Thursday, July 5, 2018

Marshall Lawrence new release "Feeling Fine" ... high-energy rock and blues

Marshall Lawrence’s fifth release, “Feeling Fine,”  is a return to high-energy rock and blues reminiscent of the late 70's and 80's British and American rock scenes. Marshall’s fiery approach to guitar playing and catchy songwriting come together for 10 original, exciting, hook-laden tracks. Marshall has the distinction of being a Maple Blues Award and Canadian Independent Music Award nominee. In reviews of his previous CDs, Marshall has been described as a "neo-Delta visionary" (Living Blues) and has been compared to Woody Guthrie (Living Blues) and to Taj Mahal, Roy Bookbinder and Corey Harris (Rootstime).

Marshall has previously written and released “Where’s the Party” (2003), “The Morning After” (2008), “Blues Intervention” (2010), and “House Call” (2013). He has charted in the top 10 on Roots Music Report’s Roots Blues Top 50 Blues (International) – radio play, in the top 10 on Canada’s Roots Music Report – radio play, and in the top 10 on Roots Music Report - Roots Blues Top 50 Blues - internet radio play.

"I did the rock thing, I did the punk thing, I did the funk thing, I did the blues -- and for me this album is a progression to coming back home," Marshall says. "I use all of these musical influences in my approach to playing, whether I’m playing acoustic or electric. For me it’s not about playing like someone else because they’re popular, it’s about self-expression and playing what I feel. It’s about making sure I do whatever I can to help the listener have a good time and feel fine."

official website:

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Bridget Kelly Band new album Blues Warrior....Authentic American Blues Rock..a Knockout!

Inspired by classic and electric blues, the Bridget Kelly Band has placed their unique stamp on the blues genre, with high-energy live performances and a hybrid sound that mixes Texas and Memphis Blues with various Southern Blues traditions.

Blues Warrior is the 6th studio album for the Bridget Kelly Band following last year’s 2 CD blues marathon Bone Rattler. Again it features the sultry-sweet vocals of Bridget Kelly and the guitar work of husband Tim Fik. Rounding out the lineup are bass players Mark Armbrecht and Mike Hamm, drummers Michael Barady and Christine Alexander, keyboard player Chris Alexander and harmonica whiz “Little Mike” Markowitz.

Like the band’s prior outings, the guitar work of Tim Fik is absolutely gut busting. Tim charges each note with positive ions as he taps from a variety of styles and players. You can hear Hendrix and Stevie Ray and even Robbie Kreiger. Fik straddles the fence between rock and blues and strays confidently into either territory. His tone and improvisational funkiness are a joy to listen to.

official website:


AirPlayDirect link "Blues Warrior" :

Marty's review: The latest offering from the Bridget Kelly Band delivers the blues in no uncertain terms, and the style and professionalism of all involved shines through on all levels. Tim Fik's guitar work has influences from past masters but he has his own style and plays licks even the devil would be frightened to tackle. Bridget's powerful vocals blend right in and she delivers each lyric with confidence and an energy that's hard to hold back. Their backing section keeps up with relative ease and provides the solid backing to make this an all round effort that will please blues-rock fans to no end. It's a knockout from start to finish.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Gus Spenos new album It's Lovin' I Guarantee...serious sax chops playing jump, swing and boogie

Fans of jump, swing and boogie, rejoice: You have a new artist to play. Gus Spenos is a bluesman with the shouting style of some of the all-time greats who also has serious sax chops (and the day job of being a top neurologist in Indianapolis). On his second album, "It’s Lovin’ I Guarantee," Spenos and his band prove they know how to lay down tracks that make listeners want to move and groove to the music.

