Thursday, November 21, 2019

Roots guitarist Stevie C.Bowen EP release "Music from the Rooms of My Head"..impressive and masterful

Recently released is the debut, instrumental EP from guitarist Stevie C.Bowen, a slide guitar (and non-slide) player originally from southeastern Virginia, but now based in Brooklyn, NY. 

Stevie has released a few records over the years, with bands The House Floor and most recently with A Valley Son. Throughout that time he has learnt a lot and grown into his own as an artist and guitarist, and felt it was time to get something that really represented himself out into the world. He spent the last year pouring his heart and soul into this EP, with whatever free time he could muster between working two jobs and trying to stay afloat in New York City. He's incredibly proud of the result and says the songs are emotive and engaging, ranging from swampy blues and classic soul to cinematic soundscapes.

Stevie describes the EP as emotive, guitar-led instrumental music for the mind and soul. All songs written, performed and produced by Stevie C. Bowen. Mixed by Ryan Lee at Paradise Garage Studios. Mastered by Dan Millice. Artwork by Hope Gimbel.

official website:

stream and download here:

Marty's review: Stevie's debut EP is an impressive 6 track collection of all instrumental compositions that showcase his masterful guitar talents and covers several genres of roots music from blues, folk, soul and some progressive sounding tunes that would fit in well as a soundtrack to an independent movie. The hard work that Stevie has put in to this release is certainly evident and I urge roots music aficionados to check this one out, it won't disappoint.  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Polly O'Keary and The Rhythm Method live album release "As Live As It Gets"...scorching and sizzling

Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method, after four studio albums including 2017 IBC Best Self-Produced Album finalist Black Crow Callin’, have realized a long-held goal of creating a live album that captures the energy and fun of their performances. 

As Live As It Gets includes cuts of original songs updated from older versions, some of the band’s few covers including guitarist David Miller’s stunning version of Clapton’s “Old Love,” and some of the cheerful banter between the band and the crowd. As the band prepares to embark on this summer’s national tour, their fifth, this album will extend the live show experience far beyond the reach of the tour van.

official website:

Marty's review: Live blues doesn't get any better than this. Recorded "as it went down", this scorching dose of electric blues is tight and kick ass with sizzling guitar licks from David Miller, Polly's soulful and passionate vocals and her thick and meaty bass and Tommy Cook's wall to wall drums holding down a solid beat. If you have seen this guys live and dig them, now you can take them home too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Paul Karapiperis album release Acoustic and Electric Growls...dark and mysterious contemporary blues

Recently released is the album "Acoustic and Electric Growls" by Paul Karapiperis, frontman and harmonica player of the Small Blues Trap band.

Marty's review: This very ambitious and generous (17 track) release is what I would call a contemporary/progressive blues-rock conceptual journey that takes essentials from roots blues (harmonica, acoustic and electric guitars), adds some low key, gravelly vocals and injects a few other interesting and eclectic sounds to create a dark and textured collection of connected compositions that  tell a story that is dark and mysterious and could possibly be used as the soundtrack to a Wim Wenders or Coen Brothers movie. The setting is "desert like" with lots of space in between subtle guitar leads, a slow and steady backbeat and Paul's vocals which are sublime yet tender. I think Daniel Lanois would be impressed with this as it does have some similarities to his productions yet is totally original and a credit to its creator. Something you would play on a long road trip or late at night with your favorite substance close by.

stream and download here:

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Blues and roots vocalist and songwriter Billie Williams new album release "Hell To Pay"..power and passion

Songwriter and vocalist Billie Williams’ powerful new record "Hell To Pay" – her second with Grammy-winning producer Danny Blume –weaves the blues into her unique style of contemporary roots music.

On the heels of Billie’s self-titled debut album, which received critical praise and worldwide airplay, Hell To Pay offers a collection of eleven new originals that showcase Williams’ songwriting and vocal prowess. Billie draws inspiration from heartbreak with her hard-hitting opening track “Damn,” and from devotion with her classic-style soul tune “You.” Deeply affected by our troubling times, she also expresses her anger and concern in the feminist anthem “Ten Million Sisters,” and the title track “Hell To Pay,” which speak to the #metoo movement and the deepening socioeconomic divide.

Skillful writing, strong vocals, and world-class musicians make Billie Williams’ Hell To Pay a record that will leave a lasting impression across the musical spectrum.

official website:

Marty's review: "Hell To Pay" is an album that is seething with power, passion and soul, all delivered from the nuanced songwriting skills and extraordinary vocal abilities of the very talented Billie Williams. Backed by a stellar cast of dynamic and solid musicians that provide the throbbing soundscape for Billie's compositions, the album is a contemporary blues roots tour de force that will certainly resonate with fans and aficionados. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

singer/songwriter Bill Filipiak acoustic blues release Put The Top Down...sensitive and timeless

Bill Filipiak is a singer/songwriter with an affinity for acoustic blues music. His album "Put The Top Down" has been featured on Americana radio stations across the US. More recently it's found a home on blues radio programs throughout the United Kingdom. While Bill has been writing and performing for nearly 30 years, "Put The Top Down" is his first full release and represents a new focus on music and songwriting for Bill.

stream and download here:

Marty's review: "Put the Top Down" is a real treat for fans of acoustic blues roots music. Bill Filipiak has a skillful handle on his songwriting and his vocals have that enigmatic and tender style that is sensitive and timeless. The overall production on the album is earthy with that "shuffling" beat that gives it that feel-good vibe and makes it instantly enjoyable. Check out the recent video for "Top Down" on YouTube too, it's top-notch!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Ontario-based roots artist Madison Galloway debut album Moon and Mercury..a lesson in roots music

Ontario-based roots artist Madison Galloway is set to release her debut full-length album Moon and Mercury – a collection of songs that range from foot-stomping highs to ambient lows. Blending elements of folk, rock, and blues, with flavours of the world, she creates an eclectic journey of sound.

Madison Galloway is an emerging voice in Canadian roots music, and at just 19 years old, has already begun making her mark. She takes the stage with her band and signature blend of earthy rock and blues, consistently turning heads with a high-energy performance. They charm audiences with their impressive originals, reaching back to pay homage to the great artists of the past while forging a sound all their own. They switch it up between acoustic, slide and electric guitars, harmonica, keys, ukulele, banjo, and more to deliver catchy, folk-inspired tunes in an incredible live show.

Madison has released a 5-song EP entitled Who Knows Where and has built a reputation as a road warrior – touring relentlessly as a band, duo, and solo performer. She’s played hundreds of shows including notable performances at the Mariposa Folk Festival, Riverfest Elora, and RBC Bluesfest, making a name for herself as a must-see act. Galloway has shared the stage with renowned artists such as 54-40, Ron Hawkins (Lowest Of The Low), and Colter Wall; and now with her first full-length record and national touring in the works, she’s just getting started.

stream and download here:

Marty's review: Madison Galloway's very impressive debut album is a lesson in roots music performed by a young artist with an incredible talent. Several genres of roots music are showcased here and Madison's soulful and passionate vocals deliver the excellent choice of songs, originals and covers, in a delightful and exceptional way that  belies her age, making her sound like a seasoned professional. The production is earthy and fresh and is supported by tight instrumentation and a an overall sound that transports with an upbeat vibe

Monday, October 28, 2019

Blues-rock powerhouse vocalist Eliza Neals new EP release Sweet or Mean featuring Popa Chubby

Eliza Neals' signature gritty-velvety powerhouse vocal comes out with one of the most notorious Blues-rock guitarists in the industry. Ted Horowitz AKA Popa Chubby is producer, arranger & plays electric and the rare acoustic guitar on Eliza Neals' all new original songs on "Sweet or Mean" EP.

"Sweet or Mean" is rootsy blues-rock bliss with no gimmicks or tricks from the first heavenly note to the last guitar riff. Popa Chubby's tone is reminiscent of ZZ Top, Santana and other seasoned vintage guitarists who know how to knock audiences out. Dave Keyes the New York based pianist/ Hammond organ specialist who travels the world making people dance, lent his extraordinary skills. Also from NYC, bass man Chris Gambaro-Vega adds to the raw and ferocious vibe of the ensemble. New England's finest blues drummer John Medeiros Jr. plays exactly the right groove. 

Special guest horn section from the "Top of the Rock," Jimmy Fallon's own Ian Hendrickson-Smith on saxophone and Michael Leonhart on trumpet of Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley and The Roots puts the B in Badassery.

official website:

Marty's review: Eliza Neals' latest release is a real belter! Bad ass blues-rock with attitude and a razor sharp edge that showcases Eliza's powerful vocal style and Popa Chubby's searing guitar licks. This will have you against the wall and leave you breathless! Say no more...

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Blues Rock duo Northern Social release self titled debut EP...blistering and thunderous

After breakout appearances in 2019 on festival stages and following the digital release of their single, “Waiting” in February 2019, comes the debut five song, self titled EP by guitar and drums duo, Northern Social (Dylan Wickens, Mike Rajna). 

