Saturday, August 31, 2013

Reviews and Articles for Blues Revue Magazine 2011- 2013 .



by Phillip Smith


Paul Thorn - What The Hell is Goin' On?
http://bluesrevue.com/2013/04/paul-thorn-what-the-hell-is-goin-on-4-19-13/#

Craig Erickson - Galactic Roadhouse
http://bluesrevue.com/2013/04/craig-erickson-galactic-roadhouse-4-05-13/#

Josh Smith - Don't Give Up On Me
http://bluesrevue.com/2013/03/josh-smith-dont-give-up-on-me-3-08-13/#

Betty Fox Band - Too Far Gone
http://bluesrevue.com/2013/02/betty-fox-band-too-far-gone-2-22-13/#

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Concert 1/26/13 Review
http://bluesrevue.com/2013/02/blues-beat-kenny-wayne-shepherd-show-review-2-01-13#

Kenny Wayne Shepherd photos from Concert 1/26/13 Riverside, IA
http://bluesrevue.com/2013/02/the-photo-page-kenny-wayne-shepherd-live-2-01-13/#

David Hidalgo / Mato Nanji / Luther Dickinson – 3 Skulls and the Truth
http://bluesrevue.com/2013/01/david-hidalgo-mato-nanji-luther-dickinson-3-skulls-and-the-truth-1-04-13/#

The Mokats - Crossover Blues
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/12/the-mokats-crossover-blues-12-21-12/#

Hamilton Loomis - Live at the Hub, DVD
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/11/hamilton-loomis-band-live-at-the-hub-dvd-11-16-12/#

Simon McBride - Crossing the Line
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/11/simon-mcbride-crossing-the-line-11-09-12/#

Bob Dylan - Tempest
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/11/bob-dylan-tempest-11-02-12/#

Colin Linden - Still Live
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/09/colin-linden-still-live-9-28-12/#

Killing Floor - Rock 'n' Roll Gone Mad
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/09/killing-floor-rock-n-roll-gone-mad-9-14-12/#

Chris Watson Band - Pleasure and Pain
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/08/chris-watson-band-pleasure-and-pain-8-17-12/#

Darren Jay & the Delta Souls - Drink My Wine
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/08/darren-jay-the-delta-souls-drink-my-wine-8-10-12/#

Johnny Rawls - Soul Survivor
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/06/johnny-rawls-soul-survivor-6-22-12/#

Debbie Bond - Hearts Are Wild
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/06/debbie-bond-hearts-are-wild-6-15-12/#

Eddie C Campbell - Spider Eating Preacher
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/05/eddie-c-campbell-spider-eating-preacher-5-25-12/#

Riverside Casino Blues Weekend Review
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/04/blues-beat-blues-weekend-at-riverside-casino-4-20-12/#

Riverside Casino Blues Weekend Photos:
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/04/the-photo-page-riverside-casinos-blues-weekend-4-20-12/#

Stacy Jones Band = No Need To Spell it Out
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/04/stacy-jones-band-no-need-to-spell-it-out-4-20-12/#

Mighty Sam McClain & Knut Reiersrud - One Drop is Plenty
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/04/mighty-sam-mcclain-knut-reiersrud-one-drop-is-plenty-4-13-12/#

Tony Spinner - Down Home Mojo
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/03/tony-spinner-down-home-mojo-3-23-12/#

Roy Trevino - self titled
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/03/roy-trevino-roy-trevino-3-16-12/#

Bryce Janey - Game of Life
 http://bluesrevue.com/2012/02/bryce-janey-game-of-life-2-17-12/#

Mike Zito - Greyhound
 http://bluesrevue.com/2012/01/mike-zito-greyhound-1-20-12/

Mississippi Fever - Self Titled
http://bluesrevue.com/2012/01/mississippi-fever-mississippi-fever-1-6-12/#

Jay Gordon's Blues Venom - No Cure
 http://bluesrevue.com/2011/12/jay-gordons-blues-venom-no-cure-12-30-11/#

Coyote Kings - Move
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/12/coyote-kings-move-12-16-11/

Marco De Sade Band - Take No Prisoners
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/12/marco-de-sade-band-take-no-prisoners-12-16-11/#

BillyLee Janey - No Saints Ringin' the Bells
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/11/billylee-janey-no-saints-ringin-the-bells-11-04-11/#

David Bromberg - Use Me,
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/07/david-bromberg-use-me-7-8-11/

