Categories
Birthdays

Robben Ford

Born on this day in 1951, blues guitarist Robben Ford. Ford has had a successful solo career, and has played with; John Mayall, Chick Corea, Greg Allman, Michael McDonald and many more.

Categories
Birthdays

Howlin’ Wolf

Born on this day in 1910, blues legend, Howlin’ Wolf (Chester Arthur Burnett), in White Station, Mississippi.

Categories
Quick Spins

Robert Cray / That’s What I Heard

Robert Cray

That’s What I Heard (Nozzle)

http://www.robertcray.com

While Robert Cray has always been lumped into the modern blues category, the truth is, he’s always filtered everything he does through the heart of a classic soul singer. On his latest, That’s What I Heard, Cray teams with producer/drummer Steve Jordan, and the results  are positively electrified.

Cray masterfully slides his way through Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “You’re The One,” Curtis Mayfield’s You’ll Want Me Back” and the smokey original “Hot.” Perfectly accentuating his husky voice is Cray’s always-tastey Stratocaster, which flows through these songs like delicious gravy on a buttery biscuit.

What’s really got me scratching my head lately is Cray’s twenty-year history of hopping from one small record label to another. For crying out loud, how in the world is it possible that labels like Alligator, Blue Note or Verve aren’t trying to give him the stable, respectable, creative home that he deserves? 

D.P.

Categories
Quick Spins

Tinsley Ellis / Ice Cream In Hell

Tinsley Ellis

Ice Cream In Hell (Alligator)

http://www.tinsleyellis.com

From Tinsley Ellis’s press kit…“A musician never got famous staying home,” says Ellis, who continues to perform over 150 nights a year. Now, with Ice Cream In Hell, Tinsley Ellis will again hit the highway, bringing his roof-raising, road-tested music to fans wherever they may be. “I’ve seen it all,” the Atlanta native says of his four decades on the road. “And a lot of my audience has been along for the entire time. It’s not always easy. But the payoff is the music. That’s the ice cream.”

The master of the searing Stratocaster is back, still working hard after 40 years. Just like a lot of his past releases, Ice Cream In Hell is a really nice mixed bag; “Last One To Know” is pure Memphis Soul, with growling B3 organ, “Foolin’ Yourself” is pure Chicago shuffle, and “Everything And Everyone” is a jazzy little Latin number.

This release is one of Tinsley Ellis’s best, and has been on “repeat play” in our office since it arrived last week. With a little something for nearly every ear, it’s impossible to resist.

D.P.