Northern Social looks to break the traditional mold for blues and rock based duos, with Wickens carrying both the bass line and guitar parts simultaneously and Rajna playing full drum kit and providing vocal harmonies to compliment Wickens’ hollering ; an urgent call to sit up and listen.

Written and produced by Dylan Wickens, and co-produced by Mike Whaling at Sarah’s Hall, in Russeldale, ON. Canada, this five song EP features songs of truth, that come from personal experience and observation.

Using the blues as a starting point, Northern Social dives off the edge of the cliff head first, eyes open, embracing the possibilities.

available through official website:

Marty's review: Northern Social's debut EP is 5 tracks of blistering blues-rock that is up front and solid and a tour de force of well crafted blues. Dylan Wickens plays guitar with a well founded confidence and attitude with the emphasis on energy, and Mike Rajna provides the solid back beat that more than keeps up, together creating an all round thunderous sound that is transporting and exhilarating.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Acoustic blues-roots duo Wallin-Jison new release Dark House...well crafted and sublime

Wallin-Jison have found their happy place, right where country and blues music intersect, carving out a niche of their own with acoustic guitars and banjo, backed by a subtle but driving beat. The new album "Dark House" picks up where it's predecessor, the critically acclaimed "Definitely Blue" left off.
"We hit on something with the last album that felt so good. That rootsy country-vibe as always been a big part of what we do, but with these last two albums we've really found way to bring it into sharp focus.'s like we have arrived" says vocalist/guitarist Christian Wallin.​

"We're all about keeping it simple; making the songs breathe, making the lyrics come through. It's about hanging back and not over-playing or over-producing anything. We think about these things a lot"​.

Marty's review: If someone asked me to define "roots music", then I would tell them to listen to "Dark House". The latest release from duo Wallin-Jison is a lesson in blues-country roots that is well crafted, sublime and with a tenderness that envelops you in a "warm and fuzzy" way. The vocals are subtle with a slight growl, the instrumentation is sparse yet upbeat, and the overall production has that shuffling along a dirt road feel to it that is instantly accessible and glows with quality and color. Favorite tracks for me are "The Price of Happiness" and "Laid Off".

stream and download HERE

Monday, October 14, 2019

Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers "No Good Deed"..undeniably evocative and irrepressibly energetic

Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers’ third studio album, No Good Deed, features an enthralling array of original material along with some cleverly reworked covers of songs from the Rascals, Etta James and others, and is the band’s most multidimensional album to date. Not only does the album showcase the band members’ diverse talents and knack for creating music that is undeniably evocative and irrepressibly energetic; this time they’ve peeled back the layers to reveal more of their respective influences, unleashing infusions of punk, jazz and blues.

The original material takes a journey along the mood and energy spectrum — defiance and decisiveness meet remorse and reflection for a seductive, energizing and intoxicating romp, all propelled by the work of phenomenal musicians. “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished” is sure to induce stadium-style foot stomping and hand clapping. The bluesy, richly textured “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul” is a haunting dig through the wreckage of love lost and the attempt to reclaim inner strength. “Bad News” transports the listener to a dark bar where it’s easy to hide until “the bad news has arrived, it’s closing time.” “Movin’ On” is a no-holds-barred anthem fueled by Abair’s ‘hell yeah’ attitude as she declares she’s “movin’ on like a gypsy vagabond, let the past be the past — it’s dead, I’m gone.”

“What you hear on “No Good Deed” drips of me and the Boneshakers but also unveils variations of where the band can go,” says Abair. We pushed into other spaces that we’re really comfortable in — we just hadn’t showed.

official website:

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Bushmaster featuring Gary Brown album release Dancing In the Belly of the Beast...soothing and flawless

Gary Brown addresses social issues in soulful blues-funk band Bushmaster. Attending a concert in Arlington, Virginia, was the push Gary Brown needed to start his own band.

Brown was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Palmer Park, Maryland. In his early childhood, his parents played music in their home from artists like Charles Brown, Amos Milburn and Joe Turner.

Brown says he was somewhat of a “tumbleweed” after high school and didn’t have a plan other than music. He got a jolt of confidence after the Charlie Pastorfield show. With that experience still fresh in his mind, he went to a friend’s house for a jam session.

The drummer at the session said Brown had a lot to say, both musically and lyrically, and should consider starting a band. He did, and the project became Bushmaster.

Bushmaster has been a trio from the start, Brown says, but has had a number of lineup changes. more about Bushmaster HERE

official website:

Marty's review: "Dancing In the Belly of the Beast" is a 14 track gem of an album that encompasses Gary Brown's insightful lyrics with his soothing and flawless soul-funk-blues guitar and the exceptional and exhilarating production work on the album. Gary's vocals are done with passion and emotion and he delivers each lyric with a vision and tenderness that tells the story in a special way. The overall sound is a throwback to the early seventies style of blues-rock that is solid, meaty and hypnotic.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

UK blues and roots artist Ged Wilson album release "Anthology"..a collection of his finest and most popular

Recently released is the new album from Ged Wilson Anthology.’ This accomplished album draws together the finest and most popular tracks from Ged’s three previous albums.

Anthology’ is an album to get lost in. Starting from the simple solo tracks on the ‘A side’ and flowing through to the full band sounds of the ‘B Side’ this album showcases the indisputable strengths of Ged Wilson’s songwriting and performance and will provide fresh discoveries even for those already familiar with these recordings of Ged’s music. Ged Wilson is a well loved favourite of blues fans across the UK, and a regular on the blues festival circuit, with his dynamic and engaging performances never failing to impress.

Blessed with a warm, husky voice, Wilson is also a fine harp player and guitarist” – Blues Blast

official website:

Marty's review: This album is a treat for lovers of acoustic blues and roots music in general. Ged's style is all encompassing and he stays true to the traditional blues yet also spins his own take within each track. Gifted with the perfect voice for the blues and using raw and primal instrumentation, he delivers with a confidence and passion that is infectious and satisfying. Certainly one to add to the collection.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Legendary blues-rockers Savoy Brown 40th album release "City Night"..throbbing and stratospheric

Savoy Brown fans might be the luckiest fans in the world. No other blues rock act alive today has delivered so much excellent music for so long, and the group shows no signs of slowing down. Their legacy of the godfather of British blues-rock continues with the 2019 release of “City Night,” the band’s 40th album, on the California label Quarto Valley Records.

From the aggressive swagger of the opener “Walking on Hot Stones,” the album is an adventure through 12 blistering tracks of scorching guitar, unrelenting
rhythms from bassist Pat DeSalvo and drummer Garnet Grimm, and the soul-weary but indomitable grit of Kim Simmonds’ vocals.

Throughout, the blues man who has seen more of the world than any 20 of his peers sorrows at the troubles of the modern era, as in the acerbic vocal and
crystalline guitar of “Neighborhood Blues,” then defiantly commits to the struggle, as in the stomping Bo Diddley-esque “Hang in Tough,” before reveling in the joys the word still offers, as in the rollicking celebration of urban life of the title track “City Night.”

As Simmonds says in his endearing online diary, “Am I getting lazy in my old age? No, I’m not ever retiring! I’m on this train ‘till the end…..”

official website:

Marty's review: classic British blues-rock at its finest with no signs of slowing down, Savoy Brown deliver a gem of a 12 tracker with their trademark throbbing and stratospheric sound that has been the foundation of their long standing career. Kim Simmonds' reliably-solid guitar work backed up by the tight and refined rhythm section of bassist Pat DeSalvo and drummer Garnet Grimm combine to create an epic wall of electric blues that is surrounding and timeless.

Monday, September 30, 2019

UK blues and roots band 3TIMES7 album release Rain in Chicago...unique and mega-talented

Rain in Chicago is the latest album from the Surrey (UK) based blues band 3TIMES7, due for release in October 2019. The album was inspired and written during a blues pilgrimage taken by Jenny Lawrence (Vocals) and David Holdstock (Guitar) as they travelled from Chicago to New Orleans, heading down the blues highway.

This album demonstrates the many different genres that continue to influence the band, from swing gypsy jazz numbers like “Knock Knock”, delta blues numbers like “Graveyard Blues” to rock numbers such as “First Light”.

3TIMES7 continue to tour around the South East of the UK and have recently played abroad in Denmark, Barcelona and Amsterdam. The band have had the privilege of playing legendary venues like The Alley Cat and 12 Bar Club in Denmark Street, the Midnight Blues sessions at the Brighton’s Green Door Store and the Kingston Mines in Chicago, Illinois.

official website:

Marty's review: Rain In Chicago is a powerful dose of contemporary blues with blistering guitars, shiny brass licks, tight rhythms and soulful vocals that all unite in a cohesive and flawless attack that comes out at Grand Prix speeds. 3TIMES7 combine elements from multiple genres of roots music and stir it all in a big musical pot that tastes of style, skill and sophistication. Each track is a standout and regular spins are guaranteed. Give these guys a listen, they are fresh, unique and mega-talented.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Saxophonist/singer-songwriter Jimmy Carpenter new album Soul Doctor...full of positive vibes

Just released on Gulf Coast Records is Soul Doctor, the new studio album from saxophonist/singer-songwriter Jimmy Carpenter. Soul Doctor is Jimmy Carpenter’s fourth solo project, produced by Jimmy and recorded in Las Vegas at Nonebody Studio 1.  

