Issue 8-9 February 27, 2014

Cover photo by Bob Kieser © 2014 Blues Blast Magazine


 In This Issue  

This is our monthly Blues Overdose Issue with a whole CD full of free downloadable Blues tracks. Terry Mullins has our feature interview with Sugar Pie DeSanto.

We have six Blues music reviews for you.  Steve Jones reviews a new album from Buck 69. James “Skyy Dobro” Walker reviews a new CD by Jon Zeeman. Marty Gunther reviews a new album from Dave Keyes. John Mitchell reviews a new release by The Doug Prescott Band. Rhys Williams  reviews a new CD from Merry Clayton & iReedMan. Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony reviews a new CD from Tom Holland & The Shuffle Kings.

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,

We have some great FREE Blues music from the worlds largest FREE Blues magazine in this monthly Blues Overdose Issue. Twelve free tracks are waiting for you to download them on our Soundcloud page at https://soundcloud.com/bluesblast (You do not have to join soundcloud to download the tracks!)

These great new music tracks include a free track from the soon to be released Nick Moss album Time Ain’t Free as well as tracks from Brian Cober, The CD Woodbury Band, Solomon King, Kyle Henderson, Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats, Sunday Wilde, Terry Gillespie, Jim Gustin and Truth Jones, Steve Dawson, Mark Harrison, Michael Packer and Kat Danser. Details of the free music and all download information is at the end of this issue below.

Also, we still have the 10 Free tracks from the January Blues Overdose Issue up until Saturday including music from Frank Bey & Anthony Paule Band, Toby Walker, Dixie Peach, Tinsley Ellis, Shaun Murphy, Leo Welch, Lisa Bailes, Hard Garden, The Halley Devestern Band and Dan Bubien. In all there are 2 free CD worth of music for FREE as a Blues Blast Magazine subscriber.  To get them now, CLICK HERE

BE SURE TO VOTE IN THE BLUES MUSIC AWARDS Before March 1st!

We ask you to please consider voting for our friend Kate Moss on the Healers Live At Knuckleheads in the DVD category! It’s s great DVD and a great cause. Check out their ad below for more information. You must be a member of the Blues Foundation to vote.  To vote now visit www.blues.org

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music! 

Bob Kieser


Early Bird Ad Special

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Normal 2014 Advertising rates are $100 per issue for Blues Blast magazine ads and $100 per month for website sidebar ads. BUT, for a limited time, this special gives you six issues of Blues Blast Magazine and a month and a half on our website for only $375. (A $750 value!)

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To get this special rate simply buy your ad space by MARCH 31st, 2014!!!! Ads can run anytime between now and December 2014.

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Ads must be reserved and paid for by MARCH 31st, 2014!!!



 Featured Blues review – 1 of 6  

Buck 69 – No Medicine Like the Blues

TRC Consulting (Self Released)

www.buck69.net

16 tracks

Really rocking blues! Hailing from Toledo, Ohio, Buck 69 is a mixture of Tom Clawson (vocals and rhythm guitar), John Sevilla (guitar, bass and drums), David Alan (drums), BJ Love (keys), Randy Paredes (guitar), Daryl Burgess (drums), Candice Coleman Lange (vocals), Alex Clawson (guitar) and a few others on horns, backing vocals, keys and such. These guys flat out rock it, but they can also deliver some solid blues. All original cuts, Tom Clawson penned a dozen of the tunes while Sevilla wrote the remaining four.

They open with “These Blues,” a nice hook to get the listener intrigued. Clawson shouts out the vocals as Sevilla wails on guitar in this driving and hot tempo-ed song. The title cut “No Medicine Like the Blues” is a ng, mournful, slow blues with great feeling in Sevilla’s guitar and Clawson’s vocals. A trio of horns fills things nicely and Love’s keys are also a nice addition, but Sevilla and Clawson really sell this one for me. The Carlos Santana-like guitar solo starts about 2/3 of the way through and goes on for a few minutes; his work here is quite stratospheric and well done. “That’s Life” has a heavy horn sound for the horn lovers as Clawson croons on this bouncy cut.

Lange’s turn at lead vocals in “Without My Baby”and “Carry On” offer a nice contract to Clawson. The former is a breathy and sultry cut, while the latter is more up tempo with some nice sax offered up behind her by Ryan Sondergeld. Lange’s got good range and really can belt out a tune. “Tell Me Why” is a cool, slow blues with some more out there guitar work by Sevilla. They go a little out west with the kind of sappy but fun country tune “Don’t Shave My Beard When I Die.” Alex Clawson gets to tear it up on the guitar lead here. “My Car” is kind of lik Grand Funk Railroads meets the Blues, but guitar lovers will eat this up. The closing tune is a rockabilly cut with Alex Clawson on guitar, Paredes on slide and Love banging out the barrelhouse piano while Tom Clawson growls out the melody line. Wickedly hot stuff!

The lyrics on one or two cuts were a bit forced (Ugly Teacher Blues did little for me lyric-wise) but these guys can make any song into a party. 16 cuts in all, and most all of them are pretty damned good- a huge effort! The big, rocking sound, vocals on the gravelly side by Clawson and the finesse side by Lange, and the huge guitar solos and leads make this an album that guitar fans will drink up heartedly and rocking blues fans will bow down to. I enjoyed the CD and I would think any live show with these guys would be something to behold!

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 work with their Blues In The Schools program. He resides in Byron, IL.

For other reviews on our website CLICK HERE



Announcing the 2014 Blues Blast Music Awards

It is that time again to let publicists, artists, labels and Blues industry contacts know that open submissions in the 2014 Blues Blast Music Awards are now open until April 15th, 2014.

We will again offer you the opportunity to put your eligible Blues music releases directly into the hands of our 30 nominators for consideration in this years awards. Submissions are free and can be sent from March 1st until April 15, 2014.

The Blues Blast Music Awards honor the BEST in today’s Blues music and are voted on by music fans all over the world. This years release eligibility period is April 1st 2013 to April 30th, 2014. All music released during this period is eligible for consideration.

Complete information is at this link www.bluesblastmagazine.com/2014-blues-blast-music-award-nominations-information/



 Featured Blues Interview – Sugar Pie DeSanto  

It may just be a simple snapshot, but wow! – What a simple snapshot it is.

To blues fans, it should inspire the same kind of awe that gazing at the Mona Lisa – or of any of the works of art that Rembrandt, Picasso or Salvador Dali created – inspires.

Taken backstage at the October 1964 American Folk-Blues Festival in England, the picture is stuffed to the edges with so many Hall of Famers that it makes your heart rate jump and your head spin just looking at it. There’s Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Sleepy John Estes, Sonny Boy Williamson and Hubert Sumlin, all sitting together in wooden folding chairs.

Take a closer look, however, and you’ll find that a smiling young female has crashed the party at this testosterone-filled ‘boys’ club of the blues’; for sitting in between Sunnyland Slim and Lightnin’ Hopkins is the magnificent Sugar Pie DeSanto. And judging from her performances on the tour, the 28-year-old certainly gave those forefathers of the blues all they could handle on the bandstand.

“It was just fun, playing with all those good blues artists … I mean, real blues. It was a lot of fun,” DeSanto said. “But the only thing was, I found them to be kinda’ old, you know, old men. But I loved it and we had a good time. I just went along with it – they live with me, I live with them – no problem.”

Editor’s note: Both the afore-mentioned photo and DeSanto’s jaw-dropping performances of “Baby What You Want Me to Do” and “Rock Me Baby” can be found on the American Folk-Blues Festival – The British Tours 1963-1966 DVD (Hip-O Records).

You can tell by the emotion in her voice that DeSanto fondly recalls those days and when she allows herself the time to look over that photo, or to watch the DVD, a smile still crosses her face. But it has to be a bittersweet smile, because she knows she’s the last one left standing in that document from another time.

“It’s sad to say, but a lot of my musician friends are gone. I thank God that I’ve been able to keep going,” she said. “I have my little sicknesses and arthritis and stuff like that, but who don’t?”

And apparently the 78-year-old dynamo has no plans at taking her foot off the gas pedal, as a recently-completed 19-hour flight to Norway – where she knocked the sold-out crowd dead – proves. She’s also been spending some time in the recording studio, as well.

“We have a few things in the can that we’re getting ready to get back to,” she said. “I’ve got the frameworks of some new songs already written, so we’ve just got to go back in the studio and finish them off.”

DeSanto has crafted well over 100 tunes that have been covered by everyone from Little Milton to Billy Stewart to Minnie Riperton and more. During her seven-year tenure at Chess Records in the 1960s, she was the label’s highest-paid songwriter.

“Any song you hear that is written by me is a part of the life that I’ve lived. That’s where my songwriting comes from – my life,” she said. “It’s always came from years of experience and the life that I’ve lived.”

Her 1960 smash “I Want to Know” even reached number three on the Billboard R&B charts.

Born as Umpeylia Marsema Balinton in Brooklyn, it was while Johnny Otis was recording her first record in 1954 that she became known as Sugar Pie.

“I was in the studio cutting that record and I was so little and short that I couldn’t reach the microphone, so he (Otis) put up some Coke boxes and a couple of telephone books for me to stand on,” she said. “After that, he said, ‘We’re going to put you (the record) out, but we can’t put it out under your real name, so I wonder what we’ll call you? Hum, you’re little and you’re cute, so how about Sugar Pie?’”

And just like that, Umpeylia Marsema Balinto would be forever known as Sugar Pie DeSanto. Well, almost just like that.

“The last name DeSanto came from Don Barksdale (former Boston Celtic great and Basketball Hall of Famer who was the first African-American to play on the men’s Olympic team and to play in the NBA All-Star game, among other accomplishments). He recorded me later on and was my manager for awhile and he added the DeSanto on there after Sugar Pie,” she said. “So two different guys gave me my Sugar Pie DeSanto name and I think it fits together very well.”

Though ‘little’ Sugar Pie stood only 4’-11” tall, make no mistake about it – petite though she was – she was also a spitfire from the outset. It was DeSanto, along with Etta James and Koko Taylor that helped give birth to the strong, independent female soul/blues singers for the late 50s and 1960s. They may have looked delicate and fragile, and acted saucy and sassy, but they could more than hold their own in any given circumstance.

“That’s just my personality from the get-go. I’ve always been tough and I hold my own,” said DeSanto, who since the late 60s has called the Oakland Bay Area her home.

DeSanto’s stage show was always one to never miss, as she was just as apt to do a number of standing backflips as she was to dance madly from one side of the stage to the other during her high-energy performances.

“I just wanted the people to respect me and know that I’m a good entertainer and invite me back, you know? And all that was done because I gave them a good, solid show right from my heart. I wasn’t drunk, when I gig, I never have a drink … never. I wanted it to be pure soul and pure me and give them what they came for – a great show. And that’s the way it’s been my whole life. It’s all been right from my heart.”

It isn’t just the passion and the soul that her fans feel and hear that DeSanto takes pride in. She’s equally concerned with what her fans see when she’s up on the bandstand, as well.

“I just don’t understand the clothes that these performers wear these days. You’ve got holes in your jeans and stuff like that and you’re on the stage and call yourself a star?” she said. “I don’t get that. When I take the stage – now or then – I’m lookin’ sharp. The pros are the ones that leave the people saying, ‘Oh, he was sharp’ or ‘She was sharp.’ My theory on that is to give everything you’ve got and look sharp and they’ll invite you back to perform again.”

That’s probably one of the many reasons that DeSanto has always managed to leave audiences wanting more, whether performing in Norway or taking the stage at Harlem’s Apollo Theater.

“I have never, ever been booed on the stage in all my years performing. I’ve always been well appreciated, I promise you. Even at the Apollo, which playing there the first time can be one of the hardest things to do,” she said. “They don’t put up with no stuff there if they don’t like you. They throw rotten eggs and everything. I saw it for real. And if you’re lousy, they got a man that jumps out of the balcony with a thing on his head goin’ round-and-round and lookin’ like a dunce or something. And the other guy comes from the other end of the stage with a broom and sweeps your butt off the stage. I’m serious. I’ve been there 18 times, so I know. But they named me the ‘Lady James Brown.’ I really brought it to those people, now. And to be called that is quite a compliment.”

DeSanto played in the ‘Hardest Working Man in Show Businesses’ road band for two years and it sounds like she managed to keep Mr. JB on his toes during that time.

“I was one of the few that made him come on, you know, work his butt off. He told me when we was playing the Apollo ‘Oh, Sugar Pie, will you stop doing that, for Christ’s sake? I’ve got to double my energy to keep up. Stop jumpin’ off that chair. Quit doin’ those backflips. You’re makin’ me work,’” she laughed. “But I said, ‘I’m your understudy. I’m supposed to make you work.’ We played all over the place. You name it, we did it. I stayed with him for two years.”

DeSanto is in the R&B Hall of Fame, has won the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award and is the recipient of a Bay Area Music Award for Best Female Blues Singer, among other accolades she’s racked up over the years. It’s obvious that DeSanto was born to sing and entertain and she’s made sure to use her powers to their fullest extent over the years.

“I’ve always been gifted … and my mother was gifted. She’s the one that set the pace for me to be a singer. She was a concert pianist,” she said. “I learned a lot of songs from my mother – not the blues, she wasn’t in to that – but the classics. She was more refined, she was from Philadelphia. She really didn’t know anything about the blues until I brought them home.”

DeSanto spent a good chunk of her childhood in the Bay Area, which has always been regarded as a huge melting pot of musical styles and cultures. While the uniqueness of the San Francisco/Oakland sound may have caught her ear, it didn’t seem to really have an impact on the kind of music that DeSanto would go on to breathe life into during her adult years.

