A Baker’s Dozen of Blues: May 19, 2014

A Baker's Dozen Of Blues

A Baker’s Dozen Of Blues

A week of catchup and sleep (yeh again) We managed to go through our photos from the BMA’s and have them posted here on site. We included snaps from the event, plus Clarksdale & Jackson, hope ya enjoy them.

A great new #1 this week – Hard Garden, and their song ‘Showtime!’ – this band is really at the forefront of the blues combining hip-hop tendencies, with Mississippi Hill Country stlye and strait ahead blues. We at Blues411  feel this band should get serious consideration at BMA nomination time for Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, let’s see what the ‘ex-perts’ think.

A major debut for Tweed Funk as they debut at #9 on the play list with their funked uo blues/soul sound of their ‘First name Lucky’ release. Two more new debuts we feature are Cathy Lemons, long time San Francisco blyes singer & writer and her ‘Black Crow’ release. ALso we have a most underrated artist Shane Dwight in what might be his best release to date ‘This House’. Hope ya dig them and give some love to them in the market place.

One addition toour Chef Suggestion group is —  Ron Tanski – Ron’s tune ‘Blues for Jimi’ has been played as part of the show since the beginning, and I know you are all familiar with it. Now he has released his latest ‘Never Pet A Burning Dog’ which features ‘Blues for Jimi’ as well as a wealth of great piano and songwriting selections, This week we are featuring ‘What’s Cooking’ which is the nephew of my theme song.

bcradio_edited-1

A Baker’s Dozen of Blues, on MojoWax Radio presented by Blues Music Magazine at LIVE365.com.

Broadcast times are as follows:
Monday - 1pm EST
ALWAYS A NEW SHOW STARTING MONDAY
Tuesday - 10pm EST
Wednesday - Noon EST
Thursday -  11pm EST
Friday -  4pm EST
Saturday – 2pm EST

Remember if ya want any of these tracks just click on the link for the song/CD title or track and it will take ya to the Amazon link for it, good way to fill out that blues collection.

Oh yeah don’t forget our other show “Double Entendre Blues“, now playing on LIVE365 Mojowax Radio seven days a week. We feature them ‘dirty songs’ that fly under some folks radar but not ours. Including ‘Sugar In My Bowl‘, ‘Dirty Mutha For Ya‘, ‘Shave ‘em Dry‘, and tons more of fun, slightly ribald tunes.
Mon. 11pm 
Tue.  3pm
Wed. 10am
Thu. 9pm
Fri. 6pm
Sat. 12pm
Sun. 10am

on to this weeks Baker’s Dozen….

A Baker’s Dozen:

CW LW CD TITLE Artist/ Web Site Record Label Track#/Title
1 2 “Blue Yonder” Hard Garden Hard Garden Music 10 Showtime!
2 3 “Belle of The Blues” Lisa Biales Big Song Music 10 Trouble
3 5 Move On Lisa Mann Self 1 Move On
4 8 “He Digs Me” Sunday Wilde Self 13 Walk With Me
5 7 “Brotherhood” The Holmes Brothers Alligator 9 My Word Is My Bond
6 11 Hornet’s Nest Joe Louis Walker Alligator Records 4 Stick A Fork In Me
7 9 “Drivin Me Wild” Jonn Del Toro Richardson & Sean Carney Self 8 Slow Down
8 10 “30th Anniversary Special Edition” Blue Lunch Rip Cat Records 7 Which Way To Go
9 ~ “First Name Lucky” Tweed Funk Self 1 Blues In My Soul
10 12 “Refuse To Lose” Jarekus Singleton Alligator Records 7 Hell
11 13 “Blues With Friends” Dixie Peach Big Shew Records 1 Too Much Trouble
12 ~ “This House” Shane Dwight Blues Band Electro Groove Records 6 Devil’s Noose
13 ~ “Black Crow” Cathy Lemons Vizztone 5 You’re In My Town Now


Chef Suggestions:

