Black Stone Cherry exploring their roots New Album Black To Blues

Black Stone Cherry exploring their roots New Album Black To Blues

Black Stone Cherry exploring their roots

New Album Black To Blues

Black Stone Cherry are back from visiting Kentucky. Turning the world of Blues Classics upside down, inside out and definitely rollin’ and tumblin’ is a new direction. Black Stone Cherry exploring their roots in their New Album Black To Blues has reshaped the genre without missing a beat, shuffle or riff. The EP of six tracks is a tribute to the blues roots and heroes of the band, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie King & Albert King.

Opening with Built For Comfort, the sound is dense, deep and moody, the sound is not the low-calorie version – this is full fat, moonshine back to the woods with the air of sinister intent. Carry this much blues no one is going to be running anywhere. The lead break has the guitar howling with a density of growling riffs that then calm down into slow blues with sweet guitar licks and vocals that go from whiskey soaked roughness to honey tones of yearning. What a start, Built For Comfort heard many times BUT never like this.

Follow that! Easy for Black Stone Cherry on a roll as they stomp out the opening of Champagne & Reefer. The slide guitar slips and slides across the vocals as the smooth sound of the original from Muddy Waters is replaced with a slide that rocks, Faster, louder and more raucous, what is never lost for a beat is the sentiment. We know that Champagne is for when you are thirsty and Reefer to get high. No longer Chicago Blues it is BSC turning Black to Blue with an arrogance of understanding the music. Now we are joining Freddie King, Living In A Palace Of The King. The track is the darkest indigo blue how did they achieve this without losing the King feel? Chris revealed they “moved one note to make it more dark”.

Waters, Hoochie Coochie Man is reinvented without losing the heart and soul of the original. The sound is full-on rock capturing the big band sound via the Blues. Leaving you enthralled, breathless, reigniting your passion for the blues ignited originally during the explosion of British R n’ B sixty years ago as John Mayall and Peter Green, and the Rolling Stones re-invented the sound with blues that rocked with modernity.

No tribute to the blues is complete without a number from Albert King, the re-working of Born Under A Bad Sign is monstrous. Loud, bad and very dangerous in the right way Chris’ vocals spit out the lyrics and the rhythm is dramatic. Closing out with I Want To Be Loved, we re-visit the genius that is Muddy Waters. The Guitar is fast, on fire with determined blues licks. Fired up with the tone of the band BSC will always be loved for the style and honesty in the music they produce.

Across the six numbers, we have twenty-one minutes of Black Stone Charry covering classics. Expect the unexpected, expect the unique sound of the band blended through the tracks. What is missing from this compact, blues that whizzes around the block to be the new black Midnight Blue, is missing one thing a few more tracks of BSC originals in the genre of the blues now known as Black to Blues 2017.
We may have our wish. The blues is always a sage teacher, and making the ‘Black To Blues’ EP was a transformative experience for Black Stone Cherry. Chris says: “It was humbling and freeing at the same time. It reignited our passion for this music, and it will definitely have an effect on our next album.

The numbers crack like a pistol shot from a well-oiled six-shooter as Black Stone Cherry have covered but not Copied!

Black Stone Cherry – Black to Blues – Mascot Label Group

Out 29th September 2017

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Built For Comfort
  2. Champagne & Reefer
  3. Palace Of The King
  4. Hoochie Coochie Man
  5. Build Under A Bad Sign
  6. I Wanted To Be Loved

 

Black Stone Cherry exploring their roots New Album Black To Blues

Signs are Positive on Johnny Lang Latest Album

Signs are Positive on Johnny Lang Latest Album

Signs are Positive on Johnny Lang Latest Album

 

Jonny Lang, going back to his roots with an album that has a deep vein of blues timing and tempo to explore. Into this vein of rich musical treasures, he weaves in soul and the rawness of deep roots music, making sure your interest is always whetted with anticipation of what is coming next.

The first sign of this album has a fresh approach is the opening track Make It Move with the deep gospel, chain gang infused choruses. This is contemporary roots, porch step blues. We are making the move, going to the mountain rather than waiting for it to come to you; making that effort to put the first step forward as the guitar squeals demanding attention. Signs is an album replete with textures and tones have been blended, shaken and stirred into a cocktail of guitar, electrics and vocals that rasp out the lyrics

Never constrained by traditional rules of electric guitar blues, Lang re-shapes the sound as we meet snakes in the grass the power of the guitar licks build with blinding riffs full of venomous intent as funk collides with blues and a driving octane that is the signature of Jonny Lang as he meets the Snakes on track two. The power builds the drive becomes more determined and though he sings Last Man Standing you know if it is a contest of guitar playing many will fall by the wayside as Lang plays on full of grit, skill and determination that rocks.

The title track often reveals a lot about the intent of the album. The Signs are definitely clear on this title track. The guitar taking the lead it is eventful, full of activity and at times pulling blues into the cocktail of mixed up sounds. The vocals pull the mix of solo guitar and then the deep riffs that curl around the ear making the sound fizz.  Bitter End, again has the feel of an urgency to throw in all the ingredients into the cocktail, often like taste the ear can only comprehend so much and simplifying the sonic onslaught makes the tone structure more memorable as you are not rushing onto the next cascade of sound.

