‘Black To Blues’ Is A Rocking Tribute To The Roots Of The Blues

Courtesy: Mascot Records

The wait for Black Stone Cherry’s new album Family Tree is now at only one day.  The much-anticipated 13-song album will be the band’s second full-length studio recording for Mascot Records and its third overall recording for the label.  The second of the band’s recordings came last year in the form of the six-song blues covers EP Black To Blues.  It is the focus of today’s review, as anticipation builds for Family Tree.  Those who are familiar with Black Stone Cherry’s body of work know that this veteran Kentucky-based rock band’s music is very deeply rooted in the blues.  So it comes as no surprise that the band released this collection.  The only real surprise is that it is only a six-song record instead of a full-length EP.  The record’s song choices (and their associated artists) are, collectively speaking, one of its key high points.  They will be discussed shortly.  The songs’ arrangements are important to the EP’s whole, too.  The historical significance of the EP rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the EP’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Black To Blues another welcome offering from Black Stone Cherry, and one that will hopefully one day be followed by a more pure blues cover from the band

Black Stone Cherry’s 2017 EP Black To Blues is an interesting new compilation of songs from the veteran Kentucky-based blues rock band.  That is not because it is a collection of blues covers, but in part because of the songs selected for the 6-song EP.  The songs are classics crafted by some of the greatest names in blues history – Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Albert King, and the creative team of Don Nix, Donald Dunn and Leon Russell.

‘Built For Comfort,’ originally composed by blues legend Willie Dixon, is considered by critics and audiences alike to be one of Dixon’s best compositions.  Along with Muddy Waters (a.k.a. McKinley Morganfield), Dixon is one of two of the key figures in the formation of the Chicago blues.

Speaking of Muddy Waters, his song ‘Champagne and Reefer’ fittingly follows Dixon’s Built For Comfort.’  What many might not know of Waters’ works is that a large number were in fact written and composed by Dixon.  This song however, was a rarity because it was written and composed entirely by Waters.  Just as interesting to note of the original is it was included in what would go on to become Waters’ final album before his death in 1983, King Bee.  Considering this, it’s fitting that such a strong composition would be included in Waters’ final musical statement.

‘Born Under A Bad Sign,’ another of the compilation’s key entries, is its own well-known work.  Inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 1983, the song has since gone on to be considered by most to be King’s signature composition.  No doubt that is thanks in part to William Bell’s lyrics, which have proven to have just as much widespread appeal as its musical arrangement which has reached rock and r&b fans just as much as blues fans.  It’s just one more example of why the songs included in this recording are so critical to the EP’s overall presentation.  ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ and ‘I Want To Be Loved,’ two more of Dixon’s hits prove to be just as entertaining here as the songs more directly noted.  Much the same can be said of ‘Palace of the King,’ originally composed by the writing team of Don Nix, Donald Dunn and Leon Russell.  That song was made famous by Freddie King, who is considered one of the “Three Kings” of the Blues.  When those songs are considered and researched along with the songs more fully discussed here, it becomes clear why the songs featured in this record are so critical to its presentation.  As important as they are, they are not, collectively speaking, the EP’s only key element.  The songs’ arrangements are just as important to discuss as the songs and their artists.

