Kyle Culkin
Pork Chops & Blues
Tonebucker Records

A Little Ray of Rhythm and Blues Sunshine and a Bit of an Emotional Rollercoaster

I’ve been back in a dark place mentally recently; which as usual makes me think “Why do I bother” regarding the website ……. sad; but true; then along came Kyle Culkin with his Pork Chops & Blues; instantly the clouds began to lift and a little ray of sunshine entered my life.
A twenty year man at the coal-face of being a working musician; with only one previous solo release to his name; Kyle Culkin has been a ‘go to’ session man and touring geetar player for the great and the good (and no doubt the average too) with very little glory; apart from BB King saying “This kid can play!” but always paying the rent; so has that apprenticeship done him any good?
Hell yes it has!
The Pork Chop Song comes at you like a drunk on the dancefloor on a Saturday night ……… is it literally a song about Culkin’s favourite meat meal; or is it a metaphor for something sexual in nature? This is the Blues with a mighty streak of Rhythm so it could be either or both; and boy is it a crowd pleaser.
Now four days into this album and I can tell you that if you were wandering down a rainy Lonely Street one Tuesday evening and you saw the Kyle Culkin Band were playing in the Heartbreak Hotel your spirits would be lifted in such a way you may even try to marry the barmaid …… even if you are a woman!
On Delbert McClinton’s Why Me, Kyle certainly sounds like he has a twinkle in his eyes as he sings it; a bit of a Country-Rock spine to it; but it’s a pure Honky-Tonking Blues stomper of the highest order; and will have you dancing like no one’s watching ….. even if you’re in the kitchen.
While I love that song; Culkin’s slow and slinky songs really do it for me ……. both; Nothing From Nobody and Wouldn’t Change a thing are guaranteed to have you shouting “Ain’t that the truth Brother!” and Culkin and friends’ playing ain’t too shabby either, with barely a note out of place on two incredibly well constructed songs.
At only 8 tracks long this album still somehow manages to be an emotional rollercoaster, with By The Blues and the awe inspiring album closer Wouldn’t Change a Thing being the types of broken hearted love songs that have you reaching for a glass, then raising it to the stereo as Culkin makes you feel that you aren’t alone with these feelings.
Then; there has to be a Favourite Song of mine; here I’ve decided on two very different styles of song to battle it out.
Burn It All Down is an A-Typical Rhythm and Blues stomper with searing guitar; heart breaking harmonica and a singer who isn’t giving up easily …… and a chorus that is designed especially for public participation.
The other; and more likely winner is the song that blew my clouds away …….. a bit of a big band (BB King style?) production finds the singer sitting in his dressing room thinking when did I become So Damn Old!
Yep ….. that’s me Kyle Culkin is singing about; or possibly you too ……
Tell my wife and kids they should have seen me
back in my prime the age of 23
I could go all night long
Now with any luck ………
I need three cups of coffee
Just to get out of bed!”

Some days I think that there is too much music out there; and then albums like this arrive from someone I’ve never heard of ……. and my faith in the restorative powers of music; especially The Blues is restored; and the future looks rosy again.
Thank you Kyle Culkin.

Released May 28th 2021


Eddie Turner CHANGE IN ME

Change In Me
7-14 Records

A Man Who Doesn’t Follow the Well-Worn, Accepted Format in Creating His Art

Born in Cuba and raised in Chicago Eddie Turner was exposed to a cornucopia of musical influences growing up; jamming with his pals at school, hanging out in alleys or; better still, even sneaking into shows whilst underage to watch true icons such as Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix or later; The Clash.
Turner grabbed an early opportunity to be part of Zephyr for their last album in 1985 and was then invited by his buddy Kenny Passarelli to form The Otis Taylor Band, a commitment that lasted 10 years and included recording 5 albums, up to 2004.

As a solo artist Eddie has previously released 3 studio solo albums; plus the one live effort of ‘Naked In Your Face’ which nicely leads us to the ten new tracks on Change In Me.
Again, he involves his good pal Passarelli, as well as Tim Stroh, to assist with the production duties whilst the album was recorded in both New York and Colorado. With a plethora of styles clearly developing from his eclectic taste in music this is not just any old genre bending album.
In fact, the magazine Classic Rock Here And Now states that “Turner has developed a sound that’s informed by tradition, yet adventurous enough to not be limited by it.”

