CD Review: Dove & Boweevil Band ~ This Life

unnamed (1)Dove & Boweevil Band
This Life
Indepedent

The release of their much-anticipated second album has created a buzz around this album in the U.K. as it is number 2 in the Independent Blues Broadcasters Broadcasters (IBBA) charts this week. Having listened to the album I can understand why. The music has a zest for life the lyrics shine and the singing is full of tonal shapes and depths. Dove and Boweevil have caused a stir before, their music was hushed due tp guitarist Mark Howes suffering complications after a routine throat operation that meant for him it was hospital wards not stages and studios. Now they are back kicking up a storm with the combination of Mark’s guitar playing that adds a layer and a stability allowing Lauren Dove to have complete vocal freedom from the hush of a whispered confidence to the squeal and a holler that could be heard across many a cotton field, and would wake up the cotton weevil. Dove & Boweevil’s music on This Life is inspired by blending a mix of styles and emotions that blend just like life. It is a mix of knowledge, experience and passion as they weave together a sound that knots together the ties of Blues, Soul and Southern Rock with a twist of country. The sound is infectious modern and British despite the influences, the music flows and drives the lyrics sung with passion yet having a naivety and innocence in the vocals delivered by Lauren. This is a young sound a band that is maturing and shaping their sound the songwriting is strong and the instrumentation has a foot tapping joyous feel that musical destiny is in their own hands. Mark’s guitar licks, riffs and little hooks are beguiling and give a shape and density to the music the rhythm section a duo of Pauls, drummer Weston and bassist Williams, provide a beat that gives the whole album structure and texture and timing that gives a true punctuation to Lauren’s vocals; with Andy ‘Mojo’ Robinson providing a layer of chords and interest with some sublime keyboard skills. Opening at a lick with Food for Love you fall into the music that is upbeat and full of Americana feel and energy. The beat slows with Flying with Angels and you see a gentler tone to the vocals, the stand-out on the track is the immense guitar riffs from Mark delivered with emotional control so that nothing overpowers the words that have a darker other worldly feel. The title track has a slower, languid tempo where the vocals purr over the melody and you are captivated with the album that shows this is a band that thinks about their music and understands that tempo can relate to the audience the meaning of the lyrics. Every track has something to offer the use of horns on some tracks has been done with sensitivity and the lighter mood of East Coast Blues with plenty of keyboard mojo counteracting that on Fireworks it was the guitar that had the centre stage. Back to a darker gothic, southern rock Lady Lavoo is full of swampy beats and the sound has a mystical dark sound that gives the second half of the album real interest. Then we have the finger clicking Get Your Red Lips On and we are off to party with a lady with attitude and knows how to sashay onto any stage. Penultimate track Dry Land demonstrates the glories of Laurens’ raunchy vocals and this is a track that remains in your ear for a long time and then the album closes with Maple Leaf, with a controlled quietness that demands to be listened to, it is almost a call to prayer in a number that has an acoustic feel. This is a stylish album that should ensure that Dove & Boweevil are heard and enjoyed far and wide.

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

Track Listing

 

1. Food for Love
2. Outta Town
3. Flying With Angels
4. This Life
5. Need A Little Love
6. Firework
7. East Coast Blues
8. Lady Lavoo
9. Hand In My Pocket
10. Put Your Red Lips On
11. Dry Land
12. Maple Leaf

Jared James Nichols ~ Old Glory and Wild Revival

Old Glory and Wild Revival Listenable Records
Old Glory and Wild Revival
Listenable Records

The post box thumped another album hits the mat; Bluesdoodles has no music on so without reading a word of PR or background information the CD slipped into the player then sat upright as Jared James Nichols full southern blues sound cascaded out of the speaker and after the opening riff and vocals I was hooked. Old Glory and Wild Revival is an album I was going to sit back and listen to, the review could wait. Bluesdoodles was rewarded with over an hour of music that entertained.

