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September 2021

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Order these featured albums today:

Tommy Castro


Lisa Mills

Avey Grouws Band

A Band Called Sam

Head Honchos

Alistair Greene

Dennis Jones

Ron Thompson

Kirsten Thien

Barrett Anderson Band

Mud Morganfield


Dwayne DopsieThis is the zydeco album that I've been waiting for! Dwayne Dopsie is the son of legendary zydeco master Rockin' Dopsie, and he shows that he learned his lessons well on his latest album, Set Me Free (Louisiana Red Hot Records). It's old-school zydeco at its best with enough contemporary blues and soul touches to make it even more interesting. Like his father, Dwayne plays accordion and sings, proving to be an outstanding musician in his own right.

The cuts to earmark for repeated listenings include the title cut, a mid-tempo blues with a back beat. It's well-suited for Dwayne's raw voice that has just a little of that desirable blues rasp. Another solid number is a version of Guitar Slim's slow blues classic, "The Things I Used To Do," the album's only cover, with Dwayne's brothers Anthony and Rockin' Dopsie Jr. joining in. Anthony contributes a strong organ solo to this tune.

"Louisiana Girl" is an up-tempo zydeco number that moves both the feet and the soul, sure to fill up the dance floor anywhere it's played. The same could be said for the even more upbeat "DD's Zydeco Two Step," which is just what the title says it is. Dwayne really shows off his ability on the accordion on "Lafayette Boogie," one that I'm certain would make his dad very proud.

For more of a soulful twist to the music, "Take It Higher" opens the album with a fast tempo and rhythmic beat, with Brandon David coming in midway through the number with a riveting blues guitar solo. "Shake Shake Shake" has Dwayne reminiscing about a zydeco club that he used to try to get into when he was underage, forcing him to look through the windows in another of his early introductions to the music. David throws down still another stinging guitar solo.

The album closes with a feelgood party stomper, "Have Those Days Again," with Dwayne singing about his family and the good times they've had, while Tim McFatter wails away on the saxophone. Good times --- that's a phrase that defines this entire album. Every one of the 12 cuts is great, making Set Me Free highly recommended.

--- Bill Mitchell

Tommy CastroTommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town (Alligator) has the star of this album, Tommy Castro, telling a complete story over the 13 original compositions. Castro is no stranger to the blues world, so I don't have to go into too much detail about his music. It's his usual rockin' blues sound, with  strong soulful singing and guitar playing, often effectively using a slide on the guitar strings. On this concept album, Castro tells the story of a young bluesman, how he got started playing the blues, the ups and downs of his life, and finally his redemption. The music, of course, is high quality, as is expected from this prolific artist. But it's the weaving of this young man's tale that makes this album stand out.

"Somewhere" starts us off with the young man working on the farm while dreaming about another life as he teaches himself how to play the blues. Jimmy Hall contributes harmonica on this number. The next cut, "A Bluesman Came To Town," gives the young man the motivation to get out of the fields and start his blues career . "Child Don't Go" is a gospel-infused number, with Terri Odabi sharing vocals, as the he is implored to stay home instead of going out on the road. "You To Hold On To" is a slow soulful number about his experiences as he leaves his home.

"Hustle" changes not just the music, being a funky soul number, but also the tone of the story as the young man has to learn how to be a bluesman in the big city. "I Got Burned" is a mid-tempo blues shuffle about a tough lesson he had to learn about the music business when he doesn't get paid for a gig. That leads into a slow blues, "Blues Prisoner," where the loneliness and pressures of his new life are getting to him. This one is the best blues number on the disk, and can easily stand on its own merit outside the context of Castro's story.

But then our young man becomes a blues star, as we hear on the Chuck Berry-style "I Caught A Break," with fans lining up to get into his shows and a successful record to his name. Kevin McKendree's piano playing stands out on this one.

What comes with success? We get to hear the next phase of his life on "Women, Drugs and Alcohol," with the title of this mid-tempo blues/rock telling us everything we need to know about what success has done to the young man.

"Draw The Line" is a slow number that has him reflecting on his life now, what it used to be, and where he goes from here. He makes his decision on the mid-tempo soulful ballad "I Want To Go Back Home," hoping to go home and be accepted by his family and his girl. The horn section is big here, with the arrangements and sax work coming from Deanna Bogart. The young man is on his way back home and reflecting on the decisions he made on the up-tempo heavy blues "Bring It On Back," highlighted by very nice slide guitar from Castro.