The title track Change In Me starts off proceedings with a cool tempo, subtle guitar and B3 working together, supporting the lyrics with an added bonus of a sultry female backing vocalist.
It’s an impressive start highlighting the fact that unlike so many of todays artists Eddie knows when to leave things out of the mix.
One of 3 covers, Hendrix’s “My Friend” provides a very effective, albeit pedestrian vocal, almost like Jimi’s own droll delivery on his posthumous ‘The Cry of Love’ album.
Lou Reeds “I’m Waiting For My Man” again paints a vivid underworld of danger and intrigue, complimented by further effective female backing vocals.
The third and most distinctive cover comes from the pen of Chicago Blues Legend – Willie Dixon and is as vastly a different version of “Hoochie Koochie Man” that I’ve ever heard, but you know what … it works.

Jazzy piano keeps “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa” yomping at a pace with the familiar female vocals providing answers to some of Eddie’s comments and observations.
The lyrics to “This is Your Night” tell another haunting almost mysterious tale starting with the scene setting lines
Revenge is a serenade that lasts through the night,
Jealousy’s soft parade,
the Angels are right”

with the repeated memorable lyrics of
You pour me another wine, then you realise,
This is your Night”

completing each verse.
Just for a change, drums and bass prominently feature on “Standing on the Frontline” before some Ernie Isley type guitar licks punch through the funky backbeat.

It’s not exactly easy listening as you plough your way through this album; but the more I’ve listened, the more I like it. Push me for my Favourite Track then it would have to be “Dignify Me” which steps the pace up a gear or three, each verse ending with catchy punch-lines

“You’ve got to dignify my presence,
Dignify my soul, my soul…..Dignify

Undoubtedly, Eddie Turner doesn’t follow the well-worn, accepted format in creating his art, with mostly machinating lyrics and downbeat melodies that ignore the well-worn paths to popularity. To me this borders on him being somewhat enigmatic and probably an acquired taste that will fly over the heads of the masses.
However, all power to his elbow for sticking to his personal idiom and patently not changing himself just to optimise any potential sales.

Jack Kidd aka “Messin’ with the Kidd” on

Released on 14th. May 2021

The Yardbirds LIVE FRANCE

Live in France
Repetoire Records

Shapes of Things From Their Early Days R&B Pioneers Through To Prototype Heavy Rock Gods.

Okay folks, we all know that nostalgia is a thing of the past and most of us are more than delighted to still be interested in all the new music that is available, from all corners of the globe. Occasionally though, someone comes along with some historic and pertinent music just to remind us (whatever your age) where the embryonic roots of popular music in Europe were formed.

Repertoire Records are that someone with the release of Live in France which captures some of The Yardbirds concert recordings (audio from French TV and Radio) over a 4 year period in the 1960’s and subsequently collated into a glorious 21st. century package.
The album is available in either CD or Deluxe Vinyl options that have both liner notes and a 16 page booklet by Chris Welch, including exclusive interviews with Jim McCarty and Paul Samwell-Smith.
Aficionados of the Swinging Sixties will undoubtedly appreciate the detail and absolute care taken in pulling this package together.

Like many in-depth retrospective releases Live in France has a few songs that are duplicated (even triplicated), from different venues and dates, but that should not have a negative impact on the obsessive collector of such memorabilia. Logically it flows in chronological order covering three actual concert performances plus one TV show.

For Your Love” and “I Wish You Would” kick off the album, recorded at Palais Des Sports on 20th. June 1965 (whilst sharing the bill with The Beatles btw) and has Keith Relf and his band-mates showcasing their Pop hit (written by a young Graham Gouldman) and then a typical mid 1960’s R&B harmonica effort.

There are then three tracks from 27th. June 1965 when they played at Music Hall de France, firstly a cover of Tiny Bradshaws “Train Kept A Rollin” followed by two collective band compositions that both made the charts, “Shapes Of Things” as well as  “Over, Under Sideways, Down” (Where he Eastern and therefore ‘progressive’ influences clearly prominent).
As per the 20th. June recordings the lead guitar comes from Jeff Beck.

