Vote for Albert Castiglia - Blues Blast Award - Rock Blues Album CD of the year https://www.facebook.com/events/574775742638518 Albert Castiglia - Solid Ground Voting opens July 15, 2014 and continues until September 15, 2014 on our website at http://www.BluesBlastMagazine.com/ Voting is free and open to anyone who is a Blues Blast Magazine subscriber. You do not have to be a current subscriber to vote! You are automatically signed up as part of the voting process on our website if you are not currently a subscriber. Blues Blast Magazine subscriptions are FREE!
CD Review From Blues Bytes Nicole Hart/Anni Piper "Split Second" http://www.bluenight.com/BluesBytes/wn0213.html
One of the more delightful CDs I've encountered in a long time features the pairing of singers Nicole Hart & Anni Piper on their new CD, Split Second (Blues Leaf Records). It's more primal and earthy than I expected, with both singers possessing strong voices that harmonize extremely well together. The creative heads at Blues Leaf struck gold when they decided to team up existing labelmates Hart, who is from Florida, with native Australian Piper. The backing band of Ron Rauso (guitar), Juke Joint Jonny (acoustic guitar, dobro), Sandy Mack (harp), John Ginty (organ, piano) and Sim Cain (drums) is solid, complimenting the vocals well but never taking the spotlight away from Nicole and Anni, the latter who doubles on bass guitar.
The disc starts with our two co-stars harmonizing on a mid-tempo funky number, "Can't Let You Go," that features timely percussion work from Cain and a hot organ solo from Ginty. "Clap Your Hands" is a frantic number that sounds like it could have come from the Ray Charles songbook, especially with the retro sounding guitar and organ work from Rauso and Ginty, but instead was done originally by Memphis Slim. This one smokes!
The mood changes considerably on the third cut, "Ain't Nobody Watchin'," with a slow, dirgelike blues original written by Piper whose raw, breathy vocals come in after Mack's harmonica intro. Piper also takes the vocal lead on the ultra-cool Roy Orbison number, "Dream Baby."
Hart gets her own chance to break men's hearts with Sugar Ray Norcia's slow blues, "Why Should I Feel So Bad!" Ginty comes in mid-song with a killer organ solo that just adds to the power of this tune. Another incredibly electric song finds both singers chiming in on another tortured blues, "What Will Later On Be Like?"
The girls blend their vocals together on the Sonny Curtis composition, "Walk Right Back," which was a top ten hit for the Everly Brothers in the early '60s. If there was any justice in the contemporary music world, Hart and Piper would also be garnering a gold record for their version which is every bit as good as the original. Juke Joint Jonny's dobro solo pushes this one over the top.
This wonderful disc ends with Hart's only original, the ethereal "Listen To The Rain Fall," which brings the same mournful precipitation to your ears as Irma Thomas' classic, "It's Raining." Mack's chromatic harp solo and Jonny's acoustic guitar strumming set the right mood and provide simple but tasteful accompaniment.
I find myself loving Split Second more and more every time I listen to it. It's undoubtedly going to be a contender for blues album of the year. Highly recommended!
--- Bill Mitchell
http://www.rootsmusicreport.com/index.php?page=2012_year_end_chart&genre=blues 1 JANIVA MAGNESS STRONGER FOR IT ALLIGATOR 2 THE CASH BOX KINGS HOLLER AND STOMP BLIND PIG 3 DR. JOHN LOCKED DOWN WARNER / NONESUCH 4 ROBERT CRAY BAND NOTHIN' BUT LOVE PROVOGUE 5 RICK ESTRIN AND THE NIGHTCATS ONE WRONG TURN ALLIGATOR 6 SHEMEKIA COPELAND 33 1/3 TELARC 7 RUTHIE FOSTER LET IT BURN BLUE CORN 8 CHRIS SMITHER HUNDRED DOLLAR VALENTINE SIGNATURE SOUNDS 9 LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS JUMP START ALLIGATOR 10 PETER KARP & SUE FOLEY BEYOND THE CROSSROADS BLIND PIG 11 DEBBIE DAVIES AFTER THE FALL MC 12 ALBERT CASTIGLIA LIVING THE DREAM BLUES LEAF 13 