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Brandon Santini – Live & Extended!

Brandon Santini

Brandon Santini – Live & Extended!

I love blues harmonica! I guess it stems back to listening to guys like John Mayall, Sonny Terry, Paul Butterfield and Sonny Boy Williamson in the 70s. Over the years, the list of my favorite harp players has grown to include: James cotton, Jason Ricci, Kim Wilson, Mark Hummel, Rick Estrin and others. One player who is quickly moving up the ranks of my favorites is Memphis’ Brandon Santini!! With a sound that has been compared to Mister Cotton and Mister Butterfield, this native of the Piedmont region of North Carolina is staking his claim for inclusion among the best!! In my eyes and ears, he already is included! My first encounter with Brandon was when I picked up his 2013 release This Time Another Year which is a great album, but his latest release, Live & Extended! has topped it!

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More Treasures from The Princeton Record Exchange!

A Trip to the Princeton Record Exchange Yields Seven New Treasures!

So on Wednesday night, my son Nicholas and I went bargain-hunting at the Princeton Record Exchange, armed with our Christmas Gift Cards. I had a $25.00 gift card from my birthday back in October,plus my $25.00 Christmas gift card. I came home with 13 CDs and my $25.00 Christmas gift card! Six of the thirteen albums were from the Cheap Jazz album shelves and you can read about them here. Of the remaining seven, four are Alt-Country/Folk albums, two blues albums and one New Age album. Here they are:

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Steve Krase: Buckle Up

 Buckle Up for a rockin’ blues ride from Steve Krase!

The title of the new album from Steve Krase is Buckle Up (featuring Trudy Lynn) and that’s just what you should do before you listen to the album!  Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride!  The worst thing about the ten track album is that it’s only 39 minutes long! The album had me from the opening rocker “Jolene” right on through to the closing track – an instrumental titled  “Now”, and there were not many times during the album that my feet were not in motion!

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Steve Krase: Buckle Up – for a rockin’ blues ride!!

Buckle UpThe title of the new album from Steve Krase is Buckle Up (featuring Trudy Lynn) and that’s just what you should do before you listen to the album!  Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride!  The worst thing about the ten track album is that it’s only 39 minutes long! The album had me from the opening rocker “Jolene” right on through to the closing track – an instrumental titled  “Now”, and there were not many times during the album that my feet were not in motion!

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Exploring the Chicago Blues of Lurrie Bell

Lurrie BellLast year 2013 was a great year for Chicago Blues artist Lurrie Bell. Bell, the son of the great blues harpist Carey Bell released one of his most successful solo albums, Blues in My Soul.  Blues in My Soul, released on the Delmark label, was Bell’s return to electric blues after two albums which saw him playing in acoustic and religious styles. Lurrie Bell’s return was positively received by the blues community,  the Blues Foundation nominated him for five 2014 Blues Music Awards, and Lurrie won the 2013 Living Blues Award as the Male Blues Act of the Year! Here are Lurrie Bell’s five Blues Music Award’s nominations.

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Exploring the Blues of Toronto Born – Anthony Gomes – Rebel Blue!!

Rebel BlueOne of the blues albums that his been in my music rotation for the last few weeks is Rebel Blue from Anthony Gomes, a seventeen track Best of album! I discovered the Toronto-born Gomes in 2012 via his album Up2Zero, at that point Gomes was 14 years and 8 albums into his career that began back in 1998. In that year Gomes formed his own band after a brief stint as a sideman with Magic Slim and the Teardrops. The band then went out and won the first annual Buddy Guy’s Legends “Best Unsigned Blues Band” competition and later that year Gomes debut CD, Blues in Technicolor was released!

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Today in Music – Oct 28, 1937 – A Founder of the British Blues Movement – Graham Bond was born!!

Graham BondSo on this date in 1937 another one of those musicians whose name sounded familiar, but I was unsure why, Graham Bond was born. After reading the following at Wikipedia, I was even more unsure of why I didn’t recognize the name!! He certainly influenced the career paths of several musicians who I listened to and admired over the years, not the least of which, are Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. From Wikipedia:

Graham John Clifton Bond (28 October 1937 – 8 May 1974) was an English musician, considered a founding father of the English rhythm and blues boom of the 1960s. Bond was an innovator, described as “an important, under-appreciated figure of early British R&B”,[1] along with Cyril Davies and Alexis Korner. Jack Bruce, John McLaughlin and Ginger Baker first achieved prominence in his group, the Graham Bond Organisation. Bond was voted Britain’s New Jazz Star in 1961.[2][3]   He was an early user of the Hammond organ/Leslie speaker combination in British rhythm and blues[4] – he “split” the Hammond for portability – and was the first rock artist to record using a Mellotron,[4] on his There’s A Bond Between Us LP. As such he was a major influence upon later rock keyboardists: Deep Purple’s Jon Lord said “He taught me, hands on, most of what I know about the Hammond organ”.[5]

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Today in Music – Oct 21st – Happy Birthday – Steve Cropper and Elvin Bishop!

Originally, posted October 21, 2012

Today we celebrate the birthday of  guitarist and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Steve Cropper (1941). From Wikipedia:

 Steve Cropper (born Steven Lee Cropper, October 21, 1941, Dora, Missouri),[1] also known as Steve “The Colonel” Cropper, is an American guitarist, songwriter and record producer. He is best known as the guitarist of the Stax Records house band, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, and has backed artists such as Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas and Johnnie Taylor, also acting as producer on many of these records. He later gained fame as a member of the Blues Brothers band.[2] Rolling Stone lists him 36th on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.[3] Mojo ranks Cropper as the second-best guitarist ever. continue reading

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Saturday Morning Music from John Mayall – “Good Time Boogie” – Jazz Blues Fusion!!

Jazz Blues FusionSo the other day I decided to visit an album that I haven’t listened to in a long while, Jazz Blues Fusion from John Mayall.The abum is a live album. The first side is from a concert in Boston on 18 November 1971, and the second side was selected from two concerts at Hunter College, New York, on 3 and 4 December 1971. John released two albums with this jazz fusion bent. On the albums he brought jazz musicians into his band. On this album the musicians were Freddy Robinson on guitar, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Ron Selico on drums and Clifford Soloman on tenor and alto saxophones. Larry Taylor long-time member of the band provided bass.

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Today in Music – B B King was born!!

 Riley B B King   (September 16, 1925- May 14, 2015)

So today is the  anniversary of birth of probably the greatest blues musician of all time. Certainly he was one who was at the top of his craft the longest – B.B. King!!

Here’s  the obligatory background information from Wikipedia, like he needs an introduction:

Riley B. King (born September 16, 1925- May 14, 2015), known by the stage name B.B. King, is an American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time (previously ranked No. 3 in the 2003 edition of the same list),[1] and he was ranked No. 17 in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”.[2]

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