Jimmy assembled a first-class group of musicians on Soul Doctor which features Jimmy Carpenter on saxophone and vocals, along with Cameron Tyler (drums/percussion/background vocals), Jason Langley (bass), Trevor Johnson (guitar), Chris Tofield (guitar/background vocals), Red Young (keys), Carrie Stowers (background vocals), and Queen Aries (background vocals).

Soul Doctor contains 10 songs, 7 of which are original compositions that Jimmy wrote or co-wrote. He successfully collaborated for the first time with Guy Hale (co-founder of Gulf Coast Records) on the tunes Soul Doctor and Wrong Turn. Setting the tone for the album, the title track, Soul Doctor, is a straight-up blues with a soul twist on the chorus. When I Met You, originally written as a country bluegrass song, was revamped with a Memphis groove, complete with horns, soul guitar, and beautiful harmonies sung by Carrie Stowers. Carrie also inspired Wild Streak, a blues shuffle which highlights Red Young on piano and Trevor Johnson and Mike Zito on contrasting rhythm guitars, and a great slide solo by Zito. Love It So Much, with it’s Bender Brass horns, funky guitar and organ, driving bass line and New Orleans 2nd line groove, is the perfect song to describe Jimmy’s love for Crescent City, and his continued internal conflict between being a road dog musician and having a “normal” home life. 

Need Your Love So Bad, by one of Jimmy’s favorite singers, Little Willie John, features Chris Tofield on guitar, and a beautiful, sultry tenor sax solo by Jimmy. Mike Zito once said to Jimmy, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” That question stuck with Jimmy, and was the inspiration behind the song Wanna Be Right.  A Coasters classic, One Mint Julep, was re-worked as a funky instrumental. Based on a guitar lick that Jimmy wrote, Gulf Coast Records co-founder Guy Hale provided the lyrics for Wrong Turn, on which Jimmy plays guitar, with Trevor Johnson on slide throughout, and a wild harp solo by Mr. Al Ek. Next on Soul Doctor comes LoFi Roulette, a noir-ish vibe the band took as “lo-fi” as they could, with Chris Tofield contributing a blistering guitar solo and spooky organ by Red Young. Finally, Jimmy has been a long-time fan of Muscle Shoals guitarist/singer/songwriter Eddie Hinton since they met in the early ’80s. Hinton’s Yeah Man, with its positive, encouraging message, seemed to Jimmy to be the perfect way to end his upbeat and (mostly) happy album, Soul Doctor.

Jimmy Carpenter, saxophonist, singer-songwriter, and arranger, began his musical journey over 35 years ago. In the '80s, he toured the east coast with the renegade blues band, The Alka-Phonics, in the ’90s with the blues-rock band The Believers, with whom he learned about the music business. Over the years, Jimmy has toured internationally with Tinsley Ellis, Jimmy Thackery, Walter Wolfman Washington, Eric Lindell, and others. In 2012 Jimmy joined Mike Zito, his long-time friend and musical cohort, and recorded and toured as a member of Mike Zito and the Wheel. In addition to touring nationally & internationally, Jimmy has written, arranged and recorded the horns for many artists, and has gained a reputation as a master Blues, Rock-n-Roll and R&B saxophonist. Jimmy has also released three solo albums: Toiling in Obscurity, (2008); Walk Away (Vizztone 2014), and Jimmy Carpenter Plays the Blues (Vizztone 2017).

official website:

Marty's review: Right from the opening notes, Soul Doctor comes at you with a thunder and bravado that is intoxicating and throbbing. Jimmy's talents all come to the fore on each track and the production is focused and well-rounded. Soulful vocals, colorful brass licks and a tight rhythm section are the essence of the album, and the overall effect is a highly-listenable and full of positive vibes. "Call the Soul Doctor...he'll save you every time."

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Americana/Rockabilly artists Marti Brom and Her Rancho Notorious new album Midnight Bus

Enviken Records are proud to bring the carismatic singer Marti Brom’s new album to the world, an album filled with her eclectic mixture of American roots music. Be it Country, Rockabilly or Blues – she excels no matter what.

