Friday, July 19, 2019

Georgia-based roots artist Aaron Mathews acoustic guitar and harmonica EP release "Bottle and Blues"

Recently released is a new album collaboration between roots guitarist and songwriter Aaron Mathews and the legendary Freedm of Montreal! The project is called "Bottles and Blues" and is one is for all fans of blues and roots acoustic music! It consists of 4 original songs and 2 cover songs recorded live in studio and on stage.  

Aaron Mathews: "I hope that listening to this album brings you the same transcendence and enjoyment we experienced in writing and recording it. Perfect for contemplating life and grooving away to the blues."

stream and download the album here:

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Marty's review: Bottle and Blues is an all acoustic roots music treat that embodies the essence of raw blues and recorded "as it happened" with no overdubs or anything fancy. Aaron Mathews and FreedM relay their passion and playfulness of their music by keeping it simple and down to earth. They inject an energy and emotion that is infectious and engrosses the listener into their own little place of blissfulness. I call it "front porch music", just close your eyes and find your own paradise. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Vocalist Paula Harris new release "Speakeasy".. a synthesis of Jazz and Blues with Soul and Funk

Paula Harris’ newest release “Speakeasy” digs even deeper into her connection with mid-century jazz and blues legends. A completely acoustic album featuring a classic trio format of piano, bass and drums, “Speakeasy” is a true synthesis of Jazz and Blues with bits of soul and funk thrown in at times. 

Perhaps the two most surprising elements are the fullness of sound they achieve and the absence of a guitar.  Pianist, Nate Ginsberg (Herbie Hancock, Sly & The Family Stone etc.) bassist, Rich Girard (Mose Allison, Lou Rawls) and drummer Derrick “D’Mar” Martin (Little Richard) create a sound that is simultaneously vintage and modern, and both elegant and earthy. 

The project offers ten new originals and two new songs penned by bay area friends. They also cover Billie Holiday’s “Good Morning Heartache” by giving it a backbeat groove, Donnie Hathaway’s “More Than You’ll Ever Know”, Louie Jordan’s “Is you Is or Is you Ain’t My Baby” and Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight”, for which Paula penned all new lyrics and gave a slightly more driving groove. “Speakeasy”also features Big Llou Johnson, the voice of “Bluesville” on Sirius Radio, in the duet “Something Wicked” and the Grammy-winning former Santana trumpet player, Bill Ortiz on several cuts. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Dundalk, Ireland songwriter Finnian second single release "Where We Go"...a leap of faith

Finnian is back with his second single! 'Where We Go' takes influence from the folk/Americana greats and you can hear a real Neil Young and Van Morrison influence. The song is about dreaming big and how people shouldn't be afraid to make that leap of faith. In it he portrays an image of young love and youthful friendship. It begs the question of what the future holds whilst simultaneously reminding us to live beautifully in the moment, the way young people should, the way everyone should.

Finnian is a songwriter from Dundalk, Ireland. He started out as a folk based singer/songwriter renowned for a strong and dynamic vocal. He has been praised by peers in the industry and audiences throughout Ireland and Europe for his honest, clever and thought provoking lyrics and although playing as a solo acoustic based artist is something that he thoroughly enjoys and executes with a passion and energy that has received critical acclaim he decided to add another dynamic to his music. 

Just over a year ago he put together a band of greatly accomplished musicians in their own right and submerged himself in the hunt for a new sound. Something that would merge lyrics and music more consistently.

His first full album 'Under The Influence', due for release in Summer 2019, is the embodiment of two years of hard work and is a hugely ambitious yet solid projection of that sound he was searching for.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Canadian roots and blues artist Brandon Isaak new release "Rise'n'Shine" and engaging

Canadian blues man Brandon Isaak's new album is called Rise ‘N’ Shine and  is a wonderful collection of songs from one of the country’s most beloved artists.

Listeners can expect 13 original tracks that feature smart, engaging lyrics and well thought out arrangements, all with a warm old school vibe. Not just putting out another overly produced blues record with typical blues lyrics was the intent on this latest release. This album has themes of life, love, acceptance, spiritualism and the sixth sense.

As original as they come, Brandon Isaak is an international touring roots and blues artist who captivates his audience and takes them on a journey like a ring master in a circus. His music is passionate and straight from the heart and he can put his listeners in a spellbound trance or keep their feet tapping and
hands clapping with his strong interaction with his audiences. Brandon Isaak always puts the song and the lyrics first. The recording can be primitive or simple, but the song and lyrics are the roots of the tree.

Isaak’s affinity for the rawness and spontaneity of the blues is second to none, as anyone who has had the privilege of being a part of his audience will tell you. He brings a firebrand style of guitar as well as incredibly stirring vocals that truly has to be witnessed to be appreciated! He is very much in the moment
as he rips it up, and we know you'll be impressed with the caliber of showmanship within his performance of songs & stories by this great Canadian artist.

official website:

Monday, July 8, 2019

Gypsy-Folk band The Fed Peasants upcoming release "Humble Pie"..intoxicating and blissful

The Fed Peasants are an unsigned gypsy-folk band based in Adelaide, Australia. They have an album coming out on July 18th called 'Humble Pie'.

The band is a 6 piece, consisting of: Guitar, Violin, Piano, Bass, Percussion & Vocals. 

The band members are:  
Thompson Crowley (Songwriter)- Vocals, Guitar
Adriana Carmona- Vocals, Shaker
Shivani Preston- Piano, Backing Vocals
Simon Despoja- Violin, Vocals
Craig Maxworth- Bass
Solomon Kumar- Percussion

They play catchy, upbeat, melodic gypsy-folk music, with moving group vocals. The songs cover a range of social, political & personal issues. They pride themselves on being very original, blending such styles as: Jazz, Blues, Folk, Bossa Nova, Rock and Pop.

The band originated in Scotland as a medieval-themed jazz protest group, where they recorded their first album, 'Best before: 1760'. However, after 18 months lead singers/songwriter Adriana and Tom moved to Spain putting an end to the Scottish portion of the band's legacy. Last year it reformed in Adelaide, Australia, after Tom met fellow conservationists Shivani and Simon, and then later rhythm section Craig and Solomon. The band has been performing around Adelaide since then and is gearing up for the release of their second.

Marty's review: this is a most refreshing and original sounding release that is beautifully produced and a sheer delight to listen to. The album features 9 original tracks all written by Thompson Crowley. With mostly acoustic instruments, very melodic and bright vocals and harmonies, and songwriting that is clever and tender, The Fed Peasants are emotionally rich and deliver their songs in a polished flow that is intoxicating and blissful. You'll be singing along to the tunes after a couple of plays.

stream the album HERE

official website:


Sunday, July 7, 2019

California based singer/harmonica player John Clifton new album "In The Middle of Nowhere" pumped

Rip Cat Records is proud to present In The Middle Of Nowhere, the latest album from John Clifton. The California based singer/harmonica player, whose legend continues to grow with every release, seamlessly translates his on stage blend of West Coast and Chicago Blues, '50s style hard R'n'B and high-energy vintage Rock'n'Roll to the studio for 11 tracks that sizzle and shake to perfection. 

"The new record is the live band, the guys who I play with every night," he comments, "so it definitely has more of a live feel to it." Clifton's singing and playing have never been better as he continues to blur the lines between multiple genres; he never lets the blues slip out of sight while touching on everything from soul to jazz to R&B and even country.

In The Middle Of Nowhere is the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2018 release, Nightlife (which spent six months in the Top 50 Contemporary Blues charts, hit the Top 10 on Sirius/XM's Rack Of Blues, #11 on Living Blues Radio, and finished the year at #72 on Roots Music Report's Top 200 Contemporary Blues Chart). …Nowhere features five all-new originals, along with six covers of songs by artists as diverse as Lightning Slim and Merle Haggard. Clifton's ability to craft a unifying thread between his own originals and those disparate covers is what sets him apart from the pack.

