A Baker’s Dozen of Badass Blues – The New Altered Five Blues Band album HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME

The new Altered Five Blues Band album HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME is out today and it is a baker’s dozen of badass blues. One of the stellar groups of the contemporary blues, this five member band out of Milwaukee cranks out 13 infectious tunes with a rhythm that drags you to the dance floor. Led by the barrel chested voice of Jeff Taylor, this musical ensemble, with the help of Grammy award winning producer Tom Hambridge, have created a sure fire 2021 album of the year nominee.

The album comes out of the gate with the title cut, Holler If You Hear Me. Come join the party….let’s ramble and roll…whole lotta shakin’ gonna move your soul….Raise your hands…move your feet…everybody now ….feel the beat. Those lyrics should be on the door mantle of every roadhouse blues joint from Copenhagen to Chicago to Adelaide!

Guilty of a Good Time is another genre defining tune which echoes my sentiments about the roadhouse blues; it’s about hand rolled cigars and a big bar tab among like minded friends! It also features some awesome guitar licks by Jeff Schroedl. If You Go Away (She Might Come Back), All Suit No Soul, and In the Name of No Good are all “pull your Baby to the dance floor” tunes. There are also a couple of belly rubbing tunes in Holding On with One Hand and Leave Before I Let You Down.

If there is one song on the album that kind of brings it all together….the voice of Jeff Taylor….the roadhouse beat….the talent of a tight band with Jeff Schroedl on guitar, Alan Arber on drums, Mark Solveson on bass, and Raymond Tevich on Keyboards, it is Full Moon, Half Crazy! Give it a listen!

The album ends with a heartfelt upbeat tribute to the men and women of the blues that laid the groundwork for all of us that perform, spin, and write about the blues today: Big Shout Out. It includes a literal who’s who of the blues and is a great list of artists for those new to blues to use to become acquainted with in this incredible musical genre.

To say I enjoyed listening to this album while writing this review would be an understatement. It is everything that you could hope for in a roadhouse blues recording; vibrant, upbeat, great musicians, and insightful, witty and thoughtful lyrics. And mark my words…if this recording doesn’t get an album of the year nomination then it is time for me to stop reviewing albums……and that ain’t gonna happen!!!

Altered Five Blues Band – Holler If You Hear Me (2021 Blind Pig Records)


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 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB

Steve Marriner – The Quintessential Roadhouse Bluesman releases HOPE DIES LAST

Steve Marriner is a man after my own heart as he drifts effortlessly from roots music to contemporary blues to blues rock on his new release, HOPE DIES LAST. He is the quintessential roadhouse bluesman from Canada who is balancing a solo career while also being part of the Manx Marriner Manline and a favorite band of mine, MonkeyJunk. Over the years he has performed extensively with Colin James, one of the superstars of the Canadian roadhouse blues, as well as Samantha Martin, Paul Reddick, Delta Sugar, and Lee Holmes.

For the new recording, Steve teamed with Jimmy Bowskill, a renown blues rocker, to produce the album. The result is some roadhouse magic! The first single/video released back in June was How High, a crankin’ blues rocker. A couple of days before the official release of the album on July 2, another video for Long Way Down came out. It is a haunting sad roots tune about addiction that is simply beautiful. The “radio ready” tune Take Me to the City is my personal favorite with a catchy beat, some great guitar licks, and some nasty harpin’. Honey Bee is some badass raw roadhouse blues and Coal MIne highlights Steve’s incredible voice. You Hear My Heart is another song on the album that ya just have to give a listen……the music….the voice….the guitars…and the harmonica…WOW! Another interesting tune on the recording is Petite Danse. It is a perfect “down the bayou” tune from my home state of Louisiana that Steve sings in French. From Montreal to New Orleans, it will have people dancing in the aisles!

Steve is a hard working talent balancing his time between a number of bands. I just hope he can make the time to tour on his own in the coming years and gets a chance to showcase his talents as a songwriter, singer, and musician. He is well on his way to becoming a roadhouse blues superstar and another of the musical treasures of the great nation of Canada.

Steve Marriner – Hope Dies Last (2021 Stony Plain Records)


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 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB

Dave Kalz – The blues with rock RELISH on the side!

I absolutely love artists that play a mean guitar. And Dave Kalz does just that on his debut release for Gulf Coast Records, RELISH. The album is packed with original songs that celebrate the insistent tones of a guitar with blues rock gusto.

I suggest you listen to Route 666 first. It is a raucous upbeat tune with undertones of ZZ Top dripping from the music. You can just tell Dave is havin’ a blast as his fingers fly over the neck of the guitar. Next give She’s Got A Hemi a listen with it’s great rock and roll rhythm and those fabulous tones that bring back memories of LInk Wray. Up next focus your ears on a song about the bane of many musicians, the Taxman; it’s another blues rocker with a funky starting beat that shifts into some of the loud late night jammin’ that I have always associated with the Allman Brothers. It should be an audience pleaser when Dave hits the road to support the album which was officially released on June 25th.

Just these three tunes alone will help you understand why Dave’s long time friend, Mike Zito (they are both from St. Louis) signed him to a record deal for Mike’s label, Gulf Coast Records. Mike also sits in for one tune, Werewolf Blues. Dave just absolutely tears it up on another of my favorite cuts of the album, I Can’t Quit Ya Baby. It is a song he played with Devon Allman over two decades ago while Dave was a member of the Devon Allman’s Honeytribe and I am damn glad he included it on the album. I also enjoyed Playing the Blues (with some Jimi Hendrix riffs towards the end!), the title cut Relish, and Flying High.

For the recording, Dave has Kevin McDonald on drums, and Greg Hulub on bass and backing vocals; both of whom also attack the blues….forgive the impending pun…. with relish!! Tony Campanella sits in on guitar for Playing the Blues and Lewis Stephens provides the keyboards on the cut Mexico.

As a debut album, RELISH, is simply stellar. If you often love your blues loud and upbeat (and I do!), then you will enjoy this joyful celebration of the electric guitar.

Dave Kalz – RELISH (2021 Gulf Coast Records)


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 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB