Archive for September, 2016

25
Sep
16

THOMAS WADE-BLUE COUNTRY SOUL-“SMOOTH TOUCH OF CLASS” CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

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Class is not a word you hear often when speaking of an artist’s music but Thomas Wade’s new album Blue Country Soul is classy, smooth and intoxicating.

I will say I was not a huge fan of his previous band Wayward.

Although the hits were numerous in a short span (1996 to 1999) the songs here have much more soul, heart and integrity.

From the gentle opening Funny What Makes You Cry, the Bakersfield vibe of Lock the Door, and the superb and righteous 60’s soul/pop of That’s What Love looks Like, Wade and his excellent band of Steve O’Connor, John Dymond and Gary Craig rule with dynamics and feel.

Wade and the band rock it up on A Lot to Unlearn and deliver big in a jazzy/blues take (check out Wade’s guitar solo) on the classic country gem Am I That Easy To Forget.

As a bonus this album is superbly engineered in an almost vinyl type of way.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Sun/Post media Contributor and singer-songwriter with Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN

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

JOHN IS ON TWITTER

 

 

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06
Sep
16

DUKE ROBILLARD- BLUES FULL CIRCLE-CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS-‘”WORTH WAITIN’ ON”

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The other day barbecuing a few steaks with friends I blasted out Lay a Little Lovin On Me with it’s dirty down guitar fills and solo.

A few guys asked (early 50″s) Who Is this?

I replied Duke Robillard and his band.

Nope.

Have you heard of the Fabulous Thunderbirds?

Yes of course.

He replaced Jimmie Vaughan way back when.

No way was the answer. Yes way.

I was not going to go into the whole Duke or Roomful of Blues history or my wife would kill me sitting about 5 feet away.

Suffice to say as Mourning Dove drifted across our patio with Duke ripping another cool solo, it was decided, let’s leave this on.

Mission accomplished.

Of course Duke and his All-Star band sure as heck don’t need my help.

Pretty soon I was boppin to Last Night with Sugar Ray Norcia and Sax Gordon Beadle sitting in and later ditto with the track The Mood Room with a rollicking piano/vocal from Kelly Hunt.

Everyone was smiling.

A bit later, holy crap it’s Jimmie Vaughan himself trading licks with Duke and there is a honkin’ Baritone sax on Shufflin’ and Scufflin’

Folks, Mr Robillard is back from surgery and rehabilitation.

I’m sure Duke and the band are happy.

We are.

You can pick up Duke’s new CD just about anywhere on the planet.

Worth waitin’ on I would say.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist/Sun and Post Media contributor..and YES

John is the songwriter/guitarist who shuffles and scuffles with THE SHAFTMEN

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

JOHN IS ON TWITTER

05
Sep
16

RONNIE EARL AND THE BROADCASTERS-MAXWELL STREET-“GOSPEL IN THOSE FINGERS”

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If the term gospel could be applied to music coming through the fingers of a guitarist then those hands would belong to Ronnie Earl.

That gorgeous tone opens up his latest album Maxwell Street with the heavenly ambience of Mother Angel a major seventh chord pattern that allows Earl and organ player Dave Limina plenty of room to breathe.

Essentially this album leaves space.

Most of the songs are overall slower in tempo than some tracks such as Spann’s Groove or the rockin Blues for the South  Side from previous albums.

Having said that it allows the  band and the listener to be one with the players.

Check out the great feel on the track Elegy for a Bluesman written by Limina.

The song written for the late David Maxwell the former Broadcaster and inspiration for the cd title is bathed in the blue light of Bluesmen past.

Wow.

Although no one could top the Gladys Knight version of her hit I’ve Got to Use My Imagination or the Manfred Mann/Ray Charles version of You Don’t Know Me written by Eddy Arnold vocalist Diane Blue the band’s newest member is a great singer.

Having said that, at times but not always Earl’s fills are a bit busy when she is doing her lead vocal.

The best moments are of course the exceptional Blues for David Maxwell where Limina displays incredible feel on his piano solo and Earl uses his bends and jazzy figures with a Wes Montgomery vibe.

It’s crazy good folks.

I have to say my spotlight has been with Earl and the band’s original material and there are six of them here.

Either way Earl and his band play with deep sensitivity at every turn.

NOTE.. This excellent album is due out September 9

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, songwriter/guitarist with Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN

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

John ON TWITTER




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