Signs is a journey of a musician looking for a contemporary space which has not been caught like a spider in a web of a particular guitar based genre and approach. The signal that Lang is putting together his own earthy sound rooted deep in the earth of guitar creativity is emerging on this album Signs. As we head home the album slows, the frenetic pace is stilled as we have the first of a trio of tracks that have been stripped back to a more ordered structure. Bring Me Back Home, his voice is soulful full of emotional yearnings giving the lyrics the power. The energy and drive of the stomp are picked up on Wisdom. The sound is electric in its simplicity showcasing the vocal tones of Jonny’s voice combine by clear cut precise guitar. Closing out with Singing Songs is my favourite, redeeming the album making you go back and explore all the pathways Lang has taken us along on Signs. The breathlessness of the vocals fill out as the chorus picks up we will go on singing songs/ The reason why Jonny Lang continues to perform it is that the song is at the heart of Signs whether wrapped in guitar complexity or stripped down on the last few numbers.

Signs builds with an intensity at first, and it can seem confused, too busy, not sure what the sound wants to be. Then as the tracks become more familiar on every listen you unpick another cadence, sound bite the cocktail of styles now makes sense as Signs becomes the musical cocktail of choice.  There is no doubt that Signs, his first album since signing with Mascot Label Group has a maturity of a young man who after two decades of success at the age of thirty-six has mixed up the genres creating a new sign post ‘Lang Sound’; get to know the new direction before deciding as there is much that is good about the direction even if the pathway at times is cluttered. Signs with it complexity grows with every listen.

Johnny Lang – Signs – Mascot Label Group

Release 25th August 2017

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Make It Move
  2. Snakes
  3. Last Man Standing
  4. Signs
  5. What You’re Made Of
  6. Bitter End
  7. Stronger Together
  8. Into The Light
  9. Bring Me Back Home
  10. Wisdom
  11. Singing Songs

 

Signs are Positive on Johnny Lang Latest Album

ERIC GALES Returning for October/November 2017 Tour

ERIC GALES Returning for October/November 2017 Tour

ERIC GALES Returning for October/November 2017 Tour

What an opportunity to hear one of the finest guitarists once again as Eric returns to the UK and Ireland for tour October and November 2018

ERIC GALES Returning for October/November 2017 Tour

 

Bluesdoodles was delighted to have heard Eric delight the packed Robin 2 ” when he played earlier this year – “There is definitely nothing Middle of The Road or standard about any of the music played by Eric and the band tonight. This is excitement, hope and joy distilled into a night that was hot and will be a highlight of 2017 that is for sure.”  Read More….

 

 

 

Following his long-awaited first UK solo tour in May and an incredible guest slot with Supersonic Blues Machine at this year’s Ramblin’ Man Fair, world-renowned Blues guitarist Eric Gales will be returning to the UK and Ireland this October/November.

TUES 24 OCT – Whelans, Dublin – TICKETS
WED 25 OCT – Dolans Warehouse, Limerick – TICKETS
THUR 26 OCT – Cyprus Ave, Cork – TICKETS
FRI 27 OCT – Picturedrome, Holmfirth – TICKETS
SUN 29 OCT – Mr Kyps, Bournemouth – TICKETS
TUE 31 OCT – Boom, Boom Club, Sutton – TICKETS
THU 02 NOV – Robin 2, Bilston – TICKETS

 

“Scorching” Classic Rock
“One of the greatest guitarists on the planet”  Fireworks
“Rocket-fuelled”  Guitarist
“If you’re looking for the blues album of 2017. This is going to be very hard to beat”  Total Guitar 5/5
“The injection of danger and unpredicability that the blues-rock scene desperately needs…some of his best songs yet”  Guitar & Bass 8/10
“The more you listen to it the more the brilliance of Eric Gales becomes apparent”  Powerplay

Middle of the Road is Eric Gales fourth album on Provogue/Mascot label Group

Bluesdoodles loves the album one you return to –  “No doubting that Eric Gales is back producing the best music yet. Blues guitar with attitude, lyrics with a heartfelt understanding of the myriad emotions this album lays bare for the listener to explore and understand.” Read More …...

 

ERIC GALES Returning for October/November 2017 Tour

 

 

 

Collide first Single from BCCIV Collision of Rock Delight

Collide first Single from BCCIV Collision of Rock DelightCollide first Single from BCCIV Collision of Rock Delight

 

Head over to Planet Rock and do not miss the pre-sale for their exclusive UK tour dates,  Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Tuesday 2nd January and London Hammersmith Apollo on Thursday 4th January 2018. 

 

Black Country Communion have just premiered the official music video for their first single “Collide” taken from their brand new album “BCCIV”, which on Friday 22nd September. 

Adding to the excitement the release first single from the new album out on Mascot Label Group – two UK live shows kick starting 2018.

Black Country Communion  music is a collision of rock power as the Anglo-American partnership returns. United by communion of rock are vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze), drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin, Foreigner), Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Billy Idol) and blues-rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa, release their long awaited and highly anticipated fourth album, “BCCIV” via Mascot Records on Friday September 22nd 2017.  This is the band’s first studio album since 2013’s “Afterglow”.

 

 

These will be the only two concerts the band will play in the UK and Europe.  Planet Rock’s 48-hour ticket pre-sale runs from Wednesday 2nd August until Thursday 3rd August via www.planetrock.com.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday 4th August from 0844 844 0444 and can be booked online from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and www.eventim.co.uk.

 

 

Read more from Bluesdoodles here

 

Collide first Single from BCCIV Collision of Rock Delight

Black Stone Cherry EP Black To Blues

Black Stone Cherry EP Back To Blues

Black Stone Cherry EP Black To Blues

Kentucky rockers Black Stone Cherry are thrilled to announce the release of their long time coming blues EP, ‘Black to Blues’ which is out on Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group on 29th September.

