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 Brian!!!

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


 

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Makin it Loud and Clear…..Steve Krase Aces the Harpin’ Blues

Steve Krase

It’s summertime and a perfect time for a backyard barbecue with friends, cold beer, and of course some bad ass harpin’ blues.  I suggest you buy Steve Krase‘s new CD, Should’ve Seen It Coming, and let the good times roll.  Steve is a Houston based harmonica stud with a penchant for loud and upbeat tunes and on his fourth album for the Connor Ray Music label does he ever deliver!

The first tune on the CD, Brand New Thang, is a great party tune featuring some virtuoso guitar playing by label mate Mark May. On the second song, Crazy For My Baby, Steve puts himself in the league with Little Walter, James Cotton, and Charlie Musselwhite with an excellent harmonica rendition of a Willie Dixon tune.  This song should receive serious consideration in the harmonica artist category of next year’s blues awards in Memphis.

I have a particular love  for “down the bayou” blues and Steve’s cover of Fat Domino’s Let the Four Winds Blow is a great addition to that playlist for my DJ sets.  I also enjoyed the Texas blues shuffle Make You Love Me Baby.  And my vote for the Just Crank It up and Dance tune of the album is Shot of Rhythm and Blues which features label mates Trudy Lynn and Bob Lanza.

The title cut (written by his brother David) is an interesting jazzy blues jam with some great saxophone playing by Alisha Pattillo, nice keyboard work by Randy Wall, and Steve’s harmonica work is stellar. Rock Romano (bass and the studio owner), David Carter (guitars), and Richard Cholakian (drums) round out a solid backing band for Steve.

Well, if you are ever in the Houston area and see Steve Krase on the club or concert bill, strap on your dancin’ shoes, grab yer Baby, and go have a damn good time!  And a quick look at his tour schedule shows he’ll be in New Jersey on my birthday, September 9th, along with Bob Lanza……hmmmm….that’s pretty close…maybe time for a short road trip to celebrate another year on the upside of the grass!