Apr 032015
 

Voo Davis – Midnight Mist

There is no shortage of blues guitar gun slingers these days. It can even be difficult to tell one from the other for many people. Gary Clark Jr. has had success melding his influences from outside the blues and there are a few folks who ride a blues/metal blues/country or any number of other blues trains but Voo Davis isn’t like any of them.

I suspect Voo collects guitars the way I collect records. He is always looking for a way to bring something new to his blues licks, a sound nobody has heard and fits in this very specific place. When I listen to his newest album, ‘Midnight Mist’ I imagine Voo spending hours looking for the perfect puzzle fxphotostudioexportedimage-12piece to fit each and every measure on the entire album, one by one by one.

Midnight Mist isn’t like his previous album, ‘Vicious Things,’ that showcased Voos impressive guitar skills. His guitar skills are on display throughout ‘Midnight Mist’ but he summons more control and relies more on his songwriting and production abilities than tossing in more hot licks. There are a ton of bluesmen I love that will never be able to take that step because it is easier to play solo after solo than it is to write a real song. Don’t get me wrong, I spin plenty of such blues; my point is that Voo Davis crafts each song and leaves me wanting more. I’m not sure where Voo can go from here but I suspect he already has something rattling around in his head and I can’t wait to hear it.

I highly recommend ‘Midnight Mist’ and you can pre-order it April 6th on iTunes and get 2 tracks instantly or order the CD which will include a bonus video of Riverside Blues and comes out April 28th. Yeah, I wish it was on vinyl but truth be told, I think I listened to the album 20 times while working in the garage. When you consider how many albums I listen too, that is an impressive feat.

 

 

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Mar 182015
 

The final Canned Heat album to feature co-founder Alan Wilson, Future Blues was also one of their best, surprisingly restrained as a studio creation by the band, the whole thing clocking in at10986858_10152994564317649_2987120378820979211_n under 36 minutes, as long as some single jams on their live discs. It was also one of their most stylistically diverse efforts. Most of what’s here is very concise and accessible, even the one group-composed jam — Alan Wilson’s “Shake It and Break It” and his prophetically titled “My Time Ain’t Long” (he would be dead the year this record was issued), which also sounds a lot like a follow-up to “Going up the Country” until its final, very heavy, and up-close guitar coda. Other songs are a little self-consciously heavy, especially their version of Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right, Mama.” Dr. John appears, playing piano on the dark, ominous “London Blues,” and arranges the horns on “Skat,” which tries for a completely different kind of sound — late-’40s-style jump blues — than that for which the group was usually known. And the band also turns in a powerhouse heavy guitar version of Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Work Together.”

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Mar 182015
 

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Mosaic

I got my love of drums from my dad even if I never got his talent. It is a real treat when you listen to a great drummer and this is one of the best.

Mosaic is a 1961 jazz album released by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers on Blue Note Records. It was the first album recorded by one of the most critically acclaimed Jazz Messengers lineups: Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Cedar Walton (piano), Jymie Merritt (bass) and Art Blakey (drums). They recorded and performed together from 1961 into 1964. Hubbard, Walton and Workman became permanent members of the group following the 1961 departures of trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt, though Merritt and others would appear infrequently on subsequent recordings. The Mosaic recording session featured no alternate takes and, therefore, has yielded no bonus material in reissue.

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Feb 222015
 

You want some sweet Daptone beats but you can’t decide which artist or album, no problem, Daptone Gold has you covered :)

A 23 track compilation featuring rarities, classics and previously unreleased tracks from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, The Budos Band, Binky Griptite, Lee Fields, Antibalas and more. Vinyl release is a double LP packaged in a deluxe gold foil gatefold jacket with extensive liner notes, and will include a poster, sticker and MP3 download card. CD release is a deluxe gold foil digipak with 6 page booklet including extensive liner notes and photos.

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Feb 222015
 

Now Playing – Skull Snaps

a classic example of soul/funk from 1973. It hits on all cylinders but they never really open it up the way you want them too. Still a great listen.

AllMusic Says:
Original vinyl copies of Skull Snaps’ one and only LP continue to exchange hands on the rare groove market for three figures. There are two reasons for this: one, it’s rare, and two, the drum breaks from the album have been feasted upon for samples so frequently that samples 2015-02-07 10.09.26of the samples have likely been sampled. It’s not that the album is spectacular — it’s merely a decent early-’70s funk record from some accomplished musicians who don’t exactly leave a trademark of their own throughout its nine songs. This soul-drenched funk album is most notable for the drums of “It’s a New Day.” It’s the album’s strongest cut, and the opening drum pattern is as ubiquitous they come — you can hear it get put to re-use in well over two dozen popular rap songs. Anyone who likes hard funk will find much to like — the vocals are gruff, the rhythms are tough yet nimble (the drums are crisp and smacking throughout), and the subject matter takes on everything from pimps to romance to everyday relationships. Charly reissued the album on CD in 1995.

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