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JANUARY 11, 2019 Tomislav Goluban RELEASES “CHICAGO RAMBLER” AND BECOMES TME.fm RADIO SPOTLIGHT ARTIST.

CHICAGO RAMBLER the new album from Tomislav Goluban is finally to be released on Friday. We have been lucky enough to have had a copy of the album for a while and after listening to it carefully our highly paid reviewer came up with a cracker of a review – read below.

“PERFECT!”

We got our moneys worth.

So we decided to make Tomislav our Spotlight Artist for the next 30 days so our listeners can agree with our review.

 

After 20 years of intense study of one of America’s greatest artforms from afar in his homeland, Croatia, singer songwriter and harmonica master, Tomislav “Little Pigeon” Goluban made a journey to the source to record an album of authentic blues music in the Windy City for his tenth studio album, “Chicago Rambler.” Goluban enlisted the skills of prominent figures in the Chicago blues scene, led by acclaimed producer and guitarist Eric Noden to collaborate with him on 11 new songs written for the project. A year ago, Tomislav flew to Chicago to record at Joy Ride Studios. Noden wisely brought in two “Sons of the Blues” as the rhythm section; E.G. McDaniel on bass and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith on drums, both building prestigious careers for themselves while preserving their musical heritage. Harmonica man Joe Filisko also contributed to the project by playing harmonica on two songs, and engineer Blaise Burton manned the console for the frenetic two-day session.

The full tilt ‘Pigeon Swing’ kicks off the album with much pizzazz, as Goluban blows like Little Walter resurrected on an instrumental that was supposed to be a bonus track but has so much fire it was pushed to the lead-off slot. The 12/8 blues ‘Locked Heart’ reveals the influence of Jimmy Reed and Slim Harpo on the timeless tale of a soft-hearted bluesman. The heavy-duty south side shuffle, ‘Bag Full Of Troubles,’ is a spot-on Chicago-land prototype that could only be delivered by seasoned pros. Inspired by the friendship between Goluban and the late country bluesman “Philadelphia” Jerry Ricks, the tasty rhumba, ‘Jerry Ricks On My Mind,’ recants images from the last concert he performed alongside Goluban before his untimely death in 2007. He was buried in the cemetery in Kastav (Croatia) where the annual Tribute to Jerry Ricks – Kastav Blues festival is now held.

Noden’s slide guitar moans with sorrow of a hundred-year flood on the lowdown ‘Can’t Find Myself’ and Smith demonstrates his encyclopedic knowledge of authentic blues grooves as he nails the high energy boogaloo surf blues for the audacious ‘Home Made Honey’ and classic Bo Diddley beat for ‘Do The Right Thing.’ Between those two numbers, Goluban’s fantastic harmonica imitation of a train, an old-time tradition among harp players, introduces ‘One Way Ticket,’ a traveling blues ramble. He lays out a twist on a Muddy Waters’ style blues with ‘Little Pigeon’ extolling his manly prowess to arouse a lover. Track ten is an acoustic version of ‘Jerry Ricks On My Mind.’ The quartet glides thru the Jimmy Reed style country blues ‘Searchin’ For My Baby,’ before transforming a traditional Croatia folk song ‘Išel budem v kleticu (I’ll Go To My Cottage)’ into a straight-ahead Chi-town shuffle from a hot Saturday night at the Peppermint Lounge.

With this album Tomislav Goluban fulfills his dream of wandering the musical streets of the city that gave birth to so many of his heroes and becoming a bona fide Chicago rambler.

Rick J Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

After a 20-year music career and 10 studio albums, the proverb “The older – the crazier” definitely applies to Croatian harmonica player Tomislav “Little Pigeon” Goluban, whose songs and performances burst with energy, passion, humor and above all, fantastic music. Goluban has been playing harp since 1997, inspired by old school masters such as Sonny Terry, Slim Harpo, Paul Butterfield, Gary Primich, Kim Wilson and Joe Filisko to name just a few.

Performing solo/duo and with a band, Goluban has played in the U.S. and across many European countries at festivals and events such as the Notodden Blues Festival (Norway), Amal’s Blues Festival (Sweden), Blues sur Seine (France) and International Blues Challenge (USA).

Looking back at his discography reveals delta, country & Chicago blues, zydeco, rock ‘n’ roll and world music. He’s been recording his music in a wide span from raw delta duo sound to the full instrumental arrangement with 20 musicians playing one song.

 

In the period from 2005 to 2019 Tomislav has:

  • published ten studio albums and three maxi singles,
  • won four Croatian top discography awards “Porin” (the equivalent of a Grammy in Croatia),
  • won three “Croatian Musicians Union” awards “Status,”
  • performed in 20 countries in two continents (Europe and the USA),
  • won 4th place at World Harmonica Championship in Germany 2005,
  • is the sole Croatian endorsee of the world’s finest and most famous harmonica manufacturer “Hohner,”
  • was the first Croatian representative at International Blues Challenge, Memphis, USA in 2009 & returned in 2017,
  • was one of the founders and the first president of the “Croatian Blues Forces” association,
  • developed an educational music program called “The harmonica in Blues” which is presented to the pupils of elementary and high schools all over Croatia.

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Dee Miller Band joins Blind Raccoon with – LEOPARD PRINT DRESS

REPRESENTING MINNESOTA BLUES SOCIETY IN THE BAND CATEGORY AT THE 2019 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE (IBC)

Minneapolis became noted as a center for rhythm and blues (R&B) in the 1980s, when the multi-talented star Prince rose to fame. But the twin-cities region had long been known for giving birth to notable modern folk music, gospel, blues, alt rock and jazz artists. Dee Miller grew up in Saint Paul Minnesota, singing along to her favorite vocalists and was a member of many local bands earning the title “The Duchess of the Blues” from the Minnesota blues community. The self-proclaimed “barrelhouse” singer formed her own band in 2004 and in the fall of 2018 the Minnesota Blues Society inducted Dee Miller into the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame in the category of “Performer.”

Her sizzling hot band features the vocal lead and harmonies as well as the blazing guitar work of the phenomenal Craig Clark. His rich deep sound is rounded out by the rhythm section of Eric Meyer (bass/vocals), Mike DuBois (drums) and the keyboard work of Jesse Mueller.

Their third album, “Leopard Print Dress,” was recorded at the Villa Studios and features ten tracks – a cross section of house rockin’ blues heavy duty soul and dance party R&B that showcases the muscular abilities of this tight hard-working band. The sharp originals and creative covers reflect the variety of blues, rock, and R&B deep-cuts in the group’s repertoire. Inspired by wild nights in steamy nightclubs the rousing ‘Hot And Sweaty,’ open the set with dance floor filling swing and sizzle. Miller proudly carries the torch for Etta James on the blazing cover of ‘Strongest Weakness,’ with her powerful, deep, earthy voice bridging the gap between R&B and rock ‘n’ roll. John Pinckaers sits in on piano for the gospel-fueled reading on the Eagles’ classic ‘Take It To The Limit.’ Craig Clark shares the lead vocals for the title track ‘Leopard Print Dress,’ which won the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame award in 2017 for “Best Song.” The four on the floor blues rocker was cowritten with Jimi “Primetime” Smith and features a greasy slide guitar solo that has become Miller’s trademark anthem. The house party really gets rolling for the horn-infused boogie woogie ‘Back In The Saddle,’ then Clark steps up on the soul blues burner ‘Last Two Dollars,’ delivering powerful vocals and a ripping lead on the Jonny Taylor hit that has become a staple of the club scene. Steve “Boom Boom” Vonderharr added his hot blues harp to the bump and grind shuffle ‘I Sing The Blues,’ and Toby Marshall lays down sweet Hammond B3 on the lovely cover of ‘Midnight In Harlem,’ with Dylan Salfer tackling the daunting slide guitar part written by Derrick Trucks over a new double chorus outro.

 

The Band gets funky on rousing take of Albert Collins classic ‘Black Cat Bone,’ highlighted by groovy keyboard from Jesse Mueller and icepick guitar from Clark. Miller dedicates the album closer ‘Steppin’,’ to all her “girlfriends out there who’ve been done wrong” then preaches the blues the way it is supposed to be; down and dirty, raw and live off the floor. The Dee Miller Band are poised to make some bold impressions and tell the world what the Twin Cities has known for some time; The Duchess and her boys are here to tear the house down.

Rick J Bowen

“It is upbeat, engaging, tight, and extremely, butt shakingly danceable. If you are lookin’ for a REAL GOOD TIME, you have found it in The Dee Miller Band and “Leopard Print Dress.” A highly recommended addition to your collection!” John ‘blueshammer’ Hammer, Blue Monday Monthly

BIOGRAPHY

Dee Miller is a Minnesota musician who has a performance pedigree that spans many years on the local and Midwest blues scene. Dee’s “barrelhouse” style of singing has earned her the label “Duchess of the Blues” in the Twin Cities and regionally.

From her early days as a child listening to her mother singing the blues around the house in Maplewood, MN, Dee has been a singer. She first started singing along with Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin recordings as she crafted her skills. The sounds of Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, and Mahalia Jackson were part of a life spent singing as she walked down the railroad tracks that were right next door to her house. During these times, Dee realized the power of music and what a refuge it is for her.

Dee’s first professional gig was with the blues band “Minnesota Barking Ducks”. She has also been a member of “Liberty Street”, “Bottom Line”, “Night Train” with her dear friend Liz Cummings, and several others before she started the Dee Miller Band in 2004. Dee has performed in many local music establishments. On a national level, Dee has performed in Chicago at Buddy Guy’s Legends, and in Washington D.C. at Madam’s Organ. Dee has also performed on stages in Memphis, San Francisco, Greenwich Village, Key Largo and Florence, Italy.

During her career she has shared the stage with Koko Taylor, Janiva Magness, Bobby Messano as well as local favorites Lamont Cranston, Annie Mack, Renee Austin, Mick Sterling, and many more incredible musicians. International guitarist Jimi “Primetime” Smith was an integral part of the Dee Miller Band for several years.

Dee was inducted into the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame as Performer of the Year in 2018. Also, in 2018, The Dee Miller Band was selected to represent Minnesota at the 2019 IBC in Memphis in January. Her awards prior to that include a Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame award in 2017 for “Best Song” for “Leopard Print Dress” cowritten with Jimi “Primetime” Smith.

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PETER V BLUES TRAIN – SHAKEN BUT NOT DETERRED

The hard-working, hard-driving contemporary blues band, Peter V Blues Train, has been tearing up the airwaves and the touring routes since their formation in 2013. The veterans of the NY and NJ scene hit us once again with their remarkable second album of 2018 “Shaken But Not Deterred.” The nine original tracks and four fresh covers recorded by Joseph DeMaio at Shorefire Recording Studios, are a sophisticated blend of modern blues with jazz and funk overtones that prove the band means business. The quartet is led by guitar man and vocalist Peter Veteska, aka Peter V, a native of the projects in rough-and-tumble Bushwick, Brooklyn. He is backed by Alex D’Agnese on drums, Sean “Gravey” Graverson on bass and Aron Gornish on keys and joined by a few special friends, including Jeff Levine (B3) and Danny Walsh (sax), to bolster the sound and add fun and fire to an already potent mix.