On the final cut, Castro reprises "Somewhere," now a more acoustic number with slide guitar as he sings again what the young man once had and now has again. It's a happy ending to the story, a strong number to close the album.

Each song on Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town stands on its own as solid blues, but it's more entertaining to listen from start to finish in order to get the entire story. Well done, Tommy.

--- Bill Mitchell

Lisa MillsThe Triangle (BMG Rights Management) by Lisa Mills was one of my favorite albums of 2020, with this veteran blues/soul singer turning out a gem of 14 outstanding soul and blues numbers recorded at three iconic studios in the south. Ms. Mills showed on a couple of the cuts that, dare I say it, she could do Etta James as well as Etta did on the original versions. But those 14 songs weren't all she recorded, as we now have four additional cuts on The Triangle - Expanded Edition.

Worth the price alone is Mills' version of the King Floyd classic, "Groove Me." It's just plain incredible. Stupendous. Wonderful. I obviously can't say enough about her cover of this soul classic. She follows with a nice slow rendition of William Bell's "Everybody Love A Winner," showing that she's got the voice to do it justice. I love how her vocal inflections handle the transitions between each word as she goes through the song.

Mills also tackles an Elvis standard with her cover of "Trying To Get To You," a more stripped-down version that gives her voice even more room to soar. The final song is a strong version of Arthur Alexander's "You'd Better Move On." The Rolling Stones had a big hit with this tune and there were other very fine versions over the years, but Mills makes it her own.

The Triangle has already gotten a strong recommendation from me when I originally reviewed it, and now it's even more valuable with the addition of these four soul gems. If you haven't already picked it up, then by all means get the Expanded Edition. If you already own a copy, it'll be easy enough in our current digital era of music distribution to download the new cuts.

--- Bill Mitchell

GA-20GA-20 describes their music as "modern versions of old blues." This trio of two guitars and drums sure knows how to rock the blues. Obviously influenced by the rough and raw blues of Hound Dog Taylor, it's only appropriate that they chose to do a full album of music by HDT, Try It --- You Might Like It (Karma Chief / Colemine Records), with 10 songs done originally by the master of raucous blues. An album like this is risky because there will be a constant comparison to the original numbers, and in this case it's a mixed bag for GA-20. Matthew Stubbs acquits himself well on guitar, giving that standard fuzzy sound that Hound Dog perfected, but singer Pat Faherty is a good enough vocalist but he doesn't have the same raw, raspy sound that made these the original songs what they were.

Among the HDT classics are versions of "Give Me Back My Wig," "Hawaiian Boogie," "It's Alright," "Sadie" and "It Hurts Me Too." GA-20 makes it a fun listen, seldom straying from the originals. One of the better numbers is "She's Gone," with Faherty putting more power into the vocals. The same goes for "See Me In The Evening." In fact, it's the up-tempo numbers that allow Faherty's voice to play up, while he struggles on the slower numbers.

Give it a listen. I like that these dudes chose to honor one of the great unsung bluesmen. Don't expecti it to sound just like the originals, but enjoy it for what it is.

--- Bill Mitchell

Avey Grouws BandI just loved, loved, loved the 2020 self-released debut album, The Devil May Care, by Iowa's Avey Grouws Band, calling it in my review one of the surprise hits of the year. I was eager to hear their follow-up, Tell Tale Heart (Navy House Records), and while inot all of the material suits my tastes there's some very fine stuff here.

The band is headed by Jeni Grouws (vocals) and Chris Avey (guitar), with Bryan West (drums), Randy Leasman (bass) and Nick Vasquez (keyboards) rounding out the quintet. Telltale Heart veers a little more into blues/rock territory a bit more than its predecessor, which is why for me it's not as essential as the original, but your results may vary.

My faves include the funky blues "There For Me," a vehicle for Grouws to show off her impressive vocal capabilities with the tight support of the band. Just as strong is the catchy up-tempo shuffle "Hanging Around," with Grouws sounding just a little more sultry. Nice guitar and organ accompaniment. Avey contributes a solid blues/rock guitar solo on a slow, late night blues, "Tell Tale Heart," with Grouws again showing why she has the potential to be the next great female blues singer on the scene. Or perhaps she's already there and the blues world just doesn't yet know it.

A song that will have you bopping your head and tapping your feet is the funky mid-tempo blues, "Heart's Playing Tricks," with Grouws singing all about the hazards of being too jealous. This is the creative songwriting that this band is becoming known for, and Vasquez comes in with some very fine organ playing. "We're Gonna Roll" gets real funky, with Grouws voice soaring to octaves not achievable by most human voices. Avey plays some very fine guitar here. 

Closing the album is "Eye To Eye," one with kind of a C&W-ish blues vibe that features Grouws and Avey sharing vocals in a playful way while Vasquez adds a honky tonk piano solo. It differs from most of the album, but is a nice finisher.

Avey Grouws Band continues to impress and should be followed as they proceed with their career. Tell Tale Heart is a strong second album and I can't wait to hear what's next from this band of Iowans.

--- Bill Mitchell

Chris GillI’ve been listening to Chris Gill in various incarnations for several years. The Jackson, Mississippi-based blues man collaborated with percussionist Darrick Martin (as D’Mar & Gill) on two excellent albums a few years back, and most recently he contributed guitar to Urban Ladder Society’s album of brave new blues, The Summit. He has also been a finalist at the International Blues Challenge (2012). However, I had never heard him on a release of his own music, until recently, when I received a copy of his latest solo album, Between Midnight and Louise (Endless Blues Records), which is truly a solo release featuring only Gill’s vocals and guitar.

The opening track is a nimble fingerpicked country blues instrumental, “Thank You For One More Day,” which Gill dedicates to his grandfather. Gill was inspired to write “Song For Honeyboy” after reading the blues legend’s autobiography; it features some splendid slide guitar work and a nod to the late Hubert Sumlin in the final verse.

“Back To Paradise” takes a look at our current squirrel cage of a world and offers potential solutions, while the gentle “You Never Know” sounds like a long-lost Mississippi John Hurt track. “Rolling Man” is a tale about a hobo’s adventures with an interesting deep percussive feel (Gill plays a Baritone Mule guitar on this track).

The Delta blues “Fleas and Ticks” will surely hit home for anyone who’s ever spent time in the Deep South during mid-summer. “Souvenir Of The Blues” is a moody slow blues with fine fretwork, particularly slide, which is followed by “Long Distance Highway,” a “road” song leaning more toward the country side of the aisle.

The next two songs were written by Gill’s friend, the late Virgil Brawley.The autobiographical (probably as much for Gill as for Brawley) “I Fell In Love With The Blues” and “Walking Through Eden,” a great tune that’s as much gospel as it is blues. The title track, another lovely instrumental, closes the album.

This is as fine a set of acoustic blues as you’ll hear these days. I was lucky enough to meet Chris Gill in late spring, performing at a Jackson restaurant, just before I listened to this album. I encourage you to check him out if he performs in your area. If you don’t have the chance and you love acoustic blues, you simply must grab a copy of Between Midnight and Louise.

--- Graham Clarke

Sam TaylorSam “Bluzman” Taylor served as a bandleader and guitarist for Maxine Brown, Big Joe Turner, the Isley Brothers, Tracy Nelson, Otis Redding, and Sam & Dave. He also played with Joey Dee & the Starliters, The Drifters, and The Rascals, and played guitar for B.T. Express, writing one of their more popular songs, “Everything That’s Good To Ya (Ain’t Always Good For Ya),” which has been sampled numrous times by Hip Hop artists. In the late ’70s, he moved to Santa Monica, California, where he hosted weekly shows with his band, called A Band Called Sam.

Taylor relocated to Arizona where he hosted his own TV and radio shows, dabbled in acting on TV and movies, and released three albums before returning to New York where he released five albums before he passed away in 2009 at age 74. His daughter, singer Sandra Taylor, and grandson, guitarist Lawrence “L.A.W.” Worrell (son of Sandra and Bernie Worrell), have revived the band name A Band Called Sam with some alumnus from Taylor’s bands (Gary Grob – bass, Gary Sellers – guitar, Danny Kean – keyboards, and Mario Staino – drums). On their album, Legacy (Highlander Records), the band pays tribute to Taylor by recording nine of his finest tunes.

If you like your blues with a touch of funk, you have found what you’re looking for with this set. The inspired opener, “Voice Of The Blues,” reunites all of Taylor’s former band members. Meanwhile, “Next In Line,” with co-lead vocals from Sandra Taylor and Angela Canini, has a smooth ’70s R&B feel, and the aforementioned “Good To Ya,” with Worrell on vocals and wah-wah guitar, is as funky as the original. The slow burner “Mother Blues” is a fine showcase for Sandra Taylor’s vocal talents and also allows the band an opportunity in the spotlight.

