The Wolves – Live It Up

Album Notes
The Wolves have sprung out of old & new friendships. The amalgamation of four musical careers that span a wealth of genres and experience. This band has evolved its music from a mutual appreciation of blues, funk, R&B, soul and taken it somewhere new & fresh. You’ll certainly hear references to all the Kings ; BB, Albert & Freddie but at the same time there’s nods towards The Meters, Delbert McClinton, Robert Cray, Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal & Wilson Pickett.

It seems an eclectic mix but the general message from the band is forcefully around ‘the groove’. This is the funky side of the blues !

The Wolves are a timeless combination of guitar, bass, drums, Hammond & a little blues harp thrown in for good measure, but that mix is fast becoming greater than the sum of those parts.

‘Live It Up’ is the long awaited debut studio album from The Wolves

Live it Up ! ‘Cos when you’re dead you’re gone !

Briana Buckmaster – Begin

An eclectic style that encompasses blues, rock, soul, and folk with a standout vocal and a stellar band.

 

Album Notes
Briana Buckmaster is an actress best known for her work on Supernatural, but it’s her unique and powerful voice that shines on this album. From the blues stylings of Nina Simone to the folk rock feel of some original tunes to the soul feel of songs like Good Love, Briana can sing it all. This being her first solo record, it’s an eclectic collection of different but related genres of music all played by he same all-star band to give it cohesion. Briana’s goal with this album was to investigate her feel and her ability through varying types of songs to really find her path and set her course for her future musical journey. That’s why she gave it the fitting title of ‘Begin’.

Big Apple Blues – Manhattan Alley

Instrumental funky blues-based music for the soul with energy and passion.

Album Notes
In 2015, Big Apple Blues released the album ENERGY, which described day in a life of
New York City. Boasting entirely original material, ENERGY marked a departure from
the well-trodden blues genre towards a fusion of instrumental blues, soul, funk, and
rock. Unable to assign the album to a pre-defined genre, the critics labeled it as the “Big
Apple Blues Sound.”

This journey into terra incognita with ENERGY was a smash hit, receiving worldwide
airplay and rave reviews. Peeter Fenstra of The Blues Magazine concluded: “A glorious
melange of blues fusion, from New York’s finest. Unreservedly recommended”. Dan
Forte of Vintage Guitar: “Big Apple Blues has put together a set of originals listenable
enough for you not to miss the singer!”  Merv Osborne of Blues Matters exclaimed:
“This CD has taken over my life! Brilliant and could end up my album of the year!”
ENERGY was both a turning point and a break-through for the band; over a million
digital distributions sold and incredibly well-received live shows from USA to Europe to
Asia.

MANHATTAN ALLEY builds on ENERGY and presents more of the feel-good Big Apple
Blues Sound. As with previous releases, MANHATTAN ALLEY was tracked live in one
big room. A band of brothers. All together. The recording took place at Sear Sound
studios in Manhattan, bringing the music to life with an old-school, real-time, no studio-
trickery approach. Like its predecessor, MANHATTAN ALLEY tells its own story, aiming
to draw from a well of energy and philosophical, utterly positive reflections on life and
creativity. It is inspired by New York City itself – NYC with a nod to Tin Pan Alley – the
collection of New York City music publishers and songwriters that dominated popular
music in America in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The old saying still rings true: You gotta start somewhere! Even as your head is
floating in the dizzying ether of ideas and you’re borne aloft on the wings of inspiration
and anxious to get going, planting both feet firmly on the ground and taking that first
step can be an act of will as challenging as moving mountains. But despite the
uncertainty, you feel compelled to press on. There’s something in you that seeks to be
unleashed, unshackled. It may take two or more attempts before your vision
crystallizes, but once everything is set in motion, watch out! Finding companions on
your journey who share your drive and vision is a must (like our dear, prematurely
departed friend, SDW)!