This is music that appeals as the guitar twists and turns around licks and squeals with pure joy and then the shape is gathered up and every track progresses thanks to some fantastic control from the powerful rhythm section. The voice is full of gruff emotion that pours across the guitar taking control so that the story is more important than any fancy guitar work. His ability to play these are a given what sets Jared out from the crowd is his blues rock voice. This young man from Wisconsin has crafted a fine album full of burning tones and crumpled textures across the recording some tracks longer others almost snippets of delights; Get Down may be the shortest at just over 2 minutes but it packs a weighty punch with its happy bouncing tempo it is a tune to set any party or gathering alight. Old Glory and The Wild Revival’s opening and closing track are two versions of Playin’ For Keeps, the studio and live version and has a driving shredded lick that is infectious, lively and the solos send a thrill of pleasure down your spine and is most definitely a track that just demands to be played often and loud and the energy and re-working of the live version is very special. Jared James Nichols could easily be corralled into a box labelled Lynard Skynard/Southern Rock but there is so much more and has a wider appeal and his sound Haywire is a mix of blues and commercial appeal and could be the music that introduces a wider and younger audience into the blues. He is under 25 and so speaks their language as he shows the power of blues when combined with the three essentials, great lyrics, stand-out vocals and a guitar sound that sings to you with excitement and that hint of danger. This is heard in tracks with attitude they demand to be played loud including Blackfoot, inspired by the native Indian Tribe the tale unfolds with descriptive imagery that the music folds around as an aural punctuation underlining and making the story bold.

Come Into My Kitchen the tempo slows the acoustic guitar is caressed and the slide makes the guitar reflect the lyrics this is a track that shows Jared is no one trick pony he can do speed and can shred but he can also slow down the blues and make every note and word count. An album that introduces and should kick open the doors to festivals across the world and for Bluesdoodles hurry across the pond and play the U.K. YES he answers I am the special guest on Glenn Hughes Autumn Tour 2015 – TOUR DATES HERE

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

tracks

CD Review: Samantha Fish ~ Wild Heart

Scan0006

 

Samantha Fish
Wild Heart
RUF Records

 

This is the album that will definitely place Samantha Fish at the top; she has achieved a double accolade on her third studio album with vocals full of energy and precision in her delivery combined with guitar playing that lifts the roof off and shows this is a woman who relishes being a Wild Heart of the blues. It is a fitting follow-up to Black Wind Howlin’ which we said was “ …a weather vane of sound as the wind changes direction the tonal range shifts”.

The whole album has a vitality and energy that pours out of the speakers brightening up the room where the music cascades this is a feel good album from Sam; who has a natural talent that is fuelled by deft fingers and vocal chords that shape and deliver the song.

Opening with Road Runner; this is no cartoon character but music with a country blues twang that is being delivered by a musician who just has to play her music, powerful chords and impeccable timing, and wild licks starts the Wild Heart a listening experience that continues over the next eleven tracks. The blues women and guitars can trace their lineage back to Rosetta Thorpe; through to the greats of now Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi and in the U.K. Joanne Shaw Taylor with her searing guitar breaks, and now into the mix is most definitely Sam Fish with her superb slide and cigar box guitar adding a distinctive tonal cadence. Added into the mix is the accomplished band of musicians that she has gathered around her including a rhythm section, Luther Dickinson on Bass & Grammy Award winning drummer Brady Blade, together they combine a rhythmic dexterity that keeps the shape of every style of roots music being delivered on the album.

What sets the album apart from many is that it is so listenable with the combination of vocals that drag every meaning out of the lyrics whether on a cover, a track penned by herself or co-written. from the country rootsy feel of Blame It On The Moon with her vocals howling with a wildness that has to be moon fever; or Go Home a gentle melodic sitting on the porch tale as she sings “Wrapped those secrets around a telephone pole” this is a reflective song on how families and home shape you. Then there are tracks like Turn It Up where the heat is turned up the guitars and vocals wail in a Southern Rock swampy number that gets the adrenalin going; it is a breathtaking number that for me defines the very bluesy greasy groove that is the essence of Samantha Fish’s appeal.
This is a superbly and sensitively produced album, demonstrating what a master Luther Dickinson (north Mississippi All Stars /Black Crowes) is when it comes to understanding what is required in the process of creating an album drenched in the complexity that is music rooted in the fertile musical lexicon that is American roots music. Luther has distilled the essence of Samantha through her pulsating fingers on the frets, lyrical singing resulting in a perfume of musical depth and complexity flowing wild and free from your speakers it is truly on every track a Wild Heart.

