Pick of the Albums Reviewed – 2016: July – Sept 2016

Bluesdoodles Pick of the Bunch July-Sept 2016


Pick of the Albums Reviewed – 2016:
July – Sept 2016

Bluesdoodles listens to music recorded and live from across the genres. Bluesdoodles reviews all albums received with an open-mind and will always look for the elements that make the music stand out from the crowd!. The albums we award 10 doodle paws too, for us have a special connection, and acknowledge like all reviewers our scoring is subjective. Between 1st July and 30th September 2016 Bluesdoodles listened to numerous albums and reviewed 27 albums that reflect the depth and breadth of music being recorded in studios around the world. Remember albums not included on the lists are still excellent; definitely worth listening to and purchasing especially go see music live at venues near you support music and the artists who travel the roads so we can hear music full of passion and the special ingredient of a live performance.

This is the third quarter of 2016 and all of these will be in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2016.

Honey Island Swamp Band  –  Demolition Day
Laurence Jones – Take Me High
Cadillac Three – Bury Me In My Boots

Aynsley Lister – Eyes Wide Open
Devon Allman – Ride Or Die
King King – Live

Joanne Shaw Taylor – Wild
Beth Hart – Fire On The Floor
Sari Schorr – A Force of Nature

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

What A Blues Scene Tonight Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia, and blues-harpist Will Wilde kick up a storm of a rich tasty music infused jam.


Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The SceneAn evening of a spectacular display of the power of blues with Albert and his Gibson Les Paul and Mike Zito’s Custom V shaped Silver Delaney Guitar everyone in the room was held spellbound by guitar magic through the whole of the two sets tonight. Joining the guitarist were Jack Bazzani on drums and bassist Jon Chase who added layers of rhythm picking up the tone and adding funky vibes when necessary. The tones were immense, the riffs and licks had an energy that was hard to define as the two guitarists bounced off each other building on riffs or adding those special licks that make the music pop with a verve; this was scintillating blues that shimmered. Will Wilde’s harp was added into a few numbers so now there were three virtuoso sounds as the chords blew the roof and captured the music soul of everyone.


zito-and-castiliga-0271The first set was planned at the set list which included Big Dog the title track of Albert Castiglia’s current album. Recorded it is good but live it has a different energy it is a huge blues number that pulls from the past and recreates a sound we want to hear now.  The interaction between Albert and Mike kept a fluidity through every number. One played a riff the other picked up the challenge with a curling lick building into another riff. The lead breaks were something in a different league., whether played by Mike or Albert and when they coalesced the Les Paul and Delaney were tuneful buddies.




Another title track this time, Keep Coming Back, from Mike’s 2015 album and the very special Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The ScenePearl River co-written with Cyrille Neville, with Will Wilde stepping up and adding his dynamic harp tones that whirl around the  guitar key picking up the emotional tone of the number. Then we were treated to a Will Wilde favourite Paranoia from his Raw Blues album. Now the band was kicking as they followed the twist and turns of Wills’ harp. No time yet for a breather as the last number of this set Down Down Down was given a special treatment tonight at the Scene.


zito-and-castiliga-0342There followed a short break where Mike and Albert chatted with the crowd and then it was back on stage for what was going to be a rollercoaster ride of blues delights as the unscripted second half kicked off.  This was an hour of musicians who were spinning a sparkling yarn of blues to capture everyone standing in front of the stage tonight. This was a jam that mixed up the flavours of the blues as they chose the next number to play. It was exhilarating to watch the dexterous fingers of Albert combining with the smooth slide of Mike. The guitar playing was jaw-droppingly good this is blues that lights a fire in your musical veins.  Full of excitement, twists and turns as the guitar and chords are melded into medleys that talk to every listener. Included in the mix was a funky number started by Albert and picked up by the band as they explained Women Don’t Lie a Luther ‘Snake Boy’ Johnson number that fitted in the set perfectly.


Nights like these are what define live music, why live music has the special something no recording can ever replicate.  Thank You House of Rock & Blues for putting on these nights of quality music. Support live music at The Scene in Swansea you will not be disappointed.

Dana Fuchs ~ Songs From the Road – CD Review

danasongssleeveDana Fuchs
Songs From the Road
Ruf Records

This is another in the Songs From the Road series from Ruf – a combination of Live recorded CD and DVD of the gig with a little bit extra. As the opening number and title track of her recent album Bliss Avenue, this makes you want to put on your coat and go see this lady live where the energy will be directed at you in the audience. Singing in front of her band to an audience from across the stage and into the auditorium is the natural environment for Dana you can hear that she just loves to deliver high-octane vocals to please the crowd who are enjoying and hanging to every note in the NYC Ballroom.

Dana belts out the lyrics with the drama of a steam-roller as she delivers a sassy soul-laden rendition of her own tracks and covers, she has a gravelly edge to her voice that is distinctly hers but at the same time you can hear echoes from the past from Janis Joplin and from today’s Bonnie Riatt and the bluesy tones of Maggie Bell.

The warmth of the live act comes through every time she talks to the audience and they relate to the experiences as she does in a slower more considered number Summersong where she drew upon the experience of the death of her brother when she wrote it. It is a track where the quality of both the musicians and this gentle side of her voice shine through, proving this is a lady who is comfortable delivering a range of tones and tempo’s.

Rodents In the Attic is a change in shape and form with a western country sound and gives the five musicians an opportunity to strut their stuff as the perfect foil to the dark imagery that she is shaping and telling.

This is sixteen tracks of glorious music form a women whose voice is at the top of the game full of colour, tones and textures as her tongue and vocal chords curl around the notes and words.

There is some divine bluesy soul that suits her voice as she pleads with you on Livin’ On Sunday also in addition to many tracks from Bliss Avenue we are re-introduced to earlier numbers with that looping country stroll on Vagabond Wind with a percussive beat that always augments and never smothers the woman out front.
This is an album where every track has something to offer, but the two I return to are Long Long Game and the opening track Bliss Avenue.

There can be no argument that is a fantastic value for money offer from Ruf the choice of listening or watching Dana Fuchs – whichever shiny disc you play you will be entertained and will be looking for when she is performing next nearby.

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

Dana Fuchs – Vocals, Guitar Percussion
Jon Diamond – Guitar Backing Vocals
Matt Beck – Guitars
Jack Daley – Bass
Peter Levin – Keyboards
Joe Daley – Drums