In This Issue
Terry Mullins has our feature interview with Eric Gales.
We have 5 music reviews for you including new music by Deanna Bogart, Brandon Miller Band, Bridget Kelly Band, Arsen Shomakhov and Seth Walker.
We have the latest in Blues Society news from around the globe. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
From The Editor’s Desk
Hey Blues Fans,
You did it! The Blues Blast Music Awards voting ended on Monday and more than 12,000 of you voted for your favorite Blues artists.
That is an amazing 50% increase over last years 8,000 votes making the Blues Blast Music Awards, by far, the biggest Blues music awards on the planet! Thanks for all your votes.
Now we are planning the biggest Blues awards ceremonies on the planet for you too. We have quite a lineup for the October 23 show including performances by Albert Casiglia, Bernie Pearl and Barbara Morrison, Bobby Rush and Blinddog Smokin’, Toronzo Cannon, Shaun Murphy Band, Tweed Funk, Adrianna Marie and Her Groovecutters, Back Pack Jones, Dave Riley and Bob Corritore, Brent Johnson, Annie Mack Band, RB Stone, Lisa Biales, Mark T Small, Lisa Mann, Trudy Lynn, The Frank Bey Anthony Paule Band, Steve Dawson, Rachelle Coba, Too Slim and The Tail Draggers, Sean Chambers, Josh Hoyer and Norman Taylor. And we will have a special appearance by the Andy t – Nick Nixon band! Have you got your tickets yet? For tickets and compete information, CLICK HERE or see our ad below.
Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music!
Featured Blues Review – 1 of 5
Deanna Bogart – Just A Wish Away
Blind Pig Records
CD: 11 Songs; 45:52 Minutes
Styles: Mellow Piano Blues, Romantic Ballads
Piano blues is one of the most underrated, underrepresented categories of its parent genre. When most people – especially novices – think of blues, they almost always picture a guitar in their mind. The ivories upon which musicians ‘tinkle’ are mostly reserved for classical compositions or jazz. Nevertheless, their role should not be ignored in this magazine’s favorite subject.
Deanna Bogart, originally from Detroit, knows this well: that the marriage of blues and her instrument of choice is “Just a Wish Away”. Her style is more laid-back and mellow than other boogie-woogie specialists. Several of her eleven songs might be considered romantic ballads instead of pure blues or even pure piano blues.
Seven of the songs are originals, with the other four being covers. Accompanying Deanna are three guitar players, three bass players, four drummers, one percussionist, one pedal steel/lap steel guitarist, and the Bonerama Horns (Mark Mullins, Craig Klein, and Greg Hicks). The following selections are the most traditional of all:
Track 01: “If It’s Gonna Be Like This” – Derwin “Big D” Perkins and Cris Jacobs take the guitar lead in the opener, a throwdown rock-and-roll extravaganza: “I was looking at the writing on the ceiling where I lay. Never read the walls; they didn’t seem to have that much to say. One more story to reminisce – It just might be over if it’s gonna be like this.” Also featured are bassist Charlie Wooton, drummer Terrence Houston, and Marty Rifkin on pedal/lap steel.
Track 02: “Fine By Me Good Bayou” – With a quirky intro sounding like it’s from the latest popular video game, this is a salute to love and Louisiana. “Hey, you, what is it that we do? Laying low: something only we knew. Say it ain’t so; got a little touch of voodoo. Joie de vivre and a mite taboo – it’s fine by me if it’s good bayou.” Cris Jacobs provides both guitar and vocals, as he did on the previous song, and the Bonerama Horns are hotter than summer.
Track 09: “Conversing with Lincoln” – Co-written by Deanna Bogart and Charlie Wooton, this boogie is where the title of the album comes from. Propelled by a bouncy bassline and Caribbean-style bongo drums, number nine is charming and wistful: “Wanna hike to the summit for the first drop of the day, where every dream spillin’ from it is just a wish away?” Dance to this tune while an orange summer sun sinks into the ocean – or the cornfield or mountains.
Deanna’s vocals are rather flat and understated, but that matches the atmosphere of this CD. She’s not aiming to sound raucous or raunchy, but relaxing. For more of her albums over the past decade, check out her extensive professional website.
Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 34 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.
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Featured Blues Interview – Eric Gales
For the past 25 years, Eric Gales has handled a slew of potentially-damaging setbacks the same way that Mike Tyson handled his opponents inside the boxing ring back during his prime.
By knocking them flat on their butt and then moving on to the next one.
Despite Gales’ weapon of choice being a right-handed guitar turned upside down and played lefty style, the end results have been every bit as lethal as the thunderous uppercut that Tyson favored during his hey-day.
Those requiring proof of Gales’ impressive skills have only to listen to his soon-to-be-released new album – Good For Sumthin, (Cleopatra Records). And from the way Gales talks, this album may be the one to finally send his career into hyperspace.
“Man, I am so proud of this new album. I really put everything that I have into this one,” the Memphis-born and raised guitarist said. “It’s produced by Raphael Saadiq and has got guest spots from Zakk Wylde and Eric Johnson on it. It’s really unbelievable.”
Just the very thought of Wylde and Johnson lending their formidable talents to the smokin’ hot stew that Gales normally cooks up on his own has got to make guitar lovers everywhere drool from both corners of the mouth.
“Yeah, you know I’ve never had anyone make a guest appearance on one of my records before … out of 13 records … nobody,” Gales said. “I told Cleopatra that this record was not going to be anything like what they’ve heard on some of my past records. And that’s just what they wanted. Brian, the A&R guy said, ‘Great. You do what you want, we don’t have any expectations of what you’re going to give us; we just want you to give us a great record, whatever style it may be.’ And that’s just what I did. A lot of people that know my work may think that I’ve gone mainstream with this one, but man, it’s a good one.”
Gales has long been heralded for the scalding way that he burns his way up and down a fretboard. One only has to hear a couple of licks from him to understand why he’s rightfully recognized as a special talent. He’s bluesy, he’s psychedelic, he’s funky and he rocks harder than a cement mixer set on ‘high.’ He’s all that and more, but the one thing that Gales is not, is predictable.
“I play the blues, but I also jump borders and boundaries. Every track on the new album is like that, too. It jumps around, but at the same time, it also fits into one package, which is the way that I play the guitar,” he said. “I’m not the kind of artist that wants to be boxed in by one style or one genre of music. That would be a terrible feeling.”
This past calendar year, Gales has been immersed in a progressive rock supergroup of sorts, along with bass player dUg Pinnick (Kings X) and drummer Thomas Pridgen (Mars Volta), fittingly labeled as Pinnick, Gales, Pridgen. Hot on the heels of the trio’s self-titled debut last summer came PGP2, issued this past July. In today’s musical climate, two studio albums by the same group in the space of 12 months or so is a rarity.
“That was the record company’s call; they wanted us to get right back in there and do another one,” Gales said. “So we said, ‘OK.’ But it was kinda’ quick to have two out so close together. I would love to be touring to support that project, but due to circumstances beyond my control, we just can’t. dUg has got so much stuff and a whole lot of other bands going on right now … so that’s just how it goes. What we did was a really amazing project. I just wish we could have ridden the momentum it’s created by touring behind it, to give it all it really deserves. I mean, the first one really blew people’s minds when it come out last June (2013).”
Despite the record label that it may be on, and despite whether it’s with his power trio, or whether it’s a solo project, a tribute to Eric Clapton or with PGP, the one constant hallmark of a recording that Gales plays on is the way it virtually bursts at the seams with insanely-high levels of intensity and energy. In other words, it’s not for the faint of heart.
“That type of energy is all natural for me. I try to get that point across (high energy) regardless of what kind of style I may be playing,” he said. “That’s something that the big man upstairs gave to me and I really try and put that into anything that I do.”
One of the biggest and most successful tour runs the past handful of years has been the Experience Hendrix Tour, a celebration of the amazing music of Jimi Hendrix. Gales is a veteran of several of those jaunts and he rightfully relishes the chance to get up on stage and cut loose on a number of Hendrix’ tunes. But like everything else he does, audiences should expect a good chunk of Gales’ personality to shine through, even though he may laying down tunes that Hendrix made famous.
“I could get up there and do the songs the way that Jimi traditionally did them and not have a problem with that. But when I do someone else’s material – or even my own – I tend to do it my way, so the audience is still getting me,” he said. “I’m still being me. That’s the only thing I know to do. You may have cats up there that play the songs just like Jimi Hendrix did, and that’s OK, that’s what people want to hear. But when you hear comments like, ‘Wow. I’ve not heard that song played like that before,’ that’s what I like. And all I’m doing is just trying to be myself.”
As if he didn’t have enough to do, what with the new PGP, Good For Sumthin,, his solo tour and the Experience Hendrix Tour, Gales somehow also found the time to squeeze in some guitar on several tracks off Lauryn Hill’s upcoming CD.
“Yeah, I’ve been pretty saturated lately, but that’s OK, that’s how I like it,” he laughed.
With social media being what it is in 2014, it’s not hard to imagine that a little-known musician today could become the next big thing tomorrow. When Gales first burst out of Memphis and onto the national radar – hailed as a child prodigy when he was barely 15 years old – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram probably still seemed like far-fetched ideas. However, without all that fancy technology, Gales became one of the most-talked about guitarists on the planet and in rapid order, signed a deal with Elektra Records, was named Guitar World’s “Best New Talent” and played for a national TV audience on The Arsenio Hall Show. Head-spinning stuff for a teen-ager, right?
“Well, I had friends and still played ball and did that normal kind of teen-aged stuff, but, yeah, it was predominately music for me at that point. So even though it might have seemed crazy (all the things that happened so quickly, at such a young age) to the outside world, that was just my normal world,” he said. “I mean, it was a little wild at times, but I was just trying to soak in everything that was happening. I was just happy to be recognized for what I was doing and for trying to perfect my craft. I was just really just doing what I loved to do, which was play the guitar, and the next thing you know, major labels were knocking at the door.”
Gales’ first album – 1991’s The Eric Gales Band (Elektra Records) sprang out of the gates with purpose and filled a void for blues rock lovers who were still mourning the untimely death of Stevie Ray Vaughan less than a year before.
“Well, at that time, that wasn’t even in my awareness. But looking back on it, it seemed like the right time for me to come on the scene and play the kind of music that I played,” Gales said. “I wish SRV had still been around, even with what I had going on. I wish he was still with us today. I guess it’s ironic that he passed right before I came onto the scene. It was like he was the last of one generation of blues guitar players and I was the first of the next. You just never know what the plan is going to be, but the man upstairs sure has one in mind.”
Older brother Eugene was a central part of The Eric Gales Band, then, in 1995, Eric and Eugene teamed up with brother Manuel (known in blues circles as Little Jimmy King), to record The Gales’ Brothers’ Left Hand Brand (House of Blues). As evidenced by that album, jaw-dropping musicianship certainly runs in the Gales’ family. It was Eugene and Manuel that helped influence young Eric’s passion for blues-based rock.
“Yeah, man, my brothers were hipping me to all the different styles and all the great guitar players from the 70s. I know there weren’t a lot of kids my age listening to that kind of music, but man, I sure was,” he said. “They turned me on to cats like Jeff Beck, Robin Trower, Frank Marino … you name it.”
Even though he was born and raised in the Mecca of the Blues – Memphis – the city’s musical climate really didn’t have much of a dramatic impact on Eric Gales’ genre of choice as a budding guitar player.
“Honestly, I don’t think growing up in Memphis had anything to do with the music that I chose to play. I mean, most of the guitar players I grew up listening to and wanting to play like weren’t from Memphis,” he said. “I am certainly not downgrading where I come from by any means. And as I grew up, I realized that Memphis is a great breeding ground for all kinds of music. All the inspiration and influences that that city had – and is still having – is amazing. But when I was coming up and learning to play, I was really unaware of any of that.”
A couple of his chief influences on the guitar – namely Jeff Beck and Robin Trower – either didn’t sing back then (Trower) or basically didn’t have much use for a vocalist (Beck). However, that didn’t quell Gales’ own desire to sing. And as much press as his guitar playing receives, his vocals – ranging from silky smooth to fiery passionate – deserve equal billing.
“Yeah, everybody does talk about my guitar playing, but I take a lot of pride in my singing, too. Being around my brothers – and my whole family, really – made me want to sing,” he said. “We listened to a lot of gospel music and that had a bearing on my singing. That and the early traditional blues, cats like John Lee Hooker, that’s kind of the ingredients that go into my vocals. Coming up, my family played in the church, so there was always music going on. And at some point, that was bound to come out.”
Thanks to the modern miracle known as Skype, a guitarist that wants more insight into what makes Eric Gales tick, or one that just wants to learn some blistering hot licks, can take lessons from the man himself, over the internet.
“They’re one-on-one lessons. When I have time off, or when I’m in between tours, I stay busy that way,” he said. “I get all kinds of guitarists and I love the fact that I have the opportunity to pass on a little bit of what I know.”
More information on those lessons – or all things Eric Gales – can be obtained at: www.ericgalesband.com.
Gales’ guitar pedigree needs no bolstering – it speaks for itself. But if it ever did, the mere mention of Carlos Santana on his resume would be more than enough to secure its place among the pantheon of great axe-slingers. The Hall of Famer himself invited Gales to be his special guest and play with his band at Woodstock ’94. That was an evening that Gales will never forget.
“That was mind-blowing. That’s about all I can say about that whole Woodstock ‘94 deal with Carlos. To play with somebody that was actually at the first Woodstock … man. I was just around 18 or so at that time,” he said. “I was trying to soak it all in. I just feel so fortunate to have been at that space in that time and to be asked to play that event with a Godfather of mine. I mean, that kind of opportunity doesn’t come around all the time, you know?”
Even though he was still a teenager and was standing next to one of the all-time greats, Gales sure didn’t seem to be one bit awestruck by his surroundings at Woodstock ’94. Instead, he just did what he does – tear up the guitar.
“That’s how you have to do it. You just have to get up there and dive on in; you’re either going to sink or you’re going to swim,” he said. “You can’t hold back or be scared. That’s how it goes, even with a million people out there. Really, at the end of the day, it’s just another performance. You either deliver or you call in sick.”
It’s safe to say that base solely on his resume, Eric Gales has never ‘called in sick’ a day in his life. Day-by-day, step-by-step he has always managed to show up for work and turn in his hours, despite any circumstance that might have tried to block his path. That’s the kind of dedication and determination that has gotten him to this point in his career, and he has no plans on changing his plan of attack at this stage of the game.
“Things are climbing great for me right now and I’d like to see that continue. I’d like to get to the point where I don’t have any worries and am playing to sold-out crowds anywhere I go,” he said. “One of these days, I’d like to get to the point that I can turn down gigs if I want to. When you’re doing well enough that you can turn down a gig, that’s where I want my career to be at. I want control over what I choose to do … and have all the trimmings that come with that. You know, I may have been close to that crossroads earlier in my career, but life has a way of dealing you cards. And you can only play with the cards that you’re dealt.”
Photos by Bob Kieser © 2014 Blues Blast Magazine
Interviewer Terry Mullins is a journalist and former record store owner whose personal taste in music is the sonic equivalent of Attention Deficit Disorder. Works by the Bee Gees, Captain Beefheart, Black Sabbath, Earth, Wind & Fire and Willie Nelson share equal space with Muddy Waters, The Staples Singers and R.L. Burnside in his compact disc collection. He’s also been known to spend time hanging out on the street corners of Clarksdale, Miss., eating copious amounts of barbecued delicacies while listening to the wonderful sounds of the blues.
Featured Blues Review – 2 of 5
Brandon Miller Band – Slow Train
CD: 10 Songs; 52:00 Minutes
Styles: Rock and Blues Rock
In veteran bluesman Big Joe Turner’s hit “Lipstick, Powder and Paint,” he asks a woman: “Is you is, or is you ain’t (someone of negotiable affections)?” When it comes to the sophomore release of Kansas City, Missouri’s Brandon Miller Band, ’is it is, or is it ain’t’ a blues album?
The truth is that about half of its ten original songs can be characterized as such, but the others are clearly rock-and-roll. With that said, this guitarist and vocalist slightly reminiscent of Don Henley is quite popular in his city of choice – especially at a club called The Levee and its Open Blues Jam.
According to his webpage, Brandon’s got numerous tour dates there this fall. He was also excited to be a part of the Kearney Blues Festival this year and a main-stage performer at the Plaza Art Fair. His site’s “Bio” section reads: “Born April 8th, 1990, Brandon grew up listening to classic rock from the 60s and 70s because of his parents’ love for music. Listening to the rock n roll stories of disc jockeys from a famous Kansas City radio station just stirred the fire of his love for music even more.
When he first began elementary school, his older brother had begun playing guitar. Brandon would sneak into his brothers room to grab his guitar just to play around with it.“ With him on “Slow Train” are bassist/vocalist Dylan Reiter, drummer/vocalist Jeff Daniels, and Mike “Shinetop Jr.” Sedovic on keyboards. The following three songs sound the most like the blues, and are worthy of consideration in this e-zine:
Track 03: “Dark Heart of Mine” – With smooth yet unpretentious guitar and classic piano keyboards, this slow burner will entice couples to leave their seats and get on their feet. “When I see you smile, I know it’s true, that love is all around us. It’s because of you. When I look for any other, nobody can compare. Take this dark heart of mine; shine on me,” Brandon pleads. “When you’ve found someone who you care so much about,” he comments in the liner notes, “you don’t want to let that go.”
Track 04: “Can’t Get Enough” – The band’s call-and-response shuffle is a quirky mixture of ‘50’s rock and blues of that era, with the same kind of big band sound. Miller’s fretwork blazes in the middle, and the catchy chorus shall compel live crowds to exercise their vocal cords.
Track 07: “End of the Road” – Heavily influenced by the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Miller has put together a bona-fide twelve bar treat. “So roll me away like a wagon wheel. Step in my shoes so you know how I feel,” he tells his leaving lover. “Shinetop, Jr.” Sedovic plays Hammond B3.
Even though Brandon’s vocals are rather flat, considering the emotions he’s trying to convey, “Slow Train” shouldn’t be called a total wreck.
Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 34 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.
Featured Blues Review – 3 of 5
Bridget Kelly Band – Forever In Blues
Alpha Sun Records 2014
15 tracks; 71 minutes
North Florida’s Bridget Kelly Band consists of Bridget on vocals, Tim Fik on guitar and occasional vocals, Michael Barady on drums and Mike Hamm on bass. All the material on this generously filled CD is original, written by Bridget and Tim. The band has shared the stage with the likes of Albert Castiglia, Victor Wainwright, Brandon Santini and Jeff Jensen and pay tribute to that ‘next generation’ of blues stars in the sleevenotes.
The CD is well produced (by Tim) and the guitar is particularly well played, Tim demonstrating tasteful tone throughout. Bridget’s voice lacks a wide sonic range but is clear and the lyrics are easily understood; she also avoids the trap that many female vocalists fall into of resorting to shouting.
Opener “I’ll Be Missin’ You” sets out the stall with some searing guitar licks over a steady rhythm section. “Blues In The Kitchen” follows a similar approach but has more interesting lyrics, the usual clichés of kitchens (dirty dishes in sink, floor needing sweeping) being related to the absence of a good man, Tim contributing a fine, chopped solo.
“Texas Toast” opens with some more fluid and expressive guitar before taking the food/love analogy further on an extended slow blues: “I was your bread and butter, I treated you like gold; you’ve burned me for the last time, baby I ain’t no Texas toast”.
To ensure that we all get where the band is coming from no fewer than six tracks contain the word blues in the title. In fact “I’ll Take The Blues” has something of a latin lilt to it, especially in Tim’s great guitar on the track, and it’s one of several standout cuts here. If a rocking blues is more what you fancy, try “Take Me Home Blues” for size.
Title track “Forever In Blues” is a slower tune, the rather downbeat lyrics being well matched by the music as Tim wrings out some very ‘blue’ notes from his guitar. The jump style tune “He Lied To Me” makes a good change of pace, not that far removed from Tampa Red’s “Don’t You Lie To Me” and the chugging rhythm of “Goin’ To Memphis” sets the toes tapping.
“Tall Man” changes the lyrical focus with tales of making deals with the tall stranger “at the crossroads in Mississippi where you hear that black cat moan” – “that’s where you find him, the keeper of lost souls”, Tim taking an extended solo which ranges across the frets impressively. The longest track here is “Everyday Without You” brings Tim to the vocal mike as well as contributing some more excellent guitar on a grinding slow number. Tim also shares vocal duties with Bridget on “When The Blues Come Around” to provide a good, upbeat close to the album.
Overall a solid CD with plenty of good guitar which should appeal to many blues fans out there. All credit to the band for going for all original material rather than slipping in a few of the old warhorses – good to hear.
Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK who enjoys a wide variety of blues and roots music, especially anything in the ‘soul/blues’ category. Favorites include contemporary artists such as Curtis Salgado, Tad Robinson, Albert Castiglia and Doug Deming and classic artists including Bobby Bland, Howling Wolf and the three ‘Kings’. He gets over to the States as often as he can to see live blues.
Featured Blues Review – 4 of 5
Arsen Shomakhov – Dynamic
Blues Leaf Records
We get a lot of CD’s in the mail at Blues Blast Magazine. Sometimes they are from folks I’ve never had a chance to listen to, as is the case of this CD. I was more than pleasantly surprised. I guess it should not have been as much of a surprise since Shomakhov has been recording and playing here in the US and Canada since the 2005 IBC’s (he moved to Vancouver from Russia in 2008) and has received some accolades; I somehow missed hearing him.
The CD opens with a swinging original cut entitled “Groove On!” An instrumental, it certainly does what the title says! Shomakhov starts us off with some well done licks and then Jerry Cook blasts off with his horn.
With an upturned eyebrow and my interest peaked, I awaited more with some greater expectations. They broke into Willie Dixon’s “Mellow Down Easy” where Arsen sings and plays for us. His guitar is amply showcased for us and his vocals are really good. I was sold.
“How’d You Learn to Shake It Like That” gives us the first big taste Dave Webb on piano and it is super. Shomakhov gives another great performance and the backline of Bruce O’Neill on bass and Chip Hart on drums is solid here and throughout. Webb and Cook make a really great addition to Arsen’s core trio of bluesmen!
“Dance With Me Follows,” a second original and it’s another nice danceable up tempo number with Arsen, Jerry and Dave really swinging well together as the backline provides vocal support. “whiskey Drinking Woman” follows, dropping the tempo and mood into some down and dirty blues. It’s just the trio here and they do a marvelous job of playing the blues.
Jeff Turmes “Can’t Save a Dollar” is next. I always love Jeff’s songs and Arsen and his trio delivers the goods. The original “Boogie Bounce” is up next and it swings. Cook plays both baritone and tenor sax here and Webb is on the Hammond organ while Shomakhov delivers another outstanding performance on this instrumental. “Robert Nighthawk Stomp” is an extremely fun song and the closing original “Swamp Train” is a very cool boogie woogie instrumental ride.
I may not have heard this guy and his band previously but I am now on the lookout– these guys can play and sing! Recommended!
Reviewer Steve Jones is president of the Crossroads Blues Society and is a long standing blues lover. He is a retired Navy commander who served his entire career in nuclear submarines. In addition to working in his civilian career since 1996, he writes for and publishes the bi-monthly newsletter for Crossroads, chairs their music festival and works with their Blues In The Schools program. He resides in Byron, IL.
Featured Blues Review – 5 of 5
Seth Walker – Sky Still Blue
Royal Potato Family – 2014
Eleven Tracks with a total running time of 41:24
My first encounter with Seth Walker’s material from his new album Sky Still Blue came on Labor Day Weekend when I heard track 10, “Jesus (Make My Bed)” on Tony Colter’s “Blues Report” radio show (Sirius Satellite Radio) where he plays new Blues music every Sunday evening for two hours. This track is a stripped down, haunting dirge that laments a troubled, sinful life.
This is the fourth album by Seth Walker on the Royal Potato Family label and is quite eclectic in its approach and style. In the liner notes Walker invites the listener to , “…play it loud…” – something this listener does without hesitation. Walker has a clean, succinct delivery with his guitar as well as his voice.
All the tunes here are originals and songwriting credits are as follows: Seth Walker and Oliver Wood tracks 1, 3, 7 and 11. Tracks 2 and 4 are written by Walker and Gary Nicholson. Track 5 is written by Walker, Wood and J. Dickenson. Walker wrote track 6 by himself; track 9 by V. McCoy; track 8 by Walker and Jessi Alexander and track 10 is by Walker and C. Simpson.
Seth Walker performed the lead vocals and played the guitars on this album with Steve Mackey on bass; Derrek Phillips on drums; Jano Rix on piano, Wurlitzer organ, percussion, drums and background vocals; Chris Wood on the upright bass; Oliver Wood plays guitar and does background vocals; Ephraim Owens on trumpet; The McCrary Sisters – background vocals; and Brigitte Demeyer also performing some background vocals.
Track 1, “Easy Come, Easy Go”, Walker treats our ears to a mellow riff that has a New Orleans feel to it. Imagine John Cleary without the piano, a little blue-eyed soul singing a sad song about missing a new love in his life.
On “Trouble (Don’t Want No)” (track 2) we are treated to another somewhat stripped down tune but the rhythm section is evident here with steady drums and bass intact. Walker’s voice comes through sharp and clear as he lets the listener know he “… don’t want no trouble…” and who does? Walker’s guitar work here is also quite clean and listenable.
Track 7, “High Wire”, is an organ soaked Blues moan with clever songwriting by Walker and Oliver Wood.
Walker is not a Blues Belter or a guitar slasher but if you like your Blues mellow and laid back you will find a lot to like here.
Reviewer Tim “Bluzybiker” Petty spent 42 years building railroads and now spends his time supporting the music he loves and riding motorcycles – sometimes at the same time.
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Mile High Blues Society – Devner, CO
The Mile High Blues Society presents the Denver Blues Challenge, Sunday, September 21, at Ziggie’s Live Music, 4923 W. 38th Ave. 2 p.m. Info: http://milehighbluessociety.com/.
Winner advances to the 2015 International Blues Challenge competition in Memphis, January 20-24.
Prairie Crossroads Blues Society – Champaign, IL
Prairie Crossroads Blues Society is holding its local IBC Band Challenge on Saturday, October 18, at Memphis on Main, 55 E Main St. in Champaign. Doors open at 4:00 and we invite everyone to come out and cheer for your favorite blues band.
PCBS will hold it’s local IBC Solo/Duo Challenge on Saturday, November 1, at Bentley’s Pub, 419 N. Neil St. in Champaign. We’re looking forward to conducting our first Solo/Duo Challenge and the event kicks off at 5:00.
The competitions are open to Illinois based acts, and follow the Blues Foundation’s suggested scoring criteria and rules. The deadline for Bands to enter is September 24, and the deadline for Solo/Duo acts is October 8.
For more info and entry forms, visit our IBC Challenge Page;www.prairiecrossroadsblues.org/ibc_challenge15.html
Blues Society of Central PA – Steelton, PA
BSCP’s Last Blast Of Summer Saturday, September 20, 2014 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM at Champions Sports Bar 300 N. 2nd. St. Highspire, PA 17034
3 Great Blues Acts For $15 Admission At Door. Featuring: R-Way Unplugged from Williamsport, PA, James Day & The Fish Fry from Media, PA and Steve Guyger & The Excellos from Philadelphia, PA
For nore info visit www.bscpblues.org
Friends of the Blues – Kankakee, IL
2014 Friends of the Blues Concert Series – All shows held in Kankakee, IL unless otherwise noted.
Thursday, Sept 18, Jerry Lee & The Juju Kings, Kankakee Valley Boat Club, Thursday, October 02, Sena Ehrhardt, Moose Lodge
The Illinois Central Blues Club – Springfield, IL
The Illinois Central Blues Club has announced the line-up of talent for the Blue Monday live performances and jam sessions held every Monday night at The Alamo, 115 North Fifth, Springfield, IL from 8:00pm to midnight. Additional information on any performer listed below is available upon request. Sept. 22—Gina Sicilia, Sept. 29—24th Street Wailers, Oct. 6—Kilborn Alley, Oct. 13—Jarekus Singleton, Oct. 20—Ghost Town Blues Band, Oct. 27—Albert Castiglia
Questions regarding this press release can be directed to Michael Rapier, President of ICBC, at firstname.lastname@example.org at 217-899-9422, or contact Greg Langdon, Live Events Chair, at email@example.com or by visiting www.icbluesclub.org