What an album… for me the music was… Simply Addictive

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

Band
Samantha Fish: Vocals/Guitar
Luther Dickinson: Bass Guitar/Lap Steel/Mandolin/Lead Guitar
Dominic Davis: Bass (Track 8)
Lightnin’ Malcolm: Guitar (Track 6)
Brady Blade: Drums (Tracks 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,11)
Sharde Thomas: Drums (Tracks 6)
Shontelle Norman-Beatty: Vocals
Sisse Norman: Vocals

Tracks

1. Road Runner (Samantha Fish)
2. Place To Fall (Samantha Fish / Jim McCormick)
3. Blame It On The Moon (Samantha Fish)
4. Highway’s Holding Me Now (Samantha Fish / Jim McCormick)
5. Go Home (Samantha Fish)
6. Jim Lee Blues Pt. 1 ( Charley Paton)
7. Turn It Up (Samantha Fish)
8. Show Me (Samantha Fish / Jim McCormick)
9. Lost Myself (Samantha Fish)
10. Wild Heart (Samantha Fish / Jim McCormick)
11. Bitch On The Run (Samantha Fish / Jim McCormick)
12. I’m In Love With You (Junior Kimbrough)

NEW ALBUM ★ NEW TOUR ★ NEW LINEUP

RSBNEW ALBUM ★ NEW TOUR ★ NEW LINEUP
Royal Southern Brotherhood – “Don’t Look Back” World Tour featuring the legendary Cyril Neville, Bart Walker, Tyrone Vaughan, Charlie Wooton, and Yonrico Scott, in support of their forthcoming album “Don’t Look Back” – Releasing 5.26.15 on Ruf Records! www.royalsouthernbrotherhood.com
04/16/15 Live Oak, FL Wanee Festival (with Devon)
04/17/15 Macon, GA Cox Capital Theater (with Devon)
04/18/15 Wyomissing, PA Burkes Jazz Festival (Devon Allman’s last date with RSB)
★ RSB 2015 TOUR with Cyril Neville, Bart Walker, Tyrone Vaughan, Charlie Wooton, and Yonrico Scott
04/21/15 Esbjerg, Denmark Tobakken, Denmark
04/22/15 Odense Posten, Denmark
04/23/15 Portalen Greve, Denmark
04/24/15 Eidsvoll Eidsvoll Rock & Blues Klubb, Norway
04/25/15 Trondheim Nidaros Bluesfestival, Norway
04/29/15 New Orleans, LA Louisiana Music Factory, In-Store
04/30/15 New Orleans, LA Botanical Gardens

Bluesdoodles loved listening to Royal Southern Brotherhood Live read our reviews – Blues On The Farm 2014 and The Globe, Cardiff and the year before at The Flowerpot, Derby

