Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

 

 

What a start to 2017 – two festivals and some fantastic live gigs, memory box of 2017 filling up fast. Adding to the mix of delights is a cascade of albums arriving through the letterbox both the electronic format and the traditional front door.

First thirteen weeks, I have listened to many and thirty-three have been reviewed Bluesdoodles keyboard warrior loves the listening, enjoys the typing. The hard part is deciding the number of doodle paws for the superb musicianship and variety of styles we listen to. At the end of the first quarter of 2017 from the 1st of January through to 31st March 2017: EIGHT albums shone bright, thus ten doodle paws were stamped on the cover.

Clicking the album cover takes you to the review:-

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane Ruth – Ain’t Ready For The Grave – Hurricane Ruth Records  “Hurricane Ruth delivers blues with gritty determination. She sets the music going and raises the tempo and heat until a perfect storm is created, with energised, swirling blues that are fueled with high-octane rock.  ….  The album is delivered with passion and determination the lyrics are set free by Hurricane Ruth’s vocal interpretation.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – This is The Life I Choose – 33 Records: “With three studio albums under Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion’s belt the fourth is definitely not running out of steam, it is full throttle blues. The blues are stylish, a mix of pathos and humour, reflections and looking forward, sadness and hints of joy”  Read the rest of the review HERE

Thunder Rip It UpearMUSIC: “Rip It Up will never be a boring listen.  Why? … Thunder’s eleventh studio album they a have definitely roared out of the studio with Rip It Up. An album for Thunder fans who have followed them over three decades and for those discovering them at today. …..  Rip It Up as new fans come under Thunder’s rock spell.”  Read the rest of the review HERE

Erja Lyytinen – Stolen Hearts –  Tuohi Records.  “The only answer as the last notes fade is listen and explore Stolen Hearts again. Why? Stolen Hearts is an album of musical maturity that will remain a firm favourite for years to come in collections of lovers of contemporary blues without boundaries.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Jo Harman – People We Become – Independent:The ten track, superbly crafted album closes out with piano and voice as Lonely Like Me with deep melody and a song that is timeless as we feel the hurt of loneliness and understand the begging for forgiveness as it is part of our own life’s journey. It is why we are the People We Become”. Read the rest of the review HERE

Catfish – Broken Man – Independent:Broken Man is definitely not Broken giving contemporary British Blues that resonates curling around your speakers with sparkling class. …  an album early on in the year that has to be a contender for Blues Album of 2017. This is a blues gem that is multi-faceted and a prism of blue hues that hits you from every direction.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Matt AndersenHonest ManTrue North Records: … The music has a freshness, with a twist of retro and crosses across genres if you love a good song, superb vocals and interesting melodies then Honest Man will be a much-loved addition to your collection of music that is personal and political.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado – Change My Game – RUF: “…a studio album that sets down clearly the intent that Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado have once again picked up the baton of creativity and the game has changed for them building on their previous catalogue …. full of freshness as all the skills, dexterity and feel of the eight musicians are used to maximise the blues, rocking funky sound that flows through the album.” Read the rest of the review HERE

 

Check out the albums reviewed by Bluesdoodles by clicking  Recorded Music Link

 

Catfish the album Broken Man Making January Complete

Catfish the album Broken Man Making January Complete

 

Catfish the album Broken Man
Making January Complete

Catfish, that band creating a blue purring hum of pleasure whenever and wherever they play live. Catfish swims deep into the swirling maelstrom that is modern blues. The album is not a tribute or a painting by musical numbers of blues steps from the past it is influenced by music that connects to the band. With ten tracks with the only cover closing the album out. It is not from any blues back catalogue it is Foy Vance’s, Make It Rain. Included why? You ask, then having not seen a live performance of a track that moves people to tears holding the audience spellbound as the highlight of the evening unfolds.  Broken Man is not the band’s debut recording BUT more importantly, it is the first that is predominately their own work, setting down a high water mark.

Opening with Hit The Ground Running, Catfish certainly does with a driving upbeat fast blues ride. Introducing the depth of the band from Matt Long’s bluesy vocals and stinging guitar to a rhythm section that augments adding a rattlesnake sting to the music are bassist Dusty Bones and drummer Kevin Yates. Completing the quartet is Paul Long’s keys that dance with his vocals adding another vocal tone when he takes the lead.  The blues driven tone continues with Sometime Alone, where the power of Matt’s guitar shows that the six-strings can be played without shredding the skin of your finger and as a result the time, breath between chords gives the instrument colour and complexity. The keys add another player of chords with higher pitch and rolling, bending with the strings and rhythm section. This is music that conjures shapes and interest, pure pleasure like lying back on a warm summers day looking into a blues sky and conjuring patterns and shapes from clouds as they scurry past.

