Author Archive for john emms



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.

 

Advertisements
28
Feb
18

JOHN MAYALL TRIO-THREE FOR THE ROAD-“NO FRILLS WINNER” REVIEW JOHN EMMS

Considering John Mayall has spawned guitar greats like Mick Taylor, Eric Clapton, and Peter Green just to name three you would think touring without a lead guitarist would be tricky to say the least.

This album puts that to rest with a jazzy swinging ode to blues classics and Mayall originals recorded trio style in East Germany

Bassist Greg Rzab and drummer Jay Davenport are not only strong but firmly in the pocket.

Mayall’s covers fit the trio very well.

Eddie Taylor’s Big Town Playboy and I Feel So Bad jump right out but Lionel Hampton’s Ridin’ On the L & N really swings and bops to Mayall’s killer piano solo.

Elsewhere Congo Square ends the album in a  blowout 11 minute blues rave up.

A lot of magic here and if you are a Mayall fan you will want this one for it’s very personal band dynamics.

Mayall heads into the studio possibly this year with strong guitar great lineup TBA

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, songwriter and blues rock bandleader with THE SHAFTMEN

27
Feb
18

CHIP TAYLOR- FIX YOUR WORDS-“THE QUIET REVOLUTION” REVIEW JOHN EMMS

Fix Your Words Chip Taylor’s new album due March 2 2018 is a thoughtful blend of themes dealing with sadness, love, loss and most of all humanity.

Taylor’s narrative warm beauty on his later work and here again puts him in a very special category of must hear singer-songwriters

Up front I have to say this album is intimate spoken word with a spartan background on instruments in the manner of his classic Little Brothers/I’ll Carry for You 2016 work

“We are in this together, and I can feel it’s a good place to be” seems like the current theme of Taylor’s life.

That line comes from the long track The Ground Moving Around Me.

It is is a standout song that would not be out of place on let’s say a Willie Nelson album.

That theme is the main link to the entire album’s passion that holds up If I Am, Crazy Dreams Crazy,  When I Was A Kid and the title track

If Bob Dylan stopped playing rock n’ roll and American standards he may end up here in the restrained warm glow of James Wesley Voight.

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

JOHN also heads up his blues rock/roots tradition with THE SHAFTMEN

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

 

20
Feb
18

SUE FOLEY-THE ICE QUEEN-” CONTEMPORARY BLUES CLASSIC”-REVIEW JOHN EMMS

With her finger picking and vibrato in high form and a host of Texas Guitar Slingers “sittin in” Sue Foley is on fire on her latest album The Ice Queen.

If any artist incorporates and fuses together a better contemporary blues album than Sue Foley’s Ice Queen in 2018 it will be have to be really special.

When you soak in the music chops and vibe of Jimmie Vaughan, Antone’s, Albert Collins and live and breathe Austin Texas it affects your whole career.

The Ice Queen for lack of a better term is as Billy Gibbons would say “the real thang”

The title track would make Albert Collins and John Lee Hooker proud.

I can’t stop playing this 3 piece minimal track.

The Lucky Ones with guest Jimmie Vaughan would get anyone about and “struttin” the room, while Fool’s Gold written with organist/producer Mike Flanigin and performed with Billy Gibbons is what I like,  a well written new blues song.

Gaslight and the Otis Redding-esque If I Have Forsaken You are flat out innovative considering these are new blues songs with horns that sound “lived in” and classic.

Did I also mention that drummers George Rains and Chris Layton are on this album as well as upright bassist Billy Horton

Natch baby!!!!

Elsewhere, Come to Me features Charlie Sexton in a almost Little Feat slide zone, and Sexton again compliments the essential track 81.

The Dance features Foley in solo flamenco mode and the real acoustic traditional solo stuff comes at the end of the album.

This album is a new blues classic!

