Toby Arrives Launching Koch Marshall Trio

Toby Arrives Launching Koch Marshal Trio

Toby Arrives Launching Koch Marshall Trio

Gregg Koch, uber guitarist, self-titled ‘ King Of Gristle’, practicer of necromantic six-string sorcery, certainly knows a thing or two about a thing or two. So, it was with some trepidation after finally agreeing to his son ( and drummer ) Dylan’s relentless requests, that they booked a studio to jam with Hammond B3 maestro Toby Marshall.

You can feel the utter joyorific amazement on ‘Toby Arrives’, the first song, that also gave the album its title. Those very first never-played-together-before notes are captured here for us lucky people to witness this universal alignment of talent extraordinaire. The resultant shuffle in G allows the listener that rare view of musicians ‘feeling each other out’, creating sparks and trading energies. The sense that the three smiles on those faces grew wider as the song progresses is impossible to ignore. Interplay, chemistry, call it what you will, but yes, Toby certainly has ‘arrived’.

The first signing to Mascot Label Group’s new ‘Players Club’, Koch Marshall Trio present ‘Toby Arrives’ in an organ trio format, with Toby Marshall’s Hammond bass pedals filling out any lack of low end. Second song ‘Funk Meat’ is a one-chord funk feel jam, with straight drums and a cool groove. Gregg’s biting Telecaster howls, moans, snarls and squeaks but always plays for the song. When you have a trick bag as full as Gregg’s it’s easy to show off but on ‘Funk Meat’ and throughout Gregg and Toby showcase but not clutter. It’s Toby and the roaring Hammond B3 that provide the biggest lifts, you can hear Dylan react to the energy with great dynamism.

Production throughout is bold, nice big and full bass, live recorded ( mostly ) in the studio. Dylan Koch’s drums could be higher in the mix for my taste. They tend to get a little lost here and there. He plays more of an accompanist role and it’s a shame he isn’t given just one chance to show his obvious chops. You can hear the youth but the groove is strong with Koch Jr, and he’s got a bright future ahead.

The lead song from the album, ‘ Heed The Boogaloo’ is a quirky, catchy, can’t get it out of your head number, with a classic familiar pounding bass line. The head is nodding once more, with great groove drumming on the beat. Gregg’s motif guitar part is full of his trademark sass, swagger and humour. Again he takes the first solo, country chicken-pickin’ meets Robben Ford, propelling the tune along, with lovely ‘outside’ notes that tease the ear. Toby sticks to more conventional pentatonics, but the energetic roaring Hammond lifts again raise Dylan, resulting in Gregg’s bar raised even further with another world-class lead break.

Stand out track for me is the 9 plus minutes of ‘Mysterioso’, where at last Dylan gets a showcase and takes us away from the bluesy and into Jeff Beck territory, with a great groove. Another flavour from Gregg with a spacey delay, coupled with an almost psychedelic Hammond. This song needs an oil light show, a get stoned on the music prog rock delight. Gregg also shows us what an influence Derek Trucks is on the guitar world with some of his trademark slide licks, trippy, trance-like and triumphant at the climax.

‘Toby Arrives’ is the sort of album you could stack alongside a Thelonius Monk record, a Jeff Beck record or a Mike Landau record. If you went for one of the other three and got this by mistake your day wouldn’t be ruined. Throw in Albert Collins and Albert Lee and you get the picture. The last track ‘Sin Repent Repeat’ is a sign of things to come. This initial meeting and resultant jams could progress to present more composition such as on this number, with an overdubbed acoustic and at last a louder drum mix flowing in a slide led groove that rounds things up perfectly.

As a live concert momento, and a capture the moment jam ‘Toby Arrives’ works perfectly. Whether you’ll still be listening in a week, month or year I’m not sure. Musicians will steal licks and talk tones, but all will look forward with eagerness to the follow-up, ‘Toby Has Been Here A While Now Let’s Get Down To Business’.

Pendragon for Bluesdoodles gives Koch Marshall Trio ‘Toby Arrives’ a jamtastic

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Out via Mascot Label Group 23rd February 2018

Track Listing:

      1. Toby Arrives
      2. Funk Meat
      3. Heed The Boogaloo
      4. Let’s Get Sinister
      5. Mysterioso
      6. Enter The Rats
      7. Boogie Yourself Drade
      8. Sin repent Repeat

    Toby Arrives Launching Koch Marshal Trio

Bootsy Collins Capturing World Wide Funk

Bootsy Collins Capturing World Wide Funk

Bootsy Collins Capturing World Wide Funk

One of funk music’s great pioneers, greatest bass players, rock and roll hall of famer and delightful eccentric Bootsy Collins is back with new release ‘World Wide Funk’ on Mascot Label Group. Following a 7 year hiatus, and at 66 years young the funk is stronger than ever on these 15 stupendous tracks of funkology.

” I wanted to make a musical monster that was born between a pee hole and a a..hole” says Bootsy, and the former James Brown bassist manages to steal the soul godfather’s moves, grooves and funk truths. This album LAYS IT DOWN from the first cut ‘World Wide Funk’ to the last ‘Illusions’. Bombastic, pristine production, each track is full of flavours ear teasers and flow, all the more realised with subsequent listens. You will play this record over and over.

Stellar special guest including amongst others Doug E Fresh and guitarist Buckethead, deliver P Funk influenced head bobbing, groovy, pimped out FUNK to a 2018 audience. Quirky, out there, sometimes risqué, sometimes political, always musical, always funky! Propelled by the unmistakable king of basslines, Bootsy brings aura, humour, psychedelic glow from star shine. ‘World Wide Funk’ envelopes you with the groove, caresses every fibre and music receptor of soul and spirit.

Bass legends Stanley Clark and Victor Wooten trade licks on ‘ Bass-Rigged-System’ and Bootsy makes room for rap stars such as MC Eiht, Musiq Soulchild and rising singing star Tyshawn Colquitt, who shines on ‘Snowbunny’. It’s easy to see the huge future of this Apollo Theatre ‘Amateur Night’ winner.

There is so much going on it’s hard to take it all in, in a good way. You just know you have to listen again and again. Bootsy’s soft and sultry vocals drift up, down, through and around reinforcing the funk with commentary, wit, spaced out wordplay and enticing ‘ come-ons’ to the soloists to ‘Bring It!’.

There is no filler, are no skip tracks and all tracks stand out and up on their own merit. Albums aren’t made like this anymore too often. ‘ World Wide Funk’ is classic P-Funk and modern groove funk that’s as relevant today as it was back in the platform shoe Funkadelic heyday. Bootsy is the Jimi Hendrix of the bass and the guru of the groove. The genuine ‘Brother Nature’, a superstar, a funkmeister.

‘World Wide Funk’ is essential listening, a slam dunk P-Funk gem for all fans of the beautifully weird feelgood eccentric chaos. The link, the glue, the route from pioneer to the innovator. A major talent, a major record.

Every citizen of funkland needs ‘World Wide Funk’, we are blessed to walk in Bootsy Collins purple, sparkly, ‘on the one’ world.

Funk yeah!

Pendragon for Bluesdoodles gives ‘World Wide Funk’ a ‘we are not worthy’

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

 

Track Listing:

  1. World Wide Funk
  2. Bass-Rigged System
  3. Pusherman
  4. Thera-P
  5. Hot Saucer
  6. Heaven Yes
  7. Ladies Nite
  8. Candy Coated Lover
  9. Snowbunny
  10. Hi-Heels
  11. Salute To Bernie
  12. Boomerang
  13. Worth My While
  14. Comeback
  15. Illusions

Bootsy Collins Capturing World Wide Funk

Front and Center as Beth Hart Announces Live Album

Front and Center as Beth Hart Announces Live Album

BETH HART RELEASES FIRST LIVE RELEASE IN 13 YEARS
‘LIVE FROM NEW YORK – FRONT AND CENTER’

CD/DVD set will be released on April 13th, 2018 via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group

Watch Hart Perform “Tell Her You Belong To Me”

Switch of the phones, Switch off the world. The click play….  immerse yourself for six minutes within the emotional journey Beth Hart takes you on. Her masterful vocals wrap around the lyrics and pulling you deep into Tell Her You Belong To Me. This single from her forthcoming album Front and Center is Beth Hart immersion therapy for your soul. Leaving you both exalted and emotionally stripped bare. The forthcoming album promises to be an emotional rollercoaster.

On March 7th, 2017, the GRAMMY-nominated “powerhouse vocalist” (Rolling Stone) Beth Hart performed a very special, intimate concert at NYC’s Iridium Jazz Club, which featured songs from her latest album ‘Fire on the Floor’ and from throughout her career. Now, 13 years after the release of her incredibly successful live release, ‘Live at Paradiso,’ Hart is treating fans to a DVD/CD release of this standout performance with Live From New York – Front & Center, out April 13th via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group. The performance is also featured on the Season 8 premiere episode of Public Television’s critically acclaimed concert series, Front and Center (airing now, check local listings).

Known for her visceral, soul-baring vocals and dynamic range, Hart is riding a creative tidal wave following the release of her critically acclaimed 2016 studio album, Fire On The Floor, as well as her just-released studio collaboration with guitarist Joe Bonamassa, Black Coffee. Leveling audiences with her incredible power and celebrated burnt-honey vocals for 20 years, Hart has just launched a 16-date coast-to-coast US tour, which will be followed by a European tour in April-May 2018.

Hart has had an incredible career, beginning with the release of a fistful of hit albums through the ’90s, then reigniting in the post-millennium as both a solo artist and the head-turning vocalist for guitar heroes like Joe Bonamassa, Slash and long-time collaborator Jeff Beck. But it’s in recent times that Beth has truly blossomed, selling out ever-larger venues in cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen. She is recognized as one of the great live vocalists of our time, with a voice “reminiscent of Etta James and Janis Joplin” (Music Connection), topping Billboard’s Blues Album Chart and receiving numerous GRAMMY and Blues Music Awards nominations. Dubbed “the ultimate female rock star” by The Blues Magazine, the Guardian has praised her “daring, brooding performances” and The Times has called her “Extraordinary.”

‘Live From New York – Front And Center’ will be released as a 2-disc DVD/CD set, mixed in 5.1 stereo, featuring never before seen bonus material, including an exclusive interview with Hart. The audio from the performance will also be sold separately as a digital release.
Track Listing

CD
01 – Let’s Get Together
02 – Baddest Blues
03 – Jazz Man
04 – Delicious Surprise
05 – Broken And Ugly
06 – St. Teresa
07 – Isolation
08 – Tell Her You Belong To Me
09 – Fat Man
10 – Love Gangster
11 – Leave The Light On
12 – As Long As I Have A Song

DVD
01 – Let’s Get Together
02 – Baddest Blues
03 – Jazz Man
04 – Delicious Surprise
05 – St. Teresa
06 – Tell Her You Belong To Me
07 – Fat Man
08 – Leave The Light On
09 – Can’t Let Go
10 – As Long As I Have A Song

Beth Hart plus Her Band Tours UK/EU Spring 2018

DUBLIN VICAR STREET  – TUESDAY 10th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: +353 1 775 5800
BOOK ONLINE: Ticket Master or Beth Hart Website 

IPSWICH REGENT THEATRE – THURSDAY 12th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01473 433 100
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

BEXHILL DE LA WARR PAVILION – SATURDAY 14th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01424 229 111
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

NOTTINGHAM CONCERT HALL – SUNDAY 15th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0115 989 5555
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

OXFORD NEW THEATRE – WEDNESDAY 18th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0844 871 3020
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

FOLKESTONE LEAS HALL – THURSDAY 19th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01303 228 600
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

CARDIFF ST DAVIDS HALL – SATURDAY 21st APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0292 087 8444
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website  

CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE  – TUESDAY 24th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01223 357 851
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

BLACKPOOL OPERA HOUSE – THURSDAY 26th APRIL 2018

VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01253 625 252
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

HULL CITY HALL – FRIDAY 27th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01482 300300
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