“Bad Attitude” Johnny Drummer Earwig Records 3 Bit Her In The Butt
“Chunkabilly Blues” Chris Lord & Cheatin’ River Self 5 Jelly Bean
“Betsy’s Kitchen” Back Pack Jones Self 6 Even God Sings The Blues
“Troubles” John & Sylvia Embry Delmark Records 2 Troubles
“Laying It Down” Arthur Migliazza Hobemian Records 12 Professor Calling Me
“Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers” Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers Self 3 Illusions
“Jigsaw Heart” Eden Brent Yellow Dog Records 8 Let’s Go Ahead and Fall In Love
“Mother Blues” Rachelle Coba Self 1 Never Been To Memphis
St. Louis Times Jim Byrnes Black Hen Music 6 The Ducks Yas Yas
Unfinished Business Lil’ Ronnie & the Blues Beats Ellersoul Records 11 You Don’t have To Go Home
“Blue Soul” Norman Taylor Soul Stew Records 9 Grace Walking
Never Pet A Burning Dog Ron Tanski Self 9 What’s Cookin’


Amuse Bouche: Blues Music Award Winner’s Spotlight

 
SONG ARTIST ALBUM Award
1 Rosa Lee Doug MacLeod There’s A Time Acoustic Artist & Album
2 Daddy Told Me Shawn Holt &The Teardrops Daddy Told Me Best New Artist Debut
1 Bad Bad Feeling Trampled Under Foot Badlandds Contemporary Blues Album/Bassist
9 Sweet Jelly Donut Royal Southern Brotherhood Songs From The Road DVD
10 T-Bone Blues Special Lurrie Bell Blues In My Soul Lurrie Bell
6 Taking Chances Diunna Greenleaf Trying To Hold On Koko Taylor Award
11 Trouble In Mind Victor Wainwright Family Roots Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
6 She Did Not Show John Nemeth Magic Touch Soul Blues Artist
2 You Just Like A Dresser Bobby Rush Down In Louisiana Soul Blues Album
4 He Was There James Cotton Cotton Mouth Man Traditional Males Artist
12 Christo Redemptor Charlie Musselwhite Juke Joint Chapel Harmonica
2 Blues For Celie Ronnie Earl Just For Today Guitarist
1 RL Burnside Cedric Burnside 2 Man Wrecking Crew Drums
1 I Got To Go Hummel, Norcia, Musselwhite…. Remembering Little Walter Album of the Year, Traditional Album

Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
chefjimi
©Blues411.com 2014
Where Blues Thrives
Photos: Leslie K. Joseph, Blues411

A Baker’s Dozen of Blues: May 12, 2014

A Baker's Dozen Of Blues

A Baker’s Dozen Of Blues

Back from an exciting and busy week of Blues Music and schmoozing in Memphis at the Blues Music Awards. I personally want to thank the Blues Foundation for throwing such a wild party, and for doing what it does for the genre and artists. Please check them out at www.blues.org for information on joining and how you can make a difference.

Amazing night at the awards, we posted many photos live from the ceremony on facebook, also have collections of really great photos from Leslie on our page there. Must say was thrilled to see Ronnie Earl win, this man has amazing talent and soul and it is wonderful to see him recognized by the fans – kudos to y’all for excellent choice. Also to my good buddy Doug MacLeod for winning not one but 2 awards, another well deserved winner and great guy. But know that we congratulate every one who won, and each of you who were nominated cos that’s what matters everyone’s a winner.

Other big news from Memphis is that the Blues Foundation has collected enough monies to break ground on the Blues Hall of Fame. Big shout out to the blues fans who’s tireless donations and determination built the vast majority of  this suckah – look for grand opening May 2015.

Happy as can be to announce that Damon Fowler is our top of the pops leader this week. His Blind Pig release ‘Sounds of Home’ in a giant release and showcases his ability to sing, write and play music that reaches all of us.

New to the Baker’s Dozen play list is the band, Dixie Peach, fans of the Allman Brothers and ‘Southern Rock-Blues’ will be diggin’ on their work so give them a listen. On the Chef Suggestion portion our new addition is Rachelle Coba and her release, ‘Mother Blues’.

Our Amuse Bouche is part 2 of the Blues Roots of rock songs. We have had such a great response to last weeks that we decided to run a new one as a follow up and thank you to our readers & listeners.
So we take the original (as I define it – disclaimer for y’all who book knowledge to the max) play it then add a popular version after the original. It is fun, a learning experience and just damn good music.

bcradio_edited-1A Baker’s Dozen of Blues, on MojoWax Radio presented by Blues Music Magazine at LIVE365.com.

Broadcast times are as follows:
Monday - 1pm EST  ALWAYS A NEW SHOW STARTING MONDAY
Tuesday - 10pm EST
Wednesday - Noon EST
Thursday -  11pm EST
Friday -  4pm EST
Saturday – 2pm EST

 

Remember if ya want any of these tracks just click on the link for the song/CD title or track and it will take ya to the Amazon link for it, good way to fill out that blues collection.

A Baker’s Dozen:

CW LW CD TITLE Artist/ Web Site Record Label Track#/Title
1 2 “Sounds of Home” Damon Fowler Blind Pig 8 Alison
2 3 “Blue Yonder” Hard Garden Hard Garden Music 10 Showtime!
3 4 “Belle of The Blues” Lisa Biales Big Song Music 10 Trouble
4 5 “Guitar Angels” James Armstrong Catfood Records 9 Blues Ain’t Nothin’
5 7 Move On Lisa Mann Self 1 Move On
6 6 “Baptized By The Mud” Kat Danser Independent 12 You Gotta Move
7 8 “Brotherhood” The Holmes Brothers Alligator 1 Stayed At The Party
8 9 “He Digs Me” Sunday Wilde Self 5 Nobody’s Fault But Mine
9 10 “Drivin Me Wild” Jonn Del Toro Richardson & Sean Carney Self 3 Lookin’ For My Baby
10 11 “30th Anniversary Special Edition” Blue Lunch Rip Cat Records 7 Which Way To Go
11 12 Hornet’s Nest Joe Louis Walker Alligator Records 4 Stick A Fork In Me
12 13 “Refuse To Lose” Jarekus Singleton Alligator Records 7 Hell
13 ~ “Blues With Friends” Dixie Peach Big Shew Records 1 Too Much Trouble

Chef Suggestions:

“Bad Attitude” Johnny Drummer Earwig Records 3 Bit Her In The Butt
“Chunkabilly Blues” Chris Lord & Cheatin’ River Self 5 Jelly Bean
“This House” Shane Dwight Blues Band Electro Groove Records 6 Devil’s Noose
“Troubles” John & Sylvia Embry Delmark Records 2 Troubles
“Betsy’s Kitchen” Back Pack Jones Self 6 Even God Sings The Blues
“Blue Soul” Norman Taylor Soul Stew Records 9 Grace Walking
“Laying It Down” Arthur Migliazza Hobemian Records 12 Professor Calling Me
“Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers” Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers Self 3 Illusions
“Black Crow” Cathy Lemons Vizztone 5 You’re In My Town Now
“First Name Lucky” Tweed Funk Self 1 Blues In My Soul
“Jigsaw Heart” Eden Brent Yellow Dog Records 8 Let’s Go Ahead and Fall In Love
“Compass” Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method Self 10 You Get Me High
“Mother Blues” Rachelle Coba Self 1 Never Been To Memphis

Amuse Bouche: Blues Roots of Rock Vol. 2

SONG ARTIST
Ball & Chain Big Mama Thorton
Ball & Chain Big Brother & The Holding Company
Back Door Man Willie Dixon
Back Door Man The Doors
(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man Muddy Waters
(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man Allman Brothers
It Hurts Me Too Elmore James
It Hurts Me Too Eric Clapton
The Train Kept A Rollin’ Tiny Bradshaw
The Train Kept A Rollin’ The Yardbirds (Jeff Beck)
Shake Rattle & Roll Big Joe Turner
Shake Rattle & Roll Bill Haley & His Comets
Bull Doze Blues Henry Thomas
Goin’ Up The Country Canned Heat
Boom Boom John Lee Hooker
Boom Boom Eric Burden & The Animals

Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
chefjimi
©Blues411.com 2014
Where Blues Thrives
Photos: Leslie K. Joseph, Blues411

Interview: John Lee Hooker, Jr., All Hooked Up and Happy

I was so thrilled with John Lee Hooker, Jr.’s new release “All Hooked Up” that I just had to sit with him and talk about it and his life. Well here it is.
———- 

Blues411: Your new release “All Hooked Up” on Steppin’ Stone Records has just hit the streets, to me it is a very interesting and severely biographical one. Care to share the process with us on how you got to this point and some of the thinking behind it all.
John Lee Hooker, Jr. (JLH, Jr.): Now you know that you can’t get nowhere if you are on a bicycle and the chain keeps slipping. It keeps on slipping and you go a little further and it slips some more then eventually the chain breaks. So that was how my life waas going, slipping and breaking and that’s how I came up with the title “All Hooked Up” which is the opposite of a chain that’s not linked together.

First and foremost the title is reference to the Lord above and how he has grabbed me and put me back together again. My life, social life, my marriage family ties he just hooked me up, because I was ‘off the hook’ on drugs and alcohol – a ragged life. So I asked him to come into my life and help me and he did.

He hooked up with that part of my life several years ago, and He now hooks me up with this great producer Larry Batiste, a great manager Ron Kramer, and a great publicity firm Mark Pucci, all of these great people. Add to that a great slew of musicians, Betty Wright, Lucky Peterson – that’s where this is all coming from.

Blues411: I hear you, before this your life was pretty much in shambles no?
JLH, Jr.: Absolutely it was ‘off the hook’. I have been shot and stabbed, I was homeless – now I am all hooked up. Everything is all right now. I am walking the straight line.

Blues411: I saw you perform at the Riverfront Festival in Wilmington in 2010, were you on or off the hook then?
JLH, Jr.: Oh I was on the hook. I have been this way since the nineties. The title of the record – that term has been with me for some 15years, but it is just coming into fruition and reality now.

Blues411: It is interesting how you speak about it – sounds like it was just yesterday that you got ‘hooked up’. I would hazard a guess that it is something (the addictions and toxic life style) is something you need to face every day.
JLH, Jr.: Exactly.

Blues411: I loved your previous release “All Odds Against Me” and especially the track ‘Dear John’, so I was thrilled when with this release you included a DVD of the animation of that song by Callicore company. It was so spot on in the depiction of what I heard in the song, of how you fight with yourself constantly.
JHL, Jr.: It compliments my life being’off the hook’ and now there’s a record to show how I am hooked up. I fight with that myself, old guy, every day Jimi, every day I have to fight with him. It’s an on going struggle. I even wrote a song called ‘It’s A Struggle‘ . There’s always a struggle because I am fighting to maintain my life. I am just grateful to be in the music industry, and keeping the Blues alive and taking it to another level. That’s what this is all about.

I just want to say that that the graphic animation is the first ever done with regard to the Blues. It was at the hands of Laurent Mercier from Paris, France, whom I call my French Brother. I think it is something that touches everybody of every race, creed, color, all of us.

Blues411: Indeed it does, I believe it captures the struggle and pain of that experience.
I agree whole-heartedly. I think that part of what pushes it to another level, or shall I say engages the audience is the entertainment factor that exists in some artists shows, like yours.
Does the entertaining gene come naturally or is it something you developed?
JLH, Jr: I was a clown in elementary school, in kindergarten, I was always entertaining my classmates. It’s what I have done all my life.

Blues411: I understand John Lee. Can I backtrack to the title/phrase ‘all hooked up’ again for a moment? To me it also openly references your surname, Hooker. Was it hard for you to find your own voice in the Blues?
JLH, Jr.: No, not at all – it has always been this way. I didn’t;t have to search for it, no image overshadowing me. I did not have to break out of my dads’ scenario. It was quite easy.