She’s been elected female singer of the year in American Roots Music, female singer in the Rockabilly category at the Ameripolitan Awards and also an inductee at the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame. 

In 2013 she toured Sweden and made such a strong connection with the Swedish guys backing her up that she decided to start recording a new album here at the  Enviken studio with them. 

Subsquently she also decided to name this new constellation “Marti Brom and Her Rancho Notorious” to really make a mark that this is a new thing she’s taking to town.

Recorded in Sweden with excellent Swedish musicians and a few guests like Rosie Flores, Chris Ruest and Billy Bremner, “Midnight Bus” continues the great mixture of rockabilly, honky-tonk and ‘torch country’ that Marti has nurtured and refined through the years.

From the album’s rockin’ opener “Come Destroy Me” (a Marti original) to “If If Was A Fifth” to “Mama’s Little Babies Was A Rockin” to “Last Ten Years With You” (the latter written by Dr. “Crazy” Joe Tritschler) and her cover of Little
Richard’s “Slippin’ and Slidin’.”

She dips into hard country with numbers like “Lasso Mr. Moon,” “Push Me Till I’m Gone,” “Lies Of A Promise,” and the classic number “Little Ole Winedrinker Me.”

Fans of Marti Brom will not be disappointed as this is Americana at it’s best!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Gospel-influenced Tullie Brae celebrates women on 'Revelation'...dark and emotional blues

Tullie Brae is a celebrated performer known for setting stages on fire. With Revelation, her new album on Endless Blues Records, Brae teams with producer Jeff Jensen to take listeners on an adventure through the blues. From dark, hard-rocking journeys to soft, emotional ballads, the album demonstrates Brae’s songwriting skill and amazing vocal range. Above all, Brae uses her deep love of the blues to celebrate strong, independent women.

Brae developed her chops in the churches of Louisiana, and she uses that experience to bring fans some exciting new music. On the album, which consists of 10 songs written by Brae, her voice shines as she uses all the dynamics of that special instrument. (She also plays piano, Hammond B3 and slide guitar on various tracks.) Revelation opens with "Price of the Blues," a powerful song about domestic violence and home-grown justice that's a fan favorite at her live shows. Next is "Seven Bridges," a song about redemption and soul cleansing performed in a style that comes straight from church by way of the Delta juke joints. "Mississippi Rain" tells the story of a failed love that won’t fade from memory. "Break These Chains" tells of the need to end a bad relationship, while "New Shoes" celebrates friendship.

"Deville in Deville" is a driving Hill Country song about a battle between a country preacher and the Devil. "Ain’t No Good" further explores a bad relationship, while "Watch Her Move" celebrates women who have risen from adversity. With "Shine," Brae challenges her listeners to let their lights shine, and the album closes with "Thank You Mom," a moving and emotional song that delivers on its title.

official website:

Marty's review: Tullie Brae's "Revelation" is a stunning collection of self-penned songs that run the gamut of personal emotions that are delivered with very powerful and sonic vocals. The soaring and seductive production by Jeff Jensen brings out the talents of this tender and sophisticated performer which makes this a contemporary blues release that is rich in complexity and an album to explore in many ways.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

UK blues outfit Deep Blue Sea new album Strange Ways..powerhouse blues with a sharp edge

Deep Blue Sea blend retro senses and sounds from the heyday of the Blues Rock Boom into a high energy wave of power and passion.

They recently announced that they are releasing their new album ‘Strange Ways’ on 24th September 2019. The album is a richly textured, multi layered album which demonstrates the depth and ability in the band’s songwriting.

Deep Blue Sea are:

  • From the wild west west London.. the London Borough of Los Angeles, an astonishing vocalist - Dregas;
  • From the frozen north north London.. the London borough of Stockholm, a funky master of rhythm and groove - tougher than an IKEA manual - Amanda on drums;
  • From sunny south south London.. the London borough of Santiago De Compostella, a master of so many guitar styles he leaves audiences dumbstruck, the amazing Iago on guitar;
  • And from inner inner London.. the Royal London Borough of Hartlepool, Graeme on bass - he played bass with Tenpole Tudor and is an established songwriter..

