Capsule Reviews by Mark E. Waterbury

Dave Fields – Unleashed
FMI Records
Highly regarded blues guitarist Dave Fields rips loose a masterful collection of live tracks, originals, and cover songs in this excellent release. Dave’s arsenal of talents is on full display here, from the jazzy licks of “Anticipating You” to the gut-busting barrelhouse romp of “My Mama’s Got The Blues” to his explosively unique take on “Hey Joe.” Featuring a who’s who of talented musical partners in crime, this is a must if you are a fan of Dave’s, and a phenomenal introduction if you have not experienced his guitar and vocal prowess yet. 

John Ginty feat. Aster Pheonyx – Rockers
American Showplace Music
John Ginty is highly respected for his sublime organ work with artists ranging from the Dixie Chicks to Santana to Robert Randolph. After releasing several solo CDs, he enlisted fellow New Jerseyan Aster Pheonyx for his latest project. They are definitely rockers…with flourishes of blues and funk, but mostly this is a smoking mesh of John’s potent keyboard licks and Aster’s sultry vocals. Even the mellower songs have intensity and the “rockers” flat out blister. Hopefully, these two will decide to do more musical collaborations as the chemistry is positively electric. 

Joe Goodkin – Record of Loss
Quell Records – QR-1011
Chicago’s Joe Goodkin is making serious efforts to redefine “singer-songwriter.” With a mesmerizing voice and delectable guitarwork from his uniquely tuned 1960’s era Gibson, Joe clutches at your heart and soul from the first strains. Mostly bare-bones but also full-sounding, the music is hypnotic and entices you to experience his emotive stories. As the middle child of a three EP set, “Record Of Loss” is stunningly beautiful and undeniably real. 

Peter Karp – Alabama Town
Rose Cottage Records
Veteran singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalist Peter Karp has never forgotten his roots.  His eighth CD takes you back to his home state of Alabama weaving the homespun tales and varied musical styles into a wonderful Americana mosaic. The overall vibe explores various tendrils of the blues, but also wanders into paths of jazz, bounce, country, and good ol’ rock and roll. Featuring many prominent guests including long time cohort Mick Taylor, this CD is a songwriters and blues lovers’ delight.

Kathy and the Kilowatts – Let’s Do This Thing
Lectro Fine Records – 022017
Some musicians from music mecca Austin, TX feel they have to be eclectic for eclecticism’s sake. Kathy Murray draws from her Texas roots, and unleashes a rocking blues machine that is both comforting in its simplicity and ear-catching due to the talent and passion fused into it. Not ground-breaking, but done very well, this music just feels Texas real – as real as a pasture of long horn steers or the star on a Dallas Cowboys helmet. Kathy’s robust vocal croon and the wicked guitar pyrotechnics of her husband Bill “Monster” Jones make music that is entertainment in its purest form. 

David M’ore – Passion, Soul & Fire
Those three words that mark the third release of Argentina-born blues artist David M’ore are not mere hyperbole. From the first blistering guitar licks and the emotive chortles of his throaty voice, you know he possesses all three. He is also unafraid to be a bit unique with his songwriting, particularly with the microcosmic ten minute “You Said You Love Me” showcasing his deep talent well. David definitely feels “it” – that particular “it” that true masters of the blues always feel, and when he feels “it” he slams the throttles forward and doesn’t let go. 

Patty Reese – Let In The Sun
Azalea City Recordings – ACCD-1602
If any place should personify the blues at anytime, it should be Washington DC. Patty Reese though would personify the blues if she lived on the moon, because she obviously lives, breathes, and sweats it. From traditional back porch stompers to rollicking funk-fueled neon-splashed dancers, Patty lets loose, gracing every track with her provocative vocal power and heart-felt storytelling. Her music will grasp you and not let you go from start to finish…but you won’t want to go as all the songs are strong and enjoyable in their own ways. 


Capsule Reviews by Mark E. Waterbury

Debbie Bond – Enjoy The Ride: Shoal Sessions
Blues Root Productions – BRP1601
Debbie Bond’s deep Alabama roots shines through in her robust, soulful vocal work. Like Ann Wilson on a Bonnie Raitt trip, Debbie belts it out with the best, but also shows deft vocal and emotive control and an excellent range. The music co-written by partner Rick Asherson is non-pretentious feel good blues, rock and soul, the perfect compliment to Debbie’s vocal prowess. If you love ladies who sing the blues, don’t miss out on this one! 

Callenberg – Lost In The Mail
Bend Records – BENDCD002
Swedish alt rockers Callenberg producing music that is refreshing, intriguing and in many ways intoxicating. Pulsing ambient soundscapes with folksy subtleties and the right wafts of rock sensibility create songs that are both catchy and edgy. Emotively mesmerizing vocals and provocative stories are afloat on a sea of wondrous musical eccentricities. This group continues to show further maturity in their songwriting capabilities. 

Mark Cameron – Playing Rough
COP Records
From the wilds of southern Minnesota, Mark Cameron plays both rough and smooth. That is always the proper recipe for great blues; rough edges but a smooth delivery, and Mark’s vocals run their own balance of smoothness and emotive timbre. Comforting grooves and stoic rhythms are punctuated by searing guitar and harp licks. With both deep roots and edgy modern sensibilities, Mark channels his feelings through some very enjoyable tunes. 

Mary Ann Casale – Restless Heart
Subcat Music Records
Long Island born Mary Ann Casale has one of those husky, folksy voices that is infectious and works well with whatever music is augmenting it. You have a tasty feast here ranging from coffee-house folk to burlesque blues, from Americana rock to country boogie. Whatever the styles, Mary Ann’s vocals will snare you with their honest emotion and the intriguing stories conveyed. 

Trey Forbes – Restless Freedom
The music by this indie singer-songwriter is a bit on the raw side, but he makes no apologies for doing things a bit different, and that in itself makes this an intriguing CD. Wide ranging influences from West Coast punk to country folk, there is often an haunting ambience to the songs, giving them a nice edge and enticing you to hear more. Lyrically dark but also provocative, this music is interesting in all the right ways. 

Walter Forbes – Bull-Bat Time/Just For Fun
Veteran Georgia based song-smith and actor Walter Forbes seemingly has fueled a lifetime of musical and life influences into this highly enjoyable duo of CDs. Twisting and turning down the back roads of folk, country, Americana and Appalachian, this is story telling music at it’s purest and finest. From humorous to heartbreaking, life experiences to introspective views, this is music where you can hang on every word but also savor the musical and vocal talents that swirl around them like a cool Southern breeze. 

Mike Jacoby – NorthEastSouthWest
Born on one coast and now living on the other, Mike Jacoby draws influences more from the heartland and the south. Organic and folksy at times, and in your face rocking at others, this is a delectable blend of various tendrils of Americana. From the rocking “Nevermind Me” to the rollicking country blues of “Explaining To Do” and the sweet folk ballad “Lie In Bed,” Mike is quite talented in creating comfortingly intriguing music. 

Peter Karp – The Arson’s Match
KarpFoley Music
There are live albums and then there are live albums, and this one you can almost feel the sweat coming off Peter Karp and his cohorts as he unleashes his fiery blues/Americana rock gospel on the audience. Joined by legendary Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, Peter, Mick and the boys sizzle through a ten song set with crisp but lively production that transports you to the front row. You may end up sweating after listening to this, too. Also, 100% of the sales of this CD go to ovarian cancer research. 

R.B. Stone – Some Call It Freedom (Some Call It The Blues)
Middle Mountain Music
Actually you can call music from this stoic Ohio born blues master a lot of things. You can call it rock, you can call it country, you can call it roots and, yes, you can call it blues. You can also call it smoking as it is that type of blues that will just about literally cause smoke to waft from your CD players. Even the mellower songs have a potency to them, with snarling guitars, thick rhythms and R.B.’s robust vocals. I call it a killer CD! 

Von Zimmer – Freddie’s Extra Teeth
Tasty Treat Records
South Dakota does not sound like a state where you would expect edgy, punk influenced music to come from. Von Zimmer is changing that in a loud and distorted but clear voice. There is a depth of punk influences, from the early NY glammers to the L.A. hard core scene, with the added subtleties of folk, pop and Americana. It’s raw, it’s noisy, it spits in your face lyrically, but wasn’t that what punk was about? Von gets it and unleashes it with serious fervor.