It goes without saying here that the band has given these blues standards quite the new identity with its arrangements.  Case in point is the hard rock/blues arrangement of Willie Dixon’s ‘Built For Comfort.’  Dixon’s original composition is an upbeat, easily danceable work.  BSC’s rendition is, by comparison far more familiar to its fans, stylistically than it might be to fans of Dixon’s original.  That’s not to say that BSC’s take is a bad take.  It just gives the song a new identity for a new generation; an identity that is still just as appealing in its own right as Dixon’s original.  Much the same can be said of BSC’s take on Muddy Waters’ ‘Champagne and Reefer.’  The band’s take of this blues standard is a complete re-imagining of Waters’ original, yet proves in its heavy, blues-soaked rock sound, to still be entertaining in its own right.  The band’s re-working of ‘Palace of the King’ changes things up here by actually largely staying true to its source material while still giving the song a solid update.  ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ proves to be one of the record’s most standout additions thanks to the band sticking to the original song’s 12-bar blues format.  One could even go so far as to argue that this take is even better than the original thanks to the hard rock element added to that link back to Willie Dixon’s original.  That standout offering is followed by another equally solid arrangement in the band’s take of ‘Born Under A Bad Sign,’ which stays perhaps closest to its source material of any of this record’s songs.  To say that it’s infectious would be an understatement with its blues rock arrangement; an arrangement which even way back when was credited with making the Albert King’s original such a widespread hit.  The band impresses one more time in the EP’s closer with its take of Wilie Dixon’s ‘I Want To Be Loved,’ which was originally made famous by his longtime friend Muddy Waters.  It is a little amped up in comparison to that original, but again, it largely stays true to the source material, right down to the horns.  The result of that devotion to the original is a work that is not only a solid closer for this record, but another song sure to be a hit among audiences of all ages.  It should be clear by now why the arrangements of the songs in this record are so pivotal to its presentation.  Some stay true to their source material while others completely re-imagine the songs.  Even in those re-imaginings, the songs still prove to be solid blues rock pieces that stay true to BSC’s own blues rock style.  Keeping that in mind, all of the arrangements presented here prove enjoyable in one way or another throughout, thus making the record in whole that much more enjoyable.  Of course this still is not the last of the EP’s most important elements.  Its historical value is also of note.

Black to Blues’ historical value is so important to discuss in examining this EP because of the doors that the EP can open through its songs and their arrangements.  One could easily argue that there’s no importance to this record, but the reality is that without this record, younger audiences who might otherwise pay no attention at all to the history and importance of blues itself, get a good start.  That door is opened through discussions on the songs featured here, their source material and their artists.  Being that this record is only a six-song record, it greatly limits the artists and songs, but maybe in generating new interest through those songs, those same younger listeners will hopefully be moved to discover even more of the many artists and songs that make the blues’ history so rich.  Keeping this in mind, the historical value of Black To Blues cannot be ignored in considering the EP’s overall presentation.  It is just as critical as the EPs songs (and artists) and the songs’ arrangements.  That being the case, the whole of the noted elements makes Black To Blues another solid effort from Black Stone Cherry; a recording that leaves listeners hoping one day the band will release a pure blues covers record instead of a collection of amped up covers.  Until or unless that happens, the works presented here will have to suffice.  That’s not an entirely bad thing, either.  Black to Blues is available now in stores and online.  More information on the EP is available online now along with all of Black Stone Cherry’s latest news and more at:




Website: http://ww.blackstonecherry.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/blackstonecherry

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BlkStoneCherry




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‘Midnight Highway’ Shows The Sun Has Barely Begun To Shine On Quinn Sullivan’s Career

Courtesy: CBG Records

Courtesy: CBG Records

Five years ago, Quinn Sullivan burst onto the blues scene and took everybody by surprise with his debut album Cyclone (2011).  Sullivan wasn’t even a teenager when he released that album.  Fast forward five years.  He followed up that album with Getting There two years later.  Now three years after its release, Sullivan has already released his third full-length studio recording before the age of 18.  The album in question is titled Midnight Highway and was released this past July.  The ten-song record exhibits considerable growth from Sullivan, building on the material presented in his previous records across the board. Between the mix of musical stylings presented here and Sullivan’s own presentation of talent, the record shows that the sun has barely even begun to shine on this young musician’s career.

Quinn Sullivan’s third full-length studio recording Midnight Highway is a musical road that every music lover out there should ride.  That is because it exhibits so clearly exhibits the growth that Sullivan has undergone ever since the release of his 2011 debut record.  The record’s opener, ‘Something For Me’ is just one of the songs that serves to show that growth.  In regards to its musical arrangement it is an infectious, Chicago blues style composition that instantly conjures thoughts of Sullivan’s mentor, Buddy Guy (yes, that Buddy Guy and his counterparts).  It truly pays homage to the golden age of electric blues through its arrangement.  That is just one part of what makes this song stand out as an example of Sullivan’s growth on this record.  The song’s musical content plays its own part in the song’s presentation, too.

