Blues Celebrating Friends Along The Way With Mitch Woods

Blues Celebrating Friends Along The Way With Mitch Woods

We all need friends. The harmony and deep joy sharing what we love with friends sustain you through hard times and dark times. Friends Along The Way, Mitch Woods eleventh album, is the perfect soundtrack to celebrate friendship. Mitch has gathered around him a galaxy of music stars on Friends Along The Way. The musicians are friends from across his career that has spanned four decades. Joining Mitch on the album are Van Morrison, Taj Mahal, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Ruthie Foster, Joe Louis Walker, Maria Muldaur, Cyril Neville, Marcia Ball, John Hammond and Kenny Neal.

The album celebrates, friendship. The musical harmony of blues played together as guitar, drums and harmonica join forces with the boogie of the piano allowing the vocals to tell the narrative of life on the road.  Friends Along The Way is a timely reminder of the central roll the piano has played in the blues. Blues is not just guitar-driven it has also been nurtured and fulfilled by the tinkle of the ivories. Mitch Wood’s piano playing is astounding with a personal acoustic connection. Classically trained his boogie-based piano has an energy and finesses that shines through as he plays with his friends.

Every track brings a blues spark ad element to the album. Opening the party with his friends Mitch Woods goes back in time joined by Van Morrison and Taj Mahal on a Leadbelly classic Take This Hammer. Van Morrison’s vocals are joined by his percussive tambourine playing as a drumstick tinkles the tambourine so the sound cascades with force across Taj’s guitar and the signature of the album, Mitch’s stylish piano playing.  Ruthie Foster’s vocals on Singing The Blues adding textures with her guitar and the piano playing underneath. The urgency of the beat is intensified by an energy as the words take centre stage.  John Hammond’s vocals take us back in time with Mother in Laws Blues. Leaving us Cryin For My Baby with a healthy dose of blues harp from Charlie Musslewhite. This is blues that is sharp, defined and shaping your mood with the piano of Mitch Woods never silent. No album with Mitch at the keys will be without a helping or two of Boogie Woogie. First up is Nasty Boogie, the party now is swinging who can resist smiling and swinging the hips with this vibe, as Joe Louis Walker adds to the mood with his stinging guitar and vocals.

Empty Bed Blues with Maria Muldaur on vocals, is deep, moody and sultry, a jazzy take on the blues. Wow, what a classy number that flows and her smoky voice caresses you as you succumb to her embrace. Cyril Neville and Mitch have a conversation as The Blues are celebrated. The legacy as we move forward and the musical heritage teat lives on in The Blues. This track is spoken narrative. I recommend that you sit back and listen to Cyril as his narrative is accompanied by Mitch’s piano. You will be captivated for five- minutes.

The tempo changes with more boogie as we turn for home with Saturday Night Boogie. Wow ow Wow the slide guitar from Elvin Bishop just fizzes against the piano. The six-strings and ivories are in musical harmony.

By track fourteen blues have been shaken and stirred, then we hear the guitar and vocals of John Lee Hooker joining Mitch’s piano on Never Get Out of These Blues Alive. This is blues played with a clarity of form and simplicity of shape. The result is perfection. Closing the album with In The Night. Friends have come together had fun and now Marcia Ball & Mitch Woods duet on the piano and vocals. This is pure fun the perfect closing number as Professor Longhair is celebrated full of vim and energy.

The combination of the songwriting skills across the ages, instrumentation of the melodies are the underlying essence of the blues. Mitch Woods, has proved on Friends Along the Way that without friendship, companionship blues would just be notes and words. It is the interaction with humanity good and bad that makes the blues an emotive force as relevant today as yesterday. Blues is relevant that is why Friends Along The Way.

 

Mitch Woods – Friends Along The Way – Entertainment One

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Take This Hammer
  2. CC Rider
  3. Keep A Dollar In Your Pocket
  4. Singing The Blues
  5. Mother In Law Blues
  6. Cryin For My Baby
  7. Nasty Boogie Woogie
  8. Empty Bed Blues
  9. Blues Mobile
  10. The Blues
  11. Saturday Night Boogie
  12. Blues Give Me A Ride
  13. Chicago Express
  14. Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive
  15. Midnight Hour Blues
  16. In The Night

Blues Celebrating Friends Along The Way With Mitch Woods

Travel Down Sonia Leigh Musical Rabbit Hole with Mad Hatter

Travel Down Sonia Leigh Musical Rabbit Hole with Mad Hatter

Having heard Sonia Leigh play live in Bristol opening for The Broken Witt Rebels on a boat in Bristol. I was delighted to have the opportunity to review her studio album, Mad Hatter.  The studio Album is an Americana ride down a musical rabbit hole. Expect a variety of sound and textures as we taste the musical elixirs on offer across the eleven tracks. Some are edgy, others, nostalgic some are sad. Like any great tea party, it is the combination and flow of sounds that makes Mad Hatter a truly wonderful listening experience.

Mad Hatter starts with Waste The Day, energized sound that pumps out the energy and fun captured by the instrumentation, The first thing is the voice it is rough and smooth, low and fall of emotionally driven contours. As we Waste A Day again with Sonia Leigh. The sound is always rooted in country, country celebrating modernity and we love wasting a day at the Mad Hatter musical mayhem.  Now how to follow that let’s turn the corner swirl around 180 degrees with a journey in the Sky Submarine. The electro buzz burns through the country vibe as you stamp your feet and cheer on the dynamic vocal charms that capture the force that is Leigh.

