Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado Says Change My Game

Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado Says Change My Game

Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado  Says Change My Game


This is an album that drives through and visits many styles and shapes into a Tornado that whirls and swirls around you. Change My Game, excites, soothes and beguiles. It is full of Soul, Funk and buckets of Blues of every hue rocked up at times with jagged tones.

Opening with I Used to Love You and the creamy, languid vocals of Thorbjørn Risager who from the oft dictates the shape moods and smoulder that ignites as the album progresses through to the closing number City Of Love. This is a fuzzy blues ZZ Top inspired number that has a driving urgency. This is an album that moves sinuously through music that has been touched, shaped by the blues and back deep into the sultry delta. The Black Tornado adds deep and stormy intent to the sound that is instantly recognised but never pigeon-holed. Joining Risager’s guitar is Peter Skjerning and the keys from Emil Balsgaard adding that layer of divine interest throughout and makes Dreamland have an added punch.

Changing the tempo once again, Holler N’ Moan is a holler that reaches deep into a shared memory of hard labour and persecution. The rhythm section comes to the fore in shaping Holler N’ Moan as Soren Bojgaard’s bass and the power of the drum beat from Martin Seidelin.  The tempo changes and we have sparkling faceted sapphire blue the layers of sound deep and dark. How do you follow this by lightning the tone as Hard Time is explored with a jaunty beat as we yearn to be back home.  The album continues to put you under a mesmerising music trance as Long Gone, the stellar ballad of the album, stings your emotions. With its rhythm duet as an opener the bass and drum leading us in to the explosion of vocals and keys that curl as you join Risager and howl at the moon with the glorious horns accompanying you. Wow! What a track as the album reaches half way.

This is 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.

Maybe It’s Alright, picks up the blues holler and the power of Thorbjørn’s vocals are clarion clear as the horns and chorus meld and punctuate the lyrics with a song that rocks your socks off like so much of the album. The title track has a funky warm feel that just demonstrates this is a band that plays music that moves you, those feet will not be still. A studio album 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. Change My Game, not if it means taking the disc out of the player this is a keeper.


Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado – Change My Game – RUF

TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. I Used To Love You
  2. Dreamland
  3. Holler ‘N Moan
  4. Hard Time
  5. Long Gone
  6. Hold My Lover Tight
  7. Maybe It’s Alright
  8. Train
  9. Lay My Burden Down
  10. City of Love

Si Cranstoun singing Old School Blues

Si Cranston-


Si Cranstoun singing Old School Blues


With the title track hitting the rock n roll groove, the clubs, dance floors and front rooms will be jiving with delight to Si Cranstoun’s Old School. The music is infectious the horns add that tonal depth that gets the hips swinging and the feet tapping and a smile on your face. Unpretentious this is music that hits the notes in all the right places.

The feel good, good time factor continues with the beat full of lively grooves. Si’s vocals tell the tale and we all want to listen and have a Cranstoun good time as he takes us to Vegas. The album is full of vintage gems and the musicianship understands the sunshine, mood enhancing music they want to deliver.

The lyrics are original with quirky corners, the vibe is one-hundred percent Rock n Roll with rhythmic blues. Nothing has been re-shaped or re-invented to make contemporary,  Si definitely is a band leader doffing his hat to the popular music that spans the 1940’s through to the early ‘60’s.
Close your eyes and you are back in the coffee shop putting pennies into the Jukebox with Jukebox Jump, down at the town hop on a Saturday night jiving and jumping this is pure nostalgia. The whole sixteen tracks of the album are filled with his golden vocals that curl around and pick up the stinging guitar sound he produces.

With a Christmas Twist, included in the mix a perfect jingling number to get the house into the Christmas spirit and closing with Happy Birthday, this is a sound track for any celebration where you want to smile, laugh dance and party!  Into the mix we meet Elise The Brazilian with a smooth stripped back vibe as the rumba collides with rock n roll. Squeeze into Skinny Jeans the sax’s are fat this is anything but a skinny sound, and we party with the Commoner and The King.

