Our Editor-In-Chief Alan Pearce has shared with us his Top 10 favourites blues tracks although he did admit that like everyone else it was so hard to choose just 10. He says this list is in no particular order but hopes you enjoy listening.

1 – Savoy Brown – Bad Shape

From The Blues Keep Me Hanging On album. Nathaniel Peterson, bass and vocal and Tom Compton on drums and of course Kim Simmonds on guitars. Superb guests on the album included Duke Robilliard, Dave Maxwell, Paul Oscher, Leo Lyons and Roger Earl. This is a smooth, understated, deep song with super guitar, easy yet complex never overdone and was fantastic to see live. Nathaniel is a big man, (he often sleeps on the floor when the bed is not big enough) ex-US para, he’s a really nice guy to meet, his voice is something else. I was on the road with the band when the album came out and at The Worcester Park in Wandsworth and I had arranged for some ex-Savoyians to make a surprise appearance for Kim and had gathered Bob Hall, Bob Brunning and John O’Leary who watched the show and toward the end moved forward for Kim to see them. He was certainly surprised and he had them up to jam at the end. Nathaniel gave over bass to Bob B but sang on. Earlier Nathaniel had given a great Bad Shape and I heard fans around me talking and saying “if you shut your eyes you would swear to God that it was Howlin’ Wolf himself up there!”

Leading nicely into;

2 – Howlin’ Wolf – Smokestack Lightnin’

A huge song, covered by so many others including Mike Harrison formerly of Spooky Tooth, Art and The V.I.P.s who were approached to be backing band for a chap named Jimi Hendrix by Chas Chandler at a London Club (name escapes me). His version on a solo album titled Smokestack Lightenin’ (on Island), Manfred Mann, Fiona Boyes, Crystal Shawanda, Mick Clarke, The Electric Prunes, Grateful Dead, John Hammond, The Animals, Maxwell Street Jimmy, George Thorogood, Blues Band, Jimmy Rogers, Etta James, and so many more…The man Chester Burnett was a physical monument of a man indeed with a presence that could not be ignored. His effect on the Blues world is of legend, his writing, his inspiration and his individual voice are there for us all to enjoy and there should be a mountain range with him and a few others carved into it like the US presidents are. Just a magnificent song from a magnificent man.

Moving us into another song written by Mr Burnett;

3 – Groundhogs – Natchez Burning

From their second album Blues Obituary. Of course also legendary for its’ performance by its’ creator C. Burnett aka Howlin’ Wolf who comes top of my artist list. Loved the album Blues Obituary from the off, it was a big step forward from Scratchin’ The Surface and their use of stereo imagery and sound shifting for aural enjoyment. The song has been covered so many times proving its’ a vital Blues number. I swear back in the late 60’s I went (underage again) to the L.S.E. in London specifically to see Spooky Tooth and also on the bill were The Liverpool Scene and in the corner of the hall/gym was this huge guy wearing a fringed jacket with three others backing him which I gathered was The Groundhogs yet they did not play from the stage that the other two acts were on. Hell, they were putting it out there though. I did not realise who I had witnessed right away but was hooked on him and on the sound of the guitar player. Later discovering he created his own tuning which stood out. Tony McPhee played with so many other artists from the UK and USA and was often the backing player of choice to touring US acts. Check him out also with Tramp and Jo-Ann Kelly as well as Blue Horizon albums with Champion Jack Dupree and Billy Boy Arnold – magic albums! I was over the moon when I met him and talked about his early acoustic work being a favoured period of mine and found he had written songs but had not found a label who wanted his acoustic work, they wanted ‘Hogs, so we talked about it over a period and I released Blues At Ten, a totally acoustic blues album.

4 – Duster Bennett – Jumpin’ At Shadows

(1968) Also recorded by F. Mac, Gary Moore, Henrik Freischlader, Will Wilde, and Steve Freund amongst others. Real name Anthony Bennett was born in Welshpool, Wales before moving to Kingston Upon Thames where he went to Kingston Art School that produced so many now-legendary names. He wrote this ‘classic’ when he was 22 years old. He could so easily have been sat on a Delta porch playing this, so authentic and haunting a song. Starting out solo with a foot peddle drum, guitar and harmonica rack he sadly met his end so early on his way home from a gig with Memphis Slim. Again do check out the 2006 release, Complete Blue Horizon Sessions.

