Issue 9-22 May 28, 2015

Cover photo by Bob Kieser © 2015 Blues Blast Magazine


  In This Issue 

It is our May Blues Overdose Issue with FREE Blues Music! Terry Mullins has our feature interview with musician and producer Bob Corritore. Bob Kieser has Part 2 of the pictures and commentary from the Nevis Island Blues Fest. Tim & Becky Richards have photos and commentary from the BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival. Our Featured Video this week is a video of the highlights from the Nevis Blues Fest. We have 5 music reviews for you including music from Young American Double Action Revolver, Bobby Messano, Eric Sardinas and Big Motor, Lenny Solomon and Jeff Chaz.

We have the latest in Blues society news. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!


 From The Editor’s Desk 

Hey Blues Fans,

This is our May Blues Overdose issue. We have 5 FREE Blues music tracks for you to download including music by Sean Chambers, Mississippi Fever, Neil Barnes, Johnny Tanner and The Rusty Wright Band. Scroll down to the bottom of this issue to get yourself more free Blues music!

Or simply CLICK HERE and grab yourself some FREE Blues music now!

Artists interested in having their music included in our June Blues Overdose issues should send check out the details of this free program to help artists promote their music at: http://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/?p=1210 or drop a line to info@bluesblastmagazine.com.

Our friends at the Indian Hill Music Festival have a great show in store for you this weekend. Their music lineup includes the Delgado Brothers, Atomic Road Kings, Johnny Hawthorn Band, Teresa Russell & Cocobilli, Crooked Eye Tommy, Tricia Freeman Band, The Strata-Tones, Reign and Bo & The Blues Drivers. The festival is being held in Tehachapi, California this Friday and Saturday and they have camping available. For tickets and info visit http://www.notoriousent.net/indian-hill-music-festival.html  or click on their ad below.

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music!

Bob Kieser



 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 5 

Young American Double Action Revolver

Self-titled, self-produced CD

www.facebook.com/youngamericandoubleactionrevolver

10 songs – 52 minutes

Young American Double Action Revolver is a three-piece band from Chicago with a different approach to the blues. Instead of adapting Windy City stylings, they look to the South for their inspiration. They’re a Hill Country ensemble who get their influences from Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside rather than Muddy Waters and B.B. King.

Lead singer, guitarist and rack harmonica player John Liggett and bass player/backup vocalist Brian Mickey toured the Midwest for several years in the band Voodoo Pilot. When that group disbanded, they enlisted Mark Mickey on bass. The music they produce is stripped down, much more suited to a juke joint in the Mississippi Delta than it is in the formal surroundings of a blues bar on Chicago’s North Side while still retaining some of the feel of a power blues trio.

Like many Delta recordings, this one was recorded live in only six hours without benefit of overdubs or control room gimmickry. All of the material is original. The resulting product is stripped down trance music.

Brian uses an open-tuned slide on dobro for “What A Night” as he recounts the life of a touring musician, compete with images of blood on the hay at a gig and hotel visits from the maid. He adds chorded harmonica accents atop a solid, straight-ahead rhythm pattern and heavy drum beat. He takes harp lead to introduce “My Lucky Day.” His technique is very basic, much closer to Bob Dylan or Neil Young than any of the greats, as the song speaks of the horror of surviving a shooting in which the bullets passed between his legs.

The singer seeks the warmth of a distant love in the uptempo shuffle “Been So Long” before “Bar Stool Blues” serves up praise for a favorite tavern. “Let Me Do That For Ya” drones about willingness to do just about anything for the object of one’s affections, while the rocker “Love Don’t Make No Sense” repeats the title as verse throughout without any explanation. The band slows down for “It’s The Thought That Counts,” which also leaves the theme to the listener’s imagination. A military drum beat introduces “Down The Road,” which vaguely refers to lightening one’s load. “Don’t Be Down,” an eight-minute boogie spirit-lifter, and “You Won’t Believe Me,” a song of desire, conclude the disc.

Available through iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and Spotify, Young American Double Action Revolver is pretty basic throughout. If you’re looking for something sophisticated, look elsewhere. But if you have a taste for Hill Country stylings and are seeking something different, it might be right up your alley.

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.



 Featured Blues Interview – Bob Corritore 

In the winter of 1956, Willie Dixon penned the now-classic “I Love the Life I Live, I Live the Life I Love” and Muddy Waters took the song into Chess Studios at 2120 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago and turned it into a fire-breathing monster.

Around that same time – in September of 1956 – Bob Corritore was born in the Windy City.

Coincidence …? Maybe not, especially when factoring in what a massive impact hearing Muddy Waters on the radio at age 12 – and then seeing the legend up-close-and-personal at a performance in his high school gymnasium – would have upon young Bob Corritore.

But one thing’s for sure; while “I Love the Life I Live, I Live the Life I Love” is not Corritore’s official theme song, it really should be, because that title fits the Phoenix-based blues impresario to a ‘T.’

You don’t have to get very deep into a conversation with Corritore to understand that he feels he is exactly where he’s supposed to be, doing exactly what he’s supposed to do, loving every single minute along the way.

“Well, I really enjoy everything that I do, so when I wake up first thing in the morning, I’m excited about what the day will bring. I just really thrive on the satisfaction that this work brings me,” he recently said. “It’s really fun and great work and I feel like it’s purposeful. I feel like there’s something to be said with what I’m doing and it’s important for me to have that statement.”

Corritore’s resume reads like a virtual audition for the annual title of ‘Busiest Person in Blues Endeavors.’ Not only does Corritore blow a mean harp; he’s an award-winning song-writer and an accomplished producer; he pens a regular e-news letter; he’s a longtime disc jockey and is also the proprietor of a live music landmark in Phoenix – The Rhythm Room. And oh, yeah – he’s played and befriended everyone from Louisiana Red, Sam Lay, Chico Chism, Eddy Clearwater … to everyone in between. In other words, it’s been one heck of a ride so far for Bob Corritore. That ride shows no signs of slowing down, and with a recent respite from the road, he’s been spending some valuable time re-organizing his nightclub.

