Saturday, May 28, 2022

#556 > The Groove Krewe featuring Nick Daniels III - Run to Daylight (PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com)

 


2022 – Sound Business Services

By Phillip Smith; May 28, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com

 

Spearheaded by songwriter/musician/producers Rex Pearce and Dale Murray from Southern Louisiana, The Groove Krewe is a group of handpicked studio musicians selected to back featured artist Nick Daniels III (Neville Brothers, Dumpstaphunk).  This this funky New Orleans-style party record called Run to Daylight features Daniels on bass guitar and lead vocals, with the core of The Groove Krewe consisting of drummer Eddie Bayers, bassist David Hyde, guitarists Rex Pearce and Nelson Blanchard, and horn players Jason Parfait, Ian Smith, Pete Verbois, Chris Belleau, Lacy Blackledge, and Bob Henderson.  This ten-track album is packed with all original songs crediting at least one of the two producers Pearce and Murray with writing credits on every song.  

The Groove Krewe kicks things off in a delightfully funky way with title-track “Run to Daylight”.  The large band sounds lively and festive.  “That’s New Orleans” keeps the good times going in ‘Who-Dat’ fashion with shoutouts to Bourbon Street, Preservation Hall, and beignets.  There’s no doubt this is going to be a go-to album to spin this summer as the Krewe breaks into a chic Seventies-style disco groove on “Have a Party”.  It’s absolutely fabulous.  I love the album closer “Raising Cane on the Bayou”.  It hits the ground running in a surge of high-energy blues splashed with a bit of grease and topped with horns.  The Stax-meets-Muscle Shoals vibe on this one positively glistens. 

Run to Daylight is a feel-good album with puts me in a happy mood.  This is just what I needed to hear. 

--

 

 

This terrific album is available in the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store. 

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

#555 > Ryan Lee Crosby - Winter Hill Blues (PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com)

 

2022 – Ryan Lee Crosby

By Phillip Smith; May 21, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com

 

It was two years ago I first heard Ryan Lee Crosby play at the virtual Juke Joint Fest in Clarksdale, Mississippi.  The annual event was thrown for a spin in 2020 due to Covid 19, so organizers cleverly decided to take the festival online in a virtual sense with free live Facebook streams, and app-driven tip jars.  That was my first time to experience Juke Joint Fest in any capacity, and I was totally captivated.  Crosby’s performance bowled me over with his unique way of playing and his pure blues authenticity.

Produced by the legendary Bruce Watson (R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Robert Belfour), and dedicated to his mentor, the great Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Winter Hill Blues is a sensational nine-track album of deep-delta acoustic guitar blues.  Eight of those nine tracks are wonderfully-timeless originals penned by Crosby.  Backing Crosby is drummer/percussionist George Sluppick (JJ Grey & Mofro, Chris Robinson), and bassist Mark Edgar Stuart.   

From the beginning notes of “I’m Leaving”, I’m onboard.  I love how Sluppick’s freight-train beat kicks in and Stuart’s bass notes penetrate right to the bone.  Crosby impressively woos me on guitar, declaring “Well I’m gonna leave ya child, I’m gonna leave when the morning comes”.  His genteel delivery of title-track “Winter Hill Blues” is beautifully executed.  There’s a definite Skip James energy surrounding this one, and it sounds wonderful.  The swirling hypnotic rhythm on “Down So Long” pert near puts me in a North Mississippi trance, and I enjoy it immensely.   Continuing along Bentonia blues tradition with songs about the devil, Crosby’s “Was it the Devil” is a poignant and reflective song about his mother’s passing.  Here he sings “It was the devil who made her do that thing, but it was the lord who gave her angel’s wings”.  He takes a hard look at the institutions we are most familiar with in his hard-driving blues anthem “Institution Blues”, and finds a hidden purpose of systematic control when he takes a peek behind the curtains.  The song could’ve been written at anytime within the past hundred years, but its words are ageless.  The album closes with a robust cover of Rev. Robert Wilkins’ “Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down”.  The slide guitar on this track is absolutely fabulous.

Winter Hill Blues is a wonderful album of traditional blues and it deserves all the future accolades it will receive.        

