Issue 16-37 September 15, 2022 – Blues Blast Magazine

Cover photo © 2022 Laura Carbone


 In This Issue 

Anita Schlank has our feature interview with Doug Woolverton. We have four Blues reviews for you this week including new music from John Durr, Sugar Harp, Henry Kaiser & Rome Yamilov and Hog Branch. Scroll down and check it out!


 From The Editor’s Desk 

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Hey Blues Fans,

In case you missed it, we announced the results of the fan voting in the 15th Annual Blues Blast Music Awards yesterday. Scroll to the bottom of this issue to see the winners.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!

Wishing you health, happiness and lots of Blues music!

Bob Kieser


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 Featured Interview – Doug Woolverton 

imageIf you love Jump Blues, St. Louis Blues, West Coast Blues or Memphis Blues you know what an integral part the horn section can be to accomplish the desired sound.  In contemporary blues it seems like there are many saxophone players who achieve recognition, but when it comes to the blues trumpet, only one name always seems to be on the top of the list, and that name is Doug Woolverton.  Blues Blast Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with Woolverton in between rehearsals with the Bender Brass (in preparation for the Big Blues Bender) and he described his early introduction to music.

“My father is a musician and plays Hammond organ, trumpet, bass and is a vocalist.  That’s where I got my musical abilities.  He was a full-time musician touring the New Jersey area, but once he got married and had children, he was forced to switch careers.  It’s a tough industry if you are trying to raise a family.  He became a Methodist pastor and would play piano and trumpet in church and direct the choirs.  But he would also still have some band rehearsals, so I got to hear some of the greatest players in New York and New Jersey.  I credit my father for introducing me to influential artists at a very young age.  He also tried to teach me the trumpet and piano, but it didn’t work.  I wasn’t interested.  It’s hard to learn from your own family, so I said I’ll figure it out, and I taught myself the trumpet and the electric bass just by listening to recordings of people.  I probably played bass more in my early years.  I bought a bass at age ten and my father said he would buy me an amp if I took it seriously, so I did.”

“I would listen to music and learn the bass line by ear.  I did that with the trumpet too.  I had a good ear, and my father had a Dixieland Band that would rehearse at the church right next to our house.  I initially practiced my trumpet into the cushion of the pew so they couldn’t hear it, but I would move closer each week, until they realized that I had learned all of their songs and they asked me to join them for a couple of gigs.  I heard Louis Armstrong did the same thing—put himself within earshot of great bands to learn.”

Woolverton’s good ear didn’t help him, however, when he tried to get a trumpet scholarship for college because they insisted that those scholarship recipients read music. In addition, while his ability to teach himself was impressive, he realized he had to work hard to ‘unlearn’ bad habits due to his lack of instruction. It was only with a degree of self-discipline and perseverance that was quite unusual for his age that he was able to achieve his dream.

“If I could hear something once, I could retain it and play it, but when I went to my college audition, I had to sight-read music.  They put music in front of me and I said I couldn’t read it.  They then asked me if I could do anything else, and I told them that I played bass.  I got a scholarship on bass—they wouldn’t give me a trumpet scholarship.  But I had gone to Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota specifically to study with their trumpet teacher, Dr. Grant Manhart.  He had just moved to South Dakota, so even though I was accepted at some great universities, I chose to stay there and learn from him.  I had a goal and knew what I wanted.  At that time, I was playing bass in a country band while attending school, but my GPA was dropping pretty low due to constant touring.  He told me I needed to sell my bass.  He asked me, ‘Do you want to be good on two instruments, or great on one?  You have so much work to do on the trumpet’. ”image

“It turned out I had the wrong embouchure, which is the placement of your jaw and lips in relation to the trumpet mouthpiece.  I was playing it more like a clarinet.  When I tried to do it correctly, I couldn’t even get a sound to come out at first. So, I did sell my bass and started practicing 10-12 hours a day for nearly four years with my best friend and fellow trumpeter, Brooks Bowman.  For two and one-half of those years we never missed a single day except for Christmas Day.  For the first full year I was only able to get two notes to sound correctly, but I stuck with it, and then entered the National Trumpet Competition.”

