Jay Jesse Johnson – Set The Blues On Fire (2015)

FrontCover1Set The Blues On Fire is the fifth solo album by Ohio native Jay Jesse Johnson. With a equal parts Robin Trower like explosiveness, some Foghat hard boogie blues and influences from the British Blues Explosion that clearly influenced artists like Bonamassa, JJJ set serves up 12 tracks that deliver on the title tracks promise. From some smokin’ slow blues and fast paced rocking boogie they set the blues on fire from both ends.

Bassist Reed Bogart and drummer Jeff “Smokey” Donaldson combine to deliver a tight rhythm section accompanying JJJ’s guitar throughout this fast-paced, energetic thrill ride that the majority of this album is going to take you on. The frighteningly fast boogie of “Hell or High Water” declares that this band is here to rock you right from the start. The next track “Ghosts of Texas” is where the work of keyboardist Lee Evans work is most prominent with some great organ playing. There is a definite SRV Reese Wynans feel to this one. “Since My Baby’s Gone” is a captivating slow blues with a beautiful guitar tone reminiscent with just that little delay and hint of echo of Gary Moore. The boogie train takes off again with “Wheelhouse Boogie” where the slower pace really lets JJJ take the time to make that guitar groan and growl during the choruses.

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Another slower but positively rocking blues is delivered with “Midnight Dream” where the band lays down a rhythm and just lets JJJ go to town for an first-rate solo in the middle. A powerful rhythm section that sets a slightly funky yet ominously dark tone to the warning of “Don’t Mess With Baby.” “If I Knew Then” is a slow burning blues that should not be missed. From there the thrill ride drops off the edge of the precipice with the fast paced “Ace In The Hole.” “Grinding Blues” is exactly what is describes. However, the highlight of this album is the instrumental closing track “Rio de los Suenos (River of Dreams)” which has all the beautiful feel, mood, and superior tone of something you would expect to hear from Eric Johnson. This is truly an amazing song where JJJ shows the depth of his guitar mastery.

With excellent songwriting of Set The Blues On Fire and the killer tone that he can wring out of his Strat, Jay Jesse Johnson delivers a clear message to everyone that he is here to ignite the flame of the candle placing him on the blues-rock altar. (Kevin O’Rourke)

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Personnel:
Reed Bogart (bass)
Donaldson (drums)
Lee Evans (keyboards)
Jay Jesse Johnson  (guitar, vocals)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Hell Or High Water 3.54
02. Ghosts In Texas 4.21
03. Since My Baby’s Gone 4.57
04. Wheelhouse Boogie 5.03
05. Set The Blues On Fire 4.01
06. Midnight Dream 5.49
07. Voodoo Woman 4.07
08. Don’t Mess With Baby 4.30
09. If I Knew Then 5.25
10. Ace In The Hole 4.30
11. Grinding Blues 4.51
12. Rio De Los Sueños (River Of Dreams) 5.25

All songs written by Jay Jesse Johnson

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Louisiana Red & The City Blues Connection – World On Fire (1985)

FrontCover1Taken from the original liner notes:

“The themes of the album “World On Fire” came out of Louisiana Red’s own life. The title song is almost gospel-like although rocking along aggressively, and give warning against the nuclear fire, sung by Red with wild emotion. “When I Was A Boy” is a country honk song about the times on the cotton fields.

“Mississippi Girl” and “Voodoo Woman” are love songs, but with the typical Red excitement. “For My Friend” is dedicated to Bo Diddley, played in the hand jive style, while “Soul Food” shows Red’s old love for soul music. And besides all the “babies of the Blues” (Red) as Rhythm & Blues, Rock and Soul the authentic stuff itself – listen to “Suffering”. The last song of the album is an adaption of an old gospel, “On My Way To The Kingdom Land”. Most of the songs were recorded some kind of live, Red often refused to play a title twice or do overdubs. The spontaneous expression was more important to him. A difficult way to work, but the “City Blues Connection” was the right partner. After the sessions in Volkspark Studio, Hamburg, Red commented: “They are better than any band I had before, even in Chicago”.

“The themes of the album “World On Fire” came out of Louisiana Red’s own life. The title song is almost gospel-like although rocking along aggressively, and give warning against the nuclear fire, sung by Red with wild emotion. “When I Was A Boy” is a country honk song about the times on the cotton fields. (by itrockandroll.com)

In other words:This is a killer album … If you like blues, blues-rock … than you have to listen ! Unbelieveable !

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Personnel:
Rev. Josh Blackwell (keyboards)
Norbert Egger (guitar)
Heiko Petcke (harmonica)
Louisiana Red (vocals, guitar)
Mick Schreiber (drums, percussion)
Uwe Seemann (bass)
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Ben Ahrens (drums on 10.)
Ulrich Maske (guitar on 01. 09 – 10.)
Audrey Motaung (background vocals)
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The Nite Riders (horns)

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Tracklist:
01. World On Fire 3.23
02. Mississippi Girl 2.56
03. Mini Skirt 1.58
04. When I Was A Boy 2.21
05. Voodoo Woman 3.54
06. Suffering 5.16
07. Pittsburgh 2.45
08. Special Medicine 3.57
09. For My Friend 4.43
10. Soul Food 4.27
11. On My Way To The Kingdom Land 4.24

All songs were written by Louisiana Red, except 11. (Traditional)

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The City Blues Connection

Pete Haycock Band – Livin´ It (1992)

FrontCover1It´s time to celebrate the one and only Pete Haycock !!!

Peter John Haycock (4 March 1951 – 30 October 2013) was an English musician and film score composer. He began his career as lead guitarist, vocalist, and founding member of the Climax Blues Band.

Haycock was born in Stafford, and here he attended St. John’s Primary School and King Edward VI Boys Grammar School. As a child, he was impressed by the guitar solos of Hank Marvin of The Shadows. He played his first electric guitar at a miners club when he was 12. He then played guitar at school and college dances. Along with local boys, he formed a blues band, the Mason–Dixon Line.[3] In 1967, Haycock met Colin Cooper and joined his soul band The Gospel Truth.[2] In 1968, they founded a new band, the Climax Chicago Blues Band, and then they eventually changed its name to the Climax Blues Band, in 1970. The band’s original line-up consisted of Haycock (lead guitar, vocals), Cooper (harmonica, vocals), Derek Holt (guitar, vocals), Richard Jones (bass), Arthur Wood (keyboards), George Newsome (drums).

During the early 1970s, the Climax Blues Band went through a few personnel changes, before arriving at their most stable, creative, and successful line-up, which consisted of Haycock, Cooper, Holt (switched to bass guitar), and John Cuffley (drums). In 1976, the line-up with keyboardist Richard Jones wrote the band’s biggest hit “Couldn’t Get It Haycock02Right”. The song included the vocal harmonies of Haycock and Holt, behind Cooper’s lead. Haycock, an underrated vocalist, sang lead on several of the band’s tracks, particularly on the Sense of Direction (1974), Stamp Album (1975), Gold Plated (1976), Shine On (1978), and Flying The Flag (1980). albums. The band with the core line-up of Haycock, Cooper, Holt, and John Cuffley toured heavily in the 1970s and 1980s. During much of this period, Haycock played concerts with his rare trademark instrument, a gold-plated Veleno guitar, which was also on the cover of the album Gold Plated.

Holt and Cuffley left in 1983. Haycock and Cooper went their separate ways after their final Climax Blues Band album together, 1983’s Sample and Hold.

In May 2012, the Major League Productions Ltd record label released an until-then unknown vault recording of a 1976 live performance, featuring the Climax Blues Band at the top of their game: Climax Blues Band / World Tour 1976. Haycock provided some insightful liner notes for the CD’s insert, and the recording further demonstrates the tight musicianship that was found in the band’s line-up at that time.

In March 2015, a 4-CD retrospective was released entitled Live, Rare, and Raw 1973-1979, featuring the band at the height of their powers, in a variety of Live settings. This release would parallel the ferocity and acclaim of Climax Blues Band’s 1973 album, FM/Live. The band produced more than 15 successful albums in their heyday.