No way will you ignore the title track Mad Hatter. It hits your listening senses from the off.  Sonia’s vocals have the cadences of Mary Gauthier. As she sings She didn’t wish me Happy Birthday this Year. Guess that says it all.  Then we go back in time the song tinged with sadness and regret. Time has passed but that friendship has never be rekindled. The story is told through Alice in Wonderland characters. Here again clever effects never overused but making a statement underpin the narrative of the song that is the purpose of the music.  This is a clever, edgy track everything a title track should be. We explore the narrative of losing your own sense of reality.

The songs have something to say Diamond in the Desert is sharp with use of violins it is country that intrigues and pleases. We are lost in the desert in the company of the wonderful vocals of Leigh. The country vibe is deep in Shelter with the whine of guitars and percussive beats. Again Gauthier’s vocals are r-kindled and shaped by Sonia’s tones. The singing across the album is personal. The narrative shared are for you to explore and relate to. AS we get lost in Leigh’s world at her invitation.

Then we have a scuzzy, fuzzy crescendo with Jack Is Back. This track works brilliantly live. The sign of a great number is when it fits in an album perfectly. Drink deep from this number it is dirty, grungy and full of vocal rawness as you join Leigh for a swim in the Tennessee River because Jack Is Back. This is down the creek whiskey-fueled rockier guitar speaking number.

Closing out this album that has taken you the Mad Hatter’s table. Sonia Leigh cloaks you in music that rests in the world of country/Americana. Then breaks out with rockier numbers, pop-infused ditties and music that is blended with pure talent. As we taste the last morsel with the Mad Hatter we have rap-infused Mind on the Prize.

This is an album that your mind stays in tune with every number. As you travel down Sonia Leighs Musical Rabbit Hole with Mad Hatter you explore her agony and ecstasy. The light and dark of her soul and above all the contained aggression gives determined grit from the first to the last note.

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Waste The Day
  2. Sky Submarine
  3. Mad Hatter
  4. Walking in the Moonlight
  5. Diamond in the Desert
  6. Acid Rain
  7. Shelter
  8. N.Y.C.
  9. Jack is Back
  10. Dead Mans Sunrise
  11. Mind on the Prize

Travel Down Sonia Leigh Musical Rabbit Hole with Mad Hatter

Will Wilde Harmonica Stylishly covers Classics in a unique way

Will Wilde Harmonica Stylishly covers Classics in a unique way

Will Wilde hails from Brighton and his first foray into performing was when he formed The Neptune Blues Band in 2005 when he was 17 years old, and released his debut album “Nothin’ But Trouble” in 2008. Since then he has released two studio and one live album under his own name.

He comes from a musical family. “Music was always around me.” He says. “British hard rock and blues was the soundtrack to my childhood.” His grandfather was a wartime jazz ‘n’ blues pianist and his sister, Dani Wilde, is an acclaimed blues performer with whom I’m sure you are familiar.

Wilde studied drums at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music and yet it was the harmonica, guitar and vocals that ended up captivating him. None more so than the harmonica, obviously.

His latest release is one that brings shivers of expectation or horror from music lovers. Bring It On Home is covers with a twist expect the choice of numbers to be unexpected. This album pays homage to blues and rock giants, including Purple, Free, Sabbath, Tull and the master mouth organist, Sonny Boy Williamson II amongst others. Anyone brave enough to cover such recognisable classics needs to be not only good but also able to interpret in a way that pays tribute while being distinct. Not an easy job; does he achieve it? The answer is a conservative yes; musically they are all very faithful yet imaginative interpretations. The finest one of all is the last track. Parisienne Walkways has to be heard to be believed. The harmonica/mouth-organ/blues harp/moothie or gob-iron (as Ian Gillan calls it) playing actually replicates Moore’s guitar sound in a way beyond comprehension…stunning!

Many of the original tracks featured the harmonica, making it more acceptable to hear, albeit featuring more prominently. The first track is the brilliant Gallagher song, Bad Penny. There is quality guitar backing, recalling the ‘jangling’ intro of the original. There is a very flat sounding foot/bass drum on this, and some of the tracks, which irritates, However, the vocals are up to scratch too, but it’s when the harmonica takes the solo that the fascination grows. It actually works! Lazy, too had harmonica sections, but here Blackmore’s guitar and Lord’s Hammond are replaced by it. Again, it actually works. Vocally Wilde is no Gillan, but it doesn’t spoil the enjoyment, and Danny Giles puts in a very decent guitar solo too. I’m You Witchdoctor is so faithful; you would think Mayall was a guest (he isn’t). Harmonica instead of the ubiquitous flute on a Jethro Tull cover? Locomotive Breath is still instantly recognisable and enjoyable. Great guitar backing again from Giles. Peter Green era Mac is next. Love That Burns does just that; it is a superb reading of a great blues track. Sabbath’s The Wizard is the first misstep; this is the only time when Wilde’s vocals just don’t fit. Musically it is good, and the bass playing is actually the highlight. His version of Yer Blues reminds me of Jeff Healey’s brilliant take on this Beatles song; except with harmonica, of course. My Brother Jake sounds a little empty as the track is played straight, with the harmonica just echoing one verse. Next, a song written by the great Willy Dixon and first performed by the king of the mouth-organ, Sonny Boy Williamson II (oh, and Zeppelin), Bring It On Home is faithful to the Robert Plant version.

