07 / 2006

All Alone And Blue
Blueswave CD-2003

Christian Dozzler should need little introduction; Europeans will recall his many years as a member of the hard working and always convincing Austrian outfit the Mojo Blues Band, and he has also been a member of Larry Garner’s touring band. Of late he has been based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas, honing his piano and vocal skills – which were already pretty impressive, as anyone who has heard his previous four solo albums will attest.

This CD was recorded in Vienna in 2000, and features just Christian by himself on piano (there is also one vocal/ harmonica piece and a blues harp boogie instrumental), and besides plenty of original material, there are covers of material from Leroy Carr (represented by two titles), Otis Spann , Montana Taylor, John Brim, Roosevelt Sykes, Bumble Bee Slim, and that old standard ‘Glory Of Love’ (from Big Bill Broonzy’s repertoire?). Then overall effect is of an extremely entertaining and educational set, reminiscent of the days when the likes of Champion Jack Dupree, Memphis Slim and Eddie Boyd were regular performers on European stages. Though they may now be gone, with this CD Christian Dozzler does an excellent job of keeping their memories alive.
Norman Darwen

Picking The Blues – Boogie Woogie Pioneers
Compiled by JOHN MAYALL
Document DOCD-32-20-12

COW COW (CHARLES) DAVENPORT: Cow Cow Blues; PINE TOP SMITH: Jump Steady Blues; CHARLIE SPAND: Moanin’ The Blues; ROMEO NELSON: Head Rag Hop; WESLEY WALLACE: Fanny Lee Blues; LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: No Special Rider; ‘JABO’ WILLIAMS: Pratt City Blues; TURNER PARRISH: Fives; WALTER ROLAND: Jookit Jookit; CLEO BROWN: Boogie Woogie; JESSE JAMES: Lonesome Day Blues; ALBERT AMMONS: Bass Goin’ Crazy; PETE JOHNSON: Holler Stomp; JIMMY YANCEY: 35th and Dearborn; MEADE ‘LUX’ LEWIS: Six Wheel Chaser; JAY MCSHANN: Vine Street Boogie; CRIPPLE CLARENCE LOFTON: In The Mornin’; BIG MACEO: Chicago Breakdown; MONTANA TAYLOR: Indiana Avenue Stomp; MEMPHIS SLIM; Slim’s Boogie; SPECKLED RED: Early In the Morning; OTIS SPANN: Otis In The Dark 

22 tracks dating from between 1928 and 1960, with the added interest that these are all favourite performances of British blues legend John Mayall, who besides choosing the selection also contributes some personal sleeve notes, detailing the reasons why he chose each track and what the particular significance of each selection is for him.  John has wisely avoided the most obvious titles where possible – Pinetop Smith’s number being an obvious example – but these are all classic recordings anyway! As an introduction to boogie-woogie, this is a real winner – the added interest of these tracks being John Mayall’s formative influences is a noteworthy bonus, particularly for those interested in the British blues.
Norman Darwen

Instrumentals 1967 – 1996

Ruf 1119

Compiled by the long-time Canned Heat drummer Fito De La Parra, this is a slightly different take on the band’s long blues (-rock) legacy. Stretching back to the (almost) original band of 1967 this ranges from the opening ‘Parthenogenesis’, an almost 20 minutes long ‘suite’ with elements of jazz, rock, folk and blues under a psychedelic veneer (and with a vocal section) – as you may have guessed, and a few more tracks underline, the Heat were never afraid to experiment in their early days - to the likes of a lovely Junior Watson led ‘Hucklebuck’, the focus of these fifteen tracks is squarely on the music accomplishment of the band’s varied line-ups up until 1996, though the late seventies and eighties are not represented at all.

These are not just thrown-together instrumental jams, but carefully constructed numbers (take a listen to Robert Lucas on ‘Gorgo Boogie’), and the closing track ‘Blues After Hours’ is previously unreleased, which makes this an attractive purchase for even the most dedicated Heat heads. Harmonica player John ‘Juke’ Logan’ and even John Mayall make guest appearances.

