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  • SHEMEKIA COPELAND, 33 1/3, Telarc, CD review
    and mighty playing bolstered by Buddy Guy s blazing guitar work In Somebody Else s Jesus Copeland attacks hypocrisy with relish her critique sparing neither clergy nor congregation The lyrics are mostly clever and evocative You wave around that big old bible like a shotgun in the air although the allusions don t always work So point that finger right back at yourself before you throw that stone On the funky Mississippi Mud Copeland and guest vocalist J J Grey warn against the insidious pull of inertia not only in lifestyle but also in mindset Copeland s round smooth tone and Grey s thinner rawer vocals complement each other nicely on this track The entire album is not all preachy though Copeland s cover of the Sam Cooke standard Ain t That Good News is refreshingly buoyant the song s catchy rhythm reinforced by Copeland s joyful singing A remake of the Lucinda Williams hit Can t Let Go reveals a vulnerable side to Copeland s vocals providing a welcome contrast to the torchbearing songs that precede and follow Now and then Copeland overdoes the harsh vibrato and it is when her singing is at its softest that it becomes the most beguiling In Bob Dylan s I ll Be Your Baby Tonight for example her performance of a deceptively simple melody reveals a remarkably good command of her instrument The vocals could easily sound flat and pathetic but instead Copeland gives them dimension keeping her pitch true the tone tender and often husky the vibrato spare and very well placed the background singing barely discernible Copeland takes some chances with her voice here hardening the r s and gliding among the notes and this styling set against yearning slide guitar and misty cymbals lend a pleasing alternative country feel

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/shemekia-copeland-cd/shemekia-33-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • LIZ MANDEVILLE, Clarksdale, Blue Kitty Music, CD review
    affectation but as someone who has become the thing she was chasing Liz is a triple threat musician writing singing and playing guitar and all three skills are in full effect on Clarksdale She demonstrates her ability to create new and interesting blues songs that smoothly fit into the Chicago style Roadside Produce Stand Walking Talking With You as well as penning songs that tackle subjects that have not been found in the blues before but express the modern and very real blues that many folks are experiencing right now A Soldiers Wife My Mama Wears Combat Boots Far from being a throwback to the past or some kind of history lesson Mandeville is living proof that in the proper hands blues music can be topical and current addressing the concerns of today and not just what was going on when the music first came into being The best thing about Clarksdale is that it packs the live in the studio vibe that all the best blues records have It comes off as a series of moments captured rather than a bunch of sculptures created in Pro Tools and that is what makes it so much fun to listen to The players on the record are some of the best the blues has to offer including legendary drummer Willie Big Eyes Smith from Muddy Waters band who sadly passed away before the record was complete It was in fact Willie who encouraged Liz to start her own label The lineup also includes another triple threat artist Nick Moss on guitar along with slide guitarist Donna Herula bassist Darryl Wright and Howlin Wolf sax man Eddie Shaw These folks get behind Liz and her songs in a big way and really help make the party happen This is absolutely a career

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/liz-mandeville-cd/liz-mandeville-clarksdale-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Guitar Mikey And The Real Thing, Out of the Box, Earwig Music Company, CD review
    Gibson blowing harp guest guitarists Super Chikan and Bob Margolin along with Nellie Tiger Travis adding her powerful vocals to the project When the Hammerhead horns and the Stingrays plus the sax of Alphonso Sanders join in we have all the elements in place for an outstanding blues recording The lead in track on Out Of The Box Back To You shows us Guitar Mikey s many talents as he takes on the vocals guitar mandolin and the banjo This tune is upbeat rootsy as well as rocking and at the same time makes you listen to all the instruments involved Mark Yacovone and Peter Nunn toss in solid organ playing while John Allouise thumps out a solid bass line There is a lot going on in this first tune that gets you ready to listen to the next 14 tracks The Bigger Fool is a great slow blues tune featuring guest guitarist Bob Margolin Billy Gibson walks us into this song with his strong blues harp playing Mikey s vocals are strong and edgy with somewhat of a Buddy Guy quality to them David Maxwell lays down some piano work that is a big plus for this tune This is probably my favorite song on the recording Could it have something to do with the solid harmonica solo from Billy Gibson Blues Head is another true blues tune about a blues player out all night playing music and going home to his lady This can be a bad deal Nellie Tiger Travis on vocals banters back and forth with Super Chikan about the blues head story With Super Chikan s guitar A Sander s saxophone added to Mikey s vocals we have a powerful music filled tune Another stand out track is It s Going Down which gives us

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/guitar-mikey-cd/guitar-mikey-out-box-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Tommy McCoy, Late in the Lonely Night, Earwig Music Company
    avoids many of the well trod and predictable themes and rhymes in his lyrics Song two Angel On My Shoulder Devil On My Back is a good example of what I m talking about Not a show boater McCoy allows for some tasty piano and organ work in his songs Karen Denham takes over vocals on cut three I Never Should Have Listened with McCoy adding the response a nice touch Cut four is a pleasant surprise a reprise of the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose s It s Too Late To Turn Back Now McCoy stays pretty true to the original arrangement only adding tasty guitar Space Master is more of a guitar romp than great song but that s OK Language Of Love allows McCoy to get sexy with its staggered funky rhythms and female backup vocals He may not be Barry White but McCoy handles himself well on songs of this ilk Cars Bars And Guitars kind of says it all He spent it all on them Life s Tides is a love ballad that s really outside the prevue of the blues genre and more suited to entertainers like John Davidson I suppose McCoy is flexing the breadth of his songwriting here and I won t attack him because so much of this CD is blues Dance Your Pants Off is a not so subtle double entendre that well maybe was better left to the live McCoy show Some will like it others like me will go URGH Treat Her Like A Lady borrows again from The Cornelius Brothers and here is given more fire thanks to McCoy s hot arrangement and guitar treatment The last cut My Guitar Won t Play Nothin But The Blues is rather undercut by McCoy s soul and pop wanderings

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/tommy-mccoy-cd/tommy-mccoy-lonely-night-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • The Mannish Boys, Double Dynamite, Delta Groove Music, CD review
    Randy Chortkoff tune Please Forgive Me and Otis Spann s The Hard Way Finis Tasby takes over the lead vocals on the Little Walter songs Everybody Needs Somebody and Mean Old World as well as Frank Frost s Never Leave Me At Home Randy Chortkoff adds his lead vocals on the Chortkoff Kashmar tune You Dogged Me Frank Goldwasser handles the lead vocals on Willie Dixon s Bloody Tears Guest artists delivering vocals include James Harman on his self penned song Bad Detective Jackie Payne on the Muddy Waters medley She s Nineteen Years Old Streamline Woman and special guest Chicago s own Mud Morganfield oldest son of Muddy Waters singing the Sonny Boy Williamson tune Elevate Me Mama and ending the disc with the world famous London McDaniel Morganfield tune Mannish Boy What a finish to an all star blues production Round Two titled Rhythm Blues Explosion is equally as star studded this time with the addition of a superb horn section The Mannish Boys stay with the same core band members with an additional 23 sensational guest artists on the R B disc Kid Ramos Junior Watson Nathan James and others contribute their talents along with some of the guests from Disc One Finis Tasby opens on lead vocals with the Bell Jones song Born Under A Bad Sign and continues with vocals on Later On by Jimmy McCracken the Walker Young tune You Don t Love Me and Woke Up Screaming by Willie Headen Sugaray Rayford delivers lead vocals on the McCoy Toombs number That Dood It the Brown Terry tune You Got The Power along with singer Cynthia Manley the Jones Gregory R B song Drowning On Dry Land James Brown s Why Does Every thing Happen To Me and the James Cotton blues tune West