Drummer Alex D’Agnese introduces the opening track, ‘Don’t Wanna Leave Memphis,’ with a classic shuffle groove that builds to a powerful triplet fill that brings in the band and boldly declares this band knows how to swing and rock steady. Peter V names a few of his heroes from the home of the blues and his love for Beale Street that grew deeper after representing the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation at the International Blues Challenge, while sax man Danny Walsh spars with Jeff Levine on the Hammond B3. The crew then rips out a bump and grind arrangement of Fats Domino’s ‘Blue Monday,’ updating the New Orleans standard with a muscular punchy beat and gritty guitar. Written by Peter V and Joanne Cesario, ‘By The River,’ previously released as the opening track on their 2017 album “On Track,” is revisited and refined here by colorful guitar from Bob DelRosso and a sweet remix from DeMaio that brings out the funky groove but still retains the blues underbelly. Peter V drew inspiration for his emotional delivery from soul singer Donny Hathaway for the oft recorded ‘For All We Know,’ added to the lexicon by kicking up the fire and playing the 1934 ballad like a south side dirty blues.

The slinky ‘In Demand,’ is a slow burning hunk of funk that has Peter V begging at the feet of his best girl. Blues standard ‘T Bone Shuffle’ is reinvented as a heavy Chicago shuffle featuring more hot lead guitar and organ solos. D’ Agnese’s heavy bass drum foot and a gritty riff creates a distinctly modern feel on the heady track ‘Alibi,’ before the band delivers some good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll for the barnstorming ‘Don’t Cheat On My Lady.’ Peter V lays out his bluesman manifesto declaring “This is who I am, not what I chose to be,” on ‘Rodeo. (No BS),’ and repeating “this is a blues show, not some rodeo,” passionately driving his point home. Gary Neuwirth adds hot blues harp and powerhouse vocalist from the Jersey shore, Vanessa Vause, trades verses with Peter V on the saucy duet ‘Getting Closer Now.’ Paul Levinsky sits in as the funky drummer for the hip-hop influenced east coast blues update ‘Been So Long.’ The title track, ‘Shaken But Not Deterred,’ is a jagged time-shifting blues rocker that has influences from Albert Collins and fellow New York shouter Popa Chubby. The live-in-the-studio acoustic duet of the blues chestnut ‘Worried Life Blues,’ tagged as a “bonus track,” closes out the set as a delicious encore.

This strong second release of 2018, “Shaken But Not Deterred,” will no doubt follow in the footsteps of their third album,Running Out Of Time,” keeping The Peter V Blues Train high on the charts and is sure to receive glowing reviews while maintaining the bands presence in the vibrant original East Coast blues scene.

Rick J Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

Here’s what Peter V has to say:

“I was born in Manhattan in 1959 and grew up in Jamaica Queens. When I was twelve years old, I saw a black Les Paul in the window of a pawn shop. I got a press route delivering papers on a bike. Each week I would drop off a payment on layaway. After a few months of weekly payments, I was able to pick up the guitar that I had dreamed of. Listening to Derek and the Domino’s and the Allman Brothers I started teaching myself and learning to play my favorite artists. I performed at my first paying gig at the age of 15. For the remainder of my teenage years and adolescence, I played at numerous bars and clubs throughout New York and Long Island. At the age of 21 I was disenchanted with the music scene, and I decided to step away from it. The next twenty-five years, of my life, I only rarely picked up the guitar. My musical taste changed, as I discovered Jazz, and other genres of music. All this music had a very big influence on my musical growth. When the economy tanked in 2008, I reconnected with my lifelong passion of playing the guitar with a renewed vigor.”

“I really got into my “blues” roots. I also discovered many of the blues greats from the 50’s, as well as, new contemporary blues artists such as Robert Cray. I cut my teeth playing various local blues jams. I was the “new kid on the block” yet I was in my early 50’s. I was encouraged to sing, so that I could get up more often, to play at the local jam events. I took that advice and worked on my vocal skills. Today, I have flourished into a solid “blues” guitarist and vocalist, which helped to create the distinctive sound of the Peter V Blues Train. My musical focus is to create a unique sound of blues music which is more upbeat and influenced by jazz and funk. I write and perform original music, as well as, reinterpretations of lesser known blues classics.”

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DAVE KELLER – EVERY SOUL’S A STAR

Catfood Records announces the release of “Every Soul’s A Star,” the label debut from acclaimed blues/soul singer and guitarist Dave Keller. Produced by Grammy award winner, Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Luther Allison), and recorded primarily at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX, “Every Soul’s A Star” showcases ten original songs, plus a scintillating cover of the Aretha Franklin classic, ‘Baby, I Love You.’ Keller’s soulful vocals are ably supported by The Rays, which include not only legendary Motown guitarist Johnny McGee, but also Bob Trenchard – bass; Dan Ferguson – Hammond B3, Wurlitzer, keyboards; Richy Puga – drums; Mike Middleton – trumpet; Nick Flood – tenor and baritone sax, plus the heavenly voices of Janelle Thompson and Shakara Weston – background vocals; and Christopher Serrano – percussion. Catfood label head Bob Trenchard calls Dave Keller, “The most-talented songwriter I’ve ever worked with, and it was he who suggested Jim Gaines to produce the new project.”

“This record, for me, is about honoring the star in each person,” Dave Keller says. “The songs are about both love and heartbreak, of course, but also speak about the beauty in each of us, as unique individuals and as people standing up together. This record feels like my strongest yet. I felt more at ease singing than I’ve ever felt in the studio. That comfort helped me sing more dynamically than I’ve ever sung before on record.”

“Every Soul’s A Star” is also the first time Keller had the chance to work with the Catfood Records’ house band, The Rays, comprised of all superb musicians with a boatload of experience backing up many of the label’s artists on record, including Blues Music Award-winner Johnny Rawls. “What really impressed me about The Rays was how much heart they put into this record,” Keller declares. “I love how everyone put so much of themselves into the record. I could tell that they really dug the songs, and really cared about doing them justice. I love how you can hear all their individual ideas on the record, and feel their personalities, their souls, and yet everything is in service to the songs.”

