Advent Day 18 What Bluesdoodles Talked about in 2017
Throughout 2017 Bluesdoodles has had the opportunity to talk to some wonderful musicians. Adding to the excitement We now have Wes O’Neill who will continue throughout out 2018 bringing you insightful interviews; Liz will be adding some as well. Bluesdoodles giving you an inside view of the artists we love to hear play live and recorded. Everyone at Bluesdoodles thanks, to the PR and Record Companies and most of all our gratitude to all the artists for their valuable time and willingness to answer the questions.
Bluesdoodles discussed, new albums, debut Albums, first Headliner Tour and what makes a great song. Explore the thirty conversations, listen and buy the music and see artist live where and whenever possible
Mascot Label Group once again building on the amazing year of 2016. Throughout 2017 from January to December the label keeps delivering albums from Artists & Bands Rocking the blues and more they excite the listening ear.
Beth Hart’s music stripped back, with the lyrics laid bare was an emotional journey for everyone tears were shed on stage and in the auditorium tonight. This is music that connects a great performer with the audience.
“The album, where nothing is overdone, acoustic authenticity maintained, Joe’s vocals the best I have heard. No theatrics, music and the power of lyrics telling the story in perfect harmony”. Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album Live At Carnegie Hall HERE
Journey With Supersonic Blues Machine Californisoul
Join the journey With Supersonic Blues Machine Californisoul. Following on from 2016 debut album West of Flushing South of Frisco we continue the sonic journey with Californisoul. Thirteen tracks with special guests adding to the heat and excitement on five numbers is a journey you will want to be part of as Californisoul Comes Alive On Supersonic Blues Machine’s New Album. The concept behind the title and album, “CALIFORNISOUL! That’s exactly what it is. It’s the missing soundtrack to a summertime drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1971!” says Fabrizio Grossi.
Supersonic Blues Machine is three musicians who definitely know how to create a storyboard of music that shapes the carefully crafted lyrics. They comprise Lance Lopez (guitars/vocals/songwriter), Fabrizio Grossi (bass, producer, songwriter), and Kenny Aronoff (drums). They want to have a party of a trip so have invited some friends, and for Californisoul, who is joining Californisoul? Robben Ford. Billy F. Gibbons, Eric Gales, Steve Lukather and Walter Trout.
If you are expecting traditional electric based blues from Supersonic Blues Machine, disappointment awaits you. BUT, if you are looking for exceptional grooves digging deep into the vein of the blues extracting the essence and weaving a new road to tread your blues shoes then you are in for a fun ride. The opening track is full of sunshine and genuine warmth, I Am Done Missing You. Yes, they are back with a follow-up album that builds on the debut with music that charms and endears. A blending of vocals that adding the tension to the rhythms and adds a sting in the tail to the guitar. An opening number that pulls you onboard pumped with excitement at what the rest of the album will unveil.
Foot stomping swirling blues introduces us to Robben Ford’s guitar connecting with Lance’s vocals. Somebody’s Fool has a rocky edge that has been smoothed by the instrumentation and luscious backing vocals the energy is contained as Robben’s guitar stings in a solo confirming that one thing is for sure no-one is a fool for getting on board this journey.
Continuing with tracks with a guest Billy F. Gibbons joins the party on Broken Heart. This is a gigantic rocking and rolling curve in the road get on board the guitar is dirty and the oily rag of a rhythm section is keeping us on the road driving forward for the fun of the ride. Champagne is the perfect accompaniment to this number because none of us wants a Broken Heart.
Eric Gales guitar sound is distinct adding a powerful punch to the journey as the Elevate takes on a swooping flyover on route to San Francisco. The speed is gathering the wheels are burning up the miles with a sharp stinging fulsome guitar from Gales. The backing vocals curl and pull the guitar and connect the vocals with a party that is full on assertive and loud. Phew, that is a road you want to explore again.
The fourth guest guitarist is Steve Lukather as he and the band explore Hard Times. Kenny Aronoff’s drums add a hardened edge to a number that takes us into the second half of the album. Last but not least is Walter Trout. The instantly sweet note filled tone and texture of Trout’s guitar fills the speaker. The intro to What’s Wrong you just want to go on and on. Then the vocals pick up a perfect duet of emotions are amalgamated as they ask what is wrong with my blues? Absolutely nothing.
