Archive for the ‘ Blues ’ Category

The Justus Brothers – Chinese Checkers

The roots of The Justus Brothers date back forty years, in the birthplace of soul, blues and rock ‘n’ roll: Memphis. The musicians who comprise the band dropping the eponymous debut album on October 11 on the iconic Memphis International Records/Select-O-Hits labels met long ago in the sweaty blues and smoky jazz clubs on Beale Street. Together, they electrified Memphis churches with rousing musical sermons and tracked in fabled Memphis recording studios alongside an incomparable list of hall of famers, Grammy winners and chart-topping legends. Before they backed a galaxy of stars in sold-out arenas, the members of The Justus Brothers paid dues playing long hours, night after night, sharpening their chops and earning virtuosity while forming a brotherhood built upon rhythm and groove.

Guitarist Niko Lyras and The Justus Brothers produced the ten songs on their self-titled set, a balance of original tunes and choice covers given the full Memphis makeover. Already garnering playlist adds is their soul-powered jam session workout “Chinese Checkers,” a revival originally recorded by Memphis’s Booker T. & the M.G.’s (https://youtu.be/ArzJIfJI8Zo). Several members of The Justus Brothers have ties to Booker T. & the M.G.’s, including drummer Steve Potts, who was a longtime member of the outfit.

The chemistry between the five “brothers” sizzles throughout the collection. Lyras, Potts and bassist Dave Smith have been playing together the longest. Thirty years ago, hornman Pat Register (tenor, alto and soprano sax and flute) and keyboardist Jason Clark completed the family. Continue reading

Patrick Yandall – When Its Hip

To classify Patrick Yandall as a smooth jazz guitarist would not do justice to his stylistic spectrum. Smooth jazz, contemporary jazz, blues, rock, every genre is a facet of his musical personality. Patrick’s new album When Its Hip has exactly these edges that make up the whole Yandall package.

Patrick performs all instruments on the new album. With the exception of three covers he has written all songs. The album is launched with the title song. While the lead guitar is focused on chords offers the main part variations of trumpet, bass and guitar underlined by synth strings. King James is somewhat harder due to the use of distortion effects. Even a short piano solo is included.

B Boy is called a break-dancer, who follows the athletic path of street dancing. Piano and guitar alternate in the presentation of the main motif. Most friends of smooth jazz will know Who’s That Lady through guitarist Peter White, who helped the 1973 Isley Bothers song to new fame. Unlike Peter White, Patrick lets the wildness of the guitar shine in its untamed form.

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Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers – All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues

2018 holiday release. Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers return with a powerhouse blues rock holiday album. Four original songs feature the hard driving, down and dirty “All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues”. And five holiday classics including “Merry Christmas Baby” and “The Christmas Song” are reimagined with a gritty, raucous spirit.

Mindi Abair is a two-time Grammy Award nominated saxophonist, vocalist, and author. Her solo career has produced ten #1 radio singles, two #1 Billboard Jazz CDs, and four more solo CDs that have landed #5 and above on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts. She was the featured saxophonist for the 2011 and 2012 seasons of American Idol.

Our third Christmas recommendation is available on Amazon.com.

Steve Oliver – Illuminate

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Steve Oliver is known for his distinctive style, which results from three components. Foremost a jazz guitarist, he follows his guitar performance with his voice. This jazz singing wherein words are sung note for note to melodies is called vocalese. Steve Oliver’s trademark is the wordless vocalese. The third component is the Roland (Boss) GR-33 guitar synthesizer which bases on the Roland JV-1080 sounds and is triggered by his guitars.

His album Illuminate is now available, his 11th career album. Steve has written and produced all songs. He plays all guitars, guitar synth, vocal sounds, bass, keyboards, drums, sound design. On selected tracks he is joined by Joel Taylor (drums), Cory de Brake, Jimmy Haslip, KT Tylor (bass), Walle Larsson, Chase Huna, Nelson Rangell, BillyRay Sheppard (saxophone), Tateng Katindig (piano), and Craig Chessnut (percussion).

The best way to get started on a new project is to get going at full steam. The aptly titled Full Tilt features Steve Oliver as master at work in the style he is known for and loved by his audience. The Game Is On serves syncopated thrill with exciting freshness.

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Randy McGill – Eclectic

Born in Houston, Texas, now a South Florida resident multi-instrumentalist Randy McGill covers a broad range of styles. Inspired by artists such as Robert Glasper and Snarky Puppy, he is a musician always pushing for greatness.

His debut album is the EP Eclectic, released in November 2017. Randy has written and mixed all songs and invited an elite circle of top musicians to his project. Neeeooooohhhhhhh follows a completely different approach to traditional smooth jazz. Instead of a sonic melody, McGill chooses a collage of voice messages, sound sequences, and gospel-like vocal chords.

That it also works differently, he demonstrates with the following Your Eyes. Extraordinary in the length of the song fascinating solos on piano and keyboards evolves from a very groovy piece. Responsible for this musical listening pleasure is blessed pianist Randy McGill and Dre Synth, who played the outstanding synth solo.

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Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers – The EastWest Sessions

I saw it coming. Smooth jazz saxophonist Mindi Abair joined Aerosmith for their 2012 Summer Tour and Bruce Springsteen and Max Weinberg for a night at the Beacon Theater. Infected by the Rock music virus her music became edgier. Mindi comments: “From touring with Aerosmith to getting to sit in with Bruce Springsteen for a song, those experiences gave me the permission to go a little more rootsy, and I’m going to run with it!″

The EastWest Sessions is her second album with the group The Boneshakers. The first one was Live In Seattle (2015). Mindi already worked with Boneshakers’ founder Randy Jacobs on his albums From Me To You (2005) and Rhythm And The Beat (2013). The Boneshakers are Randy Jacobs (guitar, vocals), Sweet Pea Atkinson (vocals), Rodney Lee (keys), Derek Frank (bass, vocals), and Third Richardson (drums, vocals). Featured guest musicians on the new album are iconic Blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa and Grammy awarded singer Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz better known under his stage name Fantastic Negrito.

The album starts with Vinyl, a powerful rock-fueled song showcasing Mindi in the double feature as singer and saxophonist. Forgotten is the sweetness of former records. This Mindi is sharp like a steel needle. Not That Kind of Girl is not just a title, it’s a statement. Third Richardson treats his drums with mighty beats and guitar and sax crank up the volume to the max. With a lot of party noise, Mindi pushes her rock heart to the limit.

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Patrick Yandall – A Journey Home

He is at home in many genres. He lives his love of music in blues, rock, smooth jazz, contemporary jazz and more. You never know in advance what direction his next album goes. A Journey Home (2017) is Patrick Yandall‘s return to his roots.

Patrick has written and produced all songs of the new project. The uplifting A Journey Home has the flavor of a sunny summer day. A hip melody with various instruments involved from guitar, horns to vintage organ. You never get a Second Chance for a first impression, but a musician always get the chance by writing new music. This song offers soul music with a retro savor.

Route 56, also known as Kuhio Highway, is the main highway on the north and east shore of Kauai island. Cruising Kuhio Hwy is the aptly hymn for your next drive on this beautiful island. Intimate Request holds your attention for longer with alluring sounds. My Ride has a subtle blues infusion with the ideal connection of horns and guitar.

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