Issue 18-28 July 11, 2024


Cover photo © 2024 Marilyn Stringer

 In This Issue 

Mark Thompson has our feature interview with Bob Corritore. We have four Blues reviews for you this week including new music from Markey Blue Ric Latina Project, Chris Cain, Jubu Smith and Frankie Boy & The Blues Express. Scroll down and check it out!

 From The Editor’s Desk 


Hey Blue Fans,

The nominees of the 17th Annual Blues Blast Music Awards were announced yesterday. It is a great list of amazing Blues musicians.

If you missed it you can check them out at the end of this issue below.

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music!

Bob Kieser

 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 4 

imageMarkey Blue Ric Latina Project – Blue Eyed Soul

SoulOSound Records SOSR105

12 songs – 46 minutes

Need a break from all of the stress of the real world? The honey-voiced Markey Blue and guitarist Ric Latina have a treat for you. Based in Nashville where they’re partners in life as well as on stage, the husband/wife team have assembled dozens of their closest friends to deliver this deeply romantic, 12-tune chill pill.

Markey – a former stand-up comic and Las Vegas showgirl – and Ric – a Rhode Island-born picker who’s worked with several superstars across the blues and country spectrum – have been producing music that’s filled the airwaves and soundtracks of hit TV shows on several networks and full-length feature movies, too, since forming a partnership several years ago. And they outdo themselves here, delivering an intimately romantic, laid-back set of blues-soaked R&B that’ll have you cuddling with your sweetie all night long.

It’s a star-studded affair that includes appearances from legendary Stax and Blues Brothers guitarist Steve Cropper, sax player Dana Robbins and backing vocals from multiple BMA winner Shaun Murphy and Lauren Anderson, too.

Ric handles all six-string duties here with Randy Coleman, Sean O’Brian Smith, Truman Virden, John Marcus, Anthony Joiner and Jake Willemain on drums and Dion Clay, David Northrop, Alphonso Wesby, Marcus Finnie, Tim Smith and David “Smitty” Smith on bass. Mark T. Jordan, James Sonnentag, Shannon Wickline and Chris Tuttle hold down keys along with Markey, who sits in on two cuts. Rounding out the lineup are horns from Chris West, Jim Williamson, Miqui Gutierrez and Scott Ducaj with Vickie Carrico, Anna White and Tracey Palfalvi lending their voices, too.

Latina’s silky-smooth solo to open “Crazy Without You” sets the mood perfectly before Markey’s rich soprano echoes the emotion of being separated from the one man she adores. But even without him, she still feels him watching over her whenever she’s blue. It’s driven home by Ric’s stellar, single-note fretwork, which shines like a jewel on everything that follows.

A slow shuffle drives the sweet “Raining Down on Me (Ooh Lat Da Da).” The singer’s at the end of a love affair, but she remains upbeat, believing she’s better off this way because there’s no use looking back at the way things used to be


“So Much” opens with a light and beautiful vocal refrain before Markey expresses her deep love for the guy who picks her up when she’s down or reaching out at night by phone when she’s alone. The tempo picks up and Cropper sits in on “Baby I’m Cryin’,” which finds the singer in the depths of despair after her lover leaves without saying a word as he goes searching for a better place. One listen will leave you yearning to take the lady in your arms and give her a comforting hug.

Fortunately, the mood brightens as “Yes I Do” finds the singer “wanting to make you my baby…seeing you, me together…always and forever” after seeing him for the first time. The pace quickens and the subject darkens again in “Set My Heart Free” as Markey begs for release from a controlling guy as she complains she isn’t a puppet dancing on his strings before the deep-blue “When I Close My Eyes,” which finds memories of her man and visions of him fill her mind every time she does, keeping her from saying goodbye. The theme continues in “Can’t Let You Go” before the singer comes to terms with the separation – and the lonely, lonely game they’ve been playing with one another – in “Me Missing You.”

The upbeat “Come On” changes everything as Markey’s now soaring high, taking it to the top and feeling like the sun’s shine bright as she states it’s her lucky day. It flows into the celebration of a relationship, “With You,” before the languorous “What Am I Gonna Do” brings things to a sweet close despite the singer speculating about how she’ll handle things if and when she and her man separate for the final time.

Bittersweet, sure, but a pleaser on all counts.