“No, that really had no influence on me. I just started on my own and paved my own way at the different clubs that I played at as a young woman,” she said. “I’d see clubs where they were doing the blues and I just picked up on everything on my own. And when I picked up on it, I didn’t let it go. I took it to the max.”

A young DeSanto and a young Etta James were fast friends in the Bay Area and they did most of the things that normal teenagers do, with thoughts of future stardom and glory never really crossing their minds at the time.

“We never really talked about what we were going to do later in life. But, we did sing around the neighborhood – me, Etta and my sister that passed, who was one of her Peaches (James’ group),” she said. “We just sung around the neighborhood, on back porches or wherever we could. I was the oldest of all of them, so I kind of departed to do my own thing. Then the next thing I know, Johnny Otis is sending for Etta to record her for the first time. So she traveled with him (the Johnny Otis Revue), but I didn’t.”

DeSanto and James did eventually cross paths again when they recorded some classic duets at Chess Records, starting in 1959.

“That was something else. She was already recording for them (Chess) when I went up there to record with her. I was writing and singing at that time on my own, but the producer, Bill Davis, said it would be nice if me and Etta recorded something together. So me and my partner, Shena DeMell, wrote some records and that’s how that came about. Next thing I know, me and Etta are recording together. But it was the company (Chess) that put us together.”

One of those songs, “Do I Make Myself Clear” became a Top 10 sensation, while another one, “In the Basement” also became a classic.

Though she may not have started out to blaze any trails, DeSanto was nevertheless at the forefront of the electric soul sound that ended up working its way – along with the blues – into what is considered modern rock-n-roll.

“I just did my job and that was it. I never really thought about coming up with a new style or a new sound, or anything like that,” she said. “I was just writing tunes and playing them, straight from my heart.”

It’s clear that DeSanto is not quite completed with her musical mission. Instead of just playing her old songs or living off her impressive past achievements, she’s more focused on what’s happening with her career in 2014 than she is about 1954.

“I don’t intend to quit. My quit is 80 – I’m serious. But when I finally do quit, I just hope people remember that I put out some good tunes and always gave them a good show. I just want people to remember that I was a Hellava entertainer,” she said. “It would be nice to get my props, too. I don’t think I’ve gotten all the props that I’ve deserved over the years. If any of these young singers today want to see what a real entertainer is like, I hope they get a hold of some of my videos. Nowadays they stand there and hold the microphone like a stick and it’s boring. They don’t have any idea what real entertainment is, honey. I’m not from that school, I’m from the school where an entertainer moves around on stage and gives the people a real show. I want to leave that kind of legacy for the people.”.”

To see a couple classic videos of Sugar Pie on stage performing with Hubert Sumlin and Willie Dixon from 1964:

CLICK HERE and HERE

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.

For other interviews on our website CLICK HERE.



 Featured Blues review – 2 of 6  

Jon Zeeman – Down on My Luck

Membrane Records

www.jonzeeman.com

11 tracks; 50:58 minutes; Splendid

Styles: Blues Rock; Rock and Roll; Contemporary Electric Blues

“Well, if he is that good, why isn’t he rich and famous?” – There it is, the age old question asked by newcomers to the music industry whenever they hear a great but relatively unknown artist. The answers to the question are myriad and complicated. But, the simple truth is: there are many artists that are so good they deserve wider recognition and remuneration. Jon Zeeman is such an artist. To be fair, Zeeman is not “completely” unknown; for example, he has performed with the Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon Theater! And, he is pretty well known in Florida where he actively gigs.

Growing up outside NYC, Jon studied classical piano and decided on a career in music at age 13. He had been obsessed with guitars, amplifiers, wah-wah pedals, power tubes, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones since the age of 8. Zeeman claims that, early on, he learned a valuable lesson about getting up early and menial work – it was not for him! He spent his high school years practicing music more and doing homework less. After studying music at Ithaca College, Jon left school to play on the road. In the mid-1980s Jon moved to New York City and became involved in producing, session work and song writing, working at his “Studio Z” in a downtown loft. The New York years were also saw many trips to Scandinavia, where he toured and recorded with several groups.

Zeeman began performing his own music in the mid ‘90s working regularly at the NYC venues. Leaving NYC at the birth of his daughter, Zoe, Jon now resides in Martha’s Vineyard and West Palm Beach Florida, where he performs regularly. He has toured, recorded and performed with such notables as Susan Tedeschi, Janis Ian, and the Allman Brothers Band. His first CD, “Still Life,” was released in Europe in 2003 featuring Funk, Jazz, and Blues guitar to much acclaim. It was followed by “Zeeland” in 2008 with a Bluesy and Funky Jazz fusion.

“Down on my Luck” brings a new direction for Jon Zeeman, with 10 great, new and original Blues-Rock tunes and one cover, Johnny Winter’s “I Love Everybody.”
The CD also marks the debut of Zeeman on vocals – in commendable form. The CD is a fresh look at an American genre born from the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The first track aired on our Saturday night radio show, co-hosted with my radio partner Shuffle Shoes, was the opening track, “You’re Right, I’m Wrong.” Sung as a plea to an absent lover, the protagonist is apologizing and begging her to “come home.” If the concise words from the (humorous) title don’t convince her, the swinging guitar playing should. Helping do the convincing are Phil McArthur – bass, George Lilly – drums, Tom Regis and Bob Taylor – Keyboards. Jon’s daughter Zoe adds bass to three other cuts.
Next up was “Money” with an upbeat and Funky approach. The need for elusive spondulics is a universal theme, here reasoned, “Can’t pay the rent, I just can’t pay my phone, can’t pay my bills, sure can’t pay my loan, can’t pay my cat, can’t even throw my dog a bone… I need some money.”

Future spins will include the powerful, slow burning title track “Down on My Luck.” A hovering organ along with a tasty bass line lay the bedrock for Jon’s vocals which take an optimistic approach to his current bad-luck-blues. The penetrating guitar solo seals the deal. Another slower and soulful number is “Waiting for the Storm.”

In Hour 2, when we like to Rock it up a little, we’ll spin “Got the Gun,” a hard driving Rock and Roll tune. Zeeman’s time with the Allman Brothers seems to have inspired “Hangman’s Bridge,” an explosive Blues Rock tune done with alternating mid-tempo passages. Speaking of combustion, Zeeman channels and churns nicely on Johnny Winter’s “I Love Everybody.”

Following the concluding track, “Better Off Dead,” displaying one final time Zeeman’s considerable vocal and instrumental talents, you yourself will be asking “Well, how can he be that good and not be rich and famous?”

Reviewer James “Skyy Dobro” Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show “Friends of the Blues” can be heard Saturdays 8 pm – Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at www.wkccradio.org in Kankakee, IL.

For other reviews on our website CLICK HERE



 Featured Blues review – 3 of 6  

Dave Keyes – Right Here Right Now

Keyesland Music

www.davekeyes.com

10 songs – 49 minutes

New York-based keyboard player Dave Keyes serves up a heaping dose of blues fused with boogie, R&B and zydeco for this release on his own label.

