Ida Mae CHASING LIGHTS

Ida Mae
Chasing Lights
VRR/Thirty Tigers

Transcendental and Emotionally Raw Songs from Britain’s Musical Roots.

Ida Mae’s website tells you nearly as much as the accompanying Press Release about this enigmatic duo …….. nothing!
So, a tiny bit of detective work has discovered that the married couple of Stephanie Jean and Chris Turpin were the mainstays in a British Blues Rock band called Kill It Kid (3 albums) but have now gone renegade in a quest to make the music of their heart’s desire; which is a twist on Rootsy Americana, if my ears don’t deceive me.
WOAH THERE!
I certainly wasn’t prepared for the loud and raucous grittiness of opening track Boom, Boom, Boom (although the title should have been a clue) …….. this is raw 21st Century Rock n Roll that sounds like the White Stripes covering an Imelda Mae song; and it’s followed by My Girl is a Heartbreak; which is much slower and a lot more intense but Turpin’s vocals are just as powerful and gritty, in a velvety manner.
You are in for a treat, as the couple’s songwriting is quite extraordinarily ‘good’, with clever narratives and tips of the hat towards poetry on a couple of songs too, plus the guitar playing throughout is deceptively brilliant at times too.
It took me a couple of plays to understand the highs and lows of the mood swings that Ida Mae deliberately create here; with the dark ballad Easily in Love following the magnetic drum heavy and hypnotic Higher Than the Light, and preceding the swelling harmonies of Love is Still a Hard Road, which sounds like the couple are singing too and with each other without a care that anyone is listening.
‘Love’ in all its mysterious guises features in many, if not all the songs here; sometimes it’s ‘what it says on the tin’ via the title; the raw Delta Blues of Sick in Love and If You Don’t Love are obvious choices, but never cliched, with Chris ringing every ounce of emotion out of both.
But, such is the articulate and smart way the couple create a song, the heartfelt Rightfully, Honestly will feel like a stiletto to your heart when you hear it for the first time; yet on Reaching Chris sounds like he could explode as he hits notes that only dogs will hear; but the delicate title track Chasing Lights has the ability to make you stop breathing while you listen and take in the duos compelling story.
That song was very nearly the RMHQ Favourite song; but then I listened again to final track Baby Be Mine, which has Stephanie Jean taking lead and Chris supplying winsome harmonies; and…. well……. it falls just short of being a tearjerker; but I think it won’t be long before I’m reaching for it one cold evening just as I uncork a bottle of wine.
As well as Chris and Stephanie Jean Turpin; a huge round of applause must go to the simple bass playing of Nick Pink and the extraordinary guitar interludes from one Dweezil Zappa but most of all the understated production by Ethan Johns, who also supplies drums, keys and even ukulele too!
If you don’t already know Ida Mae; as I didn’t, but they cover a heady mix of sounds that will remind you at different times of the White Stripes, The Civil Wars and even John Martyn and Nick Drake; so strap yourself in for a bunch of songs that will not just challenge your emotions, but make you sing, dance and every old thing, too!

Released 12th July 2019
https://idamaemusic.com/



Terry Robb CONFESSIN’ MY DUES

Terry Robb
Confessin’ My Dues
NiaSounds

Acoustic Blues Don’t Get Much Finer Than This!

I kept picking this album up and putting it down again; not because I didn’t think I’d like it ….. quite the opposite actually; I just needed to be in the right place at the right time, and most importantly the right frame of mind to do it justice, as this type of Blues needs to be cherished, admired and savoured like a fine wine.
Even though I’d not heard of Terry Robb before, it comes as no surprise to find this is his 15th album ….. yes ……FIFTEENTH!
Right from the first two instrumental tracks here Butch Holler Stomp and Still On 101 Terry Robb shows what not just an accomplished Blues guitarist he is; but with his majestic flourishes quite experimental too without ever deviating from the path carved out by Robert Johnson nearly 100 years ago. Damn right this is The Blues, with a capital T and B.
By track #3 How a Free Man Feels, Robb actually sings; and wowza what a voice he has too; clean and crystal clear which is perfect for the way he delivers this age old story.
While only ever playing an acoustic or Resonator and occasionally supported by a stand-up bass and drums, Robb can kick up quite a storm with his variant on Country Blues, with the title track Confessin’ My Dues and Keep Your Judgement both being the type of song that will fill the dancefloor at a dive bar or Honky-Tonk; and on Three Times The Blues aficionados of all persuasions will sit open mouthed at his mastery of the wooden instrument.
I’ve heard a lot of guitarists ‘like’ Terry Robb, from Stefan Grossman through to Joe Bonamassa but very few times have I been as awestruck as I was the first time I heard Death of Blind Arthur, as Robb flits between the Blues, Jazz and Classical in the blink of an eye.
Two entirely different songs tie for the title of RMHQ Favourite track; Heart Made of Steel is an acoustic trio sounding as ‘heavy’ as Cream ever managed with a lorry load of Marshall amps; and the track that precedes it, It Might Get Sweaty sounds like that’s exactly how these three cats felt in the studio at the end of the recording session; and it still leaves plenty of room for expansion when played live!
It’s when I discover acts like Terry Robb and records like this I despair when the Awards Season comes along and the ‘experts opinion’ of what constitutes The Blues is 100 miles apart from my own interpretation; but I can’t do any more than advise you to invest your hard earned money in this album to discover what Blues Music can and does sound like in 2019.

Released May 31st 2019
https://www.terryrobb.com/home3
https://musicmillennium.com/UPC/859730725024/Terry-Robb_Confessin39-My-Dues

The Blues Foundation Awards 2019

Our friend Cary Baker from the prestigious Conqueroo Company was at the Blues Foundation Awards Ceremony in Memphis TN on Thursday night; and here’s his report on the show and the Winners in each category.

SHEMEKIA COPELAND, MIKE WELCH, AND MICHAEL LEDBETTER SCORED BIG AT THE BLUES FOUNDATION’S 40TH ANNUAL BLUES MUSIC AWARDS 
First-time winners Ben Harper and Sugaray Rayford joined veteran BMA honorees Buddy Guy and Marcia Ball among the triumphant