The next seven tracks were all recorded at Grand Spectacle de Jeunes, Paris on 30th. April 1967 after Beck had left the group and Jimmy Page taking over on lead guitar.
Shapes Of Things”, “Train Kept A Rollin” and “Over, Under, Sideways, Down” are all repeated along with four other tracks including another of their hits “Heart Full Of Soul”; with all now being increasingly ‘different’ from the original versions.

Less than three months before The Yardbirds would call it a day we have the final batch of live performances coming from a TV Special ‘Live at Bouton Rouge;” recorded on 9th. March 1968.
There is a third rendition of “Train Kept A Rollin” as well as “Goodnight Sweet Josephine”. However, the highlight of the entire package is “Dazed And Confused” where you sense the distinct metamorphism, from Rhythm & Blues to the Prog Rock/Heavy Rock which would end the bands days, with Page’s stinging guitar indicating just what the future holds (for him, at least).

Personally, I don’t remember too much from the 1960’s, preferring to ensure that alcohol consumption was more important than musical memories. With the benefit of hindsight I should have stuck with the Amber and not been enticed by the Broon.
But, we all know that well-worn quotation “if you can remember the sixties, then you weren’t really there”.
Well folks, I confess that I was definitely there, no; not in France, but enjoying myself in the clubs & pubs where there was live music and somewhere in the back of my mind I think I did catch The Yardbirds, probably down the bill on a Package Tour at Newcastle City Hall.

So, as your classic ‘Baby Boomer’ listening to these recordings, complete with the odious screaming from hordes of pubescent French fillies, it brings back clouded memories and stirs long lost retrospective recollections and has put a silly grin on my well worn façade.

Jack Kidd Messin’ with the Kidd” on  

Released on 7th. May 2021


RMHQ Music Hour Ep:18

RMHQ Music Hour
Episode 18
April 30th 2021

Another eclectic mix of all things Roots orientated; recent releases, Classics including an intriguing Gateway choice from Lauren Housley; and a few new Singles that close the show …… stick in there; as the finale from Maya Lakhani is a very important song about and for women of all ages and IMHO spawns the beginning of a new talent that crosses many genres.

Ted Russell Kamp#18 PodcastYou go to Hell, I’m going to Texas
Texas Martha#18 PodcastBorn to Boogie
Sam Outlaw#18 PodcastJesus Take The Wheel (and Drive)
Archie Brown#18 PodcastBig Girl
Whitehorse#18 PodcastYou Get Older
Rod Picott#18 PodcastBroke Down
Lauren HousleyGateway#18 PodcastStay Awake to Dream
Bonnie RaittGateway#18 PodcastGod Only Knows
James HunterDaytrotter#18 PodcastOne Way Love (2013)
Alex Roberts#18 PodcastHacking Back to the Wild (Peregrine Falcon)
Michael Johnathon#18 PodcastVincent in the Rain
Lady Nade#18 PodcastWilling (single)
The County Affair#18 PodcastEvery Ghost (Single)
Maya Lakhani#18 PodcastWalk Alone (Single)

RMHQ Music Hour Ep:17

RMHQ Music Hour Ep:17
24th April 2021

All a bit rushed this week … but all’s well that ends well!
Really excited to get a Gateway Record from John Fusco btw.

Jimmie Vaughan#17 PodcastNo one to talk to but the Blues
Stephen Flatt#17 Podcast/El Camino
Angela Perley#17 PodcastLost and found
Heath Cullen#17 PodcastThe Song Always Remembers
Ashley Monroe#17 PodcastUsed
Bloodkin#17 PodcastJohn Coltrane in Nagasaki
Eric BurdonLocal#17 PodcastDon’t Bring Me Down
John FuscoGateway#17 PodcastOphelia
Allman BrothersGateway#17 PodcastAllman Bros JELLY JELLY
Allman Betts Band#17 PodcastTry
Our Man in the Field#17 PodcastPockets
Lauren Housley#17 PodcastTwo Lovers Lost in Space
Doug Hoekstra#17 PodcastSeaside Town
Laurie Jane and the 45s#17 PodcastStrange lovin Blues
Paul Oscher#17 PodcastAin’t That a Man (dedicated to Mr Cotton)


Good Man Gone Bad
8th Train Records

A Good Blues Man Gets Simply Better and Better

Tom Craig has never looked back on music since receiving a guitar for his 11th. birthday. Formal coaching in jazz singing and then, completely immersing himself into the kind of blues that also embraces soul and R&B ensures that approximately 40 years later he has the perfect platform to showcase his undoubted talent.
Good Man Gone Bad is the follow up to 2016’s critically acclaimed ‘Get Ready for Me’ and has the added benefit of being produced by harmonica ace Mikey Junior.
Dave Gross not only plays Bass here; but is also credited with the mixing and mastering plus the band includes many of the top bluesmen in the Keystone State.
Whilst Tom’s debut album was in a more Soul and R&B vein, this sophomore effort has a more defined direction planted firmly in the Blues with a capital B.
Working Too Hard” is the opening track and really sets the scene with it’s up-tempo beat, distinct riff and catchy lyrics.
What’s a Man Gotta Do” keeps up the splendid quality followed by the slower piano led title track “You Made a Good Man Go Bad,” where his jazzy vocals convey the sentiments of temptation followed by regret.
What a start! Surely, Tom can’t keep up this standard?
But remain listening and just like me you’ll discover that he most certainly can.
It’s All My Fault” is another slow song about love gone wrong; with its melancholy chorus of remorse;
I didn’t give her what she needs. When I saw the look in her eyes.
 that’s when I realised. 
That it’s my fault. 
It’s all my fault” 
Which will clearly resonate with many of us.
The pace increases with “Sheepdog”, another song with a pleasing chorus featuring Mikey Junior’s harp and Eric Johnsons Hammond driving hard behind the clear vocal delivery.
All of the 13 songs were written by Tom, with the exception of “When You Love a Blues Man” which he co-wrote with Mikey.
No chorus to this, but three very memorable versus that kick off with
All the women I love are mad at me. 
I did nothing wrong as far as I can see. 
I’m just trying to do the best I can. 
That’s what you get when you love a Bluesman”.
Neither the attention grabbing riff of “Headhunter” or the Robert Cray sounding “One Way Love Affair” or even “I like Soul in my Blues” with it’s funky horn section qualify as fillers in my book; all are here on merit.
Fact is, quite a few of the tracks could have been elevated to being my favourite, indeed “Change my Way of Living” and the up-beat “Long Time Coming” came pretty close; then again my preference almost leant to the swinging shuffle of “Treat Your Daddy Nice” which kept all ten toes tapping in time from start to finish.
However, along comes the final track on this splendid album that just wins the overall accolade of outright favouritism. “My Turn to Cry” has Bill Heid’s ivory tinkling with a subtle country vibe to compliment Tom’s sensitive delivery of some poignant lyrics
And when the storm tries to run my ship aground.
I will find safe harbour in this peaceful sound.
I’ll just have to be patient, right now it’s just my turn to cry.
I’ll just have to be patient, right now it’s just my turn to cry”.

If you may be vacillating after reading the above review then why not take notice of John Nemeth, he states “Tom Craig is a bad man, enjoy his new record, I do.” That folks; is clearly in the modern vernacular; meaning the absolute polar opposite.
Good Man Gone Bad is a genuine treasure of a discovery and Tom Craig should be seen as an artisan with tasteful, poetically inspiring lyrics, crisp, sometimes stinging guitar playing and his passionate vocals which certainly turns the title on it’s head, maybe it should read Good Man Gets Better and Better with every listen.

Jack KiddMessin’ with the Kidd” on

Released April 20th 2020



Will Porter
Tick Tock Tick
Gramofono Sound

A Real Humdinger For the Soul and R&B Cognoscenti .