 

 

 

For more information about Ryan Lee Crosby, visit this website :  https://ryanleecrosby.com

 

 

 

Ryan Lee Crosby on Bandcamp

Saturday, May 14, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #554 > Diunna Greenleaf - I Ain't Playin'

 


2022 – Little Village

By Phillip Smith; May 14, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com

 

I Ain’t Playin’, the latest release from Texas blues artist Diunna Greenleaf is a must-hear.  This three-time Blues Music Award winner, dishes out thirteen wonderful tracks, incorporating blues, soul, funk, and southern gospel.  Her amazing vocals are backed by a stellar lineup of musicians which include producer Kid Andersen on guitar, Jerry Jemmott on bass, Jim Pugh on keys, and Derrick “D’mar’ Martin on drums.

The album busts loose on a strong Stax-influenced start with “Never Trust a Man”.  A funky bassline, groovy beat, and stellar horn section provide the perfect pocket for Greenleaf’s fiery voice.  Steeped in seventies soul, “Running Like the Red Cross” gets down as Pugh deals out a generous dose of swirling keys to accompany the song’s lush melody.  “If it Wasn’t for the Blues” is delightfully funky in an Isaac Hayes kind of way.  With guest Igor Prado on lead guitar, this is the song I can listen to many times over and enjoy it each and every time.  All it takes is five seconds for Jemmott’s infectious bassline riff on “Answer to the Hard Working Woman” to reel me in for an invigorating musical explosion.  I love how Martin’s precision beat, Greenleaf’s vocals, and those fabulous horns get increasingly thicker until the final note.  The blues sounds so good when Diunna sings “Damned if I Do”, and with accompaniment by Andersen, she sounds even sweeter. 

Ain’t Playin’ is such a dynamic album.  Everything about it works and it sounds amazing.  


---


*  I * I finally had the pleasure of seeing Kid Andersen play a couple of weeks ago in Memphis.  He was playing guitar for Elvin Bishop at the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival.  It was indeed a thrill to watch them perform together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about Diunna Greenleaf, visit this website :  https://diunna.com/

 

 

This terrific album is available in the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store. 

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Sunday, May 8, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #553 > Vaneese Thomas - Fight the Good Fight


2022 – Blue Heart Records

By Phillip Smith; May 8, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com

 

There was a definite magic in the air when Vaneese Thomas recorded Fight the Good Fight at the famed Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, a place once home to Hi Records and the Hi Rhythm Section.  The album represents all which I love about Memphis music: the soulful melodies, the funky intoxicating rhythms, the horns, the blues-soaked guitars, and the swampy country detours.  It’s no secret, music runs deep in Thomas’ family, often referred to as Memphis’ “First Family of Soul”.  Her father being the legendary Rufus Thomas, her sister, the “Memphis Queen” Carla Thomas, and her brother the notable keyboardist Marvell Thomas.   Fight the Good Fight features a dozen all-original tracks, and according to Vaneese, “I feel like it’s some of the best writing that I’ve ever done”. 

With a blast of horns nestled in a bed of sweet southern soul, “Raise the Alarm” opens the album as a wake-up call to a crisis looming over the horizon.  Thomas’s riveting vocals shine on “Rosalee”.  Standout banjo accompaniment from Peter Calo and slide guitar from Tash Neal pull this wonderful song into a bluegrass setting.  There’s a very cool Steely Dan vibe on the piano-driven “I’m Moving On” as it fuses several genres together.  I love how Scott Sharrard absolutely tears it up on slide.  I’m totally captivated with each listen of “’Til I See You Again”.  This lush, outstanding song is filled to the brim with soul and beautifully performed.  Thomas lets loose on country-rocker “He’s a Winner”.  Peppered with harmonica from Corrin Huddleston, this track is a sweet and fun shoutout to her life partner Wayne Warnecke who co-produced the album with Thomas.  Violinist Katie Jacoby makes a guest appearance on “Fight the Good Fight” infusing a more Nashville-leaning sound to this title-track with a message of hope and encouragement.

Thomas’ Fight the Good Fight is a thought-provoking and refreshing listen.  I enjoyed it through and through.           

  ---

 

 

For more information about Vaneese Thomas, visit this website :  vaneesethomas.com

 

 

Vaneese Thomas - "Same Blood Same Bone" {Official Music Video}


 

This terrific album is available in the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store. 

