Pee Wee Ellis – Yellin´ Blue (1995)

FrontCover1.jpgAlfred “Pee Wee” Ellis was a basic member of the most influential reed-section of the global funk history, the James Brown band besides Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley. He blew his sax for ten years in the probably most important era of James Brown playing in their unimaginably tough way, while was also the co-author and co-orchestrator in such legendary hits, as I Feel Good, Cold Sweat or I’m Black and I’m Proud.

Of course he played besides with other legendary names: orchestrated six albums for Van Morrison, founded a group with David Liebman, then reformed the Jamesd Brown reed-line trio under the name JB Horns.

“Pee Wee” has been working on his solo career lately, and the guest on his latest European tour is noone else, but the legendary old friend, Fred Wesley. (

A versatile composer, arranger, saxophonist and keyboard player, a musician whose repertoire encompasses all manner of music from jazz through soul and funk to stadium rock, Alfred Pee Wee Ellis stands distinctive in any company…
A second trio album from Koln was recorded live during a Pee Wee Ellis Assembly Trio tour of Europe in the spring of ’94. Called “Yellin’ Blue,” it attracted much critical acclaim in Europe. (All About

Such a great album … saxophone – bass – drums only … I guess this album was only released in Germany and it´s one of his finest albums …. because you can hear him and his side musicians as a pure Jazz player … no funk, but as a high class trio !

Recorded live at the “Schmuckkästchen”, Cologne/Germany on March 21 and 22, 1994.


Dwayne Dolphin (bass)
Bruce Cox (drums)
Pee Wee Ellis (saxophone)

01. Lazy Bird (Coltrane) 4.18
02. Do Dee Dum Diddy (Ellis) 8.31
03. Sophisticated Lady (Ellington/Mills) 9.52
04. Like Sonny (Coltrane) 6.58
05. Yellin’ Blue (Pee Wee Ellis) 9:42
06. Groovin’ High (Gillespie) 6.10
07. In A Mellow Tone (Ellington/Gabler) 11.24
08. Tag Alone (Pee Wee Ellis) 8.03




Paul Rodgers & Friends – Live At Montreux 1994 (2011)

PaulRodgersFrontCover2.jpgIn 1993, Paul Rodgers was a free man. The Firm had dissolved, the legendary front man was above and beyond The Law, Bad Company had become a distant, but still treasured, memory and the revered Free was long gone. Left with nothing to do, the singer with the brawny, torn-and-frayed pipes and expressive, denim-clad delivery looked again to the blues, his one true love, for inspiration. He found it in the music of Muddy Waters.
Keen to pay homage to the great man, Rodgers didn’t break character. Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters may have contained the spark of the Chicago-style electric blues that Waters once perfected, but it was powered by the blues-rock combustion of Rodgers’ work with Bad Company and Free. Not all of the tracks on Muddy Water Blues, the second of Rodgers’ solo albums, were Waters covers, but his spirit haunts the record, inhabiting its grooves and inspiring Rodgers and his collaborators. In 1994, a year after Muddy Water Blues’ arrival, Rodgers brought much of that record to life in a blustery, sweaty concert at Montreux, where he was joined onstage by the likes of Journey guitarist Neal Schon, drummer Jason Bonham, guitarist Ian Hatton and bassist John Smithson, as well as several guests, including Queen’s Brian May, Toto’s Steve Lukather and blues veterans Luther Allison, Eddie Kirkland, Sherman Robertson, Robert Lucas and Kenny Neal.

