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L.A. Beat

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Miss Quincy combines gritty blues with garage rock on Roadside Recovery

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 There is nothing hotter than a woman who plays  guitar and sings. Especially when they sing dirty, gritty blues and bares their souls raw like Miss Quincy and the Showdown, who have released their new CD “Roadside Recovery.”

As expected, for  a band which spends most of the year touring, a lot of the songs are inspired by being on the road and the loneliness that ensues.Click here to hear Miss Quincy

They recorded the CD with fellow Vancouverites Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer’s Matthew Rogers and it sounds like it.

 So the trio sounds a lot like Harpoonist  and the Axe Murderer’s gritty, minimalistic, raunchy blues, which in turn is reminiscent of other popular duos like the Black Keys.
Miss Quincy start the CD on a high note with the jagged, stabbing rhythm of “Bad Love.”
 They slow things down on the second track with “ What is Life If It Ain’t Strange.” “Damn You” is in a similar vein.

 Miss Quincy shows off her powerful pipes and strong vocal dynamics throughout the CD especially on the slower, soulful “ Talkin’ Trash,”  which is a tender ballad that sounds like it comes right out of the ’60s.
They pick up the pace again on “Making Money,” one of the CD’s highlights.

It has a sultry groove reminiscent of their version of  Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Snake Farm.” It is one of many songs on the CD which combine raunchy blues with unhinged garage rock.
For something a little different, “Take It to the Well ” combines gospel music with garage rock and make it work beautifully.

 For a contrast to that they follow it up with another gritty garage blues rocker “Wild Fucking West.”
They wind things down with the tortured title track. and finish on another slow note “Water Tower.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Roadside Recovery
Band: Miss Quincy and the Showdown
Genre: blues

The 24th Street Wailers provide “Wicked” horn powered fun

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I always look forward to hearing a new CD from Toronto’s 24th Street Wailers  CD.
 Their latest CD of dirty, gritty, horn powered blues “Wicked,” was recorded down in Austin with Jimmy Vaughan’s bassist Billy Horton.

Their music, powered by a lot of sexy saxophone and  drummer Lindsey Beaver’s powerful, whiskey soaked voice,
 takes the listener back to  filthy little ’50s juke joint.Click here to hear the 24th Street Wailers

 They pack a powerful punch in 38 minutes on their most recent CD “Wicked,” right from the title track, which features a lot of  saxophone and punctuated by several time tempo changes, yet it gets the toes tapping  right from the get go.

 The first single “Aim To Please” has a real old school rock and roll feel thanks to the boogie woogie piano of  T Jarrod Bonta, who joins  drummer/ vocalist Lindsey Beaver, guitarist Emily Burgess and  saxophonist Ian Wong and bassist Mike Archer on the track.

 The CD was produced by Jimmy Vaughan’s bassist Billy Horton, who adds background vocals.
All 13 tracks will get your toes  to tap and will even get you to sing along in places like on “Aw Baby.”
 “Feel So Good” is one of those.

‘Love Me Right is a more jazzy track that sounds like it comes right out of the ’50s.
 Beaver has a gritty, beautiful, bluesy voice throughout.

 It is a real rock and roll record full of two some minute long bursts of saxophone fuelled energy, with few tracks breaking the three minute mark.
 The slower track “I Need You” almost makes it to four minutes.

“Chin Wagger” is a catchy and sassy ’60s inspired  number which has a touch of Bo Diddley influence on it.

 “Boones’ Bounce” is a peppy instrumental which allows each band member to show their stuff.
“ Help Each other Romance,” is a mid tempo highlight.
 They end “ Wicked” with one last saxophone powered toe tapper on “Shake It” which features a big sax solo, a drum solo, then fades nicely away. It is an “Wicked” soundtrack for any blues party.

— by Richard Amery, l.A. Beat Editor
CD: Wicked
Band: The 24th Street Wailers
Genre: blues/ jazz

Kat Danser adds a touch of gospel to her blues

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Edmonton based swamp blueswoman Kat Danser has a touch of  that old time religion on her fourth CD “Baptized By The Mud.” Just a little bit. While there is a bit of religious imagery sprinkled throughout the CD, it is definitely not your traditional gospel album as  the songs explore a cast of characters who are down, out and perhaps exemplify the more hypocritical side of the overtly religious.

Click here to hear Kat Danser
She kicks things off with a toe tapping gospel number “ “Where Will You Be” When the Sun Goes Down.”
 The title track “Baptized By The Mud”  is powered by a gutbucket banjo and an accordion which gives the song a French tinged sound and dressed with some steel guitar.

 She sings in her whiskey weathered voice which is reminiscent of other first ladies of the blues like Bonnie Raitt and Canadian blueswomen like Rita Chiarelli.

 She sounds a little like Patsy Cline on “Crazy For You,” which also has a beautiful slide guitar solo played by producer Steve Dawson, though Danser also plays slide guitar and resolectric guitar.

 It also features a nice organ solo payed by Derek  Havers.
 She shows her more sensitive jazzy side on “Hear Me Out, Think It Over.” Which has a pretty jazzy, blues tinged guitar solo.
There are  lot of appealing, slower blues numbers on the CDS like “None of Us Are Free,” which also is one of the more gospel influenced numbers, enhanced by another tasteful Hammond organ solo. The background vocals help make this track.
 There is plenty of appealingly subdued slide guitar throughout the CD and  background  vocals that  enhance the gospel feel of the CD.

 She has a really soothing voice especially on tracks like “ Nothin’ At All.”
“ Oh Mary Don’t You Weep” is one of the songs closely related to actual gospel music, though it is a slower blues number with another excellent slide guitar solo and more  subdued organ.

Her cover of Ma Rainey’s 1928 blues song “Prove it To me Blues,” is a highlight with the eyebrow raising lyric “ I went out last night with a crowd of my friends, they must have been women, because I  don’t like no men.”
She also does an excellent cover of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “You Gotta Move.”
 “Winsome, Lonesome Kind of Gal” is a quirky highlight of her own, though more country than the rest of the CD.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Baptized By The Mud
Artist: Kat Danser
folk/ blues

Sugar Brown’s Sad Day is beautiful old school blues

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The latest CD from Toronto based, Ohio born Japanese Canadian bluesman  Ken Chester Kawashima aka Sugar Brown ’s  new CD which features  Bharath Rajakumar and Ben Caissie, sounds like it comes right out of the ’40s and ’50s alongside cats like early Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.Click here to hear Sugar Brown

 The first track “Fisherman‘s Blues aka Pickin’ the Blues” is a capable  Elmore James cover that sounds like  Howlin’ Wolf could have recorded it.

He definitely wears his influences on his sleeve from the Bo Diddley style ‘ Before the Law’ to  ‘Hook-a-Boogie’ which closely apes the guitar and voice of John Lee Hooker.
 He has a lot of old rock and roll influence as well on ‘Boogie for Fiji’ which shows off  the Bharath Rajakumar’s fine  harp playing.

 For something different he reexamines  the Velvet Underground’s  old song “Run, Run, Run.”
 There are a lot of highlights on the Cd including ‘Grim Reaper.”
 His high voice belies original bluesman like J.B.  Lenoir on tracks like ‘Volcano Woman.’
 This is an excellent  CD for people who love traditional delta blues and that vintage Sun Studios, ’50 style sound.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

CD: Sugar Brown’s Sad Day
Artist: Sugar Brown with  Bharath Rajakumar and Ben Caissie
Genre: blues
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