“I have been putting a lot of concentration on The Rhythm Room lately; we’ve kind of been rebuilding over there. My wonderful manager of 17 years – Mona – left the organization last year and we’ve been forced to look at a new way of running the place in her absence,” he said. “That has actually turned out to be a powerful and positive thing, because there’s a lot of talented people that work in our music venue and they’ve really stepped up to the plate and are doing a great job. We’ve made some really big strides and are putting on some really great shows. The really great thing about having a nightclub is that even in the periods when I’m not touring, I can still make it a very exciting time for myself on my home base at The Rhythm Room.”

When stars such as John Primer, Big Jack Johnson or Smokey Wilson would roll through Phoenix, they found a razor-sharp backing band upon their arrival – the Rhythm Room All-Stars. The latest version of that group, in addition to Corritore, features Big Jon Atkinson, Troy Sandow, Danny Michel and Brian Fahey.

“We’re kind of serving as a backing band for a number of things. We just recently did Henry Gray’s 90th birthday party and we’ve done a stand-alone show and have backed up John Primer, so we’re doing some really fun stuff,” said Corritore. “We also use Mojo Mark and Kedar Roy, so we can kind of adapt to the needs of the individual artists.”

As it always is, the entertainment calendar at The Rhythm Room (www.rhythmroom.com) is stuffed to the gills with all kinds of tasty music on tap in the near future.

“We’ve got a Henry Gray CD release party coming up; we’ll do some shows with Darrell Nulisch, along with Taildragger and Rockin’ Johnny, so we’ve got some really cool shows happening,” he said. “And Willie Buck will be joining us, so we’ve put together some really fun things that I’m looking forward to.”

Between all the gigs at The Rhythm Room and his myriad of other daily tasks, Corritore is busy readying what looks to be a super tasty treat for blues lovers the world over to devour this summer.

“The next record that will be out is scheduled for June 16 on Delta Groove, and it will be the Henry Gray/Bob Corritore Sessions Vol. 1 – Blues Won’t Let Me Take My Rest. It will be a collection of different things that Henry and I have done over the last 19 years. I’ve been working with Henry since 1996,” he said. “We’ve done all these great sessions and this first volume just has a wonderful collection of songs – everything from the first session we did in January of 1996, all the way to the session we did on his 90th birthday party on January 19, 2015. We had him in the studio recording on his actual birthday and I tell you, he’s still kicking and has no signs of slowing down. When I grow up, I want to be like Henry Gray. Some of the sessions have great guitar work from Bob Margolin, some with Kid Ramos and some with Robert Lockwood, Jr. Henry sings vocals on nine of the 14 songs that are there and then we have one vocal each by Robert Lockwood, Jr., John Brim, Nappy Brown, Dave Riley and Taildragger. Of the 14 tracks, only four have been out before.”

The last studio album issued under Corritore’s own name was the marvelous Taboo (Delta Groove) – an all-instrumental affair that had several interesting twists and turns during its birth and ended up being a special journey for its creator.

“Taboo was such a powerful release and it took me into a different and exotic side of the blues. The cool thing about that record is, I’m a Chicago blues, down-home player, but this record went into a decidedly more uptown, more west coast kind of thing. I knew that it was going to be a very challenging record to cut and it took a lot of woodsheding and a lot of thought to make,” he said. “When you make an instrumental record, you don’t want it to sound like a vocal song without the vocals. For years, I’ve loved the art of an instrumental record; I’ve marveled at it and enjoyed it. There’s a particular strategy involved that is about the groove and the melody and the mood and having a very concentrated little capsule of sound that takes you to a certain place and tells you a certain story. That’s what I tried to accomplish with all of that (Taboo).”

Accomplish that he most certainly did, with some very capable help rendered from an ‘A-Team’ of special guests.

“On the majority of the record, there were some fantastic west coast players – like Fred Kaplan, who helped me interface with the other guys, and his all-instrumental record, Hold My Mule was a bit of an inspiration for me to do my record. And there was Junior Watson, who is simply a guitar genius, along with Richard Innes and Kedar Roy. Here were the building blocks for whatever you wanted to do. These guys are so versatile and so musical and so lyrical in their playing that it made it a very fun project. The other thing is, these guys are total pros. They would take these raw ideas that I had and run with them and make them into beautiful songs, sometimes in ways I never would have imagined.”

There was a bit of last-minute, Texas-sized swagger that arrived late in the tracking for Taboo, as well.

“After we had done two sessions and pretty-much had a record, I had the extreme privilege of catching Jimmie Vaughan in town and he was agreeable to doing a couple of hours in the studio with me, and from that we came up with two wonderful instrumentals (“Mr. Tate’s Advice” and “Shuff Stuff”) and had a blast doing it,” Corritore said. “And we had Papa John Defrancesco in the midst of all that, along with Doug James, who played sax. It was really just a fun little throw-down. That album was really fun, because I got to interact with some of the best players in the world. And we all fed off each other.”

Having a steady parade of such incredible players in and out of the studio might be a tad un-nerving – or at the very least make for a bit of a pause – for some players, but for Corritore, that’s simply business as usual. He’s made a career out of sharing the bandstand and the studio with musicians that run the whole spectrum of roots-related music and he’s practically written the book on playing with anyone, at any time, regardless of the situation or the location.

“I do pride myself on being able to jump into situations and make it sound real and right and in the moment, making it sound like we’ve been playing together for years, when maybe we’ve not,” he said. “My philosophy has always been to try and fit into what makes the song work … what makes a particular role in a band work. I really enjoy being able to feed off different sounds and I try and do my best to give the appropriate accompaniment that will add something to all of that. If I can do that, I’ve done my job.”

One of Corritore’s main running partners the past decade or so has been the one-and-only Dave Riley. Together, Corritore and Riley have issued three amazing CDs, discs that take things back to the purest form of the blues, with just one voice, one guitar and one harmonica … and one heck of a lot of fun.

“When Dave and I get together, it is the pure, down-home blues, like nobody’s business. Dave and I have created something that’s uniquely ours and we can take it anywhere and play it for anybody and it works,” Corritore said. “There’s a certain simplicity to good, down-home blues – not that it’s simple to play – but there’s just a simple pleasure there that’s undeniable and Dave has the voice and the guitar style to pull that off. That makes me want to play and that happened the very first time we played together and it’s been happening ever since. It’s a natural thing.”

Despite the fact that one might be hard-pressed to find two more different people – and personalities – Corritore and Riley blend together smoother and tastier than peanut butter and jelly.