The tempo slows, the blue is darkening with dusky shadows as Matt sings All I Ask Of You, played with maturity and control the warmth of studio sound permeates throughout the album reflecting the live sound of Catfish. The slow piano and vocals in Part As Strangers, a soulful ballad with special guest Paul Jones adding his Harp sparkle. Blues stripped back to it is key components emotionally charged.  Following this is the title track, Broken Man a long track for a blues album at a shade over eight minutes, is this reflecting Matt’s love of Prog Rock I wonder. This is blues fuzzy, with a porch-step gravelly opening launching into an anthem of a track. A number praising the blues as the tones roll down from the hill country into the delta picking up and shaping the chords into a British blues hullabaloo of delight.  The lyrics are shaped by a darker guitar and keys as we are falling down under the Catfish spell.

Broken Man is definitely not Broken giving contemporary British Blues that resonates curling around your speakers with sparkling class. Catfish delight you when you hear them live, and with the songwriting glory that is Broken Man we have an album early on in the year that has to be a contender for Blues Album of 2017. This is a blues gem that is multi-faceted and a prism of blue hues that hits you from every direction.

TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Hit The Ground Running
  2. Leading Me On
  3. Some Time Alone
  4. All I Ask Of You
  5. Never Go Back
  6. Better Days
  7. Part As Strangers
  8. Broken Man
  9. Big Shot
  10. Make It Rain

 

Catfish Crowdfunding for Broken Man Album

Catfish Crowdfunding for Broken Man Album

Catfish Crowdfunding for Broken Man Album

 

 

Crowdfunding opportunities to demonstrate your support for a British award-winning blues band HERE

British Blues Award winners Catfish crashed onto the blues scene in Jan 2015 when their debut album, So Many Roads, went to no 1 in the IBBA blues airplay charts. Their follow up EP, a tribute to BB King called When BB Sings the Blues, followed it to no 5 in Feb 2016. They were nominated for two British Blues Awards in 2015 (Emerging Artist, in which they took third, and keyboard for Paul Long) and three this year (Band of the Year, keyboard for Paul Long again which he won, and Young Artist of the Year for Matt Long in which he took third. A great year for the Catfishes! They have played a number of major blues festivals including Cambridge Rock Festival, Bluesfest at the 02, Maryport, Colne, Broadstairs Blues Bash and Swanage amongst others, and are also playing at a number of blues clubs all over the country. Their new album Broken Man is due out in Jan 2017 – their first album of original material, written by Matt and Paul.

Catfish Crowdfunding for Broken Man Album
Photo Credit Paul Chamberlain

Catfish are currently recording their second album, Broken Man, which will be ready for release in January 2017.  Catfish are asking for your help with the new album there are lots of ways you can show Catfish your support.

 

 

 

Check out your Crowdfunding opportunities HERE  from pre-ordering a copy of the

www.catfishbluesband.co.uk
Photo Credit Graham Hutton

album in advance through to  a VIP package and a mention as a sponsor on the album cover .This album has been a labour of love and the band are really proud of it.  We hope you

will enjoy it.  Thank you so much for your support.

While you are waiting for the album check out where you can hear the music played live – HERE

Saturday 23rd January 2016 @ Rock and Blues Skegness

Saturday 23rd January 2016 @ Rock and Blues Skegness

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Started off Saturday’s music chain in Centre Stage with a laid back journey through the life of Snake Davies and his alto saxophone. The music flowed gently across the auditorium. Today it was The Snake Davies Band – Classic Sax solos and there were plenty from session man interspersed with tales from the studios. Opening with Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street the tone was set. We had a vast selection of tunes some pop, with soul and a dollop of Jazz perfect for many early on a Saturday and after a long Friday night. With sax solos ringing in my ear the worm was slaughtered by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. What a set, and many agreed as they left singing to the songs they had heard. On vocals Robert Hart, formerly of Bad Company was excellent, loved the Bad Company numbers. Mick Rogers still on guitar plays as sweetly as ever and his vocals add to the depth of the current line-up. Everyone loved Blinded By The Light, Davy’s On The Road Again and the inevitable encore Mighty Quinn and the singalong was loud and enthusiastic in a packed Reds. We then were back in the Centre Stage for The Stumble… they always deliver. They are one of the ultimate festival bands raising the tempo and getting you on your dancing feet. The Stumble are a top-notch Rn’B band with the vibe and energy of a rocking and rollicking good time. They are one of the best bluesy live bands around. Paul ‘The Voice’ Melville is up front his vocals are one-hundred percent spot-on. The warmth, emotional shading and the curl of the tones around the band just work perfectly. Simon Anthony to the left of the voice soothes the lions roar with a silky purring of his saxophone. Colin Black’s guitar adds tonal shape and the slide works so well and the rhythm section gives the band its solid back-bone that makes the Stumble walk tall with blues attitude. The Stumble dedicated My Life to Brian who lived for live music and will be forever missed by everyone who met him. Many a tear was wiped away a wonderful moment appreciated by his many friends.

