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Get this crazy baby off my head!

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29.6.08

Sonia Dada




Sonia Dada - Lay Down and Love It Live - 1999 - Calliope Records

Sonia Dada are Shawn Christopher, Paris Delane, Michael Scott, Phil Miller, Dan Pritzker, Chris Hambone, Erick Scott, & Hank Guaglianone. For such a group of gifted and talented musician, it is anazing that the Chicago based Sonia Dada have not received more commercial success. They are relatively well known Stateside, and have a substantial Australian following, having sold out 19 concert dates on one tour. This is a great live album of blues-rock, rhythm and blues and soul, with a touch of gospel, and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Recorded live in Colorado and California between November and December 1998, the album has an exciting and exuberant feel. Great vocals and playing, especially from the four piece horn section . Listen to 'Lester's Methadone Clinic" Great stuff! Many of the tracks were written before 1998, and are probably Sonia Dada's best compositions. Buy their brilliant 2002 "Barefoot Soul"album, and give this great band the credit they deserve.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

Planes & Satellites - Dan Pritzker, David Resnik
Lester's Methadone Clinic - Dan Pritzker
I'm Gone - Dan Pritzker
Never See Me Again - Dan Pritzker, David Resnik, Erik Scott
Amazing Jane - Dan Pritzker
You Ain't Thinking (About Me) - Dan Pritzker
Anna Lee - Dan Pritzker
Last Parade (Crazy Lady) - Dan Pritzker
Phases Of The Moon - Dan Pritzker, David Resnik, Erik Scott, Bubbles Cameron
Don't Go (Giving Your Love Away) - Dan Pritzker, David Resnik
You Don't Treat Me No Good - Dan Pritzker
I Want To Take You Higher - Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart
Goodnight - Dan Pritzker

MUSICIANS

Shawn Christopher, Paris Delane, Michael Scott (vocals)
Sam Hogan (vocals)
Phil Miller, Dan Pritzker (guitar)
Chris Hambone (piano, Hammond B-3 organ)
Erick Scott (bass)
Hank Guaglianone (drums)
Ken Partyka (saxophone)
Bob Perna (trumpet)
Tony Wolters, Jim Martin (trombone)

REVIEWS

There is a certain excitement that you feel when you are about to experience something for the first time. Seeing a movie when you haven't heard any hype, seeing two little league teams battling for bragging rights instead of trophies, or listening to a disc of a band that you've never heard when you have never even heard a description of the music. It was with this type of excitement that I dove into the "lay DOWN and LOVE it LIVE" disc by Sonia Dada. I was left like the child spectator pictured on the back cover- mouth agape and staring in wonderment at this new marvel that I had just discovered. There are certain key components that distinguish a high quality collection of music: Composition, orchestration, execution, and artistry must all combine to form a whole new entity. In each of these aspirations, Sonia Dada excels, foretelling their future as music ambassadors to the soul. Perhaps the most striking quality of this collection is the superior compositional style of this band. Songs are tales- communicating settings, characters, and plots. The lyrics seem not to be sung as much as lines that are delivered into the setting laid out by the music. These songs seem to be more closely related to the music of the first half of the century when Broadway and Folk defined the musical consciousness of the people. Lester's Methodone Clinic is a perfect example. When you have finished consuming this song, you feel as if you have been transported into a story, whose scenery and texture are palpable. Your mind easily pictures the sound, visualization. You feel familiar, though not comfortable, with the surroundings. These songs have a universal appeal that extends beyond any particular genre and reaches into the hearts of music lovers. No less striking is Sonia Dada's ability to fill the confines of this disc with vibrant and rich sound. Whether through the penetrating subtlety of a percussion triangle in the aforementioned Methodone Clinic or the classic funk styling of Never See Me Again Sonia Dada continually impress with their command of the band's sound. These sounds smoothly rove from standard rock formulas to Gospel spirituals, from Grateful Dead-inspired improvisational intros to horn driven R&B. If it were not so seamless and crafted, these musical shifts would blind you. Full steam ahead vamping gives way to the soulful ballad of Amazing Jane. Given the quality of the composition and orchestration, it is no surprise that the talent driving the performance is of the highest caliber. Most striking is the evocative and agile vocal work, supplied by Shawn Christopher, Paris Delane, and Michael Scott. I am used to three-part vocal harmony, but the depth and spirit of these voices genuinely lifted my expectations and set a new standard for vocal quality. Paris Delane has a soaring voice that has the heft and weight that I had only seen in the greats: Aretha, Janis, and Ella. There is a bass vocalist, and I am not certain if it is Christopher or Scott, that has the ability to freeze the listener. I have never heard a bass vocalist of this quality off of a theatrical stage. And the male lead vocal is attention grabbing and exciting in the front, driving the melodic center of the songs. For fear that I am not including the excellent instrumental abilities of this band, I must mention that the rhythm section of Larry Beers on drums, Erik Scott on bass, Chris Cameron on piano and B3 is supportive and steady. A pocket is created without drawing attention too heavily away from the song. This cradles the performers and the listener equally. The Persistence Horns and the guitar duo of Phil Miller and Dan Pritzker round out the sound, supplying all of the kick and pomp that is necessary in music as genuine as this. All of this talent would be wasted, were it not directed and nurtured into an original musical vehicle with purpose and energy. Thankfully, Sonia Dada is artistic enough to really sculpt this sound into a collection that is diverse and yet focused. Fusing elements of literally dozens of styles (Doo-Wop, Folk, Southern Rock, Funk, R&B, Motown.. it is a never-ending list) Sonia Dada creates music that defies style and genre classifications. That this music inspires joy and sadness is unquestionable. The listener is so comfortable with this stylistic baptism that even a cover of Sly Stone's I Want to Take You Higher is no shock. It rolls off the tip of this album's tongue without a stutter or slur. "Lay Down and Love it Live" will leave you stunned. It stands up to a continuous listen as well as the random shuffle with equal excellence, further illustrating the quality of the songs. Rarely does modern music become Art worthy of the attention of future and present generations alike. Rarely do artists ascend so brilliantly into stardom while still strolling among us. Do yourself a favor- experience this album, experience Sonia Dada. © Phil Simon, www.jambands.com


Live recordings can have a way of separating the men from the boys and the women from the girls. Bands that are short on talent, chops, or substance might be able to hide behind technology when they're in the studio, but when they take it to the stage, their weaknesses become painfully obvious. But if a band is as substantial and as meaty as Sonia Dada, it doesn't need studio gloss to sound great -- and make no mistake, Sonia Dada sounds great on Lay Down & Love It Live, the Chicagoans' first live album and fourth album overall. True, an artist can use studio technology to "improve" an inferior live recording, but Lay Down never sounds artificial. The band's vitality comes through loud and clear on this CD, which contains mostly post-Sam Hogan recordings from 1998 (including a sweaty cover of Sly Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher") but also boasts three 1996 performances that were made before the singer's departure: "Goodnight," "Never See Me Again," and "You Ain't Thinking (About Me)." Without or without Hogan, Sonia Dada sounds consistently focused and never comes across as superficial. Recalling such soul/rock groups as Ike & Tina Turner, Sly & the Family Stone, and the Neville Brothers, gems like "Anna Lee" and "Amazing Jane" take us back to a time when artists lived for the stage and went that extra mile for audiences. Lay Down & Love It Live may very well be Sonia Dada's most essential release of the '90s. © Alex Henderson, All Music Guide

BIO

Sonia Dada, an eclectic, exciting genre bending rock & roll group, was born in the spring of 1990. Like their labelmates the Freddy Jones Band, they are based in Chicago. The members take their songwriting inspiration from their experiences in that city as well as on the road. One day in 1990, songwriter-guitarist Dan Pritzker got off a subway train and heard the three-part harmonies of Michael Scott, Paris Delane and Sam Hogan. Pritzker had already been working with a group that consisted of his long time friends, guitarist Dave Resnik, drummer Hank Guaglianone and bassist Erik Scott. The three singers joined the quartet, and Sonia Dada had a new lineup: Paris Delane, vocals, Sam Hogan, vocals, Michael Scott, vocals plus the original four. Shortly after they began rehearsing in earnest, they added keyboardist Chris "Hambone" Cameron. The band has released two albums for Capricorn, Sonia Dada, (1995), their self-titled debut (originally released on Chameleon/Elektra Records) exceeded 100,000 in sales and spurred a minor radio hit, "You Don't Treat Me No Good.'' A Day At The Beach, their follow-up, released in March, 1995. The group's intoxicating blend of blues-rock, rhythm and blues and soul music won them fans in faraway places like Australia, and led to the international touring schedule they now maintain. When the group toured Australia, they sold out all 19 concert dates, and in 1994, they opened 40 shows for Traffic while headlining some large clubs and theaters around the U.S. Songs like "Deliver Me" and "We Treat Each Other Cruel'' are soul-gospel-rock celebrations that feature creative arranging and the messages that appeal to the audience for adult rock radio. The songs on Day At The Beach continue the band's genre-fusing traditions, with tracks like "Lay My Body Down'' recalling the gospel-rock mix of their debut record, and the single from the album, "Screaming John,'' which showcases a memorable melody, good harmonies and crafty lyrics. On their second album, the band continues the grooves laid down on its first record, adding funkier rhythms and melodies. My Secret Life followed in 1998, and a year later Sonia Dada returned with Lay Down and Love It Live. The richly layered soul album Barefoot Soul appeared in 2002. In 2004 they released the ambitious Test Pattern, a richly atmospheric collection of material that included a bonus DVD of multimedia centered around two short films by director and cinematographer Jeth Weinrich. © Richard Skelly, All Music Guide

28.6.08

Rare Earth





Rare Earth - Band Together - 1978 - Prodigal

Production could have been better on this album, and although it's not one of Rare Earth's better albums, it has some strong cuts, and is a well above average recording. Check out their 1973 album Ma.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

A1.Warm Ride - Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A2.You - Jeffrey Bowen, Ivy Hunter, Jack Coga
A3.Love Is What You Get - Don Dunn, Bob Siller, Chuck Smith
A4.Love Do Me Right - Lenny Macaluso
A5.Dreamer - Jerry Zaremba

B1.Maybe The Magic - Curly Smith, Mark Olson
B2.Love Music - Dennis Lambert
B3.Rock 'N' Roll Man - Peter Hoorelbeke, Ray Monette, John Ryan, Mark Olson
B4.Mota Molata - Peter Hoorelbeke, Ray Monette, John Ryan, Mark Olson

MUSICIANS

Gil Bridges (Percussion), (Vocals (Background)), (Reeds (Multiple))
Eddie Guzman (Conga), (Timbales)
Peter Hoorelbeke (Percussion), (Drums), (Vocals)
Ray Monette (Guitar)
Mike Urso (Bass), (Vocals (Background))
Mark Olson (Harmonica), (Keyboards), (Vocals)

