Saturday, August 29, 2020

#460 : Kat Riggins - Cry Out

 


2020 – Gulf Coast Records

By Phillip Smith; Aug. 29, 2020

 

It’s been almost four years since being smitten by the music of Kat Riggins, with her 2016 album Blues Revival.  That album was so incredible.  Her brand-new album, Cry Out is yet another musical masterpiece.  Recorded on Mike Zito’s label Gulf Coast Records, the album has a big Zito presence.  Each of the original thirteen tracks were written by Riggins and composed by Zito, with the only exception being a short thirty-five second interlude of “Hand in the Hand”.  Backing Riggins on the album is drummer Brian Zielie, bassist Doug Byrkit, featuring Zito on guitar.  

“Son of a Gun” kicks the record off with a big meaty bassline, locked and loaded with a driving rhythm.  It’s a southern rocker infused with Seventies-style stanky funk, and packed with soul.  A fitting song for the times, title-track “Cry Out” is steeped in blues, and topped with a big slice of juicy harp.  “Catching Up” captivates me with Riggins’ smooth, powerful vocals which ride atop a tide of infectious riffs and thunderous beats.  Her no-holds-barred delivery on “Can’t You See Me Now” is nicely punched up with blasts of brass and hot guitar licks.  Kat sings the blues with abundant intensity in “Burn it All Down”, as she goes all-in for a final showdown in a shaky relationship. “The Storm” ominously wraps the album up in a harrowing and blues-soaked manner.  Riggins’ gives a dynamic performance as Zito takes his guitar out for a lush and psychedelic walk. 

Kat Riggins is definitely among the top of my list when it comes to favorite blues singers today.  As a songwriter, her mastery of writing blues songs is quite noteworthy.  Cry Out is an excellent album in all regards.                   

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : katriggins.com

 

PhillyCheeze’s Sep.16, 2016 review of Kat Riggins’ Blues Revival

https://phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com/2016/09/kat-riggins-blues-revival.html

 

 

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, August 23, 2020

#459 : Bette Smith - The Good The Bad The Bette

 

2020 – Ruf Records

Release Date : Sep. 25, 2020

By Phillip Smith; Aug. 23, 2020

 

Three years have passed since Bette Smith released her debut album Jetliner.  The Good The Bad The Bette, her follow-up album, is an exquisite explosion of gritty, soulful, and funky music.  Recorded at Dial Back Sound in Water Valley, Mississippi, the record was produced by Matt Patton (Drive-By Truckers), and Bronson Tew.  With Patton on bass guitar, and Tew on drums, Smith enlists a small army of guitarists comprised of Luther Dickinson, Jimbo Mathus, Craig Pratt, Jody Nelson, Bronson Tew, Matt Patton, Curtis J. Brewer, and John Mcleod.   

A bodacious cover of Lonnie Sheilds’ “Fistful of Dollars” struts in with a glamourous, spaghetti-western disco fashion.  The rhythm is downright funky and sophisticatedly accompanied with strings and horns.  “Whistle Stop”, an original from Smith is extremely bluesy and soulful.  Based on a dream she had shortly before her mother passed, this is a song commemorating her last goodbye.  Featuring Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers ), “I’m a Sinner” invokes the sounds of sixties surf rock and absolutely cooks.  Smith’s vocals are fearless and from the gut, reminiscent of power-house soul singers Aretha Franklin, and Sharon Jones.  Luther Dickinson makes a guest appearance to pour some sweet southern soul into “Signs and Wonders”, setting the stage for an uplifting cosmic spiritual.  Smith serves up a big bowl of Muscle Shoals-style southern rock, with a delightful cover of The Dexateens’ “Pine Belt Blues”.  The band is tight as hell, and Smith’s vocals are rich and superb.  More Muscle Shoals-inspired music follows with a fabulous cover of the late, great Eddie Hinton’s “Everybody Needs Love”, featuring Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers.     