As is my won’t I’d played this through twice before I picked up the Press Release to ‘tick the boxes inside my head’ …… only to find that this is a far more important release than I’d anticipated!
TICK TOCK TICK is actually a re-release, something we normally avoid; but this 2015 LP was only a Limited Edition in the USA, and only barely distributed across Europe; but is now finally getting World Wide distribution; and rightly so as it’s a real humdinger.
The title track TICK TOCK TICK starts the party and verily oozes out of your speakers like a late night Everglades mist. WOAH, WOAH and thrice WOAH! Will Porter’s voice?
Man …. it’s right up there with Bobby Womack, Barry White and even Brook Benton and Gregory Porter (no relation btw) and the groove will have you inadvertently shuffling feet, shoulders and hips regardless of age, sex or creed.
I instantly recognised the *second voice on the track; but I’m not going to spoil the surprise this early.
This is followed by the beautiful ballad Why Do We Get Blue; full of swooshing and cinematic strings that will whisk you off to a whole new dimension …… and one that Porter will keep you in for the next half hour or so.
There’s a whole lot of everything good and Soulfully Righteous on this album; Porter will melt your heart one moment with the scintillating and heart-breaking duet Make You Feel My Love (this time the lady’s *voice will be instantly recognisable to the Soul and R&B Cognoscenti) then pick you up and fill the dancefloor with Treadin’ Water and the ubiquitous Tear it Up!
Why have I never heard of Will Porter before?
In many ways this is Classic R&B but with some really neat Jazz and Soul tinges in the shadows that mean this is aimed at Old School Clubbers rather than hipsters; but they too are going to instantly fall in love with I’m Blue and the swoonsome Don’t Go To Strangers; which is just begging for a monochrome video set in a Harlem night club to accompany the release.
Choosing a Favourite Song here has been both difficult and awkward; as there is so much to choose from; and all classy and cool in equal measures; but two songs sprang to mind earlier today …..
Everything’s Going to Be Alright closes the album in timeless fashion; and baring in mind what has been going on across the world in the last 18 months; actually sounds like a Soundtrack to the second Roaring Twenties.
The second and actual RMHQ Favourite Song, has been a case of ‘right place/right time’ for the mood I was in the first time I played this LP; I Can Do Bad By Myself ……. WOW! A big production somehow manages to still allow a razor sharp set of love lorn lyrics to breathe and flow like volcanic lava flow of S.O.U.L right into the dark crevices of your heart; and that guitar solo half way through; sounds like a metaphor for heartbreak, all by itself!
There’s nothing else left to say; this album and Will Porter are finally going to get their just rewards as the public at large are now going to be able to buy it and wallow in its beauty for years to come.

PS Don’t let the inclusion of *Guest Stars Dr. John and Bettye LaVette fool ya; they are only here as accompaniment for a bonafide STAR!

Released April 16th 2021



Gary Moore
How Blue Can You Get

Unreleased Tracks That Would be Career Highlights For Many of His Peers.

I was ‘late to the party’ regarding Gary Moore; pretty much missing out on his whole career before his untimely death 10 years ago; but thanks to those nice people at Provogue Records, who are keeping the Flame Alive with a yearly series of releases; I’m nearly up to speed.
Normally with albums that are full of ‘unreleased material’ my gut reaction is to shy away, as 99% of such music was left in the vault for a reason ….. it wasn’t good enough.
But yet again, Gary Moore kept songs back that would have been career highlights for many of his peers; and even a cursory listen to opening track (Freddie King’s) Tore Down let’s you know that this kid could not just play his electric guitar as well if not better than most; but what a voice he had!
Speaking of guitar playing; Moore does things on track #2 Steppin’ Out that are still illegal in several US States! By my normal standards it’s LOUD, but by Jove he has a delicate touch even when shredding the strings on his trusty guitar of choice.
Honestly, there’s not a Blues Fan out there that will hear HOW BLUE CAN YOU GET and think any track is ‘filler’ and there to milk the audience’s bank balance.
As per usual this album is a mix of Moore’s own penned love songs and a heady mix of his intelligent re-interpretations of songs by the Masters; and the new; and rather beautiful version of Love Can Make A Fool Of You will send a shiver down your back and by the time you get to finale, Living With The Blues you will know that you are in the presence of a Modern Master of the Blues idiom; very few of his generation, if any at all can combine the sensitivity of singing the Blues in all it’s forms with the way Gary Moore plays an electric guitar.
For a Favourite Track I’ve been torn between going for the stunning re-inventions of Elmore James’ Done Somebody Wrong and the heart-breaking ballads How Blue Can You Get? and In My Dreams, with the latter being in a similar vein to Parisienne Walkways; but with added zip; and on the former Moore pays homage to BB King, when he adds extra sparkle to a song I’ve loved for near 40 years.
So, today ……. cue drum roll …….. I’m going for In My Dreams, primarily because it suits my mood this evening; but Hell …… how and why Gary Moore left this in a drawer will remain a mystery for decades to come!
As I sit here I got to thinking about where Gary Moore sits into the pantheon of British and indeed Worldwide Blues Guitarists (for which he’s best known). Even though he packed concert halls across the UK and stadiums in Europe he barely gets a mention; and that’s not fair as his legacy is as good and probably more varied than many who have stolen a living for decades, hawking out the same few riffs over and over again to an ever greying audience.
Gary Moore – he’s Up There, both figuratively and literally.