If you love vintage Old School rock rhythm and blues with a look back to Jackie Wilson Sam Cooke et al; this is the album for you.

Si Cranstoun – Old School – RUF Records

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

Track Listing

  1. Old School
  2. Vegas Baby
  3. Nighttime
  4. Run Free
  5. Right Girl
  6. Jukebok Jump
  7. Elise The Brazilian
  8. Count On Me
  9. Around Midnight
  10. A Christmas Twist
  11. Skinny Jeans
  12. Thames River Song
  13. Commoner To King
  14. Big Bess
  15. Lover Please
  16. Happy Birthday

Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece

Ride Or Die sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece

Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece


Ride Or Die, is a journey full of colour and texture in the tone. With flashes of blue and twists of granite rock and country green woven into a musical tuned magic carpet. The fabric of the album is the winning and beguiling combination of Devon Allman’s triumvirate of power in equal measure Songwriting, guitar and those vocals. Adding to the fabric that creates a sound that across the whole album is full of emotional outpourings that shape each song are the superb tones and textures from his band and guests on the album. The phrasing of every instrument adds a musical emotion, there are no unnecessary layers every instrument compliments each other and are servants to the heart of the lyrics telling a powerful story.

Deep bass driven rhythms are laid down, setting the individual tone and tempo of each track is the combination of Tom Hambridge on drums and bassist Steve Duerst. They set the groove that is dynamic, exciting and certainly never static they are the warp and weft of the fabric that is Ride or Die. The fabric of the music is stretched, turned and reshaped with the addition of Saxophone, violin, and keys augmenting the message when required. Then the main pattern of this magical musical carpet, reflected in the wonderful cover design full of colour from Pepe Paras, capturing the integral heart and complexities as Devon sings the songs you want to hear again and again.

The dozen tracks all have a place on the album and add to the Ride Or Die journey, from the opening track Say Your Prayers through to the last notes of A Night Like This. Instantly recognisable as a Devon Allman melody and driving riffs that pull in the vocals that just curl around the lyrics is the opening number Say Your Prayers.  The judicious us of the wah-wah pedal adds to the low down dirty howling tempo of the opening number. The beat changes as we Find Ourselves, with an underlying Latin dance vibe; this is found again later in the album with Pleasure and Pain. Demonstrating the deep links within whole roots scene of American music from the Blues to Southern Rock of influences from steamy Latin dance moves from the Rumba to the Tango.

The tempo changes with the acoustic guitar of Lost, and a country feel as Devon’s vocals speak directly to you with a simplicity of the melody line contrasting the poetic depth of the lyrics.  The wah pedal is again used as an effect that says more than a thousand words the hurt and pain of this beautiful number.  As Devon sings “ Your clocks are all spinning, Your compass is bleeding now, Your Maps are all burning baby, You couldn’t be more lost”. If I had to listen to just one track from the album this would be it.  There is a feeling of another place and time, yet Lost is completely grounded in the now, with experiences, hurt and feeling of being lost we have all experienced.

Watch What You Say, has a foot tapping tempo where guitar and vocals are underpinned with drumming that give the lyrics a sense of purpose and momentum this is music which rocks and rolls it is emotionally poetic, this is experiences of life that is more about tears than laughs.  Vancouver gives a time and place a location where we can re-set the journey. Melodic violin and Devon’s voice has a lighter tone, the lyrics though are full of yearning that the saxophone reflects. As we live a love story and how we could have done things differently if you only had a time machine.

As Ride Or Die’s musical journey only has three more stops, the acoustic is picked up again for Live From The Heart, a philosophical song ‘look to your heart look to your soul’. The keys give the track shades that make it glisten and stand out in a crowd of beautiful numbers. The reflective sound continues with Butterfly Girl, his voice deepens in a Country feel. Another song about relationships with a searing violin as Devon gives advice that is so difficult to enact. Giving people the freedom to fly while caring from them.  The melody has a looseness, a freedom that allows you to fly and look down on the emotional journey the album takes you on.
An imaginative cover of The Cure’s A Night Like This closes the album, that mixes the influences of modern music, blending them into a textural tonal carpet that you want to ride on forever.

Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece, with ten of the tracks written or co-written by Devon he captures the sound that defies boundaries of genres that has the freedom to be itself. Full of strong lyrics and heartfelt melodies.  This is an album that takes you on a journey full of anguish, hurt, pain and the pleasures of living life where you Ride or Die whatever your journey remember hope will be present.

Devon AllmanRide or Die – RUF Records

Release Date 16th September 2016

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

Track Listing

  1. Say Your Prayers
  2. Find Ourselves
  3. Galaxies
  4. Lost
  5. Shattered Times
  6. Watch What You Say
  7. Vancouver
  8. Pleasure and Pain
  9. Hold Me
  10. Live From The Heart
  11. Butterfly Girl
  12. A Night Like This

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues


The second time Bluesdoodles have seen Devon Allman Band during 2016. Anticipation and expectation was very high as in the review of the night back in March in Derby ended with –  “A magnificent ending to a fantastic gig – WOW! – this was certainly going to be one of if not the Bluesdoodles gig of the year”.

Tonight the line-up as all American, as they stepped onto the stage, following a storming warm-up set from Texas Flood who never fail to please the audiences at The Scene. Joining Devon tonight guitarist and backing vocalist Bobby Schneck Jr, drummer Anthony Nanney and the only change in the line-up from March bassist Steve Duerst joining the band to add that twist to the blues, and rocking up the jam.

The venue was hot and there will be many in Wales who did not turn-out for this post Bank Holiday Tuesday that will be regretting it as friends tell them that this was a night to remember. Devon tonight was on sparkling form, his guitar was on fire the six-strings smouldered with emotion, the vocals soared through the venue and his shimmies across the stage picked up the mood and attitude of the music.

The set list picked out gems from his back catalogue with tracks from Ragged and Dirty including Half The Truth and Midnight Lake Michigan to close the set. Confirming that this album is full of textures and music that is tight with the band adding layers of sound for Devon to bounce off from. Once again, Booby Schneck Jr’s guitar was electric with controlled energy the two guitars fit each other perfectly with tones complimenting and never trying to outplay each other.

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of Torch we were treated to a live favourite Mahalo and Devon’s take on Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry. The band adds to the flavor of reggae and makes the song their own and the Welsh audience delightedly joining in the chorus. Devon really enjoyed interacting with the crowds so we all sang No Woman not once, twice but many times.

Devon would not have the freedom to jam, play with his honey dripping fluidity of he did not have a rhythm section that ensured the shape of every number maintains, tonight Anthony Nanny’s drumming was exceptional, crisp and always empathetic to the sound being created. Whilst, bassist Steve Duerst created the core bass lines and then added some funk and interplay between himself and Devon

Within the music tonight was the undercurrent of the blues, the legacy of the impact that this roots music has had on popular American music as the jamming vibe and rocking beats add to the poetry of the lyrics.  It is all about the emotion and feel of the music, he refuses to be caged within a genre, as into the numbers latino beats of rumba and samba are melded in so that at times the lead breaks are redolent of Santana.

It is all about the music, as the only plug for his forthcoming album as at the beginning of the encore we all demanded. As he played the opening track of Ride Or Die, Say Your Prayers which really wooed the crowd. Tonight, at The Scene he left the stage, animated and interacting with the crowd as he stopped to have his picture taken never dropping a note as he jumped on the table and climbed over the sofa’s at the back of the venue. Devon was enjoying the party atmosphere and ensured everyone was joining in the fun!

Tonight, Swansea will say one prayer – come back soon Devon and enchant us some more. If I had to pick between Derby in March and Swansea tonight it is the Welsh gig. The band was driven by a lust for the music with St. Elmo’s Fire lighting up our music soul as the band hit us with music that we wanted to hear again and again.