musicians at the gala ceremony hosted by Little Steven Van Zandt on Thursday night.
The Memphis Cook Convention Center was packed with blues musicians, fans, and music-world luminaries on May 9th anxious to see who would be announced as winners at the 40th Annual Blues Music Awards. For the second consecutive year, Little Steven Van Zandt emceed the festivities, with such notable musicians as Maria Muldaur, Latimore, Colin Linden, Scott Barnhart, Colin James, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Victor Wainwright serving as presenters. Besides awarding honors in 25 categories, the BMAs, as is its tradition, featured performances from many nominees, with the gala ending in jubilant all-star jam.
 The night’s joyful celebration, however, also held a note of sadness. This year’s top award winner was Michael Ledbetter, who passed away in January. Ledbetter was honored with the Instrumentalist-Vocals award and named B.B. King Entertainer of the Year while his group, The Welch-Ledbetter Connection, were victors as the Band of the Year. Additionally, his co-bandleader, Monster Mike Welch, topped the Instrumentalist-Guitar category. At the ceremony, Welch noted of his late musical partner: “I am the guitarist I am in 2019 because I had to keep up with Mike Ledbetter.” Shemekia Copeland earned two BMAs for her acclaimed album America’s Child, which was first recognized as Contemporary Blues Album and then took home top honors as Album of the Year.
The evening’s only other double winner was Danielle Nicole, who took home the Instrumentalist-Bass and Contemporary Blues Female Artist honors.
Ruthie Foster was the sole musician to retain their title as she again received the Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues Female ArtistCedric Burnside and Kenny Neal, meanwhile, re-gained their 2017 crowns for Instrumentalist-Drums and Contemporary Blues Male Artist, respectively.
 Amanda Fish, whose album Free was proclaimed the Best Emerging Artist Album, followed in the footsteps of her sister Samantha, last year’s Contemporary Blues Female Artist recipient. Eric Gales (Blues Rock Artist), Dennis Gruenling (Instrumentalist-Harmonica), Vanessa Collier (Instrumentalist-Horn), Annika Chambers (Soul Blues Female Artist) also made their debuts as BMA awardees, while Billy F Gibbons, of ZZ Top fame, won Blues Rock Album for The Big Bad Blues.
 The road to winning a BMA was far longer for Nick Moss (Traditional Blues Male Artist) and Sugaray Rayford (Soul Blues Male Artist), whose triumphs came after years of nominations.
Although Johnny Rawls had won before, he had been nominated more than a dozen times between receiving the Soul Blues Album prize in 2010 and this year for the aptly titled I’m Still Around.
 Several musicians added to their collections of BMA honors. Rory Block was picked as the top Acoustic Artist and the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year went to Marcia BallBuddy Guy, the all-time leader in BMA awards, had his release, The Blues Is Alive and Well, chosen the best Traditional Blues Album. Guy was not the only victorious Blues Hall of Famer this year.
 Joe Louis Walker won in the Acoustic Album category for Journeys to the Heart of the Blues, a project he did with Bruce Katz and Giles RobsonCharlie Musselwhite, who ranks with Guy among prolific BMA winners, had his collaboration with first-time winner Ben Harper on Harper’s tune “No Mercy in This Land” honored as Song of the Year
 Here is the complete list of Blues Music Award winners (final)
1. Acoustic Album: Journeys to the Heart of the Blues – Joe Louis Walker/Bruce Katz/Giles Robson
 2.     Acoustic Artist:  Rory Block
 3.     Album:  America’s Child – Shemekia Copeland
 4.     B.B. King Entertainer: Michael Ledbetter 
 5.     Band: Welch-Ledbetter Connection
6.     Best Emerging Artist AlbumFree – Amanda Fish
 7.     Blues Rock Album: The Big Bad Blues – Billy F Gibbons
 8.     Blues Rock Artist: Eric Gales
9.     Contemporary Blues AlbumAmerica’s Child – Shemekia Copeland
10.  Contemporary Blues Female Artist: Danielle Nicole 
11.  Contemporary Blues Male Artist: Kenny Neal
12.   Instrumentalist-Bass: Danielle Nicole           
13.   Instrumentalist-Drums: Cedric Burnside     
14.   Instrumentalist-Guitar: Monster Mike Welch        
15.   Instrumentalist-Harmonica: Dennis Gruenling         
16.   Instrumentalist-Horn: Vanessa Collier        
17.   Instrumentalist- Pinetop Perkins Piano Player: Marcia Ball
18.   Instrumentalist-Vocals: Michael Ledbetter       
19.   Song: “No Mercy In This Land” Written By Ben Harper and Performed by Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite 
20.   Soul Blues Album: I’m Still Around – Johnny Rawls     
21.   Soul Blues Female Artist: Annika Chambers    
22.   Soul Blues Male Artist:  Sugaray Rayford                                      
23.   Traditional Blues Album: The Blues is Alive and Well – Buddy Guy 24.   Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues Female Artist: Ruthie Foster          
25.   Traditional Blues Male Artist: Nick Moss

 The Blues Music Awards represented just one of the many highlights of the Blues Foundation’s exciting Blues Music Week.
The festivities kicked off May 8th with its Blues Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The BHOF 40th class included the iconic singer Aretha Franklin, the renowned composer/pianist/bandleader Count Basie, 1920s-era blues queen Ida Cox, influential guitarist Pee Wee Crayton, and the revered Memphis-based band Booker T. & the MG’s. 
In a moving moment, MG’s guitarist and Memphis music legend Steve Cropper represented his band at the induction ceremony. “We didn’t see color over at Stax,” he said in a short but emotionally charged acceptance speech. “We were family.” 
The classic recordings that the Blues Hall of Fame honored this year were B.B. King’s “Every Day I Have the Blues,” Muddy Waters’ Rollin’ Stone,” Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman,” Bessie Smith’s “The St. Louis Blues,” and Elmore James’ “Shake Your Moneymaker” as well as James’ album The Sky Is Crying.
Folkways Records founder Moses Moe” Asch was this year’s non-performing individual inductee and 2019’s Classics of Blues Literature entrant was Lost Delta Found: Rediscovering the Fisk University — Library of Congress Coahoma County Study, 1941-1942compiled by John W. Work, Lewis Wade Jones, and Samuel C. Adams, Jr.  
The Blues Hall of Fame Museum saluted the opening of its new exhibit, “The Blues According to Arhoolie,” on May 8th with a meet-and-greet Q&A with label founder and Blues Hall of Famer Chris Strachwitz. It also hosted a Dick Waterman: A Life in Blues book signing, featuring author Tammy L. Turner and her subject, the noted blues historian/photographer Dick Waterman. 
Another prominent label founder, Alligator Records’ Bruce Iglauer, also appeared at the BHOF to celebrate his new memoir, Bitten by the Blues.  
A particularly notable Blue Music Week event was “The Blues and Race” panel. Continuing the keynote discussion that took place at January’s International Blues Challenge, this spirited dialogue explored the significance of race within the blues genre. Noelle Trent, PhD., the National Civil Rights Museum’s Director of Interpretation, Collections and Education, again acted as the moderator, with musicians Bobby Rush, Billy Branch, Thornetta Davis, Terrie Odabi, and concert promoter Paul Benjamin participating on this lively panel. Rush cited ’60s club dates during which he and is band played behind a curtain so that the audience could not see he and his band were black. According to Odabi, an educator as well as an artist: “When we came to America, our culture was taken away from us. We created the blues out of nothing. Our history has not been taught.” 
About the Blues Foundation: This world-renowned, Memphis-based organization upholds a mission to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recordings and performances, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, the Blues Foundation has more than 4,000 individual members, with 183 affiliated blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world. Its signature honors and events — the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame, International Blues Challenge, and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards — make it the international center of blues music. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance for musicians in need, while Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues Scholarships expose new generations to blues music.
The recent opening of the Blues Hall of Fame Museum, in Memphis, Tenn., now adds the opportunity for music lovers of all ages to interact with the music and the history. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the global blues community with answers, information, and news.Support the Blues Foundation by becoming an affiliated organization, corporate, or individual member, or simply by making a charitable donation. 
About the Blues Hall of Fame Museum: Since opening in May of 2015, the Blues Hall of Fame Museum has become a must-see destination for blues aficionados and casual fans alike. Through its ten permanent galleries and the Upstairs Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise Gallery’s temporary exhibit space, the museum both educates and entertains visitors, providing them a unique way to learn about blues culture and history, while also highlighting the 400+ BHOF inductees.
Visitors can explore 10 individualized galleries where they can use interactive touchscreens to access databases that allow them to hear music, watch videos, and read stories about every museum’s inductees. Guests can also view one-of-a-kind memorabilia, from musical instruments and tour attire to awards and artwork. Located at 421 S. Main St., the Memphis-based museum is open seven days a week (Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 1-5 p.m.).Admission is $10 per person; free for children (12 and younger with an adult) and Blues Foundation members. For more information, call 901-527-2583.

Daddy Long Legs LOWDOWN WAYS

Daddy Long Legs
Lowdown Ways
Yep Roc

Red Raw Rock & Roll, a Side-Order Of Fiery Cajun Tunes and Plenty of Sizzling Country Blues Too.