5 – Tinsley Ellis – Feelin’ No Pain

From his Hell Or High Water album. The Atlanta born bluesman released the album in 2002 and amongst some blistering playing on the twelve-track carried this magnificent eight-minute piece of vocal angst and amazing guitar work. Hard to believe he has been recording for over thirty years already and constantly with quality and strong, raw and creative material. This track stands out for me with the emotional strain of the guitar tone as well as the pain in the lyric.

6 – Alvin Lee – Bluest Blues

From Alvin’s album, Nineteen Ninety-Four released in 1994! Born Graham Barnes in 1944 he began playing at the age of thirteen and went on to become an International guitar legend and one of the ‘heroes’ of Woodstock, and the name Ten Years After, lives on today. This song is my total favourite piece of work by Alvin and features George Harrison on the slide, it is a gorgeous masterpiece. It was only after hearing the track that I found out the slide was by George and although I realised they were good friends I had not known that it was George on the track, one of his best pieces too! A truly beautiful song, mournful, smooth and even soothing and seemingly rarely covered.

7 – Jon Amor – Hit So Hard

When you want a song to hit you and relieve you of something this is one that performs that function for me, of course, played at high volume. The guitar intro and the tone is beautiful, the literal seductive calm before the epic storm, so easy and building the lyrical story behind it as the feel is deepened and builds. Jon tried the Blues his way and sadly I witnessed a good number walk out of a venue as he was getting into what was a fantastic set (too many years ago). This song alone shoulda showed them folk what they missed out on. This is quality.

8 – Champion Jack Dupree – Mr Duprees Blues

The narrative Jack gives this song is absorbing and humerous you WILL laugh when you hear him talk about ‘that feeling’. Here is just one, of so many terrific pieces by Mr Dupree who indeed was a ‘champion’ of the Blues. This one is from the Complete Blue Horizon, sessions. I love the session he did with Tony McPhee on guitar in 1967 all the songs are different to The Complete Sessions, again, under Blue Horizon as well and simply called Dupree & McPhee. He was such a character and performer, oh and he did like his bourbon too, we have at least that in common.

9 – Eric Burden – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

I have always liked this song of agony and sometimes claim it as ‘my song’ when she (wife) doesn’t get me. This version is a live one from a modest Blue Wave label release and had been recorded live as part of a film based loosely on the life of Eric Burden in 1981 which only made a few film festivals and limited cinema viewings, then a modest VHS run. That Blue Wave finally released the songs in 1992 it was a joy for Eric’s fans. This version he plays with; lovely slow piano intro builds, and we even get a reggae section, just a joy because it is so different. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood was written by Bennie Benjamin, Horace Ott and Sol Marcus for the singer and pianist Nina Simone, who first recorded it in 1964. Little could they have known it would be revised by so many in so many different styles including; of course: The Animals, Little Bob Story, The Roosters, Joe Cocker, Tangerine Peel, Lou Rawls, Robben Ford, Poppa Chubby, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Bettye Lavette, Elvis Costello, Mick Hucknell, Jamie Cullum and of course many, many more. Another of my favourite versions was Gary Moore. I had a triple vinyl album import recorded in Japan which carried a live sixteen-minute version but some bugger nicked it from my flat (along with the rent money) and I have not been able to find that version again. (If any Gary fans know of it do let me know please)

10 – Crazy World Of Arthur Brown – I Put A Spell On You

Written in 1956 by Jalacy ‘Screamin’’ Jay Hawkins. A song that is in the Rock‘n‘Roll Hall Of Fame Top 500 songs. This version by Arthur Brown is yet another interpretation of this magical song where so many artists have been able to lend their own character to it. And by ‘The God Of HellfireArthur certainly does that! His so wide-ranging voice and the organ/Hammond of Vincent Crane simply rip into the song and make it stand out for me. I remember as an under-age lad of about fourteen, and the teenage daughter of a family friend we were visiting took me to a club in Bath that had recovered from being flooded (we could still see the tide mark) and Arthur Brown was one of the first acts to play there on re-opening. The stage was a raised platform you could walk under which was weird to this youngster who had never been in a place like that. He sure was an eye-opener! This was prior to Fire getting into the charts worldwide. The eponymous album was also a worldwide hit and I still have the track release as well as the Cd with bonus songs.

Others to have worked this amazing song include, Jeff Beck & Joss Stone, Bette Midler, Alan Price, Them, Chaka Khan, Creedence Clearwater Revival and of course Nina Simone to name just a varied few!

