Just back from a long weekend in southern California with my younger daughter and her husband. We had a blast…..lots of music, food, friends and tequila! Here are three new recording that I enjoyed listening to on the plane trip there and back.
The Commoners – Find a Better Way (Gypsy Soul Records 2022)
The debut album, Find a Better Way, by The Commoners out of Toronto Canada is downright badass southern style music. The group is fronted by Chris Medhurst, who’s voice reminds me of another Canadian star, Burton Cummings. Melodious wafts of the sounds of The Black Crowes, the Eagles, and the Allman Brothers also drift through the music. The first video single of the recording, Fill My Cup, should give you a good feel for the talent of the band that includes Ross Hayes Citrullo (lead guitar), Ben Spiller (bass/piano), Adam Cannon (drums) and long time friend Miles Evans-Branagh (organ). Kevin Shirley (of Joe Bonamassa fame) even helps a bit producing the title cut. Overall the album has some mighty fine tunes…..give it a listen!!
Favorite cut: More Than Mistakes
Derrick Procell – Hello Mojo (Catfood Records 2022)
Derrick Procell is another of those great talents of the modern blues that you probably haven’t heard of though he was been writing, singing, and performing for well over 40 years. His latest album, Hello Mojo!, is a showcase for his soulful voice and harmonica playing. He has a video out for the first cut from the recording, Skin In the Game, that is contemporary blues at its best.
Though you may not know who Derrick Procell is, my bet is that you have heard his music on True Blood, The Office, Boston Legal, The Americans, or King of the Hill television shows over the years. He has even won a songwriting award at the annual Billboard Magazine get together. And, closer to my heart, he has written music for American Cancer Society events. (As some of you know, I do a fundraiser of my own and participate in the Second Life Relay for Life event for the American Cancer Society each year.)
Overall this album grades out high enough to receive serious consideration for Contemporary Blues Album of the year awards. If you listen to the recording, leave your own comments below. I’d love to know what you think!
Favorite cut: The Contender
The Hungry Williams – Let’s Go (Rochelle Records 2022)
Out this Friday September 9th, on my birthday, The Hungry Williams will be releasing their second album, Let’s Go. When I heard their debut recording in 2019, Brand New Thing, I thought for sure they were from my hometown of New Orleans. Now after listening to the new tunes, I can say confidently that they are a Big Easy R&B band, regardless of their claims to be from Milwaukee!!
The songs on the recording have a largely “back in the day” sound from the 1950’s. There are tunes originally done by Lavern Baker, Big Maybelle, and Fats Domino guitarist Roy Montrell as well as a number of fabulous originals. The band consists of Kelli Gonzalez (lead vocals), Joe Vent (guitar and vocals), Jack Stewart (keyboards), Mike Sieger (bass), John Carr (founder, drums), and a horn section of Jason Goldsmith, Casimir Riley, and Lech Wierzynski.
This past February, they released the first video for the album, Mardi Gras Day in time for the Crescent City holiday. I encourage you to give it a listen. I love good time music that makes you feel good; it’s what the concept of the roadhouse blues is all about!! The Hungry Williams kick out music that is fun and captures the magic of New Orleans….well worth your time!
Favorite cut: Oooh Wow!
#blues #modernblues #contemporaryblues
Ben Vee started out spinning songs on terrestrial radio and at nightclubs back in the 1970’s in his home state of Louisiana. After a career in the construction business, he returned to DJing in 2011. He now hosts two shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB as well as a Youtube channel.