When I Rise By Cary Morin

March 20, 2020

Cary Morin is an artist who helps define the musical style Americana. He includes elements of folk, blues, and jazz into his approach, and it all coalesces into a distinct American sound.

His new album, When I Rise, consists of 10 original compositions and two cover songs. Drawing on his own experiences and the world around him, both real and imaginary, he is able to create stories rich in imagery.

Morin has a distinctive guitar sound. He is a precise picker who is able to layer his own sound so it appears he is playing both the lead and rhythm parts.

In addition to his own material, he tackles the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter “Dire Wolf,” but it is his take on Duane Allman’s “Little Martha” that really shines.

Cary Morin has carved out a niche for himself. When I Rise adds nicely to his expanding legacy.

Global Griot By Eric Bibb

March 20, 2020

Eric Bibb’s career has been one of exploration, creativity, and change. His early career found him as a gentle folk singer emulating Greenwich Village folk singers such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Odetta. As time passed he began fusing blues into his folk music. His latest album finds him returning to his cultural roots as he has added West African rhythms to his sound.

His latest release, Global Griot, continues his musical metamorphosis by exploring and adapting some of West Africa’s culture and stories into his music. The word griot is an African word for a member of a caste who is responsible for maintaining an oral record  of tribal history through music, poetry, and storytelling. He expands this concept as he moves his music outward into the world around him.

Global Griot is a career defining statement and his most distictive and powerful to date. It is also his most ambitious as it contains 24 songs spread over two discs.

Sometimes his approach belies the social commentary as “We Don’t Care,” “What’s He Gonna Say Today,” “Race And Equality,” and “Where’s The Money At” tackle a number of social and political issues.

Bibb has always had a spiritual presence in his music and here songs such as “Let God,” “Listen For The Spirit,” and a simple “Michael, Row Da Boat Ashore” provide a nice counterpoint to the other material as they as interspersed throughout the album.

Anyone acquainted with the music of Eric Bibb will find Global Griot full of surprises, yet never straying too far from the familiar. Several decades in his career, he may have produced his most accomplished album of music.

VHS BY Dr. Chrispy

March 20, 2020

Very few musicians have taken a more unusual or circuitous journey to issuing their first album than Chris Boshuizen, professionally known as Dr. Chrispy.

Boshuizen holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Sydney, and for nearly two decades was employed by NASA. Now working for his own company Planet Labs, he has helped design over 200 satellites.

In his spare time he began creating music on his computer. His hobby has now come to fruition in the release of his debut album VHS.

As one might expect from his former profession, this is an album of electronica that travels on the outer edge of structured music. There is a nostalgic quality contained in the music but it is synthetic and technological and will only appeal to a niche audience that is willing to listen to music outside the mainstream.

There is a theme and a personal sense to the project. The songs were written in and inspired by cities that he experienced in his travels. Their inspiration inspired his creative thoughts and process and are reflected in the titles.

Dr. Chrispy is now travelingg a different journey of exploration. If you are inclined to take a trip outside the norm, then you might want to give VHS a try.

Kind Of A Drag By The Buckinghams

February 16, 2020

The Buckinghams were a band from the north side of Chicago. Signed to the city-based label USA, they reached number one for two weeks, beginning February 18, 1967. It was a bright piece of rock and roll history driven by the horn section.

The large Columbia label quickly signed the band and they had five more hits. “Don’t You Care,” “Mercy Mercy Mercy,” “Susan,” “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song)” and “Back In Love Again.” Two years later the Buckinghams were no more.

Left behind was their Columbia producer Williams Guercio who learned his lessons well and went on to produce Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago.

I’m A Believer By The Monkees

February 16, 2020

At the beginning of November 1966, The Monkees had a new television show and a number one hit. “The Last Train To Clarksville” spent one week at the top of the charts.

By the end of the year, The Monkees were stars and their commercial popularity rivaled that of the Beatles. They also had a new number one hit. “I’m A Believer” reached the top of the charts, December 31, 1966, and remained there for seven weeks.

There was still controversy about their involvement in the creation of the music and remains so to this day. Still, they produced one of the biggest hits of the decade.

Complicated Mess By Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones

February 13, 2020

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones have issued a new album titled Complicated Mess. Despite the title, the album is neither complicated nor a mess. It is an album of solid modern day blues.

Deming takes the simple approach fronting the bassist Andrew Gohman and drummer Marty Dodson, with gust appearances by Kim Wilson, Little Charlie Baty, Sax Gordon, and Bob Welch, who bring their harp, piano, and guitar talents to various tracks. The added musicians bring additional energy and depth to the basic trio.

Through the ten original tunes and three cover songs, Deming remains true to original blues traditions. As an artist, guitarist, and vocalist; he understands the blues and its heritage. “Sweet Poison,” “Need My Baby,” “Cookin’ At The Kitchen,” “Rat Killin,’” and the title track all pay tribute to the past, while maintaining enough modern elements to make them relevant and entertaining.

Two cover songs stand out. Sam Thread’s “You Rascal You” and Fats Domino’s I’m Walkin’” both undergo a modern metamorphosis.

Doug Deming is now two decades into his career. He has carved out a nice niche for himself as he continues to produce an excellent fusion of new and old blues. Complicated Mess is another fine step on his blues journey.

Blue By Dale Bundy

February 13, 2020

Dale Bundy is a veteran of the contemporary blues scene with close to 40 years experience. He has just released his debut solo album titled Blue comprised of five original songs and four covers.

Guitarist/singer Bundy is a blues everyman as he explores everything from comtemporary to the traditional blues of the Southern Delta. He plays and sings with a ligher touch than what one would expect and sets him apart from many of the other blues artists working today.

His lyrics fit the blues as they deal with life’s ebbs and flows. Add in such blues staples as “Big Legged Woman,” “The Thrill Is Gone,” and “Trouble In Mind” and you have an auspicious debut album.

Dale Bundy is one of those musicians who has spent decades perfecting his craft and has finally brought that experience into the studio. Blue is a solid first album.