Though a star-studded affair, Live at Montreux 1994 has more of a blue-collar feel. This is a workingman’s record, with dirt under its fingernails and calluses on its hands. Sprinkled with plenty of songs that Rodgers made famous with Free and Bad Company, Live at Montreux 1994 also finds Rodgers digging his hands into the earthy soil of blues classics like Waters’ “Louisiana Blues,” which simmers with menace and pure nastiness on the stove here, letting all the rich flavors – including a particularly tasty guitar solo – sink into its meaty textures. In a surprising turn, May gets down and dirty on the Sonny Boy Williamson number “Good Morning Little School Girl,” his distorted guitar becoming PaulRodgers02.jpga careening crop duster that dives and climbs with all the daring of pilot with a death wish. The highlight of a sensational set, “Good Morning Little School Girl” is simply mean, burning with intensity and passionate playing. To finish off the night, Rodger and crew slam into Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” and the closer, “Hoochie Coochie Man” by Willie Dixon, with all the force of a hurricane. The guitars sound like switchblades on and cut deeply with every note on “Crossroads,” as the rhythm section works up a mean, mean thirst crawling through the gutter on “Hoochie Coochie Man.”
Three of the songs Dixon wrote for Waters, including 1954’s “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “I’m Ready” and 1961’s “Let Me Love You Baby,” are included here and performed with all the righteous fervor of a tent revival ministry, as is Booker T. & the MGs’ “The Hunter.” Just as propulsive and muscular are the Rodgers’ classics “All Right Now,” the old Free hit, and rust-covered Bad Company diamonds “Can’t Get Enough (of Your Love)” and “Feel Like Making Love.” Ever the professional, Rodgers’ nuanced vocals add richness and depth to each track, while his handpicked group of hired guns plays the daylights out of this material almost all the way through, with the exception of the rare uninspired moment. The recording quality is pretty sound and world-class music writer Malcolm Dome does the show justice with well-written, informative liner notes. All of this makes you wonder if, or when, Rodgers will delve even deeper into the blues down the road. (by Peter Lindblad)

What a line-up, what a concert. what a night … it was another night, the legends came out to play !


Jason Bonham (drums)
Ian Hatton (guitar)
Eddie Kirkland (guitar)
Steve Lukather (guitar)
Brian May (guitar)
Claude Nobs (harmonica)
Paul Rodgers (vocals, guitar)
Neil Schon (guitar)
John Smithson (bass)

01. Travelling Man (Kossoff/Kirke/Rodgers/Fraser) 3.27
02. Wishing Well (Bundrick/Kossoff/Kirke/Rodgers/Yamauchi) 3.57
03. Louisiana Blues (Morganfield) 5.00
04. Fire And Water (Rodgers/Fraser) 4.07
05. Muddy Waters Blues (Rodgers) 5.07
06. Good Morning Little School Girl (Williamson) 4.14
07. I’m Ready (Dixon) 3.37
08. Little Bit Of Love (Kossoff/Kirke/Rodgers/Fraser) 3.34
09. Mr. Big (Kossoff/Kirke/Rodgers/Fraser) 5.17
10. Feel Like Making Love (Ralphs/Rodgers) 5.43
11. Let Me Love You Baby (Dixon) 4.40
12. The Hunter (Cropper/Dunn/Jackson/Wells/Jones) 4.27
13. Can’t Get Enough ( Of Your Love) (Ralphs) 3.52
14. All Right Now (Rodgers/Fraser) 6.57
15. Crossroads (Johnson) 4.41
16. Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) 7.35



Tommy & Phil Emmanuel – Terra Firma (1994)

FrontCover1.jpgTerra Firma is an album by Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel with his brother Phil that was released in February 1995 and peaked at No. 12 on the ARIA Albums Chart in Australia. The sing “(Back on the) Terra Firma”reached No. 45 on the ARIA Singles Chart.

At the ARIA Music Awards of 1995, the album was nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album but lost to Brood by My Friend the Chocolate Cake. (by wikipedia)

Phil has toured Australia with Brother Tommy as “The Emmanuel’ Brothers” seeing them playing in every major city in Australia with sell out concerts every night. What followed was the rise and rise of the Emmanuel Brothers, with the long awaited Sony Records release of ‘Terra Firma” in 1995 which debuted on the Australian Music Charts at #13 Nationwide, and climbing to #6 in the July of that year. “Terra Firma” was the first ever album release by the two Emmanuel Brothers and celebrated 35 years of guitar playing. It not only earned an ARIA Nomination for Best Adult Contemporary, it was also nominated at The Tamworth Country Music Awards for Best Instrumental Album. (


Andrián Pertout speaks with Tommy about the Emmanuel brothers’ recording debut with the album ‘Terra Firma’.

