Tom Addis here with another late blog entry for the blues palace blog.
I know it’s been several months since my last entry. I have received dozens of new releases during this time and most of them are easily reviewable.
I have been criticized for being very select on what I review. I do not review cd’s that I don’t like or that I don’t like the artist. This is just how it is with me. No negativity unless warranted.
But I have at least five new releases that I feel are not only worthy, but need to get the word out there so these artists may be recognized for the class that is their music style.
Here are the first three.
First on my list is a LA guitar player that has been on the touring scene for at least the last twenty years, has played with the who’s who of national artists and is now bringing in the next generation of classy blues musicians. His name, Kid Ramos.
I hear that he played at this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival which is the cat’s meow of big time blues music here in the Portland Oregon part of this great country. The Hope Diamond of our community.
This is his first album in about 17 years since his freshman release, Greasy Kids Stuff, Circa 2001 or so.
This new release, titled Old School is on Rip Cat records and is as cool as it gets. He has a couple great instrumentals as well as the coming out party for his son, Johnny Ramos. But more on him in a minute.
He has the who’s who in his band of west coast blues guys. Keder Roy on Bass, Bob Welsh on Keys, Danny Michel on second guitar and four guys on vocals that include the ever popular Kim Wilson of Fabulous Thunderbird fame, Johnny Tucker, Big John Atkinson and the previously mentioned son, Johnny Ramos.
The songs are all bluesy with a little Americana thrown in for good measure.
This is the first cd that I would buy for that blues guy/gal in your life. I liked the whole thing. No complaints. Worth the cash. Will be listened too and loved by anyone that has an ear for blues music.
Next up is the prodigal son himself, Johnny Ramos. Not long after Old School was released, in came Johnny & Jaalene. Also on Rip Cat records.
This is a little different from Old School as it has a much younger feel. The band is a little different from Kids band as they are a tad bit more of the rockin’ style blues music. It features Kid Ramos on guitar, Tommy Harkenrider on second guitar, Brent Harding on bass, Kip Dabbs doing the drum work, a guy named Jessus Cuevas on accordion and Ron Dziubla on Sax. There is a lot to like here, not only Johnny Ramos doing vocals and Guitar work but his partner in crime, Jaalene Deleon on vocals. They make what is described as a very cute couple. Jaalene is a teenager on track to vocal greatness. She will be discovered soon and, if things go as they seem, will probably break young johnnys’ heart. She’a as cute as a button and already shining in things like local musical theater. These two make the perfect duo for the style of music they put together. 12 songs on the album, mostly ballads and few rockers. A personal fav is Teenage Cutie. A short (two minutes) rocker that makes an old fart like me smile out loud.
The release is a little heavy on reverb but it is very much the regular on these types of recording.
As most of you know, I like to listen to the music while I review it. Jaalene also shined on the ballad Gee Whiz. A voice that is a heartbreaker. I will admit that I had a hard time reviewing this release as I really like these two and their chemistry and found myself being a little over the top in superlatives.
I forgot to mention that this release has my first accordion blues instrumental I have ever listened too.
Just too cool for school.
Next up is a guy from the central California region in this country, he’s named Big Harp George. He is, by far, one of the most unique, upstyle blues bands I have ever heard in my blues life. That’s a good thing.
And man, what a band.
Big Harp George- Vocals, Harmonica, Little Charlie Bety-Guitars, Kid Anderson- Bass, Loralee Christensen-Back-up vocals, D’Mar-Percussion.
And all that on just one tune.
As I listen to the release, I can’t really decide which of these tunes do I want on my playlist.
I really like track 4 “I Wanna Know”. Then I restarted the cd and really enjoyed “Down To The Rite Ade, Internet Honey and Alternative Facts. A little rub on the Commander and Chief. I personally love it. This band is the type of music you hear when the announcer say’s “Live, From The Top Of The Cosmopolitran Hotel in beautiful downtown Century City, Big Harp George!” Go ahead, say it out loud and put energy behind it. I always like to emphasize “Live”. It’s Just fun to say. try it…. Live!. See What I mean?
I forgot to warn you, before you scream out “Live”, make sure your alone.
Nobody wants an intervention now do we
This is a must have. Class up your blues collection. The perfect blues gift for the holidays.
I just kicked back for a few minutes and came back to discover that I am selling blue music. On the internet. Without any permissions. If this was illegal, I apologize. If not, I hope amazon has them. Or, Try the Music Millennium website. I’ll bet they have it. Great people there at the last record shop in Portland. Well, not the last, but the best last.
Terry Courior, I think that’s how he spells it, has been the proprietor of the store for a long time. He has been instrumental in the advancement of blues music in the Portland scene and around the region. An Oregon entertainment hall of famer for at least the last decade, certainly longer. Just a great guy.
Well, that’s about all I can do for tonight. I will reread this tomorrow through the certain haze of an early morning.
Wait, who am I kidding. I haven’t had an early morning in a month. Maybe longer.