Posted in blues, Uncategorized

Chicken Raid!

The Chicken Raid has been a tradition at Northside Tavern for years/ It honors Mr. Frank Edwards and benefit our local blues legends and mentors. Here is this years lineup”

SATURDAY, MARCH 24 – 1pm
Wasted Potential Brass Band
BluesDude
Skye Paige
Ross Pead 
Sandra Littel
Shelton Powe
Little G Weevil
Beverly Watkins
Essie Mae Brooks & Family
Bill Sheffield
The Rainmen
Mudcat and the Atlanta Horns
Lola
Stoney Brooks
Roy Lee Johnson
Robert Lee Coleman
Albert White
Frankie’s Blues Mission
Cool John Ferguson

SUNDAY, MARCH 25 – Noon
Gospel Hour
The Radio Ramblers
Nate and Haley
Jason C Waller
Jeff Evans
Essie Mae Brooks & Family
The Rockaholics ATL
Cody Matlock
Freddie Vanderford
Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues
Dr. Dixon and François Blues
Swami Gone Bananas
Little Joey’s Jumpin’ Jive
Uncle Sugar featuring Eddie TignerChicknRaid

Advertisements
Posted in blues, Music, Uncategorized

Miss Freddye: Lady of the Blues

missfreddyeakbum

Miss Freddye is best-known around Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, but that is about to change with Miss Freddye: Lady of the Blues. The album is co-produced by Kid Andersen and Andy Santana, who are all over it, providing guitar and harmonica respectively, and Santana also wrote many of the songs. Miss Freddye’s band really cooks, and there is an amazing horn section, too.

From the first sassy notes of “Miss Freddye’s Gonna Fix Ya,” you know you’re in good hands. “Luv Ya Baby” is the first of two duets with John”Blues” Boyd with an irresistible 70’s s sound.

The next three are rocking blues and paint a picture of a woman who might have taken some stuff in the past but isn’t going to anymore. “Lady of the Blues,” “Use the Back Door,” and ‘Home Improvement,’ all follow this theme.

“Doorway to the Blues” proves that she can swing with the best of them, with a jazzy trumpet and Andersen providing a Willie Nelson-like piano solo. while “These Are My Blues” is a more contemplative but still upbeat song with great harmonica. “Freight Train” is another a jazzy, swinging number with a vintage sound.

The album ends with a slow blues, “A Losing Battle,” which is more upbeat about infidelity than you might expect.

Miss Freddye is not breaking any barriers here. She is, as she says, a “lady of the blues.” As such, and with great support from her producers and the band, she provides a very satisfying experience with this album.

Posted in blues, Music, Uncategorized

Victor Wainwright and The Train

victor[ro

Having established himself firmly in the last few years as a multiple-award winning piano player and entertainer, Victor Wainwright is making some changes. He has a new band,  The Train, a new record label, Ruff and a new album, simply called Victor Wainright and The Train, coming out March 9. I got an early listen and it’s amazing.

victortrain1

As Victor says on the song “The Train”: “If you wanna boogie get aboard this train/Get yourself a ticket or get out of the way.” With these 12 original songs, this train is going exactly where Wainwright wants it to go, with stops at traditional, rock, ballads, his signature boogie, and even a side trip into psychedelia!

victorpro1

It all begins with that pounding piano as Wainwright starts us off with “Healing,” a soul extravaganza with horns, organ, piano, and passionate vocals. Next is the new Orleans-flavored tale of poor Peggy and the”Wiltshire Bridge.
This is one of the songs that plays down the piano for the vocals and the organ and horns.

Then here comes the train. This one is going to pick you up and sweep you away! After Victor exhorts the band to get the train started, It goes faster and faster until it hits that ferocious piano and then ends with the horns. Whew! Wipe your forehead and get ready to switch gears for “Dull Your Shine,” with its message that ‘those who mind don’t matter, and those that matter, they don’t mind.” This one features a poignant guitar solo as well as more restrained piano and a persistent drum beat to underscore the uplifting message.

“Money” is a sly, funny soul shuffle with a message we will all recognize. It is followed by a moving and heartfelt tribute to Lucille, BB King’s guitar. It is a highlight of the album and is likely to get a lot of play on blues radio.

“Boogie Depression” is a fast boogie about the power of music to cure depression, with some real piano pyrotechnics to remind you that the man is a piano playing genius. Then the mood slows down for the slow, sweet love song, “Everything I Need.”

Switching moods again, “Righteous”  is a spooky song about “righteous” anger. Listen closely and you will get a chill. “I’ll Start Tomorrow” comes as a relief, with its funny message about procrastination.

It is followed by the entirely different, Eastern-influenced and psychedelic “Sunshine,” which features guitar, horns, and drums and a short, plaintive vocal. It really allows the band to show off their skills, and Wainwright to show that an organ can be psychedelic. Then the album ends with another sweet, slow ballad, “That’s Love To Me” It is a huge compliment in my mind that these slow songs remind me of the great Leon Russell, while still being completely Victor’s own.

Wainwright and The Train take us on one amazing journey here, with still some astounding piano but a whole lot more besides, showing that Wainwright can break out in all sorts of wonderful directions. Be prepared to jump on board, it’s coming your way soon!

Posted in Americana, blues, Music, Uncategorized

Congrats to the blues and roots Grammy winners!