“Hole In Your Soul” is a catchy piece of blues and funk with the band really locking into the groove here. Taylor and Canini team up again on the upbeat shuffle “Devil In Your Eyes” and the synth horn-fueled R&B track “Nothing In The Street.” “Funny” was a hit in the early ’60s for soul singer Maxine Brown (Top 25 Pop and #3 R&B). The 81-year-old singer joins Taylor on vocals for this classy cover and sounds as good as she did on the original. Worrell sings the closer, “Stinger,” which originally served as an autobiographical track for Sam Taylor (born a Scorpio), and is pure, unadulterated funk.

Don’t let Legacy slip by you. It’s a fine set of contemporary blues mixed with funk and R&B, and it’s a great tribute to an unsung bluesman who certainly deserved more recognition than he got. It’s nice to see that Sam Taylor has family members following in his footsteps.

--- Graham Clarke

Head HonchosThe Indiana-based Head Honchos returns with Blues Alliance (Grooveyard Records), a powerhouse set of blues rockers (nine originals, two covers) that grabs and pulls listeners in from the get-go. The twin guitar attack of Rocco Calipari Sr. (also lead vocals) and Jr. remains as potent as ever, with propulsive backing from bassist Mike Boyle (Son Seals, Big Dog Mercer) and drummer Will Wyatt (Bob Stroger, Mike Wheeler, Joann Parker). Their latest effort should appeal to both blues and rock fans alike.

The Honchos bust right out of the gate with the thunderous “Stuck Between The Middle,” and the tempo rarely fades from this blistering guitarfest. The next track, “Mr. Bad,” mixes in a bit of funk and “Number One” offers soaring lead guitars in the best southern rock tradition. “She’s Got That Thang” changes the tempo a bit, mixing funk and rock, with guest keyboardist Mark Landes added to the mix.

“Find Me A Woman” and “Can’t Be Satisfied” (not the Muddy Waters standard) are straight-ahead hard-driving rockers. “Evil” is the old Howlin’ Wolf (via Willie Dixon) classic, albeit with nearly-metal fretwork from the Caliparis and Wyatt’s relentless drumming. “Midnight Ride” is a dark, ominous rocker punctuated by Boyle’s thundering bass, “We Will Win” has an almost pop-rock feel, while the tough “Rock N’ Roll” is…..well…..rock n’ roll.

The closer is the second cover tune, Al Green’s “I’m A Ram,” presented as a somewhat subdued (compared to the rest of the album) acoustic country blues.

Blues Alliance starts out in fifth gear and keeps that pace pretty much throughout, even with the closing acoustic number. "Sometimes," that can get a bit tedious over the long haul. But the Caliparis are pretty dynamic and versatile with their fretwork and Boyle and Wyatt provide stellar backing, so that never happens here. As stated above, the Head Honchos’ musical approach has much to offer for blues and rock fans. There’s not a bad track to be found on Blues Alliance.

--- Graham Clarke

Alastair GreeneAlastair Greene decided to venture to Houma, Louisiana and record The New World Blues (Whisky Bayou Records) with Tab Benoit. Greene opted to leave his band behind and work with Benoit, who played drums, and bassist Corey Duplechin. In the liner notes Greene calls this “the most stripped down blues-based album I’ve ever made.” The 11 tunes, all by Greene or in collaboration with Benoit, are among some of the guitarist’s best work and he is in peak form vocally and instrumentally.

The opener, “Living Today,” is a straight-ahead, driving rocker, and “Lies And Fear” is a mid-tempo track that drips with swampy funk (it was recently issued as a single, too). On the atmospheric “Bayou Mile,” the pace slows but the swampy vibe remains, and “When You Don’t Know What To Do” is lively country-flavored rock that moves along at a brisk pace. “No Longer Amused” is a slow burner with a lot of soul and a sharp guitar break from Greene. Meanwhile, “Back At The Poor House” is an instrumental shuffle with a touch of funk, a bit of Texas roadhouse, and a mighty fine groove.

The mid-tempo “Find Your Way Back Home” keeps that swamp vibe alive thanks to Benoit and Duplechin’s rhythm work, and Greene’s guitar solo is pretty awesome as well. On the ballad “Heroes,” Greene’s vocal is rather low-key but his guitar playing is anything but, and the upbeat “Wontcha Tell Me” mixes a bit of country flavor with rock and pop. The ominous “Alone and Confused” is a strong blues rock ballad with soaring guitar work. On the title track, which closes the album, Greene breaks out the slide and the results are pure dynamite.

The New World Blues represents a bit of a change in Alastair Greene’s musical approach, but the result is the rawest and most rugged set of blues rock in the guitarist’s catalog. It's a powerful set that will leave listeners hungry for more.

--- Graham Clarke

Dennis JonesSoft Hard & Loud (Blue Rock Records) is not a typical release from guitarist Dennis Jones, but it is a natural progression. Jones’ new release still features plenty of his fierce blues rock stylings, but these ten tracks mix in more R&B, soul, and funk than on previous albums. It’s always been there, but a bit more so this time around. The end result is an album that expands his musical scope and diversity. Jones is, as always, a force of nature on guitar and vocals, and he receives superb support from Cornelius Mims (bass/keys/percussion/co-producer with Jones), Raymond Johnson (drums), with contributions from Bennett Paysinger and Jason Freeman (B3 on one track apiece).

The funk is strong with the album opener, “Revolves Around You,” about a strained relationship with a self-centered lover. One of the highlights of any Dennis Jones album is his songwriting. His lyrical approach avoids the usual clichés about love and relationships, and his guitar work is dynamite. “I Love The Blues” is a slow burner that speaks of Jones’ love for the music he plays, featuring Paysinger’s B3 in the background. “Like Sheep” is a hard-hitting rocker with social overtones, while “Front Door Man” an upbeat blues shuffle, is simply Jones doing what he does best.

“Nothin’ On You” is a smooth old school R&B ballad. Jones does a fine job on vocals for this one, with background vocals from Allison August and Michael Turner. “I Hate Hate” is an encouraging tune with reggae and rock overtones, and “Gonna Be Alright” deftly mixes funk and rock with the blues, punctuated with Jones’ fiery fretwork. Speaking of which, “When I Wake Up” is a slow blues that features a positively Hendrixian guitar break that will leave jaws agape. “I’m Not” is another slower tempo track, but in more of a T-Bone Walker mode than the previous track, and the searing closer, “Burn The Plantation Down,” is a scathing social justice track.

It seems like I always say that the most recent Dennis Jones release is my favorite of his. Well, I hate to repeat myself, but I think Soft Hard & Loud falls in that category as well. I always look forward to hearing his next release and, well, I guess I will do saying that this time around, too.

Trust me, folks. If you haven’t yet gotten on board the Dennis Jones bandwagon, I highly recommend that you do so. This album is a fine place to start.

--- Graham Clarke

Ron ThompsonThe blues world suffered a big loss in February of 2020 when Bay Area blues legend Ron Thompson passed away due to complications from diabetes. The guitarist backed Little Joe Blue and worked with John Lee Hooker for three years in the mid ’70s before leaving to form his own band, the Resistors, whose 1987 release, Resister Twister, was nominated for a Grammy.

In his memory, Little Village Foundation, which also released his last album (2015’s Son of Boogie Woogie), has issued From The Patio, Live at Poor House Bistro, Volume 1, capturing two performances at the San Jose club from June and August of 2014.

Thompson played the Poor House Bistro every Wednesday for a number of years, and this 11-song set captures him in fine form. While he was a solid blues vocalist, he had mad guitar skills and this set showcases those quite well, especially his incendiary slide work.

“Meet Me In The Bottom” kicks off the set in fine fashion, featuring some fine fretwork, followed by Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Bring Me My Shotgun,” with positively scorching slide guitar. The Gulf Coast-flavored shuffle “Mardi Gras Boogie” is next, which leads into the slow burning standard “Tin Pan Alley,” and a terrific version of Little Walter’s “One More Chance With You,” featuring guest Gary Smith on harmonica.

A swampy take on Guitar Slim’s “I Done Got Over It” is another standout, with Jim Pugh’s cool organ solo and Thompson’s guitar. Lowell Fulson’s “Sinner’s Prayer” gets a marvelous smoldering treatment from Thompson, and the original “The River Is Rising” is first-rate. The soulful ballad “That’s How I Feel” was written by Don Covay and Bobby Womack, and was the “B” side of the only single released by the short-lived Soul Clan in the late ’60s. Thompson does a fine job vocally on this somewhat obscure track.

Kid Andersen, who produced the album, sits in on the final two tracks with Thompson, who turns in some ripping slide work on J.T. Brown’s “Doctor Brown,” the first of the two, and his own riproaring “When You Walk That Walk.”

From The Patio, Live at Poor House Bistro, Volume 1 is a marvelous set of contemporary blues played by one of the unsung players in modern blues. It’s sad that Ron Thompson didn’t get the recognition he most certainly deserved while he was with us, but it’s great that we have this album to remember how good he was (plus another one on the way, that’s why it’s called Volume 1).

