Saturday, July 24, 2021

#510 : Christone "Kingfish" Ingram - 662


2021 – Alligator Records

By Phillip Smith; July 24m 2021


Clarksdale, Mississippi’s breakout blues star Christone “Kingfish” Ingram has just released his second studio album 662, and it’s fantastic.  It’s even stronger than his 2019 debut album Kingfish which entered the Billboard Blues charts at #1, remained in the charts for ninety-one weeks, and was nominated for a Grammy.  This recording has that same promise.  662, the album’s title refers to the area code in Mississippi where the twenty-two-year-old Kingfish was born and raised.  It’s truly the land many consider the ground zero or cradle of the blues.  And it’s within that magical place, Kingfish draws his inspiration.  662’s fourteen original tracks were cowritten by Kingfish and the album’s acclaimed producer/drummer Tom Hambridge.  Also appearing on the record are guitarists Kenny Greenberg and Bob Britt , bassists Glenn Worf and Tommy MacDonald,  pianist/organist Marty Sammon, saxophonist Max Abrams, and Julio Diaz on trumpet.

Fueled with a driving beat from Hambridge and his own blazing guitar mastery, Kingfish paints a lyrical picture of his home and family as he leads off with title-track “662”.  A pulsing rhythm and infectious riff pull me right in to “Long Distance Woman” where Kingfish’s guitar play is over-the-top fabulous.  “Not Gonna Lie” downright rocks on the riff, and is chockful of guitar ear-candy, and suave vocal stylings.  Loaded with a fistful of funk, Kingfish sings about the juke-joint experience which the older generation reminisced about in “Too Young to Remember”.  This one is another favorite.  I really like to hear him go into ‘crooner’ mode as he does on “You’re Already Gone”.  Reminiscent of those early days of Robert Cray, everything is just so perfectly smooth, from his guitar playing to Kingfish’s voice.  He tears the roof off with “My Bad”.  This song is so hot and smokin’, it absolutely cooks.  I simply adore “Something in the Dirt”, another homage to his home and the legendary bluesmen who played there.  It’s a great mix of barrel-house piano, paired with Kingfish’s instrumental finesse.  Beautifully performed, “Rock & Roll” softly and sweetly brings this stellar record to its close with a present-day twist on Robert Johnson’s visit to the crossroads. 

662, the second album of hopefully many more to come in Christone “Kingfish” Ingram’s career, is an absolute gem.  I highly recommend this one for all music fans.                      


For more information about the artist, visit this website : 


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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

#509 : Bryce Janey & Merrill J. Miller - Live at Checker's Tavern

1997 – Blue Sunday Entertainment

By Phillip Smith; July 20, 2021

Twenty-five years ago, Iowa bluesmen Bryce Janey and Merrill J. Miller stepped onstage at Checker’s Tavern, in Cedar Rapids Iowa, and cut one hell of a live blues record.  Bryce, who had been playing guitar professionally since the age of thirteen with his parents as the The Janeys, has performed with acts such as Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, and Johnny Winter.  Merrill, the son of a protestant minister, immersed in a background of gospel, infatuated with the blues, and notes his influences as Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter, has been playing harmonica since the age of 10.  The two have been friends since their school days together.      

Live at Checker’s Tavern consists of fifteen deep-blues tracks.  It starts out with an acoustic blues original “I.O.U.” written by Bryce.  His deep vocals alongside Merrill’s rolling harp gets the album off to a brilliant start.  They keep it going as Merrill sings Little Walter’s “It Aint Right”, followed next by a brilliant take from the duo on Robert Johnson’s “Terraplane Blues”.  “Gamblin’ Man” is another great example of Bryce’s talent for songwriting.  This musical chemistry between the two shines on this song.  I really like the sliver of funk running through Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor”.  It’s loaded with hot electric guitar licks, and sounds great.  The funk gets even stronger when they break out “Practice What You Preach”, the title-track off Bryce’s first solo studio album. “Purple Haze” is a lot of fun as well and heats things up right before sliding into “Goin’ Back Home” a track written by Bryce’s father BillyLee Janey (Truth & Janey). This is Iowa-blues at its best.  The up-tempo harp-blues track from Merrill, “Slow Bluze”, absolutely cooks.  It’s cool to hear them belt out Sonny Boy Williams’ “Pontiac Blues” to bring the show to its end.