“Dave and I are completely different people; Dave is a country boy and I’m a city boy and in our 10 years of working together – which we just recently celebrated – we’ve been toe-to-toe a few times on how you should run a business of music,” said Corritore. “But within all of that, we love each other so much and we love when we get together and play … it’s a very powerful statement for both of us. We find our way through our differences and make it into something that really, really works. We’ve had some great moments in the time of our lives together. We’ve done a heck of a lot together and not only that, but Dave is one of the most hysterical people, ever. I feel very blessed to have Dave Riley as my neighbor, my partner and my friend.”

Venues that provide live blues music on a regular basis – truth be told, all clubs that feature live music, not strictly limited to just the blues – seem to be open one day and then permanently closed down the next. And while Corritore has no doubt faced his own challenges since christening The Rhythm Room way back in 1991, he’s proven that he’s a shrewd businessman and has been able to adapt to a number of different economic climates over the years.

“Well, after Sept. 11, 2001, I think all the rules changed. It just became a different market for the blues. Prior to that, I was able to book blues and roots-related music every night of the week. After that, I had to be a lot more careful during the week and incorporate all types of music, which I think is not a bad thing to do, because I love all types of music,” he said. “In doing that, we’ve been able to cross-pollinate some of the audiences that might come to see an indie rock show and when they see The Rhythm Room has a fun vibe, they might come back to see some blues on the weekend. I’ve found there’s a really nice crossover that can happen when you do that. Of course, weekends – Friday and Saturdays – are devoted to the blues. We have blues through the week, too, but we’re not specific to the blues, other than on Friday and Saturday nights. The Rhythm Room will take you to a number of different places. Music is from the soul and it all has its unique appeal and I’m all about that.”

Maybe it was part of the initial plan, or maybe it was another thing that he cultivated along the way, but when Corritore opened The Rhythm Room, that also helped open the door to a number of recording sessions with some of the richest names in the blues as guests of honor.

“In tandem with performing at the club, we coupled recording sessions with that, and as some of the older veterans that I admired were coming through town, I invited them into the recording studio as an additional gig and more often than not, people accepted the invitation,” Corritore said. “So I’m sitting on a treasure chest of these great recordings that I hope in my life, I’m able to get out. There’s just a huge backlog of sessions from the last 20 years … unreleased songs by Bo Diddley and Jimmy Rogers, Little Milton … just fantastic recordings that I hope to be able to get out someday. There’s just so many great sides that I hope to get out, and as time and money permits, I try and squeak out a release or two a year. I hope to continue to do that as long as I can, while I’m still working on new projects, so I can keep my foot both in the future and in the past.”

Corritore’s radio program on station KJZZ – Those Lowdown Blues – has been a fixture on Phoenix-area dials for an impressive 31 years now (the show can be heard Sundays from 6-11 p.m., Standard Mountain Time at www.kjzz.org). While it’s by no means easy to program five hours of blues music to spin over the airwaves every week, having his own radio show seems to be as pleasurable as it is labor-intensive for Corritore.

“I have a very traditionally-based radio show and go at it from a really historical perspective. About 90-percent of what I play on the show is from the 1950s. I play new releases, but they’re from artists that are very traditional. I play the pre-war stuff and I’ll hang out in the ‘60s a bunch and play some of the crossover music – R&B, soul, gospel and of course, Zydeco music and some early rock-n-roll. To me, that all fits in the blues family,” he said. “It’s just a great way, over a five-hour period, to take people on a guided tour of the blues. And I also get to have five hours in my busy schedule to sit back and enjoy the music that I love the most. I feel it’s a true privilege to be able to share the music with others that’s been so important in my life.”

In a lot of ways, music in the present day resembles a giant boiling pot of gumbo, with genres and styles being mixed and matched and stirred together on a regular basis. Yesterday’s ‘alternative rock’ has become today’s ‘classic rock’ and the soul and R&B music of years past has morphed into a new strain of hip-hop. Blues music, too, has undergone its share of reinvention along the way, but Corritore says the mother of all music is still as vibrant as ever.

“The blues continues to grow and change and I think that’s only normal and healthy. Obviously, people like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter – the forefathers and the basis for this music – are moving further and further into the past with each year. But as you would know by attending the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, the blues is alive and well,” he said. “Now it’s got a whole youthful movement to it. I’m really enjoying playing with 26-year-old Big Jon Atkinson and I recently met Kyle Rowland from the Bay Area, who is a really fine harmonica player that is only 19 years old. And there’s a guy named Nick Clark from Colorado, who is probably only in his 20s that is a great harmonica player. Then there’s this skateboard kid – Carson Diersing – who shows a tremendous amount of promise on the harp; he’s got a really good sound. I’m also completely impressed by Kingfish and Mookie out of Clarksdale. Those young men really have the thing. And I just worked with Sadie Johnson for a Blue Star Connection event. She’s an incredible talent. Jacob Huffman – the harmonica player from the 44s – just turned 20 and plays like a seasoned veteran. It’s really nice to see the new blood come out and play the music. These are guys that never got to see Muddy Waters or Howlin’ Wolf, but they sure have looked at every one of their YouTube clips and have studied the music and have learned the language and are now finding their own conversation. It’s very exciting.”

“You know, back in the ‘50s, this (blues) was the music of hits. I don’t think we can say that now, but within all of that, there is a very alive-and-well underground that’s keeping everything going. I don’t see that dying out … ever. I think it’s just too strong to ever die.”

A lot of time has gone by since the days that Corritore fell under the spell of Muddy Waters back in his hometown and picked up a harmonica for the first time. In a cool twist of fate – something that sounds like it was plucked from the pages of a fairy tale – later on in his life, Corritore ended up having the chance to share the bandstand with a number of musicians that were in Muddy’s band the first time he saw them live and in person.

“I had no idea that I would be able to work with some of the artists that I saw right there; like Pinetop Perkins, Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith and Bob Margolin,” he said. “I just had no idea that would be the case and my life would become so far involved in being an extension of that tradition. I’m real proud of that. And I’ve worked with Muddy’s son – Mud Morganfield – and produced records for Mojo Buford, and John Primer is a dear friend and we’ve worked and toured Europe together … I’m in it deep.”

Despite all that has happened in his life since his early days in Chicago, Corritore still remembers the immediate impact those first encounters with Muddy had on him like they occurred only yesterday.

