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
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Davis Coen

“These Things Shall Pass,” the tenth full-album release from MS-based musician Davis Coen, fulfills his long-standing goal of recording an entire spiritual-based album. The album nods to a wide range of classic song selections, spanning from time-tested traditional American hymns, such as ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’ and ‘Old Rugged Cross,’ to classic gospel radio cuts as Willie Banks and the Messengers’ ‘Working For Jesus,’ and the title cut, Stuart Hamblen’s ‘These Things Shall Pass,’ famously covered by country music legends Hank Snow and Johnny Cash. The album also has six original songs, including light-hearted duets ‘Saint Christopher’ and ‘Jesus’ Hand,’ with former Billy Joe Shaver’s guitarist Patrick McClary from Jackson, MS vocally accompanying Coen. It was recorded at Sand Dog Studios in Batesville, MS, and co-produced by the album’s drummer Ryan Rogers with Coen.Coen’s recordings are strongly rooted in blues, country and religious-based music. He characterizes his style as “contemporary country-blues” – a modern culmination of the hodgepodge of musical influences absorbed from living in the Mid-South and continual touring. He has played festivals, clubs, and bars throughout the U.S. for over twenty years and been billed repeatedly at world-renowned Mid-South regional events such as King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, AR and Juke Joint Festival in the Mississippi Delta. Davis has also enjoyed a dozen blues circuit tours of Europe, sharing bills with R.L. Burnside, Koko Taylor, Big Jack Johnson, David “Honeyboy” Edwards & Bo Diddley. He’s also headlined on more diversified festival bills with Wynton Marsalis, Leon Russell, Bonnie Raitt, Tito Puente, Toots & the Maytals, Richie Havens, Mountain & Eric Burdon.

Coen’s music has been featured in several TV broadcasts, including Martin Scorsese’s PBS special “The Blues;” reality cable show “Lizard Lick Towing;” and a documentary on the music of the late hill-country Mississippi blues matriarch Jessie Mae Hemphill, “Dare You To Do It Again.” Coen’s accomplishments have also included spotlights on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “World Café” programs, Dan Aykroyd’s weekly “Elwood’s Bluesmobile” and a ten-year run on SiriusXM’s “Bluesville” channel.

TITLE
THESE THINGS SHALL PASS
LABEL
SOUNDVIEW
RELEASE DATE
APRIL 7, 2017
DISTRIBUTION
SOUNDVIEW
LINKS
Artist Website
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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
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Bobby Messano’s new album “Bad Movie” set for release on April 14, 2017

Legendary guitarist and contemporary blues artist Bobby Messano has been around the block a time or two having been the music director for Steve Winwood, Lou Gramm and Country artists Jimmy Wayne, Rodney Atkins and Steve Holy. He also released seven of his own albums and between 2012 and 2016, Bobby played over 400 shows in 32 states to over a ½ million people.For his newest album “Bad Movie” set for a release on April 14, 2017, he combines his wealth of experience as a well-traveled musician to deliver some straight talk on the state of the world. The collection of fifteen incredible songs written with major co-writers Jon Tiven, Larry Weiss and Steve Kalinich runs the gamut from down and dirty blues to soaring Americana, straight ahead roots rock, a touch of country with slices of reggae, funk and soul; all styles Bobby has mastered in his diverse career that earned him a place in the NJ Blues Hall of Fame.

The trill of one of his custom guitars at the opening of the title track ‘Bad Movie’ simmers for a moment before igniting into the fiery tirade of a man who’s been done wrong, delivered via raucous Texas blues. The groove then shifts into the slinky soul blues of ‘Come To Your Senses,’ written by Queen founder Brian May and Jon Tiven, an unearthed gem that allows Bobby to plead his case for a lover’s return over a groove reminiscent of ‘The Thrill Is Gone.’ He then uses his Strat and vocal skills to dig deeper on the brooding ballad ‘Why Water A Dead Rose,’ laying his heart on the table. Trading out for an acoustic dobro Bobby takes us on a trip thru’ some Hill Country Blues he calls the ‘Road to Oblivion,’ traveling light and taking his sweet time. Bobby takes clever liberties with current political catch phrases and adds some heavy-duty horns and full-tilt blues rock guitar for the bombastic call-out of folks on both sides of the aisle ‘Unconventional Wisdom.’ The veteran bluesman then imparts a bit of wisdom on the funky Memphis soul-styled ‘Too Good To Be True,’ and updates the familiar Bo Diddley beat chant adding spaced out sonics to the mix of “If The Phone Ain’t Ringing, It’s Me Not Callin’.” Then lays out his plan for self- preservation on the rockin’ ‘Never Too Late To Break A Bad Habit.’ The subtle swing and sardonic double-entendre lyrics of ‘I Thought We Had This’ has the feel of a Randy Newman tune.

The album highlight sure to hit the airwaves is when the genuine country girl from Muscle Shoals, Alecia Elliott, joins Bobby for the acoustic-driven duet ‘Water Under The Bridge,’ questioning what are we all willing to do to save the world. The smooth island sounds buffer the heartache and deep blues of ‘You Left Me No Choice,’ while ‘The Girl That Got Away’ is dripping with bourbon-soaked despair and tasty guitar leads. Bobby boldly jumps into the immigration debate and declares we are all Americans and created equal on ‘We Need A Blessing’ and continues his call to action on ‘Is It Too Much To Hope For A Miracle.’ Bobby finishes out the set with the optimistic rock ‘n’ roll anthem ‘American Spring,’ pledging that “this boy is going to stick around and sing.”

“Bad Movie” will surely open new conversations between the artist and those who’ll listen, giving him more opportunity to share what he believes.

Rick J Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

Bobby Messano is a legendary guitarist and Contemporary Blues Artist who has released seven solo albums, placed songs in many TV network and cable shows and played on over 50 major label and Indie albums. His playing has been heard on everything from MTV jingles to Benny Mardones’ smash hit ‘Into The Night.’ The celebrated guitarist has played on records by Clarence Clemmons, Franke & The Knockouts, Joe Lynn Turner and STARZ, and produced the 60’s hit act, “The Shadows of Night.”

Live he has played guitar and been the music director for Steve Winwood, Lou Gramm and Country artists Jimmy Wayne, Rodney Atkins and Steve Holy. Bobby has played BAMFEST, The Charleston Blues Festival, Smokin’ In Steel, Summerfest, Charlotte Speed Street, Blues Brews & BBQ, Blues At The Beach, Bayfront Blues Festival, Deltaville Seafood Festival, Willow River Blues Fest, Ambassador Blues Fest, Colonial Beach Blues Festival, and Southern Maryland Blues Festival. Between 2012 and 2016, Bobby played over 400 shows in 32 states to over a ½ million people.

The guitarist’s last five albums (“Holdin’ Ground,” “Bobby Messano Live In Madison,” “That’s Why I Don’t Sing The Blues,” “Welcome To Deltaville” and “Love & Money”) have garnered airplay on over 275 blues radio shows and his music is heard daily on SiriusXM’s “Bluesville.” “That’s Why I Don’t Sing The Blues” was on the American Blues Scene’s Top 5 Chart for 24 weeks and was named 2012 Top Blues Rock Album (USA) by Blues Underground Network. On December 22, 2012, Bobby was inducted into the NJ Blues Hall of Fame.

“Love & Money,” released in April 2015, was nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award for “Best Rock Blues Album.” It debuted on the Billboard Blues Chart at #7, peaked at #1 and spent a total of nine weeks in the Top 10. It was also #7 on the Billboard Heat Seekers Chart and Top 40 on both the Billboard Rock and Indie Charts.

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TITLE
BAD MOVIE
LABEL
THE PRINCE FROG RECORD COMPANY
RELEASE DATE
APRIL 14, 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

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

Mott and his quartet are ready to make their mark on the world with his first effort as a solo blues artist, “Quit The Women For the Blues,” released February 3, 2017. The title track opens the album with a snap crack bang from drummer Andrei Koribanics setting up the groove for Sean Ronan (guitar), Dean Shot (upright, electric bass) before Mott joins with his full-throated growl and scorching blues harp. New Jersey working bluesman Vin Mott and his band are undoubtedly versed in the ways of Chester Burnett. You’ll swear you just set the needle down on a Chess records vinyl from 1952.The ten original tracks, all written and arranged by Vincent Michael Mott, draw heavily from the heroes of Chicago and Memphis blues, paying homage to originators such as James Cotton, Little Walter, Junior Parker, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf, while adding the band’s own flare and modern sensibility. The sound is live and raw, ballsy and guttural, a true testament to the 12-bar blues form with every instrument in the band working together to find the perfect groove. Mott’s lyrics are angry, sometimes sarcastic, written with urgency, and a nothing to hide no holding back attitude.

‘Don’t Make Me Laugh’ is scathing rebuke of a hard-headed women and ‘The Factory’ is a lowdown blues for the modern times. Ronan becomes the reincarnation of Elmore James and the rhythm section digs a shuffle groove a mile deep allowing Mott to spell out his blues philosophy ‘I’m A Filthy Man.’ Mott’s harp howls that lonesome whistle call and sets up the tempo for the relentless beat of ‘Freight Train.’ He then plants his tongue firmly in cheek on the slinky time shifting rhumba/swing ‘I Wanna Get Ruff With You.’ Mott does let his sweet side show in the original ballad ‘Living The Blues.’ The quartet swings for the fences closing out the set with ‘Hott Mott’s Theme,’ a showcase of the bands formidable chops and fiery style.

Rick J Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

“One of the area’s best harmonica players and musician,” “…the hottest blues band in Jersey,” and “the next generation of the blues” are some of the most common phrases being used to describe one of North Jersey’s youngest and hardest working band leaders, Vin Mott. Upon witnessing one of his band’s electrifying live shows, it becomes clear what all the buzz is about, and why such accolades as ‘the one carrying the torch” seems to surround his name.

Vin Mott is 27 years old from Pequannock, NJ. It was in high school when Vin began discovering his love of blues and roots music, the sound of the harmonica, and began teaching himself, with a little help from the internet, to play the blues harp. In 2007 Vin went on to study music at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he graduated in 2011 with a BA in Songwriting. By the late summer of 2013 Vin had returned home to New Jersey. Over the next several years Vin, along with the help of guitarist Sean Ronan, would book countless gigs in local taverns, roadhouses, and restaurants such as the Great Notch Inn, the Robin’s Nest Rhythm & Blues, Hat City Kitchen, and Ruthie’s BBQ & Pizza, as well as branching into Eastern PA and the Philadelphia area. The live band has included some of the areas most talented young Jazz, blues, and roots musicians.

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TITLE
QUIT THE WOMEN FOR THE BLUES
LABEL
SELF
RELEASE DATE
FEBRUARY 3, 2017
DISTRIBUTION
CD BABY
LINKS
Artist Website
Artist Facebook

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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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Doug MacLeod – Live in Europe

Here we have a new album recorded live some years ago, back in 2006 to be precise. Now, a full decade down the road, it sees the light of day, begging the question why has it taken so long? For this is a release that captures the very essence of MacLeod live: his near-droll, languid laid-back vocal delivery perfectly matched by his soulful, deceptively understated fine resonator slide fretwork and tasteful picking. As ever with this guy, the lyrics reflect his own experiences, mini-memoirs for the most part, and echo his usual themes of life on the road, love and hardship and simpering pleasures greatly appreciated, with eight of the nine tracks self-written. The sole exception is his extended – a full fourteen minute take – cover of Bukka White’s old standard “Panama Limited”, which despite its length and being a train-song – never wanes or bores. Instead it serves as a clear, shining example of MacLeod doing what he does best and clearly hauling the audience along with him down the tracks. Dubb, as he’s affectionately known, is a repeated Memphis Blues Challenge award winner, again picking up another gong earlier this year for his work. With this album, where he grumbles about feeling under the weather during the session, he illustrates just why he has a growing reputation and following in the world of acoustic blues music. A positively excellent album, a must for all lovers of the genre. Don’t let this one slip away.

Jon Gindick

Harmonicist and guitarist Jon Gindick has long been known as one of the most exciting harmonica players and teachers on the international scene. His books on playing blues harmonica have sold over a million copies and have inspired tens of thousands to play the harmonica.

His Mississippi Delta Blues Harmonica Jam Camps held several times a year in Clarksdale, Mississippi and Ventura, California are world famous. His act as a single performer, playing harmonica & guitar and singing his songs has opened festivals and earned standing ovations. Throughout Jon’s long career he has written over a hundred songs, and has taught others the arts of writing.

Now — with the help of producer multi-instrumentalist Ralph Carter– Jon has come forth with an album of refreshing imagination and musical originality. It’s a recording of all Jon-written tunes–each expressing universal feelings and truths with a refreshing blend of folk, blues, jazz, funk and blues harmonica virtuosity.

Jon’s Blues Harmonica Jam Camps

www.gindick.com

Harmonica players from all over the world come to Jon’s Blues Harmonica Jam Camps, exciting teaching, learning, jamming and performing events that focus on getting the pupil to play blues harmonica and sing with a band. Jon works with five great harmonica players who help him coach to play harp, sing, write songs, perform and get musically crazy and creative over a five-day period in a great (and affordable) location. Some of the people who come are raw beginners, and some are very good players. Enrollment is limited to about 30 people.

His coaches are Cheryl Arena, Boston-based blues harmonica diva, RJ Mischo, touring pro, Hash Brown, world-renown guitar and harmonica blues artist, TJ Klay, singer songwriter, rack player, over-blow superb and Brian Purdy, Mr. Technical, to teach harmonica repair and tuning, the elements of tone and those all-important basics. Get more information at the site devoted to Blues Harmonica Jam Camp.

These 5-day events take place in great environments – the Mississippi location is the The Shack Up Inn just outside Clarksdale, 90 miles south of Memphis at Highway 49 and 61. Ventura is 90 minutes north of Los Angeles, on the ocean.