Checkers, known for its Sunday night blues shows, supports local and regional blues acts such as Bryce and Merrill.  I had the pleasure of seeing them perform there many times.  In 1997, the recording of this event was released and it has been a go-to cd for my listening pleasure for a long time.  Sunday, August 29th , from 4-7pm Checkers will host the 25th Anniversary of this recording featuring Bryce and Merrill playing selections from this CD as well as some of their original material. 



Saturday, July 17, 2021

#508 : The Whiskey Gingers - You Should Know



By Phillip Smith; July 17, 2021

Beautiful vocals, rich harmonies, and catchy melodies quickly capture my attention on You Should Know, the debut album from the Oklahoma-based acoustic trio The Whiskey Gingers.  Their brand of music playfully expands across multiple genres producing their own special blend of pop-country-folk-rock.  Beginning as a duo comprised of Jess Crothers and Jenny Bendure, who had met at the 2017 SongWriters Association of Norman, The Whiskey Gingers incorporated bassist/vocalist Michael Bendure shortly after forming in 2018.  Honorary Gingers for the recording of this record are Mike Marty on drums, T.Z. Wright on accordion/keys, Bob French on banjo/mandolin, Gregg Standridge on guitar, Kent Graber on violin, Ethan Hicks on clarinet, Kevin Webb on steel guitar, and Bill “Top Dog” Cummins, David Henson, Jim “Big Train” Madsen, and Matt Stratton on claps/vocals.  Produced by Terry “Buffalo” Ware at Buffarama Studio in Norman, Oklahoma, the album consists of thirteen all-original songs.       

Sweetly delivered lyrics which cut like a knife bring “Cowboy” front and center.  It’s such an amazing song.  “I Don’t Play with Boys” is absolutely terrific too.  The violin and mandolin accompaniment produces a tranquil tension as I soak up the Natalie Merchant / Julianna Hatfield vibe.  With a touch of accordion, steel guitar, and violin “I Love You Mostly” is a splendid western-flavored on-the-fence love song.  “Ghost” is another poignant example of their masterful lyrics, and lovely vocal stylings.  I’m quite drawn to the gentle, funky rhythm which sits behind the scenes on “Mockingbird”, another absolute favorite.  Those who have ever had a dog will certainly perk their ears up to take in “Daisy’s Song”.  I can’t help but grin with each listen, recalling pet pups of days gone by.

The Whiskey Gingers certainly scored with this record.   You Should Know is hands-downs one of the best American roots albums I’ve heard this year.


For more information about The Whiskey Gingers, visit their website :



Available on Spotify


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Saturday, July 10, 2021

#507 : Chris Gill - Between Midnight and Louise


2021 – Endless Blues Records

By Phillip Smith; July 10, 2021

With several albums under his belt and over twenty years of playing music, Mississippi bluesman Chris Gill states his latest release Between Midnight and Louise is the record that’s been on his mind a long time.  The title gets its name from a highway sign just outside of Yazoo City, Mississippi which points to the two towns of Midnight and Louise.  The title definitely sets the tone of this charming album comprised of Gill’s stripped-down Delta Blues.  Recorded by just him, his old guitars, two mics and a little amp, he meticulously brings the listener right into his swampy world, and it’s absolutely delightful.

I love the muddy slide-work on his ode to David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards called “Song For Honeyboy”.  It’s certainly a fitting homage to the bluesman who played with the legendary Robert Johnson in the 1930’s and passed away in 2011 at the age of 96.  A rolling melody from his guitar coupled with Gill’s smoky vocals put a smile on my face with “Back to Paradise”, a song about trying to break this world out of the insanity which seems to have taken over.  For anyone who’s spent the hot summer months in Mississippi, the words of “Fleas and Ticks” will ring true.  On this song, his instrument of choice is a vintage 1930’s Supertone, and it sounds terrific.  Gill’s mastery of story-telling downright shines on “Long Distance Highway”, an absolutely beautiful song about a musicians’ life on the road.  Like watching the last rays of the sun shoot across the sky on a summer’s evening sunset, title track “Between Midnight and Louise” gently brings the album to its end.  It’s a stunning instrumental played in open G with a ’31 Duolian. 