Levee Town - Pages of Paperwork ,
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/07/levee-town-pages-of-paperwork-7-22-11/

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - Peyton on Patton,
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/07/the-reverend-peytons-big-damn-band-peyton-on-patton-7-29-11/

Levon Helm - Ramble at the Ryman ,
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/09/levon-helm-ramble-at-the-ryman-9-2-11/

Trampled Under Foot - Wrong Side of the Blues,
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/06/trampled-under-foot-wrong-side-of-the-blues-6-10-11/#

Dr. Duke Tumatoe - I Just Want To Be Rich
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/04/dr-duke-tumatoe-i-just-want-to-be-rich-4-22-11/#

Bryce Janey - Blues in My Soul
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/01/bryce-janey-blues-in-my-soul/#

Colin Gilmore - Goodnight Lane
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/01/colin-gilmore-goodnight-lane/#

John Lee Hooker Jr., - Live in Istanbul Turkey
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/01/john-lee-hooker-jr-live-in-istanbul-turkey/#





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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Delta Saints - Death Letter Jubilee

Death Letter Jubilee

By Phillip Smith



Furiously fabulous and dankly dark, The Delta Saints deliver possibly the most powerful rocking Blues album of the year with Death Letter Jubilee.  Led by vocalist Ben Ringel and guitarist Dylan Fitch, The Saints hit every song full on, pouring their heart and soul into every note, coating a nougaty center of Blues with a premium blend of rock topped with a heaping helping of harmonica. 

I never really thought about what Led Zeppelin would sound like if they had been from the South, but once I heard “Sing to Me”, I am pretty sure I now know.  Ringel and Fitch transform themselves into alternate versions of Plant and Page as we heard in “The Battle of Evermore”, from the album, Led Zeppelin IV.  This track is absolutely outstanding.

Ringel, like Steven Tyler, has a voice that is raspy and powerful.  It sounds really good alongside Greg Hommert’s harmonica in “Chicago”.  I love this track.  It’s so full of soul and spirit.  Speaking of spirit, one doesn’t have to be religious to be overcome with it when one listens to title track, “Death Letter Jubilee”.  This one has all the toe-tapping, hand-clapping fun of a bible-belt tent revival, minus all of the judgment.  Bring your own spiders and snakes.   

With spurts of controlled frenzy, delivered with an increasingly fast tempo, they rip through “Devils Creek”, as if adrenalin is flowing freely through their veins.  Bassist David Supica keeps a nice groovy bass-line going in this forewarning ditty.   

This thirteen track album definitely deserves a listen.  It’s fantastic.  





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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Coyote Kings w/Mush - Nasty Habits & Dirty Little Secrets


Nasty Habits & Dirty Little Secrets



By Phillip Smith


From the Pacific Northwest, in Walla Walla, Washington, Robin Barrett and company deliver another bounty of Blues with Nasty Habits and Dirty Little Secrets, the Coyote Kings follow-up album to Move.  Writer and lead guitarist, Barrett, is joined by vocalist Michelle 'Mush' Morgan, bassist Kit Kulhmann, drummer Emilo Cabrales and keyboardist Doug Scarborough to create another saucy album of earthy electric Blues composed of eleven new original tracks.

With Mush on mic., the crew breaks out with a fun jam on title-track, “Nasty Habits & Dirty Little Secrets”.  Barrett throws down a catchy funk-infused riff that has a way of burrowing itself in one’s head like a Ceti eel from Star Trek II Wrath of Khan.  I could almost hear the band having fun recording it.       

“Baby’s Gone”, a stand-out favorite is a melancholy lament about lost love and contemplations of suicide while holding on to a desire to live. This heartbreaking song features fantastic guitar licks, and vocals from Mush so sad and lovely, it left me a little on the heavy side with emotion.

Another slow tempo contender for best song is “Afternoon Sun”.  Barrett handles the lead vocals on this one and handles it quite well.  I enjoy the mellow space it creates very much.  The combining elements of piano, vocal harmonies and lyrics remind me a lot of Phish, one of my favorite bands.  This one plain and simple, puts a smile on my face.     

A perfect song to chill out to, ‘Walking in the Fog’, is one of the best new instrumentals I have heard this year.  Hands-down fantastic, Barrett plays it soft and slow, in the way one would actually walk in a fog.  I would love to hear an entire album of instrumentals of him playing guitar like he does on this one.      