CURTIS SALGADO SOUL SHOT ALLIGATOR 14 MAGIC SLIM & THE TEARDROPS BAD BOY BLIND PIG 15 OTIS TAYLOR OTIS TAYLOR'S CONTRABAND TELARC 16 ETTA JAMES THE DREAMER VERVE FORECAST 17 JOE LOUIS WALKER HELLFIRE ALLIGATOR 18 STEVE CROPPER WITH FEATURED DUETS DEDICATED - A SALUTE TO THE 5 ROYALES 429 RECORDS 19 JOAN OSBORNE BRING IT ON HOME SAGUARO ROAD RECORDS 20 RAY BONNEVILLE BAD MAN'S BLOOD RED HOUSE 21 ERIC BIBB DEEPER IN THE WELL STONY PLAIN 22 TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND LIVE EVERYBODY'S TALKIN' SONY MASTERWORKS 23 WYNTON MARSALIS & ERIC CLAPTON PLAY THE BLUES LIVE FROM JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER REPRISE 24 THE BLUES BROADS THE BLUES BROADS DELTA GROOVE 25 STEVE PINEO'S BLUE MONDAY TRIO CANADA VOL.1 HARDWIRED FOR THE BLUES STAMP RECORDINGS 26 RICK HOLMSTROM CRUEL SUNRISE MC 27 THE REVEREND PEYTON'S BIG DAMN BAND BETWEEN THE DITCHES SIDE ONE DUMMY 28 MATT ANDERSEN COAL MINING BLUES BUSTED FLAT 29 KILBORN ALLEY FOUR BLUE BELLA 30 PETEY HOP THE LEVEE HOPTONES MUSIC 31 ANDERS OSBORNE BLACK EYE GALAXY ALLIGATOR 32 SUGAR RAY & THE BLUETONES EVENING SEVERN 33 KEB MO THE REFLECTION YOLABELLE 34 MICHAEL BURKS SHOW OF STRENGTH ALLIGATOR 35 JOHN LEE HOOKER JR. ALL HOOKED UP STEPPIN' STONE RECORDS 36 BIG JAMES AND THE CHICAGO PLAYBOYS THE BIG PAYBACK BLIND PIG 37 SMOKIN' JOE KUBEK & B'NOIS KING CLOSE TO THE BONE DELTA GROOVE 38 CATFISH KEITH PUT ON A BUZZ FISH TAIL 39 MUD MORGANFIELD SON OF THE SEVENTH SON SEVERN 40 OMAR & THE HOWLERS I'M GONE BIG GUITAR MUSIC 41 CHUCK LEAVELL BACK TO THE WOODS A TRIBUTE TO THE PIONEERS OF BLUES PIANO EVERGREEN ARTS 42 HERITAGE BLUES ORCHESTRA AND STILL I RISE RAISIN' MUSIC 43 CONTINO BACK PORCH DOGMA BLIND PIG 44 CRAIG CHAQUICO FIRE RED MOON BLIND PIG 45 LITTLE FEAT ROOSTER RAG ROUNDER / CONCORD 46 CAROLYN WONDERLAND PEACE MEAL BISMEAUX 47 JULIAN FAUTH EVERYBODY OUGHT TO TREAT A STRANGER RIGHT ELECTRO-FI 48 IAN SIEGAL AND THE MISSISSIPPI MUDBLOODS CANDY STORE KID NUGENE 49 TREASA LEVASSEUR BROAD SLIM CHICKEN 50 THE BILL KING TRIO FIVE ACES 7 ARTS ENTERTAINMENT
Living the Dream Albert Castiglia Blues Leaf Records
June 12 2012 By Grant Britt Albert Castiglia should be huge. His guitar work is ferocious. Slinging barbed licks around like the Kings, Albert in particular, but also able to stick it to ya with Freddie's piercing stabs, Castiglia fires up a fretboard like nobody's bidness. A New Yorker by birth and a Miamian by adoption, Castiglia brings a big city intensity to his hard-edged blues. Earning the lead guitar slot for Junior Wells Hoodoo Man's Band in '97, he stayed on after Wells' death the following year backing blueswoman Sandra Hall before going solo in 2002 with his first release, Burn. His latest, Livin' the Dream, features a bundle of fiery originals and a handful of covers that retain the feel of the originals rejuvenated with Castiglia's scorching riffs. The title cut conjures up memories of another Albert: the frosty, stinging bite of Albert Collins. Freddie King gets his homage with “Freddie's Boogie,” with Castiglia ripping through his version of King's “Boogie Funk,” concentrating more on the galloping boogie and less on the funk. His run at Paul Butterfield's “Loving Cup” is harder-edged than the '64 original with Mike Bloomfield's lead guitar and not as esoteric as Robben Ford's '99 Stevie Ray Vaughan shuffle impersonation. You don't generally think of Little Richard as a bluesman. But “Directly From My Heart To You” was originally done as a bluesy ballad instead of Richard's usual frenetic shriek. In Castiglia's hands, it's a pounding, pulsating track with a searing, stinging lead that Albert King would have been proud to claim. His original, “Pubic Enemy Number 9,” features some nasty slide work as greasy as Sonny Landreth's. And just in case you didn't get Castiglia's message, “File Under Blues” is printed on the back cover. Yeah, you'll want to do that eventually. But for right now, you'll need to keep this one out where you can get to it for a hearty breakfast kick start, a pick me up nooner, and a big helping to get you through the night. http://www.nodepression.com/profiles/blogs/albert-castiglia-cd-review
