The Mike Duke Project ….took a while

I first met Mike Duke during the heyday of Wet Willie back in the 1970’s. Wet Willie was part of the sound emanating from Macon, Georgia, the home of Capricorn Records. Along with the Allman Brothers Band and the Marshall Tucker Band. Wet Willie helped solidify the main stream appeal of southern style rock music with its blues, soul, and country influences. And that was in no small part due to the talent of Mike Duke He was, and remains, a gifted song writer, singer, and keyboard player.

After the luster of Wet Willie faded for Mike, he moved on, doing a stint with The Outlaws and then relocating to the San Francisco Bay area where he spent most of the 1980’s. During that time he wrote several tunes that became hits for Huey Lewis and enhanced his reputation as a songwriter. During the 1990’s he moved to Nashville and was a featured member of Delbert McClinton’s band. In 1998, he moved back to Northern California and has been there ever since.

This album “….took a while” includes tunes that span the length of his career since the 1970’s and yet is, amazingly, his debut album! All of the songs are written by Mike and four of them are newly recorded. One tune, Torn & Scarred, was actually written by Mike in 1969 while he worked with a black church in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. It is a sweet little gospel song with Mike pounding the ivories and singing with a voice that has lost none of its power or range after all these years.

My favorite cut on the album is a new recording of I Can’t Let You Go featuring some tasteful lead guitar licks from Elvin Bishop. It should get a lot of airplay on stations and streams that feature soul blues music. I will certainly be playing it during my roadhouse blues sets on BMFR.

I also loved another new recording, I’m Not Sad Tonight, that features Gary Vogensen on guitar and his long time friend, Angela Strehli, as part of the backing vocals. Mike’s voice and keyboard playing transported me back…just remembering…but I’m not sad….just dang happy he came out with this album!

The album has the demo version of Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do recorded in 1980. Huey Lewis loved it when encouraged by Bob Brown, his manager, to give it a listen. And it was performed by Huey on his second album in 1982. Mike’s demo recording started a life long friendship with Bob who also played a major part in getting this album recorded and released.

Let Her Go And Start Over is another tune on the album that I really enjoyed that Mike recorded in 1981 and was used by Huey on one of his albums. Other songs on the album that I recommend for a listen are Little Miss Ponytail and That’s What So Good About the South (featuring Jack Pearson). And there is also a little zydeco influenced jewel of a tune Let Me Be Your Fool Tonight that you just have to hear.

I remember Mike as a young affable musician with obvious talent who took enjoyment from keyboard playing, the chance to sing for audiences, and have people hear songs he had written. He didn’t avidly seek the limelight or stardom like so many of his contemporaries and that is probably why It took a damn long while for Bob Brown to convince Mike to release his first solo album. My hope is that several more will follow in short order!


The Mike Duke Project…took a while (2019 Little Village Foundation)

Chuck Berry Blues

Today, October 18th, is the birthday of Charles Edward Anderson Berry who is better known to us as Chuck Berry. He is one of my favorite all time artists and he could damn sure rock the blues.

Here are some cuts from his years recording for Chess Records, one of the premier blues recording labels of the fifties and sixties.

Chuck BerryDust My Broom

A delicious cover of the Robert Johnson classic featuring distinctive Berry riffs on his beloved Gibson Guitar.

Chuck BerryI Just Want to Make Love to You

Chuck lays down a great version of the Willie Dixon penned tune first recorded by Muddy Waters and which, much later, became a mega hit for Foghat.

Chuck Berry Johnny B. Blues

This is an instrumental version of Johnny B. Goode that is just some badass bluzin’.

Chuck BerryBaby, What You Want Me to Do

Just an awesome rendition of the Jimmy Reed classic.

Chuck BerryConfessin’ the Blues

From his 1960 album, Rockin’ at the Hops, Chuck helped translate the electrified urban blues to an entire generation of teenagers, including John Lennon and Eric Clapton, back in the 1950’s and 1960’s with songs like this one. He is rightly called the father of rock & roll and was one fantastic blues man too!

Chuck Berry was one of the defining artists of his time…..flaws and all. I love his music and hope you do too.


Links in blue are to Spotify

The October Beachin’ Blues

I’m down along the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama this week. Here are some tunes that we are listenin’ to while drinking….eating oyster poboys…jambalaya…nookie burgers…red beans & rice…and oh…some more drinkin’….. (links to Spotify in blue)

Alabama Gulf Coast

Arsen ShamakhovSunset Beach

Couldn’t sing it bettah myself!! Arsen hails from British Columbia and has a hot new album, Rain City Blues.

Arthur “Big Boy” CrudupKeep On Drinkin’

Arthur inspired Elvis and was one badass delta bluesman!

Pinetop Perkins5-10-15 Hours (featuring Carolyn Wonderland)

Recorded in his mid nineties….Pinetop is one of the all time best.

Albert KingRoadhouse Blues

Some badass lowdown grindin’ blues from the master himself.

JJ Grey & MofroTen Thousand Islands

Some swamp blues are perfect for chillin’ on the beach.

HeavydrunkIf I Loved You Hard Enough

Absolutely one of my favorite tunes of 2019, the lyrics are modern Shakespeare and a vivid picture of a dysfunctional and powerful love.

Beth HartThankful

I am so thankful for my family and friends and the life I have…..Beth Hart sings my thanks bettah than I can express on her brilliant new album War In My Mind.

Hundred Seventy SplitHelp Me Baby

Two of the original members of Ten Years After have a new band and lay down a powerful rendition of their blues rock classic.

Tony Joe WhiteThe Beach Life

If Tony Joe White can’t get ya to chill out on the beach….it can’t be done!

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A note about streaming (which is great for exposing new artists and songs)…..it may surprise you to know that for every 10,000 streams of a song, the artist may make as little as $40 (US). But when you buy their CDs, they can make a decent living plying their craft. SO…….if ya love the music…use your favorite site and download the albums. And if you go see the artists live….buy those CDs, tee shirts, and hats at the show…….helps them defray road expenses and, in many cases, eat for the night.

Roadhouse Blues Bin Singles for early October 2019

Here is a selection of Roadhouse Blues Bin tunes that I am listening to and spinning during my roadhouse blues sets on BMFR. (Links to Spotify are in blue).

Beth Hart Bad Woman Blues

Another in a long string of sexy upbeat tunes from my favorite female artist off her new album War In My Mind.

Ronnie Earl and the BroadcastersBaby How Long

The tone of his guitar is entrancing, the harpin’ is incredible, and he always lays down some bad ass blues. Love the new album, Beyond the Blue Door.

Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey Amazing Grace/House of the Rising Sun

This tune will raise the hair on your arms….it is that incredible. An awesome and creative mixing of the venerable Amazing Grace with another all time classic House of the Rising Sun is one of them once in a generation tunes. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have. The cut is from their album Conspirators.

Tennessee RedemptionBack to Tennessee

Brandon Santini and Jeff Jensen reunite for a killer tune off a badass self titled debut album. I just love the southern blues infused style of this recording.

Heather NewmanI’m Coming For You

Tune with a badass groove highlighted by Heather’s sultry Kansas City voice. The entire album Rise from the Flames is well worth a listen.

Altered Five Blues BandMischief Man

Building on the success of their last hit single, Charmed & Dangerous, this new tune is vibrant and upbeat with the great voice of Jeff Taylor and some incredible guitar playin’ by Jeff Schroedl. I love EVERY tune on the new release Ten Thousand Watts.

Chris O’Leary Heartbreak Waitin’ to Happen

Chris hails from New York but you would swear from his voice and tunes that he was from down the bayou in my home state of Louisiana. This cut is from 7 Minutes Late….one of my favorite albums of the year.

