Douglas Hanson

Douglas Hanson has been a music and movie enthusiast for over 40 years with a strong passion for the blues and heavy soul/funk. Douglas also loves the electronics, gadgets, and technologies that bring you great entertainment. Google

Soul Track Mind – Unbreakable on VINYL!

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Sep 192015
 

Soul Track Mind’s CD, Unbreakable, made my top ten albums 2015-09-19 10.58.38list for 2014, which is pretty damn impressive considering last years releases. Now I have that album on glorious muti-colored vinyl and brother, it sounds AWESOME! If you don’t own this one, you need to order it today.

My original review: http://mojolists.com/wordpress/soul-track-mind-unbreakable/

Buy that vinyl goodness (in random colors) here: http://www.soultrackmind.com/shop

2015-09-19 10.58.56

Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges – Hold On a Little Bit Longer

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Sep 112015
 

 

With a name like Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges, people will make assumptions about a man and I was happy to have mine met in every way. Hang On A Little Bit Longer is Eugene’s new album and it has a New Orleans juke, jive, horn funk feel that works perfectly with his vocals. This album is fun from beginning to end and from drums to trumpet, nobody misses a step. This band is tight and moving in step towards the same goal.

51-bCP+F+FL._AA160_Hang On A Little Bit Longer feels as familiar as your favorite pair of jeans while managing to bring something fresh to your ears. The album’s title track is the happiest plea in history. In fact I can’t exaggerate just how happy and fun this album is and it is in large part because Eugene sells himself as a man who loves who he is, where he is and knows exactly what he wants to tell you. It isn’t too difficult to imagine that a horn section followed him around since childhood, providing a soundtrack to his life.
Hang On A Little Bit Longer doesn’t explore any new territory, it doesn’t try to be something it isn’t and it is the things it isn’t that make it so good at what it is, an optimistic celebration of the best things in life. You owe it to yourself to kick back and let Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Brooks remind you that it is the simple pleasures that matter most. I highly recommend you relax and listen to this one with a sazerac and cigar.

 

Barry Levenson – The Visit

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Aug 312015
 

Barry Levenson has walked, or rather played more than a few miles beside some of the true giants of blues music, from Pee Wee Crayton to Big Mama Thornton, his blues credentials are top notch. Don’t let his pedigree fool you though, Barry has no problem adapting his sound to any style you desire, often on the same album. His latest, The Visit finds him dancing between and intertwining blues and jazz at whim.

Not gifted with a traditional blues voice, Barry tends to stay instrumental on heavy blues tracks, like the album opener, ‘I Wonder Why’ opting instead to let his considerable41bfU1FHbaL talent on a six string speak for him.  Don’t get me wrong, when Barry’s vocals melt into his unique jazz and blues hybrid songs, like ‘Ice Cold Kiss’ you are transported to a happier, if less familiar place.

Barry’s music brings more to the delta, the hint of a small square in Paris, where musicians do their best American lounge/jazz impression for tourists. It isn’t that the sound is inferior, it isn’t, but the influences of Europe, or at least parts of it, mark it as uniquely its own. Barry never falls into it full on, but rather gives you a hint of something you know, like catching the scent of a familiar perfume in a crowd, unmistakable but not exactly the same as it was on that long lost memory.

Barry has put together a solid album, one of the best blues albums this year and most importantly, it isn’t a cookie cutter blues album. The Visit expands in delightful directions as Barry leads you down the path with some of the best guitar playing around. Blues fans need to grab this one but pass on the beer and bourbon when you give it a listen, this album goes best with a fine bottle of wine. http://www.amazon.com/The-Visit-Barry-Levenson/dp/B00XENS9DK

 

Monophonics – Sound of Sinning

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Aug 062015
 

The Monophonics do psychedelic soul better than anyone else and their new (OK, not so new but the vinyl was delayed a few month – another story altogether) album – Sound of Sinning – is a powerhouse of fat beats, funky organ and horny horns. I received the digital version of the album 2015-07-31 17.51.52months ago, then saw them live, which caused a kind of musical rebirth, anyway, my point is that even after months of constant play, I love this album and was still chomping at the bits to get my hands on the vinyl.

There isn’t a song that misses on the album and to those who say it sounds like their last album – I can tell you where to shove your opinion, this album is fresh and makes my blood boil. If you are in this group I would be surprised if you didn’t have this one, if you don’t, well, get on it.

Galactic – Into The Deep

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Aug 062015
 

Galactic is a New Orleans funk-tastic quartet that has been changing personality every record for 20 years. This album brings the voices of Macy Gray, Mavis Staples and more, along for the ride. This album is more mainstream to my ears without being more mainstream. They take something that feels familiar and make it more, better.

Here is what Hal Horowitz at American Songwriter had to say:
Most bands try to create a unique, easily identifiable sound, one that anchors their music even if they push boundaries around it. But for the past decade (out of a 20 year career), New Orleans’ veteran quintet Galactic has fought against that model, not just by peppering their groove, jam oriented approach with different styles, but by employing multiple vocalists (no one in the main group sings) to further muddy the waters of who they are.

2015-07-31 16.44.05While that seems like career suicide to most outfits, the group continues to thrive. Into the Deep, their eighth studio disc, expands an already eclectic palette based in funk but that also includes liberal doses of hip-hop, jazz, soul, blues and even electronica. Galactic is blissfully unconcerned that every track is different enough to almost obscure their own identity as they continue to create music that’s fun, superbly crafted and wildly eclectic.

To that end, they invite singers ranging from the legendary Mavis Staples, to Macy Gray, JJ Grey, obscure Jamaican musician Brushy One String and others to add their unique vocals this time around. Everyone brings their A game. The all original songs, many co-written by the band with their guests, range from ballads (Staples’ gospel/rock “Does it Really Make a Difference” and Gray’s string enhanced title track) to slinky, Booker T./ Stax styled instrumentals (“Long Live the Borgne”) and some husky, furry funk (“Domino” with singer/rapper Ryan Montbleau). The band even includes an interstellar rocker worthy of their spacey name in the very 70s, synth driven “Buck 77.”

The closing instrumental “Today’s Blues” featuring Rich Vogel’s silvery Hammond B3 and a distinctively New Orleans trumpet solo looks back at their earlier rootsy jam band beginnings, bringing Galactic full circle with their past. Give credit to the band’s founders and co-producers bassist Robert Mercurio and saxist Ben Ellman who molded this album and show that Galactic doesn’t need a stable front person, or even a singular approach, to make their dynamic music connect with playful passion and vibrant integrity. http://www.americansongwriter.com/2015/07/galactic-deep/