Saturday, July 15, 2006

Travis Haddix - Winners Never Quit

Travis Haddix – Winners Never Quit

I decided to go with this cd out of the ones Travis sent as it is truly an outstanding musical accomplishment for him. All tracks on the cd are Travis Haddix originals and are truly amazing.

He opens with Homeslice, a great song which reminds me of others who have done this style and made it great. He has a sound that reminds me of Artie Blues Boy White, which is a great compliment as I have been an Artie White fan for years. Next up is Bag Lady, and opens with some fine harp work and nice rhythm. Travis shows on cd why he is an awesome live entertainer. She’s Not That Kind Of Girl follows and is a nice tune with a calypso backbeat, written in the style of Jimmy Buffett. Better Than Nothing is next up is a nice song which reminds me of songs done by the late Albert Collins. The title track is next, Winners Never Quit. This is a nice slow blues number with a soul edge reminiscent of Smoky Robinson. We get a funky number in Something In The Milk Ain’t Clean. This is followed by pure traditional blues in Beggin’ Business. This is a great slow shuffle that is sure to become a standard. He speeds thing up a touch on Abused, a nice number with another great beat to get you moving while delivering a message. Someone To Love follows and is a slow tune and very well written. He closes the cd with I’m Mean, a nice boogie rhythm in the style of Albert Collins again.

This entire cd is awesome as I couldn’t find a weak song on it. Quite an accomplishment when compared to corporate artist’s offerings. This is one of the best cds I have had the pleasure of listening to in a while.

Visit Travis on the web at:

Get Winners Never Quit here:

The Barnburners - My Lonely Heart

The Barnburners - My Lonely Heart

This recording was my introduction to The Barnburners of Rancho Santa Margarita, California. I was impressed with their sound and style. Thisc d features some very good musical talent.

They open the cd with a song called the title track My Lonely Heart. This is a nice slow blues number with a nice beat and good harp. Next up is Going To The Big Town, which picks up the pace a little. This is a very danceable tune and well written. Next is Watch Your Back, another great dance tune. I really enjoy the members playing just what is needed. There is no flashy fill here, just great blues that fits the song and great rhythms. The next song is Lucy and is an up-tempo number with great rhythm and some very fine harp playing. Amrap is next and once again shows the great rhythms these guys produce. They next slow it down for a slow blues shuffle called You Ain't Got No Right To Hate Me. I really enjoyed the lyrics and music to this song. This is a new classic blues tune in my opinion. Watering Hole is next and opens with a nice guitar intro and harp over the drums. This is a boogie number that makes you want to move. The cd closes with Manos Vacias (Empty Hands), a song in Spanish. It is a nice boogie number which should appeal to Latinos and anyone who speaks Spanish.

Over all this cd is solid blues. I am impressed with the style and rhythms these guys are able to achieve. The cd is scheduled for release in September 2006 on their own Big Towne Records label.

Visit The Barnburners website at:

Get The Barnburners - My Lonely Heart here:

Friday, July 14, 2006

Big Harmonica Bob - Straight From The Harp

This will be a feast for the harp enthusiasts. Big Harmonica Bob is one awesome harp player. Bob is from Long Beach, California and has been honored with a number one cd on www.mp3tunes in July, 2005. This cd is still in the top five which speaks very well of his talent indeed.

He starts the cd with a song called Big Harmonica Bob’s Boogie and wails away from there. We are treated to not only great harp, but he is backed by some very fine musicians as well. Next he goes into Lookie Here, another great boogie number. He really cuts lose on a true blues number called Blow You Out Blues. The harp is joined by some great guitar playing as well. Bob takes us next into a song he calls Harp Battle Mambo, and he really cuts loose on that harp. We are treated to an original in the form of I like It with vocals by Becky Cano who also wrote the song. This is a well written number and performed well. Bob is next joined by J.J. “Bad Boy" Jones on a song he wrote called The Bad Boy Shuffle. Another shuffle follows in the form of Beach Fest Shuffle, An uptempo number that gets you moving. This is followed by a Rough Cut of Big Bob’s Shuffle and the final song Fifty Bucks. This is a neat tune that gave me fits trying to classify. The rhythm is hard to pin down to a style of playing.

This cd is a definite keeper if you like harp. Big Harmonica Bob delivers a great harp experience. Bob is also active in many community events and fundraisers. He has played for the Cancer Walk, Earth Day and brings blues to the Whites Point Elementary School, bringing blues to kids and their families.

Visit Big Harmonica Bob’s website at:

Get big Harmonica Bob – Straight From The Harp here:

Breakaway date

This just arrived from Breakaway.

Downstate NY Blues Assoc. is having their anual Luke Alvino Blues & Brews BBQ
Sunday, July 23, 2006 at Eisenhower West Lindens Parking Field 6A. Festivities begin at 1- 1:15 and beer is free. BBQ pits will be set up for more info go to

Don't miss breakaway along with many other fine blues bands at this event.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Joe Galea Band - Midnight In New Orleans

Just arrived is Joe Galea’s Midnight In New Orleans cd. I enjoyed this cd very much as He covers some great tunes. From the first track this cd lets you know why Joe Galea has been invited to play all over the place. This includes his time spent entertaining troops in Viet Nam. In fact Joe was among the last to leave at the fall of Saigon.

This recording shows him to be not only a veteran musician but a master of the style. He opens with a cover of the Denise LaSalle tune Wild Thing (all night long). Next is a great tune I wasn’t familiar with called Ain’t Got No Home penned by C. Henry. A very danceable number to get you moving. He then launches into a Joe Galea / Robert Davie original called Wash My Hands. Nice shuffle tune with lots of brass treatment. He then moves to a cover of Delbert Mc Clinton’s Why Me. Joe really does a great job on these shuffle type songs, but he is no slouch on the faster stuff either. He launches into a Jules Taub/ Rosco Gordon number called No More Doggin and gives us a great rendition in true Galea style. We next find him slowing it down a bit for Who’s Fooling Who. Next we hear his rendition of Stay With Me by Pierre Lacocque. This song has a bit of a zydeco feel to it and he does a great job. Next is a great cover of the Willie Dixon song I’m Ready. He next does a cover of Blue Monday by A. Domino and does this great tune justice as not many do. Joe speeds it up and gives us a very interesting rendition of Sonny Landreth’s Congo Square. Another shuffle number follows as the title track Midnight In New Orleans. This song made me wonder if he wasn’t a New Orleans native who transplanted to Australia. This cover is that good. He next takes us thru Steve Cropper’s 6345789 and gives it a mixture of blues and soul for a new sounding old song. He closes the cd with a great cover of Stagger Lee. So many people do a good cover of this song that is gets old. This one is refreshing from the piano intro right thru the entire number.

I understand why he has been so popular in Australia. He is a class act. I look forward to his pending US tour in the summer of 2007. I am sure he will delight the fans here as much as those he plays to at home.

More from Joe Galea is available at:

Get Midnight In New Orleans here:

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mr. Downchild retires

I received word from Steve Brazier aka Mr. Downchild that he has left the music business. This is sad news for his fans. Steve's wife Marilyn passed away on September 1, 2005. Steve says she was the biggest part of his show and has decided at least for the time being to leave the music business. Our best wishes go out to Steve and his family.

Steve told me he will contact me if he decides to return to his career.

Steve's fans can contact him thru his web site.