Fourth album by New York's TOP blues cats whose previous album (Big Apple Blues: “Brooklyn Blues”, StoneToneRecords, Inc) was voted # 10 out of 100 best recent blues releases by Real Blues Magazine. “Live at O’Flaherty’s” captures raucous, sweltering, energy-oozing live performance of Big Apple Blues in a NYC club. To top it off, the CD was recorded unlike any other album in the last 3 decades - using old school, brutally revealing ½” vintage 70’s stereo Ampex tape recorder with virtually no postproduction. The result is - Blues like it is meant to be – true to the bone and free of studio tricks! Turn up loud and enjoy!
A live studio electric Chicago Blues and beyond record by the very TOP NYC blues cats. It is as authentic and driving as blues ever gets. Turn up loud and enjoy! Brooklyn Blues is the culmination of a few blues musicians walking into a recording studio with their gear, plugging in and rolling tape. That of course, is an over-simplification of the recording process, but it’s all the listener really needs to concern themselves with. Big Apple Blues is not a homage, but a continuation to the ‘living record’ of the Chicago-style electric blues of mid-century Middle America…
Nina Simone Sings the Blues, issued in 1967, was her RCA label debut, and was a brave departure from the material she had been recording for Phillips. Indeed, her final album for that label, High Priestess of Soul, featured the singer, pianist, and songwriter fronting a virtual orchestra. Here, Simone is backed by a pair of guitarists (Eric Gale and Rudy Stevenson), bassist (Bob Bushnell), drummer (Bernard "Pretty" Purdie), organist (Ernie Hayes), and harmonica player who doubled on saxophone (Buddy Lucas). Simone handled the piano chores. The song selection is key here. Because for all intents and purposes this is perhaps the rawest record Simone ever cut. It opens with the sultry, nocturnal, slow-burning original "Do I Move You," which doesn't beg the question but demands an answer: "Do I move you?/Are you willin'?/Do I groove you?/Is it thrillin'?/Do I soothe you?/Tell the truth now?/Do I move you?/Are you loose now?/The answer better be yeah…It pleases me…." As the guitarists slip and slide around her husky vocal, a harmonica wails in the space between, and Simone's piano is the authority, hard and purposely slow.
If this is blues, it's blues in the Billie Holiday sense, not the Muddy Waters one. This is one of Nina Simone's more subdued mid-'60s LPs, putting the emphasis on her piano rather than band arrangements. It's rather slanted toward torch-blues ballads like "Strange Fruit," "Trouble in Mind," Billie Holiday's own composition "Tell Me More and More and Then Some," and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out." Simone's then-husband, Andy Stroud, wrote "Be My Husband," an effective adaptation of a traditional blues chant. By far the most impressive track is her frantic ten-minute rendition of the traditional "Sinnerman," an explosive tour de force that dwarfs everything else on the album.
The Blues Masters series, much to Rhino`s credit, adopts an expansive definition of blues, allowing the likes of Count Basie, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Muddy Waters and even Louis Prima admission. There is none of the purist`s quibbling over strict 12-bar form or the relative significance of prewar and postwar styles.
What Rhino delivers instead is the blues in all its myriad guises. This music is old and new, black and white, acoustic and electric, folksy and jazzy, performed by women and men, and yet it is all still blues at its core.
The House Of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas hosted a reunion concert of the classic Santana lineup on March 21. The performance featuring Carlos Santana (guitar), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Michael Shrieve (drums) onstage together for the first time since 1973 was recorded for an officially produced entitled Santana IV: Live At The House of Blues Las Vegas…