READING HEXAGON – MONDAY 30th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0118 960 6060
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

PORTSMOUTH GUILDHALL – TUESDAY 1st MAY 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 023 9387 0200
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

SOLD OUT LONDON ROYAL ALBERT HALL SOLD OUT – FRIDAY 4th MAY 2018
PLUS SPECIAL GUEST
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0207 589 8212
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or Royal Albert Hall
or   Beth Hart Website 

CHELTENHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL – SATURDAY 5th MAY 2018
TICKETS GO ON SALE FRIDAY 3 NOVEMBER 
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01242 850 270 
BOOK ONLINE: Cheltenham Jazz Festival or   Beth Hart Website 

Ruhr Congress, Bochum, Germany – 10 May
Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 12 May
Palais Des Congres, Paris, France – 14 May

 

 

Join The Mutual Admiration Society Golden Shred Guitar Playing

Join The Mutual Admiration Society Golden Shred Guitar Playing

Golden Shred: Morse, Luthaker, Vai, Lee and Graydon guest on a guitar led instrumental album which takes 60s classics and gives them new life.

 

Join The Mutual Admiration Society Golden Shred Guitar PlayingOnce upon a time, two school friends started playing music together. After graduating, one of them, Sterling Ball, joined his father Ernie, who at the time was running a small company making guitar strings. This fledgeling company grew, of course, into a much bigger entity and started to make guitars too. Sterling is now Chief Executive Officer of that company… Ernie Ball Music Man. So, join The Mutual Admiration Society golden shred guitar playing with the company of great musicians.

In 1983 Sterling met up again with John Ferraro, his music partner from school and suggested they start a band to tour the local club scene. John recruited his college mate, Jim Cox, and they formed Biff Baby’s All Stars. The intention was for Sterling, normally a bass guitarist, to play the lead but another longtime friend had other ideas…Albert Lee had known Sterling since they met at a concert in 1972, and he wanted to be part of this new band. He was Albert Lee, so he was in, and Sterling went back to playing bass. This band of friends went on to tour for 30 years!

Fast-forward to 2017 and Sterling suggested they do an album together. What started as a project for these longtime friends grew into something so much bigger. As various guitar legends heard about the get-together, and much like Lee all those years ago, they decided they wanted to a part of it. And so The Mutual Admiration Society was born.

The first track is the Jesse Winchester composed Payday Song. A country stomp with gorgeous fluid playing from all involved. A crystal clear picked solo is the highlight of a familiar standard.

Next is The In Crowd, written by Billy Page, but probably best known from the cover by Brian Ferry. It takes on another life as an instrumental and is graced by the trademark sound of Steve Morse who puts in a sterling (!) performance as usual. A beautifully constructed and original solo without too much double picking and played with real feeling.

Checkin’ Up On My Baby is the Sonny Boy Williamson blues tune covered by Gary Moore and John Mayall amongst others. Here it gets a rebuild, with great organ tones behind every ‘verse’ and providing a cracking solo too. Sterling Ball is on his own here, proving what a good guitarist he is. Baby Please Don’t Go was written by Big Joe Williams. The definitive version is, in my opinion, to be found on Never Turn Your Back on a Friend by the criminally underrated Budgie. This does get close, however, as we get Steve Luthaker doing all of the guitar work and blending in a lovely solo.

Treat Her Right was written by Roy Head and Gene Kurtz as a country blues number. Here it becomes a delightful shuffle with the warmth further enhanced by a Jim Cox keyboard solo. Reminiscent at times of Green Onions, it moves along very pleasantly.

Sugar Shack was a big hit in 1963 for Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs and its inclusion here is thanks to Steve Vai who, apparently has wanted to play this since he was 4 years old. He plays a fascinating wah, wah on the verses before launching into an impressive, very clever interpretative solo. Chuck Berry’s Memphis, Tennessee now comes with a mandolin! A straightforward, countrified reading of this well-known song with Sterling on guitar and mandolin. Most successfully covered by Ray Charles, Cryin’ Time was composed by Buck Owens. Here it becomes a “British Country” tune thanks to the amazing style and performance of Albert Lee.

Now, how about some Jackson 5? Their huge hit I Want You Back is covered here. It sounds so familiar and yet, with Sterling’s picking carving out the verses on both lead and bass it sounds so different. Even more outrageous, how about a Disney Medley? Suggested by the guest guitarist, none other than John Petrucci, this mix of When You Wish Upon a Star and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah (plus a couple I didn’t know) is transformed by Petrucci’s fretboard work. He turns them into lessons in how to transform the light-hearted into serious guitar workouts. Tremendous fun!

Hank Williams gets the Albert Lee treatment on Hey Good Lookin’. Inevitably, another country approach, brilliantly executed. The penultimate tune is the only original on the album. Composed by Ferraro, Cox and Ball it features Jay Graydon on guitar. Graydon is a noted composer, producer and session musician, responsible for hits by Earth, Wind and Fire, George Benson and Manhattan Transfer to name but few. An almost tropical feel to this, so how they arrived at the title Strip Mall Gourmet I have no idea. Good interplay between guitar and keyboards.

Finally, we get the Guy Clark penned Heartbroke. Clark was a prolific country singer and composer. This song has been covered by Ricky Skaggs and is another excursion into beautifully played country music. A bonus of a bass solo has been imaginatively inserted too.

Before I summarise, a confession:
Within my 2000+ CD collection, you will find every session Steve Morse has ever done (and that is a hell of a lot!). I also own an Ernie Ball Music Man Steve Morse Signature Edition guitar (the original one, with the bewildering array of pick-ups and switches). I’ve followed him since his Steve Morse Band days and celebrated his recruitment into my favourite band, Deep Purple, knowing he could help them become great again. However, although his presence is the reason I bought the CD, there is so much more to this work and, I promise no bias.

Overall then, what you get here is a very country blues feeling collection, interspersed with rockier aspects provided by the guest guitarists. Possibly a little too heavy on the country for some tastes, but if you want time to pass pleasantly and effortlessly, then this is the soundtrack for it.