BIO

Rare Earth began as an R&B band called the Sunliners in Detroit in 1961. Of the musicians who would be part of the band dubbed Rare Earth, only sax player Gil Bridges and drummer Pete Rivera were present. John Parrish joined on bass in 1962. Rod Richards became a guitarist with the group in 1966. Keyboardist Kenny James came into the fold the same year. After years of doing the club circuit, the group changed their name to Rare Earth and released Dreams/Answers on Verve. The album received little reaction and the group was picked up by Motown Records as the first act on their yet-to-be-named new label. Rare Earth suggested to Motown that the label name their new subsidiary after the band and Rare Earth Records was born. When they set out to record their first album, they essentially ran out of material and did a 21-minute rendition of the Temptation's "Get Ready" to fill out the space. The album was making no headway on the charts for a long period of time. So they took the first three minutes of "Get Ready," released it as a single and it made its way into the U.S. Top Ten list, peaking at number four. Pulled along by the success of the single, the album also began to sell, breaking the Top 20, and Rare Earth's career was officially on its way. The second album, Ecology, was released in June of 1970, a couple months short of a year after "Get Ready" had been put out. Interestingly enough, Ecology was not really the group's second album, but their third. An album entitled Generation was recorded as the soundtrack to the film of the same name. When the film stalled at the box office, the album was shelved. Still, Ecology would yield not one, but two hit singles. The first was "(I Know) I'm Losing You" (another Temptations cover), which also broke the Top Ten. The second single, "Born to Wander," did not fare quite so well, but did make the Top 20. The album was catapulted to number 15. Not wanting to lose momentum, One World followed almost exactly a year after Ecology, and yielded another hit single in a longtime classic, "I Just Want to Celebrate." The song peaked on the pop charts at number seven and the album broke the Top 50. They released a live album in December of the same year. For the next album, Willie Remembers, the group insisted on doing all originals, a move that was not common around the Motown camp. Unfortunately, for a band trying to prove a point, the album never reached the type of sales of previous records. Indeed, it stalled out at number 90, and the single "Good Time Sally" didn't even break the Top 50. Motown tightened the creative grip on the group and original producer Norman Whitfield, who had worked with the group on earlier albums, was brought in to save the day. The resulting album, Ma, was released in May of 1973 and fared just a little better than Willie Remembers, peaking at number 65. The label was not pleased and sent the group into the studio to record with Stevie Wonder. That pairing did not really gel, though, and only two tracks were recorded, neither of which were released. Instead, the label sought to release another live album, trying to regain the spark that Rare Earth had had. That project also fell by the wayside, though. What followed was a series of lineup changes and legal battles, and the group stopped touring altogether in 1974. The following year Rare Earth, in a new lineup, released Back to Earth. The album did a bit better than the previous one, reaching number 59 on the charts. The single, appropriately entitled "It Makes You Happy (But It Ain't Gonna Last Too Long)" stalled just outside the Top 100. A disco-oriented excursion entitled Midnight Lady was released in 1976, but failed to really go anywhere. To make matters worse, Rare Earth Records was discontinued altogether. The band had broken up by this time. As fate would have it, though, this was not the end of Rare Earth. Instead, Barney Ales, who had presided over Rare Earth Records, started his own label Prodigal Records. He talked the group into reuniting to record the label debut. The resulting album, Rare Earth, was released in 1977 and made no real waves in the music business. Rare Earth got things together again for a marathon recording session the following year. That session yielded not one, but two albums. The first was Band Together, released in April of 1978, with Grand Slam following in September. Neither of those albums every really took off, either. The group essentially broke up in 1978, although a version of the original lineup was touring all the way into 1983. A different incarnation of the group, with just two original members, still makes the circuits. © Gary Hill, All Music Guide

Juliet Turner




Juliet Turner - Season Of The Hurricane - 2004 - Sony

Juliet Turner from Tyrone in Ireland is a very talented and interesting female performer. This is an album full of witty intelligent lyrics and captivating melodies. Unlike many singer songwriters, Juliet doesn't try to be anyone but herself. She has no qualms about singing in her northern accent, in fact the lilt works rhythmically with the melodies. Juliet Turner is a refreshing break from the innumerable 'Artists' who take themselves too seriously. Unlike many of her peers she shares the inspiration and meaning of every song with her audience. Juliet began when she was given a guitar for her 15th birthday. In 1996, while studying in Strathclyde, Scotland, she enlisted the help of a musician she knew from Glasgow, Charlie Irvine to record a demo to promote her concerts. Irvine was so impressed with Juliet's songs he suggested they record an album together and out of a budget of £800 came the very fine debut, "Lets Hear It For Pizza". Through Irvine, Turner met her manager Derek Nally who began to book her support slots with artists such as: Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, and Tracy Chapman. These supports slots quickly built up a cult following for Juliet throughout Ireland. With her profile so high, her manager decided to record a second album as soon as possible and producer Gerard Kiely gathered some very talented musicians to make, "Burn The Black Suit". Released in 2000 and backed by a nationwide tour, "Burn The Black Suit" went onto to sell 52,000 copies in Ireland alone. "Season of the Hurricane" is her third studio album. It went platinum in Ireland, and also brought her some international attention. Buy her great 1996 album, " Let's Hear It For Pizza."

TRACKS

01. The Greatest Show On Earth
02. One Night
03. Business As Usual
04. The Signal And The Noise
05. Season Of The Hurricane
06. Elvis Is In The Building
07. 1987
08. Vampire
09. Everything Beautiful Is Burning
10. See Another Side
11. No Good In This Goodbye
12. Sugartown

MUSICIANS

Juliet Turner - (Vocals)
David Angell, David Davidson - (Violins)
Alastair McMillian - (Bass)
Martin Terefe - (Bass),(Guitar)
John Catchings - (Cello)
Kristin Wilkinson - (Viola)
Glen Scott - (Keyboards), (Vocals), (Fender Rhodes), (Piano)
Enda Walsh, - (Piano)
Wayne P. Sheehy, Alastair McMillian - (Percussion)
Wayne P. Sheehy - (Drums)

REVIEWS

It's fair to say there's a bit of a buzz about Juliet Turner at the moment. Hailing from Northern Ireland, she's picked up several "Best Newcomer" awards recently and is already onto her third album. Although she's virtually unknown outside of Ireland, Season Of The Hurricane comes with the approval of the unlikely powerful figure of Terry Wogan - the man who made Katie Melua a household name almost single-handedly. It would be a grave disservice to Turner though if she was to be bracketed in the same easy listening category as Melua. Season Of The Hurricane is full of intriguing songs coloured by some brilliantly imaginatively lyrics - it's hard to imagine Melua coming out with something so daring and attention grabbing as the opening track on here for example. That particular song, The Greatest Show On Earth, is simply wonderful. Like a less paranoid Portishead, the melody is creepily atmospheric with some nice little electronic effects in the background. Turner's memorable lyrics add to the beguiling mood ("I need a man who's gonna stick around / Not somebody who will leave me through a trapdoor") and her voice, while maybe not being the strongest of instruments, perfectly suits the material here. With such a strong opening track, the rest of the album initially fails to match up, but repeated listening brings its own rewards. Turner has been compared to Alanis Morrisette, but to these ears Beth Orton is a more worthy comparison. She shares with Orton the ability to conjure up images with one phrase - the chorus of Business As Usual being a prime example ("I'm standing next to Lady Liberty / She brings an unexpected tear"). If there's a fault here, it's that her rough edges have been too smoothed down by the production here. A song such as Vampire has some superb, and remarkably explicit, lyrics about sexual guilt ("She pulls him so deep inside that he's afraid he'll divide her") - yet the mixing of the song makes it sound like one of Dido's cast-offs. Maybe the people who surround Turner are anxious that she receives the success she deserves, but her compatriot Gemma Hayes managed to produce the successful and spiky Night On My Side a couple of years ago. Yet there are enough positives here to render that criticism a minor one. Turner's voice retains her Northern Irish accent throughout, which makes the material refreshingly different, whether it be skipping through Everything Beautiful Is Burning or a rootsy rendition of Lee Hazelwood's Sugartown. Also, the stark No Good In This Goodbye is amongst the most beautiful songs you'll hear all year. There's certainly enough potential here to suggest that Juliet Turner will produce a truly excellent album soon enough. Season Of The Hurricane isn't that record, but it will more than be enough for now. Turner is definitely a real talent - maybe Wogan should move into A & R. © John Murphy, © 1996-2008 OMH. all rights reserved, www.musicomh.com/albums/juliet-turner.htm

Here's one that will sneak up on you and poke you hard in the ribs when you're not paying attention. Irish singer/songwriter Juliet Turner starts off her third album with a surprise move, a smoldering song of ambivalent romantic longing built on a foundation of dark rockers reggae, complete with Augustus Pablo-style melodica and dub effects. Then the music slides into polite folk-rock and stays there for most of the rest of the album, jangly guitars and Hammond organ supporting her quirky lyrics and lovely, sweet-and-sour voice. "1987" commemorates adolescent love with melancholy and heartbreaking sweetness; the strangely twisting but utterly beautiful melody of "Vampire" winds around lines like "Moan, fog horn, moan for the leaving of the boat/You know that she's a vampire but you still offer her your throat." The Irish radio hit is "Everything Beautiful Is Burning," which features some of the most artfully applied strings in the history of pop music, and "Take the Money and Run" closes the program with a brilliant juxtaposition of meat-and-potatoes rock & 'roll and weird electronic burbles. "Unique" is a term that has lost a lot of its meaning in the pop music world, but it's one that applies powerfully, and in all the best ways, to Juliet Turner. © Rick Anderson, All Music Guide

Juliet Turner is, perhaps, an acquired taste. While catchy numbers like 'Everything Beautiful Is Burning' exemplify a depth and extraordinary talent that drag her into the mainstream, there are so many other tracks that simply perplex, pushing her back onto the fringes of the music scene. Lyrically, Turner often wanders into a fantasy world that pushes the attraction of the unique to its limits. But just as effortlessly there is a contrasting element that redeems this. 'Everything Beautiful Is Burning' is a rare gem and, while the rest of the album doesn't quite measure up, tracks like 'Business As Usual' will drag you in. There can be little dispute that Turner's integration of natural accent and tones is remarkable. And while her content refines her market, it also sets her very much apart from other artists - never a bad thing. © Linda McGee, © RTÉ 2008



BIO

Northern Irish singer/songwriter Juliet Turner has some hints of the old standbys in her folk-inflected music: Nick Drake, Carole King, even a bit of Kirsty MacColl in her vocals. However, Turner's blend of folk, pop, and electronics also sits nicely next to contemporaries like KT Tunstall and Beth Orton. Born and raised in a musically inclined family in the small Northern Ireland town of Tummery, Turner was a member of her church choir and was active in school musicals, but it wasn't until she moved to Dublin to attend university that she began playing guitar and writing songs in earnest. In 1996, Turner spent a year as an exchange student in Glasgow, Scotland, during which time she met the owner of a small local indie, Sicky Music, who offered to record some of her songs with his own band as her backup. Recorded in one two-day session, the resulting album, Let's Hear It for Pizza, garnered enough buzz back home to land a management deal and a series of opening-act dates with everyone from Arlo Guthrie to hometown heroes U2. After finishing school, Turner and her manager set up their own label, Hear This, to release her second album, Burn the Black Suit, in 2000. A third album, Season of the Hurricane, was released in 2004, becoming a Top Ten hit in Ireland and earning an increasing level of international attention. A 2005 live album capitalized on Turner's blossoming international profile. © Stewart Mason, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Juliet Turner is a Northern Irish singer/songwriter. She comes from Tummery, near Omagh, Co. Tyrone, and has been a part of the Dublin music scene since she started recording in 1996. In the course of her career she has opened for such artists as Bob Dylan, U2 and Bryan Adams. Turner also sang on two tracks of Peter Mulvey's live album Glencree. In August 1998, Turner sang the song "Broken Things" (originally released by American Julie Miller) to a packed audience at the memorial concert for the victims of the Omagh bombing. She ruled out releasing the song as a single, although it did subsequently appear on the compilation "Across The Bridge Of Hope". In autumn 2002 Turner picked up a “Best Newcomer in Music” award from the London based “Irish Post” newspaper and another award for her contribution to music from Tatler Magazine at their Women of the Year ceremony in Dublin – Turner was the first woman to receive this award. In February 2005, Juliet Turner was awarded the Meteor Music Award for best Irish female performer. Currently she is study for a degree in speech therapy at Trinity alongside her music career.

26.6.08

Jan Akkerman




Jan Akkerman - Profile - 1972 - Harvest (EMI) - The Netherlands [Re-released 2000 on BGO Records]

This album is full of excellent electric & acoustic guitars and Baroque lute parts. Akkerman here can be classical (Baroque), hard rock and even slightly bluesy, and sometimes a bit folk. He includes some powerful rhythmic elements on this album. The album is very original and unique. The first track is an epic track of nearly 20 minutes, full of good moments, sometimes melodic, although it may sound experimental, improvised and raw like the more bizarre stuff of Jimi Hendrix, if you consider the visceral electric guitar notes and the fast drums: it is reminiscent of Lenny White's "Venusian Summer" album. Most of the other tracks re short, and of full of acoustic and electric string instruments, with sometimes good bass and drums parts. Jan Akkerman proves here that he is an outstanding guitarist. Check out his 1977 self titled album

@ J.AJJERMAN/1977


Info on Lenny White's "Venusian Summer" can be found @ L.WHITE/VSUMMER

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

"Fresh Air" (Jan Akkerman) – 19:55
"Kemp's Jig" (anonymous) – 1:34
"Etude" (Matteo Carcassi) – 1:33
"Blue Boy" (Jan Akkerman) – 2:26
"Andante Sostenuto" (Anton Diabelli) – 4:09
"Maybe Just A Dream" (Jan Akkerman) – 2:35
"Minstrel/Farmers Dance" (Jan Akkerman) – 1:46
"Stick" (Jan Akkerman) – 3:41

MUSICIANS

Jan Akkerman - Guitars, Classical guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Piano, Lute
Pierre Van Der Linden - Drums on "Fresh Air," "Blue Boy," "Maybe Just A Dream."
Bert Ruiter - Bass Guitar on "Fresh Air," "Blue Boy," "Maybe Just A Dream."
Ferry Maat - Piano on "Stick"
Japp Van Eyck - Bass Guitar on "Stick"
Frans Smit - Drums on "Stick"

BIO

Jan Akkerman was born on Christmas Eve 1946 and first picked up a guitar aged 5. Legend has it that he played accordian aged 3, and was entirely self-taught on the guitar, but in actual fact he took classical guitar lessons, studied at Amsterdam Music Lyceum for 5 years and won a scholarship. His father was a guitarist, and his mother played the accordian. He took a keen interest in group music-making, joining local bands The Friendship Sextet and The Shaking Hearts. In 1961, aged 15, he recorded his first single with his current band, Johnny & The Cellar Rockers, which also featured Pierre Van der Linden. The Cellar Rockers became the Hunters, and the first hit was scored with a cover of "Mr Tambourine Man", but an even bigger hit came from an original song called "The Russian Spy and I", inspired largely by the Shadows, but with a notable guitar solo from Akkerman. During the mid 1960s, Akkerman visited England, where he saw the guitarist Julian Bream performing Mediaeval lute music. This was an inspiration that was never to leave Akkerman. In the late 1960s, he formed Brainbox, with his old friend Van der Linden on drums, who negotiated a signing to Parlophone. During a recording session, Akkerman, who was fond of jamming and session playing, hooked up with the embryo Focus, and was ejected from Brainbox as a result. Brainbox's first (and only) album is regarded as a Dutch Prog Rock classic in some circles.
Not to be deterred, he recorded his own material, assisted by his friends from The Hunters; a solo album called "Talents for Sale", and joined Focus for recording the backing music to the musical "Hair", and their debut album "In And Out Of Focus". In 1971, Akkerman's old sparring partner Van der Linden is taken into Focus on drums, and "Moving Waves" is recorded. Despite the international success of this album, Akkerman relentlessly carried on recording his own material with the albums "Profile" and 1974's "Tabernakel", which features Akkerman's playing his newly acquired lute, and carries a Mediaeval flavour. Following "Moving Waves" and "Focus 3", Akkerman was pronounced best International guitarist by Melody Maker, in a poll that put him above Clapton, Beck and Page. In 1978, Akkerman's contract with Atlantic was ended due to the high costs involved with his insistence of hiring full symphony orchestras and low record sales, and Akkerman went off to persue other musical avenues, pausing only to attempt a Focus re-group. The album of this year "3" is an unusually funky album with very little ecelcticism. This didn't work out, so Akkerman carried on working, attempting to reform Focus once again in 1984, producing the rather raw "From the Basement". In 1989 he had a more successful collaboration with Miles Copland resulting in the successful "Noise of Art". His collaborations and various projects from then until now are too numerous to mention one by one, including work with B.B. King, Mike Kenealy, Alan Price, Charlie Byrd and Ice-T, but 1999's "Passion" is particularly notable. On February 16th 2005, Akkerman was awarded with a Golden Harp award at the Harpen Gala, proving that he is still not only going strong, with his favourite annual Dutch and UK tours, but still impressing with his skills. © Prog Archives, All rights reserved

25.6.08

Caecilie Norby




Caecilie Norby - My Corner Of The Sky - 1996 - Blue Note

Although she is not a household name, the 44 year old Danish vocalist, Caecilie Norby was elected one of the ten most popular Jazzsingers throughout the world in 1996. She can do it all: Fusion, Rock and Jazz. She has a lovely elegant voice with a great lyrical touch, and her natural improvisational ability is wonderful. She already has a stupendous career, and she has contributed to breaking down the sometimes rigid jazz structure into genres. She has also attracted notice by awakening an interest in Jazz in the young, traditionally rock oriented audience. This may not be her strongest album, but it's very good, and covers some songs rarely sung by jazz vocalists. Bowie's "Life on Mars" and Sting's "Set Them Free" are done really well. If you would like to hear more of this very talented lady, buy her excellent 1995 self titled album "Caecilie Norby." with contributions by Randy Brecker, Chick Corea, Don Grolnick, Rick Margitza, Billy Hart and Lars Jansson.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Look of Love, The - B.Bacharach/H.David
2. Right to Love, The - L.SchriffrinG./Lees
3. Set Them Free - Sting
4. Suppertime - Berling
5. African Fairytale - W.Shorter/C.Norby
6. Life on Mars - D.Bowie
7. Spinning Wheel - D.C.Thomas
8. What Do You See in Her - Weldon/H.David
9. Just One of Those Things - C.Porter
10. Snow - F.Bak/C.Norby
11. Song For You, A - L.Russell
12. Calling You - B.Telson

MUSICIANS

Caecilie Norby (vocals)
Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone)
Randy Brecker (flugelhorn)
Dave Kikoski (keyboards)
Terri Lyne Carrington (drums)

SHORT BIO

Caecilie Norby is a singer with an unusual repertoire that not only includes some jazz standards, but a few pop tunes of the past 30 years (including "Spinning Wheel" and "The Look of Love"). She has a strong voice and a style that shows potential. Born in Denmark to parents active in the classical music world, Norby's background is actually in rock, recording with Frontline in 1985 and spending 1986-1993 as half of the rock group One Two. However, she also sang occasionally with a small jazz group in clubs, and pianist Niels Lan Doky was impressed enough to offer to produce her first jazz record. Caecilie Norby, whose greatest musical influence is early Nancy Wilson, recorded two sets released domestically by Blue Note. © Scott Yanow, All Music Guide



MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST

She can do it all: fusion, rock and jazz. At the tender age of 32 she already has a stupendous carrier, and she has contributed to breaking down the rigid division into genres; in addition she has attracted notice by awakening an interest in jazz in the young, traditionally rock-oriented audience.Cæcilie Norby was born on 9 September 1964 in Fredriksberg, Denmark, into a musical family: her father, Erik Norby, is a renowned score composer, and her mother, Solveig Lumholt, an opera singer. The family's only record with rhythmic music was one with the singer Nancy Wilson, and together with the Beatles tapes it became well worn. She went to the singing school of Sankt Annæ Gymnasium, and then followed a year at a folk high school with theatre as her main subject. In the summer of 1982, when she participated at a jazz festival at Brandbjerg, she was one of the founders of Street Beat, and she was the vocalist in this group for the next 18 months. From 1983 she was part of the jazz/funk group Frontline, which was awarded the Ben Webster Prize in 1985 and in the same year recorded the album Frontline. In the former Danish music magazine MM, a readers' poll bestowed prizes on the orchestra for "Jazz Act of the Year", "Live Act of the Year", "Most Promising Act", "Album of the Year" and Cæcilie elected "Soloist of the Year". She has also toured with various groups and has performed several times with the Danish Radio Big Band. In 1985, she launched on a long co-operation with the singer Nina Forsberg in the highly popular rock group One-Two. The group existed right up to 1993 and recorded three albums. 1986 saw Cæcilie representing Denmark in an international jazz orchestra at the Knokke Festival in Belgium. Moreover, Cæcilie Norby has performed as vocal soloist with numerous Danish jazz musicians and orchestras: pianist Jørgen Emborg, Klüvers Big Band, drummer Niels Ratzer, pianist Thomas Clausen and many more. In 1990, Cæcilie's father wrote the work "Concerto for Two Sopranos" for Zealand Symphonic Orchestra. The two sopranos were Cæcilie herself and her mother, and the work contains both classical, rhythmic and improvising elements. Cæcilie has also performed with her mother and Thomas Clausen with a mixture of opera, musical and jazz titled "Ballads, Blues & Lieder". During the 1990s, Cæcilie Norby has really cultivated her popular version of the standard repertoire of jazz music. She has been on frequent tours with her own quartet comprising pianist Ben Besiakov, bassist Lennart Ginman and Søren Christensen or Alex Riel playing the drums, and she has toured Europe with local quartets and big bands. In addition, she has been external examiner at the Academy of Rhythmic Music in Copenhagen, and moreover she has arranged and sung at various studio productions. In the spring of 1995 her album Cæcilie Norby was released on Blue Note, the legendary jazz label, with contributions by a number of trend-setting international composers and soloists, including saxophonists Randy Brecker and Rick Margitza, drummer Billy Hart, pianist Lars Jansson, and composers Chick Corea, Don Grolnick and Randy Brecker. The CD was mixed and partly recorded in the USA. The Jazz Special magazine elected Cæcilie Norby one of the year's five best records featuring a Danish jazz musician, and the five-digit sales figures achieved so far both in Denmark and Japan are exceptional for a jazz album. Cæcilie certainly never expected to do that well. Her initial target was a mere 5,000 records sold, which would be something for a jazz album. But then Cæcilie calls her music jazz pop; it is by no means hard-core jazz. Following the release of Cæcilie first CD on Blue Note she has been on tour most of the time, with some of the musicians on the CD Cæcilie Norby as well as others. This success is now being followed up by another Blue Note release: My Corner of the Sky, and the contributors include drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, bassist Lars Danielsson and the Brecker brothers on tenor sax and flugelhorn. As on her first album, Niels Lan Doky is co-producer and co-arranger. Cæcilie Norby has scored a tremendous success with her numerous projects, and she has been through the entire rock circus without becoming capricious. Although she is a popular favourite at festivals, she is drawn to smaller, more intimate venues, to the standard repertoire of jazz and to the talent of jazz musicians for improvising and going on stage without having spent six months in training camp and without the backing of a huge machinery. What has been referred to as a flirt with jazz must now be called a firm commitment. Cæcilie Norby's voice is lyrical and supple. She colours her vowels to taste. Improvisations and scats are done with elegance. Her phrasing can be both down-to-earth and romantic. She can radiate anything from the sweet and vulnerable to the crude and powerful. Some critics have compared Cæcilie Norby to Swedish Monica Zetterlund and to the American singers Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington and Aretha Franklin. [EMI-Medley, Denmark, Europe Jazz Network , © www.ejn.it/mus/norby.htm

23.6.08

Derrin Nauendorf




Derrin Nauendorf - The Rattling Wheel - 2006 - Collective

'The Rattling Wheel! - It's excellent" Bob Harris BBC Radio 2. "Derrin is one of the few acts, blues or otherwise, nowadays that can send shivers down my spine through the passion of his live performance, when he is going for it on stage you get sucked in to his world, and it's a journey well worth making." - Chris Cordingley

"The Rattling Wheel" is Derrin Nauendorf's fifth album, and the first to feature his full band. There are obvious influences here of Bob Dylan, John Martyn and traditional British folk, blended in with his own roots blues sound. The guy is a very good songwriter, plays excellent guitar, and has a raw and emotional voice which he uses to great effectin his songs.. A very good album from the underrated Derrin Nauendorf. Check out his 2005’s New History and 2003’s Wasteland albums.

TRACKS

1. Universe Demands
2. Shipwrecked
3. I Wont Turn My Back
4. Where Two Men Go Tonight
5. Queensland
6. Deliver Me An Angel
7. Reason You Came Here
8. My Hurricane
9. Shatter Like Stars
10. Long Road Home
11. All The Faces

All songs composed by Derrin Nauendorf

MUSICIANS

Derrin Nauendorf - vocals, 6 string guitar, 12 string guitar, reaonator guitar & all other lead guitars
Jamie O`Keeffe - drums
Arnie Cottrell - mandolin, electric guitar, slide guitar
Rick Foot - double bass
Ron Singh - harmonium
Buz Sing - extra vocal (track 4)
Additional vocals - Arnie Cottrell & Neil Segrott

REVIEWS

I remember reading a review of one of my absolute favorite artists, Steve Earle, where the reviewer asked if Mr. Earle if he would be capable of making a bad album. The answer was "no". Listening to Australian Derrin Nauendorfs' new album "The Rattling Wheel" made me think the same thing about him. This album is not typical blues, but more in the roots/folk vain. Although it is hard to label his music, I would describe it as mostly low key acoustic based music. The album starts off with "Universe Demands", a song that will catch your attention and is indeed one of my favorites on this albums. It is one of the more "up tempo" tracks on this album. It is a great song with great acoustic guitar, something that is typical of all the songs. Apart from being a great singer, he is also a fantastic guitar player. "Queensland" is another track which shows off the same excellent guitar and vocals. "Deliver Me An Angel" is a slower song highlighting another of Nauendorfs great abilities, making excellent lyrics. "Shatter Like Stars" is another example of the same. But when it comes to this album, it is almost unfair to pick out favorites as the album is so constantly strong throughout. If, in this fast paced day and and age, you need some time to wind down, reflect, relax and simply enjoy wonderful music, then this is a must have album. Definitely my non typical blues album favorite of this year. © Kaj Sperrås 2006

If, like me, you are heartily sick of the current singer/songwriter boom in whiny, forlorn and pleading angst this album comes as a real breath of ozone charged air. From the opening vocals of 'Universe Demands’ his intensity and commitment hits you and doesn’t let up until the last moments of 'All the Faces’ but on the way you are treated to some superb music and songs. The songs really are the thing that draws you into this debut release. Nauendorf is a storyteller and while his lyrics are subtle and shaded the stories are powerful and visceral. 'Where two men go tonight’ brims with barely tamed aggression and has an almost folk sound to it as it describes love betrayed and revenge taken. The Americana style picking of 'My Hurricane’ carries the song along but 'Shipwrecked’ has a softer, almost wistful feel but still burns with intensity. There are times that he sounds a little (a lot even) like Steve Earl but his guitar sound is a lot more subtle, especially his twelve string where he picks and harmonises beautifully. At times he supplies his own rhythm section, using the body of his guitar like Richie Havens but always the strings are picked, caressed or wrenched like he really means the song to be heard. His voice is slightly raw and filled with emotion but never cloyingly so and while he hasn’t exactly got an operatic range he has more variation than most of his contemporaries.. The evidence of over 1000 live shows around the UK and Europe is that he can carry an audience with his words and playing and this album will only develop his reputation further. James Blunt he isn’t. © Andy Snipper, Entire contents © Music-News, www.music-news.com/ShowReview.asp?H=Derrin-Nauendorf-The-Rattling-Wheel-album-review&nReviewID=1751&nType=1

My Album of the Year!! This might not be the album you expected from the great Aussie Acoustic entertainer, but that depends on how long you have been following this shining star. For 5 years Derrin Nauendorf (no-en-dorf) has been endlessly touring as a solo or duo (drums) artist, he has been enchanting crowds with his stunning guitar skills, fascinating lyrics and explosive vocals. Underpinning all of these gigs is a nice guy full of energy and a passion to entertain. This album is Derrin with a difference, that difference being a band. Derrin has put together a group that compliments his music perfectly. With the addition of drums, stand up bass and occasional mandolin, harmonium and backing vocals Derrin has created a sound that fits in perfectly with his flamboyant style. The songs are taken from Derrins previous albums (1 from Natural, 2 from Boardwalk, 3 from Wasteland and 3 from New History) and also two new tracks. The re-recorded tracks have all been re-invented for this release so in no way is this a “best of” album. They are less acoustica and more Americana (or should that be Aussi-karma!), the first two tracks have obvious single potential. The acoustic purists may not like this CD as much as New History and some of Derrins avant-garde playing skills (neck bending, body tapping and the awesome resonating didgeridoo sound) are missing but this does not detract from a collection of great tracks. The songs range from rocky to melancholy and all have the trade mark lyrics Derrin produces. The highlights of the CD for me are the two new tracks, Universe Demands and My Hurricane, and old tracks Where Two Men Go Tonight (great input from the Singh brothers) and Deliver Me An Angel which you just have to sing along with the chorus (well I do!). The CD is well packaged with full lyrics in a glossy booklet. A brilliant album from one of Australia’s greatest exports. © colandjen, Anderson Council, © 1995-2008 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved, http://catalog.ebay.co.uk/The-Rattling-Wheel_EAN_5055043177726_W0QQ_fclsZ1QQ_pidZ59451625QQ_tabZ3

BIO

Derrin Nauendorf, 28, (pronounced No-en-dorf) invested his life in music after picking up a guitar in high school. His competence and enthusiasm for the instrument quickly led to him playing in many rock and blues bands in his native Australia, and eventually a tour of North America by the age of 21. Derrin’s maturing taste for melody and lyric drew him to explore roots and acoustica in a more sophisticated way – culminating in the release of 1999’s `Natural`. Buoyed by the acclaim and respect that this CD earned him, Derrin focused on what has become his life – real music with a never say die determination. David Downing, 34, has always been hitting things. From his earliest memories, getting a groove out of anything was always a priority. Technically trained but wary of convention, David played in many different acts to develop into an accompanist beyond the role of conventional drummers. A chance meeting with Derrin at a bush pub in Australia spawned a plan – to work hard to do the best they could. Derrin and David decided on England. With one support gig, a tonne of enthusiasm and plenty of desperation, they landed at Heathrow with a guitar, a ramshackle home made percussion rig and plenty of warm clothes. Steadily many people understood their music and ethos and during three years have played 500 shows in England, Scotland, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France and Australia. Little by little, they have earned the respect and friendship of musicians, promoters, agents and venue proprietors. And, most importantly, a dedicated fanbase. Their success is based on honesty and fairness and fuelled by the response audiences have to their work. They are self-managed with a view to maintaining and developing long term relationships with organisations and people who operate with the same principles. Derrin and David embody the principles on which real music is built – uncompromising to their musical beliefs and ready for the long fight to achieve global success. © 2007 YAMAHA CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, http://www.yamaha-europe.com/yamaha_europe/uk/service/010_artist/artists_guitars/derrin_nauendorf/index.html

Long John Hunter




Long John Hunter - Border Town Legend - 1996 - Alligator Records

Inspired by a 1953 B.B. King performance, Long John Hunter bought himself a guitar and embarked on a career in Texas Blues that only in the past few years has managed to generate national attention. With a slashing, precise lead style that belies his level of recognition, Hunter has remained in semi-obscurity, fashioning a fervent cult following out of the sweltering environs of his El Paso home. His gutsy vocals and full-on blues power attack came to vinyl fruition in 1996 with Border Town Legend, generally considered one of the high points of the Modern Blues era. © Mike McGuirk, http://uk.real.com/music/artist/Long_John_Hunter/

"The return of Long John Hunter is the Texas blues event of the decade." © Austin Chronicle

In the 1960s the great bluesman Long John Hunter had a decade-long residency at the Lobby Bar in Juarez, Mexico, paying his dues and honing his skills. He had a reputation for swinging from the rafters, or even walking around on them, playing guitar with his free arm. Born in Ringold, Louisiana, Hunter was raised in Arkansas, but it wasn't long before he ended up in Texas. It was here that he saw B B King, an inspirational night that set him firmly on the blues path. From the wild roadhouses of West Texas, a real Lone Star legend at the peak of his abilities. A great album of pure Texas blues, with a terrific group of back up musicians. This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy his great follow-up album, "Swinging from the Rafters" and give this guy the credit he deserves, and KEEP THE BLUES ALIVE!

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

T-Bone Intentions - Long John Hunter, Jonathan Foose
Ice Cold - Long John Hunter
Ole Red - Long John Hunter, Jonathan Foose, Deborah Jeter, Tary Owens
Marfa Lights - Long John Hunter, Jonathan Foose, Tary Owens
Nasty Ways - Johnny Nicholas, Long John Hunter, Jonathan Foose, Tary Owens
Grits Ain't Groceries - Titus Turner
Arkansas - Unknown
Rooster and the Hen - Long John Hunter, Jonathan Foose, Deborah Jeter, Tary Owens
Lone Star Shootout - Long John Hunter, Jonathan Foose, Tary Owens
Everybody Knows - Unknown
Road Hog - Long John Hunter
John's Funk - Long John Hunter

MUSICIANS

Long John Hunter (Guitar, Vocals)
Jack Andrews (Guitar)
Joe Kelley (Guitar, Rhythm Guitar)
Derek O'Brien (Guitar, Rhythm Guitar)
Michael Henry Martin (Rhythm Guitar))
Sarah Brown (Bass),
Dave Keown (Bass, Acoustic Bass)
D.B. Cooper (Organ)
Johnny Nicholas (Piano)
Kevin Taylor (Drums)
Martin Banks (Trumpet)
Keith Winking (Trumpet)
Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff (Tenor Sax)
Kaz Kazanoff (Tenor Sax)
Art Lewis (Tenor Sax)
Red Rails (Baritone Sax, Tenor Sax)
Hunter Hamonettes (Vocals)

REVIEWS

For many years Long John Hunter played in clubs without much attention, but that time sweating it out in roadhouses has paid off. During that time, he developed a gutsy, forceful technique that was fully evident on his belated 1993 debut, Ride With Me. Although his second album, Border Town Legend, is a slicker, more accessible effort, Hunter hasn't lost any of his spicy, distinctive flavor. Working with a horn section, he still manages to make himself the most powerful element on the record -- both his guitar playing and his heated vocals ensure that. Furthermore, Hunter's songwriting is growing stronger. Out of the nine songs he has written or co-written for the album, he has contributed some first-rate tunes that might not stretch beyond generic conventions, but still are mighty fine. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

In a time when the regional flavor of the blues is being diluted, guitar-slinger Long John Hunter is Texas Blues with a big ol' "T". Fame has eluded this legend of the Tex-Mex roadhouses for way too long and Border Town Legend is wicked redemption. From the first bristling notes of "T-Bone Intentions," you know you're in for a hot time. This CD is a flat-out party. Propelled by a crackerjack outfit of brassy horns, Hunter fires up a spicy mix of jump blues, soulful laments, and joyous rave-ups. "Ole Red" is a stone-cold butt-shaker, "Arkansas" is smoky, seductive R&B at its best, and no guitarist is left standing once the "Lone Star Shootout" has ended. Even more astonishing, all but one of these tracks are Hunter-penned originals. Make a run for Border Town Legend or die trying. © Genevieve Williams, © Amazon.com

BIO

For much too long, the legend of Long John Hunter has largely been a local one, limited to the bordertown region between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. That's where the guitarist reigned for 13 years (beginning in 1957) at Juarez's infamous Lobby Bar. Its riotous, often brawling clientele included locals, cowboys, soldiers from nearby Fort Bliss, frat boys, and every sort of troublemaking tourist in between. Hunter kept 'em all entertained with his outrageous showmanship and slashing guitar riffs. The Louisiana native got a late start on his musical career. When he was 22 and toiling away in a Beaumont, TX box factory, he attended a B.B. King show and was instantly transfixed. The next day, he bought a guitar. A year later, he was starring at the same bar that B.B. had headlined. Hunter's 1954 debut single for Don Robey's Houston-based Duke label, "She Used to Be My Woman"/"Crazy Baby," preceded his move to El Paso in 1957. Along the way, Phillip Walker and Lonnie Brooks both picked up on his licks. But Hunter's recording output was slim -- a few hot but obscure singles waxed from 1961 to 1963 for the tiny Yucca logo out of Alamogordo, NM (standouts include "El Paso Rock," "Midnight Stroll," and "Border Town Blues"). Perhaps he was just too busy -- he held court at the Lobby seven nights a week from sundown to sunup. Fortunately, Hunter's reputation is finally outgrowing the Lone Star state. His 1992 set for the now-shuttered Spindletop imprint, Ride With Me, got the ball rolling. Now, his 1996 disc for Alligator, Border Town Legend, should expose this Texas blues great to a far wider (if not wilder) audience than ever before. © Bill Dahl, All Music Guide

MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST

46 years ago a young guitar player by the name of Irving Charles took his friend John Hunter to see B.B. King perform in Beaumont, Texas. They each paid $1.50 for the show that was to be a major turning point in Long John Hunter's life. As Hunter relates, "I went to see B.B. King and I just said man oh man, I've got to learn how to play the guitar. So this was Wednesday night, Thursday I went and bought me a guitar and Friday I played a gig (laughs). It was awful. It was really sick. Well, we didn't have but a few people there, we played for the door and the three of us (2 guitars and a drum) we made $2.50 a piece. Man we was in the cash. (This was) big bucks here playing music. Thank God I have never been out of work since then as far as music goes. I never made any money to any amount but I've always been lucky to have some work to do." The legend of Long John Hunter was born. It was just a few years later, in 1957, that Long John started a regular gig just across the border from El Paso in Juarez, Mexico that lasted more than a decade. He played at a popular club called the Lobby Bar in Juarez from sundown to sunup. John said with a laugh, "that was a party from 8 o'clock 'til 'please go home ya-all' in the morning." John's second album on Alligator Records, called "Swinging From The Rafters" is a direct reference to some of his antics at the Lobby Bar in Juarez. I asked him about that album cover that shows him swinging from a rafter with his guitar in the other hand. He said, "yeah, I don't feel like doing that much these days. I'm about 100 pounds heavier and 40 years older. I still do crazy things but I don't swing from the rafters, I really don't have any to swing from. That really got a lot of attention when I started doing it though. It just happened too, I wasn't looking for it, it was just a crazy thing to do while performing. I thought, 'this ain't too high up here', the bandstand was about 'so high' and that made the ceiling a good reach for me. I just reached way out and got one (rafter) and swung way out. The dance floor was right out in front of the bandstand and I was up over the people's heads swinging there on one hand and playing the guitar with the other. They just went crazy. So it was just a thing I had to do 2 or 3 times a night after that first time." Born in Louisiana on July 13, 1931 Hunter moved to Arkansas when he was three. He said he "picked a lot of cotton and plowed a lot with mules." When he was 22 his family moved to Beaumont, Texas about which he said, "I just got excited when I went to Beaumont. It was the first town I had ever been in that was of any size. The little towns I had seen in Arkansas were just little one stop towns." He said he was 23 before he ever thought about playing music. "In Arkansas all I heard was country music, Hank Snow, Hank Williams, something like that. I wasn't too musically inclined, I still ain't, I just make a lot of noise and get away with it. I hadn't heard any music but a little country and western. We didn't have nothin' but a radio. And it ran off a car battery. We'd listen to the radio for 2 weeks and then for 2 weeks we didn't have a radio because at that time it took 2 weeks to charge the battery up to be ready for the next 2 weeks of radio (laughs.)" Long John made is first appearance in the Twin Cities last summer (July 23, 1998 at Famous Dave's) and his fans were looking forward to his return engagement. He started out the first set with a couple of funky numbers to warm things up. And after doing "Kansas City" and "Shake Rattle and Roll" he made his way out into the audience and began to ham it up. He is a low-keyed player, not real wild like he used to be in his early days but you can still see hints of that wildness. And he still is a master at working the audience (a trait he learned from his years at the Lobby Bar in Juarez.) He proceeded to pick out one of the ladies sitting up front and handed her his guitar. He had her strum it while he continued to finger the fretbord with his left hand picking out the melody of the song. He hasn't lost his touch at pleasing the crowd. He sure was swinging by this time, maybe not from the rafters but pretty close. Back up on stage he said the crowd likes to dance to familiar tunes as he launched into the James Brown "I Feel Good" lyrics. His first set lasted nearly 2 hours which is nothing I guess compared to when he was used to playing all night long. Hunter's guitar style has a raw, Texas blues sound to it. Not too flashy but played with a feeling. There is a little bit of Albert Collins but mostly his style reminds me of the early B.B. King and Jimmy Dawkins -- playing single note solos followed by short breaks where he sings. I asked him who his influences were and he said, "I like all kinds of music and I like all kinds of musicians but B.B. King was my total influence on me trying to be a musician. I mean totally. I like all kinds of musicians. I like Lonnie Brooks, Phillip Walker, Little Milton, everybody, I'm just a music lover. But for an inspiration B.B. was it. I met him for the first time in 1961, in Midland, Texas. He had a show and I was playing an after hour thing when he came down about 2 A.M. and played my guitar until 6 in the morning. We had breakfast and we had a great time talking about how he got started, how tough it was and all that kind of stuff. Just a great guy." Knowing Hunter was from Texas I had to ask him if he ever meet Buddy Holly? He said, "I met Buddy once but didn't know who he was at the time; after one of my shows in Juarez. He came up one night and said he was fixin' to leave for California and said, 'I just wanted to shake your hand Long John , my name is Buddy Holly.' Well at that time it was just a name because you meet all kinds of people all the time. And he shook hands and said, 'you don't know who I am but I've been here quite a few nights listening to you and I've enjoyed it. I'm a musician myself even though we play a little different style of music. But I'm leaving tomorrow for California and I just wanted to shake your hand and maybe I'll see you down the road.' Well I shook his hand and didn't think anymore about it. A few weeks after it happened I heard that name on the radio, Buddy Holly. I said, Buddy Holly? I shook hands with this guy the other night. I though he was just somebody like the other hundreds of guys that shook my hand and say I'm so and so and I play music, and I do this, you know. And after a while he was a household name. That was the first and only time I seen him." Talking about his buddies from back in Texas in the 1950's he said he was going to have a recording session in the near future reuniting Lonnie Brooks (known as Lee Baker and Guitar Junior back then), Phillip Walker, and Irving Charles. That will be one fun recording session. Long John Hunter has three albums out on Alligator Records. Ride With Me (1998, but recorded in 1992), Swinging From The Rafters (1997) and Border Town Legend (1996); all excellent examples of his work. This review is copyright © 1999 by Ray Stiles and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.

22.6.08

Affirmation




Affirmation - Lost Angeles - 1980 - Inner City Records

Soul stirring early eighties jazz-rock. A great mix of funk and spacey jazz. There is a sameness about a few of the tracks, but the great playing makes up for the lack of originality, and it is a very enjoyable album, and never dull. Much of the flexibility and fullness of their sound is due to the leader of the group,Thom Teresi, who plays five keyboards with each being a moodsetter. He moves from the mellow, flowing sounds of the Fender Rhodes to the funky staccato of his Clavinet with ease.. He also provides the group's great spacebound electric sound with some great synth playing. This was a talented band that deserved more exposure. They jam, they smoke, they get crazy. If you are into Chick Corea or Herbie Hancock, you should enjoy this album. The album is ripped from vinyl, so please excuse some crackle and static. In general sound quality is good, and it should not impede your enjoyment. Try and listen to their "Identity Crisis" album.

TRACKS

1.Lost Angeles
2.Dance of Bahia
3.Essence
4.Inside Out
5.No Doubt
6.Mariposa
7.I Wish I'd Said That
8.Catch as Catch Can

All tracks composed by either Thom Teresi or Joe Gaeta.