 

 

The post ALAN PEARCE’s Top 10 Blues appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Album release management, PR, and graphics & merchandise developer New Outlaw is offering a weekly Virtual Gig Guide for performances in the UK. They encourage all artists to let them know of online events so that they may be included in this weekly guide.

This week’s offerings include:

Saturday, 11 April – Sugarman Sam 20:30 (UK Time) via both the Sugarman Sam Facebook page and the Basingstoke Blues Club Facebook group.

Sugarman Sam Photo: Ken Jackson

Sunday, 12 April – Isolation Music Festival 3 13:00-18:00 (UK Time)

 

Sunday, 12 April – Redfish Lockdown –  20:00 (UK Time) (with more planned for 19 April and 26 April)

Sunday, 12 April – Dan Burnett – 18:30 (UK Time) (with more planned for all Sundays for the foreseeable future)

New Outlaw

*Feature image Tony Cole Photography

The post This Week’s UK Virtual Gig Guide From New Outlaw appeared first on American Blues Scene.

When Neil Young rounded up the current lineup of Crazy Horse last spring, they recorded Colorado, the first Crazy Horse album since 2012’s Psychedelic Pill.  The band features founding bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina, as well as multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren on guitar. Nils played with Crazy Horse during the ’70s and rejoined in 2018.

Colorado was recorded in the Rocky Mountains and was produced by Neil Young and John Hanlon. Young has released a new version of “Shut it Down,” a track from the album, and has renamed it “Shut it Down 2020.” He and his wife, Daryl Hannah, made a video to go along with the song “as a document of Earth’s reaction to 2020’s pandemic,” Young says on his Archives.

Neil sends this message:

“These are uncertain times. I wish you all the best as you care for our sick, the young and old who we love so much.

Sending the best wishes to all the health care and government workers all over the world, to all the scientists who will learn and share with us the best ways to ensure survival in our world challenged. Let’s all work together and stay positive that we will find a way. With love to all, in all walks of life, all political persuasions, all colors. We will succeed working together for the good of our world as we are here together, hanging in the balance of nature.”

Neil’s second Fireside Sessions show, taped at his Telluride, Colorado home, was released on March 26. And you can catch him on Saturday, April 11th on Willie Nelson’s At Home with Farm Aid.

The post Neil Young Shares New Video for “Shut it Down” appeared first on American Blues Scene.

Beth Hart Reveals Heartwarming Video for ‘No Place Like Home’ Uniting Fans Across The World.

Stay Safe. Stay Home. Love Music
There’s a place that’s meant for us
Full of faith, hope, love and trust

The world is going through a difficult time at the moment and it affects us all greatly with a number of countries imposing lockdowns, curfews and social distancing rules to protect us all, but it also results in many living in isolation. In times like these, the value of life, love and friendship comes to the front of our minds more than ever. Beth Hart fans have always been a community, a family even, and they have come together showing acts of love and happiness on the singer’s new video for ‘No Place Like Home’.

Although we are going through an unprecedented time in the world and millions of us have been asked to stay at home, we can all make that time at home with the people we love shine through more than ever, and together we can make a difference at this very difficult time.

Beth Hart can make the biggest arena or auditorium feel intimate, and this song, in particular, evokes that feeling, right now it feels more poignant than ever. The song was taken from the 2016 album ‘Fire on the Floor.’ The heartwarming video features footage of fans with their families, grandparents, children, loved ones and friends all coming together to show a little act of love can have a sprawling ripple effect of happiness.

It sees fans from as far as the Faroe Islands, Kurdistan, Mexico and Lithuania to Mongolia, Morocco, Canada, Iraq and Argentina. As well as Cyprus, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Iran, Portugal, Turkey, UK, US, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Belgium and Australia

Talking about the video Beth said; “When I saw the video I cried, as I recognised so many of you. You guys looked so sweet, loving, happy and it just blew my mind. I think I cried for two hours after. Thank you forever, guys, I love you so much. There really is no place like home.”

Beth’s long time manager David Wolff also said; “Beth and her fans never cease to amaze me. This video is sooo loving, hopeful and inspiring. Thank you to everybody that made this possible.”
It shows that love is love, love is strong and that home is where you are happiest, and there really is no place like home. We will all get through this and we will come through stronger.

Please follow the advice of your local government and health authorities.

For More Info – Beth Hart

 

The post Beth Hart Collaborates With Fans appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

With people around the world staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Beth Hart has released a music video for “No Place Like Home” featuring fan submitted videos from all over the globe.