“It was a special treat working with Johnny McGhee, who has played guitar on countless great soul albums,” continues Keller. “He started out as a kid – only 12 years old – touring with The Five Stairsteps, and ended up in the band LTD. To each of my songs, Johnny brought the coolest, most perfect little soul licks. He has an amazing ability to find just the right licks and riffs that pull the song together into something perfect.”

Keller is equally effusive in his praise of producer Jim Gaines. “Jim Gaines is a magician. He really listened to my songs, really got into the meaning of the lyrics, and was able to help me and the band bring them alive with the most heart possible. He’s an expert at making songs really shine. I felt blessed to get to work with him.”

Keller also has a special place in his heart for Johnny Rawls, who introduced him to Catfood Records owner and bassist Bob Trenchard about five years ago at the Blues Music Awards. “Bob and I had a conversation then about making a record together, but it took ‘til now for the time to be just right,” Keller recalls. “As my friend the late Mighty Sam McClain used to say, ‘It may not happen when you want it, but it always happens right on time.’”

Recording in Texas was a new cultural experience for Keller, a native New Englander. “Working at Sonic Ranch was really fun. I’d never been to West Texas, so it was a real adventure for me. From the kindness of the ladies who made us breakfast and lunch every day, to the heat – 105 degrees the day I arrived — to the giant Tarantula Hawks (a kind of wasp) that hovered in the bushes outside the studio. All the little details inspired and energized me.”

BIOGRAPHY

Dave Keller is an award-winning, triple-threat: an outstanding singer, an intense guitarist and a talented songwriter. Fueled by his love of deep Southern soul and blues, his performances ring out with passion, integrity, and an ability to break down the barriers between performer and audience.

Ever since renowned guitarist Ronnie Earl chose Dave Keller to sing on his album “Living In The Light,” Keller’s star has been on the rise. In just a few short years, Keller has been nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Soul/Blues Album, won the International Blues Challenge Best Self-Released CD Award, and been selected for Downbeat‘s Best Recordings of the Year.

A bit of a late bloomer, Keller grew up in Massachusetts, loving music, but not picking up guitar until age 16, and not singing in his first band until age 20. Blessed with mentors including deep soul singer Mighty Sam McClain, mystical soul guitarist Robert Ward, acoustic blues master Paul Rishell and soul/blues man Johnny Rawls, Keller made up for lost time.

Relocating to icy Vermont in 1993, Keller found fertile ground to grow his audience, and has become a household name there. Famous for his live-wire shows, Keller can often be found fifty feet out in the crowd, teasing fiery licks from his trusty Stratocaster and singing off-mike as the audience sings along.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Keller has been expanding his base beyond New England these past few years, performing at some of the biggest festivals in the East, including the North Atlantic Blues Festival, the PA Blues Fest, and the Discover Jazz Festival. He has also performed at the Blues Music Awards ceremony twice, accompanying Ronnie Earl, and Johnny Rawls (with whom Keller frequently tours)

LINKS
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Jim Allchin – Prime Blues

Critically Acclaimed Blues-Rock Guitarist, Songwriter and Vocalist Jim Allchin
Announces Prime Blues, His Newest LP, for Release September 21, 2018
Produced by Grammy and Blues Music Award Winner Tom Hambridge and featuring a team of veteran studio and touring professionals including special guests Bobby Rush and Mike Zito
Jim Allchin, the American blues-rock guitarist, philanthropist, and a former software executive, is releasing his fourth widely distributed contemporary blues album: Prime Blues, produced by Producer and Grammy®, ASCAP and Blues Music Award winner Tom Hambridge, whose production credits include: Buddy Guy, Marcia Ball, Susan Tedeschi and James Cotton, among many others.
Prime Blues features 14 new tracks performed by an all-star group of musicians including: bassist Glenn Worf, rhythm guitarists Rob McNelley, Bob Britt and Kenny Greenberg, keyboardist Kevin McKendree, drummer Tom Hambridge, vocalist Mycle Wastman, The Memphis Horns and special guest vocalists Grammy-winner Bobby Rush, and Blues Award winner Mike Zito.
Hambridge stated: “I’m so very proud of this major step forward in Jim’s journey as a Bluesman. We had an absolute blast co-writing some of the songs, planning and recording Prime Blues and we’re anxious for blues
fans around the globe to hear these incredible tunes and performances.”
Featured in Apple Music and receiving wide critical acclaim, Allchin’s last LP, Decisions, topped Contemporary Blues and Blues Rock charts for months and was named a Top 20 Blues Rock Album of 2017 by the venerable
Roots Music Report. The LP registered nearly 1 million plays on Spotify.
The reviewers said:
• “Decisions is Jim Allchin’s best release to date!” Blues Bytes Review
• “Lovers of modern blues need to check him out.” Norman Darwen, Blues in the South Review
• “If you decide to hear some great music, here it is!” Smoky Mountain Blues Society
• “Allchin flat out rips” Rick Bowen NW Blues
Allchin added: “The title Prime Blues refers to both my love of the blues as well as my love of mathematics.
Prime Blues is more concentrated blues than my past albums and at the same time more diverse in terms of style, guitar technique, and guitar tone. Each song tells a story – about an experience, life observation, or my life philosophy in general. I hope you find some of these songs just flat out fun!”

