Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review "Walkin’ Through the Fire" – Scott Ellison (JSE Records)

By Rick J Bowen 
Oklahoma guitar man Scott Ellison is out to take no prisoners with his new release Walkin' Through Fire on JSE Records. This strong fifteen song set is a dance party disc meant to get listeners up on their feet. Each tracks features Ellison's fiery fret work and raspy howl , who at times sounds like a mix of Delbert McClinton meets Bob Dylan, especially the two beat stomper "No Way To Live."

Ellison's partner Walt Richmond can be credited with the tight arrangements and mix sounds and the tasty addition of the Hot Tamale horns, although the use of electronic drums feels a tad unauthentic at times. Ellison's wit is also on display here with the snappy venom of barrel house rambler "You Talk Too Much," and the terrifically sarcastic "The Man Who Shot Mustang Sally." Walking through the Fire is a fine collection of rockin' blues, and soul from an under the radar artist.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Review "Live at the Yale" - Bump Kitchen (self released)

By  Malcolm Kennedy
Bump Kitchen is one of the finest R&B outfits around and Live at the Yale catches them at the storied Yale Hotel in Vancouver, B.C. giving our neighbors to the north a taste of the good stuff. Unfortunately The Yale closed on November 21st of this year, but the spirit lives on in the record.

The 10 song set of originals (many written by Jho Blenis) features mostly songs from their 2002 release Big Ol’ Bones and a few cuts from their most recent studio release, 2009s Who Ordered the Waffle?, including both title tracks. Bump Kitchen plays across the Pacific Northwest region and the state performing at all the major festivals, most recently at this years Fall Sunbanks and Taste of Music in Snohomish. They have played at Bumbershoot, the Taste of Seattle, Edmonds and Tacoma and clubs everywhere.

Photo By Bill Bungard
On Live at the Yale, Bump Kitchen is sporting a new line up since Waffle with the addition of multiple, Washington Blues Society Best of Blues Award winning horn man Tom Mazzuca, saxophone, percussion and minus Jho Blenis-Saucier, guitar. Band leaders Everett James-Chef de Cuisine, drummer and Tony Harper-Sous Chef, vocals and percussion along with Chefs de Partie Mark Bittler, keyboards, vocals; Joe Bevens, bass, vocals; David Broyles (who Tony worked with in Mother’s Friends) guitar, vocals and and this kitchen produces some tasty stuff. From the strutting funk of songs like “Don’t Doubt” and “Big Ol’ Bones” to the slow R&B ballad “I Broke My Baby’s Heart” and the humorous true life story of “Who Ordered the Waffle?”

I particularly enjoyed “Back In The Day” from Waffle with its 1970’s soul groove that I am sure packed the dance floor for some cheek to cheek grinding. They cap off this 2011 live set with a brand new song with the quick paced organ driven instrumental groove “Runnin’ From The Kitchen” which also gives Tom a chance to really stretch out with some dazzling sax lines and David to lay down some fiery guitar licks. On Live at the Yale, Bump Kitchen provides a hearty spread of spicy R&B that will satiate your musical appetite.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review - "Too Faced" - James King & the Southsiders (Car Trunk Records)

By Malcolm Kennedy
You know James King from his long stint as one of the Big Rockin’ Daddies, and before with several other notable groups Now he is the front man of his own band, the 2011 Washington Blues Society Best of Blues Award winning Best New Band, James King and the Southsiders. From honking sax, satin vocals to wailing harp and top drawer showmanship Jim has got it all going and it is evident on his debut release Too Faced.

Photo By Laddy Kite
James barely put his crew (Steve Blood, guitar, Arlin Harmon, keyboards, vocals; Billy Spaulding, drums, vocals and Bermuda Dave, bass) when he brought them together to do a one-take demo with no over dubs. He brought the guys back later for Too Faced which includes five songs from the demo, and eight others that take you from Chicago to Texas by way of St Louis rocking all the way to Louisiana. From the squealing sax on the first cut “90 MPH” where Jim references James Brown to his dazzling blues harp closing out “Country Girl” the 13 selections, which clock in at over 70 minutes, are all keepers. My favorites include Jim’s sweet vocals on Chuck Calhoun’s (“Shake Rattle and Roll;” “Flip, Flop, Fly”) chestnut “Smack Dab in the Middle,” soul man Tyrone Davis’ “Zydeco Bugaloo,” which will have you up out of your chair and I never tire of another great version of Lowell Fulson’s classic “Reconsider Baby” rendered here with a touch of swing.

