Monday, September 4, 2017

25th Annual Bowlful of Blues - Sep. 3, 2017


The Fred Maytag Bowl
Maytag Park
Newton, Iowa 
All photos by Phillip Smith; Sep 03, 2017


I don't think I could have picked a better place to spend the day before Labor Day, than being immersed in the blues at Maytag Park in Newton, Iowa.  This was my first visit to the Bowlful of Blues Festival, and I hope to attend many more times in the future.  Unfortunately, I missed the opening act, Juliana and a Soul Purpose, but I did arrive just in time to catch the spectacular ninety minute set from The Norman Jackson Band in its entirety.   Having just reviewed his recent album, It's the Drummers Fault,  I was most excited to see this band from Springfield, Missouri perform live.  (click here to check out that review).   







Keeping the momentum going between the main acts,  Iowa Blues Hall of Fame member, Rob Lumbard entertained the audience on acoustic guitar with a treasure-trove of songs. 

Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers took the stage for a captivating performance, bringing a small taste of Mardi Gras to the middle of Iowa.  Following them, the great Mato Nanji and Indigenous graced the stage and gobsmacked me with his guitar prowess.  (click here to check out my 2013 review for Otis Taylor's My World is Gone album, which features Mato Nanji).      Closing out the evening, was  New York's Jane Lee Hooker, who played an amazing set of blues-rock.  They were definitely a force to be reckoned with.



The Norman Jackson Band


Norman Jackson

Norman Jackson, Danny Williams,
and Rick Shortt

Norman Jackson

Rick Shortt

Norman Jackson

Danny Williams

Norman Jackson and Rick Shortt

Rick Shortt

Norman Jackson, Rick Shortt, and
Danny Williams

Norman Jackson

Rick Shortt

Norman Jackson and Rick Shortt

Rick Shortt

Rick Shortt

Norman Jackson and Rick Shortt

Norman Jackson, Ron Brown, and
Rick Shortt

Ron Brown, Norman Jackson, Rick Shortt, and
Danny Williams

Ron Brown

Ron Brown and Rick Shortt

Norman Jackson

   

Rob Lumbard


Rob Lumbard

Rob Lumbard

Rob Lumbard


Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers


Paul LaFleur and Dee Fleming

Paul LaFleur , Dee Fleming
and Dwayne Dopsie

Dwayne Dopsie

Dwayne Dopsie

Dwayne Dopsie

Dwayne Dopsie

Paul LaFleur and Dwayne Dopsie

Dee Fleming

Dwayne Dopsie, Dion Pierre, and Damon Sonnier

Michael Doherty

Michael Doherty

Damon Sonnier

Dee Fleming

Dwayne Dopsie



Mato Nanji and Indigenious

Mato Nanji



Douglas Platero

Bronson Begay


Mato Nanji

Mato Nanji


Douglas Platero

Mato Nanji

Mato Nanji

Mato Nanji

Mato Nanji

Mato Nanji

Mato Nanji

Mato Nanji

Douglas Platero

Bronson Begay

Mato Nanji and Douglas Platero

Mato Nanji



Jane Lee Hooker


Dana “Danger” Athens

Tracy Hightop

Dana “Danger” Athens

Tina "T-Bone" Gorin

Tracy Hightop

Melissa "Cool Whip" Houston

Hail Mary Z,  Dana “Danger” Athens, and
Tracy Hightop

Dana “Danger” Athens, Melissa "Cool Whip" Houston
and Tracy Hightop

Jane Lee Hooker

Dana “Danger” Athens and Tracy Hightop

Tina "T-Bone" Gorin and Dana “Danger” Athens

Tina "T-Bone Gorin

Melissa "Cool Whip" Houston

Tracy Hightop

Tracy Hightop and Hail Mary Z


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Insomniac Folklore - Everything Will Burn


2017 –Insomniac Folklore Records

By Phillip Smith; Sep 2, 2017


Insomniac Folklore takes an apocalyptic turn with their latest release, Everything Will Burn.   Frontman/guitarist/organist/percussionist Tyler Hentchell and singer/concertinist/puppetmaster Adrienne Hentschell are joined by bassist Amanda Curry, violinist Lisa Strader, and drummer Ayden Simonatti in this all folksy original ode to the end-of-times.  Mastered by Kramer who has also produced for White Zombie and GWAR, the fabric of the album is of a dark and menacing texture.

Hentchell’s deep bass vocals bring a serious inevitable revelation to the ominous and haunting melody of title track “Everything Will Burn”.  A wave of eeriness washes over as a violin rolls out the red carpet for “Feet in the Earth”.  The harmonics of Tyler and Adrienne’s voices are unsettling, yet fun.  Grabbing my attention on “Come Down Moses”, is the swift change of direction the songs takes as it segues from sweet to punk.  “Dust”, another schizodelic track, takes an unexpected bath in a fury of fuzzy electric guitar and a psychedelic barrage of percussion from pots, pans, and dried-out cow bones.   

Imbedded with a tetrad of short mostly instrumental tracks, Everything Will Burn is quite the bizarre and interesting concept album. 

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Trevor Sewell - Calling Nashville


2017 –Trevor Sewell

By Phillip Smith; Sep 2, 2017


Soaking up the songs and sounds of UK bluesman Trevor Sewell’s latest album, Calling Nashville, makes for a wonderful listen.  Produced by Geoff Wilbourn and recorded at the Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, this is his fifth record in as many years.  Sewell has definitely been at the top of his game during that time, logging in six American tours and pulling down seventeen international awards.  Eleven tracks of Blues and Americana excellence grace this album as does guest appearances from the legendary Janis Ian, and Tracy Nelson (Mother Earth).   

Kellen Michael Weinrich throws down a dazzling fiddle performance on “Some Day”, a song dedicated to treating each other right.  Nicely topped off with a heaping dose of Sewell’s fiery guitar, the track makes for a great opener.  Sewell’s suave vocals are warmly accompanied by the beautiful voice and piano mastery of Janis Ian in the duet, “Fade to Grey”.   Ian also joins Sewell in another delightful collaboration in the elegant “Shadows”.  A hefty groove engineered by Sewell’s guitar prowess emits a bold Mark Knopfler vibe on the brilliant “Matter of Time”.  Tracy Nelson lends her graceful voice to the Dylan-esque ode to the heart-felt “Long Time Ago”.  The classic Nashville sound is genuinely embraced amid a turbo-charged cocktail of furious fiddling and searing guitar on “Stand Next to Him”.  It’s a killer song with truck-load of grit.

Calling Nashville is as solid as they come as far as albums go, grabbing my full attention with both the songwriting and the performances.      


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For more info on Trevor Sewell, check out his website : http://www.trevorsewell.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.  




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