In summary then, a very enjoyable album with some exquisite interpretations and a few disappointments. It is worth getting for Parisienne Walkways alone and I doubt you will be disillusioned with many of the songs. A very worthwhile effort.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing: (original artists in brackets)

  1. Bad Penny (Rory Gallagher)
  2. Lazy (Deep Purple)
  3. I’m Your Witchdoctor (John Mayall)
  4. Locomotive Breath  (Jethro Tull)
  5. Love That Burns  (Fleetwood Mac)
  6. The Wizard  (Black Sabbath)
  7. Yer Blues  (The Beatles)
  8. My Brother Jake  (Free)
  9. Bring it on Home (Sonny Boy Williamson II)
  10. Parisienne Walkways  (Gary Moore)

Note: The commercial release should also include Politician by Cream

The Band:
Will Wilde: harmonica/vocals
Danny Giles: guitar
Victoria Smith: bass
Alan Taylor: drums

Recorded at Brighton Road Studios
Engineered by Ali Gavan
Produced by Danny Giles

Front and Center as Beth Hart Announces Live Album

Front and Center as Beth Hart Announces Live Album

BETH HART RELEASES FIRST LIVE RELEASE IN 13 YEARS
‘LIVE FROM NEW YORK – FRONT AND CENTER’

CD/DVD set will be released on April 13th, 2018 via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group

Watch Hart Perform “Tell Her You Belong To Me”

Switch of the phones, Switch off the world. The click play….  immerse yourself for six minutes within the emotional journey Beth Hart takes you on. Her masterful vocals wrap around the lyrics and pulling you deep into Tell Her You Belong To Me. This single from her forthcoming album Front and Center is Beth Hart immersion therapy for your soul. Leaving you both exalted and emotionally stripped bare. The forthcoming album promises to be an emotional rollercoaster.

On March 7th, 2017, the GRAMMY-nominated “powerhouse vocalist” (Rolling Stone) Beth Hart performed a very special, intimate concert at NYC’s Iridium Jazz Club, which featured songs from her latest album ‘Fire on the Floor’ and from throughout her career. Now, 13 years after the release of her incredibly successful live release, ‘Live at Paradiso,’ Hart is treating fans to a DVD/CD release of this standout performance with Live From New York – Front & Center, out April 13th via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group. The performance is also featured on the Season 8 premiere episode of Public Television’s critically acclaimed concert series, Front and Center (airing now, check local listings).

Known for her visceral, soul-baring vocals and dynamic range, Hart is riding a creative tidal wave following the release of her critically acclaimed 2016 studio album, Fire On The Floor, as well as her just-released studio collaboration with guitarist Joe Bonamassa, Black Coffee. Leveling audiences with her incredible power and celebrated burnt-honey vocals for 20 years, Hart has just launched a 16-date coast-to-coast US tour, which will be followed by a European tour in April-May 2018.

Hart has had an incredible career, beginning with the release of a fistful of hit albums through the ’90s, then reigniting in the post-millennium as both a solo artist and the head-turning vocalist for guitar heroes like Joe Bonamassa, Slash and long-time collaborator Jeff Beck. But it’s in recent times that Beth has truly blossomed, selling out ever-larger venues in cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen. She is recognized as one of the great live vocalists of our time, with a voice “reminiscent of Etta James and Janis Joplin” (Music Connection), topping Billboard’s Blues Album Chart and receiving numerous GRAMMY and Blues Music Awards nominations. Dubbed “the ultimate female rock star” by The Blues Magazine, the Guardian has praised her “daring, brooding performances” and The Times has called her “Extraordinary.”

‘Live From New York – Front And Center’ will be released as a 2-disc DVD/CD set, mixed in 5.1 stereo, featuring never before seen bonus material, including an exclusive interview with Hart. The audio from the performance will also be sold separately as a digital release.
Track Listing

CD
01 – Let’s Get Together
02 – Baddest Blues
03 – Jazz Man
04 – Delicious Surprise
05 – Broken And Ugly
06 – St. Teresa
07 – Isolation
08 – Tell Her You Belong To Me
09 – Fat Man
10 – Love Gangster
11 – Leave The Light On
12 – As Long As I Have A Song

DVD
01 – Let’s Get Together
02 – Baddest Blues
03 – Jazz Man
04 – Delicious Surprise
05 – St. Teresa
06 – Tell Her You Belong To Me
07 – Fat Man
08 – Leave The Light On
09 – Can’t Let Go
10 – As Long As I Have A Song

Beth Hart plus Her Band Tours UK/EU Spring 2018

DUBLIN VICAR STREET  – TUESDAY 10th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: +353 1 775 5800
BOOK ONLINE: Ticket Master or Beth Hart Website 

IPSWICH REGENT THEATRE – THURSDAY 12th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01473 433 100
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

