Sunday, February 17, 2019

UK electric rhythm & blues outfit The Liam Ward Band release 'Uprising'...tight funk and hot rhythms

The Liam Ward Band are an electric rhythm & blues band from south Wales, playing original blues incorporating elements of jazz, rock and funk. 

Uprising is the debut album from the group, and is made up entirely of original compositions pushing the boundaries of blues. Think plenty of Paul deLay’s originality, a dash of Santana’s jazzy rhythm and a healthy dollop of William Clarke’s west coast swing. It's a heady mix of foot-stomping R'n'B and Liam is a National Harmonica League Player of the Year. 

Uprising was recorded at Sonic One Studios and mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London. Virtuoso harp-playing combines with tight instrumentation and quirky arrangements to deliver some of the freshest blues currently on offer either side of the Atlantic.

Liam Ward: Vocals, harmonica
Matthew Llewelyn Jones: Guitar
Martin Hill: Bass

Gaz Davies: Drums

Marty's review: hot rhythms, tight funk, searing guitar licks, wailing harmonica and soulful vocals are the order of the day here on this most impressive release. These guys know their rhythm and blues/soul/funk and deliver it with style, panache and lots of passion. 10 full-blown tracks of roots-based r'n'b that will leave you with a nice warm feeling that tingles and lasts.



Thursday, February 14, 2019

Acoustic roots music trio The Foothills debut EP release Shadow of the Mountain...timeless musical statements

The Foothills, Vincent Beasley, Paul Hadfield, and Tony Neely,  are an acoustic trio from Chattanooga, Tennessee who blend a diverse range of Americana traditions - folk, country, blues, soul, and bluegrass - in an effort to create timeless musical statements that delicately balance artistic integrity and popular appeal.

On their debut EP release, Shadow of the Mountain, the band faces up to the struggles of life and finding hope against all odds. At their core, the songs are intended for rugged souls. 

A great deal of thought went in to selecting the songs for Shadow Of The Mountain. Taken together, the songs are a meditation on finding the perseverance and the strength to conquer the failures and the losses in your life.  

Recorded at The Soundry, the six track EP also features banjo extraordinaire Randy Steele of Slim Pickins Bluegrass Band, drummer JG Oliver of Monday Night Social, and keyboardist Brett Nolan who also engineered, mixed, and mastered the album.  

Shadow of the Mountain is now available on all major music streaming and downloading platforms.


Marty's review:  The Foothills' impressive debut EP is 6 tracks of true, roots based Americana blended with elements of blues, soul and bluegrass. With rich in harmonic instrumentation (banjo, violin, double bass, acoustic guitar) this trio are very confident in their abilities and this comes across on each and every track. Their songs are emotionally-charged with topics ranging from family history, past and future experiences, finding hope to Midwestern resilience and meditation. Well delivered vocals and harmonies with a textured overall production makes this and accessible and important release.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Brooklyn-born New York Blues Hall of Famer Regina Bonelli release "Love Letters"..exhilarating and emotional

Brooklyn-born New York Blues Hall of Famer Regina Bonelli is stepping forward to claim her rightful place among today's contemporary soul-blues divas on her new album “Love Letter,” released on True Groove Records. “Love Letter” is a blues-meets-R&B tsunami from the first single “Don't You Put Your Hands On Me” and the melancholy Al-Green-meets-Etta-James groove of "A Little Rain Must Fall" through the updated and socially relevant stomp of her cover of The Rolling Stones classic "Paint It Black," as well as her signature cold-blooded blues on the lushly orchestrated, stunning title track.