NOTE….. ALBUM IS NOT OUT TILL MARCH 2 2018.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Post Media contributor and well know freelance music writer

In his spare time John fronts up Canuck Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN

JOHN TWITTER

20
Feb
18

CRYSTAL SHAWANDA-VOODOO WOMAN-TURNING UP THE HEAT..ON CLASSIC BLUES/SOUL

Everybody and their dog has made a blues covers album.

Having said that Shawanda is an known as an excellent country singer and vocalist and until 5 years ago country is where she hung her hat

It’s not her first foray into blues  (2014 and 2016) and nor will it be her last.

Having said that Shawanda can easily do another country album or Indigenous music.

She is unlikely to go fully into the territory of blues/soul belters  such as Susan Tedeschi or Sue Foley or the volcanic style of Layla Zoe, or Finnish powerhouse Ina Forsman

What makes Crystal Shawanda’s Voodoo Woman different is that her soulful voice and the sheer depth of feel is right off the floor powerful.

Her take on Ball and Chain and Hound Dog known from big Mama Thornton has a Janis Joplin feel, and her own original Trouble track is a real dandy.

Her cover of Koko Taylor’s Voodoo Woman has a blues rock feel as opposed to Taylor’s funky original or Susan Tedeschi’s  blues roots cover.

Fave track has to be Misty Blue. Aching and gorgeous this could be a radio add anywhere.

The musicianship on this album is absolute killer.

And without a doubt Crystal can sing it out with emotion.

JOHN EMMS is a musician, songwriter for blues roots rockers THE SHAFTMEN

http://theshaftmen.com/home.htm

JOHN is also a Post Media contributor and freelance music journalist.

John’s Twitter page

26
Jan
18

JIM CUDDY CONSTELLATION “CONFESSIONAL SONGS AND THE HUMAN NARRATIVE SHINE THROUGH’ CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

On sheer musicality and composition Jim Cuddy’s new solo album Constellation is a Home Run.

If you mix the in the emotion and reflection that shines throughout, it’s a Grand Slam.

The sweet spot comes early with the killer bridge on the opening track  While I Was Waiting bursting into Colin Cripp’s atmospheric guitar solo.

Jimmy Bowskill’s mandolin work and Steve O’ Connor’s piano lends a mid period Byrd’s like vibe to Where You Gonna Run.

However, the real honesty and soul of Cuddy’s songwriting comes through with the ballads Constellations and You Be The Leaver.

Both songs about loss are gut punch reflective yet reveal a theme of carrying on.

Through the album  Cuddy’s ear for the human narrative is front and centre.

It’s remarkable that songs like the excellent uptempo Hands on the Glass (check out the bridge on this baby), Cold, Cold Wind with Oh Susanna including solos by Anne Lindsay, Bowskill and outro with Cripps have a gorgeous stereo mix.

The ballad Roses At Your Feet  and the rollicking groove of Things Left Unsaid close the album.

Co-produced by Cuddy and Cripps with engineer Tim Vesely I have to say right now it’s very possible this recording may even sound better on the vinyl copy which is also available.

The musicianship on this album bolsters how good the songwriting is and that is never a bad thing folks.

Cuddy continues to evolve this late in his career and we are along for the ride!

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist and contributor with Post Media.

JOHN also fronts up Canadian Blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN

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

 

 

01
Dec
17

PETER PARCEK- EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN-“ATMOSPHERIC BLUES DELUXE’ CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

Peter Parcek creates an entire album full of prime atmospheric blues on his latest album Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven

Excellent star turns from the great Luther Dickinson, Mickey Raphael and legendary keyboard man Spooner Oldham are very cool.

Yet it’s the covers of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s See that My Grave is Kept Clean and Parcek’s very different take on the title track written by Don Nix that create a big buzz.

Elsewhere Parcek goes instrumental on Every Drop of Rain and Pat Hare with good results but it’s his own Things Fall Apart that comes up aces.

Excellent work from producer and drummer Marco Giovino on keeping the whole album tucked in tight and focused.

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

JOHN  also heads up Canadian Blues Rockers THE SHAFTMEN




Advertisements
August 2018
M T W T F S S
« May    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031