Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Album Review: Joe Pitts, Ten Shades of Blue

Artist: Joe Pitts
Title: Ten Shades of Blue

Like most blues fans today, Joe Pitts crew up on a Classic Rock diet of Eric Clapton, Duane Allman and others. If you can say one thing about John Mayall, Cyril Davis and Alexis Korner, it is that their mission to prolong the blues, and serve it back stateside, was successful. Pitt’s album, ‘Ten Shades of Blue’ is an example of one man’s musical journey that would likely never have launched had England not sheltered the art form in the late 50’s and 60’s.

Neither demonstrative not dismissive, Pitts shows he can growl with the best of contemporary blues artists. As the album title suggests, Pitts covers ten artist that were influential to his musical journey. With an overt background in Classic Rock, there are some songs that play more to a rock audience than a blues audience. Water Trout’s heavy handed, ‘Clouds on the Horizon’ is a prime example of Pitts strapping on the electric guitar mantel. Pitts’ cover of Luther Allison’s, “Pain in the Streets” or Eric Gales’, “Freedom from My Demon’s” are showcases for Pitt to expand on this otherwise laconic styling’s.

Arkansas denizen Joe Pitts has traveled the world playing the blues. It is a journey that most listeners will be able to easily connect with: covers on this album include songs by Peter Green, Elmore James and Muddy Waters. On the tenth track, John Mayall’s, “The World Keeps on Turning” Pitts uses a resonator; adding texture to the album. The album is an above average full band electric sound in performance and arrangement.

Programmers can pick a cover and rest assured that Pitt’s authentic blues delivery will satiate a blues listenership.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Album Review: The Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Better Off

Artist: Kilborn Alley Blues Band
Title: Better Off Now

This is the quintessential contemporary blues band; white, Middle-American and offering a wide spectrum of tastes and talents. The new album by The Kilborn Alley Blues Band, ‘Better Off Now’ effectively uses historical blues textures, sounds, instruments and themes to deliver a modern blues sound that is familiar, fresh and nearly at once, comfortable.

Nurtured in the traditional a ‘50’s blues environment of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois; KABB cherry picks influences from among the genres finest including; Buddy Guy, B. B. King, Denise LaSalle and others. While the references may not be apparent, what is clear is this band understands the difference between playing a twelve bar and playing some blues. They are seeped and authentic.

While the opening track, “Nothin’ Left to Stimulate” will draw nods of approval and a smirk in a country bitten by a downturn in economics and opportunity, programmers will want to wade much deeper into the albums track listing to find gold. The albums title track, “Better Off” has a Stax R n’ B sensibility. Eric Michaels organ playing on the track, “Tonight” harkens to those halcyon days when blues and R n’ B were played side-by-side in jukeboxes and juke joints across the nation. Joe Asselin’s harmonica on “Keep Me Hangin’ ” provides a traditional Chicago blues track to round out an already strong record.

This is an exceptionally tasty album that opens slowly but is worth the wait. Singer Andrew Duncanson uses a straight-forward style with an appropriate hint of rasp that is especially effective in ballads and extended notes. KABB has been frequently nominated for awards and national recognition; with albums like, ‘Better Off’ it is apparent why critics, radio hosts and venue are paying close attention.