There last album was amazing Heartsoulblood

Devon Allman -Turquoise CD Review

turquoise-300x245Devon Allman
Turquoise – Released February 12, 2013
Ruf Records

Sometimes, a gem of an album you keep listening to fails to make it to the top of the review pile and this is what happened to Turquoise, which is definitely Devon Allman’s solo project so open your ears listen with no pre-judgement as this is a distinctly different sound and style to his current band Royal Southern Brotherhood, Honeytribe. The album is part of the musical evolution for Devon as he is creating a musical tree full of interesting branches bearing very different fruit. Turquoise is eleven classy tracks which tell their own story; they all have real meaning to Devon and are on the album for a reason and not just as time fillers. The production is class as you would expect from Jim Gaines, letting the songs shine through, with strong backing from Yonrico Scott on drums and Myles Weeks on bass and some rather special guest appearances including Luther Dickinson with his own distinctive guitar sound and who, like Devon, is carrying the weight of being a son of a musical great, and Samantha Fish. Throughout the album it is Devon’s voice and guitar skills that shine through, but for me the album is about the song and his melodic voice. Each track has a unique feel, despite this the album flows beautifully with none of the tracks jarring with the previous or the next to come. Opening the album with a rockier number Into The Darkness is a gentle introduction to Devon flying solo as it is in a style you would expect. This also makes picking out highlights almost impossible as every time you listen a different track is fixed in your mind. Key Lime Pie, makes you smile with its homage to Devon’s favourite dessert, has a holiday feel and definitely bought the sun with its shuffle into the room on this cold winter day. Stop Dragging My Heart Around, sees the perfect blending of Devon’s voice and Samantha Fish as a new, slower, bluesier approach to this Tom Petty tune delights the listener and a little bit of country cannot be ignored as found on When I Left Home and then the beautiful Latino feel of There’s No Time, reflecting Southern Texas Latino influences. This is without doubt a polished début solo album that has a confidence about itself that comes through Devon focussing on what is important to him demonstrating this young man has the voice and sound and authentic talent of his own. Devon has deftly woven styles of southern music together blending country rock, latino creating an album full of emotion and soul this is a singer/songwriter that will continue to deliver; very much looking forward to following Devon Allman on his musical journey.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD out of NINE doodle paws a doodle rating of

TEN ……… pawprint half inch

Album Listing
When I Left Home (Devon Allman)
Don’t Set Me Free (Allman / Zito)
Time Machine (Devon Allman)
Stop Draggin My Heart Around
There’s No Time (Allman / Stokes)
Strategy (Allman / Zito)
Homesick (Devon Allman)
Into the Darkness (Devon Allman)
Key Lime Pie (Devon Allman)
Yadira’s Lullaby (Devon Allman)
Turn Off the World (Devon Allman)

Royal Southern Brotherhood ~ Heartsoulblood – CD Review

rsb-heartsoulbloodRoyal Southern Brotherhood
Heartsoulblood
RUF records
Release date 16th June 2014

Heartsoulblood is an album full energy and verve as they fuse together a maelstrom of styles rock, blues, soul and then they add to the mix some southern style magic dust that this collective of talented musicians all bring to the party. Heart, soul and blood are three of the ingredients that make this album stand out from the crowd with the clever combinations of sounds achieved by the powerful rhythm section that lock horns and drive the beat with Yonrico Scott and Charlie Wooton drum and bass what a musical duo for any band to have. Then the layers of sound are built up with Cyril Neville’s vocal and percussive talents and then the two guitarists with their own distinctive styles, Mike Zito and Devon Allman who brings to the party his mellow vocals as well. This is a group that works because they play off each other allowing talent and difference shine through so that they build in each track a tapestry full of texture and tones. ‘Groove On’ builds on the licks and musicality of ‘Key Lime Pie’ from Devon’s album Turquoise so that it feels familiar but also completely new.
‘Here It Is’ has a strong opening bass-line from Charlie that is full of moody swampy funky sound-scape that pulls you into this clever track with Cyril’s vocals adding that extra meaning. ‘Callous’ is full of soul and blues lyrics this is a track that never rushes and uses space so well creating the space for the lyrics to tell the tale; at times there feels something familiar as if you know it already fleetingly it reminds me of Beatles ‘Come Together’. HeartSoulblood is full of changing contours and shapes. Jim Gaines production and David Z’s engineering skills ensure that there is never an overload of emotions or overkill of the instruments everything is melded to cook up the perfect musical banquet. ‘Ritual’ is full of mysticism and is a dirty sounding Texan groove given a swampy treatment by RSB. The stand out track for me is ‘Takes A Village’, with the combination of Cyril’s Bongo Drums opening vocals and the lyrics this is powerful music. The album is full of charisma and refuses to be boxed into a genre this is five musicians delivering music they love with passion so there are tracks that spark and hit the spot others float by like a slow flowing stream on a hot summers evening, this is 12 tracks of music delivered by a group that is simply superb.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD out of TEN doodle paws a doodle rating of

