Review: Carmen Grillo – A Different World

Posted on: Monday, Jul 28, 2014

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Carmen Grillo - A Different World

(Big Surprise Music)

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Carmen grew up in Santa Cruz, California, where before moving on to Los Angeles to further his artistic vision he spent a good number years of his youth gaining vital experience of performing live in front of audiences with local bands such as; Feel Machine and White Eyes.

Although being already proficient on the drums and saxophone, the skills of which he had learnt at an early age, his choice of instrument changed dramatically after his father took him to a Ventures concert in his youth.

He decided to move to Los Angeles in the late 70s and in very little time he became one of the most sought after session musicians in the area. From 1980, through to 1986 he recorded and toured with Rita Coolidge and two years later he joined the band Tower of Power, over the nine years he was with them he became an integral part of this legendary outfit. In 1997 he left the band to pursue a solo career and open his own recording studios; from which later that year came his debut album “Both Sides of The Coin”.

In the intervening years Carmen has spent most of his time in the producers chair and recorded a good number of other artists; he is currently a member of the Sons of Champlin who were a great musical influence in the Bay Area of San Francisco in the 60s and 70s and still have a firm following today.

Now, after years of helping others Carmen has decided to display his skills and musical passions for all to hear with this new album of twelve numbers which consists of four instrumentals that take no prisoners but, it is his version of Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson’s “ A Real Mother for Ya”, which will have garnered most interest, for, on this he spares no one, a searing combination of colossal surging horns trampling their way out of the speakers merely introduce his richly funked and ferociously leering and rapacious guitar work that simply takes your breath away.

“I Got The Sauce”, is a slightly less rasping instrumental that happily enters the world of  strutting jazz funk, with flowing and engaging guitar work that evokes pleasant memories of Jeff Beck and George Benson. “Tryin’ To Make It Happen”, is very reminiscent of the gorgeous breezing, blue eyed soul harmonies of Hall & Oates, with equally enjoyable enticing horn and organ hooks.

There are times when you are not quite sure if it is brass you are hearing or Carmen’s unique string bending skills, this is very much the case on “Prototype”, a grooving low slung meandering  jazz infused guitar funkster that takes you to another level. On “Nature of The Beast”, a New Orleans marching groove is introduced with an insistent growling harmonica and badgering organ, the bursting guitar and funk ridden horns swirl aggressively around as if it were a real hurricane.

After the dizzy, swirling guitars and punching horns the album ends on a calming and sensitive note with a soft focus, bubbling organ and mellow acoustic guitar, that creates a sensitive, loving and endearing ballad entitled “You’re The One”.

Well worth a listen!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.carmengrillo.com

The Extras r&b band was formed by guitarist Dave Woods and bassist Joan Bimson in the early part of 2010. Darren Lee on vocals and Sean Julian Holland on drums complete the line-up.

Musically, the band is heavily influenced by the London r&b scene of the mid 70s. The Extras are guitar driven; the sound is edgy and aggressive and the performance is energetic and passionate. The combination of punk-like enthusiasm with musical expertise creates a uniquely exciting sound, and a dynamic live show.

www.truebluesclub.com

www.theextras.co.uk

Review: Duncan Street – Baptized By The Blues

Posted on: Sunday, Jul 27, 2014

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Duncan Street - Baptized By The Blues

(15 South Records)

Very few people nowadays are ready or willing believe in chance, coincidence or simply happenstance but, in fact the duo Duncan Street, consisting of Dave Duncan and Stan Street; who came into being one afternoon after Dave decided to park himself on a bench which was situated on Second Street in Clarksdale, whilst sitting there he decided to amuse himself by strumming some blues on his faithful Dobro guitar. Unbeknownst to him, across the road a certain music loving gallery owner named Stan Street, who just happened to own The Hambone Gallery opposite, heard Dave and his musical musings. He immediately crossed the road and invited Dave to that evening’s musical event.

The subsequent pairing of the stalwart bluesman, whose career in Nashville has spanned over twenty years of playing and writing for artists such as; Jack Pearson, S.E. Willis and Curtis Salgado, and the music loving gallery owner who also happens to be a mean saxophone and harmonica player has, since that day in May of last year blossomed into a fine musical partnership; the pair have toured extensively since then and have also recorded this frill free and almost frugal sounding album. This description does not mean empty and boring, no, not by any means for, this is music as it should be, unadorned by gimmicks and too much electricity!