Though another group of musicians, which at one time was led by late former bandmate Colin Cooper, is currently calling themselves “Climax Blues Band”, their lineup does not consist of any founding members, and has not found the commercial success or following that the original, “true” Climax Blues Band enjoyed during Haycock’s years with the band. Cooper died in 2008.

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In 1984, the bandmembers went their separate ways, and Haycock went on to record several solo projects, the first of which was the album Total Climax (1986) recorded with his new band, Pete Haycock’s Climax. Pete Haycock’s Climax toured extensively in Europe, including Communist East Germany, as well as a well-received tour in Australia, also releasing The Soft Spot (1987). During this period, Haycock was asked by former Climax Blues Band manager, Miles Copeland, to record an instrumental album for I.R.S. No Speak, Guitar and Son, and Night of the Guitars, a live album from the tour of the same name.[9] After that tour, in 1989, Haycock teamed up with Holt and guitarist Steve Hunter to record an album under the name H Factor. The Pete Haycock Band consisted of the musicians from the Total Climax lineup, and went on to record a live album entitled Livin’ It in 1992. Copeland also signed Gary Numan to I.R.S. with whom Haycock collaborated with in the 1988 album Metal Rhythm.

Haycock was approached by Bev Bevan, formerly of Electric Light Orchestra, to join the newly formed Electric Light Orchestra Part II. The group toured and recorded with Haycock in the early 1990s, releasing both a live CD and video of their performance with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. They recorded and toured together until 1993.

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In the early 1990s, Haycock was asked by Hans Zimmer to collaborate on film scores for K2 (1991), and Toys (1992). Other film scores they worked on were for Drop Zone (1994), and The Dilemma (2011), among others. Haycock’s slide guitar contributed to Thunderbird, the theme music for the 1991 film, Thelma & Louise.[2] Haycock was asked by Zimmer to re-create his performance, with a live symphony orchestra for the recording of Wings of a Film, which was a compilation album of Zimmer’s successful film scores.[citation needed]

Haycock began composing music of his own for film and television. Along with Holt, he composed music for the 1992 film One False Move. More scores would follow, and Haycock helped produce recordings for other artists.

Haycock05.jpgIn 2005, Haycock supplied all the music for the Hollister Independence Motorcycle Rally DVD charity project, for producer Jeff Byler, with proceeds benefiting Emmaus House, a shelter for battered women and children. When the DVD’s producer suggested a follow-up soundtrack to the project, Haycock went back into the studio to complete the album that became Bikers’ Dozen, which featured a vocal performance by John Fiddler (Medicine Head).

Haycock signed on as a major contributor to the LovePower and Peace[ charity CD project in 2009, which was spearheaded by fellow musician Robin George, and was built around George’s hit song, “LovePower and Peace”. Haycock contributed many trademark slide guitar tracks and donated studio time to the project, a charity effort to benefit children with cancer and other terminal diseases.

This collaboration, which included the donated talents of scores of veteran musicians,[14] also resulted in the forming a “super group” called The LovePower Band, which landed a major record deal and completed its first album, which was released in 2011.

After an absence from the stage and live performances, Haycock formed a new band, Pete Haycock’s True Blues (featuring Glen Turner). In 2008, they toured Europe and released their first recording together: Pete Haycock’s True Blues Live (featuring Glen Turner).[16][17] In April 2009, Haycock, in an interview talked about the early days with the Climax Blues Band, the transition to studio work (with and without Hans Zimmer), and his return to the stage with his new band, after an absence from live performances of fourteen years.

Haycock continued to record, and perform live, and had been a featured guest performer with the Siggi Schwarz’ band, and was on the same bill with ZZ Top and Johnny Winter in 2012.

Haycock012013 found Haycock coming full-circle with the formation of a super-group recording and scheduled for touring as Pete Haycock’s Climax Blues Band featuring Robin George, with Haycock being joined by a lineup of musicians including George, with whom he had collaborated on the LovePower Band, and other projects. Haycock envisioned this project as a return to the “true” Climax Blues Band, and he had just completed the new album, Broke Heart Blues, before his death.

Haycock built a recording studio in Frankfurt, Germany where he lived for several years until his death. He died of a heart attack on 30 October 2013 in Frankfurt. The news was posted on the group’s official website. He was 62. (by wikipedia)

And this is one of his rarest album, only released in Germany. It was recorded live at a samll club called “Die Neue Kulisse”, Pirmasens / Germany in June 1992 and when I wrote it´s time to celebrate the one and only Pete Haycock … you will undertand me … after listening thiis album.

Pete Haycock … one of the most underrated musician in the history of Rock & Blues !

Listen and enjoy !

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Personnel:
Livingstone Brown (bass, keyboards, vocals on 5)
Pete Haycock (guitar, vocals)
Clive Mayuyu (drums)
Mike Stevens (saxophone, flute, keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Liberty (Haycock) 3.29
02. So Many Roads (Marshall) 11.11
03. Communication (Haycock) 6.47
04. Medley: 6.48
04.1. Come On In My Kitchen (Johnson)
04.2. Country Hat (Haycock)
05. The Thrill Is Gone /Hawkins/Darnell) 13.09
06. Lucienne (Haycock) 10.41
07. Dr. Brown, I Presume (Haycock) 6.00
08. Blackjack And Me (Haycock) 5.32

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Rocky Hill – Same (1988)

FrontCover1John Rockford “Rocky” Hill (December 1, 1946 – April 10, 2009) was a blues guitarist, singer, and bassist from Dallas, Texas, United States. Hill was the older brother of ZZ Top bassist, Dusty Hill.

Hill was a member of the 1960s acid rock and blues group American Blues with his brother Dusty and drummer Frank Beard. Before the formation of ZZ Top, Rocky left the trio and subsequently played in blues bands for John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins (for whom he played bass), Freddie King, and Jimmy Reed.

In 1982, he released his first solo album, Texas Shuffle (reissued in 2005) which featured Johnny Winter and Dr. John. In 1988, Virgin Records released Hill’s eponymous album produced by ZZ Top’s manager and producer Bill Ham.

Hill, a self-styled “anti-Clapton”, was called “a monster on guitar” and “perhaps the wildest and scariest—both on stage and off—of all the white-boy Texas blues guitarists” and was noted in particular for his “metal-melting tone and whistling, artillery-shell harmonics”.

Hill died on April 10, 2009, aged 62. (by wikipedia)

RockyHillThe brother of ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, information on Rocky has always been kind of tough to find. He was in a band with his brother in the ‘60s when Dusty decided he wanted to play rock music and joined Billy Gibbons in what would eventually be ZZ Top. Rocky wanted to play blues so he went solo but quietly. He put out his debut record in 1982 and then didn’t release another on until his self-titled record in ’88. He never had much chart success which was surprising due to his brother’s major hits, but Rocky always kind of stayed to himself and didn’t want to compromise his love of blues for a record label. It’s a shame he wasn’t a hit because that record in ’88 is damn fine but most people don’t even know who Rocky Hill was. He passed away in ’09. (by popdose.com)
I have finally been re-united with this excellent, mainly blues-rock album from 1988. The best track on the album is the soul ballad “I’ll Be There With You”. But there are other great tracks like “Hoo Doo Eyes”, “Walked From Dallas” or “HPD” (Short for Houston Police Department) or “Mississippi Delta Blues”. Houston-based guitarist and singer Rocky Hill is sadly no longer with us. This is some of his finest work. (O.Laursenon)

I first heard this album when I bought a bunch of clearance LPs in 1990 for $1 each. GREAT BLUES! I always thought it was a shame Mr. Hill never got the recognition he deserved. Life just ain’t fair! (Earl Earon)

In other words: a forgotten pearl of Texas blues-rock … !