Some highlights from the last 18 months...
  • Deep Blue Sea signed a 3 album deal with All About Blues Music Ltd for an internet-based 3 part graphic novel "Blues In Buckle" - Deep Blue Sea is providing the soundtrack for the novels.
  • Deep Blue Sea streamed live in Soho on Facebook - hitting 75,000 views.
  • Recorded their debut live album "Live It Up" at Harpenden R'n'B Festival in May 2018. The album reached the top 10 in the IBBA radio playlists for July and August 2018.
  • Signed to Razor Edge Records in 2019 and recorded their first studio album "Strange Ways" to be released on 24 September 2019.

official website:

Marty's review: with a sound like it's come straight out of the 60's/70's blues-rock era, Deep Blue Sea's latest release is a showcase of powerhouse blues with a sharp edge that will leave you breathless and awaken the senses. The professional talents of all members shine through with searing and red hot guitar, tight and funky bass lines, rhythmic and thumping drums and soulful, passionate vocals. These guys are here for a good time and they don't disappoint on this very ecstatic and stunning release.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

American roots artist Alice Howe debut album release "Visions"...classic and highly-listenable

“Sometimes we’re lucky enough to catch an up-and-coming artist as they fly into our radar. This is one of those times.” - American Blues Scene 

Vistas and the faces and emotions they summon unfurl with compelling grace on Visions, Alice Howe’s debut album. A modern love letter to 60's and 70's folk and timeless blues, Visions pays homage without succumbing to imitation, and offers an intimate snapshot of a young artist discovering her own power.

Produced by Freebo, Bonnie Raitt's beloved bassist for a decade, Visions follows the #1 Most Played Song on the FOLK-DJ charts, “Homeland Blues” from Howe's 2017 EP You’ve Been Away So Long. The album features a collection of new originals alongside Alice’s interpretations of iconic songs from her family’s vast record collection.

Visions was recorded in Bakersfield, CA, where the city's sun-bleached grit became a creative counterweight to Howe’s lush New England naturalism. American roots music became Howe’s playground: blues, bluegrass, folk, and pop––with celtic nods––take turns defining the sounds on Visions, anchored by her rich mezzo-soprano. An ace band backed Howe like she’d never been backed before, and the resulting collection is polished but energized by a young artist’s hunger to prove herself.

official website:

Marty's review: Alice Howe's debut album is a brilliant collection of folk-roots and blues compositions that are given special treatment by Alice's unique and original style and delivery. The five originals showcase Alice's delicate and accomplished songwriting skills and her renditions of established favorites like "Bring It On Home to Me", "Honey Bee" and "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" are given her own fresh interpretation and delivered in a style that is complimentary to the original yet sublime and textured and make them sound as almost new. Alice is backed up by a fine component of musicians that are equally stunning and create a musical atmosphere that is classic and highly-listenable.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Interview with author Sheree Homer for book release Under the Influence of Classic Country

Due for release in October 2019 is the fourth book by Sheree Homer entitled Under the Influence of Classic Country, published by McFarland.

It is a biography profiling thirty-six classic country and rockabilly artists. Exclusive interviews, archival reference material, and unearthed images showcase tales of life on the road, in the studio, and the genesis of landmark recordings. Some examples include Jerry Reed playing guitar on Elvis Presley’s recording of “Guitar Man;” Bill Anderson sharing the bill with Roger Miller on his first tour; Faron Young and Ernest Tubb having a passion for card playing; Hank Cochran penning Jeannie Seely’s hit “Don’t Touch Me” after driving past a mental institution; Mickey Gilley recording his first number one song, “Room Full of Roses,” as a throwaway B-side; The Oak Ridge Boys being offered “Achy Breaky Heart” before Billy Ray Cyrus; Jerry Seinfeld opening for Kenny Rogers; Charley Pride having his photo hidden from disk jockeys, so they wouldn’t discriminate; Loretta Lynn losing copyright to many of her hit songs, and David Frizzell and Shelly West’s “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” being turned down by every major record label. Never before has such a prolific set of singers and musicians- e.g. Ernest Tubb, Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, The Oak Ridge Boys, Loretta Lynn, and Faron Young- been compiled.

   Complete list of featured artists: Faron Young, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Mickey Gilley, Ernest Tubb, The Cactus Blossoms, The Secret Sisters, Pokey LaFarge, The Oak Ridge Boys, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Janie Fricke, Bobby Bare, Scotty Baker, Randy Rich, Carmen Lee, BR5-49, The Derailers, The Lucky Stars, Marcel Riesco, Lance Lipinsky, Charley Pride, Lefty Frizzell, David Frizzell, Joe Stampley, Teri Joyce, The Ragtime Wranglers, Sarah Gayle Meech, Kenny Rogers, Al Hendrix, Billy Harlan, Freddie Hart, Bill Carter, Jonathan Lyons, and Jerry Reed.