Keyes has been a busy man since winning top prize in the Blues Music Association’s International Blues Challenge competition in 2000. He’s worked as a sideman for the late folk-blues superstar and civil rights activist Odetta, Bo Diddley, Carl Weathersby, Chuck Berry, Gladys Knight, Sleepy LaBeef, Pam Tillis and David Johansen. Away he’s done time as musical conductor for the Grammy-winning Broadway Play, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” and served as the house bandleader for The Ainsley Harriott Show on TV. And he’s toured both as a solo act, and, most recently, with Ronnie Spector.

Joining Keyes in the studio for this one were his rock-solid rhythm section, drummer Frank Pagano and bassists David J. Keyes and Sue Williams, as well as three special-guest guitarists: Dave Fields, Jeff Pevar and Popa Chubby, with whom Keyes often appears when their schedules allow. Rounding out the sound are guitarists George Naha, Chris Vitarello and Woody Mann, drummer Steve Rushton, bassist Gary Frazier, horn players Chris Eminizer (tenor sax), Tim Ouimette (trumpet) and John Hahn (trombone). Diane Cricchio and The Divas Redemption add backing vocals on one track.

Available through CDBaby, the energetic disc kicks off with “Here She Comes Again,” an uptempo five-minute shuffle about a heartbreaker on the move: “She’s gone, gone, gone/Where I don’t know/I don’t ask and she don’t tell/I don’t really need to know/All I can say is when she’s in my arms/I don’t want to let her go.” Chubby provides an extended guitar break mid-song, as he does on the next number, “You Think I Don’t Know.” It’s a sparkling modern blues about a love affair on the wane. Keyes’ vocals are crisp and powerful, as they are throughout the work. His timing, slightly behind the beat, swings effortlessly, propelling everything forward.

The sound gets funky and Fields takes over on six-string for “Nothing Left To Lose,” another song about a love affair gone sour. In this one, the woman’s run off with everything but the singer’s heart. Keyes gives the band and his voice a break on “Shadow Boogie,” a five-minute, double-fisted romp on the ivories certain to appeal to anyone with a love for traditional piano blues.

“Sit Right Here” offers a tribute to the Mississippi with a zydeco feel. It’s message: “The strongest voice/can be the softest sound/and a walk can get you there/As fast as a run.“ It’s a song of positive affirmations with the river washing away sins of the past. The band offers up a little New Orleans soul for “Who Stole The Baby Jesus,” about a theft from a Christmas manger scene. The horns and chorus shine in the arrangement, co-written with Cricchio.

The tempo slows for “Never Say Goodbye,” a tender slow blues about a love affair that’s had a lot of ups and downs, with the partners about to go their separate ways without regret. Pevar amplifies the message with tasty work on resonator guitar.

“Now’s My Time” delivers another great message with a Chicago feel — “When love rules the house/Everything’s gonna be just fine” – before Keyes travels back South for “Delta Queen” and finishes the set with “Wronged Man Blues,” another song of lost love.

The themes are familiar, but Keyes’ spin puts a new shine on all of them. A well-conceived, fun listen from beginning to end.

Reviewer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. His first experience with live music came at the feet of the first generation of blues legends at the Newport Folk Festivals in the 1960s. A former member of the Chicago blues community, he’s a professional journalist and blues harmonica player who co-founded the Nucklebusters, one of the hardest working bands in South Florida.

For other reviews on our website CLICK HERE



 Featured Blues review – 4 of 6  

Doug Prescott Band – Blues In The Key Of Sea

Howlin’ At The Moon

www.dougprescott.com

11 tracks; 37 minutes

North Carolina’s Doug Prescott has been playing since the 60’s and he and his experienced band give us a very diverse set of material across a broad range of blues and Americana styles on his third release. Doug handles lead vocals and shares bass with Ken Johnson who also plays rhythm when Doug is on bass: Tommy Hartley is the lead guitarist except on one track where Johnny Gallagher guests and Andy Cheek on drums completes the core band. Keys are added to most tracks by Tony Bowman though Little Feat’s Billy Payne stops by on the title track to add Hammond and grand piano. Horns are added to four tracks by Eric Kulz (trumpet) and Jim Henderson (sax), with Mark Gloden adding a further sax on one cut. Backing vocals come from a variety of people across most of the songs: Melanie Olsen, Abigail Johnson, Christina McNair, Alexis Nelson, Keith Buckley, Jeff Hart. adds harp to one cut and additional percussion comes from Beverley Botsford on two – a huge cast list!

Fishing and the sea appear to be important to Doug. His previous release was entitled “The Journey & The Deep Blue Sea” and on their website the band are pictured on a boat. The CD artwork deserves special mention: on the front a fish is playing guitar and on the back a group of swordfish are celebrating the winning catch in the ‘10th Annual Fisherman Catching Contest’, the unfortunate victim suspended by his feet above a pier! The title track opens proceedings with a gently funky song about…fishing! Doug is out there but the fish are not biting so he has those blues. Doug’s voice is a little limited but does the job OK with good support from the backing vocalists. Billy Payne’s contribution here is excellent and he takes the main solo on piano, ably supported by Tommy’s slide.

“99% Won’t Do” is more of a straight blues tune with the harp featured against a chugging rhythm punctuated by the horns. “Purple Heart In A Crown Vic” finds Doug singing in a deeper voice that recalls Mark Knopfler, especially with the guitar featuring in very Knopfleresque style. The song is mid-paced and tells the story of a Vietnam vet who has “taken some time for himself…and that’s cool”. “A Little O Dat” opens with acoustic guitars before a very Allmans feeling riff carries the chorus. The later part of the track makes that reference even clearer as Tommy switches from acoustic to electric and the piano/guitar duel is straight out of the ‘Brothers And Sisters’ era Allmans. “Don’t Let Our Love Go” brings a Caribbean lilt to the album, accentuated by the organ and steel drums (Tracy Thornton).

“If You Talk The Talk” is a little heavier, a short track on which the horns add punch to the guitar-led riff. “Hell” moves us into pure country with banjo and mandolin (Tim Stanbaugh and Danny Gotham) as Doug tells us that “Hell can be any place you aren’t”. Swirling organ, clavinet and the horns underpin Doug’s vocals on “A Million Ways”, a gently funky tune. The next cut takes us back out to sea, a cheerfully rocking tune with the piano driving the refrain, Doug suggesting that a combination of Jimmy Buffett and sunscreen will make for a “Smooth Sailin’ Day”! “Be The Promised Land” is a gentle acoustic tune with some nice harmonies before the CD ends with “Summer Of 1968” on which Johnny Gallagher plays lead guitar in very Dicky Betts style over a rocking rhythm with a touch of Bo Diddley in the acoustic riff from Doug.

This is a well-played and produced CD. All the material is original and the sheer variety means that there will be something for most fans of American music here. Not much of the album is straight blues but there is plenty to enjoy.

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.

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 Featured Blues review – 5 of 6  

Merry Clayton & iReedMan featuring Jack Jr. – Don’t Burn The Bridge

iReed Records

www.ireedman.com

Facebook.com/merry.clayton.ireed.man

12 songs – 57 minutes

A police siren ominously wails at the beginning of the first song on Don’t Burn The Bridge, before the band kicks in with a funky groove over which hip hop artist Jack Jr. (aka Jason Peskin) gives a sombre spoken word introduction. Merry Clayton’s voice then kicks into gear, begging, pleading for shelter. And what a voice. Despite having recorded with some of the biggest names in popular music, including Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson and Tina Turner, Clayton’s most famous performance is probably her apocalyptic duet with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” back in 1969. She certainly embraces both the song and its reputation on this album, which is book-ended by two updated versions of it. And both versions more than pass muster. Her voice remains an instrument of distinctive power and soul.

However, while Clayton is given equal billing on the album’s title, she actually lends her voice to only six of the songs. In reality, Don’t Burn The Bridge is iReedMan’s album. iReedMan, aka saxophonist Joel C. Peskin, has a resume that matches Clayton’s – in addition to providing the music to many TV shows and movie soundtracks over the last 40 years, he has also recorded for artists such as Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Beach Boys, and Christina Aguillera – and his incendiary playing appears on every song.

And this album contains some very impressive songs, from Clayton’s vocal tour de force on “The Wells Run Dry” to the funky groove of “Backyard Bulldog” to the gloriously upbeat shuffle “Back In The Day”, a song to which it is impossible to listen without tapping one’s feet and clicking one’s fingers. And it is Peskin’s roaring sax that invariably captures the listener’s attention, adding searing, soulful passion to each song. Peskin clearly enjoys letting rip on the sax, but he is equally as impressive when he reins it in and focuses on the melody, for example on “Orange Sky”.

A particular highlight of the album is the swinging “Throw Me Under The Bus”, which packs a powerful melodic punch in the chorus, whilst featuring a spoken word rap from Jack Jr. during the first verse. But there are a lot of highlights across the entire CD. The musical alchemy that enables the successful combination of the modern and the traditional is part of what makes this release so enjoyable. Despite the fact that Clayton and Peskin are both long-time veterans of the music business, there is a very modern feel to what is essentially a classic R&B/soul album with a heavy dash of blues on the side. Jack Jr. provides spoken word raps on “Shelter/Gimme Shelter”, “Don’t Burn The Bridge”, “Throw Me Under The Bus” and “Trash”. Programmed drums, synthesizers, digital sound effects and dance loop programming are all featured in addition to more traditional instrumentation. And the end result is the best of both the modern and traditional.

Added to this is evident chemistry between Peskin and Clayton, who sound like they had an absolute blast in recording this album, and they are given first class support by a wide range of musicians, including John Robinson, Mike Kowlaski and Michael White on drums, Freddie Washington, Andy Simpkins and Chuck Berghoffer on bass, Jason T. Miller, Tim May, John Marx and Ed Carter on guitar, Rich Ruttenberg on piano and Dan Higgins on keyboards and acoustic and electric guitars.

This is a hugely enjoyable album and highly recommended, especially for anyone interested in how modern musical aspects can be successfully combined with and incorporated into more traditional styles.

Reviewer Rhys Williams lives in Cambridge, England, where he plays blues guitar when not holding down a day job as a technology lawyer or running around after his children. He is married to an American, and speaks the language fluently, if with an accent.

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 Featured Blues review – 6 of 6  

Tom Holland & The Shuffle Kings – No Fluff, Just The Stuff

E Natchel Records

www.tomhollandshufflekings.com

Time-43:29

“As Advertised”…The title says it all. This is “Real Deal” blues from the first note to the last. A reviewer can get weary covering bands that purport to play the blues. Just because you stick a harmonica player in the band and make references to hard times, it doesn’t necessarily make it the blues. Tom Holland and his crew have obviously paid their dues and soaked up the dynamics of what makes the blues the blues. They create an authentic and original sound without mimicking. Familiar sounds and snippets of lyrics pop-up at times, but that is the nature of the blues. Being harmonica legend James Cotton’s choice for guitarist for some years now hasn’t hurt in steeping him in blues. Tom’s guitar styles draw from the well to create something fresh and new. Having a “bluesy” and warm-toned voice doesn’t hurt either. All of this over a tight rhythm section and a few assists from some top-of-the-line players. Strong original blues like what we have here will keep the genre vibrant in the future.

Hey, what else would The Shuffle Kings start off with other than a easy-loping shuffle in “Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop”. It’s easy to see that Tom’s voice is the right fit for the music these guys make. His regular and slide guitar skills liven things up here as well as over the entire CD. Big D lays down some heavy harmonica licks over Mike Scharf’s heavy bass line to compliment the greasy slide work on “Hurry Up & Wait”. Tales of returning to his sweetie after being out on the road are set against a breezy rhythm on “Easiest Thing I’ll Ever Do”. Tom’s guitar skills are given room to shine on the instrumental “Hey Pardner!”, along side tasty harp and a grooving rhythm section. Everything gels perfectly and sounds effortless.

Chicago stalwart John Primer contributes his masterful guitar playing to “More Things Change”, two masters doing what they do best. Marty Sammon makes his first of four appearances here, rounding out the sound. They both show up on the band’s theme song, “Shuffle King Boogie”. What a great show opener this one would make. Drummer Tino Cortes makes good use of his “crash cymbal” and is no slouch throughout the record. The band digs deep in the blues for the slow burner that is “Hardest Part Of Loving You”. Nice and bouncy drum rhythms move “Look Here Baby” along at an exuberant pace. The title track, another sprightly instrumental closes out the CD. Equal time is given for Big D to strut his stuff on harmonica.

WOW!…Ok let me finish this up so I can give this “puppy” another spin. This is the stuff that got me hooked on the blues way back when. Dang, these guys can play. Every note and beat just belongs perfectly where it is. The lyrics are basic, but heartfelt. If you are new to the blues or an old timer like me who is a sucker for this stuff, do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.

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 Blues Society News  


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The Central Iowa Blues Society – Des Moines, IA

The Bottoms Up Blues Bash on March 8th, 2014, features Bob Dorr and The Blue Band, with special guests The Jean Marie Salem Project, and Dustin Busch and Marc Janssen. The 6pm event at Wooly’s in the East Village is a collaboration of The Central Iowa Blues Society and DavidsFight.org.

This family friendly event is a celebration of colon cancer awareness month and fund raiser to help fight the disease in communities across the state. There will be a special presentation for the kids by Blues in the Schools (BITS), presented by Frank “Freight Train” Strong.