On a set that mixes classic-sounding originals such as the title track with a varied selection of carefully chosen tunes from the past, Spenos teams with ten-time trombonist of the year Wycliffe Gordon, legendary drummer Cecil Brooks III, and a selection of other veteran performers, including two ex-Raelette backing vocalists on five songs. A swinging, energetic combination of tunes, the album is the follow-up to Spenos' highly acclaimed "If You Were Gold Baby," released in 2016. Spenos plays finger-snapping, horn-heavy R'n'B with a touch of jazz on the album's thirteen tracks, accompanied by his all-star lineup of performers.

Filled with tight arrangements and cool-blowing sax, "It’s Lovin’ I Guarantee" will set listeners free and thrill their auditory cortexes. The album “jumps the blues” to a degree that may well resurrect the dearly departed!

official website:

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Laurie Jane & The 45's new album "Midnight Jubilee".. country-soul, rhythm'n'blues and rockabilly

Louisville, Kentucky -- the river port city known for its time-honored craftsmanship, decadent celebrations, and storied past -- is home to Laurie Jane and The 45's. "Midnight Jubilee," the band's latest release on Down in the Alley Records, channels the diverse spirit of their hometown across a broad soundscape of country-soul, rhythm and blues, and rockabilly.

Laurie Jane's vocals are tempered with a sincerity and restraint seldom heard in modern music. They play counterpoint to her vibrant band who at times push their vintage instruments to their breaking point to wring out the last drop of heart and soul.

As Susan O'Neil of Louisville Music News put it, “Laurie has a lovely classic, clear voice that comes across the airwaves, strong and true to the style of the music she sings. Her sweet voice, her easy style and her graceful presence could easily fit into the era where vocalists really sang, conscious of tone and feel.”


Friday, June 22, 2018

Tom "The Suit" Forst album release "On Fire"...blues and classic roots-rock

A stunning collection of new songs, 8 originals and 3 classic covers from Tom The Suit Forst, "On Fire" is an appropriately-titled record from a guitarist whose career is running full-speed ahead. A blistering mix of blues, and classic roots-rock with shimmering guitar and clever lyrics. 

This is Tom's debut solo album and was produced by Paul Nelson (Grammy-winning producer and guitarist for Johnny Winter). They are currently working on Tom's follow up album due to be released later this year. Tom was also recently inducted into the NY and CT Blues Hall of Fame.

official website:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Mick Kolassa and Friends new release Double Standards...Duets of Classic Blues Songs

Double Standards” is a celebration of the greatest blues songs, performed as duets by Mick Kolassa with some of his musical friends. Mick’s love of many blues styles is well known, and this album brings the listener a wide range of blues, from down home to classic Chicago to jazzy to blues rock, Mick and his friends bring you the many faces of the blues.

As with his previous albums, the proceeds from “Double Standards” will go to the Blues Foundation’s HART Fund and Generation Blues programs.

Marty's review: Mick Kolassa has gathered some of his musical friends and produced an album of 13 classic blues standards. They are all done with Mick's usual sense of finesse and style and he has stuck to the traditional style of blues in which the originals were recorded with an added touch of his own. With some very fine musicianship to back him up and choosing songs by the likes of Willie Dixon, Hudson Whitaker and B B King, this collection of blues will please all blues and roots fans.

official website:

Monday, June 11, 2018

London-based bluesman Tommy Palumbo creates metropolitan blues

Tommy Palumbo is a London-based blues man and his music is about honouring traditional acoustic and electric blues. However, he also likes to push blues boundaries further on up the road and has created Metropolitan Blues, a style which fuses rap drum sections with blues vocals and guitars.

He has just released his new album, Tones of Blues, which features twelve songs ranging from country blues to jazzy blues, and from electric blues to soulful blues. 

official website:

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Singer-songwriter Peggy James new album Nothing In Between due out June 29th...finely crafted folk roots

Milwaukee singer/songwriter Peggy James will release her fourth solo studio album entitled “Nothing In Between” on June 29th, 2018. Championed by veteran producer / guitarist Jim Eannelli whose meticulous attention to detail ensured that justice was served to the projects’ recording. To that end, “Nothing In Between” has all the earmarks of becoming a Peggy James favorite for new and old fans alike. 

James is a prolific song writer whose Midwestern roots and Southwestern influences are embodied gracefully within her compositions.  Peggy’s insightful lyrics counterbalance her muscular guitar driven sound while always hinting at something timeless and rooted in bluegrass, folk-rock and country-western styles. Her songs are well-told, finely crafted stories delivered with authenticity - the creations of a mature songwriter in her prime.

Peggy James has opened for such notables as: Iris Dement, BoDeans, Salt Creek. She often draws comparisons to Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Shawn Colvin and Sarah McLachlan. 

Peggy James has a lot going for her: emotive lyrics and melodies that work together in smartly crafted songs; a stunning voice operating in several emotional registers... [her music] crosses the boundaries of country, pop, and rock and rubs elbows with the kind of heartland sound associated with the Jayhawks.” – Continental Drift – Billboard Magazine 

Breathtaking moments exist on “Nothing In Between” where James’ sweet pure, voice, balances vulnerability and toughness by revealing wisdom in songs that are a little bit country, a bit rock-n-roll and a lot of soul.

The album releases June 29th in digital and physical formats on Happy Growl Records

For information on Peggy James please visit

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Rex Granite Band featuring Sarah Banck new album Spirit/Matter/Truth/Lies...powerhouse blues

Winners of the 2017 OEA "Best Blues" award, and representing Nebraska at The International Blues Challenge in January 2018, The Rex Granite Band has put together a powerhouse blues showcase. Nine original tunes plus a wonderfully stripped-down version of Percy Mayfield's "Please Send me Someone To Love" all feature Sarah Benck's stellar vocal and the slide guitar of blues/gospel guitarist Rex Granite.

Go to Facebook page HERE

Marty's review: The Rex Granite Band have put together a collection of powerful, electric blues on this release. With the ear-shattering guitar work of Rex Granite and the soulful blues vocals of Sarah Benck plus a solid rhythm section, this album will have you against the wall and on the floor breathless. Lots of energy and a no holds barred approach to the classic blues sound.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Frank Viele new album release "What's His Name?" .. honest and diverse roots rock offering

Frank Viele is a soulful roots/blues artist from Connecticut and has recently released his latest album "What's His Name?".  Frank has won multiple New England Music Awards and has been playing dates with Lee DeWyze of American Idol fame this winter. 

Up until now, Frank Viele has been something of a regional secret throughout New England. His quadruple-threat reputation as a singer, guitarist, songwriter and performer is unrivaled in the region, as recognized by the New England Music Awards with nods for Album of the Year, Male Performer of the Year and Live Act of The Year. 

Of course, musically tuned-in folks have been hearing reports of Viele’s prowess for several years. No Depression might have piqued their curiosity with its praise for his “vivid storytelling.” Or maybe they read about his singing in The Alternate Root, which observed that his “street growl” could rivet a passerby. Howl Magazine even called his shows “transcendent” and predicted that his music “will rattle your bones and penetrate to the core.” 

Audiences around the country have begun taking notice as Viele plays in further-flung venues. Since his first album Fall Your Way dropped in 2015 he’s been called to open for Will Hoge, Blues Traveler, Lee DeWyze, Zach Myers of Shinedown and The Marshall Tucker Band- in his somewhat wonder-struck words, “artists who have been on my personal playlists for years.”

"What’s His Name?" is a personal tour de force of passion, candor and craft. Viele’s singing is unforgettable — rough-edged yet nuanced, straddling that line where poetic interpretation and raw emotion meet. The impressions he made during his early gigs broaden on What’s His Name? Rugged Americana, deep blues and gut-wrenching soul create a potent new brew on “Cigarettes, Throwing Stones, & Lies.” Unlikely elements — a gentle groove kissed by congas, a milky bass tone and wind chimes — caress Viele’s anguished romanticism on “If You Could Only Read My Mind.” Those same sentiments take on an even sharper edge when lashed with earthy lie guitar and stirred by churchy harmonies on “Till The Bourbon’s All Gone.” The sting of betrayal turns up the heat even more over a thumping funk groove on the title cut. And one track, “Pomegranate,” stands out from anything Viele has done before, thanks to the strings that augment the reflective lyric, courtesy of arranger/cellist Dave Eggar (Ray Lamontagne/Coldplay/Pearl Jam).