I was brought up in Motown, so there’s so many influences on my CD. You will hear the funk, you will hear the Lou Rawls part of me, the John Lee Hooker part of me – all of the influences they are all there. You will hear ‘I Surrender’ with Betty Wright, they were not difficult to reach or do.
I had a great producer, he knew those sounds were there, he pulled it out of me. That’s what I used to sing on the street corners and bathrooms doo-wop – background type things. I did what I wanted to do.
We had some great musicians on this CD and these people helped create such a great album.

Blues411: Yes it is, but it is also a diverse one with a whole lotta truth in it.
JLH, Jr.: It’s full, it’s rounded, it’s got pop, funk, rhythm & blues. It’s got hard times, it speaks on the economy. Hard times – what people will go through to get along, signing their sons name or using his social security number on a check.

The part about stealing baloney, that’s true. I stole two packs of baloney and I can’t remember if it was a Three Musketeers or a Snickers, but it made sense to sing Three Musketeers in the song. (‘Hard Times’)

I write, as journalists have mentioned, what is on the front page of newspapers. People, places and things, life experience what I have been through and what you have been through – life.

When I was a little kid they used to call me a ‘Big Liar’ but back in the day liar was a curse word, so they would change it to ‘big storyteller’. “He could tell some whoppers, don’t you believe a word John Lee says.”

Blues411: So it hasn’t changed (we laugh) and has paid off in the long run.
JLH, Jr.: Yes, so what I have grown up to do now is tell stories. From the song ‘Tired of Being A Housewife’ to ‘You Be My Hero’ these songs are my imagination and my feelings towards all the military people including our Allies too, they all are my heroes.

Blues411: Speaking of heroes and influences you listed some of your historical influences on the back of the release notes. Which I thought was great because it gives us a glimpse of you and your growth as a person inside the music family. I was surprised by several of them, Louis Armstrong, The Duke and Bessie Smith….
JLH,Jr.: First let me say that I could not include all of them on the back cover, we only had so much room. So, as a child I used to listen to but mostly watch Duke Ellington. He conducted and led this big entire orchestra and was so amazing at doing that, and he always had a big smile on his face. I always thought to myself what a nice man he is, always smiling and happy to be making this music.

Louis Armstrong, the big smile, ad-lib, innovation – considering Louis went through the era of racial discrimination and such, but he still had that big smile on his face. That’s one thing my Dad taught me, no matter what you going through in your life, but before they open the curtain and you hit the stage, go out there and show them that you are having a good time regardless, do your job!

Bessie Smith, she had her problems with drug addiction like I did. It is just one of those reminders of what drugs can do when you mix it with music. She sang high, I sang high but she still went to work and did her job. She never did get al her dues, but Bessie wa great.
Even Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson he was on drugs, but he was also a great entertainer. I don’t even have to say anything about my dad….

Blues411: Yes you do…
JLH, Jr.: I was woken up, with a pacifier in my mouth, by the loud Blues music downstairs from my naps. All these great people were my influences, the blues, jazz and funk, as I said I could not include them all.

Blues411: John, thank you so much for sharing your time with us and all the fans. I hope to see you at the Blues Music Awrds up on the stand taking home an award.

Please do take the time to aquaint yourself with this fine gentleman and blues man by visiting his web site: http://www.johnleehookerjr.com/

Until next time,
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
chefjimi
©Blues411.com 2012
photos: Leslie K. Joseph, Jenny Skeller
Where Blues Thrives

 

CD Reviews: A Seasonal Mix of Music

Fall is almost upon us and time to start to stock pile the good music to keep us going thru the long winter ahead of us. Here are three sweet releases that I am sure will make the house and home warmer in many ways.

The Blasters – Fun On A Saturday Night
(Rip Cat Records)

This Southern California-based band has been one of the leading exponents of American Roots Music for over thirty-three years. There was a time back in the day when they were unrivaled in making music that combined Delta & Chicago Blues, R&B, Memphis grit and Bob Wills styled country music into a melange of good time music that resonated with audiences around the nation.

Welcome back boys!!!