After 35 years, and a career that began for Phil at 7, while amazingly for Tommy at 4 years old with the ‘Emmanuel Quartet’, a recording debut for these two brothers seems almost incredible. Over the years they have both individually won the admiration and respect of millions of Australians. You have to look hard for the producer’s credit on this very special project, which says a lot about Tommy’s very modest and down to earth nature. A great musician with an attitude hard to match, and a talent that needs no introduction. Unlike other current albums, ‘Terra Firma’ sets out to capture the purity of real performances by real people, with little emphasis on ‘high tech’ studio methods.

I’m sure that everybody is more than happy to finally see this long overdue collaboration. How did it come about?

TE: “Well, we’d been talking about doing this for a long time; But just didn’t feel the time was right, until now. I’m sure that if we’d made an album ten years ago we wouldn’t have been happy with it, and it would have sat on the shelf. I felt that we made it at the right time, and the choice of material was stuff that we both liked; And we wrote things for the album that we would never have written before.”


How did you chose the material?

TE: “We wanted to put things on the album that we’d been playing since childhood, as well as things that meant a lot to us along the way. You know, like there’s a ‘Shadows’ song on there, a couple of sort of bluegrass tunes, an ‘AC/DC’ medley and a ‘Mozart’ tune. So there’s a bit of everything there, plus there are some original songs. I think we ended up with about twenty five tunes, and then we honed it down into an album basically.”

In a recent press release you say that the new album is really about going back to your roots. What is the music that really inspires you both? What did you grow up listening to?


TE: “We grew up listening to instrumental music by people like the ‘Shadows’ and the ‘Ventures’ when we were kids. In the early sixties I discovered ‘Chet Atkins’, and he really changed my way of playing, listening to music and talking a lot, just through his records. We listened to anything and everything. In the seventies we discovered ‘Eric Clapton’ and people like that, and then in the eighties all sorts of people, from ‘Larry Carlton’, ‘B.B. King’ and ‘Stevie Ray Vaughan’ right through to ‘Steve Vai’.” (

This instrumental album is a real pretty good one … a great mix between rock, acoustic guitar music, and even classic.

And at the end of this album you can hear unique versions of 2 AC/DC songs … in a very bluesy way.


Joe Chindamo (accordion)
Phil Emmanuel (guitar)
Tommy Emmanuel (guitar)
Rob Little (bass)
Kevin Murphy (drums)
Broderick Smith (harmonica)


01. (Rock On The) Terra Firma (Jorgenson) 5.20
02. Love Gone West (P.Emmanuel/T.Emmanuel) 4.06
03. Nashville Express (Posa) 2.51
04. Rondo Ala Turka (Mozart/Brubeck) 2.42
05. Theme From “Missing” (Vangelis) 3.39
06. Happy Go Lucky Guitar (Owens) 2.36
07. Bendin’ It (P.Emmanuel) 3.53
08. Optimism Part One (Roche) 0.28
09. Shindig (Marvin/Welch) 2.08
10. Town Hall Shuffle (Maphis) 2.26
11. Last Post (Traditional) 2.10
12. Ashoakan Farewell (Traditional) 3.26
13. Rise And Shine (Emmanuel) 3.40
14. Optimism Part Two (Roche) 1.23
15. The Shaker (T.Emmanuel) 3.21
16. AC/DC Medley: Riff Raff/Let There Be Rock 6:02



Phil Emmanuel (6 July 1952 – 24 May 2018)

Mazzy Star – Ghost Highway (2005)

FrontCover1.jpgMazzy Star is an American alternative rock band formed in Santa Monica, California, in 1989 from remnants of the group Opal. Founding member David Roback’s friend Hope Sandoval became the group’s vocalist when Kendra Smith left Opal.

Mazzy Star is best known for the song “Fade into You” which brought the band some success in the mid-1990s and was the group’s biggest mainstream hit, earning extensive exposure on MTV, VH1, and radio airplay. Roback and Sandoval are the creative center of the band, with Sandoval as lyricist and Roback as composer of the majority of the band’s material.

The band’s most recent studio album, Seasons of Your Day, was released in 2013, followed by the EP Still in 2018.

Mazzy Star has deep roots within the Californian Paisley Underground movement of the early 1980s. David Roback, along with his brother Steven, was one of the main architects of leading Los Angeles psychedelic revival band the Rain Parade. Leaving that band after their first LP, he founded Clay Allison in 1983 with then-girlfriend, ex-Dream Syndicate bassist Kendra Smith. Soon after the publication of their sole release, the 1983 double A-sided single “Fell From the Sun”/”All Souls”, Clay Allison renamed themselves Opal and released the LP Happy Nightmare Baby on SST on December 14, 1987. With Roback as its musical catalyst, Opal were a direct precursor to Mazzy Star musically—often featuring the same psychedelic guitar drones and similar hints of blues and folk that would later appear on Mazzy Star recordings. Meanwhile, Sandoval—who was in high school at the time—formed the folk music duo Going Home in the early 1980s with fellow student Sylvia Gomez, and went on to tour with Sonic Youth and Minutemen.

Hope Sandoval.jpg


Both were devoted followers of the Rain Parade, and after a 1983 concert by the band in the Los Angeles area, Gomez entered the backstage area of the venue and gave Roback a copy of Going Home’s demo tape, featuring Sandoval on vocals and Gomez on guitar. Upon hearing the tape, Roback offered to produce a still-unreleased album by the pair.

When Smith left Opal under cloudy circumstances in the middle of a tour supporting the Jesus & Mary Chain, Sandoval was tapped as her replacement.

Despite Smith’s departure, Rough Trade retained Roback’s original record deal, contractually obligating him to supply a follow-up to Opal’s debut LP. As a result, Roback and Sandoval continued to tour under the Opal alias for the next two years, during which time they completed production on Opal’s planned second album, titled Ghost Highway. Composed mainly of songs written by Roback and Smith, Sandoval stated that she was unhappy with the material, and expressed an interest in wanting to “start something completely new”. The pair quickly composed and recorded seven new tracks in Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, and renamed the band Mazzy Star.[7] Written over a year before Mazzy Star’s inception, the track “Ghost Highway” is the duo’s only original song to not feature a writing credit from Sandoval, while another song, “Give You My Lovin'”, was written by Going Home guitarist Sylvia Gomez and first recorded by Sandoval and Gomez in the mid-1980s.


She Hangs Brightly was released in April 1990 on Rough Trade and, although it was not an immediate commercial success, the album established the duo as a recurrent fixture on alternative rock radio, with lead single “Blue Flower” – a cover of the Slapp Happy track – peaking at No. 29 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart.[10] The album would go on to sell over 70,000 copies in the UK.

The American branch of Rough Trade folded in late 1990, briefly leaving Mazzy Star without a record label. Within weeks, the duo’s contract was picked up by Capitol, who re-released She Hangs Brightly on November 4, 1990, and released their follow-up, So Tonight That I Might See on September 27, 1993. A year after its release, the album yielded an unexpected hit single. “Fade into You” peaked at No. 44 to become their first Billboard Hot 100 single, while also reaching a career-high peak of No. 3 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. On April 19, 1995, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments in excess of 1 million units.


The album also peaked at No. 68 in the UK, and was certified silver by the BPI on July 22, 2013 for sales of over 60,000 copies. Following the success of “Fade into You”, She Hangs Brightly album opener “Halah” began to receive heavy airplay in the US and peaked at No. 19 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart, a position based solely on airplay. In 1995, She Hangs Brightly was awarded a gold certification from the RIAA for shipments in excess of 500,000 units. (by wikipedia)

And here´s one of the countless bootlegs of Mazzy Star, recorded in 1994 … and amazing document of their music … performed by one of the leading lights of the Paisley Underground’s psychedelic revival …  it´s magic, believe me !

This is a rare radio broadcast recording. Every attempt has been made to present the best audio quality possible from these very old tapes.