Regina writes blues tunes inspired by her own life and the world around her. She is an electrifying performer and is receiving standing ovations, backed by her A-list band The True Groove All-Stars. Regina has shared the stage with music icons such as Bobby Rush, Paul Simon, Martha Reeves, The Temptations, Blues Traveler, Popa Chubby and Ronnie Earl, to name a few. "This collection of songs represents empowerment and healing in a world so sorely in need of both,” Bonelli says. “These are trying times we live in today, and I hope that the messages in these songs reach into the souls of the listeners. I truly believe that this is what music can do, especially the blues."

official website:

Marty's review: Regina Bonelli delivers a powerful dose of soul-drenched, stylish blues on this latest release. Produced by Tomas Doncker and James Dellatacoma all the elements for a top-flight blues-soul outing are here from masterful guitar licks, tight rhythms and Regina's powerful vocal delivery. The masterful, original songwriting on 8 of the 9 tracks is emotional and introspective and the cover of "Paint It Black" is exhilarating and soars. An exceptional album all round and sure to please blues-soul fans.

Friday, February 8, 2019

UK based The Society of Angelic Potheads release "Behind 12 Bars"...roots based whimsiness

The Potheads' bio describes them as "Purveyors of songs from the Hogsmill Delta. A blending of Blues mixed with a dash of Lonnie Donegan, Slade, and various Herbs and Spices found high up on the hills surrounding the Hogsmill, before it joins the Thames.....".

With a name like The Society of Angelic Potheads (SAPs for short?), these guys obviously don't take themselves too seriously, which is a good thing. They inject a lot of fun and whimsiness into their roots based music and deliver with tongues firmly in cheeks (think Devo or Madness with a blues/country-tinged sound). 

Musically they are very proficient with more than competent instrumentation and vocals from all members. The interesting part is their take on songwriting which sees them tackling many subjects from drinking, working, society, culture, boy meets girl plus an attempt at a serious love song. With extremely complex song titles like "3 Fingers", "Me and My Horse", "Feminine Side" and "Flip Flap Flop", this is definitely for the thinking person (if you want to!). They also get down and dirty with their renditions of "Roadhouse Blues" and "Rock Me Baby" which both go down as searing, red hot blues-roots music. "Behind 12 Bars" is a sprawling collection of 10 original numbers plus 4 covers and makes a most unpredictable and visionary release.

stream on reverbnation:

Monday, February 4, 2019

One woman band Ruth Wyand and The Tribe of One release "Tribe Of One"..raw and harmonic

Ruth Wyand and The Tribe of One, is a one woman band from Kill Devil Hills, NC, that generates the energy of a four piece band. With her powerful yet intricate picking style, alternating thumb bass, bottleneck slide, multiple foot drums and raw blues vocals, Ruth draws on her deep love of American roots music to showcase her strengths as a guitarist, singer and songwriter.

Demonstrating her instrumental prowess, primal rhythmic energy, emotive vocals and songwriting “Tribe Of One” was recorded live in the studio. The album is a mixture of 11 originals plus 3 covers by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Piedmont Blues Guitarist Etta Baker.

official website:

a solo performer with an arsenal of guitars, foot percussions, upright snare & a suitcase kick drum going simultaneously. She sings like an angel, plays guitar like a demon and creates a mighty sound. I’ve caught a few one-person bands over the years with mixed results. Wyand is undoubtedly the best I’ve seen” - John Porter Time For The Blues Richmond VA

. …I’ve had the pleasure of working with and listening to Ruth for over a decade. Once you have the opportunity to see Ruth Wyand and the Tribe of One live, then you’ll understand why I always
introduce her as a “Totally Rocking Chick!” - Lisa Brickhouse-Davis Radio Announcer/Event Promoter & Big Fan WVOD 99.1 Voice of the Carolinas

…“Possessing a powerful voice & the ability to mix jazz runs with primal delta slide - Chip Lamey Juke Joint Notes

Marty's review:   Ruth Wyand serves up a dose of raw and harmonic roots music on this energetic and exuberant release. Being a one-woman band is what makes Ruth special in that she knows where the music is all coming from and knows how to deliver it. With exceptional guitar work, dynamic vocals and cleverly-written songs, this album is a treat for roots music fans from an artist that is skillful and masterful. Thank you Ruth.