YOWZA! YOWZA! and indeed YOWZA!
This album arrived twice in the same week from both the US and UK publicists and both included personal notes ‘suggesting RMHQ will like this a lot’ …… how well some people know me now.
First of all, Mrs. Magpie suggested I turn it off last week …….. which is usually a good sign, plus I love the arrogance of any Rock n Roll band who start an album with their very own signature tune; which is what we get here with the Theme From Daddy Long Legs; and I’m buggered if I can actually describe this Voodoo drenched red raw, Rhythm AND Blues which both rocks and rolls in a way I’ve not heard in eons.
Then, things only get weirder!
I have no idea what this Pink Lemonade that vocalist Brian Hurd sings about but I’d love a big glass please.
Daddy Long Legs’s influences are far too many and far too diverse to list; but I certainly hear Howlin’ Wolf, Capt. Beefheart and JD Wilkes from the Legendary Shackshakers in Glad Rag Ball and Snagglepuss; but I’m sure you will find your own Roots, Rock Weirdo’s inhabiting Be Gone, Glad Rag Ball and Mornin’, Noon & Nite; but at the end of the day who out their doesn’t wear their influences on their sleeves? This is one highly complex Gumbo from start to finish and the only sounds you will care about is the firecrackers that Daddy Long Legs keep setting off in your head.
Even when Daddy Long Legs pour their hearts out in a ballad, with Back Door Fool you half expect it to become a murder ballad; and I’m not 100% sure it’s not actually.
Just when you are getting your head around Daddy Long Legs’s potent brew they throw in a fiery Cajun tune in the guise of Celaphine; and I defy anyone to keep up with this wicked tempo when tapping their toes, never mind dancing.
Not for the first time, this is an album that I could put a blindfold on to choose a Favourite Song; but I’m going to actually select two songs (then instantly regret my choices I’m sure!).
First there’s the feisty Ding Dong Dong which sounds like something from one of Alan Lomax’s field recordings; but I’m assured it’s brand new; and it will make you want to dance like young Forest Gump; trust me.
The other is nearly ‘contemporary’ by comparison; and if you play Bad Neighbourhood loud enough you will scare the Bejasus out of your neighbours …… I know; because I did quite by accident when I opened my car door one night!
For a NYC trio Daddy Long Legs sure sound like authentic they come from a swamp somewhere off the map in the Deep, deep South, and they are going to be the band that will blow you away at some Festival this summer.

Released May 10th 2019
http://officialdaddylonglegs.com/

https://yeproc.11spot.com/daddy-long-legs-lowdown-ways.html




Will Kimbrough I LIKE IT DOWN HERE

Will Kimbrough
I Like It Down Here
Daphne Records/Soundly Music

Songs of The South in All It’s Poetic and Ragged Glory.

Regardless of the content, I’m always going to like a Will Kimbrough album, that’s just how I roll.
As per usual I’d played this disc three times before I got around to reading the Press Release, and I’m glad I did…….. as it got to join some very oblique dots for me.
First and foremost I never knew Kimbrough was from Alabama, and Lower Alabama at that; but you actually need to know that detail to ‘buy into’ this ‘Love Letter and Prayer to The South’ as he quaintly describes his beautifully motley collection of heartfelt songs.
The shimmering opening track Hey Trouble is a good ole fashioned ‘bad luck’ Blues song wrapped up in an Americana melody and chock full of Kimbrough’s trademark guitar licks. What’s not to like?
But….. put your emotional seat-belt on for what is to follow.
The title track I Like It Down Here follows with the opening stanza confirming the theme of what this album is generally about,
She asked me when’s the bad luck stop
When do we rise to the top?
It’s awful hard work pulling up the rear.”

It’s actually a love song of sorts; and one of those songs that will stick in the memory bank for years; coming back to haunt you when you least expect it.
There’s so much going on in Will Kimbrough’s professional life, that he didn’t need to write and record a solo album; but with so much happening politically and socially in his beloved South and especially his home State of Alabama he appears to have got the itch to write about things in his very own and deeply personal manner, going back to his Roots basically.
Oddly enough this gives him the opportunity to drop musical surprises, with the jaunty I’m Not Running Away, the Soulful – When I Get To Memphis, the thoughtful – Star, and indeed the wistful in Saltwater & Sand which I’d never have really expected in advance.
On any other album his two Southern Blues Deluxe tracks, Buddha Blues and It’s a Sin would truly be deemed exceptional, with the latter starting with the gut-wrenching lines:
“Innocent babies come into this world
Singing their little hearts out
Daddy says it’s a sin …… to kill Mockingbirds
I have no reason to doubt”

Attach those stinging words to a a pleading singer and funereal paced N’Orleans melody and you have a song that will break every heart that hears it.
But…….takes a deep breath….. there’s also a song here that is probably the cornerstone to this very record, with everything else depending on it’s unyielding power to allow them to breathe on their own.
I feel guilty calling Alabama (For *Michael Donald) my Favourite Song here; because it’s much, much more than that.
As you do when you first play an album the songs drift in and out of your consciousness but not this one…… phew, Kimbrough’s words and this horrible true story knocked me sideways immediatly. I don’t intend spoiling anything for you, but you simply MUST LISTEN to this song; it just might change your life a little bit.
If Will Kimbrough had only ever written and created this one song, he could still die a happy and proud man indeed.
When you check out the credits you will see a myriad of Guest Vocalists that are household names; but ignore that……. this is very much Will Kimbrough’s career defining album and his alone.
I come from a mining village in NW Durham whose ‘reputation precedes it’ in our region; but it’s my homeland and I’m therefore allowed to openly criticise it….. but God Help anyone else who does; and that’s how this special songwriter and storyteller shows his love for his own Homeland ….. he’s allowed to tell it how it is, warts and all.

Released 19th April 2019
https://www.willkimbrough.com/






Single of the Day LASHES – Daydreamer

Lashes
Daydreamer (single)

I’ve been having ‘one of those mornings’ doing grown-up things, like sorting out my Embezzled Pension, finding a new Life Insurance Policy, finishing off some ironing and reminding Son #1 that it’s his Mam’s birthday next week….. making me all harassed, when this belting slice of Southern/Country Rock arrived in the e-mail.
It’s pretty much exactly what I needed and will go straight into the Summer ‘Driving’ playlist for the car.
Being busy I didn’t read the Press Release until I’d played it three times…… WHAAAATTTT? These guys are from London? London, England? No way dude! If it’s true; and I have no reason to doubt the source……. Brit -Country has some Stars in the Waiting!
This is pretty damn authentic Classic Country Rock that sounds like it comes from Alabama or Memphis, not Croydon or Kensal Green! Apparently there’s an album in the offing, and if this is the starter then the main course is going to be like a red raw T-Bone steak; and I can’t wait.

Released March 1st 2019


Daniel Meade & The Flying Mules LIVE MULES!

Daniel Meade & The Flying Mules
Live Mules!
Self-Release

Bringing the Good Times Back to Country-Blues!