Marty's review:   John Clifton is back with his wailing harmonica and energy pumped roots blues and rock'n'roll that comes at you like a runaway freight train and a solid beat that's infectious, raw and ecstatic. The production is essentially "live" and captures John and his band in full flight with their riveting and rollicking sound that is soulful, bluesy and just plain exciting!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Quebec's Mister Goodfaith releases new album "Big Mistake"....haunting melodies that heal the soul

 Recently released is the newest album from Quebec's Mister Goodfaith

A medical doctor by day and an accomplished musician and passionate songwriter by night, Fabien Bonnefoy (aka Mister Goodfaith) combines his two lives by giving it all to each one. A one of a kind out there in a musical landscape full of carbon copies, Mister Goodfaith walks boldly between studio and stage with talent, personality, and stories that have helped to make him a popular and beloved artist in his home province of Quebec

His haunting melodies caress and heal the soul with the same dedication and commitment that goes into treating a bruised body in his medical practice. The journey will take you from his home studio to the cabins from Nashville (USA), to Québec and Paris, (France) with some stops in the back rooms of cafes concerts to festival stages along the way. 

Big Mistake was mixed and mastered in Nashville, by Michael Mechling, F.Reid Shippen and Dan Shike. 

Witness this unique story of music and art and the non-typical life of a medical doctor and master musician.

Official Website here:

Friday, June 28, 2019

Keyboardist/Singer Luca Kiella Chellini debut EP release "Figure It Out"..blues infused with soul and funk

Hammond Organ and piano virtuoso and singer Luca Kiella Chellini recently released his debut project, the EP "Figure It Out" . Longtime keyboard player for Alligator Records artists and world touring guitarist Toronzo Cannon, Kiella finally brings the focus on his own band.

He is proud of his Italian origins, but blues music called him to the United States in his mid twenties, and he found a new home in Chicago.

Luca Kiella delivers high-energy performances, blues infused with soul, funk and New Orleans grooves. The struggle of finding his real identity in life and music is a core part of Luca’s songwriting, with a musical and personal heritage that makes him truly unique.

The new EP has all these elements in it. The title track “Figure It Out” is emblematic for Kiella’s (and most everyone’s) never-ending quest of finding ourselves. Luca pays tribute to his biggest influences Jon Cleary and Ray Charles, showcasing his skills on the piano and the Hammond Organ, his instruments of choice together with Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Clavinet.

So Many Questions”, the closing track of the EP, delivers an intimate moment with only piano and vocals, digging deeper in the story of the journey of the artist.

official website:

Marty's review: This very impressive debut release is a real treat for fans of piano-based blues ( and all blues for that matter). With a sound that is reminiscent of 60's soul artists like Booker T and the MG's and Billy Preston, Luca takes these influences and injects his own style and artistry to create an upbeat and feel-good collection of compositions that will certainly win him new fans and extend his talents even further.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Canadian Blues/Roots Artist Michael Jerome Browne album "That's Where It's At!"..blues and soul connection

Michael Jerome Browne is a three-time Canadian Folk Music Award winner (Traditional Singer, 2015; Solo Artist, 2012 and 2008), Maple Blues Award winner (with 32 nominations since 1999), Kerrville (Texas) New Folk Finalist, four-time Juno Award Nominee in both the Roots/Traditional and Blues categories. He is a multi-instrumentalist, a songwriter, and a living encyclopedia of American Roots music

That’s Where It’s At!, the new album on Borealis Records, is Michael Jerome Browne’s latest collection, focusing on soul music through the lens of a traditional blues player. Recorded largely live off the floor in Sherbrooke and Montréal (Québec) and Hamilton (Ontario), Michael’s fingerstyle guitar and warm, unaffected vocals are front and centre, accompanied only by John McColgan’s funky drumming on five songs. 