 “I’ve never taken the easy road musically,” Viele insists. “When you hear Otis Redding’s Blue or Bob Seger’s Night Moves, you feel it. Those songs grab you. That’s what music is supposed to do. That’s what I want to do.” 

And he does. The proof is in every moment of What’s His Name? and in its aftermath, when you realize what you’ve been missing in your music for a long time — until now.

For More Information On Frank Viele:

Friday, May 25, 2018

Kurt Stifle and the Swing Shift official video for "Swampee"...a colorful and fun romp

Kurt Stifle and the Swing Shift bring a collection of unruly swamp monsters to life in the music video for their rootsy blues-infused rock single "“Swampee.”

Directed by Angelus Tamerlane Baily, “Swampee” takes you on a  psychedelic trip with germy little swamp creatures as they rock n’ roll their way through the polluted rivers and slimy pipes of Los Angeles. The band of misfits jam to the energetic blues-infused rock track as they float through muddy, trash infested waters. The colorful, off-kilter visual lends itself to the story of Swampee, a devil that wanders the criminal underbelly of the Los Angeles river in search of souls to corrupt. Wrapped up in killer set design, kaleidoscopic graphics, and some seriously hard rockin’ hand puppets, “Swampee” is an unexpected and entirely enjoyable visual ride.

Also check out their new album The Pilgrims' Guide to the River of Salvation

Monday, May 21, 2018

Award-winning blues band Johnny Fink and The Intrusion release debut album "JFI."...roots blues with energy

Award-winning blues band Johnny Fink and The Intrusion recently released their debut album, simply titled "JFI." The group was known for years as the best-kept secret in the mid-western scene among blues and blues-rock enthusiasts. That is, until they won the 2015 Cincy Blues Society Band Challenge and made the semifinals at the 2016 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Then, Johnny himself won the 2016 Cincy Blues Challenge in the Solo category and the band won the 2016 Dayton Ohio Blues Challenge, subsequently reaching the finals at the 2017 IBC.

The first single from the album, "Let's Hear Some Blues," was included on the compilation disc featuring artists from the 33rd IBC, receiving rave reviews and tremendous airplay. "JFI" won the 2017 Cincy Blues Society award for Best Self-Produced CD.

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society says of the band, "Johnny Fink and the Intrusion will shuffle you right into the road." And the Cincinnati Blues Society says of the new album, "From fist-pumping anthems to soul-touching blues, this album is a work of art." The "secret" is definitely out.

Marty's review: JFI deliver their brand of rootsy, blues-rock on this their debut album with a confidence and energy that makes them sound a little bit cocky but deservedly so. With a tight production that's also straight to the punch these guys know their blues and know how to deliver them. The nine all-original tracks display their cohesiveness and musicianship with an edge that will please blues fans and certainly earn them more.

official website:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers "Usual Suspects"..high octane mistress of the modern blues

The whip-wielding mistress of modern blues is again bringing listeners to their knees: Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers have recently released their seventh original album, “Usual Suspects.”

Made up of award-winning musicians and recording artists from a variety of diverse backgrounds, The Urban Pioneers are an eclectic, wildly entertaining, little (and sometimes big) band with a captivating singer and front-person. Lex Grey is a multiple ASCAP award-winning songwriter who beckons audiences into her world of personal stories cloaked in smoke and stage lights -- a world of drama, humor and rowdy abandon that makes music lovers feel as though they're doing something wrong just by listening. The band juxtaposes bawdiness with intimacy, introspection and a vulnerability that draws you in like a warm embrace. Having earned a reputation as a legendary live band with a dazzlingly theatrical show, the group emerges from the studio capturing live performances that constantly deconstruct and reinvent their palette of sounds.

