Although this is the first review of a CHARLES BURTON release, regular and attentive readers of Mary4Music.com reviews may recall having heard his name mentioned here before. CHARLES appeared as a guest guitarist on Michele Lundeen's 2005 release, "Song Inside Me", reviewed here back in 2005. Back then, I only got to hear him on 2-3 tracks, now I get to appreciate him even more.
On "I WOULDN'T LIE TO YOU", an all originals disc, CHARLES BURTON, on vocals and guitar, is joined by EDUARDO SABOGAL on drums and RICK NASH and STEVE WELLS on bass.
The disc opens with the title track, "I WOULDN'T LIE TO YOU". Now I don't know about you, but whenever I hear that line, I can't help but think it's a lie in itself. As a matter of fact, that line should be right up there with the two other biggest lies in the world....."the check is in the mail" and .......oh never mind, you get my drift. On this track CHARLES appears to be telling some hot babe the many different ways that her boyfriend is mistreating her - in hopes that she'll go home with him instead. Wait a minute.....who's the real snake here? Great rhythm from STEVE and EDUARDO behind some great guitar highlights by CHARLES already have me thinking this may be one of the best tracks on the disc.
Jazz, and blues fans alike, will appreciate the instrumental track titled "CUBA". This one's all about CHARLES and his guitar. It's four and a half minutes of absolute skillful mastery over an instrument.
Very sharp drum work by EDUARDO leads the band in several tight grooves on "YOU CAN'T TREAT ME THAT WAY", "BIG EYES", "THIS LITTLE NUMBER" and "I HAD TO PULL HER OVER". These tracks pretty much emulate what this band is all about. You've got three very talented musicians doing what they do best- laying down tight rhythm, putting on virtuoso guitar performances and singing perfect sounding vocals. No trickery necessary!
If you think that a title like "MY BABY DON'T LOVE ME" might be some low down dirty blues song, then we think alike. Happily, that's exactly what it is - the kind of stuff that lights my blues flame. CHARLES nails the mood with the vocal tempo and the blues licks on guitar are the best on the disc. This is good stuff.
Another instrumental, this one titled "SWING", has me very impressed. As proficient as this band is musically, I find myself uncharacteristically thinking I could easily enjoy many more of these instrumentals. Not since Ronnie Earl has a guitar player impressed me as much as CHARLES BURTON is now doing.
Other tracks on "I WOULDN'T LIE TO YOU" include "HOW WE DO IT DOWNTOWN", "BLOCK PARTY", "SEE MY BABY" and "I'D LIKE TO KNOW".
I've said this before and I'll say it again. if you're going to make it as a three piece band, you better be damn good, and THE CHARLES BURTON BLUES BAND is damn good. Check them out at www.charlesburton.com and tell them the Blewzzman is talkin' 'bout 'em.
BLUE VOODOO joins the fast growing list of bands that are on their second go around here at www.Mary4Music.com reviews. Here it is just thirteen months after enjoying their release called "THE STORM", and this tightly tuned band is once again getting my wires hot with their new release....."HOT WIRE (MY HEART)".
Musician wise, the 2007 version of the band bears only one change. Joining BJ ALLEN who is absolutely outstanding on the vocals are: JERRY FULLER on guitar, piano and organ; JP HURD on bass and harp; and newcomer DAVID DANIELS on drums. Additional guests include JOYCE CARNES and HEATHER SMITH on background vocals and DEREK DANIELS on percussion.
As with their previous release, the band once again succeeds by capitalizing on their strengths.....very well written originals (all twelve tracks), BJ'S very powerful, yet never overpowering voice and the band habitually locking into tight grooves.
"DOIN' SOMEBODY" serves as a great opening track by pretty much featuring all of the band. It's a great taste of what's ahead. JP and DEREK are great together with the rhythm, JERRY'S guitar solos are sharp, the gals on background are meticulously melodic and BJ, as she does on every song, belts her heart out on the vocals.
Some of the best guitar work on "HOT WIRE (MY HEART)" can be heard right here on the title track. This one's all about JP and BJ. He's doin' his damndest to bust some strings while she's wailing out some gut bustin' blues.
