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Profile for John Stracey > Reviews


John Stracey's Profile

Customer Reviews: 25
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I got those TBelly blues!, October 17, 2013
This review is from: TBelly (MP3 Music)
TBelly are the exciting British contemporary blues band who have just released their impressive debut EP recording... TBelly (4-Track EP) with original songwriter Russell Keefe on keyboards & lead vocals who is blessed with a voice somewhere between Joe Cocker and Roger Chapman, and like most great singers he has the perfect foil on guitar in Ross Ian Lardner! Rhythm section combines Riad Abji on bass with Kevin Magill on drums and Debs Bonomini does backing vocals. Recorded at Riverrun Studios & Black Wookie Studios in the U.K., the TBelly (4-Track EP) was produced by TBelly & Paul 'Win' Winstanley.

Every once in a while a band emerges whose sound stops you in your tracks and one listen to the new TBelly (4-Track EP) does just that! Russell Keefe crafts original songs with potent lyrics to compulsive melodies that leave you spellbound, and amidst the plethora of new bands on the UK music scene, TBelly are certainly one of the most promising!

"Mr TBelly Blues" owes much of its sound to that heard way down the Mississippi delta as honky-tonk piano and slide guitar are deftly fused with harmonica blown by special guest Al Richardson, who also excels on "Where's The Doctor" when the band really begin to cook! The mood softens as Debs Bonomini joins Russell Keefe for the blues ballad "We Met On A Train" before one of the finest songs you will hear this year "I'll Get You Home" gives us a glimpse of what to look forward to down the road... Let's hope the entire TBelly album when released reveals more British contemporary blues at its best!

Angels & Clowns
Angels & Clowns
Price: $20.94
30 used & new from $2.46

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues that lifts your spirits and floods your soul!, September 19, 2013
This review is from: Angels & Clowns (Audio CD)
One man who surely has the blues that lifts your spirits and floods your soul is Nuno Mindelis who has just released an extraordinary new album entitled 'Angels & Clowns' on Shining Stone Records, produced by Duke Robillard who also plays on the album with his band. With wide ranging influences from J.J. Cale to Jimi Hendrix, 'Angels & Clowns' showcases the sheer brilliance of guitar virtuoso Nuno Mindelis who has long since learned that "less is more" making each note count on songs with lyrics by Jorn Reissner, Stephen Barry, Mike Bowden & John Williamson. His unpretentious style creates a feel good factor which persists throughout his songs that will have you dancing and doing air guitar at the same time!

Should you only buy one album this year... then make sure it is 'Angels & Clowns' by Nuno Mindelis as seldom does an artist come along whose sound is so natural that it appears effortless and yet has it all!

Find out why Nuno Mindelis has the blues by checking out his superb new video "It's All About Love" at [...] which also features Sunny Crownover on vocals from his new album 'Angels & Clowns'.

Bliss Avenue
Bliss Avenue
Price: $13.99
45 used & new from $3.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blues on Bliss Avenue!, July 16, 2013
This review is from: Bliss Avenue (Audio CD)
`Bliss Avenue' is the incendiary new CD from New Jersey singer/songwriter/actress Dana Fuchs recorded in New York and now available on Ruf Records. All the songs on Bliss Avenue are written by Dana Fuchs and her long time guitarist Jon Diamond who forge emotionally charged songs that lay bare her soul backed by Jack Daley on Bass, Shawn Pelton on Drums, Glenn Patscha on Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer Piano & Keyboards with Tabitha Fair & Nicki Richards singing Background Vocals.

Largely due to her gravelly voice and sheer stage presence, Dana Fuchs was bound to be compared to the legendary Janis Joplin having played her in an off-Broadway production of 'Love, Janis' and later starring as 'Sadie' in the critically acclaimed 2007 Beatles movie/soundtrack 'Across The Universe'. `Bliss Avenue' sees Dana Fuchs spread her wings over many musical genres including soul, blues, country and rock with great new songs like "Bliss Avenue", "Baby Loves The Life" and "Long Long Game" that will no doubt enhance her appeal and amazing live shows!