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Make sure you go and see the phenomena that is Devon Allman and his band check out the remaining dates in the UK & Europe HERE

Take Me High With Laurence Jones New Album

Take Me High With Laurence Jones New Album

Take Me High
With Laurence Jones New Album



Back in the studio, Laurence Jones has produced an album that will make you want to return as you have a place to go despite the album’s title. Take Me High, produced by Mike Vernon, Laurence’s style and approach is mature, a real sense of purpose the blossoming of all the potential recognized in this young guitarist. With three studio albums under his belt and thousands of miles travelled to play the blues live, definitely a young guitarist with power, commitment, and a gritty determination.

This is an album whose music and lyrics ebb and flow. The collaboration between Laurence & Mike, has create a collection of songs that moved through the album like chapters in a book. Laurence with his new drummer Phil Wilson, bassist Roger Innis and Bob Fridzema on keys & organ wanted an album that fizzed with the energy of playing live.

The first thing you notice as the album opens with Got No Place To Go, the guitar is full, the bass line fat and Laurence vocals full of assured confidence. His guitar breaks, licks, and swirls have always lifted the imagination now his vocals are unveiling the story of why he has no place to go. He will always have a place to go with his snake charming guitar playing that lifts the tracks up and makes the sound pop out of the speaker.  With ten tracks this is an album where Laurence is stating I am here to stay this is who I am and Blues is what I play. The plaintiff Something’s Changed has a hard edge from his guitar and the rhythm is full of misplaced optimism as the phone call is waited for. Yes, something has changed Laurence is delivering a mature self-confident sound he is playing to delight and delight he does.  Three tracks in a guest vocalist Reuben Richards joins in as they Live it Up. The tempo kicks up a pace there is an airiness in the chord structure underpinned by Bob on keys. The guitar playing is masterful and the album leaves you wanting to go and see Laurence live, the tracks have that raw intensity that makes blues with a twist of rock addictive listening.

The chapters of a love story are revealed with every track. The keys, underpin the melodic force of I Will. Here we feel the emotion as Laurence promises to keep on loving I Will he sings, and then serenades the unseen lover with his ever-present blistering guitar that should melt any heart. The music changes with a dirty, swamp southern infused rock sound as he is Down & Blue. He is a long way from home, he wants some pills. The emotional angst is heard in the vocals and echoed by the vocals. We are feeling your pain, Laurence. Then the tempo clears and picks up with a clear vision as a cameo from Paul Jones’ harmonica joins the party. The harmonica curls around the lyrics as Laurence sings The Price I Pay and his fingers explore the fretwork. Closer with Higher Ground, the blues is chugging and the lyrics driving you home in the company of Laurence Jones, British, modern and full of the blues.

This is an album that grows with every listen. You hear more of the lyrics a guitar lick and the intertwining of Laurence and the whole band so the music is fat, full blues that captures the emotional feel of contemporary re-interpretation of personified with the ringing blues guitar with a brittle edge of the title track Take Me High!


Take Me High – Laurence Jones RUF Records

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

Track Listing

  1. Got No Place To Go
  2. Something Changed
  3. Live It Up
  4. Addicted To Your Love
  5. I Will
  6. Thinking About Tomorrow
  7. Take Me High
  8. Down & Blue
  9. The Price, I Pay
  10. Higher Ground

Honey Island Swamp Band Demolition Day Review

Honey Island Swamp Band Demolition Day ReviewHoney Island Swamp Band Demolition Day

Blues with a swampy edge and high kicking horns and a twist of latin rhythms and the music will make your day not demolish it that is for certain. Opening with How Do You Feel, an upbeat Honky Tonk driving number that brightens a day already smiling with the bands name Honey Island Swamp Band. Demolition Day is an album that captures over the eleven juicy tracks the sounds of New Orleans, the combining of a flavoursome cocktail of beats and dancing crochets and minims and deep moody chords. This is a sunshine album of blues roots fun. Demolition Day is their fourth studio album; the title is full of emotional sadness and joy. Harking back to the devastating hurricane Katrina a decade ago as it tore through the gulf coast, out of this mayhem four big easy evacuees found themselves marooned in San Fransisco and the story began as a new beginning.