"SOUNDS LIKE "L" is a smooth instrumental featuring a nice blend of funk and jazz. It's a completely relaxing number with lots of great rhythm and percussion. It doesn't get any tighter than this.
As the title might indicate, "BLUE AS BLUES CAN GET", is a burning ballad, featuring BJ at her best. JERRY'S soft piano intro, along with JOYCE and HEATHER'S backup vocals, add to this one's highlights. This is the kind of stuff that packs the dance floors.
"NOOSE AROUND YOUR NECK" is fast and funky. As you'd expect, JP and DAVID are on fire and DEREK'S fanning those flames with some furious beating of the congas. On this one BJ's telling her hound dog of a boyfriend that he'd better put a ring on her finger or he's gonna find a noose around his neck. Hmmm, hearing it said that way certainly gives new meaning to choosing the lesser of the two evils.
Other tracks include: "YOUR BLUES ARE MY BLUES NOW", "GYPSY WOMAN", "TOO MUCH TO DO", "PUDDLE OF MUD", "WRITTEN ON MY HEART", "DEEP VALLEY" and "NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY".
Once again, BLUE VOODOO comes through with another very impressive release. This is the kind of consistency that's absolutely necessary for a band to take it to the next level, and I believe BLUE VOODOO'S got it within reach. Check out BJ and the guys at www.BlueVoodooBlues.com and let her know that she's got the Blewzzman "HOT WIRED".
When it comes to youthfulness - I envy those that have it, as for talent - I marvel at those who possess it, intelligence is also a quality I commend and I truly admire the beautiful. However, possessorship of all of these should be downright illegal. Someone arrest ANDREA MARR.
Not only is this absolutely beautiful, young lady a superb vocalist, but she's an excellent songwriter as well. Add to that the ability and the savvy to surround herself with an equally as talented band and you've got quite the enterprising lady. Joining ANDREA MARR on this wonderful project are LLOYD SPEIGEL on guitar and backup vocals, LUKE HODGESON on bass and backup vocals, DEAN MATTERS on drums and backup vocals, CAMERON SCOTT on the Hammond Organ, piano and backup vocals, CHRIS MCCONACHY on harmonica, and ANDY COWAN on keyboards and backup vocals.
One need not read ANDREA'S bio to know that her roots stem from singing Gospel music as a child. Her soulful, passionate, energetic and certainty of her vocals - and the style in which she delivers them - make that quite apparent. That background, her father exposing her to jazz and hearing Elvis Presley are the ingredients that ANDREA accredits to her being blues influenced.
Residing in Melbourne, Australia, her popularity with the local blues community has been tremendous. An earlier release netted her the Australian "Female Blues Artist of the Year" in 2002, and in 2005 she was crowned "Blues Performer of the Year", sending her to Memphis as her blues society representative in the "International Blues Challenge". Not bad credentials.
"WATCH ME WORK IT" consists of ten tracks equally divided between originals and covers. The opening track, "NEIGHBOR, NEIGHBOR" immediately impresses. Andrea wastes no time in establishing her range and certitude and the band, featuring skillful work by CAMERON on the Hammond B3, is already on fire.
Like other things that are part of a women's life - like it or not, ANDREA has had her share of "MAN TROUBLE" (one of the discs originals). Behind some strong harp work by CHRIS, and several very hot guitar licks by LLOYD, LUKE and DEAN light this one up with sharp bass and drum work.
Another original, "HE ONLY ROCKS ON STAGE", uses some interesting lyrics to describe an ex-boyfriend who apparently has a rock star ego. It seems this "thriller of a killer" could only rock on stage. The band however, is a killer and a thriller on this rocker which is highlighted by smoking guitar and piano work by LLOYD and CAMERON.
Slowing it down to a slow and sultry pace, and showing where her roots come from, ANDREA belts out some real pure and raw blues on the Jimmy Witherspoon classic "AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS". Being the blues burner that it is, you'd expect lots of great blues guitar, and LLOYD delivers. In spite of that, and more stunning piano work by CAM, ANDREA'S vocals blow this one out of the box. Obviously, due to several hits of the replay button and wishing that this four minute track was fourteen minutes, this ONE is unquestionably my particular favorite.
Another great cover is Jimmy Reed's "BABY WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO". This one captures the whole band simultaneously peaking. It's musically the best track on the disc. Showcasing her vocal strength, ANDREA flexes her cords on this one. Having not seen this young, petite native of Sri Lanka, a listener would easily describe the singer of this song as a 300 lb, thirty year veteran of the blues from some where in Mississippi.
Knowing my taste always leans more towards the lowdown dirty blues, it's pretty much a gimme that songs like "IF I DIDN'T LOVE YOU", another original, get me going. This is the type of song that even makes the people who'd rather catch the flu than get up and dance, want to get up and dance. The soulful and sultry vocals, the steady and smooth tapping of the snare drum and the constant and very soft background organ make it impossible to not want to just close your eyes and sway. Man, this is good stuff.
The rest of "WATCH ME WORK IT" consists of: "WATCH ME WORK IT", "TOO HOT TO HANDLE", "STAND AND DELIVER" and "ONE SIDED LOVE AFFAIR".
It's this listeners opinion that should ANDREA MARR get some world wide recognition that those Australian Music Awards could quickly be accompanied by a few other Blues Music Awards - namely the ones given out by the Blues Foundation. Please stop by www.andreamarr.com and check her out. Be sure to tell her she impressed the hell out of the Blewzzman.
HOWARD GLAZER'S back, and he's up to the same old stuff - the same good old stuff that is, as he was just about this time two years ago. His new CD, titled "LIQUOR STORE LEGEND", is full of thirteen new originals performed the only way HOWARD knows how to perform them - hot, hard, rough and rockin'.
Joining HOWARD GLAZER on vocals, electric, acoustic (Howard? on acoustic guitar?), resonator and lap steel guitars are the EL 34's: BOB GODWIN on electric and acoustic bass and background vocals; CHARLES STUART on drums, hand drums and percussion; and extra guests LARRY MAREK on the Hammond organ, THE GREENFIELD STREET SINGERS (SEAN BONDAREFF, MIKE BLASZKIEWICZ, STEPHANIE JOHNSON, BOB GODWIN and MAGGIE MCCABE) on background vocals.
The opening, and title track, "LIQUOR STORE LEGEND", pretty much sets the tone for what you can expect to hear on most of the tracks - lots of blazing guitar leads and good old gruffly sung blues vocals. Hopefully, this track derived from fiction and not real life experiences. It seems that being this liquor store legend means being known in every liquor store from Detroit to NYC. This one's got lots of great background organ work by LARRY.
Being the hard driving, rockin' song that it is, "LET'S GO FOR A RIDE" is appropriately named. I'm just hoping that the ride's not being taken after partaking in some of the merchandise purchased above. HOWARD tears it up ala Chuck Berry on this one.
Some of HOWARD'S best stuff can be heard on "BROKEN DOWN HOTEL BLUES". For some reason this track reminded me of an old T-REX song called "BANG A GONG". Let's hope it's as successful. MAGGIE and STEPHANIE add some nice backup vocals to this one.
Being the real low down blues track that it is, also makes "WONDER WHY" my particular favorite track. Man, when HOWARD gets the blues, watch out. This is pretty much seven minutes of him tearing up some blues riffs. This is the kind of stuff I'd love to see more of on HOWARD'S future projects. More good organ work by LARRY.
The rhythm section OF BOB and CHARLES are on fire on "BAR FLY BOOGIE". On this one they set a frantic pace which HOWARD just takes and runs with. They each get a very impressive bass and drum solo toward the middle of the track.
Other tracks on "LIQUOR STORE LEGEND" include: "HANGING BY A THREAD", "BURNING AIN'T NO FUN". "GOT TO GET GOING", "TAKE ME BABAY", "POWER" "GAS PUMP BLUES", "WALKING IN THE RAIN" and "NEXT TRAIN OUT".
Those of you who like your blues packed with high energy need to add some HOWARD GLAZER to your collection. You can do that by going to www.howardglazer.com and picking up a copy of "LIQUOR STORE LEGEND". Of course, you'll tell him the Blewzzman sent ya.