The Good The Bad The Bette is beautiful and flawless.  Don’t let this record pass you by.

             

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : https://www.bettesmith.com/


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, August 16, 2020

#458 : Fantastic Negrito - Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?

 

2020 – Cooking Vinyls

 

By Phillip Smith; Aug. 15, 2020

 

Like George Clinton and Prince, Fantastic Negrito (Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz) is a creative force to be reckoned with.  His lyrics are timely, reflective, and meaningful.  His music is funky, soulful and tapped into the blues ever so gently.  His voice is definitely one which needs to be heard.  As the writer, producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, Fantastic Negrito has delivered a masterpiece in his latest album Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?   

 

With a delicious Stevie Wonder-infused groove, the album kicks in with “Chocolate Samurai”.  This being the closest thing to a title track, Xavier sings “Have you lost your mind yet?  Get free tonight!”  The song is fantastic.  Following is “I’m So Happy I Could Cry”, featuring the Tarriona Tank’ Ball of Tank and the Bangas on vocals.  Enduring days without electricity due to a derecho which pummeled Iowa earlier in the week, this song imbedded in my brain, was the only music I had to listen to for days.  I’m so happy my sub-conscious picked this one to keep me going.  The world is going mad and “What have we become?” is the sociological question asked in the ambiently hazy ballad “How Long?”.  I’m reminded of Frank Zappa in the way Fantastic Negrito magically creates a complex array of melodies and genres, fusing jazz, blues, and funk to produce amazing music.  “King Frustration” is an excellent example. There’s so much happening in this song, it opens up a bit more with each and every listen.  I feel thankful and happy when listening to Xavier sing about his compadres in “These are my Friends”.  

 

I absolutely love this album!  Have You Lost Your Mind Yet is a record you must listen to.       

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Saturday, August 8, 2020

#457 : Mark May Band - Deep Dark Demon

 

2020 – Gulf Coast Records

By Phillip Smith; August 8, 2020

 

Deep Dark Demon, the seventh release from Mark May Band is a power-packed album of blues-rock featuring interesting original songs, soulful vocals and fierce guitar performances.  May, who cut his teeth in the Houston, Texas area playing biker bars and blues clubs for over twenty years, was also a member of Dickey Bett’s band for a while.  Killing it on lead vocals and lead guitar, he secures the front-man role of the band, which is also comprised of Billy Wells on vocals and rhythm guitar, Darrell Lacy on bass guitar, Brandon Jackson on drums for seven tracks, Geronimo Calderon on drums for four tracks, Barry Seelen on B3 for seven tracks, Shawn Allen on B3 for four tracks, and Al Pagliuso on percussion.  

The record rolls in a with “Harvey’s Dirty Side”, which boasts a heavy Allman Brothers meets Lenny Kravitz vibe.  Seelen’s beefy B3 riffs add a serious backup to May’s tantalizing guitar licks and mesmerizing style.  The relaxed pace on “BBQ and Blues” sets a perfect mood for a backyard cook-out abundantly stocked with coolers of ice-cold beer.  May bestows a Santana-esque flavor in”Back”.  This Latin-infused blues-rocker is an amazing listen.  May’s guitar prowess shines brightly on this masterpiece.

With Deep Dark Demon being recorded on Mike Zito’s Gulf Coast Records label, it’s a pleasure to hear Zito himself ripping it up on the title-track.  This slow-cooked number definitely brings the blues back home in style.  I love the dual lead guitar intro on “My Last Ride”.  May’s reflective lyrics and a driving rhythm are tremendous bookends for his stunning guitar-play.  The icing on the cake, “Invisible Man” brings the album to a fabulous close with a big bodacious bowl of eighties-style funk.  Although May’s soulful and debonair voice takes the front seat, I absolutely dig his use of the talk box on this track. 

Deep Dark Demon, satisfies on many levels.  It’s a terrific album through and through.       