Chris Gill is an amazing guitarist and songwriter.  Blues fans should definitely seek this album out.     



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Saturday, July 3, 2021

#506 : Reverend Freakchild - Supramundane Blues


2021 – Treated & Released Records

By Phillip Smith; July 3, 2021


Supramundane Blues is the latest recording from the good Reverend Freakchild and this time around, he’s taking on classic spirituals, down home gospel, and contemporary songs grounded in that arena.  His flavor of blues and roots-based jams bring the songs to a whole new level.   With Freakchild, is guitarist Mark Karan (Rat Dog), keyboardist Steve Sirockin, bassist Malcolm Oliver, drummer Chris Parker (Aretha Franklin, Donald Fagan, Quincy Jones), Jason Hamm (String Cheese Incident), and multi-instrumentalist Hugh Pool.  Grammy-nominated vocalist and harmonica player the Reverend Shawn Amos also makes a guest appearance.        

Freakchild takes Albert King’s “Everybody Want to go to Heaven” and gives it a whole different sound, cloaking the song in a spirted cosmic energy.  I love the upbeat version of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”.  Freakchild sings this with serious conviction as buckets of grease are dumped on his fabulous slide guitar performance.  A list of contemporary bluesy songs about Jesus would not be complete without Z.Z. Top’s “Jesus Just Left Chicago”.  This one beautifully plays out on acoustic guitar and harmonica.  Freakchild breaks out his magical special sauce on “Working on a Building”, a gospel standard which absolutely jams.  It’s impossible to sit still while its playing.  “Keep on Praying”, a song by Jake La Botz keeps the revival tent all fired up, with Shawn Amos stepping in with vocals and harp.  My favorite track is Freakchild’s cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”.  I’ll probably always favor the original version, but this one really won me over, more-so than the Johnny Cash version.  Freakchild douses this one with really swampy slide, a driving rhythm and juicy blues harp.  I absolutely adore it. 

The album ends on a sixteen-plus minute track called “Seven Billion Light Years Old”, which packs a multitude of sound-bites into an audio montage.  It features various pieces of spoken word, and slivers of music inspired by artists such as The Who, Eddie Mars, John Mellencamp, Tracy Chapman, and David Bowie.  It truly is an enlightening journey.




I’ve reviewed these other albums by Reverend Freakchild :


Dial It In : PhillyCheeze's Rock & Blues Reviews: #328 : Reverend Freakchild -Dial It In (


Illogical Optimism : PhillyCheeze's Rock & Blues Reviews: Reverend Freakchild - Illogical Optimism (



For more information about the artist, visit this website :

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Saturday, June 26, 2021

#505 : Guy Davis - Be Ready When I Call You


2021 – M.C. Records

By Phillip Smith; June 26, 2021


Guy Davis, nominated for the Grammy’s Best Traditional Blues Album in 2017 with Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train, has just released another possible Grammy contender with Be Ready When I Call You.  With this new album from the Ambassador of the Blues, Davis brilliantly dissects our American culture with a potent and hearty serving of blues.  His talents run deep as he performs his music on acoustic guitar, banjo, harmonica, and tambourine with Professor Louie on keys, Gary Burke on drums, John Platania on electric and acoustic guitars, and Mark Murphy on stand-up bass and cello.  Also appearing on the album is Christopher James on acoustic guitar, 6-string banjo, and mandolin, Jeff Haynes on percussion, and background singers David Bernz, Timothy Hill, and Casey Erdman 

Davis begins the listening experience with a boisterous journey aboard the sixteen coach long “Badonkadonk Train”.  The record takes a heavy, eye-opening turn with “God’s Gonna Make Things Over”, as Guy relays the grim and matter-of-fact account of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.  With a hook that’s infectious as hell, title-track “Be Ready When I Call You” tells the story of Robert Johnson’s legendary meeting with the devil at the crossroads.  Banjo in hand, Davis advises the listener to don’t drink the water in “Flint River Blues”, a captivating song about the disasterous 2014 water crisis in Flint, Michigan in which the water was so full of lead and toxins, people were getting deathly ill.  Davis taps into his inner Howlin’ Wolf to fearlessly deliver the blues classic “Spoonful”, the only cover song on the album.  It sounds fantastic.  I love the closer “Welcome to My World”.  The psychedelic guitar licks he sprinkles into the song catch my attention as he taps into the current state of the world with thought-provoking lyrics which flow out of his mouth in a carefully constructed cadence.