Changing the world is not something you can do alone. Get the right people by your
side to get things going your way, and you’re Happy, creative, and engaged in some
serious Deep talkin’; with that force that binds us all together. Some call it soul, others
the universal consciousness. Whatever it is, you’ve got it on the line, baby, and you’re
super bad, effortlessly lifting off the hard, cold ground and flying like the Hudson
breeze, airborne and unstoppable. Whatever the hurdles, you’re a Steamroller, but
you’re not making the world flat and dull… Nah, you’re adding depth and dimension,
shadow and light, zooming left and right, focused and tight, like a needle in the groove
on a funky LP. This is the process of creation in all its mysterious glory, this is the
Subway rumble, the hustle and bustle, leaving that cocoon for the moon, your voice
joining with the voices of millions rising up, hearts beating and striving, bodies and

minds and desires coming together, beautiful and harrowing and visceral, all melded
together to form that thing we call love; at least Love as I know it.  And when that
happens all you can do is hold tight and Rock on!

Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors – Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors

Blues Harmonica legend Mark Wenner, founder / leader of the legendary Nighthawks is back with another hot side project. Mark Wenner’s Blues Warrior’s are nothin’ but the blues with some of the Washington D.C. area’s best blueman. Must have CD

Album Notes
Blues Harmonica legend Mark Wenner, founder / leader of the legendary Nighthawks is back with another hot side project.
Mark Wenner’s Blues Warrior’s are nothin’ but the blues with some of the Washington D.C. area’s best blueman. Must have CD featuring guitarist / singer Clarence ‘the bluesman’ Turner, upright bass master Steve Wolf, young hot shot guitarist Zack Sweeney and fellow Nighthawk Mark Stutson on drums and vocals.

J.P. Soars – Southbound I-95

THE #1 RESOURCE FOR THE INDEPENDENT ARTIST AND THE FANS THAT LOVE THEM!

J.P. Soars

Southbound I-95

Soars High Productions

 

In 2009 JP Soars and The Red Hots won the band competition at the International Blues Challenge. JP Soars’ 2011 album “More Blues with Honey” resulted in him receiving a 2012 Blues Music Award nomination as “Contemporary Blues Male Artist of The Year”. JP is a blues treasure as his music encompasses all sub genres.

For his fourth studio album JP has written twelve new songs and covers two more. There are eighteen musicians lending their talent to help make this album. Soars’ states “Over the years I have been very fortunate to have met and played with some incredible musicians; musicians that I look up to, musicians that I admire and that inspire me. Some of these musicians appear here on this recording. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed making this music with them and the privilege to have them participate in creating this CD”. The album is co-produced by JP and Jeremy Staska.

Jp, guitar and vocal, opens with a song about his adopted home. “Ain’t No Dania Beach” is a Little Feat type tune. JP is accompanied by Canadian Paul Deslauriers, slide guitar; Travis Colby formerly of “Roomful of Blues”, organ; and the rhythm section of Chris Peet, drums, Greg Morency, bass; and Sam Harrison, percussion.

On the funky “Sure As Hell Ain’t Foolin Me” JP also plays bass; Colby is on both piano and organ while Teresa James contributes the background vocal. The title track, “Southbound I-95”, features a really cool vocal from Soars against a twangy surf rock sound. “Dog Catcher” features a calypso beat and Oscar Santiago on percussion. On “Troubled Waters” Reza Filsoofi is featured on Sitar; the lyric “love is music and music is love” will grab you.

Horns decorate three fabulous tracks. Terry Hanck, tenor saxophone, guests on “Shining Thru The Dark” as he joins JP, Peet, Colby, and James. The horn section of “Sax” Gordon, tenor saxophone; and Tino Barker, baritone sax; shine on both “The Grass Ain’t Always Greener” and “Satisfy My Soul”.

The instrumental “Arkansas Porch Party” features JP on acoustic guitar and co-producer Staska on percussion. The basic tracks were recorded at “John Smalls cabin deep in the Ozark mountains of Union Town, Arkansas. A hidden track includes some front porch banter from them. Another instrumental “Across The Desert” features JP on a Portuguese folk guitar and Lee Oskar on harmonica. A third instrumental “Go With The Flow” has a gypsy type sound with JP on an electric; Staska on percussion; and Scott Ankrom on clarinet.

The selected covers include Albert King’s “When You Walk Out That Door” with Jimmy Thackery added on guitar as he takes the first solo.  On Muddy Waters’ “Deep Down in Florida” the guest guitarist is Albert Castiglia, who takes the first solo and sings lead on the third and fourth verses; Ankrom is on trumpet.