I asked Sheree a few questions about the book and her work:

M: What prompted or influenced you to write this book?

S: I had wanted to write a book that featured rhythm and blues acts, but it wasn’t coming together like I had hoped, so I switched gears. In my last book, Dig That Beat, I profiled a couple of country acts, such as Buck Owens and Conway Twitty, and it was well received, so I thought it would be fun and interesting to talk to some of the legends that are still with us. It’s always important to me too to showcase some of the newer acts keeping the music alive.

M: Are you a fan or aficionado of the artists and/or music that you write about in the book?

S: I wasn’t always a fan of classic country. Growing up, I didn’t care for it all that much. I can remember hearing “Tulsa Time” by Don Williams and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones and cringing. These days, I’ve developed a greater appreciation for both songs and the genre in general. However, I’m a much bigger fan of the faster country songs rather than the slow tear jerker tunes. I love Ray Price, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, Ferlin Husky, Marty Robbins, and Faron Young. Since writing the book, I am definitely more knowledgeable about the genre.

M: How many books have you written prior to this one and are they similar in subject matter?

S: I have written four books total. My first, Catch That Rockabilly Fever, includes 46 rockabilly acts, such as Elvis Presley, Wanda Jackson, and Buddy Holly. Next, I wrote about Ricky Nelson. My third book, Dig That Beat, was a mix of my favorite genres: pop, classic country, rhythm and blues, and rockabilly. Some of the artists in that one include Dale Hawkins, Ray Campi, Big Jay McNeely, Robin Luke and Billy Swan.  All of my books feature biographical profiles that give an artist’s background as well as stories of life on the road and in the studio.

M: What sort of reader do you hope to attract for this book?

SI hope to attract people who are already fans of classic country, and also those who may only be familiar with a song or two but have chosen to dig deeper into finding out about its history.

M: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

S: Usually, I include my favorites or friends of mine. I am partial that way. However, I also try to feature those who are popular with the masses; artists that I feel people would want to read about.

M: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

S: As far as research goes, I cited magazine articles, books, and websites. Even as I wrote, I was still looking up information, so for me it was a never ending process. It took me two and a half years to complete the book.

M: What did you edit out of this book?

S: I didn’t edit anything out after it was written. I decide beforehand which stories I will share. It varies with each artist. Sometimes he/she will tell me a lot of great information about his/her career and other times the interview may be short, so I have to fill in with stories I have read about them. However, there are recurring themes that the reader will find in each profile, such as the artist’s childhood background, how he/she got started in the music business, his/her musical influences, etc.  One of my favorite stories that I included in this book has to do with Ernest Tubb. His steel guitarist, Lynn Owsley, recalled how one evening he, Ernest, and some other members of the Texas Troubadours decided to play a game of craps. Owsley was winning all the money, so after a while he got tired and wanted to quit. At this point, it was just a game between him and Tubb. Tubb begged him to continue, but Owsley told him that he wasn’t going to borrow back any more money. Tubb then made him an offer of his ring or guitar in exchange for money. Owsley said no to both. Tubb then asked, ‘What do you want?’ Owsley replied, ‘Your bus.’ The bus ended up becoming Owsley’s possession for two weeks before Tubb could arrange enough funds to buy it back.

M: What was the most difficult part of writing the book?

S: The most challenging part in writing this book was tracking the artists down and setting up the interviews. Typically, I contact an artist directly. I have been on the music scene for years, and through attending concerts, I have befriended many of the singers or musicians. In the past, I have always just emailed or picked up the telephone to ask if they wanted to speak to me for a book. With Under the Influence of Classic Country, I had to contact press relations and management, so there was a lot of red tape involved. I had to sell them on the idea and provide my credentials. That’s a tricky endeavor because you never know if the artist will actually become aware of the interview request or not. It also depends on how busy he/she is. For example, I was supposed to speak with Brenda Lee, but there was a scheduling conflict, so it never happened.

M: Did the writing energize or exhaust you?

S: When I do a phone interview, which the majority of them are, I record the interviewee to ensure accuracy. This is the most exhausting and time consuming aspect in journalism. I am not a fan of transcription, but it is a necessary evil. I get the most pleasure out of the writing part, when I can put into words the artists’ histories.

M: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

S: I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in journalism, so I did a lot of writing in college. However, writing a book gave me the opportunity to conduct more interviews, become more focused with my writing, and more precise on what I wanted to say and how to say it. It also helped me develop my style.

See also: Amazon profile 

List of other books by Sheree Homer