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What's On Your Mind?

30.9.10

Ron Thompson & The Resistors


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Ron Thompson & The Resistors - Magic Touch - 1998 - Poore Boy

Guitarist Ron Thompson is a brilliant multi-instrumentalist. He plays piano, harmonica, mandolin, and steel guitar. Rolling Stone described Ron as "searing", and Guitar Player Magazine called him a "mind boggling talent". Born in Oakland, he has been playing the blues Bay Area since the early 70's, including seven appearances at the San Francisco Blues Festival. He has worked with Blues legends like Lowell Fulson, Luther Tucker, Jimmy Reed, Etta James, Big Mamma Thorton and he toured with John Lee Hooker for five years. The Resistors were twice selected as the Best Blues Band of the year. His albums with The Resistors include "Treat Her Like Gold", and "Just Like A Devil" and demonstrate Ron's guitar talents, from Delta style acoustic guitar to searing single note electric Blues leads. "Magic Touch" contains a wide range of blues styles and is a mixture of blues classics (Baby Please Don't Go) and originals (Ocean of Tears). According to reviewers, "Thompson hits a stage like a tornado, playing peerless slide guitar, quicksilver electric leads, squealing harmonica, pounding piano, and room-filling National steel, all the while singing with obvious passion, and rarely stopping for breath. Fans leave a Thompson show both amazed and elated." Listen to Ron's great soul blues album, "Resister Twister".

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Saddle My Pony - Chester Burnett/Traditional
2. Cadilac Walk - J.D. Martin
3. Magic Touch - Ron Thompson
4. Ocean of Tears - Ron Thompson
5. Hard Time Train - Ron Thompson
6. Funky Neighborhood - Ron Thompson
7. Baby Please Don't Go - John Mooney/Big Joe Williams
8. Murderin' Blues - Pat Hare
9. Sunnyland - Elmore James & His Broomdusters
10. R. T. 's Piano - Ron Thompson
11. Silvertone Boogie - Ron Thompson
12. The Fast Floyd - Ron Thompson
13. Little Drummer Boy - Trad.

BAND

Ron Thompson - (Guitar, Mandolin, Harmonica, Piano, Organ, Vocals)
Leonard Gill, Tony Saunders, Glenn Cesari - (Guitar)
Larry Vann, Ron Wells - (Drums)

RON THOMPSON BIO

After honing his chops behind Little Joe Blue and John Lee Hooker, guitarist Ron Thompson went solo in 1980, forming his own blues/roots-rock trio, the Resisters. Just Like a Devil, a 1990 release on pianist Mark Naftalin's Winner label, was culled from Thompson's appearances on Naftalin's Blue Monday Party radio program. Born and raised in Oakland, California, Thompson began playing guitar when he was 11, picking up slide guitar shortly afterward. When he was in his late teens, he was playing slide guitar with Little Joe Blue. For about five years, he worked in local Bay Area clubs, both as a solo artist and a supporting musician. In 1975, John Lee Hooker asked Thompson to join his backing band and the guitarist accepted. For the next three years, he played with Hooker, developing a national reputation. Thompson left Hooker in 1978. Two years later, he formed his own band, the Resistors, and landed a contract with Takoma Records. Thompson's debut album, Treat Her Like Gold, appeared in 1983. Although he launched a solo career, Thompson continued to play with a number of other musicians, including Lowell Fulson, Etta James, and Big Mama Thornton. In 1987, his second album, Resister Twister, was released; it was followed shortly afterward by Just Like a Devil. Thompson continued to perform throughout the late '80s and '90s, although he didn't record quite as frequently. © Bill Dahl © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fiftxq95ldae~T1

Jeff Chaz


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Jeff Chaz - Tired of Being Lonely - 2001 - Jeff Chaz Prod.

Operating from the New Orleans's French Quarter, "Bourbon St. Bluesman" Jeff Chaz creates some truly nice guitar playing and vocalizing on his CD Tired of Being Lonely. Right out of the gate, Chaz sizzles with "I Can't Wait No More," laying down the spirit of what's to follow. Highlights include "Bourbon St. Bluesman," where we get a hefty helping of horns coupled with Chaz's pile-driving guitar play, the slow blues of "Child Support," and the grungy gutbucket blues of "Everybody Knows." Nicely rendered soul is the feature of "A Chill in the Air." Chaz's creative outlet as a songwriter (all songs are written by him) is his strong suit. The only fault with this recording are the New Orleans references in songs like "Seafood Dept. Blues" that will probably not appeal to anyone outside the "Crescent City." For interested blues aficionados check out Chaz's website: www.jeffchaz.com to find out more info on his current CD and his own indie label Jeff Chaz Productions (JCP). © Bruce Coen Copyright © 2001, Blue Night Productions. All rights reserved http://www.bluenight.com/BluesBytes/wn0401.html

He burns on the Albert King-ish “Everybody Knows” and admits, “Working with Albert greatly influenced my style, especially my string bending. He was the wildest at that I’ve seen and terrific vocalist.” About Jerry Lee Lewis, he says, “Jerry Lee taught me not to be afraid to do anything!” That attitude shines throughout on this CD. Chaz’s ability to find the humor and pathos in his day-to-day dealings and build his experience into sturdy works of blues through strong storytelling and playing takes this CD several notches above the norm. [ from review of “Tired Of Being Lonely” © Kathleen A. Rippey © offBEAT Magazine

Jeff Chaz blends Memphis soul with New Orleans rhythms, and creates a very different sound. Jeff has said his music is "Memphis barbecue meeting up with New Orleans gumbo." All of the songs on "Tired of Being Lonely" are Jeff Chaz originals. Even though these songs are not classic songs, the music and lyrics is good, and every track is enjoyable. Jeff is a fine vocalist and guitarist , and this kind of music will always be a crowd pleaser. Listen to Jeff's "In Exile" album

TRACKS

1 I Can't Wait No More 3:34
2 Don't Shave Your Legs Tonight 2:35
3 Bourbon St. Blues Man 3:09
4 Child Support 6:34
5 Tired of Being Lonely 3:52
6 A Chill in the Air 5:05
7 Breaktime 4:19
8 Seafood Dept. Blues 5:36
9 Lie to Me Baby 4:01
10 Talk to Me Baby 4:01
11 Ain't Smellin' Too Good 3:55
12 Sounds Like the Blues to Me 3:25
13 Everybody Knows 7:13

All songs composed by Jeff Chaz

MUSICIANS

Jeff Chaz - Guitar, Vocals (Background),Handclapping, Vocals
Doug Potter, Doug Therrien - Bass
John Autin - Keyboards
A.J. Pittman - Trumpet

BIO

Jeff Chaz is an electrifying blues guitarist based in New Orleans. Ironically, at one time the guitar bored him and he turned to other instruments like the trombone. Before he discovered that his true talent lay in the blues, he even made an attempt to play country music and found the genre to be a challenge for him. A native of Lake Charles, LA, Chaz was raised in Creole, LA. His father was a practicing physician who sometimes visited his patients by a type of canoe called a pirogue rather than by car, and they paid his fees with ducks and other foodstuffs. Despite this simple way of life, there was nothing provincial about the backwoods healer's taste in music. Thanks to him, Chaz grew up surrounded by the sounds of Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Jack Teagarden, and Duke Ellington. As a youngster, Chaz played the jazz trombone and later moved over to the trumpet. He also played in the school band and spent his high school years in California with his family. His grades suffered due to the extensive amount of time he devoted to playing local dances and weddings. Upon graduation, he played trombone with a traveling band and when the band's guitar-playing vocalist unexpectedly dropped out, the other group members tapped Chaz to take his place. When he went home to California, he enrolled as a music student in San Bernardino College. After an attempt to play country music, he realized that his desire rested with the blues and he took off for Memphis. There he played back road blues joints and even played some gospel. Since then, he has played guitar with Cab Calloway, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Albert King. He has taken home a Beale Street Blues Award during the awards' inaugural year, and has sung at the National Civil Rights Museum. By 1996, he was back in New Orleans and working at the Famous Door on Bourbon Street. © Linda Seida © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:3bftxqrkldse~T1

27.9.10

Gentle Giant


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Gentle Giant - Out of the Fire (The BBC Concerts) - 1998 - Hux

This 2-CDset features two live concerts recorded for the BBC in 1973 and 1978. It's a wonderful live album from the unique progressive rock band, Gentle Giant. This brilliant album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. It encompasses classical, jazz, hard rock, and Canterbury Rock, and the musicianship is superb. Listen to the band's "In A Glass House" and "Acquiring The Taste" albums

CD ONE [Recorded at the Golders Green Hippodrome, London 16.11.73. First transmission 8.12.73]

1. Introduction
2. Way Of Life
3. Funny Ways
4. Nothing At All
5. Excerpts From Octopus

All tracks composed by Kerry Minnear/Phil Shulman/Derek Shulman/Ray Shulman except Track 1 by Mike Harding, and Track 5 by Kerry Minnear/Derek Shulman/Ray Shulman

CD TWO [Recorded at the Golders Green Hippodrome,London 5.1.78. First transmission 21.1.78. CD TWO was also released as "In Concert", but it is complete (including Funny Ways) and the songs are in the correct order]

1. Introduction - Pete Drummond
2. Two Weeks In Spain
3. Free Hand
4. On Reflection
5. I'm Turning Around
6. Just The Same
7. Playing The Game
8. Memories Of Old Days
9. Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It
10. Special Presentation by John P.Weathers
11 Funny Ways
12 For Nobody
13 Mountain Time

All tracks composed by Kerry Minnear/Derek Shulman/Ray Shulman except Track 10 by John P.Weathers, and Track 11 by Kerry Minnear/Phil Shulman/Derek Shulman/Ray Shulman

BAND (S)

Gary Green - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Recorder, Vocals
Ray Shulman - Guitar (Acoustic), Bass, Violin, Vocals
Derek Shulman - Bass, Recorder, Saxophone, Vocals
Kerry Minnear - Cello, Keyboards, Recorder, Vocals, Vibraphone, Wind Organ
John Weathers - Percussion, Drums, Vocals

BIO

Formed at the dawn of the progressive rock era in 1969, Gentle Giant seemed poised for a time in the mid-'70s to break out of its cult-band status, but somehow never made the jump. Somewhat closer in spirit to Yes and King Crimson than to Emerson, Lake & Palmer or the Nice, their unique sound melded hard rock and classical music, with an almost medieval approach to singing. Gentle Giant was born out of the ruins of Simon Dupree & the Big Sound, an R&B-based outfit led by brothers Derek, Ray, and Phil Shulman. After switching to psychedelia in 1967 and scoring their only major hit that year with "Kites," as Gentle Giant the group abandoned both the R&B and psychedelic orientations of the previous band; Derek sang and played guitar and bass, Ray sang and played bass and violin, and Phil handled the saxophone, augmented by Kerry Minnear on keyboards, and Gary Green on guitar. Their original lineup also featured Martin Smith on drums, but they went through several percussionists in the first three years of their existence. In 1970, Gentle Giant signed to the Vertigo label, and their self-titled first album — a shockingly daring work mixing hard rock and full electric playing with classical elements — came out later that year. Their second effort, 1971's Acquiring the Taste, was slightly more accessible and their third, Three Friends, featuring Malcolm Mortimore on drums, was their first record to get released in the U.S. (on Columbia). Their fourth album, 1973's Octopus, looked poised for a breakthrough; it seemed as though they had found the mix of hard rock and classical sounds that the critics and the public could accept, and they finally had a permanent drummer in the person of John Weathers, an ex-member of the Graham Bond Organisation. In 1974, however, Gentle Giant began coming apart. Phil Shulman decided to give up music after the Octopus tour, and became a teacher. Then the group recorded the album In a Glass House, their hardest-rocking record yet, which Columbia's U.S. arm rejected as too uncommercial. The two-year gap in their American release schedule hurt their momentum, and they weren't heard from again until the Capitol release of The Power and the Glory in 1975. Gentle Giant released Free Hand, their most commercial album, in 1976, but then followed it up with the jarringly experimental Interview. After the 1978 double-album Playing the Fool, the group went through a seeming change of heart and issued a series of albums aimed at mainstream audiences, even approaching disco, but by the end of the 1970s their popularity was in free-fall. Minnear, who had been playing an ever-more central role since the mid-'70s, had already left the group when Gentle Giant called it quits in 1980. Ray Shulman later became a producer and had considerable success in England working with bands like the Sundays and the Sugarcubes, while Derek Shulman became a New York-based record company executive. © Bruce Eder © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:giftxqe5ldke~T1

Short Stuff


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Short Stuff - Short Stuff - 1976 - Third Coast

Milwaukee group Short Stuff, were an innovative Milwaukee based band very popular in S.E Wisconsin and throughout the US midwest in the 1970's. The band led by singer, songwriter and stellar blues harmonica player Jim Liban pioneered the blues/rock sound later identified with bands like the Fabulous Thunderbirds and SRV. Short Stuff released 2 Albums, the s/t one posted here and "Talk Is Cheap" in the early 80's. "Short Stuff" may be an obscure album, but it's pure kick-ass funk, soul, blues, and rock! Short Stuff's keyboard player/vocalist Junior Brantley went on to play with The Thunderbirds and later Roomfull of Blues and Jimmie Vaughan. Jim Liban still plays in a more traditional vein with his trio. He has earned global cult status as one of the greatest post-war blues harmonica players. Many of his songs have been recorded by great artists like Johnny Winter and Lonnie Brooks. Has anybody any info on the band's second album "Talk Is Cheap"? N.B: The album here is from vinyl so expect some "snap, crackle and pop"!.
TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 If Bad Luck Were Money - Jim Liban
2 This Time I Got You - Jim Liban
3 Main Lady -Robert Brantley Jr, Marie Wiess
4 Everyday I Learn Something New - Jim Liban
5 Always There - R. Laws, W. Jeffery
6 Let's Straighten It Out - B.Latimore
7 One Of These Days - Jim Liban
8 Sloppy Drunk - Trad.
9 I Made A Mistake - Jim Liban
10 The Disco Kid - Jim Liban
11 Coda Kid - Jim Liban, Mark Lamar Plopper

MUSICIANS

Jim Liban - lead and background vocals, harmonica, percussion
Mark Lamar Plopper - electric and acoustic guitars
Mike Duffeck - bass
Junior Brantley - lead and background vocals, piano
Dean Halonen - ARP Synthesizers
Kenny Arnold RIP - drums, percussion
Cathy Nicholson - vocals on Track 6

26.9.10

Supersister


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Supersister - Memories Are New-M.A.N. - 2000 - Soss Music [Limited Edition]

Having not been familiar with Supersister prior to this year's Progfest, they have gained another fan because of it. So, whilst there at the fest, I picked up this special, limited edition disc that contained a few live tracks and several previously unreleased tracks. The band had split around 1975 and is only now getting back together. Their Progfest performance was their first in the US; hopefully it will pave the way for more. Whilst their humourous bent might get them thought of as a novelty band, the do have some great jazzy-fusion-like chops. You can read my impressions of their Progfest performance elsewhere, but listening to the first four tracks here, which are the live ones, you can get a sense of the energy they put into their set. There are no dates for when the live tracks were recorded, but a note on the Supersister section of R J Stip's site, it mentions 1971. The album opens with a muscular version of "Present From Nancy" from their album of the same name. This is followed by a very nice version of "Radio" from Pudding En Gisteren, which so seamlessly glides into "Mexico" that if you aren't a Supersister expert, you might think its an extended jam on "Radio." Okay, at least I did, until I actually checked the tracking timing and the CD player. The production is very clear here, allowing the fullness of the arrangement to shine through. "Judy Goes On Holiday" is sharp-edged even with the fuzzed organ; in fact, it is that fuzzed organ that gives it that rough, ragged edge. "Hommage" is the second of the previously unreleased tracks, and is a symphonic, classically influenced piece with beautiful keys and flute, somewhat tinny percussion and barely perceptible bass. This track and those that follow were recorded in 1971 with the Tanz-und Unterhaltungsorchester des NDR. "Sweet Suicide" has a playful feel, with stuttering keys, trilling flute, energetic percussion...and then the swell of the orchestra just opens it open. I'm brought to mind of Moody Blues, actually, and UK pop bands of the late 60's - Herman's Hermits is what springs to mind. "Modest Man" as well, though I couldn't help but think of "The Little Drummer Boy" while hearing this, as it slowly develops. It is a rather dark track, and the orchestra swell a third of the way through made me think of the incident music composed for movies made in the 30's and 40's, used to underscore a melancholy moment. "Nothing Is Real" will sound familiar, as it forms one of the middle parts of "Judy Takes A Holiday," though it has more instrumentation and a lighter feel. Instead of deep bass taking the lead, it is the flute and keys. "Workman's Song" returns to the obvious humour of other tracks - imagine if Shirley Temple sang sweetly about committing violent acts...well, Shirley Temple with a bit too much testosterone singing sweetly about committing violent acts. "House In The Country" also takes that happy feel and twists it with dark lyrics. "Seven Ways To Die" is psychedelic...I'd say almost stereotypically psychedelic, but with Supersister one can't be sure if that's part of the point. "Woods Of Frustrated Men" is psychedelic as well, in the way that The Doors' "The End" was...in fact, I think "The End" is a very good comparison here, at least for part of it, as the track moves in so many directions. Strangest here is "Psalm," where you're not quite sure whether they're laughing or crying through a familiar psalm. Actually I think it's both, one of those "we should be sad, but we can't help giggling" kind of things. And since they're singing in Dutch (I think), I'm not sure if there's more to the joke or not. It's an interesting document, but I'd have to hear more of Supersister to see how the unreleased stuff compares to the released stuff. There are also tracks that date from the 60's, what is refered to in the booklet, cheekily, as their "Dutch period." Although it was compiled for their Progfest appearance, I suspect there are still copies available, either from Greg Walker at Syn-phonic, who seemed to be the only vendor selling it, or from the RJ Stips site. Reviewed by & © Stephanie Sollow, September 2000 © Copyright 2000 ProgressiveWorld.net http://www.progressiveworld.net/supersister2.html

I have two Supersister albums, Present from Nancy and Iskander. I've also heard parts of To the Highest Bidder and Spiral Staircase. To the Highest Bidder and Present from Nancy are generally the recommended starting places. Showing strong Canterbury (e.g., early Soft Machine) and some Wigwam influences in the organ department (lots of organ), Supersister blend their own Dutch ideals and a touch of humor into a unique mixture of progressive rock. Plenty of flute or sax or both can be heard weaving in and out of the varied organ and piano. Sax is very prevalent on Present from Nancy. On this album, and the similar ...Highest Bidder, the music doesn't sit still very long, shifting constantly through different times and keys yet always developing. When the lyrics are present, they seem breezy and carefree, even playful, the melody often echoed by sax or flute. There is no guitar. Iskander steps down a small notch. The sound continues on in the vein of Present from Nancy but the sax is gone. This helps to give the band more of their own unique sound. The flute is much more prevalent now. However, some of the writing is a bit weaker. There are fewer time changes and so forth. There are many excellent moments but a few times I noticed I wasn't "into it' as much as I was with Present from Nancy. It's also more experimental and meditative (i.e., spacy) for about half the album. Based on what I've heard of Spiral Staircase is the weakest of their albums. It seems they ran out of good musical ideas and relied more on the humor. One song is based on a rhumba! Supersister doesn't play the most complex music you might hear, but the first several albums are very good none-the-less. Supersister is a good band for Canterbury/UK fans to break into the Dutch and Scandanavian scenes. Start with the first album and work your way forward. [ from the New Gibraltar Encyclopaedia of Progressive Rock http://www.gepr.net/st.html#SUPERSISTER ]

Absolutely no connection with the British girl band SuperSister, this is a "reunion" CD from the Dutch progressive jazz rock bandSupersister's work from the early 60's and 70's including previously unreleased studio recordings from 1967 plus unique material recorded with the NDR Orchestra in Germany in 1971, and high quality 1973 live recordings from their first and most popular line up. This is a good Canterbury Rock/Progressive jazz rock/fusion style album. If you are familiar with bands like Soft Machine and Robert Wyatt's often eccentric, nonsensical, whimsical, and quirky lyrics and vocals, then you will have some idea of Supersister's brand of music. Much of Daevid Allen and/or Gongs music could fall into the same category. It is worth listening to this album if only for the live tracks. The music on this album is not as complex and inventive as Canterbury Rock artists like Soft Machine, Daevid Allen, Gong, or Hatfield And The North. It is more simplistic and melodic. Try and listen to the band's "Present from Nancy" album which is far more serious and explorative musically, and very enjoyable

