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Archive for January, 2015

S.Y.S.T.E.M

Friday, January 30th, 2015

SystemSystem. That word might make you think of a lot of things. A video game system, a surround sound system, an exercise system, etc., but I want you look at that word in an entirely new way. Remember this simple mnemonic device: Save Yourself Sacred Time, Energy & Money. Run into a lot of musicians and we talk about what they are doing. Some are trying to figure out how to play their guitar faster, others want to sing higher in their chest voice, some are trying to book more gigs.

All of them are trying to figure out how to accomplish these tasks, but why?? Read more.

 

Eric Gales: Good For Sumthin’ Review

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Good For Sumthin'

This is Eric Gales’ thirteenth album under his own name since his debut with the Eric Gales Band in 1991. Eric got started early in his life playing guitar at the tender age of four when he began “borrowing” his brother Eugene’s guitar. Although Eric isn’t naturally left-handed, he plays that way because his brother did. However, unlike a lot of other “lefties,” he strings the guitar for right-handed playing. This is one of the things that gives Eric a unique voice on the guitar. Since his 1991 debut at the age of 16, Eric has received accolades from all the great guitar masters of our day including Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Eric Johnson, to name a few. He has also guested on many records, as well as been a part of some well received compilation albums over the years. Most recently, he’s been a member of the supergroup Pinnick, Gales and Pridgen who just released their second album this year, simply entitled PGP2, and also announced a 2015 tour. Read more.

 

Mike Zito and the Wheel: Songs from the Road Review

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Songs From The Road

Songs from the Road by Mike Zito and the Wheel is Mike’s latest album under his own name. This is a burning set of blues-based rock, Americana and soul. This live album is part of a two disc set that also includes a DVD of the show at the Dosey Doe in Houston, Texas. The playing is tight and flawless while the mix is clean and clear. You hear every nuance of Mike’s soulful voice, and what a voice it is! Mike has the soul of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, with the thick grit of Duane Allman, Delbert McClinton and Bob Seger.

The album opens with the funky blues jam “Don’t Break a Leg” but Mike quickly shifts gears to the Springsteen/Seger-esque “Greyhound,” a song about life on the road. Mike changes the mood once again during the mid to slow tempo soul ballad, “Little Red Corvette.”  Yes, a cover of the Prince song. This is definitely one of the album’s highlights. Mike’s treatment is reminiscent of Ben Harper’s remake of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.” He takes this familiar song to a whole new place and suddenly a song about getting laid in a Corvette takes on a very romantic feel. Read more.

 

Steve Cal’ Band: Room to Move Review

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Room To Move

Steve Cal’ is an emerging blues artist from Philadelphia, PA. Picking up the guitar at the age of eight, after hearing Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti,” he began playing professionally by the tender age of 14. The “Hendrix-esque” Room to Move is Steve Cal’s second album. The sound is raw, but not underproduced and the record has a “live in the studio” sound and feel. This is a breath of fresh air compared to the the current ‘Nashville-esque” sound of some of the major artists today.

Even though the recording has a very live feel, Room to Move is a typical blues record in the sense that Steve hits all the bases from funky tracks like  “Midnight Dream” and “Dirty Old Woman,” to the slow hard-driving blues of “Voodo Chile.” Kudos to Steve for not covering “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” which may be the most over covered blues rock song of all time.  The last three tracks on the album are in the slow blues tradition, which leaves the listener a bit hungry for the funk of the first part of the album. Read more.