BEXHILL DE LA WARR PAVILION – SATURDAY 14th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01424 229 111
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

NOTTINGHAM CONCERT HALL – SUNDAY 15th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0115 989 5555
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

OXFORD NEW THEATRE – WEDNESDAY 18th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0844 871 3020
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

FOLKESTONE LEAS HALL – THURSDAY 19th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01303 228 600
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

CARDIFF ST DAVIDS HALL – SATURDAY 21st APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0292 087 8444
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website  

CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE  – TUESDAY 24th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01223 357 851
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

BLACKPOOL OPERA HOUSE – THURSDAY 26th APRIL 2018

VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01253 625 252
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

HULL CITY HALL – FRIDAY 27th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01482 300300
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

READING HEXAGON – MONDAY 30th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0118 960 6060
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

PORTSMOUTH GUILDHALL – TUESDAY 1st MAY 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 023 9387 0200
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

SOLD OUT LONDON ROYAL ALBERT HALL SOLD OUT – FRIDAY 4th MAY 2018
PLUS SPECIAL GUEST
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0207 589 8212
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or Royal Albert Hall
or   Beth Hart Website 

CHELTENHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL – SATURDAY 5th MAY 2018
TICKETS GO ON SALE FRIDAY 3 NOVEMBER 
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01242 850 270 
BOOK ONLINE: Cheltenham Jazz Festival or   Beth Hart Website 

Ruhr Congress, Bochum, Germany – 10 May
Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 12 May
Palais Des Congres, Paris, France – 14 May

 

 

Danny Bryant Always a Revelation and Yours For A Song

Danny Bryant Always a Revelation and Yours For A Song

I have been a long time fan of Danny Bryant since his early RedEyeBand releases. He is a consummate guitarist and listening to all of those albums again, his development and maturity have been a revelation. So highly regarded is he by his peers that Danny was honoured (and brave enough) to front Walter Trout’s band while Walter was recovering from all of his well-documented health issues.

His last studio album, Blood Money, was simply superb. His profile had grown so much that he was joined by Trout and Bernie Marsden on that recording. His last release was a bit different. A live album with a full horn section and keyboards brought another level to his performances.
In light of all of that, I was looking forward to his latest release Revelation. I was expecting another rocking blues album along the lines of Blood Money and, at first, was disappointed. This is a slower paced, moodier and deeper album. The horns and keys add a different dimension to nearly every track.

However, after a few listens, you can start to appreciate what Danny is trying to communicate… passion and a deftness in his playing which makes you appreciate him anew. Perhaps the man himself best explains this: “When I began writing this album, I knew that it was going to be one of the toughest challenges of my career. It wasn’t lack of material, it wasn’t a lack of desire, but I realised from the beginning that, if this record was to achieve the things I wanted it to say, I would have to go deep inside of myself with these songs and confront memories and emotions I didn’t really want to face.”

The first, and title song, illustrates this perfectly as, after a piano introduction he screams “Revelation” and it sounds torn from the bottom of his heart. The guitar riff stays subtle as the horns cut in, colouring of the middle section in an unexpected way. The vocal, in addition to his guitar prowess, points to why he was the perfect front for Trout’s band. Towards the end, we get a fluid, laid-back wah, wah solo.

Isolate drenched in emotion and features some beautiful guitar, both in the solo and as he underpins the melody of the verse. A slow-paced piece of genius. Liars Testament with the lyric “I believe in a life of resentment”, gives a hint of the darkness occupying a lot of the songs and gives us more guitar soloing and horn backing. This is drenched in the blues in every way and is one of many spine-tingling moments. Next up, is the acoustic Some Day The Rains Will Fall. This is the only let down for me on the entire album. Yes, the atmosphere Danny generates is palpable but it soon becomes a little repetitive.

Truth Or Dare lifts the pace up again, supplying a ‘traditional’ full-blooded blues shuffle. Here we get the horns and guitar sounding so natural together and then the bonus of a sultry keyboard solo. A nice call/response section leads to the concluding guitar solo. Shouting At The Moon is a slow, burning blues number, with lovely yet understated keys. The voice is straining at the high notes of the chorus but the solo arrives to make you lean back, close your eyes and listen to every carefully thought out, spacious note. Sister Decline has bass, drums and keys backing the verses before guitar and horns fill out the choruses. Another fluid solo, again proving it isn’t how many notes, more how they’re played and how they fit…they fit!

May I have A Talk With You is classic blues. The introduction is very familiar, before the horns, interspersed with illuminating guitar phrases, take the song into a pattern of its own. Yours For A Song wraps up the album. Another slow, classic and crafted blues. The gentle chord picking surrenders to a power chord or three and gives a Bonamassa kind of feel to the structure, but it is still all Danny.

A word has to be said for Alex, Dave and Stevie. The bass is so carefully pitched and played (particularly as it warms the backing of Isolate) and the drums are solid and so supportive of the music. The keys are never intrusive; always providing the right fills, solos and backing.

Revelation is a very, very good blues album by any and every definition. Danny’s voice occasionally doesn’t quite match the song behind it, but that is totally forgivable as the music takes you on a journey of light and shade, and it is a journey really worth making.

