Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Texas singer/songwriter/guitarist Hadden Sayers releases "Dopamine Machine" & "Acoustic Dopamine"

Veteran Texas singer, songwriter and guitar slinger Hadden Sayers has a unique style all his own, a style that pairs taste and soul with blues-rock firepower. With the "Dopamine Machine" project, his ninth studio recording, the amps are cranked and the guitars set on blistering, ranging from the swaggering “Peppermint Patty” to the longing “Waiting Wanting” and the explosive “Backbreaker.” His blues rocks and he doesn't sound like anyone else on the scene.

When he's not performing his own music, he plays guitar for Ruthie Foster, who contributed vocals to this unique double-disc project which includes "Acoustic Dopamine," featuring acoustic versions of the album’s tracks. Sayers says "Dopamine Machine" is "more from-the-heart than any of my other releases. It was written and recorded without any concern for what genre it may fit into. That lack of concern for how I fit into the music world made recording even more inspiring than it already is for me, and it shows.”

"Dopamine Machine" lands squarely back in the hard-rocking blues sound that has been his biggest calling card.

"Acoustic Dopamine," is a rare treat, a companion album that offers a different take on the songs from his concurrent release "Dopamine Machine."

With "Dopamine Machine" each song had so much to say that Sayers sat on his bed with a 1954 Gibson acoustic and rearranged the whole album as a solo acoustic set, then took it into the studio to make a raw, pure version of "Dopamine Machine."

Assisted only by Ruthie Foster, who lent her voice to the gorgeous duet “Waiting Wanting,” and a friend who played percussion, the album is a stripped-down set that captures the emotional intensity of each song. While "Dopamine Machine" is for driving down the freeway with the band, windows down and stereo cranked, "Acoustic Dopamine" is for traveling alone down a deserted highway all night long.

official website:

Monday, November 26, 2018

Iowa City Americana/Rock Singer-Songwriter Kelly Pardekooper 9th album release "50-Weight"

Kelly Pardekooper recently released his ninth album, 50-Weight, marking a 20-year bookend to his lo-fi debut release 30-Weight. Going back to his home state roots, 50-Weight was recorded in a rural Iowa barn studio June 1-4, 2018. Producer and guitar wizard hats are again worn by Iowa City friend Bo Ramsey (best known for producing and playing guitar on Grammy nominated Lucinda Williams and Greg Brown albums). Kelly’s authentic songs and voice have been featured in TV/FILM under the radar for the past decade thanks to Los Angeles based music publisher Black Toast Music. His new album 50-Weight is pure Americana-Iowa roots music that moves from pretty to pissed on a dime. Enjoy the ride!

Iowa City native Kelly Pardekooper is an Americana/Rock Singer-Songwriter. He put down roots in Indianapolis in 2012 after stints in Nashville, Madison and Los Angeles. He has released nine albums and toured all over the US and Europe, showcasing his songs everywhere from SXSW in Austin to the Take Root Festival in Holland. Television song credits include True Blood, Justified, Blue Bloods, Sons of Anarchy, Cold Case, Chicago Fire, Longmire, Speechless etc. Film credits include Vengeance (Nicolas Cage), April Moon and Sex in the USA. Kelly Pardekooper writes songs and tries to treat people well!

official website:

Marty's review: Kelly Pardekooper's 9th album is a treat for Alt-Country/Americana fans with insightful lyrics, roots-based instrumentation and a production from Bo Ramsey that is all about rawness and mood. Kelly has created and emotionally-rich and textured sound-scape that takes the listener on a journey of discovery with unexpected treasures to be found.

A moody alt-country original - Nashville Scene

A roots musician who writes some of the sweetest blues-infused, country-fied, American rock music of our time- No Depression

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Gina Sicilia releases "Heard The Lie"...stunning eighth album by blues/soul songstress

"Heard the Lie," Gina Sicilia’s eighth album in 10 years, is so loaded with gems that it’s hard to believe that the material was written in a single month. But the prolific young songwriter said the 10 originals on the album are actually her favorites out of more than 20 songs she wrote—all in the month of December 2017. The eclectic and inspired album includes an uplifting ballad co-written and performed with Grammy-nominated label mate Janiva Magness and a smoky cover of Bad Company’s “Ready for Love”.