Guy Davis’ Be Ready When I Call You is quite an exceptional album of traditional blues and Americana.  It’s very powerful.             



For more information about the artist, visit this website :

Guy Davis: Be Ready When I Call You Listening Party

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Saturday, June 19, 2021

#504 : Jarkka Rissanen & Sons of the Desert - Cargo

2021 – Humu Records


By Phillip Smith; June 19, 2021


Jarkka Rissanen, a forty-plus year veteran of the music scene is a legend among Finnish roots music fans.  His latest record Cargo marks his seventh under his own name, and follows up quite nicely to his previous album Hybrid Soul, which was awarded Best Finnish Album of the Year by Blues Finland magazine.   This nine-track album is entirely comprised of instrumentals and features guitarist Rissanen along with guitarist Markus Väisänen, percussionist Esa Kärki and bassist Ilpo Komulainen.  Their music incorporates bits and pieces of influence ranging from Chicago and Delta Blues, to the Big Easy and beyond.  I love this amalgam of blues and jazz.  It’s speckled with phenomenal jams and amazing surprises.

“Rocking Chair” washes over like a cool breeze on the front porch at the end of a hot summer day, lulling me into a state of peacefulness with its gentle riff and relaxing melody.  “Cargo” follows up, nicely segued and maintaining a meditative state for a while, until it wakes up and sweetly begins to accelerate.  Without going too far, it eventually returns back to its original launch pad with an array of cosmic guitar licks and spacy percussion.  Then the hypnotic rhythm of “Mousetrap” rolls out and draws me right in to its enchanting, funky lair.  I love the swampy sliver of slide guitar Rissanen tosses into the mix.  The fresh funky jazz piece called “Tofu Queen” is light and intoxicating.  It brings a smile to my face with every listen.  In a Pink Floyd syle, “Once Upon a Time” gracefully brings this brilliant album to its euphoric end.

Cargo is such an extraordinary listen.  It’s absolutely flawless.


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.

Also available on Apple Music:

Saturday, June 12, 2021

#503 : Tia Carroll - You Gotta Have It


2021 – Little Village

By Phillip Smith; June 12, 2021

I greatly respect the work of Little Village Foundation, and their dedication to helping talented artists who may have no other means to get their music recorded and distributed.  One of the latest releases for this non-profit organization is for Bay Area (Richmond, CA) singer-songwriter Tia Carroll.  Her voice is a soulful and powerful one, and it sounds fabulous with the backing of Greaseland Studio musicians the great Kid Andersen on guitar, Jim Pugh on piano/organ, and Steve Ehrmann on bass.  Blessed with over thirty years of experience, Carroll has performed professionally with artists such as Jimmy McCracklin and Sugar Pie DeSanto.  Although Carroll has prior recordings with bands in Italy and Brazil, You Gotta Have It is her first album recorded stateside.  Produced by Andersen and Pugh, this grand album consists of eleven spectacular tracks, three of which are Carroll’s own original songs.

I absolutely love her opening track “Ain’t Nobody Worryin’”, featuring Charlie Hunter on guitar/bass.  Backed with a funky beat, and topped with Carroll’s brilliantly executed lyrical cadence, she breathes new life to this gritty streetwise song originally from Anthony Hamilton’s 2005 album by the same name.  Her vocals shine brightly and exhibit amazing range on “Even When I’m Not Alone”.  This song oozes with slow soul, and is beautifully graced with Pugh’s organ accompaniment.  There’s something about a nice big blast of horns on a song that sweetly punches a song up and “Don’t Put Your Hands on Me” sets a wonderful example.  Written by Rick Estrin for the late, great Koko Taylor, this track is a grand one to say the least.  Another of Carroll’s originals “Leaving Again” effortlessly woos me over with its mid-Seventies Isaac Hayes vibe.  You Gotta Have It comes to a poignant close with a warm and groovy cover of The Staple Singers’ 1967 release “Why Am I Treated So Bad”.  Carroll sings this perfectly in every way with backing vocals from The Sons of the Soul Revivers (James ,Walter, & Dwayne Morgan).  The whole band comes together so very nicely for this one too.