As I hinted at the beginning, do not be tempted to form an opinion on the first listen. This cultured album needs to be absorbed to be appreciated. Give it the time and the rewards are simply stunning.

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing:
1. Revelation
2. Isolate
3. Liars Testament
4. Some Day The Rains Will Fall
5. Truth Or Dare
6. Shouting At The Moon
7. Sister Decline
8. May I Have A Talk With You
9. Yours For A Song

The Band:
Danny Bryant: guitar, vocals
Alex Phillips: bass
Dave Raeburn: drums
Stevie Watts: keyboards
The Big Horns

Produced by Richard Hammerton

RELEASED FRIDAY 20th APRIL 2018 VIA JAZZHAUS RECORDS

AVAILABLE ON CD, DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AND 180 GRAM VINYL
“SISTER DECLINE” AVAILABLE AS INSTANT GRAT TRACK ON
ITUNESAMAZON AND SPOTIFY

For exclusive bundles and signed merchandise, visit the official
Danny Bryant “Revelation” store

 

Danny is touring U.K. May/Jun 2018  dates & venues can be found here

Danny Bryant Always a Revelation and Yours For A Song

Blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire

Blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire

Blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire

When I was a youngster, all those years ago, a one-man band was a novelty act on programs such as Opportunity Knocks. Ah, remember Hughie Green and the Muscle Man etc.? Just me then!
This trip down memory lane is to assure you that Steve Hill is not a novelty act; one man he may be, and he does play guitar, bass and snare drums, cymbals and harmonica simultaneously, but he does it with flair and it actually works. (He even has a drumstick attached to the head of his guitar).
Hill is very successful in his homeland of Canada and has racked up a lot of support for his previous releases. On his own, he is able to effortlessly bring to mind full bands such as Foghat, the Bluesbreakers and the Faces. Blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire Canadian Steve Hill is more than a One Man Band He Rocks on Solo Recordings Volume 3.

The opening number, Damned, sets the scene for most of the electric numbers which follow. There is a distinctly live feel to the recording and, Hill’s voice, whilst not being the best in the genre, is a perfect match for this kind of blues. Added to that, he brings a sense of fun with the backing rhythm his various limbs provide, as he expands on the song’s main riff.

Dangerous is laid back blues with a smooth rock lilt, throughout which I keep hearing early Gary Moore’s approach to the blues. Still A Fool and A Rollin’ Stone, the first cover is probably best known from the version by Muddy Waters and has Hill pulling real emotion from every string. Similarly, the rocker Rhythm All Over has a great riff and moves into a slide solo which is so fluid it just melts! Can’t Take It With You has sublime, echoey guitar moving neatly into a mid-paced guitar section. The other covers, Rollin’ & Tumblin/Stop Breaking Down are faithful, albeit electrified, to the Robert Johnson originals, including some glorious slide guitar.
When Hill moves to acoustic, as on Slowly Slipping Away, we see the other, mellower side to him. This track and Smoking Hot Machine feature some smouldering harmonica to show the depth of writing and performing that Hill can bring to the party.

Troubled Times is a fingerpicked, folky blues tune, and he uses the body of the acoustic as well as the strings, really effectively to evoke the “cold is coming” theme. Emily is a rhythmic bluesy shuffle, bringing to mind The Kinks in their heyday.
Going Down The Road Feeling Bad is undoubtedly blues with a slight hint of a thoughtful ballad. A beautiful acoustic introduction takes us into the body of the song. The Grateful Dead is probably best known for this track, although the original is a 1927 folk blues covered by many, including Woody Guthrie.

The album finishes with a true, fuzzed blues-rock track. Walking Grave has Hill letting rip with guitar soloing that tips its hat to, I’d guess, influences such as Hendrix and Gallagher.
When listening to this great album, it can be difficult to remember this is just one man. How he coordinates all of the instruments is beyond me, but I am more than happy to benefit from this man’s skills. Blues and blues/rock combine on a very satisfying album.
Catch Hill live and believe! in the power of blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire. Check out tour dates NOW!

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing:
1. Damned
2. Dangerous
3. Still a Fool and a Rollin’ Stone
4. Slowly Slipping Away
5. Rhythm All Over
6. Smoking Hot Machine
7. Troubled Times
8. Emily
9. Can’t Take It With You
10. Rollin’ And Tumblin’/Stop Breaking Down
11. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad
12. Walking Grave

Band Members:
Steve Hill… just him, on all instruments!

 

Steve Hill is back in the UK as the special guest on King King & Danny Bryant’s tours throughout April, May & June 2012018.

Special Guest King King Tour April / May 2018

Special Guest  – Danny Bryant Tour May/June 2018

Blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire

Cameo The Bad Flowers Band Creating A Hurricane

Cameo The Bad Flowers Band Creating A Hurricane

Cameo The Bad Flowers Band Creating A Hurricane

Cameo The Bad Flowers Band Creating A Hurricane

The Bad Flowers have released their new single “Hurricane” taken from their debut album “Starting Gun” (released Friday, February 16)

Over at Bluesdoodles, we have rules but with a band this good stirring up the rock in our inner soul. As Bad Flowers Firing A Bouquet with Starting Gun they were blown out of the window – no wonder the latest single is Hurricane.