This delightful little album from Glasgow’s finest purveyors of Countryish Music was recorded three years ago when the band were in the support slot for The Stray Birds in a hall in Scotland’s ‘Murder Capital’ ………Shetland (if the TV series is to be believed!) and only came to light a couple of months ago when Dan was having a bit of a ‘sort out’ of some tapes.
With only a tweak here and there the clarity of this recording puts many bigger names to shame and with so little chat belies the fact that this is a Live Album at all.
Rising River Blues comes from a Meade solo outing and gets new fizz added with the band absolutely on fire behind the chirpy singer-songwriter.
If you’ve ever seen Daniel play live, in any of his guises you will know he visibly enjoys what he does, which is a rarity in this industry, and that comes across especially on the self-effacing Let Me Off at the Bottom and If It’s Not Your Fault (I Guess It’s Mine) which also features some staggeringly intricate guitar work from Lloyd Reid too.
Earlier I described Meade’s music as ‘Countryish’, which it is, but there’s a healthy dose of olde worlde Blues in the mixer too; which comes to the fore on their rip-roaring cover of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee’s Hooray! Hooray! which closes the record in fabulouso fashion.
That Country-Blues hybrid is probably the template for the two singles that are included here too, their first ever being Long Gone Wrong and the twisted love song Please Louise which was their most recent at the time of recording.
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “This album is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you gonna get;” which brings me to my Favourite Song here, There’s a Headstone Where Her Heart Used To Be; a fairly simple song originally but here it becomes a veritable Country Hoedown, with Meade pouring his heart out in his best George Jones fashion, but with a punk spine to it. I absolutely love it!
Live Mules! Has been something of a ‘palette cleanser’ for me recently as I’ve used it in the car as a ‘bit of fun’ to tap my toes to in between listening to more ‘righteous’ and ‘serious’ albums by the great and the good; and everything from Mark Ferrie’s pneumatic bass playing, Thomas Ferrie’s rat-a-tat-tat drumming and Lloyd Reid’s understated yet still flamboyant guitaring and of course Dan’s distinctive singing have made my heart swell and occasionally skip a beat on a bunch of sharply observed and really smartly written songs ; and I can’t recommend this highly enough; especially if you want an introduction to the rare talent that is Daniel Meade for only £3.99!

Released March 1st 2019
http://www.danielmeademusic.com/



Daniel Seymour & Mark Robinson CHUG IT DOWN AND GO.

david and mark a

Daniel Seymour & Mark Robinson
CHUG IT DOWN AND GO.
Blind Chihuahua Records

A Little Taste of What Makes Americana Great.

In all honesty this album has been a bit of a challenge for me; not that I didn’t like it from the get go; but simply because there’s just so much going on it’s been damn difficult to get a handle on what to file it under!
Many moons ago I reviewed a Mark Robinson  *album for a prestigious UK magazine and I once saw Daniel Seymour play bass alongside David Olney; and it appears that the dynamic duo have either supplied songs for or produced albums by many of RMHQ’s favourite Alt. Country acts over the years; but none of that prepared me for ‘this’ mish-mash of Rootsy Americana.
The rambunctious and stomping title track Chug It Down and Go opens the album in the finest of fashions, with Robinson on Resonator, Seymour slapping the living daylights out of an upright bass and Mr David Olney supplying sublime harmonica….what’s not to like.
This followed by the Cajun flavoured and accordion driven One Eyed Blue which will bring even a wooden leg back to life; as will the delightful guitar rag that is 19th Street Ramble and the charming Dixie Waltz which closes the album; and is every inch as delightful as the song’s title would suggest.
In between though there’s the world weary Slow Moving Train which sounds like either an out-take from the Band’s debut album, or something Levon Helm may have recorded many years later; yet Gypsy Moon and First Fool both take us back to the crooning Country we associate with the 20’s and 30’s but Take On Me Down The Road somehow manages to incorporate Jug Band Music and the type of Field Workers Blues that John Hammond Sr first discovered and all those white English boys turned into Rock & Roll in the late 1960’s!
With that last description in mind I’m pointing you to Bare Foot Gal featuring young David Olney again on a root’n and toot’n harmonica while the other two strum a banjo and blow a kazoo for extra authenticity.
Just like the rest of the album; it will leave you with a warm smile on your face.
As a stand alone album this isn’t always a cohesive listen; but I’m sure that if you were to see Daniel Seymour & Mark Robinson in a downtown bar or more likely at a Folk Festival somewhere you would find yourself desperate for something to take home; and in that setting this collection of songs will make complete sense.

Released November 9th 2018
http://markrobinsonguitar.com/chug_it_down_and_go

*PS….. Sue from the PR Company has just sent me a copy of that original review from 2010!