TEN ……… pawprint half inch

Album Listing :-

World Blues
Rock And Roll
Groove On
Here It Is
callous
Ritual
Shoulda Known
Let’s Ride
Trapped
She’s My Lady
Takes A Village
Love and Peace

Ruf Records Brings You Behind the Scenes of “heartsoulblood” with The Royal Southern Brotherhood in this special…

They are on Tour in U.K.
20th June Blues on the Farm Chichester
21st June Durham Blues Festival
22nd June Cleethorpes Blues Festival
23rd June Clitheroe The Grand
24th June Cardiff The Globe with Mark Pontin Group GROUP
25th June London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Then on to Europe … Check here for venues and dates

RSB_May14-Zito

The Royal Southern Brotherhood @ The Flowerpot Derby

Samantha Fish Opening for The Royal Southern Brotherhood
@ The Flowerpot, Derby, Friday 27th September


There was an air of controlled anticipated excitement at The Flowerpot, the atmosphere was evident as soon as you walked in an hour before the gig was due to start. There was a lot of chatter about how good the evening was going to be and how everyone was looking forward to the evening; so the stakes were set very high for The Royal Southern Brotherhood with its celebrated line-up

Before the main event of the night, Samantha Fish had the unenviable task of being the opening act when the audience was already buzzing; and from the moment she stepped on stage with her guitar she was making friends and fans through the clarity and authenticity of her playing style. Those of us that had heard her last album “Black Wind Howlin’” were expecting this but for others it was a delightful new experience. Her use of the cigar box bought another musical texture and then she was joined by Grammy award-winning drummer Yonrico Scott, celebrated bassist Charlie Wootton and guitarist and the producer of her latest album Mike Zito this was live music full of excitement that bought the tracks from the album to life breathing in the energy that the artist gets from the crowds and feeds back through the music. Samantha is no doubt the real deal great guitar player with her strong guitar licks, combined with a great voice which articulates the songs with meaning and clarity a glorious 45 minutes of blues driven music but we were all still anticipating the act to come.

Royal Southern Brotherhood - Flowerpot -  Sept 2013_0313

The Royal Southern Brotherhood (RSB) hit the stage with the double guitar sound provided by the talented pair Devon Allman and Mike Zito, whose complimentary sounds created a musical harmony and exciting southern rock blues driven music. Added to this powerhouse at the front is Cyril Neville with his silky smooth but gritty vocals and percussive rhythms, but for the RSB a trio is not enough to deliver the powerhouse of Southern Rock sound they produce, so into the mix is added the talented Charlie Wooton on Bass and at the back of the stage the powerhouse of the group drummer extraordinaire, Yonrico Scott. Opening the proceedings with Paul Butterfield’s ‘You Can Run But You Can’t Hide’ demonstrated the talent and the easy way they all compliment each other, they are not individual pieces of a jigsaw they fit snugly together creating a fully picture of tones, harmonies and sounds, that is pure ecstasy! Mike Zito put his silver flying V to good use on the next delivery, one of his own ‘Hurts My Heart’ this put a little bit of funk into the proceedings as the excitement on the floor was getting more intense with every note RSB delivered tonight at The Flowerpot. For over two hours they entertained, teased and mesmerised us as the focus went from Devon’s deft and skillful licks, his vocals with a distinctive growl or Cyril adding that bit of soul to the proceedings and the hit of African rhythms and a times the sound or Bob Marley; then Charlie Wootons superlative bass playing wow what a solo… Mike Zito interchanging guitars going from leading the pace to add that extra layer seamlessly and then the tightest drummer providing a bedrock for the rest to play from. RSB were definitely on fire and enjoying themselves, at times there was a distinctive feel of a jam but this was quality jamming made up from talent individuals creating a cohesive and controlled sound. All thirteen songs delivered tonight deserve a mention as they all were a little bit special but for me the highlights have to be Cyril’s own title track ‘Magic Honey’ phew that was a blow away funky number, Grateful Dead’s; ‘Fire on The Mountain’ and the glorious Devon vocals that delivered ‘Gotta Keep On Rockin’ that said it all and summed up the night and why it is vital to keep music live.

