New Reviews

Your chance to write big-time blues reviews. Only two rules: First, if you're connected to the band or artist, go to Shameless Promotion; Second, don't write a book -- keep it relatively short and simple, no 1,000+ word epics.

Oh .. and make it fun.

New Reviews

Postby blueswriter » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:28 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Feb-28-05 AT 05:41 PM (EST)]Howdy gang... here are some more reviews. I'll have a good amount to post today, so they will be short (for the most part), but as usual, I hope I capture the essence of the music and its importance. Use the provided links for more information.

Thanks as always for reading... ;)

Brian Robertson
Big Ass Buick
Big Road Blues (2001) BRB2020

http://www.independentmusicsource.org/i ... ver216.jpg

17 tracks, 54 minutes. Recommended. Brian Robertson, also known as Doc Mojo, has a lengthy pedigree in blues. As the author of the Little Blues Book (illustrated by R. Crumb), and former webmaster of this site, Robertson has been around the block and back. Big Ass Buick, although a few years old, is available again and worthy of listening by fans of blues taken with a back-porch approach. Doc Mojo's exemplary slide guitar, Texas-influenced piano, and workmanlike harp are on display across the landscape on this fine CD. Whether slicing through a breathtaking version of Son House's Death Letter with searing acoustic bottleneck, Memphis Slim's Beer Drinking Woman with two-fisted piano, Robert Johnson's Terraplane Blues, and classic favorites like Hoochie Coochie Man or Going Down Slow, his highly-influenced instrumental skills show to great effect with plenty of originality tossed in for good measure. With a potent and unaffected voice, his original work doesn't take a back seat on Buy Me A Mojo, Spend A Little Time With Me, Don't Hear My Baby, 3:00 Blues or the remainder of the disc. An excellent serving of well-crafted blues sure to satisfy. Check out Big Ass Buick - you won't be disappointed.

http://coast2coastmusic.com/cgi-bin/car ... pc=AFL3320


Alex Schultz
Think About It
Severn (2004) CD-0032

http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioA ... 536272.jpg

13 tracks, 53 minutes. Highly recommended. Alex Schultz should come as no stranger to those inside the blues circle with his sizzling, retro-infused guitar having graced countless works in the past two decades; from the late West Coast harp wonder William Clarke to Germany's B.B. & The Blues Shacks, among many others. It's high time he's been afforded his own project and he doesn't disappoint on Think About It. Whether or not he sings is of no consequence as his guitar playing speaks volumes with touches of Billy Butler, Guitar Slim, T-Bone Walker and many other greats, but Schultz has easily developed a marked voice of his own on his chosen instrument. Employing Finis Tasby, Lynwood Slim, and Tad Robinson as vocalists on this smoldering outing bodes well for everyone involved. Tasby has made considerable racket over the past few years and he's in top-shelf style on I Done Got Over It, Think, I Love The Woman, plus Walkin' And Talkin' - as funky and down-home as it gets. Lynwood Slim tackles singing chores on No Use Knocking, I Don't Want Your Money, Honey, and the searing Be Good, Be Gone. For those unfamiliar with Lynwood Slim, his move from Minnesota out to California some years ago has put his booming voice in front of a wider audience working with Junior Watson and Kid Ramos as well as others in the past. Tad Robinson's three vocal features stand as tall as his counterparts displaying a highly effective and soulful set of pipes on Let's Start Over Again, Act Right, and Who Will The Next Fool Be. Schultz peppers the selections with guitar work that makes intense statements sans excess and posturing, and on his three instrumentals; Big Time, Lexington Express, and Rhumba & Orange, he recalls the Kent days of B.B. King with blasting horns weaving in between masterful guitar clinics in space, tone, and taste. Also aboard for this gem are stalwarts Larry Taylor, Bill Stuve, Carl Sonny Leyland, The Royal Crown Horns, and Gio Rossi, who deserves special mention for coming out of nowhere as one of the finest drummers on the planet. An exceptional piece of work from a blues guitar master who has surrounded himself with a stellar lineup for his first, of hopefully many, solo outings. A killer!

http://www.severnrecords.com/


Sugar Ray And The Bluetones
Hands Across The Table
Severn (2005) CD-0033

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0007 ... ZZZZZ_.jpg

13 tracks, 49 minutes. Highly recommended. Sugar Ray Norcia's exceptional voice, top-shelf harp, and heartfelt songwriting skills are all front and center once again on the new Hands Across The Table. Following the departure of guitarist Monster Mike Welch (who appeared on the band's Severn disc in 2003), Paul Size (ex-Red Devils) steps in with veterans Mudcat Ward on bass, Neil Gouvin's as solid-as-it-comes drumming, and Anthony Geraci's Otis Spann-laced piano for a highly rewarding set of blues. Norcia's harp work and voice have landed him in the upper echelon over the past three decades-plus having worked with Big Walter Horton and Otis Rush (among many more) and recording with Jimmy Rogers, Ronnie Earl, and Roomful Of Blues, to name only a few. Vintage Excello-styled rockers and classic Chicago sounds loom large for I Done Got Wise, Livin' A Lie, Cloud Cover, (I'm Gonna Break Into) Folsom Prison, I Won't Leave Home No More, and others, plus they tap into some rolling swing for River Stay Away From My Door, and a particularly moody West Coast vein on Dark Clouds Calling with Size showing his formidable skills to great effect. Doug "Mr. Low" James and Carl Querfurth add thick and throaty horns to a handful of tracks. For those hip to Sugar Ray And The Bluetones, this will come as a welcome addition to your CD shelves, and for those who have yet to listen to this stellar lineup in the past, Hands Across The Table is blues as good as it gets. Severn Records are to be commended for their work and dedication, and their considerably bulging catalog with previous work from Big Joe & The Dynaflows, Steve Guyger, Tad Robinson, Darrell Nulisch, Louisiana Red and many others, is only getting better. Superb!