Right off they start rocking out with Tiny Bradshaw’s ‘Well Oh Well’ a jump-blues western swing jumper that sets us up in line with the albums title “Fun On A Saturday Night”. Keith Wyatt tears up the six strings as he throws down some of the finest leads on the release right off the bat. Get yer dancin’ shoes on folks we going to have some real fun.

Interesting cover of ‘Jackson’ featuring the band X’s singer Exene Cervenka taking the female lead (once done by Nancy Sinatra) to Phil Alvin’s male counterpoint )as done by Lee Hazelwood). Tasty, rich and it contains all the power of a runaway freight train running into Saturday night. Originally penned in 1963 by Jerry Leiber and Billy Edd Wheeler it has been covered by such diverse artists as Johnny Cash and Miss Piggy, Warren Zevon in his Spring 200 tour and even Dave Alvin (original member of The Blasters and Phil’s brother) did a version Mojo Nixon and the Pleasure Barons in 1993.

Title track ‘Fun On A Saturday Night’ pushes the peddle to the metal captures the feel of some of the Blues shouters of the past with it’s fast pace and hard edged rhythm.

Since we are somewhat Blues leaning I have to mention the great Chicago Blues man Magic Sam’s ‘Love Me With A Feeling’. Now this is re-done, polished and shined up just so purty that ya might not recognize it. Yet it is covers like this that I applaud because these cats have taken it to heart and made it their own. Check this baby out. ‘I Don’t Want Cha’ is more of a traditional Blues shuffle that speaks eloquently of a bad relationship and it’s dissolve.

There is more than enough super tunes on this 12 cut release to ‘Please Please Please’ everyone. Fun, quality musicianship and a true feel for the songs they cover or created makes it a must for the open-minded Blues fans that we all are.

Visit them here for more info: http://www.blastersnewsletter.com/

 

John Lee Hooker Jr. – All Hooked Up
(Steppin’ Stone Records)

John Lee Hooker Jr, was weaned on the Blues. Son of legend John Lee Hooker, has been everywhere – up, very down, and back again stronger than ever. Keeping the grit and urban voice alive and well inside the Blues Mr. Hooker gives us a sterling new release.

A neglected wife who has done all the suburban, time consuming but ultimately empty things that leave one with a hole in their soul is the featured object in ‘Tired Of Being A Housewife’. Funky, gritty as the inside of a free range oyster’s shell, JLH Jr. depicts her escape from the hum-drum to the walk on the wild side with such poignancy that it almost hurts to listen to.

Mr. Lucky Peterson sits in on ‘You Be My Hero’ and bringing with him some electrifying guitar work. A tribute to all the men and women of the armed forces it is a genuine, heart felt song that is funky as it is real. Excellent horn work through out the release by the Hot Sauce Horns arranged by Larry Batiste and featuring such luminaries as Tom Poole, Doug Rowan and Ric ‘Mighty Bone’ Feliciano and others.

Some New Orleans second line gets the Hooker treatment in “Listen To The Music’ a sing along chorus nails it down and he even gives us a “how-how/bow-wow”. If ya gotta ask then ya just don’t know, but when you hear it you will get it.

A very special appearance by ‘The Cleanup Woman’, Ms. Betty Wright on the track track ‘I Surrender’. Together they capture the feel of those classic days of soul. Ms. Wright’s saucy vocals and Mr. Hooker’s gritty intonations combine in a dynamic song that had me chair dancing till I realized that people could see me thru the window – so I got up and shook that thing.

For the ‘purists’ out there ‘Hard Times’ and “Let Me Be’ will make you very comfortable in your corner of the room. On the former we are treated to some incendiary guitar work by John Garcia and stellar harp work that recalls Little Walter by Dave Barrette. ‘Hard Times’ is so stunning and real that it shakes the foundation of life’s simple structure – Mr. Hooker’s lyrics are truthful, painful and pull no punches. All I can say is that I am glad you are here for us and not where you were headed.