The seven tracks delivered by the band are the glue that makes the journey work. The Pit Stops, the viewing points of interest on this supersonic blues journey we are exploring on Californisoul. The trio of Lopez, Aronoff and Grossi capture the swirling dust and grit of the road combining this rawness with the magic of their personal interpretation of the blues. Fabrizo Grossi writer of lyrics and bassist delving deep into the grooves that adds the rhythmic poetry of this road trip. The spirit of the Supersonic Blues Machine is captured in L.O.V.E. we are now travelling in the same direction the music is taking us. This is an album where the musical tones and textures change reflecting the changing scenery on a road trip. The funkiness of the machine is captured on The Stranger, once again the judicious use of backing vocals add so much to the seventies backdrop of the album. Closing out the album with This Is Love, chatting opening reflecting back to gospel blues and back to communal singing full of vigour and hope. The track combines blues with rhythmic beats and a spicing from a reggae groove hitting the blue sweet note they are looking for throughout the journey we have joined them on. We are left feeling upbeat with the Supersonic Blues Machine.
Without the skills and clear approach from the principal band delivering the remaining tracks giving a consistency a firm grounding to Californisoul the album could have missed its mark. Thankfully it did not this is so much more than a compilation of a band with guests. It is a coherent journey through music and lyrics with Lance Lopez vocal prowess the key to keeping the thirteen tracks on a road with a clear sense of purpose and direction. We are never taken to a backwater or miss our turning. The Satnav of music power has been set to ensure the styles may vary, the approach may be different. But the journey is clear to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco with blues-infused soulfulness.
Californisoul is full of confidence the trio know they have the power to add soul to your blues. The guests are the spice in the mix adding new tones and textures. It is the Supersonic Blues Machine that are in full control on this musical journey of Californisoul. As Fabrizio Grossi says, “Lots of people have been saying to me ‘why does Supersonic Blues Machine always bring guests around? You guys can stand your own ground’, and there are three answers to that: 1) we’re all super friends and we’re having a blast, 2) most of them don’t give lessons and for us it’s only way to learn their secret “ways”, and three because the inspiration and the challenge they bring to the table!” We are as the band described, being taken back to 1971 immersed in a soundtrack on a drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Sit back, turn up the volume enjoy an exuberant modern blues with twists and turns that any great journey will always take you to the unexpected.
‘West of Flushing South of Frisco’
Out via Provogue/Mascot Label Group
on 26th February 2016
Featuring: Billy F. Gibbons, Warren Haynes, Chris Duarte, Eric Gales,
Walter Trout & Robben Ford
At the heart of it is Bassist/Producer Fabrizio Grossi, Guitarist/singer Lance Lopez and drummer Kenny Aronoff as well as a host of guest of the highest calibre; ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons, Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule/Allman Bros Band), Chris Duarte, Eric Gales, Walter Trout and Robben Ford.
Listen and enjoy – ‘I Ain’t Falling Again’ here:
It happened in 2012, Texan guitarist-singer-songwriter Lance Lopez was planning a visit to Los Angeles to record a new album and producer Fabrizio Grossi suggested they hook up and work on some ideas. The following whirlwind day and a half in the studio resulted in three songs which became the foundation of an exciting new project before they knew it. With a prolific career as a producer, mixer and bass player Fabrizio has worked with some of the finest musicians around today pulling into an array of eclectic styles, from Steve Vai to Tina Arena, Nina Hagen to Alice Cooper as well as Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Leslie West, Zakk Wylde, the list is endless.
Supersonic Blues Machine isn’t just a band; it’s a mood, a comradeship, a melting pot of ideas with like-minded people bringing their own unique talents to create something with feeling that is very organic. “I was thinking of all the people we know and thought, how about putting together something like The Who or The Rolling Stones used to do in the early 70s” he adds, “they would put together a record and bring all of their friends on board, I thought that would be cool. Bringing back the spirit of camaraderie between musicians.”
Before the name, before the album, entwined circles of friendship and respect began cooking up the music storm that was to become Supersonic Blues Machine.
Before Supersonic Blues Machine even existed as it is, the seeds began to be sewn from a hook up with Billy F. Gibbons, “I was telling Billy about my work with Lance” explains Fabrizio before excitedly adding the ZZ Top legends response was “‘Oh, you know Lance? He’s fantastic, I’ve known him since he was a little kid, you two should seriously consider working on something together.’” Add into the mix drummer Kenny Aronoff thanks to Toto’s Steve Lukather. Aronoff brought with him the experience of working with a huge collection of artists such as John Mellencamp, Smashing Pumpkins, Meat Loaf, Brandon Flowers, John Fogerty, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Joe Cocker amongst a host of others.
Debut album West of Flushing, South of Frisco is a sprawling and emotional journey that has an emphasis on peace, hope, forgiveness and empowerment. Grossi said, “We could have done a record that was jam-packed of famously random guests, but we didn’t want to do that that’s not the idea.”
Sneak a peak with this album trailer…
More friends started to feel the vibe; with tracks being added featuring the wealth of talent among friends. Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule main man and former Allman Brothers Band, features on Remedy. , and next up was guitarist Warren Haynes. Then joining the mix Tennessee guitar virtuoso Eric Gales can turn his hand to dazzling effect to a number of genres and the pair first worked together with funk father George Clinton on a cover of Hendrix Voodoo Child back in 2001. Playing on the album Nightmares And Dreams.
Eric long time fan of Walter Trout contacted Marie after his liver transplant and was back playing guitar do you fancy joining in the fun. I said ‘hey Marie, I’m doing this thing, and I would really like to see if we could get Walter to play with us.’” Within 5 mins, Walter called back and said “are you fucking shitting me, I’ll bring the guitar.” A few months later they were in the studio recording Can’t Take it No More.
Chris Duarte has been friends with Lance with a long time and started to show interest in working with the Supersonic family and immediately started sending ideas to and forth with the others which became That’s My Way. When it came to subtle jazz-rock maestro Robben Ford, who collaborated on Let’s Call It A Day the final piece slotted it magnificently.
The winding exploration through the album takes you through different emotions, themes and tones and when Lance himself takes on the lead vocals some of those are profound and some are pure foot to the floor stomp from the bar room rocking of Bone Bucket Blues to the opener Miracle Man which is a twist on the theme from Beyoncé’s Single Ladies and the even more sad “Gold-digger/Free loaders” attitude fortified by Reality trends TV shows. “If you read between the lines, the stereotype: the guy is the dog and the girl gets the short end of the stick, but that isn’t always the case, especially in LA, where there’s a lot of great decent guys out there where but, one has ever given these guys a voice…well we just did, in our “gospelly” type of way.”
The album has moments that come from a dark place and a very personal part of Fabrizio life, he lost his birth mother aged 11 and was growing resentful of God and all related to him. “Around 15-16, I got curious and involved with readings about Aleister Crowley ,The Golden Dawn , Magic or sort, he offers, “then weird things started happening which affected me quite a bit. Even though the whole “dark” infatuation, phased out by the time I was 18/19, it took me a really long time to get rid of the negative vision of matters” and it was this that fed into I Ain’t Falling. Let It Be is about the power of forgiveness and regardless of what an individuals’ background is.
Album closer Whatchagonnado is about what Jesus would say if he came back around and talked to people right now. “We’re not a Christian band, we don’t endorse any specific belief, other than what works for you” asserts Fabrizio, “but it seems that everybody embraces this figure and builds his own agenda with it, but how would Jesus really react if he would come back and see all of his teaching twisted around? And we did that with our funky mould.”
West of Flushing, South of Frisco is a reminder of an era that embraced collaborations, one that shared a vision and shared moments, both good and hard, one that put every ounce of their experiences into it, its bleeds emotion but is an uplifting and powerful listen. Now that the Supersonic Blues Machine has begun its journey, there’s a lot more to experience from it.
West of Flushing, South of Frisco – Track Listing
1. Miracle Man
2. I Ain’t Fallin’ Again
3. Running Whiskey (Feat. Billy F. Gibbons)
4. Remedy (Feat. Warren Haynes)
5. Bone Bucket Blues
6. Let It Be
7. That’s My Way (Feat. Chris Duarte)
8. Ain’t No Love (In The Heart Of The City)
9. Nightmares And Dreams (Feat. Eric Gales)
10. Can’t Take It No More (Feat. Walter Trout)
11. Whiskey Time (Running Whiskey’s extended ending)
12. Let’s Call It A Day (Feat. Robben Ford)