Mascot Label Group is home to some of the finest blues icons of their generation such as Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Walter Trout, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Jonny Lang, Robben Ford, Bernie Marsden, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Sonny Landreth and more, it seemed the perfect time to release ‘Black to Blues’. “I know it’s crazy for four rock n’ roll dudes to make a blues EP, but it’s us sharing with everyone the music that’s been our DNA from day one,” Black Stone Cherry vocalist and guitarist Chris Robertson says. “Blues is the music we listen to when we sit around on the bus with a bottle of bourbon.”

 

Black Stone Cherry EP Back To Blues

“I know it’s crazy for four rock n’ roll dudes to make a blues EP, but it’s us sharing with everyone the music that’s been our DNA from day one Chris Robertson

Black To Blues opens with the Howlin’ Wolf classic ‘Built For Comfort.’ Here, they harnesses the song’s dark energy with foot-stomping burly riffage, impassioned whiskey and honey vocals, and a peaks and valleys arrangement that features virtuoso bursts of bluesy guitar brilliance, smoky quiet passages, and mountains crashing down climaxes.

Throughout the EP, the imaginative arrangements, soulful vocals, and subtle band interplay evoke the halcyon days of heavy blues acts such as Free and Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. On ‘Champagne & Reefer’ they mesmerise with deft slide guitar playing and powerful contrasting haunting and hefty dynamics. Other standouts include a raucous version of Muddy Waters’ ‘I Want To Be Loved,’ complete with jaw-dropping blues-rock guitar solos, and a clever rendition of Freddie King’s ‘Palace Of King”, there they “moved one note to make it more dark,” Chris reveals.

Listen to Build For Comfort – Covered but not Copied!

Before their five critically acclaimed albums, the 12,000-cap arena shows, topping the UK charts, and sharing the stage with superstars like Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Alter Bridge,and of a Shinedown, the guys in the Kentucky-based active rock powerhouse were just teenagers finding their way jamming on the blues. On the heels of their well-received ‘Kentucky’ album, the quartet issues the masterful 6-song EP, ‘Black To Blues’, a collection of blues classics and obscurities re-imagined with the meaty moxie of classic BSC.  “A defining moment for me was realizing all the rock n’ roll that I loved came from the blues,” Chris says.

The chosen covers on Black Stone Cherry EP Black To Blues are:-

                                    1. Built For Comfort
                                    2. Champagne & Reefer
                                    3. Palace Of The King
                                    4. Hoochie Coochie Man
                                    5. Born Under A Bad Sign
                                    6. I Want To Be Loved
As a lead vocalist, Chris honed his burly pipes studying the power of the Texas Tornado himself, Freddie King, who they cover on ‘Black to Blues’ and, throughout their career, the group has always sprinkled in a few blues evergreens in their live set.  “The blues is such honest music. When you hear it, it’s like ‘I’m down on my luck, and, damn, that guy gets just how I feel.’” Chris shares. “I hope by sharing this music we have the beautiful opportunity to expose a new generation to the blues.”

‘Black To Blues’ pays homage to the fertile 1960s era of electric blues where the masters pushed boundaries with experimentation and volume. The EP includes covers by Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, and Albert King. The album was recorded in a burst of fevered inspiration this past spring at David Barrick’s Barrick Recording, the same studio where the band recorded their recent albumKentucky.’ Self produced, tracked the music in two days, and favoured a raw, in-the-moment production aesthetic to capture the inspired sessions. Chris adds: “Our approach was to do these songs as we’ve written them, with attitude and heavy guitar.”

The blues is always a sage teacher, and making the ‘Black To Blues’ EP was a transformative experience for Black Stone Cherry.  Chris says: “It was humbling and freeing at the same time. It reignited our passion for this music, and it will definitely have an effect on our next album.”

 

Black Stone Cherry EP Back To Blues

Walter Trout Announces New Album We’re All In This Together

Walter Trout Announces New Album We’re All In This Together

Walter Trout Announces New Album We’re All In This Together

FEATURING 14 FRIENDS AND A-LIST GUEST MUSICIANS.

Including John Mayall, Joe Bonamassa, Randy Bachman, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Sonny Landreth, & Warren Haynes.

Out September 1st via Provogue/Mascot Label Group

 

Walter Trout Announces New Album We’re All In This TogetherWalter Trout will be releasing his brand new studio album ‘We’re All In This Together’ on September 1st via Provogue/Mascot Label GroupThe album features a stellar cast of guests; John Mayall, Joe Bonamassa, Randy Bachman, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Warren Haynes, Sonny Landreth, Charlie Musselwite, Mike Zito, Robben Ford, Eric Gales, Edgar Winter, Joe Louis Walker , John Németh and his son Jon Trout

Walter Trout is the beating heart of the modern blues rock scene. Respected by the old guard. Revered by the young guns. Adored by the fans who shake his hand after the show each night. After five decades in the game, Trout is a talismanic figure and the glue that bonds the blues community together, at a time when the wider world has never been so divided. He’s also the only artist with the vision, talent and star-studded address book to pull off a project on the scale of We’re All In This Together“It was quite a piece of work to get this record together,” he admits. “But I guess I have a lot of friends, y’know…?”

Before you even hear a note, We’re All In This Together has your attention. Drafting fourteen A-list stars – including Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, John Mayall and Randy Bachman – and writing an original song for each, Trout has made the most tantalising album of the year, and found solace after a run of solo albums that chronicled his near-fatal liver disease of 2014. “Now was the right time for this record,” he says. Battle Scars [2015] was such an intense piece of work, written with tears coming down my face. I needed a break from that, to do something fun and light-hearted. This album was joyous for me.”

Scan the credits of We’re All In This Together and you’ll find nods to every twist and turn of Trout’s electrifying backstory. There’s keys man and long-time friend Skip Edwards, who came up on the same early-’70s New Jersey circuit where Trout cut his teeth as the precocious lead guitarist for Wilmont Mews. There’s organ wizard Deacon Jones, the West Coast bandleader who brought a twenty-something Trout into the orbit of blues titans like John Lee Hooker and Big Mama Thornton. “Deacon sorta discovered me when I moved to LA in the ’70s,” reflects Trout“So I owe him.”

Since he struck out alone in 1989, Trout’s solo career has been every bit as celebrated. Touring tirelessly and spitting out classic albums that include 1990’s flag-planting Life In The Jungle, 1998’s breakthrough Walter Trout and 2012’s politically barbed Blues For The Modern Daze, he’s won international acclaim and enjoyed ever-growing sales in a notoriously fickle industry. Years on the road have also brought him tight friendships, as evidenced by 2006’s cameo-fuelled Full Circle album and this year’s unofficial sequel, We’re All In This Together. “The new album was originally gonna be called Full Circle Volume 2,”notes Trout“but I wanted to make the title a positive statement in this time of madness.” 

They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. If that’s the case, then We’re All In This Together is further proof of Walter Trout’s position at the hub of the blues scene. This is the sound of an artist not just getting by with a little help from his friends, but positively thriving, on an album that is sure to light another rocket under his blooming late career. “I’m 66 years old,” considers Trout“but I feel like I’m in the best years of my life right now. I feel better than I have in years physically. I have more energy. I have a whole different appreciation of being alive, of the world, of my family, of my career. I want life to be exciting and celebratory. I want to dig in. I want to grab life by the balls and not let go, y’know…?”

October UK Tour

6 Oct – Worthing Pier Southern Pavillion, WORTHING
7 Oct – Chinnerys, SOUTHEND-ON-SEA
9 Oct – The Brook, SOUTHAMPTON
10 Oct – Under The Bridge, LONDON
11 Oct – Under The Bridge, LONDON       
13 Oct – Central Station, WREXHAM
14 Oct – Warehouse 23, WAKEFIELD           
15 Oct – Preston Guild Hall, PRESTON
17 Oct – Robin 2, BILSTON                  
18 Oct – Public Hall, HARPENDEN
20 Oct – Bierkeller Theatre, BRISTOL           
21 Oct – Sin City, SWANSEEA
22 Oct – Muni Arts Centre, PONTYPRIDD


Walter Trout Announces New Album We’re All In This Together

Track Listing We’re all in this together

1. Gonna Hurt Like Hell feat. Kenny Wayne Shepherd

2.  Ain’t Goin’ Back feat. Sonny Landreth

3. The Other Side of The Pillow feat. Charlie Musselwhite

4. She Listens To The Blackbird Sing feat. Mike Zito

5. Mr. Davis feat. Robben Ford 

6. The Sky Is Crying feat. Warren Haynes

7. Somebody Goin’ Down feat. Eric Gales

8. She Steals My Heart Away feat. Edgar Winter

9. Crash And Burn feat. Joe Louis Walker

10. Too Much to Carry feat. John Nemeth

11. Do You Still See Me At All feat. Jon Trout

12. Got Nothin’ Left feat. Randy Bachman

13. Blues For Jimmy T.feat. John Mayall 

14. We’re All In This Together feat. Joe Bonamassa

 

 

Walter Trout Announces New Album We’re All In This Together

Rise and Shine with SIMO Forthcoming Album

Rise and Shine with SIMO Forthcoming Album

 

SIMO RETURN WITH NEW ALBUM ‘RISE AND SHINE’

OUT SEPTEMBER 15TH VIA PROVOGUE/MASCOT LABEL GROUP

Watch the video for People Say here

 

Nashville trio SIMO widen their sound with slow-smoked soul ballads, psychedelic desert-rock instrumentals, hard-edged, bluesy barn burners and Stax-worthy funk rockers.

“Phenomenal” The Independent

Simo’s future looks so bright that the trio needs shades” Classic Rock

“Raw and brimming with Mojo” Guitar & Bass

“An incendiary talent” Powerplay

Bluesdoodles  talked to SIMO last year We asked about follow-up album to Let Love Show The Way. JD said “We have started work on next record actually started several months ago. We are doing the album in little phases. This is a different approach from previously and will be a different type of album putting it together over long period of time. We are about a quarter way through the process”.   Read More…..

Rise & Shine took shape as they toured throughout 2016 playing 215 show. The trio on stage are a firework display of energy and musical style lead by  frontman JD Simo; drummer Adam Abrashoff; and bassist Elad Shapiro. Touring across nine countries was inspirational SIMO hashing out chord changes in hotel rooms and tweaking song arrangements during soundcheck. It was a time of growth and self-improvement for everyone, and they became better friends, better musicians, and better people. At the same time, the outside world was changing. Political pundits were screaming at one another. Elections were pitting candidate against candidate, party against party, neighbour against neighbour. The need to write music that truly meant something — music that not only demonstrated the band’s explosive chops, but also sent a clear message — was greater than ever.

Rise and Shine with SIMO Forthcoming Album blurs the lines across genres as they look to future understanding the past influences whilst creating new contemporary sound. “If you go through my record collection and look at the more contemporary titles,” JD explains, “you’ll see the Roots, Wilco, Alabama Shakes, and Ryan Adams. I listen to a lot of old soul music, too. Isaac Hayes. Funkadelic. Bob Dylan. On Rise & Shine, I was just trying to cull from the vastness that is my normal music diet, and not trying to pander to some target that was easy to hit.”

Rise and Shine with SIMO Forthcoming Album was slowly  recorded working long hours moving at their own deliberate pace. “There was a lot more sonic experimentation going on,” remembers Adam. “Every track has a different sonic imprint,” JD adds. “We took great care to make each track’s sonic identity match the mood of the song. Even though that meant starting from scratch every day with how the studio was setup.”

A former session guitarist who’s played on nearly 500 albums, JD didn’t take Rise & Shine’s lengthy creation process for granted. “I’ve never worked on a record that took this long to record,” he adds. “I was so grateful to have that opportunity.”

Rise and Shine with SIMO Forthcoming Album is the band’s most expansive album to date — the work of a band at its curious, adventurous peak.

 

CATCH SIMO AT THE BORDERLINE, LONDON ON SEPTEMBER 26TH

Pre-order Rise & Shine HERE

Shamans Harvest Album Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic

Shamans Harvest Album Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic

Shamans Harvest Album Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic

 

Shaman’s Harvest Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic. Their latest album as they cut across the genres, pulling the tones together with a dark and purposeful intent.  You know that this will be an album that will both challenge and intrigue when after the track listing on the album cover there is the phrase –  For the record, no goats were killed in the making of Red Hands Black Deeds. This conjures up the feel of a mystic pagan past, devil and music that will invoke the dark side of rock. The album has a depth of sound that evokes the past, reflecting the use of vintage amps, strong lyrics that rock around the beat pulling in Mowtown and the headlines of the day.

Summertime may be when the album is released; but to understand the anxiety that is apparent throughout the dozen tracks we have to go back to the inception of Red Hands Black Deeds. The journey of Shaman’s Harvest’s Album Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic began back in November 2016. A time of tension and anxiety in a divided nation deciding who would be the next President of USA. As they explore new concepts the maturity of sound and confidence in production reflects the ups and downs bands go through on and off the road since their debut album, Last Call for Goose Creekin, back in 1999. Shaman’s Harvest have persevered through singer Nathan Hunt’s battle with cancer. The quartet’s determination and focus has led them to an album that will stand out for its difference, with the use of melodic cadences that are beguiling building on the tonal texture of Nathan’s distinctive vocals. The lead guitar of Derrick Shipp lays down a mysterious melody with the rhythmic addition of Josh Hammler’s guitar.  Matt Fisher’s bass lays down grooves that are deep with an iron edge, and the beating drum of Adam Zemanek evoking memories from the past and draws the listener into the here and now of this album.  It is hardly surprising that they are in demand to play live ad reflected in the caliber of bands they have opened for AC/DC, Alice in Chains, Nickelback and Cheap Trick the list goes on but you get the picture.

The dozen track album adds to the discography with tracks that have layers of sound complexity delivered with ease. This is music which whilst challenging rests easy on the ear. It is music you want to listen to.

The title track and prelude takes us to the dark recess of our musical brain as a sonic picture is created. This is a hazy misty past full of dread as tribal memories are pulled to the surface of our memories. This has raw, primeval beats; a case of American Indian meets medieval courts. The vocals acting as the drone we are being taken to a different time and place where red hands carried out black deeds.  Then the sonic tone changes with a deep dark bass and cascade of guitar as The Broken Ones picks up on the theme hinted at on the opening number. Who are the Broken Ones? Anyone who has been disenfranchised, immigrants and native American ancestors of Hunt. The music has a purity of purpose a counterpoint to the cynical lyrics showing the past and now are mirror images of themselves with society broken.

The harvest of lyrics on the album has garnered together the feeling of the relentless and unchanging actions of people that create a dark chasm resulting in a fertile resource for songwriting and always that element that keeps us going, demanding change the hope it will change for the better.

Three tracks in and the vista opens with the first single of the album. The music has a crisp freshness and a chorus that has a catchy feel as we get The Come Up.  This is a track that swaggers with hope and energy as the sun bursts with Mowtown-fuelled energy from behind the darker clouds of previous tracks. An acknowledgement that sometimes you cannot change things.

Civil unrest and war connects the semi-acoustic, vocal lead number A Longer View and The Devil in Our Wake. Linking back to loss, marginalization and no clear path of solution.   Loss of homeland and identity leading to hatred and hurt. Into the mix is blues influenced, Soul Crusher as Texan guitar picks up the Mowtown foot tapping – let’s dance feel we all need some of this fun beat as a slave to our souls.  Keeping with the shading from the blues Off the Tracks.

The album keeps on giving, the lyrics and shaping of tones often gives a complete feel; this is music that the band cares about and have given deep thought to the track listing and the melding of tones from across the genres. Not leading to a mish-mash of tones and no sense of direction Red Hands Black Deeds is considered, thoughtful hand takes on a journey where we confront the hardship and reality of many people’s lives. The penultimate track cools the tempo down with acoustic stripped down country number Tusk and Bone. We need this space as we have explored the darkness of society. Leaving the last track and one more surprising twist in the road as Scavengers hit our speakers.  Yes, electric but has a stripped back natural feel as the vocals come from afar and the rough texture of the sound brings us back to primeval mysteries. There is still one more gift a moment of silence and then a hidden nugget of fun.

Shaman’s Harvest Album Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic full of intrigues, delivers huge hooks, deep bass and powerful lyrics that have something to say wrapped up with powerful rock Shaman’s Harvest Red Hands Black Deeds delivers on every level.

Shamans Harvest Album Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic

Shaman’s Harvest – Red Hands Black Deeds – Mascot Records

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Red Hands Black Deeds
  2. Broken Ones
  3. The Come Up
  4. A Longer View
  5. Soul Crusher
  6. Off The Tracks
  7. Long Way Home
  8. The Devil In Our Wake
  9. Blood Trophies
  10. So Long
  11. Tusk and Bone
  12. Scavengers

Check out other Bluesdoodles Reviews Here

Shamans Harvest Album Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic

Kenny Wayne Shepherd says Lay It On Down on New Album

Kenny Wayne Shepherd says Lay It On Down on New Album

Kenny Wayne Shepherd says Lay It On Down on New Album

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd new album Lay It On Down; Bluesdoodles can sum up his eighth solo album as searingly confident modern blues.  You want to read a little bit more? Happy to oblige as I listen once again with intense pleasure to Lay It On Down.

Lay It On Down, on Mascot Group Label with a release date of 21st July 2017. The album was recorded in January as Shepherd and his band entered the Echophone Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana. New Year, New Project , with an ambitious mission statement: the greatest songs of Shepherd’s career. No more. No less. “The point of this album,” he says, “was that I wanted to put a heavy emphasis on the songs themselves and the writing behind them. I wanted each song to really stand on its own with the songwriting, the music, the words.” Having listened mission accomplished full of fresh vibes; strong lyrics surrounded with the brilliance of electric blues.

Throughout the album the guitar sizzles with a controlled intent. The shining Goldilocks never too hot, never too long and definitely not cold. Kenny always leaves you wondering as the voice is hooked in what guitar lick was left out for the main event the lyrics.  It is that feeling of intrigue, the notes that have not been played that leaves you not wanting more but satisfied, intrigued and with melodies and lines that flash into your head as the most welcomed of earworms. Lay It Down, the music has been laid down with thought, commitment and self-belief that less is often more when it comes to electric guitar lead breaks.

Opening the narrative that connects the album’s eleven tracks is Baby Got Gone; starting off at full throttle with rock that is full of attitude we know we are embarking on a musical journey that will take us around an interesting circuit of songs recorded in Nashville out of Louisiana as rocks in the road are explored.  Rock and romance in the air combine on romantic number Nothing But the Night. Diamonds & Gold is full of soulful luxuriousness, a cascade of notes on guitar, drum and horns the sound is funky, modern and energised. The title is two objects of desire signifying for many power, and wealth giving us our status and identity.  Shepherd manages through the lyrics to look beyond to bigger more meaningful and fulfilling things as the guitar squeals delivering a crescendo of sound more valuable to the listener than Diamonds & Gold.

With a floating, Americana feel of the title track, Lay It On Down takes the musical road in another direction. This light and fresh number has a darker lyric trapped in a gilded cage as Shepherd sings “Who broke your will now honey who stole your dreams like money who made you think you were keeping around”. The lyrics build the story, the guitar break fills in the gap as we travel the road knowing we need to look at the inner beauty to pass the self-doubts that we often show to the world. .

The lap-steel curls with a depth of tone on Hard Lesson Learned and the electric guitar adds a salty sharpness. Then into blues shuffling glory that is the signature of Kenny Wayne shepherd for many. Followed by another vintage bluesy number we are then showered with Louisiana Rain.  The acoustic guitar is gentle reflecting rain on a window, distorting the view with its shades of grey. A song sung with heartfelt personal emotions. As we are led to the final stop on the journey that is Ride Of Your Life.  The music hooks back to the driving rocky feel of the opener. This is as it says a Ride Of Your Life the guitar crackles with static electric power, the flashes of sparks are iridescent with every shade of blue from baby blue to darkest indigo.  The encore is an acoustic version of the title track; we revisit the bird in the gilded cage the lyrics suit the acoustic sound. Lay It On Down is an album that will grow with very outing and tracks will become live favourites..

By the eighth album an artist can become predictable, all feels like heard that before. DEFINITELY NOT with Lay It On Down, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, picking up on his other passion motor cars has given his music a complete overhaul, the guitar driven engine still has its power and integrity but added to the accelerator taking us on a journey are strong lyrics and modern Americana influence. As KWS said recently, “I feel like the band’s best days are still ahead of us. And the next album could be completely different…”  He has certainly succeeded as Kenny Wayne Shepherd says Lay It On Down on New Album. While we wait for the next re-vamp we can Lay It On Down with pleasure in the company of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Lay It On Down – Mascot Label Group

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Baby Got Gone
  2. Diamonds & Gold
  3. Nothing But The Night
  4. Lay It On Down
  5. She’s $$$
  6. Hard Lesson Learned
  7. Down For Love
  8. How Low Can You Go
  9. Louisiana Rain
  10. Ride Of Your Life
  11. Lay It On Down (Acoustic)

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd says Lay It On Down on New Album

 

Bluesdoodles In Conversation with Sonny Landreth

Bluesdoodles In Conversation with Sonny Landreth

Bluesdoodles In Conversation with Sonny Landreth

 

 

BD: Firstly, thank you for taking the time out to chat with Bluesdoodles today; July 4th.  I was delighted to have had the opportunity via Mascot to review your latest album Live at LaFayette; it is ninety-three minutes of music heaven, smooth, warm and spiced up with clever licks and breaks to keep the listening ear totally engaged.

SL: Great, I love hearing that we try to plan some of these things out, but other things we have no control over and just hope it all pans out when playing live.

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Louisiana?
SL: In Louisiana I was already into music, my elder brother Steve was always bringing music in to the house. Elvis Presley was a big thing in Mississippi when I was still living there. Then I discovered Scotty Moore. By the time we got here, there was always music in the area as it is such a big part of the culture here with the Cajun and Creole influences. There were shows on the weekend, on TV and live bands playing, bands would play at the openings for a store you name it a flatbed truck would have a band playing on there, that was in the area and it was great to have that. Walking down town on my first Mardi Gras locally and I sneaked into a bar because I was mesmerized by the sound on the jukebox it was Ray Charles. It was great my family would go back to New Orleans that was the first time I heard Jazz, Rn’B and second line rhythms and so forth. So between all the influences of the music I liked I became a big fan of Chet Atkins, The Jazz Cats and Wes Montgomery. I started out on the trumpet so I had all those jazz heroes like Miles Davies, Ornette Coleman and so forth. So by time I got into the blues which is more of a guitar thing I was thirteen and the list goes on and on… (laughing)

 BD: So what Made you change from the Trumpet to the guitar?

SL:  Well I actually kept up the trumpet at school from 10 years old, fifth grade up until my two years in college and twenty. By the time I started to play guitar the Beatles came along and everybody wanted to have a band. If Scotty Moore fired me up to learn how to play a guitar it was The Beatles that fired me up to play in a band, as did my best friend Tommy, he wanted to play drums and that was our first band he and I, guitar and drums, lot simpler back then! You know with the guitar learning Beatles songs, really for us it was the instrumental thing that worked up some of those songs, played our first gig, we were hooked. A little later I was working in a family operated music store Prof Erny – that was a great experience. He supplied the music, sheet music, instruments for all the band directors in the area.  They sold records, they had a guitar room, so I was lost in there most of the time. There was an older kid there who said man you have to listen to Chet Atkins. Well I heard of him so he sat down and started playing Chet songs it just blew my mind. He started to teach me finger style, so I had to practice that to get the right hand finger picking style of Chet. That was my entry in to the world of solo guitar meaning playing the melody, rhythm and bass lines all at the same time and think of the guitar as a solo instrument. By the time I started listening to the Delta Blues and getting into the blues that’s how I related to the finger picking of all the old blues cats. Started tackling the Slide, I had Chet’s Right Hand technique and slide on little finger of my left hand that started me on my path really.

BD: That all sounds really clever to me!

SL: Well sure shows how clever I was. I was young so into it, so enthusiastic, didn’t have any hang-ups, preconceptions or perceived notions. My worlds view is about figuring out the next chord.  Not a bad place to be, you don’t have prejudiced perception. So your view of reality has not been so imposed on, that you are not open to any and all ideas. I think that was one of the great things about being raised here in South Louisiana because music is such a part of the culture I was open to everything and all those influences.

BD: Yes lots people get closed into a style or approach very early one.

SL Yes they do, I think having played a wind instrument to start off with I came to the guitar with a different perspective, more like a horn player. Where you have to take a breath that affected my phrasing. I guess what I was trying to accomplish on the guitar was different from my contemporaries. They were coming more rock n’ Roll cranking it up to 10 and fire away nothing wrong with that I love it. It helped me in addition to that to think of it in a different way more dynamically. Also that is where the slide comes in because of its vocal quality. I didn’t realise it at the time, but many years later I recognise that my jazz and blues heroes were all striving to emulate the human voice so slide really leads itself to that because of its lyrical quality.

Bluesdoodles In Conversation with Sonny LandrethBD: Live at LaFayette is a long awaited live album. How did you decide which tracks to include from the three nights and the decision to have a mix of Acoustic & Electric and as a double album.

SL: That was one of the advantages of doing it here at home. Everything came together my engineer’s studio just few blocks away as a resource for equipment, had him there and musicians in the main are all close by. There is a real nice theatre that has been built since my last live album I did eleven years ago. It was perfect setting for this kind of thing for a multi-night stance. We went in on the Monday set up, sound checked rehearsed with my trio Steve Conn and Sam Broussard. We recorded three nights in a row, that way you can relax more, you have more than one go at it. The hardest thing about recording live is not to think about it, not worry about it, get into the moment just like you do at any other gig that is what you have to capture. So in order to decide which songs that was a little bit of a trip.  Some songs were real obvious, some of the instrumentals I wanted to get those down just like we play night after night with my trio. Then I knew I wanted Steve and Sam to expand some of the other songs that we had been playing like for example Back To Bayou Teche and Walkin Blues I knew they would wail on those, have more colour more texture creating a big sound. Acoustic is where it got really interesting I started to think well, some of these songs that had been electric all along and had bigger production in the studio like probably any songwriter would tell you. Some of those songs  started out with me just on an acoustic guitar coming up with ideas, melodic line, set of changes that led to an idea for a lick, then led to a line lyric line of song becomes a chorus. Takes a while! That is what the whole process revolves around just you on an acoustic guitar. Went back to that just to embrace the essence build on it somewhat with an ensemble it was fun cos then you are re-interpreting songs that had a bigger production on the albums. I have always felt a good song can be interpreted in a number of ways like Creole Angel and Bound By The Blues actually speak better as an acoustic setting.  Because there are so many lyrics they go by so quickly and I think the audience gets engaged more. There are some element of dynamics as well, we figured out the best first come out and do an acoustic set, take a break and then come back out and ramp it up. That is how we approached the recording as well, then I realised we had enough material to do a whole disc acoustic and another electric. We kept adding a song each night that is how it came about. I wish I could say I masterminded the whole thing from day one, had it all planned out. I always wanted to leave something to chance anyway cos that is where some of the more interesting stuff happens, but in terms developing into the concept of a double album it was kinda cool how that came about.

BD: If planned too much it can become too produced too sterile?

SL: Yes, it does nothing wrong with that if that is your thing.  That is what I love about the studio a lot of that is like a painting where you have a canvas and you are adding colours then you get up one morning and you go that looks really good here or embellish it here and that is great. The thing about a live performance the energy with audience and the performers it becomes actually something else more personal connection that way. It certainly propels us to play better there is no doubt about it I can’t really do that in the studio up to a point. To be honest our last album Bound By The Blues was pretty much live in the studio with my trio and so we had lot of that feel about it. But when I have an audience it just takes it to another level and that is what you want to capture with a live album. And the other thing was in that setting and have it be somewhat of a retrospective of different songs over my career which I felt took it to the next level as well more of a personal statement. Something I felt the long-time fans would appreciate the different interpretations you know and then  for newcomers be a good introduction. BD: And they will then go and explore your other albums! SD: I mean it was kinda like your life flashing before your eyes. To be honest it was a nice affirmation to have too many songs to chose from. I would far rather have that than like only have three albums for forty-six years on the road that would be little disappointing. That was fun for me I enjoyed that aspect of it.

BD: Tell our readers about your infectious sound delta blues and zydeco influences? And for people especially in UK what is it about zydeco, creole sound that you create, separating your sound from pure Delta?

SL: Two different things in that regard, there is common thread and that is the Blues.Zydeco music Creole much influence of their African roots, original tribes, sound, rhythms and syncopations in particular and that is the biggest difference between that and Cajun music. Cajun music is the descendants of Nova Scotia and the Great North up there who were deported and settled in this area and a lot of them grew up side-by-side with Creoles so there was a give and take, that is really beautiful there which is why the music is so rich and diverse. Delta Blues across the Mississippi River there is a thread if you listen to say Mississippi John Hurt, playing his acoustic guitar and singing basically telling a story, call them story songs. Then if you were to hear Clifton Chenier playing Blues always in his repertoire, he mixed up blues with everything else and he formulated the sound, the great pinnacle to Zydeco sound there was that element to it. Zydeco per se is real upbeat, syncopated and really the best of it Clifton on his accordion, his drummer Big Robert and his brother Cleveland on the rub board. The three of them would just get of the stage a played old style Zyedeco, I just loved it, you just can’t not move when you hear that music, it is good for the soul.

BD: What are the Blues or how do you define the Blues the perennial debate?

SL: For me main thing about the blues if you take an overview it is such a profound experience again speaking culturally again. It is Grace in the face of adversity. Lot of the kids coming up they learn the licks try and get across to them they need to study the history of the players and the time they lived and what they were going through. It is the back story that is so important and all of them that as a common denominator overcoming challenges. That is why Blues is a universal language, it is something people all over the world relate to. It is these challenges really the things that unite us, I think that is why it resonates with people everywhere. It will always be pertinent, always evolve, will have new players. A lot of the old guard we have lost; not many left at all. That is probably true of all folk music or music that is important of the people. When I say folk music I literally mean music comes from people and their lives, big part of history there that’s when you factor that into story songs it becomes a richer experience that to me is profound.

BD: For me it was your opening phrase Grace in the face of adversity is just brilliant.

SL:  Part of it is all the trials and tribulations and my God! The things that people went through was just horrific and beyond belief. But they would turn to music and they would express, there would be a release in that expression that joy in the moment a thing to have, there is something about that connection that does make it so profound. It is not just another fad or pop song sells in the moment but doesn’t equate to the test of time and that is the big difference. Great music to me is music that stands the test of time.

BD:  Your bottleneck/slide guitar style is so full of power what makes your playing stand out from the crowd and your distinctive sound many describe you as King of Slydeco?

SL: I think what happened to me looking back I am so comfortable is so many different genres of music because of growing up here and that is great, versatility is a good thing. It is possible to go in too many directions at once I think when I landed on and beginning to work with the slide and started to make my way with it I realised it was a way to crystallise all these influences into a unified sound that was my own. Very much included songwriting as well and that became my focus. The fact that I started out on another instrument, influenced by all the other instruments in the area, accordion, rub board, triangle everything because slide offers a greater potential for creating sounds, I picked up on that pretty early and would begin to try and emulate some of these other instruments so I think that is part of it. I definitely made some discoveries that opened the window in terms of possibilities, harmonically, percussively, lyrically I could accomplish all that it was a bigger layer of sound from one instrument so to speak. All those influences come to bear you hope some like cosmic dust rubs off on you. As I got more opportunities to work with people, I always paid attention to how they worked and it has to be your passion.

 BD: If you were putting together the perfect fantasy band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
SL: I would probably but my heroes together, I could watch them play just sit on the side of the stage

Accordion: Clifton Chenier

Drums: Big Robert, just primitive style never heard anything like him.

Bass:  Noel Redding

Guitar: BB Guitar, Jimi Hendrix

I met Jimi Hendrix in store in Baton Rouge he had run away from his road manager and I talked to him . I heard BB; Jimi and Clifton play for the first time within a year when I was 16/17 years old. I have also  met them all, takes us back to your first question that was incredible experience set the bar so high not a bad way to start out

 

BD: Are you planning to come to the UK.

SL: We are Yes, hopefully in the fall if not certainly 2018. 

 

BD: Thank you for taking time out on 4th July

 

Note from editor: Check out his music over at Sonny Landreth

 

Bluesdoodles In Conversation with Sonny Landreth