Archive for April, 2016

27
Apr
16

PAUL REDDICK-RIDE THE ONE-“A VITAL RIDE DOWN THE BLUES HIGHWAY” CD REVIEW BY JOHN EMMS

ride the onePaul-Reddick-promo-photo-549x367P REDDICK

Throwing off molten chunks of Sonny Boy Williamson type harp phrases while telling stories often pitted against a driving one chord modal is where you will often find Paul Reddick on his Stony Plain debut release.

As a debut blues album for a new label Ride The One is a vital ride down the blues highway taking more than a few detours.

The first 2 songs Shadows and Celebrate along with the aggressive loud groove of It Goes With You find Reddick scowling out his vocals like he was in the front seat with Howling Wolf driving up from the Delta.

It ain’t safe baby!

The hypnotic Mourning Dove, the R & B of Gotta Find A, the blues rock of Living In Another World, and the very accessible Watersmooth all will kill at radio.

And folks that is important when your “riding out the one” elsewhere on the cd.

This is a much different album than his previous cd Wishbone which was more atmospheric.

Even though the songs are written by Reddick and producer/guitarist Colin Cripps Steve Marriner from Monkeyjunk holds some sway at least in ambience on a few of the tracks

I watched MonkeyJunk in a live context last year with Reddick and some of that feel is evident on Ride The One.

Not many artists would take the chance in the blues landscape to be exciting, brave and refreshing all on one recording.

Unless your name is Paul Reddick.

Album release according to the bio is May 20 2016.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist of over 30 years, a Sun Media music columnist and blues rock singer-songwriter with THE SHAFTMEN

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

JOHN is also on Twitter

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

 

 

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23
Apr
16

DANNY MARKS-CITIES IN BLUE-AUTHENTICITY AND INSPIRATION-CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

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With Cities In Blue Danny Marks has created an album that is both authentic and inspired.

In fact, you just don’t hear albums that breathe like the way this baby does!

Even though the songs were used as the soundtrack to the television show, on the cd they come off as songs that hold together.

Houston to L.A. and the excellent Belt Line Blues are prime examples.

On the latter when the song’s dynamics come down and Marks sings in a hushed baritone voice “But I gotta go Mama and my father says hand me the keys” It is sublime.

This is the beginning of many genuine moments that continue to occur on this recording.

Check out the great horn arrangement or the backing vocals by Sherie Marshall on Memphis Got Soul let alone the great groove of Al Cross

It comes off as Mar-Keys approved folks.

Marks nails the vocal and feel on both Heading Down to New Orleans and Blues Came To Chicago the latter with very cool contributions from David Rotundo and Julian Fauth.

Marks and Chris Whitley channel “Ol Satchmo’ (Louis Armstrong) on the cover of Once I Was Crazy, while Lights Out shows off Marks superb Ventures style guitar tone.

Produced by album bassist Alec Fraser and Marks the tracks recorded at various studios sound very vinyl warmth in nature.

And that adds to it’s charm.

We are only barely 5 months into the year and already this album should be on every blues lovers top 10 list.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Sun Media columnist, passionate music fan, and singer-songwriter with Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN

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

JOHN is also on Twitter

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

 

 

 

 

 

22
Apr
16

TIMMINS HEART OF GOLD WEEKEND-PLUS NEW RENEWAL-LEE HANNIGAN, ATWY, SILVERSTEIN..MUCH MORE

All The Wasted Years publicity photo-pat lauzier 1wyatt young live 3lee hannigan

This weekend Heart of Gold Fest is on. Check out The Vic and The Working Class for your rock n’ roll needs.
In fact, all Timmins music festivals seem to be improving the city’s business and artistic side.
Why is this renewal happening?
Could be it be more local coverage, business partners, a good work ethic, better organizing skills, better networking or all of the above I can’t say.
But, I do have to say there seems to be more demand.
This may sound strange considering Timmins’ notorious wait and see attitude through previous years.
I attend shows whenever possible and I don’t see a downside.
Fact is, Timmins fans are scooping up tickets.
The  entire 3 day festival passes have sold out for the Heart of Gold Fest at the Victory Tavern and Working Class Pub
As I write this, individual day shows are still available.
This festival will feature bands from Montreal, Sudbury, Toronto, Timmins and Burlington’s Silverstein who have sold 1 million hard driving hardcore punk albums.
That is a lot of music.
Further to that, with the news that TEFC is just starting to add on more to it’s Rock On the River lineup is also good news.
Expansion is in everyone’s interest.
From my own end I have covered everything from Local Food Bank shows, Club shows, Arena gigs, Porquis Festival, Summer Concert Series, Kayak Festival, Kap Lumberjack Festival, Kirkland Lake Festivals, Iroquois Summerfest, Cochrane Summerfest and yes even played a ton of fundraisers and many gigs with our band The Shaftmen.
From older bands like Soul Doubt, Blind Dog Circus, Compass Rose, BB Wolfe etc  and now Laforge, Lee Hannigan, Head Down and All The Wasted Years it’s been with one purpose.
To showcase the music here in the city.
If indeed large touring acts and the ability to accommodate these artists is the new horizon, then bring it on!
JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, singer-songwriter with Canadian Blues Rockers The Shaftmen and a roots music podcast host.
check out THE SHAFTMEN here
JOHN IS ON TWITTER
15
Apr
16

JEFF PLANKENHORN-SOUL SLIDE-HIS BEST SO FAR-CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

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Hands down this is Jeff Plankenhorn’s best work!

The key is the diversity of the material, the superb vocal work and a bit bigger soundscape.

From the opening spiritual rocking vibe of Lose My Mind, to the gorgeous Trouble Find Me to the strut of Like Flowers with Ruthie Foster, it’s magic time.

Elsewhere the funky Dirty Floor, the killer cover of You Got Me Hummin’ to the heart wrenching Vagabond Moonlight Plankenhorn rules.

Pick any song I have mentioned on this album or others like Headstrong, or Walking in the Sun.

Jeff’s lead vocals just soulfully put you and your heart in that spot.

Plankenhorn may do a lot of gigs, but this particular album is easily one of the best by anyone early this year.

WOW!!

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Sun Media contributor, singer-songwriter and bandleader THE SHAFTMEN

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

John on Twitter

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

 

15
Apr
16

STEVE HILL-SOL0 RECORDINGS VOL 3-NATURAL RIFFING

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Steve Hill’s latest solo recordings Vol 3 re-imagine what blues rock has been since 1967.

That’ s a good thing.

Yes, blues rock has not changed a lot since The Yardbirds, Cream, Johnny Winter and now Joe Bonamassa  made it very popular

Having said that Hill is exciting.

Original tracks like Dangerous, Smoking Hot Machine and the elegant acoustic Slowly Slipping Away feel very real.

Tracks like Rollin & Tumblin and Going Down That Road Feeling Bad have been done too many times by too many people.

Sure, Hill changes them up and they kick big time, but his original work is much better.

His own acoustic Emily is a total winner.

Happy to be riffing, and oh so natural.

That’s when Hill is best!

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Sun Media contributor, singer-songwriter, and bandleader with THE SHAFTMEN

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

JOHN on TWITTER

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

 

 




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