The Chicago blues arrangement presented in ‘Something For Me’ is in itself an important part of what makes the song stand out in exhibiting Sullivan’s growth on his new LP.  It is a solid arrangement that hints blatantly at the likes of Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and others of that ilk.  Sullivan doesn’t necessarily throw down the gauntlet, but he definitely shows that he is the real deal with this arrangement and that he has true respect for the genre and its history.  Even with this in mind, the song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes it stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note in examining the song’s overall presentation as its musical arrangement.  The song’s lyrical content is pretty straight forward.  Sullivan is singing about a woman that he wants.  That is obvious as he sings in the song’s chorus, “You’re a pretty flower/I’m a buzzin’ bee/You’ve got/You’ve got something for me.”  If that isn’t convincing enough, the innuendo evident in the song’s second verse should speak volumes.  Sullivan sings in this verse, “When I weed the garden/I like to take my time/Take it easy baby/Cause I’ve got all night buzzing on my mind.”  That is a pretty blatant statement.  Considering that and Sullivan’s full-on musical arrangement here, the two elements show together that Sullivan has definitely grown up in more ways than one. They also serve to show why this song stands out so clearly as an example of that growth.  Of course it is just one of the songs included in this record that exhibits Sullivan’s growth.  ‘Crazy Into You’ is another song that serves to exemplify Sullivan’s growth.

‘Something For Me’ is a clear example of how much Quinn Sullivan has grown over the course of the past five years.  It serves to exhibit that personal and musical growth both through the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content.  It is just one example of how much Sullivan has grown over that time.  ‘Crazy Into You’ is another song included in this record that exhibits Sullivan’s growth.  Just as with ‘Something For You,’ this song exhibits Sullivan’s growth primarily through its musical arrangement.  This song’s arrangement is the polar opposite of ‘Something For You.’  Rather than being another blues arrangement, it is a clearly pop sound that is driven primarily through Sullivan’s guitar work.  The short, almost percussive riffs and their sound conjure thoughts of Maroon 5 believe it or not.  They are infectious riffs that easily get stuck in listeners’ heads.  When those riffs are set against the work of drummer Tom Hambridge and bassist Tommy MacDonald, the end result is an arrangement that becomes one of the album’s best arrangements.  The infectious, poppy musical arrangement presented in this song is just one part of what exhibits Sullivan’s growth in this song.  Its lyrical content exhibits that growth just as much as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘Crazy Into You’ is in itself a clear example of how much Sullivan has grown since the release of his debut record.  It is only one part of the song that exhibits that growth, though.  The song’s lyrical content also shows that growth.  That growth is exhibited as Sullivan writes playfully in the song’s chorus, “You’re the reason I’m not completely crazy/Maybe you’re the reason I am/Everybody comes around and tries to save me but they don’t really understand/You’re the one that can make me lose my mind/But I love everything you do.”  That’s a statement that, at 17, is pretty mature.  It says something to which so many much older people can relate.  That in itself speaks volumes about Sullivan’s growth just as much as his ability to balance his blues roots with a more pop-centered sound in the song’s musical arrangement does.  Keeping that in mind, both the musical arrangement presented in this song and the song’s lyrical content show in their own way Sullivan’s personal and musical growth.  When they are combined together, they serve to make this song another standout example of the growth present throughout Midnight Highway.  The song, in whole, is just one more of this record’s examples of Sullivan’s growth.  ‘Eyes For You’ is one more example of Sullivan’s growth on this record.