“I made it to the top seven in the Nation, and the best part was wearing the name tag with South Dakota on it.  None of the judges knew much about that university, so they were all curious about it.  I entered each year after that and to this day I am the only trumpet player who made it three years to the top ten trumpet players in the country.  Later I was asked to attend the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) to talk to the students, and I had found this stairwell in which to practice.  I heard a voice joking that I was in his practice room, and it was Doc Severinsen.  He said he didn’t want me to stop, he wanted to play with me because he loved my sound, so we practiced together for two days.  He invited me to go on tour with him.”

After graduation, Woolverton was about to begin a job playing trumpet on a cruise ship when his girlfriend at the time asked him to come to Rhode Island to sell tickets at the mansion where she worked.  He mentioned it to his trumpet teacher and was surprised at the response that he received.

“He said ‘get your ass to the East Coast and network, network, network!’  I did and got my feet in the door very fast and being in Rhode Island eventually led to me getting the gig with Roomful of Blues. I was the youngest member of the band and I found I was being compared to the prior trumpet player who had been in Roomful of Blues for 20 years and who had passed away.  I wanted to show my respect for him, but I also owed it to myself to be myself.  It took me about a year to really get comfortable, to stretch out.”

“The first month I had one week to learn 156 songs, and we almost immediately went to Portugal.  We were traveling everywhere.  One time we were opening for Buddy Guy and a man came up to me after our set to say he liked the way I played, but I felt pressured to get our equipment off the stage since we only had fifteen minutes to do so, so I wasn’t able to talk to him.  One of the band members said, ‘do you realize you just blew off Robert Plant?’  I didn’t recognize him.  Luckily, I was able to catch him later and explain.”

imageWoolverton has had many opportunities to be grateful that he finally learned to read music.

“One of my first gigs out of college was playing a show with the Temptations.  I had to sight-read the whole show.  The same thing happened with Aretha Franklin.  I got a call to play her show, for about ten thousand people, and I wasn’t going to do it because there was no time for a rehearsal, but my girlfriend, Shari (Puorto) convinced me to do it.  I literally had to sight-read the entire show.  I went from someone who couldn’t read music and was discouraged by the music faculty to even play the trumpet, to being asked to play for Aretha and sight-reading the entire show perfectly.  Also, it was her birthday, so I ended up getting to play her happy birthday on the Trumpet.  It was an experience I will never forget.”

Woolverton’s self-discipline, perseverance and goal setting continued through his years playing with Roomful of Blues.

“I remember one thing that was told to me was to write a five-year plan for where you want to be, and to dream big.  I remember writing that I wanted a really nice car, an Armani suit, to play in front of 50,000 people, to be on a record, and to have a million dollars.  Before the five years was up, I had checked off everything, including the million dollars, although I didn’t keep it.  I had been asked to fly back to be part of this fundraiser, raising money for the marching band at college.  I was their featured artist at this wealthy man’s house.  By the end of the night, I was playing trumpet and my trumpet teacher was playing flugelhorn for this man, and he thought it was really cool.  He wanted to get to know me better and asked me what I wanted to do with my life.  I said I wanted to be as wealthy as him, and I wanted to make the money playing the trumpet.  I told him I planned to find a wealthy investor to invest in me for five years.  I wanted the person to invest a million dollars and let me live off the interest for five years so I could focus on the trumpet without having to get other day-jobs.  He said, ‘let’s have our lawyers talk in the morning’ and I said I didn’t have a lawyer, so he took out his checkbook and wrote me a check for a million dollars.”

“I got butterflies in my stomach and got nervous and couldn’t take it.  He kept sliding it back to me and finally said ‘last chance’ and ended up ripping it up.  Within a year he had passed away from an illness and had no family to inherit his wealth.  I believe he knew he was dying and planned for me not to have to give back the million dollars.  When the universe comes to you, you have to be mentally prepared to just accept it sometimes.  It will come when you least expect it.  It was life-changing for me.”

That was not the only time that the universe seemed to fulfill Woolverton’s dreams.

“One time I needed a flugelhorn and didn’t have one.  I asked a friend of mine if he happened to have any old flugelhorns lying around.  He said I’ll be in Newport tomorrow and he gave me this amazing super-expensive flugelhorn that is silver-plated.  It plays amazingly well.  I said it was more than I could afford, and he said the Boston Pops had gone to gold lacquer and he couldn’t use it anymore, so he gave it to me.  Another time I needed a trumpet with a more commercial sound, so I put something on Facebook and a guy gave me an amazing trumpet for free.”

imageWoolverton’s work in Roomful of Blues catapulted his career and he was asked to become a band member of Victor Wainwright and the Train.  He is also asked to play each year as part of the Bender Brass at the Big Blues Bender.  Jimmy Carpenter (musical director of the Big Blues Bender) noted, “Finding Doug Woolverton and inviting him to join the Bender Brass has turned out to be one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.  Not only is he a brilliant, creative, and hardworking musician, he is a beautiful human being, and a pleasure to be around.  I cannot imagine doing a Bender without him!”

“Horns are considered an added bonus, so when you are adding horns to a band you have to stand out twice as much.  You’re the auxiliary, not the necessity of the band.  But Victor had a vision.  He sees what it brings to the band and made us regulars.  Jimmy (Carpenter) did too.  I feel blessed in my career to be around Roomful, Victor, and the Bender Brass because of what we are bringing to the blues.  Plus, we are all friends and want the best for each other.”

Woolverton was featured in an episode of the PBS series entitled Postcards which focuses on the arts, history and cultural heritage of Minnesota, and that episode has now been nominated for an Emmy Award.  He has also taken on some unique projects, including a show that is a tribute to Miles Davis.  In addition, he and his girlfriend, (fellow musician Shari Puorto), collaborated on a blues CD for children.

“One time a family came up to me after a show and their twelve-year-old daughter wanted to play trumpet.  I asked her who she listened to and found out she had never heard of the name Miles Davis.  A lightbulb went off in my head that the younger generation will never know the greatest icons in music if we don’t help young kids keep these names alive.  It triggered me to start this Mile Davis tribute idea based on his Kinda Blue album. He did so much for music.  I just want to put his sound out there. I love being a visionist—creating shows and putting musicians together.  I started this Miles Davis show and it was insanely successful.  After the first show, the next one sold out six weeks before it started.  Then I wanted to turn it into a classier event, so with the help of my dear friend, Graham Mellor, we booked it at a theater and designed backdrops for the show—a whole production.  I do it twice a year now.”

“Regarding the children’s CD, Shari (Puorto) had always wanted to do a children’s record, so I said, ‘let’s do it’ and she and I wrote twelve songs.  I started reaching out to other musicians, like Chris Vachon and Tommy Castro, and everyone said they would love to be on it.  COVID had happened so a lot of them had time at home.  John Nemeth sent us 25 takes of his song, so we could pick the exact style we wanted.  Shemekia Copeland had us come to her house and she made us dinner.  It was a really awesome time.   Everyone was so supportive.”

“It’s called Lightning’s Lessons:  Learning Through Music, and we decided to create a book to go along with it and asked Derek Levoy, (Vanessa Collier’s bass player at the time), to do the illustrations.  It ended up being very well-received and they sell it at the blues museum in Memphis.  It’s also special to me because my son is singing on it.  Shari had a vision and we worked as a team.  It was a really special team, and the music is being played by some of the greatest blues all-stars out there today!”

imageWoolverton also has his own CD that is about to be released, although he almost left music altogether.

“When COVID hit I was broke, and I was thinking I had spent my entire life working really hard for this profession, and now I couldn’t make money at it.  It was very difficult, and I felt angry.  I quit music, stopped playing for ten months, and wasn’t going to go back to it. Shari and my friend, Graham, told me that I had a gift and couldn’t quit, and I should write songs.  So, we did a Go Fund Me to raise money for the album and I started writing songs.  I feel like I reset and have a different mentality now.  It’s fun again.”

Listeners frequently admire the purity of Woolverton’s tone and note that he seems to have a certain charisma when playing.  He tried to explain what they might be hearing.

“When people envision the trumpet, they tend to think of an ear-piecing sound.  I try to make it an inviting sound, not a laser beam.  I want a big sound, but I want it to be warmer, with charisma.  There’s a purity to it.  Like if you drop a rock in the water and the ripples go out.  I want the overtones to go out that far.  I want it to be robust and beautiful.  It can bring tears to your eyes.”

In addition to his beautiful tone, Woolverton’s likeable personality also is evident, particularly in his gratitude for life’s opportunities.

“Life has been really cool.  I’ve met amazing people through music.  I never take a day for granted.  There is a line across the country of people who helped me get where I am today, and I’ll never lose my gratitude and appreciation for them.”

You can find out more about Doug Woolverton, including his schedule and news about his upcoming album, at https://DougWoolverton.com.  Information about his children’s CD/book with Shari Puorto can be found at Lightning’s Lessons (lightningslessons.com).