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Present from Nancy - live - Robert Jan Stips (7:23)
2. Radio - live - Ron van Eck, Robert Jan Stips (2:20)
3. Mexico - live - Robert Jan Stips (6:23)
4. Judy goes on holiday - live - Supersister (9:07)
5. (2x3=) 6 Blauwe dwergen - Rob Douw, Robert Jan Stips (1:16)
6. Hommage - Robert Jan Stips (3:35)
7. Sweet suicide - Ron van Eck, Robert Jan Stips (2:32)
8. Modest man - Ron van Eck, Robert Jan Stips (4:12)
9. Wine melody - Ron van Eck, Robert Jan Stips (2:44)
10. Nothing is real - Rob Douw, Robert Jan Stips (3:56)
11. Workman's song - Ron van Eck, Robert Jan Stips (3:10)
12. House in the country - Robert Jan Stips (3:29)
13. Seven ways to die - Robert Jan Stips (3:05)
14. Woods of frustrated men - Rob Douw, Robert Jan Stips (3:41)
15. Corporating comboboys - Robert Jan Stips (0:48)
16. Manke boerenwals - Rob Douw, Robert Jan Stips (1:08)
17. Psalm - Rob Douw(2:13)

Tracks 1-5 are live recordings from 1973. Tracks 6-12 were recorded with the NDR Orchestra in Germany on 4/10/71. Tracks 13-17 are early recordings from the 60's and 70's including previously unreleased studio recordings from 1967

BAND

Gerhard Smid - guitar, vocals
Ron van Eck - bass guitar
Robert Jan Stips - keyboards, vocals
Marco Vrolijk - drums
Rob Douw - trumpet, ideas & vocals (lead on tracks 5, 13-17)
Sacha van Geest RIP - flute, vocals

BIO (WIKIPEDIA)

Supersister was a band from The Hague, (the Netherlands), playing progressive rock ranging from jazz to pop. The most predominant band members were Robert Jan Stips (keyboards, vocals), Sacha van Geest (flute), Marco Vrolijk (drums) and Ron van Eck (bass). The band started as Sweet OK Sister in 1968 as a school band with singer and songwriter Rob Douw, who soon thereafter left. The remaining members continued as a more serious musical quartet under the name Supersister. Their style was progressive rock (in Canterbury Scene style) in which Stips' keyboard play played a dominant role. Their debut was the 1970 album "Present from Nancy," hitting the charts with numbers like "She was naked", "A girl named you", and "Radio". After three albums (Present from Nancy - 1970, To the highest bidder - 1971, and Pudding en gisteren - 1972) van Geest and Vrolijk quit. The remaining crew, together with new members Charly Mariano (wind instruments) and Herman van Boeyen (drums) released the album "Iskander" in 1973, which is an even more jazz-rock oriented concept album based upon the life of Alexander the Great. In 1974 Stips and van Geest release a final album "Spiral Staircase" as "Sweet Okay Supersister". This album marks the end of the band. The band reunited in 2000 after a request by the Progfest festival for a performance in Los Angeles. The four 1970-1973 period band members decided to accept and the result was the requested performance, as well as a short tour through the Netherlands in late 2000 and early 2001. To mark the occasion a rarities album was released, called "M.A.N." featuring live and studio recordings from 1969-1973. The reunion abruptly came to an end when Sacha van Geest unexpectedly died in the summer of 2001. The reunion concert at the Paradiso in Amsterdam was recorded and later released on CD ("Supersisterious", 2001) and DVD ("Sweet OK Supersister", 2006), which also features several old and new documentaries, photographs and unreleased audio tracks.

Doctor Feelgood


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Doctor Feelgood - Live In London - 1990 - Grand/Sonet

Live in London was the first Dr. Feelgood album to be recorded following the departure of guitarist Gordon Russell -- although nobody knew that at the time. New member Steve Walwyn had played just a handful of shows with the band when they headlined London's Town and Country Club, a sold-out show that was being filmed for a television special; it was only when the group listened to the tapes after the show that they decided there could be no better way of introducing the new recruit to the record-buying public. The set was classic late-'80s Feelgoods, ranging across the band's entire career and drawing the wildest crowd-pleasers from every era. Even among the old-old-timers, who in the audience could resist powerhouse renditions of "Milk and Alcohol," "Down at the Doctors," and "Route 66," pumped out with the Maxim gun intensity that had always been the Doctor's calling card? "Baby Jane" is a savage surprise, taking a song that had grown somewhat tired and disheveled and giving it an absolute facelift; "She Does It Right" sounds dirtier than it has since Wilco's day. And one track from the misguided Classic album, the apt "Quit While You're Behind," proves that, whatever else was wrong with the record, it wasn't the material. Live in London is not a new Stupidity -- time, place, and flavor have all changed irrevocably since the days when this material wasn't simply exciting, it was fresh as well. But anybody ever sitting down to chart the Feelgoods' musical course by live recordings alone would be hard-pressed to find even the hint of a decline. The Doctor is always on duty. © Dave Thompson, All Music Guide © 2010 Answers Corporation http://www.answers.com/topic/live-in-london-rock-album-6

Recorded live at the Town & Country Club, London on June 21,1989, this is a great album of straight up, no messin' Rock'N'Roll/Blues/R&B from a band who played for the pure love of music. The music is in the same style of most Dr. Feelgood albums, using the band's winning formula in their approach to good old fashioned Rock'N'Roll. "Live In London" doesn't deviate from the norm. The late Lee Brilleaux sings and plays harmonica on the album. Great stuff from one of the world's greatest ever "pub rock" bands, and VHR by A.O.O.F.C. The band's "A Case Of The Shakes" is @ DRFG/ACOTS Their "Finely Tuned" album is @ DRFG/FT and their "Primo" album can be found @ DRFG/PRIMO Listen to Dr.F's great "Stupidity" album.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

A1 King For A Day - Lee Brilleaux, John Mayo, John B. Sparks, Larry Wallis, John Martin 2:12
A2 You Upset Me - B.B. King 4:16
A3 As Long As The Price Is Right - Larry Wallis 3:45
A4 Mad Man Blues - John Lee Hooker 2:45
A5 She Does It Right - Wilko Johnson 2:53
A6 Baby Jane - Alan Wilson 2:44
A7 Quit While You're Behind - Will Birch 4:18

B1 Back In The Night - Wilko Johnson 3:40
B2 Milk & Alcohol - Nick Lowe, John Mayo 2:41
B3 See You Later Alligator - Robert Guidry 3:11
B4 Down At The Doctors - Mickey Jupp 3:31
B5 Route 66 - Bobby Troup 3.32
B6 Going Back Home - Wilko Johnson, Mick Green 3:06
B7 Bony Maroine/Tequila - Larry Williams 4:42 [N.B: If you are having problems unzipping this track, check comments for link]
BAND

Steve Walwyn - Guitar
Phil Mitchell - Bass
Kevin Morris - Drums
Lee Brilleaux RIP - Vocals, Harmonica

BIO

Dr. Feelgood was the ultimate working band. From their formation in 1971 to lead vocalist Lee Brilleaux's untimely death in 1994, the band never left the road, playing hundreds of gigs every year. Throughout their entire career, Dr. Feelgood never left simple, hard-driving rock & roll behind, and their devotion to the blues and R&B earned them a devoted fan base. That following first emerged in the mid-'70s, when Dr. Feelgood became the leader of the second wave of pub-rockers. Unlike Brinsley Schwarz, the laidback leaders of the pub-rock scene, Dr. Feelgood was devoted to edgy, Stonesy rock & roll, and their sweaty live shows -- powered by Brilleaux's intense singing and guitarist Wilko Johnson's muscular leads -- became legendary. While the group's stripped-down, energetic sound paved the way for English punk rock in the late '70s, their back-to-basics style was overshadowed by the dominance of punk and new wave, and the group had retreated to cult status by the early '80s. Brilleaux (vocals, harmonica), Johnson (guitar) and John B. Sparks (bass) had all played in several blues-based bar bands around Canvey Island, England before forming Dr. Feelgood in 1971. Taking their name from a Johnny Kidd & the Pirates song, the group was dedicated to playing old-fashioned R&B and rock & roll, including both covers and originals by Johnson. John Martin (drums), a former member of Finian's Rainbow, was added to the lineup, and the group began playing the pub-rock circuit. By the end of 1973, Dr. Feelgood's dynamic live act had made them the most popular group on the pub-rock circuit, and several labels were interested in signing them. They settled for United Artists, and they released their debut album, Down by the Jetty, in 1974. According to legend, Down By the Jetty was recorded in mono and consisted almost entirely of first takes. While it was in fact recorded in stereo, the rumor added significantly to Dr. Feelgood's purist image, and the album became a cult hit. The following year, the group released Malpractice -- also their first U.S. release -- which climbed into the U.K. Top 20 on the strength of the band's live performances and positive reviews. In 1976, the band released the live album Stupidity, which became a smash hit in Britain, topping the album charts. Despite its thriving British success, Dr. Feelgood was unable to find an audience in the States. One other American album, Sneakin' Suspicion, followed in 1977 before the band gave up on the States; they never released another record in the U.S. Sneakin' Suspicion didn't replicate the success of Stupidity, partially because of its slick production, but mainly because the flourishing punk rock movement overshadowed Dr. Feelgood's edgy roots-rock. Wilko Johnson left the band at the end of 1977 to form the Solid Senders; he later joined Ian Dury's Blockheads. Henry McCullough played on Feelgood's '77 tour before John "Gypie" Mayo became the group's full-time lead guitarist. Nick Lowe produced 1978's Be Seeing You, Mayo's full-length debut with Dr. Feelgood. The album generated the 1979 Top Ten hit "Milk and Alcohol," as well as the Top 40 hit "As Long As The Price Is Right." Two albums, As It Happens and Let It Roll, followed in 1979, and Mayo left the band in 1980. He was replaced by Johnny Guitar in 1980, who debuted on A Case of the Shakes, which was also produced by Nick Lowe. During their first decade together, Dr. Feelgood never left the road, which was part of the reason founding members John Martin and John Sparks left the band in 1982. Lee Brilleaux replaced them with Buzz Barwell and Pat McMullen, and continued touring. Throughout the '80s, Brilleaux continued to lead various incarnations of Dr. Feelgood, settling on the rhythm section of bassist Phil Mitchell and drummer Kevin Morris in the mid-'80s. The band occasionally made records -- including Brilleaux, one of the last albums on Stiff Records, in 1976 -- but concentrated primarily on live performances. Dr. Feelgood continued to perform to large audiences into the early '90s, when Brilleaux was struck by cancer. He died in April of 1994, three months after he recorded the band's final album, Down at the Doctor's. The remaining members of Dr. Feelgood hired vocalist Pete Gage and continued to tour under the band's name. Former Feelgoods Gypie Mayo, John Sparks and John Martin formed the Practice in the mid-'80s, and they occasionally performed under the name Dr. Feelgood's Practice. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Kenny "Blue" Ray


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Kenny "Blue" Ray - Pull The Strings - 1996 - Tone King

Kenny "Blue" Ray from Lodi, California has played with artists including Albert Collins, James Cotton, Ronnie Earl, Lowell Fulson, John Lee Hooker, Charlie Musselwhite, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Rod Piazza, Hubert Sumlin, Big Mama Thornton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tommy Castro, Kevin Russell, and more! Kenny "Blue" Ray's been releasing great albums since 1994 and has appeared on more than 50 albums. " Pull The Strings" is just one of his great albums. Kenny "Blue" Ray is a very underrated blues rock guitarist. The guy has a great guitar style. Kenny has said that "I use my fingers and thumb where at all possible, which is about 70% of the time." If you think Mark Knopfler has a unique guitar style, listen to what this guy can do. One reviewer said "There are some incredible blues guitar masters out there that shed some unique colors and vibrant shades but if you wanna see a rainbow you need to have the sunshine-let there be light, and let it be Blue Ray's." "Pull The Strings" is killer blues rock. If you like artists like SRV, Tommy Castro, or Rod Piazza, this album should appeal to you. Buy his great "In All of My Life" album, and find info on his "Fired Up!" album @ KBRY/FRDUP

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Rock 'N' Ray - K.R Ladner 3:35
2 Mudbugs and Shrimp - K.R Ladner 2:52
3 Pull the Strings - K.R Ladner 5:28
4 Baby Please (Don't Lie to Me) - Kim Wilson 4:46
5 Blues For Peter Green - K.R Ladner 2:38
6 Stangin' - K.R Ladner 4:55
7 Goin' Down Slow - Aretha Franklin, St. Louis Jimmy Oden 3:01
8 Up Jumped the Gator! - K.R Ladner 2:11
9 Nightmare in North Beach - K.R Ladner 3:57
10 Angels in Houston - Larry Davis 3:44
11 Let Me Prove It to You - Charlie Chavez 3:54
12 Pullin' For Michael - K.R Ladner 2:54
13 Little Village - Sonny Boy Williamson 3:09

MUSICIANS

Kenny "Blue" Ray - Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Burt Winn - Fender Bass
Chip Roland - Hammond B3 & Electric Piano (All tracks except 2,5,7,& 8)
Jim Overton - Drums
Charlie Chavez - Harmonica, Vocals

BIO

Guitarist Kenny "Blue" Ray (Born: Jan 11, 1950 in Lodi, California) has the kind of fat guitar overtones, complex chord changes and lightning-fast chops that tend to draw rock fans into the blues fold. Not unlike Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ray's playing owes almost as much to his rock influences as to his blues mentors. Ray's resume includes performances and recording sessions with William Clarke, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Charlie Musselwhite, Smokey Wilson, and a bevy of other West Coast blues stylists. Ray first became interested in music via his father, who played guitars, harmonica, fiddle and piano. Seeing Elvis Presley perform on the Ed Sullivan Show was a turning point for him, and later that year, his father bought him a guitar. As a youngster, Ray would listen to disc jockey Wolfman Jack at night, listening to music by Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf and others. Ray often skipped school to play guitar with his friends. He made his amateur debut at a high school dance in the mid-1960s. While in the Air Force, Ray was stationed in London from 1969 to 1972. There, he met Ferdnand Jones and began playing '60s-style soul and blues. After coming back to the U.S., Ray toured with the Paul Hermann Band until 1975, when he took a job as lead guitarist with Little Charlie and the Nightcats, then a regional northern California band. In 1976, Ray left the Nightcats to head back to Los Angeles. There, he became part of the house band at a club run by guitarist and singer Smokey Wilson. Onstage at Wilson's Pioneer Club, Ray had the chance to back up legendary artists like Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson and Big Mama Thornton. A few years later, Ray made his recording session debut with the likes of harmonica player William Clarke and vocalist Finis Tasby. After moving to Austin, Texas in 1980, Ray joined the Marcia Ball Band, touring with her for four years around the Texas Triangle. Ray can be heard on Ball's 1985 album for Rounder, Soulful Dress. He befriended guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and continued his career as a session man, recording with Ball, Mitch Woods, Charlie Musselwhite, Greg "Fingers" Taylor, Ron Thompson, and Tommy Castro, among dozens of others. By 1990, Ray decided it was time to start leading his own band, and in 1994, he recorded Fired Up!, the first album for his own Blue Ray/Tone King label. Ray's releases helped broaden his touring base beyond central Texas and northern California. His other mid-1990s recordings include Cadillac Tone (1995), Pull the Strings (1996), and Git It! (1997), all for his own Blue Ray/Tone King label. Most recently, Ray recorded In All of My Life (1997) for the London-based JSP Records. He was accompanied by John Firmin (tenor sax), of the Johnny Nocturne Band, as well as Rob Sudduth of Huey Lewis and the News on baritone and tenor saxes. On record and on stages around the U.S., Ray's guitar playing reflects his smorgasbord of influences: Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, and Aaron "T-Bone" Walker. His vocals are powerful and soul-filled. Ray continues to tour around the U.S., Canada and Europe. © Richard Skelly, All Music Guide

MORE ABOUT KENNY "BLUE" RAY

One of the most interesting features on the modern blues scene has been the advent of the non-singing guitarist/bandleader, artists like Ronnie Earl, Anson Funderburgh, and Little Charlie Baty, whose prowess as instrumentalists has led to their names appearing on billboards and CD sleeves with the vocalists appearing as "featured artists."To the above list of talented instrumentalists, you can now add the name of Kenny Blue Ray. Kenny is a blues veteran of 35 years whose pedigree includes recording and appearing with artists the caliber of William Clarke, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Charlie Musselwhite, Smokey Wilson, Albert Collins, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.Kenny Ray was born in California on January 11, 1950. His interest in music was forged by his father, who played guitar, harmonica, accordion, piano and fiddle. Seeing Elvis perform on the Ed Sullivan show in 1956 sealed Kenny's passion to play guitar.His father bought Kenny his first guitar in 1958 for $7.00, a Stella. His dad later bought Kenny his first real guitar, a 1959 black Danelectro for $38.50.Kenny's obsession with the blues was triggered by the infamous Wolfman Jack, when as an eleven year old, Kenny would lie in bed listening as his older sister played the radio to the sounds of Jimmy Reed and Howlin' Wolf on XERB-FM, from Chula Vista, California, and was inspired by music that Kenny claims "just totally blew my mind."Kenny and his friends would skip school to learn Albert King's album, "Born Under A Bad Sign" and B.B. King's live album, "Blues Is King."Serving in the Air Force from 1969-72, Kenny was based in London, England, where he hooked up with ex-Jr. Walker band member Ferdnand Jones in a nine piece soul review called El Jade, where they covered Al Green, Aretha Franklin and "lots of blues." On his return to the States, Kenny spent two years touring California with the Paul Herman Band. In 1975 he took over the guitar spot in Little Charlie and the Nightcats, which at the time was fronted by Charlie Baty on guitar, harp and vocals. Rick Estrin joined the band in 1976, and not long after Kenny left and moved to Los Angeles where he became a member of the houseband at Smokey Wilson's Pioneer club, backing artists like Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, and Big Mama Thornton. The late 70's were a productive time for the blues in LA, and Kenny became immersed in the Watts scene and made his recording debut with William Clarke and Hollywood Fats ("Diggin' My Potatoes") and Finis Tasby (a set which remains unreleased) in 1978.In 1980, Kenny moved to Austin, Texas, where he joined the Marcia Ball Band, touring with her for four years on the Crawfish Circuit and appearing on her 1985 Rounder release "Soulful Dress." During this time Kenny met and became good friends with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Further recording sessions followed with Greg "Fingers" Taylor ("Harpoon Man"), Marcia Ball on Varrick, Mitch Woods, Charlie Musselwhite, Ronnie Earl and the Roomful of Blue Horns on Blind Pig ("Solid Gold Cadillac"), and sessions with Tommy Castro, Ron Thompson, Gary Smith, and others. In 1990, Kenny, with his big, fat toned, Texas guitar sound liberally laced with Albert King and Magic Sam and honed to perfection, took center stage and formed his own band.In 1994, Kenny released the first of nine CD's on his own Tone King label. Each CD garnered critical acclaim from all corners of the blues world, and amazingly, each surpassing the previous in sheer quality. Few artists could release so many CD's in such a short period of time without staleness and a sense of repetition setting in.Since 1994, Kenny has put out two to three CD's a year, as well as producing and playing on other recording artists' projects. Kenny is a big fan of Jazz as well, especially the bluesy side of Brother Jack McDuff, Jimmy Smith, and Jimmy McGriff.Kenny has appeared on 40 CD's and albums since he began his music career. He's also done seven blues guitar instructional videos, and he plans to do a Chicago blues guitar instructional video in the near future.Kenny had the great honor of working with Little Charlie & The Night Cats, William Clarke (Kenny's favorite), James Harman, Shakey Jake Harris, Rod Piazza and Gary Smith. Blues harp is another favorite of Kenny's!Kenny's biggest influences on guitar are Albert King, T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Robert Lockwood, Jr., B.B. King, Freddie King, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomerey, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Kenny also digs Jimmie Vaughan and Anson Funderburgh.Kenny uses Kenny "Blue" Ray Signature Series guitars. Kenny brings his years of first-hand experience to the design and development of fine blues guitars. He offers these under the "Blueray Guitars" name. These guitars are very 50s & 60's looking, and have a distinctive West Coast, Texas, or Chicago blues sound.Stevie Ray Vaughan, T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, B.B., Freddie, Albert King or whatever your blues reference - Kenny Blue Ray guarantees "Blues Satisfaction". © Richard Skelly, All Music Guide
http://home.earthlink.net/~blueray/index.htm

25.9.10

Pee Wee Crayton


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Pee Wee Crayton - Early Hour Blues - 1999 - Blind Pig

A West Coast blues guitar hero, Crayton died shortly after these sessions, done primarily with Rod and Honey Piazza's band, or with jazz pianist Llew Matthews' quartet. The two dates show Crayton could do it all. Jump blues, hard or straight blues, and boogie were all easily played. It's that unmistakable T-Bone Walker influence, a stinging, swinging single line or chunky, chortling chord progressions that made Crayton stand out among the crowded blues guitar landscape. He was a one-of-a kind player, and this CD is not only his final testament, but a solid exclamation point on the career of a true American music legend. Crayton also proved to be a pretty good singer. His soulful rendering of the hit "Send for Me" is sincere and believable. "Barefootin'" might be a throwaway, but he really sends up the B.B. King evergreen "When I'm Wrong." Steaming instrumentals with big horn charts swing hard as on "You Know Yeah," Eddie Taylor's "E.T. Blues," "Red Rose Boogie," and the short horn-fired rave-up "Head'n'Home." The Piazzas and Matthews really know how to support a star, and their work is as credible as any. Additional kudos to Crayton's wife, Esther, who wrote six of these 11 cuts, and was always a major factor in his repertoire. On some of his solos, Crayton is astounding; on the rest, his guitar is merely spectacular. Though 14 years late (Crayton died in 1985) and only 45 minutes short on this CD, this is a precious document of one of originals of blues guitar, and a reminder that although he was relatively obscure, he had many fans who knew what the real deal was. For blues scholars, this is an artist, like Freddie King, Otis Rush, and T-Bone, well worth studying and relishing. © Michael G. Nastos © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:kpfwxqlkldde

If there's a pantheon for unsung blues heroes, Pee Wee Crayton belongs in it. Like T-Bone Walker, whose style Crayton's closely resembles, he came from Texas, heading for the West Coast early on. Though he recorded prolifically throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, he never quite garnered the attention he deserved. That's a shame, as Early Hour Blues--collecting several cuts from Crayton's final two albums--attests. The material is an appealing mix; Texas and West Coast, instrumental and vocal, sensual ballads and uptempo rockers, the latter of which display some impressive guitar gymnastics. Rod Piazza, who helped produce the albums from which these songs are taken, does harp duty on several tracks. This aptly titled collection is evocative of a late night in a bar, somewhere where last call happens at around 4 a.m., and is definitely worth a listen or several. © Genevieve Williams © 1996-2010, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/Early-Hour-Blues-Pee-Crayton/dp/B00000J7V2

HR by A.O.O.F.C, this is a wonderful album from the late and sadly neglected Pee Wee Crayton. They don't play like this anymore! Buy his brilliant "Peace Of Mind" album

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Blues at Daybreak - Esther Crayton 3:02
2 Early Hours - Esther Crayton 4:33
3 Barefootin' - Robert Parker 2:37
4 Blues After Hours - Pee Wee Crayton/Jules Taub 5:25
5 You Know Yeah - Pee Wee Crayton/Jules Taub 4:07
6 E.T. Blues - Eddie Taylor 4:23
7 When I'm Wrong - B.B. King 7:51
8 Send for Me - Ollie Jones 4:32
9 Red Rose Boogie - Esther Crayton 1:53
10 Come on Baby - Esther Crayton 2:32
11 Head'n Home - Esther Crayton 4:25

MUSICIANS

Pee Wee Crayton - Guitar, Vocals
Doug MacLeod - Guitar, Guitar (Rhythm)
Dan Fredman, Eric Ajaye - Bass
Llew Matthews - Keyboards
Honey Piazza - Piano
Lee Spath, Soko Richardson - Drums
Fred Clark - Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)
Bill Clark, Marshall Crayton - Sax (Tenor)
Fernando Harkless - Saxophone
Claude Williams - Trumpet
Rod Piazza - Harp

BIO

Although he was certainly inexorably influenced by the pioneering electric guitar conception of T-Bone Walker (what axe-handler wasn't during the immediate postwar era?), Pee Wee Crayton brought enough daring innovation to his playing to avoid being labeled as a mere T-Bone imitator. Crayton's recorded output for Modern, Imperial, and Vee-Jay contains plenty of dazzling, marvelously imaginative guitar work, especially on stunning instrumentals such as "Texas Hop," "Pee Wee's Boogie," and "Poppa Stoppa," all far more aggressive performances than Walker usually indulged in. Like Walker, Connie Crayton was a transplanted Texan. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1935, later moving north to the Bay Area. He signed with the Bihari brothers' L.A.-based Modern logo in 1948, quickly hitting pay dirt with the lowdown instrumental "Blues After Hours" (a kissin' cousin to Erskine Hawkins' anthem "After Hours"), which topped the R&B charts in late 1948. The steaming "Texas Hop" trailed it up the lists shortly thereafter, followed the next year by "I Love You So." But Crayton's brief hitmaking reign was over, through no fault of his own. After recording prolifically at Modern to no further commercial avail, Crayton moved on to Aladdin and, in 1954, Imperial. Under Dave Bartholomew's savvy production, Crayton made some of his best waxings in New Orleans: "Every Dog Has His Day," "You Know Yeah," and "Runnin' Wild" found Crayton's guitar turned up to the boiling point over the fat cushion of saxes characterizing the Crescent City sound. From there, Crayton tried to regain his momentum at Vee-Jay in Chicago; 1957's "I Found My Peace of Mind," a Ray Charles-tinged gem, should have done the trick, but no dice. After one-off 45s for Jamie, Guyden, and Smash during the early '60s, Crayton largely faded from view until Vanguard unleashed his LP, Things I Used to Do, in 1971. After that, Pee Wee Crayton's profile was raised somewhat; he toured and made a few more albums prior to his passing in 1985. © Bill Dahl © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:difwxq95ldke~T1

MORE

Connie Curtis "Pee Wee" Crayton is a name that must feature prominently in any history of electric blues guitar and West Coast blues. Beginning in the 1940's he carved out a magnificent discography and enduring reputation, and the success of his atmospheric, jazzy and jumping R & B helped pave the way for the likes of Lowell Fulson, Gatemouth Brown and B.B. King. Fulson recollected, "these guys like Pee Wee Crayton and T-Bone Walker - they made me study a little more and work a little harder." Expatriate studio great Mickey Baker credited Crayton for showing him a musical direction: "What made me listen to blues was, I was out in California, stranded, and I heard Pee Wee Crayton playing. Those people messing around on the floor, man, they would go crazy! That was the first blues I learned to play." Almost a quarter century later, young guitar phenom Shuggie Otis included a tribute to his mentors on his debut album, specifically citing "the great Pee Wee Crayton." Pee Wee remained a vital artist until his passing on June 25, 1985. Blind Pig's new compilation of his last recordings, Early Hour Blues is a welcome and timely showcase for what blues authority Bill Dahl called his "dazzling, marvelously imaginative guitar work" and "daring innovation," and a loving act of admiration and appreciation on the part of some distinguished acolytes. Pee Wee was born near Austin, Texas in Rockdale, on December 18, 1914. In 1935 he moved to Los Angeles. By World War II he was in the San Francisco Bay Area, an aspiring musician. There he supplemented the inspiration of jazz guitar trailblazer Charlie Christian with personal tutelage by a man who would be a close friend till his passing thirty years later, the original electric blues guitar master, T-Bone Walker. Crayton told interviewer John Breckow, "We got to be real good friends." According to another Pee Wee interview, T-Bone "showed me how to string up the guitar to get the blues sound out of it. T-Bone was gonna try to help me learn how to play. My timing was real bad. T-Bone helped me with my timing. He would play the piano or the bass and show me how to play in time." The two went on to stage friendly battles, and when T-Bone's health problems interfered with his gigs late in life, Crayton was on call to fill in whenever he was available. Pee Wee added some rawness to Walker's stylish blues approach, and chord knowledge gleaned from guitarist John Collins involving the use of four fingers. Pee Wee proudly stated, "I know how to play them big, pretty chords and where to put 'em at." After some obscure recordings as a leader and sideman (mostly for pianist Ivory Joe Hunter) in the Bay Area, Pee Wee hooked up with L.A.-based Modern Records. In 1948 he broke through with the classic moody instrumental "Blues After Hours" and followed with the equally definitive hits, the swinging "Texas Hop" and vocal ballad "I Love You So." Soon he was tearing up venues around the country with his flashy picking, power chords and grooves suitable for dancing or romance. Though his great Modern sides have been reissued thoughtfully in England and Japan, their unavailability in the U.S. is a major gap in the blues canon. They and his personal appearances established Pee Wee as a stalwart of the emerging L.A. blues scene, and launched him as a formidable national presence. "I was the No. 1 attraction in the country for three years. I went across the country with a band that couldn't play five songs all the way through. Only thing I could play was the tunes I recorded. But, wherever I'd go, I'd draw a lot of people, because I was a good-looking man at that time. And very popular, you know, with the women anyway. So wherever women go, the men gonna be there." One man of note who was in the crowd for a different reason later was a certain Elvis Presley, according to musician Billy "The Kid" Emerson who took Elvis to hear Crayton at the Flamingo Club in Memphis: "Ah, man! Elvis thought that was somethin'. He'd never seen him before, and Pee Wee was good! Pee Wee Crayton was really good. And it learned him about stage personality, you know, he learned how to get around a stage and whatnot." In the 1950s Pee Wee's star faded somewhat. Los Angeles recordings for Aladdin and Recorded In Hollywood after he left Modern did him little or no good, and he moved to the Midwest (befriending a young Kenny Burrell in Detroit and giving lessons in Waterloo, Iowa) before golf hustling his way back to L.A. in 1960. But with the custom Strat guitar and Twin amp given to him by Leo Fender, he continued to make often scintillating records, most prolifically for Imperial in New Orleans ("Win-O" and "You Know Yeah") with Dave Bartholomew's crack band and for Vee-Jay in Chicago ("The Telephone Is Ringing") in similarly illustrious company. His wife Esther began to make her presence felt as a lyricist. After his return to Los Angeles, the next decade brought Pee Wee his least glorious musical period as he mostly drove a truck and played locally. A fine LP he recorded didn't even credit him, appearing under the name of "The Sunset Blues Band." The down home folk blues tastes of the international white blues boom didn't coincide with his relatively sophisticated approach. But by the decade's end, the vintage R & B which Pee Wee had helped popularize came in for belated recognition. Johnny Otis showcased Pee Wee in a memorable program at the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival (issued on Epic), leading to a comeback LP on Vanguard, and later recorded an LP by Pee Wee for his Blues Spectrum label. Pee Wee continued to record sporadically and added some prestigious festivals and international tours to his resume. He lived comfortably in L.A. till his death shortly after a Chicago Blues Festival appearance and a triumphant return to his home town at Antone's. There's a plaque in his honor where he used to feed the ducks at his favorite golf course. But till the end he was frustrated that he never got the accolades he felt his historical contributions warranted. Pee Wee's last two albums were recorded in Riverside, California for Murray Brothers, at the instigation of the label's A & R man, blues harpist deluxe Rod Piazza. Pee Wee relished the freedom and the chance to work with some veteran sidekicks and younger admirers like Rod and Honey Piazza ("I played a lot of places with Rod") and guitarist Doug MacLeod ("one of the best friends I got, and he's one of the finest guitar players you'd ever want to hear") and his band. His tone, energy and repertoire were up to the minute. [title] emphasizes Pee Wee's blues, boogies and R & B, with a couple recreations and the accent on instrumentals. Rod Piazza described the music as "a seasoned professional doing what he does best with no compromises." From the late night instrumental ambience of a revived and extended "Blues After Hours" and the extravagant vocal blues "When I'm Wrong I'm Wrong," through the rousing R & B of "Barefootin'" and a revisited "You Know Yeah" and the blistering uptempo instrumentals like "E.T. Blues," "Red Rose Boogie" and the Piazza feature "Head'n Home," Pee Wee and Blind Pig have a reminder of his greatness for his longtime fans, and a wakeup call for a new generation. As Early Hour Blues affirms, what was once pioneering is now timeless as blues history and joyful listening! © 2006 Blind Pig Records, a division of Whole Hog, Inc. - All Rights Reserved http://www.blindpigrecords.com/index.cfm?section=artists&artistid=23

23.9.10

Stevie Wonder


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Stevie Wonder - Live at Last: A Wonder Summer's Night - 2009 - Motown

Recorded in 2008 at London's O2 Arena, this concert showcases the legendary Stevie Wonder at his best. He is backed by a hugely experienced and talented cast of singers and musicians. "Live At Last" is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Most music fans are aware of some of Stevie's classic albums like "Songs in the Key of Life", "Innervisions", and "Fulfillingness' First Finale". Some of Stevie Wonder's lesser known albums include his "Where I'm Coming From" album and his 1962 Motown classic, "The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie".

TRACKS

01. Intro/All Blues - Miles Davis
02. As If You Read My Mind
03. Master Blaster(Jammin')
04. Did I Hear You Say You Love Me
05. All I Do - Clarence Paul, Stevie Wonder
06. Knocks Me Off My Feet
Celebration Of Love
Harmony
07. UK Medley:London Bridge Is Falling Down/Fool On The Hill/I Wanna Hold Your Hand/I Can't Get No Satisfaction/That's What Makes The World Go Around - Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Rick Baker
08. People Make The World Go 'Round - Thom Bell, Linda Creed
09. Higher Ground
10. Spain - Joaquín Rodrigo, Chick Corea
11. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing
12. Visions
13. Living For The City
A Man Gotta Do
14. Part-Time Lover
15. Overjoyed
16. Lately
17. I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life
18. My Cherie Amour
19. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours - Stevie Wonder, Syreeta Wright, Garret Lee, Lula Mae Hardaway
20. Sir Duke
21. I Wish
22. Isn't She Lovely
23. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
24. I Just Called To Say I Love You
25. You Are The Only One For My(Snippet)
26. Superstition/So What The Fuss
Clock On The Wall
27. As

All songs composed by Stevie Wonder except where stated

MUSICIANS

Stevie Wonder - vocals, keyboards, harmonica, electric drums
Kyle Bolden, Errol Cooney - guitar
Nathan Watts - bass
Victoria Theodore, Roman Johnson - keyboards
Stanley Randolph - drums
Munyungo Jackson - timbales, congas, percussion
Fausto Cuevas III - congas, percussion
Ryan Kilgore - tenor sax, sax
Dwight Adams - trumpet
Backing vocals - Keith Johnson, Kimberley Brewer, Dajah Gomez & Aisha Morris

BIO

Stevie Wonder is a much-beloved American icon and an indisputable genius not only of R&B but popular music in general. Blind virtually since birth, Wonder's heightened awareness of sound helped him create vibrant, colorful music teeming with life and ambition. Nearly everything he recorded bore the stamp of his sunny, joyous positivity; even when he addressed serious racial, social, and spiritual issues (which he did quite often in his prime), or sang about heartbreak and romantic uncertainty, an underlying sense of optimism and hope always seemed to emerge. Much like his inspiration, Ray Charles, Wonder had a voracious appetite for many different kinds of music, and refused to confine himself to any one sound or style. His best records were a richly eclectic brew of soul, funk, rock & roll, sophisticated Broadway/Tin Pan Alley-style pop, jazz, reggae, and African elements — and they weren't just stylistic exercises; Wonder took it all and forged it into his own personal form of expression. His range helped account for his broad-based appeal, but so did his unique, elastic voice, his peerless melodic facility, his gift for complex arrangements, and his taste for lovely, often sentimental ballads. Additionally, Wonder's pioneering use of synthesizers during the '70s changed the face of R&B; he employed a kaleidoscope of contrasting textures and voices that made him a virtual one-man band, all the while evoking a surprisingly organic warmth. Along with Marvin Gaye and Isaac Hayes, Wonder brought R&B into the album age, crafting his LPs as cohesive, consistent statements with compositions that often took time to make their point. All of this made Wonder perhaps R&B's greatest individual auteur, rivaled only by Gaye or, in later days, Prince. Originally, Wonder was a child prodigy who started out in the general Motown mold, but he took control of his vision in the '70s, spinning off a series of incredible albums that were as popular as they were acclaimed; most of his reputation rests on these works, which most prominently include Talking Book, Innervisions, and Songs in the Key of Life. His output since then has been inconsistent, marred by excesses of sentimentality and less of the progressive imagination of his best work, but it's hardly lessened the reverence in which he's long been held. Wonder was born Steveland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, MI, on May 13, 1950 (he later altered his name to Steveland Morris when his mother married). A premature infant, he was put on oxygen treatment in an incubator; likely it was an excess of oxygen that exacerbated a visual condition known as retinopathy of prematurity, causing his blindness. In 1954, his family moved to Detroit, where the already musically inclined Stevie began singing in his church's choir; from there he blossomed into a genuine prodigy, learning piano, drums, and harmonica all by the age of nine. While performing for some of his friends in 1961, Stevie was discovered by Ronnie White of the Miracles, who helped arrange an audition with Berry Gordy at Motown. Gordy signed the youngster immediately and teamed him with producer/songwriter Clarence Paul, under the new name Little Stevie Wonder. Stevie released his first two albums in 1962: A Tribute to Uncle Ray, which featured covers of Stevie's hero Ray Charles, and The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie, an orchestral jazz album spotlighting his instrumental skills on piano, harmonica, and assorted percussion. Neither sold very well, but that all changed in 1963 with the live album The 12 Year Old Genius, which featured a new extended version of the harmonica instrumental "Fingertips." Edited for release as a single, "Fingertips, Pt. 2" rocketed to the top of both the pop and R&B charts, thanks to Wonder's irresistible, youthful exuberance; meanwhile, The 12 Year Old Genius became Motown's first chart-topping LP. Wonder charted a few more singles over the next year, but none on the level of "Fingertips, Pt. 2." As his voice changed, his recording career was temporarily put on hold, and he studied classical piano at the Michigan School for the Blind in the meantime. He dropped the "Little" portion of his stage name in 1964, and re-emerged the following year with the infectious, typically Motown-sounding dance tune "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," a number one R&B/Top Five pop smash. Not only did he co-write the song for his first original hit, but it also reinvented him as a more mature vocalist in the public's mind, making the similar follow-up "Nothing's Too Good for My Baby" another success. The first signs of Wonder's social activism appeared in 1966 via his hit cover of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and its follow-up, "A Place in the Sun," but as Motown still had the final say on Wonder's choice of material, this new direction would not yet become a major facet of his work. By this time, Wonder was, however, beginning to take more of a hand in his own career. He co-wrote his next several hits, all of which made the R&B Top Ten — "Hey Love," "I Was Made to Love Her" (an R&B number one that went to number two pop in 1967), and "For Once in My Life" (another smash that reached number two pop and R&B). Wonder's 1968 album For Once in My Life signaled his budding ambition; he co-wrote about half of the material and, for the first time, co-produced several tracks. The record also contained three more singles in the R&B chart-topper "Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day," "You Met Your Match," and "I Don't Know Why." Wonder scored again in 1969 with the pop and R&B Top Five hit "My Cherie Amour" (which he'd actually recorded three years prior) and the Top Ten "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday." In 1970, Wonder received his first-ever co-production credit for the album Signed, Sealed & Delivered; he co-wrote the R&B chart-topper "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" with singer Syreeta Wright, whom he married later that year, and also scored hits with "Heaven Help Us All" and a rearrangement of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out." In addition, two other Motown artists had major success with Wonder co-writes: the Spinners' "It's a Shame" and the Miracles' only pop number one, "Tears of a Clown." 1971 brought a turning point in Wonder's career. On his 21st birthday, his contract with Motown expired, and the royalties set aside in his trust fund became available to him. A month before his birthday, Wonder released Where I'm Coming From, his first entirely self-produced album, which also marked the first time he wrote or co-wrote every song on an LP (usually in tandem with Wright) and the first time his keyboard and synthesizer work dominated his arrangements. Gordy was reportedly not fond of the work, and it wasn't a major commercial success, producing only the Top Ten hit "If You Really Love Me" (plus a classic B-side in "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer"). Nonetheless, it was clearly an ambitious attempt at making a unified album-length artistic statement, and served notice that Wonder was no longer content to release albums composed of hit singles and assorted filler. Accordingly, Wonder did not immediately renew his contract with Motown, as the label had expected; instead, he used proceeds from his trust fund to build his own recording studio and to enroll in music theory classes at USC. He negotiated a new deal with Motown that dramatically increased his royalty rate and established his own publishing company, Black Bull Music, which allowed him to retain the rights to his music; most importantly, he wrested full artistic control over his recordings, as Gaye had just done with the landmark What's Going On. Freed from the dictates of Motown's hit-factory mindset, Wonder had already begun following a more personal and idiosyncratic muse. One of his negotiating chips had been a full album completed at his new studio; Wonder had produced, played nearly all the instruments, and written all the material (with Wright contributing to several tracks). Released under Wonder's new deal in early 1972, Music of My Mind heralded his arrival as a major, self-contained talent with an original vision that pushed the boundaries of R&B. The album produced a hit single in the spacy, synth-driven ballad "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)," but like contemporary work by Hayes and Gaye, Music of My Mind worked as a smoothly flowing song suite unto itself. Around the same time it was released, Wonder's marriage to Wright broke up; the two remained friends, however, and Wonder produced and wrote several songs for her debut album. The same year, Wonder toured with the Rolling Stones, bringing his music to a large white audience as well. For the follow-up to Music of My Mind, Wonder refined his approach, tightening up his songcraft while addressing his romance with Wright. The result, Talking Book, was released in late 1972 and made him a superstar. Song for song one of the strongest R&B albums ever released, Talking Book also perfected Wonder's spacy, futuristic experiments with electronics, and was hailed as a magnificently realized masterpiece. Wonder topped the charts with the gutsy, driving funk classic "Superstition" and the mellow, jazzy ballad "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," which went on to become a pop standard; those two songs went on to win three Grammys between them. Amazingly, Wonder only upped the ante with his next album, 1973's Innervisions, a concept album about the state of contemporary society that ranks with Gaye's What's Going On as a pinnacle of socially conscious R&B. The ghetto chronicle "Living for the City" and the intense spiritual self-examination "Higher Ground" both went to number one on the R&B charts and the pop Top Ten, and Innervisions took home a Grammy for Album of the Year. Wonder was lucky to be alive to enjoy the success; while being driven to a concert in North Carolina, a large timber fell on Wonder's car. He sustained serious head injuries and lapsed into a coma, but fortunately made a full recovery. Wonder's next record, 1974's Fulfillingness' First Finale, was slightly more insular and less accessible than its immediate predecessors, and unsurprisingly imbued with a sense of mortality. The hits, however, were the upbeat "Boogie On, Reggae Woman" (a number one R&B and Top Five pop hit) and the venomous Richard Nixon critique "You Haven't Done Nothin'" (number one on both sides). It won him a second straight Album of the Year Grammy, by which time he'd been heavily involved as a producer and writer on Syreeta's second album, Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta. Wonder subsequently retired to his studio and spent two years crafting a large-scale project that would stand as his magnum opus. Finally released in 1976, Songs in the Key of Life was a sprawling two-LP-plus-one-EP set that found Wonder at his most ambitious and expansive. Some critics called it brilliant but prone to excess and indulgence, while others hailed it as his greatest masterpiece and the culmination of his career; in the end, they were probably both right. "Sir Duke," an ebullient tribute to music in general and Duke Ellington in particular, and the funky "I Wish" both went to number one pop and R&B; the hit "Isn't She Lovely," a paean to Wonder's daughter, became something of a standard, and "Pastime Paradise" was later sampled for the backbone of Coolio's rap smash "Gangsta's Paradise." Not surprisingly, Songs in the Key of Life won a Grammy for Album of the Year; in hindsight, though, it marked the end of a remarkable explosion of creativity and of Wonder's artistic prime. Having poured a tremendous amount of energy into Songs in the Key of Life, Wonder released nothing for the next three years. When he finally returned in 1979, it was with the mostly instrumental Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, ostensibly the soundtrack to a never-released documentary. Although it contained a few pop songs, including the hit "Send One Your Love," its symphonic flirtations befuddled most listeners and critics. It still made the Top Ten on the LP chart on Wonder's momentum alone — one of the stranger releases to do so. To counteract possible speculation that he'd gone off the deep end, Wonder rushed out the straightforward pop album Hotter Than July in 1980. The reggae-flavored "Master Blaster (Jammin')" returned him to the top of the R&B charts and the pop Top Five, and "Happy Birthday" was part of the ultimately successful campaign to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday (Wonder being one of the cause's most active champions). Artistically speaking, Hotter Than July was a cut below his classic '70s output, but it was still a solid outing; fans were so grateful to have the old Wonder back that they made it his first platinum-selling LP. In 1981, Wonder began work on a follow-up album that was plagued by delays, suggesting that he might not be able to return to the visionary heights of old. He kept busy in the meantime, though; in 1982, his racial-harmony duet with Paul McCartney, "Ebony and Ivory," hit number one, and he released a greatest-hits set covering 1972-1982 called Original Musiquarium I. It featured four new songs, of which "That Girl" (number one R&B, Top Five pop) and the lengthy, jazzy "Do I Do" (featuring Dizzy Gillespie; number two R&B) were significant hits. In 1984, still not having completed the official follow-up to Hotter Than July, he recorded the soundtrack to the Gene Wilder comedy The Woman in Red, which wasn't quite a full-fledged Stevie Wonder album but did feature a number of new songs, including "I Just Called to Say I Love You." Adored by the public (it was his biggest-selling single ever) and loathed by critics (who derided it as sappy and simple-minded), "I Just Called to Say I Love You" was an across-the-board number one smash, and won an Oscar for Best Song. Wonder finally completed the official album he'd been working on for nearly five years, and released In Square Circle in 1985. Paced by the number one hit "Part Time Lover" — his last solo pop chart-topper — and several other strong songs, In Square Circle went platinum, even if Wonder's synthesizer arrangements now sounded standard rather than groundbreaking. He performed on the number one charity singles "We Are the World" by USA for Africa and "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick & Friends, and returned quickly with a new album, Characters, in 1987. While Characters found Wonder's commercial clout on the pop charts slipping away, it was a hit on the R&B side, topping the album charts and producing a number one hit in "Skeletons." It would be his final release of the '80s; he didn't return until 1991, with the soundtrack to the Spike Lee film Jungle Fever. His next full album of new material, 1995's Conversation Peace, was a commercial disappointment, despite winning two Grammys for the single "For Your Love." That same year, Coolio revived "Pastime Paradise" in his own brooding rap smash "Gangsta's Paradise," which became the year's biggest hit. Wonder capitalized on the renewed notoriety by cutting a hit duet with Babyface, "How Come, How Long," in 1996. Since then, Motown has released a number of remasters and compilations attempting to define and repackage Wonder's vast legacy. His far-reaching influence was felt in the neo-soul movement that came to prominence in the late '90s, and he also remained a composer of choice for jazz artists looking to incorporate harmonically sophisticated pop/R&B tunes into their repertoires. That only scratches the surface of Wonder's impact on contemporary popular music, which is why he was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, and remains a living legend regardless of whatever else he does. After a decade hiatus, Wonder returnted to the spotlight in autumn of 2005 with A Time 2 Love, a comeback album on par with his classic releases featuring a tour de force of guest appearances including "So What the Fuss", which featured Prince on guitar. © Steve Huey © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fzfyxq8gld0e~T1

Matthew Robinson


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Matthew Robinson - Bad Habits - 1998 - Fedora

The relatively unknown Matthew Robinson describes his music as "the result of the natural evolution of gospel, R&B, blues and the Texas sound he grew up around". The guy is a rarity, being an authentic blues singer and musician. Matthew was born on February 27, 1948 in Austin, Texas. Matthew and Donald “Duck” Jennings played in east Austin in the 1950s and 1960s, an era described as “one of the liveliest blues scenes in the Lone Star state.” In ’64 he and schoolmates formed the Mustangs (they had a huge hit – Tender Loving Care), and toured with James Brown, Jimmy Reed, Big Mama Thornton and Johnny Winter. Matthew's been hard at work in Austin's Eastside clubs for many years now, as well as heading to Europe and playing with Blues Boy Hubbard, Willie Foster, and of course his own Texas Blues Band. "Bad Habits" contains some great trumpet solos by Donald 'Duck' Jennings and excellent guitar work from Matthew. Don't expect any searing guitar solos. Matthew carries it off using his own "spare note" technique. A good blues album with plenty of funk and jazz touches. Try and listen to Matthew Robinson & The Texas Blues Band's s/t album

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Got To Leave This Woman - G.H. Jackson 4:40
2 Mr. Pawnbroker - R.B. King, J. Taub 3:15
3 You Just Can't Take My Blues - B. Johnson / S. Mosley 5:57
4 Sunday Morning Love - R. Johnson / S. Mosley 4:20
5 Just Your Fool - L. Haywood, M. Tynes 3:50
6 I'm Gonna Stop You From Giving Me The Blues - D. Henry, G. Clement 3:35
7 Sugar Sweet - M. London 3:02
8 Don't Lose Your Cool - A.G. Collins 3:05
9 My Tomorrow - F. Washington 4:17
10 Give Me My Blues - G.L. Collins 3:38
11 West Side Baby - Traditional 4:52
12 Bad Habits - D. H. Brewer 3:52

MUSICIANS

Matthew Robinson - Vocals, Guitar
Eddie James Stout - Bass
Mickey "Tickey" Bennett - Keyboards
William Norman Fagen - Drums
Larry D.C. Williams - Saxophone
Donald "Duck" Jennings -Trumpet

REVIEW

Matthew Robinson, born February 27, 1948 in Austin, Texas. In ’64 he and schoolmates formed the Mustangs (they had a huge hit – Tender Loving Care), which toured with James Brown, Jimmy Reed, Big Mama Thornton and Johnny Winter. Now over thirty years later Robinson gives us Bad Habits. After a couple of listenings, Cornbread says it was worth the wait!
1. Got To Leave This Woman – a solid bass shuffle, organ highlights, sax throughout, and James Brown’esque vocals.