“As soon as I heard Muddy – which was many years before I ever saw him, I must have been 12 or 13 – at that point, I knew it was music that I loved. It was rock-n-roll in its purest form and that was everything that I wanted musically,” he said. “From that moment forward, my life was moving in that direction. Of course, I was raised in a family that made sure I was college-educated and told me I should have a career in business, but at a point, it became very apparent to me that I had no choice but to have a life in music. I have been able to incorporate business and music together, but there’s no way I could live without the music. It’s the main thrust of what I do. I would feel very unfulfilled and incomplete if I did not have music in my life.”

Visit Bob’s website at bobcorritore.com.

Photos by Bob Kieser © 2015 Blues Blast Magazine

Blues Blast Magazine Senior Writer Terry Mullins is a journalist, author 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 Live Blues Review – Nevis Blues Fest – Part II 

Nevis Blues Festival – April 16 – 18, 2015

My next day in Nevis for the Blues festival was Friday April 17th and the fun continued. After another great breakfast at
Nisbet Plantation, I checked out of their wonderful hotel and was still amazed after 2 days that every staff member knew my name! Although I had never been introduced to all the staff, they knew all the guests names. That is personal service! As I was leaving, their general manager Alistair Forrest stopped me to thank me for staying with them and gave me his card. WOW!

Our hosts from the Nevis Tourist Authority (NTA) took us to a different hotel for the last 3 days called Golden Rock Plantation Inn.
http://goldenrocknevis.com/ It is located on the eastern side of Nevis on 100 acres on the mountain hillside of Nevis Peak in the middle of the rain forest. This hotel has 11 guest rooms in bungalows with stone paths and lush tropical vegetation, Birds and monkeys abound including a troop of monkeys just outside of my room.

We then left for lunch at a place called Wilma’s Diner on Main Street next door to the police station in Charlestown for lunch where I tried a local favorite called goat water, Goat water is a delicious soup made with goat, spices and vegetables. Tasty stuff! We hung out in Charlestown for awhile before heading back to our new lodging for an afternoon rest before a great dinner at the Golden Rock dining area.

After dinner we headed over to Oualie Beach Resort www.oualiebeach.com for night two of the festival. On the second night of the festival the crowds were bigger due to the weekend and the fact that another international star was scheduled to perform tonight. A star born on the island of Nevis, Denise Gordon.

The evenings entertainment started off with a local artist that we unfortunately missed called Garry Knight. As we arrived the second act, Asher Otto & Itchy Feet, began performing. http://asherotto.com/ Asher was born on the Caribbean Island of Antigua and is well known by many Nevisians. She had a great band that played mostly pop and some old time rock and roll which the crown seemed to enjoy.

Then Ian Siegal and his band hit the stage for a few numbers before calling out Denise Gordon to join them. http://www.denisegordon.co.uk/ Denise is a powerful singer. She showed she was fluent in Blues, Jazz and Gospel. And the crowd loved this hometown lady too.

A bit later Zak Harmon came on stage for a few songs too.

The final act for the night was a local act called ODISI, They played some rap and some funk, all with lots of Caribbean influence to close out the night and we headed back to our lodging amongst the trees for the evening.

Saturday was the last day of the Nevis Blues Fest but before the evenings music the NTA took us to Pinney’s Beach for lunch at Sunshine’s Beach Bar. Then it was off to the Four Seasons Hotel to go for a ride on a Catamaran for a snorkeling trip. The crew served us anything we wanted to drink and we sailed off to St. Kitts for a couple of hours of ocean fun.

After a trip back to the Golden Rock to freshen up, we headed out to Oualie Beach Resort for a great dinner before the final night of music at the fest.

We arrived in time to hear a couple songs from a group called Shakal & Friends.

Then Ian and his band came out for a few songs before Justin Merrick hit the stage like a tornado. He was doing Little Richard and Elvis better than the originals and the crowd loved it. Next it got even better as a young group of singers, the NEPAC Choir came out and joined in. WOW what a great sound. Denise Gordon joined in too doing some great gospel with a full backing choir.

After the choir left the stage something happened. Not sure what or why but I swear that Ian, Denise and Zac suddenly got the spirit and started doing old Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Etta James songs and man they were ON FIRE! It was a mini 30 minute set of some of the best Blues I have ever heard. Everyone on Nevis who came to their first ever Blues Fest got a taste of some killer REAL blues. The Evening ended with Kore Band with special guest Meeko.

So ended the first Nevis Blues Fest. But not before the promoter of the event, Richard Pavitt of Nugene Records announced to a cheering crowd that there would be a 2016 Nevis Blues Festival.

In summary, I have to thank Richard Pavitt of Nugene Records, Devon Liburd and the Nevis Tourist Authority, John Hartanowicz and The Portfolio Group and all the wonderful people of Nevis for one of the best festival trips I have ever experienced.

So should you go next year? Well if you like great tropical weather, an island in the Caribbean with some great sights, lodging and food without a ton of people around you, then you’d best get your reservations now as there are only about 400 rooms TOTAL on Nevis! That is exactly the whole thing about this unique event. It will never be a BIG festival, and that is what makes it so special.

So mark your calendars for April 14 -16, 2016 and get there! Tell them Bob sent ya!

Comments and photos by Bob Kieser © 2015 Blues Blast Magazine


 Featured Blues Video – Nevis Blues Fest Highlights 

You have read about it but take a look at this video of some of the highlights from the first Nevis Blues Festival. You Know you want to go!

Click on the picture above or click HERE to see how cool it was.



 Featured Blues Review – 2 of 5 

Bobby Messano – Love and Money

Self-Released

www.bobbymessano.com

10 tracks

Love and Money takes Bobby Messano’s music to the before unknown extremes of darkness. This is the legendary Bobby Messano who has toured with Steve Winwood, recorded with Lou Gramm, Franke and the Knockouts, Benny Mardones, Joe Lynn Turner, was a part of Starz and produced and played with the Shadows of Knight. Despite these huge successes and 19 Grammy nominations, life is not always upbeat for this guitar hero.

In the opening song Bobby laments, “April Showers don’t bring no flowers when the rain is mixed with snow.” In “April Showers” we hear of his trials and tribulations where he tells us he cannot make everyone happy all the time. For a big, blues rocker, this is minimalistic sound with acoustic guitar in the forefront with the rest of the band subdued in support. But then Messano then switches things up with some stinging electric guitar after a nice piano solo by Freddie Gasparini and we wind our way for a big finish.

The title track follows. The love Bobby talks about here is not the lasting sort but one that is used for gains and material things. A sad commentary perhaps is being played out while he and the band really nail this song. It’s got a mean, boogie sort of groove and it is driven by Messano on his guitar and Gasparini on the organ. The groove is laid down by the backline of Suavek Zaniesienko on bass and Dave Hollingsworth on drums, perhaps the tightest and coolest backline he’s toured and played with. “Seasons” also builds from a simpler acoustic guitar to a big, momentous sound. Messano is masterful in his approach to tunes like these.

Bobby and the band completely funk things up for us in “What I Got.” The theme remains dark, lamenting over no money, no car, no house, no girl, etc., etc., but stating that it’s his love that keeps him going we find hope in the song. Some fine organ and guitar work here make for a really sweet sound, and Dave and Suavek also give us a deep groove to swing to. Bobby tells us of the demands place on him in “Everything is Alright.” It also speaks to us of the hope of success that helps us cope when we suffer with adversity. The song verges on country music with its’ opening fiddle work, but Messano remains grounded in blues and rock in this tasteful ballad.

Messano takes us back to Steve Winwood and Blind Faith with “Had To Cry Today.” Guitar and organ blend well for Messano and Gasparini (as they did for Clapton and Winwood) and they and the band give it their all. Bobby’s vocal range remains stratospheric as he winds his way sweetly through this classic blues rock cut. Even with this Winwood song the tact Messano takes with the songs remains one with darker lyrical intent.

As a stark contrast to the rest of the tunes, Bobby also gives us the instrumental “Boddentown,” a Latin-infused samba with some spectacular guitar work. Messano has layered on the guitars here to great effect; the sound of Messano’s guitar is more of the style of Carlos Montoya or Al Di Meola than rockers like Carlos Santana or Eric Clapton. “Rollin’ On” is a mid tempo blues rocker. One hears the influences of Bobby’s early rock career blended with the bluesy approach of his latter career from these past two decades.

“My Failed Career” contrasts the “success” of limos and Gucci bags with the starker realities of Messano’s life and what makes his blues real and authentic. A deep, bluesy cut with a little funk from Bobby’s guitar and Freddy’s organ make this a very enjoyable slow tempo tune. “Hard World 2015” is a big, rolling blues rocker that completes the album and leaves us with a little hope despite the frustrations of life in 2015.

After 40 years in the industry Messano has enjoyed success at the top and mucked around in the dregs of it all. Yet he remains hopeful and positive. This CD is a catharsis of sorts. Bobby is purging himself of the demons that have perplexed him throughout the years while masterfully putting together what has to be his showcase album. His fans and new listeners will really enjoy this piece of well-crafted work. I loved this album and strongly recommend you listen to it and feel the emotions bared in this great music.

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 Live Blues Review – BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival 

3rd Annual BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival – May 16, 2015 St. Joseph, MI

Who’d a thunk it, that practically in my own back yard was this great little festival. While still in its infancy, celebrating just three years of operation this year, it’s run with great efficiency and a dedicated staff. That, my friends, is 90% of the battle when it comes to hosting a festival. The park in which the festival is located, the Whirlpool Centennial Park, is just steps from Lake Michigan with a great rolling lawn area for the audience, a stage tall enough for all to see and an excellent sound system with an equally talented mixing crew. With food and drink venders around the perimeter, it leaves all the primo seating for the music fans. And speaking of music, this festival brings together kissing cousins, Blues and Bluegrass. What a fun mix! And this festival brings together some of the best.

The honor of kicking off the festival went to Springfield, MO natives The Hillbenders. This quintet has been together with the same members since 2008. While their music and live shows are highly polished, they bring a relaxed and playful presentation that immediately establishes a bond between band and audience. No one performer is a standout; they are all equally a part of the music, which weaves tight instrumentation with vocal harmonies. The band features Jim Rea on guitar, Nolan Lawrence on mandolin, Mark Cassidy on banjo, Gary rea on Bass and Chad “Graveyboat” Graves on Dobro. I mean, any band that can pull off a bluegrass version of The Who’s Pinball Wizard is aces in my book. As a matter of fact, their new release coming in June is titled Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry. Should be very cool!

The first of the blues acts was guitar legend Coco Montoya. As many times as I’ve seen Coco, his music is always fresh and entertaining. He has a large enough catalog of music that he can pull songs (and does) from any era and mixes up his presentations. Backed by long time band members Brant Leeper on keyboards/vocals, Nathan Brown on bass and Rena Beavers on drums, Coco had the crowd up and dancing with the first song. Even though he was dealing with effects board gremlins, he didn’t let that stop him from performing an array of dazzling guitar work topped with his smooth as silk vocals.

Following Coco came local favorites Slim Gypsy Baggage. They didn’t really fit into either Blues or Bluegrass, as they were more Indie/Alt/Roots/Rock. No matter what you called it, they played it and played it well. The people that were up dancing with Coco stayed up and more joined as the band jammed on. Led by guitarist/vocalist Morgan Ingle, she displayed some fiery vocals as she traded licks with lead guitarist Cam Mammina, while the rumbling rhythm section of Matt (Red) Smith and Scott Christie on bass and drums respectively held the bottom together. They had just returned from a recording session in Nashville with promises of a new CD very soon.

The Infamous Stringdusters came together eight years ago in Nashville and garnered immediate praise that hasn’t stopped. With five studio releases and a Grammy nomination under their belts, they are not resting on the past but striving to invent the future. Their set ranged from the instrumental Magic No.9 to the stellar five part harmonies on the gospel tinged title track to their new CD, I’ll Get Away. The band held the crowd captive with one great song after another. Sharing equal duties were guitarist Andy Falco, Jeremy Garrett on fiddle, Andy Hall on Dobro, Chris Pandolfi on banjo and Travis Book on upright bass. Make no mistake; these guys are world class musicians.

Headlining the festivities was Chicago Blues legend Buddy Guy. At 78 years of age, Guy looks and acts much younger. In the past, he has had the band do a couple of numbers before taking the stage. Now he hits the stage along with the first notes and wastes no time laying down some blistering licks. Quick with a grin and in total command, he had the crowd whipped into a frenzy from the first note. Culling songs from old and new material, Guy shifted effortlessly from one to another. He even invited Slim Gypsy Baggage guitarist Cam Mammina to the stage to jam. Backed by long time band members Ric Hall on rhythm guitar, Tim Austin on drums, Orlando Wright on bass and Marty Sammon on keyboards, Buddy held court and treated the people, many of whom had been there all day waiting for this moment, to what only Buddy can do; play the blues in his own instantly recognizable way.

So as the sun set slowly over Lake Michigan, we bid farewell to our first BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival and hopefully not our last. Thanks to Jill Stone and Ron & Laurie for their generous hospitality and all the bands that played their hearts out.

Comments and photos by Tim & Becky Richards © 2015 Blues Blast Magazine



 Featured Blues Review – 3 of 5 

Eric Sardinas and Big Motor – Boomerang

Jazzhaus Records

http://www.ericsardinas.co.uk/

CD: 10 Songs; 34:25 Minutes

Styles: Contemporary Electric Rock, Blues Rock

“Wild man.” Those two succinct words are perfect to describe the Florida born, Los Angeles resident Eric Sardinas and his band Big Motor, especially during incendiary (literally) live performances. Also, perfectly describing are “guitar pyrotechnics,” “party hard,” and “stadium-suitable.” Unfortunately, “pure blues” is not an accurate description of the songs on his new high-octane album Boomerang. Indeed, there are two traditional covers such as Lieber and Stoller’s “Trouble” and Howlin’ Wolf’s “How Many More Years.” But, no matter which way one defines blues, Eric Sardinas will make listeners’ ears ring and their boomboxes explode.

“…Life is similar to this game with a boomerang,” Sardinas reveals on his promotional information sheet. “You sit there with a broken heart, and yet at the same time know it must go on – that you must move forward.” Musically, he plows forward with ferocious intensity, never daring to turn his head and glance behind him.

Alongside Sardinas are the members of his band Big Motor: Levell Price on bass and background vocals; Bryan Keeling on drums and background vocals; Dave Schulz on keyboards; Celine Cavin on Mojo Juice harp, and kazoos on track ten by the Hilo Bay Honorary Brigade. Matt Gruber also stars on background vocals.

The following three original songs constitute blues rock at its hottest:

Track 01: “Run Devil Run” – Featuring a feisty electrified custom dobro resonator introduction, the opener is a smoking ballad about how wrongdoing catches up with all of us sooner or later. If one listens closely, one can hear a gritty monologue at the beginning: “I’ve been walking this road a long time. I’ve got a story. There’s somebody following me.” This supernatural adversary is in hot pursuit of our narrator, and no matter how hard Satan runs, the protagonist must remain several steps ahead of him. The refrain of the title will compel fans to sing along with the band.

Track 04: “Morning Glory” – With minimal instrumentation and maximum blues inspiration, track four can be interpreted in various ways. “Morning Glory” can be the nickname of our hero’s absent lover, or more likely his absent God. “I’ve been down, Lord, down so long with a heavy mind. Gotta leave it all in the past, Lord, so I can leave it behind.” Clap along as Sardinas pleads, “Have mercy on me.”

Track 10: “Heavy Loaded” – Featuring a bouncy beat and killer kazoos by the Hilo Bay Honorary Brigade, the final song is a wacky whirlwind of melody contrasted with threatening lyrics: “I’ll give you all I’ve got to give, but every day, mama, I need to live. Don’t you get me heavy loaded…If you get me heavy loaded, I’ll unload on you.” The mid-song solos would make even a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun dance over the rainbow instead of guarding his big pot of gold.

Eric Sardinas and Big Motor have thrown a Boomerang to blues rock fans that packs a wallop!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 35 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 – 4 of 5 

Lenny Solomon – The Blues Violin

MAPL/Self-Produced

www.lennysolomon.com

CD: 9 Songs; 37:07 Minutes

Styles: Jazz-Influenced Blues, Instrumental Blues

When it comes to instruments associated with the blues, which ones immediately spring to mind? Most likely “guitar,” followed by “harmonica,” “organ”, “piano” and various types of horns. “Violin,” if it’s not completely off of most people’s lists, is probably near the bottom. However, such a stringed sensation has played a foundational part in the genre, popularized by such bands as the Mississippi Sheiks in the 1930s. It is this zeitgeist, the spirit of that age, which Canada’s Lenny Solomon clearly captures in The Blues Violin, an album of all instrumentals. Purists beware: According to his website, critic Mark Rheaume of CBC Music Resources states, “The album is called THE BLUES VIOLIN, but it could just as easily been titled THE JAZZ VIOLIN, or yes, THE ROCK VIOLIN, reflecting Solomon’s roots in the pop band, Myles and Lenny, in the 1970s.”

Even with that said, Solomon’s debut CD is full of catchy, avant-garde instrumentals that run the gamut from pure blues to jazz and blues rock. According to Lenny’s promotional materials, “…a number of influences and blues styles are present, including New Orleans Second Line (“Second Line Blues”), Chicago (“Jojo”), [and] Mississippi Delta (“Slow Slide into Blues”). Performing along with Solomon on violin are Marc Ganetakos on guitar, bassist Shelly Berger, keyboard player Mark Lalama, drummer/percussionist Steve Heathcote, Vern Dorge on tenor sax, David Dunlop on trumpet, and Doug Gibson on trombone. All nine originals were composed by Solomon, Berger, and Ganetakos except for “Winter Tears”, in which Danny Marks takes Ganetakos’ place. The three mentioned below will appeal the most to die-hard blues fans:

Track 02: “Winter Tears” – Just as we in the Northern Hemisphere are recovering from another punishing bout of snow and ice, this perfect-for-slow-dancing tune reminds us of our pain. The melody crackles like flames in a fireplace – as does Solomon’s violin, its notes leaping warm and high. The horn section makes sure that this musical heat is dispersed evenly throughout the song.

Track 03: “Slow Slide into Blues” – Guitar aficionados rejoice: this is the track for which you’ve been searching, and it’s only the third one. Mark Ganetakos plays a brilliant traditional intro, and Solomon proudly displays the Mississippi Delta influence along with him. This will be a surefire hit at live shows. Even people who think violin only belongs at Mozart concerts will go, “Now THAT’S the blues!” Listen closely for Shelly Berger’s wicked bass riff in the middle.

Track 09: “Jojo” – This is an up-tempo take on Chicago blues, requiring nimble fingers and feet to snap and stomp along. Mark Lalama gets his chance to shine the brightest on piano keyboards here, as does drummer Steve Heathcote. Everyone’s going all out here, and that’s very fitting for the album’s finale.

Overall, this album might take more than one listen for some listeners to love it, but once they do, they’ll certainly come back for more helpings of The Blues Violin!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 35 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 – 5 of 5 

Jeff Chaz – Chronicles

JCP Records 2014

www.jeffchazblues.com

10 tracks; 47 minutes

Jeff Chaz is based in New Orleans where he has recorded three studio albums that are now out of print, so this compilation allows Jeff to have something to sell at gigs until his next project comes to fruition. All the material here was written by Jeff who sings and plays guitar with Greg Villafranco or John Autin on keys, Douglas Potter or Doug Therrien on bass and Allyn Robinson, Michael Sollars or Barry Flippen on drums. Horns by AJ Pittman are added on four tracks.

“Tired Of Being Lonely” is an upbeat opener with the catchy rhythm well supported by horn riffs. Jeff sings in a clear, deep voice and demonstrates an ability to move into falsetto at times. “Instrument Of Pleasure” is a slower tune with some interesting lyrics but a great deal of vocal shifts into the higher register, a feature which rapidly outstays its welcome in this reviewer’s opinion. Jeff’s guitar here works well on the verses but falls into the ‘overwrought’ category in the solo. An appropriately funky approach is used on “I Smell Something Funky” – that being the blues, according to Jeff, who proceeds to delivers some wild, almost discordant guitar in his solo. “Morning Coffee” is an instrumental along similarly funky lines with some fine organ playing along the way. The slower “Dreams Don’t Lie” finds Jeff in more restrained mood, both vocally and on guitar before a female vocal from the strangely named ‘Tomato’ adds variety on the rapid-fire shuffle “Don’t Go Monkeying Around” which benefits from the horns returning to beef up the sound.

Jeff’s sense of humour comes through well on “Seafood Dept. Blues”: Jeff is working all hours in a seafood store and the smell that comes from that work causes some misunderstanding with his girlfriend. “The Scent Of A Woman” has a nice line in “the scent of a woman is the non-sense of a man”, a good vocal from Jeff in his deeper voice and a well-controlled slide solo. “Hello Blues” has a solid rhythm in Jeff’s tribute to his muse: “Hello, blues, it’s good to see you again. You’re always there when I need you, just like a dear old friend” but also features some rather discordant guitar that detracts from the tune. The album closes with some more wry humour in “I’ve Got To Be Clean” which rocks along with the horns in support to provide a strong finale to the selection.

Whilst it is always good to find musicians writing and playing their own material Jeff’s distinctive approach to vocals and guitar did not appeal to this reviewer.

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.


 Blues Society News 


 Send your Blues Society’s BIG news or Press Release about your not-for-profit event with the subject line “Blues Society News” to:

Maximum of 175 words in a Text or MS Word document format.


Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society – Santa Clarita, CA

The 8th Annual Santa Clarita Valley Blues Festival will be held on Sunday, May 31st at the Heritage Junction Train Station next to Hart Park, 24101 Newhall Ave., Newhall, CA 91321.

Music from Noon to 7:00pm with 7 of our great Bands: Fortune Blues Band, Alan Wright Band, BullFish, Kelly’s Lot, Chuck Strong & SRBQ, Toni Dodd & Southbound Blues and Francesca Capasso & the Scorch Sisters.

There’s Vendors, Art, Raffles, Silent Auctions, Beer Garden, Tshirts, CDs & more. Come early and get a good spot. Free Parking in Hart Park next to the Train Station. Gates open at 11am, All ages are welcome. Bring a folding chair or towel to sit on.

$15 Advance tickets at: scvblues.ticketleap.com, $20-Adult tickets at the Gate, $15-All Blues Society Members with a membership card, Kids 12 & Under are Free.

Lucky Star Radio will be capturing the Festival which will be broadcast on 40 Radio Stations. If you want to be a vendor, contact us at info@scvblues.org

Mississippi Valley Blues Society – Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Valley Blues Society is offering a “Blues Cruise for Two” raffle for a 7-day cruise on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise sailing in January 2016 and featuring Taj Mahal & the Phantom Band, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Elvin Bishop, Mickey Thomas, Latimore, North Mississippi Allstars, Tab Benoit , Tommy Castro, Samantha Fish, Ruthie Foster, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Colin James, Phantom Blues Band, Danielle Nicole Band, Sugar Blue Band, Kelley Hunt, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, and more!. Raffle ticket sales will officially begin on May 23, 2015. Only 150 tickets will be sold for $100 each chance. State of Iowa gambling regulations do not allow on-line purchase of raffle tickets. However, the MVBS “Blues Cruise for Two” raffle ticket mail order forms can be found at MVBS.org. This raffle is a fundraiser for MVBS and proceeds will go towards producing the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival held September 5 -6, 2015.

The 31st annual Blues Festival is September 5 and 6, but we need your. This raffle is a great way to keep the blues alive and support our organization.” For all rules and facts about this raffle and to get your ticket visit www.mvbs.org

Also, Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents three shows in June at the Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf IA. Saturday June 6, 8:00 p.m.—Bruce Katz. Tuesday June 16, 7:00 p.m.—Doug Deming, Dennis Gruenling & the Jewel Tones and Sunday June 21, 6:00 p.m.—Daddy Mack Band www.mvbs.org

Crossroads Blues Society – Byron, IL

Crossroads Blues Society and the Byron Park District have scheduled FREE Sunday Blues in the Park shows in Blackhawk Meadows Park in Byron from 3 to 6 PM. June 14th – Doug MacLeod and Dan Phelps, July 26th – Jimmy Nick and Don’t Tell Mama, August 23rd – Bobby Messano.

Crossroads also hosts blues shows on the second Saturday of each month at the Hope and Anchor, an English Pub in Loves Park, IL from 8 PM to midnight. July 11th – Altered Five, August 8th the New Savages. $5 cover after 7 PM.

The Friday Fish Fries at the Lyran Club on 4th Ave in Rockford also continue. June 5th – Ron Holm, Bob Levis and Justin Gates, the Kryptonite Blues Jams leaders, July 3rd – Collins-Grayless Band, August 7th – the New Savages. Free shows, plus a fish fry and steak dinner are available!

First Sunday’s in June through August Crossroads has Free blues at All Saints Lutheran Church from 4 to 6 PM. Dan Phelps (June 7), Macyn Tylor (July 5) ad Justin Boots Gates (August 2); a free will donation for the local food bank, will be accepted.

The 6th Crossroads Blues Festival at Lyran Park is Saturday, August 29th. Featuring Albert Castiglia, Dave Specter with Sharon Lewis, the Mike Wheeler Band, Stormcellar with Jo Fitzgerald, and Jimmy Nick and Don’t Tell Mama $5 advanced tickets. http://crossroadsbluesfestival.blogspot.com for more info and tickets.

Central Mississippi Blues Society – Jackson, MS

The Central Mississippi Blues Society hosts Blue Monday every Monday night at Hal & Mal’s in downtown Jackson. Blue Monday features a Front Porch segment starting at 7:15 PM, followed by a set by the Blue Monday Band featuring King Edward Antoine on guitar. Blue Monday is an open jam, with visiting performers drawn locally and internationally.

For more information visit www.centralmississippibluessociety.com or Email: centralmsbluessociety@gmail.com or visit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/134758873254380/

Friends of the Blues – Kankakee IL area

The Friends of the Blues announce their 2015 Concert Series. All shows start at 7 pm. June 9 – Frank Bang & Secret Stash – Moose Lodge – Bradley IL, June 23 – Victor Wainwright – Moose Lodge – Bradley IL, July 7 – Brent Johnson & Call Up with Sugarcane Collins – The Longbranch – L’Erable IL, July 21 – Nick Moss Band with Chicago Blues Angels – The Longbranch – L’Erable IL, July 30 – Studebaker John & Hawks – Kankakee Valley Boat Club – Kankakee IL, August 5 – Damon Fowler Band – Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club – Bourbonnais IL, August 18 – Too Slim and Taildraggers with Polly O’Keary and Rhythm Method The Longbranch – L’Erable IL, August 27 – Albert Castiglia with Maybe Later – The Longbranch – L’Erable IL http://www.facebook.com/friendsoftheblues

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. June 1 – Kilborn Alley, June 8 – Ghost Town Blues Band, June 15 – Dennis Gruenling & Doug Deming, June 22 – The Daddy Mack Blues Band, June 29 – Brandon Santini, July 6 – Laurie Morvan.

Additional ICBC shows: June 4 James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6-9 pm, June 18 James Armstrong Presents @ The Alamo, 6-9 pm

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 5/28/2015 – These free tracks are available for 30 days. More info below.

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

Sean Chambers

“It Hurts To See You Go” from the album The Rock House Sessions

Former Hubert Sumlin guitarist Sean Chambers, whose latest CD, The Rock House Sessions, was recently nominated for “Best Rock Blues Album” at the 2014 Blues Blast Music Awards, has announced an extensive tour scheduled for this summer including dates in the U.S. and Canada. The Rock House Sessions was recorded at the studio of acclaimed keyboardist – Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton Band) – named The Rock House, hence The Rock House Sessions. Besides Sean on lead vocals and lead guitar, the main band includes Reese Wynans on keyboards, Tommy MacDonald on bass and Tom Hambridge on drums. Special guests include Rob McNelley on guitar, TJ Klay on harmonica, Chaz Trippy on percussion, Etta Britt on backing vocals, Bob Britt on guitar, Steve Herman on trumpet, and Jim Hoke on sax.

More information at www.seanchambers.com

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud

Mississippi Fever

“Black Dress” from the album 300 Miles to Memphis

The album was recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN, home to such great artists as Freddie King, BB King, Albert King, Stevie and Jimmie Vaughann, Stevie Wonder, and countless others. Our engineer, Adam Hill has recorded artists as diverse as George Thorogood to Jack White and the White Stripes.

For more info visit www.mississippifever.com

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud

Neil Barnes

“Don’t Let The Devil Ride” from the album Hyde And Seek.

My approach for this project was to focus on the Gospel side of the Blues, with a distinct edge. I also wanted to round out the session with a couple of my favorite New Orleans songs from Lee Dorsey. I enlisted Earl Thomas (vocals), Lady Bianca (Vocals, Piano) (Lady Bianca recorded with Sly Stone, Frank Zappa, Van Morrison), Ron Thompson (Guitar and slide, veteran of John Lee Hooker’s Band and too many Blues icons to list), Rev. Paul Smith (Hammond B-3) (Paul played on Ike & Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits”, and with Bill Withers and Natalie Cole), Oshmin Oden on bass (Lady Bianca’s son and Bay Area premier Gospel, Blues, Funk bassist), Winfred Williams (drums) (Bay Area veteran drummer) and myself on harp.
The session was recorded at the legendary Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, home of classic recordings by James Brown, Grateful Dead, Herbie Hancock and Green Day.

For more info visit www.neilbarnesmusic.com

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud

Johnny Tanner

“Out Arizona Way” from the album Juke Joint Rambler

A lot of music has come and gone but Johnny’s love of the blues has never wavered. His journey has taken him across the states and many countries where he has been fortunate to hear and meet many of the blues greats. This album finds Johnny blowing hard on his debut CD. Backing musicians include Rusty Zinn, Billy Flynn, Richard Innes, Jr. Watson, Fred Kaplan, Randy Bermudes, Larry Taylor, Jeff Turmes and Tom Faberge.

For more info visit www.johnny-tanner.com

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud

Rusty Wright Band

“Ride in Your Automobile” from the album Wonder Man

A social commentary framed in a musical question about the state of the world we live in. Done with a fun and upbeat groove but with words meant to make you think. “Is this really the best we can do? and if so then, Ain’t That The Blues?”

For more info visit www.rustywrightblues.com

Click HERE to download these Free tracks on our Soundcloud



P.O. Box 721 Pekin, Illinois 61555     © 2015 Blues Blast Magazine (309) 267-4425

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