New Blues & Soul News – 9/9/2019
Paul Gabriel – Man Of Many Blues (Smoke Ring): Veteran singer-guitarist Paul Gabriel offers his newest release Man of Many Blues, produced by Duke Robillard, who also guests on the new disc along with Mark Teixieira (drums) and Sugar Ray Norcia (harmonica), with additional backing by Scott Spray (bass), Frank Davis (bass), Paul Opalach (bass), Bruce Bears (piano, Hammond organ), Lonnie Gasperini (Hammond), Mark Earley (tenor & bari sax) and Doug James (bari sax). It’s a pleasant on-the-edge-of downtown blues set with a few songs that really ring the bell. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this release.
Tad Robinson – Real Street (Severn): Robinson was born and raised in New York City, then attended school at Indiana University’s school of music and graduated in 1980. He played regionally with a group called the Hesitation Blues Band, then moved to Chicago, where he became the vocalist for Dave Specter & the Bluebirds, singing on their 1994 album Blueplicity for Delmark Records. In 1994 he released his first album under his own name on the same label. (https://www.biographies.net/people/en/tad_robinson) This release is his fourth Severn and it is a stone soul platter from end to end! The disc features Robinson on vocals and harmonica, soul giants Charles Hodges (Hammond organ), Leroy Hodges (bass) and Howard Grimes (drums) and Joe Restivo (guitar), Kevin Anker Wurlitzer electric piano), Marc Franklin (trumpet), Kirk Smothers (sax) and Devin B.Thompson (backing vocals). The sound is straight from the “Hi Sound” and the voice is killer soul! This is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Click here to listen to one example of the art on this disc.
Various Artists – Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records (Bea & Baby): While nowhere near as well known as Chess or Vee-Jay, Cadillac Baby certainly worked with numerous greats or greats-to-be and covered doowop, gospel, and vocal groups as well as blues. This particular set offers performers including Eddie Boyd, Earl Hooker, Eddie Boyd, Hound Dog Taylor, Sunnyland Slim, Andre Williams, James Cotton, Sleepy Joe Estes and Hammie Nixon and several gospel groups! Amazing!!!! Several of the recordings are rough sounding, but don’t you worry a bit about that! You know it’s coming! A certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks!” Essential historic material. I truly regret that I could only find one sample. Click here and scroll down to listen to Andre Williams. Click on that for a sample from this disc.
Vaneese Thomas – Down Yonder (Segue): Vaneese Thomas offers her eighth release and it is a solid set throughout. She composed or co-wrote all of the songs on the disc and has added a strong gospel soul feel to several of the songs. She sings with authority and wonderful control. Backing musicians include Shawn Pelton (drums); with Paul Adams, Conrad Korsch and Will Lee (trading off on drums); Al Orlo (electric and acoustic guitar); Tash Neal and Wayne Warnecke (dobro); Robbie Kondor (keys); Mark Franklin and Tim Ouimette (trumpets, flugelhorn); Lannie McMillan and Ken Gioffree (tenor sax); Kirk Smothers and Rick Kriska (trading off on bari sax); Katie Jacoby (violin); Wayne Warnecke and Shawn Pelton (percussion) and Carla Thomas and Berneta Miles adding back-up vocals on three songs. This is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Click here to listen to songs from this disc.
Avery R. Young – tubman (PFE): “Chicago poet and musician Avery R. Young’s new release, Tubman, is promoted as a soundtrack to his first volume of poetry, neckbone: visual verses (Northwestern University Press, June 2019), and serves as a platform for extending and exploring the book’s many interwoven themes through music. Accompanied by his group, De Deacon Board, Young’s brilliant cross-genre album dedicated to Harriet Tubman certainly stands on its own merits. The provocative tracks frequently delve into socio-political commentary, while Young’s musical palette is deeply rooted in the Delta—“the blues, the gospel, that swamp type of rock ‘n’ roll.” As one might expect from this poet, other influences include The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron, as well as ‘70s soul musicians such as Curtis Mayfield and Otis Redding, the Black church, and the Black Arts Movement. Plus funk, lots of funk!” (http://blackgrooves.org/avery-r-young-tubman/) All tracks feature “de deacon board on foundation blinkety-blink-blink(s): Tim “Cream” Jones; boom-doom-boom: Jeff Jones; bam-bam(s)/bam-bam programmin: Marcus Evans and chutch-house: Justin Dillard. The music and messages are hypnotizing and fresh in a singular fashion. The presentation is a blend of Curtis Mayfield, the Staple Singers and Gil Scot-Heron among other influences. This is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this disc.