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a little bit of BK in VA

Posts Tagged "Blues"

MAILBAG UPDATE!

Songs by a few bands with potential…

Skunkmello-Live at Arlene’s Grocery

A collection of strong garage-rock/bluesy covers and originals. I especially like their choices (Jesus Just Left Chicago is probably my second favorite ZZ Top song, right after I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide). If you like this one, they’ve got a more recent bootleg also available free on Bandcamp and several other releases. Watch these guys, they’re cooking and ready to boil.

Irie Idea

It’s like quiet punk reggae blues. Like when Sublime would break into one of their more accessible acoustic moments. The songwriting isn’t quite where it needs to be yet, and the vocals need to get some heft (sing from the belly, not the head), but you can see there’s definitely something here. It’s a band worth watching.

Simon Adams

And I’ll close with the most traditional of the three bands I’m reviewing today. A nice, sweet, quiet EP by Simon Adams.

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RON LITTLEJOHN & THE FUNK EMBASSY-Shining On

Sometimes, you get the right album submitted for review at just the right time.  In my case, it was a week ago when I was recovering from yet another surgery but was actually starting to feel good and hopeful for the first time since January.  The album was alternately funky and blazing, hipsway and mellow cool, hip hop and old-style horns and rhythm section soul. Canada’s Ron Littlejohn & The Funk Embassy’s “Shining On.”

Who are these guys? Ron Littlejohn, formerly of Planet Earth, has a voice like a God. He should be up there with all the soul greats. He and co-songwriter Thierry Matrat, an extraordinary keyboard player and French hip hop artist, formed a collective. They wrote the album via e-mail, and then brought local area musicians to record this masterful record.

I can’t rave about it enough. If this doesn’t move you, you’re either dead or beyond hope. Buy it. Support the artists.
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BOLDER DAMN

Gritty bluesy ’60s style rock and roll.  Like Mountain, Black Mountain, and so many great Jagjaguwar records.  Speaking of which, I seem to have fallen off of Jag’s mailing list.  Oh, well.

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JAMES ARLOWE AND THE RUFFIAN CIRCUS-Insignificant Fire

Wow.

This album kicks ass. It simply kicks ass.

Driving blues, soulful vocals, steady bass and drums, and hooks, hooks, hooooooks!  They can do bouncy blues (Letters to Caroline), jammy drama that’ll make you think of The Allmans (or maybe even Sabbath’s first record) (Irish Funeral), and rock single/ballad (Man is the food of Man)…They can do it all.  Come to Virginia, guys, I need to see you!

And they’ve got tons of covers on their website.

And it’s self released–that’s the best part.  Get it here.  This is a band that deserves the chance to earn your support.

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