01.-08. Recorded The Metro Chicago 12th November 1994
09.-13. Recorded at KROQ Los Angeles 10th December 1994


Jill Emery (bass)
Keith Mitchell (drums)
David Roback (guitar, keyboards)
Hope Sandoval (vocals, harmonica, guitar, tambourine)


01. Flowers In December (Roback/Sandoval) 5.12
02.. Ride It On (Roback/Sandoval) 3.20
03. Into Dust (Roback/Sandoval) 6.14
04. Give You My Lovin’ (Roback) 4.04
05. Fade Into You (Roback/Sandoval) 4.41
06. Halah (Roback/Sandoval) 3.27
07. Ghost Highway (Roback) 3.32
08. Blue Flower (Moore/Krause) 4.44
09. Flowers In December (Roback/Sandoval) 5.28
10. Bells Ring (Roback/Sandoval) 4.23
11. Blue Flower (Blegvad/Moore) 4.14
12. Halah (Roback/Sandoval) 3.47
13. So Tonight That I Might See (Roback/Sandoval) 7.39



Rory Block – Angel Of Mercy (1994)

FrontCover1Aurora “Rory” Block (born November 6, 1949, Princeton, New Jersey, United States) is an American blues guitarist and singer, a notable exponent of the country blues style.

Aurora Block was born in Princeton and grew up in Manhattan. Her father, Allan Block, ran a sandal shop in Greenwich Village in the 1960s, and the influence of the Greenwich Village folk music scene, such as Peter Rowan, Maria Muldaur, and John Sebastian, tempted Block to study classical guitar. At the age of 14, she met guitarist Stefan Grossman, who introduced her to the music of Mississippi Delta blues guitarists. Block began listening to old albums, transcribing them, and learning to play the songs. At age 15, she left home to seek out the remaining blues giants, such as Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, and Son House, and hone her craft in the traditional manner of blues musicians; then she traveled to Berkeley, California, where she played in clubs and coffeehouses.

After retiring temporarily to raise a family, Block returned to the music industry in the 1970s with middling success until signing with Rounder Records in 1981, who encouraged her to return to her love for the classical blues form. Since then she has carved out her own niche, releasing numerous critically acclaimed albums of original and traditional songs, including many Robert Johnson covers, such as “Terraplane Blues” and “Come on in My Kitchen”.


Block has won five W. C. Handy Awards, two for “Traditional Blues Female Artist” (1997, 1998) and three for “Acoustic Blues Album of the Year” (1996, 1999, 2007). She also won NAIRD awards for “Best Adult Contemporary Album of the Year” in 1994 for Angel of Mercy and again in 1997 for Tornado.

Angel of Mercy, Turning Point, and Tornado included mostly original compositions. However, Mama’s Blues, Ain’t I a Woman and When a Woman Gets the Blues featured songs written by Tommy Johnson, Robert Johnson, Lottie Beaman, and Mattie Delaney.

In 2010, Block released her autobiography in .pdf format and a limited print run titled When A Woman Gets The Blues. (by wikipedia)


Block moves completely away from the blues form on this release, doing original pieces that evoke the familiar themes of alienation, anguish and romantic conflicts, but in a production climate geared more toward folk and singer/songwriter arrangements than 12-bar settings. She still plays excellent guitar solos and accompaniment, but her vocals are now powerful or mournful, questioning or declarative, and she’s unconcerned with trying to capture the quality of someone else’s compositions. The disc’s final selection, the nine-minute-plus “A Father and Two Sons,” reworks the biblical Prodigal son tale with a contemporary focus, featuring wonderful vocal interaction between Block and her son Jordan. This album showcases Rory Block’s own sound and vision and deserves widespread praise and attention. (by Ron Wynn)


Rory Bach (guitar, vocals)
Richard Bell (keyboards)
Rory Block (vocals, guitar)
Larry Chaney (guitar)
John Gardner (drums)
Dave Pomeroy (bass)
Sam Bacco (percussion)
Ron Bach (synthesizer)
Warren Bernhardt (piano)
Johnathan Biebisheimer (programming)
Brendan Croker (slide-guitar)
Dan Dugmore (pedal steel guitar)
Larry Knechtel (piano)
Rob Leon (bass)
Jerry Marotta (drums)
Vinnie Martucci (clavinet, horn)
Jeff Mironov (guitar)
Michael Mugrage (guitar)
John Sebastian (harmonica)
Jordan Block Valdina (vocals on 09.)
Neal Wilkinson (drums)
background vocals:
Amy Fraden – James Kasanof – Paul Block


01. Angel Of Mercy (Block) 4.30
02. It Ain’t Right (Block) 3.33
03. I’ll Be Gone (Block) 4.28
04. Who Was Calling (Block) 4.15
05. Somebody’s Baby (Block) 4,28
06. Big Bad Agent Man (Block) 3.20
07. You Deserve The Best (Martin) 3.38
08. Love Without The Heart (Block) 5.22
09. A Father and Two Sons (Block) 9.13



1994 – Please Stand By (1979)

FrontCover1.jpgWay back in 1979 the debut album by female-fronted US band 1994 was a record I played to death, and still play regularly today due to Rock Candy’s excellent re-issue five years ago. On the back of the success of Heart and Pat Benatar there were many other good bands of the same ilk from the same era, with fellow Americans Storm (another great brace of great reissues from the same label), Spider and Canada’s Toronto immediately springing to mind. When 1994s sophomore record ‘Please Stand By…’ was first released I was initially very disappointed, but I soon came to like it a lot, even if I never actually loved it as much as their debut.

Who couldn’t love the vocals of the lovely Karen Lawrence? A particularly versatile singer who could just as easily strip the paint off your woodwork with her throaty roar as caress your ears with her beautiful melodies. The main difference for me on this album was the loss of original guitarist Steve Schiff, whose incendiary playing lit up every song, and whilst he was ably replaced by Rick Armand (and bassist Bill Rhodes,who plays more guitar than bass here), the results were maybe just a little too KarenLawrence01.jpgvaried and the album lacked the consistent style of their self-titled release. Having said that the opening title-track is a great upbeat song,and the song the original LP ended with, the raucous ‘Keep Ravin’ On’,is perhaps the heaviest thing they recorded. Both ‘Wait For Me’ and ‘Stop The Heartache’ are nicely arranged Heart-like mid-paced songs with soaring vocals and catchy melodies, whilst ‘Our Time Will Come’ is an impressive power ballad with an inspired guitar solo. The highpoint of the album is the killer hard rocker ‘So Bad’ with it’s multiple stereo guitar parts and pounding bass lines, not to mention a brilliant vocal performance from Ms. Lawrence, but sadly the album is let down by the cheesy jazz-pop of ‘Don’t Break Up’ and the funky 80s vibe of ‘Wild In The Streets, which never seems to get going.


With another great production job from legendary Aerosmith/Alice Cooper man Jack Douglas, this re-issue sparkles with power and clarity and I’m still hearing sounds that I’d never heard before in the thirty years that I’d been listening to the LP. Paul Suter’s sleeve essay tells the usual sad story of lack of record company support and a band falling apart under the pressure, which is a shame because 1994’s sophomore release is still better than most albums of it’s ilk. (Phil Ashcroft)

And listen to “Nerves Of Steel” with a superb slide-guitar !


Rick Armand (guitar, background vocals, piano on 06.)
John Desautels (drums, percussion)
Karen Lawrence (vocals, piano, tubular bells on 04.)
Bill Rhodes (bass, guitar, slide-guitar, clavinet)
Jim Alcivar (synthesizer on 05.)
Lanier Greig (synthesizer on 02.)
Jim Horn (saxophone)
Terry Linvill (bass on 01., 03. + 05.)
background vocals:
Jay Gruska – Michelle Gruska – Sarah Taylor


01. Please Stand By… (St John/Lawrence) 3.55
02. Wait For Me (St John/Lawrence/Armand) 4.33
03. Don’t Break Up (Rhodes/St John/Lawrence) 3.55
04. Our Time Will Come (St John/Lawrence) 4.38
05. Wild In The Streets (Jeffreys) 3.34
06. Stop This Heartache (St John/Lawrence/Armand/Linvill) 3.28
07. So Bad (Leonetti/Desautels/Lawrence/Armand) 4.02
08. Nerves Of Steel (Rhodes/Leonetti/Douglas/Desautels/Lawrence) 4.18
09. Keep Ravin’ On (St John/Lawrence/Armand) 4.05