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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cash Box Kings - Black Toppin’




Black Toppin'

By Phillip Smith

Black Toppin’ by Chicago bluesters, The Cash Box Kings will have listeners waxing nostalgic in no time.  Their sixth release continues the tradition of infusing their music with the spirit and sound of the Forties and Fifties.   Producer/front man, Joe Nosek on harmonica, alternates lead vocals with Oscar Wilson while Joel Paterson conquers the lead guitar and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith masters the drums. 

Title track, ‘Black Toppin’’ a catchy little ditty about forbidden love and sneaking around is a pleasurable treat.  Written and sung by Wilson, this one sounds steeped in old school Blues.  Also dunked in the old school Blues tank, is their spot-on cover of Willie Dixon’s ‘Too Late’, (originally recorded by Little Walter), and the traditional, ‘Walking Blues’.  Both of these sung by Wilson as well.  He has a great voice for the Blues, and it delivers authenticity to the songs.

Barrelhouse Chuck, 2013 nominee for the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year Award, makes an appearance on four tracks.  Of those, the spotlight really shines on him in  ‘Money, Marbles, and Chalk’ and one quickly finds out why he was nominated.    Bundling Barrelhouse Chuck on organ, with Nosek on harp, gives ‘My Tinai’ a cool retry Sixties Doors sound.           

When the band gets going on songs like Lou Reed’s ‘Run Run Run’, one can feel the energy pulsating through the speakers.  I might have to go out on a limb and say I like this version better.  The band is so tight and the Paterson squeezes every note out of his guitar with precision.  This is my favorite track on the album.    

For those fans of the classic Blues, this one comes highly recommended.





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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Southern Hospitality - Easy Livin’


Easy Livin'



By Phillip Smith


Grab some iced tea and meet me on the front porch, ‘cause we’re gonna relax and listen to Southern Hospitality’s new CD, Easy Livin’.  With its origins stemming from an impromptu jam session following a blues festival in Florida back in 2011, Southern Hospitality is comprised of guitarist JP Soars, lap steel guitar master, Damon Fowler, and keyboardist Victor Wainwright.  Easy Livin’ is undeniably a Southern blues concoction, which is comforting and somewhat intoxicating.  The guys all contribute their song writing skills to the making of the album. Both, the opener, “Southern Livin’”, and the closer, ”’Sky is What I Breathe” is credited to all three.  “Southern Livin’” is such a cool song, and like Southern living goes, it takes its time and is in no hurry to get anywhere.    And I absolutely love “Sky is What I Breathe”.  It’s such a beautiful song about remembering our connection with nature and our responsibility to keep it sacred. 

If one is going to dedicate an album to southern hospitality, you have to have at least one song about drinking. “Kind Lies & Whiskey” is that song.  Written by Fowler, this country boogie draws a bright spotlight of attention to his keyboard skills.  While we have the menu out, you have to order up the ‘Fried Neck Bones and Home Fries”.  The guitar on this Latin instrumental written by Willie BoBo is so very reminiscent of Carlos Santana.   Can I order an album of instrumentals from Soars and Fowler for desert?

The album as a whole is good, but there are a couple of questionable tracks.  ‘Come Back Home’, a Jerry Lee Lewis style rockabilly track would be more at home on the American Graffiti soundtrack.  “Funny” lyrics, boogie piano, and the whistle make “Mile After Mile” more suitable for the Dr. Demento Radio Show than this album. Not that there’s anything wrong with Dr. Demento, I have a great lot of respect for him.  That being said, there are ten other songs that are quite good and at times outstanding.








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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bluesmore Music Festival - Cedar Rapids, IA Aug.3, 2013

Craig Erickson, Ron DeWitte, and BillyLee Janey

This year was yet another great year for music at annual Bluesmore Blues festival in Cedar Rapids.  Opening up the main stage was the LCBS All-Stars, featuring Craig Erickson, Ron DeWitte, BillyLee Janey, Bryce Janey, Dan Johnson, Dennis 'Daddy-O' McMurrin, Skeeter Lewis, Tom 'T-Bone' Giblin, and Danny Ketelson and Eric Douglas.  Seeing this much local talent on the stage at one time was a definite treat.  Following the LCBS All-Stars was the Scott Holt Band, which was followed by the headlining act of Lucky Peterson featuring Tamara Peterson.   These are just a handful of photos I was able to snap while taking a break or two from selling shirts at the merchandise tent.