Archive for July, 2014

24
Jul
14

READ JOHN’S TOUCHING ODE TO JOHNNY WINTER ON THIS BLOG/CHECK OUT JOHN MAYALL’S LATEST CD/HEAR THE SHAFTMEN’S LATEST CD

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

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24
Jul
14

ERIC CLAPTON & FRIENDS-THE BREEZE-CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS-AN APPRECIATION OF JJ CALE-“JEAN JACQUES SMILES AGAIN”

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One year after  JJ Cale’s death Eric Clapton & Friends capture the simple beauty and roots nature of  Cale’s Americana’ vibe on this new album.

On tracks like the superb Cajun Moon, The Same Old Blues with Tom Petty and especially Sensitive Kind featuring Don White, Clapton and Friends get to the essence of Cale’s work from albums like Naturally and Troubadour.

John Mayer grooves natural with Clapton on Lies, and rocks with him on Don’t Wait.

Christine Lakeland and Derek Trucks add the gorgeous subtle touch to Cryin’ Eyes while Mark Knopfler’s distinctive vocal and chops work the beauty of the track Someday.

The prettiest moment on the cd besides Willie Nelson’s take on Songbird is again John Mayer with the eloquent Magnolia.

Cale’s legacy was left in good hands and Jean Jacques is smiling and grooving.

Each listen I get more relaxed.

This cd is available July 29th

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio host and blues/roots singer-songwriter with Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN

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THE SHAFTMEN

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

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24
Jul
14

DUDLEY TAFT-SCREAMING IN THE WIND-“BLUES ROCKER BETTER ON EACH LISTEN” CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

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Blues Rock is getting big again.

It may not reach the heights of Cream, prime Johnny Winter, ZZ Top,  or the Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan but  adding rock power to blues inspired songs is what the public wants

And Dudley Taft and his band are right in the thick of it on their new album Screaming in The Wind

Working with producer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy) and SRV’s mojo organ man Reese Wynans this album bends into modern blues without loosing  clout.

Tracks like the hard hitting Red Line, the open tuning crunch of Sleeping In The Sunlight, a cover of Freddie King’s Pack It Up with the Muscle Shoals Horns Section, and the pop sensibility of Barrio (which would kill at mainstream radio) Taft and his band don’t miss the mark.

Believe or not Tears in The Rain has an almost Soundgarden-esque vibe, while Wynan powers up the B-3 organ on the excellent The Reason Why.

Bassman John Kessler and drummer Jason Patterson stick to Taft’s riffing and solos which adds glue in the right places.

Bottom line has always been the songs.

Tracks like  ZZ Top’s Beer Drinker’s and Hellraisers, Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love or Canadian blues rocker Colin James’ Just Got Back have hard crunching radio friendly hooks

Taft has plenty on this album too.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, online radio host and founding member of Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/paycheque-blues/id365389443

http://emms.podbean.com/

 

 

17
Jul
14

JOHNNY WINTER “RIP”..SO THIS IS BLUES ROCK’ REVIEW BY JOHN EMMS

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I was 17 years old in 1969.

I was a huge Beatles and Stones fan. I was buried deep into The Beatles Abbey Road album and the Stones Let It Bleed.

However, Johnny Winters’s three sided vinyl album Second Winter was sharing equal time if not more on my turntable.

What people tend to forget is Johnny Winter was a very big rock star in the 70’s.

My friends and I loved the fact that Johnny and his brother Edgar were powering up the blues.

Yes, friends you had BLUES ROCK.

I wore out my Winter vinyl albums (as you can see by the photo), watched him on  Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert with his trio. Randy Joe Hobbs on bass and this wild drummer

Hell, they just blew me away.

It was pure excitement.

Bottom line is we just ate up his live album “Johnny Winter And” with Rick Derringer, we must have erased the grooves.

Johnny Winter made you want to play rock and blues and turn it up.

If you got it right on stage you felt like a rock star.

Still Alive and Well, Saints And Sinners, John Dawson Winter and later albums like Third Degree are killer albums.

Johnny’s music was a big part of my late teens and early 20’s and I still listen to it.

It has staying power.

RIP JOHNNY, You rocked our world!!

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, online radio host and works out with his own blues rock friends in THE SHAFTMEN

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

JOHN EMMS BLUES/ROOTS RADIO

http://emms.podbean.com/

 

 

 

 

15
Jul
14

JOHN MAYALL-A SPECIAL LIFE-‘POTENT QUALITY ABOUNDS” CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

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Simple fact is John Mayall’s new cd A Special Life regardless of any type of blues genre is very potent and sturdy.

If that’s not enough his band of super bassist Greg Rzab, the mighty tone of guitarist Rocky Athas and  timekeeper pro Jay Davenport just  groove.

Opening with special guest CJ Chenier on his father’s Zydeco jem Why Did You Go Last Night, the band whips Sonny Landreth’s Speak of the Devil under the spell of Athas’s deep bend guitar tone, all the while watching headmaster Mayall tear it up on the political World Gone Crazy.

Elsewhere Mayall sounds energized on Eddie Taylor’s Big Town Playboy, while his songwriting skills are sharp on the superb Heartache and the cover of I Just Got To Know is solid!

It should be noted one of the standout tracks on the album is courtesy of Rzab and Athas with the powerhouse minor chord standout Like A Fool.

This is going to surprise young and old blues fans, but people in the know understand that Mayall has been very consistent over the years beginning with the Buddy Whittington era, let alone his classic early career highlights.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio host and heads up his own blues rock outfit THE SHAFTMEN

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/paycheque-blues/id365389443

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

 

 

 

 

01
Jul
14

JOE LOUIS WALKER, LONG JOHN BALDRY GET “THE BEST OF STONY PLAIN YEARS” TREATMENT–“AND BOY DOES IT WORK”-CD REVIEWS JOHN EMMS

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Artists don’t become legends overnight.

Unless you count American Idol, Rising Star and all that other crap.

Then again, don’t get me started on that “shite”

No, you get your dues when you pay your dues.

These two releases will begin Stony Plain’s best of compilation series.

What a way to start.

The very cool liner notes, by label head Holger Peterson are very insightful and often moving.

It adds to the package in a big way.

My 12 cd changer in the vehicle is never without a Joe Luis Walker cd.

That’s a fact. I love his work as whole albums.

Having said that you simply cannot go wrong with tracks like Highview with Duke Robillard, the excellent solos on Hustlin, or the simply coolness factors of tracks like Eyes Like a Cat, the live Slow Down GTO, or the matter of fact blues belt of I’m Tied.

Why not end with the great soul of Witness, one of my fave soul vocals of all time.

It hits me emotionally every time.

Honestly folks if you don’t know JLW this is a great place to start.

Long John Baldry’s voice was and still is a force of nature.

There is no other way to put it.

If you have heard Jack White’ Little Willie John cover of I’m Shakin then you must hear the LJB version on this cd

Just listen to the superb musicianship on Easy Street, Midnight Hour Blues, the wicked shuffle of Gallows Pole and the oh so excellent Time’s Getting Tougher Than Tough with Jimmy Witherspoon

Talk about killer!!!

Fans will also love to check out the great guitar work of Papa John King and the always spine tingling vocals of Kathi McDonald

BTW…..I still own my two vinyl copies of It Ain’t Easy and Everything Stops For Tea

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, online radio host and songwriter/guitarist/vocalist with Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN … the band’s latest cd is here

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

 

 

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01
Jul
14

DEANNA BOGART-“CHOPS THAT MESMERIZE’ CD REIVEW jUST A WISH AWAY-JOHN EMMS

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DEANNA BOGART’S new album  Just A Wish Away has chops that simply mesmerize.

But as many folks already know, this is not a straight, or even blues blend album.

Bogart tries on a lot of genre hats. The excellent Maybe I Won’t is an example of this.

A great song, influenced by a soul/blues mix

Straight out of the box, the galloping If It’s Gonna Be Like This mixes country and slide induced rock n’ roll, Find Me Good Bayou brings on the “answering”  Bonerama Horns, while Back and Forth Kid simply is one of the most intimate songs I have heard in 2014.

A gorgeous ballad it is breathtaking in it’s scope lyrically and dynamically

Elsewhere the covers,  a funky version of Sly Stone’s Hot Fun In the Summertime, and a jazzy take on SRV’S Tightrope has a killer piano solo but does not fire you up like the original.

Collarbone an instrumental shows off a superb tenor sax solo from Bogart, and Conversing With Lincoln with it’s  Paul Simon”Graceland” hook are examples of how this is just straight up great playing by the whole band.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, online radio host and vocalist/guitarist/songwriter with Canadian Blues ‘rockers THE SHAFTMEN    https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

 




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