I have just had one of the best hours I've had in a very long time. During the last 60 minutes, I learned a lot of very interesting facts, heard some very good music, looked at some very cool pictures, saw lots of great video footage - historical and musical, and laughed my butt off - all while watching "BORN IN THE HONEY" - THE PINETOP PERKINS STORY.
"BORN IN THE HONEY" pretty much tells it all. It covers PINETOPS life from raising himself at the age of six right up to the present time. That eighty-eight year span surely saw it's share of ups and downs....Grammys, Handy's, fame, friendships, stabbings, explosions, deaths and alcohol abuse. Pinetop openly admits that "it was rough, but I made it". According to HUBERT SUMLIN, PINETOP "must have some of God in him".
Throughout their interviews, some very interesting, revealing, warm and comical stories are told by: ANN RABSON, BERNARD ALLISON, BOB MARGOLIN, BOBBY RUSH, BUBBA SULLIVAN (Bubba's Corner - Helena, Ark), DR. JOHN, EDDY CLEARWATER, HUBERT SUMLIN, IKE TURNER, KIM WILSON, KOKO TAYLOR, LONNIE BROOKS, MARCIA BALL, MITCH WOODS, PAUL OSCHER, SAM CARR, TAJ MAHAL and WILLIE "BIG EYES" SMITH.
One of the funniest stories is told by BOBBY RUSH. As the story goes, BOBBY AND PINETOP are hanging out in a club with a bunch of other musicians. PINETOP decides to introduce a "good looking woman" - who he really knows is a guy in drag - to the drummer. Fast forward many drinks, lots of money and a few hours later, and the drummer comes pounding on BOBBY and PINETOPS rooms announcing his rude discovery. The story, quite the riot that it was, is absolutely nothing compared to seeing and hearing BOBBY RUSH tell it. Whatever this disc costs, this segment alone is worth the price.
Other cute stories are told by ANN RABSON and WILLIE SMITH as they discuss PINETOPS bad habits. It seems his two favorite things to do are eat McDonald's and smoke cigarettes. Aha, so that's the way to make it 94 and still feel young. Hmmmmmm.
Hearing TAJ MAHAL and LONNIE BROOKS talk about how lucky PINETOP is to have a great manager and a dear friend in PAT MORGAN was quite touching. They both express their appreciation and deep admiration of what she does for PINETOP. Those of us who are lucky enough to know her agree.
Of course, the DVD is not at all a total documentary. Throughout the disc PINETOP is featured playing with BOB MARGOLIN, MOOKIE BRILL, WILLIE "BIG EYES" SMITH, ANN RABSON, DIUNNA GREENLEAF, THE NIGHTHAWKS and others.
Included with the "BORN IN THE HONEY" - THE PINETOP PERKINS STORY DVD is a CD titled "PINETOP PERKINS ON THE 88'S" LIVE IN CHICAGO. The tracks include "CHICKEN SHACK", "HOW LONG BLUES", "DOWN IN MISSISSIPPI", "GRINDER MAN BLUES", "LITTLE BIT OF YOUR LOVE", "PERKINS BOOGIE", "IDA B", "KANSAS CITY", and "MOJO". Appearing with PINETOP were WILLIE "BIG EYES" SMITH on drums, ROBERT "BOB" STROGER on bass and "LITTLE" FRANK KROKOWSKI on guitar.
A bonus track,"RATHER QUIT HER THAN HIT HER" which has never been previously released, is also included. It features PINETOP with BOB CORRITORE on harmonica, JOHNNY RAPP on guitar, PAUL THOMAS on bass and CHICO CHISM on drums.
If those of you who read this listen to just one of my recommendations - make it be this one. Click here... Amazon.com: Born in the Honey - The Pinetop Perkins Story: DVD: Pinetop Perkins... and buy the "BORN IN THE HONEY" - THE PINETOP PERKINS STORY, DVD/CD set right now.
Also check out PINETOP at www.pinetopperkins.com and tell him you're there because Pete the Blewzzman set ya.