‘Something For Me,’ and ‘Crazy Into You’ are both clear examples of Sullivan’s growth in his new album.  That is made clear through each song’s musical arrangement and lyrical content.  While both songs clearly show in their own way, just how much Sullivan has grown on his new album, they are not the only songs that serve to exhibit that growth.  ‘Eyes For You’ is yet another example of that growth.  ‘Eyes For You’ serves to exhibit Sullivan’s growth, just as with the previously discussed songs, primarily through its musical arrangement.  Instead of taking a pop or blues approach this time, Sullivan opted for a folk sound, believe it or not.  It was a big risk for him to go this route, and a risk that paid off, too.  There is a certain reserved feel to Sullivan’s guitar work that wonderfully accents the uncertainty of the song’s subject as he addresses a certain woman.  The two part harmony that is incorporated into the song adds even more depth to that approach, too.  The fact that the song’s arrangement is almost entirely acoustic adds its own layer to the song, too.  All things considered, the song’s musical arrangement makes a strong statement about how much Sullivan has grown yet again in terms of his musical abilities and sensibilities.  It is just one way in which the song shows Sullivan’s growth.  The song’s lyrical content presents that growth just as much as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement that is presented within ‘Eyes For You’ shows thoroughly just how much Quinn Sullivan has grown on his new album.  The very fact that he was willing to take the risk to branch out exhibits that growth as does the overall approach taken in that move.  While the song’s musical arrangement does plenty to show Sullivan’s growth once again, it is just one of the song’s elements that exhibit that growth.  The song’s lyrical content does just as much to exhibit that growth.  In regards to the song’s lyrical content, the song presents a person addressing another, expressing his/her romantic interest in said figure.  As Sullivan’s subject sings, “I’ve got see-through eyes/I can see straight through/There’s no place you can hide/I’ve got eyes for you/I was born this way/Nothing I can do/Can look the other way/See I’ve got eyes for you/Well I got eyes for you.”  The gentle manner in which the subject delivers these words combines with the song’s equally gentle musical arrangement to present a certain innocence on the part of the song’s main subject.  It sounds kind of like a stalker, like in a certain other classic song.  There’s no denying that.  But the fact of the matter is that Sullivan likely didn’t mean for the song’s subject to come across in that fashion.  Odds are he wanted to the song’s subject to come across as a star-crossed lover of sorts, someone who is just crazy for his or her romantic interest.  That picture is painted even more throughout the course of the song’s lyrical content with the end result being a picture of someone who just wants to impress his or her romantic interest and win that person’s heart.  It is truly a touching approach.  When this is coupled with the song’s gentle musical approach, the picture that results is one that will move any listener perhaps more than any other song included in this record.  That being the case, it becomes clear why this song is one of the most significant examples of Sullivan’s growth in this record.  When it is coupled with the previously discussed songs, all three songs paint a picture of an artist who is hardly at the prime of his career yet who has grown so much in such a short time.  When those songs are partnered with the album’s other seven songs, the album in whole shows without any doubt how much Quinn Sullivan has grown since 2011.  It also serves to show in whole that as he grows musically and personally, so will his albums.  That means that the sun has only begun to shine on this talented young artist’s career.

Midnight Highway is a shining new offering from Quinn Sullivan.  Only the third full-length studio recording from this talented young guitarist and songwriter, it shows extensive growth in comparison to his first two records.  That is exhibited from the beginning to the end of the record’s ten songs both musically and lyrically.  The growth in question shows that while Sullivan still has plenty of growing to do, that growth is the best kind.  It shows that the sun has only begun to shine on his career.  Listeners can experience that growth for themselves when they purchase this album in stores or online.  More information on Midnight Highway is available along with Sullivan’s latest news and more at:




Website: http://www.quinnsullivanmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/QuinnSulivanMusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/quinnsullivan1




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Harper, Musselwhite Release One Of 2013’s Best Records In “Get Up!”

Courtesy:  Stax Records

Courtesy: Stax Records

Ben Harper’s latest release, Get Up! is both one of his finest releases to date and one of the best new albums of 2013.  Playing the blues is nothing new to Harper.  Much of the work that he has churned out throughout his career boasts an obvious blues influence.  This includes his 2004 collaboration with the famed Blind Boys of Alabama, There Will Be a Light.  Next to that record, this most recent release is the only other time that Harper has gone full blown blues.  Of course without fellow musician Charlie Musswelwhite on board for the project, it might never have gotten off the ground.  Thankfully though, it did.  And because it did fans of both Ben Harper and the Blues have an album that is one of those rare albums that can be enjoyed from start to finish without skipping even one song.