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Saturday, April 23, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #552 > Jarkka Rissanen Tonal Box feat. Kalle Fält - Bones


 

2022 – Humu Records

By Phillip Smith; April 23, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com

 

Having reviewed Finnish guitarist Jarkka Rissanen’s 2021 album Cargo last year, I was quite anxious to hear his latest release Bones with his band Tonal Box featuring Kalle Fält.  Like his previous album, this one is comprised entirely of instrumentals divinely steeped in jazz fusion leaning into funk and blues.  Tonal Box is comprised of Rissanen on guitars, lap steel, and Casio, Fält on tenor sax, Jorma Välimäki on tuba and double bass, and Jussi Kettunen on drums and percussion.

Bones rolls in on a funky beat surrounded by the sweet swampy sound of slide peppered with blasts of sax from Fält on “Chicken Hawk”.  Then “Heyday” hits, with its alluring dance-inducing rhythm and relaxed Hawaiian-flavored lap steel with a saxophone-lead.  I love the space created with their cover of Dr. John’s “Della (Part 1)”.  With tuba accompaniment, this song beautifully captures the essence of a lazy day.  I detect a strong jam-band essence in “Shake”.  With every listen, I’m reminded of Phish, a favorite of mine.  “Down the Road” walks the tightrope between blues and jazz, with Rissanen holding down the blues on guitar while Fält keeps a foot on the jazz side of the song on sax.

Jarkka Rissanen wins me over again with these eight instrumental tracks on “Bones”.  It’s an absolutely splendid album.              

 ---


This terrific album is available in the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store. 

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.



Saturday, April 16, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #551 > GeminiiDragon - Fighting Fire with Fire

 


2021 – Nepotism Recordings

By Phillip Smith; April 16, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com


The bluesy hard-edged grooves and hearty power-filled vocals stand front-and-center on Fighting Fire With Fire, the latest release from Louisiana recording artist Jessica Harper aka GeminiiDragon.  Undoubtedly, that’s the winning combination which immediately drew my attention to this record.  This all-original album hosts eight splendid tracks co-written with producer/guitarist Christian Simeon.  With Harper behind the mic, and Simeon on guitar, the rest of the band is comprised of bassist Danny Woolen and drummer Kash Carlsson.    

With an infectious rhythm running through it, title-track “Fighting Fire with Fire” kicks the album off with an Eighties-era vibe in a delicious musical cocktail of new-wave soul.  “Just the Way it is” leans in a little heavier as Simeon throws in harder, groovier riffs, and Harper demonstrates her vocal mastery and range.  “Huh Huh Huh” is a genuinely cool track too.  As Carlsson lays down a very danceable Seventies disco beat, GeminiiDragon channels her inner Tina Turner, with Simeon taking a more industrial approach on guitar.  It sounds great.  When it comes to straight-up blues, “Woman Scorned” is absolutely fabulous.  I love Harper’s little growls she peppers into the song.  Like those classic Led Zeppelin tracks we so adore, “Blacktop Good Man” rolls in like thunder before a storm.  GeminiiDragon’s fearless approach on vocals conjure a huge rock-star presence as Simeon is there to back her all the way on guitar.  It’s definitely an amazing song.  The comradery between Harper and the band shines bright on “Badder Than Eva” as they bring the album to its close.  The stripped-down instrumentation and the whisky-soaked vocal runs transport me right to the heart of the Mississippi delta. 

Fighting Fire With Fire is one of those albums which captivated me at first listen, and kept me completely engaged until the end.  I’m looking forward already to GeminiiDragon’s next release.  

---

     Just the Way It Is  (Offical Video)


Huh Huh Huh (Official Video)




This terrific album is available in the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store. 

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Saturday, April 9, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #550 > Eliza Neals - Badder to the Bone

 


2022 – E-H Records

By Phillip Smith; April 9, 2022 

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com

 

Eliza Neals is an artist who consistently delivers album after album of solidly-written, exquisitely performed blues-rock.  Badder to the Bone marks my fourth album from Neals which I have made a point to review, and the title is very much on the mark.  She is a total badass in the music world, and this album is indeed badder to the bone.  With Neals on lead vocals, piano, and B3, the other musicians on this record are Lance Lopez ( SuperSonic Blues Machine, Lucky Peterson) and Billy ‘JC’ Davis (Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, Jimi Hendrix) on guitar, Peter Keys (Lynyrd Skynyrd) on B3+200A, Jason Kott ( Robert Randolph) and Paul Randolph ( Alice Cooper, Mudpuppy) on bass, Tim Grogan, Skeeto Valdez, Brian Clune, and Jeffrey “Shakey” Fowlkes ( Too Slim) on drums, Michael Puwal ( Kenny Wayne Shepherd) on guitar+bass, and Kimberli Wright on backing vocals.        

