Showing posts with label Blues reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blues reviews. Show all posts

Saturday, May 16, 2020

#445 : Albert Castiglia - Wild and Free



2020 – Gulf Coast Records 

By Phillip Smith; May 16, 2020

Albert Castiglia’s prowess as a guitarist never ceases to amaze me.  He is one of my go-to artists when I really want to hear my blues sizzle.  His latest album Wild and Free definitely cooks.  Produced by Mike Zito and recorded live on January 3rd and 4th, 2020 at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, Florida, this recording features guests John Ginty, and Lewis Stephens with Zito himself making an appearance.  Castiglia’s rhythm section is comprised of bassist Justine Tompkins, and drummer Ephraim Lowell.  They sound great, and they’re tight as hell.    

Castiglia kickstarts the album with a furious, intense rush by leading off with “Let the Big Dog Eat”.  Stephens adds a delightful taste of soul on B3, while the others keep it funky.  The momentum continues to build with “Hoodoo on Me”.  Castiglia’s fearless, blues-soaked vocals are perfectly fit for his attention-grabbing guitar licks.  Then “Heavy” gently rolls in on this big mellow wave.  This beautifully written and executed song about life itself is one of my absolute favorites.  I also adore their eight and half minute colossal jam on Paul Butterfield’s “Lovin’ Cup” with Ginty on B3.  I can’t help but smile when Castiglia and the guys dive in to Johnny Winter’s “Too Much Seconal” with both Ginty and Zito stepping in for some old school blues.  This is what it’s all about.  “Boogie Funk”, another bodacious eight and half minute jam, brings things to a lively close with a riveting performance and plenty of searing guitar action. 

To fill the void in these times in which live music is not available, Albert Castiglia’s Wild and Free is exactly what I need to hear.              
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For more information about the artist, visit this website.. www.albertcastiglia.net



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, December 7, 2019

#420 : The Paul DesLauriers Band - Bounce

2019 – Vizztone
By Phillip Smith; December 7, 2019

Bounce, the third and latest album from The Paul DesLauriers Band is filled to the brim with hot smoldering blues topped with DesLauriers’ soulful vocals.   It’s no wonder why this Montreal-based blues group has pulled down Entertainer of the Year twice at Canada’s Maple Blues Awards, and took second place at the 2016 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.  Guitarist/singer Paul DesLauriers leads this trio with Alec McElcheran on bass, and Sam Harrison on drums.  Bassist Greg Morency also appears on six of the thirteen tracks.    

I love the infectious guitar riff DesLauriers keeps churning on “Let Me Go Down in Flames”.  I’m easily drawn to the North Mississippi vibe emanating from it.  J.P. Soars notably appears on “Picked a Bad Day”, a killer song with a heavy-duty bass-line.  The dual guitars are searing.  PLB’s cover of Anthony ‘Duster’ Bennett’s “Jumpin’ at Shadows” is beautifully melodic.  They conjure up a big tasty helping of delta blues on “When the Darkness Comes” for another superb listen.  My favorite track on the album is “Loosy Goosy Jam #769”.  This cool-as-hell six and a half minute instrumental rides along an unstoppable driving rhythm, which DesLauriers slathers with his amazing guitar picking.  It’s absolutely fabulous.

Bounce is a must hear for blues fans.  DesLauriers and his band have set a new bar for themselves.  This really is a terrific listen.


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I reviewed PDB’s album, Relentless in 2016.  Click the following link to access it.    https://phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-paul-deslauriers-band-relentless.html


For more information about the artist, visit this website: https://www.pauldeslauriersband.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.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.




Sunday, May 19, 2019

#392 : John Clifton - In the Middle of Nowhere



2019 – Rip Cat Records

By Phillip Smith; May 19, 2019

There’s a genuine authenticity to the blues music of California singer/harmonica player John Clifton.  Whether playing one of his own terrific original songs, or tearing through one of his amazing covers, he blankets his music on In the Middle of Nowhere with a warm nostalgic vibe.  His tight-as-hell band consists of guitarist Scott Abeyta, bassist Jake Finney, drummer/percussionist Edward Fritz, and pianist Bartek Szopinski.

Clifton delivers a tasty dose of ripping harp on the instrumental original “Cool Spot in Hell”, while Szopinski hammers out an exquisite piano performance.  Another great original is “Four Years Ago”.  This instant classic, about being in the doghouse, is an undeniable treat.  “Ain’t Spending No More Money” is another hot original, that boasts more searing blues.  It makes me realize just how much I enjoy the cohesiveness of this band.  They really gel.     

I love the smoking guitar doled out by Abeyta on the cover of Charley Jordon’s 1931 recording “Keep it Clean”.  Their take on Junior Wells’ “So Tired (I Could Cry)” simmers quite nicely.  Clifton smoothly sings this with a suave delivery.  For the album closer, they delightfully nail down a rollicking version of Merle Haggard’s “Honky Tonk Night Time Man”.  It really cooks.         

In the Middle of Nowhere is as solid a blues album as one can be.  It really made an impression on me.

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





Saturday, January 12, 2019

#370 : Little Freddie King - Fried Rice & Chicken



2018 – Orleans Records

By Phillip Smith; January 13, 2019

At seventy-eight, Little Freddie King is still ferociously pumping out raw, live blues in New Orleans at The DBA, and BJ’s Lounge.  His latest album, Fried Rice & Chicken is derived from six tracks off his 1996 release Swamp Boogie, and five songs from his 2000 in-concert album Sing Sang Sung. For those like me who missed the boat on those two albums, this is a great one to pick up. 

For the Swamp Boogie half, King is joined by bassists Earl Stanley and Robert Wilson, upright bassist Jason Sipher, drummers Kerry Brown and Bradley Wisham, and ‘Crazy’ Rick Allen on the Wurlitzer electric piano and organ.  The album opens with a splendidly funky instrumental cover of Jr. Walker and the All Stars’ “Cleo’s Back”.  King plays this with a slice old school twang, as Allen drizzles the song with an early Stax/Booker T. Jones vibe.  King also tears it up on Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say”, the other cover on the Swamp Boogie half of the record.  I love “The Great Chinese”.  This pseudo-instrumental has a definite Champs (“Tequilla”) influence.  Its rhythm pulls me in for a funky ride.  Another endearing instrumental, “Kinky Cotton Fields” is delivered with a western, cowboy twang.

The second half of Fried Rice & Chicken features recordings from two 1999 shows at Dream Palace in New Orleans.  The musicians playing with King on these tracks consist of long-time collaborator ‘Wacko’ Wade Wright on drums, Anthony Anderson on electric bass, and Bobby Lewis DiTullio on harmonica.  This act kicks off in a no-holds-barred way with a fantastic hardcore blues jam called “Sing Sang Sung”. King continues to rip it up on guitar, DiTullio kills it on harp, and Wright keeps the pulse adrenalized on drums.  Singing from the heart, King splendidly covers Jimmy Reed’s 1957 classic “Honest I Do”.   He also pays a rockin’ tribute to his namesake, Freddie King on “Hide Away”.  The album comes to a close with the funky country blues original “Bad Chicken”.  I can feel the smiles on the musicians’ faces, every time I hear it.  

Fried Rice & Chicken is a pure gem, and its rawness fascinates me.

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For more information about the artist, visit this website: https://littlefreddieking.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.   As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.







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. 

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To check out the PhillyCheeze review of Lady “A”Loved, Blessed and Blues :  https://phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com/search?q=lady+a


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