This old proverb ‘strike while the iron is hot’ quickly comes to mind when reviewing the new album “Prime Blues” from pacific Northwest guitar man, Jim Allchin. For it clearly alludes to the imagery of the blacksmith at his forge; if he delays shaping the iron when it is hot and pliable the metal soon cools and hardens, and the opportunity is lost. Allchin astutely heeded this council while hard on the heels of his critically-acclaimed and chart-topping 2017 album “Decisions” and continued running with its winning formula.
In spring of 2018 he returned to the vaunted Blackbird Studios in Nashville to collaborate again with Grammy-winning producer, songwriter and drummer Tom Hambridge and his team. To kick up the flavor a notch the duo invited special guests Mike Zito, Bobby Rush and The Memphis Horns to add their special sauce to the recipe. The result is a savory collection of 14 amazing
new tracks that dig deeper into the blues and prove the notion that indeed “lightning can strike twice.”
A growling guitar riff and a horn-drenched blues rocker ‘Give it Up’ opens the set of “Prime Blues” with Allchin encouraging us all to find our inner truth. Kevin McKendree spares with Allchin on the Hammond B3 on the greasy blues ‘Devil Don’t Sleep.’ The crew then heads down to the bayou to sing the praises of an enchanting Cajun queen for the swampy ‘Voodoo Doll,’ and keep the groove sexy with enticing rocker ‘Snuggle Up.’ Allchin flat out rips on the full tilt instrumental
‘Jimmy’s Boogie,’ and the horns return for the sweet Memphis-styled love song ‘Summer Sunrise.’
Mike Zito steps up to the mic for the Texarkana stomp ‘Enough Is Enough’ that features another gritty solo from Allchin and fiery honkytonk piano from McKendree. Bob Britt from the Delbert McClinton band sits in on the swinging autobiography ‘Found The Blues’ that has Allchin detailing how “music blew his muse” and most likely saved his life.
The full force of The Memphis Horns and a six-piece Nashville band are brought to bear on the bump and grind blues ‘Two Bad Dreams’ to complement the paramount personality that is Bobby Rush. Next Allchin picks up his acoustic guitar for the old-time tale of hard luck and trouble ‘Pawn Shop Man,’ before shredding more hot leads on the sizzling Chicago blues shuffle ‘Lost My Mind.’
The soul-searching track ‘Up To Destiny’ mixes thought-provoking lyrics with pop music sensibilities on an arrangement that has a bit of Santana-like appeal. The patented double shuffle from Hambridge creates an authentic motif for Allchin’s tongue-in-cheek dig at our obsession with cell phones on witty ‘Tech Blues.’ The final track ‘Logoff’ serves as a clever double entendre, with the bluesy groove serving notice to the end of bad love and the poetic finale of the grand adventure that is the album “Prime Blues.” Once again, we are blessed to have Jim Allchin share with us his quest for universal truths and superb guitar tone on what could prove to be his crowning achievement.
Rick J Bowen

MICHELE D’AMOUR & THE LOVE DEALERS – WIGGLE ROOM

Never afraid to take the proverbial bull by the horns, Seattle-based singer songwriter and band leader, Michele D’Amour – Michele De-MOORE (rhymes with “the floor”), – releases her fourth album, “Wiggle Room,” the inaugural debut on her record label, with her band, The Love Dealers. All this comes hard on the heels of a last year’s album, “Lost Nights At The Leopard Lounge,” from which one of the tracks won a Grand Prize in the 2017 John Lennon Songwriting Competition.

“Wiggle Room” also marked a point of expansion for D’Amour and her team as she added four new members to the band. She teamed up with Washington Blues Society Hall of Fame member and renowned guitarist Mark Riley to produce the record and recorded all the rhythm tracks at Strange Earth Studios with Grammy-winning engineer Steve Feasley. The ten new tracks feature D’Amour’s powerhouse vocals and renowned songwriting and showcase the talents of new guitarist Jeff Cornell and drummer Dave Delzotto, while adding the elements of a full-time keyboardist in Brian Olendorf and sax man Noel Barnes to the Love Dealers sound. The collection is also an expansion of style, pushing beyond the group’s previous catalog of straight-ahead blues, funk and rockin’ soul and delving into jazz, swing, boogie, Latin and touches of country and gospel.

The opening track, ‘Falling Down,’ is some hot funk with an Albert Collins edge, with Cornell and Barnes trading solo licks. D’Amour then delivers some quick advice for all the gals on the swinging ‘Sweet Lovin’ Man,’ with long time Seattle Blues Diva Nora Michaels joining her on the chorus. Trumpeter Greg Lyons plays the role of Chet Baker on the luscious jazz lounge title track. Barnes lets his sax wail while D’Amour channels Lydia Pense for the East Bay Soul burner ‘Honey On The Side.’ Bass man Patrick McDanel digs deep into the walking line on the upright as D’Amour paints a vivid picture of the homeless man on the corner, who could be any one of us given a set of unfortunate circumstances in ‘Nothing To No One.’ The tune again showcases Lyons on a Miles Davis-inspired flugelhorn solo, joined by McDanel on trombone.

The Southern California sound of ‘Let It Slide’ also colors an important message about tolerance and self-preservation with conga man Angelo Ortiz adding spice to the smooth groove. D’Amour plays the woman scorned on the break neck boogie ‘Been So Long,’ and delves further into the psyche of self-esteem on the dramatic torch song ‘Worthy,’ featuring a haunting guitar riff by Cornell. Olendorf then flashes his skills on the keys with some jaunty ragtime piano on ‘He Can’t Be Wrong,’ a timely rebuke of a common bully. He then delivers a classical intro to the album closer ‘Hard Times,’ a heartfelt gospel-infused lament that paints an all-too-clear picture of current events, with John Oliver III adding soulful backing vocals.

Michele D’Amour is a songwriter, who is fulfilling her mission, as stated in the liner notes, to make music that reflects the moments of joy amid times of struggle, because when we feel most deeply is when art is clear and focused, and the message on point.

 

LABEL
BLUESKITTY RECORDS
RELEASE DATE
AUGUST 24, 2018
DISTRIBUTION
CD BABY
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Lawrence Lebo – Old School Girl release date 17th August

The title of her sixth album says it all, for L.A. based Indie Blues Artist Lawrence Lebo is truly an “Old School Girl” and proud of it. This new album also features her prowess as a songwriter as the seven new tracks delve into soul-blues territory that pay homage to her “Stax Records’” influences. Lebo partnered with Rich Wenzel at Ardent Audio Productions to mix and master the album for his familiarity of “Old School” ways of record making. Wenzel places Lebo in the center of a pulsing rhythm section spiced with classic Hammond B3 organ, sweet lead guitar, hot blues harp and rock-solid bass lines.

The sultry ‘You’ve Got A Secret’ opens the album with Lebo calling out the deceitful ways of a lover who’s doing her wrong, with Larry David and Tony Mandracchia trading delicious solos on organ and lead guitar as Lebo pours her heart out. The title track finds Lebo laying out her retro manifesto, over a sweet swing groove and walking bass. She namechecks her heroes Etta and B.B and throws shade on the “New School Girls,” who prefer an Uber ride over a 57 T-Bird. The album’s lone cover of the T Bone Walker standard, ‘Stormy Monday,’ is given the full knee-deep shag and Sunday church service treatment with thick B3 backup that spins up into a rollicking double time for a fabulous harmonica solo from David and more hot lead guitar before Lebo takes us home for the dramatic finale.

We head to the bayou for some Cajun jitterbug dancing on the Zydeco spiced ‘Stop Shouting Your Business,’ with Lebo channeling the Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas, on the accordion fueled second line gumbo. The Memphis soul styled ‘Give Me A Try’ is straight out of the Soulsville catalog with a fatback beat, chicken picking lead and funky Fender bass from her longtime partner in crime Denny Croy. Lebo then lets it rip on the full throttle Texas double shuffle ‘Bad To The Core,’ with all of her sass and spunk front and center, declaring she is done “being good,” while Tony wails on his Stratocaster. The classic twelve bar ‘Happy Anniversary, Baby’ is a blues sonnet, with a lush string arrangement and emotive solos, lovingly delivered as a tribute to a soulmate who has shared all the good times and bad, with equal devotion.

Lawrence Lebo plays the game on her own terms, an artist who has earned her street cred “Old School Girl,” by working in the gritty clubs of Los Angeles, and by earning a degree with honors from UCLA, to become a respected American blues & roots musician.

Rick J Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

Daughter of a Sears & Roebuck shoe salesman, Lawrence grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, far away from the entertainment industry. She worked into the business the hard way, by singing in bands in every gritty little dive bar, all the while struggling as a single mother. While her recordings receive airplay internationally, raising a family kept Lawrence’s performance schedule mostly local. She is well known and loved in Los Angeles. The LA WEEKLY awarded her BEST BLUES SINGER in their annual BEST OF LA 2014 special addition and wrote “Lebo remains one of this country’s greatest living blues singers.”

In 1985 Lawrence was working in a duo act at a little bar on Venice Blvd in West Los Angeles. On her break she walked down the street to another bar to hear their band and met bassist Denny Croy (Lawrence Lebo, Doug MacLeod, Fiona Boyes, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Moon Martin). “We had this up and down the street romance,” says Lawrence. A year later they were married and playing music together, with Lebo writing material and fronting the band! Over 30 years later they are still performing and recording together. That is so Old School!

Lawrence has always relied on the strength of her music. In a career that has lasted several decades Lawrence was a successful self-releasing artist long before any artist ever dared consider doing such a thing! In 1989, before everyone had a computer and access to the internet she released her debut EP on her label On The Air Records from the kitchen of her tiny rent-control apartment, using just a typewriter and her Rolodex. All of Lawrence’s body of work contains the element of Old School.

Lawrence is a consummate performer and entertainer who takes her audiences along on a magical journey. In their live concert review Music Connection wrote “Ms. Lebo took complete control of the stage. She was a comfortable performer who worked her audience well, often at times offering humorous as well as educational explanations for her choices. She had style, spunk and charisma! This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.”

Ms. Lebo has worked long and hard at developing her craft and expanding her education. In the 1980s, she had attended the vocal program at Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, California. With this educational background, a steady performance schedule and raising family, she returned to traditional academia in 2000, earning an Associate of Arts degree in music at Santa Monica College, and then transferring to UCLA to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2005. She received two of UCLA’s highest honors, including a Regents Scholar and a Gold Shield Alumni Scholar, that covered her entire tuition. Lawrence proudly notes however, “The best part of my experience at UCLA was getting to study Duke Ellington under Professor and world-famous Jazz/Blues guitarist Kenny Burrell. It just doesn’t get any better than that!” She graduated from UCLA with Latin Honors and became the first in her family to graduate from higher education. Periodically she teaches a blues singing techniques workshop at world famous McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, as well as at other venues in conjunction with her concerts.

LABEL
ON THE AIR RECORDS
RELEASE DATE
AUGUST 17, 2018
DISTRIBUTION
CD BABY
LINKS
Artist Website
Artist Facebook

JOHNNY AND THE HEADHUNTERS

Formerly the lead guitar player with multi BMA-award winner Louisiana Red, Johnny Ticktin (pronounced Tick-Tin), along with the Headhunters, is set to release his 8th album, “That’s All I Need.” The ten tracks are a testimony to his life-long obsession with the six string, covering the gamut of guitar centric styles from surf and swing to blues, Mambo and classic R&B. The Headhunters are joined by a couple of special guests on the collection of songs from heroes like Lowell Fulson, Magic Sam, and Link Wray that have shaped Ticktin’s guitar playing over the years.