Dana Fuchs continues to shine amongst all the emerging stars out there today and `Bliss Avenue' contains enough proof that her future looks very bright indeed!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 2, 2013 9:19 PM PDT

All Hooked Up
All Hooked Up
8 used & new from $1.95

5.0 out of 5 stars All Hooked Up To The Blues!, June 28, 2013
This review is from: All Hooked Up (Audio CD)
Multiple Grammy and Blues Music Award nominee John Lee Hooker Jr delivers his own brand of funked up jazz and soul with his roots firmly in the blues! His latest album `All Hooked Up' produced by Larry Batiste (who also co-writes some of the tracks) features Michael Rogers on drums, Frank 'Tebo' Thibeaux on bass, Will 'Roc' Griffin on keyboards, John Garcia & Jeffrey Horan on guitars, as well as fine contributions from an incredible array of session musicians who help make this CD so memorable. Following in the footsteps of his father and original blues legend 'Johnny Lee' was never going to be easy and after going off the rails early in life, John Lee Hooker Jr found religion successfully turning his life around, channeling himself into his music feeling "all hooked up" with God which actually helped inspire the funky title track of this, his fifth album.

`All Hooked Up' highlights include guest performances by Lucky Peterson taking lead guitar on a tribute to the U.S. military entitled 'You Be My Hero' and Betty Wright forming a duet for 'I Surrender' which typifies that golden sound heard on 70's Northern Soul dance floors. Another outstanding track to savour here is the 'Claptonesque' 'Tell It Like It Is' echoing the catchy 'Crossroads' tune complete with guitar solo. Should you need one good reason to buy this album, then look no further than the soulful voice of John Lee Hooker Jr delivering autobiographical lines like "My life is going down like quicksand, and my daddy is dead and gone" on the track 'Hard Times', which also brings the sublime blues guitar of John Garcia to the fore creating an unforgettable slow burning blues classic that makes essential listening!

Deep Deep Blue
Deep Deep Blue
Price: $13.72
15 used & new from $4.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delta Riffs, Texas Sagebrush & American Blues!, May 28, 2013
This review is from: Deep Deep Blue (Audio CD)
Delta Riffs, Texas Sagebrush & American Blues artist Dudley Taft previously associated with Seattle bands Sweet Water and Second Coming, has released his eagerly anticipated second solo record 'Deep Deep Blue' following on from the success of his 2011 debut album Left For Dead!

'Deep Deep Blue' was again finely produced by John Kessler who also plays bass and features Chris Leighton, Scott Vogel and Jason Patterson playing drums with Eric Robert on keyboards and Ashley Christensen singing backing vocals. Dudley Taft bravely puts his own imprint on Bob Dylan's "Meet Me In The Morning" and Lou Reed's "Sally Can't Dance" while also laying down his own interpretation of Freddie King's classic "Palace Of The King". All the remaining originals here underline just how diverse his repertoire can get from shuffling Americana rock on "The Waiting" to funk blues on "Feeling Good Now" as well as delivering blues/grunge/rock variations on "God Forbid", "Satisfy You" and "Bandit Queen". The slow burning title track reveals yet another facet of this captivating artist although perhaps the best example of his dexterity is the interchange between acoustic guitar and haunting electric lead on "Wishing Well"... simply mesmerizing! A psychadelic sounding "Shanks Akimbo" brings the curtain down on another excellent recording from this fascinating artist and should 'Deep Deep Blue' blow you away... then be sure to check out his stunning 2011 debut album... Left For Dead!

With yet further Dudley Taft material rumoured to be in the pipeline... it's easy to understand why we have every reason to be excited!

Waiting on Daylight
Waiting on Daylight
Price: $12.99
43 used & new from $1.92

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern Fried Blues/Rock that hits you right between the eyes!, April 24, 2013
This review is from: Waiting on Daylight (Audio CD)
'Waiting On Daylight' is the stunning new album from Nashville based guitarist/singer Bart Walker who plays southern fried blues/rock with a burning intensity that hits you right between the eyes! Blessed with a voice somewhere between the great Ronnie Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Little Milton, Bart Walker delivers grunge fuelled blues driven with virtuoso guitar licks that should leave you comfortably numb! 'Waiting On Daylight' was recorded at Bessie Blue Studios in Tennessee by legendary producer Jim Gaines with the magnificent Bart Walker on guitar & vocals backed by Memphis session players Dave Smith on bass, Rick Steff on keyboards, Steve Potts on drums and special guest Dave Cohen on organ.

'Waiting On Daylight' boasts 9 new songs from Bart Walker along with roaring remakes of J.B. Hutto's 'Hipshake It' and the Allman Brothers classic 'Whippin Post'! Starting proceedings is 'It's All Good' which reminds us that whatever turmoil we may find ourselves in, the best things in life are free and the baseline next on a grunge soaked 'Black Clouds' launches an assault on the senses that you could easily get used to! 'Took It Like A Man' tells of some of life's troubles he took on the chin moving it up a gear with riffs echoing ZZ Top at their best, prior to reverting into a classic blues groove on the erotic 'Girl You Bad' that rolls back the years. One track that exemplifies Bart Walker at the peak of his powers is 'Gotta Be You', that finds him ripping it up as good as anyone out there today and has to be one of the best songs you will hear this year!

Longing for one more second chance on the romantic title track 'Waiting On Daylight' allows the mellower side of this talented performer to shine through, before rockin' 'n' rollin' on 'Happy' and J.B. Hutto's 'Hipshake it'! Some sweet slide guitar features during the infectious melody on 'Mary & Me' which also highlights his importance as a songwriter, and his political anthem '99%' underlines this when he questions what happened to the American dream? Finally, he acknowledges one of his greatest influences by playing a rousing rendition of the Allman Brothers classic 'Whippin Post' making this album essential listening for all blues fans!

Bart Walker is yet another young & gifted blues artist to be found on the Ruf Records label and 'Waiting On Daylight' is well and truly kicking up some dust... just make sure you play it loud and proud!

Almost Always Never
Almost Always Never
Price: $12.46
67 used & new from $4.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joanne Shaw Taylor... The Future of British Blues!, November 6, 2012
This review is from: Almost Always Never (Audio CD)
Joanne Shaw Taylor continues to carve a niche for herself in the blues world with the release of 'Almost Always Never' that leaves the tried and trusted format of her first two critically acclaimed albums 'White Sugar' and 'Diamonds In The Dirt' made with legendary producer Jim Gaines at Bessie Blue Studios in Tennessee. Joanne Shaw Taylor instead opts to "leave her comfort zone to explore and embrace new territories, while remaining true to herself " and record her groundbreaking third album 'Almost Always Never' in Austin, Texas with the innovative Mike McCarthy who produced, recorded and mixed the sessions with David Garza on keyboards & mandolin, Billy White on bass & acoustic slide and J.J. Johnson on drums.

'Almost Always Never' confirms all the hype and expectation surrounding Joanne Shaw Taylor and is blinding proof (should you need it) that she is indeed the real deal! Now in explosive form on her new Gibson guitar and trademark seductive smoky vocals, she continues to wear her heart on her sleeve writing 11 more compelling originals along with giving a rousing rendition of the great Frankie Miller classic 'Jealousy'. Anyone expecting the same old blues may be disappointed as this is an artist on a mission going places, bearing her very soul through electrifying blues that you would love to get lost in!

You may well ask... what makes Joanne Shaw Taylor so special and sets her apart from many of her contemporaries? The truth is that when unleashed on guitar like (dare I say) Hendrix or early Clapton, her music takes you on a voyage of discovery into the unknown (that only adds to its appeal) and suggests somewhere down the line she is more than capable of recording her own version of 'Electric Ladyland'... now wouldn't that be something! With the passing of so many great blues legends, we thankfully have gifted young artists like Joe Bonamassa picking up the gauntlet and continuing to shine a light for American blues, just as Joanne Shaw Taylor has now lit a beacon and is very much part of the future of British blues!

Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey)
Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey)
Price: $15.03
21 used & new from $8.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul straight from the well... dripping with emotion!, October 24, 2012
'Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey)' cut with 14 soul-drenched originals reminds us exactly why Mighty Sam McClain is widely regarded as one the finest purveyors of soul-blues in the world today! Produced by Mighty Sam himself in collaboration with Gerry Putnam & longtime associate Pat Herlehy, 'Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey)' keeps you spellbound delivering sounds reminiscent of those heard during the golden era of soul on the Atlantic/Stax/Motown record labels. Mighty Sam McClain is one of the few original soul singers left alive who can still deliver songs straight from the well, dripping soul, blues, gospel and funk over the whole sessions with the multi-talented Pat Herlehy central to proceedings on guitar, tenor sax, flute, Hammond B-3, strings & percussion. Backing musicians who also make this outing so special are Chad Owen - bass, Rick Page - drums, Joe Deleault - piano, organ & Fender Rhodes, Scott Shetler - tenor & baritone sax, Russell Jewell - trombone, Grayson Farmer - trumpet and special guest Concetta on background vocals.

