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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Marvin Gaye: Heard It Through The Grapevine

In honor of Norman Whitfield, this is Marvin Gaye singing one of Whitfield's songs. This is an amazing clip of Marvin singing the song A Capella!

Keb Mo: Anybody Seen My Girl

Keb Mo playing acoustic guitar on a nice melodic love song.

Taylor HIcks: Sweet Home Chicago

I am pretty sure this is from the same show with Keb Mo that I posted over a year ago. However, this is a pretty grooving song that I figure a different angle and COLOR means I can post it again!

Thanks to all of the Taylor Hicks fans, their blogs, forums and websites, for helping me with my CD. You can check out my interview some photos, and some of my songs here

I know I have said this before, but it merits repeating. You guys do a great job promoting and getting the word out on Taylor Hicks. If all blues performers had fans like you we would be in a lot better shape then we are now. It is darn tough out there on the road right now for 95% of the blues band that are traveling around this great country. However, fans like you make it worth every minute of blood, sweat, and tears that we all go through. I am glad that you have not only promoted Taylor Hicks, but also a lot of other great blues, soul, and R&B artists. Thanks for the hard work, and thanks for keeping the blues alive.

Sweet Home Chicago_Chicago HOB from dg90001 on Vimeo.

Henry "The Mule" Townsend

Press release


Scott Shuman, producer and Alonzo Townsend son of Grammy recipient Henry Townsend,
thank the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the audience at the 50th
Grammy Awards in LA upon winning, Best Traditional Blues cd for Last of the Great Mississippi
Delta Bluesmen~Live in Dallas. The cd co-produced by Jeff Dyson and Scott Shuman honored
the featured blues legend who performed on the cd, Henry 'The Mule' Townsend, Pinetop Perkins,
David 'Honeyboy' Edwards and Robert Lockwood. Henry's legacy began in Grafton, Wisconsin
at Paramount Recording and by some strange karma ended in Grafton, Wisconsin on August
24th, 2006 when Townsend was in town to perform at the Grafton Blues Festival. His young
protege' Scott Shuman was with him at rehearsal and the next day when he was rushed to the
hospital. Unfortunately he passed away at 96 years old in the place he first started recording.
"He died with his boots on with a strong spirit knowing that he was in a place where his music was
first recorded and played," said Shuman. "He was my best friend for 35 years and I will miss him.
Performing at the Grafton Blues Festival, a few of his songs as a tribute to him is such an honor,
said Shuman." Shuman will perform on a few tunes with David 'Honeyboy' Edwards and then a
solo in tribute to his lifelong friend and mentor, Henry Townsend. A Village Hall resolution will
be presented to David 'Honeyboy' Edwards, Scott Shuman and in memory of the man who brought
the blues to Grafton, Wisconsin. Shuman will also pay tribute to blues legend, Robert Lockwood
who passed away before winning the notable Grammy. Honeyboy and Pinetop Perkins along with
Mary Lockwood, Alonzo Townsend and the producers of the cd were on stage to accept the Grammy
Award. The project was an initiative of Dallas based, The Blue Shoe Project, Photos and articles on Scott Shuman can be found at
For more information please call, Lynn Orman at 847-452-6469.

Illinois Blues Blast

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FREE Blues Internet Magazine


September 18, 2008

© 2007 - 2008

News, photos, reviews, live Blues links & MUCH MORE in this issue! - Scroll or Page Down! quick website links: Reviews Links Photos Videos Blues Radio Blues Shows near YOU! Advertise for FREE! The Blues Blast Archives

Hey Blues Fans,

Harmonica Wizards Dennis Gruenling & Steve Guyger made it to the stage at the Alamo for Blue Monday in Springfield, IL this week. It was a real harmonica blowout and man was it some hot stuff!

In addition to these two great harp players the band for this gig included guitar sensation Doug Deming and bass player extraordinaire Mookie Brill. What a treat!

The night started with Dennis Gruenling and the band for the first few songs and then Steve Guyger took his turn. Soon we had both of them blowing us all away. Quite a show.

These great shows put on by the Illinois Central Blues Club continue to amaze us. Their $2 cover for the Blue Monday shows just keeps us coming back! They have more great shows coming up in the next few weeks too including Lil Dave Thompson, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Too Slim & the Tail Draggers, Gina Sicilia with David Gross and more. See more details on their shows in the Blues Society News section below.

Lots of Blues this weekend!