The autobiographical “Born in California” is JP’s story in song. “I was born in California but I was raised up in Arkansas, now I’m down in Florida where I play the blues for ya’all”. The phrasing on this tune is fabulous.

JP thanks “God for giving me the gift of music”. We thank God and JP as he graciously dedicates his success to his band mates and friends. This album might arguably be the best we have yet heard from JP as it is one of the year’s best recordings.

Richard Ludmerer

 

Ike Reilly – Crooked Love

Since his major label debut, the groundbreaking Salesmen and Racists, Ike Reilly has been making punk/folk/blues influenced rock ’n’ roll records that lean heavily on stories of outsiders with keen details and broad strokes that insinuate a crack in the American dream. Reilly’s band, The Assassination, has been called one of the best live bands in America, and the body of recorded work they’ve turned out has been poetic, rebellious, wholly original, and critically acclaimed.

Still, Reilly and co-producer Phil Karnats (Secret Machines, Tripping Daisy, Polyphonic Spree) felt that Reilly’s best takes had never been recorded. The lucidity and rhythm of Reilly’s performances that Karnats had witnessed in hotel rooms, backstage, and on tour buses had never been captured. “I wanted to create a setting where lil’ Ike could sing and play guitar at the same time, with the band in the same room… no headphones and minimal isolation,” says Karnats. “There’s always been a freshness to playing the songs together that’s hard to harness when recording in the more common, modern, sense where you do rhythm tracks first, then overdubs and vocals last. This time, Ike did his thing and we developed the arrangements based on his vocal approach, cadence, phrasing, intensity and all that. I think, in the end, we ended up with some killer songs that have a strangely unique, slightly off-center, vibe.” The resulting album, Crooked Love, is Reilly’s seventh studio album and comes out May 18, 2018 on Rock Ridge Music.

From the apocalyptic playfulness of “Missile Site,” to the weary let’s-get-it-on abandon of “Don’t Turn Your Back on Friday Night,” to the escapist urgency of “Boltcutter Again,” to the gnarly, percolating groove drip of “Clean Blood Blues,” Crooked Loveshows how Reilly has landed himself squarely in the raw, emotional zeitgeist of the times. “Chasing that timeless feel in a time like 2018 can be a tall order but we did it,” Reilly admits. “Nobody sounds like this… musically or sonically. It’s fucking authentic. I never made a record before that sounds like this.”

Indeed, this collection of succinct, tight-but-loose songs reflects the continuing evolution of Reilly’s ever-visceral wordsmithing, as married with a Murderer’s Row of backing tracks forged out of the intuitive interplay of his longstanding Assassination bandmates — guitarist Karnats, bassist Peter Cimbalo, drummer David Cottini, and guitarist/ keyboardist Adam Krier. Not to mention the input of a few special guests, too, including guitarist Tommy O’Donnell, pianist Ed Tinley, and saxophonists Mars Williams and Bill Overton, as well as family legacies Mickey Reilly on vocals and Peter John Cimbalo on drums.

One reason said vibe was so perfectly met on Crooked Love is how its content was ultimately born out of the core band’s innate reaction to the material before them. “The ability to not overplay is everything,” Reilly feels. “It’s something that’s hard to do, but these guys I play with — they know what they’re doing. They hear my songs, they interpret and color them… not with musical clichés but with interesting parts that help distinguish my songs from the run-of-the-mill singer/songwriter shit you hear. They’re the best players, no showboat bullshit, and our collective musical knowledge and taste has evolved, for better or worse, in the same direction.”

One Crooked song that Reilly feels is the lynchpin to the record is “Been Let Down,” which moves from shuffle to backstab in the blip of a heartbeat. “We had a loose structure to ‘Been Let Down,’ but nothing written in stone, no exact measures to the instrumental parts,” Reilly says. “I had words but mostly images that I was gonna fit into spaces… no exact lengths to choruses. On the surface it’s got a John Lee Hooker vibe, but slightly tweaked. We were all in the same room no headphones or any of that shit, and really all I could hear was the rhythm section and myself. When we listened to the playback I was blown away. It was so off-kilter, really fucking fresh. The guitar and keyboard parts worked in and around my harp and vocal like we had charts. I was blown away by this take and the beauty of the recording.”