Read why we broke our own rules:-

Bad Flowers Firing a Bouquet With Starting Gun

 

The 3-piece band hail from Cannock, West Midlands. Have a listen this is rocking good music that blows away the cobwebs. The Flowers will play their album release show at Birmingham’s Asylum 2 on Saturday 17th February, – only a few tickets remaining.

Following the September release of their recent single Thunder Child, The Bad Flowers were named as one of Planet Rock Radio’s “Ones To Watch”.  Thunder Child, the first single taken from the Starting Gun, gained heavy airplay and was described by the station as “pure, dynamic, riff-heavy rock ‘n’ roll delivered with passion and prowess.”

HURRICANE – Single review

Bluesdoodles – says this about the Single – Track eight on the album –  musically heading for home. We are now in a for heavy weather with Hurricane. The opening bars of guitar in a hurry and then the vocals of Tome burst into the eye of the storm.  This is a love song that is fast loud and full of rocked up venom. Dangerous as a storm trying to get away from her love. This is a young band laying down the chords with the intent they want to be heard, they will be heard when they can invoke a Hurricane of musical delight.

With the album launched The Bad Flowers Head out on TOUR with Jared James Nichols and headliners Stone Broken. Venues, Dates and links to buy the tickets HERE

So learn the lyrics to sing along when the energy is unleashed at a venue near you!

THE BAD FLOWERS – “HURRICANE” – SONG LYRICS

I’m running, I’m running as fast as I can
I’ve gotta get away from you.
I’m screaming, I’m shouting at the top of my lungs I don’t know what else to do.

And try as I may, try as I may
I just can’t get, get away from your love.
From your love

Sweet little hurricane with your howling wind and rain
I can’t get, get away from my sweet little hurricane.

You took all the air from my lungs and now I can’t catch my breath
You turned my blood into stone and now my heart sinks in my chest.

And try as I may, try as I may
I just can’t get, get away from your love.
From your love

Sweet little hurricane with your howling wind and rain
I can’t get, get away from my sweet little hurricane.

I can’t get away from your howlin’
Your howlin’ wind and rain

I can’t get away.

The Bad Flowers Debut Album Starting Gun Announced

In Conversation with Tom Leighton

In Conversation As the Starting Gun Fires Up For Bad Flowers

Bluesdoodles knows the future is shining brightly for The  Bad Flowers they are blowing in on a Rock powered Hurricane.

2018 UK Tour Dates

 

Babajack In Departure Lounge Before A New Destiny

Babajack In Departure Lounge Before A New Destiny

Babajack In Departure Lounge Before A New Destiny

Departure is a collection of recordings made in 2 017, originally intended to form part of a full CD now released as a Limited Edition. Following the decision of Trevor Steger to leave the band and pursue his solo career, the band decided to release the tracks already recorded as a tribute to the original Babajack line up  The band are now working on new songs, with a new band member, Troy Redfern, who had joined them on tour in 2017.

The first track, Daddy’s gone, asks “What are you going to do when your Daddy’s gone?”. It is a familiar-sounding rootsy Babajack track, with Becky’s voice and Trevor’s guitar blending well and a driving beat from Becky’s cajon drum to take us on.

800 miles is a gentler song, showcasing Becky’s voice and a full band sound. Some soulful guitar work in the middle before the vocals build again, gently and steadily to the chorus. A really dynamic track, this one, building and sinking away to a quiet and poignant finish.

It’s your parade is a rhythmic song with some great harmonica in the middle. It is hard to hear the lyrics on this album without thinking of the back story and the emotion is clear throughout. This is particularly so on Nobody’s fault but mine, the old Blind Willie Johnson classic, This is the only non-original song on the EP and it is sung with enormous feeling by Becky, with some superb slide guitar from Trevor. The song starts with just the vocals, then the slide comes in and the voice picks up, echoed by harp. With lyrics part sung, part spoken over a solid instrumental background the track develops, accompanied by Trevor’s growled “how hows ” before dying away to the single voice to end. This is one of the best versions of this song that I have heard in a good while.

The final track on the EP is Long time dead. Once again, this brings us the familiar Babajack approach and showcases the strengths of all the band.

I came to this disc with mixed feelings, but having played it several times, I am glad the band have chosen to release these tracks. They show how strong there were and this, for me, is the key indicator of how much more they have to give in the future. I will look forward with relish to hear.

Babajack – Departure – Running Rooster Records

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

 

  1. Daddy’s Gone
  2. 800 Miles
  3. It’s Your Parade
  4. Nobody’s Fault
  5. Long Time Dead

 

Babajack In Departure Lounge Before A New Destiny

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum

 

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum with support from SKAM & Dead Shed Jokers. With two acts before Headliners to warm The Globe on a cold Monday in February.  Local scuzzy rocking band Dead Shed Jokers always make a statement. Loud and mixing influences from Nick Cave to Black Sabbath via The Doors. Energetic vocalist Hywel Davies keeps the band on track. Though at times tonight the sound drowned the vocals and the rest of the quintet at times seem to be off track with each other. That said as the crowds grew they filled The Globe, Cardiff with a rocking vibe to get Monday night exciting.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the DrumSecond band on the menu from Leicester a powerful trio SKAM. With a new album that is attracting attention as we are all falling for the Hard Rock concept album The Amazing Memoirs of Geoffrey Goddard.  The Globe pumped up for the performance and the entrance by the trio did not disappoint. With Steve Hill upfront on vocals and guitar, and a hard rocking powerhouse of a rhythm section comprising bassist Neal Hill and drummer Matt Gilmore. Every track smashed through the venue with the sound that is glorious traditional hard rock power, with a very charismatic style from Steve up front. Stand out numbers were Between The Eyes from the latest album and from the past Holy City from 2014 album Peacemaker. This was a really up-front no holds barred performance with great timing and knew how to get the live effect from every studio number played. They are definite crowd pleasers as Fading Before The Sun was given the live and proud treatment. We no longer cared it was a Monday and work beckoned tomorrow this is music that you want to play on. With the current single getting lots of Planet Rock airplay we were overjoyed to hear it up close and personal as Take It or Leave It filled the speakers, one thing for certain no one in the audiences was leaving not a fan of SKAM. Closing out a dynamic set with a War Pigs rendition giving the crowd no excuse but to join in an excellent closing medley.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the DrumThen to close out marvellous Monday 6th February RavenEye back in Cardiff and we were hot to rock. The venue was packed for RavenEye the excitement rising as Oli Brown and the band always excite with performances that are energetic and full of rocking bounce. Having seen Oli mature from the early days singing the blues into a rocker that captivates the audience’s energy and distils it through his guitar and vocals. This is a trio of extroverts who come alive on stage bouncing off the speakers and bass drum literally during a mesmerising live performance. With Adam Breeze joining the pairing of Oli and Aaron Spiers on bass. This is a trio that is hard-hitting, the music punches you in the solar plexus and then spirals in a chaotic force as the rock courses through your veins. This is exciting live music. Fast, furious with scintillating licks and riffs from Oli’s six-string weapon of choice. Leftover from the days of blues is the ever-present thumb pick giving his guitar a sound that lingers long and hard. The threesome delivers real showmanship, as they use every inch of the venue from the top of the drum speakers and then Oli Brown was given a piggyback ride through the crowds on Aarons’ shoulders. This is not showmanship for effect, not a note is missed the music is never sacrificed for the show. Music is the show. They know how to entertain. And tonight they entertained so Monday becomes the new Saturday night.

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum

RavenEye is no one-trick pony of loud and hard-hitting sound they bend and shape the sound as tracks from Nova show. Opening with Hate this is hard, heavy with a rawness that is the title in music and then towards the end the slower ballad Eternity no bass, no drums vocals and guitars as Aaron’s and Adam’s acoustics join Oli’s electric. Both from Nova the album that set down the parameters of the band.

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum

Now, lead singers often take the mic from the stand. Not many guitarist/singers do. But the Oli likes to mix it up so he does playing the guitar left-handed and spitting the vocals down the mic held in the right. You have to pay attention as relax for a split second and an awesome action will be missed. The music is fast and so are the band members the music and movement changes in a split-second. We were told of the new app between Madeline and Oh My Love. Through the set, we step back in time as we visit the first E.P. Breaking Out, with tracks interspersed through the set including Hey Hey Yeah early in the set to the closing number You Got It.  By the end of the night, we certainly Got It we were on a rocking high and once a RavenEye song their strength means they always have a place on the set list. We also heard new music that just fits Oli’s amazing vocals and Turn The Lights Out the penultimate song promises that the new album due later this year is going to be another winner for RavenEye fans. We are already excited that soon there will be new songs to learn. Everyone left The Globe with that Monday feeling dispelled by hard rock that delivered with an energy that is uplifting and revitalizing. Cardiff says come back soon RavenEye.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Join The Mutual Admiration Society Golden Shred Guitar Playing

Join The Mutual Admiration Society Golden Shred Guitar Playing

Golden Shred: Morse, Luthaker, Vai, Lee and Graydon guest on a guitar led instrumental album which takes 60s classics and gives them new life.

 

Join The Mutual Admiration Society Golden Shred Guitar PlayingOnce upon a time, two school friends started playing music together. After graduating, one of them, Sterling Ball, joined his father Ernie, who at the time was running a small company making guitar strings. This fledgeling company grew, of course, into a much bigger entity and started to make guitars too. Sterling is now Chief Executive Officer of that company… Ernie Ball Music Man. So, join The Mutual Admiration Society golden shred guitar playing with the company of great musicians.

In 1983 Sterling met up again with John Ferraro, his music partner from school and suggested they start a band to tour the local club scene. John recruited his college mate, Jim Cox, and they formed Biff Baby’s All Stars. The intention was for Sterling, normally a bass guitarist, to play the lead but another longtime friend had other ideas…Albert Lee had known Sterling since they met at a concert in 1972, and he wanted to be part of this new band. He was Albert Lee, so he was in, and Sterling went back to playing bass. This band of friends went on to tour for 30 years!

Fast-forward to 2017 and Sterling suggested they do an album together. What started as a project for these longtime friends grew into something so much bigger. As various guitar legends heard about the get-together, and much like Lee all those years ago, they decided they wanted to a part of it. And so The Mutual Admiration Society was born.