Get Up! opens in impressive form with the mid-tempo song, ‘Don’t Look Twice.’  This is a modern blues classic both in its lyrical and musical side.  It’s a song that reminds listeners their woes aren’t as someone else’s.  Harper sings to his listeners, “If your ship hasn’t come in/Don’t’ have a problem with the shore/If you’re locked out of your house/Don’t’ have a problem with your door/The dice are no man’s mistress/Black diamond snake moan/Wake up in the morning/Honey I’ll be gone.”  He’s telling listeners, don’t blame one thing for something else happening.  He’s saying that some things are just uncontrollable.  While it may sound like some sort of inspirational speech, it shows that the blues don’t have to be sad to be enjoyed even when the music boasts a classic, slower twelve-bar style.  They can be uplifting in different ways whether it is through those sad, slow songs or through something with a little bit more fire to them.  For that reason, this song makes for a proper opener.

Where ‘Don’t Look Twice’ leaves off, the album’s next song, ‘I’m In I’m Out and I’m Gone’ picks right back up.  This song has more of a classic Chicago blues sound about it.  Musselwhite’s harmonica playing is wonderfully countered by Jesse Ingalls’ steady bass line and Jordan Richardson’s complimentary time keeping on snare.  The trio comes together with Harper’s vocals to make another song that is a modern classic.  Its lyrical side makes it just as interesting.  It really shows the link between the blues and gospel music as he sings verses that are more gospel than blues.  He sings, “You gotta answer to somebody/If you didn’t learn/Then you didn’t read/Gotta live with it/What’s a man to do/Gotta answer to somebody.”  It is very much the spiritual song.  But its ability to mix two genres so seamlessly makes it one more of so many highlights that show up throughout this impressive opus.

Get Up! offers listeners so many impressive songs from the opening moments of ‘Don’t Look Twice’ to ‘I’m In I’m Out I’m Gone’ to the much slower closer, ‘All That Matters Now.’  That song echoes blatant hints of Muddy Waters musically speaking.  It instantly conjures images of a smoky, dimly lit blues club.  And even Harper’s vocals are so akin to that of a young Muddy Waters.  What’s ironic about the song is that just as with the album’s opener, the music is old school, twelve-bar blues but the lyrics are actually quite uplifting.  Harper is singing here that while things are so tough, his subject is still happy because he has that special someone.  He sings, “It’s been a long hard day/And a long hard night/Been a hard year/It’s been a hard life/But we’re together/And that’s all that matters now…Been thrown by the wind/Drowned in the rain/I walked through some things/You don’t want me to explain/But we’re together/And that’s all that matters now.”  There’s just something magical about that mix of music and lyrics.  Whether it’s just the feel of the two combined or something else, it taps into the very soul of the blues, just like so many other songs on this new record.  It’s one more part of the whole that makes this record one of the year’s best and one of the best that Ben Harper has ever released.  It is available now in stores and online and can be purchased via Ben Harper’s official website at http://www.benharper.biz/getup.html and via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Get-Up-Deluxe-CD-DVD/dp/B009ICQ6KO/?tag=conmusgro-20.  It can also be downloaded via iTunes.  Harper’s European fans will get the chance to see him this Summer as he tours across the continent and into South America.  His European tour kicks off July 3rd in Pistoia, Italy and wraps September 20th in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  Ben Harper fans can get all of the latest tour updates and news from him online at http://www.facebook.com/benharper and http://www.benharper.com.

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New Muddy Waters/Stones Double Vinyl Makes A Great Performance Greater

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment released what is one of the year’s best live releases earlier this year in the classic 1981 performance of The Rolling Stones and Muddy Waters live at Chicago’s Checkerboard Lounge.  That set contained both a DVD and CD.  Now, Eagle Rock has followed up that release and sweetened the deal for audiences even more with a new vinyl/DVD companion to the DVD/CD set.

 The new Vinyl/DVD companion to Eagle Rock’s previous release contains the entire performance from the DVD/CD set on two vinyls.  It also includes the artists’ full performance on a full length DVD presentation.  This new addition to the previously released set as it makes the classic performance that much more fully encompassing.  Just as listening to the CD and watching the DVD will give fans of the modern medium a full concert experience, so will this new set.  Audiences who haven’t yet checked out either set will be amazed at the enjoyment that they will experience, especially with this additional piece.  This iconic show was recorded before the dawn of compact discs.  And it was recorded in one of the “queen cities of jazz and the blues.”  Knowing that, putting on the vinyls will bring on a total sense of nostalgia for any fan that might prefer that medium. 

