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August 20, 2010 

© 2010 Blues Blast Magazine

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Hey Blues Fans,

Bob Hampton of Chicago Illinois won a free CD by voting in the Blues Blast Music Awards this week. The new CD by nominee Fiona Boyes is on the way to Bob. You could win too so be sure to vote this week.

Next week we will be drawing for 2 free tickets to the 2010 Blues Blast Music Award ceremonies on October 28th, 2010 at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. Be sure you vote before August 31st. To cast your vote now, CLICK HERE.

Blues Wanderings

We made it out to the Blues Night at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield Illinois this week to hear Candye Kane. Candye is nominated for  Best Female Blues Artist in the 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards and it was easy to understand why the nominators chose her.

She played a great set to a packed crowd in the Miller Beer Tent. Her guitar player Laura Chavez is incredible!

Dave Herrero was up next and he had another great Blues guitar player, Felix Reyes with him.


That's what we call a great night of Blues!

In This Issue

Marilyn Stringer reviews the Sonora Blues Festival.

We have six new CD reviews this week! James "Skyy Dobro" Walker reviews a new CD by Eddie Turner.  Sheralyn Graise reviews a new CD by Smilin' Bobby. Greg 'Bluesdog' Szalony reviews a new CD by Rocky Jackson.  Gary “Wingman” Weeks reviews a new CD by Eric Gales. Ian McKenzie reviews a new CD by Cathy Lemons And Johnny Ace and Steve Jones reviews a new CD by Outlaw X. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!

 Featured Blues Review 1 of 6

Eddie Turner - Miracles and Demons

Northern Blues Records

13 tracks; 54:24 minutes; Splendid

Style: Contemporary Electric Blues, Blues-Rock, Jazz, R&B

So much Blues; so little time! My apologies go to Eddie Turner for being a late arrival at his party. I missed his first two CDs, and have only now caught up with album number three (since 2005), all on the Northern Blues label. My publisher had been telling me for two years how I have been missing out.

I discovered that Eddie Turner is anything but stale! He is inventive, experimental, edgy, yet well rooted. His intellect and sense of adventure have taken him, along with producer and fellow musician (keyboards, bass, vocals, arrangements) Kenny Passarelli, into some sonic territories that are pleasantly different in texture with only smidges of excess here and there. His sounds are impossible to ignore; the nuances are simply attention grabbing. Turner’s website bio explains, “His ethereal style is an amalgam of the [born-in-Cuba-raised-in-Chicago,] Afro-Cuban rhythms of his heritage and the music that influenced him as a teenager: Chicago Blues, Jazz, R&B, and Psychedelic Rock.

Some sounds are haunting, some exhilarating, some Jimi Hendrix shrill, and all with a solid and intricate rhythm section courtesy of Marc Clarke - Latin congas and percussion, Mark Clark – drums, and Jimmy Trujillo – bass. Tim Stroh is listed as co-producer.
Here is master song craftsmanship on display – the dance between Turner’s arsty lyrics, lead vocals and vocal harmonies, and the musical score. For example, try “Miss Carrie” for a song where waves of sound from blended layers of lush organ, guitar, and percussion wash over the listener like waves of water on the edge an ocean beach. Forty years ago, a reviewer of a song like this would suggest that it be heard best while stoned.

“Miracles and Demons” is a set of thirteen originals exploring the paradoxes and polar extremes in a lifelong need for love. There’s both pleasure and pain and, “walking [in] through [Turner’s] door,” both Miracles and Demons. The title track is divided into Parts one and two, and it is where you’ll hear experimental sounds (especially Part two) beside some deft acoustic guitar. Try “Mr. Blues” for more feedback guitars.

While this album is not straight up Blues, the first song is – until the final seven seconds. Kicking off with normal-enough-sounding guitar and a shuffle rhythm, “Booty Bumpin’” will please any purist. The final seven seconds sound a little like a record being played backwards. I think it is Turner’s way of telling us there is much more coming from him and his mates than “normal.”

First to be played on the Friends of the Blues Radio Show this Saturday night will be “Ride a Painted Pony” with its swampy rhythm. Full of shimmering guitar and a killer mid-song solo, “...Pony” finds Turner singing about a titillating “Miss Rosie.”

I must also play “Say” which opens with slide guitar before breaking into a Funk filled, guitar variety showcase. “Because of You” has a mellow groove to support the lyrics of the narrator confessing he has been a fool “because of you.” Ear-worm catchy is “I Remember” with a R&B groove and soft, but wailing guitar.

Some refer to Eddie Turner as a guitar god. He's been profiled in Blues Revue, Guitar Edge, and has been reviewed in almost every guitar magazine. This CD is not straight-ahead Blues, but its meld of styles is interesting and very entertaining. I probably was not supposed to like this album, but I found most of it intoxicatingly enjoyable!.

Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at in Kankakee, IL.

To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE 

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Blues Society News

 Send your Blues Society's BIG news or Press Release to:  

You can submit a maximum of 175 words or less in a Text or MS Word document format.

The West Virginia Blues Society - Huntington, W.V.

The WV Blues Society, Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District, and Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau have got together and will honor WV native Diamond Teeth Mary McClain on August 27, 2010, in Huntington, WV at Heritage Village, 210 11th Street in the Downtown area, from 4pm to 10pm - FREE TO THE PUBLIC!!

WVBS will unveil the historical marker commemorating Diamond Teeth Mary McClain, present awards for the 1st Annual Diamond Teeth Mary Youth Art Competition where local youngsters will present their interpretations of “the blues”, and celebrate with music by:

John Taylor- acoustic blues virtuoso and blues historian
Maynard Chapman and Black Sedan- Huntington’s own rockin’ bluesman
Liz Pennock and Dr. Blues- the boogie-woogie duo friends of Diamond Teeth Mary herself
Nat Reese- The WV Bluesman, 2009 WV Music Hall of Fame inductee, 1995 Vandalia Award Winner.

Come join us for an evening celebrating our great array of artists, artisans, craftsmen, children, musicians and above all, WV’s own Diamond Teeth Mary McClain.

Windy City Blues Society - Chicago, IL

The Windy City Blues Society is proud to announce the 2010 Chicago Blues Challenge; a competition featuring some of the finest blues talent the Windy City has to offer. Winners of the Chicago Blues Challenge will represent the Windy City Blues Society and Chicago at the 2011 International Blues
Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee from February 1-5, 2011. Performers can compete in three categories: Solo/Duo, Band, and Youth. The Chicago Blues Challenge will have competitions in August and September, with finals in early November.

Chicagoland musicians can apply to compete in the Chicago Blues Challenge starting July 19. Deadline for the Solo/Duo and Youth category is August 15, and for the Band category is September 1. Applications can be obtained and returned at several area blues clubs. The application and more information on the Chicago Blues Challenge can also be found at, and more information can also be found on our Facebook, MySpace and Twitter page

Alabama Blues Project - Northport, AL

On Thursday, September 16, 2010, Tuscaloosa will have a rare treat when internationally acclaimed, Grammy nominee (and Blues Blast Music Award Nominee) Ruthie Foster will perform at the Bama Theatre 600 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL in a benefit concert for the Alabama Blues Project. For sponsorship and ticket inquiries please call (205) 752-6263 or email Cara Smith at

Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

MVBS presents Candye Kane and her band on Sunday August 29 at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf. Show time is 7:00 p.m.; admission is $10, $8 for MVBS members. For more information visit

Crossroads Blues Society - Rockford, IL

Crossroads Blues Society is producing their very first Blue festival this year. The Byron Crossroads Blues Festival will run from noon to midnight on Saturday, August 28, 2010, in downtown Byron, Illinois.

The festival lineup includes The Resistors, noted artists Filisko and Noden, The Cashbox Kings, Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band and Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames. For more information visit the Crossroads website at:

The Friends Of The Blues - Watseka, IL

2010 Friends of the Blues shows -  August 24, Chicago Kingsnakes, 7 pm , Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club, September 2, Ivas John Band, 7 pm , Moose Lodge, N State Rt 50 ( Kinzie Ave ), Bradley IL, September 21, Shawn Pittman, 7 pm , Kankakee Valley Boat Club, October 12, Too Slim & Taildraggers, 7 pm , Kankakee Valley Boat Club, October 26, Perry Weber & DeVilles, 7 pm , Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club. For more info see: 

Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL

BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $3 cover. August 23 – Bryan Lee “Blind Blues Daddy”, August 28 – ICBC Blues Challenge at the Old Capitol Blues & BBQ, August 30 – Kilborn Alley Blues Band



Paramount Blues Festival 

Friday - September 17
Maple Road, October Soul, Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo, The Jimmys


Saturday - September 18
Eric Noden & Joe Filisko, Leroy Airmaster w/ guests Greg Koch & Jim Liban, Robert Allen Jr & the Zootsuits with Cadillac Pete. Grana Louise, Dennis Jones, Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials, Zac Harmon

Festival Website:

 Featured Blues Review 2 of 6

Smilin’ Bobby & Hidden Charms - Big Legged Woman

Wolf Records

10 tracks

I live in a fairly large metropolitan area. It’s the capital of a state with the seventh highest population in the nation. For some reason, we have regular power outages. The last one was just under three hours. After I lit all of the candles, I contemplated what to do next. It was evening but way too early to go to bed. So, I decided to dig out my portable CD player and headphones and insert fresh batteries to listen to Big Legged Woman by Smilin’ Bobby. I had read the liner notes a few days before and I was a little apprehensive. The liner notes were extensive. It is possible to provide too much information. The liner note writer did Smilin’ Bobby a disservice. In stead of focusing on the good, he wrote about uneven musicianship, bad backing bands, and inappropriate venues and the like. As it turned out, listening to Big Legged Woman was a pleasant way to pass the time.

I love a good instrumental and the CD starts with a good one with “I Play For Keeps.” The second track, “I Didn’t Know” has an old rock and roll feel to it and his voice on it is gruff and gritty. “Cold, Cold Feeling” gets blusier. “Big Legged Woman” has a steady beat with the guitar swirling around it almost psychedelically. You can hear all the nuances listening with the headphones in the dark. “Little By Little,” “I Got To Leave This Woman,” and “They Call Me Dog” are average fare that probably are best suited for a live performance. “The Bobby Strut” is another fine instrumental. “You Don’t Love Me” is my favorite, It’s headed to my mp3 player which is the highest level of praise I can give because that means I want to carry it around with me. The song has a definite Chicago wang dang vibe to it. (I made that description up.) “You Are The One” is a good number to end the CD. It’s a positive song, no you done me wrong, I done you wrong.

Smilin’ Bobby is Bobby G. Smith, originally from Helena Arkansas. His stage name is based on his sunny disposition as evidenced by the numerous photos of him smiling on the liner notes. Bobby is the vocalist and lead guitarist. The Hidden Charms on this CD are: Brian Reed also on guitar, Warren Lethan on bass, and Myron Katz on drums. Smilin’ Bobby is another talented musician’s musician that the average lay person has never heard of. He has played with Little Walter, Eddie Clearwater, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor, and others. His early influences were his grandmother who played piano and Magic Sam with whom he also played. His later influences were Little Milton, Albert King and Albert Collins. He plays “modern” Chicago Blues and R&B. Although, people seem to forget that the B in R&B stands for Blues. So in a sense, it’s all the same. Big Legged Woman is good stuff. I now listen to the CD with the power on too..

Reviewer Sheralyn Graise graduated from the University of Akron a while back. A former Social Services professional, she is now pursuing other interests such as music history, writing, and photography. She has been a member of the Blues Foundation since 2001.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Festival Review

Fire on the Mountain Sonora Blues Festival

Photos & Commentary by Marilyn Stringer

Fire on the Mountain, nestled in the Sonora Fairgrounds, up in gold country, may only last one day but it is a mighty festival with a strong main-stage line-up, an indoor (air-conditioned) stage with lots of seating and a large dance floor (which was always full and active), and an indoor workshop stage, MC’d by Mick Martin & Thom Myers, conducting Q&A’s and audience interaction. So when the temperature outdoors soars to the 90’s, and the spaces below the giant shade trees are packed and the misting tent is full of dancers, there is refuge indoors with great entertainment. But the sun & heat was welcomed by most of us NorCal residents, who have lived under a persistent marine layer all summer, and the festival was as good as it gets.

Main Stage: The Alastair Greene Band, a mainstay of Southern Cal. for over twenty years, was the perfect high-energy kick-off to the festival. Joined by Tom Lackner (drums), and Jim Rankin (bass), his solid blues/rock guitar playing was impressive-a new find for me!

The Laurie Morvan Band, also from SoCal –Long Beach to be exact – was next up and they are one of my favorite Cal blues bands, and have gotten to see them a few times this year. And if you know Laurie’s style, she winds up and then cuts loose on the guitar, shredding it with style. You forget she is that “skinny legged white chic” when she is rolling. The band includes Lisa Grubbs (vocals), Pat Moran (bass), Tommy Salyers (piano), and Donto James (drums).

Well dressed, cool and refreshed, that is the best description for Rick Estrin & the Nightcats. The heat didn’t stop them for a second. Kid Anderson had J Hays (drums) fretting for him, or Rick helping out, and he never missed the dance beat on the stage. Lorenzo Farrell was mighty fine on the bass. I was fascinated when Rick played an entire song on the harmonica-it was stuck straight in his mouth (not the normal direction), no hands – now that is talent!

Nick Moss & The Flip Tops, all the way from Chicago, wowed the west coast crowd. I have only seen Nick a couple of times, playing with other bands, and always thought he was kind of quiet. But this was the first time I actually saw him with his band and realized that he may subtle in his movements but powerful in the results. What a range of music he and the band produced. And his new CD –which I was inspired to buy - is outside the box and so in the zone. The band included Nik Skilnik (Bass), “Piano Willie” Oshawny, and Bob Carter (drums).

Michael Burks, who had arrived half-way through the 2:15 workshop (see below) after driving all night, was the blues machine Iron Man we all know and love. He is equally soulful, deep blues, kid at play, and pure musician when he is on stage along with his band: Popcorn Louden keeping it straight on the drums, Wayne Sharp- rock-star on the B3, and Oskar (last name unknown still) oohing on the bass. They stuck around for the after party and kept playing late into the night.

Roy Rogers and The Delta Rhythm Kings: what can I say except if you have never seen him perform, then you must. Roy is the slide guitar wizard, intense rockin’ blues, and when partnered up with the equally amazing fiddle player, Carlos Reyes, you have an explosion on the stage-music and fun! With Steve Ehrman on bass and Billy Lee Lewis on drums, who both have their own unique style, it was a mesmerizing set. Wow!

The Piano Boogie, aka Pianorama, was scheduled next but due to some difficulties, it was cut a little short. But what we got was worth the wait. Piano Willie (Nick Moss Band), Deanna Bogart, and Tony Stead (Tommy Castro Band) started out on three pianos, only to join up at the end with a six-handed boogie woogie extravaganza.

The final act of the day was The Tommy Castro Band, with Deanna Bogart joining them on keyboards and sax. She has toured with them quite a few times with the Legendary Blues Revue. And as usual, they had everyone dancing and singing along. Great fun that went nice and late – we loved every minute of it. The band includes Ronnie Smith (drums), Scot Sutherland (bass), Tony Stead (keyboards), Keith Crossan (sax) and Tom Poole (trumpet). It is great to hear each them do their solos, as they are all extremely talented in their own right and together they just rock!

SIERRA STAGE: the place to cool off and dance (aren’t those mutually exclusive?) was the indoor Sierra Stage. The bands were geared for dancing and were mostly from CA. I didn’t catch them all but the ones I did were fantastic. First up was Loose Change (names unknown).

Then Mick Martin with Tim Barnes (who was part of a workshop later in the day)

One of the best dance and “big band” soul and blues sets was Big MO and The Full Moon Band with Carlos Reyes and Volker Strifler. Big MO (Maurice Hauffman) decided one day (so I heard) to put together a blues band and this was IT – he did a great job! Volker Strifler (guitar) has his own blues band and was just a headliner at two earlier festivals so to see him as part of this group was a treat. And Carlos was everywhere – later to be seen with Roy Rogers. The rest of the band included Eric Weber (sax), Hal Race (Drums) Patrick Hilton (trumpet), Steve Valine (pedal steel), Terry Smith (keys), and the bass player (unknown name). They packed the bulding!

Mike Hammer & The Nails, who are headed off to the IBC’s in January, are pretty popular in NorCal, and deserve it. They are a great blues band and Mike was part of the Blues Guitar Jam/Workshop earlier in the day. The band members are Sparky Gehres (bass) and Greg Merino (drums), Allan Carroll (keyboard), and Jim Pederson (harmonica).

WORKSHOPS: The Workshop Stage had a great variety of subjects and included Q&A’s with the performers. My stops down there were brief, but fun when I could sit a minute. Valerie Johnson & Al B Blue did a workshop on instruments and blues topics.

Roy Rogers, Carlos Reyes, and Volker Strifler did a jam and blues guitar workshop. It is always great to hear about influences and how they all got a start in music.

And the last workshop I made it to was Blues Guitar Jam #1 with (L-R) Tim Barnes, Alastair Greene, Michael Burks, Mike Hammer, and Nick Moss. When I arrived, Michael B had not arrived yet and the Q &A was in process. That is when I got to see the subtle Nick Moss humor at work. Very subtle, very funny. And then Michael B slid in his seat and added his humor to the conversation. At one point, Nick told MC Thom Myers that HE had a question. The room went silent. Nick very calmly asked “All I want to know is has this stage been weight tested? We have a lot of PSI going on here.” Well that got everyone in the audience laughing and the guys on the stage a little nervous. I though it was hilarious!! Go Nick. Tim Barnes (the smallest guy on the left by half) and I got a good laugh about that later, after he was safely off the stage.

Hats off to Richard Burleigh and Corinne Grandstaff for organizing a wonderful festival. Thanks for the Fire on the Mountain Blues Festival – it is definitely a NorCal favorite! (

Eventual set of photos at

 Featured Blues Review 3 of 6

Rocky Jackson - Testify!

High Life Records


Good intentions, able guitar skills and vocals don't necessarily a great blues record make. Rocky opens up with an overlong version of Muddy Waters' "I Just Want To Make Love To You" handling lead and rhythm guitar duties adequately but otherwise marred by his affected vocal. On "Stop Breakin' Down" he comes off sounding like Peter Green which suits the song by giving a nod to Green. His out-and-out Jimmy Reed imitation on Reed's "Don't Say Nothin'" is an 'oh my gawd' moment of embarrassment.

His vocal delivery works better when he uses his natural voice that has enough of a rough edge of it's own. He's a good guitar player  and he's more comfortable when executing one of his originals. The jaunty Texas shuffle groove adorning "Big Legs Don't Mean Fat" and "I Wanna Testify( About My Baby)" tend to grow on you. The same can be said of "Early In The Morning" where Michael Fell's harmonica provides nice accents as it does elsewhere. His harp and Rocky's guitar work well in tandem on the instrumental "Like Magic" a tribute to the late, great Magic Sam.

"Voodoo Spell" points out the lack of developed and more imaginative lyrics. "Chicken-Legged Woman" has a back porch acoustic vibe with clichéd lyrics. Rocky saves the best for last....."L.A. To Austin" clicks in on all fronts as his Johnny Winter-ish slinky slide compliments the lyrics nicely.

Rocky has the guitar skills and a pleasing natural blues voice, but needs to find and use his own 'voice'. More thought should also be given to his original songs, besides using them as jumping off points for his guitar workouts. Only then will he deliver a more even performance. The blurb on the jacket says 'Old School Roots With A Modern Edge'. That modern edge got rounded off somewhere, it's nowhere to be found. When Rocky and band shape there skills into something they can call their own, then they will have something to testify about. Until that time the few bright spots here will have to hold us.

Reviewer Greg 'Bluesdog' Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog's Doghouse at

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Blues Review 4 of 6

Eric Gales - Relentless

Blues Bureau International

On his latest cd Relentless, guitarist/vocalist Eric Gales dishes out the same platter of power chords, Sabbath riffs, ZZ Top lines and Hendrix/Vaughan shaman notes that permeated his previous releases. While there is nothing ground-breaking in this song selection, its overall presentation isn't marked by weaknesses. On the other hand, this material just explodes.

Gales doesn't belong in the traditional blues category. He's too busy cranking out molten lava rock in "Bad Lawbreaker," mean metal lines in "Block The Sun" and Eric Johnson/Joe Satriani signature licks in "Universal Peacepipe." But the blues influence lies beneath the aggressive attack Gales unleashes. One listen to "The Change In Me" indicates how Eric commits musical thievery by stealing from ZZ Top's "La Grange."

Though Gales is a left-handed African-American player, he doesn't only play a Jimi Hendrix bag of licks. The Hendrix influence is felt in "On The Wings of Rock 'n' Roll" with its spacy electric church vibe.

The lyrics to Gales' songs are autobiographical: Tall tales of redemption. Breaking the law. Struggles with sobriety. Problems with the law. Keeping company with lowlife characters. Perfect counterpoints for music embedded in an urban rock blitzkrieg.

Gales is young. But you can tell that the classic rock era of the sixties and seventies informs his work. He uses a John Lee Hooker groove in "Make It There" to furiously drag the song across its finish line with a heart wrenching solo.

Because so much bombastic fury surrounds this music, it's a nice welcome when Gales plugs into a happy shuffle with "The Finest Club In Town." It moves fast with Eric's searing guitar hooks but it's some relief. There's also a slow scorch in "When You've Got No Place To Go" with Gales dipping into a mojo bag of Hendrix/Vaughan appetizers.

Running over an hour, some songs could have been left off for a next release. Being that Gales has personal demons to conquer, maybe it's just as well as he gets this music out. Otherwise, his hellhounds might just catch up with him.

Reviewed by Gary "Wingman" Weeks.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

Ladies Sing The Blues Cruise
A 5 day Carnival Cruise on the Triumph

Ever wish you could afford to take a Blues cruise but know you are in the wrong tax bracket to afford one? Well there is an alternative at a lower cost.

Fan Cruises has announced a five day Carnival Cruise departing from New Orleans December 6, 2010 with Ports of Call in Progreso, Mexico, and Cozumel, Mexico.

This special package includes private concerts by three Blues Ladies and cruise prices start at just $155 each for double occupancy, (plus plus $259.67 each for fees, taxes and gratuities). This Caribbean cruise include three private Blues concerts, private cocktail party with open bar, autograph signings and meet & greet time with the performers.

You can get a cabin for two for $830 total! (You can add a 3rd or 4th person to your cabin for only $10 & the fees each.) Or for a great early Christmas present for you and your loved one get the BEST cabins on the boat  for a total cost of $1,290 for two people!  (Panorama Deck 10 - Forward and Lido Deck 9 - Midship)

The Blues Lady performers include Pat HunterTerri Lynn & Thunder Blues and Vivian Vance Kelly. Other special guests include Boston band member Kimberley Dahme, Sarasota Slim, Steve Nixon and Kevin Kathey.  It is NOT all Blues all the time.  It is an affordable 5 day Caribbean cruise.  Up close with these great musicians and includes two ports of call (including the island of Cozumel, with three Blues concerts and a Blues party! For more information visit their website at

 Featured Review 5 of 6

Cathy Lemons And Johnny Ace - Lemonace

Vizztone Label Group

12 Tracks. 60mins:22 secs

Bass man Johnny Ace has been around for a long time. Back in the 1980s his band (Johnny Nitro and the Door Slammers) were considered by many to be the top band in San Francisco. Tommy Castro, now an award winner was sitting in with Mr Ace at the time and both have been deeply influenced by the likes of Muddy Watters and Wilson Pickett. Ace played bass with some of the blues greats, John Lee Hooker, Otis Rush, Charlie Musselwhite and even with Victoria Spivey.

Now Ace has linked up with TX blues-lady Cathy Lemons who comes with a soulful voice and a touch of Texas attitude (‘You can always tell a Texan, but you can’t tell him much’.) and they have brought together some top-class musicians to fill-out this CD.

Tommy Castro is himself on two of the tracks, ‘Used To These Blues’ and ‘When Bad Luck Looks Good‘ whilst Kid Andersen (who also mixed and mastered the CD and helped Lemons and Ace produce) appears on four tracks, one of them ‘Not The Woman I Used To Be’ on organ. Harp maestro Paul Oscher delivers a sterling performance on ‘Gimme A Penny’. (I may be biased here as I am one of those who thinks that Ocher with Muddy is the pinnacle of the blues.)

Most of the songs were written by Lemons and Ace except ‘Got It’, ‘Shoot To Kill’ (co written with Pierre Le Corre (lead guitar on many tracks) and ‘Move On’ by Baby Washington and ‘Gimme A Penny’ by Rhone and Moore. And all the songs are strong and some will undoubtedly be covered before too long.

