GORDON MEIER BLUES EXPERIENCE

 

“Every musician is a product of their influences. It would be dishonest for me to deny the influence of B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins and others however the two profound “game changers” were Freddie King and Magic Slim. A quote from B.B. or Muddy may come at any time in my performance, but the giants who take me to the gig and stand with me are Slim and Freddie. Freddie was an obsession of mine throughout the ’70s. I played all of his instrumentals as have many famous guitarists. In the late ’70s, I discovered another giant. While searching the record bins at a record store known for obscure recordings, I discovered Magic Slim and The Teardrops. This lead to a pilgrimage to Chicago in the hopes of finding Slim. The liner notes on the Austrian record label said that he was in Chicago and was relatively undiscovered. At the time, there was at least 50 blues clubs in Chicago cooking every night of the week. I only knew of two; B.L.U.E.S. on N. Halstead and The Checkerboard Lounge (owned at the time by Buddy Guy and Jr. Wells) in the South Side. There was no internet. If you wanted to find something, you had to search and ask…. a lot. So, my quest began to find Magic Slim. I drove to Chicago and went to B.L.U.E.S. on N. Halstead to ask about Slim’s whereabouts. When I got there, Magic Slim and The Teardrops were playing! It was packed so I couldn’t talk to Slim. The following night, I went to the only other club I knew of, The Checkerboard Lounge. I walked in and saw Slim sitting at the bar. I introduced myself and explained my shock and disbelief that I found him two nights in a row with no prior knowledge of his whereabouts. He looked at me and said “Well…that’s why they call me Magic Slim”. That began a friendship that lasted over 30 years until his passing in Feb. 2013. I became very close to Slim and his band and played with them many times through the years. John Primer was the last guitar player in Muddy’s band and when Muddy passed, John went with Slim.

In the 13 years that John spent with Slim, we also became good friends. One of my favorite tunes by John is covered on this album, “Stop Draggin’ That Chain Around”. Slim encouraged and inspired me to find my own voice in performing the blues. If there’s a moment while listening to this album that you find yourself tapping your feet or playing air guitar or drums, I’ve succeeded in bringing you Magic. Whether it was Magic Slim or Freddie King that lead to that moment, it’s clear to me that they are both responsible for the way I interpret my music and so I have named this album……..MAGIC KINGDOM. Hopefully, you will find this album inspirational in some way and together we can share these moments that help to keep the Blues Alive!” Gordon Meier

JIM ALLCHIN

 

Fret board aficionados, tone junkies and fans of hot stove blues guitar will be glad to hear the return of Seattle guitarist Jim Allchin, who is preaching to the choir on his third album “Decisions.” The 14 tracks were recorded at the famed Blackbird Studio in Nashville by a production team led by Grammy winning producer, drummer and songwriter Tom Hambridge. The group of A list players involved also includes Michael Rhodes on Bass, Reese Wynans on piano and Hammond B3, Guitarists Pat Buchannan and Rob McNelly and the “Heart Attack Horns,” led by Bill Bergman and Lee Thornburg. If this wasn’t enough fire power Allchin and Hambridge recruited Niki Crawford, Wendy Moten, Seattle soul man Mycle Wastman and international blues super star Keb’ Mo’ to join in on vocals, rounding out the all-star team.
The core quartet opens the album on the rockin’ blues shuffle ‘Artificial Life,’ with Allchin extolling the turmoil and tribulations of the modern-day working man blues. The team then heads south of the border on a rollicking trip to ‘The Mexican End,’ an easy going four-on-the-floor groove with hot horns and lead guitar. Allchin then cranks up the volume for the heavy hitting track ‘Bad Decisions,’ featuring more molten fret work and organ from Wynans on one of several songs co-written by Hambridge. The mood mellows for the introspective ‘Healing Ground,’ with Allchin trading verses with Keb’ Mo’ speaking to the precious gift of life that surrounds us and the power of healing available to all, if we will only listen.

