Want your new music reviewed? We accept electronic submissions via email at info @ nightflying.com, or send two copies of your new CDs or records to Nightflying Reviews, PO Box 82, Perry, AR 72125. Please include contact information, your web site and/or Facebook addresses and a brief bio if they are not included in your album's liner notes. Lyric sheets always help decipher the Mick Jaggers of the world...
OPOSSUM AND PRATIES
This is the most wonderful new recording I have heard in many years. The 15 song set flows from tune to tune. On the surface I'd say this music is a superb collection of Irish-Scot folk songs, but upon further listening it more appears to be lilting musical poetry that immediately creates loving peace.
I wouldn't put this on for some rowdy party…rather, it's the sort of collection you might go off in the corner with by yourself, and relax and dream with.
Nancy McCallion is a sweet singer, and also playes guitar and tin whistle; Danny Krieger plays guitar, slide guitar, adds vocals, and, according to the liner notes, "ill-prepared piano"; Heather Hardy adds violin and vocal harmonies; Ralph Gilmore handles drums and percussion; and Catherine Zavala adds vocal harmonies on "Johnny Will You Cross."
For further information about this great musical artist, please visit www.nancymccallion.com.
I LIKE IT ALL
This is a rocking bluesy record produced by a local young artist. I'd heard him live a couple times and was mind-blown by his naturally superior guitar playing and musical understanding…far older than his years would suggest.
His stage personna is also that of a polished lifelong musician three times his age.
And his songwriting sounds of a man who's spend a lifetime riding boxcars across the country, guitar in hand, picking for his dinner.
I like it all is his first cd…a polished collection of 8 original songs, written and produced completely.
This recording is available at Amazon.com.
I'M A BLUESMAN
Michael Burks was a Bluesman. No doubt about it.
The only more obvious truth is that Michael Burks was taken from his Blues Family way too early, passing away while getting off a plane on his way home after one of his many European tours in 2012.
I'm A Bluesman brings Michael back to us for one more celebration of his music. The twelve tracks come from a session recorded in 1998, early in Michael's career. They include originals written by Burks and his producers, as well as a couple of very tasty covers, including Hall & Oates' "Sara Smile". There is a rule in doing covers in the Blues World... if you do a cover, make it your own. 'Iron Man' did exactly that, taking a pop hit and turning it into a plaintive blues song that showcased both Burks vocals and guitar abilities.
Burks was joined in the studio by Lance Womack and Paul Lee on drums, Vernon Allgood and Bob Greenlee on bass, Doug Bare on keys, Ace Moreland and Warren King on rhythm guitar and Bill Samuel on horns. Moreland and King were also the engineers for the session, and contibuted backing vocals on Burk's cover of Lou Pride's "I DIdn't Take Your Woman". The sessions were produced by Paul Lee, Bob Greenlee and Wightman Harris.
For your own copy, please visit MichaelBurks.com! Or, send an $18 check or money order to Michael Burks, PO Box 1087 North Little Rock, AR 72115.
NOTS is a Memphis based band consisting of Natalie Hoffman on guitar and vocals, Alexandra Eastburn on synthesizers, Charlotte Watson on drums and Meredith Lones on bass.
NOTS has confidence and music that lays waste to the wasteland without romantic attachment to a thing. Still a wild guitar band, but above and below the guitar, bass and drum pound, Alexandra Eastburn's analog synth blurps melodies and nonsense, teasing squiggles of freedom which defy the false grid of modern life.
Cosmetic? Emetic? "Monotone Lust" indeed. With Hoffmann on guitar and vocals, Eastburn on synth, Charlotte Watson beating drums, and Meredith Lones steering a solid path through the chaos on bass, NOTS are neither content with the smug "stare at your shoes" approach of bands from both coasts, nor an Earth-hugging "we need to get back to nature" hippie copout.
For a sample, visit https://soundcloud.com/gonerrecords/nots-dust-red-goner-records, or check out their Facebook Page.
Blind Lemon Pledge
This is a real nice recording.
The vocals are reminiscent of early Tom Waits, and the band sounds like it would be really hot band to hear live.
My favorite cut here is "You Can't Get There From Here", a very heartfelt song, that reminds one of the typical relationship breakup when the person who left wants to come back, despite having broken a heart when leaving.
Blind Lemon Pledge is essentially James Byfield, credited as doing vocals, instruments, composition and production; Jerry Reed provides harmonica, Rick LeCompte adds saxophone.
Please visit www.blues.James-creative.com for more info, and/or to purchase this excellent recording.
Matthew Darrell Wilson
Matthew Darrell Wilson is a singer-songwriter and multi-instramentalist who bases in Pocola, Oklahoma. This cd has 14 songs, with music ranging from rock to country, lots of good music and several real good tracks.
It arrived with a hand-written note on loose-leaf paper, which I will sell on eBay in a few years when Matthew hits the big time. Which he will.
To contact him, call (479)739-8856 or visit matthewdarrellwilson.com.
The Dirty Earth
This 10 song cd arrived from Australia. The Dirty Earth is a strong 4-piece band that plays hard-driving rock 'n' roll like a Mack truck. Mandy Newton on vocals, Raff Iacurto on guitar, Leon Cadden on drums, and Darren Staite on bass.