The quartet makes a mighty fine noise, Aaron Wilkinson brings to the party vocals, acoustic guitar, and mandolin; Chris Mule vocals and electric guitar. The rhythm section is deep and drives the groove with bassist Sam Price and Garland Paul on drums and vocals. The sound is swampy with the honeyed tone that sets the band out from the crowd. The eclectic mix of tones and styles is not a chaotic mishmash of a band who cannot decide where to hang their hat it is one of accomplishment. There is no doubt that this clever mixology of blues is due to the careful handiwork of producer Luther Dickinson.

Each track tells a story, happy, sad, reflective and hopeful as any good blues album should. The funeral overtone of No Easy Way with the Orleans horns is a slow burning melodic journey. Within the southern vibe, the curling drawl of country can be heard and the mournful vocals as the lyrics unfold. The beat picks up with a drum intro and then the energy grows with Medicated as the beats and lyrics hark back to the fifties and rock n’ roll with an extra juicy beat so Medicated ain’t vintage it is contemporary. With a flick of the tonal pattern, we are treated to the stripped back acoustic Katie. This is a sit back enjoy and let the music flow over you . As you get to know pretty Katie, and the sorrow she caused!

Into the album is poured some hill country tones and boogie, with horns, keys, and vocals that power through the lyrics. This is music that warms and superb through your speakers but live Honey Island Swamp Band must be awesome. The slide guitar on Ain’t No Fun brings another shade of blue that adds another spring to your listening step. The mood darkens, the harp is haunting and the beat is menacing on the stand out track Through Another Day. The whole album has a freshness of recorded in a studio with integrity and verve. It is music that has an authentic tone and beats that makes you want so much more.

Closing with Devil’s Den. A real moody number that retells life’s troubles and hurts so that you end up in The Devil’s Den. The guitar moans, the drum keeps the beat tight and the vocals are storytelling at its very best.

The band has distilled into the moonshine vat experiences and musical influences that make Honey Islands Swamp Band stand out from the crowd. This is blues rooted deep into the landscapes of Southern States of America. Demolition Day, out of mayhem a band was formed and I want to hear more especially live.

Honey Island Swamp Band – Demolition Day – Ruf Records

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

Track Listing

  1. How Do You Feel
  2. Head High Water Blues
  3. No Easy Way
  4. Medicated
  5. Watch and Chain
  6. Katie
  7. Ain’t No Fun
  8. She Goes Crazy
  9. Through Another Day
  10. Say It Isn’t True
  11. Devil’s Den

Albert Castiglia Big Dog Has The Blues

Albert Castiglia Big Dog Has The Blues

Albert Castiglia Big Dog Has The Blues

This is an album that is full of Albert Castiglia style from the first to the last note. Big Dog, his sixth album is accomplished and as he admits is the first album that really gets under his skin. Mike Zito producer of Big Dog has released the raw, rocking blues that Albert wanted from a studio recording. The album is a statement, a musical signature that makes Albert hit the stage; it is raw, unadulterated heavy guitar driven blues.

Big Dog is eleven tracks of self-penned, collaborative writing and covers that fit his style like a glove capturing the essence of blues as delivered by Albert Castiglia and his band. Joining him on the album are Mike Zito (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, and percussion); Scot Sunderland (bass) Rob Lee (drums); Lewis Stephens (Piano, Wurlitzer Organ) and on tracks 8 & 9 Johnny Sansone (harmonica).