The house rockin’ shuffle ‘Blew Me Away’ features the “Heart Attack Horns,” who bolster Allchin’s guitar chops on a good old-fashioned song about falling in love at first sight. The piano driven ‘She Is It’ continues the theme as he testifies to the virtues of the love of his life during the easy pop ballad. The gang whip out all the Nashville cat tricks on the blazing boogie woogie instrumental ‘Just Plain Sick,’ trading hot licks like old pros. The barn-burning slow blues ‘Friends’ rolls out like a staple from the B.B King songbook, with Allchin delivering a sermon on trust and being wary of fair-weather toadies and sycophants. Allchin dons an acoustic guitar to emphasize his point and our need for peace and understanding delivered via the easy-going country blues of ‘You Might Be Wrong,’ celebrating our differences in a party atmosphere to sell an important life lesson. The second instrumental in this collection centers around soaring guitar melodies and intertwining harmonic lines that ebb and flow with emotion. The edgy ‘Don’t Care’ finds Allchin playing the role of a man done wrong and standing his ground while his guitar does most of the talking. He then digs deeper into the blues for the torch song ‘Stop Hurting Me,’ featuring dulcet piano from Wynans and a solo from Allchin that rips like Garry Moore. The tender tribute ‘My Father’s Eyes,’ will touch the heart of anyone who lost a parent at an early age and longs for them to know how much they are missed and still loved. The album closes with a third guitar-driven instrumental simply titled ‘Destiny,’ with Allchin pouring out the passion he feels for this magical instrument, through his fingertips.

Jim Allchin describes the collection in the album notes as a study in the decisions we make in our life about identity, relationships, and “how to live life authentically.” Themes reflected in the lyrical content and in the choice of every note from his cerebral guitar work and soulful vocals. This is quite an album; the stuff dreams are made of.

 

TITLE
DECISIONS
LABEL
SANDY KEY MUSIC
RELEASE DATE
JUNE 16, 2017
LINKS
Artist Website
Artist Facebook

Vintage#18 debut album release date April 21

 

 “Grit” is the debut album from Vintage#18, recorded in 2016, after their participation at that year’s International Blues Challenge, at which they gained plentiful insights and experience. An eclectic music mix of 11 tunes, nine of which are original, were recorded at Gizmo Recording Company in Silver Spring, Maryland with all four artists involved in the production of the album.BIOGRAPHY

Since 2013, Vintage#18 has become well-known in a very short time as a dynamic soul and blues band igniting stages throughout the Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. areas with their engaging live performance and stick-to-your-bones groove.

Built on a framework of talented and dedicated musicians, the band features the vintage sound of Bill Holter (guitar), with the groove laid by Alex Kuldell (drums) and Mark Chandler (bass), with sultry lead vocals by Robbin Kapsalis, captivating audiences with her soulful voice and infectious live show.

The energy of the band is undeniable and together Vintage#18 delivers hard-driving blues rhythms and soul grooves you can move to. The band has many influences – a host of Stax and Chess artists.

ROBBIN KAPSALIS

Robbin was born in Chicago and raised in Atlanta. Her introduction to blues was from her Aunt Ida Bell, who would play Koko Taylor, Etta James and Muddy Waters whenever Robbin would visit. A passionate, gritty performer, Robbin delivers foot-stomping blues with fervor and style.

BILL HOLTER

Bill has long been sought out by other guitarists who completely dig his tone and phrasing. His early work was in the “blues/rock” crossover tradition, but later spiced his vocabulary with Eastern and American jazz points of view. Bill’s studio and live credits include Failsafe, The Roadducks (auxiliary), Prime Suspects, Radical Trust, Johnny Artis, The Seductones (and No Budget Productions), Jimbo Manion and Monster Fun Package, and the Bay City Rollers. He has opened for Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, The Coasters, The Drifters, Molly Hatchet and many more. A vintage instrument dealer, his is an opinion of choice for many pro players.

ALEX KULDELL

It’s often held that drummers who come through the military are steps above many other players; we know that Alex is. His technical discipline could be assumed, but beyond that he takes a wide view of his instrument that transcends traditional percussion playing. A very “total” approach. It was really his enthusiasm for transplanting accepted playing techniques to new areas that sparked the experimentation that the band enjoys now. Our chief mechanic.

MARK CHANDLER

Professionally, Mark almost always played bass, with some keyboards thrown in. Starting with jazz and “progressive” rock, it wasn’t until later that a reacquaintance with folk and roots music led him to styles that inform his playing today. Credits include Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Daryl Davis, Sleepy LaBeef, The Coasters, Linwood Taylor, Charley Sayles and Jimm Altman.