Tad RobinsonReal Street

An incredible soul blues singer who was born and raised in New York City and attended college in Indiana. Tad traveled to Memphis to record his stellar new album Real Street. This song is the perfect fusion of Memphis soul and the Chicago blues….a damn fine tune. This Friday, October 4th, Tad will have a special album release party at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis. If you live close …..go see him!!!

Steve Earle and the DukesKing of the Blues

This tune came out in 2015 from his album Terraplane and just keeps makin’ its way back onto my playlists. Best known for Copperhead Road, Steve is one of the premier songwriters of his generation and, along with Ray Wylie Hubbard, a co-regent of the outlaw blues.

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A note about streaming (which is great for exposing new artists and songs)…..it may surprise you to know that for every 10,000 streams of a song, the artist may make as little as $40 (US). But when you buy their CDs, they can make a decent living plying their craft. SO…….if ya love the music…use your favorite site and download the albums. And if you go see the artists live….buy those CDs, tee shirts, and hats at the show…….helps them defray road expenses and, in many cases, eat for the night.

Ben Vee’s Late July Roadhouse Blues Bin

The summer is blowin’ by and here are some of the albums that I am listening to (song links to Spotify or Youtube are in blue):

The Kokomo Kings – Fighting Fire with Gasoline (2019)

The Kokomo Kings new album Fighting Fire with Gasoline heralds the return of the era when rock & roll and the blues were essentially the same genre. Upbeat and fun, I really enjoyed EVERY tune on this recording done by a mix of band members from Sweden and Denmark. I don’t know if it is somethin’ in the water, but there are a number of great new bands coming out of Copenhagen and Stockholm and the Kokomo Kings are one of the best. The band features Martin Abrahamsson (vocals and guitar), Magnus Lanshammar (bass and guitar), Ronni Boysen (guitar), and Daniel Winer√∂ (drums).

The album is packed with great rockin’ boogie blues tunes that will get your hips and feet movin’ including A Big Pile of Fish, Fighting Fire With Gasoline, Fooled by the City Lights, I Thought I was a Patient Man, If I was an Alien, Tornadohead, and The Fish Won’t Bite. Really loved Heatwave which has a Fabulous Thunderbirds feel to it. And my personal favorite is Tied to the Tracks that has some nice guitar riffs and a Mississippi Hill Country sound.

The influence of Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry pervades the album and I know both are in blues heaven smilin’ down on this fantastic recording. Now…if only I can persuade them to send me a t-shirt with the album cover on it…my summer will be complete!!!

Jason Ricci & the Bad Kind – My Chops Are Rolling (Ellersoul Records 2019)

Since releasing his first recording in 1995, Jason Ricci has earned a reputation as one of the best harmonica players in the music business with two awards (2010 & 2018) from the prestigious Blues Music Foundation for his talent on the instrument. On his second release for Ellersoul Records, My Chops Are Rolling, Jason Ricci & the Bad Kind again lay down some badass roadhouse blues.

I was captivated by the tune The Way That I Hurt Myself that has echoes of Led Zeppelin in the performance. The song highlights Jason’s voice as well as some badass harpin’ and also shines the musical spotlight on the incredible guitar playing of John Lisi.

Additionally, Jason does a stellar instrumental cover of Led Zepp’s Going to California on the album. I also enjoyed Break In the Rain and a song he recorded with his wife, Kaitlin Dibble, entitled If You Should Lose Me. It is a great cover of a song originally performed by Barbara Lynn back in the late 1960’s.

Jason & I share a love for the New Orleans Saints and he put his admiration into words and music on Who Dat Nation! All you Saints fan should give it a listen! And Atlanta Falcon fans might want to avoid the explicit version he also includes ūüėõ

Blue Moon Marquee – Bare Knuckles & Brawn (Factor Canada 2019)

Harkening back to the era of the blues cabaret, Blue Moon Marquee modernizes the sound on their new CD, Bare Knuckles & Brawn. A.W. Cardinal makes it work with gritty vocals and guitar playing and Jasmine Collette lays down some badass upright bass riffs as well as vocals. They are the core of a band that features guest appearances by Darcy Phillips (keyboards), Jerry Cook (Tenor & Bari Sax, Clarinet), Jimmy “Hollywood” Badger (Drums), Jack Garton (trumpet), and Paul Pigat (guitar).