This album focuses on the connection between blues and soul, the stripped-down accompaniment consisting only of Michael’s guitar, with drummer John McColgan on five tracks. Vocal guests include Harrison Kennedy, Roxanne Potvin and Eric Bibb. Five originals are mixed in with songs from Sam Cooke, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Al Green, and Stevie Wonder, as well as two spirituals from way back- the roots of gospel and soul.

official website:

Marty's review: Michael Jerome Browne serves up a generous taste of raw, rootsy blues on this latest release. With some expert guitar playing and his slightly throaty vocals, he takes the essence of the original blues and marries it with a dose of tasty soul flavour. With a mix of several original compositions from Michael and covers of soul and blues classics, this is an enjoyable listen from start to finish.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Soulful writer and performer Sam Wickens debut album release "All I've Seen"...poignant and transparent

Sam Wickens, from Bangor Co. Down, Northern Ireland is a mesmerising solo performer, gifted with the talent to arouse the soul with haunting melodies laced with poignant lyrics sung with his trademark transparency of spirit.

Compared to the likes of Jeff Buckley, John Martin, Paolo Nutini and Lou Reed, Sam is a soulful writer and performer with a restless creativity, conveying a personal blend of Soul, Blues, Gospel, Folk and Indie. This young and gifted 20-something artist humbly plies his craft with a focused sincerity, and has created a style his own: consistently delivering on his reputation as a bewitching live performer.

In 2016 Sam performed at the prestigious Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival, Nashville, Tennessee, where he sang to an entranced audience at the famous Bluebird Café in Nashville.  Sam also performed at 'The Factory' in Franklin Tennessee.  This event was filmed by Music City Roots and beamed live into 60 million homes across the U.S.

In 2017 Sam was taken under the wing of legendary American record producer Tony Visconti (producer of scores of albums by major artists including: David Bowie, T.Rex, Paul McCartney, Damon Albarn, Moody Blues, Marc Almond, Kaiser Chiefs, etc). Visconti’s mentorship led to Sam working closely with music icons including Stuart Copeland, Nitin Sawhney, and Imelda May, and performing live at Union Chapel London supported by legendary saxophonist Howey Casey and top afro-urban band the Compozers.  Sam’s mentorship under Tony Visconti was featured on a SkyArts documentary ‘Tony Visconti’s Unsigned Heroes’.

On his new release Sam says 'I wanted to create a family of songs, I needed an open space to be able to get different aspects of my mind out! I wanted to make something new, something not everyone will like, but they all will respect. Music is my way of communicating with people and the world. 'Falling' is honesty, when you don’t want to be honest or simply you can’t.'

Marty's review: This very impressive debut release by Sam Wickens shows a maturity and profoundness that is seldom heard by a performer of such a young age. Sam's lyrics have a sense of introspection and sensitivity that engage the listener in a binding fashion that is intoxicating and mythical. The production has a sparse sound in terms of instrumentation yet is spacious and ethereal in its overall impact. Sam's vocal style is striking and primal and perfectly adapted to his songwriting skills. The songs are richly textured in their construction and will reverberate with repeated listens. Highly recommended.  

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith and The House Bumpers release "Drop The Hammer"...ahead of its time

Music is about chasing a feeling- happiness, excitement, anger, sadness. Blues is the most intense combination of music and feeling. The power and emotion of the music transcends time and can be felt by people of all ages and ethnicities- the sole reason why the blues will survive and thrive for generations to come.

The blues, like all elements of life, is meant to grow, change and progress while retaining its essence. Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith and The House Bumpers accomplish just this with their latest album, “Drop the Hammer.”

Kenny honored the blues legends he admired by laying down a few traditional tracks. Much of his playing was molded by the teaching of his late father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, who was the drummer for Muddy Waters for over 18 years, and it was important to give this nod of respect. To know who you are and where you are going, one must always honor and acknowledge from where you came.