October 20th, 2011 Sean Chambers: Live From The Long Island Blues Warehouse
Sean Chambers’ live performance From The Long Island Blues Warehouse consists of ten songs from his previous three studio albums in front of a fairly excited crowd. It’s an energetic show powered by a heavy, electric blues style with searing Hendrix-esque guitar licks and riffs. The album consists mostly of loud, bluesy riff driven tracks with a few slower tracks and two instrumentals; ending with a ten minute swan song “In The Wintertime,” which shows Chambers’ power and technical capabilities.
The album opens with “Dixie,” a cool and funky instrumental with Chambers building to a big wailing guitar solo towards the end. In the second track “Love Can Find A Way” we first hear the distinctive gruff voice of Chambers; the main chopping riff of the track holds essences of Hendrix that is present through most of the album. And there is a great joy in hearing a well placed harmonica solo half way through the song “Full Moon On Main Street” (a slower traditional blues song) and “Strong Temptations” (a 60’s rock track with psychedelic riffs) are the strongest tracks on the album dominated by Chambers’ howling voice. The midway track is a cover of Elmore James’s “Dust My Broom.” It’s a good cover of the classic blues song, with a country tint brought on by the harmonica playing.
The latter half of the album with tracks like “Crazy For Loving You” and “Danger Zone” seem a little recycled and almost a little repetitive. However the album is swiftly picked up by “Too Much Blues,” a head banging road song that reminds me a bit of Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild,” and a new track “Hip Shake Boogie,” a improvised, jazzy waltz of a song.
Live From The Long island Blues Warehouse is a solid live performance, backed up by commendable performances by the bassist (Tim Blair), drummer (Paul Broderick) and harmonica player (Gary Keith). It’s a performance well worth listening to if you want some old rock style blues with psychedelic guitar riffs.
The Review: 7.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
December 27th, 2011 Joel DaSilva: The Midnight Howl Review
Hailing from Chicago originally, Joel DaSilva and the Midnight Howl have created an album in which the Chicago blues style is clear throughout each of the ten tracks on the album, whilst blending a rock and roll influence. The record often feels like good old fashioned bar room blues music with great energy and entertainment for the listener.
Setting the tone for the album is “Let’s Not Fight, Let’s Make Love.” The opening track has a steady beat twelve bar blues and with DaSilva, guitar licks are prevalent throughout the record. “Hanging On” is much more of a rock and roll track. “Try” is a simple and soulful track with DaSilva poignantly singing about regret whilst playing acoustic guitar and subtle guitar licks create a very pleasing song. “Boogie Real Low” follows, a rocky electric blues track with stinging guitar work throughout. “Heart of My Father” is the long blues ballad track on the album. The intro and outro sets the mood for the track with an accordion and a heart-rending little guitar medley before kicking into a soft and meaningful blues track. The Track “Every Night” has Just DaSilva playing a straightforward blues on an acoustic guitar. “For Don” and “Nitro’s Grease” are the two instrumental tracks on the album displaying Dasilva’s dexterity with his guitar work
The Midnight Howl is a competent, smart album with some striking tracks and with a variety to the music that means that the electric Chicago style never becomes dull. DaSilva’s guitar and vocals are strong and keeps the albums progression solid. It’ll be interesting to see what DaSilva and the band do next in their contribution to the blues.
