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© 2010 Blues Blast Magazine
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Hey Blues Fans,
It pays to vote! The winner of our first weekly drawing for a free CD was Ellen from Davenport, Iowa. Ellen won a copy of Blues Blast Music Award nominee Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers CD How Much Woman Can You Stand by voting for her choices this week in the 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards. You could win too!
We will continue randomly drawing for prizes from those who vote each week until voting ends on August 31st. Prizes include FREE CD's, posters and even a couple of FREE tickets to the Blues Blast Music Awards ceremonies. The Blues Blast Music Awards will be held on Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, IL. Tickets will go on sale in a couple weeks!
So be sure you get your vote in for a chance to win! For complete information on this years nominees, CLICK HERE. To vote now CLICK HERE.
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones
June 9th,1926 - August 9th, 2010
We lost another great Bluesman this week with the passing of Calvin "Fuzz" Jones. Here is the sad news from Bob Corritore:
"Best known as the longtime bass player of the Muddy Waters Blues Band, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, a Greenwood, Mississippi native, passed away last night of complications from lung cancer. He was 84. "Fuzz" was the definitive blues bass player, a stirring vocalist, and a wonderful human being. "
Here is the email that Bob Margolin, his longtime friend, and fellow Muddy alum, wrote concerning Calvin:
"Calvin “Fuzz” Jones passed away early this morning at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven, Mississippi. Calvin “Fuzz” Jones is best known for the 10 years he played bass in Muddy Waters’ band, about 1970-’80. Previously, he had worked with Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, and Elmore James. He was appreciated for his strong electric bass playing, rocking stage presence, deep Blues singing, and the friendly laugh and smile he had for all.
He had beat lung cancer in the late 1990’s but the cancer came back. He was enjoying his life as much as possible until very recently. He had a sincere good word for everyone, and his reaction to any kind of health, musical, or financial challenge was his hearty trademark laugh. I asked him how he could laugh so easily when life hurt him, and he said “When you laugh the world laughs with you, when you cry, you cry alone.” He brought us deep Chicago and Mississippi Blues on the bandstand and on recordings, and his Blues and love for his friends, family, and all of us are his legacy." Photo courtesy of www.vividpix.com
Funeral services for Calvin "Fuzz" Jones are Saturday August 14th, 10am at Rodger's Funeral Home, 10296 Hwy 51 North, Coldwater, MS 38618. Phone 662-622-5608 or 1-888-622-5608. Fax 662-622-5697.
In This Issue
Bob Kieser send photos of the Prairie Dog Blues Fest.
We have four new CD reviews this week! James "Skyy Dobro" Walker reviews a new CD by Albert Castiglia. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD by Al Stone. Greg 'Bluesdog' Szalony reviews a new CD by The Out Of Favor Boys. Gary “Wingman” Weeks reviews a new CD by Bobby Messano. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
13th Prarie Dog Blues Festival
We went to the 13th Annual Prairie Dog Blues Fest in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin last weekend. Festival promoter Todd Yeomans has invited us to his festival each year for the last 4 years and we finally made it to this unique fest held in a park on an island in the middle of The mighty Mississippi River. It was a cool setting for a Blues Fest!
Kicking off a great lineup on Friday night was Eddie Turner Band who played all night in the beer tent.
This is a LONG gig for the beer tent band! They played half hour sets before the main stage starts and in between each act on the main stage. They also finish off the day with a set following the last act on the main stage. Eddie did a great job and even had a large crowd for the final set after the main stage headliner. (OK So it doesn't hurt that the beer is right there in the tent with the crowd too!)
First up on the main stage was The Jon Justice Band. We have seen these guys before and we were again impressed that they are such a tight band.
Up next was Big James & the Chicago Playboys. These guys continue to be a solid act as they are still riding high of their 2009 release "Right Here, Right Now"
Alligator recording artists Guitar Shorty took the stage next. Shorty is a real crowd pleaser who always gives a great performance and this evening was a fine example of that.
The headline act on Friday evening was rocker Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights. This was our first time hearing this group and they sure can play some firery guitar!.
The Saturday lineup started off with The Sena Ehrhardt Band out of Minnesota. Sena is a very striking performer who has it all going on. She is a great vocalist who really knows how to put her all into a performance. She played a range of music styles that included Blues, Soul, R&B and some Jazz. She is a real knock-out and her father Ed Ehrhardt is a fantastic guitar player. Put this band on your must see list!
Next up was 10 year old Blues guitarist Tallan Latz from Wisconsin. Tallan was attending the festival when he was asked to fill in for Vernon Ray Harrington who was unable to make the show due to some travel issues. Tallan is getting better as a guitarist every time we hear him. The crowd loved seeing a 4 foot guitarist tear it up on stage.
Next up was the dynamic double treat of Debbie Davies & Robin Rogers
Debbie is one of our favorite Blues guitar players. She started off the set with her band showing the crowd her great guitar playing and singing before bringing out Robin Rogers to kick it up another notch.
Robin won the 2009 Blues Blast Music Award for Best Female Blues Artist and it was apparent why as she show cased a range of Blues styles from her last CD to an enthusiastic crowd.
Big John Dickerson was up next. Our first time hearing this great artists. Hope it is not the last!
As the sun went down Shaun Murphy Band took the stage. Shaun is nominated for Best New Artists CD in this years Blues Blast Music Awards. She is well know for her work with Little Feet and her own work outside the Blues but this was our first chance to see her performing material from her first Blues CD.
It was obvious why our nominators chose her this year. We hope she releases more Blues in the near future and we have heard through the grapevine that will happen real soon. Stay Tuned!
The final act of the night was Eric Sardinas and Big Motor Eric hits the stage like a bolt of lightning. His high energy show is amazing as he rips through tune after tune playing some of the tastiest slide guitar you'll hear anywhere.
Our first time at the Prairie Dog was a great experience. We would like to that the festival promoter and staff for creating such a great event!
All Photos and commentary by Bob Kieser.
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Band Leader Looking For A Label & Gigs
Koko Taylor's band leader Vino Louden is alive and well ...back from a terrible vehicle accident and near death experience playing and singing the blues. Looking for a label and gigs. Contact at 773-318-2492 www.myspace.com/vinolouden
Featured Blues Review 1 of 4
Albert Castiglia - Keepin On
Blues Leaf Records
12 tracks; 66:37 minutes; Suggested
Style: Electric Blues, Acoustic Blues, Blues-Rock
Parents, when you were “making” your children, was your goal to make each successive one better than the last one? Of course not; each child turned out to be different and unique. Now, imagine a recording artist with the same approach. Each release is made as good as it can be created, and each successive CD isn’t necessarily expected to be better than the last one. Each one turns out uniquely different.
I had always naively presumed that when an artist reached the point at which he/she could begin recording albums, the standard goal was to make the next one better than the last one. Albert Castiglia opened my eyes to a different paradigm in a recent interview on our Friends of the Blues Radio Show. “I don’t like to say one [recording] is better than another. All my CDs are like my kids, you know. They all have their own redeeming qualities in terms of material and stuff,” Castiglia explained. “Each recording has its own identity and strengths.”
Referring to his newest, fifth CD, “Keepin On,” (and third on the Blues Leaf label), Albert said, “I think it is the best ‘recording’ I’ve ever done. The engineer [Ben Elliot] and producers [Jack Kreisberg and Ben Elliot] got my guitar dialed in. It sounds really, really fat and full; I think it is my best sounding recording of all the ones I’ve made. Recording wise and production wise, ...[it’s] probably the best one; [and]...the musicianship on it is just incredible. I’m very proud of this record.” He should also be proud of his singing which has developed into his own distinct gritty-to-soulful sounds.
The “musicianship” to which Castiglia refers is the changed lineup used on this outing and for live touring -- from a four piece group to a trio (minus regular keyboards). Bob Amsel continues expertly on drums while new bassist A.J. Kelly joins Bob in a deft rhythm section. Studio guesting on both organ and piano is Bill “Mighty” Quinn, Emedin Rivera adds percussion, Nicole Hart returns with sweet background vocals, and Toby Walker plays some killer acoustic Dobro guitar on two cuts, the original “Sweet Southern Angel” and Robert Nighthawk’s “Murderin’ Blues.” This crew recorded five originals and covered radio-ready “Could Not Ask By More” by Peter Green with stable mate Sandy Mack adding harp. Other covers are by J.L. Hooker, Mack Rice, Bob Dylan, Jack Fikel, and T-Bone Walker.
This latest “kid” (CD) may be Albert’s wild-child as several songs showcase his ability to play extended-solo, brooding and broiling electric guitar. In a June live show for the Friends of the Blues, the instantly likeable Albert’s energy was so intense that I practically had to make him take a break (thirty-minutes-overdue) to sell folks some of those new CDs. The confidence he gained from the studio was on full display that wonderful, incendiary night.
Across the set, there is variety such as a Jazzy instrumental (“Mojo 305”), Swampy Blues-Rock (title track), the aforementioned acoustic songs with Toby Walker, and slow 12-bar Blues (“Closing Time”).
Purists may feel this CD is a touch too much on the Rock side of Blues Rock. But, no one can argue with the Country-Blues roots bared on the two acoustic numbers. Electric, Castiglia combines solid Blues with Soul, Rock, and Country-Blues tones for an “offspring” CD that should appeal to both Blues purists and Rockers.
Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at www.wkccradio.org in Kankakee, IL.
To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE
Paramount Blues Festival
September 17 & 18, 2010 - Grafton, WI
Eric Noden & Joe Filisko, Leroy Airmaster w/ guests Greg Koch & Jim Liban, Robert Allen Jr & the Zootsuits with Cadillac Pete. Grana Louise, Dennis Jones, Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials, Zac Harmon
Featured Blues Review 2 of 4
Al Stone - I Want It All
“Not Your Everyday Blues” is the motto that appears on the business card for the Electro Glide Records label. Based on the material on their latest release, it appears that the company is looking to make its mark in the land where straight blues progressions take a backseat to the higher energy and driving beat of the music’s rock influences.
Guitarist Al Stone has playing music for more than four decades, establishing his blues roots in his hometown of Chicago before hitting the road and eventually settling in the Florida panhandle with Jacksonville as his home. He is the primary vocalist, with backing vocals from Debbie Bailey Rider of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band. Stone also handles the lead and rhythm guitar parts while Erik Guess contributes some fine slide guitar work throughout the disc. Banner Thomas of the Molly Hatchet Band is the bass player on nine cuts with Danny Best on drums filling out the rhythm section. Additional musical assistance comes from Robbie Morris on percussion and Rob Peck on harmonica. The attractive packaging was designed by Kate Moss at Moonshine Design.
The program of all original material employs standard blues themes like fast cars, cheating women and too much alcohol. Stone sets a blistering pace on “Pontiac 4 Door”,, as he describes watching his wife drive off in his dream car after a disagreement and trying to decide which one he misses more. The title track finds Stone expressing his desire for ’59 Cadillac convertible, complete with a fine looking woman and a bottle of Jack Daniels. Stone and Guess both turn in hot guitar solos.
Things slow down on “Blind Dog” with Stone’s world-weary vocal telling the tale of getting kicked-out to the street without a home for him and his old dog while Peck gets a chance to stretch out on his harp. The band rocks hard on “She’s Gone” and uses a fast shuffle beat on “Drunk Again”, with Stone lamenting that he no longer can figure out if he is drinking whiskey or wine. “The Captain” is a ballad that succeeds due to Stone’s understated vocal.
Stone goes deep into the blues on “Old #9”, incorporating the train theme into his bitter tale of escaping the aftermath of romantic betrayal. Then the band erupts as the energy level skyrockets on “Don’t Try to Change Me”. Stone’s measured vocal is complimented by Rider’s spirited backing singing. The guitars join together to form one hellacious groove. Just as good is the closing track, “Walking Cane”, that opens with Stone’s distorted voice over a slide guitar. Once the band kicks in, Guess wails away on the slide guitar and Matt Marseglia delivers the strong beat that drives the track.
If Stone can manage to cut an entire disc of performances as strong as the last two on this recording, he would definitely live up to the Electo Glide motto of creating something beyond ordinary. The band can really rock when they cut loose. The other performances may not match the intensity of these songs but still serve to present Stone as a talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, one worth checking out by listeners looking for a healthy serving of blues ala rock & roll.
Blues Society News
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The Auckland Blues Club - Auckland. New Zealand
The Auckland Blues Club is New Zealand’s newest blues society, and its aim is to build a strong platform as a link to not only those musicians already in blues bands and blues fans, but to the wider community as a whole.
The club’s mission is to not only promote and further the playing, performance, enjoyment and study of blues music by way of concerts, public performances, tuition, encouragement and support to blues musicians of all ages and those interested in the blues, but to also nurture and develop interest in the blues among young and aspiring musicians, as well as to develop a network of people with a common interest in blues music.
We are an extremely friendly bunch and welcome visits and enquiries from overseas artists and visitors. For more information, please visit our website at: http://www.aucklandbluesclub.co.nz
The West Virginia Blues Society - Huntington, W.V.
The WV Blues Society, Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District, and Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau have got together and will honor WV native Diamond Teeth Mary McClain on August 27, 2010, in Huntington, WV at Heritage Village, 210 11th Street in the Downtown area, from 4pm to 10pm - FREE TO THE PUBLIC!!
WVBS will unveil the historical marker commemorating Diamond Teeth Mary McClain, present awards for the 1st Annual Diamond Teeth Mary Youth Art Competition where local youngsters will present their interpretations of “the blues”, and celebrate with music by:
John Taylor- acoustic blues virtuoso and blues historian
Maynard Chapman and Black Sedan- Huntington’s own rockin’ bluesman
Liz Pennock and Dr. Blues- the boogie-woogie duo friends of Diamond Teeth Mary herself
Nat Reese- The WV Bluesman, 2009 WV Music Hall of Fame inductee, 1995 Vandalia Award Winner.
Come join us for an evening celebrating our great array of artists, artisans, craftsmen, children, musicians and above all, WV’s own Diamond Teeth Mary McClain.
Windy City Blues Society - Chicago, IL
The Windy City Blues Society is proud to announce the 2010 Chicago Blues Challenge; a competition featuring some of the finest blues talent the Windy City has to offer. Winners of the Chicago Blues Challenge will represent the Windy City Blues Society and Chicago at the 2011 International Blues
Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee from February 1-5, 2011. Performers can compete in three categories: Solo/Duo, Band, and Youth. The Chicago Blues Challenge will have competitions in August and September, with finals in early November.
Chicagoland musicians can apply to compete in the Chicago Blues Challenge starting July 19. Deadline for the Solo/Duo and Youth category is August 15, and for the Band category is September 1. Applications can be obtained and returned at several area blues clubs. The application and more information on the Chicago Blues Challenge can also be found at www.windycityblues.org, and more information can also be found on our Facebook, MySpace and Twitter page
Alabama Blues Project - Northport, AL
On Thursday, September 16, 2010, Tuscaloosa will have a rare treat when internationally acclaimed, Grammy nominee (and Blues Blast Music Award Nominee) Ruthie Foster will perform at the Bama Theatre 600 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL in a benefit concert for the Alabama Blues Project. For sponsorship and ticket inquiries please call (205) 752-6263 or email Cara Smith at email@example.com.
Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA
MVBS presents Candye Kane and her band on Sunday August 29 at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf. Show time is 7:00 p.m.; admission is $10, $8 for MVBS members. For more information visit www.mvbs.org
The Golden Gate Blues Society - San Francisco Bay Area, CA
International Blues Challenge Competition - The Golden Gate Blues Society Blues Challenge announced. The winning Greater Bay Area band at each competition will go on to compete in the final where one band will be chosen to send to Memphis for The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. Everyone gets to vote for their favorite band! Free for members, $10.00 at the door for non-members - join TGGBS at the door and be admitted free. All showtimes will be from 2 – 6 pm.
August 22 – The Standby, South San Francisco. Finals - TBA. For more info visit www.tggbs.org or contact Dorothy L. Hill, President 415-824-3502 – firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Washington Blues Society - Seattle, WA
The Washington Blues Society’s local competitions for the 2011 International Blues Challenge competition finals will be held on Sunday, August 22nd at the the Snohomish Taste Of Music Festival. For complete info see the website at: www.wablues.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crossroads Blues Society - Rockford, IL
Crossroads Blues Society is producing their very first Blue festival this year. The Byron Crossroads Blues Festival will run from noon to midnight on Saturday, August 28, 2010, in downtown Byron, Illinois.
The festival lineup includes The Resistors, noted artists Filisko and Noden, The Cashbox Kings, Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band and Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames. For more information visit the Crossroads website at: www.crossroadsbluessociety.com
The Friends Of The Blues - Watseka, IL
2010 Friends of the Blues shows - August 24, Chicago Kingsnakes, 7 pm , Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club, September 2, Ivas John Band, 7 pm , Moose Lodge, N State Rt 50 ( Kinzie Ave ), Bradley IL, September 21, Shawn Pittman, 7 pm , Kankakee Valley Boat Club, October 12, Too Slim & Taildraggers, 7 pm , Kankakee Valley Boat Club, October 26, Perry Weber & DeVilles, 7 pm , Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club. For more info see: http://www.wazfest.com/JW.html
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $3 cover. August 16 – The Sugar Prophets, August 23 – Bryan Lee “Blind Blues Daddy”, August 28 – ICBC Blues Challenge at the Old Capitol Blues & BBQ, August 30 – Kilborn Alley Blues Band
River City Blues Society - Peoria, IL
The River City Blues Society presents Blues shows during the summer season. The shows start at 7:00pm at Good Fellas Pizza and Pub, 1414 N 8TH St Pekin, IL. Admission for all shows is $4 or $3 for RCBS members. Wednesday August 18, 2010 - Dave Herrero.
Featured Blues Review 3 of 4
Out Of Favor Boys - 7.18.9
When your blues roots go back as far as Robert Cray, Eric Clapton, Tommy Castro, John Mayer and James Taylor this is what your 'blues' sound like. The end result is mostly blues 'lite' covers slowed down and done for WAY too long. The band is very tight but afterwards you're left feeling empty. And spread out over two live discs that's a whole lot of empty. They've listened to some recent blues and got some guitar licks down, but sucked the soul out of the blues. This kinda of blues probably worked well at their club dates where the crowd is well lubricated, but there is nothing here I would want to give repeated listings to.....unless I was well lubricated I guess. How many versions of "Steamroller Blues" do we need? Check out Big Twist And The Mellow Fellows for the definitive rendition. The one blues song that strangely works for me is "Come When I Call" by pop meister John Mayer. An upbeat shuffle that moves along nicely. The one thing that jumps off this record is the sax playing of Tony Sproul. His energetic playing gives life to this paint-by-numbers music.
Now for the 'white boy soul' portion of the program. This is where they fare better. Their crowd pleasing funky grooves are what they do best. "Leaving You Behind" features good vocals and Tony honking away. "Good Booty And Barbeque" stops abruptly for no reason other than comic effect, to go into "Folsom Prison Blues". Three tracks that consist of stage patter apparently about a drink called 'Chuck Norris" are out of place.
The guitarists execute the licks well, they just have a generic blues sound to them. Drummer and bass player are locked in. One vocalist is smooth while another has a belabored 'blues' approach. If 'tourist blues' and toe-tapping 'white boy funk' are your thing, then check out these Michigan dudes and sit back with a 'Chuck Norris'.
Reviewer Greg 'Bluesdog' Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog's Doghouse at http://bluesdog61.multiply.com.
|You can vote anytime until August 31st but why not do it NOW? To cast your vote now, CLICK HERE. |
You can listen to music by each of the nominees at a website set up by our sponsor WGLT Blues Radio 24/7 in Bloomington, IL. Be an informed voter and check out the music of the nominees now! - CLICK HERE(The Blues Blast Music Awards ceremonies will take place Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, IL)
Best Contemporary Blues CD
Best Traditional Blues CD
|Joe Louis Walker - Between A Rock And the Blues||Dave Riley & Bob Corritore - Lucky To Be Living|
|Mike Zito - Pearl River||David Maxwell & Louisiana Red - You Got To Move|
|Nick Moss - Privileged||Eddie C. Campbell - Tear This World Up|
|Sean Costello - Sean's Blues||Fiona Boyes - Blues Woman|
|The Holmes Brothers - Feed My Soul||The Kilborn Alley Blues Band - Better Off Now|
|Tommy Castro - Hard Believer||Mississippi Heat - Let's Live It Up|
Best Blues Song
Best New Artist Debut Release
|Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers - |
How Much Woman Can You Stand?