The first track is the Jesse Winchester composed Payday Song. A country stomp with gorgeous fluid playing from all involved. A crystal clear picked solo is the highlight of a familiar standard.

Next is The In Crowd, written by Billy Page, but probably best known from the cover by Brian Ferry. It takes on another life as an instrumental and is graced by the trademark sound of Steve Morse who puts in a sterling (!) performance as usual. A beautifully constructed and original solo without too much double picking and played with real feeling.

Checkin’ Up On My Baby is the Sonny Boy Williamson blues tune covered by Gary Moore and John Mayall amongst others. Here it gets a rebuild, with great organ tones behind every ‘verse’ and providing a cracking solo too. Sterling Ball is on his own here, proving what a good guitarist he is. Baby Please Don’t Go was written by Big Joe Williams. The definitive version is, in my opinion, to be found on Never Turn Your Back on a Friend by the criminally underrated Budgie. This does get close, however, as we get Steve Luthaker doing all of the guitar work and blending in a lovely solo.

Treat Her Right was written by Roy Head and Gene Kurtz as a country blues number. Here it becomes a delightful shuffle with the warmth further enhanced by a Jim Cox keyboard solo. Reminiscent at times of Green Onions, it moves along very pleasantly.

Sugar Shack was a big hit in 1963 for Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs and its inclusion here is thanks to Steve Vai who, apparently has wanted to play this since he was 4 years old. He plays a fascinating wah, wah on the verses before launching into an impressive, very clever interpretative solo. Chuck Berry’s Memphis, Tennessee now comes with a mandolin! A straightforward, countrified reading of this well-known song with Sterling on guitar and mandolin. Most successfully covered by Ray Charles, Cryin’ Time was composed by Buck Owens. Here it becomes a “British Country” tune thanks to the amazing style and performance of Albert Lee.

Now, how about some Jackson 5? Their huge hit I Want You Back is covered here. It sounds so familiar and yet, with Sterling’s picking carving out the verses on both lead and bass it sounds so different. Even more outrageous, how about a Disney Medley? Suggested by the guest guitarist, none other than John Petrucci, this mix of When You Wish Upon a Star and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah (plus a couple I didn’t know) is transformed by Petrucci’s fretboard work. He turns them into lessons in how to transform the light-hearted into serious guitar workouts. Tremendous fun!

Hank Williams gets the Albert Lee treatment on Hey Good Lookin’. Inevitably, another country approach, brilliantly executed. The penultimate tune is the only original on the album. Composed by Ferraro, Cox and Ball it features Jay Graydon on guitar. Graydon is a noted composer, producer and session musician, responsible for hits by Earth, Wind and Fire, George Benson and Manhattan Transfer to name but few. An almost tropical feel to this, so how they arrived at the title Strip Mall Gourmet I have no idea. Good interplay between guitar and keyboards.

Finally, we get the Guy Clark penned Heartbroke. Clark was a prolific country singer and composer. This song has been covered by Ricky Skaggs and is another excursion into beautifully played country music. A bonus of a bass solo has been imaginatively inserted too.

Before I summarise, a confession:
Within my 2000+ CD collection, you will find every session Steve Morse has ever done (and that is a hell of a lot!). I also own an Ernie Ball Music Man Steve Morse Signature Edition guitar (the original one, with the bewildering array of pick-ups and switches). I’ve followed him since his Steve Morse Band days and celebrated his recruitment into my favourite band, Deep Purple, knowing he could help them become great again. However, although his presence is the reason I bought the CD, there is so much more to this work and, I promise no bias.

Overall then, what you get here is a very country blues feeling collection, interspersed with rockier aspects provided by the guest guitarists. Possibly a little too heavy on the country for some tastes, but if you want time to pass pleasantly and effortlessly, then this is the soundtrack for it.

Thoroughly enjoyable, even if it will only go in the CD player when I want to lie back and relax with an instrumental album and a decent bottle of red wine; and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Join The Mutual Admiration Society Golden Shred Guitar Playing

The Band:
Sterling Ball; bass, electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele
John Ferraro; drums
Jim Cox; keyboards

Special Guests: (all guitarists!)
Steve Morse
Steve Luthaker
Steve Vai
Albert Lee
Jay Graydon

Additional Musicians:
Jeremy Moyers; steel guitar
Dave Stone; stand up bass
Brad Hayman; slap bass

Sterling Ball, John Ferraro, Jim Cox – The Mutual Admiration Society – Mascot Label Group

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Tracklisting:

  1. Payday Song
  2. The In Crowd (Steve Morse)
  3. Checkin’ Up On My Baby
  4. Baby Please Don’t Go (Steve Luthaker)
  5. Treat Her Right
  6. Sugar Shack (Steve Vai)
  7. Memphis (aka Memphis, Tennessee)
  8. Cryin’ Time (Albert Lee)
  9. I Want You Back
  10. Disney Melody
  11. Hey Good Lookin’ (Albert Lee)
  12. Strip Mall Gourmet (Jay Graydon)

 

The album was recorded at Broken Prop Studio in California; produced by Ball, Ferraro, Cox, Engineered by Bill Evans, tracked by Gordon Rustvold, mixed by Rich Mouser, and mastered by Robert Vosgien.