Archive for September, 2013

23
Sep
13

MONKEYJUNK-ALL FREQUENCIES-“NO STATIC MONKEY BUSINESS”-CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

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Bridging the vibe of  R. L. Burnside’s Mississippi Blues with  blues rock power has MonkeyJunk coming in with no static on their new album All Frequencies.

From the heat of Tony D’s stunning guitar solo on Say What (not the SRV track) to the gumbo-osity of the very catchy You Make A Mess over to the almost Big Sugar vibe of Sirens In The Night MJ’s  sound is evolving.

Without a doubt Steve Marriner’s lead vocals and harp/baritone guitar shine brightly over the spectrum of this album

Elsewhere drummer Matt Sob’s groove always sticks while pushing the band.

Whether it’s propelling Jah Nah Say Kwah or reacting dynamics with Marriner and Tony D on the excellent Yearning for Yesterday Sob is integral to MJ’s sound

Either way there is wedge of mojo that all three players whip into each track that is totally unique.

As I write this the coolest instrumental of the last 5 years titled Swank sounds like an outtake from a 70’s Barney Miller episode.

And yep that’s cool folks!

And so is this album.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, online radio host and blues/roots songwriter with Canada’s blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN. The band have just released their third album The World’s Gone Crazy https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

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16
Sep
13

THE RIDES-CAN’T GET ENOUGH-“BLUES INFUSED PASSION” CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

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The Rides new album firmly establishes that Blues Rock played with conviction and passion is an artistic force.

While Stephen Stills and Kenny Wayne Shepherd share front man and guitar duties, people probably forget that Barry Goldberg practically invented blues rock. Yes, he was the keyboard player in The Electric Flag and the Paul Butterfield Band and he just may be The Rides secret weapon.

That aside this album comes down to passion. Songs like Only Teardrops Fall  and Can’t Get Enough of Loving You,  written by Stills, Goldberg and Shepherd and their slow smoking cover of Honey Bee, and the groove run on Elmore James’ Talk to Me Baby sound like these guys are having fun!

Drummer Chris Layton and bassist Kevin McCormick just kill whether it’s on Roadhouse or the covers of Rockin’ In The Free World or The Stooges Search and Destroy.

Word Game an older gem written by Stills is a tour de force. it is without a doubt a searing highlight of this album

The stereo mix by Eric Thorngren on this album is a total blast. Essentially the band sounds real.

What a concept.

Real music by real players

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, online radio host and musician with Canadian Blues Rockers. THE SHAFTMEN. www.theshaftmen.com

16
Sep
13

THE SHAFTMEN’S NEW SINGLE. THE WORLD’S GONE CRAZY..SHOWS THE BLUES CANUCK ROCKERS MAKING A MOVE TO THE PASSING LANE-BY JOHN EMMS

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The Shaftmen are cruising in the passing lane. The band’s new single and title track/ video takes the best of Paul Butterfield and The Electric Flag era of the 60’s and jump starts it’s electric blues into 2013

The Shaftmen are creating a sound that’s original and hip

Try it on for size,,…video..is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HGDC9V_1I0

https://www.facebook.com/theshaftmen

www.theshaftmen.com

 

09
Sep
13

SOUTHSIDE SHUFFLE SOUL..Walking Through The Heart of The Blues-BY JOHN EMMS

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Recently I was walking through the Heart of the Blues 800 kilometers from my home.

You know, it felt good.

Didn’t know a soul or hardly a face in thousands of people.

Sure, I had some musical friends I wanted to see and had my guitar strapped into the backseat along with our band

But I felt a kinship in a crowd that I could not put my finger on.

We’re all searching for something, right?

Been to many festivals, played a few too.

But what was this extra feeling?

Maybe Southside Shuffle had the Soul? The Vibe?.  But was it more than just the music?

Yes, we all know the healing power music can bring

So what is this magic ingredient that I felt at Southside Shuffle that I have not felt at other music festivals

From my observation it could be the look I caught in a fan’s eye as Chuck Jackson wrung out his soul  during a knockout performance of Joe Cocker’s version of With A Little Help From My Friends with the killer chops of The Mad Dogs Englishmen tribute show grooving in.

That fan was gone. Caught up in the moment.

Then again, maybe all the people down front knew that  Jackson and staff had put the work in to make It happen again.

15 years again that is

Maybe it was when David Vest stopped his show and said here is a heartfelt song and wish for Lester Chambers (Time Has Come Today) and then sung People Get Ready a song that Chambers was assaulted for singing after mentioning Trayvon Martin.

That my friends is the real thing.

Maybe it was the gospel of Thornetta Davis or Danny Brooks, the roots of The Weber Brothers and the uptown blues of master guitar man Jack De Keyzer that had fans in euphoria

Heck, it could have been the joy on the faces as people jammed in the Spice Lounge to welcome our band The Shaftmen.

Some fellas from 800 kilometers away singing original songs bred from mining life in Timmins Ontario.

What has Mining and the blues go to do with life in Port Credit Ontario?

Apparently a lot.

Maybe it was everyone’s fave rock n’ roll soldier Sab bravely yelling out 19 more fffffffff…times recovering from recent and ongoing medical treatment.

Heck, that Sab cat has got the cajones eh?

I can’t list everyone but I do know one gospel truth.

You have to believe in people.

I have seen it up close.

You see,  when volunteers, musicians, regular folk, and good corporate sponsors with ties to the community work very hard, the end result is the healing power of music.

Today I spent some time with my grandson.

Hey, Poppa did you enjoy yourself?

Yes, James I did, and it’s good to be back home with you

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio host and founding member of The Shaftmen www.theshaftmen.com

05
Sep
13

THE KENDALL WALL BAND-THE WAY WE WAS-CD REVIEW-“INSPIRED BLUES BLAST IS A REVELATION” BY JOHN EMMS

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No blues aficionado should be without this album. It’s required listening

Sounding fresh and vital this set of songs by the Kendall Wall Band proves that good playing and groove never goes out of style. Bassist Gary Kendall who has always had great taste has out did himself rescuing these ‘lost tapes’ from 25 years ago.

Most of the rest of Canada never got a chance to see The Kendall Wall Band. Cash Wall who died in 2009 is in fine form on his own You Got A Way and Won’t You Stay both with gorgeous changes that could easily be a hits on the radio in 2013

Elsewhere guitarist Richard Smyth sparkles on everything he touches and a younger Teddy Leonard delivers as ever (check out the vibrato on Just One More Time)  Piano man Martin Aucoin, and harp player Jeff Baker who also sings lead vocal on two tracks come off seasoned and eclectic.

Bassist Gary Kendall could easily score a hit radio single with the gospel track I Don’t Know (what This World’s Coming To)  Heck if 2013 needed an anthem for this troubled world then this track is almost as good as classic period Motherlode (When I Die)

Drawing equally from all parts of the blues this cd is a revelation.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio host and blues rocker with Canada’s Shaftmen https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

05
Sep
13

DAVID GOGO-COME ON DOWN-CD REVIEW..”ROOTS, ROCK REVIVAL”

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There is a richness of tone and sheer joy of playing  that is at the heart of David Gogo’s latest album Come On Down. It’s not a stretch to say this roots album by the Canadian guitarist would sit well as you are cruising down Route 66.

Original Songs like Call Your Name, the title track and Kings have a Peter Wolf/Stones vibe while Blue Eyed Daisy owes more to the Southern Rock of 38 Special than to the million selling blues revival of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble.

With plenty of covers including  Christine McVie’s  Spare Me A Little of Your Love and ARS’s So Into You this cd is by no means a straight blues album.

Having said that Gogo is an excellent guitarist and whips off some nasty slide guitar on Lindsey Buckingham’s World Turning, nails a muscular take of The Faces Bad n’ Ruin and even rocks the dance/pop groove on a cover of Robert Palmer’s Looking For Clues.

Despite the different styles you will find yourself playing this album a lot for friends.

That is never a bad thing folks!

JOHN EMMS is veteran music journalist, online radio host  https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/superb-song-choices-john-emms/id376049866?mt=2 and singer-songwriter with blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN www.theshaftmen.com




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