Fowlkes’ high-octane beat and Puwal’s swampy slide guitar heats things up quite nicely as Neals takes charge vocally on a call for unity in “United We Stand”.  She then follows up with an intoxicating dose of slow buttery blues featuring a searing guitar solo from Lopez on “Queen of the Nile”.  It’s an extraordinary listen.  “Lockdown Love” is a great song too.  With Fowlkes and Puwal onboard, this red-hot track shares the frustrations of dealing with stress while living inside a covid-constructed bubble.  Cloaked in a Sixties-mod fashion, “I Got a Gun”, featuring Billy Davis on guitar, is catchy as hell.  When Quentin Tarantino finally gets around to filming Kill Bill 3, this song would be a perfect fit for the soundtrack.  The gospel-soul-inspired “Heathen” is a beautiful piece with a Muscle Shoals vibe about taking out the trash.  I love how Neals’ piano performance is coupled with Galvin behind the B3.   I absolutely adore her cover of Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home”.  Neals takes this 1969 classic and breathes into it a new glorious life with Lopez at the guitar helm absolutely tearing it up.  When he plays, notes majestically hang in the air. 

I can’t help but be a huge fan of Eliza Neals.  Her approach to the Blues is a fresh and unique one.  I thoroughly enjoyed “Badder to the Bone” from start to finish.  It’s chockful of badassery for sure.        

---

 

Other PhillyCheeze reviews featuring Eliza Neals:

 

https://phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com/2017/04/eliza-neals-10000-feet-below.html


https://phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com/2019/07/401-eliza-neals-sweet-or-mean.html


https://phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com/2020/05/444-eliza-neals-black-crow-moan.html

 

 

 

 

For more information about Eliza Neals, visit this website :  elizaneals.com

 

Available on BandCamp



This terrific album is also available in the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store. 

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #549 > Hurricane Ruth - Live at 3rd and Lindsley

 




2022 – Hurricane Ruth Records

By Phillip Smith; April 2, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com

Live at 3rd and Lindsley, the sixth and most recent album from Ruth LaMaster aka Hurricane Ruth lands a ferocious punch with a fistful of raw, hearty blues.  This fourteen-track gem was recorded at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville, Tennessee and produced by two-time Grammy winner Tom Hambridge.  It features Scott Holt and Nick Nguyen on guitar, Calvin Johnson on bass, Lewis Stephens on keys, with Hambridge also behind the drums.  Jimmy Hall makes a guest appearance on a couple of songs as well.

With a wall of rhythm, and searing guitar behind her, Hurricane Ruth leads the album off in a fierce way with “Roll Little Sister” which originally appeared on her 2012 release Power of the Blues ... Feels Like a Hurricane.  “Dirty Blues”, which was one of my favorites off her 2020 album Good Life, is hot and slathered with lots of swampy slide.  I love the cover of Peppermint Harris’ “As the Years Go Passing By” with Jimmy Hall’s fantabulous harp performance and accompanying vocals.   I can almost feel the magic which was happening onstage when this was recorded.  Hall shares his talent for one more song, “Make Love to Me”, originally on Hurricane Ruth’s Born on the River album.  This, paired with the prior song, makes for a nice scorching two-fer of red, hot blues.  LaMaster ends the show with a song she wrote for her mama, “Dance Dance Norma Jean”.  Holt injects a ZZ-Top-sized lightning bolt of electricity into this John Lee Hooker-inspired boogie for a jaw-dropping experience.  It absolutely cooks.           

Hurricane Ruth’s Live at 3rd and Lindsley is as solid as they come for live blues albums.  It’s the real deal, that’s for sure.       

---

 

HURRICANE RUTH - Barrelhouse Joe's / 3rd & Lindsley Nashville



For more information about Hurricane Ruth or to purchase music, visit the website :  https://www.hurricaneruth.com



This terrific album is available in the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store.   *As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #548 > The Boxmasters - Help...I'm Alive

 


2022 – Keen Tone Records

By Phillip Smith; Mar. 26, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com

 

Help…I’m Alive, the twelfth and latest release from The Boxmasters, ushers in a dozen new original songs from J.D. Andrew and Bud Thornton.  With each of their recordings, I’ve always been delighted to listen to the guys navigate through their spectrum of influences.  This album most definitely carries on that tradition.

An infectious hook, powered by a driving beat and a lush soundscape, guides power-pop anthem “I Got a Girl” to the top of my favorites.  Frustrations, fueled by the pandemic and political duality, are vented in a twang-filled, Zappa-esque manner on the title-track “Help…I’m Alive”.  Then the solutions to said irritations are cleverly laid out in the unescapable groove of “Focus on the One”.  Letting someone down easily is one of the toughest things to do, and The Boxmasters turn such an occasion into a beautiful and melancholy ballad called “Turn Away”.  It’s absolutely stunning.  The upbeat Beatles-meets-Nashville sound infused into “Time” is very cool as well.  This ode to growing old together is vibrant and catchy.  I like it a lot.

Their unique sound, and homegrown lyrics inspire me to keep this one on heavy-rotation.  Help…I’m Alive is surely another homerun for J.D. and Bud.          

---

 

For more information about The Boxmasters, visit this website :  https://www.theboxmasters.com


BOXMASTERS I GOT A GIRL 2021 Tour



More PhillyCheeze reviews for The Boxmasters:


https://phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com/2020/11/470-boxmasters-light-rays.html


https://phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com/2018/10/357-boxmasters-in-stereo.html


https://phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-boxmasters-live-at-surf-ballroom.html


https://phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-boxmasters-somewhere-down-road.html



This terrific album is available in the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store. 

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Saturday, March 19, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #547 > Prakash Slim - Country Blues From Nepal


2022 –DeVille Records

By Phillip Smith; Mar. 19, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com


Ram Prakash Pokharel aka Prakash Slim, an emerging blues artist from Lamatar, in the Lalitpur district of Nepal, has most definitely caught my attention with his new album Country Blues From Nepal.  With only a resonator guitar and slide in hand, he captures the pure essence of the blues with magnificent covers of legends such as Robert Johnson, Bukka White, Charley Patton, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Blind Blake.  The originals which appear on this thirteen-track album are beautifully performed as well.         

An instrumental called “Blues Raga” starts the album off with lovely sitar-like bends and a hypnotic North Mississippi hill country groove.  Prakash’s original songs emit a vintage country blues essence as he sings them with a sincere delivery.  There’s an air of legitimate struggle in Prakash’s “Villager’s Blues”.  His hard-scrabble beginnings are laid out as he becomes the bluesman he is with the autobiographical song “Poor Boy”.  In addition, Prakash recorded a Nepali version of that song called “Garib Keto” which also appears on this album.  In this age of the Corona virus, it makes total sense there should be a straight up blues song on the topic.  The response Prakash has to the COVID-19 pandemic is brilliantly laid on the table with “Corona Blues”.        

Prakash takes on two classic Robert Johnson tracks, “Crossroad Blues” and “Me and the Devil Blues”.  With an amazing fearlessness he digs in and performs the hell out of these songs.  His guitar prowess surely grabs the spotlight.  I absolutely love his cover of Fred McDowell’s “You Gotta Move” too. 

Country Blues From Nepal is an utter gem of an album.  I’m excited to see the direction Prakash Slim takes with his music on his next release.     

---

 

  


 

 

For more information about Prakash Slim, visit this website :  https://www.prakashslim.com/

  

 

This terrific album is available in the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store. 

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Saturday, March 12, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #546 > Lady A - Satisfyin'


2021 – Lady A Productions

By Phillip Smith; Mar. 12, 2022


Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com


I’ve been a fan of Lady A since my first listen when I reviewed her 2016 album Loved, Blessed, and Blues.  Her ninth and latest album, Satisfyin’ continues to capture my affection for her music as it perfectly pairs her songwriting expertise with her special blend of funk, soul, and blues.  With Anita White aka Lady A front and center on lead vocals, her band is comprised of bassist John Studamire, guitarist Herman Brown, multi-instrumentalist Paul Richardson, multi-instrumentalist/background vocalist John Oliver III, and background vocalist Roz Royster McCommon.

The Seattle-based songstress rolls the album in with ‘Whatever You Do” which showcases her powerful vocals in an upbeat fashion.  She sounds great and the big band backing her is nicely topped off with a BB King-style guitar performance from Brown.  Immediately following is title-track “Satisfyin’”, which brings to mind the funky dance songs I immensely enjoyed in the Eighties.  Music, cheap liquor, gambling, and good food is the allure of “Miss Beula Mae’s”, an after-hours juke-joint Lady A reflects on.  Its inescapable groove, and detailed lyrics make this a favorite of mine.  A slow buttery bassline walks “Blues Soul Catfish & Fried Wings” to the finish in a major funky way.  Reminiscent of the music of George Clinton at times, it is absolutely fabulous.  In “For the People in the Back (All I Got)”, Lady A holds her ground, and without flinching once, stares down the pop-country band for pilfering her name.  Her fearless vocals, ride above a wave of hand-claps and an infectious gospel-infused melody.   

Satisfyin’ is a delightful album and like a fine wine, gets better with each and every listen.  

---




For more information about Lady A, visit this website :  https://www.ladyababyblues.com/

 

 

This terrific album is available in the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store. 

* As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

 


Saturday, March 5, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #545 > Buckmiller Schwager - To Memphis and Back



2021 – Buckmiller Schwager

By Phillip Smith; Mar. 5, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com

 

Together Tom Buckmiller and Brian Schwager are taking the Iowa blues scene by storm with their original working-man blues.  This Des Moines, Iowa – based blues duo pulled down first place in the 2021 Iowa Blues Challenge Solo/Duo category, securing their entry into the 2022 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee coming up in May.  Buckmiller has authored three blues books and teaches a class on the Blues at Drake University.  Schwager, lead guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, has a list of influences which reads like my record collection, naming guitar legends such as BB King, Jimmy Page , Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  He has shared the stage with acts Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett and Eli Young Band.  To Memphis and Back maintains a high level of excellence both lyrically and performance-wise on all ten songs.

A big dose of swampy slide blues leads the record in on “Whisky Man” before becoming electrified, Texas-style.  Buckmiller’s vocals take charge as Schwager absolutely rips it up.  “Thrill of the Thrill” intensifies the pace, and steps it up a notch, making for a barn-burner of a song.  A lush bluesy groove rolls in and hangs tight on “Tylenol and Templeton”.  This salute to hair-of-the-dog remedies proudly displays its Iowa roots with the mention of Templeton Rye.  Templeton was a total whisky game-changer in the state, touting a recipe that originated during the prohibition era and was supposedly enjoyed by Al Capone.  Topped off with horns and a hip soulful rhythm, “These Are the Good Days” catches me off guard in a very good kind of way.  The Velvet Underground vibe is absolutely delightful.  The album closes out with “Time To Come Home (Memphis Mix)” which absolutely cooks.  Heavy doses of resonator guitar, and hard-driving, George Thorogood-friendly riffs bring this one to a boil. It’s plumb terrific.

“To Memphis and Back” is a solid-as-hell album, and I certainly look forward to hearing more from Buckmiller Schwager in the future.  

---

 

For more information about these artist, visit their websites :

https://www.tombuckmillerblues.com/

https://www.brianschwager.com/

 

 

Available on Bandcamp


Or click on the link below to purchase this terrific album from the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Saturday, February 26, 2022

PhillyCheezeBlues.Blogspot.com #544 > The Terraplanes Blues Band - Stepping Stones


2022 – Terraplanes Blues Band

By Phillip Smith; Feb. 25, 2022

Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com

 

The Terraplane Blues Band from Bristol, UK absolutely tears it up on their new album Stepping Stones.  Produced by Richard Parsons, this twelve-track album of hot, original blues features Nick Scrase front and center on guitar and vocals.  The rest of the band is comprised of Eduardo Allen on harmonica, Tom Turner on drums, and Andy Wood on Bass.

Opening with “Highway 61” The Terraplanes Blues Band takes off with a driving rhythm, outlaw lyrics and humongous servings of searing harp.  It’s what one wants to hear from the first track.  Next up is “My Malaise” which grabs my attention with its playful and infectious riff.   This is indeed the makings of a Mississippi delta juke-joint jamboree.  Then “Get Along” rears its head and bites like a rattlesnake.  With the ferocity of those classic George Thorogood songs we all love, this one is entirely a big bowl of bliss.  Title track “Stepping Stones” has a bit of a North Mississippi hypnotic groove.  Its strong gravitational force pulls me right in to its lava-filled core.  Closing with “The Lonesome Crow”, the album comes to its end.  I can’t help but think of the final episode of Sons of Anarchy when I hear this one.  It’s such a beautiful song.

Stepping Stones is an absolutely brilliant album, and I highly recommend taking a listen to The Terraplane Blues Band                    

---


For more information about the artist, visit this website :   https://www.theterraplanesbluesband.com/


Available on Bandcamp