PS When I last visited his home town of Belfast in 2013 his family and friends were petitioning for a statue in his honour; and now it’s picking up some momentum ……… I recommend you check the website out and do what you can; as Gary Moore was the original Belfast Boy.

Released April 30th 2021


RMHQ Music Hour Ep:16

RMHQ Episode 16
April 16th 2021

Four months in and our aim is still and always will be to bring you the best in new Roots Music and mix in some similar music from across the ages that you may have forgot about.
This week, after Bill Kirchen gets the show on the road with an alternate theme song; it’s all a bit rocky and noisy at the beginning, with a bundle of new songs from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Vanessa Peters, Hitman Blues Band, Janet Simpson and Wily Bo and ED Brayshaw.
This week’s Gateway Record comes from local hero Paul Handyside and provides something of a surprise for me (and him too!).
I’ve slid in one of my favourite ever songs courtesy Chris Difford; and we close out with two songs for people everywhere who may have ‘one or two things going on’ that they can’t talk about.
The new songs carry on via Scotland’s Anton & The Colts, and we close out with yet another Alternate Theme song for the show, from Sturgill Simpson.

Bill Kirchen#16 PodcastToo Much Fun
Rev’d Peyton#16 PodcastRattle Can
Hitman Blues Band#16 PodcastAngel In the Shadows (remix)
Vanessa Peters#16 PodcastThe Weight of This
Wily Bo and ED Brayshaw#16 PodcastSINGLE Wild Dogs
Anton and the Colts#16 PodcastSINGLE where art thou April?
Janet Simpson#16 PodcastI’m Wrong
Chris Difford#16 PodcastFat as a Fiddle
Paul Handyside#16 PodcastGoodnight Lover
Bob Dylan#16 PodcastTears of Rage
Leigh Thomas#16 PodcastBeautiful Pain
Gretchen Peters#16 PodcastDancing With The Beast
Sturgill Simpson#16 PodcastLiving the Dream

RMHQ Music Hour Ep:14

If you’re listening ‘live’ it’s Good Friday – if not, it isn’t!
A belting show this week with more loud R&B than normal …. but that’s the mood I’m in; plus two EXCLUSIVE FIRST PLAYS, singer-songwriter Steve Grozier’s new single AND a first play for a track from the forthcoming Danny and The Champions of The World Live Album, Los Campeones which comes out at the end of April.
The Gateway Record this week comes from Scottish singer Roseanne Reid and it’s a surprise on two level; it’s a lot rockier and grittier than I’d have expected plus it’s our first ‘doubler’ ….. keep listening to hear what it is.

Until next week; thanks for listening.

EASTER Good Friday#14 Podcast
Hitman Blues Band#14 PodcastNot My Circus Not My Monkey
Dr Feelgood#14 PodcastNo more milk and alcohol
Bottle Rockets#14 PodcastBuilding Chryslers
Danny and the Champs#14 PodcastNever in the Moment (live) EXCLUSIVE
LindisfarneLocal#14 PodcastMeet me on the corner
Brigitte DeMeyer#14 PodcastAlready In
Steve Grozier#14 PodcastPower in the Light
Lucinda Williams#14 PodcastPineola
Jarrod Dickenson#14 PodcastYour Heart
Roseanne ReidGateway#14 PodcastYou underestimate me
Steve EarleGateway#14 PodcastJohnny Come Lately
Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa#14 PodcastSittin on top of the world
New Moon Jelly Roll Rockers#14 PodcastMessin with the kid (ft Jim Dickinson)
Rev’d Peyton#14 PodcastNothin’s easy but you and me