The album opens with swamp blues proto type ‘That’s All I Need,’ from Magic Sam’s seminal 1967 album “West Side Soul.” Johnny pushes the tremolo guitar sound that made Sam famous even further evoking CCR and Tony Joe White. Venerated D.C. area keyboardist, Tam Sullivan, adds luscious piano and organ to the Bobby “Blue” Bland soul blues classic ‘Lead Me On,’ creating a vehicle for Johnny to ramp up the drama with his enduring vocal and sweet lead guitar. Johnny and the boys then get funky on the ode to shapely curves and Johnny’s other obsession and day job at JT Auto Service, ‘Body And Fender Man,’ originally written by Doc Pomus and Duke Robillard for Baton Rouge soul singer Johnny Adams. They smooth out the groove, while staying true to the guitar riff created by Chet Atkins, on 1957 Rockabilly B side hit ‘Chicken House.’ Lowell Fulson’s 1957 hit for Chess Records, ‘Rock ‘Em Dead,’ is given the Headhunter treatment, pushing the boogie woogie up a notch to a full-tilt dance-floor-filling roadhouse shuffle, and the frenzy continues for the blazing rip thru Elmore James slide guitar bombast ‘Shake Your Money Maker.’

Johnny pays tribute to one of the unsung heroes of reverb-soaked Garage Rock with a fun-loving take of Link Wray surf guitar instrumental ‘Ace Of Spades’ tossing in a little bit of Switchblade for good measure. Power house vocalist Liz Springer from acclaimed D.C. band Built 4 Comfort, is the special guest for the sassy duet ‘Watch And Chain,’ trading barbs with Johnny like June Carter on the late 60’s Bo Diddley beat romp from the Donovan catalog. A second Magic Sam cover, the classic Chicago Blues shuffle from 1958 ‘All My Whole Life,’ showcases Johnny’s guitar skills and the crack Headhunter rhythm section. Everyone shines on ‘Collins Mambo,’ closing the album with another high energy instrumental that has Johnny blending elements from several of Texas bluesman Albert Collins’ legendary ice-pick riffs into a dance hall fiesta.

Rick J Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

At the tender age of six, Johnny began learning to play the guitar. This early training paid off; he was soon the top pick for young, budding bands in the D.C. area. The hot shot quickly picked up all the era’s popular songs such as The Animals, Beatles, Steppenwolf, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin.

Johnny attended University of Miami where he earned a degree in Psychology, but the real focus of his education was on the blues. He soon met Bruce Ewan, harmonica player and brother of blues man, Bobby Radcliff. Bruce and Johnny became record connoisseurs hunting record conventions for blues records and listened to many of the records Bruce had mysteriously confiscated from his brother. Some of these were the recordings of Bobby “Blue” Bland, Otis Rush, Little Milton, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Guitar Slim, T-Bone Walker, The Meters, and of course, the legendary records of Magic Sam. Johnny started playing nothing but the blues.

Over the course of his travels, Johnny became friends with a fine harmonica player named Larry Wise. Larry was known for touring with famous blues men and introduced Johnny to Louisiana Red. The three became known as “Nobody’s Children” and began a whirlwind tour of the US and Canada. With hit records such as Red’s Dream and Sweet Bloodcall, Louisiana Red enabled Johnny to play with many other blues masters. Nobody’s Children toured, played festivals and shared the stage with greats such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton, Memphis Slim, Nina Simone, Taj Mahal, Duke Robillard, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Albert Collins, Albert King, Big Moose Walker (Earl Hooker’s piano player), Muddy Waters, Big Walter, Pinetop Perkins, Luther Allison and many more.

Johnny stayed for some time with Sunnyland Slim, Legendary Chicago piano player and a member of Muddy Waters Band. He became friendly with Lurrie Bell, and together, would go to sit in clubs on the North side of Chicago. One night they went to see Big Walter Horton play with Eddie Taylor. Outside the club they met Steve Guyger and Eddie, taking a band break. Steve was an up and coming harmonica player from the Philadelphia area. The boys got to play with the band, featuring Eddie Taylor, Big Walter, Odie Payne, Louis Meyers, and Pinetop.

Upon coming home in 1982, Johnny was asked to replace the guitarist in the band that Steve Guyger had started in Philadelphia called The Excellos. Johnny had already been a guitar player for the legendary band Rockett 88 from Wilmington, Delaware. The Excellos played places in Philadelphia such as J.C. Dobbs with bands like The Stray Cats opening for them. It was with the culmination of all these experiences and the knowledge he learned, Johnny moved back to Washington D.C. to form Johnny and the Headhunters, which is now a trio with guitar, bass and drums. The Headhunters have performed for over three decades in and around the Nation’s Capital, along the whole East Coast as well as popular in the Manhattan club scene especially at “Manny’s Car Wash,” a favorite Upper East Side blues hot spot. The band has played shows with Pete Ragusa, drummer and Grammy-nominated producer for the internationally acclaimed Nighthawks.

 

RELEASE DATE
AUGUST 24, 2018
DISTRIBUTION
CD BABY
LINKS
Artist Website
Artist Facebook

Brigitte Purdy – Still I Rise

In the tradition of the great ladies of song such as; Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown, Etta James and Aretha Franklin, Los Angeles born Brigitte (pronounced Bridget) Purdy uses her versatility to preform music across a range of genres from classical to blues, funk, rock, jazz and soul. She captivates the listener with a sultry, powerful and emotive vocal skills that can go from a whisper to a scream, while pouring all her emotions in to every note. The Dorothy Chandler Conservatory grad displays all her talents on her latest album “Still I Rise.” The collection of ten original tracks is the fruit of Purdy’s collaboration with Southern Californian guitarist Dave Osti, who produced, co-wrote and played in the Blues Angel rhythm section that recorded the basic tracks at Loveless Motel Studios in Sierra Madre California with Billy Burke. The teamwork on this album allowed Purdy and her talents as a singer, lyricist and songwriter to rise to their full potential.