 

TITLE  GRIT

LABEL SELF
RELEASE DATE  APRIL 21, 2017
DISTRIBUTION CD BABY
LINKS
Artist Website
Artist Facebook

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Jim Gustin & Truth Jones

“Memphis,” the sophomore album from Jim Gustin (as in gust of wind plus in) & Truth Jones, is a bountiful collection of ten original tunes by Jim Gustin, four of which are co-written with his performance partner, Jeri Goldenhar (aka Truth Jones). The new opus is the long-awaited follow-up to their critically-acclaimed debut recording, “Can’t Shed A Tear”, released in 2013 that reached the Top 20 RMR Blues Album Chart. Both were produced by Terry Wilson (Eric Burden, Teresa James, Ana Popovic, to name a few).BIOGRAPHY

Jim Gustin is a blues singer and guitarist from Santa Clarita California. He has a distinctive, powerful voice; soulful and deep with a smoky rasp, and is a passionate and energetic performer. He is also a very solid guitarist with great tone and a funky feel. Jeri Goldenhar, aka Truth Jones, has been singing since she was a little girl, although at over six feet tall, it’s hard to imagine her as a knee high, little red-headed child. She has a big voice to match her impressive stature. She can belt out gospel and soul seldom heard from suburban white girls.

Together, they provide a powerful one-two vocal punch that is rare amongst blues acts. They sound great blended together as well as each bringing a distinctive flavor to create the band’s unique sound. They have well written catchy songs that come from and are performed from the heart.

Jim has been playing music for over 30 years in and around the LA area. His first gig on guitar was at the Los Angeles Sports arena in front of 10,000 people. He has performed at Staples Center prior to an LA Kings game. He has performed at the SCV Blues Festival, The Ventura County Blues Festival, Thunder on the Lot, AV and LA County Fairs, Glory 2016, GIVE-Apalooza, Gracefest AV and SCV, countless bars and clubs, including; The Canyon Club, The Rose, The Saban Theater, Arcadia Blues Club, Malarkey’s, Sagebrush Cantina, The Coach House, Maui Sugar Mill, and many more.

He has opened for or performed with many notable performers including; Three Dog Night, Tommy Castro, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Chris Duarte, Teresa James, Coco Montoya, John Nemeth, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Delgado Bros, Deb Ryder, Dallas Hodge, Shari Puorto, Chase Walker, Darrell Mansfield, Sean Jones, Tommy Marsh, Ray Goren and many more.

They perform regularly at their church and at benefits for Susan G. Komen, Help the Children and our military veterans. They are member of the LA, SCV, Socal and Ventura County Blues Societies as well as The Blues Foundation.

 

 

https://youtu.be/m_relUUFVi4

Memphis_CoverArt

TITLE
MEMPHIS
LABEL
SELF
RELEASE DATE
MARCH 31, 2017
DISTRIBUTION
CD BABY
LINKS
Artist Website
Artist Facebook

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TruthJones&Jim,Gustin_COL02

Patty Reese

“This collection of songs is an honest representation of who I am, where I come from and where my heart is. The Blues remains the rock on which I have built every song I’ve ever written. I also love to incorporate songs by artists that inspire me and this time it was Steve Earle and Bob Dylan.” Patty ReeseWith a superb balance of steamy and sultry, power and passion in her vocals and the ability to cover a wide range of dynamics and genres, from rockin’ blues to power soul and smooth ballads, Patty Reese delivers the full package on her new album “Let In The Sun.” Reese is winner of 17 Washington Area Music Association “WAMMIES” including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year and Roots Rock Vocalist.

Her fourth album, released January of 2017 on the cooperative label Azalea City Recordings, features nine new original tunes and two inspired covers that demonstrate Reese’s skills as a music stylist bar none. The album features guitarist Jonathan Sloane; bassist Sonny Petrosky; drummer Andy Hamburger and Tommy Lepson on keys (co-producer with Reese).

Opening with the swampy blues ‘Is It Too Late For Me?,’ featuring wicked slide guitar from Jonathan Sloane, followed by the greasy Texas shuffle Your Love,’ then the supersonic horn funk ‘Soul Satisfier,’ a track that could have been from the Lydia Pence and Cold Blood catalog. And just when you are ready to put Reese into the blues shouter category she gets soft and intimate during the smooth-swinging torch song ‘I Won’t Let You Down.’ The title track is glorious bit of gospel of infused joy and optimism, recorded “Live” at Airshow Mastering in Takoma Park, MD that features the Patty Reese band’s ability to gel and jam without any overdubs. The feel-good vibe of ‘Radio Song’ has a 70’s Bonnie Raitt sound that celebrates the power of music. Reese and company bust out a dish Cajun flavored second line on the house party track ‘Awesome Sauce’ and get little country for the hill stomp ‘I Hear A Lie.’ The Bob Dylan classic ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ is given a soulful reading with Reese breathing tender mercy into the vaunted lyric. Reese closes the album on acoustic guitar with the lovers’ lament ‘Goodbye,’ an elusive gem written by Steve Earle that she makes her own. “Let In The Sun” is certain to shine a light on Patty Reese and her many talents.

