New Blues & Soul News – 6/27/2016

New Blues & Soul News – 6/27/2016

New Blues Adds:

Guy Forsyth Blues Band – The Pleaser (Small And Nimble): One of the original founders of the Asylum Street Spankers, Forsyth decided to go single and now fronts a quartet featuring George Rarey (lead guitar, vocals), Naj Conklin (bass, vocals) and Mark Hays (drums, vocals). Forsyth is a solid harmonica player, plays guitar and is the lead singer. The songs are often raucous and rude, edgier than they are funny, but it’s not clear that humor is the actual intent. He does give off a strong attitude – more anger and in-your-face than tends to cause the chuckles to flow. Everyone plays well and, to my ears, the instrumental title song is the most successful, though there are some vocals that are close. Click here to listen to the songs from this disc.   

The Soul Of John Black – Early In The Moanin’ (Cadabra): Here’s a unique story: John Black grew up in Chicago and after being inspired by Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix and a lot of practice, moved west where he became guitarist for El Debarge. He also played in ska-funk-punk band Fishbone. He also played with Miles and was introduced to the music of John Lee Hooker (don’t ask me how). Thus inspired, he has come to cut a disc that blends his influences and music. That’s the Soul of John Black. It features the repetitive pulse of Hooker blended with ska and some Chicago soul sashay. I’m not able to find any more information about him or the recording, so I’m assuming he played all instruments, but? Click here and scroll down to sample the tunes on this disc.   

Jeff Turmes – Wreckage (Self-produced): Veteran blues/Americana/roots multi-instrumentalist Jeff Turmes has only released a few discs under his own name, but he has been a very active accompanist for headliners James Harmon, Gary Primich, Kim Wilson, Jody Williams, Koko Taylor and Mavis Staples among others. This disc contains some blues, some pop, and some rock, all but one of which are originals written by Turmes. His vocals are fairly laid back and almost talkish at times. He describes his songs as being “about love: love lost, love found, obsession, infatuation, delight and demolition”. His guitar covers lot of styles and is quite fluid. He also plays sax, clarinet and bass on various tracks. Backup is provided by Gregory Boaz and Paul Eckman (basses), Steve Mugalian and Butch Norton (drums) and Lee Thornburg (trumpet, trombone). Click here and scroll down to sample the songs on this disc.   

A.G. Weinberger – Mighty Business – Live In Bucharest (Big Foot): Live performance from a Romanian blues guitarist/singer/songwriter who moved to Chicago to find the real deal and worked with Son Seals, Lurrie Bell, and Willie Kent. This disc was recorded live in Romania in 2009 and Weinberger’s love for American music whether blues or jazz or blues rock shines through clearly. The performance includes three songs from Muddy Waters, “Cissy Strut” from the Meters, the classic “Ain’t Nobody’s Business”, and “Billie’s Bounce” (Charlie Parker) and several original blues rock songs written by Weinberger himself. Other members of the band are Sorin Petrilla (guitar, backing vocals), Vlad Spatar (bass, backing vocals) and Miklos Orban (drums). It is a very strong performance, vocally and instrumentally. Click here to sample the songs on this disc.   

New Soul Adds:

Various Artists – Blues Mix 20 – Grown Folks Blues (Ecko): Here’s a new soul blues mix from Ecko, featuring songs by Mr. Sam & O.B. Buchana, Ms. Jody, Donnie Ray, James Payne, Sheba Potts-Wright and Val Knight. This is dance music, thankfully with real instrumentation except for synth strings, and the beat is infectious throughout. About half of the songs are unreleased, but the quality is consistently high. Swoony, smooth, uptempo. Click here to sample songs on this disc. I’d recommend “I’m A Love Starved Woman” (12) as your first listen.   


Professor Bebop


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