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Personnel:
Doyle Bramhall (guitar)
William Brown (drums)
Reid Farrell (guitar)
Steve Hardin (keyboards, harmonica)
Rocky Hill (guitar, vocals)
Randy Jo Hobbs (bass)
Lester Snell (keyboards)
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The Duncan Sisters (baclground vocals)
The Memphis Horns

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Tracklist:
01. HPD (Farrell/Hill) 4.28
02. I Won’t Be Your Fool (Hill) 4.55
03. Bad Year For The Blues (Farrell/Hill) 3.36
04. I’ll Be There (Hill) 5.18
05. New York Turn Around (Bramhall/Hill) 4.05
06. Take My Love (Farrell/Hill) 3.18
07. Hoo Doo Eyes (Farrell/Hill/Bramhall) 3.28
08. Sam Bass (Hill) 3.22
09. Walked From Dallas (Traditional) 3.40
10. Mississippi Delta Blues (Traditional) 3.34

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Ten Years After – Same (1967)

LPFrontCover1Ten Years After are an English blues rock band, most popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Between 1968 and 1973, Ten Years After scored eight Top 40 albums on the UK Albums Chart. In addition they had twelve albums enter the US Billboard 200, and are best known for tracks such as “I’m Going Home”, “Hear Me Calling”, “I’d Love to Change the World” and “Love Like a Man”. Their musical style consisted of blues rock,and hard rock (???)

 

The band’s core formed in late 1960 as Ivan Jay and the Jaycats. After several years of local success in the Nottingham/Mansfield area, known since 1962 as the Jaybirds and later as Ivan Jay and the Jaymen, Alvin Lee and Leo Lyons founded Ten Years After. Ivan Jay (born Ivan Joseph Harrison, 1939, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, died in April 2009, USA) sang lead vocals from late 1960 to 1962 and was joined by Ric Lee in August 1965, replacing drummer Dave Quickmire (born David Quickmire, 1940, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire), who had replaced Pete Evans (born Peter Evans, 1940, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire) in 1962. Ray Cooper (born 11 November 1943, Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire) played rhythm guitar, vocals from 1960 to 1962.

TenYearsAfter1968_03In 1966, The Jaybirds moved to London to back The Ivy League. In the same year, Chick Churchill joined the group as keyboard player. That November, the quartet signed a manager, Chris Wright, and changed their name to Blues Trip. Using the name Blues Yard they played one show at the Marquee Club supporting the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. They again changed their name, to Ten Years After – in honour of Elvis Presley, an idol of Lee’s.[10] (This was ten years after Presley’s successful year, 1956). Some sources[which?] claim that the name was pulled by Leo Lyons from a magazine, advertising a book, Ten Years After The Suez (referring to the Suez Crisis).

The group was the first act booked by the soon-to-be Chrysalis Agency. It secured a residency at the Marquee, and was invited to play at the Windsor Jazz Festival in 1967. That performance led to a contract with Deram, a subsidiary of Decca — the first band Deram signed without a hit single. In October 1967 they released the self-titled debut album, Ten Years After.

Ten Years After is the debut album by the English blues rock band Ten Years After. It was one of the first blues rock albums released by British musicians. The album is also low on original material in comparison to the band’s later works which were, in most cases, entirely composed of Alvin Lee’s songs.

It features “Spoonful”, a Howlin’ Wolf song (written for him by Willie Dixon) that the British blues rock group Cream covered as well (on their albums Fresh Cream and Wheels of Fire). (by wikipedia)

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Rare pic of Alvin Lee with a fender guitar !

ReviewMelodyMaker

Melody Maker, October 21, 1967

Amazing. Where it all started. Almost completely devoid of all the blues/rock clichés of their later albums. Stylistically impressive. And dig that crazy cover. (by Emilio Gironda)

This was the start of one of the findest blues-rock groups from the late Sixties … listen to “I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes” and “Help me” and you will definitly know what I mean … !

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Personnel:
Chick Churchill (organ)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals)
Ric Lee (drums)
Leo Lyons (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. I Want to Know (Sheila McLeod as pseudonym Paul Jones) 2.15
02. I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes (Kooper) 5.25
03. Adventures Of A Young Organ (A.Lee/Churchill) 2.37
04. Spoonful (Dixon) 6.07
05. Losing The Dogs (A.Lee/Dudgeon) 3.07
06. Feel It For Me (Alvin Lee) 2.42
07. Love Until I Die (A.Lee) 2.08
08. Don’t Want You Woman (A.Lee) 2.39
09. Help Me (Bass/Dixon/Williamson) 9.51

 

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Joe Bonamassa – Kassel/Germany (2016)

FrontCover1Joseph Leonard Bonamassa (born May 8, 1977) is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.

When he was only 12 years old, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King.[2] In the last 13 years Bonamassa has put out 15 solo albums through his independent record label J&R Adventures, of which 11 have reached number 1 on the Billboard Blues charts.

Bonamassa has played alongside such artists as Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Blondie Chaplin, Foreigner, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks among others. His career highlights include performances at the Royal Albert Hall and a Grammy Award nomination in 2013. In addition to his music career, Joe Bonamassa runs a nonprofit organization called the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, whose mission it is to further music education by funding scholarships and providing music education resources to schools in need.

Unlike many blues rock guitarists that came before him, Bonamassa’s influences are British and Irish blues acts rather than American artists. In an interview in Guitarist magazine he cited three albums that had the biggest influence on his playing: John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (the Beano album), Rory Gallagher’s Irish Tour and Goodbye by Cream. He also noted that Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood had a big influence when Bonamassa was young. Among other bands, he listed the early blues playing of Jethro Tull as an influence, and named both Martin Barre and Mick Abrahams as important musicians to him.

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He elaborated on his influences in a 2007 interview:

“You know, my heroes were the Columbia guys – Paul Kossoff, Peter Green, Eric Clapton. There’s so many – there’s Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher – another Irish musician who played the same things, but don’t tell him that. But those guys were my guys – Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page. There’s a certain sophistication to their approach to the blues that I really like, more so than the American blues that I was listening to. B.B. King’s a big influence – he’s probably my biggest traditional influence. I love Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and T-Bone Walker and stuff like that, but I couldn’t sit down. I was always forcing myself to listen to whole records by them, where I’d rather listen to Humble Pie do “I’m Ready” than Muddy Waters, you know? I think, the English interpretation of the blues just hit me a lot better, you know?”

In an October 2008 interview with Express & Star he said:

“When I heard Kossoff playing “Mr. Big” and when I heard Clapton playing “Crossroads” and when I heard Rory Gallagher playing “Cradle Rock”, I was like, ‘This is way cooler’…. “British blues are my thing. When I heard Rod Stewart and the Jeff Beck Group singing “Let Me Love You”, it changed my life. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Those are my influences”. (by wikipedia)

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And tis is a German digital broadcast from 2016. The sound is  great and Joe and his band were in great form !

Joe was on tour to promote his twelfth studio album called “Blues Of Desperation”.

What a great concert !

Recorded live at the Orangerie, Gartensaal, Kassel/Germany, March 07, 2016

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Personnel:
Joe Bonamassa (guitar, vocals)
Paulie Cerra (saxophone)
Anton Fig (drums)
Michael Rhodes (bass)
Lee Thorburg (trumpet)
Reese Wynans (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Intro by Joe Bonamassa 3.42
02. Locomotive Breath (Anderson) 0.55
03. This Train (House/Bonamassa) 7.16
04. Mountain Climbing (Hambridge/Bonamassa) 5.52
05. Blues Of Desperation (House/Bonamassa) 8.48
06. No Good Place For The Lonely (Nicholson/Bonamassa) 8.13
07. See See Baby (King/Thompson) 3.46
08. Never Make Your Move Too Soon (Jennings/Hooper jr.) 7.09
09. Angel Of Mercy (*) (Banks/Jackson) 7.42
10. Love Ain’t A Love Song (Smokin Joe/Bonamassa) 10.51
11. Nobody Loves Me But My Mother (King) 10.14
12. I Gave Up Everything For You Except The Blues (Steele/Flowers/Bonamassa) 8.47
13. Going Down (Nix) 7.24
14. Spanish Boots (Wood/Beck/Stewart) 4.03
15. Are You Experienced (Hendrix) 7.13

(*) taken from FM broadcast by NDR 2, 26.09.2016

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Sy Klopps Blues Band – Walter Ego (1993)

FrontCover1Nobody knows Sy Klopps in 1993 — many people thought, this name was a pseudonym for the great Steve Miller … but … Sy Klopps is Sy Klopps:

Walter James “Herbie” Herbert II (born 5 February 1948) alias Sy Kloppd is the former manager of rock band Journey, The Storm, and a vocalist for the Sy Klopps Blues Band. Born and raised in Berkeley, Herbert is a self-proclaimed hippie and fan of the Grateful Dead.

Herbert got his start in the music business with the aid of his mentor Bill Graham. Through Graham, Herbert became a roadie for the multi-platinum-selling band Santana (where he met Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie). He managed Frumious Bandersnatch (where he met Ross Valory and George Tickner). When Santana imploded in 1973, Herbert put together the original lineup of Journey and remained its manager through 1993. Herbert was heavily involved in all business aspects of the band and traveled as their road manager. With a sharp business sense, Herbert brought everything in house under the name of Nightmare Productions and pioneered the use of large screen videos, impressive lighting and sound for arena-sized concerts. A shrewd businessman, Herbert made a fortune with Journey’s real estate holdings, Nocturne video company, and catalog management. He and Jim Welch, his art director, devised a creative marketing plan to promote the band using the Grateful Dead’s artists Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelly, thematic one-worded album titles, and exposure at point-of-purchase outlets. In 1993 Steve Perry asked that he resign from managing Journey due to personality conflicts.

In addition to his work with Journey, Herbert brought Swedish rock groups Roxette and Europe to the United States in the mid to late-1980s, and managed Mr. Big and R&B artist Tara Kemp and rock band Signal. In the late 1990s, Herbert moved from backstage into the spotlight, recording three albums as Sy Klopps and touring the San Francisco Bay Area with the Sy Klopps Band, which has included current and former Journey band members Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, Prairie Prince, and Ross Valory. (by wikipedia)

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And this is his brilliant debut album …

“…Venerable blues standards performed, in not always flattering high-tech fashion, by a sort-of-supergroup including former members of Journey and the Tubes….” (
Stereo Review (4/94)

This blues rock album could be Steve Miller in a less restrained mood, getting back his blues chops. It does include a scorching version of ‘Going to Mexico’ originally featured on the Number 5 album. If you like high energy blues rock you’ll wonder why you hadn’t heard of this before. Definitely worth a listen.(by 5ash)

In otherwords: one of the finest blues-rock albums ever recorded … listen to his version of classic blues-tunes like “Born Under A Bad Sign” or “I Got My Eye On You ” … Listen to the ZZ Top classic “Jesus Just Left Chicago” …and listen to “Mercury Blues” and you´ll know what I mean …

This is high energy Blues-Rock !

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Personnel:
Norton Buffalo (harmonica)
David Denny (guitar)
Greg Errico (drums)
Sy Klopps (vocals, guitar)
Kee Marcello (guitar)
Prairie Prince (drums)
Greg Rolie (keyboards)
Neal Schon (guitar)
Bobby Scott (guitar)
Ross Valory (bass)’
Donnie Vie (guitar, harmonica, vocals)
Chris Znuff (bass, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Going To Mexico (Miller/Scaggs) 3.41
02. Fanny Mae (Brown) 2.50
03. Key To The Highway (Broonzy/Segar) 4.40
04. Jesus Just Left Chicago (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 4.30
05. Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell) 3.30
06. Going Down (Nix) 3.45
07. I Got My Eye On You (Rolie/Scott) 3.36
08. Round And Round (Vie/Znuff) 3.18
09. Mercury Blues (Douglas/Geddings) 3.58
10. You’re So Fine (Reed) 2.55
11. Baby’s Calling Me Home (Scaggs) 2.49
12. My Name Is Sy Klopps (Rolie/Scott) 3.47

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