Recorded at at City Recorders, Hollywood, California in January & February 1980

MUSICIANS

Thom Teresi (keyboards,synthesizers)
Jimbo Ross (viola, electric viola) [Formerly with Don Ellis Orchestra, The Band]
Joe Gaeta (guitar) [Formerly with Shawn Phillips,Sally Kellerman]
Tom Fowler (bass) [Formerly with Frank Zappa,George Duke,Jean Luc-Ponty]
David Crigger (drums) [Formerly with Don Ellis,Brian Auger,Passport]
Mike Fisher (percussion) [Formerly with Gino Vannelli]

REVIEW

Originally released by the Inner City label 20 years ago, this digitally remastered album fuses not only elements of rock and jazz, but the diverse backgrounds of the members of the group. Prior associations include stints with the Shirelles, Earth, Wind & Fire, Frank Zappa, and Burt Bacharach. One might say this group -- knowingly or not -- helped set the stage for the smooth jazz movement 20 years ago. With the use of keyboards, synthesizer, and other electrically driven wizardry, they create that seamless, undynamic, rarely pausing smooth jazz feel, but still allow some room for improvisation. The major credit for that goes to the jazz viola of Jimbo Ross. He swings with emotion on "Essence," driven by Mike Fisher's percussive implements. Ross' tone and agility help put to rest that snide remark about the "oversized violin" (viz., "if you don't want your violin stolen, put in it a viola case"). As for the play list, virtually all the tunes are written by either keyboardist Thom Teresi or guitarist {Joe Gaeta}. "Catch as Catch Can" has Ross and Teresi dancing around the melody line. The title tune also provides an opportunity for some clever improvising. But for the most part, while pretty, the pieces rarely rise above the level of the ordinary and sound alike. It's too bad, because one senses the musicians wish they had something more substantial to put their teeth into. © Dave Nathan, All Music Guide

Mick Taylor




Mick Taylor - Stranger in This Town - 1990 - MAZE AMERICA

A great blues album from the ridiculously underrated Mick Taylor. The guy's cv is incredible. He has played with John Mayall, The Rolling Stones, Alvin Lee, Bob Dylan...The list goes on and on. Amazingly, when people talk of the great rock and blues artists, Mick Taylor's name seldom comes up! The man is a legend, and on this album he pays a great compliment to artists like Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, and Willie Dixon with some very good cover versions. Some critics are of the opinion that the album lacks passion and fire, and that tracks like "Laundromat Blues " do not have the firepower of, for example Rory Gallagher's version. It is the opinion of A.O.O.F.C that Mick Taylor's cover is an excellent version of this blues classic, and again demonstrates the myriad ways in which the blues can be interpreted. Mick's version of "Red House" is also great. This album is H.R by A.O.O.F.C. Buy his "A Stone's Throw" album from 2000, and give another listen to " Exile on Main St."

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

Stranger in Town - Mick Taylor
I Wonder Why - Albert King
Laundromat Blues - Sandie Jones
Red House/Goin' Down Slow - Jimi Hendrix, James Burke Oden
Jumpin' Jack Flash - Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
Little Red Rooster - Willie Dixon, Chester Arthur Burnett
Goin' South - Mick Taylor
You Gotta Move - Mississippi Fred McDowell, Traditional

MUSICIANS

Mick Taylor (Guitar, Vocals)
Blondie Chaplin (Guitar)
Shane Fontayne (Guitar)
Max Middleton (Keyboards)
Joel Diamond (Keyboards)
Wilbur Bascomb, Jr. (Bass)
Eric Parker (Drums)

REVIEWS

Mick Taylor's Stranger in This Town was recorded mostly in Sweden in the summer of 1989, except for "Little Red Rooster," recorded in Germany, and "You Gotta Move," the traditional blues number found on the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, recorded in Philadelphia in December of 1989. This is a blues album, make no doubt about it, and it is one of Taylor's finest. Co-produced by the guitarist and Phil Colella, the performances feature former Jeff Beck sideman Max Middleton on keyboards, Shane Fontayne on guitar, Wilbur Bascomb on bass, and Eric Parker on drums. Only "You Gotta Move" has different musicians, Joel Diamond on keys and Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin on guitar. Keith Richard producer Rob Fraboni re-mixed the title track, as well as the almost six minute version of one of Taylor's favorite Stones tunes, "Jumpin' Jack Flash." It's the most rock & roll song here, Taylor's voice lending itself well to the song. Carol Bernson's photographs of the rock legend are something to behold; Taylor under a blue light performing with his shadow reflecting on the floor adorns the back of the CD, as well as the inside four-page booklet. The front cover has the journeyman with his guitar and a long, black coat, and there's an impressive black-and-white portrait inside the booklet. He performs Albert King's "I Wonder Why" and "Laundromat Blues," citing King in the liner notes as "a big influence, and a man who is wise and whom I respect and admire." He calls Jimi Hendrix a genius, genuine, and "the greatest guitar player who ever lived," and pays tribute to him with a superb version of "Red House," which is combined with James Oden's "Goin' Down Slow." The Santana feel that Taylor brought to "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" by the Stones lives again in his co-write "Goin' South," which, at ten minutes and 20 seconds, contains some of Taylor's finest guitar work on the record. Maze had a distribution deal with A&M in Canada when this was released in 1990, but the label didn't have the resources in this pre-Internet time to deliver such a beautiful album to a mass audience. If only Stranger in This Town was the album Mick Taylor released on Columbia when he first left the Rolling Stones. Were that the case, he would have had the opportunity to enjoy the popularity of a Buddy Guy or B.B. King, and the general public would have a better understanding of this superb and highly underrated artist. Musicians know, and all the evidence needed is on this disc. © Joe Viglione, All Music Guide


Mick is rumored to have said at one time that he considered this release to be a 'bootleg' because of financial issues relating to its release. Luckily for us, it came out, because it officially documents what Mick was doing in the late 1980's on tour in Europe and the eastern United States. A compilation of live tracks from club dates nicked off the soundboard, Stranger In This Town was an attempt to capture the energy of Mick's live performances while capitalizing to some extent upon his Stones past, for commercial purposes. For a number of years, this CD was easily available in record stores nationwide and served to keep Mick in the public eye. With some nice cover and liner photography by Carol Bernson, and pretty strong execution in the packaging department, finances notwithstanding I have always felt this CD favorably presented Mick to the public. Perhaps best of all, I am guessing that Mick was strongly encouraged to write a "Stonesy Rocker" for the title track, and accordingly we get the title tune -- Stranger In This Town. No Delta Blues here, Mick just mixes some unconsciously-remembered lyrics from Stones classics (Hide Your Love and Loving Cup), a story he must have known well playing one night stands around Europe and the Eastern U.S. and some open G-sounding chords invoking the best days of the Stones to come up with a rocker in the mold of Broken Hands, but harder charging. And the payoff! Mick solos to Stranger like he is back in the band, with the same frenzied build and release all in a minute-plus, through a wah-wah fog. I particularly enjoy that mid-Seventies liquidy-echo sound so prevalent in his crying notes on Goat's Head Soup. (Check out that crying note in the last half of the 48th second of the provided clip). I have listened to Stranger In This Town probably over one thousand times and I never, ever tire of Mick's near-vocal lead guitar lines. The version of Albert King's I Wonder Why is laid-back, in contrast to many others he played at the time. This song was made for Mick, the king of the fast Blues shuffle. Staying with Albert King, again in a mellow mood, Laundromat Blues makes more of an impact atmospherically than directly. I have heard versions of this that absolutely burn. My guess is that these versions of King's chestnuts were selected for reasons of their recording quality rather than their performance. Red House, a Hendrix classic and staple of many of Mick's live performances from the mid-80s through the mid-90s, is memorialized here, along with Mick's liner notes noting the performance is "[m]y tribute to the greatest guitar player who ever lived." I hate to repeat myself, but this particular version lacks the fire of many other of Mick's performances of it. There is a languid quality to the performance, emphasized by the fade out during a tinkling DX-3 keyboard solo. The song segues into Going Down Slow before the fadeout. If someone had told me in the late 70s that Mick Taylor would release a cover version of Jumping Jack Flash and sing lead vocal on it too, I wouldn't have believed it. I would have considered it an impossible dream. Again, I credit the guys at Maze Records for making this happen, for the obvious commercial and promotional possibilities. It just doesn't seem like a decision Mick would have made on his own. Now that I've heard it though, I'd rather it hadn't happened. The reason we want Mick to play Stones songs he used to play is to hear him solo to them. This version contains no guitar solo, and if there is one song Mick Jagger's vocals can't possibly be adequately covered on, it's JJF. While Taylor may have intended it as a tribute -- his liner notes indicate it's one of his favorite Stones songs -- third parties hearing it might come away with unflattering comparisons and questions about his motives. This is ironic, of course, because those of us who have followed Mick's post-Stones career closely know he has made yeoman efforts to avoid exploiting his Stones history, despite entreaties from virtually everyone around him in the industry and his fans. Only in a few cases have industry people been able to get him to do things that will yield some commercial angle. This track may have set the cause back a few years. While the fadeout to Jumping Jack Flash sounds like the album's finale, the action heats up from here on out. Little Red Rooster achieves what JJF doesn't -- it taps the Stones vibe, yet because it's a Howlin' Wolf track, it doesn't raise too many Stones alarms. The playing here is fiery and tasty, and foreshadows Mick's future development of other Blues standards, some with RS history, that would characterize the core of his live set list. Goin' South, a Taylor composition, features a blistering Taylor guitar sound and aggressive up-front keyboard playing by longtime Mick Taylor Band member Max Middleton. South American in feel, Goin' South is a favorite of Mick's, setting up a loose dance groove and plenty of space for band member solos. As a staple of his live shows for nearly 15 years, the song is either loved or hated by the faithful. While there may be room for a definitive version of Goin' South, this version isn't it. Again, it is faded mid-keyboard solo. There's a reason why there is no significant market for rock concerts by solo keyboard players, bass players and drummers, and Goin' South suffers as a song from free-form democracy. Well, it's my review so it's my prerogative to tell you that my favorite track on the CD, other than the title track, is You Gotta Move. Why? It was recorded at the Ambler Cabaret, in a sleepy suburb of Philadelphia. Mick played my neighborhood! Again, if you had told me that would happen while I was listening to my Stones "West German Tour 1973" bootlegs in the car as a teenager driving around in the 'burbs, I wouldn't have believed it. Unfortunately, Ambler missed it's chance at being immortalized, as the liner notes say "Philadelphia". But Nico Zentgraf's database captures the true venue, a fact that makes me very grateful. If nothing else, the version proves that Philly fans are the king of the "woo-hoo". All in all, Stranger In This Town is an absolute must-have for its title track. Plus, how can you not own a rare performance of Mick doing Jumping Jack Flash, no matter how odd it seems? The rest of the performances were subsequently polished up by Mick and done much better in subsequent years -- but the record is by no means weak because of this. For many years, this CD was the sole evidence to the world that Mick Taylor was alive and well and playing the Blues. For that we are thankful. [ Review is from http://mick.us/zstranger.html]

BIO

Guitarist Mick Taylor was neither an original member of the Rolling Stones nor still in the band when it began selling out sports stadiums in the late-'80s and '90s. But the sophisticated jazz- and blues-influenced guitar licks Taylor added to such classic albums as Sticky Fingers gave the Stones an added dimension they lacked before and after him. Michael Kevin Taylor was born Jan. 17, 1949, in Welwyn Garden City, England. He grew up in Hatfield, a London suburb, and began playing guitar at age 9. Taylor became interested in joining a rock band after his parents took him to see Bill Haley & the Comets. As a teen, Taylor played in bands called the Juniors and the Gods. In 1967, after ace guitarist Peter Green left John Mayall's Bluesbreakers to form Fleetwood Mac, Mayall chose Taylor as Green's replacement. Taylor toured the United States with the Bluesbreakers and appeared on such albums as Bare Wires and Blues From Laurel Canyon (both 1968). In 1969, he accepted the Rolling Stones' offer to replace the departing Brian Jones, who died later that year. The Stones had already established their reputation as one of rock's greatest bands and had just issued one of their best LPs, Beggar's Banquet (1968). But Taylor quickly added his imprint on the Stones' style and was present for the legendary concert tours, during their 1969–1974 heyday. He played on some of Let It Bleed (1969) and all of the live disc Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out (1970). Sticky Fingers (1971), was the first studio Stones' album for which he was present during the entire recording. He added his famous vibrato effect to the blues lead guitar line on "Sway" and handled most of the guitars on the quietly majestic "Moonlight Mile." Perhaps Taylor's best-remembered Stones work was the Santana-like lead guitar in the jam break of the jazzy "Can't You Hear Me Knocking." On the Stones' classic 1972 double LP, Exile on Main Street, Taylor co-wrote "Ventilator Blues" and contributed bluesy guitar to such chestnuts as "All Down the Line" and "Soul Survivor." Taylor plays wah-wah guitar on the hit single "(Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo) Heartbreaker," from Goats Head Soup (1973), which also exhibited Taylor's melodic touches on ballads such as "Winter." Taylor's final LP as a Rolling Stone was It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (1974), which included his long, jazzy solo on "Time Waits for No One" Shortly after the album's release, Taylor quit the Stones. Many theories have been offered for Taylor's departure, including conflict with guitarist Keith Richards and Taylor's fear that he'd get caught up in the band's allegedly drug-crazed lifestyle. Whatever the reason, Taylor's replacement, Ron Wood — formerly of the Faces — brought the band a grittier sound. In 1975, Taylor toured Europe in the Jack Bruce Band, led by former Cream bassist Bruce. Four years later, he issued an eponymous jazz-fusion solo debut that sold poorly in the punk-rock era. Taylor toured with the Alvin Lee Band in the early '80s and did a reunion tour with the Bluesbreakers. He played on Bob Dylan's Infidels (1983) and toured with the songwriting legend. During the latter part of the '80s, Taylor formed a series of short-lived bands that played blues-rock in eastern U.S. clubs. He issued the live Stranger in This Town and in 1989 was inducted, with the Stones, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the early '90s, Taylor went to L.A. and worked with the Textones' Carla Olson, the Jimmy Woods Band and others. In the second half of the '90s, he returned to England to play blues festivals with a touring band. In 1998, Taylor issued A Stones Throw and toured in 1999. To Be Continued .............. [ Bio is from http://www.micktaylor.net/Bio_aboutmt.html]

For a more detailed bio of this amazing guy, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Taylor

21.6.08

Willy Deville




Willy Deville - Crow Jane Alley - 2004 - Eagle

Willy DeVille is joined by members of the Chicano rock band Quetzal, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, and Peruvian Afro-Cuban jazz drummer Alex Acuña, among other prominent musicians. A self-taught guitarist, DeVille found his early inspiration in bluesmen like John Hammond Jr., Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker, and these influences pervade this album. It's a great mixture of blues, RB, and Cajun music. Buy his 1987 debut solo album, "Miracle." Willy Deville has never fully received the accolades he deserves for his contribution to music, so check out his albums, and also albums by Mink DeVille. They're all good.

TRACK DETAILS

1 "Chieva" - 4:40
Willy DeVille on vocals, background vocals; John Philip Shenale on Chamberlin, loops, ARP string ensemble Wurlitzer Sideman; Josh Sklair on guitar; David Hidalgo on bajo sexto; David Keyes on bass, background vocals; Hook Herrera on harmonica; Joey Waronker on drums; Alex Acuña on timbales, shaker; Billy Valentine, John Valentine, and Nina DeVille on background vocals
2 "Right There, Right Then" - 4:24
Willy DeVille on vocals; John Philip Shenale on Hammond A11 organ; Josh Sklair on twelve string guitar; David Keyes on bass, background vocals; Joey Waronker on drums
3 "Downside of Town" - 3:10
Willy DeVille on vocals, background vocals; Quetzal Flores on bajo muta, jarana, jawbone; David Hidalgo on accordion; Josh Sklair on guitar; César Augusto Castro González on Leona; Martha González on cajón, tarima; Alex Acuña on castanets, tambourine stick
4 "My Forever Came Today" - 4:15
Willy DeVille on vocals; John Philip Shenale on Chamberlin piano, loops, strings; Josh Sklair on guitars; David Keyes on bass; Joey Waronker on drums, Billy Valentine, John Valentine on background vocals
5 "Crow Jane Alley" - 3:16
Willy DeVille on vocals; John Philip Shenale on Chamberlin piano; Josh Sklair on Gibson 125 pedal steel guitar; David Keyes on double bass, background vocals; Joey Waronker on drums
6 "Muddy Waters Rose Out of the Mississippi Mud" - 4:58
Willy DeVille on vocals, background vocals, guitar, slide guitar; John Philip Shenale on Hammond A11 organ, Wurlitzer E piano, loops; Hook Herrera on harmonica; Steve Stevens on drums
7 "Come a Little Bit Closer" (Wes Farrell, Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart) - 3:25
Willy DeVille on vocals, background vocals; Lenin García on acoustic guitar (intro), arrangements; Martin “El Animas” Lara on trumpets; Martin "Baby Face" Arellano on guitar, vihuela; Diego "La Empanada" Arellano on
guitarrón; J. Mario “El Mono” Rodriguez on violins; Alex Acuña on cowbell, güiro; Billy Valentine, John Valentine on background vocals
8 "Slave to Love" (Brian Ferry) - 4:31
Willy DeVille on vocals, background vocals; John Philip Shenale on piano, synthesizer, loops, samplers; Josh Sklair on guitar, energy bow; David Keyes on bass; Joey Waronker on drums; Billy Valentine, John Valentine on background vocals
9 "(Don't Have A) Change of Heart" - 2:28
Willy DeVille on vocals, background vocals; John Philip Shenale on Hammond chord organ, Marxophone, percussion; Michael Starr on mandolin, strumstick, violin
10 "Trouble Comin' Everyday in a World Gone Wrong" - 6:07
Willy DeVille on vocals; Josh Sklair on Fender Telecaster, Trussart “gator”; John Philip Shenale on Wurlitzer e. piano and Sideman, loops; David Keyes on bass; Joey Waronker on drums, coin drum; Hook Herrera on harmonica, Alex Acuña on maracas

All songs composed by Willy DeVille, except Track 7 by Farrell, Hart, and Track 8 by B.Ferry. The album was recorded in 2004 in L.A.

MUSICIANS

Willy DeVille (vocals, acoustic guitar, slide guitar)
Quetzal Flores (various instruments, jarana)
John Sklair (guitar, 12-string guitar, E-bow)
Lenin Garcia, Martin Arellano (acoustic guitar)
Diego Arellano (guitarron)
Michael Starr (mandolin, violin, strumstick)
J. Mario Rodriguez (violin)
Hook Herrera (harmonica)
David Hidalgo (accordion)
Martin Lara (trumpet)
John Philip Shenale (piano, Wurlitzer piano, chord organ, chamberlin, synthesizer, ARP synthesizer, percussion, loops, sampler, unknown instrument)
David Keyes (double bass, bass guitar)
Joey Waronker, Steve Stevens (drums)
Alex Acuna (cajon drums, castanets, cowbells, guiro, maracas, tambourine)
Martha Gonzalez (cajon drums)
Castro Gonzalez, Cesar Augusto (unknown instrument)
Billy Valentine, John Valentine (background vocals)

REVIEWS

It's hard to get a handle on what to call Willy DeVille's multi-genre music, though AMG writer Thom Jurek's description of "Spanish soul-inflected love songs" comes close. "Muddy Waters Rose Out of the Mississippi Mud" would be perfect for Rusty Kershaw, God rest his soul, a nice complement to the laid-back cover of Jay & the Americans' Top Three hit from 1964, "Come a Little Bit Closer" — its presentation a wonderful nod to songwriters Wes Farrell and Bobby Hart. The evolution is startling 28 years after Mink DeVille gave listeners "Let Me Dream if I Want To" on the classic punk LP Live at CBGB's, and DeVille emerges as a major interpreter. The four minutes and 31 seconds of Bryan Ferry's "Slave to Love" may be one of the most distinct and unique adaptations of a Ferry tune put on record to date. Outside of the covers, the other eight tracks are Willy DeVille originals, "(Don't Have A) Change of Heart" liberally borrowing the melody from Kenny Rogers' hit "Lucille." "Trouble Comin' Every Day in a World" slinks and lurks around the corner with another stylistic change, sounding a bit like that other Willie from the same era, Bostonian Willie "Loco" Alexander. A sticker on the CD says "First studio album in 5 years!" — though wasn't his previous "studio" disc (not including the live albums) Horse of a Different Color released in 2001? No matter; Crow Jane Alley is a very respectable collection from this journeyman, starting off with the single "Chieva" and continuing with DeVille's novel exploration of sound and clever merging of styles. © Joe Viglione, allmusic.com

Trouser Press said of the album: (DeVille) begins Crow Jane Alley on a dubious note with "Chieva," an ambivalent song about recovering from heroin addiction, but then turns his attention to romance and gets it all right. His renditions of Bryan Ferry's "Slave to Love" and Jay and the Americans' "Come a Little Bit Closer" bring their own drama and gravity to the material, while such homemade numbers as the convincingly authentic mojo-wielding "Muddy Waters Rose Out of the Mississippi Mud," the surging "Right There, Right Then" and the rustic waltztime "(Don't Have a) Change of Heart" are small strokes of heartfelt majesty. Richard Marcus said of the album, “Crow Jane Alley is the work of an artist who after thirty plus years in the business still has the ability to surprise and delight his listeners. Listening to this disc only confirms that Willy DeVille is one of the greats who have been ignored for too long. All Music Guide said, "Crow Jane Alley is a very respectable collection from this journeyman, starting off with the single 'Chieva' and continuing with DeVille's novel exploration of sound and clever merging of styles." Uncut said, "DeVille continues to excel at conjuring new tricks from old genres — Drifters-scented barrio pop, booming melodrama and accordion-laced trysts are rendered with verve and sensitivity. An ill-conceived Tom Waits/Captain Beefheart-style Muddy Waters tribute and the dreary "Slave To Love" apart, a welcome slice of swamp-pop heaven."