This album focuses on contemporary subject matter while using modern and innovative sounds. As much as Kenny loves and respects traditional blues, he was compelled to take his blues to a new realm and dimension. Kenny didn't live and experience picking cotton in the fields. He is a native Chicagoan and inspiration for this album was drawn from the rhythm of footsteps on jagged pavement, the soulful, shadowy noise of the city at night and the soundtrack from the eras in which he grew up to be the man and musician he is today. This music is trans-generational. It is raw. It will grab you by your core and will feel familiar yet foreign at the same time.

official website:

Marty's review: The aptly titled "Drop the Hammer" takes the roots of the blues and gives them a contemporary edge that is transporting and at times unexpected.  Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith and The House Bumpers have a formula that is intoxicating, raw and a powerhouse of primal grooves. Kenny's soulful vocal style is up front and stylish and blends in perfectly with each composition that encompasses a range of styles from pure blues to soul and funk. A solid and masterful production that is ahead of its time.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Singer-songwriter Bill Kraker releases Americana mix album "Russellville"...stories from life's experiences

From singer/songwriter, Bill Kraker, comes an Americana mix of blues, gospel, and country, inspired by the story-telling and gossip at family gatherings of every childhood visit to Russellville, Alabama.

Ohio musician, Bill Kraker (rhymes with Rocker), grew up with family road trips to Russellville, Alabama listening to his country blues singing grandmother, uncles, and aunts playing music and sharing stories including all the latest gossip. As the son of a church organist/pianist, Bill has been playing music with his brother, Paul, in church for over 30 years. In addition to their deep rooted, Sunday morning calling, the brothers have been playing what they call “Feel Good Music” in festivals, bars and concert halls. Russellville is a small town south of Muscle Shoals in Alabama.

Bill’s newest release is a collection of story based songs written over the years. So, the names are real, the tales are tall, and the setting is: Russellville.

Cheap Thrills and Dynamite with Slide Guitarist Joey Landreth,
• the nostalgic Green Grass of Home with Paul Kraker on acoustic guitar,
• and Bonus Track Believe in Love featuring Jazz Keyboardist David Garfield

stream and download here:

Marty's review: If you like songs with good story, then "Russellville" is the place to be. Bill Kraker has taken several years' worth of life experiences and created an Americana "novel" that reads like a best seller with a series of emotions, poetic interludes and poignant memories. The musical production is top-notch with some stinging guitar work, tight rhythms and Bill's silky vocals that have a clarity and passion that deliver his lyrics in a straight down the line style. Notable tracks are "The Price I Pay", "Cold Shoulder" and "Green, Green Grass of Home". The album is a richly crafted collection of musical treasures that resonate and are a introspective delight.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Juno nominated slide-guitar-hero Sean Pinchin album release "Bad Things"..a blues tour-de-force

Juno nominated slide-guitar-hero Sean Pinchin is back with his eight-song blues tour-de-force "Bad Things". 

Toronto-based Sean Pinchin’s 2016 breakthrough album Monkey Brain nabbed him a 2017 Juno Nomination for Blues Album of the Year and cemented his reputation as a guitar player’s guitar player. One reviewer's description summed up many people's reaction to Sean's killer brand of modern blues: "track after track built from masterfully infectious riffs with lyrics as smart as one might hear from a top-notch pop songsmith … power, drive and gobs of style.” (Duane Verh, Roots Music Report)

Bad Things continues where Monkey Brain left off: BIG riffs, heartfelt gritty singing, and songs that will be earworms for weeks after only a couple of listens.  Sean puts the history of blues guitar music into a blender and it comes out all dirty and grimy, sounding at once like something you’ve never quite heard before while remaining true to the lineage that Sean so clearly reveres.  The opening track If You’re Gonna Leave Me is a straight up breakup song delivered as an almost celebratory stompin’ slide guitar extravaganza. What could be a down-on-your-luck affair feels more like a provocation: "You need some space. Do what you gotta do. If you’re gonna leave me, then GO".  In the breakdown of the uptempo Hands To Yourself Sean relates a conversation he’s having with a good friend after a bad breakup in a whiskey-soaked drawl: "Man, I’m just looking for a woman to treat me the best she can”.  His buddy deadpans: “Brother, I've never met ANY woman truly happy with ANY man.”  

Bad Things, the album's title track, kicks off with a signature Pinchin searing resonator riff before the band Mary-Jane Luvite (drums) & Rob Szabo (bass) launch into a thumpin’ groove.  Sean pays homage to his heroes with a trio of covers on the record.  Devil Got My Woman is an ambient chill and moody version of the Skip James classic. It builds slowly with Sean’s restrained resonator slide playing and goes over the top with arguably on of Sean’s best solos on record as he shreds with fuzzed out abandon on his Gibson 339.  The album takes a turn with a stripped down lapstyle version Blind Willie Johnson’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine and closes with Sean’s take on Canadian blues veteran Steve Strongman’s River.

The album is Pinchin’s third record with Juno-winning producer Rob Szabo, who also co-wrote the originals on the album and played various other instruments.

official website:

Marty's review: in a word, this album just ROCKS! Raw, edgy blues-rock that has everything from searing slide guitar licks to soulful vocals and a power and energy that is in your face and leaves you breathless. Sean Pinchin's accolades are worthy of his talent and he knows how to impress and does.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Finnish blues and roots band Lena and The Slide Brothers release fourth album "IV"..sonic and skillful

Finnish blues and roots band Lena and The Slide Brothers recently released their fourth album aptly called ”IV”. It contains 10 original blues and roots songs with a wide range of musical styles. The album is released on the RetroU Art label.

On this album the band uses a wider instrumentation which brings the catchy songwriting to a whole new level. The album was co-produced by the Finnish singer/producer legend Hannu Leiden.

Their previous 2016 album ”The Road” received plenty of air time all over the world and that was good but this one they say is surely great!

Lena and The Slide Brothers was formed in 2009 in Helsinki, Finland. Their debut album "Turn it on" was released in 2010 and it contained a wide range of American roots music styles. The following album "Shine Your Light" came out in 2013 and showed another, rougher side of this band. Their third album "The Road" was released on April 8th 2016. 

They have played at the most of Finnish blues and roots music festivals as well as in clubs and concert halls all over the country. They have performed also in Sweden, Estonia, France and Italy. Lena and her band mates are also working as an electric blues trio or an acoustic duo.

On April 2016 Lena and The Slide Brothers represented Finland at EBU European
Blues Challenge 2016 in Torrita di Siena, Italy. On January 2017 the band won two categories at the FINNISH BLUES AWARDS 2017. The artist/band of the year and the best song of the year for "The road you're on".

official website:

Marty's review: This latest release by Lena and The Slide Brothers is a powerful set of blues/roots/rock/soul numbers that has everything from searing guitar licks, tight rhythms and dynamic vocals that all comes together from this tight knit group of talented musicians. The sounds are sonic, skillful and solid, the songwriting is well crafted and the production is expansive and sophisticated yet still with that raw edge that makes it a great blues album.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Vegas Strip Kings release "Jackpot "..infectious roots-based sounds that rock

Raised from the ashes of the acclaimed Blind Pig Records project Contino, Vegas Strip Kings is a blues-based Americana sound from Las Vegas, Nevada. With their unique influences and instrumentation they have crafted a distinctive mixture of blues-based Americana with rockabilly and zydeco leanings.

The band’s rootsy style has earned rave reviews and an ever-growing fan base in North America and Europe alike. To see Vegas Strip Kings is like watching a train rolling at high speed down a mountain pass—it’s frenetic, exhilarating, and you might often wonder it it’s about to run off the tracks but – it never does.

