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 Harmon – Mississippi BarBQ (Catfood Records 2019)
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 Horns – Get Here Quick (Severn Records 2019)
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 Band – Ear Worms (2019 Stony Plain Records)
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!!