Rick J. Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

Patty Reese is a fan favorite and critics’ choice in the Mid-Atlantic region and over the years she’s collected enough WAMMIES (Washington Area Music Awards) to fill a major DC pothole. Awards include Album of the Year, Artist of the Year and Roots Rock Band and Vocalist as well as national awards for songwriting.

An acoustic and intimate house concert, rocking the house at the Birchmere, commanding a standing ovation at Maryland’s Strathmore Music Hall on the Woodstock tribute, that’s where you might have seen Patty Reese and you can be sure she was lighting the place up with uninhibited effervescence. Her strong songwriting, dynamic vocals and solid guitar work make her a powerful solo act—or add in a mega talented band of music vets and lookout!

Comparisons have been made that Reese also claims as influences, including Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan. Proven a great match up with national Blues and Roots luminaries, Patty has supported many including Beth Hart, Delbert McClinton, Tab Benoit, Jimmie Vaughan and Dr John.

Patty’s previous release, ”Strong Medicine,” (WAMA’s Album of the Year) held the #1 position on the AirPlay Direct Global Radio Indicator Charts™ (displaying the top singles downloaded for airplay by radio programmers) for four weeks and has been played on over 700 stations worldwide.

Her January 2017 release “Let In The Sun” on Azalea City Recordings label, just keeps delivering song after song with clever, timely subjects and solid musical prowess. Aside from the title track ‘Let In The Sun’ other standout songs are ‘Awesome Sauce’ incorporating a New Orleans “second line” groove. The song title itself is a good analogy for the mix of musical styles, love and energy that is delivered here. ‘Good Neighbor,’ a song everyone can relate to, takes familiar thoughts and winds them unpredictably into a rant of the good and bad things about neighbors.

Says Reese:

“Music has always been my inspiration, my challenge, and a respite and safe harbor to express my sorrow, pain, anger, love, humor and everything that makes us human. I’ve always had a strong desire to explore, grow and improve. I love the work of being a musician—meeting new friends and fellow music lovers, a life surrounded by musicians and fellow creatives, being in a new place every night—it’s always new, always fresh.”

letinthesun_coverart

TITLE
LET IN THE SUN
LABEL
AZALEA CITY RECORDINGS
RELEASE DATE
JANUARY 27, 2017
DISTRIBUTION
CD BABY
LINKS
Artist Website
Artist Facebook

Delta Moon – “Cabbagetown” is the new music project from the Atlanta-based blues and roots rock quartet,

“Cabbagetown” is the new music project from the Atlanta-based blues and roots rock quartet,

After
a long and successful European tour in spring 2016, the band reconvened
in Marlon Patton’s studio in Tucker, Georgia, to strike while still red
hot from playing six nights a week for the past several months. The
atmosphere was relaxed and fun, in a rural setting surrounded by great
gear, a Pyrenees pup named Leo, woods, chickens, vegetarian food and
lots of session ales.

Award-winning songwriter Tom Gray had several new Delta Moon classics ready to go – ‘Rock And Roll Girl,’ ‘The Day Before Tomorrow,’ ‘Just Lucky I Guess,’ and ‘Coolest Fools.’ Full-band renditions quickly followed with a few twists, Mark Johnson playing lap steel on ‘Rock And Roll Girl’ and Gray playing Spanish-style guitar on several songs. The rest of the original songs were written by the band in the studio, including ‘Refugee,’ ‘21st Century Man,’ ‘Cabbagetown Shuffle,’ ‘Sing Together’ and ‘Mad About You.’ This method of writing led to some interesting results with new emphasis on Franher Joseph’s rich bass voice, some non-slide lead playing by Johnson and Gray’s piano playing. In Johnson’s home studio Susannah Masarie and Kyshona Armstrong added backing vocals. Jon Liebman played harmonica on ‘Death Letter.’ Finally, the band headed to Bakos Amp Works to finish overdubs and mix the album in their old studio, now inhabited by the talented Jeff Bakos.

The opening track, ‘Rock and Roll Girl,’ is an autobiography of roots-rock dreams with a Springsteen like appeal. The free-flowing acoustic-driven groove of ‘The Day Before Tomorrow’ has an ultra-optimistic sensibility and alt-country flair. Franher Joseph moves to upright bass for the mostly acoustic introspective tome ‘Just Lucky I Guess’ and Gray picks some sublime lap steel guitar on the happy-go-lucky love song ‘Coolest Fools.’ Delta Moon are not ones to shy away from hot topics, taking on the viewpoint of the silent victims of the world’s problems on the provocative track ‘Refugee’ recounting their plight in multi-voiced narratives over a soulful groove. Gray switches to electric piano for the driving ‘Mad About You’ and drummer Patton lays down a phat hip hop beat to open the ultra-modern reading of ‘Death Letter’ with Jon Liebman adding greasy blues harmonica, sparing with Gray’s lap Steel. Another deep groove is at the center of Gray’s satirical look at our gadget-obsessed world on ‘21st Century Man,’ while the back-porch blues that inspired the album title ‘Cabbagetown Shuffle’ is a lively duel between Gray on Hawaiian guitar and Johnson on bottleneck slide. Gray leaves us with a lesson about our shared humanity on the gently rocking ‘Sing Together’ with Johnson preaching to the choir with more of his glistening slide guitar.

Rick J Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

Tom Gray and Mark Johnson met many years ago now in an Atlanta music store when Tom tried to sell Mark a Dobro out of the back of his van. Mark didn’t buy the guitar, but the two soon got together to swap slide guitar licks. That summer, on a pilgrimage to Clarksdale, Mississippi, Mark saw a huge yellow moon rise over Muddy Waters’ cabin and said, “That’s the name of my next band — Delta Moon.”

The idea of two slide guitarists in the same band is an unusual approach, but it works phenomenally well for Delta Moon. Tom and Mark started playing regularly in coffee shops and barbecue joints around Atlanta. In the early 2000s Delta Moon added a rhythm section and quickly gathered a wall-full of local “best” awards. After winning the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2003, the band widened its travels to include concerts and festivals in the US, Canada, and Europe. They have been touring ever since. Delta Moon’s music has been featured in television shows on Showtime, Lifetime, the Food Network and more.

The American Roots Music Association named Tom Gray 2008 Blues Songwriter of the Year. His songs have been recorded by Cyndi Lauper (including the hit “Money Changes Everything”), Manfred Mann, Carlene Carter, Bonnie Bramlett and many others.

Tom Gray: vocals, lap steel, guitar, keyboards, harmonica

Mark Johnson: guitar, banjo, backing vocals

Franher Joseph: bass, backing vocals

Marlon Patton: drums

Delta Moon. It’s the band’s 8th studio album and the follow-up to the award-winning 2015 release, Low Down, named one of the best blues records of the year by both Downbeat and Blues Music Magazine. The new album consists of nine original compositions and one cover of Son House’s timeless classic, ‘Death Letter.’

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North Mississippi Allstar and Anders Osborne – Freedom & Dreams

Freedom & Dreams, a collaboration between Anders Osborne and North Mississippi Allstars, finds New Orleans’ preeminent guitarist and his colleagues from the Magnolia State effortlessly working their way through a series of blues and folk tunes with a sublime confidence that can only come from years of casual jamming. Make no mistake, these guys are more than just partners; they are friends. The album opens with “Away, Way Too Long,” a swampy, laid-back blues number that sets the tone for what’s to come. Like much of Freedom & Dreams, the opening track develops slowly, building up like a cloud of thick South Louisiana fog. Even the peaks are subtle here, with solos—on “Lonely Love,” “Shining (Spacedust)” and “Kings And Peasants”—that are at once soaring and restrained. Then there’s the record’s centerpiece “Brush Up Against You,” a more-or-less instrumental blues undertaking that teeters on the avant-garde. Finally, the whole thing wraps up with a tribute to Osborne’s New Orleans blues roots, a modern reimagining of James Wayne’s “Junco Partner.” It’s a solid effort all around that, more than anything, comes off as a testament to the power of the low-key, carefree jam session.