Overall, this is well produced album with a laid back ambiance and a jazzy feel that still maintains an adherence to the blues. I really enjoyed 52nd Street Strut, As I Lay Dying, and the sultry feel of Big Black Mamba. Big Smoke is a great blues tune and Fever Flickering Flame conjures up scenes of a packed dance floor at a 1920 speakeasy. The haunting use of the trumpet and sparse piano licks perfectly frame Jasmine’s voice on Hard Times Hit Parade. And I loved the western swing guitar playing of Paul on The Red Devil Himself.

This is the perfect album to share with friends, a fine cigar, and a dirty martini. Let me know when ya do!!!

Travellin’ Blue Kings – Wired Up (Donor Productions 2019)

A European band that helps defines what I term as the roadhouse blues, the Travellin’ Blue Kings kick out some solid tunes on their new album Wired Up. This four piece band consists of Stephan Hermsen (vocals, harp, guitar), Jimmy Hontel√© (guitar), Winne Penninckx (bass), and Marc Gijbels (drums).


This is another album where I loved EVERY cut. Particular favorites are Get It Done, Ninety Minutes, Into the Night, Straight Eight, and The Way It Used to Be. The instrumental title cut Wired Up is also a badass tune featuring some awesome guitar playing.

They are also the first band that I have seen that identify themselves as being from Benelux, an economic union of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The Travellin’ Blue Kings are doing their part to promote Benelux with one of the best roadhouse blues albums of 2019!


As always, feel free to like my website (MUCH APPRECIATED) and/or leave a comment/reply below!

Ben’s Monday Blues Bin (7/15/19)

It’s summertime in Connecticut.¬† I am sittin’ out in my man cave enjoying the heat, smokin’ a cigar, and listening to some new albums.

Zac HarmonMississippi BarBQ (Catfood Records 2019)

Zac Harmon

A great mix of soul, Chicago blues, and a touch of blues rock, the new Zac Harmon album Mississippi BarBQ was produced by Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana).  It also features a stellar group of studio musicians known as the Rays: Bob Trenchard (bass), Richy Puga (drums), Johnny McGee (guitars), Dan Ferguson (keyboards), Mike Middleton (trumpet), Andy Roman (alto sax), Nick Flood (tenor and baritone sax), and Drake Dominigue (trombone & tuba).

Zac has been recording since 2003 and with this CD, he steps it up to a new level. The voice is fabulous, his guitar playing is first class, and the song writing conveys images that give witness to his Jackson, Mississippi roots.¬† The songs are all originals except for a great rendition of Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door.¬† I enjoyed Make a Dollar Out of Fifteen Cents, Gypsy Road, Honey Pleez, Smoke and Mirrors, and So Cold.

A gifted artist, a world renown producer, and some fantastic studio musicians meld together for a first rate recording that also features cuts by his current touring band. Make sure to give the title cut¬†Mississippi BarBQ a listen….with some barbeque, cornbread, mustard greens, black eyed peas and, of course a cold beer at the ready!!

The Texas HornsGet Here Quick (Severn Records 2019)

Texas Horns

 

Three of the most bad ass horn blowers on the planet got together down in Texas, invited some gifted friends, and created a delightful RnB recording entitled Get Here Quick. Mark ‘Kaz’ Kazanoff (tenor sax), John Mills (baritone sax), and Al Gomez (trumpet) can truly be judged by the company they keep with the likes of Carolyn Wonderland, Curtis Salgado, Guy Forsyth, Gary Nicholson, John Nemeth, Ronnie Earl,¬† and Anson Funderburgh steppin’ into the studio to assist; they got the rhythm and they damn sure got the blues!¬† This is an awesome CD!

A long time favorite of mine, Carolyn belts it out on I’m Doin’ Alright At Least For Tonight. And Curtis lends his soulful voice to Sundown Talkin’. My favorite tune on the album is Guitar Town that is sung by Guy Forsyth with backing vocals by Carolyn and lead guitar work by Anson. Gary Nicholson contributes two of his songs, Soulshine¬† & Fix Your Face, and both recordings are mighty fine. Anson does the lead guitar on Soulshine and another of my favorites, Ronnie Earl, does the honors on Fix Your Face.

There are also several tasty instrumentals on the album that showcase the talent of this horn blowin trio. My favorite is Truckload of Trouble written by John Mills and I also enjoyed the title cut contributed by Kaz Kazanoff.

I have to say when I opened the CD I was thinkin’ “now who are these guys?”.¬† Man…was I pleasantly surprised after listening to the entire recording. Download and give this a listen…hope you are pleased too!

The Duke Robillard BandEar Worms (2019 Stony Plain Records)

Duke Robillard

The new album, Ear Worms, has a fifties and sixties feel to it and is a pleasant listen.¬† Duke Robillard has been playing and recording for over fifty years and is a superlative guitar player.¬† I particularly loved the instrumental You Belong to Me that I first heard sung by Patsy Cline many years ago. It was one of my mother’s favorites and Duke shows it the love and tenderness it deserves.

I also enjoyed Don’t Bother Trying to Steal Her Love with Dave Howard on vocals and the song Yellow Moon which is sung by drummer Mark Teixeira.¬† The rest of the band is Bruce Bears (keyboards & vocals) and Brad Hallen on bass and they are a very tight knit group of artists.¬† The album features a number of guest vocalists including Sunny Crownover, Chris Cote, Mark Cutler, and Klem Klimek.¬† This is definitely a recording to relax with on warm summer evening.

 


Send along a comment if you would like! Love to hear what your thoughts are on these albums and blues music in general!!

 

Summer Vacation Cuts

Been on vacation with the daughters and grandkids. Had a fabulous time with family and friends.¬† Here are some of my favorite singles from albums I listened to while hangin’ out. (Most of the song links lead you to Spotify, Soundcloud, or Youtube.)

Aussie Blues

Simon Kinny-LewisCrossroads – Great version of one of my favorite roadhouse blues tunes. (A Day in San Jose 2019 SKL Music Label)

Grizzlee TrainOh Honey – Blues rockin’ from down under! (Burn Him Again EP 2016 Self Release)

British Blues

Big Wolf BandBe Free –¬†Some crankin blues rock with great harmonies. Bit reminiscent of Ten Years After.¬† (Be Free 2019 Self Release)

Savoy BrownConjure Rhythm – The group that helped coin the term “blues rock” just keeps crankin’ it after all these years. (City Night 2019 Quatro Valley Records)

Danish Blues

Mojo HandsCry to Me – A great cover of the classic Solomon Burke tune…mhmm. (High Blood Pressure 2019 CDBaby)

Harpin’ Wolf & the Black SheepWorkin’ Man – Some badass harpin’ blues! (Workin’ Man 2018 Self Release)

USA Blues

HeavyDrunk and the HurricaneIf I Loved You Hard Enough – AWESOME Tune…the beat grabs ya and the lyrics hold ya! No stream link for this one yet….soooo…you just have to request it during my roadhouse blues sets on BMFR! (HeavyDrunk and the Hurricane 2019 4142 Music)

The Rudy Boy ExperimentHelping Me With My Blues – Strong George Thorogood influence on this upbeat New Mexico blues rockin tune. (Shade Tree Mechanic 2019 DSN Music)

Josh NewcomGirl Got the Mojo – Just a great upbeat tune from a multi talented southern boy! ! (The Blues Gonna Getcha 2019 Warpaint Entertainment)

Ivy FordStart a Fight – Out of Northern Illinois, this lady can sing and play a guitar. Reminds me a bit of Danielle Nicole and that ain’t a bad thing! (Harvesting My Roots 2019 Ivy Ford Music)

Jersey Swamp CatsJump, Jive, And Wail – Some great blues swing! (Go Cats Go 2019 Jersey Swamp Cats Music)

Michael LeeThis Is –¬† This Texas boy has a gift for RnB and soul! On some other songs on the new album, he can rock the blues also. (Michael Lee 2019 Ruff Records)

The Weary TimesPeace of Mind – A back to the 1960’s feel to this tune…love it!! (Peace of Mind 2019 Ryan Curtis Music)

I’ll be working tunes from all these albums into my upcoming sets on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com at 12 pm EST on Tuesdays and 3 pm EST on Thursdays

 

Adam Holt’s Kind of Blues

Where southern rock and country meet the blues is the musical space where Adam Holt plies his craft. An Alabama boy , his music is the kind you¬†would hear on a peanut shell strewn roadhouse floor amidst the clack of pool table balls and hearty laughter on a hot humid southern summer night. Roadhousers aren’t music purists so a mix of Muddy Waters, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, Delbert McClinton, and Bonnie Raitt blares out from the jukebox as people relax and have a good time on a Saturday night.¬†Adam Holt’s new album Kind of Blues fits this style of music like a tight pair of jeans on a southern lady out for a juke joint weekend.

Adam Holt Kind of Blues

All the songs are originals except for a deep velvety voiced rendition of Bob Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay.¬† He captures the heart of Americana music with Mr. Morning Drive, a song he co-wrote with his wife, Jillian, about her grandfather who was a DJ for many years.¬† Some tasty guitar picking makes The End a tune worth savoring. And The Story Must Go On is a thoughtful southern rock song about the progress of civil rights in the American south.¬† Bobby is a great cut that shows off his voice and guitar playing and the talent of keyboardist and organ player Donnie Sundal.

Adam Holt

The song that really caught my ear was the upbeat Before I Trusted You. It should get a lot of airplay on country and southern rock formatted stations and streams. And the lyrics alone make it worthy for inclusion in the roadhouse blues category.

As the album title states, it is Kind of Blues and well worth a listen.


Adam Holt  Kind of Blues (Zenith Records 2019)

June Six Pack of Roadhouse Blues

Six blues rock tunes for June!  All have links in Spotify for you to take a listen!!!

Joe BonamassaSloe Gin

Title cut of his 2007 album and the song that elevated Joe Bonamassa from simply a great blues rocker to one of the most talented singers, songwriters, and guitarists of his generation.

Beth HartAm I the One

She burst onto the blues rock scene in 1996 with entrancing live performances that reminded many of Janis Joplin.  From her first album, Immortal, this song represents her at her soul baring finest.

Alvin LeeBluest Blues

One of the finest guitarists to ever pick up the instrument, British rocker and blues man Alvin Lee had a career that spanned over 45 years. He graced the stage at the Woodstock festival in 1969 and as the years passed  by put out some fine blues tunes including this classic song.  Alvin passed away in 2013.

Albert CummingsHoochie Coochie Man/Dixie Chicken Medley

A custom home builder by day and fantastic blues man by night, Albert Cummings gives an invigorated live performance of the Muddy Waters and Little Feat tunes on this cut….incredible!

Gary MooreParisienne Walkway

Irishman Gary Moore started off in the seventies as a member of Thin Lizzy. He drifted in and out of the band as the years went by and by the nineties was a full fledged blues rocker drawing huge audiences where ever he played. He originally recorded this song in the late seventies but released a live version in 1993 that took the  blues world by storm. Gary passed away in 2011.

Kenny Wayne ShepherdDeja Voodoo

Inspired by meeting and seeing Stevie Ray Vaughan perform at the age of 7, this native of Shreveport, Louisiana released his first album, Ledbetter Heights, in 1995 at the age of eighteen.  It included this blue rock gem that shot the album to #1. In the years since, Kenny Wayne has become one of the most recognized blues rock performers on the planet.  And his latest album, The Traveler, is simply fantastic also!

 

Roadhouse Blues Bin for Mid April 2019

It’s spring time, well almost in New England, and here is what I am listening to as I await freakin’ warmer weather …..

Manx Marriner MainlineHell Bound for Heaven (2019)

Manx Marriner

Harry Manx is a blues original.¬† His primary musical instrument is the Mohan Veena,¬† often associated with classical music from India, which gives Harry’s music a surreal sound that is perfect for the blues. His partner for the album is Steve Marriner, a gifted harmonica and guitar player who also performs on the drums, organ, and bass.¬† Both have great voices and contribute songs for Hell Bound for Heaven, released by Stony Plain Records.

The recording has a mix of what I call roots blues and gospel tunes.¬† I particularly enjoyed their rendition of the legendary Charlie Patton’s Rattlesnake.¬† And the songs Hell Bound for Heaven, Nothing, and¬†Everybody Knows will get a lot of spins on my personal stream (http://s1.nexuscast.com:8043) and during my upcoming sets on Blues Music Fan Radio.¬† Great tunes from a duo of Canadian artists!!!

Stony Plain Records 2019


Harpdog Brown – For Love & Money (2019)

Harpdog brown

To be officially released on April 26th, Harpdog Brown’s For Love & Money recording is a great throwback to the swing and jazzy feel of the blues in the late 1940’s.¬† If I didn’t know better I would swear this Canadian from British Columbia had grown up in New Orleans.¬† With a heavy emphasis on piano and horns on the album, Harpdog reminds me alot of the best of Dr. John….gravely voice, gritty lyrics, and fantastic musicianship.

I particularly enjoyed Thinkin’ and Drinkin’, Blue Light Boogie, Buzzard Luck, and Vicious Vodka.¬† An album best enjoyed with your woman and a martini and cigar in hand for sure!

Dog House Records 2019


Brandon Santini – The Longshot (2019)

Brandon Santini

Brandon Santini turns up the amplifier (and I’d say it’s about time!) on his new album, The Longshot.¬† An up and coming harmonica player and vocalist who has already been nominated for the BMA blues harmonica player of the year award (2014), his future is bright to say the least! I always have felt that Brandon, who I became aware of in 2012, had the ideal voice and harmonica skills to lay down some badass blues rock……and now he has.

He is backed on this outing by a solid group of musicians; Timo Arthur and Jed Potts on guitars, one of my favorite keyboard players John Ginty, Chuck Combs on bass, and Reid Muchow on drums.  Ginty, Santini, and Ben Elliot produced the album.

I loved Somebody’s Gotta Go, Back to You, Beggin’ Baby, Going Home, and Drive You Off My Mind.¬† All of them are now in rotation for my DJ sets.

I certainly think this album deserves early consideration as a nominee for Blues Rock album of 2019!  Keep crankin out dem roadhouse blues Brandon!!!

American Showplace Music (2019)


Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors (2018)

Mark Wenner

A side project for long time Nighthawk Mark Wenner, this album is a refreshing celebration of tunes by Muddy Water, B.B. King, Sonny Boy Williamson, Fats Domino, Big Joe Turner, Elmore James, and Slim Harpo.¬† Mark is a gifted singer and harmonica player and his brilliance carries this upbeat bluzin’ album.¬† Fellow Nighthawk, Mark Stutso joins him on drums, along with talented guitarist Zach Sweeney, singer and guitarist¬†Clarence “The Bluesman” Turner, and features the double bass of Steve Wolf.

I loved every cut on this CD including King Bee, Trust My Baby, Rock A While, Hello Josephine, (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear, It’s My Own Fault,¬† and Dust My Broom. The album includes a really nice cover of a relatively unknown tune by Muddy Waters Diamonds at Your Feet that I have worked into my blues sets al ot over the years and the only original song, written by Mark, is an instrumental tribute to the legendary Jimmy Reed entitled Just Like Jimmy.

If you want to spend some time listening to straight up rockin’ blues from the fifties, you can’t do better than downloading and listening to this album!

Ellersoul Records 2018