blues Archive

Hundred-word Reviews, November 2021

This has been an unusual year, and that’s putting it mildly. With life slowly and tentatively inching in the direction of new-normal, it’s time to bring back my Hundred-word Reviews. These capsule commentaries cover music I think you should know about. Here are five new releases. Carolyn Wonderland – Tempting Fate Electric country blues with

Album Review: Gabe Stillman — Just Say the Word

From the roaring slide guitar figure that opens “Give Me Some Time,” on Gabe Stillman’s new Just Say the Word, it’s clear that this youthful musician from Pennsylvania is steeped in the blues. Stillman’s 2020 release, Flying High was a collaborative effort that featured the guitarist backed by renowned heartland blues outfit The Nighthawks. It

30 Days Out, November 2021 #2: John “Papa” Gros, Mike Zito, Hiss Golden Messenger, Steve Gunn, Jeff Parker

The new normal, yeah. Heck, even I am going to shows again. But I wear a mask, I’m vaccinated, and I’m getting the booster soon. Because let’s display at least a modicum of care for our fellow humans, shall we? Some great music is making its way to Asheville in the coming 30 days. Even

30 Days Out, November 2021 #1: The Record Company, Cloak, Carolina Waltz, Squirrel Nut Zippers

The warm weather has left us, taking with it the opportunity for outdoor shows. It remains to be seen how the remaining vestiges of the pandemic will affect the live music scene. Here in Asheville, we lost several music venue (and untold number of artists) over the last 20 months, so fingers are crossed that

Album Review: Seth Lee Jones – Flathead

Seth Lee Jones aims for a live-in-the-studio vibe on Flathead, and the Tulsa guitarist hits the bullseye. Leading a trio that features bassist Bo Hallford and drummer Matt Teegarden, Jones tears through nine tracks – mostly blues classics – and captures the sound and spirit of live performance, coupled with the sonic clarity of a

Album Review: Eric Bibb — Dear America

Born, raised and immersed in the musical culture of New York City, these days guitarist-songwriter Eric Bibb is better described as a world citizen. He moved to Europe at the end of the 1960s, and has variously made Paris, Stockholm and London his home since then. But his innate American-ness remains a defining characteristic of

Album Review: Mr. Sipp — Sippnotized

Mr. Sipp is the nom de blues of Castro Coleman. The 2014 International Blues Challenge winner is also known as “The Missisippi Blues Child.” Sippnotized is the fourth long-player from the acclaimed gospel-blues guitarist-singer. Across the new album’s ten songs, Sipp synthesizes his influences into a cohesive whole. “Gonna Be Alright” wouldn’t be out of

Album Review: Altered Five Blues Band – Holler if You Hear Me

Jeff Taylor has a big voice. In the tradition of the great blues shouters, Taylor is a commanding presence. But he’s merely one of five ingredients in the recipe that is the Altered Five Blues Band. From the rollicking and rock-steady bass work of Mark Solveson to the fleet-fingered keyboards of Raymond Tevich to Jeff

30 Days Out, October 2021 #1: Jimbo Mathus, Rocky Horror Show, Buddy Guy, Tennis

Americana that’s more than twang. Classic camp. A blues legend. Retro-pop. Those are four of the highlights on the Asheville music calendar these coming 30 days. Artist: Jimbo Mathus Venue: The Grey Eagle (patio) Date: Friday, Oct. 8, 6 p.m. Door: $15 If you only know Jimbo Mathus from his role as leader of Squirrel

Album Review: Memphis Slim – 1964 Live

As Ray Templeton reminds us in his liner notes for this newly-issued archival release, “When Memphis Slim first visited Europe in 1960, he was already a twenty year veteran recording artist.” His first charting single was in 1948 with “Messin’ Around”; it reached the #1 spot on the r&b chart of the day. Slim’s album