If you are anywhere near Wisconsin head to Grafton for the Paramount Blues Festival this Saturday and Sunday September 19 & 20. See ad below. If you are near Canada be sure to attend The Great Atlantic Blues & Beyond Festival at Alderney Landing Complex across Halifax Harbour, in Nova Scotia. See ad below.

If you are near Chicago, IL check out Delmark Records benefit show for the family of Chicago Blues legend Little Arthur Duncan on Friday, September 19, 2008 at Rosa's Blues Lounge. See info in Blues Society news below. (SCROLL DOWN).

If you are in Central, Illinois be sure to check out the Blues Blowtorch Society's Educational Fund Raiser featuring Black Magic Johnson and Lil' Dave Thompson on Sunday September 21, 2008 at Tri Lakes Banquet Facilities in Bloomington, IL. See info in Blues Society news below.

Blues Reviews and MORE!

James Walker reviews a new CD from John-Alex Mason. Brian Holland reviews a new CD by Joe Louis Walker. Tom "The Energizer" Schlesinger reviews a new CD by Marcia Ball and Mike O'Cull reviews a new CD by Hiromasa Suzuki. Chicago editor Lordy sends us a review of a live show at the famous Chicago club, B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN

Paramount Blues Festival

September 19 & 20, 2008
Grafton, WI

Sue DaBaco & Wise Fools - Zac Harmon - CTA - California Transit Authority - Fruteland Jackson - David "Honeyboy" Edwards - Sharrie Williams - Bryan Lee - Watermelon Slim & the Workers - Tab Benoit - Elvin Bishop

Festival Website:

Featured Blues Review (1 of 4)

John-Alex Mason - Town and Country

Naked Jaybird Music, LLC

15 songs; 57:52 minutes; Library Quality

Styles: Country Blues, Delta Blues, One Man Band

This is the season to be nominating folks to receive a “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award at the 2009 ceremony. Possibly, the sponsor, The Blues Foundation, needs to add one more category: Performer. John-Alex Mason would then be my choice because this young bluesman will turn your head around, literally.

While artists are only eligible for a Blues Music Award and the K.B.A.s are for non-performers, noted guitarist and alum of a Muddy Waters band, Bob Margolin, claims, ““I first heard John-Alex Mason in the distance when he played at the King Biscuit festival in Helena, Arkansas a few years ago. His Delta Blues sounded so right and appropriate... mixed with the echoes of the Blues from the past.... John-Alex was whuppin' it with the fire, passion, and understanding of the language of Blues Music. I had to find out who was playing....”

One has to think that past one-man-and-his-guitar originators like Skip James, Son House, and Robert Johnson would be proud to see their songs and styles furthered into the 21 century by quality artists like a young John-Alex Mason. Personally, I can imagine a wry smile creeping across an early bluesman’s face if he could see Mason playing a cigar-box and broom handle “LoweBow” guitar. “What the hell is that thing you got there, boy? Can’t you afford no gee-tar?” he might inquire. Of course, Robert Johnson would also be more than a little awed by that electrical amplification stuff.

“Town and Country,” the fifth album from Colorado’s Mason, contains a mixture of seven originals, five traditional songs, and three Mason arranged covers (Skip James’ “Cypress Grove,” Elmore James’ “Shake Your Money Maker,” and Robert Johnson’s “Terraplane Blues.”) All fifteen songs feature the incredible, wearied singing voice of Mason that one just does not expect from a younger man. With a nasal resonance, his strong voice propels each song, creating an interest matched only by the remarkable rhythm of his instrument playing and Footdrumming.

Mason on a National resonator, steel bodied, Style O guitar, electric guitar, and LoweBow is like a juggler keeping several balls in the air as he keeps several rhythms going simultaneously. By striking the strings with all five fingers, alternately thumbing the bass strings for rhythm and plucking the treble strings for melody lead notes, he can play both simultaneously.

Songwriting: If Mason ever took a composition class in school, I’ll bet he scored highly. Imagine an assignment: “Class, poetically express your take on ‘home is where the heart is.’” Mason’s homework (now found in his song “Bury My Boots”): “‘Bury My Boots’ baby / By the highway side / I don’t want to see another / Greyhound bus to ride.” Another assignment: “Class, finish this sentence, ‘I miss you more than I miss _?_.’” Mason’s homework: “The Sun.” Further excellence is found in his song “Strange Things (happening in this world)” where Mason poignantly conveys the idea that true solace is best found in the bosom of a lover.

In John-Alex Mason, one gets the complete package of singer, songwriter, guitar player. Now add the exuberance of youth and the devotion of a blues soul, and voila, this year’s winner for keeping the early blues alive.

Reviewer James “Skyy Dobro” Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show “Friends of the Blues” can be heard each Thursday from 4:30 – 6:00pm on WKCC 91.1 FM in Kankakee, IL

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

2008 Blues Blast Music Awards

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, IL.

Confirmed Blues artists performing are Tim "Too Slim" Langford from Too Slim and the Taildraggers, Lurrie Bell, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Steve Gerhard and Mo Bailey from the National Debonaires, The Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Lurrie Bell, Teeny Tucker, Gina Sicilia and John Nemeth! Ticket info will be available soon.

EG Kight It’s Hot In Here

Her first CD in four years from six time BMA award nominee and Koko Taylor songwriter.

It's Hot in Here," features her blazing guitar work and fiery, resonant voice. Patriot-News

EG Kight has hit a home-run with this excellent album. The Planet Weekly

Tickets for this Hammond, Indiana show
go on sale Friday, 08/22/08 To Purchase Tickets CLICK HERE

Featured Blues Review (2 of 4)

Joe Louis Walker - Witness to the Blues

Joe Louis Walker’s latest release, “Witness to the Blues”, is an all inclusive collection of wonderful songs. Since many blues aficionados have a tendency to put Walker atop the list of modern-day greats, those who are carrying the torch and keeping the music alive, “Witness to the Blues” is certainly assisting in that endeavor. And it’s certainly fitting for Duke Robillard to jump in to lend his producing and guitar playing talents (as well as the rest of his band) to the project, as they both have so much in common.

The fact that both artists record for Stony Plain Records more than likely had a lot to do with making the partnership happen, but fate transpires in many steps sometimes. Although they both share an interest in the music of T Bone Walker, another aspect of common ground is their aptitude for diversity, a trait that also goes back to the great T Bone. The only repetitive aspect about the album is the quality of the music, as well as the fact that it’s all fine blues, except perhaps for “Witness”. Though fine music as well, it’s more of a contemporary ballad than anything in a traditional sense, and it adds nicely to the varied mix.

Duke does a superb job on both electric and acoustic guitar throughout, and his skills as co-producer are evident. Add in drummer Mark Teixeira, keyboardist Bruce Katz, bassist Jon Ross, Doug James and Scott Aruda on horns into the eleven included songs, two-thirds of which were penned by Joe Louis Walker, and it all comes together as a assorted blues collection. Nevertheless, Joe’s vocal sound is what it’s all about, and his Jimmy Reed-like harmonica playing and solid guitar work shine as well. His voice is raw and unrefined, and perfect for the Chicago style intensity that’s prevalent in a lot of the songs.

“It’s A Shame” opens the album. The JJ Malone penned soul tune stresses Walker’s adoration for the music of both James Brown and Otis Redding. The rhythmic interplay of the background horns certainly aids in maximizing its palpable funk feel from start until finish. “Midnight Train” is an interesting gallop into a rockabilly blues area. Both Robillard and Walker convey the notion that they’re more than used to playing this style of music. “Lover’s Holiday” features Shemekia Copeland in a lead vocal duet with Walker. Both shine in the r&b classic, as does Robillard, with solid lead guitar additives in a Steve Cropper groove. “Hustlin’” flows along in a lethargic yet soulful Chicago style, as does “Sugar Mama”, which features British blues guitarist Todd Sharpville. “Rollin’ and Tumblin’ is done in an interesting Chicago style as well, yet in more of a 60s Butterfield/Bloomfield manner. “I Got What You Need” is an acoustic blues. Both Walker and Robillard excel in this delta song.

“Witness to the Blues” is a fine collection of blues songs from Joe Louis Walker. The music is genuine, and diversity shines everywhere, keeping it interesting and pleasing throughout. Much of the credit goes to Duke Robillard as well, because nobody keeps busier in the quest to create excellent blues music, on other people’s records as well as on his own. “Witness to the Blues” is yet another success story for both of these fine musicians.

Review by Brian D Holland

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

"What Goes Around” – a new CD from Michael Osborn!

"Michael Osborn is one of the best blues guitarists around, he can really lay it down". - John Lee Hooker

"Michael Osborn is one of the authentic blues guitarists today. His style goes straight to the heart of the blues and he’ll steal your show if you don’t watch out!” – Robben Ford

CLICK HERE to purchase

Eden Brent

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee

"Sean Costello Rising Star Award"

To read a review of this CD, CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to Purchase this CD now!

Blues Society News

Send your Blues Society's BIG news or Press Release to:

Please submit a maximum of 125 words in a Text or Word format ONLY. Press releases not formatted

Benefit for Little Arthur Duncan Family Friday, September 19, 2008

Delmark records and Rosas Lounge present a benefit show for the family of Chicago Blues legend Little Arthur Duncan on Friday, September 19, 2008 at Rosa's Blues Lounge in Chicago, IL. The show starts at 9:30pm and includes performance from the Back Scratchers and MANY special guests including Tail Dragger, Zora Young, Billy Boy Arnold, Eddie Taylor, Jr., Rick Kreher, Illinois Slim, Michael Azzi and Twist Turner. The show is at Rosa's Lounge at 3420 W. Armitage (Kimball and Armitage), Chicago, IL for more info call 773-342-0452

Simple Man Enterprises - Ft Madison, IA

Australian Blues sensation Harper, will be playing a benefit for the Relay for Life Oct 3rd, 2008 at Richmond Stadium in Fort Madison, IA.

Simply The Blues Blues Festival has raised over $12,000 for non-profit and charity organizations over the past 5 years during our festival. Relay For Life has been one of those. This year Simply The Blues has a Relay for Life team and we are sponsoring the performance of HARPER. Please come and be on the team or just make a contribution. Contact Matt Eimer at 319-470-2082 or at

The Natchel Blues Network - Norfolk, VA

The 15th Annual Blues At The Beach Festival is September 12-14, 2008 at 17th Street Stage (17th St & Atlantic Ave.), Virginia Beach VA. The event is Free and open to the public. Friday performers include Grant Austin Taylor, Ruf's Blues Caravan 2008 "Guitars and Feathers" w/ Deborah Colema n, Candye Kane, and Dani Wilde. Saturday performers include The Bobby "Black Hat' Blues Band, Blues Dance Workshop, The Sean Carney Band, John Nemeth, Lurrie Bell and Kenny Neal. Sunday performers include Straight Up Blues Band, David Maxwell’s Maximum Blues and Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers.

For further information visit theNatchel' Blues Network at or call 757-456-1675

Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

Hawkeye Herman and Friends are performing a benefit concert for the Mississippi Valley Blues Society at the Redstone Room in Davenport, IA on Tuesday Sept. 23. The music starts at 7:30, and admission is $10 For further information contact Karen McFarland at 563-508-6596 or check out

MVBS Party Bus Trip, Saturday October 4, 2008 to see Bob Dorr & the Blue Band at Tabor Wineries Anniversary Party Near Maquoketa, IA. Leaving from and returning to Creekside Bar & Grill 3303 Brady St. Davenport IA. Sign up at Creekside 563-324-4619 or MVBS office 563-322-5837. Bus
leaves at 12:30 p.m. and returns at around 7:00 p.m. BYOB. MVBS members $25, Non members $30. The Rockin Jake Band will be playing at Creekside when we return

Friends of the Blues - Watseka, IL

The Friends of the Blues presents Nick Moss & The Flip Tops at Legacy Bar & Grill, 135 N. Kinzie (Route 50) in Bradley, IL on Saturday, Sept 27, 2008 For info 815-936-1649 or 815-401-1170 Show starts at 8 :00 PM.

The Rowan Blues and Jazz Society - Salisbury, NC

The Rowan Blues and Jazz Society is presenting its 10th Annual Blues and Jazz Festival, October 11 in Downtown Salisbury, NC at 2p.m. It is featuring the Homemade Jamz Blues Band featuring Ryan, Kyle and Taya Perry and Dad, Big Bill Morganfield, Joe Robinson Jazz Band, Larry Davis Jazz, Ladies Auxiliary Blues Band, and Bob Paolina. Bring your own chairs and blankets, Variety of vendors and family friendly. For more information go to our website Contact 704-636-2811.

Second Wind Cancer Retreat - Atlanta, GA

Legendary singers Bonnie Bramlett and William Bell are among the many artists scheduled to perform at BluesFest ‘08, benefiting the Second Wind Cancer Retreat, on Sunday, October 5, at Blind Willie’s blues club in Atlanta. Other artists scheduled to perform at the benefit include Liberty Jones, Men in Blues and Ike Stubblefield and Friends. Doors opening at 3:00 PM and music scheduled to run from 4:00 – 8:00 PM. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door, with no one admitted under 21 years of age. This non-smoking event is also dedicated to the memory of blues guitarist Jeff Healey, who passed away from cancer in March.

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL

Blue Mondays- Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover - Sept 22 - Lil Dave Thompson, Sept 29 - The Blues Deacons, Oct 6 - Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Oct 13 - The Rich Fabec Blues Band, Oct 20 - Too Slim & the Tail Draggers, Oct 27- Gina Sicilia with David Gross

The Blues Blowtorch Society - Bloomington, IL

Blues Blowtorch Society presents The Blues Blowtorch Society's Educational Fund Raiser, September 21, 2008 -1:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Tri Lakes Banquet Facilities, 2100 Bunn St., Bloomington, IL

Featuring Black Magic Johnson 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM and Lil' Dave Thompson 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM. Food and Drink for sale by Tri-Lakes Membership. Events for Everyone - How to Start a Band Workshop, Auctions, more! For more Information - Deborah Mehlberg - Entertainment Director 309-662-0996 or E-mail

The West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, W.V.

The West Virginia Blues Society will hold its Second Annual Blues Competition on October 4, 2008 at Christopher's Banquet Center in Fairmont, WV. Blues bands and solo/duo blues acts will compete for cash prizes and WVBS sponsorship to the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge held every year in Memphis, Tennessee. Complete information is available online at

The 25th International Blues Challenge

February 4-7, 2009 in Memphis, TN

Advance tickets, host hotel information, merchandise and preliminary event schedule will be available at beginning October 1.

Too Slim and the Taildraggers

Fortune Teller

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for

"Best Contemporary Blues Recording"

CLICK HERE to Vote for Us NOW

To purchase this CD now CLICK HERE

The BEST Way To Promote YOUR Next Blues Project!

BANDS, BARS, AND LABELS: Is your promo material getting you the gigs and business you desire? If not, call music journalist and copy writer Mike O'Cull for all your promotional needs. Mike is a veteran music journalist and musician and writes for the Illinois Entertainer,, and and can deliver the highest quality promotional writing around quickly and at a reasonable price.

Mike's specialties include bios, press releases, liner notes, and web content. Full press kit design, including graphics, is also available. Clients include The Joe Moss Band, Carl Davis, TruSoul Entertainment, B.A. S. Entertainment, and many others. Samples available on request. Email , call Mike O'Cull Music at 847-608-0357, or visit us online at for more information.

Mention the Blues Blast for a $10 new customer discount.

Chicago Blues Update

Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy

Blues Beat: Chicago (Photos by August Lord)

Lubriphonic at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted

B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted features two bands on Tuesday evenings. On this night, Big Rob Blaine aptly filled the early slot. The second band was a lesson in prejudice for me. Much of the information posted about Lubriphonic tags them as a jam band. I don't like jam bands. I know drummer Rick King and guitarist and singer Giles Corey pretty well. They play good blues. They play damn good blues, as do several of Lubriphonic's alumni. After all, they did a residency as house band in the Southside's famous Checkerboard Lounge.

I had heard some songs from their new recording effort Soul Solution and would agree with the tag they use on their MySpace, "Horny Rock & Roll, Hard Soul". I hasten to add that, yes, it's blues. Joewaun Scott was on bass duty this evening. The smile he flashed all night long seem to indicate that he likes getting to stretch out on Lubriphonic's material. Johnny Cotton on trombone and Ron Haynes on trumpet found some room on the dance floor, off to the side, in front of the stage. On his lowest notes Cotton's trombone seemed to reach more than halfway across the stage. Ron plays a different looking custom made trumpet and mouthpiece. The mouthpiece was almost invisible in his mouth and his cheeks were puffed out enough to make a trumpet teacher cringe.

As a horn section, their dynamics always added to the songs tastefully. Some songs ended with the horns resolving beautifully after some sustained dissonant tension. Rick King is co-founder and drummer. Rick has graced our pages most recently with Marty Sammon. Marty is a Lubriphonic alumnus currently presiding over Buddy Guy's keys. King moves from soul to funk and back with interesting fills and Rolex timing. Out in front is co-founder Giles Corey. You may remember him from our recent Mississippi Heat feature. Corey sings and plays with a contagious passion. This guy could be a breakout talent in his own right.

If you're a cd kind of person, let me suggest Soul Solution or their prior effort Supermoncho. Of course these recordings are also online. My true mission here however, is to get you to see this band live. As I write this, they are in Colorado on tour, but you can look for them to play frequently at AliveOne on North Halsted. Please take a minute to see the rest of the pictures of Lubriphonic's myspace.

CLICK HERE to visit Lordy's website at

To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE

New Sounds from Kansas City

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee
"Best Blues Song" for Ain't Gonna Happen Again

CLICK HERE to purchases Now!

To read the Blues Blast CD review - CLICK HERE

Festival Website:

Featured Blues Review (3 of 4)

Marcia Ball - Peace, Love & B.B.Q.

Alligator Records

Marcia Ball: pianist, vocalist, and song-writer. This is her first studio recording in four years, but she has been out there playing since the early 1970s. Her stock keeps rising with each accomplishment.

She has been nominated for numerous awards and won some big ones, like the BMA’s “Blues Album of the Year in 2002.” Also nominated for a Grammy, she won the BMA for “Contemporary Blues Album of the Year” in 2004, plus, she won the coveted “Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the year.” Again in ‘05, nominated for another Grammy, she instead was honored with a three year run as the Blues Music Award’s “Piano Player of the Year award in 2005, ‘06, and ’07.”

Marcia says, title wise, “Peace, Love and B.B.Q.” are three of her favorite things. This recording was produced by Stephen Bruton. Marcia wrote or co-wrote 8 of the 13 songs. It was recorded with the help of a few friends like Dr. John, Wayne Toups, Tracy Nelson, and, Terrance Simien is on a few of these songs. There is an impeccable sax by Thad Scott, lead guitar by Mike Keller, and drumming by Corey Keller. Accordion is shared by Marcia, Terrance Simien, Wayne Toups, and Stephen Bruton.

She takes you from a back yard B.B.Q. eating watermelon and getting sticky to dancing the next minute and, the next, telling a beautiful story about riding the storm out in an Alabama house that her daddy built, to singing a soulful ballad about “Falling Back In Love With You.”

The first cut is about New Orleans being a party town. (like, no one knows that) but the way she does it is phenomenal. She gets her sax player working it right out of the gate with her on the keys making it sound like a jazzy-swamp-zydeco mix, like only Marcia can deliver!

The second, the title cut, is definitely a fun song describing a family back yard B.B.Q. The way she writes about the kids hanging from the tree limbs, swinging, and “big daddy having a fit, cause he can't get the charcoal lit,” makes you feel you were there and can smell the B.B.Q sauce. She surely paints a beautiful, descriptive painting with her words.

“Married Life” a very nice song with a zydeco flare, and the accordion is excellent.

Marcia Ball is a winner from stunning vocals to her barrelhouse piano playing. I think this review could go on for about three weeks and still wouldn't touch all the wonderful sounds that come out of this C.D. I "Highly Recommend" this one.

by Tom "The Energizer" Schlesinger

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Roamin' and Ramblin'

2008 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee
"Best Best Traditional Blues CD

CLICK HERE to purchases Now!

To read the Blues Blast CD review - CLICK HERE

Featured Blues Review (4 of 4)

Hiromasa Suzuki - From Where I Am

Hiromasa Suzuki is an absolutely burning blues guitarist from Chiba, Japan. His career began in Tokyo in the early 1980’s and led to a move to the USA in 1992, where he quickly became part of the New York blues scene. By 1997, Suzuki was playing with the likes of Sam Taylor, Jimmy Vivino, Shemekia Copeland, and other notables, and by 2003 was part of Deborah Coleman’s band. From Where I Am is Suzuki’s first solo CD and it is certain not to be his last. He displays total grasp and control of his guitar on the record, and plays in a variety of blues and soul styles on electric and acoustic. Suzuki is clearly a student of all eras of this music we love and is also living proof that if you feel it, you can play it, no matter where you come from or what language you speak or sing in. Suzuki features a few guest vocalists on the album, but he sings the majority of the songs himself in Japanese. This can be a little strange at first, as it distances the listener from the storytelling aspect of the blues, but the strangeness passes as Suzuki’s guitar skills unfold across the tunes and his deep soulful vibe pulls you in.

Suzuki pulls out a couple standards like “Mojo Workin’” and “Crossroads” but the real meat here is on his original tunes. The lyrics are hard to interpret due to the language barrier and it is easy to long to know just HOW his mean ol’ woman is doing him wrong, but after the first couple spins, the music carries the day. Hiro is a good singer, however, and it is surprising how well his voice functions as an instrument. One of the best moments on the record is “Kinoumadetowa Chigau Asa” which is all soul and R&B with Suzuki playing some of the best slide guitar this reviewer has heard in recent years. Hiromasa Suzuki shows us all that playing music is about feeling, emotion, and skill, not where we come from or who we are and is a highly recommended choice for anyone looking for a slightly different flavor of the blues.

Mike O'Cull

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

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September 18, 2008