Wherein I offer some new stuff, heavily – but not entirely – weighted towards blues.
From his PR: “Stew Cutler [is] a well-seasoned guitarist and composer who has spent the better part of four decades channeling the blues through his magical fingers. In fact, Cutler’s talent is so engulfing that he easily incorporates jazz, gospel, and R&B in his repertoire.
Cutler’s upcoming seventh studio album, cleverly titled The Blues From Another Angle (April 22) proves his immense dexterity for the revered musical genre. Throughout 11 tracks, Cutler and a cast of talented singers and players weave an intoxicating aura that immerses the listener from the first note.
The album showcases a room full of top-notch musicians including drummer Bill McClellan, keyboardist Tom Wilson, bassist Booker King, saxophonist Steve Elson, and vocalists Bobby Harden and Mary Jean Cutler, Stew’s wife.
Also showcasing their prowess on the album are guest artists Mike Stern (a great jazzer – ME) blazing through a guitar solo on “Blews” and James Montgomery making the harmonica sing on “Say What You Mean.” (James Montgomery has been playing blues around New England for as long as I can remember – ME).
“Get It While You Can” has got it all – Sultry female singer, tasty slide guitar, jazzy piano solo:
Sometimes you just fall in love with a song the first time you hear it. Such a song for me was “Weight of the World” by Michael Weston King. First some bio:
“Michael Weston King announces first solo album in 10 years, The Struggle. For nearly 30 years UK singer-songwriter Michael Weston King has forged a highly-regarded career on the roots music scene with his solo work, the now-defunct country rockers The Good Sons, and most recently alongside his wife and musical partner, Lou Dalgleish, in My Darling Clementine. (Two guys in a row making music with their wives! – ME).
King cut his teeth in bands on the fringes of the Liverpool post-punk, new wave, and power pop scene of the early 1980s until he discovered a deep-rooted love of country and American folk music. He has gone on to work with a dizzying array of artists including Nick Cave, John Cale, Nils Lofgren, Chris Hillman, Graham Parker, Ron Sexsmith, Guy Clark, and his mentor, the late, great Townes Van Zandt.
The Struggle features guest appearances from Steve Nieve, Jeb Loy Nichols, British jazz trombonist Barnaby Dickinson, Lou Dalgleish, and his woodwind playing daughter Mabel Dalgleish-King. Mojo says “King transmutes squalor and self-laceration into pure gold.” (I usually translate things into even more squalor and self-laceration – ME).
“Weight of the World” (not the Elton John song) is simply a beautiful tune. I chose to not use the official video so you can listen to the lyrics. But go back and find the official video if you want to see some political resonance.
Anybody who has read my blog for more than 36 minutes knows that I am not only a major blues and blues-rock fan but also a big-time Robin Trower devoteé. I’ve written about him before so travel over here and check out my Trower six-pack from a couple years ago. I saw him a few years ago as well. He tours a lot so check him out if you get a chance:
Last but hardly least is a cut from Davide Pannozzo a “blues singer-songwriter and guitar player based in New York. As adept a singer as a guitarist, Davide has been described by critics as one of the most interesting artists of contemporary blues. His tribute album A Portrait of Jimi Hendrix gets #1 on iTunes top100 Blues Albums in Italy and iTunes top100 New Blues Releases in the USA.
His latest album Unconditional Love was produced by the legendary drummer Steve Jordan (John Mayer, Rolling Stones, John Scofield, Robben Ford, Eric Clapton, Blues Brothers) and Will Lee, bass player for Mike Stern, Ringo Starr, James Brown, just to name a few.”
This track, “Leroy’s Blues” is what I call gut-bucket blues. You gotta love any blues song that starts with either ‘Woke up this morning” or “I was born.” Smokin’!