Writer Anita Schlank lives in Virginia, and is on the Board of Directors for the River City Blues Society. She has been a fan of the blues since the 1980s. She and Tab Benoit co-authored the book “Blues Therapy,” with all proceeds from sales going to the HART Fund.


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 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 4 

imageJohn Durr – Fading Rainbow Blues

Black Market Music

https://blackmarketmusic.com.au/

10 songs, 40 minutes

Acoustic Blues albums can be tricky. The solo guitar and voice thing has to be burned into the performer’s body and come out as a natural extension of the self. Catfish Keith, Kelly Joe Phelps, Cory Harris, Rory Block, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Eric Bibb, Doug McCloud – these modern masters can do it. For the rest of us, we need to augment, hedge our bets, to ensure we are making something engaging and entertaining. John Durr, Australian Blues producer and record label founder/owner, is very upfront about needing to rely on friends to ensure his first solo record, and first record he’s played on in over 30 years, Fading Rainbow Blues comes across vibrant and high quality. Fiddle, mandolin, banjo and viola add to Durr’s plaintive yawl and acoustic guitar resulting in a record that sounds pleasantly out of time.

John Durr is a Bluesman out of the various backwoods traditions of Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Boy fuller and Charlie Patton. Singing with a lugubrious wailing timber, Durr delivers 10 renditions of classic Blues and traditional reinterpretations. The flourishes of fiddle, mando and banjo give Durr’s performances depth and complexity, which Durr admits he was in need of after many years of “rust” build up on his guitar chops. Although self-deprecating, Durr’s playing is perfect for the setting and allows for his off kilter vocal styling to come through effectively. The flourishes are added by Anne Harris on violin and mandolin, Jimi Hocking on mandolin and Jenny M. Thomas on fiddle, banjo and viola.

This is a fun record to listen to straight through. If you are in a rural setting the music will waft over you like the scent of pine, soil and flower blossoms. Reworkings of Charlie Patton’s “Pony Blues,” and John Hurt’s “Candyman Blues” bring rhythm and front porch fiddling to the solitary originals. Original Blues “Love in Vain Blues” (decidedly not Robert Johnson’s famous song) and the title track, an extrapolation of a Ma Rainey line, showcase Durr’s ability to create within the confines of the traditional acoustic Blues form.

Fading Rainbow Blues is a collection of well known music. Even the original songs deal with recognizable structures and material. This record is a success because Durr doesn’t try to redress this music in some kind of new façade. Durr presents the music to the best of his abilities with as much conviction and personality as possible. By doing so John Durr has created a lasting piece of music, an original creation of traditional music. That is quite a feat in this tricky medium.

Writer Bucky O’Hare is a slide guitarist, songwriter and singer. Based out of South Eastern Massachusetts, Bucky plays Slide Guitar Soul Jazz and Funk Blues inspired by the music of the 60’s and 70’s all around New England.


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 Featured Blues Review – 2 of 4 

imageSugar Harp – Sugar Is My Name

Music Maker Foundation – 2022

10 tracks; 43 minutes

Charles ‘Sugar Harp’ Burroughs is a veteran performer in his native Alabama but this is the first time he has been recorded, so all credit to the Music Maker Foundation for making it happen. Sugar offers us ten tracks all credited as original, although several do follow familiar blues themes. Nevertheless, the album is well recorded and thoroughly entertaining. Sugar is, of course, on harp and vocals, accompanied by Microwave Dave (Gallaher) on guitar, Dan Hector on organ, T-bone (Terrence Dupree) on bass and Ardie Dean on drums.

Opening track “Sugar Is My Name” sets out Sugar’s credentials as he tells us all about himself, backed by an organ wash and crisp guitar lines, even the rhythm section getting a short solo opportunity though Sugar’s harp is the main featured instrument. Sugar has the reputation of doing some songs with amusing double meanings, so we can be sure that his “Special Recipe” is not really culinary! Indeed, he wants “to cook all night with you, because your stove is always hot”! However, as is often the case with these sort of blues songs, while the guy is off seeking thrills, his own home may be left unguarded, so Sugar asks “How Come My Dog Don’t Bark” when his friend comes over, clearly the suspicion being that the dog knows the friend all too well! Played to a slow rhythm and minimal accompaniment, Sugar’s harp work stands out on this cut before he reuses the theme of BB King’s “Don’t Answer The Door” under the title “I Don’t Want A Soul Hangin’ Round”, appropriately featuring Dave’s nicely relaxed guitar stylings. A lively rumba rhythm underpins the salacious “Lemon Squeezin’ Fool” before the quieter (and more serious) “May Your Soul Make It To Heaven”, the churchy organ giving a gospel feel to the tune: “May your soul rise to heaven before the Devil knows you’re gone, that’s my wish for you and me before we go home”.