The album’s opener, “Livin’ in the Wrong Time,” also evokes a certain kind of “real feel,” with a cool, steely tone and a psychotically festive sonic twist during its ear-grabbing solo section. “I had this melody for a horn part that I just sang during the instrumental section, so that I wouldn’t forget it,” Reilly recounts. “Phil really deconstructed or distorted my vocal with some gizmo that had a tube in it, and Adam doubled the melody with a ratty keyboard. It’s a really urgent sound — it’s disarming and catchy.” Reilly concludes with a hearty chuckle, “That part always leads me to break into some kind of perverse dance!  It seems to makes everyone who hears it want to do something kind of strange and jerky, like some kind of weird shuffle.”

What that track also shows is how much Crooked Love shares the timeless quality that records that stand the test of time are able to evoke. “I’ve always been trying to get that timeless sense all along, but I think this record actually does do that,” Reilly concedes. “I know I’ve fallen into the modern trap a couple of times in my recordings and with some of my lyrics maybe being a little too in the moment at times, but I hope I’ve been able to achieve something else with the direction and attitude of this one.”

Walking that fine line between being topical and universal is another goal Reilly wanted to attain with this album. “I’m not sure if all the songs reflect what’s going on right now,” Reilly says. “You know, Trump’s insane behavior, racism and classism out in the open, a new nuclear threat, the planet’s demise. The songs were written under the shadow of all of that, but most people still just need and want love, affection, sex, and the simple pleasures of human contact. I have optimism for society and for its survival, though I am pretty fatalistic in the sense of, ‘This is what it is. It’s right here, it’s right now, and this is it.’ That can either drive you crazy or motivate you to squeeze every last drop out of it, you know?”

We know it well, in fact, for Crooked Love is as haunting and straight-shooting into the heart as anything you’ll hear this year. And that’s also how you know you’re living in the right time.

THE IKE REILLY ASSASSINATION IS:

Ike Reilly – Vocals, Guitar, Harp • Peter Cimbalo – Bass, Percussion • David Cottini – Drums, Percussion, Vocals • Phil Karnats – Guitar •  Tommy O’Donnell – Guitar • Adam Krier – Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals

 

Rockin’ Dopsie Jr & The Zydeco Twisters – Rockin Zydeco

Rockin’ Dopsie Jr & The Zydeco Twisters are one of the most requested bands for Corporate Events, Casinos, Fairs and Festivals. Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. (pronounced Doopsie) is considered the ultimate entertainer bringing a high energy stage show that has led to him being called the James Brown of Zydeco, but that’s not all – throw in some New Orleans Funkiness with a Gumbo of Soul, R N B and the Dopsie brothers Anthony on accordian and Tiger on drums plus the top notch musicianship of The Zydeco Twisters and you have the best high energy show around.

Biography

“When Rockin’ Dopsie, Sr. unexpectedly passed away in 1993, the Dopsie family vowed to keep his memory alive, mainly in the incarnation of this band, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters. In doing so, it’s become its own phenomenon. No other zydeco band has ever been fronted by a washboard player. It’s usually the accordionist, and it’s also a safe bet that there’s never been such a flamboyant personality as Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr., who can turn a house upside down on a moment’s notice.”The word zydeco is derived from the French les haricots (which translated means string beans), and which is pronounced “lay zah ree’ co.” One supposes that this music must have been played during the harvesting of the bean crop. Little by little, “zah ree’ co” evolved into zydeco.

Zydeco music is a bubbling, melodic gumbo concocted from Cajun/Acadian music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and melodies, and blues. Over the past few years, this funky and highly danceable music has broken out of its Southern Louisiana breeding ground to enjoy widespread popularity throughout the world.

Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. (pronounced Doop’ see) & The Zydeco Twisters are the greatest living practitioners of this music. Dopsie, Jr. presents zydeco with the conviction and authenticity of its rich heritage. His earliest musical memories are of his father’s accordion playing. Dopsie, Jr. was given a basic accordion by his father at the age of nine. He taught himself to play, as had his father, by listening to and playing along with the radio.

