Author Archive for john emms

03
Sep
19

JOHN EMMS EXPERT REVIEWS STREAMING..VINYL, CD/BLU-RAY PRODUCT REVIEWS AND ARTIST INTERVIEWS..WORLDWIDE

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04
Feb
19

LAYLA ZOE-GEMINI-“DEEP POWERFUL AND KICKING ASS” NEW ALBUM-REVIEW BY JOHN EMMS

Layla Zoe’s new double album Gemini is a deep and powerful original recording which to my ears is the best of her career.

The immediate and true sincerity of the first two songs “She Didn’t Believe” and “I’ll be Reborn Blues” on Disc 1 titled Fragility is startling.

The gutsy power of The Deeper They Bury Me and the tender I Can’t Imagine My Life Without You offer the two sided coin of Layla’s great voice.

On Disc 2 tilted Courage Zoe opens up the fluid and dynamic electric power on the track Weakness which is pure rock emotion.

This is followed by the riff heavy track Automatic Gun and stunning Dark World.

This new rock vibe is a good fit for Zoe and simply kicks ass.

The Hendrix vibe of Ghost Train and the title track should be all over rock radio.

Lord knows this should be a career changing album for Layla Zoe.

Substitute all the covers of classic blues songs on stage because these songs should be a focus.

Sensational guitar and production by Jan Laacks.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Post Media free lance music columnist and singer-songwriter with Canadian Band THE SHAFTMEN

JOHN is also on Twitter

03
Jan
19

JOHN EMMS BLUES AND BLUES ROCK IS ALIVE AND WELL..BEST ALBUMS 2018-and more

When I first heard Cream’s album Disraeli Gears and Johnny Winter’s Second Winter I was over the top a huge Blues-Rock fan.

I had already purchased Blues Breakers with John Mayall and B.B. King’s Live At The Regal so I did have some experienced listening

Don’t get me wrong, I was also a fan of The Beatles, and Rolling Stones.

But it’s safe to say I went backwards to get the real stuff from Muddy Waters, more B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and Albert King to name a few.

This year I want to include some 2017 albums with the 2018 albums.

Some albums I received late. These include Layla Zoe’s fantastic double album Gemini and Chris O’ Leary’s superb new album 7 Minutes Late, which I cannot stop playing.

No particular order, here is my required listens in the Blues/Blues rock genre.

Colin James-Miles To Go-Mostly covers and one of the best recorded albums I own. Punchy, superb clean mix with guest artist the Mighty Steve Marriner. Fave tracks One More Mile, 40 Light Years and Soul of a Man.

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa-Black Coffee-Don’t even think about not having this baby. Superb vocals, killer guitar work, excellent production and great song selection.

Billy F. Gibbons-The Big Bad Blues-A stunning return and a highlight of 2018 this will blow you right out of the water. My Baby She Rocks, sizzling cover of Bring It to Jerome and killer production and superb feel

Jack De Keyzer-Checkmate-Blues album of covers that sizzles like the band is playing in your front room. One of the top 5 blues albums in North America in 2018.  De Keyzer’s guitar work is inventive and the band sticks to him like glue. Stranger Blues, Broke Down Engine Blues and All Your Love are big. Otis Rush is smiling somewhere!!!!

Kenny Wayne Shepard Band-Lay It On Down-Wow, this feels like a classic roots album but with soul, blues and R & B mixed in. Fave tracks Diamonds and Gold, the rock ballad vibe of the title track and the explosive Baby Got Gone.

Downchild Blues Band-Something I’ve Done- From 2017. Superb arrangements, well written songs and a great add to their extensive catalog. Can’t Get Mad At You has a Dutch Mason feel, Albany Albany is crisp and punchy and the title track swings like mad. A Must have!!!

Buddy Guy-The Blues is Alive and Well-82 years and still the master. It’s safe to say BG’s albums of the last 15 years are simply killer. This is produced so well, Guy and the band are on top of it. Check out Keith Richards and Jeff Beck on Cognac

JW-Jones Live-This cd is in my vehicle, on my stereo and on download. Check my original full review on this site.. Love it.

Sean Chambers-Welcome To My Blues-Chambers and his band are Loaded for Bear and this album again shows why he is known as a superb guitar man among other players. Cherry Red Wine, Black Eyed Suzie and One More Night To Ride are just the tip of this excellent release.

Rocky Athas-Shakin’ The Dust- From 2017. Athas’ guitar work is monsterous and loaded with soulful tone.  A standout with John Mayall or on his own, RA and his excellent band blast off with Dictator and You Pushed Me Too Far but check out the excellent ballad Time Flies.

Joe Bonamassa-Redemption-This is the best I have heard JB sing. The songwriting is really up there and the guitar work is total swagger.. Boom Boogie for sure!!!

Bernard Allison- Let It Go-So glad this makes my top list. It’s hard to think of an album that has this much variety and soul in the playing and the songwriting.

Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar-Run To Me-More R & B then blues but so good and in the pocket it’s crazy.

Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters-The Luckiest Man. See my original review of this 2017 gem.

George Thorogood-Party of One-Back to 2017. An organic gem where GW does solo acoustic and some electric one man stuff. Astounding

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist for over 30 years. John is a singer-songwriter and fronts up blues roots rockers THE SHAFTMEN

The Timmins Daily Press/Post Media is a mainstay and John is on Twitter

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews?lang=en

 

 

21
Dec
18

TEN TOP ROCK/POP AND ROOTS SONGS FROM 2018 YOU MUST DOWNLOAD NOW-BY JOHN EMMS

There is still great rock n’ roll being made.

These ten tracks are essential from 2018

I know what you are saying it’s all been done before.

You’re right.

If you are into good songs, here’s 10

These tracks are not in any particular order.

The Trews-  Leave it Alone. From the album Civilianaires-Power, killer hooks and great vocals. Wow.

Paul McCartney-C’Mon To Me-Nobody saw this coming. Macca rocks it down. From the album Egypt Station.

Father John Misty-Mr Tillman-Possibly one of the best new songwriters in the last 5 years.  From the album God’s Favorite Customer…Love it

The Arkells-Hand Me Downs. Is there a better live and songwriting band then these guys? Don’t think so-From the album Rally Cry

Elvis Costello and the Imposters-Under Lime-From the album Look Now. This track is as potent as his early material.

Tribe Royal-Holding On-Wow., simply gorgeous track. Like a throwback of Big Star meets the pop side of Sloan-From the EP The Road to Muscle Shoals.

Marcus King Band-Where I’m Headed-The best new musicians are few and Marcus is on the short list. An astounding guitarist and killer band.-From the album Carolina Confessions.

Liam Gallagher-I’m All I Need-Love this track which was released in 2018, but the album As You Were came out in 2017. Killer!!!!

Arctic Monkeys-Anyways-Straight out of a John Lennon solo album sound. OMG for sure. The b side of their new single 2018

Paul Weller-Mayfly-The acoustic side of the Modfather. Superb track from the album True Meanings.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist. Freelance music guy for Timmins Daily Press/Post Media.  Singer, songwriter and guitarist with Canada’s Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN

JOHN is on Twitter

01
Oct
18

RAY BONNEVILLE, SEAN CHAMBERS, CARY MORIN, RACHELLE COBA-CD REVIEWS BY JOHN EMMS

Ray Bonneville writes great songs and the 11 songs on his new album At King Electric features songs that are like short films.

That says a lot considering he never started writing songs till his early forties.

Waiting on the Night and the shuffle of Next Card to Fall put you in Bonneville’s cinematic scope.

Electric piano player Richie Lawrence makes a huge impression throughout the album and Bonneville’s voice on Codeine and The Day they Let Me Out is almost in the room with you.

Haunting Americana from a Canadian in the best possible way.