Since I mentioned it ‘Let Me Be’ is a super funky plea to do just that. Mr. Hooker’s vocals have a certain ‘old school’ quality to them they remind me of Lou Rawls at times and that’s not a bad thing. Listen to this cut (as well as ‘Pay The Rent’) and see if ya hear what I hear.

The title track ‘All Hooked Up’ is the most autobiographical of tracks. The trials and tribulations that he experienced as the son of such an iconic blues man is presented here in a direct point making song with a funky dance groove that is at once sad but ultimately redeeming. Mr. Hooker gives testimony, praise and thanks to the all powerful one yet we also see how the title has several applications in his life.

This is a stunning release one that I believe should garner serious consideration for Grammy’s and Blues Music Awards. To learn more about Mr. Hooker please visit http://www.johnleehookerjr.com/

 

Paula Harris – Turning On The Naughty
(self released)

Ms. Harris made it into the finals of the 2012 International Blues Competition, and in doing so walked away with third place for the Band competition. That’s no small task, cause the talent at this event is off the charts – it is a blues lovers bucket list item, ’nuff said.

‘Turning On The Naughty’ is the title track and it reeks with the promise of steamy sex, nylons and just good old doing the wild thing. “can you feel me on your sheets, just like a cat in heat’ pretty much sums it up. No subtle innuendos here, for the naughty is turned on and the naughty will not be ignored.

Ms. Harris has a voice that harkens back to the days of Big Band thumpers. Full of brash, throaty, unbridled passion at all levels and styles. On ‘Damn Your Eyes’ she starts out singing almost to herself as she begins the crescendo of sound that tears into the heart and bears for all the vulnerability that exists at the core of this burner.

A rollicking version of Shep (Purple People Eater) Wooley’s ‘Just Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore’ is a tale all too familiar to many of us these days as the effects of living and aging are taking it’s unrelenting toll on us. What Ms. Harris does with this is pure fun and frolic, undoubtedly bringing a smile to a our group situation.

Ms. Harris’ band is solid collection of top notch artists, featuring Derrick “D’Mar’ Martin on drums whose uncanny sense of rhythm and beats stands alone. Mr. Terry Hiatt brings his reputation as a guitar players player and shows off his full compliment of influences and styles very nicely with the band. Joey Fabian brings aurally animated bass lines to the mix, and Simon Russell filling up the sound with his excellent keyboard work. Dang if any artists need a band to back them up on the west Coast – you should look these cats up.

Slowing things down to true torch level and serious late night blues music we have ‘Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues’ Mr. Fabian’s work on the upright bass sets the stage as Mr. Russell’s keyboard fills and melody weave a web of desperation and solitude for Ms. Harris to employ her ample vocal gymnastics to full advantage and our delight.

A funky side of the blues is visited thru the ‘Gates Of Hell’ when they are opened. Snappy and a percussion lover’s dream this song lays it straight on the line to the man who done her wrong as the Devil himself is proud of what that man done done to her. Syncopated and pointed this is one of my favorite tracks on the release.

To visit the like of Robert Johnson’s ‘Dust My Broom’ take a whole lot of moxie, and has the chance of turning into a train wreck for many reasons. Doncha worry none here, the moxie is backed by talent and a funky twist that starts at 0:01 of the track. Mr. Hiatt throws down some funky chicken scratchin’ that sets the stage for an assault of the traditional version but in doing so makes it modern and the song a strong vehicle for expression of the lyrics.

Ms. Harris is a superb vocalist, song writer and interpreter of the music she sings. Her ability to take center stage and hold the attention is amazing indeed. Her live performances are heady, slinky and down right sexy, and this release gives us a glimpse of those live events and bodes well for her future in our beloved genre. She mixes Funk, Blues and Jazz with ample attitude and sheer joy, there is no room for disappointment with this lady when she sings the blues.

For more on Ms. Harris visit: http://www.paulaharrismusic.com/

So take a moment to stock up on these staples and your seasons will be warmer and funkier than last years. See these bands of ya get a chance, support live music and be nice to one another, other than that carry on.

Until next time,
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
chefjimi
©Blues411.com 2012
photos: courtesy of artists
Where Blues Thrives