“I really loved that sound, but I needed more mobility so I could jump up and down and do my splits, you know. I must’ve inherited my love for the blues from my father ’cause I still listen to BB King, Jimmy Reed, the Vaughn Brothers and Bobby Bland, but when I was growing up, the Jackson Five, Sly Stone and James Brown were really happening.” Both genres are evident in Dopsie, Jr.’s performances.

He played in several bands in his early teens, but at age 21 was given his first rub board, a must for the authentic presentation of zydeco. The rub board was his ticket to joining his father’s band, in which he became an official member in 1982. Dopsie, Jr. was then able to play the music that he loved, while dancing like the psychedelic stars of the time.

The team of father and son netted the band international notoriety. Today the Zydeco Twisters’ sole leader is Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. His brother, Tiger Dopsie, is the band’s drum virtuoso and maintains the highly danceable beat. Anthony Dopsie, a great accordion player, replaced his father in the band playing the button accordion in a manner similar to his father’s, but with the fervor of youth.

Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. and The Zydeco Twisters have continued to develop in their own right. The junior Dopsie is considered to be the best rub board player in the world, and is a charismatic and electrifying stage performer. His dancing, splits, and audience participation antics make the band’s performances exciting and keep listeners involved and dancing.

Besides having performed extensively on their own tours, the band has shared the stage with Tina Turner, Bonnie Raitt, BB King, The Neville Brothers, Dr. John, and Jimmy Buffet. In 1978 they performed on the song That Was Your Mother (Standing On The Corner In Lafayette, Louisiana), which was released on Paul Simon’s multi-platinum Grammy award-winning album Graceland. The band has also recorded with Cindy Lauper and Bob Dylan (Oh, Mercy&emdash;1989.)

In 1994, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters performed at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, on the occasion of the presentation of the late Rockin’ Dopsie’s crown (he was indeed “the King of Zydeco”) for permanent exhibit. Rockin’ Dopsie, his band, and zydeco music were honored by this historic event as they had never been honored before.

Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters, still referred to as “Zydeco’s Royal Family,” have performed in Australia, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, and many other countries as well as throughout the United States. They have appeared at the most prestigious music festivals and fairs at home and abroad.

The band has made television commercials for Burger King, the Louisiana Lottery, Close-Up toothpaste, Community coffee, Maalox, Danny and Clyde’s and Popeye’s Fried Chicken. They also appeared in the movie Delta Heat which featured several tracks from their Atlantic album.

They were the house band for the Gayle King Show in January of 1998, the house band on Live With Regis And Kathie Lee in January 1999, house band for a week on Wheel Of Fortune in January 2000, played with Harry Connick, Jr. at the Orpheus Ball in New Orleans during Mardi Gras ’98,’99 and ’01, entertained President Clinton and the White House press corps on the White House lawn in September 1999, and danced and sang at the Chicago House of Blues with Dan Aykroyd in May 2000. In February of 2002, Dopsie and his brothers performed with Britney Spears and Mystikal on MTV’s two-hour Mardi Gras special.

Dopsie really heats things up whenever he and the band perform. Above all else, they create a high-energy, audience participation, dance ’til you drop, dynamic show. It all begins when you hear, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters!”

The Band…

Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr.
(David Rubin)
Rub Board and Vocals

Tiger Dopsie
(Alton Rubin, Jr.)
Drums and Vocals

Anthony Dopsie
(Anthony Rubin)
Accordion

BB Factory – First World Blues

A cracking live band with seasoned international musos oozing from their ranks, playing original contemporary & progressive blues/roots

BB Factory released their debut full length all original album “First World Blues” in May 2018 with every single released so far peaking at #1 on the iTunes Blues/Roots charts.

 

Harold Jackson – Vocals, Harmonica [USA]

Jackson’s musical history starts in 1975 when he moved to Red Oak, North Carolina to live with his aunt. In a true rite of passage he picked cotton and tobacco, and used backboards driven by mules. He sung in the fields and absorbed the sound of the blues harp being played there.  And so Jackson began to sing his own blues with family and friends.

Upon moving back to New York, his father placed Jackson behind the congas in his band. Although it was a Salsa band, they often played the blues for his son. It was during this time that Jackson picked up saxophone, guitar and keyboard, but singing the blues remained his first love.