The eleven numbers here are all originals with the exception being, Muddy Water’s “I Be’s Troubled”, which is a joyously nimble and energetic toe tapper, with Dave’s crisp, bouncing acoustic guitar and Stan providing an almost ‘Little Walter’, driving, sparking harmonica. The title number is fuelled by a ruthless and relentless assault on the kick drum by Stan who also provides the haunting vocals and insistent harmonica, while Dave breaks in with searing and surging slide guitar passages. “Tater Salad Woman”, has echoes of Tony Joe White’s ‘Polk Salad Annie’, but, it also incorporates the driving energy of the classic delta work song courtesy of the kick drum and guitar it is garnished with a haunting howling harmonica and deep backing vocals.

“The Blues Comes in All Colours”, is a lazy brushwork and mellow acoustic number with an equally sweet and lazy meandering saxophone that emphasises in its message that there are no borders, boundaries or cultural barriers and checkpoints. The highly atmospheric invitation that is “Come To Mississippi”, is a lovely dollop of the Delta, complete with rhythmic handclaps aching kick drum, haunting vocals, urging harmonica and slidin’ guitar. Book your flight now!

Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.daveduncanmusic.com

Hip Hop Blues

Posted on: Saturday, Jul 26, 2014

SCARECROW – The Well – 2014 (Official video clip)

http://youtu.be/lxgDdNXe4KA

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**REMINDER**

With anticipation and expectation now running high as we get closer to the launch of the first ever Blues and Soul Music Festival to be held in North Wales, the event organisers are ready to release the emerging line up of the event. The event kicks off at 5 pm on Friday, 1st August, 2014, and features fantastic performers from some of the best British blues and soul musicians around, with support from local bands specially selected to appeal.

Mold Town Council has high hopes for the festival and is planning on making it an annual event with the organisation being undertaken by a committee of willing volunteers from the town council and wider community. Mr David Hill (Mold Town Manager) said, “The town of Mold, has never experienced a music event of this magnitude before and we hope to make it one of the must see events to take place in north Wales, bringing lots of visitors to our wonderful market town and surrounding area”.

Mold Blues and Soul Festival is the brain child of Dave Hill and Charlie Broadhurst of Event Sound Ltd; a local Mold business providing technical support for live music events. Charlie said, “It’s great to use my contacts in the music business to assemble such a great line-up for the festival. The performers are some of the best blues and soul musicians in the UK.” Event Sound is providing the technical infrastructure for the event together with organising the artistes.

Prominent and active members of the town have weighed in and support the event, Mr Geoff Collett (Mold Town Councillor) commented “We expect this event to be of great benefit to the town and its surrounding areas.” Local business owner Phil Blanchard (Hafod Brewing Company) stated “This is fantastic, it’s great to see a wonderful event like this happen in my town.”

Connie Lush and Blues Shouter in concert

Acts already confirmed include:

The John Verity Band, Babajack, The Cadillac Kings, The Brothers Groove, Stevie Nimmo Band, Tom Attah, Connie Lush, Rita Payne, The David Sinclair Trio, Forty4, The Screaming Beavers, Boys Allowed Out, The Reaney Brothers, A Shrewdness of Apes,

There are great ticket prices on offer, with advance Friday evening tickets at just £12.00 for adults and £7.00 for under 13’s. View the event website www.moldbluesandsoul.co.uk for full details.

Venue: Kendricks Field, Maes Bodlonfa, Mold, North Wales, CH7  1DR.

Times: Friday, 1st August – 5.00 pm to 9.30 pm

Saturday, 2nd August – 12.00 midday to 9.30 pm

Sunday, 3rd August – 12.00 midday to 9.30 pm

Weekend tickets are available for the festival and accommodation can be arranged via the Flintshire Tourism Association website: www.discoverflintshire.co.uk .

As a family friendly festival, there is a great opportunity for all to share the history, love and culture of blues and soul music as well as enjoying just what the great market town of Mold has to offer. The festival offers on-site food and drink, but with the venue in close proximity to the entire town’s facilities there are plenty of places to eat, drink and enjoy.