The Southsiders are in the studio putting together a follow-up CD packed with originals, so until that CDs out, go see this award winning band live. I highly recommend this year’s Too Faced – it’s got blues and rock and roll to satisfy your soul

Editor's note:  I don't have a purchase link to post. You'll have to catch them live to buy a CD, or contact them via their website at JamesKingBlues.com.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rod Cook: The Quiet, Nice, and Shy Guitar Monster

By Robert Horn
Photo by Todd Harrison
For some time I have been thinking of writing an article about Rod Cook. I consider Rod one of the best guitar players in the region, and yet he is not as well-known as I think he should be. He did get a little attention beyond the Pacific Northwest when Vicci Martinez became a national celebrity on the NBC-TV show “The Voice,” and many fans looked her up on YouTube. They may have heard some of her songs and the amazing guitar riffs by her lead guitar player. Some may have thought it was Carlos Santana, but then realized that this guy has his own style instead of someone else’s. He also plays in other bands, including Snake Oil, Rod Cook and Toast, and Rod Cook as a solo act. This summer, Rod performed at a number of festivals, including the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival with Mia Vermillion. I met Rod at Bahama Breeze near the Southcenter Mall, and we talked for a couple hours.

Photo by Blues Boss
RH: How did your interest in music start, and what lead to the blues?

RC: My family was not really musical, but probably what I think got me into it was my brother started playing guitar. He’s four and a half years older than me… and so that is about the time when I started listening to rock and roll radio. It was in the mid 1960’s. My parents were into the big band sound which I didn’t really appreciate so much then. I think I was around nine years old I got a guitar… a $14 dollar acoustic guitar. I primarily taught myself by listening to the radio and was shown a few things. It was a fairly hard guitar to play so I took my time at it. By the time I was around 13 or 14 I got my first electric guitar and that really started to open things up. I started playing with bands in high school playing for after school parties and junior high dances.

RH: You probably listened to all the rock bands of the time, right?

RC: Yeah, I was certainly listening to all that was on the radio at the time and that’s when the British Invasion was going on, and then the American equivalent: The Byrds, The Beachboys, and I liked the Yardbirds a lot. Then later on when things started to change a little more with Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, and a little later on with Fleetwood Mack, Van Morrison, and all the usual suspects.

RH: You have a variety of musical interests, not just blues rock, right?

RC: Yeah, but I was never into the hard rock thing. Bands like Black Sabbath never really did anything for me. I appreciate them more now than I did then. Johnny Winter was one of my favorite guys when I was pretty young. The bands I was in played a little “Johnny B. Good” and whatever we could play that didn’t suck. Later on Little Feet and Steely Dan became favorites. I got into listening to Jazz, got a little education in it. After graduating from high school, I went to Green River Community College and took some jazz classes. By the time that was done I was looking for people to play with.

RH: What time period was that?

RC: The mid-70s. In ’76 I was 20 years old, and a guy I wanted to play with who I met through my older brother, was putting a band together and wanted me to play bass, and I said “yeah.” It was kind of a country rock thing. That was my first professional gig. That band lasted a couple years. It introduced me to the country rock scene of the 70s with Emmy Lou Harris and Jerry Jeff Walker. I wasn’t really familiar with it before. When that band broke up, I was in another band that turned into The Royals. That band was together about ten years. It was an eclectic band. We eventually started playing some blues stuff. Jim King was in that band. Before Jim, John Hodgkin was in that band, too. When Jim joined the band he brought in some Springsteen stuff and I brought in some Little Feat stuff. That band was really pretty successful. It worked. For a long time it worked.

RH: So you were able to play music professionally most of that time?

RC: Yeah, I actually haven’t had a real full time job since I was about 21 years old.

RH: How did you do that?

