. This is mostly classic Chicago blues, but includes significant variety, featuring songs composed by Robert Johnson, Big Maceo Meriweather, Lowell Fulson, BB King, John Brim, Fats Domino and Henry Gray himself showcasing terrific stylistic variety.  Only Gray and Cortisone appear on all tracks centering guest appearances by Robert Jr Lockwood, John Brim, Dave Riley, Bob Margolin, Kid Ramos, and Kirk Eli Fletcher on guitar; Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Steve Cushing, and Chico Chism on drums; “Chicago” Bob Stroger and Paul Thomas on bass; and guest vocals by Lockwood, Brim, Nappy Brown and Tail Dragger.  This is a totally solid collection of blues – honoring some classic greats and showcasing talent less appreciated than it deserves. Corritone isn’t exactly a household name but he blows his harp with style and assured full-bodied confidence!  Click here for a live performance by Henry Gray.  Note: This performance is not on the disc.

Victor Wainwright & The Wildroots – Boom Town (Blind Pig): Party Time is here just as soon as you put this disc in the tray or slot or whatever you got!  Big voiced, keyboard crusher Wainwright and his thumpin’ and bumpin’ Wildroots congregation do the boogie, rock your socks, and bring you some of the most most sanctified and saucy soul you’re apt to find these days!  And you might ask, “Who exactly are these ‘Wildroots’?” Stephen Dees (bass, guitars, vox, and wrote or co-wrote with Wainwright all but one tune on this disc), Patricia Ann Dees (tenor, vox), Nick Black (guitar, vox), Billy Dean (drums), Charlie DeChant (bari and tenor saxes), Ray Guiser (tenor), and Stephen Kampa (harp). Fans of boogie will want to pay attention. A dash of boogie, with some razz-ma-razz and enough boogie the tickle your woogie!  Click here for a live performance of a song on this disc.

Willie West – Lafourche Crossing (Loud Folk): Willie West began recording in 1959 at Cosimo Matassa’s studio for the brand new Rustone label.  It was a minor local hit that set him on his long musical journey, part of which included intermittent performances with the Meters. He recorded several records for Deesu under the direction of Allen Toussaint, but success eluded him. He continued to perform live in New Orleans until Katrina forced his evacuation. At that time he moved to his current home in Minnesota. West’s more recent recordings are smooth, soul blues with solid instrumental accompaniment, including Scotty Miller and Toby Marshall (keys), Dan Neale and Jimi “Primetime” Smith (guitars), John Wright (bass), Don Hyepockets Robinson (drums), Thad Simmons (sax), Jeff Carver (trumpet) and Matthew Frobst (electric cello). This is high tone club style blues and soul, featuring four excellent originals and eight covers (three from Sam Cooke, one Curtis Mayfield with nice second vocal by daughter YaDonna West, even classics like Summertime and Blues In The Night).  Click here for a sample from this disc.

New Soul Adds:

Saun & Starr – Look Closer (Daptone): Saundra Williams and Starr Duncan Lowe step up to the main miss for their debut as leads after several years as background singers, most notably for Sharon Jones. No surprise that their sound is quite similar to Jones’, given that all the songs were written and played by the Daptones. Saun and Starr start off rather gently and smooth, but the vocal picks up as the disc spins. Songs like “Another Love Like Mine”, “Big Wheel” and “Your Face Before My Eyes” will most definitely fill that hole in your soul!  A solid debut that you should most certainly check out. Click here for a sample from this disc.




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