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  • The Cash Box Kings, Holding Court, Blind Pig Records, blues CD review
    While The Cash Box Kings have yet to become the household names that I think they deserve to be I can t count the number of times I have been in clubs and not just blues clubs that I have heard The Cash Box Kings previous CDs being played by sound men sooner or later patrons begin looking for a dance floor even if they have to make one themselves That is certainly true about the new disc too I find it hard to sit still long enough to even type this review The Cash Box Kings sound may harken back to blues forms from half a century ago but the lyrics let you know that it is 2015 Gotta Move Out to the Suburbs decries some of the ramifications of the gentrification of our nation s cities Chicago in particular And Download Blues hits particularly close to home for musicians as singer Oscar Wilson pleads that MP3s is killing me and that people think music ought to be free and it might as well be because they sure aren t paying me Both songs were penned by the dynamic duo who lead The Cash Box Kings harmonica player singer Joe Nosek and lead singer front man Oscar Wilson Their original songs are so good that you can t distinguish them from covers on this album from the likes of John Lee Hooker Jimmy Rogers Big Smokey Smothers and Willie Love Lead guitarist Joel Paterson is the only other musician to grace every cut of Holding Court and his tasty licks could be a textbook or entire college course on how to play the blues with style and restraint Joel s solos always serve the song and not his ego The same could said for all of the other stellar

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/cash-box-kings-cd/holding_court_cash_box_kings_cd_page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Eric Noden & Joe Filisko, On The Move, Solid Ground, blues CD reviews
    Solid Ground by the Eric Noden Band is the first release by Noden to feature him on electric guitar It s a consistent professional sounding effort containing twelve original songs 11 were written by Noden and one by Filisko Eric and Joe are ably supported by the veteran rhythm section of two sons of the blues Kenny Beedy Eyes Smith on drums and E G McDaniel playing electric bass The title cut kicks off the album a position statement of sorts What I needed was what I found standing next to you on solid ground Noden and Filisko waste no time playing around with time signatures on cut two Second Day of June which also features Eric s slide guitar work with a notable harp solo by Joe Lyrically it s a song about deferred expectations It s the second day of June and I m stuck inside this room trying to remember what I forgot Next they slow it down on Can t Stand to Lose You with Joe stating the theme on harp Rhyme Or Reason is funkier and even danceable with a fluid sounding guitar solo from Eric who also engages in call and response with Joe on this one jamming on his solo Up next Joe commands the spotlight on the instrumental workout he wrote Sikth Sense that is not a typo BTW Solid Ground never strays too far from the blues even when it rocks with an occasional funk influence On this full band effort one can hear echoes of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Slim Harpo It s a lesser heard side of Noden and Filisko but undoubtedly a satisfying experience to color outside the lines a bit musically for them No Kickstarter campaign was required the recording of Solid Ground was funded in part by a grant from the City Of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events ON THE MOVE On The Move is more familiar musical turf for Filisko and Noden with its mix of acoustic vintage early Twentieth Century blues 1920 1940 reflecting the influence of Sonny Terry Brownie McGhee plus legendary Chicago performer Big Bill Broonzy Joe and Eric are joined by upright bassist Beau Sample who heads the trad jazz band Fat Babies for six of the album s all original twelve tracks Lyrically the songs reflect more contemporary concerns with titles like Kick Myself Complicate and Worst Enemy The album s title track provides a peppy introduction to the CD On The Move is all about making tracks so little to rest no matter whether the direction is north south east or west Joe and Eric complement each other instrumentally on the following track Mystery I need you baby it ain t no mystery Filisko sings more lead vocals for On The Move and one of his most distinctive vocal moments occurs on Kick Myself a fast and funny jug band style blues romp complete with kazoo solo that really shows talent and a sense

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/noden-fiilisko-cd/noden-filisko-two-cd-reviews-page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Rockin' Johnny Burgin, Greetings From Greaseland, West Tone Records, blues CD review
    by a crew of the West Coast s finest and most accomplished sidemen Johnny runs through an hour of nutritious blues both originals and fresh takes on classics that makes this his most satisfying recording to date With marquee sidemen like Aki Kumar on harmonica and Kid Andersen on organ and guitar teamed with seasoned vets like Vance Ehlers on bass and June Core on drums Johnny has free reign to mix his sneaky guitar and expressive vocals against a rock solid pocket Surprisingly GFG was recorded at a single live session in early December 2014 Even the vocals were tracked on the spot a testament to Kid Andersen s prodigious talent both as a sideman and a producer in capturing the performances so beautifully Understandably GFG plays out like a great set of live blues as authentic as it will ever get Love Me Like I Want It Cold Chills and She s A Hit are familiar and powerful examples of Johnny s captivating style Never one to shy away from pure instrumental selections Johnny includes a rendition of House of The Rising Sun that showcases his dynamic and vocal guitar delivery Empty Bed Blues with its slow slippery beat allows Johnny to dig in with some juicy Earl Hooker inspired guitar work He s one of only a handful of players that can dish out Hooker s trick bag without sounding like a mimic Aki Kumar may be a new name to some but the past couple years he s emerged as one of the hottest commodities in modern blues harp His playing is sublime on every track with Johnny s original instrumental Havana Rock giving him the space to really stretch out it s a power house groove that s slathered in West Side sauce Delta Fish