Sponsorship opportunities with some great benefits are still available for any business or individual wishing to become part of this up and coming event. Should you wish to become a sponsor please contact, via the festivals Media Partner, NWN Media:

Paul Gothorp /  Adeniyi Adebowale

E-mail: paul.gothorp@nwn.co.uk E-mail: adeniyi.adebowale@nwn.co.uk

Telephone: 01352 707707 Telephone: 01352 707760

Funding for Mold Blues and Soul Festival has come from Mold Town Council, Flintshire County Council and the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

For tickets and more information please visit www.moldbluesandasoul.co.uk or find us on Facebook/Twitter/Linked-in.

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Review: Jarekus Singleton – Refuse To Lose

Posted on: Friday, Jul 25, 2014

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Review: Jarekus Singleton – Refuse To Lose

(Alligator Records ALCD 4960)

Singer/guitarist Jarekus Singleton is a rising young talent from Mississippi. “Refuse To Lose” contains twelve original tracks, all written by Singleton – four of them in collaboration with Harrison Sumner. The album is jointly produced by Jarekus Singleton and the heartbeat of Alligator Records, Bruce Iglauer.

The title track, a smouldering blues rocker, kicks things off in fine style and is followed by “Purposely”, which ups the pace, underpinned by a relentless back beat. “Gonna Let Go” boasts an even heavier beat and delivers a funky edge, complete with a catchy bass line. “Crime Scene” is an expertly assembled bluesy ballad, which leads into “Keep Pushin’”, which rocks it up again, enhanced by a particularly nifty guitar solo.

The medium-paced “Suspicion” shuffles along in advance of the slow burner, “”Hell”, before “Hero” provides a second touch of funk. Another medium-pacer, “High Minded”, gives way to the slightly more upbeat, “Sorry” before the album is brought to a close with the gentle shuffle, “Blame Game”, which includes a tasty harmonica accompaniment and solo, and a terrific climax in the shape of the fast-moving rocker, “Come Wit Me”.

This is a most enjoyable album, which features Jarekus Singleton’s soulful vocals and impressively inventive guitar playing, superbly supported by James Salone on organ, Ben Sterling on bass and John ‘Junior’ Blackmon on drums. Equally as impressive as the performance of Singleton and his fellow musicians is the quality of the songwriting, which significantly contributes to the considerable quality of the album.

LIONEL ROSS

www.jarekus.com
www.alligator.com

Review: Arthur Migliazza – Laying It Down

Posted on: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

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Arthur Migliazza – Laying It Down

(Hobemian Records: HB0017)

Whilst the 12 year old Arthur was attending a piano workshop at the Augusta Blues Week summer camp in West Virginia, his prodigious talents came to the attention of Judy Luis-Watson who in turn nurtured his talents and later Ann Rabson (Saffire: The Uppity Blues Women) who was an organiser/teacher there, also became a mentor of his and they went on to become firm friends.

After the Migliazza family moved to Tucson, the 13 year old Arthur began a full time career in music, his outstanding talent also led him to be mentored by Henry Butler. All this support and encouragement allowed Arthur to go on and share the stage with artists such as; Saffire: Uppity Blues Women, Little Milton, Henry Butler, Albert Lee, David Maxwell, Robert Cray and Bob Margolin.

The thirteen numbers here encompass virtually all the fields of piano styles from the rolling, strolling, comforting music from the likes of Professor Longhair, Fats Domino to the confident, strident, marching of Albert Ammons.  The opening number “Overture”, has the feel of an orchestra warming-up with the choral section fully expanding their lungs with the music settling down and moving in the right direction.

The proceedings start proper with Fats Domino’s “I’m Ready”, a swinging guitar and rolling, pounding piano back Arthur’s sweetly cheerful vocals. Huey Smith’s “Rocking Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu”, contains some lovely liltingly delivered piano rolls which leads into a stunningly beautiful and delicate yet, powerful version of Albert Ammons “Boogie Woogie Stomp”.

Assisting Arthur in this musical feast, in no particular order, are; Keith Lowe and Ed Friedland; bass, Andy Roth, Eric Eagle and Kelly Van Camp; drums, Jeff Fielder, Bill Molloy and Laura Martin; guitars.

The segueing of Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing”, and Jack Fina’s “Bumble Boogie”, wonderfully re-arranges Benny Goodman’s big band version into a steamrollering powerhouse of piano that changes to highly atmospheric drum work that in turn unleashes upon your ears a primal percussive rhythm that evokes the sounds of darkest Africa. The steaming, rickety rolling images of Meade Lux Lewis’s “Honky Tonk Train Blues”, simply carry you along, those flowingly caressed ivories sound oh, so sweet upon the ears.

W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues” is given a sparkling relaxed tinged jazz feel with emotive boogie woogie flourishes throughout. Arthur’s tribute to the Professor is “Professor Calling Me”, a mixture Professor Longhairs’s signature sound and Arthurs stirring and emotive ivory tinkling evoking memories of that wonderful New Orleans sound. The album finishes in barnstorming fashion, with a full tilt, key pounding version of Albert Ammons “The Boogie Rocks”.

Essential!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.arthurmigliazza.com

Meet the Texas man who plays harmonica on ‘Timber,’ Pitbull And Ke$ha’s Chart-Topping Song.

“As far as I’m concerned, everything needs a harmonica solo”.

http://keranews.org/post/meet-rockwall-man-who-plays-harmonica-timber-pitbull-and-kehas-chart-topping-song

http://youtu.be/hHUbLv4ThOo

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Reverend Shawn Amos – The Reverend Shawn Amos Tells It (EP)

(Put Together)

This is a very interesting set from a very interesting character. Shawn Amos – an ordained minister – was born to two parents in the music business and grew up in Los Angeles in the 70s. He performed and recorded with Solomon Burke and oversaw reissues of box sets by Johnny “Guitar” Watson and John Lee Hooker (“50 Years: John Lee Hooker Anthology” in 2006) for Shout! Factory, though his own musical career inclined to singer/ songwriter material, though with a strong African –American approach. He says of himself, “The thing is, I’ve always been a student of the blues, I just wasn’t a practitioner” – until now.

This is a six track CD EP, and opens with a very fine Junior Wells inspired rendition of Sonny Boy Williamson’s ‘Hoodoo Man Blues’ (with some excellent harmonica work from Shawn himself) before moving into the ponderous funk and easy shuffle of the split tempo ‘(The Girl Is) Heavy’. ‘I’m The Face’ is akin to Billy Boy Arnold thinking about Slim Harpo’s ‘Got Love If You Want It’ whilst performing a cover from The Who (well, The High Numbers, actually), and then Elmore James’ ‘Something Inside Me’ gets a stripped down treatment revealing just what a fine singer the Reverend is.

The band captures that low-down rhythm sound extremely well here, and guitarist Chris Roberts’ high register rhythm playing is unusual and noteworthy. ‘Good Morning School Girl’ brings us back to Sonny Boy Williamson No. 1 and Junior Wells – as fine a performance as the opener – and the set closes out with an impassioned R&B ballad. On this evidence the Reverend is a name to watch out for…

NORMAN DARWEN

www.shawnamos.com

YouTube: Greyhounds

Posted on: Monday, Jul 21, 2014

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The intimate setting of the restaurant at The Buck House Hotel, Bangor-on-Dee, was the scene of a fantastic return to ‘Goin’ Up The Country’ for Mississippi-born; Mobile, Alabama-based songbird Lisa Mills, here in the company of one of Britain’s finest bass players, the much in-demand Ian Jennings . . . and the sell-out crowd were treated to marvellous sets, centred on the amazing voice of Lisa Mills . . . female Southern soul at its very best, and more . . . both gritty and gentle when required.

The duo have performed together for a number of years and have a chemistry that lends itself both to the songs as well as some more ‘off the wall’ moments that were great fun too, as Lisa kept Ian on his toes, with the occasional . . . “and now I’m gonna do a song that Ian doesn’t know!” . . . needless to say they were still carried off with aplomb by his top stand-up bass playing, which has been honed by years on the road with several of our top r&b bands, and latterly with The Mud Morganfield Band.

Songs from the most recent CD release, “Tempered In Fire”, were prominent in both sets . . . ranging from the quite lovely “Tennessee Tears”; the joyous Wet Willie cover, “Keep On Smiling”; and possibly one of the highlights of the night, a rocking “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”, which was ‘taken down’ in the middle to include Solomon Burke’s huge hit “Cry To Me”, before heading back to the song, after some jousting between Lisa’s stunning voice and Ian’s majestic bass playing.

A new song, penned with friend George Borowski, was performed, the fine “You’re Not The Only Game In Town”, and another classic was covered in the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic, “Bad Moon Rising”. However for me the two absolute treats of a brilliant night were the timeless “Son Of A Preacher Man”, and Lisa Mills performing Gershwin’s “Summertime” a capella . . . absolutely spellbinding, and you could hear a pin drop in the packed room!

Despite the duo having a very early start the next morning for a long drive up to Edinburgh, they were coaxed back for a well-deserved encore, that showed Lisa Mills is no slouch on the guitar either, as they delivered a really nice version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”. In my humble opinion this lovely lady’s voice is up there with the very best and let us hope it is not too long before a return!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.lisamills.com

(Pictures courtesy of Ian Williams – www.ianwilliamsphotography.co.uk)

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A whole host of North West blues favourites are playing this free event over the Bank Holiday weekend, at Congleton in Cheshire.

www.congletonjazzandblues.eevee.co.uk

(Forty4 picture: Rosy Greer)

Some blues interest in this event with sets from King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys, Vernon Fuller’s Soul Call, AJ Brown and more . . . to be held in Victoria Park, Southport.

www.jazzinsouthport.co.uk

www.queenscourt.org.uk

www.southportflowershow.co.uk

Review: Bob Malone – Mojo EP

Posted on: Sunday, Jul 20, 2014

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Bob Malone – Mojo EP

(Delta Moon)

I remember Creedence Clearwater Revival albums being reviewed in Blues Unlimited magazine way back, and more astoundingly perhaps, being pretty well received; and their material has been covered many, many times, by artists from Ike and Tina to the likes of zydeco accordionist Queen Ida. Creedence’s leader was John Fogerty, who wrote ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ after leaving the group – it was later picked up by Status Quo.

All this preamble is simply because Los Angeles keyboards player and singer Bob Malone works in Fogerty’s current band, so unsurprisingly there is a strong and rootsy blues-rock approach on offer. Take the opener – some jazzy electric piano leads into hard-rock riffing and a wailing blues harmonica adds to the growing excitement of this up tempo rocker.

The line-up includes other musicians from Fogerty’s band, from veteran funk outfit War, Tim Lefebvre form the Tedeschi-Trucks Band and Mike Baird, who has associated with Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker and others. The piano focus makes a change from constant guitar slinging, though the sound itself mixes up blues, rock, New Orleans sounds and Americana (excellent Dobro playing on the slower, bayou inflected ‘Toxic Love’).

No keyboards player in the blues field is going to overlook Ray Charles, and Bob turns in an admirably restrained cover of Brother Ray’s ‘Hard Times’. ‘I’m Not Fine’ has a funky rock approach with hints of New Orleans, in contrast to the quiet, breathy, non-bluesy, vaguely Elton John styled ‘Paris’, which I could live without. Thankfully it is back to that bluesy New Orleans approach for the lengthy closer, ‘Rage & Cigarettes’ – which should have a “parental guidance” warning.

This EP is a taster for Bob’s forthcoming album (his seventh), a special limited edition release to coincide with his UK tour. Bob flies into Britain for the Colne Festival on 25th August and will be gigging around until late September. On this evidence he should be well worth checking out!

NORMAN DARWEN

www.bobmalone.com

Bobby Rush Bobby Rush

Posted on: Saturday, Jul 19, 2014

Here’s is some more of legend Bobby Rush.

http://youtu.be/EnH4dJadaFI

http://youtu.be/GHI9HyADcCM

Bobby Rush on Prime Time US TV

Posted on: Saturday, Jul 19, 2014

No video yet, but bluesman Bobby Rush was on US TV last night. Check out his piece to camera before performing.

http://youtu.be/v6QWgra0N1I

http://www.americanbluesscene.com/2014/07/bobby-rush-tonight-show/

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