Cary Morin can do it all by myself and the Montana born picker does on a lot of that on his new album When I Rise.

However he kills with a full band on the Grateful Dead cover Dire Wolf, Carmela Marie and electric whip of Jug Of Water.

It makes you want to hear more of him in this context.

Elsewhere the title track, the gorgeous Devoted One and the excellent track Sometimes are just standout acoustic songs.

Sean Chambers’ new album Welcome To My Blues is just flat out great electric blues.

Out of the gate the title track grabs you in a stranglehold and next up Black Eyed Susie conjures up some Skynyrd type slide mojo.

One More Night To Ride could be in the realm of Walter Trout and You Keep Me Satisfied is Gator-Florida blues rock that is rough and ready as you can get.

Then there is the cover of T-Bone Walker’s All Night Long..

Wow.

Note that John Ginty on Hammond B-3 and Piano is true blue throughout.

All killer no filler as they used to say!!!!!!!

Rachelle Coba has got soul. She rolls you, she rocks you and on Blink her second album she pulls out all the stops.

High and Dry gets it done, No Deals kicks the Devil’s ass and You Stole My Soul, and the title track are both examples of superb R & B songwriting.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Post Media contributor, and singer-songwriter with Canuck Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN

JOHN IS ON TWITTER

27
Sep
18

JW-JONES LIVE..”AUTHENTIC ELECTRIC BLUES AND MORE” REVIEW BY JOHN EMMS

JW-JONES LIVE showcases an artist and his band who are not afraid to take blues in new directions while still retaining the original vibe of the masters.

Opening with Robert Cray’s A Memo (Nothin” But Love) and then letting his guitar do the talking on B.B. King’s Need You So Bad Jones comes off as an authentic blues man.

Having said that even when I first saw him play live with harp player Steve Marriner in the 90’s it was clear Jones’ knowledge and feel for the blues was for real.

His take on Howlin’ Wolf’s Moanin’ at Midnight is direct and brash in Jones’ fierce heavy and distorted solo with a slice of Jimi Hendrix’s Third Stone From The Sun in for good measure.

Don Cummings on Hammond organ adds nice dimensions to the normal trio format.

Think of Cummings work on here as a sublte Al Kooper vibe.

Laura Greenberg (Bassist of the year Maple Blues Awards 2018) and the interesting fills and sturdy stick work of drummer Will Laurin are a complete joy throughout the album.

Other highlights are a crazy good take on Albert King’s You’re Gonna Need Me, the band’s 17 riffs medley to end the album as well the jazz inflected rip on Early Every Morning scaled to an insane height via Jones’ guitar solo.

Texas, Chicago, West Coast Blues all show up on this album while his excellent original work from Belmont Boulevard, High Temperature etc does not.

Do not hesitate to make this album part of your collection.

It’s totally authentic!!!

Album release September 28th 2018

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, columnist with Post Media and singer-songwriter and band leader with Canuck Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN

JOHN EMMS TWITTER

29
Aug
18

JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR-SIGNS NEW SONY DEAL/TOURS USA/WILD RE-RELEASE REVIEW-“BACK TO FRONT..GREAT SONGS”..BY JOHN EMMS

The re-release  of the Joanne Shaw Taylor album Wild proves that Blues Rock is above all about well written songs.

She could play this album live from front to back and it would still kill.

Besides when you check out selected tracks from Gary Moore, Buddy Guy, Foghat, Johnny Winter, Cream, SRV, etc it comes down to how good the songs are.

Sure, Shaw Taylor has great guitar chops but she has become such a good vocalist.

My Heart’s Got a Mind of It’s Own with it’s killer horn charts, I Wish I Could Wish You Back, the slow excellent vibe of Wild Is The Wind and the opening salvo of Dyin’ To Know show off those vocals.

Blues Rock could easily become a major commercial force again.

I put this album up there with Joe Bonamassa’s superb Driving Towards The Daylight as proof.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist,  bandleader with Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN and Post Media contributor.




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