The album was the culmination of a long tour and then two months of listening to music nearly around the clock. “Back in September I got back from nine weeks on the road, took a break, and listened to music 24-7,” Sicilia says. “By the time December came I had taken enough time listening to music, and in December I had written 20-25 songs.”

The final collection of songs continues Sicilia’s tradition of writing music across a wide array of genres and moods, ranging from the R'n'B show stopper “How Many Times” to the playful Elvis-tinged “Sugar” and the bluesified “Angels Watching.” Sicilia’s duet with Janiva Magness, “Brighter Day,” is a soul treasure, and “Heard the Lie,” the title track, is a catchy Americana number with a heart-wrenching storyline.

I’ve been making a transition to music that’s obviously influenced by blues and soul but has more of a pop sensibility,” Sicilia says. “If there is an intention, it’s to write songs that make it very apparent what my influences are but that have a hook.” That mission has been accomplished on this album, Sicilia says. She is very excited to deliver this set of songs to her fans worldwide. “I’m so proud of every song on this album,” Sicilia says. “Every song is a little bit different, the production is great, and the hooks are great. I can’t wait for everyone to hear them.

official websites: /

Marty's review: Gina Sicilia is in fine form once more on this, her eighth album release. Crossing several genres from blues to soul to Americana, the collection of 11 accomplished tracks show a maturity and musical sensibility that highlights the passion and tenderness of Gina's dedication to her music.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Toronto-based vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sugar Brown album "It's A Blues World"

It’s a blues world, and Sugar Brown is living in it and “calling all blues” with real grace and style. The Toronto-based vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has found his full creative voice on It’s A Blues World (Calling All Blues!), his third album release.

Following on from his 2014 debut Sugar Brown’s Sad Day and 2015’s acclaimed Poor Lazarus, the new record mines the various strata of the blues genre, digging deep and unearthing dazzling new gems. Brown possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the form, but his songs are passionate, singular, and soulful, constantly resisting generic, mainstream formulations.

He explains his free-wheeling and idiosyncratic style this way: “Each song here is a blues world. They go from country to urban, from the ’30s to ’70s, but they are little worlds within the blues. “My last name, Kawashima, means river-island in Japanese.  You can think of each song as an island in a river. You can flow down the river, stopping and listening to one, then moving onto the next.” The voyage is a richly compelling and entertaining one.

It’s A Blues World was recorded at Toronto studio Marquee Sound, with engineer Braden Sauder. Situated in an old movie theatre, the studio focuses on analog recording, Sugar Brown’s preferred form. “We recorded on two tracks, to quarter inch tape,” he explains. “I brought in one piece of recording gear, a 1936 Collins mike pre-amp, and plugged in my vocal microphone through that.” “By using the technologies of older recording, I want to give the listener a different sonic listening experience than what we have come to blindly accept in digital recording. That is part of the experience of a Sugar Brown album.”

It’s A Blues World has a rich, warm and intimate sound that is the perfect setting for Brown’s original compositions. The mastering work of Grammy-winner Peter J. Moore (Cowboy Junkies, Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes) is the icing on the cake of the recording.       

Marty's review: On this latest release Sugar Brown takes the essence of blues roots and adds his own "flavorsome" touch that results in an album which embodies the blues with passion and honesty. At times sounding like pure vintage blues from an original master, the analog process of the recording brings out a uniqueness and poignancy that is rare in contemporary blues recordings. A very generous 13 tracks that are all original with a combination of acoustic and electric instrumentation that is well-rounded, tight and solid

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Guitar 1929-1969 - The Players You Need to Know.....excellent video highlighting top guitarists

In this episode Rick Beato discusses the guitar players that every serious guitarist should know between 1929-1969. A comprehensive guide of styles covering Classical, Blues, Jazz, Country and Rock & Roll. 