When Pedro invited Jackson over for a jam at his studio after having met each other at a blues jam, they instantly recognised that he had finally found a front man to be reckoned with.

Thereafter known as BB Factory’s “Toastmaster General”, Jackson is a natural singer able to transpose his voice from the soulful clean to the downright dirty blues shouting from the yesteryear.

Pedro Verhoeven – Guitar [NLD]

Also known as the “Professor” because of his work behind the studio console and perhaps for his experimental approach to improvised solos, Pedro found a musical partner in crime when he crossed paths with Jackson.

Born and raised in Holland until age 14, Pedro has been in several original blues/rock bands since arriving in Australia in the early 80’s.

Like his bandmates, it’s always been the Blues that Pedro has gravitated towards and enjoyed performing the most. It was a hidden track on his all original album ‘Being’ (1999) that showcased his love for improvised blues guitar.

As a regular at blues jams in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Pedro was able to discover the bandmates that would eventually complete BB Factory.

Cvitan Barac – Drums

Since graduating from SCU in 1999 (BContempMus), Cvitan has established himself as a veteran of the blues scene, having been a member of Blind Lemon for 11+ years he has played all the major blues festivals including Byron Blues &Roots and festival, Blues onBroadbeach, the Gympie Muster and many more.

As a sideman, Cvitan has played drums with the likes of Ray Beadle Band, Phil Emmanuel, Phil Manning, Vasti Jackson, Geoff Achison, Lazy Eye, Ross Ward (Wards Express Band Blues Band), Mick Reid Boogie Band, Andrew Baxter Band, BrodieGrahamBand, Wiley Reed Band, Dee Dee Lavell Band to mention just a few.

Affectionately known ashe “Human Metronome” or the “Manchine”, it was actually Cvitan’s ability to authentically play the full gamut of rolling, Texas, cross stick shuffles & swings that stood him out from the rest of the pack when Pedro was looking for BB Factory’s man behind the skins.

Bruce Crouch – Keys [AUS]

Bruce’s keyboard skills provide complementary tones and then some. A self taught talent from an early age, Bruce is originally from the Brisbane area and now resides in Northern NSW. With influences from Blues, Jazz, Rock and Country, Bruce brings a unique smooth style to the ebony and ivory.  Smoky Hammond organ and classic pianos are at the heart of his performances. Some of the bands Bruce has been associated with include Brisbane’s favourite powerhouse party band The Massive Fergusons, The Blue Lanes, Mark Ds Big Three, and Free Soul Collective.

Craig Hamilton – Bass [AUS]

Bass player Craig is originally from the Sunshine Coast and has played with a diverse cross section of bands over the years. One of the highlights was recording the Dave Hole produced Stones And Colours album (1995) and touring the UK and Europe throughout 1997 with the renowned international blues artist Rob Tognoni. He has lived in Brisbane for the last 15 years and made his mark with a number of blues bands including Howlin Time and Whiskey & Rye and various cover bands such as Rockbreaker, Down Under, Just Like That, A Noble Few, The Selfies, Flat Chat, We’re No Angels, Harro’s Party, Rastafarian Stagedivers, Space Cadet and Engineroom.

 

VOX POPULI – UNEDITED LISTENER REVIEWS

“Slow and sultry vibe intro that leads into silky-smooth blues vocals. Completely got into this as if I was a fish captured in a net. Perfectly matched vocals, lyrics and music. Loved this song and this artist knows what he’s doing. Thanks for this listening enjoyment. Amazing work! Keep it up!

— Reverbnation Crowd Review

“Nice. Very groovy very bluesy. The singer has some serious soul too. I like the guitar and piano voicings. The over all sound is just superb. Everything is balanced very well and the sound quality is awesome. The singer is definitely singing from the heart and I can tell that every word was thought out and has a good story to it

— Reverbnation Crowd Review

“Oh man I love it. Old school blues done right! Love the classic intro and the greasy guitar licks. Nice tinkling of the ivories in the second verse too. This singer has a great voice for the blues. Sings with real conviction. The guitar is hitting all the accents just right. This is an artist I’d love to see perform live. I’m happy this old genre is still getting new songs recorded and new artists are still playing it. I will always be a blues fan and we are legion.

