Friday, December 5, 2014

New Blues For You - Fall, 2014 Edition (Part 3)

This week, Friday Blues Fix continues our look at some of the new releases that are coming your way during the fall months.  This week's offering features a wide range of blues styles and at least one of these albums should fit your musical palate, whatever style of blues you dig.

(Sorry, having some difficulties adding audio files on some of these albums)

To begin, let's see what's happening in Memphis.....

Daddy Mack Blues Band - Blues Central (Inside Sounds):  Longtime readers know that Mack Orr is a favorite of FBF, and this new disc does nothing to change that.  Orr's sixth release finds him and his band still laying down that relentlessly nasty, greasy, funky Memphis blues, but what I really like is how the folks behind the scenes don't just give you more of the same with each release.....they have gradually added to Orr's sound with each release by adding harmonica, horns, keyboards, backing singers, etc...but they never stray far from the band's original sound.  Orr's robust vocals and guitar are still front and center, but the band's airtight rhythm attack is the key to the whole thing.  Over the years, I've discovered a lot of great Memphis blues acts, such as the Fieldstones, the Bluesbusters, and the Hollywood All Stars, and the Daddy Mack Blues Band follows closely in their footsteps and actually may end up being the best of them all.

Georgie Bonds - Stepping Into Time (BGB Music):  Singer Bonds started out as a blacksmith, singing R&B as a pastime, but a friend's cassette tape of Robert Johnson steered him to the blues and after attracting the attention of blues man Sonny Rhodes at an open mic night, he's focused on singing the blues.  After a couple of stumbles and setbacks, he's returned with this amazing set of ten originals and two covers that touch on a wide range of blues styles mixed with soul, funk, traditional and country blues.  Bonds opens up with a chilling reading of the blues classic, "St. James Infirmary," that lets you know he means business and he just rips through this amazing album loaded for bear.  He's well on his way to becoming one of the most compelling blues voices in a long time.

Howard Glazer - Looking in the Mirror (Lazy Brothers Records):  FBF friend Glazer is a veteran of the Detroit blues scene, and his versatile guitar skills allowed him to be selected as Outstanding Blues/R&B Instrumentalist at the Detroit Blues Awards earlier this year.  He was also inducted into the Michigan Blues Hall of Fame last year.  His latest album proves that his recent accolades are well-deserved.  In addition to his guitar prowess, he's also shows that he's a talented tune smith as well, penning all twelve tracks, and a strong vocalist.  He ably moves from traditional urban blues to country blues to psychedelic blues rock, paying tribute to the late Johnny Winter on one tune and even channeling Jethro Tull(!) on one track which features an electric flute.  More than anything, you can really feel the love that Glazer has for this music with every note played and sung.  This guy is a blues lifer and to me, this is his best release yet.

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