Official website:

Though she cites Ma Rainey as her greatest inspiration, Grey's vocal stylings have been compared to those of Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey and, interestingly, Robert Plant, her voice an ever-morphing instrument that changes textures and tones on a dime. "Usual Suspects" fearlessly dances through genres while keeping its feet firmly rooted in blues, and it's certain to become one of the year's most talked-about blues releases.

"Lex Grey’s vocals are high-octane and top-notch. And the band, the Urban Pioneers, support her well. ... You get the feeling Grey could sing from the phone book and make you get up and dance in a way you wouldn’t want your granny to see." - M.D. Spenser, Big Fat Wide Americana Hour

"I was immediately drawn into the world of this band, in part because of Lex Grey’s voice, which commands attention in both upfront and sly ways."
- Michael's Music Log

"Starting from a blues base, Lex Grey and The Urban Pioneers develop a multifaceted style with a prominent rock influence. Excellent instrumentalists."

- Ilpopolodelblues (Italy)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Austin-based blues band Mojo Chyld album release "Raw"...soulful blues-funk that rocks!

Mojo Chyld is an Austin-based blues band that brings a soulful yet funky blend to the historic genre. They perform a mix of original songs and the classics. There are currently five members that make up the collective and each brings his own experiences and vision to the table to form a dynamic groove that not only packs the dance floor, but keeps it rocking. Their Blues will Rock your Funky Soul!

check it out on Bandcamp HERE

official website:

Marty's review: "Raw" is an apt title for this latest release by Mojo Chyld. With their brand of funky, soulful blues-rock they deliver an album of roots based blues with oomph and pizzazz that will please blues fans in many ways. Hot, fuzzy guitar licks combined with a tight rhythm section, passionate vocals and topped with oodles of funk and psychedelia, this album covers all bases and will rock the foundations wherever it's played.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Linda Em new single release "Hey Baby"...smooth soul/blues with class

Linda Em is a London based Irish singer-songwriter, wordsmith and clairvoyant mysticist. From classic Woodstock era songwriters to Jazz era greats and modern day luminaries, Linda draws from her influences an ethereal energy flow that is evident in voice and song. She has been described as a musical hybrid mix between Patti Smith, Patsy Cline & Beth Gibbons possessing the intoxicating nuances of Billie Holiday.

official website:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Grammy Nominee Janiva Magness new album "Love Is An Army".. a bridge between past and present

After Janiva Magness added a 2016 Grammy® nomination to her 27 Blues Music Award nominations – with seven wins, including Entertainer of the Year – she might have taken at least a short rest on her laurels. Instead, one of the preeminent voices in contemporary American roots music has raised the bar for herself. Magness’ fourteenth album, "Love Is an Army," is a brilliantly crafted bridge between the past and present, blending the echoes of classic soul and country music with timeless themes of love and the very contemporary sound of protest.

The dozen songs on "Love Is an Army" reverberate with the timeless character of the Memphis rhythm and blues patented by the Stax and Hi Records studios, especially in tracks like “Back to Blue,” which opens the album and sets its tone, and “Hammer,” which features fellow Grammy® nominee and multiple Blues Music Awards winner Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica. Another Tennessee music city,  Nashville, is the geographic touchstone for the title number, a duet with Texas singer-songwriter Bryan Stephens, and for “On and On,” with Poco front man Rusty Young on pedal steel guitar. Like Magness, both Stephens and Young are on Blue √Član Records. Other guest artists include the legendary R'n'B singer Delbert McClinton, Mississippi hill country blues torchbearer Cedric Burnside, bluegrass guitar and banjo virtuoso Courtney Hartman of the band Della Rae, and pianist/songwriter Phil Parlapiano.

Marty's review: Janiva Magness shows her best on this release by blending all her favorite styles of music from roots to soul to country to produce an album that is every bit a winner in all departments. With a sterling cast of guest players along with a top notch backing band and her own classy vocal delivery, this release shows why Janiva is such a well lauded artist.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Acoustic blues/jazz duo Khashoggi release debut recording "The Live EP"

Khashoggi is a two-piece based in London, formed by songwriters Jessica Craig (vocals) and Michael Webster (guitar) during Summer 2017. They recently released their debut recording "The Live EP". Combining influences from Sub Pop artists and classic blues and jazz performers, they deliver a modern sound against rootsy instrumentation. They have played a number of dates already across London and Coventry and are aiming to record their first full album early in 2018.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Blues singer-songwriter Greg Sover new album release Jubilee..eclectic follow up to debut

Greg Sover has started 2018 on all cylinders! Greg’s new EP, "Jubilee," was released January 8. The Greg Sover Band competed at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis on January 17, representing the Steel City Blues Society of Phoenixville, PA.

"Jubilee" is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed "Songs of a Renegade," Sover’s 2016 debut album, which put him on the map and announced that he is one of the top emerging blues artists in Philadelphia and beyond. Sover has gotten airplay not only on his hometown station, WXPN in Philadelphia, but on blues radio around the country and around the world.

Sover’s success is due in large part to his band of three Philly veterans with extensive resumes – bassist, musical director and co-producer Garry Lee, guitarist Allen James and drummer Tom Walling. The three are best known as Deb Callahan’s solid backing band. So if you haven’t heard Greg Sover, what are you waiting for?

Sover says, "'Jubilee' is about heartbreak and overcoming heartbreak. You'll hear acoustic music, you'll hear music with the resonator. You'll definitely hear a more eclectic sound of music compared to 'Songs of a Renegade.' The words are better and the playing is better."

Greg Sover Online:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

20 year old Irish singer-songwriter Ghost releases debut single "On the Road"...indie-roots with dark overtones

Ghost is a 20-year old musician from Ireland and has just released his debut single "On the Road" It is the first single from the upcoming debut EP "DIARY OF A HEARTLESS ROMANTIC".  The track is an indie-roots style composition with dark overtones and sparse instrumentation. An excellent release from this promising new artist.

Find out more:

Follow GHOST online: (@the_life_of_ghost)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Backtrack Blues Band new release "Make My Home In Florida"...most accomplished and respected

One of Florida's longest-running and most accomplished bands, The Backtrack Blues Band has performed high-energy, Chicago-style blues continuously since its founding in 1980. The group has established a strong reputation for creative songwriting through six CD's and one DVD of original music -- all of which charted on the U.S. blues radio charts.

The quintet's latest masterpiece of an album, "Make My Home in Florida," is an exciting in-concert collection that's the next best thing to experiencing them in the flesh, capturing the group as it lights up the stage of the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg. The set list ranges from stone classics of the blues genre (B.B. King's "Woke Up This Morning," Sonny Boy Williamson II's "Your Funeral and My Trial," T-Bone Walker's immortal "T-Bone Shuffle") to Sonny Charles originals such as "Heavy Built Woman," "Shoot My Rooster" and the title track.

The members of Backtrack bring with them authenticity and immense talent. Sonny Charles is an accomplished harmonica player whose tone recalls Little Walter and Paul Butterfield, while Kid Royal, whose style was influenced by the great Texas guitar players, is widely respected as one of Florida's top players. Joe Bencomo is an exceptional drummer who has played in Tampa Bay blues and jazz bands for 40 years; Little Johnny Walter adds solid rhythm guitar and backup vocals; and bassist Stick Davis was a founding member of the Amazing Rhythm Aces (of "Third Rate Romance" fame). The Backtrack Blues Band has appeared with legendary blues artists from B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Stevie Ray Vaughan to Gregg Allman, Robert Cray and Johnny Winter. The group has garnered three Tampa Bay Music Awards as the area's "Best Blues Band."

official website: