Category: CD Review

Billy D & The Hoodoos

Billy D & The Hoodoos

Overnight Success
Rokdablu Records

Billy D & The HoodoosThe long awaited follow-up to Billy D & The Hoodoos’ 2013 debut album Somethin’s Wrong has finally arrived and it is filled with the same catchy songs with their bare-boned, rock-inflected riffs that made that first release so well received. There’s a lot of power behind the trio of guitarist Billy D, drummer Scott Van Dusen and bassist Joe Casimir who know how to bring across a message without overstating their instruments’ voices and that is clearly evident on the new album, Overnight Success.

Growing up in Chicago obviously influenced Billy’s musical path, blending the city’s …

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Sunday Wilde

Sunday Wilde

Blueberries & Grits
Hwy 11 Records

Sunday WildeCanadian blues artist Sunday Wilde with her sixth release, takes her down South to the land of the Delta where she has created a nostalgic feeling collection of songs that are truthful and sassy. Recorded in Memphis and Clarksdale with all the acoustic instrumentation, Blueberries & Grits features Wilde’s outstanding piano work and sultry vocals. Many of the tracks sound as if you’re being thrown back in time as it echoes the classic, timeless feel of bygone early blues.  It’s like they could have been taken directly out of a Storyville bawdy house in …

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Raphael Wressnig & Igor Prado

Raphael Wressnig & Igor Prado

The Soul Connection
Pepper Cake

Raphael Wressnig & Igor PradoAustrian-based Hammond B3 organist Raphael Wressnig is an extremely versatile player who was influenced by people like Jimmy Smith, Booker T Jones, Joe Zawinul, Jimmy McGriff, and Jack McDuff. With twenty discs under his belt, he has been capturing the attention of audiences around the world for the past twenty years with a variety of musical approaches that he molds into his own tasty version of funky, soulful and jazzy blues. He recently traveled to Brazil to join forces with Blues Music Award nominated guitarist Igor Prado for one delicious outing of funky instrumentals and …

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Joe Bonamassa

Live at the Greek Theater
J&R Adventures

Reviewed by Jeff Levine

This CD/ DVD is Joe Bonamassa’s tribute to the Three Kings of the Blues: BB, Albert, and Freddie. Recorded in the historic Los Angeles Greek Theater at the end of  2015, it features a full band with horns and singers. Anton Fig (drums), Michael Rhodes (bass), Reese Wynans (piano, Hammond organ), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, horn arrangements), Paulie Cerra (saxophone),  Ron Dziublia (Tenor Saxophone) Kirk Fletcher (Rhythm Guitar), with Mahalia MacRae and Juanita Tippins (vocals).

Joe Bonamassa’s started his career as a child and played with B.B. King on stage …

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Vasti Jackson

The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers
Vasteye Music

Recently, this year’s Grammy nominees were announced and among them was the latest release by Vasti Jackson, The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers, in the traditional category. Now, this may seem a little odd when you consider the album is a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, who has been called the original country performer, but you need to look back in time. Music was music in those early years and a lot of the songs being sung crossed ethnicity. It was only when companies began selling music that it was sorted into categories like …

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William Bell

This Is Where I Live

William Bell first made his mark on the soulful blues market back in 1961 when he released the song “You Don’t Miss Your Water” for the fledgling Stax label. Though perhaps not gaining the attention that many of his label mates may have ultimately received over time, the smooth vocalist and songwriter certainly left his mark creating a series of popular songs. Many of those songs became some of the label’s best known numbers including “I Forgot To Be Your Lover,” “Everyday will Be Like A Holiday,” “Share What You Got,” and most notably …

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Guy King

Delmark Records

Chicago-based Guy King has released one superb recording with his latest, Truth. Tasty guitar licks abound alongside very soulful vocals. Originally from Israel, King has been capturing many fans over the years for his pleasing take on the music that The Windy City has been known for excelling in, including one Buddy Guy who has deemed King as “a bad man!” Of course, after listening to Truth, it’s easy to understand why he receives such accolades.

Dick Shurman served as producer on Truth, and he’s certainly no stranger to the best of blues artists, …

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Michael Burks

I’m A Bluesman
Iron Man Records

michael-burks-cd-coverThere are always losses in life, but when you lose one who meant so much the loss hurts double knowing that you will never be able to share time together again. That is exactly how it felt when guitarist Michael Burks left us suddenly just a few years ago. Burks was a shining light in the blues world. His playing was spectacular and his personality on and off stage infectious. He made his name in the genre and it will forever be rock solid therein.

That is why it is so appealing and welcoming …

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Will Porter

Tick Tock Tick
Gramafono Sound

Will Porter - Tick Tock TickThe first release by Will Porter, 2003’s Happy, was produced by the legendary New Orleans master Wardell Quezergue, and it featured a number of stellar musicians. The album received high praise despite low distribution, and it was soon realized that a second recording should be in the works. Over time Porter’s silky-smooth vocals have been heard working with a number of artists and he has himself been behind the scenes alongside longtime friends like Dr John, Leo Nocentelli, and Jimmy Haslip. Many recordings for Porter’s follow-up project were put together throughout the years while …

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Big Head Blues Club

Way Down Inside
Big Records

big-head-blues-club-cd-coverIn 2011, Todd Park Mohr gathered a group of established blues giants alongside his own band Big Head Todd & The Monsters. Calling themselves the Big Head Blues Club,  they released the tribute album 100 Years of Robert Johnson that was an incredible recreation of the Johnson’s material and also garnered a Blues Music Award nomination.

Well, guess what? He’s back with a whole new line-up of the Big Head Blues Club. Along with The Monsters, Mohr has been joined by Mud Morganfield, Billy Branch, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Denver-based vocalist Erica Brown who spent …

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