Opening with Let The Big Dog Eat, you know from the driving guitar that you are in for a journey full of energy, you are in for an exciting hot and sweaty listening experience. The guitar has an explosive zing that cascades as the chords form and the fingers working their magic on the fretboard. His vocals are assured and work well with the overwhelming star of the album his guitar. You can imagine at a live show the audience baying and barking at the end of this compelling opening number. The opening track was no flash in the pan the quality continues right through to the closing slower blues number Somehow. Co-written by Cyrille Neville addressing the plight of the homeless and displaced cuts that little bit deeper. The hope that it leaves you with of better days is a perfect way to end the ride with Albert Castiglia as it gives you time to reflect and listen to the lyrics and you know that the journey has been wild, fun and immensely enjoyable.

In between these tracks, the highlight was the fast guitar foot tapping Get Your Ass In The Van, the irony of the lyrics is insightful. Responding to pampered souls who think music is a reality show with fame a natural progression, who just do not want to do the long hard apprenticeship of playing on the road. The lyrics are modern blues as they reflect on today’s society. The pouring emotional harp of Johnny Sansone ensures Where Did I Go Wrong is another star moment of the album. Taken from Junior Wells’ iconic album You’re Tuff Enough also completes a circle, as Junior Wells invited Albert as a young bluesman into his band for several world tours. We visit the devil with more harp on Where the Devil Makes His Deals, you have blues with percussive twists and this is a dark blue place full of sultry dread and the glimmer of the power of hope.

Albert Castiglia (pronounced ka-steel-ya) vocals and the guitar sound steeped in the blues, the Big Dog is definitely a Blue Brindled full of emotional tension and empathises with your pain, joy and gives you hope of blue skies ahead.

Albert Castiglia – Big Dog – Ruf Records

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

Track Listing 

  1. Let the Big Dog Eat
  2. Don’t Lat Them Fool Ya
  3. Get Your Ass in The Van
  4. Drowning at The Bottom
  5. Let’s Make Love In The Morning
  6. What I Like About Miami
  7. Easy Distance
  8. Where Did I Go Wrong
  9. Where the Devil Makes His Deals
  10. Where the Hell Was I Thinking
  11. Somehow

Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel

Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel

Royal Southern Brotherhood presents
The Royal Gospel



Royal Southern Brotherhood are back with their signature mix of funky roots driven by a percussive platform overlaid with vocals that tell a compelling and lyrical story. RSB excel in that special hot and spicy funky southern soul and blues that hit your musical radar with a tasty thump. Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel their fourth studio album. The Gospel hasn’t changed, despite the change in band members with only Cyril Neville & Yonrico Scott of the Royals remaining from their great Heart Soul Blood album.

The reason is the music chemistry is still strong reproducing a swampy, tasty and rich cocktail of The Royal Gospel. Joining Cyril, Yonrico and guitarists Bart Walker and Tyrone Vaughan for this album is Darrell Phillips on bass and guest Norman Caser with his B3 Hammond adding chords of depth and textural contrast. “As far as the men making the music and playing the songs,” says Neville, “the mission of the band has never changed.” It is the collaboration the essence of a brotherhood that makes the sound deep and strong so it is unsurprising that the songwriting is a partnership between band members, yes Cyril as ever is the beating pulse within many of the tracks. The connection between Cyril and Bart is strong and songwriting collaboration happens despite the distance of 800 miles between their respective homes in New Orleans and Nashville. There is a telepathic link between them Cyril says “I kinda laughed, because Bart was getting ahead of what I was thinking” technology is the new way with phone conversation and the exchange of ideas. The lyrical gumbo created is very, very tasty on The Royal Gospel.
The shimmering guitar and percussive power laid down with the opening of Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire. Their guitars are hot, smoking with raw energy and an impatience to get the album on the road, pouring out of your speakers. Then joining in the fun is Cyril whose vocals are distinctive and harmonising with the deep percussive beat laid down by Yonrico. Royal Southern Brotherhood still full of strong soulful, blues southern comforting music. The lyrics develop from this common or garden saying that we all use. The lyrics co-written by Neville and Vaughan pull on the underlying meaning and shape the soul of the melody. This writing partnership pops up on the penultimate track, with Can’t Waste Time. The hooks are spiky as we meet a “Girl, you’re like a ship without a rudder” as we hear all about her behavior as a two-faced lover.