2. Mr. Pawnbroker – vocals are secondary, the guitar playing makes the song.

3. You Just Can’t Take My Blues – man this is a great blues song, plenty of guitar and excellent vocals.

4. Sunday Morning Love – vocals are dominant and have a ton of emotion. It’s a bluesy/jazzy combo with the guitar/vocals and backing saxophone.

5. Just Your Fool – another blues funk song. Blues funk don’t you love it? I do.

6. I’m Gonna Stop You From Giving Me The Blues – good song, I can picture Tony T. doing this song and bringing the crowd to their knees.

7. Sugar Sweet – I liked the guitar solo.

8. Don’t Lose Your Cool – a fast tune with a big band sound, really good guitar instrumental.

9. My Tomorrow – the guitar was blues at its best, the rest of the song was OK.

10. Give Me My Blues – lots of soul, “I can play a blues song all night long, some people seem to dig it y’all.”

11. West Side Baby – I liked the organ playing, getting tired of hearing horn playing though.

12. Bad Habits – a rock solid blues shuffle and rock solid song. I liked this song.

As a side note for you instrument heads (I’m one of the biggest) - the guitar pictured on the album cover sure looks a lot like a B.B. King Gibson Lucille. Bad Habits is a good CD, the vocals and guitar playing was right on, less horn and more piano or harmonica would’a been a good thing. Rating 3.977. Ciao' for now, peace. © Peter 'Cornbread' Cohen, CBP © 2000 -2010 http://www.stlblues.net/pete_matthewrobinson_badhabits.htm

21.9.10

Bobby Parker


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Bobby Parker - Bent Out of Shape - 1993 - Black Top Records

The production on Bent Out of Shape may be a little too clean, but that can't distract from the fact that Bobby Parker's belated first album is a storming statement of purpose. His songwriting is sturdy and memorable, his singing impassioned and his guitar simply stings. He could have carried the album with just a little combo, but he's assembled a large, soulful backing band that gives the album soulful finesse. It would have been nice if the production was a little grittier, since Parker's performances are, but there's no denying his playing and songs elevate Bent Out of Shape to the status of one of the best blues records of the early '90s. © Thom Owens © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:gvfyxqugldde

Though guitarist Bobby Parker's success is recent, he's been a driving behind-the-scenes force in the blues for a long time. Listening to his Black Top Records debut, 1993's Bent Out of Shape, it's easy to hear why. Parker has the sure skill of the veteran, so that even when his solos are at their most elaborate, he never sounds like he's showing off. He works with bassist Lee Allen Zeno to a degree rarely heard among blues guitarists; listen to how the lines play off of each other on "Bobby-A-Go-Go." In fact, the bass work is strong throughout, coming to the fore on "Break It Up" and the album's scorching closer, "Blues Get Off My Shoulder." Parker's a more than capable vocalist as well, whispering, shouting, and wailing with never a wrong note. Bent Out of Shape has the feel of a best-kept secret. Hopefully, that won't be so for long. © Genevieve Williams © 1996-2010, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/Bent-Out-Shape-Bobby-Parker/dp/B000006KTO

Louisiana born Bobby Parker has worked and/or toured with artists including Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Laverne Baker, and Clyde McPhatter. He recorded tracks for Howlin Wolf and Muddy Waters, just to name two artists. His name may not be familiar to many but his achievements are many. His "Watch Your Step" album influenced many rock artists. The one and only John Lennon was highly influenced by Bobby Parker's music. Some guitarists even used some of Bobby Parker's great guitar riffs. Jimmy Page and Carlos Santana are just two of the great guitarists who adopted some of Bobby Parker's guitar techniques. The great Carlos Santana once said that "He's one of the few remaining guitarists on this planet who can pierce your heart and soothe your soul. He inspired me to play guitar." That's some compliment! In later years Bobby incorporated funk and D.C.'s "go-go groove" into his music, without selling out his great blues playing. "Bent Out of Shape" is a great album from a great guitarist and vocalist. The guy is a blues legend but still his music needs to reach a wider audience. Buy his brilliant "Shine Me Up" album, and promote the blues

TRACKS

1 Fast Train
2 It's Hard But It's Fair
3 Bent Out of Shape
4 So Glad I Found You
5 I Call Her Baby
6 Watch Your Step
7 Break It Up
8 Let That Be the Reason
9 I've Got a Way With Women
10 Bobby-a-Go-Go Parker
11 Blues Get Off My Shoulder

All songs composed by Bobby Parker except "Break It Up" which is © control

MUSICIANS

Bobby Parker - Guitar, Vocals, & Bass on "Bent Out of Shape"
Lee Allen Zeno - Bass
Sammy Berfect - Piano, Organ
Raymond Weber - Drums, Percussion
Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff - Tenor & Baritone Sax.
Willie Singleton - Trumpet
Rick Trolsen - Trombone

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BIO

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Bobby Parker is one of the most exciting performers in modern blues, and it's quite apparent he'll inherit the top blues spots left open by the unfortunate, early passings of people like Albert King, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and others. That's because Parker can do it all: he writes brilliant songs, he sings well, and he backs it all up with powerful, stinging guitar. But things weren't always so good for Parker, and much of his newfound success is the result of years of hard work and struggling around the bars in Washington, D.C. and Virginia. Parker has two brilliant albums out on the BlackTop label out of New Orleans (distributed by Rounder), Shine Me Up (1995) and Bent Out of Shape (1993). He was born August 31, 1937 in Lafayette, LA, but raised in southern California after his family moved to Los Angeles when he was six. Going to school in Hollywood, the young Parker was bitten by the scenery, and decided he wanted to be in show business. At the Million Dollar Theatre, he saw big stage shows by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billy Eckstine, and Lionel Hampton. Although he had an early interest in jazz, the blues bit him when artists like T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and Pee Wee Crayton came to town. He began playing in the late '50s as a guitarist with Otis Williams & the Charms after winning a talent contest sponsored by West Coast blues and R&B legend Johnny Otis. Later, he backed Bo Diddley, which included an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show before joining the touring big band of Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams. He settled in Washington, D.C. in the '60s, dropping out of Williams' band and making a go of it on his own. He is perhaps best-known for his 1961 song "Watch Your Step," a single for the V-Tone label that became a hit on British and U.S. R&B charts. Parker's song was later covered by several British blues groups, most prominent among them the Spencer Davis Group. And though Parker may not yet be a name as familiar to blues fans as say, Eric Clapton or B.B. King, he's been cited as a major musical influence by Davis, John Mayall, Robin Trower, Clapton, Jimmy Page, drummer Mick Fleetwood, John Lennon, and most importantly, Carlos Santana. Parker's style has been described by his protégé Bobby Radcliff as Guitar Slim meets James Brown, and that's not too far off the mark. In the summer of 1994, Santana was so happy about Parker's comeback on the BlackTop/Rounder label that he took him on the road for some arena shows on the East and West Coasts. "Carlos likes to tell people that he saw me playing in Mexico City when he was a kid, and that inspired him to pick up the guitar," Parker explained in a recent interview. Santana pays homage to Parker on his Havana Moon album, on which he covers "Watch Your Step." Dr. Feelgood also covered the tune in the '70s. For the rest of the '90s, Parker is destined to be one of the major players on the blues circuit, provided his stellar output and rigorous touring schedules continue. Unlike so many other blues musicians, Parker's live shows are almost entirely his own songs. He does very few covers. "Unless the music of the day has some kind of substance to it, the blues always comes back," Parker says, adding, "I think Stevie Ray Vaughan had a lot to do with bringing the blues to White audiences, and Z.Z. Hill helped bring the Black audience back to the blues." © Richard Skelly © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:3xfrxq95ldfe~T1

BIO (WIKIPEDIA)

Bobby Parker (born August 31, 1937, Lafayette, Louisiana) is an American blues-rock guitarist. He is best-known for his 1961 song, "Watch Your Step", a single for the V-Tone Records label that became a hit on the US R&B chart. Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, but raised in Los Angeles, California, Parker first aspired to a career in entertainment at a young age. By the 1950s, Parker had started working on electric guitar with several blues, R&B, and funk groups of the time, with his first stint being with Otis Williams and the Charms. Over the next few years, he also played lead guitar with Bo Diddley (including an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show), toured with Paul Williams, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, LaVern Baker, Clyde McPhatter, and the Everly Brothers. In the waning years of the decade, he also toured with Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Little Richard. His first single was recorded in 1958, while he was working primarily with Williams' band, and was titled "Blues Get Off My Shoulder". During that same year, he also performed frequently at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. By the early 1960s, Parker had settled into living in the Washington, D.C. area and played at blues clubs there after having left Williams' band. He recorded the single "Watch Your Step" in 1961, a regional hit that was later covered by the Spencer Davis Group, Dr. Feelgood and Santana. Due to the success of the song, both in the United States and overseas, he toured the UK in 1968 and recorded his next hit, "It's Hard to be Fair". Jimmy Page became a fan of Parker's after seeing him perform in a Washington D.C. nightclub during a 1972 tour by Led Zeppelin. Page wanted to sign up Parker with Swan Song Records and offered an advance of US$2000 to fund the recording of a demo tape, but Parker never completed the recording, and an opportunity for Parker to be exposed to an international audience was lost. For the next two decades, Parker played almost exclusively in the D.C. area. By the 1990s, Parker started to record again for a broader audience. He recorded his first official album, Bent Out of Shape, for the Black Top Records label in 1993, with a follow-up in 1995, Shine Me Up. In 1993 he also was the headliner for the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Festival. Parker continues to perform as a regular act at Madam's Organ Blues Bar in Washington.