Blues Music Award winner and Grammy nominee, Kenny Neal, makes a guest spot on the opening track ‘Hoodoo,’ with his hot harmonica adding genuine Louisiana spice to the powerhouse blues shuffle. Purdy wears her heart on her sleeve on the inspirational ‘Be The Light,’ urging her brothers and sisters to “love one another and be true to you” on the swinging gospel fueled ballad. She then demonstrates her grit on the Texas Blues ‘Home Is In My Heart,’ making a bold declaration of her territory. Osti rips hot lead guitar and honky-tonk piano on the up-tempo southern fried swing ‘My Kinda Blues,’ with Purdy and her throaty alto spelling out how to win her love. The dramatic ballad ‘Last Time,’ showcases Purdy’s vocal range, drawing instant comparisons to Etta James and Shemekia Copeland, as she soars above the classic R&B arrangement.

Purdy lets her sass and spunk rip, playing the woman scorned on the keen deep shag funk track ‘Get It Understood,’ and laying down the rules “don’t call me baby, don’t call me sugar, get it understood.” The groove stays funky on the playful tale of temptation ‘If I Could,’ with Purdy trying to convince herself to remain faithful to her “sweet lovin’ man.” The loving tribute to B.B. King and his beloved guitar ‘Lucille Don’t You Weep,’ is a glorious production number inspired by the master bluesman that references several of his iconic songs lyrically and sonically, adding strings, backing vocals and of course a brilliant lead guitar solo to a sultry R&B ballad.

Award-winning and chart-topping songwriter, Donnell Spencer Jr., lends his talents to ‘Blues Angel,’ playing drums on the flowing neo-soul track that has terrific crossover potential for multiple radio formats. Drake ‘Munkihaid’ Shining, keyboardist from the Sugaray Rayford Band, leads the charge on orchestral closing title track ‘Still I Rise.’ The passion play begins with delicate underpinnings and builds to a spectacular musical climax with Purdy’s anthem of personal triumph pushing her vocal and emotional skills to the limits and beyond. “Still I Rise” from Bridgett Purdy will certainly further solidify her as an emerging star in the roots, R&B and blues scene.

Rick J Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

Brigitte was born and raised in Los Angeles. From an early age, her family cultivated her artistry by immersing her in the rich sounds of blues and gospel. Her father was a blues guitarist and would often showcase her talents at family gatherings. At the tender age of five, she was hand-picked by the choir director to perform her first solo. At the age of 13, her mother heard an announcement on the radio for auditions at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Brigitte competed against hundreds of young hopefuls for a chance to enter the Dorothy Chandler Conservatory. She was selected and subsequently trained by the best in the business.

Brigitte began performing at the Ahmanson Theater and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. She has been blessed to share the stage with talents such as Dionne Warwick, Marilyn McCoo, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and Tierra, among many others. She also enjoyed working with Hal Davis of Motown Records. Among her many vocal gigs, Brigitte was a background vocalist for Paul Rodgers on the Jimi Hendrix/Muddy Waters Tour. She was given the incredible opportunity to tour the globe with The U.S.A. Girls, entertaining the troops overseas for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Brigitte is forever grateful for the opportunities she has been given. She loves people and loves to give of her time and talents. Believing strongly in the power of mentoring, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in the humanities and enjoys giving back to her community.

Brigitte uses her sultry, powerful and emotive range to captivate an audience. She can go from a gentle purr to a sonic boom within seconds, while pouring her heart into every note. Her incredible versatility ranges from classical to blues, funk, rock, jazz and soul, each delivered with her unique and passionate style.

LABEL
DIRTSHACK RECORDS
RELEASE DATE
JUNE 1, 2018
DISTRIBUTION
CD BABY
LINKS
Artist Website
Artist Facebook

 

Al Basile – Me & The Originator

 

Me & The Originator is Al Basile fifteenth release on Sweetspot years. It’s a concept album which tells a story through a hybrid of narration and songs about an imaginary musician who has a career which harbors a dark secret. This CD asks the questions ‘who makes the song?’ and ‘Who can can call a song their own?’ – another way of thinking about the history of blues as it has passed down to us latter day interpreters. Produced by Duke Robillard, with the same lineup as on Al’s BMA nominated best contemporary blues album Mid-Century Modern in 2016.

  Al Basile grew up in a park in Haverhill,             Massachusetts. He graduated from Phillips       Academy  in 1966, and in 1970 he was the first to receive a Master’s Degree from the Brown University Writing Program. He began his musical career as a cornet player with Roomful of Blues in 1973, and has worked with the Duke Robillard Band as a songwriter and recording member since 1990, appearing on twelve CDs and a DVD; his songs have been used in films and television and covered by such artists as Ruth Brown and Johnny Rawls, and bands New Jump Blues and the Knickerbocker All Stars. He has fifteen solo blues and roots CDs out under his own name, the majority having reached the top 15 on the Living Blues airplay charts in their year of release. They have all been produced by Robillard and feature his guitar playing and many former Roomful members: guest artists have included the Blind Boys of Alabama, jazz great Scott Hamilton, and the late Sista Monica Parker. He has been nominated seven times since 2010 for a Blues Music Award as best horn player; his 2016 CD Mid-Century Modernwas nominated as Best Contemporary Blues Album. He is also a prize-winning poet, with two published books, 2011’s A Lit House and 2017’s Tonesmith. He taught full time at the Providence Country Day School in East Providence, RI from 1980-2005 and since then has concentrated on his  writing, performing, and recording.