A collaborative album, the grooves are deep and the brotherhood-wide and held in the deep understanding of each other. Royal Southern Brotherhood, definitely not a rudderless collective. They are a band of brothers, a band of musicians who pick up the vibe and the rhythms flow and gather energy as the lyrics unfold. The beat powers through Blood Is Thicker Than Water where Cyril’s vocals are pure and full of emotion that proves the strength of family. The blues vibe is strong on Everybody Pays Some Dues, with Bart and Tyrone playing off each other, once again the lyrical story holds your attention as the moral of the story everybody pays some dues, restated by backing singers so we know what the song is all about. There is no escaping, but no one wants to escape from the guitar breaks the licks curl around and paying your dues is a light price to pay!

RSB as ever change the tempo and the soulful, gentler Face Of Love half way through gives a gentle repose as the instruments interplay and weave through the trellis of the vocals. Sit back and let the song cascade over you music as the deep bass and crack of drum beat adds a deeper groove to the guitar which has a bluesey feel with a touch of Spanish flamenco – wow compelling listening. Then upping the tempo for the ride with the brotherhood home with funky keys and the trademark percussion we visit the Land Of Broken Hearts. Spirit Man is a classic RSB take on the blues, rocky, swirling and deep with blue emotions and clever shading of tone and texture. The album closes with a happy clapping along foot tapping melody as we Stand Up and praise in true gospel fashion the joyous power of RSB. Yes, we Stand Up and salute you. The Royal Gospel spreads the word. Power and glory of roots music full of southern heat and swampy spice.

Royal Southern Brotherhood – The Royal Gospel – Ruf Records 

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

Track Listing 

  1. Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
  2. I’ve Seen Enough To Know
  3. Blood Is Thicker Than Water
  4. I Wonder Why
  5. I’m Comin’ Home
  6. Everybody Pays Some Dues
  7. Face Of Love
  8. Land of Broken Hearts
  9. Spirit Man
  10. Hooked on Plastic
  11. Can’t Waste Time
  12. Stand Up

Royal Southernbrotherhood are:-
Cyril Neville: percussion vocals
Bart Walker: electric & acoustic guitars vocals
Tyrone Vaughn: electric guitar vocals
Darrel Phillips: Bass backing vocals
Yonrico Scott: drums percussion
Norman Caesar: Hammond B3

Breaking and Entering The Blues with Eliza Neals

Breaking and Entering The Blues with Eliza Neals

Breaking and Entering The Blues with Eliza Neals


Out of Detroit soulful blues that rocks up a tempo of heat Eliza Neals is a tour-de-force. No prima donna, no simpering princess Eliza Neals sings the deep dark blues with a rocking attitude as she grasps the lyrics and squeezes every emotive juice out of them. This is power blues with gritty attitude from Eliza up front and demanding to be heard.

The band around Eliza varies from track to track as she optimizes the hard blues sound she wants on individual tracks, the consistent factors are the power of her vocals and the quality of the musicianship. Kenny Olson guests on You and Southern Comfort Dreams, his electrifying lead breaks have the same raw energy of Eliza. The backing vocals are Eliza reflecting the lead side and these two tracks, especially the soulful You have a shining quality.  With two helpings of the title track early in the album and closing out with a radio edit which are wholly justified.  The title track has howling vocals as she spits and growls out the vocals this is stylish blues from a woman who knows what she wants to deliver Blues-rock that is full of swampy heat and urban street fighting attitude. The radio edit trimmed down still packs a punch and should be heard loud and often from the radio airwaves.  Three tracks in and her vocals rasp and curl around guitar and vocals as Dr Jekyll meets the Hound of The Baskervilles. Add to the dual talents of songwriting and delivering vocals that you have to listen to add adroit finger dancing over the ivories on a number of tracks on Piano and B3 Organ. The boogie Piano of Pretty Gritty adds another texture to a song reflecting Eliza full of blues grit. With Tyrone Grogan adding saxophone to Sugar Daddy the tempo eases off the throttle and Eliza’s vocals gently caress the lyrics. The mix is different reflecting a different set of musicians showing the versatility of Eliza Neals as she manipulates the blues into a shape she wants you to hear.

Breaking and Entering should get Eliza noticed for all the right reasons a blues-woman with power and determined rocking rhythms combined with skillful lyrics contemporary and exciting. File under BluesRock.

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

Eliza Neals – Breaking and Entering – Independent

Track Listings

  1. Detroit Drive
  2. Breaking and Entering
  3. Jekyll And A Hound
  4. Goo Goo glass
  5. You (Featuring Kenny Olson Guitar)
  6. Pretty Grittty
  7. Southern Comfort Dreams (Featuring Kenny Olson Guitar)
  8. Windshield Wipers
  9. Sugar Daddy
  10. I’m The Girl
  11. Spinning
  12. Breaking and Entering (Radio Edit)


Musics Emotion Breaking Free with Layla Zoe

Musics Emotion Breaking Free with Layla Zoe

Musics Emotion Breaking Free with Layla Zoe


Layla, her voice and artistry is back with a new studio album Breaking Free on RUF Records. Canadian blues has a town crier to ensure they will be heard on this her tenth album. The firebird is still on fire with passion, verve and the tears of emotional hurt. Layla blends and distills the ups and most certainly the downs of a lifetime of experiences.  This is captured in Why Do We Hurt The Ones We Love, the vocals let out a curdling melodic cry, picking up reflected and clarified by Jan Laacks control of the six-strings of his guitar.

Layla is a phenomenon, her stage presence is electrifying and Breaking Free has captured and bottled it though this is a studio album. The songs are produced so that the raw intensity is purified but never neutralized. The tempo changes the voice is soft, beguiling, raunchy and definitely seductive on Wild One. The wizardry of Sonny Landreth’s slide adds to the seductive magic and you are captured by the undercurrent of danger as Layla is the Wild One. The album is about music that will not be caged moving seamlessly from Rock to Blues with soul and attitude. It is so easy to simply compare to the greats from the past whose music lives on in our consciousness, her voice a 21st century Joplin, Sweet Angel with twinges of Hendrix but above all Zoe and her band are themselves and produce music for the here and now.  The songs are about love, hurt the music business and politics. The music business is tough and at the same time addictive, Backstage Queen opens with a stamp of the drums and you can imagine a stomp of Layla’s booted foot before her voice crashes the party.

The guitar is blues with chords that are rich in the feeling of the blues. They curl around the music and then Highways Of Tears opens up creating the musical arena for Layla. Highway Of Tears, the song implores and asks questions and then fades away and the guitar takes up the refrain. Layla sings ‘I end up so ashamed of my Country’ as she sings of the politics of women and children lost and cold. A protest song that pulls deep into your soul. The tempo slows and horses are a theme on two of the numbers which have all been written by Jan.  Work Horse has more of the great rhythm that lays a deep base for Layla and Jans as Gregor Sonnerberg (bass and keys) joins drummer Hardy Fischotter to give the track an attitude. Strumming of acoustic guitar cools down the tempo and the gentler side of Layla’s talent brings us Wild Horses. This is wildness tamed but never diminished the simplicity gives the lyrics strength and the perseverance of life wins through.  Closing with He Loves Me, keys take control and we are left feeling good as Layla knows we are Breaking Free through her music.

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

Breaking Free – Layla ZoeRUF Records

Track Listing

  1. Backstage Queen
  2. Why Do We Hurt The Ones We Love
  3. Wild One
  4. Highway Of Tears
  5. Breaking Free
  6. Work Horse
  7. Sweet Angel
  8. Run Away
  9. Wild Horses
  10. A Good Man
  11. He Loves Me