|Alabama Mike - Day To Day|
|Joe Louis Walker - I'm Tide||Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers - |
How Much Woman Can You Stand?
|Mike Zito & Cyril Neville - Pearl River||Marquise Knox - Man Child|
|Pete Anderson - Still In Love||Quintus McCormick - Hey Jodie!|
|Quintus McCormick - Hey Jodie!||Shaun Murphy - Livin' The Blues|
|The Kilborn Alley Blues Band- Better Off Now|
Best Female Blues Artist
Best Male Blues Artist
|Candye Kane||Bobby Rush|
|Fiona Boyes||Joe Bonamassa|
|Janiva Magness||John Németh|
|Ruthie Foster||Magic Slim|
|Shemekia Copeland||Nick Moss|
|Zora Young||Tommy Castro|
Best Blues Band
Sean Costello Rising Star Award
|Magic Slim & The Teardrops||Cash Box Kings|
|Nick Moss & The Flip Tops||Damon Fowler|
|Rick Estrin & The Night Cats||Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers|
|The Holmes Brothers||Joanne Shaw Taylor|
|The Mannish Boys||Marquise Knox|
|Tommy Castro Band||The Insomniacs|
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Ladies Sing The Blues Cruise
A 5 day Carnival Cruise on the Triumph
Ever wish you could afford to take a Blues cruise but know you are in the wrong tax bracket to afford one? Well there is an alternative at a lower cost.
Fan Cruises has announced a five day Carnival Cruise departing from New Orleans December 6, 2010 with Ports of Call in Progreso, Mexico, and Cozumel, Mexico.
This special package includes private concerts by three Blues Ladies and cruise prices start at just $155 each for double occupancy, (plus plus $259.67 each for fees, taxes and gratuities). This Caribbean cruise include three private Blues concerts, private cocktail party with open bar, autograph signings and meet & greet time with the performers.
You can get a cabin for two for $830 total! (You can add a 3rd or 4th person to your cabin for only $10 & the fees each.) Or for a great early Christmas present for you and your loved one get the BEST cabins on the boat for a total cost of $1,290 for two people! (Panorama Deck 10 - Forward and Lido Deck 9 - Midship)
The Blues Lady performers include Pat Hunter, Terri Lynn & Thunder Blues and Vivian Vance Kelly. It is NOT all Blues all the time. It is an affordable 5 day Caribbean cruise. up close with these great musicians and includes two ports of call (including the island of Cozumel, with three Blues concerts and a Blues party! And you are For more information visit their website at http://fancruises.com
Featured Blues Review 4 of 4
Bobby Messano - Live In Madison
Prince Fog Records
Boasting a musical resume that includes playing with Stevie Winwood, Joe Lynn Turner, Lou Gramm and many others, guitarist/vocalist Bobby Messano gets to release his dream CD Live In Madison.
Recorded at 2009 Bamfest in Madison, Wisconsin, Messano is in fiery form. Backed by long standing bassist Steve Geller and drummer Joey B. Banks, Messano tears through a set of highly charged material of original tunes and classic textbook standards.
A driven acoustic spiritual "Sea of Hope" sits comfortably by the side of Stevie Winwood's "Cant Find My Way Home." It's in the blues where Bobby finds his true calling. When he opens his set with an acoustic based "Ramblin On My Mind," it's clear the energy levels are going up.
"CrossRoads Blues" begins in quirky two step fashion. Stopping on a dime, the song reverts back to Fillmore East era Cream fed a dose of steroids. Bobby's own "Holdin Ground" features white-hot fretwork which makes him the darling of the club and festival circuit.
His rendition of Hendrix' "Little Wing" is the complete package of balladry, feedback, whammy-bar gusto and banshee screams. Willie Dixon's "Let Me Love You" shuffles Stevie Ray style patented by Messano's slicy wah-wah licks.
Too bad there weren't were more original songs here. "In The Depths Of Love" slow burns through piercing guitar lines. Even Bobby can write a mean shuffle himself as evidenced in the fast paced romp of "The Way Things Used To Be."
It's strange Messano isn't a big name in the blues rock world. His chops are hot but he still remains off the radar. Oh well. The pros and cons of the industry.
Review by Gary “Wingman” Weeks.
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