|Artwork by the immortal John Dimes!|
Sundays are kind of quiet around the old juke joint and I am kind of a lazy guy. Here’s a quick take on some recent arrivals that I want to tell you about, but can’t sit behind the computer long enough to deliver one of my long-winded missives. Enjoy these, and let me know if you like this new format, and tell your friends to drop by for a visit. A fellow can get kind of lonely on a Sunday…
Charlie Wooton Project ~~ Blue Basso featuring Vocals By Arséne Delay
Wooton, the former bassist for the Royal Southern Brotherhood, is a man of many talents. He’s a world class musician who has put together a tight album of blues flavored jazz that I absolutely love. He’s backed by some like-minded musicians including Daniel Groover on guitar, Jermal Watson on drums, and Keiko Komaki on keys. Some special guests are Sonny Landreth on two tracks, Anders Osborne on one and Damon Fowler on one. Arséne Delay handles the vocals. These are mostly originals with a couple of covers including one from the Rolling Stones, Miss You. Blues lovers might gravitate towards Tell Me A Story and Front Porch, but if you enjoy jazzy blues this entire album is great!
Alex Lopez ~~ Yours Truly, Me
Lopez has been doing some good work for a number of years, but Your Truly, Me is the first CD of his that I’ve been able to snag. From what I can tell this is a good place to start as Lopez wrote ten of the twelve songs on the disc, co-wrote one other, and the last is a good cover of ZZ Top’s Tush. Five of the songs here have been reimagined from previous releases, but I can’t really judge one against the other at this time. In the meantime, he not only rocks out, but also lays down some thoughtful and moving ballads. It’s a little uneven at times, but I think there’s plenty of good work to encourage me to keep him on my radar to see what comes next.
Cheyenne James ~~ Burn It Up
This is one I regretfully missed when it hit my desk in June. I say regretfully because James has a powerhouse voice that hooked me from the opening track, Grits Ain’t Groceries. Taking on a classic right out of the gate takes nerve, and James seems to have that – and then some. Backed by some serious Texas musicians, including Rock Romano and Steve Krase on guitar and harp respectively, James delivers ten solid numbers that run the gamut from a beautiful cover of Van Morrison’s Steal My Heart Away to flat out blues rock on her original, I Didn’t Know. Definitely a talent to watch!
Nancy Wright ~~ Alive & Blue
Saxophonist and vocalist Wright and The Rhythm and Roots Band have put together a kick-ass album recorded live at San Francisco’s The Saloon. I’m always intrigued by live albums – capturing that elusive feeling of anything goes can be intimidating to the artists and audience as well. No such worries with this collection of twelve songs, featuring a good mix of originals and covers. There are five instrumentals on the album that showcase Wright’s sweet sax and gives us the flavor of the R&B, especially Tony Lufrano’s keys, and Karl Sevareid’s bass. It’s jazzy, and for pure music lovers, a delight. If you like your music quick tempoed and anthem like, you might be disappointed. If you like to luxuriate into the sound, pick this one up asap!
Arsen Shomakhov ~~ Rain City Blues
A delightful introduction to a Canadian Artist, Shomakhov, who recorded this CD in Kid Andersen’s Greaseland Studio. Shomakhov handles the guitars and vocals while Andersen takes on the upright and electric bass as well as keys and background vocals. Alexander Pettersen and June Core split the drumming duties and Aki Kumar adds his stellar harp to one song. All original compositions, Rain City Blues features three instrumentals and several songs worthy of airplay. A good investment, and a good artist to watch!