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : markmay.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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Saturday, August 1, 2020

#456 : BillyLee Janey - 20 Dollar Tip


2020 – BillyLee Janey

By Phillip Smith; Aug. 1, 2020

 

It’s always exciting to hear new material from Iowa Blues Hall of Fame member BillyLee Janey (Truth and Janey).  Janey’s bravado is a force to be reckoned with and his brand of electric blues is hard to beat.  For his latest album, 20 Dollar Tip, Janey returns to the studio with Dan ‘DJ’ Johnson on bass, Eric Douglas on drums, and Tom ‘T-Bone’ Giblin (Lonnie Brooks, The Dynatones, Mighty Joe Young) on Hammond B3 to produce an engaging, well-crafted record.   His son Bryce Janey mixed and mastered the record, and also appears on backing vocals.

Title-track “20 Dollar Tip” takes off in a dazzling fury with a wonderful display of searing guitar licks.  Flexing its muscles with a hard-driving rhythm and serious B3 back-up, it’s a great song to kick things off with.  Janey infuses a tasty bit of funk in his infectious tribute to delta blues in “Way Down in a Mississippi Town”.  This is definitely one of my favorites.  If there were a category for Best Soul Blues Song of the Year, “Love’s Gonna Stop That Train” would definitely be a contender.  The song is absolutely fabulous.  In “Stepping Out with the Blues”, Janey’s performance drips with Chicago-style authenticity, and sounds like perfection.  This nine-track album comes to a rollicking close with “Shake My Soul”, making for one hell of a blues jam. 

20 Dollar Tip is a splendid listen from start to finish, and highly recommended. 

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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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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.      

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : scottweisband.com


Saturday, July 18, 2020

#454 : Hurricane Ruth - Good Life


2020 – American Showplace Music

By Phillip Smith; July 18, 2020 

There’s no escaping the powerful voice and fierce style of Hurricane Ruth LaMaster in Good Life, her fifth and latest album.  Her fearless approach to singing the blues takes a backseat to none.  Produced by Ben Elliot (Savoy Brown, Leslie West, Hubert Sumlin) who sadly passed away April 5, 2020, this ten-track album comprised mostly of original songs features Scott Holt on guitar, Calvin Johnson on bass guitar, Bruce Katz on B3/keys, and Tony Braunagel on drums.

 A t-shirt I purchased from guitarist Scott Holt seven years ago at a favorite blues-hangout called Checkers Tavern in Cedar Rapids, Iowa says, “Loud is Good!”.  Loud is indeed good, and that’s the apparent mantra from the git-go with the high-energy opener “Wildfire”.  With Katz pounding the keys, and Holt ripping it up on guitar, Hurricane Ruth gives a riveting performance on the mic.  The music gets even hotter and out of control on “Dirty Blues”.  I love it.  Written by two-time Grammy winning producer Gary Nicholson, “Torn in Two” is an excellent vehicle for Ruth’s hardscrabble style.  While the band is absolutely cooking, she takes this song by the horns and wrestles it to the ground.  There’s a hard-rocking Suzi Quatro-esque vibe on “Black Sheep” which I simply adore.  This reflective ode to Ruth’s younger badass self is a definite favorite.  “Who I Am” is a killer track with lots of tasty jam.  A deep heavy pulse from Braunagel and a funky taste of keys from Katz opens the song as Ruth sings about leaving her partying days behind.

Hurricane Ruth packs a fistful of gusto into Good Life, delivering yet another rock-solid record of blues.  It’s definitely an album which I will keep in rotation for a while.     

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : hurricaneruth.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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Saturday, July 11, 2020

#453 : Dave Fields - Force of Will


2020 – Dave Fields 

By Phillip Smith; July 11, 2020

 

I’ve been a fan of Dave Fields since reviewing his All In album which was released in 2014.  This New York City blues-rocker is such a remarkable musician, he never ceases to impress me with each new release.  He has risen to a whole new level with Force of Will, his latest album.  This record featuring ten tracks of all-original songs and is an amazing listen. 

Fields fabulously kick-starts the record off with a high-energy anthem of affection called “I Love My Baby”.  His infectious guitar riff and soulful vocals are accompanied with a delightful bluesy blast of harmonica from Bill Ferris.  Following up is hard-driving rocker “Big Block”.  Jam-packed with gobs of luscious, screaming guitar licks and astounding thunder-filled beats from drummer Van Romaine, this one is a monster. 

With a soulful slow-cooked delivery, Fields doles out gut-wrenching, down-home blues with “Why Can’t You Treat Me Right”.  Bassist Bjørn Hägset and drummer Käre Amundsen recording their parts from Molde Norway provide the rhythm section for this track. 

 Like Van Halen’s “Eruption” which lead into their cover of the Kink’s “You Really Got Me”, Fields’ “Delmar” is a short yet intense guitar instrumental leading up to another mind-blowing instrumental called “Jack Ham Her”.  The latter, with Erik Boyd on bass and Romaine on drums, grabs my full attention as it quickly reminds me of how in awe I was of Joe Satriani when I first heard Surfing with the Alien.  These two astonishing tracks tremendously caught me by surprise.   

Records like Dave Fields’ Force of Will keep me optimistic on the future of music.  The album is a great listen from start to finish.

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : davefields.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, 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.                      

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : jefffetterman.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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Saturday, June 27, 2020

#451 : 8 Ball Aitken - Swamp Blues 2


2020 – Red Rocker Records

 By Phillip Smith; June 27, 2020

Swamp Blues 2, the eleventh album from Nashville-based, Aussie blues-rocker 8 Ball Aitken is a fabulous listen.  Recorded at Yellow Dog Studios in Wimberly, Texas, this thirteen-track all-original gem enlists an amazing crew of musicians to help put this together.  8 Ball, on guitars and vocals, is joined by drummer JJ Johnson (Tedeschi Trucks Band, John Mayer), bassist Glenn Fukunaga (Robert Plant, Dr John, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Dixie Chicks), Buddy Leach (George Thorogood & the Destroyers) on sax and keys, with Guthrie Kennard and Julie Meridian on backing vocals.

 I knew I was in for a special listen once I heard the opening song “Tremolo Rain”.  With rich Dylan-esque lyrics, 8 Ball describes an assortment of characters from the Big Easy caught in a violent electrical storm.  His spacy guitar licks delightfully pepper an ominous circular rhythm.  Rolling in like a long-forgotten song from Dire Straits, “Murderers Bar” pays a wonderful homage to a once-popular hangout for blues aficionados at the Melbourne Hotel in Brisbane.  “Chocolate, Jack Daniels, and LSD” is plumb exquisite.  Lyrics which would put a grin on John Prine’s face are paired with a steady countryfied rhythm and sweet swirling sounds of organ.  Making a guest appearance on harmonica for “Cold Shower” is Mojo Webb.  Webb, a semi-finalist in the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, pours a heaping helping of deep blues in this ode to loneliness on the road. 

 With a candid and genuine approach, 8 Ball lyrically lays it on the line with every song.  Swamp Blues 2 is masterfully crafted, and indeed a wonderful listen.     

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : https://8ballaitken.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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Saturday, June 20, 2020

#450 : James Mathus & His Knockdown Society - Stop and Let the Devil Ride


2020 – Big Legal Mess Records

 By Phillip Smith; June 20, 2020

Jimbo Mathus is one of those artists I have the highest of respect for.  There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind, that his presence in the world of music has made a humongous impact.  On June 5, his entire back catalog was made available on Bandcamp by Big Legal Mess Records.  One of those recordings in particular, is a previous unreleased album called Stop and Let the Devil Ride.  The record dates back to 2001 and was recorded in the period of time he was working with Buddy Guy.  In 2003, there were few copies of the album printed, but not very many, and this never appeared online for purchase.  Self-produced, the album features Mathus on guitar and vocals, Stu Cole on bass, and Nate Stalfa on drums.  Additional guitars provided Dave Spencer and Luther Dickinson, and Patrick “Playboy” Smith appears on keys. 

“Mean Old Line” is a welcoming ferocious rush of heavy electric blues.  Mathus keeps it nice and swampy while Stalfa keeps the beat intense.  His cover of J.J.Barmes’ “How Long” has a spectacular groovy rhythm and is performed with a raw unbridled approach.  The swirling sounds of keys from Smith, adds a warm intoxicating layer of sound to “Love I Miss Loving”.  Originally by Otis Rush, this one is remarkably resurrected by Mathus as an instrumental.  There’s an early Stones vibe on “Dope Sniffing Dog”.  Loaded with rocking guitar riffs, pounding keys, and a sing-a-long hook.  The song is indeed one of my favorites.  I also love the infectiousness of “Blues Jumped a Rabbit.  This blues-soaked delight puts a smile on my face with every listen.  Mathus masterfully delivers slow-cooked blues with a heart-broken abandonment on “Cheap Champagne”.  Staffa takes it to the next level with breakneck speed on title track, “Let the Devil Ride”.  Mathus rips it up with a searing delivery on slide guitar, and Cole absolute cooks on bass.  This one definitely gets the blood flowing.   

Stop and Let the Devil Ride is extraordinary listen.  I’m so glad Jimbo decided to make this material available.  It deserves to be heard.  

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : therealjimbomathus.com 



Saturday, June 13, 2020

#449 : Eric Hughes Band - Postcard from Beale Street


2020 – Endless Blues Records

By Phillip Smith; June 13, 2020


The first time I remember seeing Eric Hughes perform was in 2016 at Jerry Lawler’s Hall of Fame Bar & Grill on Beale Street in Memphis.  Lawler’s was having a soft grand opening and Beale Street was busy with festival-goers waiting for Memphis in May to commence.  Since then, I have made a point to catch him play whenever I am in the Bluff City.  I can usually find him playing at Rum Boogie Café or outdoors over at Central BBQ – Midtown during Sunday lunch.  His performances are engaging and his original songs are spectacular.  Postcard from Beale Street, the sixth release from the Eric Hughes Band, packs ten wonderful original songs spanning a diverse assembly of musical styles rooted in Americana and The Blues.  With Eric on vocals, harmonica, and guitar, the rest of the band consists of his brother Walter Hughes on guitar and backing vocals, bassist Leo Goff, and drummer Brian Aylor.  Also appearing on the album is Rick Steff on keys, Marc Franklin on trumpet, Kirk Smothers on saxophone, and Mick Kolassa on tussolin, spoons, and backing exclamations.

Leading the album off is a scrappy blues song called “Ain’t Whipped Yet”.  Walter’s guitar absolutely sings while Steff keeps it swinging on keys.  Hughes’ nostalgic ode to liquor “Oh Booze!” is simply marvelous.  The arrangement of the horns interestingly assists in capturing the essence of music from the early 20th century.  Walter breaks out some cool-as-hell Hendrix-like licks on “He’s Just an Alley Cat”.  This infectious blues-rocker is best heard at high volume.  I love “Follow Your Stupid Little Dreams”.  Not only is it a great mantra to live by, this delightful ditty keeps getting stuck in my head.    

The rhythm section is revved and topped with hot blasts of horns in “Fair Weather Friends”.  This rocking upbeat track ironically exposes those who bail on us when the party ends.  It’s Hughes’ storytelling songs like “Blackberry Patch” which define his artistry as a songwriter.  The imagery embedded in the song invokes memories of playing alone outdoors as a child.  I love the use of the resonator guitar on this one.  The song is indeed a favorite.

Eric Hughes has honed his craft by logging over 4,000 live performances on Memphis’ historical Beale Street.  That’s a feat in and of itself.  The music from Postcard from Beale Street is definitely reflective of that, and is a refreshing change of pace to listen to.                   

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : erichughesband.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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Saturday, June 6, 2020

#448 : Too Slim and the Taildraggers - The Remedy


2020 – Vizztone

 By Phillip Smith; June 06, 2020

Tim Langford (aka Too Slim) has hit the studio once again with fellow Taildraggers Zach Kasik (bass, banjo, guitar, vocals) and Jeff “Shakey” Fowlkes (drums, percussion, vocals), returning with yet another outstanding album.  The Remedy is comprised of eleven songs.  Ten of those are originals with the writing evenly split between Langford and Kasik.  Recorded, engineered, and mixed by Kasik at his Wild Feather Recording studio in Nashville, the album features special guests Sheldon “Bent Reed” ZiroJason Ricci, and Richard “Rosy” Rosenblatt

Too Slim tells the story of a volatile relationship in “Last Last Chance”, lacing the song with country-fried boogie and irresistible guitar licks.  Kasik takes the mic and steps into the spotlight on “She’s Got the Remedy”.  This killer song washes ashore with a steady hypnotic riff and a Pearl Jam vibe.  “Keep the Party Rolling” is plumb fantastic.  Langford rips it up on this phenomenal Texas-style blues anthem as Ziro belts smoldering blasts of harp.  Shakey holds nothing back as he hammers out a heavy tantalizing beat.  It sounds great.  Their cover of Elmore James’ “Sunnyland Train” is a delight to hear indeed.  Too Slim’s slide guitar is outstanding as usual.  In western gunslinger fashion, Kasik breaks out the banjo and spins a wonderfully ominous tale with “Sure Shot”.  It’s always a treat to hear Jason Ricci perform.  The harp licks he throws down on the “Platinum Junkie” hit with hat-dropping precision.  I love how this Kasik-penned song coolly walks the line between blues and funk.  In a provocative John Fogerty-style, Too Slim takes an up-close, hard look at the current political situation in “Think About That”.  Rosenblatt brings his harp for a guest appearance on this deliciously swampy song.   

Too Slim and the Taildraggers remain one of my favorite bands as they continue to stay on point.  This new batch of songs in The Remedy is fresh, poignant, and fearlessly packed with that punch which Too Slim delivers oh so well.    

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For more information about the artist, visit this website :  tooslim.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, May 30, 2020

#447 : Shawn Pittman - Make it Right!



2020 – Continental Blue Heaven

By Phillip Smith; May 30, 2020


Shawn Pittman has toured with Susan Tedeschi, recorded with Double Trouble, been in a band with former members of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and played with Hubert SumlinJames Cotton, and Pinetop Perkins.  That’s quite the amazing resume, and it’s no surprise his thirteenth release Make it Right!, hooked me from the git-go.  Pittman’s guitar performances are amazing, and he sounds so damn good as he maneuvers from crisp and twangy, to dirty and swampy.  This is the kind of guitar-centric blues I enjoy most.  Pittman, on guitar and vocals, is joined by bassist Erkan Özdemir and drummer Levent Özdemir for the making of this splendid twelve track album.    

The delectable slow droning riff on “Done Tole You So” called out to me like a R.L. Burnside song.  It embraces that North Mississippi Hill country sound, and I love every bit of it.  A spectacularly funky cover of Albert King’s “Finger on the Trigger” follows.  Its groove, surrounded in a Hendrix-inspired cloak of psychedelia, is warm and inviting.  A pulsing breakneck beat courtesy of Levent is the only source for rhythm on title track, “Make it Right”.  Pittman’s guitar performance is scorching.  His rendition of Junior Kimbrough’s “I Feel Good” puts me in my happy place, as the juke joint experience is wonderfully recreated. The blues is played nice and slow on Pittman’s original “How Long”, as each note seems to hover in the air.  I embrace their instrumental take of James Brown’s “Cold Sweat”.  It’s one my top favorites.    

Make it Right is one killer record.  This is definitely one album you want to pick up.        


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For more information about the artist, visit this website :  shawnpittman.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.