--- Graham Clarke

Kirsten ThienKirsten Thien entitled her latest album Two Sides after the realization that her songs fit the duality concept – success and failure, struggle and hope, self-doubt and empowerment. She assembled these eight songs as if they were “A” and “B” sides, like the old vinyl 45’s from back in the day. Thien fans are already aware of her ability to effortlessly move from blues to rock to pop to soul to gospel, and this wonderful set will hopefully introduce her vocal gifts to a host of new listeners.

The opener, “Shoulda Been,” is a taut rocker that features Arthur Nielson’s electric slide guitar backed by Thien’s acoustic slide (also with a slide bass solo from producer Erik Boyd). “Sweet Lost And Found” is a smooth track that mixes country with rock, with a dash of gospel complements of backing vocals from New Orleans singers Tank and Jelly. “After I Left Home” was inspired by Buddy Guy’s memoir, capturing Guy’s story and his music perfectly, thanks to some searing fretwork from Neilson. “Say It Out Loud” borrows the Bo Diddley rhythm and paints an optimistic picture of life.

The blues rocker “I Gotta Man” finds Thien and Neilson trading guitar solos as she ruminates on leaving a good man, and the lovely “Montañas” can best be described as a blues mambo as Thien sings in Spanish and is backed by Fabian Almazan on piano and John Benthal on guitars. The Delta blues “Better Or You’re Gonna Get Burned” includes resonator guitar from Doug McLeod and Hill Country drum support from Wes Little. The closer is the album’s lone cover, an upbeat, tasty version of Leon Russell’s “I’d Rather Be Blind.”

Thien is a marvelous vocalist and guitarist, and her songwriting is superb as well. The backing musicians are excellent. The only thing that would make Two Sides better would be if a couple more “45’s” were added to the mix, but listeners will be just fine with the eight wonderful tracks present.

--- Graham Clarke

Barrett Anderson BandThe Barrett Anderson Band (Barrett Anderson – vocals/guitar, Charlie Mallet – guitar/vocals, Doug MacLeod – drums, Jamie “Black Cat Bone” Hatch – bass/vocals), based in Boston, have issued HypnoBoogie (Whitaker Blues Records), a dazzling 11-song set recorded live at The Fallout Shelter in Norwood, Massachusetts in February of 2019. Anderson, who was backing Pinetop Perkins and Bob Margolin at age 15, served as a member of Ronnie Earl’s Broadcasters and The Monster Mike Welch Band for three years apiece before starting his own band.

The set kicks off on a powerful note with a muscular cover of Bo Diddley’s “Mona,” with Anderson and Mallet’s twin guitar driving the Diddley beat (backing vocals are provided throughout by guest Emily Anderson). There are three other covers sprinkled throughout the set. The Magic Sam instrumental “Lookin’ Good” is as tasty as the original, and the set closer is a raw and rowdy take on the J. Geils Band’s “House Party.” The other cover is a thoroughly modernized version of Son House’s “Grinnin’ In Your Face” that’s just mesmerizing.

The band originals include the hard rocking shuffle “Good Man,” the funky and hypnotic “Not Your Baby,” the sweaty slow cooker “Emma Lee,” and “The Long Fall,” a stunning instrumental that crosses several genres during its 13+ minute run. The haunting “Blind Faith” is another instrumental with spacy, ethereal slide guitar work. “Broken Down” is an upbeat Hill Country romp with more slide guitar, while “Gone” is greasy funk and blues.

HypnoBoogie is a most impressive set of guitar-driven blues and blues rock that gives you a taste of what The Barrett Anderson Band is all about. Based on the quality of this strong set, longtime fans will be pleased and newcomers will want to dig deeper.

--- Graham Clarke

Mud MorganfieldMud Morganfield recently signed with Delmark Records and the label recently issued his first single, the self-penned gospel track, “Praise Him.” Morganfield, the oldest son of Muddy Waters, considered becoming a professional musician after Waters passed away in 1983, but it took him a while to take the plunge. In finally doing so he’s shown himself to be a savvy songwriter and musician, as well as being a fine vocalist in the tradition of his father.

“Praise Him” tells the story of Morganfield’s own spiritual walk and how it continues to direct his life in a positive way. He receives fine musical support from guitarists Rick Kreher and Mike Wheeler, drummer Cameron Lewis, and keyboardist Luca Chiellini, and a most heavenly choir (Felicia Collins, Shantina Lowe, Demetrius Hall).

“Praise Him” is a fine diversion from the turbulent times.

--- Graham Clarke



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