For more information visit Wooly’s website, www.woolysdm.com, or www.davidsfight.org. Tickets for the Bottoms Up Blues Bash are on sale for $20 prior to the show and $25 on March 8, children 12 and under FREE, through Wooly’s website, www.woolysdm.com, or at their location, 504 East Locust, Des Moines.

The Madison Blues Society – Madison, WI

On Thursday, March 20, the Madison Blues Society will host its annual Wild Women of the Blues event. Wild Women will be singin’ the Blues at the High Noon Saloon, 701 East Washington Avenue in Madison. The show starts at 7:00PM. This year’s event will be a benefit for the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) and MBS Blues in the Community Programs.

This year’s Wild Women will be power vocalist Blythe Gamble with the Stand Back Blues Band and world-class entertainer Peaches Staten with the Groove Shakers.

Tickets will be $15 advance / $18 day of show ($12 adv / $15 dos for MBS members). Tickets are available now at the High Noon Saloon, the Knuckle Down Saloon and the Bristled Boar Saloon. Donations to MBS programs will be gratefully accepted at the MBS table. For more info, check us out at www.madisonbluessociety.com/wild_women14.htm.

River City Blues Society – Pekin, IL

River City Blues Society presents live Blues featuring The Moonshine Brothers from Iowa, 7:30 pm Friday February 28th at For more info visit www.rivercityblues.com or call 309-648-8510

Phoenix Blues Society – Phoenix,AZ

The 23rd Annual Blues Blast, presented by The Phoenix Blues Society, 501(c)(3), will take place March 8, 2014 at Margaret T. Hance Park at 3rd St. & Moreland near downtown Phoenix. Gates will open at 10 a.m. with music starting at 11a.m. Headliners: Samantha Fish and SugaRay Rayford with the Rhythm Room All-stars will join The Mike Eldred Trio, Paul Cruize Blues Crew and Leon J’s Juke Joint. Local favorite Hans Olson will provide entertainment between acts throughout the afternoon.

Food, beverages and vendors will be on site. There will be master musicians holding a free music workshop for kids 12-18 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. There also will be an art project open for everyone’s contribution. Admission is $22 in advance and $25 day of show. Children under 16 accompanied by a parent will be admitted free. Early Bird tickets are available now until Feb.1 at www.bluesblast2014.eventbrite.com  Tickets can be purchased online until day of show.

Crossroads Blues Society – Byron, Illinois

Saturday, March 8th is back to the Hope and Anchor with guitar virtuoso Bobby Messano and his great band. $5 cover, 8 PM start.

Crossroads Blues Society is proud to present the second annual Field of Blues Festival on Saturday, June 28th at Rockford Aviators Stadium in Loves Park.

Alex Wilson Band is opening beginning his set at noon. Next up is an international act, Italian blues and singing sensation Linda Valori at 2 PM along with super guitar player Luca Giordano and our own Barstool Bob Blues Band with Bob Levis on guitar, Al Terrano on bass, Link Leary on drums and Don Collins on harmonica.

The Jimmy’s will bring their swinging blues at 4 PM. At 6 PM, the ever cool Doug Deming and Dennis Gruenling will take the stage with the Jewel Tones.

At 8 PM our headliners will be John Nemeth!

Between acts we will feature local acoustic blues man Dan Phelps. 10 hours of music from noon to 10 PM (we close at 10:30 PM). Tickets will once again only be $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Check us out at http://fieldofblues.blogspot.com/ or call festival chairman Steve Jones at 779-537-4006 for more information!

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.

March 3 – Stone Cold Blues band, March 10 – Eddie Snow Tribute with Wayne Carter and the All Star Blues Band, March 17 – 24th Street Whalers from Toronto, March 24 – The Blues Deacons, March 31 – Kilborn Alley, April 7 – Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat, April 14 – The Blues Expressions, April 21 – Brad Vickers and the Vestapolitans, April 28 – Greg Glick

Additional ICBC shows of interest: March 6 – James Armstrong Presents @ Casey’s Pub with special guest, Mary Jo Curry & Tombstone Bullet

Questions regarding this press release can be directed to Michael Rapier, President of ICBC, at mikerapier@sbcglobal.net at 217-899-9422, or contact Greg Langdon, Live Events Chair, at langdon38@att.net or by visiting www.icbluesclub.org



Blues Overdose 2/27/2014 – These free tracks are available for 30 days. More info below.

“Mean Jenny” from the album Monday Night Since their earliest gigs together, the CD Woodbury Band has been described as “the Pacific Northwest’s best kept secret” by fans and fellow musicians. With the 2013 release of their studio debut recording, “Monday Night!”, the word is out! CD, along with bandmates, drummer Don Montana, bassist Mike Fish, keyboard man Chris Kliemann, and multi-instrumentalist Mike Marinig craft a different path of modern electric blues: taking a reverent ear for many types of roots music and cross-pollinating them, avoiding the rock bombast or polished, crystalline jazz-fusion approaches of many modern blues acts, the CD Woodbury Band creates an organic sound that is both unique and deeply in tune with the music’s origin. Featured track “Mean Jenny” is an excellent example, melding RL Burnside style Mississippi hill country, Tony Joe White style swamp storytelling, rollicking piano, driving groove, a dash of exotic percussion, and a chorus that you can’t help singing along with. This approach carries over to the nine other tracks on “Monday Night!” with a great diversity of styles presented but the band’s sound and personality shining through each tune. The end result is booty-shaking contemporary blues with wit and extraordinary substance. For more info visit www.cdwoodbury.com. Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

Download Instructions

1.) Click the link below where it says “Click HERE to download” just after any of the artist descriptions below. (You only need to do this once as all the tracks are there!)

2.) The link will take you to the Blues Blast Magazine page on Soundcloud.com. at https://soundcloud.com/bluesblast

3.) On The Blues Overdose Page click the on any artist to listen to the song. You do NOT have to join Soundcloud.com to listen or download these tracks!

4.) To automatically download the artists song click on the download icon

Brian Cober

“I’m A Bluesman Baby” from the album Austin Wired

Brian Cober is the best friend that the slide guitar ever had. He has given the slide guitar a voice and range of capabilities and harnessed them to drive his own brand of streetwise, roadwise blues. He has captured the soul that makes one actually enjoy, in a sympathetic way, his songs of heartbreaks and excesses. Cober began playing lap steel at age 8, and invented his “Double Slide” style at age 15 to give him more versatility. With his band The Nationals, Brian Cober released three acclaimed CDs and has played with Bo Diddley, King Biscuit Boy, Long John Baldry, Jeff Healy, and Eugene Smith – he’s also opened for Johnny Winter, James Cotton, Blue Rodeo, John Mayall, Roy Buchanan and many others.

When Nationals’ founding member Paul McNamara passed away in 2008, Cober began his solo career with a new CD “Real Far Gone”. Since then, he has played full time at clubs, Blues Societies, dances, private parties, and festivals including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Bluizo Natkys Festival in Lithuania, La Chute Fest, toured Finland, Lithuania and Israel as well as the southern U.S.

February 2014 marks the release of his new album “Austin Wired”, which was recorded in Austin, TX over two remarkable sessions. The nine songs represent Cober’s best yet and offers the listener the unique and intricate sound of the Double-Slide, then the mastery of his instrument becomes obvious, along with his soulful vocals and great songwriting. Wherever and for however many, listening to Brian Cober is a unique and uplifting musical experience.  For more info visit www.briancober.com.

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud

 

 The CD Woodbury Band

“Mean Jenny” from the album Monday Night

Since their earliest gigs together, the CD Woodbury Band has been described as “the Pacific Northwest’s best kept secret” by fans and fellow musicians. With the 2013 release of their studio debut recording, “Monday Night!”, the word is out! CD, along with bandmates, drummer Don Montana, bassist Mike Fish, keyboard man Chris Kliemann, and multi-instrumentalist Mike Marinig craft a different path of modern electric blues: taking a reverent ear for many types of roots music and cross-pollinating them, avoiding the rock bombast or polished, crystalline jazz-fusion approaches of many modern blues acts, the CD Woodbury Band creates an organic sound that is both unique and deeply in tune with the music’s origin.

Featured track “Mean Jenny” is an excellent example, melding RL Burnside style Mississippi hill country, Tony Joe White style swamp storytelling, rollicking piano, driving groove, a dash of exotic percussion, and a chorus that you can’t help singing along with. This approach carries over to the nine other tracks on “Monday Night!” with a great diversity of styles presented but the band’s sound and personality shining through each tune. The end result is booty-shaking contemporary blues with wit and extraordinary substance. For more info visit www.cdwoodbury.com.

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

   

Nick Moss

“Was I Ever Heard” from the album Time Ain’t Free

Time Ain’t Free, but Nick Moss is: free of labels and limitations, of boundaries and expectations. He has followed his heart from the very beginning, faithfully and passionately playing traditional Chicago blues the way he learned from listening to and playing with the best. He widened his scope on the critically-acclaimed Privileged and Here I Am, stretching himself and challenging his devoted audience to hear him in a whole new way. One listen to Time Ain’t Free makes clear those records are fully-realized works, as well as mile markers on a journey to an ever-expanding idea of what is possible.

From the rollicking opener “She Wants It” through the finale “(Big Mike’s) Sweet Potato Pie,” we are treated to jams, grooves, shuffles, and blues, whether in the form of the greasy guitar workout “Was I Ever Heard” or the funky, strutting title track. He is all over the place, and yet nothing is beyond his grasp. That confidence has him taking chances musically and vocally and those risks pay off, rewarding him and his audience. Nick has worked with outstanding musicians throughout his career and the talent and versatility of this new lineup is capable not only of carrying out his new ideas but even inspiring a few of them. He’s always been generous as a bandleader and now he’s taking that one step further, passing the microphone to second guitarist Michael Ledbetter (descendant of Huddie, or “Lead Belly”) to sing lead vocal on six of these new songs. Led’s voice and guitar work bring a powerful, soulful dimension to this album and the live shows. Nick’s musical and career trajectory has been both upward and forward from the beginning, but he has entered into a golden period, and Time Ain’t Free is the exhilarating sound of a man accelerating into the future. —Josh Hathaway, BlindedBySound.com.  For more info visit NickMoss.com

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

 

Solomon King

“Slo Blues” from the album Train

Charles Bukowski novel complete with booze and broads. When the massive layoffs came, King headed West with an acoustic guitar in hand and began a career in the very music that celebrates hard living, drinking and woman that know how to take your mind off things, only to land you in more trouble.

Fast-forward this time to 2013: King releases “Train,” a tasty collection of blues-rock tunes that walk the line between love and lust, while celebrating getting on with one’s life. With his live touring band firing fierce salvos of modern New-School Blues across the musical tracks the question of “put up or shut up?” is definitively answered. Rockwired Magazine tabs Solomon King as one of its “25 Guitarists You’ve Gotta Hear.” Good.

In between making records and the occasional movie, Solomon King has been performing in venues from Hawaii to Chicago. If there’s a dance floor the audience is on it. His live shows are unpredictable, spontaneous and attended by all ages, colors and races who seek something different from the usual rehash of blues standards (though King is known to hash up a standard from time to time). For more info visit www.solomonkingmusic.com

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

Kyle Henderson

“Takes A World To Make A Man” from the album Brand New Choice

A prolific songwriter and talented vocalist, Kyle Henderson has been on an intricate musical journey during his life, including a brush with fame with 80s new wave/power pop band The Producers. Today, Kyle is a modern blues/rock artist who incorporates his pop sound with blues, rock and soul in an original, magical way. For an idea of just what that marriage of music sounds like, think ZZ Top mixed with Buddy Guy plus late-period Beatles with some B.B. King thrown in for good measure.

Kyle is joined in the band by Tom McCarty on bass, Mike Ripp on guitar and Chris Sandoval on drums. “Brand New Chance” was recorded in Milwaukee, WI by Steve Hamilton of Makin’ Sausage Music and released on EarRelevant Records. This album promises to propel Kyle Henderson back into the spotlight. For more info visit www.kylehendersonmusic.com.

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats

“I Can Never Say Goodbye” from the album Eddie Ate Dynamite

“Multi-instrumentalist Jason Vivone and his band of Billy Bats merge hill country and rockabilly, with a vigorous fifties rock’n’roll feel that is infused with a backbone of the blues, laced with a jaunty fusing of gospel and soul.”

“The track ‘I Can Never Say Goodbye’ closes out their new CD Eddie Ate Dynamite. ‘This is where we get to call on the Ray Charles and Percy Mayfield influences,’ says Vivone. ‘The last slow dance of the night as the lights are coming up.’

Jason Vivone first got our attention in 2013 with his dazzling debut, “Lather, Rinse, Repeat,” and he and The Billy Bts have done it again with their latest, “Eddie Ate Dynamite.”  Check this one out!

This new album release is available for purchase at CDBaby and Amazon.

For more information visit their website at www.billybats.com

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

Terry Gillespie

“The Devil Likes To WIn” –  from the album Bluessoul

“Going back to the beginning’ Terry Gillespie has been a soulful groove master. Terry says: ‘ getting inside the groove is where it’s at’. Like Mark Knopfler, JJ Cale or JB Lenoir, he is a player whose comfortable voice perfectly suits his economical deep guitar grooves. Nothing’s wasted and nothing’s missing. “

Holger Peterson, CBC’s Saturday Night Blues, CKUA’s Natch’l Blues and Stony Plain Records. For more info visit www.terrygillespie.ca

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

Jim Gustin and Truth Jones

“No Faith in Forever” from the debut album, Can’t Shed a Tear

Jim Gustin is a singer, songwriter, guitarist from Southern California. He has a distinctive, powerful voice, soulful and blue with a smoky rasp. He is also a very solid guitarist with great tone and a funky groove. Jim has been playing in and around the L.A. area for over 30 years.” Can’t Shed a Tear” is Jim’s long awaited debut release; it was produced by blues veteran Terry Wilson. In addition to the talented and versatile Truth Jones band, featuring Jeri Goldenhar (vocals), Jim Sipotz (drums), Burke Greer (bass) and Jim Scimonetti (horns) it also includes special guest appearances from the incredible Teresa James and John Rabbit Bundrick.