“My Truck My Dog My Wife” is a tale of woe played to a riff that recalls “Lonely Avenue” and Sugar continues in laid-back vein on “Leave Me The Same Way You Came”, opening the tune with some Junior Wells-inspired harp work before he warns his girl that if she ever leaves him she will have to do so empty-handed. “Mojo Hand” has some spooky sounding guitar work and familiar lyrics about the magic spell the girl can weave, Sugar’s vocals given a slight echo to add to the swampy feel of the track. The album closes with “Murder Murder Murder”, an ominous title though it applies to Sugar’s deteriorating relationship with a shapely girl, from whom he needs rescuing. It’s another slower tune, again well played and sung.

Sugar Harp shows here that he is a fine harp player and singer and would, one suspects, put on a very entertaining live show. It is good that Music Maker has been able to put his talents on display for a wider audience.

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK who enjoys a wide variety of blues and roots music, especially anything in the ‘soul/blues’ category. Favorites include contemporary artists such as Curtis Salgado, Tad Robinson, Albert Castiglia and Doug Deming and classic artists including Bobby Bland, Howling Wolf and the three ‘Kings’. He gets over to the States as often as he can to see live blues.


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 Featured Blues Review – 3 of 4 

imageHenry Kaiser & Rome Yamilov – The Lenoir Investigations

Little Village Foundation

11 songs, 1 hour and 20 minutes

J.B. Lenoir was an original and idiosyncratic Bluesman. Singing in a falsetto wail and flamboyant zebra stripe attire, Lenoir made a name for himself in the 50’s with solid R&B hits. A masterful and profound songwriter and adept guitarist, in the 60’s when the Rhythm took center stage over the Blues of R&B, Lenoir became a bit less en vogue. He added African drumming, deepened his songwriting (and his singing voice) and recorded the masterpiece acoustic sides with drumming legend Fred Below enshrined as Down in Mississippi and Alabama Blues! One need only listen to the unremitting “Born Dead” off of Alabama Blues! to understand the depth of understanding and courage Lenoir showed in testifying the Black experience in America and the deep emotions of his soul.

It is fitting then that the voluminously prolific and iconoclastic Jazz guitarist Henry Kaiser would choose Lenoir as a launching pad for a collaboration with young gun So Cal Blues Rock slinger Rome Yamilov. As with any good So Cal Blues record, The Lenoir Investigations was recorded at Kid Anderson’s Greeseland Studios with Kid playing the bass throughout. June Core on drums and Jim Pugh on keyboards round out the ensemble. Yamilov is a great husky singer but he concedes the vocal chair to Lisa Leuschner for 1 tune and Anderson, singing in his native Norwegian, on another. Harp ace Aki Kumar adds his distinct vocal/harp stylings to 3 tunes.

The Lenoir Investigations uses J.B. Lenoir’s vibrant music as a catalyst for thoroughly modern world music explorations of group improvisation and hypnotic jamming. Blasting open the structured, contained framework from which Lenoir wrote so poetically, Kaiser and Yamilov lead their compatriots through lengthy and diverse workouts. At the heart of this music is Kaiser’s raw Free Jazz playing. A disciple of Sonny Sharrock, Kaiser uses a battery of effect pedals and techniques to skronk, buzz, rip and swoon over the music. It has a similar effect as Vernon Reid’s contributions to the James Blood Ulmer collaborations, (the best of which is Memphis Blood – check it out if you don’t know it!). Kaiser’s otherworldly playing is given landing gear by Yamilov’s muscular playing and singing. The 2 balance each other and play off each other like Martian versions of Duane and Dicky (Allman and Betts that is).

Highlights include: the Reggae’ed up “The Whale Has Swallowed Me;” the darkly re-vamped “Rollercoaster Mojo Boogie” which surgically conjoins Bo Diddly’s instrumental free fall with the well trodden standard; the acoustic tinged spacious medley reading of “Alabama March Down in Mississippi;” and the relatively straight Blues of “People Are Meddlin’” with Kaiser eviscerating.

