Showing posts with label Album Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Album Reviews. Show all posts

Saturday, July 25, 2020

#455 : Scott Weis Band - Simmer Me Down

2020 – Scott Weis Band Production

By Phillip Smith; July 25, 2020

Simmer Me Down, the sixth release from Scott Weis Band, is a ten-track delight of electric blues.  With Weis on lead guitar and vocals, his trio also consists of Robert Kopec on bass guitar, and Roger Voss on drums.  Dedicated to the memory of Ben Elliot, who mixed and mastered the album, the record was recorded at Showplace Studios and features guests Cindy Mizelle on vocals, John Ginty on keys, Bashiri Johnson on percussion, and Phil Silverberg on keys.   

The opening track “Pride and Soul”, delicately awakens to a hard-driving blues-rock gem.  Filled to the brim with the lush sound of keys and a crashing pulse, the song also contains a bodacious dose of slide guitar.  It’s a stellar way to get the album started.  Weis breaks out a little Cajun funk topped with side of harmonica on title track “Simmer Me Down”.  It’s such a fun listen.  Surrounded by a wonderful infectious rhythm, and accompanied by Mizelle on backing vocals, Weis sings “Helpless” with a soulful John Hiatt swagger.  The song is pure excellence.  Weis, Voss and Kopec absolutely rip it up on “Right Where It Belongs”.  This is blues-rock at its best.      

Out of ten tracks on the recording, two are covers, and they are both terrific.  Weis performs Sam and Dave’s “When Something is Wrong with My Baby” with a mountain of heart and soul.  I love their take on ZZ Top’s “Jesus Just Left Chicago”.  Weis keeps this Texas blues favorite intact, while throwing his own spin into it.                 

The album closes with an amazing instrumental called “Transendence”.  It’s so reminiscent of the work of Tommy Bolin, it leaves me with a smile in my heart.  There’s no weak link in Simmer Me Down.  This album is about as solid as it gets.      


For more information about the artist, visit this website :

Saturday, July 4, 2020

#452 : Jeff Fetterman - Southern Son

2020 – Green Tea Music

 By Phillip Smith; July 4, 2020


Southern Son, the latest release from Jeff Fetterman has quickly garnered my affection.   Produced by Christoffer ‘Kid’ Andersen and recorded in California at Greaseland Studios, this twelve-track record is chockful of riveting blues-rock, with a tasty side of funk.  With Fetterman on guitar and vocals, his band is comprised of guitarist Eric Brewer, bassist Ralph Reitinger III, and drummer John McGuire.  Also appearing is John Halbleib on trumpet, Ric ‘Mightybone’ Feliciano on trombone, Doug Rowan on saxophone, and Kid Andersen on guitar, organ, piano, percussion and background vocals. 

Fetterman’s searing guitar on his high-energy opener “I Don’t Want To” sounds great with the horn-infused band and organ accompaniment.  The legendary tale of Robert Johnson’s pact with the Devil at the crossroads is a delightful and fun homage in “49/61”.  From the opening riff on “Ain’t Got You”, I’m hooked.  This big and bluesy hit infectiously rocks.  I love how “Blues for Charlie” gently drifts skyward-bound, like “Breathe” from Pink Floyd.  Beautifully executed, and performed, this instrumental is utterly remarkable.  Just as this track ends, Fetterman rolls into the only cover song on the album, “All Along the Watchtower”.  Here he takes a magical Isaac Hayes-inspired intro, before kicking the song into high-gear with a jaw-dropping guitar and vocal performance.  Behind the drums, McGuire grabs my attention fast with his thunderous and majestic beats.  This is my favorite track on the album.  Fetterman and company give up the funk on an incredible instrumental called “Voodoo Funk”.  It is another absolutely amazing song. 

 Fetterman’s Southern Son surely shines, and is one spectacular listen.                      


For more information about the artist, visit this 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.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

#354 : The Bennett Brothers - Not Made For Hire

2018 – American Showplace Music

By Phillip Smith; Sep. 29, 2018

New York musicians, guitarist Jimmy Bennett and bassist Peter Bennett first came to my awareness as the backbone of Alexis P. Suter Band.  Their presence on blues-rock albums from Bruce Katz, John Ginty, and Marcus Randolph captured my attention even more.  This summer, the Bennett Brothers released their debut album, Not Made For Hire, a powerful blues-rock album filled with a fistful of electric guitar and lots of groove. Drummer Lee Falco and keyboardist John Ginty bring their mojo to the band as well, forming a tight-knit outfit of musicians.

A searing blast of Texas-style electric blues greets the listener in “Junkyard Dog”.  Falco holds nothing back on drums as he drives this revving fully-loaded beast with ripping guitar from Jimmy.  The B3 sounds of Ginty is sweet icing on this cake.  The Bennett Brothers give an intoxicating performance in a wonderful, riveting way in “I Just Don’t Want the Blues Today”.  This one also features the lovely vocals of Linda Pino backing them up.  She definitely adds a layer of heartfelt emotion to the song.  The rocking contagious riffs in “What’d I Do” have a fabulous way to burrowing right inside to my core, and I love every bit of it.  The album ends in a tremendous way when the needle drops on “I Got a Woman”.  The guitar/organ intro generates a wave of excitement and captivates my attention.  Within ten seconds, the groove is set with a the funky rhythm and rides the spiraling B3 organ delightfully to its cosmic end.   

Not Made For Hire is the real deal.  This is what Blues-Rock is all about.


Links to other PhillyCheeze Rock & Blues Reviews featuring the Bennett Brothers :

Marcus Randolph My Peeples Peeple - Transplant

John Ginty - No Filter

John Ginty - Bad News Travels Live CD/DVD

Bruce Katz Band - Homecoming

The Alexis P Suter Band - Love the Way You Roll

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.