Mark Robinson MaverickReviewNov2010

 

Keb Mo & Roseanne Cash PUT A WOMAN IN CHARGE

KEB MO 2

Keb Mo & Roseanne Cash
PUT A WOMAN IN CHARGE

WOW! What a great combination…..Keb Mo AND Roseanne Cash on a wonderful new stomping single called PUT A WOMAN IN CHARGE.
With all that’s going on politically in the US of A it’s a wonderfully romantic notion to boot men to one side and PUT A WOMAN IN CHARGE, but before anyone gets carried away remember the UK has Theresa May ‘in charge’ and we are going to Hell in a handcart and the memory of the divisive Madam Thatcher still sends a shiver down the spine of most people North of Watford Gap; but hey……it’s still a really cool song.

” Mo’ hopes the track can be a gift to women everywhere “My mother just recently passed at the age of 91. She was smart. She was strong. She was a leader. This video is dedicated to her and amazing women everywhere that are getting the job done.”

Written by Keb’ Mo’, John Lewis Parker (“Hard Habit To Break,” “Can’t We Fall In Love Again”), and Beth Nielsen Chapman (“This Kiss,” “Happy Girl”), “Put A Woman In Charge” is now available through all digital retailers, including Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, and more.
Music force Rosanne Cash, who delivered a powerful speech while accepting the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award during this year’s Americana Music Awards teamed up with Keb’ and sings on the track. On Nov. 2, Cash will release her first new album in nearly five years, titled “She Remembers Everything.” The poetic, personal and incisive collection features ten songs, all written or co-written by Cash, that reckon with a flawed and fragile world from a uniquely feminine perspective.

http://www.KebMo.com

Paul Cowley JUST WHAT I KNOW

paul cowley cc

Paul Cowley
JUST WHAT I KNOW
Lou B Music

Authentic Acoustic Blues From The Burgundy Delta, Out Of Birmingham UK.

Several weeks ago a Twitter ‘friend’ sent a message asking if we would we mind a friend of his getting in touch as they were about to release a new album; and he thought it could be of interest to us here at RMHQ.
Out of courtesy I said ‘yes’ and a couple of e-mails later, a copy was sent from the Blues Quarter of downtown Burgundy in that France!
Paul Cowley? Born and bred in the original Birmingham and a founder member of the prestigious Sutton Coalfield Blues Collective; but now residing in said Blues Quarter of Burgundy and very little of that bio prepared me for the world weary rendition of Memphis Minnie’s New Bumble Bee #2 which opens this disc. I was actually driving the car as a most glorious sunrise lit up the sky when I first heard this song last week; and I swear I went weak at the knees as Cowley pours the words out over some sublime slide guitar.
Seamlessly blending Country and Delta Blues together; the way Paul Cowley delivers Red Fence and Memphis Jug Blues belies which Birmingham he hails from as he sounds like he’s sitting on an Alabama stoop, singing and playing without a care in the world.
It’s pretty much a 50/50 split between Cowley’s own penned songs and an eclectic mix of covers that, apart from the Memphis Minnie song; I’d not heard before, even the Willie McTell song I Got To Cross That River of Jordan, which features some glorious guitar picking and sizzling slide work that defies his relative obscurity.
Speaking of his guitar playing; I’d place it in the Stefan Grossman school of Blues; but I have no idea what he’s doing with that wooden box on Roll & Tumble, which closes the album; as it’s quite scary at times; even sounding like it’s in danger of going out of tune, but never does.
Even though I was driving through an urban landscape on my way to work that first morning; Cowley’s songs Dollar & a Lie and Summer Breeze made me pretend I was in the Delta or Everglades as the sun rose over the ‘metaphorical’ hills and forests.
Honestly, there’s one song better than another here, making selecting a Favourite Song as difficult as ever; but I’m going to grasp the musical nettle and go for the intense love song Penny For Mine, Penny For Yours, which is the song that Eric Clapton has been trying to write and record for the last 40 years!
I have quite a collection of acoustic Blues albums; with a lot being ‘not so easy on the ear,’ but that’s not the case here; as not just is this authentic Blues to the core, there is something really special about Cowley’s guitar playing and ability to turn dour subjects into something quite beautiful, while still being a contemporary collection of songs.

Released July 2018
http://www.paulcowleymusic.com/index.html