BIO

The roots of American music, including the blues, RB, and Cajun music, gave Willy DeVille's (born William Borsey) late-'70s punk band, Mink DeVille, its unique flavor. A quarter of a century later, DeVille continued to blend musical traditions and postmodern intensity. A self-taught guitarist, DeVille found his early inspiration in the blues of John Hammond Jr., Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker. Determined to become a musician, he moved to London in 1971, hoping to latch on with a British band. Frustrated by his lack of success, he returned to the United States. Temporarily settling in San Francisco, he spent most of 1972 developing his stage persona in Bay Area clubs. Returning to New York, DeVille was in the right place at the right time. Forming a band, Dilly DeSade the Marquis, later renamed Mink DeVille, with bassist Ruben Siguenza and drummer T.R. "Manfred" Allen Jr., he found his roots-oriented rock welcome in the city's burgeoning punk scene. When the independent Omfug label included three of their songs on the multi-artist compilation Live at CBGB's, recorded at the influential New York punk club, their punk connection was assured. With Atlantic acquiring national distribution rights to the album, Mink DeVille became one of the country's top punk bands.
Willy DeVille has remained active since the breakup of Mink DeVille in the mid-'80s. His debut solo album, Miracle, was produced in 1987 by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, and included such guests as guitarist Chet Atkins. One tune, "Storybook Love," used in Knopfler's score for the film The Princess Bride, was nominated for an Academy Award. Residing in New Orleans since the early '90s, DeVille featured the city's leading musicians, including Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, and Eddie Bo, on his 1990 album, Victory Mixture. New Orleans-style rhythms remained essential on his 1996 albums, Big Easy Fantasy and Loup Garou. Subsequent releases have focused on DeVille's live shows. Released in 2001, Live combined performances from ~the Bottom Line in New York and ~the Olympia Club in Paris. Live in Berlin, released two years later, featured the accompaniment of Seth Farber (piano, background vocals), Boris Kinberg (percussion), Freddy Koella (guitar, mandolin, vocals), David Keyes (bass, background vocals), and YaDonna Wise (background vocals).
© Craig Harris, All Music Guide

17.6.08

Clarence 'Guitar' Sims




Clarence 'Guitar' Sims - Born To Sing The Blues - 2004 - Mountain Top

A firstclass showcase for the uncompromising guitarist ... a load of steaming blues spotlighting Clarence 'Guitar' Sims (Fillmore Slim) intense, high-pitched vocals and slicing, stinging lead guitar (sporting tinges of Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, Guitar Slim, and the ever popular B.B. and Albert King). Originally recorded in 1987 at the Eli Mile High Club in Oakland, California, this CD is a reissue of the original 1987 LP 'Born To Sing The Blues' originally on the Eli Mile High Records label. It stands as a West Coast blues classic. © Bill Dahl, Living Blues
Great blues from a man who has really lived the blues. Check out the artist info. His "Other Side Of The Road" album is another good album, and worth listening to, as Fillmore Slim is one of the last remaining musicians of San Francisco's early blues legacy.

TRACKS

01. Minding My Own Business 2:25
02. King Boy 6:13
03. Better Man 1 3:42
04. When I Come Home 4:23
05. Watchdog 4:23
06. 3rd Rate Love Affair 4:09
07. Send Her Home 4:12
08. Broke Baby 6:02
09. Lonely Heart and Broken Mind 4:24
10. So Much Trouble 4:54
11. Body Language 4:11
12. Things That I Used To Do 4:07
13. Sims Boogie 3:10
14. Better Man 2 3:07
15. Interview: Clarence 'Guitar' Sims 6:55

MUSICIANS

Clarence 'Guitar' Sims - Guitar & Vocals
Carl 'Good Rockin' Robinson - Guitar
Mark Naftalin - Piano
Ted Butler - Bass
Charles Banks - Bass
Chris daniels - Drums
Dave Wellhausen - Harmonica
Carl Green - Alto Sax
Bobby Webb - Tenor Sax
Bobby Spencer - Tenor Sax
Bernard Anderson - Baritone Sax

Recorded in Oakland, Ca. 1987;
Produced by Troyce Key
© 2004 Mountain Top Productions



ABOUT CLARENCE "GUITAR" SIMS

"Embracing the Blues." Former pimp Fillmore Slim puts the fast life behind him, moves forward with his music." The bluesman took the Greyhound into town. His rickety old van was in the shop, so he took the 'hound down from Sacramento, where he had been living for the past few months with his wife and four of his children. As he walked through the streets of downtown San Francisco, old friends who hadn't seen him in years greeted him as if it had been only a few days. A young woman, all smiles, sidled up to him as he ate his lunch in a diner. ``When I was a little girl,'' she said proudly, ``he was the biggest pimp in the city.'' Fillmore Slim is enjoying a certain renewed celebrity because of his former profession, thanks to his central role in the Hughes brothers' popular documentary film ``American Pimp,'' in which Slim speaks for the old school of his ancient calling. But Slim is out of that life now. He has returned to his first love -- music -- and has managed to scratch out a little place for himself in the world of contemporary blues. He appears next weekend at the 28th annual San Francisco Blues Festival. ``I was a blues singer when I was in the fast life,'' he said, ``but I didn't have time.'' Today he is sporting a well-worn sweatshirt and baseball cap, but back in his heyday, Slim cut a mighty figure -- decked out in sharkskin suits, alligator shoes and diamond watches, cruising down Fillmore Street behind the wheel of a new Cadillac. He had money. He knew people. He was a ghetto dignitary, colleague of the high and mighty and the down and out. He remembered Etta James from when she was just a juvenile delinquent in the neighborhood. He used to sing onstage with a young radio disc jockey who called himself Sly Stone. His lawyer was a young up-and-comer with vague thoughts of a career in politics named Willie Brown. As a young man, Slim cut a few 45 rpm records -- ``You Got the Nerve of a Brass Monkey'' was the best known -- and lingered around the peripheries of the Los Angeles R&B scene. He played an extended engagement in Anchorage, Alaska, with T-Bone Walker, and the blues guitar great showed the young singer a few licks. But the lure of easy money was too much. Slim left music behind as he fell in with the fast crowd and came to know women of less than perfect virtue. He's been arrested more times than he can remember. He has 15 children with five or six women (``I can't keep it straight,'' he said). He's traveled life's lonesome highway, paying his dues, taking his lumps, without complaint. The law finally took him down in 1980, after he was caught buying a forged passport. He had wanted to go to France to accept an offer to perform there, but couldn't legally leave the country because he was already on probation. Slim was sent to federal penitentiaries, where he served four years of a five-year sentence. In prison, he honed his guitar skills, and on his release, he found himself living in a halfway house not far from Eli's Mile Hi Club, Oakland's last authentic blues joint. Club owner Troyce Key, who once recorded with rock 'n' roller Eddie Cochran, took a shine to Slim -- who was using his real name with the felicitous addition of a nickname, Clarence ``Guitar'' Sims -- and cut Slim's first album, ``Born to Sing the Blues,'' in 1985. It has been rereleased on Mountaintop Records. His latest CD, ``Other Side of the Road'' on Fedora Records, was produced by Chris Millar, kingpin of the Fresno blues scene. It features members of his regular band, the Blue Mirrors; pianist J.J. Malone, himself an Oakland R&B veteran (``It's a Shame'') and guitarist Paris Slim. His records crackle with a grizzled authenticity, and Slim can turn out a blues line or two: ``I got a black cat/ I just can't get no tail.'' Few bluesmen on the scene these days can recall the golden age of the Fillmore, the glories of the Primalon Ballroom, Trees Pool Hall, Jimbo's Bop City. But Slim was there. He has worried that his sordid past -- ``my colorful life,'' he calls it -- will hold him back in the music field, but then likens himself to Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash, a couple of American music greats who didn't let a little jail time stand in the way of their careers. Anyway, singing blues is not exactly like a career in politics; doing time almost qualifies as a bluesman's pedigree. ``I have had the blues all my life,'' Slim said. ``I open my mouth, the blues comes out. I ate the blues. I slept the blues. If anybody's had the blues, I've had the blues.'' © Joel Selvin, Chronicle Pop Music Editor, Sunday, September 17, 0, © 2008 Hearst Communications Inc, www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/09/17/PK79457.DTL&type=music

MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST

Fillmore Slim got his name from the years he performed in and around the clubs of the old Fillmore district in San Francisco in the late 1950s. In the late 1940s and '50s, Fillmore Street was the center of black entertainment and culture in San Francisco. The street held clothing stores, barbershops, pharmacies, record shops, grocery stores, banks, hotels and nightclubs. Many of the top entertainers made stops there and the scene flourished well into the 1960s, until it fell to redevelopment, which tore out the heart of the City's thriving black community. Fillmore Slim (aka Clarence Sims) was born in New Orleans and spent some childhood years in the Mississippi Delta. As a young child he often sang on city sidewalks for tips. His dream of becoming an entertainer took him to Los Angeles in 1955, where he established himself as an up-and-coming singer at the famed Moore's Swing Club. Falling under the influence of Big Joe Turner, Lloyd Price and Nappy Brown, he was impressive enough to be hired on the tour with Little Willie John, Harmonica Slim (aka Elmon Mickel TV Slim), and Joe Tex, who was just starting out. Not long after he formed his first band, Eddy N and the Blues Slayers, who held down the weekends at the Hole in the Wall in south central Los Angeles. He also dated Etta James during this time. In 1957 Slim moved to San Francisco and began making the rounds, performing at Tree's Pool Hall, the Blue Mirror and the Bella Plaza, where he shared the spotlight with a young Flip Wilson. During this time he came under the influence of the Texas-born guitarist L.C. 'Good Rockin' Robinson. The great San Francisco R&B impresario, Charles Sullivan, who ran things at the Fillmore Auditorium, booked him to open for B.B. King and Dinah Washington. Years later, Sullivan was murdered gangland style and the Fillmore eventually fell into the hands of Bill Graham. In 1959 Slim cut his first single for Bootie Williams' Dooto label. He followed that with a handful of other singles for Kent/RPM and Dore Records, where his release "Family Man"was in response to Ernie K. Doe's "Mother in Law." He also sat in with Roland Kirk, Groove Holmes and the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Fillmore Slim even worked Alaska with the great T-Bone Walker, and at Pepper's in Chicago. He also befriended a young Rick Estrin when the harmonica player was a mere teenager. He made his first appearance at the San Francisco Blues Festival in the 1980s, while recording an album for Troyce Key's Eli Mile High label. The album has since been re-issued as a CD on Mountain Top Records. A second CD, "It's Gonna Be My Time Now," was released on Uptown. Another CD, "Other Side Of The Road," was released on Fedora and several other CDs have been released since then. Fillmore Slim is one of the few remaining figures of San Francisco's early blues legacy. Others include Sugar Pie DeSanto, Saunders King, Jimmy McCracklin, Earl Brown, Johnny Otis, Etta James and Bobby Webb. He has toured Switzerland, Germany and France, to great acclaim.