YouTube channel:

Friday, November 16, 2018

Keith Stone with Red Gravy new album release...blues with a taste of New Orleans

Keith Stone is back with his highly anticipated second release, and this time he’s teamed up with Red Gravy, made up of three of the most well-respected musicians to call New Orleans home.

This band delivers ten songs of original, tasteful blues, all run through the New Orleans cookbook of funk and R'n'B to create an exotic and spicy musical dish, but here in the Crescent City, it’s all home cookin’.

Keith Stone with Red Gravy come by the name the same way Keith’s Sicilian mama cooked up her beloved sauce: by carefully simmering New Orleans spices and spirit. The new album works the same way. Drawing from the sounds of the city that gave us Earl King, Guitar Slim, Professor Longhair and Dr. John, the band pays homage to these pioneers of New Orleans Blues while carving out an identity all its own. Longtime friends Jimmy Carpenter and Brent Johnson dropped in to lend their talents and love for all things New Orleans.

There are cities, regions, and neighborhoods all over the country that can lay some claim to “the blues.” That’s all fine and good, but Keith Stone with Red Gravy is damned certain that the blues that comes out of New Orleans is the best, most unique and funkiest there’s ever been. Listen to the album and you’ll agree.

“It started as a front-man with a band, but now we’re a band with a front-man”

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Boston’s Southern-flavored blues/roots rock quartet Sunshine Riot release "Interstate"...raucous Americana

Boston’s Southern-flavored blues/roots rock quartet Sunshine Riot recently released "Interstate" from their album Lonely Hotel, the band’s 3rd full length studio album. It was produced by 19-time grammy nominated producer, George Dussault, at Galilee Studios in Cumberland RI, who calls Sunshine Riot a, “"great, soulful band. . . a favorite of mine.”

Already featured on  Sounds of Boston, Diffuser FM, Alternate Root, Glide Magazine and Elmore Magazine, among others, the "4-piece band from Boston, Massachusetts takes elements of country, blues and punk and twist them into their own rock Southern sound.” (Pure Grain Audio) 

The album reflects the perspective of a band that has been writing, touring, performing and generally "doing the thing" for about 10 years. Still maintaining their focus on writing the best, most honest rock and roll songs they can, Sunshine Riot also are not just business, as they deliver twelve songs, including one about Applebee's. The name of the record (which half the band hates), is a reference not only to time spent on the road but  to the fundamental feeling which seems to find its way into most of the songs: a kind of restlessness and yearning. 

With “grit and the most raucous Americana sound that combines the angst of Nirvana with the temperament of Wilco" (, Jonny Orton (vocals/guitar), Jeff Sullivan (bass),  Mark Tetreault (lead guitar) and Chris Alvarado (drums) produce a freewheeling mix of country, rock, blues and punk. Coming together in 2011, the band has made swift headway, releasing their debut album A Fresh Bottle and a Brand New Day in 2012 and Black Coffee Sigh in 2015.  Between playing 80-100 shows per year, Sunshine Riot are ramping up to release Lonely Hotel, which features  vocal work from Carl Smitty Smooth and Malyssa Bellarossa and soulful horn work from Collin C. Larkin. 

The band have toured extensively, opening for national acts like Deer Tick, and  will continue spilling drinks and making impressions throughout the fall. Keep an eye out for more from Sunshine Riot, “one of the most remarkable live acts Boston has produced in a long, long time" (The Nashville Observer).

For More Information:

Monday, November 12, 2018

Blues guitarist/songwriter Billy Hector album release "Someday Baby"..true soul on a Stratocaster

Billy Hector recently released his new album, "Someday Baby." Whether Hector is teasing you with his sultry slide work, picking through Delta blues or flat-out cranking it up and crunching out electric blues-rock on his beloved vintage Fender Stratocaster, his music reflects the true soul and origins of the blues, always passionate, engaging and dedicated to making the audience move and sweat. Having honed his chops and style through three decades of performances, Hector is critically recognized as one of the hottest and most interesting guitarists/songwriters on the original circuit and has even been called “a New Jersey state treasure” by music writers.

Billy Hector has served as touring guitarist for Hubert Sumlin and Joe Louis Walker. He has been named “Best Guitarist,” “Best Blues Band” and “Living Legend” at the Asbury Park Music Awards, is a two-time winner of the East Coast Rocker’s “Best Guitarist” award and has received the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation’s “Lifetime Achievement” award.

Billy Hector is veteran guitarist with roots in the Asbury Park and Jersey Shore music scenes. This oft-awarded, self described workingman's musician, has released sixteen albums to date and is a revered icon in New Jersey and beyond. Hector's voice is strong, confident and convicted. It augments his playing in a similar way that Jimi Hendrix's vocals complimented his playing”. Bluesblast Magazine

official website:

Friday, November 9, 2018

All-Star blues ensemble The Proven Ones album release Wild Again...pure soulful blues from awarded collective

The Proven Ones are truly an all-star ensemble, with dynamic Boston blues legend Brian Templeton on vocals, modern blues icon Kid Ramos on guitar, and Grammy-nominated Anthony Geraci holding down the keys. The master rhythm section includes Willie J. Campbell on bass and Jimi Bott on drums.

Among the many awards the musicians have won are: Kid Ramos: Orange County Music Awards Lifetime Achievement, 13 BMA nominations; Jimi Bott: BMA drummer of the year 2015, Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame, 12-time Drummer of the Year; Anthony Geraci: Grammy nomination, 3 BMA nominations; Willie J. Campbell: 5 BMA nominations.

Band members have been on hundreds of recordings and have been members of some of the most influential modern blues bands of the last 40 years, including The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, The Radio Kings, The James Harman Band, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, The Mannish Boys, and Sugar Ray and the Bluetones.

official website:

Marty's review: this powerhouse of talent has produced a solid, dynamic and top-flight collection of soulful blues that is pure and effortless displaying the sprawling talents of each player. Elements of Memphis Soul and New Orleans blues abound making it an instant hit with lovers of the blues-soul sound. These guys know their stuff and the sophistication of their musicianship is certainly notable.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Independent blues artist Black Lark releases self-titled album..blues with a good vibe, honesty and a loud guitar!

Black Lark is blues, honesty and a loud guitar. The unforgivingly personal lyrics feels like bare bone excerpts from a diary and the music is raw and dirty. Having grown up listening to the likes of John Lee Hooker and Johnny Winter, he continued his musical explorations through rock, jazz and folk only to find his way back to the blues.

Being fed up with the clean and polished sounds of a lot of modern albums in the genre, Black Lark's debut album stands for something completely different. It was recorded quickly and with a very modest setup to best capture the mood of the songs. Recorded over two days in August 2018. Everything played live to tape except organ on "Won't Catch Me Sleeping" which was added later the second day at a different location. 

Marty's review: the blues doesn't get any more raw than this debut by Black Lark. Recorded "live" with a straight, no nonsense style, this is pure blues roots with the essence of the original blues masters and Black Lark's own poignant and masterful story-telling. A very impressive release that deserves attention from any blues and roots music aficionado.

The album is now available on all the usual platforms on-line.

It’s blues for today, not yesterday.

Links to the album:

Links to social media:

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Virtuosic Quintet Big Apple Blues new album Manhattan Alley celebrates the soul of New York City

On the new album Manhattan Alley, the virtuosic quintet that is Big Apple Blues continues to celebrate the soul of New York City with the signature, powerful brand of blues fusion that has brought them worldwide acclaim. Big Apple Blues’ ambitious 2015 concept album Energy set out to capture the feel of a single day in New York City. Its creative fusion of instrumental blues, soul, funk, and rock captured the admiration of critics worldwide, sold more than 1 million digital distributions, and led to tours in the US, Europe, and Asia.

Now the band returns with 10 new tracks celebrating life, creativity, and the city that never sleeps, with a nod to Tin Pan Alley, the collection of New York City music publishers and songwriters that dominated popular music in America in the late 19th and early 20th century. The album, recorded old-school in a single room, has the depth of the New York subway, the height of the Hudson breeze, and the energy of the city of millions of striving, dreaming, beating hearts that inspired the unique musical style becoming internationally known as “The Big Apple Blues" sound.

official website:

stream and download album here:

A glorious melange of blues fusion, from New York’s finest. Unreservedly recommendedPeeter Fenstra, The Blues Magazine

Big Apple Blues has put together a set of originals listenable enough for you not to miss the singer! Dan Forte, Vintage Guitar

This CD covers so many differing styles, but above all, the outstanding feature here is the musicianship of those playing. It’s an absolute blast from start to end. Brilliant and could end up my album of the year! Merv Osborn, Blues Matters

Monday, November 5, 2018

Blues Guitarist from Chicago Khalif Wailin' Walter new album "Nothin' Left To Lose"

Chicago-based blues guitarist, singer/songwriter and former Lonnie Brooks band member Khalif Wailin Walter, has just released his new album "Nothin' Left To Lose" on the German Pepper Cake Records (ZYX Music Int.) label.

Khalif "Wailin' " Walter without a doubt belongs to the the new generation of Blues players coming from the Windy City and contributing to it's rich legacy of the Chicago Blues. This definitely ain't your grand-daddy's Blues though. Khalif's music, while firmly rooted in the Chicago electric blues guitar tradition is fused with elements of Funk, Soul, Rock, and Reggae to create his own kinda funkin' boogie groove. With his 2012 CD She Put The Voodoo On Me and the newly released Nothin' Left To Lose (Pepper Cake Records), he has garnered international recognition and acclaim.

Khalif “Wailin’ “ Walter's electrifying live performances have lit up the Chicago Blues music scene and stages throughout Europe with his unique style of Funk drenched Boogie Blues that rocks the house down to the ground. So where have you seen him? Khalif “Wailin’ “ Walter appears regularly on the Chicago Blues circuit, and performs in venues and festivals throughout the U.S., E.U. and Africa.

official website:

Music is my religion.
I am only the messenger.
And "the Groove"???..."the Groove" is God!!!!
                                             ---Khalif Wailin Walter   

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Little Red Rooster Blues Band release "Lock Up the Liquor"..a homage to Chicago and West Coast blues

With a style that pays homage to traditional Chicago and West Coast blues, but a sound all their own, the Little Red Rooster Blues Band’s new release, "Lock up the Liquor," reflects 30 years of bringing laughter and tears to audiences on the East Coast circuit. Featuring three-time Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year nominee Anthony Geraci on piano and world-renowned harp virtuoso Steve Guyger, formerly of the Jimmy Rogers Band, on harmonica, this collection of 15 original songs is a blues tour de force.

From the rowdy opener, “Pitchin’ Woo,” through the hilarious “Thrift Store Rubbers” and the driving closer “Trouble in the Jungle,” there’s plenty on the album to get fans on the dance floor. Harp lovers will delight at “Cotton Mouth,” the band’s tribute to James Cotton. And tear-stained tracks like “Ready for Goodbye” and “Just a Distant Memory” demonstrate the band’s mastery of the emotional power of the blues.

Thirty years of living and loving the blues is all captured on this release with an infectious combination of reverence for the music and a whole lotta fun!

official website:

Marty's review: The Little Red Rooster Band celebrate their 30th anniversary with this new release of 15 all-original tracks of traditional Chicago/West Coast style blues that pay homage to their roots and the artists that inspired them. Their sound is upbeat with a tightness and professionalism that is thunderous and exhilarating in its delivery.  Top-notch instrumentals and soulful vocal numbers make this an all-round blues collection that will delight lovers of classy, polished blues.