— Reverbnation Crowd Review

“Amazing. Loved the lyrics and the perfect pitch voice of this artist. I loved the introduction right to the end. Very similar to the type of music i listen to. I thought the lyrics to this song was tastefully done. I felt the pitch in this artist voice was powerful and classy.

— Reverbnation Crowd Review

“This is really good blues. it reminds me of one of the kings of blues BB king my favorite blues artist. nice guitar and vocals I recommend it for the people who love old fashion american blues and other music of the sort. love passion and good music are what keeps people going.

— Reverbnation Crowd Review

“Amazing artist. The band played so well you can hear the jazz musicians play with their heart . This is the type of quality music that needs to be played every where! I felt that the artist and the band were very authentic with their music and sound. I I could hear the passion come come the lyrics! I really think this was a master at hand.

— Reverbnation Crowd Review

Becky Kapell – That Certain Ache

For Becky Kapell, the truth was out there. “I was listening to Terry Gross interview David Duchovny when The X Files were coming out again,” Kapell recalls. “She asked him about the relationship between Scully and Mulder, and he said, ‘Well, it definitely had that certain ache.’ And I just really liked that line and I knew what he meant.”

Thanks to Duchovny, Kapell came away with what would become the title of her new album, That Certain Ache. Kapell celebrates the release of the album with a show on Friday, May 18, at the Hook & Ladder in Minneapolis. Ahead of the release, Kapell, along with guitarist and album producer Paul Bergen, stopped at Radio Heartland for a conversation with Mike Pengra.

Although Duchovny provided the title, Kapell says the melodies are largely influenced by Dolly Parton. Kapell has long been inspired by classic country. “It probably started with Johnny Cash,” she says. “When I was a kid, my mom had all the 45s she’d bought from 1958 up to maybe 1962 or so. She had ‘Ring of Fire’ … I think that’s where it started.”

The video for the album’s title track was inspired by something special in Kapell’s house. “It’s actually a hand-painted mural,” Kapell explains. “I don’t know what year the mural was painted; the house was built in 1926. The mural was painted by the woman that lived there for 68 years, her name was Constance Hanson; her husband built the house. Sarah Jean Shervin, who directed that video, saw my bathroom at some point and decided to make a video in there of some sort, and then she heard my song ‘That Certain Ache’ and she was inspired to do that.”

 

Wood & Wire – North Of Despair

You can’t rightly say that bluegrass bands have never gone out of style, but they’ve certainly never gone away – even if they’re not as popular as they once were. Wood & Wire is a band that will make you glad bluegrass has never gone away.

It doesn’t take long to realize that this is traditional bluegrass. “Eliza” is a song that features some amazing picking – just like you hear from classic bluegrass acts like Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys. If the picking in this song doesn’t get you stomping your feet, it’s hard to know what will. The vocals also bring classic bluegrass to mind. It’s hard not to think of “Black-Eyed Susie” when you hear the chorus of this song.

One thing that has always been a staple of bluegrass is an instrumental song that allows all the band members to showcase their considerable skills. “Summertime Rolls” is one of the instrumental songs on this album, and you can’t help but be impressed with the picking. When you listen to the banjo and mandolin in particular, it’s hard to imagine fingers moving that quickly. Meanwhile, the bass player drives the song with a thumping bass line. Don’t be surprised if you’re out of breath just listening to this one. “Wingding” is another instrumental showcase for the band, It may not be as fast in tempo as “Summertime Rolls”, but it still shows what all the band members can do. It’s pretty difficult to stay still when you hear this one – especially when you hear the bass line.

“Just Don’t Make ’em” is another song that is incredibly impressive. The lyrics are about someone’s dad who would fix any broken thing by himself, and another man that built his own house by himself. As good as the lyrics are, the banjo is really the thing that grabs your attention. Throughout the song, Trevor Smith plays at a speed that is hard to comprehend. Even without seeing his hands, you know they were moving at an incredible speed when this song was recorded.

Like most traditional bluegrass, this album features a lot of short songs. It contains 11 songs, but only lasts for 39 minutes, which leaves you wanting more of the amazing picking and harmony vocals. If you’re a fan of bluegrass, this is an album you should add to your collection.