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/mannish-boys-cd/mannish-boys-dynamite-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GARY PRIMICH with OMAR DYKES, Just A Little Bit More, Old Pal Records, CD review
    depression His family has put together this tribute to honor his memory The two discs feature cuts from five different Primich titles And things start jumping right away as Primich gives you a taste of his abilities on the instrumental Satellite Rock Next up is a Primich original Sweet Fine Angel that clearly illuminates his understanding of the Chicago blues style The heat gets turned up on Boogie Woogie Baby complete with a horn section and an incendiary guitar solo from Shorty Lenoir House Rockin Party is a dynamic shuffle with the leader s understated vocal fitting perfectly Primich s phrasing on School of Hard Knocks bears a resemblance to Mose Allison s vocal style but his brief harp solo packs a wallop Seven tracks were pulled from various collaborations Primich did with guitarist Omar Dykes They do a fine cover of Caress Me Baby with Primich showing his mastery of the upper register Jimmy Reed harp style Midnight Ramblin Man sports a familiar boogie riff Dyke s gruff voice and some more splendid harp from Primich Highlights from the second disc include a rousing Dangerous Man with Primich getting a fat tone on his harp They deliver a scorching version of One Room Country Shack that allows the leader to demonstrate his mastery on the chromatic harp For Down in Mississippi it is Dykes on acoustic guitar and Primich blowing some sweet country blues Several instrumentals show another facet of Primich s musical universe He plays inventive lines on the swinging take of the jazz standard Indiana while Duke Elling ton s Caravan has drummer Rob Stupka providing the big beat that Primich s harp dances around But he is really in his element on the title track of one his releases Mr Freeze steadily building his solo as

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/gary-primich-cd/gary-primich-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • QUINTUS McCORMICK, Still Called The Blues, Delmark Records, CD review
    song for the 2010 Blues Blast Music award in the Song of the Year category On his third Delmark release McCormick continues to mine his potent blend of blues soul and R B influences for a heady mix that spotlights his versatility The title track is a gripping slice of life with an emotionally charged vocal and some nimble fingered guitar playing from the leader plus a notable contribution from Roosevelt Purifoy on key boards Johnny Taylor had a hit with Everybody Knows About My Good Thing but McCormick offers a lusty version with an sizzling extended guitar solo Drummer Pete Thomas provides a memorable kick on B B King s Woke Up this Morning while John Chorney dazzles on piano with Lovely Fuller on bass McCormick s voice is filled with aching regret on a stunning cover of the Beatles Oh Darling Dudley Owens tenor sax solo provides a punctuation mark The closing number Bob Seger s Old Time Rock and Roll never quite catches fire What moves this disc ahead of other recent releases are the seven distinctive original tunes penned by McCormick The opener Gotta Go establishes a solid funk vamp while That s My Baby is a breezy love song with Jerry DiMuzio s flute echoing McCormick s wistful vocal Searching for Your Love is done in a contemporary R B vein and once again the leader s rich tone carries the day The horn section of trum peter Kenny Anderson Owens and Dimuzio on baritone sax spice up I m in Love With You Baby as McCormick articulates his passionate feelings for the woman tugging at his heartstrings What Am I Gonna Do sounds like one of Tyrone Davis hit songs It s hard to believe that McCormick can maintain such a high level of

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/quintus-mccormick-cd/quintus-still-blues-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • ALBERT BASHOR, Cottonfield of Dreams, Earwig Music, CD review
    of this CD what drums are to be found are provided by Chicagoan Willie The Touch Hayes but the surprising thing is that they are used very sparingly and most cuts do not even have a drum track With the quality of the songs lyrics and arrangements I found myself not missing them at all The CD opens with Jukin Down on Johnson Street a fast paced rhythmic tune with Bashor s slide guitar intertwined The CD then moves smoothly into Rockin Red Rooster for more upbeat blues On the next cut Bashor displays his skills as a compelling storyteller for a fun tale about a beloved Florida hometown rib joint that becomes the victim of bad PR He uses it to introduce the funky mostly instrumental track Poodle Ribs All three songs will have you tapping your feet and dancing in your seat Things then slow down a bit for Put Me On Like You Do Tater Diggin Woman and my personal favorite So Blue On this track Albert s guitar playing and voice are superbly accented by the addition of Shay Jones excellent duet vocals Shay Jones on vocals Ron Holloway on sax and Bill Payne s Little Feat keyboards really add a polish to the end results as they weave in and out of the CD Well known 80s blues rocker guitarist Pat Travers takes Fetch Me to a place I m sure nobody was expecting in pre production He was not initially part of the plan but just happened into the studio one day and joined in The title track Cotton Field of Dreams is a moody assortment of layered guitars and sax with Bashor s equally poignant vocals layered on top This is definitely a composition worthy of being a title song It s sung

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/albert-bashor-cd/albert-bashor-cotton-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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