The encore was the third segment of the evening as Samantha Fish joined RSB, with the fantastic duet straight from Devon’s album Turquoise ‘Stop Draggin My Heart Around’ that set the emotions on fire and the energy in the audience reached a new high – this has to be my gig of the year – a whole week later and I am still reliving the experience and for once Wow really means WOW!!!!

There can be no denying that Samantha and The Royal Southern Brotherhood, came to The Flowerpot, Derby, conquered our hearts, and left some musical magic dust in our souls. When are you coming back? very soon we hope and a big shout to Alan and Lisa that are RAW Promo for putting on another stunning evening of live entertainment.

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All photographs copyright Liz Aiken

Henry’s Funeral Shoe @ Odins Rock Club, Ebbw Vale – 5th April 2013

Henry's Funeral Shoe-  Ebbw Vale 2013_0054l

A packed house at, Odin’s Rock Club was geared up to be entertained once again by four acts, with Henry’s Funeral Shoe as head-liner. The evening started off with an acoustic act, Richard Gardner, the former ‘Circle Of One’ axe man who delivering powerful ballads delivered with an edge a mix of self-penned and surprising acoustic covers including AC/DC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’; this was not a soft and gentle set it had a deep down dirty feel to it at times. Richard was followed by two local South Wales Rock Bands. First storming the stage with a full-on sound are local act Dead Shed Jokers, delivered superb riffs and a solid sound, that showed this band were not joking about the delivery of rock that and twists of influences from Sabbath through to Muse that raised the temperature of the crowded venue.

They were quickly followed by another local band, ‘Fireroad‘, featuring Richard Jones as the band’s front-man, who played in his youth with Tragic Love Company the fore-runner of what became the Stereophonics. This band knows how to entertain delivering a class act that musically tilted their hat at the Phonics whilst have an originality that certainly got the crowds dancing to great songs from their album delivered with verve and energy playing great tunes by a band that really enjoyed playing together.


Then the head-line act that with a flourish this energised duo, Henry’s Funeral Shoe, stormed the stage with verve and energy that burned out of them delivering a high-octane mixture of their distinctive sound that defies pigeon-holing. They are definitely delivering spot-on music that is outside of the box whilst true to the roots of the sound they create they deliver song after song that is progressive blues rock with a large spoonful of attitude and a generous shake of punk. The brothers Aled on guitar and vocals and Brennig on Drums create an enormous sound that grows and grows as they shape their instruments to deliver a truly unique sound that pleases their growing following of dedicated fans. This is music that is different at times challenging but still accessible and pleasing to the ear, the pair are not different for the sake of it they are performing blues that is Welsh, edgy, rocky but still true to its original roots. Brennig’s percussive and powerful drumming leads the music on a journey that engages with the audiences with exciting use of sticks which he throws into the air catches and never misses a beat; he is the heartbeat of the band. Whilst Aled at the front displayed slide guitar skills that were simply awesome producing a swampy sound that merges with drum beat and at the same time soars above the rhythm section, which combines well with his gravelly rich voice adding texture and another tonal layer to this complex mix, that definitely does at times tip its hat to the Texan Blues/Southern Rock sound. Henry’s Funeral Shoe produces a full sound generating a quite unique take on the genre and is a band to watch out for and they are destined for success on the blues circuit having performed throughout Europe and USA and delivered two albums to date. These two a true showmen, who have drunk deep at the well of originality and merged this onto a solid backbone of blues that could only have been honed down at the crossroads; wow what more could you ask from a live act – stunning slide guitar and exciting colourful drumming hitting the right tempo every-time; no wonder everyone wanted more…. they could have played on and on and no-one would have complained.

Henry's Funeral Shoe-  Ebbw Vale 2013_0052l