Saturday, December 8, 2018

#365 : Kevin Burt - Heartland & Soul



2018 – Little Village Foundation

By Phillip Smith; Dec. 8, 2018

I still remember the first time I heard Kevin Burt perform. It was shortly after I moved to Iowa in 1992.  It was a remarkable performance with Kevin fronting his band The Instigators.  His voice was unique and unforgettable.  Kevin has been a key presence in the music community here for a long time.  It makes me happy to see him become a part of a much larger scene since bringing home first place awards in three different categories during the 2018 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee : Best Solo/Duo Performer, Best Guitarist, Best Harmonica Player.  Recorded at the famed Greaseland Studios in San Jose, California, and produced by Kid Andersen and Jim Pugh, this debut album Heartland & Soul is more than fabulous.  With Kevin on vocals, acoustic guitar, and harmonica, Jerry Jemmott (Gregg Allman) appears on bass, Derrick ‘D’Mar’ Martin ( Little Richard) on drums, Jon Otis (Johnny Otis’ son) on percussion, Kid Andersen (Rick Estrin & the Nightcats) on guitar and melodica, Jim Pugh (Robert Cray) on keys, and Lisa Leuschner Andersen on backing vocals.

It doesn’t take long to be overcome by the soulful groove of “Day Day”, the first selection on this twelve track masterpiece.  It certainly brings me to my happy space.  An inspirational message of gratitude is beautifully spun with heartfelt emotion in “Thank You”.  It’s a wonderful song indeed.  With a nice and swampy taste of slide guitar topped with harmonica, Kevin breaks into “Smack Dab in the Middle”.  This bodacious track is steeped in delta-style blues and infused with a funky bassline and brilliant, jamming keys.  Ensuring the only cover song on the album “Eleanor Rigby” is an absolute head-turner, Kevin adds a personal touch to give the song a greater sense of poignancy.  It’s such an amazing listen. 

Heartland & Soul certainly ranks right up there with the best blues albums released this year.  It definitely merits my highest level of recommendation.

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For more information about Kevin Burt, visit his website: www.bfburt.com .


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, December 1, 2018

#364 : CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion - #5OR5000



2018 – IHEART CECE
Release Date: June 22, 2018

By Phillip Smith; Dec. 1, 2018

I love the fabulous, soulful energy that flows from #5OR500, the new live album from Florida-based band CeCe Teneal and Soul Kamotion.  The title is reflective of the band’s mission to give one hundred percent on every performance, no matter if the audience size is five, or five thousand.  With CeCe Teneal front and center on vocals, the rest of Soul Kamotion is comprised of guitarist Lavon Rushing, bassist Terrell Kimble, keyboardist Christopher Baptiste, and drummer James Adkins.

“90 MPH” is a sonic blast of fearless funk as it lifts this twelve-track album off the launching pad.  With Teneal holding nothing back on vocals, Rushing loads the song with monster riffs,   Kimble thumps a groovy bassline, and Adkins is a beast behind the drums.  “Danger” puts a big smile on my face as well.  It keeps the funk flowing with a call-back to the great R&B songs of the Eighties with a touch of brass. 

There’s no shortage of blues as Teneal sings about paybacks on “Common Ordinary Housewife”.  Rushing plays this with finesse, and Teneal’s voice, full of power and range, delivers an outstanding performance. “Lonely (Even When You’re Here)” is beautifully melancholy.  Baptiste sets the atmosphere for this amazing listen.   

The band is solid and tight from beginning to end, and Teneal definitely delivers her one hundred percent.  #5OR5000 is one of the best live albums of this nature I’ve heard.  I highly recommend it.

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For more information about CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion, visit their website: https://soulkamotion.com  



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.