RC: Well I was poor. I didn’t have much overhead. Getting back to The Royals now. Lilly Wild joined the band, and it was called Lily Wild and the Hysterics. When she left it reverted back to The Royals. We lasted another year or so and I had started playing with Laura Love. I played with her for about 15 years. She got a record deal and toured the country. We played a lot of festivals. It was a great experience. It was a great gig. I hooked up with Curley Cooke, too, and we later performed as Double Cookin’.

RH: Were you on the road a lot in the 90’s.

RC: Yeah, a lot of flying.

RH: I can see the evolution toward blues.

RC: Yeah, in the 80s, I went back and looked at the early blues. I was kind of interested in mastering, or at least handling, jazz, so that was a big influence. You learn how people think, when you sit down and learn their souls, and what they are doing and why they are doing it. Later on I started realizing how really cool guys like Chuck Berry, T-Bone Walker, Freddy King, guys who were more simply players than the English guys that I gravitated to when I was younger. I learned why it was they had such influence.

RH: I first heard you over ten years ago at a Washington Blues Society meeting, and you were there as Rod Cook and Toast. How did that band come about?

RC: Well in The Royals we all split the duties. I had a gig with Curley at Forecasters. Curly couldn’t make it so I called Chris Leighton and Keith Lowe. It was only a two hour gig and we didn’t have a lot of material. We had a couple more gigs and I added some original material. Usually I was a side man, but out of necessity, I did this. It has never been an ambition to have my own band. Maybe if I had a manager they would do something with it. I am really proud of that band, great players. It is a little eclectic. I am still, by nature, more of a side man. I am not great at connecting with the crowd and being an entertainer. If you really want to make a goal of having your own band you have to book a lot of gigs and it is a pain in the ass. Guys like Too Slim decided to make a go at it and do it that way. I like playing with a lot of people. With the Laura Love Band, I could play with them. Then come back home, play in my own band and do my own thing. When the Vicci Martinez Band came along it was sort of the same thing: it had serious potential and this is going to be my priority. That band has been a wonderful experience, they are wonderful people!

RH: I was recently talking to Blues Boss, and he said two things: 1) He thinks you are the best guitar player in the region, and 2) Vicci would say that she is a better musician because of you. Rod interrupted me and asked of the Blues Boss: “What does he know?” He then joked about himself for a while, and told me Blues Boss suggested the idea of one of “Snake Oil”. Rod told about how he likes working with Snake Oil bandmates Mark Riley and Rob Moitoza.

Photo by Blues Boss
RC: I love working with Rob. He is an extremely talented guy. He is a good song writer, too. I think he’s brilliant. Mark’s a great guitarist, too!

RH: What is next? Is there a new album in the works?

RC: I am thinking of doing a solo acoustic thing. I have been doing a lot of that lately. I have fragments of things written, and I have thought of doing an instrumental album.

RH: Your singing is ok too. Actually I think it is a lot better than “ok.”

RC: Nice of you to say that but I consider myself a guitar player who sings as opposed to a singer/guitar player. I have been writing some instrumentals but have had a lyric block lately. I have a few songs I have written that I am proud of and think are good songs.

RH: Do some songs come when you have decided you wanted to get one written or when a life experience hit you?

RC: Yeah, that’s more the way it has worked with me. Someone like Paul Simon may set aside a certain amount of time every day to work on lyrics for music.

RH: Two songs you do one after the other a lot are “I Ain’t The Fool I Used to Be” which sounds hurt and bitter, and it is followed by “I Want to Be In Love Tonight” which sounds like you are ready to try again. Where did those come from?

RC: “I Ain’t The Fool” was kind of a fictional song because I wanted to write that type of hurt blues song, and “I Want To Be In Love Tonight” was about a crush I had. I feel good about both of those songs, they aren’t trite.

Photo by Blues Boss
Rod talked about his current schedule. Every Wednesday, he is at PC’s Pub in Everett, and on Thursdays, he is at CC’s Lounge in Burien with Chris Leighton. He also is playing with The Little Bill Trio at Johnny’s Dock in Tacoma, plays with Snake Oil, Rod Cook and Toast, and The Vicci Martinez Band when it is performing live in the region.

