Friday, September 28, 2012

New Blues For You (Fall 2012 Edition)

Once again, it's time for a look at some new and upcoming releases that deserve to be heard.  Today, FBF will be looking at four sizzling new CDs that cover a broad range of blues styles.  As always, expanded reviews of these discs will be available in an upcoming issue of Blues Bytes.

Ian Siegal & The Mississippi Mudbloods - Candy Store Kid (Nugene Records):  Siegal is a reformed rock and roller, who discovered the blues in the 80's, via the original sources like Charley Patton, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf.  His last CD, The Skinny, was nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 2012 Blues Music Awards.  On that release, Siegal left his longtime backing musicians in England and traveled to the hill country of Mississippi, where he teamed up with Cody Dickinson, Garry Burnside, Robert Kimbrough, and drummer Rod Bland (Bobby's son).  On Candy Store Kid, Siegal doubles down with a return to the hill country, with a core band (dubbed the Mississippi Mudbloods) that includes Cody and Luther Dickinson, and Alvin Youngblood Hart.  Burnside returns for a cameo and the irrepressible Lightnin' Malcolm also joins in with contributing vocals.  Siegal, like Malcolm, incorporates elements of rock, soul, and funk in his hill country sound, but with extra swagger.  Plus, he has a fantastic gravelly voice that really lifts the proceedings up a notch.  I have played this one to death since my advance copy arrived a couple of weeks ago and I am pretty sure that you will, too.  Check out this snippet from one of the disc's highlights, a funky cover of Little Richard's "Green Power."

Hans Theessink & Terry Evans Featuring Ry Cooder - Delta Time (Blue Groove):  I really enjoyed Theessink's last release, Jedermann Remixed.  It was one of my favorites last year, and Terry Evans' phenomenal late 80's soul/blues album with former singing partner Bobby King, Live and Let Live, is one of my all-time favorites.  I was really excited to see these two performing together.  Actually, Delta Time is their second collaboration.....2008's Visions was their first.  Delta Time is an all-acoustic affair with Theessink playing guitar, banjo, mandolin, percussion, and harmonica, Evans playing guitar, and Cooder sitting in on three track.  The vocal interplay is wonderful, mixing Theessink's warm baritone with Evan's gospel-inspired tenor (plus marvelous backing vocals from Evans, Willie Greene, Jr., and Arnold McCuller).  The songs are a mix of originals and well-chosen covers.  This a nice, laid back session that just gets better every time I hear it.  These guys sound great together and I hope we will get to hear much more from them.  Check out the video for the title track below.

Mississippi Heat - Delta Bound (Delmark):  The Chicago-based band, Mississippi Heat is celebrating its 20th year of existence with a typically fun disc of, as they call it, "traditional blues with a unique sound."  Loaded with guest stars (drummer Kenny Smith, Carl Weathersby,   Chubby Carrier, and former Heat members Billy Flynn and Deitra Farr, Delta Bound is a wide-ranging set.  Of course, you also have the great harmonica work of founder Pierre Lacocque and the dynamic vocals of Inetta Visor.  Farr adds vocals on three tracks and the guitar work from Flynn, Weathersby Giles Corey, and Billy Satterfield is spot on.  This is a fun disc from start to finish, featuring one of the best Windy City blues bands currently in operation.  They rarely, if ever, disappoint, and Delta Bound is no exception to the rule.  Check out a clip of one of Farr's guest vocals, "Look-A-Here, Baby"....

Lou Pallo and Les Paul's Trio with Special Guests - Thank You Les (Showplace Music Productions):  This tribute to the legendary guitarist is not limited to blues, but is a must-have for anyone who's ever picked up a guitar with intent to play.  Paul did more to advance the development of guitar than anyone, inventing the solid-body electric guitar, developing various playing techniques, writing many songs that are a major part of the blues, jazz, and country canons, and serving as a tremendous influence to guitarists of all genres.  The CD (also available as a DVD) features a veritable who's who of modern guitar masters, including Steve Miller, Keith Richards, Billy Gibbons, Jose Feliciano, Slash, Bucky Pizzarelli, Johnny A, Nokie Edwards, and Pallo himself.   This is an outstanding set of music, a loving tribute to one of the true musical pioneers, and should be of interest to any fans of popular music.

From September 27 through October 8, the state of Mississippi will be celebrating "Bridging The Blues," a 12-day celebration that will be taking place throughout the Mississippi Delta as various communities host festivals, concerts, and other activities promoting the blues.  The event will be coinciding with the upcoming King Biscuit Festival in Helena, AR (first weekend in October), so the state is hoping to attract some of the many fans who will be in the Delta for that event, and they're pulling out all the stops.  The festivities started Thursday night with Stevie J performing at the Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg, followed by Bobby Rush appearing at Club Ebony in Indianola tonight.

Saturday will feature the Highway 61 Blues Festival in Leland, which features an impressive two-day roster that includes L.C. Ulmer, Eddie Cusic, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, John Horton, and Mickey Rogers.  The King Biscuit Festival is the next weekend (Oct. 4 - 6), and the Cat Head Mini Blues Festival and the Pinetop Perkins Homecoming will wrap things up on the 7th.  Plus, there will be other activities, such as a tour of Dockery Plantation, an exhibition of blues photography from Dr. Bill Ferris, and much, much more.

To view a full schedule, go to this website and see for yourself.  Looks like all the blues a blues fan could ask for.

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