The Review: 7.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
- Try - Boogie Real Low - Heart Of My Father - Who Knows
The Big Hit
Review by Josh May
Friday, June 11, 2010 Annie Piper "Chasin Tail"
From the first cluster of guitar notes this cd grabbed my attention, and then a wonderful thing happened--Annie Piper began to sing. She has the kind of voice and delivery that goes straight to your heart. The music is passionate in-your-face blues and blues rock, played well and best heard LOUD. The songs are originals, along with ripping good covers of Freddie King's "Hideaway" and Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child Slight Return." If you are a fan of Janiva Magness just go buy this cd immediately--Annie Piper will, as my friend Don says, melt your face right off. The band is Sam Buckley on guitar, Annie Piper on vocals and bass, and Reuben Alexander on drums. Good stuff.
This cd is on Blues Leaf Records.
Monday, December 1, 2008 Anni Piper "Two's Company"
"Two's Company" is Anni Piper's 3rd release, after her self titled 2004 disc and 2006's "Texas Hold 'Em." There is something exciting about an artist's 3rd release. They finally come into their own, and there is a clarity and passion on a 3rd disc that was only hinted at in the earlier releases. Well, this disc is the real Anni Piper--after winning the 2005 Australian Blues Music Award for "Best New Talent" on this cd she brings the goods in abundance. She fronts a crackerjack band which features Richard Steele from the Austin Texas band "The Small Stars" on guitar. Piper starts this set with Leroy Carr's "Blues Before Sunrise" and it is a joy--tight, strong, confident. "Live to Play" comes up next, and it is fine--one of five songs here that also appear on her debut. Then there is a short but really good acoustic gem "Man's Woman" which features Allan Vander Linden on guitar. Then a vocal showcase "Untrue" which is followed by "Jailbait," featuring a nice nice guitar dual between Richard Steele and Marcus 'Bro' Adamson on slide. Absolutely smoking, the best song on the disc. And the entire second half of the cd continues the promise of the first....listen to "Mystery of Love" and "Love's Truly Blind." There are half a dozen songs here that would sound great on your favorite blues radio or on your cd player at a party. The thing I like best about Anni Piper is her vocals--she can sing anything from the deepest to the poppiest blues (i.e "Watchdog") and she makes it all work. On the title track she sounds like Bonnie Bramlett back about 1970, with those vocals framed beautifully by a guitar break by Vander Linden and Adamson doing their best Eric Clapton licks. "Come In My Kitchen" is not the Robert Johnson song but an original--ten of the 12 songs here are by Piper or Piper/Vander Linden.
It seems that a lot of women blues singers start out trying to sell their looks, trying to get seen more than heard. Well, Anni Piper looks good--but she sounds even better. I write here often about new artists that are coming up, and Anni Piper has the goods. This is the kind of cd that I wish Sheryl Crow and Todd Wolfe could have made together 15 years ago.
Todd Wolfe Band - Stripped Down at the Bang Palace
by Bruce This is the best disc Todd Wolfe has made, and that is saying quite a lot. Again Todd Wolfe brings the guitar fire and the searing vocals he is known for, although everything here is just a smidgen better than I expected it to be.
It's a blues trio disc with Todd Wolfe's regular band--Todd on guitars and vocals, Suavek Zaniesienko on bass and backing vocals, and Roger Voss on drums and percussion. The only guests on this set are Sarah Ayers on vocals, (and she adds a great Bonnie Bramlett-style vibe) and Rich Frikkers on percussion. It was recorded live at The Bang Palace. Things are smooth and powerful and tightly musical throughout.
Highlights include a great version of Muddy Waters' "She's Nineteen Years Old" that updates the original, a spooky "Black Night" that would have been perfect for Halloween, a very fine version of Howlin' Wolf's "Evil" that is like the proverbial watched pot--it's a slow boiler, but it gets there. There's a fine cover of BB King's "Three O'Clock Blues," and a soulful Delaney & Bonnie duet style take of "Come In My Kitchen," and a fun cover of the old Mountain chestnut "Mississippi Queen" with Wolfe playing what sounds like an acoustic National steel body slide guitar. There's a powerful cover of "It's All Over Now" that sounds like it could be by Tommy Castro--and shows just how far Todd Wolfe has grown from his days as Sheryl Crow's guitar player. And he throws in these little touches--a bit of the Allman Brothers on "It's all Over Now," a bit of Led Zeppelin on "Roll Over"--that remind me how this music is supposed to be fun.
Todd Wolfe is big time already-- he makes great music. This disc is on the Blues Leaf label, and it comes out next Tuesday November 10. Grab this one!