At first listen I didn’t fully understand what was happening on this record. The record was good, the exploratory and outrageous guitar playing right up my alley. But, it was not clear why this wasn’t just original music – take these great rhythms and write something new. Once I created a playlist putting the Lenoir originals back to back to each “Investigation” that I understood what Kaiser and Yamilv were doing. J.B. Lenoir’s music is profound and has deep meaning. Instead of interpreting it straight, which has been done very well before see Bonnie Raitt’s version of “Round and Round” as exhibit A, these musicians are inhabiting Lenoir. They are truly digging into the soul of the man and his muse and bringing themselves to it. Without appropriation or disrespect, Kaiser and Yamilov and co. put their souls and their ears into Lenoir’s music. It is a fitting tribute to a musician who in many ways did the same thing to his fore

Writer Bucky O’Hare is a slide guitarist, songwriter and singer. Based out of South Eastern Massachusetts, Bucky plays Slide Guitar Soul Jazz and Funk Blues inspired by the music of the 60’s and 70’s all around New England.


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 Featured Blues Review – 4 of 4 

imageHog Branch – Hog Branch

Blue Vada Records – 2022

www.HogBranch.com

10 tracks; 48 minutes

This is a debut album from a seasoned group of Austin musicians: Rick Watson on bass, Will Daniel on sax, Matt Schmidt on guitar, Dave Aaronoff on keys and Michael Bahan on drums; everyone contributes on vocals, all bar drummer Michael taking the lead on some of the tunes. Guests on one track include vocalist Nicole Tenneyuque, guitarist Nick Gonzales, drummer Rubin Nizri and string instrumentalist Grace Youn, while recording engineer Matt Parmenter also adds backing vocals to one cut.

The band plays a mixture of covers and originals, the style being generally at the funky end of the spectrum, as witnessed by the three opening cuts. Kool & The Gang’s “Let The Music Take Your Mind” is almost an instrumental with its insistent rhythms and minimal vocals which more or less repeat the title, but offers plenty of opportunity for guitar, sax and keys to shine; Will and Rick wrote “Getting To The Groove” which fits its title, keeping up the danceable stuff, this time with almost rap-like vocals shared between the authors; an instrumental version of the Bee Gees’ “Nights On Broadway” is well done with sax and piano featured. Rick’s “Slow Grind” is sung by Matt, a blues with doom-laden lyrics before Will sings about what he needs in his life, a “Tahitian Pearl”, complete with a stately sax break.

Dave sings his own “Walking Papers”, his electric piano leading into a ballad with good harmonies and Will’s sax again attracting attention before Matt delivers a nicely poised solo with jazzy tinges. The name of the band apparently comes from the name of Rick’s family land in Louisiana where his mother grew up and played gospel and boogie piano, so, naturally, “Hog Back Strut” is a swampy instrumental with more strong sax work. The frequently covered “Careless Love” dates back to the 1920’s and is here credited to Ray Charles, though usually considered to be WC Handy’s song; this is not the strongest version of the song but provides an extended feature for Matt on guitar and vocals. The track with the guests is a jazzy tune entitled “Afraid I’ll Wake”, Nicole’s smooth vocals set over the light melody. As a bonus we get a live version of “Hottentot” which runs to almost seven minutes, Matt playing guitar that is almost in competition with the main riff, very much in keeping with the author of the tune, John Scofield, something of a jam to close the album.

With elements of funk, jazz and blues, Hog Branch has something for everyone.

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK who enjoys a wide variety of blues and roots music, especially anything in the ‘soul/blues’ category. Favorites include contemporary artists such as Curtis Salgado, Tad Robinson, Albert Castiglia and Doug Deming and classic artists including Bobby Bland, Howling Wolf and the three ‘Kings’. He gets over to the States as often as he can to see live blues.


