Author Archive for john emms

07
Oct
17

MIGHTY DUCK BLUES BAND-DUCK SOUP CD REVIEW-BY JOHN EMMS-“DELUXE HOT BROTH”

Punchy, and with great guest vocals MDBB proves you can never underestimate the backing band on their own original album.

Right out of the gate both guest vocalists John Dickie and Cheryl Lescom up the ante on Hammered and Nailed and Don’t Send Me No Valentine the first 2 songs.

Guitar work by Dave Curry (check out Castaway) rips and tears through and the band anchored by bassist Gary Kendall, drummer Jim Casson and organ man Dave Torosian can’t miss.

Chuck Jackson simply one of the best blues singers on the planet struts the edge gorgeously on 3 AM Blues but gets drowned out a bit out by Curry’s loud guitar mix on Cha- Ching

Love the way drummer Jim Casson completely transforms the Queen classic We Will Rock You in under 2 minutes in 18 seconds, while Paul Reddick pulls out a Springsteen meets Tom Waits vibe on Hurricane (not the Bob Dylan song)

Elsewhere Kendall nails his own vocal on  You’re Driving Me Crazy powered by the rolling piano of Lance Anderson and Curry’s guitar solo.

Whether they are backing the best blues artists in Canada or carving up their own songs MDBB  play it it tough on this rocking set.

JOHN EMMS is a Post Media journalist, former radio host, and singer-songwriter with Canadian blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN

http://www.theshaftmen.com/home.htm

 

Advertisements
07
Oct
17

ANDRE BISSON-BREAK CD REVIEW-SOULFUL SONGS AND MODERN BLUES

Break the new album by Andre Bisson and his excellent band showcases an artist who simply sings, writes and performs with conviction.

The tasteful title track could easily have been recorded by an artist like the late Joe Cocker, while the Ray Charles vibe of The Reason Why is a showcase for his vocal work.

All the horn charts throughout the album never overshadow the strong material. Feelin’ Fine and Next In Line are perfect examples of this.

Elsewhere The Beatles Eleanor Rigby gets a smoky rendition and his own funky I Got The Right could power up any set.

Also have to say there is a great mix on this cd

Without a doubt this Hamilton Ontario native displays chops and integrity throughout this set.

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

 

 

23
Sep
17

SHANIA TWAIN NEW CD NOW-15 YEARS AWAY- TWAIN FINDS HER INNER POP VOICE AND GETS PERSONAL-BY JOHN EMMS

If it’s 15 years since you made an album and you have already sold 75 million albums exacting the same formula would be the smart thing to do.

But in 2017 Shania Twain is going to do things her own way.

Looking for the inner voice.

To me this album sounds personal.

In fact her most personal album of her career.

Twain decided to write all of the songs on this new cd.

Off the top you should know this is a very diverse set of songs.

I applaud Twain’s courage.

This album has no reference to the Mutt Lange blockbuster hooks of her career.

For this fact only you don’t know how this album will be received worldwide

This is a pop personal recording.

Not Bruce Springsteen or Chris Stapleton personal.

Twain personal in a pop world.

She could have had 20 or more different c0-writers like every other top artist in the industry.

Personally I don’t like that trend.

It waters down the music to a bland formula.

In fact, over the radio in the last few years I have heard some of the worst songs.

For some reason some of them are hits.

With Now the Timmins’ Ontario hometown sweetheart and international star goes inside herself.

Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed opens with an Any Man of Mine riff  but leads to a sing a long anthem that will have audiences fist bumping and swinging.

Home has a distinct folk but courageous feel and Light of My Life has an almost Nancy Sinatra via 2017 sound.

Personally this alternative feel you would never think would come out of Twain’s songwriting.

It’s a beauty.

Four songs into this album and you realize Twain is getting emotional.

Again Poor Me goes far inside “it’s not white it’s not black, can’t believe he would leave me to love her”

Holy crap you gotta love this folks.

Soldier the piano ballad is a killer vocal performance with no fluff, and that goes ditto for the simplicity of the track Because of You.

We Got Something They Don’t and the first single Life’s About To Get Good sound like solid radio fare but are not the best of what this album offers.

In the end there is a lot to love about the independence of Twain on this album.

Her fans will be behind this album and the tour.

Make no mistake.

Come On Over part 2 this is not.

But that’s ok, this album connects big time on an emotional level.

This album is available Sept 29 2017

JOHN EMMS is a Timmins born songwriter/musician who fronts up Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN

John is also a Post Media music contributor and veteran music writer.

Hear John and the band and their albums on Itunes, Spotify,  Youtube and Facebook.

http://theshaftmen.com/home.htm

 

 

20
Aug
17

BLUES MUSIC HAS TO GROW AND IT DOES-REVIEWS-MILLIGAN/VAUGHAN-DELTA WIRES-NIGHTHAWKS-TUCCI/GARY CAIN BAND

I have been saying for the last 20 or so years that blues music has to grow.  Songwriting and playing the blues can be influenced by the roots of Texas, Chicago, Memphis etc that is cool.

Besides you can’t be beat original artists like Muddy Waters, BB King, Howlin’ Wolf.. etc. and later Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble…but you can take the inspiration and away you go.

New albums reviewed here are inspired by the past and in some places often they create something new.

Delta Wires-Born in Oakland-Right out of the speakers blasts Sunny Day a funky riff with an almost BS&T horn chart, just killer. Sure this band started 30 years but just listen to Vacation a jumpin’ Huey Lewis and the News vibe and Devil’s In My Headset which reminds me of Al Kooper’s early solo stuff.

This band has groove and feel.

Sure, you can call this West Coast Blues but as the song says “good songs to sing about the feeling love can bring”..Delta Wires are bringing it, on this their 7 th album.

Milligan-Vaughan Project-The first thing you notice about this record is how the soul of vocalist Malford Milligan intertwines with guitarist Tyrone Vaughan’s (Jimmie Vaughan/Stevie Ray Vaughan) riffs.

On the opening ripping power of Soul Satisfaction to the gentle Here I Am both written by David Grissom and Davey Knowles they never lose sight of the song, and they never step over each other.

Covering Gene McDaniels nugget Compared To What (Ray Charles) and Buddy Guy’s Leave My Girl Alone (Stevie Ray Vaughan) has been done many times and will draw comparison.

Having said that both songs have real feel and intensity on this album.

A couple of more originals like the slinky Driving You and Little Bit Of Heaven would have been nice.

Both men have deep roots and you won’t be disappointed.

The Nighthawks-All You Gotta Do-Covering Brenda Lee’s That’s All You Gotta Do jump starts this record and then digging deep with Larry Campbell’s When I Go Away (Levon Helm) again shows superb taste.

Sonny Boy Williamson’s Ninety Nine just grooves as Mark Wenner rips. The Standells Dirty Water goes from garage to blues and back again..with axe man Paul Bell sliding in riffs from Gloria, The Yardbirds Under Over Sideways Down and Satisfaction just for fun. Let’s Burn Down The Cornfield  Randy Newman’s classic is devil and spooky.

Having a patio party? Put on this whole cd and just leave it.

Gary Cain Band-Twangadelic Bluesophunk-Talk about an accomplished guitarist, Gary Cain is the real deal. If that was not enough his bassist Tom Nagy and drummer Donnie Mcdougall slip, slide, and groove like nobody’s business.

This album is HOT!!!

The first 3 songs Live Wire, Pipes and Spoons and the funky Thought I Heard You Say with it’s Stevie Ray Vaughan’s flourishes are fiery and dynamic.

Twang Strut is Jerry Reed on steroids and Got Me Where You Want Me gets on the patio ZZ Top style while the ripping Last Dance bares all.

Watch out for The Gary Cain Band in a BIG WAY.

Tucci-Olivia-One dose of Tucci’s latest album Olivia featuring Larry McCray and the late Dan Toler is all the blues inspiration you will need.

I Don’t Need It and the opener High Roller both with McCray reach for the sky and achieve it, Hey Florida and the superb Third Eye recalls The Allman Brothers, while Shawn Murphy rips up a killer vocal on Train Blues.

The band expands on the 4 man format listed on the cover with horns and some excellent organ work by Donnie Richards. (check out his solo on Third Eye)

Larry McCray is such a big presence on this album it will be hard to replace.

Having said that killer axe work from Steve ‘”Doc” Tucci and the consistent stickwork of brother Michael Tucci and bassist Harry Debusk are the glue.

Olivia is one of the best blues albums of 2017 hands down.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Sun Media contributor and songwriter/guitarist with Canadian roots rockers THE SHAFTMEN

visit JOHN on TWITTER

 

18
Jun
17

SHANIA TWAIN-LIFE’S ABOUT TO GET GOOD-EMOTIONALLY HONEST, REVEALING, AND POP PERFECT-BY JOHN EMMS

” “I wasn’t just broken, I was shattered” sings Shania Twain on her new single Life’s About to Get Good.

When Twain writes and sings about pain and the thrill of making a new life she makes you a believer on this new single

“Life’s about joy, Life’s about pain,  It’s all about forgiving and the will to walk away”

And BTW Life’s About to get Good….I agree with Shania who would use the hook “About to get Good”..maybe it’s a Timmins thing!!!

Musically there’s a touch of Four Tops Motown in the chorus and the mix is cool and transcendent amidst it’s pop perfection

“It took me so long to be strong
But I’m alive, and I hold on to what I can feel
It hurts to heal”

If the search for love and good music is what Shania is looking for she’s got it here.

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

AND yes John hails from TIMMINS ONTARIO

JOHN is on TWITTER

13
Jun
17

CHECK OUT THE SHAFTMEN ON YOUTUBE

 

JOHN EMMS IS ON TWITTER

 

13
Jun
17

KEITH URBAN- RIPCORD/TIMMINS/ AND SO MUCH MORE BY JOHN EMMS

Now that the Nashville Predators have lost out for The Stanley Cup Keith Urban is going to tear up the stage at Stars and Thunder make no mistake.
Of course hockey or no hockey he will anyway and let’s not forget Timmins is a big hockey town.
But he is going to do it his way.
But fair warning it’s not going to be with your grandparents version of country music.
Considering the New Zealand-born Australian country star is landing  in the town where Stompin Tom Connors and Shania Twain got their start this modern day guitar-slinger is going to reach Timmins and indeed every country fan that comes for the show in a new way
Yes sir, Urban is a man on a mission to bend and blur the rules of country music.
And let me tell you it sounds completely natural for Urban
And if his win for best country album of the year with Ripcord at the Grammy’s sounds strange to some hard core country fans then they are in the minority.
Let’s face it folks, in a land country music songs sounding very similar Keith Urban is in left field in the best way possible on his latest album Ripcord.
Urban takes a ton of chances and uses modern technology to his advantage and then some.
The results show up on the funky beat programming and drumming of Matt Chamberlain which are a perfect fit for multi-layered acoustic guitars that stack up big time on the hit John Cougar John Deere John 3:16.
if that don’t get you moving then check out rapper Pitbull (Yes that Pitbull) and Mr Funk Nile Rodgers’ super clean axe work (Chic, David Bowie) on Sun Don’t Let Me Down.
Or how about the now famous Ganjo (a banjo with 6 strings tuned like a guitar) that Urban uses freely on the album tracks such as Gone Tomorrow (Here Today), Wasted Time and the duet with Carrie Underwood on The Fighter”
As I said this is a player who follows a modern pop focus and blends it with country and if that was not enough the album just went platinum last month
Go figure folks, George Jones who also played Timmins is probably having a laugh in heaven knowing Urban is the real “thang”
Guitar solos are not a big part of the Ripcord album but there is nothing more real then the guitar solos Urban stretches out with in concert.
Urban’s cranked up muscular guitar tone will move a lot of wind across the Hollinger Park and Grandstand
As a guitarist myself I often sit open mouthed telling my wife now that was a “killer” guitar solo.
You want mojo?
Then don’t be caught without a ticket for his show or a copy of Urban’s latest cd Ripcord.
JOHN EMMS is a veteran MUSIC Journalist/Post Media contributor and songwriter/guitarist with Canadian Rockers THE SHAFTMEN
JOHN IS ALSO ON TWITTER

 




October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031