Blues Blast Magazine Senior writer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. Now based out of Mason, Ohio, 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 Review – 2 of 4 

imageChris Cain – Good Intentions Gone Bad

Alligator Records

13 Tracks – 51 Minutes

Chris Cain was born in San Diego, California on November 19, 1955, to an African American father and a Greek mother who shared a huge record collection and love of music. Chris saw B.B. King the first time at age 3 and thanks to his parents saw almost every major act that passed through town afterwards including everyone from The Beatles to James Brown and Jimi Hendrix and blues greats Albert King and Johnny Winters among countless others.

His father bought him his first guitar at age 8. He relentlessly listened to the family record collection to play the songs he heard. He studied jazz at San Jose City College where he mastered keyboards and sax in addition to his guitar. He then taught jazz improvisation at that college. He got his first professional gig with a local San Jose singer and harmonica player, Gary Smith, in 1976. He formed his own touring band in 1986. His first album, Late Night City Blues, released in 1987 received four W.C. Handy Award (now Blues Music Awards) nominations. In 2020, his 15th album and the first on Alligator Records, Raisin’ Cain, received four Blues Music Award nominations including for Album of The Year and Best Guitarist.

For this album, his 16th, he went to Kid Andersen’s Greaseland Studio to record. Kid produced and played multi-instruments on several tracks, including bass on most songs. Chris, of course plays the guitar and provides lead vocals on every track, but also adds piano and the Wurlitzer on several tracks. Greg Rahn plays organ and piano for most of the tracks, with drummers June Core and Sky Garcia taking turns behind the drum set. On seven tracks, the horn section of Mike Rinta on trombone, Mike Peloquin on tenor sax, and Mike Galisatus on trumpet comes out swinging. Jon Otis also provides percussion on a few cuts.

Thirteen original songs, all written by Chris, rocks out on the first track as he  sings “I just got a call from my own used-to-be, twenty years ago she used to work full time lying and cheating on me. Said she’s been thinking about me and thought I might like to know that her divorce was final on Monday and could she come by and say hello”. Of course this is “Too Little Too Late”, but certainly a great opening song that will get you moving. Next, he declares, “Fear Is My New Roommate” as he lets his guitar roar and states in a serious tone that he is “not sure what is going to happen to the world”.  He then declares that everything he does for his baby with “Good Intentions” “always turn out bad”.

“Waiting For the Sun to Rise”, the first song without the horns is a slow crying ballad as he says “I used to think of my life as a trip down a one-way street. I was a fool, made mistakes along the way. They come back to haunt me when I think of yesterday and I pray for the morning to come”. Kid Andersen provides mellotron strings behind Eric’s guitar and piano work. Chris comes roaring back on “I Was Wrong” as he declares “You hardly talk to me.” “I can feel this is all over, we let this thing go on too long.” On “Time to Cry” he says, “I don’t have time for sit-down dinners, don’t have time for working out, don’t have time for a lot of hobbies, or free time to travel all about. No time to live my life, no time for goodbyes”, but man he sure does have the blues.

” Well, I quit staying out all night.” “Cut out eating fat foods, doing what my doctor suggests.  Took a course on meditation, helps me to relax. Trying to watch my weight so I don’t have a heart attack.” among many other things he gave up. But he is “Still Drinking Straight Tequila”, “never said I was cutting out fun”. And fun is what the song is all about with a look at the changes one makes with age.  On “Bad Dream”, Chris again slows things down and adds piano with Greg’s organ mixing in as he notes he cannot please his woman and ” I think I might lose her”.  On “Had About All I Can Take”, he notes “the last year has been exhausting” “I’m sick and tired of how you treat me”.

On “Blues for My Dad”, Kid plays nylon string guitar, the upright bass, organ and percussion. The song has a slow jazzy, Latin feel as Chris tells the story of his early life and his loving thoughts back to those early days. On “TGIF”, “I feel like throwing myself a party” as he is ready to cast off the work week with Lisa Andersen joining in on backing vocals and with Chris on piano and Wurlitzer. “Never let You Break My Heart” is another slow-burn song as he says, ” I am going to walk out the door with my pride”. Tommy Castro guests on vocals with Chris on “Thankful”. They proclaim, “That I thank God every day for bringing you into my life”.

Chris may have sat at the feet of the masters in learning to play his guitar, and you can certainly hear tinges of the Kings in his notes, but he clearly is one of today’s masters. He has a powerful rich voice tinted in soul that is also is in keeping with those stalwarts of yesteryear. His lyrics are laced from the serious to humorous to the very emotional “Blues for My Dad”. An A+ effort from this very talented musician.

Reviewer John Sacksteder is a retired civil engineer in Louisville, Kentucky who has a lifelong love of music, particularly the blues. He is currently the Editor of the Kentuckiana Blues Society’s monthly newsletter.

 Featured Interview – Bob Corritore 

imageMusicians are everywhere. Many play for fun with family and friends. Others play in bands that develop a local or regional following. The next level is the touring artists who are still out there trying to make a living playing music full time. And then you have Bob Corritore, a man who embodies the blues in each of his endeavors related to the music.

As covered in his previous three Blues Blast interviews, Corritore has been nominated for numerous awards for his harmonica playing. He continues to host a long-running weekly blues radio program. He is responsible for the release of numerous albums on the VizzTone label featuring many of the best blues artists. In his spare time, he can be found running the Rhythm Room, a venue in Phoenix, AZ that features blues and roots music. One has to wonder how he can keep all of the balls in the air at the same time.

When he relocated from Chicago to the Phoenix area, Corritore quickly set out to create a blues radio program. What he lacked in experience was more than compensated for by the depth of his knowledge.

“This year marks the 40th anniversary of Those Lowdown Blues on station KJZZ, at 91.5 FM, for which I received a Keeping The Blues Alive award from the Blues Foundation in 2007. The program runs every Sunday night at 6 pm MST for five hours in real time. It’s kind of an exciting little goalpost we’re real proud of. Hard to believe, but I still love doing the radio show. For me, it’s a way that I get to study the historical aspects of the blues. My show, unlike most blues radio shows, is really

historically based as most of what I play is from the 1950s and 60s. If I do play new releases, they’re very much in the mold of that era.

“I also hit all of the different subsidiaries of the blues like gospel, Zydeco, boogie woogie, and and some of the early soul and R& B music, all part of the blues family It’s obviously a huge commitment, because I have a five hour program that I need to have available weekly to the station. It’s always best to do it live, and in today’s world, not a lot of radio personalities do that. If I’m in town, I’m going to do live radio.

“But last year I was on tour quite a bit, so I did prerecord numerous shows. It seemed like I was always in the production room recording a show, as it usually takes at least a two or three nights to put five hours together. You just make that commitment to do it. It feels like I’m reaching a lot of people. I have a lot of people in my community here in Phoenix that are huge fans of the show, as well as a following from all around the country and the world. That’s been very gratifying to me.”

For each show, Corritore selects several themes as his building blocks, making sure they balance each other out.

“For example. There is a new biography out about Blues Hall of Fame singer Johnnie Taylor entitled I Believe In You. My show might feature his music, and then Clifton Chenier, the King of Zydeco, might have a birthday. Those two are wonderfully contrasting styles that will make for interesting segments. But I don’t stay too long in any one segment. I’ll always throw in a base of Chicago blues each week. I have what I call a set of the Kings, which is B.B., Freddie and Albert. That’s something that people look forward to as kind of a marker in the show.

“Sometimes I’ll do a thing on the entire gamut of Chess Records, which not only was blues but got into soul and some soulful, bluesy jazz as well. I’m not going to play the rock side of what they did, but a little Ramsey Lewis in the mix is not a terrible thing.

image“You could really do a five or 10 song set each hour and never get boring. Sometimes I might just do a set of the J.O.B. Record label, which was all down home, early fifties Chicago blues. And then I might take a look at the Specialty Record label or from New York, the Fire and Fury record labels that Bobby Robinson had. Right before Thanksgiving, I’ll do regular features on food blues, so you might get “Greasy Greens”, or you might get some good barbecue, but you’re going to get a whole plate full of blues on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Bottom line, I get to spend five hours with the music I love the most.”

His famous club is celebrating its 33rd anniversary on September 18. Looking back, the harp player is thankful he has been able to keep the Rhythm Room operating even through the challenges of the last few years.

“We’ve gone through all sorts of phases in conjunction with the different changes that have happened in our society. When we opened up, all of the older blues artists were still riding in vans, crisscrossing the country. That’s not happening as much anymore. We were doing nothing but blues and roots. We’ve had to expand our musical genres a little bit just to keep it going, plus the blues demographic is getting older, people aren’t going out as much as they used to.

“The club seems to be going strong. We’ve got great shows coming up, acts that we’ve worked with for years. I don’t think they’d think about playing any other place in our area. We look at the artists who have come back over and over again as part of our family. I think they view us in the same way. And when it comes to throwing some blues parties, we really can throw some blues parties!

“Over time, the house band shifts a bit. Everybody goes in their own directions, and in that moment, logistics change. But right now, we call our house band the Jimi “Primetime” Smith – Bob Corritore Blues Band, with guys I’ve been working with for years, Brian Fahey on the drums, Johnny Rapp on the guitar, and on bass, Dave Riley Jr., also known as Yani. Jimi Smith sings and plays guitar.

“Jimi “Primetime” Smith has been in town for, for eight years. He’s really become my right hand man. He’s the “go to” guy if you want a great guitar player, a great front man, singer, and a good friend. Then there’s people like guitarist John Primer, singer Oscar Wilson of the Cash Box Kings, and ageless bass player Bob Stroger who come on a regular basis. One of my early employers, singer Willie Buck, makes the trip regularly to the club. There’s a real Chicago connection that happens, and that’s a beautiful thing.”

The steady flow of artists through the area allowed Corritore to pursue another avenue for documenting the music, one that he continues to mine.

“The pandemic really drove it home, that I needed to get some of my unreleased masters out in my lifetime or it might not be done. When I opened the Rhythm Room in 1991, I had already produced some records. I had a great house band with drummer Chico Chism and Johnny Rapp. We could back up just about anybody in a traditional blues sense and really make a cool record out of that.

“So I started to go to work, offering people both the gig at the Rhythm Room, and if they were within a style I felt would be compatible for harmonica, I would offer them a second gig, doing a couple of numbers in the recording studio. It just became a lifestyle. And so now we’re talking three decades of recording things, just stockpiling them over many, many years. I’m sitting on all this amazing stuff, and of course, a lot of stuff just ended up in the vaults, with the idea that I’ll get back to that. Years later, I decided to pay attention to some really great music that needs to be heard.

image“The pandemic really drove that home. It’s like, if I don’t do this now, when am I going to do it? I discussed this with my label, VizzTone Records, and Amy Brat, Richard Rosenblatt, and Bob Margolin were very supportive of this. Richard came up with the idea of calling it the “From The Vaults” series. I was off and running, preparing some of these old masters in such a way that they would be releasable. It’s been a wonderful little journey to go back in time and explore these old recordings. Some of the people are gone, but I feel like I’m back in the room with them when I’m listening to the sessions.”

The “From The Vaults” series is up to nine albums, and there will be two more coming out next year as well as some new releases.

“I also usually put out one release of newly recorded material per year. I differentiate between them because the newer ones have that cool cartoon art by Vince Ray, just a fantastic artist that has a very stylized thing that’s become the trademark look of my albums. But the Vault series are done by a different artist, Jim Giannatti, who has a different sense of composition, colors and has a great visual landscape that he always provides. So I’ve got two distinct styles. Within all of that, last year I put out five albums. I think the year before four or five records. By design, I only wanted to put out the album with John Primer, Crawlin’ Kingsnake, this year, because we felt it was such a strong record that deserves to get a bunch of attention.

“Next year, it looks like I’ve got three albums coming out. I’ll have Bob Corritore & Friends album that’ll have all sorts of great guests, including Bobby Rush, Thornetta Davis, Oscar Wilson, Jimi ‘Primetime” Smith, Bob Stroger and the singer formerly known as Nora Jean Bruso, then Nora Jean Wallace, but she now wants to go by Nora Jean. It’s got Tia Carroll singing on a track, Carla Dense who sang with Mississippi Heat, and Francine Reed on an amazing track that also includes Duke Robillard on the guitar. It’s a really powerful album that is 12 songs of just joyous blues.

“I’m also putting out a Willie Buck record. It’ll have some new unreleased stuff as well as some of the older things that we’ve done together. And that’s important symbolically for me because Willie Buck is the guy that hired me in my first real deal all star band. I show up to work to find Louis and Dave Myers are playing with Johnny “Big Moose” Walker and Byther Smith on second guitar, Odie Payne on the drums. If this is who I’ve been hired to play with, this is the ultimate situation. These were Southside gigs. Nobody was making any kind of money doing them. But, artistically, this was a really powerful thing. I was playing with some of my heroes and trying to fill those big shoes the best I could.

Another planned release will be called Early Sessions, a combination of some of the sides that were in Corritore’s very first record of 25 years ago, All Star Blues Sessions, plus some unreleased Little Milton, Sam Lay, and a remix of a Robert Jr.  Lockwood track, in addition to a duet Corritore did with Lowell Fulson.

Born in Chicago, the harp player grew up in the North Shore suburb of Wilmette, IL.

“Blues was all around me, you just had to know where to look for it. I rode my bicycle to go pick up my first Muddy Waters record in downtown Wilmette at Paul’s Recorded Music. I heard all this great Little Walter on harp, which just blew me away. And so that, of course, was my main influence. Then there is Sonny Boy Williamson, Junior Wells. James Cotton, George “Harmonica” Smith, these were all people that I heard and loved. You can’t get around Paul Butterfield, who had cool records out. I never really went in the Butterfield direction stylistically, but I really tried for the Little Walter sound and the others the best I could.

“You could go down to Maxwell Street and hear all that real down home street blues. I got to play with some cool people like guitarist John Henry Davis sitting in on Maxwell Street. Apparently I did well enough where they let me play a bunch of numbers before they said, okay, that was good. I just loved the sound. I was just drawn to it. And then I went off to Tulsa, Oklahoma to go to college, which was kind of an interesting move.

“It was kind of a cool thing because I was sort of a big deal in that town because I was playing Chicago style harmonica, so I got to work quite a bit. I’d go back to Chicago on the breaks, ingest all the Chicago blues lessons I could, then bring it to the Tulsa bandstands.. Then when I graduated, I went back, took on a job at a music distributor called Sound Unlimited and learned about the industry that way. I started a small record label called Blues Over Blues, so I got to sink my teeth into what it was like to produce a record. I produced some good ones while I was in Chicago, by harp players Little Willie Anderson and another by Big Leon Brooks.

“When I was first was old enough to get into the clubs, I was able to get valuable stage time sitting in with some of the greats. Lonnie Brooks really, really helped me out, as did Mighty Joe Young and Koko Taylor, trying to learn some stage credibility and how to work with bands. People like Sunnyland Slim and Eddie Taylor would call you up. It was really amazing. I never really understood how I was given that amount of credibility at the early stages of my playing, but that’s how it was in Chicago. I learned hanging around all the best harmonica players, listening to what they were doing, working very hard to be able to play harmonica in that language.

“If you can learn it, then you can have your own conversation in that language. What was really important to me is to have that particular sound. And once I achieved it, it seemed like I got a lot of respect from the elders, because they recognized that I was deep into it. Tail Dragger really took me under his wing. I often played with him over at the Delta Fish Market. What a great man. I miss him quite a bit. And I have to mention Big Walter Horton, because I would go every Sunday night to see him play over at Blues on Halsted, and that was like going to Blues Harmonica Church.”

All of that time learning the music eventually led Corritore to form a dynamic partnership with guitarist John Primer, another veteran Chicago artist well versed in the Chicago traditions. They now have four critically acclaimed releases together.

“Well, interestingly enough, I used to go see John over at Teresa’s Lounge when he just joined the house band. John and Sammy Lawhorn, another great guitar player, would sit next to each other. Junior Wells or James Cotton, many other people would come through there most nights when they were not on tour. And you’d get all this amazing blues. I knew John, John knew me, but not really well. Over the years, we’d be playing different festivals together or gigs. I actually didn’t play a show with him until 2012.

“His agent called me up and said, Hey, John would like to come out to Phoenix and have your band back him up. I’m like, yeah, let’s do that. Why don’t we plan on a recording session? As soon as we started playing together, there was this natural Chicago chemistry. You can’t really explain it. But when you’re from Chicago and you play in that style, it becomes a kind of unspoken bond that you have. We went in the recording studio, and from the first couple bars, we just knew that we had a thing. So, this new record, Crawlin” Kingsnake, is our fourth project together, and people have just opened their hearts to it. It kind of recreates the 1960s Muddy Waters sound. We all feel it is a special occasion.

image“When I was growing up, my parents told me I was supposed to go to business school in college and that was my predetermined path. But when Louisiana Red followed me out to Phoenix and we were living together. I realized that I shared the passion that Red had for the music. I could fool myself and try to do day gigs that didn’t involve music. I just would never be inspired, but I’d wake up every day inspired by music.

“It’s just a joy when you’re working with guitarists like Billy Flynn, Jimi “Primetime” Smith, Bob Margolin, or Primer. That’s a powerful thing. But we don’t have a Jimmy Rogers, John Brim, Henry Gray or a Tail Dragger anymore. That’s part of how I grew up, was playing with Tail Dragger. It’s sad to say goodbye to some of the people that really have paved the way. I think we both know at this point in our lives that kind of stuff is going to be happening on a regular basis. That’s a sad thing.”

The intrepid artist admits that there are times when he feels overwhelmed by too much of a good thing. Still, he wouldn’t want it any other way.

“Sometimes I run on inspiration, because I can wear myself out pretty good. I wake up in the morning, excited about the next cool thing I’m going to do. On top of that, I’ve gotten so much recognition for this that it humbles me, almost freaks me out, but I’m proud of it. Traditional blues, particularly Chicago blues, played well is in short supply. There’s some really wonderful young people coming up that I think will really carry it on, but there’s not too many of the older generation that are still active.

“I really appreciate that the world allows me this place to be able to put out records. I’m thankful to have a great record label like VizzTone and prior to that, great labels like Hightone, Delta Groove, and Blue Witch who helped me move into a place of validity in the blues scene. I’m really thankful to all the people all around the world that like my little niche. Every day I feel blessed, hoping that I am worthy of this attention I’ve been getting. I’ve got a particular sound, a style that I’ve nurtured over many, many years, no more or no less than who I am, but I’m proud of where I’ve come to. I do my best to be a servant of the blues. That’s my job in life, by my own definition.”

Other Bob Corritore Blues Blast interviews:

with Marty Gunther 11/29/2019 –

with Terry Mullins 5/22/2019 –

with Chefjimi Patricola 4/7/2011  –

Blues Blast Magazine Senior writer Mark Thompson lives in Florida, where he is enjoying the sun and retirement. He is the past President of the Board of Directors for the Suncoast Blues Society and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Blues Foundation. Music has been a huge part of his life for the past fifty years – just ask his wife!


 Featured Blues Review – 3 of 4 

imageJubu Smith – Jubu

Little Village Foundation– 2024

10 tracks; 61 minutes

With Jubu (2024), multi-instrumentalist and guitarist Jubu Smith, assembles an impressive lineup in the goal of creating a “authoritative groove guitar album”. Smith, who entered the limelight as a guitarist for Tony! Toni! Toné! in the early 1990’s and has gone on to show considerable chops as a studio musician, with hundreds of credits to his name, places guitar front and center on this LP.

Smith’s background in blues and R&B bleeds through on every track. Throughout the album, the band, including Grammy nominated producer and guitarist Charlie Hunter, and Grammy winning drummer Calvin Napper, show themselves to be completely in synch.

On “Jubu’s Poem”, the second track, guitar notes slide slow and deep in a soulful intro. It sounds like the guitar is gently weeping; like a sad, beautiful poem. Smith on guitar and Hunter on hybrid guitar engage in an intimate musical conversation, providing complimentary riffs and melodies. Guitar chops are on display in an impressive solo, with guitar notes fluttering like butterflies suspended in the air. Smith has recorded with George Benson in the studio, and Benson’s influence shines through on the track.

Upbeat shuffle guitar kick off “Carroll Drive”, an upbeat dance number with dominant drums from Napper. As the catchy guitar progressions swing by, stomping your feet is a natural response. In the carefree guitar bop, a tenderness bleeds through. With lyrics, this could easily be a top blues hit.

Another, super groovy tune, “Organization’s Sake”, closely resembles Booker T and the MG’s. As elsewhere on the album, the group tends to stretch the music out, expanding on a groove, moving the music with a fluid and energy much like jazz cats or jam bands. Napper delivers a torrential downpour of percussion with skill.

The guitars collaborate, working in harmony, to create a rich sonic tapestry on “Kwik-Way Nostalgia”. Guitar solos in the middle highlight significant prowess as the group moves into strange musical territory, filled with delicious grooves. Smith and Hunter slide up and down scales, moving with the music, as if one symbiotic organism dedicated to one thing and one thing only; the groove.

“At Long Last” features gentle, tender guitar with clear technique. Notes ring out longer it seems, like pain lingering in the body or grief clutching onto a heart. A deeply sad, yet calm song, perhaps the song tells the story of watching a loved one pass from terminal illness- showing the pain and the acceptance. “At long last”, they have passed.

Saucy guitar notes dish out a funky vibe on “McLeansville Blues”, a straight blues tune stretched out in service of the groove.

Smith, Hunter, and Napper finish the album strong with “Totally Convicted”, a slow burning, badass tune with fiery notes calling out. Smith and Hunter stretch out moaning blues notes, delivering something damn right gnarly, followed by a crescendo of notes as the song picks up and gains energy. The song culminates with fast guitar progressions and wailing notes.

While some songs are comparatively weak and the poet inside me craves lyrics and stories to this instrumental album, Smith delivered a soulful, funky blues guitar album centered on the power of the groove. Jubu crosses genres, offering much for fans of R&B, Blues, Jam Bands, and Jazz.

Writer Jack Austin, also known by his radio DJ name, Electric Chicken (y Pollo Electrico en Espanol), is a vinyl collector, music journalist, and musician originally from Pittsburgh.

 Featured Blues Review – 4 of 4 

imageFrankie Boy & The Blues Express – Young Man’s Blues

self release

14 songs time – 63:33

This New England based band offers up a laid back and authenticity-based serving of some very satisfying blues. Frankie Boy Blues aka Frank Maneiro supplies guitar and vocals as well as composing all the original songs. He is in possession of a semi-jive good vibe voice with attitude. The Blues Express is Mickey Maguire on bass, Harrison Foti on drums and the seemingly guest guitarist Mike Morgan. They all contribute occasional backup vocals. Their main influence is the late Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson and they include two of his songs. Luther played guitar in the legendary Muddy Water’s band.

A mellowness permeates the proceedings, lending a good time relaxing feeling. They start off with a tribute to their mentor with “Guitar JR” that has a funky groove with chiming guitars and spoken vocals. “Going Fishing” is a chugging slice of blues that is an analogy for matters of the heart. The title song is mellow, showing off his pleasing voice. Mike and Frankie contribute solid guitar solos.

Frankie talk-sings his way through the slow groove of “Anna”. The funky and easy flowing “Lose My Cool” displays Frankie’s vocal swagger. Traditional and on-point blues guitar is shown by both guitarists on another slow one, “Hey There Anayah”. The first of two Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson songs, “Talkin’ About Soul”, is funky and upbeat. It features a brief rap section.

The funk continues with Wilson Pickett’s “Engine Number Nine”. The funk quotient is taken at a slower pace on “Something About You”. Guitar Junior’s “Flippin’ and Floppin’/So Mean To Me” is a bit of a 50s throw-back with Mickey Maguire on vocals and a short drum solo by Harrison Foti. The old chestnut “Black Drawers On” is a group vocal.

Buddy Guy’s “Mary Had A Little Lamb” is given the appropriate funky treatment and guitar workout. Magic Sam’s “You Belong To Me” is given about a minute and a half drum intro before getting to the funkiness. The band closes out the proceedings with the original ballad “What More Can I Do”.

They have put together songs of different varieties with attention to detail, while achieving this with their basic two guitar, bass and drums approach without any outside help. The result is a very engaging presentation. Check it out for a breath of fresh blues air.

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

2024 Blues Blast Music Award Nominees

Contemporary Blues Album

Shaun Murphy – I’m Coming Home

Chris O’Leary – The Hard Line

Anthony Geraci – Tears In My Eyes

Rick Vito – Cadillac Man

Rick Estrin & The Night Cats – The Hits Keep Coming

Selwyn Birchwood – Exorcist

Traditional Blues Album

Monster Mike Welch – Nothing But Time

The Dig 3 – Damn the Rent

Fiona Boyes – Ramblified

Johnny Burgin – Ramblin’ From Coast to Coast

Nick Moss Band – Get Your Back Into It

John Primer & Bob Corritore – Crawlin’ Kingsnake

Soul Blues Album

Blackburn Brothers – SoulFunkin’Blues

Dave Keller – It’s Time to Shine

Kevin Burt & Big Medicine – Thank You Brother Bill

Marcel Smith – From My Soul

Jeff Rogers – Dream Job

Eddie Cotton – The Mirror

Joakim Tinderholt – Deadlines

Rock Blues Album

The Wicked Lo-Down – Out Of Line

Mike Zito – Life is Hard

Coco Montoya – Writing on the Wall

JP Soars – Brick by Brick

Canned Heat – Finyl Vinyl

Bex Marshall – Fortuna

Acoustic Blues Album

EG Kight – Sticks & Strings

Sue Foley – One Guitar Woman

Arbuckle & Long – Gonna Be Justified

Tinsley Ellis – Naked Truth

Doug MacLeod – Raw Blues 2

Mick Kolassa – Wooden Music

Nic Clark – Everybody’s Buddy

Live Blues Album

Deb Ryder – Live & Havin’ Fun

Li’l Ronnie & the Grand Dukes – Got it Live from ‘05

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – Live In London

Blood Brothers – Live in Canada 

Eric Bibb – Live at Scala Theatre

Sue Foley – Live In Austin Vol 1.

Historical Or Vintage Recording

Bob Corritore – Phoenix Blues Rumble

James Harman – Didn’t We Have Some Fun Sometime

Paul Oscher – Live At The Tombs House Of Detention, NYC

Keef Hartley Band – Live at Essen

Magic Slim & John Primer feat. The Teardrops – Slow Blues

Omar & The Howlers – Magic Man Live In Bremen 1989

New Artist Debut Album

BLUES People – The Skin I’m In

Garnetta Cromwell – Time to Shine

DK Harrell – The Right Man

Joel Astley – Seattle to Greaseland

Mathias Lattin – Up Next

Nicholas Alexander – Lil Hoochie

Blues Band Of The Year

The Dig 3

Blackburn Brothers

Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats

The Cash Box Kings

Southern Avenue

Male Blues Artist

John Primer

Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman)

D.K. Harrell

Kevin Burt

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Bobby Rush

Female Blues Artist

Shaun Murphy

Sue Foley

Annika Chambers-DesLauriers

Danielle Nicole

Fiona Boyes

Ruthie Foster

Sean Costello Rising Star Award

Harrell “Young Rell” Davenport

Mathias Lattin

Joel Astley

Candice Ivory

Stephen Hull

Producer Of The Year

Bob Corritore

Kid Andersen

Joe Bonamassa & Josh Smith

Tony Braunagel

Tom Hambridge

Mike Zito

Electric Guitarist Of The Year

Monster Mike Welch

Nick Moss

Joanna Connor

Duke Robillard

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Laura Chavez

Acoustic Guitarist Of The Year

Kevin Burt

Doug MacLeod

Sue Foley

Eric Bibb

Tinsley Ellis

Catfish Keith

Slide Guitarist Of The Year

JP Soars

Joanna Connor

Fiona Boyes

Derek Trucks

Rick Vito

Sonny Landreth

Bass Guitarist Of The Year

Jerry Jemmott

Bob Stroger

Rodrigo Mantovani

Danielle Nicole

Larry Fulcher

Michael “Mudcat” Ward

Keyboard Player Of The Year

Jim Pugh

Anthony Geraci

Ben Levin

Eden Brent

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Mitch Woods

Percussionist Of The Year

June Core

Derrick D’mar Martin

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith

Tom Hambridge

Tony Braunagel

Tony Coleman

Harmonica Player Of The Year

Jason Ricci

Bob Corritore

Dennis Greunling

Charlie Musselwhite

Billy Branch

Kim Wilson

Horn Player Of The Year

Jimmy Carpenter

Vanessa Collier

Sax Gordon Beadle

Trombone Shorty

Eric Demmer

Deanna Bogart

Vocalist Of The Year

Ruthie Foster

Bobby Rush

John Németh

Marcel Smith

Billy Price

D.K. Harrell

Blues Video Of The Year

Lurrie Bell and Frank Catalano – Set Me Free

Buck69 – Peace Maker

Johnny Burgin – Ramblin’ From Coast to Coast

Hughes Taylor- Ballad of Big Bill McGuire

John Clifton – Every Waking Hour

Omar and The Howlers – No Peace in the City

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© 2024 Blues Blast Magazine 116 Espenscheid Court, Creve Coeur, IL 61610 (309) 267-4425

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