I don’t know if they are planning to tour here or not, but going from this cd, I think they should, as I know many hard rock fans that are always looking for a fix.
Visit www.thedirtyearth.com or find them on Facebook (Facebook.com/thedirtyearth) for more information.
I AIN'T LYIN'...
I ain't lyin' when I say Charlie Musselwhite is still on top of his game. There's no groundbreaking new piece here; it's all vintage. On the other hand, it's all vintage Charlie Musselwhite. That's a good thing if you like blues harp by a master, who can also sing well. Visit CharlieMusselwhite.com and you'll find all kinds of data on him and more than a few of his tunes.
GROOVIN' AT THE CROSSE ROADS
Ruf Records, no kidding? That's a new one on me, as is Heather Crosse. Or rather as she was before I realized I'd heard her before in Heavy Suga & The Sweetones, which we reviewed in these pages some time ago. Heather writes or co-writes most of these tracks, which along with a handful of covers are hot tracks indeed, except for the truly cool ones. I'd be hard pressed to pin a particular style on her, as she goes from blues to R & B to soul to jazz easy as pie (and who says pie is easy?).
Reckon I'm deafer than I thought, because I was going to praise “The Car Sale Shuffle” until I looked (luckily I didn't lose this jacket) and realized it's “The Clarksdale Shuffle.”
Oh well. She's a bass guitarist as well as lead vocalist and she gets some fine licks from guitarist Dan Smith along with some backup vocals. Other backing vocalists are Sandy Carroll and Vicki Atkins. Mark Vacavone tickles the ivories and displays a mean touch on organ. Percussionist/drummer Lee Williams keeps the beat and adds backup vocals. “Bad Boy Kiss” could be like a country/pop crossover and “Call On Me” is almost gospel, hell, go ahead and call it Gospel.
She has a good strong voice that she can make sweet or savage (as on “You Don't Move Me No More”). I just can't find enough superlatives for Heather Crosse and this album. It's a great selection of movin' music by a fine woman and a remarkable band. Give her a listen and you'll probably find yourself moving. Yeah. By the way, this album came with a Ruf catalog, reminding me of other Ruf albums I've reviewed. So, my memory is going too. More data at HeatherCrosse.com.
WE PLAY BOTH KINDS OF MUSIC: RHYTHM & BLUES
Mike Dollins Band
We've featured quite a few Mike Dollins albums, from solo guitar to full band. This is one of the best if not the best, both for musicianship and for variety.. Mike and his bandmates play blues for the most part, but it's mostly rockin' blues, and they also lean heavily on jazz influences such as Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, and Grant Green. They even get into a Frank Zappa groove at one point. I don't know who is playing what on this album beside Mike; I have no info on that, but I do know that he has had some damned good musicians playing with him and he's played with lots of bad cats in his day. This aggregate of guys (let me not be sexist, might be a gal or two in there too) comes on like they've been playing together forever. It's nice to hear such a tight band playing such a varied repertoire. He's an old hand who may be old school in many ways, but never old fashioned. He and his group play this stuff as if they just came up with it. Refer to www.mikedollins.biz for further data.
LET IT GO
Ms Carey does not have the most refined voice, but she makes up for that with energy. I'm sure she's in for the long haul and will develop not only her voice but also her technique and style. She's a cutie. I know that's sexist, but I don't give a damn. If women don't want us looking at them, they should give up makeup and revealing outfits. Not that Ms Carey wears skimpy things, but she does wear a bit of blush, light lipstick, and subtle eyeliner, plus a cowboy hat so she's even cuter. This is country, but it rocks. One cut (“Sweet Love”) sounds like late '50s / early '60s girl group stuff. John Heinrich joins her on steel sax and clarinet; Grant Nicholas (call him G'nick) adds trumpet. John McDuffie plays steel guitars and Heather Wiggins and Byron Holly sing back up. Unfortunately for me, she includes a song that I have hated ever since the first time I heard it (“Walking On Sunshine”). Sorry. See www.eileencarey.com for more stuff.
Liner notes tell us that it took her awhile to get this product out to us. She is backed up on a dozen originals by J P Cormier on instrumentation: fiddles and mandolin and I think I even heard a banjo in there, plus guitar and vocals. Ms Carla is a pretty good picker for a southpaw. This was recorded at Cormier Recordings in Westville, Nova Scotia. You can find out more about her on Facebook or perhaps catch her on Youtube or www.carlabonnell.com.
SING YOUR OWN SONG
Lot o' good pickin' and singin' on this disc, ranging from smokin' to smoky. Blue Largo is (I think) the very talented vocalist Alicia Aragon with Eric Lieberman on guitars plus Jonny Viau on tenor and baritone sax and Dave Castel de Oro on tenor, Taryn Donath on piano, Rafael Salmon on organ, and a whole host of drummers and bassists, including Marcus Bashore, Ron Felton, Art Kraatz, Joey Jazdzewski, Nathan Jones, and Marty Dodson. Oh yeah, and Mike Tempo on claves. Not to mention backup singers Missy Andersen and Connor Hayes Gressitt. They produce some swingin' sounds even on the downbeat. If you have eclectic taste, this is definitely for you. More data and music at www.BlueLargoBlues.com.
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