“When I saw the video I cried, as I recognized so many of you,” said Hart. “You guys looked so sweet, loving, and happy and it just blew my mind. I think I cried for two hours after. Thanks you forever guys, I love you so much. There really is no place like home.”

Backed by her band, the Champagne Hookers, Sass Jordan’s brand new blues album is a delightful taste of classic sound in the 21st century. Long-time and world-renowned rock singer, Jordan has been greatly influenced by blues growing up and has incorporated aspects of the genre into the work of her 40-year career. Rebel Moon Blues is Jordan’s first blues album and one to impress. 

The album kicks off with “Leaving Trunk,” with outstanding brassy sounds that compliment Jordan’s low, gritty voice. The overall pitch and key of the song leans on the higher side compared to the third song on the album, “Am I Wrong,” a foot tapper with a steady rhythm on drums and guitar. The catchy riffs in this song emulate the blues style wonderfully. “Palace Of The King” is similarly filled with solid guitar riffs which build up to a very open sounding chorus featuring backing vocals and a whistling lead guitar. This song is a major peak in energy for the album with its higher tempo and heavily layered instrumentals. In comparison, “Too Much Alcohol” features a lighter instrumental behind a classic blues song structure. This combination is always a joy to find in the contemporary blues rock scene where artists often load their songs with instrumentals. The minimal instrumental puts a focus on the narrative storytelling style that is so important to blues as a genre. Nonetheless, the guitar that is present is packed with punch and intensity. 

Rebel Moon Blues is a great taste of blues with a refreshingly classic sound. Jordan truly understands the genre and writes a fantastic homage to it in this exciting new album. 

The Review: 7.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

-Am I Wrong
-Palace of the King
-Too Much Alcohol

The Big Hit

-Palace of the King

Review by Sabrina Tian

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

 

“Music is something that let us express our emotions and touches the souls”

This statement can be very well understood by the people who are fond of playing or listening to music and able to connect with it.

The growing interest of people towards learning to play music has increased the demand for musical instruments as well.

Today, this article contains amazing information for such kind of music lovers who have a keen interest in playing pianos.

This article provides you the review as well as the difference between two wonderful pianos that you can buy so that after reading this article you’ll be sure of which one to buy.

Alesis Recital

The Alesis Recital is a digital piano that offers 88 full-sized semi-weighted keys. There are five realistic built-in voices that the Alesis Recital features that consist of an acoustic piano, synth, bass, organ and electric piano. It provides you with additional reverb and chorus to tailor your sound.

You would have a great playing experience as it gives powerful 20-watt built-in speakers, not only this but a 128-note maximum note polyphony. This all helps to deliver ultra-realistic sound.

Piano Nadu has written an excellent review on Alesis Recital which covers all the features and performance of the piano.

You can play the keyboard wherever you wish to through the power adaptor or 6D cell battery. You can even connect stereo RCA outputs to a mixer recorder or any other sound system. It weighs 15.65 pounds.

Alesis Recital Pro

The Alesis Recital Pro is a digital piano that offers 88 full-sized hammer-action keys. It fulfills your exact needs with adjustable touch response. It offers adjustable reverb, modulation and chorus to tailor your sound. It delivers the premium sound and gives you great playing experience.

This gives twelve built-in realistic voices. It provides an adjustable metronome and record mode. Thus, it helps the student and teacher to play together while watching each other.

This pro model gives USB-MIDI connectivity. You can connect the recital pro to your mac or pc with this MIDI output. You can play it anywhere with a facility of 6D cell batteries. It consists of 20-watt speakers and 128-note maximum polyphony for good playing experience.

Differences

 

Basis

 

Alesis Recital Alesis Recital Pro
Keyboard

 

  The keyboard of Alesis Recital consists of 88 keys that can be adjusted according to the style of every user. The keys of this piano are semi-weighted.

 

  Similar to Alesis Recital, the keyboard of Alesis Pro also consists of 88 keys and can be adjusted according to the convenience of the user. But unlike Alesis Recital, it has hammer action keys.

 

 

Number of Voices

 

This digital piano consists of five voices with certain educational features that are crafted expertly and let the user play keys very fast.

 

 

This piano is loaded with twelve different voices with the addition of educational features.

 

 

Record Mode   There is no record available in this model. It only has a lesson mode that enables the student and teacher to play together.