Who knows? We may see Rod more on the national stage where he belongs, even if he acts bashful when I told him that. We talked about his Best of the Blues Awards from the Washington Blues Society, too. Rod was nominated 24 times for a BB Award before receiving honors in the Best Acoustic Guitar category in 2004 and 2006, and that same year, he received the Best Electric guitar award. I’m guessing that Rod may have been overly modest about his count of nominations, too.

There are some nights when Rod plays acoustic, or electric, or slide (electric or acoustic) and you wonder if anyone can be better than that. He is a treasure to have in this region, and just maybe one of the best kept musical secrets of the great state of Washington.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Travelin’ Light with The Astro Cats!

My little yarn, like many sordid epics, begins at the Barrel Tavern in Burien, on a Saturday night. Let's say it was rainy. The Barrel is a "mid-century" root beer/burger stand turned biker bar that is watering hole and community gathering spot for a diverse patchwork of acquaintances and friends collected through the fusion of music.

On that ostensibly normal Saturday night in October, if you happened to be in, oh, let's say a mile radius of the Barrel, you would have been sucked inside by the vortex of hot fun emanating from the remarkable musical interaction of The Astro Cats.

I interviewed drummer Charlie McDowell, who hatched the concept for this band years ago (protracted trademark litigation bound the band name Astro Cats up until March of this year).

"The first booking with the Astro Cats was with Scott E. Lind and Tom Austin,” said Charlie. “After that the band grew to include Hank Yanda, Billy Shew, Brian Lee and Angelo Guerrero. In reality, there are two different bands, and sometimes three, with a 'family' of musicians. The Astro Cats represent a true variety band ranging in music styles from Scott E. Lind's awesome screaming guitar, to Indy Pop and classic rock from Billy Shew, to a more blues and roots-based sound of Brian Lee. In any case, the mission is clear that anytime the Astro Cats brand shows up, it brings 'quality' shows up with it."

"The band is unique in the fact that we deliver a power house sound as a trio featuring Scott Lind and Tom Austin,” continued Charlie. “We also work as a four piece with Billy Shew, Brian Lee, Hank Yanda and me playing a combination of music I like to call 'Rockblusion'. Then just when you thought you've heard it all, we bring in the amazing saxophone of Angelo Guerrero for an incredibly unique different sound.

The line-up at the Barrel that Saturday night featured Charlie, Scott, and Tom. Of course, I don’t wan’t to forget MoJo sitting in on vocals at the Barrel!

"Everyone knows that bands can be a very challenging proposition,” said Charlie. “This kind of set up gives everyone the space they need to do other things and we all still get to play together and keep it fun and interesting. The Astro Cats are more about live music than anything else. We have no touring plans or nor do we plan to work in the studio."

Charlie spoke of difficult times last year when band mate Michael Kahler passed away so suddenly.

"I was one of the drummers playing with the Kahler Band up until his death in December of 2010,” he said.

“We really had some serious stuff going on, and quite frankly, after he passed I was really in the dumps. A month and a half later I was awarded my official trademark, and friends advised me that I really needed to move on, 'as Michael would want.' I just started planning, and one thing led to another, and here we are. At the end of November we will have played 81 shows this year since the beginning of March. There is so much talent in this area we just want to be a part of it and make our contribution."

Things appear to be really picking up for the Astro Cats based on the personal excellence of the individual musicians, great chemistry between band members, a wide variety of styles, and entertaining, danceable tunes. Scott Lind was “ON FIRE” according to the notes I took that night. I know you will thoroughly enjoy this band. Check out their website for band bio, calendar and selected preview cuts: www.theastrocats.com, or www.charliemcdowell.com.

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Crime-A-Billy Christmas" - The Strange Tones (Meteor Sonic Records)

By Eric Steiner
This year’s Washington Blues Society party at the Red Hook Brewery on December 11th features our 2012 International Blues Challenge competitors The WIRED! Band and the  Norris and Nicely duo.  The Strange Tones round out the bill with Eric Law’s Dirty Rice Band.   

The StrangeTones have consistently won coveted Muddy awards at the Cascade Blues Association in the Best Contemporary Blues, Best Video, Best Electric Guitar, and Recording of the Year categories since 2005.  They were inducted into to the Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame in 2007, and their latest CD is ablues Christmas CD.  The instrumentals of “Little Drummer Boy” “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “We Three Kings” update these age-old holiday classics with an edgy, Strange Tones feel, and “Crime-A-BillyChristmas” is fun as Suburban Slim channels Elvis expertly. 