I certainly hope we get to hear more of Tia Carroll.  You Gotta Have It is a powerful album lush with musical talent.  It’s an absolutely striking recording.   



Tia Carroll - "Even When I'm Not Alone"




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Saturday, June 5, 2021

#502 : Eddie 9V - Little Black Flies


2021 – Ruf Records

 By Phillip Smith; June 5, 2021


Little Black Files marks the third album for the twenty-five-year-old Atlanta-area singer-songwriter Eddie 9V, aka Brooks Mason, and it’s going to be hanging tight nearby and ready for play at any given time this Summer.  Recorded live in the studio, with an arsenal of top Georgia-based musicians, this cocktail of blues and southern soul that Eddie 9V has masterminded, makes for a fresh and invigorating listen.  With Eddie on lead guitar and vocals, the recording band is comprised of Cody Matlock on rhythm guitar, Lane Kelly, Brandon Boone (Tedeschi Trucks Band), and Marvin Mahanay splitting up the bass guitar parts, Chad Mason on organ and Fender Rhodes, Jackson Allen on harp, Aaron Hambrick on drums, Mandi Strachota on background vocals, and Sam Nelson on alto and tenor sax.

I absolutely love the soulfulness of “Little Black Flies” which ushers the album in.  This timeless song of infatuation with a girl engaged in an abusive relationship with another man is downright brilliant.  With every listen, I’m reminded of how much I adored Alabama Shakes’ Sound and Color album when I first heard it.  “3 AM in Chicago” slides right in with a slow groovy beat and buttery bassline.  Eddie’s smooth vocals shine brightly on this intoxicating track.  His unbridled cover of Albert King’s “Traveling Man” sounds fantastic as he’s ripping it up on guitar amid a grand rhythm section backing topped with some serious keyboard accompaniment.  “Miss James” is another terrific cover.  This song off Howlin’ Wolf’s 1971 Message to the Young album is fun and funky. 

It’s apparent Eddie 9V listened to a lot of blues growing up.  When hearing originals such as “Reach Into Your Heart”, you hear the blues, but it’s very well crafted and bypasses the ‘cookie cutter’ blues formula which many current blues artists rely on.  “Putting the Kids to Bed” is fabulous song too.  It has a 70’s Rolling Stones vibe, and I can absolutely hear that Mick Jagger attitude in Eddie’s voice as he releases little growls like grenades thrown with precision.       

Little Black Flies is one my favorite releases of 2021.   I highly recommend it.                               



For more information about the artist, visit this website :



Available on Bandcamp


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Saturday, May 22, 2021

#501 : The Bogart Jones Band - Beneath the Scars

2021 – Bogart Jones Band

Release Date : March 21,2021

By Phillip Smith; May, 22, 2021


Hailing from the heartland of Illinois, in Canton, The Bogart Jones Band has managed to sweep me off my feet with their new album, Beneath the Scars.  This second full-length release for the six-piece band, is rich in melody and lyrically masterful.  Basking in that sweet-spot between funky jam bands and southern rock, their all-original music is a patchwork of rock, jazz, blues, country, and soul.  It fits in very well alongside that of The Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic.  The Bogart Jones Band is comprised of Wes Simmons (lead vocals and bass), Ryan Rose and Don Mabus (guitars and vocals), Tim Fiers (drums), Curt Caudill (keyboards and vocals), and Ty Bailey (percussion).

A driving riff and funky beat roll out the red carpet for the riveting coming of age song “Tainted Youth” to get the album going.  I love the big sound, the hot guitar licks, and the wave of hold-steady chords off the organ.  Maintaining the high level of energy which they began with, they keep pushing forward in a huge Allman Brothers’ take-no-prisoner way on “The Word” in which the message is love.  A slow intoxicating groove, and Simmons’ deep slightly raspy vocals puts “Someone to Love” at the top of the list of favorites.  “Dear John” a touching, melancholy, and beautifully melodic farewell letter is another standout performance.  The pace is a fast and funky one on “It’ll Do” with Candill invoking a fascinating Zappa-esque energy into his solo.  The album closes in a full-fledged country-funk fashion on “Life’s a Bitch” filled with a ferocious beat, searing electric guitars, hot bassline, and barrelhouse piano.  It’s bodacious and sounds great.

I’m definitely keeping my eyes peeled for upcoming releases from The Bogart Jones Band.  These guys are terrific!          



For more information about the artist, visit their Facebook page:



Take a listen to the album on Bandcamp,

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Saturday, May 15, 2021

#500 : Howard Grimes with Preston Lauterbach - Timekeeper My Life in Rhythm


2021 – Devault Graves Books

Release Date : July 1, 2021

By Phillip Smith; May 15, 2021


I’ve been a huge Stax Records fan for a very long time, and I absolutely love the southern soul music which poured out of Memphis in the Sixties and Seventies.  The grooves were buttery and always inviting.  Howard Grimes, the man who created the beats upon which the Memphis sound was built, tells his story of navigating the Memphis music scene from behind the drums of the prestigious Hi Records Rhythm Section.  Written with Preston Lauterbach, who also co-wrote the recent book from Annye C. Anderson Brother Robert – Growing Up With Robert Johnson, Timekeeper makes for a most intriguing read.    

A key connection was made when Grimes, never knowing his real father, found guidance and a mentorship from Emerson Able, the Manassas High School band director who referred to the youth as a human metronome.  The world Grimes paints of his growing up in Memphis in the Forties and Fifties, is a dicey, exciting, and sometimes terrifying one filled with neighborhood juke joints, barber shops, cafes, and pool halls.  That being said, Grimes was almost always able to steer his way out of trouble, and focus on his love of playing drums. 

Grimes’ stories of starting out are so captivating, and his brushes with fame are countless.  While still in high school, he was already going on road gigs with Rufus Thomas and his crew.  The whole band, plus Ma Rainey would all be packed in a ’59 four-door Chevy with all the instruments in the trunk, and the stand-up bass fiddle running through the middle of the car from the front windshield to the rear window.  Willie Mitchell and the Hodges brothers who made up the rest of the Hi Rhythm Section are all continually mentioned throughout the book, showing just how intertwined their lives were, through the good times and the bad.  It was while traveling through Texas with Mitchell when Al Green was discovered and signed to Hi RecordsMitchell produced Green’s record, with Grimes and the Hodge boys providing the backing.  That record became a hit, and Al Green became household name after that.     

Besides recording with top artists such as Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Ann Peebles, Willie Mitchell, Otis Clay, O.V. Wright, and Steve Cropper, he’s backed legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson as well.  His encounters with each are  discussed.  It’s these stories which really draw me in.

Grimes also goes into deep details regarding his home-life, documenting the rocky relationship he had with his wife, and the fight that left him in the hospital with a knife wound.  Several of his friends were going through that same kind of turmoil, and he talks about how that affected things in the studio as well.  He does not sugar-coat his feelings or mince his words when it comes to telling it like it is or how it was.  His faith in God though kept him going when the going was tough.

In the end, I found it endearing that Grimes has continued to maintain contact with Able, the bandleader from high school throughout the years.  Timekeeper is a book that is hard to put down.  I already want to read it again.





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Saturday, May 8, 2021

#499 : Bob Corritore & Friends - Spider in My Stew


2021 – Vizztone

Release Date : May 14, 2021

By Phillip Smith; May 08, 2021


Taking into consideration all his own records in addition to all the others he’s played on, Bob Corritore has appeared on over a hundred albums in his career.  In that time, he’s acquired a hell of a lot of friends.  Thirty-eight of them appear on his new fourteen-track disc Spider in My Stew, making for one of the hottest straight-up blues albums this year.

The fabulous voice of Oscar Wilson (Cash Box Kings) takes command as he joins Tony Tomlinson (guitar), Patrick Skog (bass), and Alan West (drums) of the Fremonts to kick the album off with a swanky cover of Fenton Robinson’s 1957 single “Tennessee Woman”.   Shea Marshall’s contributions on piano and sax gives it the perfect finishing touch.  Sugarray Rayford, one of my favorite singers these past few years, belts out one of his own songs “Big Mama’s Soul Food, joined by Kid Ramos and Johnny Main on guitar.  This one has me jonesing for a meal at Miss Polly’s on Beale Street in Memphis.  The great Johnny Rawls lends himself and a song as well.  “Sleeping With the Blues” is smothered in his trademark style of soulful blues.  Bob Welsh on piano and John Primer on guitar and vocals rip it up on a splendid cover of the J.B. Lenoir song, “Mama Talk to Your Daughter”.  With Alabama Mike taking the mic, and Junior Watson (the Mighty Flyers, Canned Heat) on guitar, “Look Out” absolutely cooks.  I dig the groove.  The rhythm really takes a hold on this one.