Best Traditional Blues Album: “Blue & Lonesome” — The Rolling Stones

Best Contemporary Blues Album: “TajMo” — Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’

Best Regional Roots Music Album: “Kalenda” — Lost Bayou Ramblers

Best American Roots Performance: “Killer Diller Blues” — Alabama Shakes\

grammy

Best American Roots Song: “If We Were Vampires” — Jason Isbell, songwriter (Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit)

Best Americana Album: “The Nashville Sound” — Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

The Rolling Stones started out as a blues band way back in the ”60s, and not only played the music bu actively supported the blues musicians who were living and working at the time, It is great to hear them get back to their roots. And surely no one can argue with the greatness of Keb Mo and Taj Mahal, a pairing that had to happen.

As for the roots and Americana artists, Alabama Shakes really were killer on :Killer Diler Blues.: And The Lost Bayou Ramblers, working with Jack White, did something very different with  Kalinda, a whole albun inspired bty one song. It was a gamble, but it paid off!

I had never heard “If We Were Vampires,” so I listened on Spotify and it is a beautiful song about love and the fear of loss and a worthy winner.

Congrats to all the winners!

Posted in blues, Music, Uncategorized

Eric Hughes – ‘Meet Me In Memphis’

Eric HughesIn Meet Me In Memphis, Eric Hughes and his band do a fabulous job of not only capturing Memphis in all its diversity but of moving smoothly from blues to blues-rock with hints of soul and country as well.

Hughes and the band start out with a powerful blues rocker, “Freight Train of Pain,” just to show what they can do. They then launch into “Meet Me in Memphis,” such a powerful ad for the city that you may find yourself packing your suitcase and heading for Beale! The voices of Reba Russell and Susan Marshal on the chorus invite you into church and the piano and organ, played by Chris Stephenson, add to the gospel flavor, while Art Edmaiston and Marc Franklin, on saxophone and trumpet add spice and beckon you to the clubs along Beale.

“Roll a Fatty For Your Daddy” is pure blues, the sort of song you might hear on a Memphis street corner back in the day. It is followed by a highlight of the album, “The Day They Hanged the Kid.” This epic piece of storytelling in song captures the grit of classic Western movies.

“Here Comes the Boogie Man” is a different kind of storytelling song, one that evokes scary movies and campfire tales, before the mood changes completely for the sweet,  slightly vintage-sounding  ballad, “:I Left My Heart at Your Place (For Donna).”

“Midtown Blues” is a humorous blues with smoking music behind Hughes’ sly vocals. It is followed by the blues-rocker, “I’m Knockin’ On Your Door,” a tale of love and suspicion. The Album ends with the charming ‘i Believe I’m Going Fishing,” an ode to that activity. It leaves you feeling good.

There are hints here of the old bluesmen, of ZZ Top and Jimmy Buffet. But mostly there’s Memphis. Hughes has done a great job of capturing his hometown, and the album is a delight.magazine

Originally published in Making A Scene Magazine

Posted in blues, Music, Uncategorized

ThunderGypsy – ‘ThunderGypsy’

Updated from the original article by Rhetta posted in Making A Scene magazine.

ThunderGypsy is the group chosen at the Atlanta Blues Challenge sponsored by the Atlanta Blues Society to represent the city at the International Blues Challenge 2018. They have a new CD out, produced by Richard L’Hommedieu at Midnight Circus Studios, and it is phenomenal. They won the unlimited studio time as a prize for winning the challenge and they took advantage of it masterfully! While they did not win in the tough Memphis competition, they will win you over with this album.

Heather Statham, the vocalist, has a strong, clear voice that is a pleasure to hear, and the band backing her up are highly skilled. Ken Williams on drums and Richard Price on guitar really know their stuff, but for me, it is Statham and Paul Allison on keys who really adds sparkle to these songs.

And what songs they have chosen! The CD opens with “Chasin’ the Miles,” a road song that opens with the organ and then serves as a strong introduction to Statham and the rest of the band. It is followed by a highlight of the recording, an absolutely stunning version of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” a Bob Dylan song I have loved since the first time I heard Dylan sing it many years ago. Yet here, Statham and the rest of ThunderGypsy make it sound fresh and new and riveting all over again.

“Don’t Cry To Me” begins with mellow horns and then continues with Statham proving she can do a heartbreaking ballad as well as the best crooners, with drummer Williams providing a soft, persistent beat and the rest of the band keeping it appropriately understated in the background.

Picking up the pace again, Statham gets into the gospel-flavored “The River,” which will make you want to raise your hands and shout. Quieting things down again, we get the contemporary blues of “Turn On the Bright Lights,” showing this group can do this style well, too. Statham’s voice has just enough of a rasp on the chorus to convey the emotion. “New Secrets” continues the contemporary mode and allows Price to show off some tasty guitar along with the organ.

Returning to a familiar favorite, the band delivers the smooth gospel of “People Get Ready,” with marvelous organ solos and that effective drumming from Williams as well as that perfect vocal. It is followed by “Anyday,” with Statham seeming to channel Tina Turner and more great organ and mellow guitar solos.

Fearlessly, the band then takes on “St. James Infirmary,” one of the most spine-chilling blues songs ever written, and they do a beautiful job of it. Then they finish off on a blues romp with “I Don’t Need No Doctor.”

This CD proves that ThunderGypsy is a force to be reckoned with and that you need this in your collection. They can handle a variety of styles with ease and Atlanta can be proud to have had them represent the city. No matter what happened with the Challenge,  they are winners and

this is a CD to savor.