Not at all ‘traditional’ blues this CD is well worth checking out.

Reviewer Ian McKenzie lives in England. He is the editor of Blues In The South ( a monthly flier providing news, reviews, a gig guide and all kinds of other good stuff, for people living and going to gigs along the south coast of England. Ian is also a blues performer (see and has a web cast regular blues radio show on www.phonic.FM in Exeter (Wednesdays: 1pm Eastern/ 12 noon Central).

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

 Featured Review 6 of 6

Outlaw X - Out of the Box

Outlaw X Music

11 tracks

This is an interesting album. Outlaw X is a rocking soul-filled funky blues band. Big productions, lots of sound with the guitar and keyboard/piano/organ amped up and ready to go. Larry Kimmel fronts the band vocally and plays bass. Herman Matthews is the drummer, Bill Steinway is on the keyboard instruments, and Ricky “Z” Zahariades is on guitar. The boys hail from Chicago, Houston, Milwaukee, and Fontana, California respectively. They lay down a heavy groove and make for a large sound.

“No Love” has a wicked guitar solo with a driving funky sound. “I’ll Be the One to Last” and “I Cry” are 70’s soul funk styled tune that made me hearken back to big collared colorful shirts and bell bottomed pants. “Old Fashioned Girl” and “Two of a Kind” gets into the Southern/country rock a bit with the traditional guitar sound and beat while “I’m Your Friend” is a country ballad with some Southern fried soul applied to it. They close with a cover of “Stay With Me”

I wanted to like this album a lot, but the one little problem I had with it was with Kimmel’s vocals. They are not bad, but he strains and stretches it out a bit. He tries to get too breathy and emotional at times and it doesn’t sell well. I’d prefer it if he just let it all loose and not hold back. The band is otherwise pretty tight and focused; the vocals just kept it from pushing it over the top. It’s a solid effort with some talented guys who I am sure we will hear from again!

Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE

You can vote anytime until August 31st but why not do it NOW? To cast your vote now, CLICK HERE.

You can listen to music by each of the nominees at a website set up by our sponsor WGLT Blues Radio 24/7 in Bloomington, IL. Be an informed voter and check out the music of the nominees now! - CLICK HERE

(The Blues Blast Music Awards ceremonies will take place Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, IL)

Best Contemporary Blues CD

Best Traditional Blues CD

Joe Louis Walker - Between A Rock And the BluesDave Riley & Bob Corritore - Lucky To Be Living
Mike Zito - Pearl RiverDavid Maxwell & Louisiana Red - You Got To Move
Nick Moss - PrivilegedEddie C. Campbell - Tear This World Up
Sean Costello - Sean's BluesFiona Boyes - Blues Woman
The Holmes Brothers - Feed My SoulThe Kilborn Alley Blues Band - Better Off Now
Tommy Castro - Hard BelieverMississippi Heat - Let's Live It Up

Best Blues Song

Best New Artist Debut Release

Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers -
How Much Woman Can You Stand?
Alabama Mike - Day To Day
Joe Louis Walker - I'm TideJackie Scott & The Housewreckers -
How Much Woman Can You Stand?
Mike Zito & Cyril Neville - Pearl RiverMarquise Knox - Man Child
Pete Anderson - Still In LoveQuintus McCormick - Hey Jodie!
Quintus McCormick - Hey Jodie!Shaun Murphy - Livin' The Blues
The Kilborn Alley Blues Band- Better Off Now 

Best Female Blues Artist

Best Male Blues Artist

Candye KaneBobby Rush
Fiona BoyesJoe Bonamassa
Janiva MagnessJohn Németh
Ruthie FosterMagic Slim
Shemekia CopelandNick Moss
Zora YoungTommy Castro

Best Blues Band

Sean Costello Rising Star Award

Magic Slim & The TeardropsCash Box Kings
Nick Moss & The Flip TopsDamon Fowler
Rick Estrin & The Night CatsJackie Scott & The Housewreckers
The Holmes BrothersJoanne Shaw Taylor
The Mannish BoysMarquise Knox
Tommy Castro BandThe Insomniacs
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