Archive for April, 2018

20
Apr
18

DULCIE TAYLOR-BETTER PART OF ME-“THOUGHTFUL ROOTS SOUNDSCAPE” REVIEW BY JOHN EMMS

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Dulcie Taylor’s new album Better Part of Me is a fine roots recording blending personal poetic songwriting and accomplished playing on every track.

Tracks like Long Gone, the opening chime of Used to Know It All  and the title track blend atmospheric shimmering soundscapes behind Taylor’s vocals and thoughtful lyrics.

Having said that 2 or 3 more Americana uptempo driving tracks would have really boosted the overall song order on the album

Halfway To Jesus an environmental track that has a Folk/Americana jump is a single but not as strong as the Folgelberg-esque God Did Me A Favor.

Whether Taylor is going for a more contemporary Christian audience with these tracks is not fully revealed throughout the album’s 11 tracks.

Personally, this album sounds fantastic.

Produced by George Nauful who also plays and co-writes and engineered and mixed by guitarist Damon Castillo it hits a sweet spot.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, freelance writer and songwriter/musician with Canadian blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN

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19
Apr
18

JACK DE KEYZER CHECKMATE-“AMPLIFIED BLUES PASSION” REVIEW JOHN EMMS

On his latest album Checkmate Jack De Keyzer and his band prove that passion and chops for the material equals superb distinctive blues that rocks!!!

Covering a ton of Willie Dixon’s Chess Records material and some slow burn Otis Rush songs De Keyzer boasts an amplified blues passion that is fresh and potent.

It’s clear from the first count in on Howlin’ For My Darling with Richard Thornton’s hot tenor sax solo followed by De Keyzer’s Clapton-esque guitar tone the band is on.

From there De Keyzer holds court on the jump of Stranger Blues and has a ton of fun with the Otis Rush nugget All Your Love and the slide potent Talk To Me Baby.

There is a great Muscle Shoals vocal and feel on Do Right Woman and a very hip arrangement on I A’int Superstitious.

De Keyzer has an impressive band.

Thornton’s sax fills and horn arrangements work really well.

Bassist Alan Duffy is inventive while drummer Rick Donaldson and keyboard man Joel Visentin keep it snug.

A blues rock album that does not lose sight of it’s blues roots.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Post Media contributor and songwriter/musician with Canada’s Blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN.

 

 

08
Apr
18

ALLY VENABLE BAND-PUPPET SHOW-“FIGHTS FOR HER BLUES ROCKIN RIGHTS” REVIEW BY JOHN EMMS

Ally Venable is a no nonsense 19 year old blues rocker who hopes to start diving into the world class blues rock territory of artists like Joanne Shaw Taylor and Ana Popovic to name just a few.

Venable’s new album Puppet Show out April 13 2018 shows a young woman who has the chops and attitude to push the limits.

In fact,  Devil’s Son a whiplash guitar duet with the amazing Gary Hoey, and the sturdy Bridges to Burn with Lance Lopez get the party started.

Vocally Venable gets it done easily and in time may match up to artists like Larkin Poe in that department.

Having said that check out her passion vocal on Comfort in My Soul with it’s killer end guitar conviction.

The fiery passion she displays on guitar is a no brainer on tracks like Backwater Blues, the solid title track, and Cast Their Stones.

Bassist Bobby Wallace and drummer Elijah Owings are tight as hell and it’s easy to imagine with this material adding a keyboard player/or extra guitarist into the live show would be huge asset.

Elsewhere the track Survive kicks it big with another killer solo by Venable and wicked organ workout from Eric Steckel.

You’re going to love it.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, songwriter/vocalist with Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN and Post Media contributor

08
Apr
18

LOGAN MAGNESS-MEMPHIS ON MY MIND-“WARM CHARM” BY JOHN EMMS

As far as debut albums go Logan Magness’ Memphis on My Mind has an immediate warm and inviting “lived in” feel that makes you want to hear more.

These are introspective songs, singer songwriter material.

Certainly not as rockin’ roots or band dynamic as albums by The Jayhawks, Wilco or Blue Rodeo by any means.

Songs like the lonesome Bed of Nails and the introspective Thin Red Line make you a fan.

Magness grew up in Memphis, lived in San Francisco for years and then came back home.

Lyrically the excellent title track and True Love and others reflect this intimacy and the fact of being away and coming back home.

What’s missing is some sturdy roots rock uptempo material like the opening track Don’t Leave Me Alone that would benefit the laid back feel over 11 songs.

Without a doubt a clear passion for songwriting!!

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, songwriter and Post Media Contributor.

John heads up his own outfit Canadian blues/roots rockers THE SHAFTMEN.

 




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