Saturday, November 17, 2018

#363 : Sean Chambers - Welcome to My Blues

2018 –American Showplace Music
Release Date: October 19, 2018

By Phillip Smith; Nov. 17, 2018

Florida bluesman Sean Chambers knocks another out of the park with his seventh album, Welcome to My Blues.  Produced by Ben Elliot and including John Ginty on B3 and keys, bassist Todd Cook, and drummer Moe Watson, this record features eleven tracks plumb full of fine-crafted electric blues.      

Chambers greets the listener with infectious SRV-like riffs and searing hot licks on title-track “Welcome to My Blues”.  It’s magnificently performed.  “Black Eyed Suzie”, another Chambers original, is soaked in the swampy southern goodness of slide guitar.  Paired with the keyboard mastery from Ginty, it invokes the sounds of the Allman Brothers.  I can’t help but fall for his cover of Luther Allison’s “Cherry Red Wine”.  That is such a heavy tune, and Chambers pours every bit of himself into the song.  His vocals are heart-felt and his guitar playing is amazing.

With guest guitarist Jimmy Bennett (The Bennett Brothers) on slide and backing vocals, “One More Night to Ride” is funky and cool as hell. There’s a bit of a Black Oak Arkansas vibe in this ode to outlaws and motorcycles. The T-Bone Walker cover “All Night Long” is soulful and handled with care. Cook’s funky smooth bass line and Watson’s stellar beats usher the song to its destined greatness as it naturally builds into a glorious jam. 

Welcome to My Blues is what blues-guitar albums are supposed to sound like. It’s one of this year’s best.           


To check out the PhillyCheeze review of Sean Chambers – Trouble and Whiskey ;

For more information about Sean Chambers, visit his website:

Take a listen to the album on Apple Music, and if you decide to purchase it, use my special link.  This helps keep the PhillyCheeze site going.

Click on the link below to purchase this terrific album from the PhillyCheeze Amazon store.   

Saturday, November 10, 2018

#362 : Lady “A” - Doin’ Fine

2018 – Lady "A"

By Phillip Smith; Nov. 10, 2018

Doin’ Fine, the fourth album from Anita White aka Lady “A” is a terrific follow-up to her 2016 album, Loved, Blessed, and Blues.  Teaming up once again with producer Dexter Allen, this singer/songwriter from the Pacific Northwest makes sure the record is loaded with funky soul and smooth blues.  With Lady “A” on vocals and Allen on guitars and bass, Chris “Rattlesnake” Minter holds down the drums, and Joey Robinson accompanies on both piano and drums.

Like that first ray of sunshine that carves its beautiful path to earth each day, title track “Doin’ Fine” sets the stage for a an enlightening listen and reassures everything will be ok.  This upbeat opener reels me right in with its gospel-infused rhythm and Lady “A’s” spirited vocals.  “Change the World” wonderfully plays like a recently uncovered Otis Redding song.  Poignant and beautiful, this song expresses a strong desire to make the world a better place.  “Throw Down” is a whole lot of fun too.  Blessed by a funk in the style of George Clinton, this tune is an absolute treat.           
Lady “A” who also hosts the award-winning online radio shows, The Gumbo & Gospel Show, and Black N Blues on NWCZ Radio once again scores big points with this new album.  It definitely grabs my attention. 


To check out the PhillyCheeze review of Lady “A”Loved, Blessed and Blues :

For more information about Lady “A”, visit her website .

Take a listen to the album on Apple Music, and if you decide to purchase it, use my special link.  This helps keep the PhillyCheeze site going.

Click on the link below to purchase this terrific album from the PhillyCheeze Amazon store.   

Sunday, November 4, 2018

#361 : Ms Zeno the Mojo Queen - Back in Love

2018 –Blue Lotus Recordings

By Phillip Smith; Nov. 4, 2018

I absolutely love the new release Back in Love, from Verlinda Zeno aka Ms Zeno the Mojo Queen.  I stumbled upon her music several weeks ago through a podcast I frequently listen to called Radio Memphis, hosted by Ric Chetter.  From the moment she started singing, I knew I had to purchase her new disc.  Her voice, soulful and powerful reminds me of a few of personal favorites: Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Sharon Jones.  Backed by co-producers Paul Niehaus IV and Kevin O’Connor on almost every instrument one could think of, and Gene Jackson on vocals, the wonderful Ms Zeno brings her A-game to every track.   

With a big blast of horns and a hint of strings in the back, title track, “Back in Love” initiates this record with that glorious Stax vibe and features guest vocalist Roland Johnson. “That’s How I Know” is electrically charged and dripping with soul.  Ms Zeno sings this with abundantly sweet emotion.  G Weevil makes a guest appearance on guitar for “Willie Brown”.  This is hands-down, one fantastic blues song, and I am totally smitten by her vocal delivery.  The lady can sing the blues, and that is a fact.  Tom Martin ( Zydedo Crawdaddys)  stops by with accordion in hand to lend a bit of Creole seasoning to the wonderfully funky “Mojo Queen”.  Like a heart-wrenching Otis Redding song, “Love is Like a Flower” is an amazing song and brilliantly vocalized.  The masterful harmonica stylings of Brandon Santini sets a roadhouse blues atmosphere to “Call My Name”.  An unescapable rhythm draws me right in, like a mosquito to a porch light.  “Gotta Get Paid”, swimming in hot buttery soul and slathered in high-energy funk, firmly keeps me glued to the speakers. 

One of my favorite albums that I’ve heard this year, Ms Zeno’s Back in Love is my pick for soul album of the year.  It’s absolutely fabulous!


Take a listen to the album on Apple Music, and if you decide to purchase it, use my special link.  This helps keep the PhillyCheeze site going.

Click on the link below to purchase this terrific album from the PhillyCheeze Amazon store.   

#360 : Bob Dorr and Friends Live @ Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery

November 2, 2018
Swisher, Iowa
By Phillip Smith; Nov 4, 2018

Friday, November 2nd, the Linn County Blues Society and Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery hosted a stellar evening of blues in Swisher, Iowa.  Bob Dorr and Friends (guitarist Jeff Petersen, bassist Dan ‘DJ’ Johnson, and keyboardist Tom Giblin) brought their Parlor City Jam Band out to play in a totally different setting, at Cedar Ridge Winery to a full house of blues fans.   

With Bob behind the drum kit and Jeff Petersen armed with his Flying V guitar, the band played through crowd favorites such as the Hank Williams classic “Mind Your Own Business” and Freddie King’s “Have You Ever Loved a Woman”.  DJ stepped up to the mic and rocked the room with “Shake Rattle and Roll”, originally recorded by Big Joe Turner.  Keeping the momentum going, Petersen belted out Ike Turner’s legendary “Rocket 88”.  It sounded great.  When “Mustang Sally” rolled around the dance floor quickly filled.  DJ paid a wonderful homage to Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Want Me to Do?”  As the blues jams go, you never know who will appear on stage throughout the show.  This particular evening, keyboardist Jeff Craft and harpist Bob Gleason made an appearance.  Craft led the band on a great cover of Muddy Waters’ “Got My Mojo Workin’” with Gleason wonderfully ripping it up on harmonica. It was very cool.  The music was so hot; the time quickly flew by.  Before long, the jam came to its end with Bob Dorr’s traditional Limestoner Blues Jam closer, Dylan’s “Rainy Day Woman # 12 & 35”.  It was a terrific night, indeed.     

  * photos by Phillip Smith

Tom 'T-Bone Giblin

Jeff Petersen, Bob Dorr, Dan 'DJ' Johnson'

Bob Dorr, Jeff Petersen

Bob Dorr, Dan 'DJ' Johnson, Tom 'T-Bone' Giblin
and Jeff Petersen

Jeff Petersen, Dan 'DJ' Johnson

Tom 'T-Bone Giblin' , Bob Dorr

Jeff Craft, Bob Gleason

Jeff Petersen

Bob Dorr

Jeff Petersen, Dan 'DJ' Johnson

Jeff Petersen