On the back of his recent interview with us for the current issue, Albert Cummings has spoken to us again about his top five blues albums of all time. So kick back with your favourite libation, pop on the headphones, have a read, and enjoy the music!

MUDDY WATERS 

Hard Again. This album in my opinion is Muddy’s best. Johnny Winter produced it and also played on it. Johnny was able to capture the band at their best. Muddy liked it so much he came up with the title after hearing how the album “made him feel”…This is a must for any blues collection.

 

ALBERT COLLINS LIVE 92-93

This album shows what happens when Albert was at the top of his game and he and his band are locked in tight. It captures Albert’s power in his guitar and his performance. I believe Albert recorded this album while he was knowingly dying from cancer. You’d never know this man was sick when you listen to this album. Not a bad tune on it and all done live.

 

 

 

FREDDIE KING GOES SURFING

 I believe it had several titles besides what I listed. This is an all instrumental album that captures just about every style of blues rhythm there is. This is an absolute must not only for guitar players but for anyone who wants to play this style of music.

 

BB KING

BB King live in Japan. This album is BB King in his prime. The arrangements and playing by Mr. King and his band show why he is the greatest blues man that has ever lived. Niji Baby is one of my all time favorite songs. His passion and love for his craft drip out of the speakers when you listen to this album. You will feel this album as well as hear it.

 

LITTLE FEAT

Little Feat – Waiting for Columbus. This album isn’t a true blues album but it is one of the greatest bands that ever was formed who is deeply routed in the passion of the blues. This is an album you can put on and keep it on as there isn’t a bad track on it. This album is one of the main reasons I got into playing music. Nothing but from from the first track to the last.

If you enjoy that, be sure to let us know over on our Facebook Page!

Also, be sure to check out Albert’s latest single ‘Red Rooster’ from Believe, which is released on Friday 14 February via Provogue, now available for pre-order (HERE). Be sure to check out our interview with Albert in the current issue of Blues Matters!

The post ALBERT CUMMINGS Discusses His Top 5 Blues Albums appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

KING KING ON TOUR IN THE UK IN APRIL 2020

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS HANNAH WICKLUND & THE STEPPIN’ STONES

BOOK ONLINE: www.kingking.co.uk/tour & www.thegigcartel.com

King King are pleased to announce that the incredible Hannah Wicklund & Steppin’ Stones will be special guests on their upcoming UK Tour. The South Carolina-born guitarist met King King during on Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive At Sea Mediterranean Cruise in August 2019 and is looking forward to touring with them. The Glaswegian rockers embark on their April 2020 UK Tour on Friday 3rd April with their first show at Cardiff’s Y Plas. Tickets for all dates are on sale now via www.kingking.co.uk/tour and www.thegigcartel.com.

Photo credit: Peter Noble

Says Alan Nimmo: “I am really looking forward to embarking on our 2020 Uk tour as it feels like ages since we have had the pleasure and opportunity to play on home turf for our amazing and loyal fans! I’m especially excited to get out there and properly showcase the new line-up too! There’s a great atmosphere and camaraderie among us in the band and we’re at our happiest when we’re together on the road so I know that energy will transcend outwards to the audience when we take to the stage. We’ve been working hard in Morse code studios in Glasgow putting together our new album which will be released later in the year, but we can’t wait to let our fans hear some new music live in April! I’m very pleased with how the new songs and album is shaping up and how the song writing quality and standard has gone up again. No matter what we do… the King King sound is always there! Can’t wait to see all those familiar King King family faces in the crowd!

Photo credit: Jon Theobald

Having played over 20 festivals in 2018 and being special guests on Europe’s Tour The Earth European 2018 tour, this will be the band’s first tour since February 2019 and the first tour with the new line-up – Alan Nimmo (vocals/ guitar), Andrew Scott (drums), Zander Greenshields (bass) and Jonny Dyke (organ/piano). Fans can also look forward to a new single coinciding with the tour.

 

King King, who have been going from strength to strength in recent years, took their pedigree to the next level with the release of their fourth studio album “Exile & Grace”. Released in October 2017, the album featured the singles (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’, Long Time Running and Broken which became popular on Planet Rock and other rock radio stations. The album scored a Top 40 hit in the Official UK Album Charts.

APRIL 2020 UK UK TOUR

WITH SPECIAL GUEST
HANNAH WICKLUND & THE STEPPIN’ STONES

BOOK ONLINE: WWW.KINGKING.CO.UK & THEGIGCARTEL.COM

Cardiff Y Plas
Friday 3rd April 2020
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Cardiff University, Park Pl, Cardiff CF10 3QN
www.cardiffstudents.com/venues/y-plas

Salisbury City Hall
Saturday 4th April 2020
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Malthouse Ln, Salisbury SP2 7TU
www.cityhallsalisbury.co.uk

Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion
Sunday 5th April 2020
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Marina, Bexhill-on-Sea TN40 1DP
www.dlwp.com

Bury St Edmunds The Apex Arts Centre
Monday 6th April 2020
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1 Charter Square St, Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 3FD
www.theapex.co.uk

Sheffield Leadmill
Wednesday 8th April 2020
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6 Leadmill Rd, Sheffield S1 4SE
www.leadmill.co.uk

Glasgow Old Fruitmarket
Friday 10th April 2020
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Candleriggs, Glasgow, G1 1NQ
www.glasgowconcerthalls.com/old-fruitmarket

Manchester Academy
Saturday 11th April 2020
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Moss Ln E, Manchester M14 4PX
www.manchesteracademy.net

York Grand Opera House
Sunday 12th April 2020
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Clifford St, York YO1 9SW
www.atgtickets.com/venues/grand-opera-house-york

Birmingham Town Hall
Tuesday 14th April 2020
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Victoria Square, Birmingham B3 3DQ
www.thsh.co.uk

Newcastle Boiler Shop
Wednesday 15th April 2020
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20 South St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3PE
www.boilershop.net

London Electric Ballroom
Friday 17th April 2020
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184 Camden High St, Camden Town, London NW1 8QP
https://electricballroom.co.uk

The post HANNAH WICKLUND & THE STEPPIN’ STONES Announced As Support for KING KING On UK Tour! appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Beth Hart
Hammersmith Apollo
08/02/20
Verbals & Visuals: Erik Damian

Last night Beth Hart put on a commanding performance at London’s iconic Hammersmith Apollo. With friends and family present in the audience, Beth surprised the capacity crowd by entering from the back of the hall and making her way through the audience, as she took the stage singing ‘There In Your Heart’ as the crowd stood enraptured by her presence.

Although a seated affair, the venue could barely contain the energy generated by Beth and her stellar band, as she treated us all to one glorious song after another from her extensive catalogue, as well a few amazing covers in the form of Slackwax’s ‘Close To My Fire’, Tom Waits’ ‘Chocolate Jesus’, Melody Gardot’s ‘If I Tell You I Love You’, and rounding them off, two that even surprised the band themselves – ‘I’ll Take Care of You’ by Bobby “Blue” Bland, and Etta James’ ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’.

As the evening wound on, and the hits kept coming, we were treated to an acoustic set, which featured ‘Baby Shot Me Down’ and ‘Spanish Lullabies’ along side two of the notable covers. Closing the evening was a spine-tingling rendition of ‘Woman Down’ which simply featured Beth solo on the piano, the ending of which was met with thunderous applause.

Time and again, Beth Hart has shown herself to be one of the most talented, and hard-working Blues artists in the world, and last night was no different. Throughout the night Beth took us through a masterclass in stagecraft and singing, as the audience was captivated by the spectacle that she was creating. At times, the audience was deafening, and others, you could hear a pin drop for the reverence that the crowd had for her and her performance. This was musical art in its purest form, and I was blessed to be in attendance.

SETLIST

There in Your Heart
Close to My Fire (Slackwax cover)
Waterfalls
Rub Me for Luck
Chocolate Jesus (Tom Waits cover)
Bad Woman Blues
I’ll Take Care of You (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover)
Good as It Gets
War in My Mind
Sugar Shack
Tell Her You Belong to Me
Sister Dear
Mama This One’s for You
Baddest Blues (Beth solo on piano)
Without Words in the Way

Acoustic
Baby Shot Me Down
If I Tell You I Love You (Melody Gardot cover)
Spanish Lullabies
I’d Rather Go Blind (Etta James cover)

Encore:
Woman Down (Beth solo on piano)

Be sure to subscribe today to see our full review of the upcoming Manchester show!

Also be sure to get yourself a ticket while they still remain for one of these amazing shows. You will not be disappointed!

FEBRUARY 2020 UK TOUR

WITH SPECIAL GUEST KRIS BARRAS

Beth Hart 2020 UK tour with special guest Kris Barras

WWW.ALTTICKETS.COM/BETH-HART-TICKETS

REMAINING DATES

Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Sunday 9th February 2020

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Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA
www.thsh.co.uk

St David’s Hall, Cardiff – Wednesday 12th February 2020

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9-11 The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AH
www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow – Friday 14th February 2020

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2 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3NY
www.glasgowconcerthalls.com

The Sage, Gateshead – Saturday 15th February 2020

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St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR
https://sagegateshead.com

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester – Monday 17th February 2020

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Lower Mosley St, Manchester M2 3WS
www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk

City Hall, Sheffield – Thursday 20th February 2020

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Barker’s Pool, Sheffield S1 2JA
www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk

The Pavilions, Plymouth – Saturday 22nd February 2020

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Millbay Rd, Plymouth PL1 3LF
www.plymouthpavilions.com

O2 Guildhall, Southampton – Monday 24th February 2020

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W Marlands Rd, Southampton SO14 7LP
https://academymusicgroup.com/o2guildhallsouthampton

The post BETH HART wows London on second night of UK Tour! appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Today the Blues world has not only lost one of it’s most prolific supporters, but has lost a piece of its soul in the process. A true legend in the industry, London based writer, Pete Sargeant was loved by fans, friends, and family. A household name for readers of Blues Matters, and various outlets that he contributed to over the years, Pete was always laser focused, and had a talent for spotting up-and-coming talent, while also ensuring the legacy of the Blues was upheld. All of the staff here at Blues Matters are saddened by his loss, and give our deepest and sincerest condolences to his friends, family, and everyone else who will feel it.

You can look back through some of Pete’s history with Blues Matters here.

 

The post The Passing of a Legend: Remembering PETE SARGEANT appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Albert Cummings has released a new song, ‘Red Rooster’ ahead of new album, Believe, which is released on 14 February via Provogue, now available for pre-order (HERE). Be sure to check out our interview with Albert in the current issue of Blues Matters!

Talking about the song hr says; “Putting my spin on Red Rooster was my way of paying tribute to one of the greatest blues writers of all time, Willie Dixon. Its such a classic and has been covered so many times that I was excited to mold it into a version of my own. Recording it in FAME Studio was a dream. The music history that lives in the studio is unsurmountable. It didn’t really hit me until I looked up and saw a picture of Duane Allman standing in the exact spot I was currently standing. Just mind-blowing!”

TAKEN FROM NEW ALBUM ‘BELIEVE’
OUT: FEB. 14, 2020 VIA PROVOGUE/MASCOT LABEL GROUP

Also Check Out the lyric video for Queen of Mean and Cummings’ rendition of 1966 Soul Classic Hold On

Recorded at the iconic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., Cummings describes a “queen of mean” as one who can “cut an onion and the onion will cry,” or terrify a grizzly bear.

Cummings takes this release to new heights with the help of GRAMMY Award-winning producer, Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana). Together, they drew inspiration from the rich recording legacy of Muscle Shoals and created a timeless album full of rhythm, funk and soul. “You can hear the difference between this album and my others, and that is the Muscle Shoals difference,” Cummings says of the new project, “If I had recorded those same songs anywhere else, then Believe would have sounded like a completely different album.”

With a career of recording music that spans nearly 20 years, Cummings has built a reputation through his live performance, bringing the audience on a musical roller coaster. He enchantingly brings his guitar alive in ways that have honored him and earned him praise from the King of Blues himself, B.B. King, while others have drawn comparisons to legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.

Cummings will tour throughout next year. His dynamic, engaging personality combined with blues musicianship at its finest has created an enduring, loyal fan base worldwide. For the complete list of dates, and more information on Albert Cummings, visit https://albertcummings.com/tour-dates/

Track Listing
1. Hold On
2. Do What Mama Says
3. Red Rooster
4. Queen Of Mean
5. Crazy Love
6. Get Out Of Here
7. My Babe
8. It’s All Good
9. Going My Way
10. Call Me Crazy
11. Me And My Guitar

The post ALBERT CUMMINGS reveals new song ‘RED ROOSTER’ appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Following on from the critically acclaimed and commercially successful fifth year in 2019, Ramblin’ Man Fair returns in 2020! This year the festival will take place on the 17th, 18th and 19th July 2020. Having recently announced Clutch for three sets in 2020 as a special new festival residency concept, Ramblin’ Man Fair are delighted to announce further acts for the already spectacular bill.

RIVAL SONS (Headliner, Planet Rock Mainstage, Sunday 19th July) – Ramblin’ Man Fair are thrilled to announce Rival Sons as this years Sunday Night Headliner, Evoking the bluesy rock of bands like Led Zeppelin and the Black Crowes, California’s Rival Sons emerged in 2012 as hard rock classicists with a modern edge thanks to their breakout second album Pressure & Time. The Long Beach band enjoyed success at home in the U.S. while becoming perennial chart staples throughout much of Europe thanks to releases like 2014’s ‘Great Western Valkyrie’ and 2016’s ‘Hollow Bones’. Most recently the group released their 6th studio album with 2019’s GRAMMY® Nominated‘Feral Roots’ which includes the hit single ‘Too Bad’ which was also nominated at this years GRAMMY® Awards for Best Rock Performance. As Rival Son’s most artful and deliberately crafted album to date, ‘Feral Roots’finds the band pushing both buttons and boundaries to emerge with a greater focus and possession than ever before. “Rock ‘n’ Roll is a keystone in our cultural identity and you can see, hear, and feel it gathering speed everywhere you look. It’s about to break wide open”. Says Guitarist Scott Holiday. With Feral Roots, Rival Sons have pushed the needle over the limit line in what is a clear call to arms and an unflinching return to form for both the genre and it’s fans worldwide.

FESTIVAL LINEUP TO DATE BELOW

Planet Rock Mainstage, Friday 17th July.
Clutch(Headliner, Who Wants To Rock set),Monster Truck(special guests), Massive Wagons, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons, Bad Touch and Hands off Gretel.

Planet Rock Mainstage, Saturday 18th July.
Lynyrd Skynyrd (Headliner), Black Star Riders (special guests),Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, The Record Company, Those Damn Crows, City of Thieves and Clutch Semi-Acoustic “An Afternoon At The Doom Saloon” set

Outlaw Stage, Saturday 18th July.
Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters (Headliner) A Thousand Horses, The Steel Woods, Tim Montana, Whiskey Dick, Dead Man’s Whiskey and more TBC

Prog In the Park, Saturday 18th July
Big Big Train(Headliner), Curved Air (Special Guest), Pure Reason Revolution, Moon Safari, Lazuli and Blurred Vision.

Planet Rock Mainstage, Sunday 19th July.
Rival Sons (Headliner), The Quireboys, The New Roses, Cellar Door Moon Crow and more TBC

Grooverider Stage, Sunday 19th July.
Hawkwind (Headliner),Grand Magus (special guests), Vintage Caravan, The New Death Cult and Crown Lands.

The Blues Stage, Sunday 19th July.
Clutch (Headliner, Sound Attack set), Eric Gales, Samantha Fish, The Inspector Cluzo, Connor Selby and Blindstone

Ramblin’ Man Fair is shaping up to be an incredible 2020.
Ramblin’ Man Fair will take place on 17th, 18th and 19th July 2020.

All tickets are available at the link below:
https://www.ramblinmanfair.com/buy-tickets/

To keep up to date with all Ramblin’ Man Fair announcements please like, follow and visit us:

www.ramblinmanfair.com
www.twitter.com/RamblinManFair
www.facebook.com/ramblinmanfair

The post Blues rockers RIVAL SONS announced as Sunday Headliners for Ramblin’ Man Fair! appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

FEBRUARY 2020 UK TOUR

WITH SPECIAL GUEST KRIS BARRAS

WWW.ALTTICKETS.COM/BETH-HART-TICKETS

Last night, blues sensation Beth Hart launched her UK tour in Brighton, featuring special guest Kris Barras! With nine dates remaining, there’s every chance left to take in one of these spectacular shows. Check back in our next issue for our review of the upcoming Manchester show, and to ensure you don’t miss out, click the subscribe button at the bottom of the page today!

 

After selling out her biggest UK concert at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall on Friday 4th May 2018, Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, Beth Hart and her band will be performing songs from her latest album War In My Mind. The album was released on Friday 27th September via Mascot Records/Provogue.

Beth is happy to announce that Kris Barras will be special guest on her February 2020 UK Tour performing an acoustic set. Kris just finished his headline tour with his full band in support of his new album ‘Light It Up’. ‘Light It Up’ sees him at his most expressive yet, forcing himself out of his comfort zone. “I kinda forced myself to write songs a different way. The biggest difference for this album was that I didn’t pigeonhole myself in any way, I didn’t feel like I had to conform. I just sat down and wrote songs I wanted to write, with a sound I wanted to produce, not thinking about genre whatsoever.”

FEBRUARY 2020 UK TOUR

WITH SPECIAL GUEST KRIS BARRAS

WWW.ALTTICKETS.COM/BETH-HART-TICKETS

Eventim Apollo, London – Saturday 8th February 2020

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45 Queen Caroline St, Hammersmith, London W6 9QH
www.eventimapollo.com

Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Sunday 9th February 2020

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Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA
www.thsh.co.uk

St David’s Hall, Cardiff – Wednesday 12th February 2020

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9-11 The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AH
www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow – Friday 14th February 2020

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2 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3NY
www.glasgowconcerthalls.com

The Sage, Gateshead – Saturday 15th February 2020

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St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR
https://sagegateshead.com

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester – Monday 17th February 2020

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Lower Mosley St, Manchester M2 3WS
www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk

City Hall, Sheffield – Thursday 20th February 2020

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Barker’s Pool, Sheffield S1 2JA
www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk

The Pavilions, Plymouth – Saturday 22nd February 2020

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Millbay Rd, Plymouth PL1 3LF
www.plymouthpavilions.com

O2 Guildhall, Southampton – Monday 24th February 2020

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
W Marlands Rd, Southampton SO14 7LP
https://academymusicgroup.com/o2guildhallsouthampton

 

The post BETH HART kicks off UK tour! appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

APRIL 2020 UK TOUR

24 HOUR BOX OFFICE: 0844 4780 898
BOOK ONLINE: KINGKING.CO.UK & THEGIGCARTEL.COM

King King are finally back on tour again with Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones in support, and Blues Matters will be there! Be sure to subscribe today to keep up to date with all the best news in the blues today, and check out our review, of what will no doubt be exciting shows, in a future issue. The Glaswegian rockers embark on their April 2020 UK Tour on Friday 3rd April with their first show at Cardiff’s Y Plas. Tickets for all dates are on sale now via www.kingking.co.uk/tour and www.thegigcartel.com.


Photo Credit: © Graham Milne

Says Alan Nimmo: “I am really looking forward to embarking on our 2020 Uk tour as it feels like ages since we have had the pleasure and opportunity to play on home turf for our amazing and loyal fans! I’m especially exited to get out there and properly showcase the new line-up too! There’s a great atmosphere and camaraderie among us in the band and we’re at our happiest when we’re together on the road so I know that energy will transcend outwards to the audience when we take to the stage. We’ve been working hard in Morse code studios in Glasgow putting together our new album which will be released later in the year, but we can’t wait to let our fans hear some new music live in April! I’m very pleased with how the new songs and album is shaping up and how the song writing quality and standard has gone up again. No matter what we do… the King King sound is always there! Can’t wait to see all those familiar King King family faces in the crowd!


Photo Credit: © Carl Chambers

Having played over 20 festivals in 2018 and being special guests on Europe’s Tour The EarthEuropean 2018 tour, this will be the band’s first tour since February 2019 and the first tour with the new line-up – Alan Nimmo (vocals/ guitar), Andrew Scott (drums), Zander Greenshields (bass) and Jonny Dyke (organ/piano). Fans can also look forward to a new single coinciding with the tour.

King King, who have been going from strength to strength in recent years, took their pedigree to the next level with the release of their fourth studio album “Exile & Grace”. Released in October 2017, the album featured the singles (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’, Long Time Running and Broken which became popular on Planet Rock and other rock radio stations. The album scored a Top 40 hit in the Official UK Album Charts.

The album was recorded at Superfly Studios and mixed by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Feeder and Therapy?).

The post KING KING announce HANNAH WICKLUND & THE STEPPIN STONES as special guest on their April UK tour. appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Following the release of his latest studio album – Rock N Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry – Mike Zito and his band will tour the UK in April 2020, and Blues Matters will be there! Be sure to subscribe today so you don’t miss out on our review of what is bound to be an exciting tour! Also check out Issue 111 which features an interview with Mike where he discusses the creation of the Chuck Berry tribute album. Tickets will be available via Mike’s website – www.mikezito.com. See the tour dates HERE.

He may be one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today, and rightfully so, but for Mike Zito, the thing that counts the most is maintaining his honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.

“I have nothing to hide; it seems my honesty is what people relate to most,” he once told Vintage Guitar magazine. “Anders Osborne told me early on, ‘If you don’t believe what you’re singing, you’ll never be a good singer.’ I try not to write fluff. I try to make every word count.”

That point became clear with his last record, 2018’s First Class Life, a collection of songs that detailed his journey from addiction to sobriety and the subsequent success he achieved through his award-winning body of work. A multiple award winner and nominee, Zito has built his career on an ability to tap into tradition while maintaining contemporary credence all at the same time.

Zito’s latest album — his 16th — out now and descriptively titled Rock N Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry, finds him broadening his boundaries still further even as it marks a return to his roots. The album consists of 20 Chuck Berry classics performed by Zito and an impressive array of 21 guest guitarists, among them Joe BonamassaWalter TroutEric GalesRobben FordSonny LandrethLuther DickinsonAlbert CastigliaAnders Osborne and, significantly, Chuck’s grandson, Charles Berry III.

“This was a very special project for me,” Zito says. “I lived in Chuck’s hometown of St. Louis for 32 years, and I worked at a small musical instrument store where his drummer also happened to be employed. Chuck’s son would drop by on occasion as well. He was an icon, and rightfully so. I’ve been playing his songs since I was a kid. He was a tremendous influence on my career, and, of course, on many other musicians’ as well.”

Produced by Zito himself, the album was recorded at his own Marz Studios and mixed and mastered by David Farrell. “We recorded the basic tracks and then sent them to each guest musician,” Zito recalls. “They added their contributions and then sent the files back to us. The process took a year to complete.”


Photo Credit: © Frank Zerbst

Naturally, patience and perseverance have been Zito’s stock and trade since the beginning. He began playing guitar at the age of five, and by the time he reached his late teens, he was already a fixture on the local St. Louis music scene. He initially released his music independently and then signed with Eclecto Groove Records in 2008. Pearl River, the title track of his 2009 album for the label, won Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and marked his first collaboration with Cyril Neville with whom he’d later work in The Royal Southern Brotherhood.

A steady succession of critically acclaimed albums followed, culminating in 2011’s Greyhound, which was nominated for Best Rock Blues Album at that year’s Blue Music Awards ceremony in Memphis. Two years later, he signed with Ruf Records and released Gone to Texas, the story of how he gained his sobriety, offered an emotional homage to the state that left an indelible imprint on his entire life. It also marked the debut of his band, the Wheel.

From 2010 to 2014, Zito also played an integral role in the super group of sorts, Royal Southern Brotherhood. The group released two albums and a DVD, Songs from the Road – Live in Germany, winner of the year’s Blues Music Award for Best DVD. He also made his mark behind the boards by producing albums for Samantha FishAlbert CastigliaAlly VenableJeremiah JohnsonJimmy Carpenter, and many others.


Photo Credit: © Frank Zerbst

Meanwhile, the accolades keep coming. His album Make Blues Not War debuted on the Billboard Blues Album Chart at number one and garnered him recognition as the 2018 Rock Blues Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards. Last year’s First-Class Life followed suit, also entering the charts at number one.

Alternate Root Magazine insisted that “The First-Class Life that Mike Zito is the sweet sound of Blue Soul rising like heat waves from his guitar and his vocal.” American Blues Scene said “Mike Zito’s return to the blues is, in a word, triumphant!” No Depression declared, “Once again, Zito has delivered the goods, a first-class package with no postage due.”

Now, with Rock N Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry, Mike Zito does what he does best, making an album that’s humble, heartfelt, skilled and sublime….and, to paraphrase Chuck himself, letting it rock all at the same time.

TRACKLIST

01. ST. LOUIS BLUES feat. CHARLIE BERRY III
02. ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC feat. JOANNA CONNOR
03. JOHNNY B GOODE feat. WALTER TROUT
04. WEE WEE HOURS feat. JOE BONAMASSA
05. MEMPHIS feat. ANDERS OSBORNE
06. I WANT TO BE YOUR DRIVER feat. RYAN PERRY
07. YOU NEVER CAN TELL feat. ROBBEN FORD
08. BACK IN THE USA feat. ERIC GALES
09. NO PARTICULAR PLACE TO GO feat. JEREMIAH JOHNSON
10. TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS feat. LUTHER DICKINSON
11. HAVANA MOON feat. SONNY LANDRETH
12. PROMISED LAND feat. TINSLEY ELLIS
13. DOWN BOUND TRAIN feat. ALEX SKOLNICK
14. MAYBELLENE feat. RICHARD FORTUS
15. SCHOOL DAYS feat. ALLY VENABLE
16. BROWN EYED HANDSOME MAN feat. KIRK FLETCHER and JOSH SMITH
17. REELIN’ AND ROCKIN’ feat. TOMMY CASTRO
18. LET IT ROCK feat. JIMMY VIVINO
19. THIRTY DAYS feat. ALBERT CASTIGLIA
20. MY DING A LING feat. KID ANDERSEN

MUSICIANS

Mike Zito – Vocals/Guitar on all tracks
Matthew Johnson – Drums/Vocals/Percussion on all tracks
Terry Dry – Bass Guitar/Vocals/Percussion on all tracks
Lewis Stephens – Piano/Organ/Wurlitzer on all tracks

MIKE ZITO APRIL 2020 UK TOUR

TICKETS VIA WWW.MIKEZITO.COM

The post MIKE ZITO & FRIENDS “Rock N Roll: A Tribute To Chuck Berry” UK Tour Announced! appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

KING SOLOMON HICKS
ANNOUNCES DEBUT ALBUM ‘HARLEM’
RELEASED: 13th MARCH, 2020
VIA PROVOGUE/MASCOT LABEL GROUP

Following the announcement of his debut album Harlem, KING SOLOMON HICKS has released another new track from the album. Harlem will be released on 13th March, 2020 via Provogue. Be sure to check out the next issue of Blues Matters, where we sit down with Solomon Hicks to discuss his debut. If you’re not already a subscriber, click the link at the bottom of the article, and don’t miss a single future issue!

The 24 year old grew up in Harlem “around a lot of great musicians,” he says. The city is synonymous with vibrancy, art and music ever since the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s. Situated in Manhattan, New York City, that period saw a creative surge sweep the neighbourhood, which included writer and political activist Hubert Harrison, entertainer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker as well as the rise of legendary jazz players such as Duke Ellington who was one of the early performers at the now world famous Cotton Club. The Jazz scene was exploding with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, and Bessie Smith all coming through the city and that was just the tip of the iceberg.  Whilst Harlem has been home to the greats such as Al Pacino, the Marx Brothers, James Reese Europe, George and Ira Gershwin, Arthur Miller, Sammy Davis Jr, Sonny Rollins…the list goes on. There’s something in the water there.

Music runs through the veins of the city, so there was no doubt that the young Hicks, who was only 6 years old when he started playing the guitar, was going to absorb those surroundings. By 13 he was on the stage at the Cotton Club, four times a week, as lead guitarist in the clubs’ 17 piece band and was already playing in legendary venues such as St. Nick’s in Sugar Hill and the iconic Lenox Lounge which Malcolm X had been a patron, and had seen the likes of Miles Davis and John Coltrane grace the stage.

Check Out The New Track What The Devil Loves Here:

 

Pre-Order Harlem Here

 

His full debut, Harlem is produced by multiple Grammy Award winner Kirk Yano (Miles Davis, Public Enemy, Mariah Carey), and showcases Hicks as a writer, player and interpreter. Originals such as the roadhouse ready 421 South Main, the gospel shuffle of Have Mercy on Me and the aching instrumental Riverside Drive, he rubs musical elbows with staples such as Everyday I Sing the Blues and It’s Alright, a Latin-tinged take on Blood, Sweat & Tears’ I Love You More Than You Will Ever Know, a funked-up romp through Gary Wright’s Love is Alive and a searing rendition of Sonny Boy Williamson’s Help Me that closes the album.

Hicks has been steeped in music for as long as he can remember. “It’s not like New Orleans, where music is 24 hours a day — but it’s close.” His mother also took him, as a youngster, to local nightspots, “when you’re around good musicians, it gives you that spark — ‘I want to do what you do. I want to hold my own,'” says Hicks. “But being around those types of musicians also taught me to NOT be the fastest guitar player. I wanted to be the one who knew the most riffs and drew on a lot of knowledge so I could play anything, and with anyone.”

He enrolled to the Harlem School of Arts and the prestigious educational program Jazzmobile, and while performing on his home turf, he also expanded to venues such as the Iridium, the Red Rooster, Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar, Terra Blues and more. After high school Hicks began playing in Europe, opening for Jeff Beck and Ringo Starr, playing festivals in Spain and France, as well as at the Cotton Club in Tokyo, and being booked on KISS Kruise V in 2017 and on this year’s Joe Bonamassa Blues Alive at Sea Cruise. He’s shared stages with the likes of Tony Bennett, Beth Hart, George Thorogood & the Destroyers, Mavis Staples, Paul Shaffer and others. He has also performed at the United Nations in New York City, for former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, former Governor of New York David Paterson and during a New York Knicks game.

Since the 6 year old Solomon picked up the guitar, it has all led to this moment and that certainly shows on Harlem, an 11-song salute to those roots — and how the 24-year-old guitarist and singer has turned them into his own fierce and distinctive style.  “This has been a long time coming,” he says of his first major recording, “but I’m really happy with the sound and the way everybody played. This music is where I come from. It’s really special to be able to record these songs — and really important to get ’em right.”

Hicks and Yano started working on Harlem two years ago, finishing up during late 2019. “It was just about getting my own sound together,” explains Hicks, who was aided by a corps of players that includes members of Soulive, Lettuce, Jack White and Hank William Jr.’s band and others — including Foghat/Savoy Brown veteran Roger Earl “I didn’t want it to be traditional,” he says. “I wanted people to feel like they’re in a juke joint, listening to what the blues sounds like in 2019, my own spin on it.”

 

Track Listing:

1. Rather Be Blind
2. Every Day I Sing The Blues
3. What The Devil Loves
4. 421 South Main
5. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
6. Headed Back To Memphis
7. My Love Is Alive
8. Have Mercy On Me
9. Riverside Drive
10. It’s Alright
11. Help Me

 

 

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