http://www.severnrecords.com/


Various Artists
Messin' With The Blues
Classic Pictures (2004) 7082X

http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeVideoArt/84/229984.jpg

Color DVD , 75 minutes. Recommended. Blues performances and documentaries in DVD format have certainly been plentiful in the past few years, and thanks to ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Messin' With The Blues gathers the talents of Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, as well as Muddy Waters from a Montreaux Jazz Festival concert in June of 1974. First out of the gate is the dapper Junior Wells doing strong versions of two longtime favorites, Messin' With Kid and Hoodoo Man Blues. In top form singing and blowing harp, Junior delivers his pair sharing plenty of the spotlight with Buddy Guy, whose vintage and well-worn Stratocaster gets a workout with flurries of crisp, brittle leads. Buddy Guy stands front and center delivering When You See The Tears From My Eyes and Ten Years Ago, and if there's any doubt as to how much Guy's old performances have changed compared with what is his general practice is today, the proof resides here. Centered and focused, his voice is powerful while his guitar comes through loud and clear, and as Wells passed a good portion of the spotlight to Buddy for his two, Guy returns the favor giving Junior room to stretch out. Muddy Waters closes out the show with fair readings of Hoochie Coochie Man, Mannish Boy, The Same Thing, and Got My Mojo Working, and although this may not be Muddy at his best, it's still well worth having. The backing unit consists of Dallas Taylor (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass), and Terry Taylor (drums) along with Pinetop Perkins on piano, plus Guy and Wells in support, and it's clear that Muddy was simply more potent with his own seasoned band. There are a few rough spots starting off or finishing up, but once in the groove, the cast behind Waters does an admirable job. Two separate interviews with Buddy Guy and Big Bill Morganfield find Wyman firing off a few good questions, but interviewing wasn't necessarily his strongest suit; he has a tendency to stare off in another direction when posing his queries, and he shows a penchant for being somewhat interruptive during the answering process. The four Wells and Guy performances have been previously issued in audio form on Drinkin' TNT 'N' Smokin' Dynamite, which contains eight songs, so questions may arise as to where the rest of these video perfomances are. Can we hope for more? Small quibbles aside, this is a lengthy and recommended set with clear video quality and a choice of audio selections for DVD players with varying capabilities.

http://www.billwymanshop.com/acatalog/b ... l#amw7082x

This Is The Blues Harmonica - Volume 2
Various Artists
Delmark (2004) DE-780

http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioA ... 537916.jpg

16 tracks, 61 minutes. Essential. Call it the tin sandwich, the Mississippi saxophone, the gob iron, or mouth organ, just don't call it a toy. In the hands of the true masters, both past and present, Delmark's This Is The Blues Harmonica - Volume 2 collection proves it's an instrument worthy of thanks and prayer. Chicago's Post-war heavyweights dominate with plenty of amplified gems in Junior Wells' Tomorrow Night, Little Walter's Rollin' And Tumblin' Part 2, a careening and crushing classic (with Baby Face Leroy and Muddy Waters), Big Walter Horton's Back Home To Mama, Shakey Jake's That Ain't It (with sizzling Magic Sam guitar), Alfred "Blues King" Harris' Miss Ida, Louis Myers' That's Alright, and Big Wheeler's Chicago Winter Weather Blues. The blessing is these are all alternate takes - but surely not from performance standards. Other tone powerhouses are also aboard; Carey Bell's Blues Rhumba, Mad Dog Lester Davenport's West Side Blues, Little Sam Davis' Devil's Trail, and Eddie Burns' Hastings Street Special all stand the test of time as amplified gems. Walto Pace's Fox Chase/Lost John and Hammie Nixon's Love Grows In Your Heart show the acoustic side of the instrument to be just as satisfying. Mark Hummel, Little Mac Simmons, and Tad Robinson are also present making this a lowdown blowdown of blues harp. After more than fifty years in the record business, it should come as no surprise that label honcho Bob Koester knows this music as well as anyone!

http://delmark.com/delmark.newblues.htm


The Future Of The Blues
Various Artists
Northern Blues (2005) 0200

http://www.northernblues.com/images/cd_future2.gif

15 tracks, 70 minutes. Very good. Toronto's Northern Blues imprint has been stretching the border of blues since its inception, and this 70-minute compilation delivers a fine cross-section of their artists with Janiva Magness, David Jacobs-Strain, J.W. Jones, Tony Lynn Washington, Paul Reddick, Dan Treanor & Frankie Lee, Harry Manx and others. The disc touches on rock-blues with Glamour Puss throwing in Hollow Man, a recall of Pre-war stomping from Magness on the splendid Eat The Lunch You Brought, Carlos del Junco's atmospheric take on Little Walter's Blues With A Feeling, jumping R&B from the JW-Jones Blues Band on Let's Have A Ball, and James Cohen's Mock Pollock, with its deft early jazz guitar and piano approach. For those who wish to see where blues has been heading, this is a fine sampler touching a lot of bases while retaining a strong link to where the music began.

http://www.northernblues.com/cds.html

© 2005 by Craig Ruskey
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RE: New Reviews

Postby bruneau » Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:12 am

Thanks Blueswriter,

Now I know something I can buy for Stefanies birthday.
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RE: New Reviews

Postby houndog » Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:33 am

Yip thanks B-Dub,
I don't often buy any new stuff, but I do like to hear who is who.

Appreciated.

adios,
Lovat
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RE: New Reviews

Postby blueswriter » Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:53 pm

Thanks in return for reading the reviews. I appreciate it!
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