I love the Willie Dixon tribute which packs three of his songs right in a row.  “Don’t Mess With the Messer” gets this batch started with Diunna Greenleaf on vocals and Jimi ‘Primetime’ Smith on guitar.  That is followed by title-track “Spider in My Stew” which hosts a dynamic duo of Lurrie Bell and Bob Margolin.  Corritore pours his soul into the song, as Bell and Margolin duke it out on guitar.  Bell takes the mic on this one, and it sounds great.  The Willie Dixon three-fer concludes with a rollicking standout recording of “Wang Dang Doodle” with Bill ‘Howl-N-MAdd’ Perry and his daughter Shy Perry.    

Blues fans will surely want to pick up this all-star blues record.  It’s fantastic!       



For more information about the artist, visit this website :


Take a listen to the album on Apple Music.


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Saturday, May 1, 2021

#498 : Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre - Heirs of the Dog : A Tribute to Nazareth

2021 – Saustex Records

By Phillip Smith; May 1, 2021

Memphis musician Joey Killingsworth and his band, The George Jonestown Massacre have returned to the studio once again to record a tribute album for charitable reasons.  The most recent was their Mutants of the Monster album honoring Black Oak Arkansas, which featured BOA founding members Jim Dandy and Rick Reynolds.  This time around, they’re paying homage to Nazareth, whose Hair of the Dog album still sits among the top of my favorite albums.  Killingsworth, aka Joecephus and the GJM bring their A-game as well as a fistful of notable guests to recreate the Hair of the Dog in its entirety, in an outlaw country punk fashion, and it sounds great.  Guests include Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Suys (Nashville Pussy), Greg Martin (Kentucky Headhunters), Eddie Spaghetti (Supersuckers), Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys, Igniter) and Manny Charlton (Nazareth, and producer of original album), JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), Neil Fallon (Clutch), and Harvey McLaughlin.

From the moment I heard the clang of the cowbells, on “Hair of the Dog”, I knew I was in for a treat.  With Blaine Cartwright involved on this one, the energy is kept at high voltage and segues brilliantly over to “Miss Misery” which is recorded with Greg Martin and Ruyter Suys.  It winds down with a delicious dose of feedback, making way for the iconic ballad “Love Hurts” which features both Eddie Spaghetti and Suys.  I love the inclusion of lap steel guitar on this one.  I never thought of the song as a country roadhouse slow-dancer, but it sounds amazingly good. Then “Changing Times” with Jason McMaster and Manny Charlton kicks in.  That riff takes ahold and digs tightly in, backed with a monster beat.  J.D. Pinkus and Luther Dickinson join the band for “Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman”.  Swampy and covered in kudzu, the song is an outstanding cover drenched in southern-rock.  About half the length of the original, “Please Don’t Judas Me” with Neil Fallon is a little less ethereal, and a little more ominous than the original.  Heavy bass, lingering guitar fuzz, small helpings of feedback, and a tambourine-fed pulse make for a cool-as-hell track.

From the viewpoint of a person who has owned the original Hair of the Dog album on vinyl for well over thirty-five years, Heirs of the Dog is an album I can enjoy as much as the original.  When it comes to making tribute albums, Killingsworth is a master.  This album stands entirely on its own, and is surely a record worth seeking out.   


 *      All JGJM profits from sales of this album and a portion of profits from sales from Saustex Records will be donated to FSHD Society for FSHD Muscular Dystrophy research in memory of the band’s friend Jonelle Spicer.


Track List


1. Hair of the Dog (feat. Blaine Cartwright)

2. Miss Misery (feat. Ruyter Suys, Greg Martin)

3. Love Hurts (feat. Eddie Spaghetti, Ruyter Suys)

4. Changin' Times (feat. Jason McMaster, Manny Charlton)

5. Beggar's Day 03:52

6. Whiskey Drinkin' Woman (feat. JD Pinkus, Luther Dickinson)

7. Please Don't Judas Me (feat. Neil Fallon)

8. Guilty (feat. Harvey McLaughlin)



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