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It is a no wonder they are a Skegness favourite. The complete contrast over at Reds with the Crazy World of Arthur Brown. The world according to Arthur’s is different, made up with every colour in the paint box his head being a focal point. A legend of the British Rock scene of the 60’s & 70’s. He is still as energetic and wild as ever, the voice isn’t quite what it once was but the energy and showmanship made up for that is spades. The majority of the crowd were re-living their youth, a quality rocking bad just what Skeggy needed on a Saturday afternoon. The flamenco dancer was superb and difference is always exciting.

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Late afternoon and four more bands on the Introducing Stage. Starting off tonight’s extravaganza were The Texas Flood. A rocky power trio from Wales they kicked of the show with attitude. They produced a flood of guitar riffs and lots of synchronised head banging with cascading hair. The theatrics never made them miss a beat, if at times a little raw around the edges. There is no doubt that The Teas Flood have bags of potential. Why? Some great percussive bass, guitar riffs that captured the rocking blues energy and the vocals kicked. No wonder the cheers were so loud they set the standard very high for the three following bands all wanting to grab the prize main stage spot in 2017! Next up the second Welsh band Luke Doherty Band, they always deliver blues that have a SRV tinge. Luke the guitarist as ever drove a six-string whirlwind. They were better when singing and playing their own material rather than the rather tired and predictable covers. Luke and his band will always please a festival crowd.

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Catfishopened with a rollickingly good cover of Born Under A Bad Sign. Throughout the set Matthew Long showcased his exceptional guitar-playing talent and with Dad Paul on keys and sharing the vocals the band had balance and kept your interest. Very strong set for the Introducing stage and stormed through a set full of blues twists and turns. Their own tribute to the late great BB King with When BB Sings The Blues, has clever lyrics summoning up Chicago Blues at its best. Last but not least was Wily Bo Walker & The Mescal Canyon Troubadours. Wily Bo is a bluesman with an incredible voice. He turns his hand to many a blues style tonight with his troubadour. Another great band twisting and turning the blues with a sound that is fresh and innovative.

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Saturday night the music continues to pour out of the speakers, sound is definitely better in Centre Stage than Reds. Started off in Reds to catch Lost Minutes, one of the three bands who progressed from Introducing Stage to a main stage. This Rock outfit delivered a set full of emotional angst, and this needs to be captured and distilled into a more focussed and polished performance. The experience of performing in front of a large audience will stand then in good stead as this young band develops their niche. The vocalist was solid as she delivered the self-penned numbers. Now off to the comeback of the year Sean Webster on Centre Stage. He now has a four-piece band with a double helping of guitars. What a powerhouse of controlled blues. Sean’s vocals are as pure as ever and the interchanging between the guitarists added a depth of tone and interest. There were helpings of clean and dirty guitar sounds and layers of sound and textures. Sean captivated and enthralled with his version of I’d Rather Go Blind and when Aynsley Lister joined him the jam was a delight. More of this entertaining British Rn’B please.

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Quick stroll over to JAKS to catch LaVendore Rogue. Wow what a performance, Butlins – please put them on a main stage next year. The heart of the band ex- Hokie Joint trio, JoJo Burgess, vocals, Stephen Cutmore Drums and guitarist Joel Fisk with the addition of Hammond. LaVendore are different in a good way from Hokie creating their own vibe and sound. A mix of own numbers and Hokie classics including Chocolate Cake made sure that JAKS rocked as they then told the cautionary tale of Mrs Jones. It was wonderful to see the generosity as a bucket was passed around to help Roxi walk. JoJo’s daughter needs an operation in USA so I am sure this was a help to raising the money required.

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Back to Centre Stage to catch on Otis Grand and The Big Blues Band, didn’t stay long what a boring blues set. Otis was late on stage and his arrogance won few fans. What I heard, this is blues merging towards jazz and the guitar lead breaks were far too long! Still Reds had music to offer there is always something to listen to and Hawkwind didn’t disappoint in delivering Space Rock. The visuals on the backdrop linked in to the songs and added another focal point. The vegetation was green and dense for Hashish along with the psychedelia sound from keys and the aerial that emits a sonic noise. For the set reality is suspended as we are transported to the swirling world of Planet Hawkwind. Missing from the set was Silver Machine and there were no added extras as in the last time they played with the people on stilts. Nevertheless they were entertaining.