 

 

The feature of record mode in this piano enables the users to record their playing and allows them to listen to it again.

 

 

FX

 

  The built-in FX includes Reverb and Chorus in this model.

 

  The built-in FX includes Reverb, Chorus and Modulation in this pro model.

 

Conclusion

Both the above-mentioned pianos are unique in their way. Both of them have some wonderful features that will surely help you to attain expertise in playing the piano.

The tabular representation of the difference between both the models will help you to choose the one according to your requirements so that you would not end up buying any model against your interest.

Linda Ritter

London based Stevie Smith is a Rock/Blues vocalist and Harp tart of some fifty years standing. Twenty-odd years of that was spent as a frontman for Ruthless Blues, in the ’80s & ’90s, and before that with SALT in the mid-’70s and early ’80s. In between times, some myriad other bands, and well, anyone really. He is currently with his new band Sin House.

Ten songs. This has not been easy. In the end, I went with whatever popped into my head, at the moment. if you were to ask me tomorrow it would probably be a totally different list. So, with that being said, and in no particular order.

1 – Sonny Boy Williamson – Help Me 

The simplicity of the riff, the hurt in the voice and the most unflashy harp ever, but it is oh so effective. It’s got to be on anyone’s list.

2 – Billy Holiday – God Bless The Child

It’s that soulful world-weary voice that gets you,  and the well-written thought-provoking observational lyrics, magic. The Amy Winehouse of her day.

3 – B.B. King – How Blue Can You Get

I first heard this at a friends place. I think we were about fifteen, or sixteen at the time. He said. “Here! Listen to this” and there it was, The Blues, that voice, that guitar, that band and humour all wrapped up in one glorious package,  And I was moved to the core of my sixteen-year-old soul.

4 – Howlin’ Wolf – Smokestack Lightnin’

This was the first Wolf I ever heard. He was on the telly and I must have been about twelve, it was a Friday night and the program was Ready Steady Go. It is indelibly imprinted in my memory.

5 – Skip James – Hard Times Killing Floor

Just listen to the emotion in that voice. If that doesn’t smack you in the soul…You ain’t got one!

6 – Muddy Waters – Walkin’ Blues

Now with Muddy Waters as with Howlin’ Wolf and Sonny Boy, it could have been any 1 of his whole catalogue. I plumped for “Walking Blues” I just love this treatment of the tune. Again it’s the voice. It’s like he’s your mate telling you what happened to him after last night, or the blues he’s got. I find it somehow intimate. Also, I feel if there was a Greek pantheon of Blues gods, then he’s Zeus.

7 – Billy boy Arnold & Tony McPhee – Catfish Blues

The pure energy and spontaneity of the piece. That and the simplicity of the harp work. Only it’s not, just try playing it…love it!

8 – Led Zeppelin – Since I’ve Been Loving You

If you are going to fuse rock and blues what you do is start with heart, and gut-wrenching vocals, have one the most searingly intense guitar solo’s ever recorded, and you have it all, powered by the best rhythm section of their day. This is exactly what Led Zeppelin did back in 1970. What a gem.

9 – Ray Charles – The Night Time Is The Right Time

I was ten when I first heard this, ten! My first introduction to that kind of vocal, rough and raw. Ray Charles and Margie Hendrix going at it hammer and tong and hinting at something my young mind couldn’t quite grasp, but Oh yes, I wanted in on it. Whatever it was.

10 – Paul Rogers – Good Morning’ Little Schoolgirl

Love the minimalist backing. Bass, bass drum, tremolo guitar and floating above that you have Rogers vocal. Add one of Jeff Becks finest recorded solo’s that I’ve ever heard. I’d say it would be difficult to contemporise an old Chicago standard any better.

For more info on Stevie Smith and Sin House please click here.

 

 

The post STEVIE SMITH’s Top 10 Blues appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Hannah Wicklund has announced a new four song EP titled The Inbetween, which will be available digitally and on vinyl April 17th. The album was recorded and produced by her brother, Luke Mitchell, of the High Divers. The album was recorded in their parents’ home in South Carolina. The Inbetween features stripped down versions of “Bomb Through The Breeze,” “Ghost,” “Meet You Again,” and “Shadowboxes and Porcelain Faces.”

“Piano was my first instrument, but I pretty much stopped playing when I picked up the guitar and traded in classical music for rock n roll,” says Wicklund. “Those classical roots are undeniable, however, as I get older, I appreciate them more and more.”