15th Annual Blues Blast Music Awards

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Winners in bold with yellow highlight

Contemporary Blues Album

Anthony Geraci – Blues Called My Name

Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters – Mercy Me

Tommy Castro – A Bluesman Came To Town

Altered Five Blues Band – Holler If You Hear Me

Carolyn Wonderland – Tempting Fate

Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames – Nightwalk

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – 662

Traditional Blues Album

Diunna Greenleaf – I Ain’t Playin’

Duke Robillard – They Called it Rhythm and Blues

Kenny Neal – Straight From The Heart

Sue Foley – Pinky’s Blues

Louisiana Red & Bob Corritore – Tell Me ‘Bout It

Bob Stroger & The Headcutters – That’s My Name

Soul Blues Album

Trudy Lynn – Golden Girl

Robbin Kapsalis and Vintage#18 – Soul Shaker

The Love Light Orchestra – Leave The Light On

Wee Willie Walker & Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra – Not In My Lifetime

Zac Harmon – Long As I Got My Guitar

Sugaray Rayford – In Too Deep

Rock Blues Album

Beth Hart – A Tribute To Led Zeppelin

Levee Town – Trying to Keep my Head Above Water

Big Al & the Heavyweights – Love One Another

Eric Gales – Crown

Tinsley Ellis – Devil May Care

Chickenbone Slim – Serve It To Me Hot

Acoustic Blues Album

Eric Bibb – Dear America

Corey Harris – The Insurrection Blues

Hector Anchondo – Let Loose Those Chains

Catfish Keith – Land of the Sky

Big Creek Slim & Rodrigo Mantovani- Stone In My Heart

Tas Cru – Broke Down Busted Up

Live Blues Album

Hurricane Ruth – Hurricane Ruth Live at 3rd and Lindsley

The BC Combo – The Garage Sessions

Rodd Bland and the Members Only Band – Live on Beale Street

Ann Peebles and The Hi Rhythm Section – Live In Memphis

Peer Gynt – Live In Hell

The James Harman Band – Sparks Flying Live In 1992

Historical Or Vintage Recording

Dave Specter – Six String Soul

Mark Hummel Presents East Bay Blues Vaults 1976-1988

Paul Oscher – Rough Stuff

Lowell Fulson with Jeff Dale & The Blue Wave Band – Lowell Fulson Live!

Big Jack Johnson – Stripped Down in Memphis

Bob Corritore & Friends – Down Home Blues Revue

New Artist Debut Album

Hogtown Allstars – Hog Wild

Memphissippi Sounds – Welcome To The Land

Malcolm Wells and the Two Timers – Hollerin’ Out Loud

Horojo Trio – Set The Record

John Winkler – Juke’s Blues

Buckmiller Schwager Band – To Memphis and Back

Blues Band

The Love Light Orchestra

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers

Altered Five Blues Band

Wee Willie Walker & Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra

Kilborn Alley Blues Band

Male Blues Artist

Sugaray Rayford

John Németh

Eric Gales

Tommy Castro

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Tinsley Ellis

Female Blues Artist

Diunna Greenleeaf

Sue Foley

Trudy Lynn

Carolyn Wonderland

Vaneese Thomas

Beth Hart

Sean Costello Rising Star Award

Robbin Kapsalis and Vintage#18

Kat Riggins

Gabe Stillman

Ben Levin

Jose Ramirez

Memphissippi Sounds

Producer

Eric Corne

Kid Andersen

Tony Braunagel

Mike Zito

Jim Gaines

Tom Hambridge

Electric Guitar

Chris Cain

Ronnie Earl

Eric Gales

Duke Robillard

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Albert Castiglia

Acoustic Guitar

Corey Harris

Doug MacLeod

Eric Bibb

Guy Davis

Hector Anchondo

Catfish Keith

Slide Guitar

Dave Weld

Sonny Landreth

Gabe Stillman

Michael van Merwyk

Catfish Keith

Derek Trucks

Bass Guitarist

Bob Stroger

Rodrigo Mantovani

Danielle Nicole

Willie J. Campbell

Scott Sutherland

Jerry Jemmott

Keyboards

Anthony Geraci

Kenny “Blues Boss Wayne

Ben Levin

Jim Pugh

Victor Wainwright

Kevin McKendree

Drums

Derrick D’Mar Martin

Tom Hambridge

Tony Braunagel

Kenny Smith

Alan Arber

June Core

Cedric Burnside

Harmonica

Pierre Lacocque

Jason Ricci

Dennis Gruenling

Bob Corritore

Kim Wilson

Billy Branch

Horn

Jimmy Carpenter

Vanessa Collier

Marc Franklin

Vince Salerno

Doug Wolverton

Terry Hanck

Vocalist

Diunna Greenleaf

John Németh

Vanesse Thomas

Sugaray Rayford

Beth Hart


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© 2022 Blues Blast Magazine 116 Espenscheid Court, Creve Coeur, IL 61610 (309) 267-4425




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