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/rockin-johnny-cd/rockin-johnny-greaseland-cd-page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King, Fat Man's Shine Parlor, Blind Pig Records, CD review
    guitar too They were joined in the Dallas Texas studio by bassist Sheila Klinefelter and drummer Eric Smith and they are as good of a backline that you are going to find Also Dallas guitar restoration guru Kim Lafleur joined in on three tracks where even more guitar was needed resulting in a truly cool effect The duo has used their diverse backgrounds to bring out the best music of their adopted hometown and they crank out righteous Texas blues like there is no tomorrow They kick off their set with Got My Heart Broken a guitar heavy boogie with Kubek King and Lafleur in perfect sync Even with this strong frontline of guitars they keep a bare bones mood to the song as Klinefelter and Smith keep a steady but simple beat The icing on this cake is King s crystal clear vocals which are delivered with a perfect mix of power and inflection The band does not let up as they carry their triple guitar attack over to Cornbread which has seemingly innocent lyrics but King s delivery makes it seem like he is not really singing about food After trading riffs and innuendo for three minutes they slow down a bit for Diamond Eyes a medium tempo blues rock ballad that allows for a majestic AOR style guitar break After this on Crash and Burn the band embraces early rock and roll surf rock with some neat backbeat drumming from Smith and growly bass from Klinefelter Brown Bomba Mojo is a catchy rock tune with a precise doubled guitar riff that keeps repeating and this song provides Smith with a chance to really cut loose behind the drum kit The late Steve Hecht founder of Piedmont Talent gets co writing credit on this song and this killer

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/smokin-joe-bnois-king-cd/smokin-joe-bnois-king-fat-man-cd-page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Chris Foreman, Now Is The Time, The Sirens Records, CD review
    all about the groove Jimmy McGriff Charles Earland Dr Lonnie Smith Richard Groove Holmes and Brother Jack McDuff You can add Chris Foreman to that storied roster In Foreman s world it is all about the feeling the mood that he so successfully creates on each of the eight standards all instrumentals he selected for this project You get that right from the start with a joyful rendition of the title track written by Charlie Parker It is just Foreman at the helm of the organ his left hand walking the bass line while his right hand spins out an engrossing mixture of chords and single note runs The combined effect will quickly have your body moving to the irresistible pull of the music he creates Four other tracks feature guitarist Andy Brown a combination that allows both musicians to alternate between solos and maintaining the rhythm Brown s fluid blues based lead on Lonely Avenue sparks a mesmerizing solo excursion from Foreman I Cover The Waterfront gets a playful treatment with Brown comping chords while the organist creates a series of witty twists on the melody McGriff s tune Doggone provides the framework for a tantalizingly swinging rhythm with Brown impressing over two segments of beautifully crafted single note picking The guitarist takes a sublime turn on the Neal Hefti classic Lil Darlin while Foreman impresses as he switches between organ and piano without missing a step The Peeper pairs the organist with a long time friend Diane Lil Sax Ellis on alto sax for a hearty romp that celebrates the beloved organ combo groove Through the use of overdubs Foreman plays piano and organ on two tracks He uses the organ to lay down a stately treatment of the melody to Shake A Hand while his fingers dart

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/chris-foreman-cd/chris_foreman_cd_page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Breezy Rodio, So Close To It, Windchill Records, blues CD review
    Rodio has assembled a richly detailed portrait of the various aspects of the modern Chicago scene with assistance from noted guests including Billy Branch Lurrie Bell and Carl Weathersby The core backing band is comprised of Ariyo Sumito Ariyoshi on piano Light Palone on bass Lorenzo Francocci on drums stellar organist Chris Foreman and Bill Overton on saxophone Branch s upper register harp wails introduce Walking With My Baby a sturdy shuffle that is one of eight original songs written by the leader The title track features equally fine harmonica from Quique Gomez a native of Spain Time To Come Back Home finds guest Doug Scharf on trumpet joining Overton to form a riffing horn section behind Rodio s clean guitar picking The song shifts into a lively instrumental jam at the end with Foreman adding gospel overtones on the organ Rodio really shines on Sneakin Around turning in one of his strongest vocal performances on the simmering tale of the cheating side of love The horns are back on another B B King staple Please Accept My Love this time with the veteran Art Davis on trumpet Foreman s stately organ playing serves as a counterpoint to the leader s spirited singing The opener When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer allows Rodio plenty of room for his variations on the vaunted King style He more than holds his own trading guitar licks with Bell on downhearted I Win Some More while Mary illustrates a sharper biting edge to his playing Another highlight is the original How Much Can a Poor Man Take crackling with brooding intensity behind Rodio s woeful description of a man whose world is disintegrating around him Tracks like I Can t Get Enough Of You and a cover of One Broken Heart For Sale

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/breezy-rodio-cd/breezy_rodio_so_close_cd_page.html (2016-02-15)
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    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/cd-directory/cd-reviews-2014.html (2016-02-15)
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