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  • GREGG ALLMAN, Low Country Blues CD
    one It s composed of Eric Clapton s regular sideman Doyle Bramhall II on guitar and Burnett s outstanding studio rhythm section of acoustic bassist Dennis Crouch and drummer Jay Bellerose Plus as a surprise he recruited an old Allman friend Mac Rebennack Dr John to play piano The CD opens with Floating Bridge a Sleepy John Estes classic from 1937 The song starts with the bass and sets the tone for the next 12 songs a warm embrace Here Rebennack s piano takes the place of the harp in the call and answer melody while Bramhall demonstrates a fine restraint in his accompaniment to Allman s vocal On Junior Wells Little By Little Allman has the chance to practice his Jimmy Smith licks to contrast the piano s boogie flavor Devil Got My Woman was a Skip James song that inspired many Delta blues performers like Robert Johnson This standard starts very simply with some excellent dobro work then builds as the band fades up and Bramhall begins throwing in a few electric punches I Can t Be Satisfied is the foray into the Chicago style electric blues The Muddy Waters composition has the feeling of a band that just spent all night recording at Chess studios Bramhall s guitar has that hoarse shout that would make Hubert Sumlin proud Turning the corner Bobby Blue Bland s Blind Man begins with a blast of Memphis style horns A little more sophisticated in its presentation the band plays the blues infused with a touch of jazz The most unexpected song on the CD is Please Accept My Love by B B King A fun R B number that was arranged as an early rock n roll ballad Fats Domino could have recorded this back in the day and had a

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/gregg-allman-cd/gregg-allman-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • ROOMFUL OF BLUES, CD review
    and radio success along with a legion of fans around the globe These swinging and swaying 12 songs will put you in the mood from start to finish Sure t hey are all cover songs taken from the band s extensive repertoire but you ll have to be a musicologist to recognize them The obscure songs were originally written and or recorded by well known and highly respected artists such as Little Richard Dave Bartholomew Amos Milburn Clarence Gatemouth Brown Floyd Dixon and others Like the Beatles song catalogue you ll feel an established acquaintance with these songs even though you may not be familiar with them at all This 40 minute disc features new bass player John Turner and new trumpeter Doug Woolverton but the most obvious newcomer is singer Phil Pemberton who joined the band a short time before making this recording His huge voice is a mix between Curtis Salgado Roy Brown Wynonie Harris and Big Joe Turner A warm and relationship building voice emerges from the fun loving singer Pemberton comes across as if he has been the band s main vocal and focal point for several years His emotive vocals will have you personally experiencing the discomfort of the main character s loneliness on Ain t Nothin Happenin The New Orleans sounding Come On Home reveals Pemberton can reverberate as strong and loud as the band s stomping three piece horn section Time Brings About A Change is a ballad which allows the flamboyant Pemberton to stretch his multi octave range and ultra expressive vocals She Walks Right In features swinging R B from yesterday that simply makes you feel good Romping horns rumble and rattle on That s A Pretty Good Love where Chris Vachon s enthusiastic guitar riffs are at the center of

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/roomful-blues-cd/roomful-blues-hook-line-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • VARIOUS ARTISTS, Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection
    Allison releases an emotional and expressive lament Rick Estrin s nimble as a cat vocals and classic harp are the core of The Nightcats bouncy sound The Queen of the Blues Koko Taylor dishes out traditional electric blues with commanding sass while her throaty vocals roar And that s just to name a few of the many and varied artists on the double CD set If you want to know what pure Chicago Blues sounds like then listen to the aggressive music of Son Seals Lonnie Brooks booming voice sassy guitar and enthusiastic rhythms are as fulfilling as a bowl of gumbo Like a spontaneous wild party thrown by your college roommate Hound Dog Taylor creates a welcome racket that you can t resist joining Two of America s roadhouse kingpins Roy Buchanan and Delbert McClinton create the definitive version of a Willie Dixon standard New Orleans piano master Professor Longhair creates a party out of the great Louisiana pastime of cooking Albert Collins and guests are represented via a track from the best selling disc Showdown Alligator s varied roster of remarkable artists isn t bursting with acoustic performers yet Buddy Guy and Junior Wells prove acoustic blues can be rejuvenating Although there was no room in the liner to list all the impressive sidemen on these sessions they include Billy Branch Johnny B Moore Sammy Lawhorn Pinetop Perkins Abb Locke Johnny B Gayden Ken Saydak and countless others Imagine the challenge to select which artists and songs would appear on this CD Iglauer decided to represent the whole history of the label from the early artists to the current roster but also visionary roots artists like JJ Grey and Anders Osborne He also represented the rawest electric music and the subtlest acoustic music Further he included straight up

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/alligator-40th-anniv-cd/alligator-40th-anniv-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • KEVIN SELFE AND THE TORNADOES, CD review
    Kevin relocated to Oregon in 2007 and was quickly embraced by members of the Cascade Blues Association and notable regional festivals During his relatively short tenure in the Rose City blues community Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes have been nominated for 15 Muddy Awards of the Cascade Blues Association and received the Best Traditional Blues Act trophy in 2010 and the Best Contemporary Blues Act Muddy statue the year before This year the band was nominated for a 2011 Portland Music Award for Outstanding Achievement in Blues Less than two years from arriving in Portland Kevin and his band released Playing the Game and this set of 10 originals landed respectably on the Roots Music Report and Sirius XM Satellite Radio s Pick to Click list Playing the Game also represented the Cascade Blues Association in the Best Self Produced CD competition of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Kevin and the band are also in demand at many notable West Coast blues festivals including the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland Bluz at the Bend in Spokane Washington and the Ritzville Blues Festival in the center of the Evergreen State Playing the Game showcases Selfe s hard earned blues apprenticeship built on solid songwriting soulful harp playing and expert fretwork The Way She Moves recalls traditional post war hard driving blues built around the guitar and harp and the engine room of Don Shultz on the drums and Allen Markel on bass provides a solid foundation in the pocket I hear echoes of Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf behind The Way She Moves and I hope that you do too The trio turns up the funk on Blues Don t Take a Day Off which gives Allen a chance to creatively fill in behind Kevin s all over the

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/kevin-selfe-tornadoes-cd/kevin-selfe-tornadoes-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • PEACHES STATEN, CD Review, Live at Legends
    performers like Staten who do it so well The CD opens with her uptempo funky original Long Distance Phone Call and you hear her invite the audience Can I get you to put your hands together like this Her voice is filled with grit as she belts out the song and does a call and answer with her band The Grooveshakers Staten gives us a peek into her life as she introduces another original Don t Rush Me which she wrote in 1986 while living in Sweden Her voice mellows with this R B infused song Throughout the CD Peaches cajoles and laughs with the audience wishing someone a happy birthday and telling the crowd that she wanted to say the words to the B B King song You Know I Love You to her sister making you feel like you re a part of her life or at least a part of it while you are there at the show Live At Legends is distinctive for its blend of standards and Staten originals that show her versatile songwriting as she delves into R B on Don t Rush Me funk for Long Distance Phone Call boogie with Hole In The Wall and zydeco as she dishes up Gotta Find My Man while playing her signature washboard or frottoir fra twah This CD holds another distinction in that Peaches Staten was the last artist to be recorded live in the original Legends Staten lovingly dedicates the third song to the late Chico Banks one of Chicago s top rising stars whose life was cut short by illness Chico originally wrote this song It Must Be Love for the legendary Mavis Staples for whom he used to play guitar He also worked with Peaches and many other blues artists in Chicago

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/peaches-staten-cd/peaches-staten-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • SWISSISSIPPI CHRIS HARPER CD review, Four Aces and A Harp
    from Chris Harper Willie Big Eyes Smith Born In Arkansas and Chicago musician songwriter Billy Flynn What s Wrong as well as a Duke Ellington instrumental on which Harper plays an upbeat harp Don t Get Around Much Anymore Harper s original Blues Is My Life showcases his vocals on this song which is a blend of jazz and grit with a hint of Swiss accent Throughout the CD Chris Harper tastefully plays his harmonica with accents fills and solos Even though this is Harper s CD there is a professional give and take allowing all of the performers to do what they do play the blues That was the vision Dave Katzman and Chris Harper wanted to present which they have done quite successfully The classic songs recorded here are what bring people from all walks of life and all over the world to Chicago s blues clubs It s the songs and the bluesmen singing them that allow you to let your hair down enjoy the groove and shake off your weary blues The sidemen are becoming legends also Willie s son Kenny Beady Eyes Smith shares drum duty with his dad while Little Frank Krakowski on guitar and Arriyo on piano have lengthy histories themselves Throughout the CD are special guests that hail from Chicago such as the famed Tail Dragger whose gravelly voice gives an earthy feel to Evil Is Going On as Rockin Johnny Burgin and Felix The Cat Reyes back him on guitars Also featured is Buddy Guy s keyboardist Marty Sammon a prolific performer and Mark Wydra whose signature jazzy blues guitar is present in Harper s cut Blues Is My Life For that down home feeling Rick Cookin Sherry plays washboard on Evil is Going On and Peaches Staten rubs the washboard

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/chris-harper-cd/chris-harper-4-aces-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • STUDEBAKER JOHN's Maxwell Street Kings, That's The Way You Do, Delmark
    the Maxwell Street blues and now he s giving some of them back If you know Chicago blues roots you will hear all of those cats echoed in one or more of the tunes by the Maxwell Street Kings It s the Chess Records sound that used to dominate the airwaves in years gone by and Studebaker John proves that sound is still alive and well Muddy Waters could have written the opening track That s The Way You Do With a walking Willie Dixon bass line expertly played on his regular guitar by Kreher in the tradition of Brewer Phillips from Hound Dog Taylor the Houserockers along with some harp playing that feels like a séance must have brought back Little Walter the title track is an homage to the Golden Age of Chicago blues So In Love With You recreates that early John Lee Hooker step dancing rhythm and on Steppin Stone the bass lines and guitar lock up on a solid groove that blends smooth rhythm with just the right amount of overdrive and distortion My favorite cut is Shake It a boogie down number that hearkens back to the joys of Hound Dog Taylor s slide guitar or Luther Allison s wild energy That same electricity cuts through on Fine Cadillac where John s signature slide guitar sounds so good back in the day it would have made Leonard Chess go out and buy him his own new Caddie I ll Always Be The Same conjures up some Jimmy Reed soulfulness and guitar style while Headin Down To Maxwell Street puts Sonny Boy s sticky sweet harp memories out in front of the band Low Down Woman has that saturated reverb and lump de lump groove guaranteed to get you up and dancing whether it s

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/studebaker-john-cd/studebaker-john-maxwell-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • MORRY SOCHAT & THE SPECIAL 20's, Eatin' Dirt, Galaxie Records, CD review
    on sax Not to be missed the band members on this CD are also stellar musicians as well Marty Binder a solid drummer holds each song together along with bassist Ted Beranis Jim St Marie is on guitar as well as Shoji Naito who also plays harmonica Doug Corcoran plays keys and trumpet Eatin Dirt which is largely comprised of original songs written by Morry except for a few tracks has a large sound filled with horns and loud bossy guitars This CD is a fun get up and dance type of blues outing The title track Eatin Dirt written by bassist Ted Beranis starts with Shoji Naito s rousing slide guitar brought in with Marty Binder s thundering drums to showcase the momentum Morry s distinctive voice is perfect for this up tempo groove as the horns and keys are in the background holding the rhythm She s A Betty inspired by 50s pinup model Betty Page features Brother John Kattke and shows his prowess at playing the full keyboard with dynamite rhythm and fills Morry s catchy lyrics are lighthearted and fun Throughout the CD Sochat s harp has an authentic distorted sound He plays it cool and not overbearing allowing room for other instruments and vocal phrasing Someone To Love displays his harp style and fine arrangement skills He ends the shuffle by accenting the phrase More More More Sochat s voice is unusual in that it has no vibrato which gives him an appealing edge that falls into the retro sound Then the CD eases into a 40s Big Band style reminiscent of the Tommy Dorsey Glenn Miller era As Morry sings Meet Me In Chicago you can t help but feel like he s taking you out on the town as he describes the city

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/morry-sochat-cd/morry-sochat-dirt-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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