The album features 14 tracks, covering many different shades of the blues; from the up- tempo “I Gotta’ Sing” to the New Orleans sounding “My Baby Just Left Me Again” to the sultry “No Faith in Forever”. The songs are honest, well written and delivered with real emotion, covering the highs and lows that have marked Gustin’s life. You can feel both the pain and the triumph throughout the recording. Gustin and Company deliver a passionate performance, which is sure to bring encouragement to the listener.

For more information visit  http://jimgustin.com/

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

Steve Dawson

“Rattlesnake Cage” from the album Rattlesnake Cage

‘Rattlesnake Cage’ finally gives them the opportunity to hear Steve interact with his guitar in a way that has never been captured on record before. Until now, hearing the sweet melodies and deep soul of Steve playing solo guitar has been a treat reserved for live audiences in intimate settings. These new simple and unadorned recordings hearken back to the ‘American Primitive’ sound that John Fahey and other artists such as Peter Lang and Leo Kottke recorded on Fahey’s iconic Takoma record label in the sixties – instrumental music informed by the deep traditions of blues, ragtime, jazz and even Hawaiian music, but taking those influences in unexpected directions. The opening track, ‘Blind Thomas at the Crime Scene’ which takes its title from Fahey’s earliest nom de plume is the recording that most clearly communicates Dawson’s respect for the American Primitive aesthetic, and gives the listener the clearest indication of what’s to come.

Recorded with a single vintage tube microphone that had recently been rescued from decades of hanging from the ceiling rafters of an old theatre in Detroit, you can hear every detail and nuance of each note. The effect of hearing a recording this open and pure is quite astounding. For more info visit http://www.stevedawson.ca/

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

Sunday Wilde

“Destitution Blues” from the album He Digs Me

A sweet and scrumptious selection of tunes from Sunday wilde are being released the week of Valentines. 13 songs recorded in Minnesota redefine her style bringing in drums and some electricity into her growling and succinct passionate delivery of mostly originals. “The most fascinating singer and songwriter in the blues today” says N. Norgel, Wasser Prawda (GR)This selection of songs range from Sunday’s unique originals about men, love, poverty and her growling soft vocal delivery and some very interesting takes on old classics like Patsy Cline’s I fall to Pieces, and Bessie Smith’s Black Mountain Blues. “The only way I can describe the music; modern traditional Americana blues” says Rennie Frattura , Executive Producer.

Sunday’s music has played worldwide on roots and blues stations and has hit 1 on BB King’s Bluesville on Siriusxm Radio, 1 on Amazon Best Seller and continues to remain on the Roots Music Report. Just this year she won Best International Blues Release by the Jimi Awards for her recent album, nominated for studio album of the year in Uk and has been featured in The Blues Magazine (London,UK) and has been reviewed worldwide.

www.sundaywilde.com and her music can be found at most digital retailers like Amazon.com

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

Mark Harrison

“Long Gone Miles” from the album The World Outside

Mark Harrison is fast gaining a reputation for making a unique kind of all-original music, based on the style of the early blues and folk/blues artists, with a modern twist and wide appeal. His highly individual songs, with their memorable tunes, striking lyrics and strong and compelling rhythms, all have something to say or a story to tell. Mark is regularly described as one of the best blues and roots artists in the UK. He is a thrilling, rhythmic finger picker and slide player, with a very distinctive style and sound. He plays a 1934 National resonator guitar and a 12-string guitar, as well as singing.

Mark’s new album, The World Outside, features 12 original songs that will make you think, make you move and make you smile. In his unique style, they cover such subjects as New Orleans funerals, how economics works, observations and rants about our own life and times, a juke joint in the Mississippi Delta in the 1920s, the golden age of youth, protest against the damage-doers, and the pursuit of dreams. In addition to Mark’s guitars and singing, The World Outside features Mark’s regular band of top-class musicians: Charles Benfield (double bass), Will Greener (harmonica), Josienne Clarke (vocals/flute), Ben Walker (mandolin), and Ed Hopwood (drums). This track tells the story of Lightnin’ Hopkins and his sidekick Long Gone Miles, based on a photo of the pair of them in the back of a Cadillac.

For more info visit www.markharrisonrootsmusic.com. 

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

Michael Packer

“I’m In Love” from the album I Am The Blues

I Am The Blues is as unshakably blue as 4 words can be. Michael Packer holds no punches when he tells of how low life can take you and how blues can literally save your life not once, but multiple times. The narratives raise your hackles and he unselfconsciously and honestly bares his soul about alcoholism, heroin addiction, living on skid row, assaulting and being assaulted, doing hard time, falling from Olympus and reaching down into his soul to pick himself up again and again. To that is a blues backdrop of style, power and sincere devotion to the Mother. His tales are unequaled and are as true as our own Sam Taylor’s were. Mike’s past on the skids, homeless or living the rock and roll Greenwich Village sky rocket support his autobio like a glove. His axe is his downfall and only friend, his lifesaver and mark on the world and Mike’s vocals are world weary smoked leather true blue. True tales approach the unreal, the imaginary the miraculous and the transcendent. Packer revisits his writing from his earliest bands including his 1960s band Papa Nebo through his San Francisco days. Free Beer finally seemed like the door to fame but booze and drugs again took their toll but not before the shimmering power of “I’m In Love” with its Southern Rock/Poco lyricism was released. Tall tales and true blues support Michael Packer and his life and times. It’s a story and that why blues is the perfect vehicle. Excellent and moving. Mark Gresser.

For more info visit www.michaelpackerbluesband.com. 

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud

 

 

Kat Danser

“Baptized By The Mud” from the album Baptized By The Mud

Join Edmonton’s Queen of the Swamp Blues, Kat Danser, as she musically invites you to lay your burdens down with this set of ChurchBlues songs. On this current soundtrack to her storied life, songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Danser collaborates with producer/guitarist Steve Dawson; and as she does so, channels the spirit of keepers of the flames of roots, blues, and spiritual music.

With this, her fourth album, she lights one herself as she effortlessly mixes her own fresh material with well and lesser-known gospel songs. This CD is the summation of years of study, mentorship, and songwriting with legendary blues icons in Mississippi – birthplace of the blues – and her graduate studies at the U of A, where she focused her Masters thesis on the representation of blues music over the past century. Baptized By The Mud is a musical journey through time, from the Canadian Prairies to the Mississippi Delta. Listening to it is like travelling with your ears. For more info visit www.katdanser.com.

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on Soundcloud



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