The CD features 14 tracks, most are rockabilly (sorry, “Crime-A-Billy”) infused.  “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” would be at home on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, and there’s a fun audio postcard from the band. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, turn up “Auld Lang Syne” toasting in 2012. Guitar Julie’s vocals and guitar spice up this CD as does Suburban Slim’s guitar playing.  The rhythm section of Andy Strange on bass and Andy Gauthier on drums propel the tunes along, and I found myself thinking back to Henry Mancini’s classic “Peter Gunn Theme” when the guitarists took center stage. It’s part of the “Crime-A-Billy” approach and a lot of fun. The CD packaging offers a bar code that opens Crime-A-Billy Christmas Land with a mystery holiday gift. The pictures of the band and their Volcano Vixens as children are a hoot, and the CD shows the band enjoying holiday grog.

Give a listen to tracks on the CD by CLICKING HERE

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2012 Washington Blues Society Best of the Blues (“BB Awards”) Nominations

It's that time of year again. No, I don't mean the holidays! It's time for members of the Washington Blues Society to make their nominations for the 2012 Best of the Blues Awards (BB Awards). The BB Awards started in 1991 with 25 categories. In 1996 the Lifetime Achievement Award was added bringing the category total to 26. The nominations are due by February 15, 2012.

Photo by Michelle Burge
Who can nominate? Only current Washington Blues Society members are eligible to nominate artists or other nominees in the annual awards process. To make nominations, simply write the name of the Washington artist, nominee, or party in the category on the ballot on page 31 of the December 2011 Bluesletter. Members are encouraged to nominate in as many categories as possible. There is no requirement to fill in each slot; leaving some categories blank will not disqualify your nomination! Your nomination must be on the Bluesletter mailed to you with your mailing label attached. For couple’s nominations, a photocopy for the second ballot should be included in a sealed envelope along with the original ballot that has the mailing label attached. 

So, if you want to participate, get your membership application in now!! You can download the application HERE. 

Photo by Tim Burge
If you're not a member of the society and don't plan on being one soon, then do the next best thing: post your comments about who you think should be nominated! That's the beauty of social media right? Point out to members which Washington State based artists should be nominated. And musicians, don't forget to get a shameless plug in as well!!

And the categories are...

Mark Dufresne Male Vocalist Award
Blues Female Vocalist
Electric Blues Guitar
Slide Blues Guitar
Blues Bass
Chris Leighton Blues Drummer Award
Blues Horn
Paul Green Blues Harmonica Award
Blues Piano / Keyboard
Acoustic Blues Guitar
Blues Act
Traditional Blues Act
Solo/Duo Blues Act
New Blues Band
Blues Performer
Blues Songwriter
Washington Blues Recording
Blues Club
Blues Writer
Blues Image
Blues Graphic Artist
Blues DJ
Keeping the Blues Alive Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
Washington Blues Society Hall of Fame
Non-Festival Blues Event
Blues Festival
Open Blues Jam

Here is a list of past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the inductees of the Washington Blues Hall of Fame (past winners are not eligible for future nominations):

Hall of Fame
 Lifetime Achievement
Isaac Scott

Dick Powell

Little Bill Engelhart
Buck England
Leslie Milton
Patti Allen
 Bobby "Blue" Bland, B.B. King,
  & John Lee Hooker
Duffy Bishop
John Mayall
Rich Dangle
 Little Bill Engelhart
  & Luther Allison
Charles White
& Kathi McDonald
 Dick Powell & Buddy Guy
Nick Vigarino/Dave Conant
 Isaac Scott & Taj Mahal
Mark DuFresne
 Patti Allen
Randy Oxford
 Dave Conant
Mark Whitman
 Rich Dangle
Alice Stuart
 Patti Allen
Dave Conant
 Randy Oxford & Mark Whitman
Jack Cook
 Tommy Morgan
David Brewer
 Fat James Grosvenor
Paul Green
 Alice Stuart
Kirk "KT" Tuttle
 Kirk "KT" Tuttle
Nick Vigarino, Chris Leighton
 Lee Oskar
LJ Porter
 Charles White

The Keeping the Blues Alive award is open to performers and non-performers alike and can be won multiple times. This award is intended to honor the recipient for their achievements above and beyond the "call of duty” to keep blues music alive. Examples include a promoter of a benefit, a special show a festival, a blog (hint, hint!); maybe as a volunteer or a historian, possibly doing work to present and pass the music on to new generations or in other ways sustaining the blues. This award was first given in 1993 and the following list is presented as a reference and as a reminder of the hard work and dedication to this American art form by individuals in your community.

Here is the list of past Keeping the Blues Alive award winners:

Patrick Lynch
Cholo Willsin
Rod Downing
Rikki & Kevin Cates
Raven& Sheri Humphres
Robert & Carol Sawyer
Marlee Walker

Marlee Walker
Ken Page & Frankie Lee
Randy Oxford
Leslie Fleury
Rev. Dave Brown
Randy Oxford
Jeff Hayes & Lloyd Peterson
Jimie Jean Tuttle
Rhea Rolfe
Dennis "Blues Boss" Dudley
Highway 99 Blues Club
Tim & Michelle Burge

Remember blues society members... It's your nomination, make it count!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review - "Identity Theft" - Brian Lee and The Orbiters

By Rick J Bowen 
Fans of straight ahead blues will be quite pleased with Identity theft, the new release from Brian Lee and The Orbiters. This fine collection of eleven new tunes penned by Lee are easy on the ears and filled with sweet musical moments. Silky smooth vocals, fine guitar and harmonica playing have long been the hall mark of Lee’s live shows and are presented here with perfection.

Photo by Melissa Rae
The Orbiters were formed in 1999 and have been a consistent draw around the Seattle area ever since. Lee draws upon the talent of two other guitar players, Steve Yonck and Tim Sherman and two drummers Conrad Ormsby and Russ Kammerer, but his right hand man is Hank Yanda whose bass playing holds it all together.

Photo by Laddy Kite
Standout tracks are swinging opener “Fine Line” featuring fiery harp from Lee and blazing guitar from Sherman. On “So Lucky,” Lee surprises us with by adding the Vibes to his bag of tricks and lifts this medium shuffle to something sublime. The playful “I Smell a Rat,” allows Lee to rip out some molten slide guitar, and the low down blues of “On the Ropes,” shows just how smooth Lee’s vocals can be. The rumba flavored instrumental “Fourth and Miles,” will no doubt be a favorite of the dance floor. “Blast Off,” closes out the album and shows just what The Orbiters do best, giving us some swinging blues with tradeoff solo’s and a call to “go out on the town, have some fun, and lay our burdens down,” isn’t that what the blues is all about.

CLICK HERE to listen to track samples and purchase Identity Theft

Thursday, October 27, 2011

November 8, 2011 WBS Blues Bash - A Long Time Friend Back in Town

The Washington Blues Society (WBS) is honored to have a long time friend back in town for a very special Blues Bash performance at the November 8,  2011 WBS Blues Bash @ 7PM. For details on the November Blues Bash CLICK HERE. If you haven't attend a WBS Blues Bash before, you are missing out!! Come get your groove on, meet lot's of great people and enjoy fantastic music.

World renown Portland Oregon roots artist Lloyd Jones has recorded six critically acclaimed albums, toured internationally, and racked up dozens of major awards and accolades. In April 2011 Lloyd released his seventh CD 'Highway Bound Lloyd Jones Traditional Folk Blues' was released on the Seattle based Underworld Records. Since then it has found itself on the Blues Charts from its very respectable radio play across the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia.

This is the new release from Lloyd's 2010 sessions at Seattle's Mouse Recording Studio with his Martin 0018, Regal Steal Body, Danelectro Guitars and his Mighty Red Plate Amp; and is an amazing intimate production paying respect, simply and honestly, to some of Lloyd's favorite Folk Blues.

Currently Lloyd latest CD "Highway Bound" is nominated for consideration for both the Folk Blues - Blues Foundation Award and a Blues category GRAMMY!

Lloyd is a relentless road dog, hitting festival stages, Delbert’s annual Sandy Beaches Cruises (he’s been a regular on six winter cruises), and clubs all across the land to enthusiastic crowds who can’t get enough of his swampy blues, his back porch picking, his serious-as-anthrax funk, soul, roadhouse two-beats, and old-school rhythm and blues.

Too cool to have him join us at November's Blues Bash. Don't miss this very special night! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kilborn Alley Blues Band Releases 'Four' Nov. 22; Tracklist And Album Artwork Revealed

By Josh Hathaway  
Award-winners Kilborn Alley Blues Band (KABB) will release their new album Four via Blue Bella Records on Nov. 22 and have released album artwork as well as the complete tracklisting for the upcoming set.

Four follows their critically acclaimed Better Off Now and features 11 original songs produced and mixed by Nick Moss. The band recorded the set as a four-piece with frontman Andrew Duncanson sharing guitar duties with Josh Stimmel and Chris Breen and Ed O’Hara again handling bass and drums respectively.

I don’t want to tease my review too much but I’ve heard the entire album so I'll share a few of the details to whet your appetite. The album was recorded as a quartet as I mentioned earlier but a few guest musicians contribute to a handful of tracks: Gerry Hundt blows some serious harp for three cuts, Vince Salerno provides a little greasy sax on a pair of songs, and Travis Reed (Nick Moss & The Flip Tops) delivers big time, adding organ on several tunes.

Four includes the longest track to grace a KABB studio record with album closer “Going Hard” eclipsing 10 minutes. There is once again an instrumental track, “Argyles And A Do-Rag”; the title being an homage to guitarist Stimmel.

One final nugget about the record: I pity those of us who can’t dance because a couple of these tunes pretty well demand and command the body to move to the groove. There are going to be many, many “Elaine” dances at KABB shows or parties where this album is cranked. I'm actually a little worried about this because I'm seeing them for the first time next Friday. I'm extremely excited about hearing them play. The horrifying dancing? I may well need a designated driver to make it through their final set of the night.

So, yes, tour dates in support of the upcoming record are underway and you should check out their web site for tour dates!

Kilborn Alley Blues Band - Four
1. ’Rents House Boogie (2:55)
2. Wandering (4:57)
3. Couple Of Days (Change My Ways) (5:00)
4. Fast Heart Beat (4:16)
5. You Were My Woman (4:38)
6. 22nd Street (3:06)
7. Argyles And A Do-Rag (3:11)
8. Good Advice (4:06)
9. Sitting On The Bank (3:58)
10. Dressed Up Messed Up (2:28)
11. Going Hard (10:26)

Monday, October 24, 2011

New CD Release by The Stacey Jones Band Due Out November 1st

The Stacy Jones Band, winner of the 2010 Best Female Vocalist and 2009 Best New Band awards from the Washington Blues Society, has a new disc scheduled for release on November 1st.   

The new CD, titled No Need to Spell it Out, contains 11 original tracks including an eight minute jam epic track titled Cry A love Song. The band has been working hard on the new disc since last spring. New and long time fans of the Stacey Jones Band will not be dissapointed. On the tails of their 2010 release Long Time Comin', the band continues to bring their excellent musicianship, songwriting and dynamic arrangements forward with this new release.

Preview the tracks "Glory Bound" and "Heavy Water" from the upcoming release, No Need to Spell it Out, in the player below:

You can pre-order now for an early order bargain price of $14 each by sending an email to Pre-orders@stacyjonesband.com.

Twenty-Something Stacy Jones not only impresses with a vocal richness beyond her years but is also a top-notch harmonica player as well as playing keyboards and acoustic guitar. The entertaining trio of Rick Bowen (drums), Tom Jones (bass) and Jeff Menteer (guitar) provides the foundation for a strong ensemble sound and the band’s obvious joy of making music together is constantly commented on. 

In 2009 The Stacy Jones Band took the Seattle music scene by storm, playing over 115 gigs & festivals as well as winning the Best New Band award from The Washington State Blues Society. The band released a limited edition CD Live at the Triple Door, in September. The Stacy Jones Band’s first full length CD, Long Time Comin, was released in January 2010 and continues to receive strong airplay and is now in its second pressing. 2011 looks promising for this Northwest favorite.