Listening to the concert on vinyl will instantly conjure up some wonderful nostalgic feelings in any listener young enough to recall those days before compact discs and mp3’s.  It’s a fantastic feeling to put on either disc, close one’s eyes, and really take in the music.  It may be even more so than with the CD presentation, because of that sense of nostalgia.  That’s just part of the whole package, though.  As wonderful as it is to experience this show as it was really meant to be experienced, the inclusion of a DVD with the full concert makes the entire thing that much better.  Being able to see the Stones, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, and all the others up on that tiny stage is incredible.  After having seen the show, audiences can go back, put the vinyls on back to back and gain that much more appreciation for what is one of this great nation’s greatest musical genres and for the artists performing each song.  Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones Live at the Checkerboard Lounge is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered direct via Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website, http://www.eagle-rock.com.

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The Blues Broads Are Four Ladies Who Can Really Sing The Blues

Courtesy: Delta Groove Productions

Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, Koko Taylor.  All three of these women are among the most famous names in the world of the blues.  But how many audiences out there have ever heard of a female fronted four-piece known as The Blues Broads?  This four-piece is made up of some of music’s greatest female names.  The group is comprised of Mother Earth singer Tracy Nelson, Stoneground founding member Annie Sampson, Dorothy Morrison (of the Edward Hawkins Singers), and Angela Strehli.  Strehli has sung with some of the blues most famed names such as:  Muddy Waters, Albert King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  The combination of these four women has led to what is one heck of a group.  And now thanks to the group’s new live CD/DVD release, odds are that the name of The Blues Broads may  become as well known as its members other projects, if not more so.

The Blues Broads’ live CD/DVD release was recorded at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, California.  This double disc set shows just how talented these women are.  The CD and DVD set lists aren’t exactly the same.  But that’s beside the point.  Every song in this performance makes for a great time for any blues lover and music lover.  There’s the up-tempo rocking cover of, ‘River Deep’, the easy going country/blues style of ‘Blue Highway’, and what has to be the absolute standout song from this performance in ‘Walk Away.’  This Stevie Ray Vaughan style song is classic twelve bar blues in every sense.  And while it was performed in a nice club (as is seen in the DVD portion of the performance), this is one of those songs that immediately conjures images of a smoky, dimly lit bar. 

The Broads are extremely talented singers.  There is no doubt at all about that.  The ladies’ backing musicians—Steve Ehrmann (bass), Paul Revelli (drums), Gary Vogensen (guitar), Mike Emerson (keyboards), and Deanna Bogart (keyboards, vocals, tenor sax)—add their own flair to each song.  All together, they add so much to the song that helped make Dorothy Morrison famous in ‘Oh Happy Day.’  Gary Vogensen plays as well as Stevie Ray Vaughan on ‘Walk Away.’  There is so much more that could be said and written of what makes this such an enjoyable live recording.  But audiences would do best to experience it for themselves.  It hits store shelves next Tuesday, September 18th.  While fans count down the days, they can check out all the latest from The Blues Broads online at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Blues-Broads/223064757721593 and http://www.thebluesbroads.com.  Fans can also check out more about The Blues Broads online at http://www.deltagrooveproductions.com.

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Peter Green & Co. Bring Back The Best Of The Blues On New Compilation

Courtesy: eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records

The blues is one of the purest forms of American music that exists, next to jazz.  The blues is the root of so much of the most popular music throughout the ages.  Elvis, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and AC/DC all have their music steeped in this classic music, just to name a handful of acts.  Along with those acts, fans might recognize the name of former Fleetwood Mac front man Peter Green among the masses of blues fans out there, too.  Green and his band, Peter Green Splinter Group, have a brand new record out now titled, “Blues Don’t Change.” 