Mighty Sam McClain today defines just how soul blues should be sung and his latest album 'Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey)' is a celebration of soul music itself exuding all the emotions of love, hope, faith and redemption, that given the airplay it deserves will undoubtedly find its way into any self-respecting soul brother or soul sister's record collection.

Hell & Back
Hell & Back
Price: $17.05
32 used & new from $2.82

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues with exceptional feeling!, August 9, 2012
This review is from: Hell & Back (Audio CD)
David Gerald is one of Detroit's finest blues musicians who continues to captivate audiences whilst touring the States, promoting his sensational debut album 'Hell and Back' that showcases his breathtaking blues guitar and soulful vocals. Also working his wizardry on keyboards & organ on 'Hell and Back' is Mike Rupprecht whilst Lou Eurns on drums and Bob Bennett on bass provide the rhythm.

David Gerald sings and plays blues with exceptional feeling, knowing just how to deliver songs that have people looking on in sheer admiration or rising to their feet as one can't help but be moved by them. The fact he finally managed to make 'Hell and Back' after all these years proves he is a survivor and listening to this we can truly be thankful. Improvising on songs from such luminaries as BB King and Stevie Ray Vaughan so effectively whilst having a sideways glance at Albert King, gives you the measure of the man and one which will inevitably draw comparisons. Couple that with his songwriting prowess along with a natural ability to entertain and you have one hell of showman!

'Hell and Back' boasts 5 outstanding originals as well as 5 exceptional live covers that he makes his own! Track listing... 1) 'My Guitar' 2) 'I'll Play The Blues For You' (Live) 3) 'How I Feel' 4) 'Thrill Is gone' (Live) 5) 'Postman' 6) 'Hell And Back' 7) 'She Caught The Katy' (live) 8) 'Stay' 9) 'Cold Shot' (Live) 10) 'Red House' (Live).

Blood Red Blues
Blood Red Blues
Price: $13.99
44 used & new from $4.55

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surely... Album of the year!!!, July 17, 2012
This review is from: Blood Red Blues (Audio CD)
If you like your blues raw and close to the bone, you will absolutely love Blood Red Blues by Cee Cee James! Produced, engineered & mixed by Grammy award winner Jim Gaines at Bessie Blues Studios in Stantonville, Tennessee, all twelve original songs are co-written with husband Rob "Slideboy" Andrews who also excels on Rhythm & Slide Guitar to stunning effect! Backing musicians are Chris Leighton (Drums & Percussion), Dan Mohler (Bass), Rocky Athas (Lead Guitar) & Susan Julian (Keyboards) with Stanley Crouse, Vicki Atkins, Danunielle "Pie" Hill & Kimberlie Helton on background vocals.

Blood Red Blues is where Cee Cee James brings her "Seriously Raw" high octane energy into the studio, unleashing bleeding heartfelt lyrics borne out of a lifetime paying her dues, through whiskey soaked vocals that bear all the hallmarks of the legendary Janis Joplin! So much to applaud on this exceptional album starting with the title track 'Blood Red Blues' that will undoubtedly get more than its fair share of airplay, along with the catchy 'Comfort Of A Good Heart' reminiscent of 'Black Velvet' by Alannah Myles. One can't help but feel those delta blues on 'Feel My Love Come Down' and 'I Got A Right To Sing The Blues' whilst 'Walk On' delivers a stark reminder of the shortcomings of society. The sassy '100 Ways To Make Love' adds yet another facet to this album as does the haunting melody on 'Wounds' that reminds us of just how fragile we are.

Also plenty to boogie down to here on 'Let's All Get Loose', 'Thick Like Blood', 'Worn Out Sins', 'Cover Me With Love' and finally the classic red hot rocker ''I'm Takin' Mine" that is a blowback to the sound of Roger Chapman and his Streetwalkers in full flow, and it doesn't get much better than that!

Cee Cee James is the real deal who proudly wears her heart on her sleeve and when the lady sings "Blood Red Blues is in your veins, can you feel it?"... you can bet a lot of people surely will!!!

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