Thoroughly enjoyable, even if it will only go in the CD player when I want to lie back and relax with an instrumental album and a decent bottle of red wine; and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Join The Mutual Admiration Society Golden Shred Guitar Playing

The Band:
Sterling Ball; bass, electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele
John Ferraro; drums
Jim Cox; keyboards

Special Guests: (all guitarists!)
Steve Morse
Steve Luthaker
Steve Vai
Albert Lee
Jay Graydon

Additional Musicians:
Jeremy Moyers; steel guitar
Dave Stone; stand up bass
Brad Hayman; slap bass

Sterling Ball, John Ferraro, Jim Cox – The Mutual Admiration Society – Mascot Label Group

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Tracklisting:

  1. Payday Song
  2. The In Crowd (Steve Morse)
  3. Checkin’ Up On My Baby
  4. Baby Please Don’t Go (Steve Luthaker)
  5. Treat Her Right
  6. Sugar Shack (Steve Vai)
  7. Memphis (aka Memphis, Tennessee)
  8. Cryin’ Time (Albert Lee)
  9. I Want You Back
  10. Disney Melody
  11. Hey Good Lookin’ (Albert Lee)
  12. Strip Mall Gourmet (Jay Graydon)

 

The album was recorded at Broken Prop Studio in California; produced by Ball, Ferraro, Cox, Engineered by Bill Evans, tracked by Gordon Rustvold, mixed by Rich Mouser, and mastered by Robert Vosgien.

 

Tommy Emmanuel Joined By Superb Artists on Accomplice One

Tommy Emmanuel Joined By Superb Artists on Accomplice One

Tommy Emmanuel Joined By Superb Artists on Accomplice One

A full two years in the making, the brand new album Accomplice One from Australian guitar master Tommy Emmanuel finally lands on Bluesdoodle’s desk. Oh boy, it was sure worth the wait. This time around Tommy has opted to share centre stage with some heavyweight company – all 16 tracks of the album have guest artists featured.
Now it takes a great talent to complement a great talent, and with names such as Mark Knopfler, Ricky Skaggs and Jason Isbell joining Tommy, what we have here is a veritable aural feast.

Things kick off in style and the album mood is set perfectly with ‘Deep River Blues’. Four-time Grammy winner Jason Isbell joins Tommy on an exquisite Blind Lemon Jeffersonesque journey through a riverside blues lament. Exemplary vocals from both. Production is exactly as it should be, the twang of the strings could ruffle your hair and with each singers breath, it could be pulled back in place. Raw, but not ragged, slick when it needs to be, in the room and magnificent.

Ricky Skaggs appears next up, bringing his country storytelling to ‘Song And Dance Man’; surely an autobiographical cut from Tommy; a chronicle of a life lived on the road, town to town, striving for the next show.

Jefferson Airplane guitar legend Jorma Kaukonen and Nashville session harmonica king Pat Bergeson are next up on ‘Saturday Night Shuffle’. “You’re a bad ass cat man!” says Tommy on the intro, acknowledging the skills of both to come. This trio of talent certainly had a ball recording this track, as the shouts of appreciation and mutual respect bounce back and forth.

Up and coming blues/rock psychedelic J D Simo brings his lightning Don Kelley Band Telecaster back out for the first appearance of an electric guitar thus far on ‘Wheelin’ & Dealin”. Emmanuel’s Django acoustic sets the tone but firebrand JD has a few tricks of his own too. Fretboard fireworks to compliment, then up steps Clarksville born banjo legend Charlie Cushman with a searing last solo. Definitely one for the pickers and grinners out there.

What is clear and apparent throughout is that with all of the tremendous talents on show there is never ego, overshadow or dominance. Every track is born from mutual respect and healthy competition.

A cover of ‘Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay’ can be hard to do convincingly but Emmanuel, again joined by JD Simo present a reggae-tinged feel which doesn’t make you long for Otis, but rather sway from side to side in admiration.

The surprise standout track for this reviewer is a cover of Madonna’s early hit ‘Borderline’. The delicate country vocal and sublime violin of Amanda Shires expose this 80s dance track as the great song it really was all along. The 6/8 waltz time improves the original composition, it is truly magical.

A Mark Knopfler song and duet – ‘ You Don’t Want To Get You One Of Those’ is a tale of a favourite rust bucket money pit auto we’ve all had and loved. And miss. Delivered in typical Knopfler fashion, it’s so great to hear Tommy and Mark together on record.

There aren’t many good covers of ‘Purple Haze’ out there. Resonator magician Jerry Douglas assists Tommy in just about making it work, although this version resembles Yardbirds breakout hit ‘For Your Love’ a little rather than the Hendrix anthem.

Tommy’s love of gypsy jazz is always apparent, and what better way to take us to the Hot Club Du France than with virtuoso duo Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo, accompanying on ‘Djangology’, a delightful stroll down the Rue De Rivoli on a warm summers evening.

Suzy Bogguss duets with Tommy’s as always astounding acoustic on the beautiful album finale ‘The Duke’s Message’, a soft and gentle closing before the inevitable ‘play the whole album again’ urge kicks in.

16 tracks of majestic musicianship might get tedious for non-musicians, but interspersed between the jamming and fine fretwork are some gems of heartfelt beauty that any fan will appreciate. Guitarists, of course, will marvel but Accomplice One has enough taste to match the tones, enough subtlety to match the shenanigans and enough dynamic interludes to match the dynamite.

A wonderful piece of work from a fine musician.

Pendragon for Bluesdoodles gives Accomplice One a masterly

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

 

Track Listing:

    1. Deep River Blues
    2. Song And Dance Man
    3. Saturday Night Shuffle
    4. Wheelin’ & Dealin’
    5. C-Jam Blues
    6. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
    7. Borderline
    8. You Don’t Want To Get You One Of Those
    9. Keepin’ It Reel
    10. Looking Forward To The Past
    11. Purple Haze
    12. Rachel’s Lullaby
    13. Djangology
    14. Watson Blues
    15. Tittle Tattle
    16. The Duke’s Message

Tommy Emmanuel –  Accomplice One – Mascot Label Group

Tommy Emmanuel Joined By Superb Artists on Accomplice One

Watch Long Lost Sailor From Von Hertzen Brothers Before Download Festival 2018

Watch Long Lost Sailor From Von Hertzen Brothers Before Download Festival 2018

Award-winning cinematic Finnish rockers Von Hertzen Brothers are back with a brand new video for their exceptional track Long Lost Sailor, taken from their brand new album War Is Over which is out now on Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group.

The band have also been confirmed to play this year’s Download Festival at Donington Park. They will also be performing at Ramblin Man Fair 2018 in Kent.

Watch Long Lost Sailor From Von Hertzen Brothers Before Download Festival 2018

The chart-topping band with three #1 albums (Stars Aligned, New Day Rising, Love Remains the Same) and another two Top 5 albums (Nine Lives, Approach) in their homeland. This has led to them scooping an Emma Award (The Finnish Grammy) and a Progressive Music ‘Anthem of the Year’ Award as well as nominations and plaudits along the way due to their ability to blend complex arrangements, expansive musical landscapes and surging tension all entwined with gloriously uplifting melodies.

It is this sonic exploration that has seen them blaze a trail across Europe since 2006, leading them to play with artists from Foo Fighters, 30 Seconds to Mars, Neil Young, Biffy Clyro, The Wildhearts and ZZ Top to Anathema and Opeth.

War Is Over follows on from 2015’s acclaimed New Day Rising and saw the band take a new approach to their songwriting technique. Brothers Mikko, Kie and Jonne von Hertzen took time to write separately. “Our family has a summer cottage outside Helsinki”, explains Kie. “All three of us would take turns to withdraw and head up there to write music. It’s a beautiful place in the inner Archipelago of the Eastern Sea. It’s where we used to spend our childhood summer’s, so all of us have a deep and personal connection to the place. The main part of composing happens there in total peace and quiet.”

While seeking to build on the bands long-standing domestic success, the band has looked to assemble a new team around them globally to help them replicate this internationally. The recent appointments include of both new management & booking agents while also most recently signing a new worldwide deal with Mascot Label Group, home to Joe Bonamassa, Black Stone Cherry, Black Country Communion, Monster Truck, Ayreon & Beth Hart to name but a few.

Following New Day Rising the trio wanted to invert themselves, strip everything back and except for drums, play all of the instruments and produce the record themselves. “We wanted to re-invent the inspiration and energy in our doing. We had a discussion between us about if we still have it in us, and whether we are still up for this?” Kie ponders. “We wanted to break everything we’ve built into pieces and start again afresh. After doing this for years, we had to ask ourselves whether we still have the passion and music within us? After the last tour, we planned on having an open-ended break before starting to dig deep in writing new music. To our relief songs started to sprout” he reveals. After getting inspired by each other’s new songs, we realized that we are on a VHB mission, we’re not going to bend and break.”

Mikko wrote most of his lyrics whilst on a one month break in India during January 2017. A connection worth mentioning considering his long association with the country. Back in the day, he spent seven years living in an Ashram with the spiritual guru and leader Amma, also known as ‘The Hugging Saint’. During his twenty years long association with the country and it’s music, one can hear the influences seeped into the VHB songs. As an example, one of the songs of the new album called To The End of the World brings in these were written in an Indian scale.

The album was produced by all three brothers between Helsinki and Porvoo. Each one of the brothers produced their ‘own’ songs; Mikko wore the producer’s hat on songs To The End of the World, The Arsonist, Frozen Butterflies and Beyond Horizon. Jonne on Blindsight and Kie on War Is Over, Who Are You?, Long Lost Sailor, Wanderlust and Jerusalem – which also features Janne ‘Burton’ Puurtinen of Finnish rockers HIM on keys.

For the new and fresh War is Over the band drafted in an old friend and welcomed back drummer Sami Kuoppamäki; one of Finlands finest drummers, who played on the 2006 Emma Award-winning Approach album. Known as the drummer for the acclaimed Finnish cult band Kingston Wall, his talents have been used also for the Finnish metal giants Apocalyptica and Stratovarius.

They are also pleased to announce that Sami and their Swedish friend and amazing keyboard player, Robert Engstrand, will be joining them for both of our upcoming tours. Robert is best known for his work with Turisas and the Swedish prog band The Flower Kings.

War Is Over isn’t a concept album, but the War theme does run through key songs. “There is this underlying texture throughout the album, which I see as a huge question mark: ‘what are we as humans doing to preserve a loving and kind world? Why are we fighting every day and blaming others for our problems?’” Mikko remarks before adding there is “anxiety and the constant struggle, so, come and join this movement, let’s not succumb to fear.”

Reflecting the nature and tone of the record, the artwork soon followed. A cover was needed to be as plain and simple as possible. “We wanted a Dove of Peace” Kie adds. “Our own Dove of Peace, a VHB Dove of Peace.” So they enlisted the help of Tero Ahonen, an enthusiastic graphic designer and photographer from Helsinki to take over the concept. Listening to the album and its atmosphere, he came up with the mosaic idea and spent a week painstakingly putting together the mosaic design piece by piece to create the wonderful cover.

 

Watch Long Lost Sailor From Von Hertzen Brothers Before Download Festival 2018

Steaming Hot Black Coffee Courtesy Of Hart Bonamassa Combo

Steaming Hot Black Coffee Courtesy Of Hart Bonamassa ComboSteaming Hot Black Coffee Courtesy of Beth Hart Joe Bonamassa Combo

Black Coffee is only as tasty as the beans selected and then the careful roasting to leave a smooth, tasty brew with depths of flavours and tastes to excite those taste buds. Has this been achieved as Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa collaborate once again on Black Coffee?  We have waited four years for the album to be brewed and the wait is worth it the tonal textures and shapes excite adding new nuances to the selection of songs chosen by Hart & Bonamassa for our aural stimulation. The production takes the music and adds that magic to the sound just as master coffee roasters use all of their sense so does Kevin ‘The Caveman’ Shirley.

The songs have been selected to touch your soul as they have been re-imagined and given magical sparkle to the lyrics as they are vocalized through the phenomenal vocal chords of Ms Beth Hart. With the guitar playing of Joe Bonamassa that laughs, cry’s and squeals as the emotion are wrung from the tracks by his six-strings. Added to the mix Hart & Bonamassa have surrounded themselves with musicians who understand intuitively the way Beth & Joe work. The Black Coffee is definitely steaming, as the album invigorates the classics.

Opening the album is the guitar of Joe Bonamassa, full on the distorted ear-catching heavy rock with the horns picking up the notes and heralding the vocals of Beth. Whenever I hear Beth her voice sends that luscious tingle of pure pleasure down my spine. Give It Everything You Got, the Edgar Winter number from his White Trash album is a masterstroke as the opener as it is telling you this is music that has been blended with skill and understanding and you are filled with the warmth of soulful sounds.  Turning next to Etta James, Damn Your Eyes. Her voice is the focus of the album as Hart blends the inner chemistry of great women singers, to simply compare her to Janis Joplin or Nina Simone is just not enough. Her vocals are power and vulnerability pure and dirty. She is Beth Hart and her vocals are incomparable as she makes this number her own with a warmth that adds to the inner mystery of the number.

The Title track, Black Coffee associated with Humble Pie & Steve Marriott was originally sung by Ike & Tina Turner. She sings each word with a tonal depth that you just want it to go on and on Black Coffee, dark, hot and tasty. Beth’s voice captures every sip of coffee that invigorates your soul. The instrumentation is minimal, chords from keys plus the addition of backing vocals echoing Beth’s refrain of Black Coffee.  Three songs in – I am well and truly hooked. Every number is superb, definitely an album that once loaded stays on re-play.

Now we travel to Broadway with Lullaby of The Leaves, the temperature changes. The sound is a gentle soothing refrain with the guitar work from Bonamassa adding to the quality of re-imagining Etta James’ number from Hello Dolly. We are now calm, refreshed and ready for what else the album unfolds. This is the perfect duet of vocals and guitar captured by Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa, the intensity is palpable.

We are all Saved by the lyrical dexterity that is demonstrated by Beth on a number covered by many and sung originally by LaVern Baker.  The tempo is picked up and we are now moving with the vibe created. Then a classic has been done so many times you do wonder do we need another one? Yes, we do! The Howlin’ Wolf number grounds the album with this version that has a sting in its tail a mix of coffee ground and cream. Beth’s vocals drawl through the lyrics with the splash of guitar and the judiciously added tone from keys.

Closing out with Addicted from a collaboration that sparkles and shines every track has a dimension that thrills, surprises and leaves with a musical smile of delight. Choosing not to close with a well-known, establish classic they have left one surprise in the coffee pot a track from Austrian trio Waldeck a new name for me. Shirley came across this 2007 trip-hop leaning album whilst on holiday and “shazamed” it. If you weren’t Addicted to the Beth & Joe combo you will be after a swig of this layered and tuneful album. Black Coffee that will always hit all the right spots.

 

Black Coffee – Beth Hart & Joe BonamassaMascot Label Group

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Give It Everything You Got
  2. Damn Your Eyes
  3. Black Coffee
  4. Lullaby Of The Leaves
  5. Why Don’t You Do Right
  6. Saved
  7. Sitting On Top Of The World
  8. Joy
  9. Soul On Fire
  10. Addicted
  11. Baby I Love You (Bonus Track)

 

Band Members
Anton Fig (Drums/Percussion)
Ron Dziubla (Saxophone)
Lee Thornburg (Horn Arrangements/Trumpet/Trombone)
Reese Wynans (Keyboards)
Michael Rhodes (Bass)
Rob McNelley (Rhythm Guitar)
Paulie Cerra (Saxophone)
Mahalia Barnes (Backing Vocals)
Jade Macrae (Backing Vocals)
Juanita Tippins (Backing vocals)

Recorded at the Palms, Las Vegas

 

Steaming Hot Black Coffee Courtesy Of Hart Bonamassa Combo

In Conversation Tommy Emmanuel with help from his friends

In Conversation Tommy Emmanuel with help from his friendsAustralian born Grammy award-winning Tommy Emmanuel has been wowing audiences and guitar players across the globe for some time now. His unique playing style, pure musicality and to quote Chet Atkins, his “fearless fingerpicking”…surely Tommy needs very little introduction. His new album “Accomplice One” is a veritable delight of 16 tracks of duets with a wide range of musician friends of Tommy’s who were all keen to lend a pair of hands or a voice…

 

“Accomplice One” is brimming with talent, what was the idea behind getting all of these great players together?

It’s really come about from living and working in Nashville over the last 15 years which has grown a group of artists and friends who I get to work with from time to time on various things. I got the idea that I wanted to collaborate with some really good artists, good singers, good songwriters to see what we could come up with. It was over 2 years of trying to find time between my touring and everyone else’s touring and projects for it to all come together. It was great in the way that everyone had suggestions of songs and it really came together quite beautifully. With all the schedules involved it was my recording and mixing engineer that really glued everything together what with me being in and out-of-town all the time, we’d book the studio ahead of time and he’d be ready to go as soon as I and the other artists were in and we wasted no time at all as time is precious for everyone. The tracks were cut with just the acoustic guitars and vocals and we would add bass, drums afterwards. It gives a warm and live sound for sure. Each of the artists recorded more that what’s on the album, like Amanda Shires who I duet with on Madonna’s “Borderline” did a swing track that’s not on the album, I have other tracks as well and we chose the best tracks for the first album. That’s why it’s called “Accomplice One” as there’ll be another one.

JD Simo, Amanda Shires, Ricky Skaggs are some of the artists you duet with – why did you pick these artists?

The fact that these are young people coming up in the business and really talented artists who are all really soulful. I thought that rather than trying to get Keith Urban or another well-established artist in that younger people, new and fresh could bring something else to the album and be a great opportunity in their stage of their career for us to be seen working together. Then again, Mark Knopfler, who I’ve know since 1984, certainly doesn’t need any help from me but that fact that he wrote back to me and said: “Sure, I’d love to play on your record, but can we do one of my songs?” – you know, I just couldn’t deny him that as I love everything he writes. Mark invited me over to his studio in Chiswick London, we sat down and went forth and back with who was going to sing which line and play what part. From the moment I arrived in his studio, it took an hour and a half to arrange, record and Mark’s keyboard player/assistant mixed and mastered the song and I was out of there with it that quick.

Having produced the album yourself, what were you looking for sound wise?

First of all, I didn’t want it to have anything on it that was unnecessary, more stripped back, lush, warm and earthy. The only track that has keyboards on it is “The Duke’s Message” the very last track which I cut with Suzy Bogguss and one of my original songs. I had Grammy award-winning piano player Will Barrow come in, listen to the song and just play along with what was going on already instead of embellishing parts. The rest of the album is really just guitar, bass and drums, sometimes no drums. Where there are bass parts they’re well thought out and I played some of those, I even played the drums on it – no programmed nonsense here mate! On “Saturday Night Shuffle” I purposely mic’d the drums at a distance and made them sound almost like they were in a garage. All the acoustic guitars are mic’d up just how you would playing live so I really took an approach to producing the album in the most organic way as possible.

Alongside your original tracks, there are a few covers, what’s behind the choice of those?

Trying to find the right song for a person, you know that’s the key. Mark and I could have done anything but doing an original that’s something different is always great. With Mark’s song we really approached it like Tom Waits meets Randy Newman! JD Simo is such a great guy and we have a shared love for Elvis Presley but cut Otis Redding’s “(Sitting On) The Dock of The Bay” where you can really hear the fun we had playing it. There’s a contrast in going from “Keep It Real” with it’s Celtic feel into “Rachel’s Lullaby”. Clive Carroll and I have been friends for a long time (he’s one of my favourite musicians on the planet) and we worked up that medley of “Keep It Real” together. There’s a lot to it already but it could of easily have gone on for another 10 minutes as you know how it is when you get a good thing going playing! You mentioned the “Purple Haze” cover, I hate to tell you and most people will not believe it, that was one take. Jerry Douglas, the dobro playing wizard, came in to play on another track and we got that finished so I said to him “Do you want to have a shot at Purple Haze?”. Jerry’s response could not have been more emphatic; “What a great idea! That’ll really piss off all the bluegrass purists! Let’s do it!”. I brought my guitar into the control room, showed him how I played it, Jerry’s like “Just nod at me when you want me to play…” and away we went with it in the purest moment of inspiration and improvisation.

On the note of improvisation and for the guitarists out there, what advice/approach can you pass on?

Well there’s a certain amount of not being afraid to step out and try stuff. You know, everybody worries too much about what people will think of them if they fly their kite to high, you know what I mean? I really try to get rid of that as it will only hold you back and to just play what I feel like playing in the moment and this is what my instincts are telling me to play. You’ve gotta have fun with it but at the same time have something to say musically that works, makes sense to you and let it fly. There’s a time to really jump in and a time to hold it back, listen and find the right spot to come in – you know Jerry is just like that, no boundaries, no filters and just runs at things dead ahead. Jerry and I have some shows coming up together in 2018 in addition to the shows JD Simo and I are doing together and you can bet on us improvising in the moment on those. At the base of it, it’s about being in the moment and really listening as that’s the first thing a real/good musician does.

In the Spring you’re running a guitar camp in Scotland, planning to give away your guitar secrets?

Oh definitely as that’s what teaching is all about, you have to give the student everything. That’s happening in May 2018 and it’s 4 days of lessons, masterclasses, evening concerts and there’s also time for one-on-ones with students at the camp with myself and the other instructors. It’s one of those where we want people to come along, be challenged in their playing and change the way they experience playing and learning music. It’s a whole different ball game and I really think that the people who are going to be on that camp with me are going to have the best time. It’s really about immersing yourself and seeing things in a different way.

More information and booking for Tommy’s Guitar Camp in Scotland can be found HERE

If you could go travel back in time, what would you tell the Tommy Emmanuel in his early 20’s?

Don’t be so worried about what people think, have a great time and just try to learn as much as you can.

Accomplice One is due for release January 19 on the new label Players Club via Mascot Label Group and can be ordered here  MASCOT LABEL GROUP

 

In Conversation Tommy Emmanuel with help from his friends

LA Guitar Legend Michael Landau New Song One Tear Away

LA Guitar Legend Michael Landau New Song One Tear Away

LA Guitar Legend Michael Landau Releases New Song One Tear Away

The song features on Michael Landau’s upcoming album Rock Bottom,
Released via Provogue/Mascot Label Group on the 23rd of February.

Listen to the song NOW!

Rock Bottom sounds like it left the Morrison Hotel in 1970, got lost in Laurel Canyon, and finally found its way out onto Ventura Boulevard in 2017. It suggests Joni Mitchell’s heady brew of imagery laden words and mystical melodies as easily as it evokes Hendrix, Arthur Lee and Love’s Forever Changes, and Buffalo Springfield. It is, however, above all, an album with a singular voice of its own. Have you ever been experienced? Well, this album will get you where you’re going.

Michael Landau talking about the song One Tear Away: “I was very happy to reunite with my old pal David Frazee on this new record. David was the singer in our band ‘Burning Water’ back in the 90’s, such a strong voice and a very interesting songwriter. David wrote the lyrics and melody on ‘One Tear Away’, it’s got a very haunting feel to it. Here’s what David had to say about the lyrics: ‘They’re an urging to not give up on living, an encouragement to acknowledge and heal the wounds within and free ourselves from self-judgments about being human.’ We cut the basic tracks to tape, we all worked hard to get the record just right, I’m proud of this one and I hope you dig it… Michael.”

Michael Landau has surrounded himself with familiar faces from his past – longtime collaborator David Frazee (Burning Water) on vocals and lyrics that can only be called poetry, his brother Teddy Landau (Raging Honkies) on superlative bass (which should end up on some future top ten lists), Larry Goldings on organ, and Alan Hertz playing drums, and their familiarity gives this album an incredible sense of timing and cohesion. There are myriad twists and turns, and the record unfolds to reveal exotic sounds and feelings, but it’s so well composed and performed that it is like taking a sonic, spiritual vacation.

“Michael Landau is an undiscovered gem… one of God’s guitar players. I grew up playing with him, and he’s really inspired me. Michael is absolutely one of my favourite guitar players in the world.” ~ Steve Lukather, Toto.

Rock Bottom is an album for its age. In times of existential angst and cultural unrest, it acts as a spiritual calmative, engaging and holding you without knocking you about unnecessarily along its course. A day trip into the collective consciousness of its players. Listening to this band is akin to watching a thousand birds flying in formation, climbing, diving, circling and back around without ever colliding. It colours its jazz roots just enough to never lose its pop contingent. You get the idea that this record came very easily to those who were creating it, even though it is clear in its sophistication and intellect.

LA Guitar Legend Michael Landau New Song One Tear Away

Lance Lopez Set to Unleash Tell The Truth

Lance Lopez Set to Unleash Tell The Truth

 

“Texas has been known throughout the years to be the breeding ground for some of the baddest guitar players of all time…Lance is yet another one to carry on that Texas tradition…” BILLY F. GIBBONS – ZZ TOP

“A very exciting and intense Blues Guitarist…” JEFF BECK
“Lance Lopez got 3 standing ovations when he opened a show for me and I was among those standing…” B.B. KING

Texan Lance Lopez is set to unleash his long-awaited new solo album, Tell The Truth, on March 2nd 2018 on https://www.mascotlabelgroup.comProvogue/Mascot Label Group.

Tell The Truth is an autobiographical tour-de-force through the life and times of an archetypal Texas blues legend with all the highs and lows that inevitably accompany this time-honoured path. Lance Lopez has been on a slow, steady climb up the mountain to the blues-rock hall of heavyweights for the last decade, and this album declares his arrival.

“Nothin’ worth having, ever came easy to me, the sweetest victories came within an inch of defeat” ~ “Never Came Easy”

Lance Lopez has a voice that lets you know he’s walked the walk, and his smoky tenor has grown more gravely and passionate with the years, then you remember, he was brought up by the likes of Bobby “Blue” Bland, Buddy Miles, Johnny Taylor, and Lucky Peterson. Lance started playing professionally at the age of 14 in bars and clubs in and around New Orleans, joining up with soul great Johnny Taylor when he was just 17, then becoming Lucky Peterson’s band leader at 18, and eventually joining the Buddy Miles Express. He’s lived the life every day since, and you can feel every mile of the road on this album.

Check out the brand new video for Cash My Check here:

The path he has walked has not been an easy one, and even with mentors and friends like Billy Gibbons and Johnny Winter, that road is long and fraught with the necessity of the literally thousands of clubs, endless nights, low wages, and long travels – all of which leads to the many temptations that make for distractions to get one through the day. Lance Lopez, again, was mentored by the best, and that means that along with the priceless lessons in the musical life from legends like Buddy Miles, also came lessons in drink, drugs, late nights, the ravages of road food, and that side of the life that has broken so many. With the grace of good faith, friends, and family, Lance has seen it through to a healthier, happier side.

Defining his solo sound on Tell The Truth expect loads of his famous hard-edged gritty guitars, lovingly parsed and layered throughout, but there’s also a powerful full band sound on every track with throbbing bass lines, sumptuous piano and organ, wicked blues harp, thunderous drums, and Lopez’s industrial strength vocals across the whole of this outstanding song set.

Tell The Truth is above all a working-class blues rock record. Songs like “Cash My Check” and “Never Came Easy” look at life as it’s being lived, in an honest and forthright fashion. Then there are the more harrowing tales of life’s travails and temptations to be found on “High Life” and “Down To One Bar.” Even when he’s covering John Lee Hooker on an incendiary reading of “Mr. Lucky,” this is a fiercely personal record, and Lopez spares himself not one bit as he lays down life as he’s seen and lived it. Lopez has seen has demons, stared them down, and come out on the other side.

Produced and recorded over the last three years by Fabrizio Grossi in Los Angeles, this album clearly shows that Lopez has absorbed everything he’s heard, and the lessons of everyone he’s had an opportunity to share songs and stages within the last few years. Trading verses with singers such as Warren Haynes and Walter Trout, trading solos with Eric Gales, Robben Ford, Steve Lukather, and the aforementioned Mr. Gibbons has certainly served Lance well.

The album hits the ground in fourth gear, and it never looks back. The grooves are a mile wide and hit like a sledgehammer. And while there is great guitar, as you’d expect, all over the record, Lopez never overplays. There’s a high-octane reading of John Lee Hooker’s “Mr. Lucky” that sees the sound and style of the Texas legend being updated with some extra horsepower, and a barreling rhythm section. “The Real Deal” is the Lopez manifesto, and one of the cornerstones of this record.  The album’s title track closes out the set, and it’s a massive piece of rock with a funkiness that won’t be ignored. A great album by any measure, regardless of how it may get labelled. Blues-rock? Hell yeah. Rock? Got it covered. The blues? It’s in everything Lance Lopez does. March 2, 2018, on Mascot Label Group.

Tour Dates

9 March – Fabrik, Hamburg, GERMANY (Rockin The Blues 2018 Tour – Special Guest)
10 March – Columbia Theater, Berlin, GERMANY (Rockin The Blues 2018 Tour – Special Guest)
11 March – FZW, Dortmund, GERMANY (Rockin The Blues 2018 Tour – Special Guest)
13 March – Muffathalle, Munich, GERMANY (Rockin The Blues 2018 Tour – Special Guest)
15 March – Batschkapp, Frankfurt, GERMANY (Rockin The Blues 2018 Tour – Special Guest)
16 March – Boerderij, Zoetermeer, THE NETHERLANDS (Rockin The Blues 2018 Tour – Special Guest)
17 March – The Garage, London, UK (Rockin The Blues 2018 Tour – Special Guest)

 

Lance Lopez Set to Unleash Tell The Truth