Their interaction is quite instinctive, as they forge serious meaning to each stanza, countered only by their smiles shared on stage.

Marty's review: these guys sound like they're having a ball with their infectious roots-based sounds that rock, roll, swing and jump with a steady beat and an attitude that is straight down the middle with the emphasis on a good time for all. See if you can stop yourself from sitting down to this one!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Canadian roots, country and blues artist Suitcase Sam releases 'Get It To Go' and playful

Toronto, ON - Canadian roots, country and blues artist Suitcase Sam is pleased to announce the recent release of his remastered/repackaged EP  'Get It To Go' on Curve Music. 

The seven-track EP is laden with guitar pickin' and twinkly, jangly piano punctuated with the occasional horn and kazoo charming listeners with its nostalgic sound and unique vocals.

 "The Sweetest Hippopotamus", a fan favourite off of the EP, was adapted into a BravoFACT short-film of the same name in 2012. The soundtrack went on to win Best Soundtrack Short award at the AOF International Film Festival. Suitcase Sam appears as himself in the film which can be viewed here.

Perpetually mysterious, Suitcase Sam had this to say about himself: "There is a whole symphony of Suitcase Sams. There's the wee-hours, suit-wearing, parlour singer. Then there's the road-hardened troubadour, who lives his life out of someone's "borrowed" suitcase. Regardless, Sam is a constant eccentric who is never tardy and certainly earlier than these times would knowingly permit. He is the something else you are searching for. That's it. That's enough."

Fans old and new can look forward to hearing a lot more from Suitcase Sam when he releases his debut full-length album 'Goodnight Riverdale Park' on Curve Music in the fall.

Marty's review: Suitcase Sam's EP is a treat for fans of traditional roots music. Sounding like it's coming straight out of an old honky tonk bar or speakeasy, Sam presents 7 tracks of pure nostalgia with mostly acoustic instruments of guitar, piano, trumpet and few other interesting implements, plus a vocal style that is his own and easy on the ears, this is not only a fun and playful set of tunes but here is an artist that is pining for recognition.

Connect with Suitcase Sam

Friday, May 24, 2019

Atomic Road Kings release "Clean Up The Blood"..recorded in mono on vintage analogue equipment

Clean Up The Blood mixes the soul, dynamics, and grit of traditional American roots and blues music with a nod at modern society and stories of modern living. The album was recorded live at Atkinson’s own Bigtone Studios using vintage gear and all-analog equipment from the 1940's and 1950's, creating an original sound born of 1950's gospel, blues, rock'n'roll and more.

The Atomic Road Kings is the project of two musical powerhouses; veteran Orange County harmonica man Eric “Jailhouse” Von Herzen, long-time side man for Walter Trout, Social Distortion, Kid Ramos, Junior Watson, and the 44's, among others; and the brilliant young multi-instrumentalist Big Jon Atkinson, also the back-up guitarist for Kim Wilson’s solo project. 

Atkinson’s raw vocals and moody guitar and Von Herzen’s rich harmonica tones create the perfect vehicle for Atkinson’s word-wise lyrics. There is no roots band today that more masterfully builds on the tradition of classic American music, deeply authentic enough to thrill any purist, while musically sophisticated enough to please the most contemporary audiences.


Marty's review: The Atomic Road Kings serve up a big beefy slice of traditional electric roots blues on this latest release. Recorded "live" to tape on analogue equipment it comes back at you in glorious mono and sounds just sensational! With a stellar line-up lead by Jon Atkinson on lead guitar and vocals and Eric Von Herzen on wailing harmonica, this is powerhouse raw blues at its best and will leave you gasping for more. A real treat for blues and roots fans.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Roots artist Aaron Matthew releases debut EP "Steppin' Stones"...a breath of philosophical fresh air

Aaron Matthew was born in Jacksonville, Florida and raised in the rural Deep South of Georgia, but people think he's from California for some reason. The Deep South is a strange place that forever embedded the blues, jazz, funk, folk, and hip-hop into his songwriting and his soul.

He's been performing music live since 2007 when he got his first gig at a local cafe playing for coffee and tips. In 2012, he began to awaken and was compelled to shift realities. He sold nearly all of his possessions and bought a one-way ticket to a foreign country. He didn't know anyone and didn't speak the language. In exchange for working, he was blessed to live on an organic farm. There, he built permaculture gardens, took care of the land and animals, and spent countless hours meditating with Mother Earth. 

Today, he still calls the Dominican Republic home, but travels often to the U.S. to visit family and tour. He performs live regularly and also works as a professional cannabis industry writer and researcher. 

He has just released his debut EP "Steppin' Stones" and says he couldn't be happier with it. He gained a lot from making the songs and hopes that they bring you the message that you need as they have done for him. 

You can download the EP below:

Social Media and website      

Marty's review: Aaron Matthew's exposes his freewheelin' spirit and "simple" approach to life on this very impressive debut. A combination of acoustic and electric tracks with a slightly reggae/Caribbean feel makes this an enjoyable and satisfying set of songs that allows one to breathe in the "philosophical" fresh air and enjoy the eternal sunshine (even if you physically can't!). 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Burndown Brothers Blues Band release "Beautiful Soul" and "Can't Go Back"..Texas-style blues

The Burndown Brothers Blues Band is not your run-of-the-mill, fedora and Cuban shirt-wearing "wasn't that a fun show, honey?" kind of blues band.

Showcasing a blazing two-guitar Texas-style blues attack, a thunderous rhythm section and powerhouse vocals, they live up to their namesake every show and burn the house down.  

So if you're ready for a fiery blues show that's full of groove, and you don't mind having your face rocked clean off your noggin, make some time to forget about your worries and get lost in a soul-scorching set from one of Phoenix's hottest blues acts . It's guaranteed to move you. 

Beautiful Soul (view on YouTube)

official website:

Can't Go Back  (view on YouTube)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

What makes the blues sound like the blues?...article excerpt

What makes the blues sound like the blues?

By Chris Slattery - excerpt from

From the difficult lives of formerly enslaved African Americans in the Deep South came the blues. Those humble, hardscrabble origins and the African musical heritage of the performers helped shape the genre and its main elements. Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that make a song a blues song.

One element of the blues traces its roots back to the fields. There toiling slaves sang not just to pass the time at their tedious, backbreaking work picking tobacco and cotton but also to communicate. The pattern they often used in their work songs was called call-and-response. In this singing, a leader sings a line, and the group answers. For example, the leader might sing “I’m going home tomorrow” and members of the group might respond “I’m going with you.” Coded messages disguised in the songs—just meaningless melody to the overseer or slave master—could lead the most daring to a spot on the Underground Railroad. The call-and-response pattern became part of some blues songs. You might hear a singer call and other singers respond, a performer sing a call and then respond with an instrument, or a musician perform a call-and-response entirely with instruments.

Lyric Structure
Perhaps one of the easiest clues to identifying a blues song is the pattern of the lyrics, or words. You’ll often hear 3 lines of rhyming lyrics, typically expressing very strong emotions. The singer sings a line and then repeats it (though it might be sung slightly differently the second time to emphasize the emotion being expressed). The singer then sings a different third line that often responds to or reflects on the previous 2 lines. Notice this pattern (also sometimes referred to as AAB) and the rhyme in “Hound Dog,” first performed by blues singer Big Mama Thornton and later adapted into a rock ’n’ roll  song by Elvis Presley this way:

You ain’t nothing but a hound dog, cryin’ all the time
You ain’t nothing but a hound dog, cryin’ all the time
You ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine.

And notice that this is just one element of the blues that paved the way for rock ’n’ roll  music!

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