“Blues Don’t Change” is a wonderful record that longtime fans will love more and more with every listen.  The record opens with a cover of Robert Johnson’s timeless classic, ‘I Believe My Time Ain’t’ Long.’  The song brings up memories of a dusty, darkly lit blues club.  It’s almost a musical time capsule.  Green’s musicianship takes listeners back in time with this opener, paying homage to one of the greatest names in the blues.  There is also a rendition of Muddy waters’ famed twelve bar blues hit, ‘Honey Bee.’  Again, it has that quiet intensity for which old school blues is known.  It has that same feeling as ‘I Believe My Time Ain’t Long.’

‘Little Red Rooster’ is another great addition to this new compilation of blues hits.  The gritty feel of the vocals and subtlety of the classic Willie Dixon piece will keep listeners in that musical time warp, back to the days of the old juke joints that dotted the country’s landscape. 

For all the slower pieces on this record, “Blues Don’t Change” does change up here and there.  ‘Don’t Start Me Talking’ is just as impressive as every other piece on the record.  It’s noticeably more up-tempo than other pieces.  But it doesn’t lose any of the flare of the original in Green’s interpretation. 

“Blues Don’t Change” is loaded with so many incredible blues standards that it would take far too long to go into all eleven songs in the playlist.  Needless to say, this record is more than just a compilation of songs.  It’s a musical history lesson of one of America’s greatest musical genres.  “Blues Don’t Change” is available both in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online at http://www.eagle-rock.com.

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Eagle Rock sets the bar again with Muddy Waters, Rolling Stones archived live show

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Rock and roll shares a very special relationship with the blues.  If not for the blues, there would likely be no rock and roll.  Any music historian would agree with that sentiment.  Now, thanks to the good people at Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision, music lovers everywhere get to experience what is arguably one of the greatest moments in the history of both genres in the new DVD and DVD?CD release of “Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones Live at the Checkerboard Lounge.”

Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Lefty Bizz and the Rolling Stones all came together in an impromptu show at the famed Checkerboard Club on November 22nd, 1981.  The weather outside may have been cold.  But as it was documented in this new release, the energy of this one off mega show warmed the house and everyone in attendance.  The vibe is set from the very first notes of the piano led, ‘Sweet Little Angel.’  Pianist Lovie Lee shines not only on the keys, but vocally, too.  His talent shows through on ‘Flip Flop and Fly’, as well.  Muddy keeps the positive vibe set by Lee coming when he enters on ‘You Don’t Have to Go.’  And his chops on the guitar are unlike anything that any other guitarist did then or does today.   Things really get moving when Muddy coaxes Mick Jagger and his band mates Keith Richards and Ron Wood to come up and join in.  This is just one of many impromptu moments that make this show such fun.  Audiences will thrill at seeing Mick Jagger in his trademark “Chicken man” stance, hands on his hips, head stuck out.  He, Wood, and Richards show their love and respect for the blues while they play.  It’s proof of what makes the Rolling Stones one of the world’s most beloved bands.

Even when Muddy and Mick take a break, the energy is maintained by fellow bluesmen Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Lefty Dizz.  The trio take over on ‘Got My Mojo Workin’ ‘, ‘Next Time You See Me’ and ‘One Eyed Woman’ before Muddy comes back up on ‘Clouds in My Heart.’

Audiences get one amazing show from the vault in this newly released concert.  It’s only made that much better with the addition of an audio portion in the bonus CD included in the double disc DVD/CD set.  This inclusion will allow audiences to listen to the show anywhere they go.  The audio transfer from the master tapes was seamless.  In short, the experience is just as grand on CD as it is on DVD.  All involved in bringing this show back to life on CD are to be commended.  The same should be said of those who dusted off the original video tapes of the show, and brought it back to life for DVD presentation.

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision have once more set the bar for live recordings with this latest release.  And while Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones take top billing, it’s obvious that this performance is less about either one, and more about celebrating the power of music.  It joined two members of the same musical family for one special night.  What’s more it has given eagle Rock and Eagle Vision one more of the year’s very best live recordings. 

The single disc DVD and double disc DVD/CD set are both available in stores and online now.  Fans can order it online at http://www.eagle-rock.com.  There will also be a triple disc DVD/ 2-LP Vinyl release on September 11th

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