Maybe Fito could grace us next with a set which includes many of those guests who have appeared with the Heat over the years – Clara Ward, Doctor John, Ernest Lane, Little Richard, and of course John Lee Hooker.....
Norman Darwen

Road To Rio
Delta Groove DGPCD 107

Following on from last year’s ‘Soul Sanctuary’ set for the same label, this release finds the remaining members of the late seventies/ early eighties Hollywood Fats band in top notch form – and in case you didn’t know, Fats and co. were the prime movers in the genesis of the current West Coast blues scene. Pianist Fred Kaplan, bassist Larry Taylor, drummer Richard Innes and Al Blake on vocals/ harmonica/ acoustic guitar are augmented by guitarist Kirk Eli Fletcher and there are guest appearances by the likes of guitarist Junior Watson, Kim Wilson and others – which should indicate the quality of this music! It ranges from the down-home to the swinging and is truly top-notch all the way.

.....But in case that wasn’t enough, there is a bonus CD of an hour’s worth of previously unissued live material by the original Hollywood Fats band, with the late Michael ‘Hollywood Fats’ Mann proving (again) just why he is so revered.. This set has added historical significance as it presents Fats’ vocal debut, in addition to the expected exemplary guitar work; it also contains two titles apiece with vocals by Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson and Roy Brown.

Interested in the sounds that have come out of California over the last 25 years? If your answer to that question is a ‘yes’, then this CD is absolutely essential.
Norman Darwen

Lost & Found

Delta Groove DGPCD 106

Praised by no less than Muddy Waters for his country blues skills, John Long has been a secret too long. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1950, has been surrounded by the music all his life, and received pointers from the likes of Big Joe Williams, harp maestro Doc Terry, and Homesick James.

This is his debut album, showcasing an artist who is an excellent guitarist with a strong rural style – influences seem to be Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Tommy Johnson, Son House and the aforementioned Big Joe, for starters – who has a world-weary, lived-in, intense voice and who can play some fine rack harmonica and write memorable and pointed, if occasionally melodically derivative, songs. Here he has the support of co-producer Fred Kaplan on piano for three tracks, which adds variety (though it wasn’t needed!).

This CD was recorded in the good old way – all done and dusted in a single day. That way was good enough for Big Joe, Homesick etc, and it works just fine for John Long too.
Norman Darwen

For The Chosen Who
Delta Groove DGPCD 104

Singer and harmonica ace Rod Piazza has been around a long time now, having begun his recording career back in the mid-sixties and he has enjoyed plenty of success over the last couple of decades with the Mighty Flyers. He can justifiably claim to have inspired a whole generation of harp blowers, especially out in California; he may be one of the founding father of the whole West Coast swing movement but for this set he returns to his roots – and the result is one of Piazza and co’s best outings in quite a while.

He is backed by the Flyers – wife and pianist Honey Alexander, Henry Carvajal on guitar, Bill Stuve on bass and drummer Paul Fasulo - plus such illustrious guests as Phil Guy and Kid Ramos on guitars, Finis Tasby on bass, Randy Chortkoff on harp, and Johnny Dyer, who duets with Rod on one track. These guys know their stuff and it shows, whether the sound in question is old style Jimmy Reed or Jimmy Rogers, Ike Turner’s rhythm & blues, a diversion to New Orleans, the down-home blues, a little rock and roll or a wee small hours piano blues instrumental  – they impress whatever!

A VERY nice bonus comes in the shape of a very professionally made DVD chronicling the sessions in the studio and two complete songs. The Delta Groove label has set a very high standard for the rest of the blues world to aspire to – and the real winner, for once, is the blues fan!
Norman Darwen

R&B From The Marquee
Castle Music CMRCD1371

At The Cavern
Castle Music CMRCD1372

Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated
Castle Music CMRCD1373

Is there anyone reading this who is unaware of Alexis Korner? ‘The Godfather of the British blues’ was surely one of the most influential figures in popular music over the last fifty years, though perhaps more indirectly than some of the popularisers who have enjoyed greater fame and material gain. These three CDs – all expanded version of the original early sixties releases – are essential to a real understanding of the way the blues evolved in Britain and beyond.

The repertoire on these three sets is certainly revealing – Muddy Waters was certainly a prime influence, but others range from Bobby Bland (‘Turn On Your Lovelight’, with singer Ronnie Jones doing his best Ray Charles emoting) to Leroy Carr and Leadbelly.

The ‘Marquee’ set, dating from 1962 - not actually a live recording, nor was it made at London’s famed Marquee Club - has significant contributions from such band members as saxman Dick Heckstall-Smith,  singer Long John Baldry, and particularly legendary harmonica man Cyril Davies, who is in excellent form throughout. Anyone who ever wondered what the fuss was about Davies – who died young at the beginning of 1964 – should take a listen to this CD. It is augmented with seven bonus tracks, including three previously unreleased. The original issue was the first album of British blues, and so is a historical document in its own right.

The ‘Cavern’ album has long been one of the most difficult of Alexis’s releases to find. It was indeed recorded at the legendary Liverpool club in 1964; sharing vocal duties with Alexis is Herbie Goins, the American ex-serviceman who decided to stay in the UK and later enjoyed his own solo career. The sound quality is fine for the time. Again, the original issue is expanded by the inclusion of previously unissued numbers from a BBC recording, including some revealing short interview snippets.

The final set under consideration here is a jazz-blues fusion recorded in 1963 but only released in the UK two years later; the line-up includes drummer Phil Seaman, and Dick Heckstall-Smith again, plus several other UK jazzmen. This was, and still is, a curious set of riff-based instrumentals, all on a blues foundation but owing much to the modern jazz of the time. Once again, there are six bonus tracks, three never before released, and these are all solid blues items.

Alexis’s many fans will need these CDs for the previously unreleased material; others will need them to understand the way in which white appreciation for the music developed in the sixties. Musically, some of the performances may sound crude and at times unsuccessful – the fate of many pioneers of course – though the first two sets have much to recommend them. Remember too that despite the inclusion of the likes of ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ and ‘Got My Mojo Working’, at the time these recordings were made, they were not the clichés they have now become. Buy these and hear history in the making.
Norman Darwen

Fuzzy Pig FPCD009

Bob Pearce “retired until further notice” just over a couple of years ago. Some readers might recall the article on him in ‘Blues Life’; for connoisseurs of the British blues he was for a long time a well-kept secret, one of the most soulful singers in the country, with a wealth of blues knowledge and taste, and with the musical ability to carry it through.

This is not a ‘comeback’ album as such, rather a musical statement Bob wanted to make – it is a ‘Christian’ album – it could be filed under gospel, though it is not a gospel album per se. Helped along by many of the friends he has made over the years, Bob brings his forty plus years of musical experience to bear on this set, drawing on blues, gospel, country music, southern soul (a particular forte of Bob’s), a little swampy southern rock and the Rhythm & Blues sounds of the fifties and sixties. There are a couple of neat inversions of the ‘gospel to secular’ formula - try the cover of Chuck Willis’s ‘What Am I Living For’, which is sacred more by context and implication, or the title track, based on ‘Unchained Melody’ of course. Spencer Bohren’s ‘Wings Of An Angel’ has a folky treatment, and there is a cover of Eric Clapton’s ‘Presence Of The Lord’; and the famous Bob Pearce harmonica even gets a quick blast!

This is well worth checking out, and it is available as a FREE download at www.ebayrecords.co.uk/7.html
Norman Darwen

I Feel So Bad
Castle Music CMQCD1370

Jackie Edwards began his musical career in his native Jamaica in the fifties, singing blues ballads and R&B on talent shows, quickly gaining a strong local reputation and becoming one of the pioneers of Jamaican music on record. In 1962 he moved to London where he continued to record, being closely associated with the fledgling Island Records label of Chris Blackwell, the source of most of the songs on this CD.

This 22 track collection covers the years 1965 to 1971 and is justifiably subtitled ‘The Soul Recordings’. It finds Jackie’s rich, smooth voice frequently wrapped in lush productions – horns and often strings – tackling soul pounders such as the title track, big ballads in the vein of Sam Cooke or Ben E. King, early Rhythm & blues material, some sixties pop styled numbers, and even, in the case of ‘Hush’, what sounds suspiciously like a doo-wop throwback! Then of course there are the two titles for which Jackie is probably best known outside the specialist market: ‘Somebody Help Me’ and ‘Keep On Running’ were big hits in the mid-sixties for the Spencer Davis Group (featuring a young Steve Winwood), and both were Jackie’s compositions – it is a treat to hear them from the original writer.

Jackie died in 1992, still a very active performer on the reggae scene, though much of his output right up until the end bears traces of the sound of the American mainland. This set will be of definite interest to those whose field of interest and/ or expertise is the sound of early soul music.
Norman Darwen

Artist: Rose City Kings
Title: Holler Out For More
Label: Self produced
For more information go to:
rosecitykings.com or CDBaby.com

At the moment the Rose City Kings who are based in Portland Oregon, are on a deserved upward surge of popularity, due to the highly favourable response to this robust and rocking live performance at the Mississippi Studios, on the 1st of April 2005 in Portland Oregon. It is only their third album and they have already achieved a measure of success in the form of the Cascade Blues Association Muddy Waters awards; for they have won; Best New Act for 2003 and Best Contemporary Act 2004.
The Rose City Kings comprise of; Dan Berkery; vocals, guitar, Ron Camacho; bass, Roger Espinor; drums, Jeff Simpson; keyboards and Joe Powers; harmonica. A total of twelve numbers are featured in the concert, all of which are original compositions by Dan Berkery. As an indication of the bands continued progress they have in the past shared the bill with such notable artists as; Bo Diddley, Marcia Ball and the Colin James Band to name but a few.
The rough, gruff almost hoarse lowdown vocals of Dan give the numbers a deeply southern honky tonk, almost Texan feel. Combined with Joe’s plaintive and hugely expressive harp one could almost imagine that you were at a travelling revivalist meeting that included heart filling guitar and at times foot stomping piano. All the numbers are played with suitable gusto and when required a refreshing sense of delicacy.
Well worth a listen!
Brian Harman.

Blues Brunch At The Mart
Delmark DE-785

The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world. However, it hasn’t featured many Chicago blues cats lately. You are guaranteed to find them at the Delmark Records and Jazz Record Mart Blues Brunch. On the final morning of the four-day festival, the annual brunch is attended by die-hard fans, disc jockeys, festival promoters, photographers, journalists, and other blues industry personnel from around the globe. On the menu is more than continental breakfast. The main entree is a free concert featuring an all-star lineup of Delmark’s leading blues artists. For posterity, the 2005 edition was filmed and recorded to be released on DVD. It was aborted since Delmark was not pleased with its quality.

As one of Chicago’s most notoriously under-rated guitarists, Michael Coleman is known best for his 1980s tenure with James Cotton. Here, Coleman and his Backbreakers act as house band for this remarkable event. Bobby Sellers (drums) and Dave Wood (bass) support the All-Stars with stateliness while John Chorney delivers supreme keyboard fills throughout. Take note of Coleman’s undeniably dapper guitar work on The Sky Is Crying and You’re Going To Miss Me. Although he was out gigging into the wee wee hours, Coleman is in top form. With each note emitting excitement, the booty-shaking latter features passionate guitar playing which is lacking among Chicago’s younger blues gunners. If you think Chicago blues is stagnating, let this brilliant underdog transform you.  

Lurrie Bell was the great phoenix of the 2005 Chicago Blues Festival. His appearance at the brunch was a special treat. Listen to the blues drip off his frets on I Need You So Bad and Reconsider Baby. Something New may be beloved Willie Kent’s final recording. His blues are rough and raw, but his supple voice reveals his gentleness. His passing was a great loss to the blues world. Fittingly, the CD has been dedicated to him. Steve Freund doesn’t provide stunning vocals, but his guitar playing is phenomenal on a couple of songs. By the time Little Arthur Duncan finishes Knockin’ On Your Door, he is a sweaty mess. In person, Taildragger sounds even more like Howlin’ Wolf than on Be Careful. Via substantial support Delmark has championed the careers of the city’s blues women. The three featured here bring out Coleman’s best playing. Blues belter Bonnie Lee makes her voice waver on Sad & Evil Woman. By contrast, Zora Young’s delivery is deeper and sadder on Toxic. As The Years Go Passing By has been covered many times, but Shirley Johnson presents one of the best versions by using intense and genuine vocals.

For 60 minutes, you hear authentic, gut-bucket Chicago blues in their natural habitat. It’s not the fabricated stuff that the tourists go for. As good as the music is the CD doesn’t capture the camaraderie that transpires among the fans and artists at this intimate event. So do yourself a favor.  Attend next year’s brunch in person.  Tim Holek 

David “Honey Boy” Edwards
Blues, Blues

Document DOCD-32-20-8

It has become fashionable in some blues circles to knock ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards (sorry, that’s how I have always written it), making the criticism that he is famous either solely for those with whom he has associated (Charley Patton, Robert Johnson etc), or because he has survived so long and outlived the competition. This CD, originally issued on the Austrian label Roots and never very easy to find, was recorded in Vienna in 1975 and it certainly proves that he is a fine artist in his own right – though not in the premier rank of blues artists.

Honeyboy is captured solo in the studio for these recordings at the end of his winter tour, at the age of sixty. He plays a little rack harmonica on several numbers, but mostly this is Edwards the Delta bluesman, confident vocalist and down home guitarist on a programme of varied Mississippi blues, and with ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ the only Robert Johnson number in his repertoire for this session. Yes, his style is derivative, but surely that is an integral part of the Blues tradition he represents, one he did indeed learn first-hand. Agreed, this may not be the most dynamic performance there is, but this is a genuine Mississippi born and raised bluesman playing the music he grew up with. As such, it is an important document (pun intended).
Norman Darwen

BB King
Take A Swing With Me
SPV97542 CD

Howlin’ Wolf
Moanin’ At Midnight
SPV97552 CD

John Lee Hooker
Too Much Boogie
SPV97562 CD

Muddy Waters
I Can’t Be Satisfied
SPV97572 CD

Nothing unissued, heard it loads of times before ..... so why bother? Because, of course, all the time there are new enthusiasts coming to the blues, searching for the best recordings, wanting to know what’s good and what’s not, why BB King is so highly rated and so influential, just who was Chester Arthur Burnett, what does John Lee Hooker sound like, why is Muddy Waters important. These sets answer those kinds of questions and with a nicely packaged house style and the customary excellent notes from world authority Neil Slaven they are certainly useful for neophytes. If you already have all this material though, sometimes it is useful to listen to new compilations to discover things you can’t remember you’d forgotten. Essential music of course!
Norman Darwen

Paul Oliver
Broadcasting The Blues – Black Blues In the Segregation Era
Document DOCD-32-20-10

This three CD, 77 track set complements Paul Oliver’s recently published book of the same title which contains scripts of Paul’s radio shows over the years. Paul is perhaps the foremost blues scholar, having encountered the music in the 1940s, and his books have certainly withstood the test of time; his ‘Story Of The Blues’ is still the best general introduction to the music, despite being almost forty years old!

Paul was one of the first white critic/ researchers to argue the case for the blues as a tradition in its own right – back in the early 1950s when it was still generally perceived as a precursor of jazz – and how different the music scene might have been without him. He has a knack of juxtaposing material to provide new insights – those who recall the albums that accompanied the series of Studio Vista books will know exactly what I mean – and he does so again here. The Mamprusi tribesmen from West Africa are again represented (check out ‘Savannah Syncopaters’ – Oliver’s of course!), alongside a Louisiana ring shout originally recorded by the Library Of Congress, and the whole collection is set out in sub-divisions illustrating various aspects of the blues – and Paul’s shows. For example, ‘Old Country Stomp’ presents Henry Thomas and Blind Blake (with ‘Dry Bone Shuffle’), ‘Dr. Medicine’ has the Beale Street Sheiks and Jim Jackson, and ‘High Water Everywhere’ includes sides by Mattie Delaney, Lonnie Johnson, and Sleepy John Estes. The thinking behind these choices is outlined in the lavish accompanying booklet, which is a first-class read in itself. Also, Paul has, where relevant, added snippets from his own first person interviews with the likes of Gus Cannon, Will Shade, Henry Townsend, Wade Walton, John Lee Hooker and others – these make for fascinating listening.

All the songs come from Document reissues, but even if you have a complete set of the label’s releases, this is still worth considering. Paul Oliver on the blues is always interesting and always essential. That is certainly the case once again here.
Norman Darwen

Lil’ Son Jackson
Volume 1 (1948 –1950) – Rockin’ and Rollin’
Document DOCD-5680

Singer and guitarist Melvin ‘Lil’ Son’ Jackson was born on 17th August 1916 just outside of Tyler, Texas, and his father taught him to play guitar before he moved to Dallas in the early 1930s. He worked as a mechanic, did odd jobs, and sang gospel music before going into the Army in 1944. On his return to Texas in 1946 he concentrated on his guitar playing, though the music has changed from that he had grown up with – R&B was popular, but although solo bluesmen were not as prolific on record as back in the twenties, the king-pin on the down-home Texas scene was undoubtedly one Sam ‘Lightnin’ Hopkins – and Lil’ Son is without doubt out of the same tradition and able to play in the rural style that impressed those buying the more famous man’s records.

The measure of how well Jackson did can be heard on the 23 titles on this CD, sides made for the small Gold Star label, and the larger Modern and Imperial companies, (all of whom also recorded Lightnin’ of course) mostly recorded in Houston though with five numbers recorded in Los Angeles. These are solo blues items, and Son impresses with his knowledge and store of the traditional Texas blues and his own compositions, his relaxed guitar playing, and his easy, confident vocals. Lightnin’ may have been the Number One – but Lil’ Son Jackson makes for a worthy number two.
Norman Darwen

Jamaican Recording & Publishing; Studio 1
The Best of Studio 1
Heartbeat 11661-7801-2

These classics from Jamaica's legendary label represent a slice of contemporary life. These artists include John Holt, the Cables, the Lyrics, Sugar Minott, the Lone Ranger, Ken , Johnny Osbourne, the Abyssinians, the Gladiators, Michigan and Smiley, the Hepcats, Larry Marshall, Wailing Souls, Judah Tafari Eskender, the Termites, Slim Smith, and Marcia Griffiths.

Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd nurtured reggae music, and doing so, he birthed many, many musicians. Eighteen ballads, from heartless party blues to family traditional reggae span.
Mark A. Cole

Jaimaican Recording & Publishing; Studio 1
Downbeat the Rulers: Killer Instrumentals From Studio 1
Heartbeat 11661-7803-2

Sound Dimension, Soul Vendors, Jackie Mistoo, Tommy McCook, Brentford Road All-Stars, Jackie and The Invaders, Dub Specialist, and Soul Agent and The Soul Defenders can bank on soothing muzic. Specials tunes by special bands; r&r, r&b, and reggae! Before you know it and it's over!
Mark A. Cole

Jaimaican Recording & Publishing; Studio 1
Full Up; Best of Studio 1, Vol. 2
Heartbeat 11661-7802-2

The Bassies, John Holt, Bob Andy, the Royals, the Ethiopian, Delroy Wilson & Slim Smith, Norma Frazer, Culture, Sound Dimension, Willie Williams, Lone Ranger, Dan Evans and The Paragons, Burning Spear, Winston Francis, the Cables, Carlton and the Shoes, Andy & Griffiths collaborate on one, too.

'Love Me Forever' and 'Always Together' usher into the ska early 60s period, the late 60s r&r flavor, and the recent blues infusion. The island is growing in popularity; hurricanes, tropical storms, waterspouts aside! The 'First Cut Is The Deepest' with Norma Frazer; with her haunting vox. Let the Lone Ranger tantalizes you with his 'Love Bump' and others!
Mark A. Cole

Bob Marley & The Wailers
One Love: at Studio One 1964-1966
Heartbeat 11661-7819-2

This double CD is double trouble, starting with unreleased version of 'This Train', complete with roundhouse lyrics. Marley and The Wailers do justice to each song. His brief career was cut short: Who knows the musical milestones
he would be turned. Forty-one two minute songs on this disc; you can't but party to this slab. Previously unreleased cuts include 'This Train', 'It Hurts To Be Alone', 'True Confessions', 'Playboy', 'And I Love Her', Wages of Love', I'm Gonna Put It On, and 'Sinner Man'. Marley's legacy; One Love!
Mark A. Cole

Hypnotic Dream

This effort is four years old, but they need the exposure! The trio recorded tracks in Cavalicco, Italy and finished up in Nashville, Tennessee in the U.S of America. The Italian stallions liken power groups ala Cream or Mountain; no waste of talent. W.I.N.D. is (consists of) Jimi Barbiani on guitars and slide guitar, Fabio Drusin at the bass, harmonica, and lead vocals, and Sandro Bencich on the skins.
The ten minute 'Why Me?' allowed the studio time for other ideas. The standard 'Hoochie Coochie Man' rung true, also. Disc 2 is alternative takes, bonus tracks, jams, and video. The acoustic version of 'Over The Sun' needs to be longer: An explosive device; this band needs a contract!
Mark A. Cole

John Lee Hooker Jr.
Cold As Ice
Telarc Records CD-83642

Double axe attack by John Garcia Jr and Ray Rente, bassistt Frank 'Tebo' Thibeaux, drummer Michael Skinner, and Will 'Rax' Griffith on the keys. The horn section is Alphonso 'AG' Guillory on the sax, Ric 'Mighty Bone' Feliciano on the trombone, and Frankie 'B' Bailey blowin' the trumpet,. Five male background singers complete the mix.: His Mississippian heritage and drawl are legendary!
'Oh Baby' is coming your way, almost five minutes: 'Eva'body Pays Attention' sometimes, is the last tune on the CD. The dozen are a slice of Cleveland art and music scene.
Mark A. Cole

Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas
Hang It High, Hang It Low
Rounder Records 11661-2164-2

Fast- paced, that's zydeco. An accordian plyer, a triple row accordian player, and vocalist, Nathan Williams Sr. , leads a seven-man band; which includes a southpaw guitarist, Dennis Paul Williams. At the bass, Robert LeBlanc is thumpin'; at the drums, Herman 'Rat' Brown. And, what's zydeco band without a rubboard player; Here, it's Mark 'Chuck' Williams. Nathan Williams Jr. is found at the keyboards: A regular family affair, and it works!
Mark A. Cole

William Lee Ellis
Yellow Dog Records YDR-1043

Ellis plays his guitars, steel guitar and lap guitar inclusive. His vocal character continues to change, too. Larry Nager contributes on the mandolins, dobro, washboard, and the bass: Rick Steff on the mellotron, and vocalists Reba Russell and Susan Marshall do their part, also. And the Masqueraders; Harold 'Sundance' Thomas, Robert 'Tex' Wrightail, and David 'Cowboy' Sanders give a country feel to the effort.
The thank you list is stacked with notable characters like Jorma Kaukonen, Jim Dickerson, Sandy Carroll, Jim Gaines, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Ana Popovich.
Notable cuts, such as the leadoff ballad 'She Conquered the Conqueroo', 'Black Sea Blues', and 'Rose Hill' make use the steel and lap. Good job Ellis!
Mark A. Cole

Spyro Gyra
Wrapped In A Dream
Heads-Up International HUCD-3107

The band is formed around saxist Jay Beckenstein, keyboardist Tom Schuman, guitarist Julio Fernandez, bassist and upright bassist Scott Ambush, drummer Josh Dion, and percussionist Cyro Baptiste. Toss in Dave Samuels on the mariba and trumpeter Nathan Eklund: And you have the band, Spyro Gyra!
'The VoodooVoodoo' is a catchy potion, followed by another instrumental, 'Tuesday'. 'Impressions of Madrid', as artists, struck their Spanish thesis. Beckenstein worked on the saxes, flutes, keys, and found space to the Spyro Gyra's 'voices'. One of the living longest histories of jazz bands: Still innovating, still inventing, and still ... a hellava CD; Mood music!
Mark A. Cole

Various Artists
The Emerald Isles; Music Inspired By Ireland & Scotland
Telarc Records CD-80669

Irish music with it's jigs, heels, and the bagpipes; can be happy or sad, i.e. ''Danny Boy'. 'Scollay's Reel'/'King Of The Fairies'/Old Gray Cat'/'Dance Goes On' is an amalgam by the Ensemble Galilei. St. Louis Symphony Orchestra does a 'Danny Boy'. too.
Operettes such 'Poco Adagio From Piano Concerto No. 2 in a Flat Major by John Field' are music by theater. 'The Seagull Jig' is therapy for lost souls, featuring Donald Lindsay on the parlor pipes, Alannah Fitzgerald on the Celtic drum, Jared Shapiro on the cello, and the Emsemble Brass Quintet. Every Scot recognizes that 'Whiskey; You're The Devil'! David Russell strums and picks 'Cherish The Ladies' solo; additionally! Irish and Scottish stuff ... The Emerald Isles ... this to included Wales, the Welsh, right! Fourteen slabs for Telarc!
Mark A. Cole

Popa Chubby
Stealing The Devil/s Guitar
Blind Pig Records BPCD-5103

Popa climbs his acoustic axe, his electric guitars, and making the manolins sing began his daily chores. Nickolas D'Amato handles the bass on eight tracks; Steve Holley skins on eight tracks, also! Mike Lattrell is on the piano: And Chris Reddan plays the congas!
'In This World' is a Jessie Mae Hemphill ballad, 'Slide Devil Man Slide' is his favorite action. 'Preacher Man', an four-minuter relic; and "The Devil's Guitar' is.
Mark A. Cole

Jefferson Airplane
The Worst of Jefferson Airplane
RCA/Legacy 82876-75893-2

The Jefferson Airplane released six albums in the mid- and late '60s. They were: The Essential Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, Surrealistic Pillow, 'After Bathing at Baxter's', Volunteers, Bless It's Pointed Head, and Crown of Creation.
Personnal; Paul Kantner on the axe, Jorma Kaukonen on other axe, Twin lead vox; Grace Slick and Signe Toby Anderson. Marti Balin, lead vocals; Jack Cassidy, bass. Alexander 'Skip' Spence on drums: Spencer Dryden drums, too!
'Chushingara' tries the band's Near Eastern ties and 'Lather' jars the memory cells; ...; babies! 'White Rabbit' hit the psychology of Haight-Asbury's neighhood: 'Volunteers' came with a 1970 copyright. Seventeen hits, including two bonus hits: Greasy Heart' and 'Watch Her Ride'.
Mark A. Cole

Hot Tuna, The Very Best of ...
Keep On Truckin: The Hits
RCA/Legacy 82876-80564-2

Jorma Kaukonen, is an guitar-extraordinarence and Jack Casidy is a four- string bass player. The two shared over years, they concieved the Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp, and two-dozen albums en route. Copyright protected @1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978, 2006 - BMG Music.
Kaukonen and Casidy teamed with Felix Pappalardi at the drum kit: The producer was Mallory Irwin: The mastering was done by Sony Music Studios in NYC, New York.
Mark A. Cole

Mark Lemhouse
The Great American Yard Sale
Yellow Dog Records YDR-1238

Mark plays the electric guitar, banjo, resonator, acoustic guitar, banjolin, lap-steel, percussion, and the lead vocals. Scott Bomar on the electric bass, upright bass, organ, and the electric accordian; Paul Buchigani on the drums and percussion; Amy Severin on the cello; Charles Normal plays the electric axe, handles the percussion, jaw harp, and the background singing, too! Silver Sorenson's found on the bass, Jason Carter on the skins,
Hank Stavang and Johnny Chruickshank are the background singers on the last cut, 'You're A Bastard'. A tougue-in-cheek crack on one's heritage. This reviewer is/was enameled by 'Leroy Fuller's Blues": And 'The Queen of Easy Street''s a "lamppost leaner" according to Lemhouse. A spicy and multi-instrumentality; Way to go!
Mark A. Cole

 made with Macintosh
Please, send your blues CD's/DVD's with promo-bio to:
BluesArtStudio, c/o F. SVACINA, A-1223 Vienna, P.O.Box 54
Copyright © 1998-2006 BluesArtStudio, USA - AUSTRIA