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Next was a total contrast Aynsley Lister who with his band bought the blues to the rock stage. The sound was not the best! but he delivered. We heard a sneak preview of new tracks and old favourites like Early Morning Dew. His version of Purple Rain was as ever a superlative rendition the guitar playing is immense. what a delight to hear slide guitar being played and the six-strings being used to shape the chords around the lyrics. Aynsley definitely won new fans tonight. His many fans were as delighted as Aynsley was to be on a main stage at a rocking Butlins weekend. Come back Aynsley and Rock and play the Blues at Skegness again.

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With the last notes dying away it was an end of some excellent music, good music and acts that just didn’t rock my boat. That said I heard enough crochets and minims, chords and shuffles to satisfy my music DNA.

Catfish sings a warm Tribute to BB

Catfish_When BB Sings The Blues artwork

Catfish sings a warm Tribute to BB

 

 

Catfish sings a warm Tribute to BB. An EP, When BB Sings The Blues with four re-interpreted BB King Classics, and the quintet of gems is completed with an original homage to the forever great King of the Blues. Matthew Long has captured the essence of BB in his vocals that curl around his skillful interpretation of the guitar licks and riffs of the man himself. These are not straight copies they have a fresh re-invigorated feel as he sings The Thrill Is Gone you know that Catfish will never lose the thrill of playing blues. The guitar for Matthew is and extension of the feel of Blues deep in his musical DNA with snapshots of guitar playing that captures the tone and you want to linger over. Then the vocals, keys and percussion picks up the beat and dancing shoes win the day, this is blues that energizes with its delightful twists and turns.  This is urban blues that you want to listen to they may sing and  play Never Make A Move Too Soon, your mover to turn up the volume can’t happen quick enough.

The interpretation has remained true to the feel of BB; what Catfish has done is added their stamp and Why? This is blues that is alive with blues energy never contrived it has an organic shape and feel.  The four-piece work together pulling on the notes, shaping the contours of the sound, Catfish are not a battle of the egos, the winner is the capturing of delightful blues as in How Blue Can You Get. Slower, more considered the notes are slightly extended then a pause and the vocals kick in with a great version of slow, moody blues. The original is the last track on the EP and title track written by Paul Long, who plays keys throughout, and is reflective as homage is paid to the great man of the blues in the best way through the style of the music he loved to play.

This is an EP that tempts you, excites and thrills and the E.P. leaves you wanting more much more of Catfish and the blues the band delivers. Catfish sings a warm Tribute to BB on this gem of five tracks. Released early in 2016, great way of keeping that resolution to listen to more blues buy a copy even better catch them playing live.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Catfish – When BB Sings The Blues

Track Listing

1. You Upset Me Baby
2. The Thrill is Gone
3. Never Make A move Too Soon
4. How Blue Can You Get
5. When BB Sings The Blues

CD Review: Catfish ~ So Many Roads

Catfish CD coverCatfish
So Many Roads
Independent

Debut album, which has been causing a stir as album of the month by Independent Blues Broadcaster Association during February and has received lots of airplay reflecting the solid quality blues being delivered from the first to the last note.
Catfish are a quartet of musicians Paul Long on keys, the secret weapon of young talented Matt Long on guitar and a rhythm section that have played together in several bands and have a telepathy between them Dusty Bones on Bass and drummer Kevin Yates.
The blues being delivered is honest and has the integrity of feeling the merits of every phrase as they deliver a selection of crafted classics. The first track is definitely the weakest, but perseverance pays off as they get into their groove. These are not another set of tired old renditions of tracks we all know. The title track, So Many Roads, is much better suited to the band with Matt’s guitar and vocals being allowed to take centre stage. Catfish Blues, is full of heavy chords redolent of a hot steaming swampy bayou that really has given the song a modern blues twist and the gentle piano in the background from Paul Long adds a delicate layer of interest.
The spoken sardonic phrasing in Framed suits Matt’s vocals and the beat certainly is foot tappingly infectious; Going Down is a heavier vibe with rock being added to the mix and certainly gives the album texture and variability in tempo. The final track Loan Me A Dime ends on a slower more considered note; with the instrumentation perfectly timed and beautiful tones and the guitar is at times sublime; again showing the individuality of Catfish’s interpretation of these oft travelled classics.
What sets Catfish out from the crowded arena of bands that play the classics is the blending of keys and guitars underpinned by a rhythm section that is full of menace and blues intent Catfish have set a benchmark, be great to the original material and the vocals strengthen as Matt’s experience grows with lots more live performances that really showcase the talent this bands has.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch