EG Kight “Sticks & Strings” – CD Review

EG Kight “Sticks & Strings” – CD Review

EG Kight “Sticks & Strings” – CD Review

Sticks & Strings

In September 2023, Kight released her 10th blues album, STICKS & STRINGS which again features the EG Kight Trio in a simple, acoustic setting. EG and her “boys,” as she affectionately calls them – Gary Porter and Ken Wynn – offer a wide variety of blues/roots music with these songs, nine of which were written or co-written by Kight. EG and the “boys” put on a great show for your Suncoast Blues Society at the Palladium Side Door in June – after listening to her new CD (several times!), we hope to have them back for a CD release party. One of our members, Gary Weeks, wrote a review for us.



Dublin, Georgia artist EG Kight has been a road warrior for many years. At the clubs, festivals, ans WRFG Blues Barbeques in Atlanta, GA, her style of Southern blues always goes over well with the audiences who wish to lie back and let the music wash over them.


The acoustic harp driven “Talk to Me” kicks off the album and its front porch ambience conveys the down-home vibe Kight brings to her music. No blues rock here folks. Just sweet Southern Soul that is a gulp of fresh air carrying into album cut, “If You Have No Reservations,” which could have been recorded in Muscle Shoals Studio.


The big surprise is Kight’s rendering of the Allman Brothers classic, “Come and Go Blues.” In EG’s hands, the tune is an acoustic laid-back gem that the late Gregg Allman would have admired.


“Already Gone,” with its snaky slide lines, sounds like it was conceived in the Mississippi mud well after midnight.  The introspective “All Things Considered” sees Kight climbing out of the well of despair to reach for the light. The pace heats a tad bit in “God, Goats and Guitars” and really warms up in “My Baby’s Hiding Something,” with harp and acoustic guitar playing pushing this number on a delicious groove. 


Kight’s percussive acoustic attack pushes “Two Sides To Every Story” into defiant ground until “Changes Coming Down” trots out to the Western Plains with its country blues lines.  And EG Kight has no problems switching into victory mode with “I Won’t Ever Give Up.”


Kight’s acoustic guitar stands at the forefront of the CD which goes to show heavy amplification and loud guitars don’t need to make the music. This philosophy has served Kight well. No need to change anything.

Gary Weeks


DOUG DEMING & THE JEWEL TONES  Groovin’ At Groove Now! – CD Review

DOUG DEMING & THE JEWEL TONES Groovin’ At Groove Now! – CD Review

DOUG DEMING & THE JEWEL TONES Groovin’ At Groove Now! – CD Review


Groovin’ At Groove Now!

Endless Blues Records

On so many levels, this live recording was a long time in the making. First of all, Doug Deming and his Jewel Tones is perhaps the genre’s hardest working band. For more than a decade, he and the band have regular Thursday through Sunday gigs at a variety of venues in his Florida stomping grounds. So one would think that a live recording could have been released years ago.

Enter the Basel, Switzerland’s The Groove Now! concert. Deming was hired to play the event in 2020. Guess what happened next: COVID. So the gig was postponed until Europe opened in 2021. Deming added a roster of guest artists to regulars Andrew Gohman skilled in subtlety and energy on bass and Zack Pomerleau on drums and harmonica. By adding Terry Hanck and Sax Gordon (saxophones) and Bill Heid (keyboard), Deming and the Jewel Tones morphed into a diamond-studded Basel blues performance.

The set was recorded and, upon further review, deemed perfectly suitable for a live CD release. Veteran Deming show goers will recognize the four+ minute format of these 11 tunes. High energy start, dense and complicated instrumental solos, followed by an over the top climactic ending, all held nicely together by Deming’s expansive guitar knowledge of blues, R&B, jazz, jump, and early ‘50s R&R. His opener, “East Side Hop” starts the show with a call to the dance floor. Each artist’s solo weaves in and out with Deming’s delightful chording as the constant. (Follow that chording throughout.) The set follows with the bluesy “Only Time Will Tell,” featuring Pomerleau’s unique drum and Chicago-styled harmonica. Also Pomerleau’s double reeds and skins duty is featured on Willie Dixon’s “Oh Baby.” Tell me the last time you’ve seen a drummer who can expertly handle an in-the-pocket shuffle and Chicago blues harmonica at the same time!

Every Deming show features the band’s ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll energy on the Fats Domino classic, “I’m Ready.” Here, the spirited reed work of Sax Gordon drives the engine. The frantic Jewel Tone pace slows with the dreamy, R&B ballad, “Every Night When I Get Home.” Pay close attention to the warm tones Deming coaxes from his archtop and how the piano and saxophones reinforce the mood.

Two other Deming set list regulars, “Bloodshot Eyes” and “Mamma Didn’t Raise No Fool,” come with all the muscle the band brings every week to its Florida regulars. “An Eye For An Eye” is the band’s deepest blues, with Pomerleau’s harp in a starring role again, sounding like any Muddy Waters’ 1950s style Chess recording.

For years, every blues fan living in the Sunshine State has followed this inspired trio at its weekly gigs. This live outing is the perfect way to either take the show home with you or experience a Sunday afternoon show at the Cortez Kitchen eating a grouper sandwich with a cold, long neck.

– Art Tipaldi 


Album review originally appeared in Blues Music Magazine


Selwyn Birchwood  – “Exorcist” CD Review

Selwyn Birchwood – “Exorcist” CD Review

Selwyn Birchwood – “Exorcist” CD Review

Fourth Alligator Records Album from Innovative Award-Winning
Guitarist, Vocalist and Songwriter

On Friday, June 9, award-winning Florida bluesman Selwyn Birchwood will
release Exorcist, his highly anticipated fourth Alligator Records release. The young guitarist, lap steel player, songwriter and vocalist sets a course for the future of the blues with his visionary, original music. He calls it “Electric Swamp Funkin’ Blues,” an intoxicating mix of deep blues, blistering, psychedelic-tinged rock, booty-shaking funk and sweet Southern soul, played and sung with fire-and-brimstone fervor. Tastemaker Americana music magazine No Depression says, “Selwyn Birchwood reaches back in the blues tradition to launch something out of this world.” Exorcist will be available on purple vinyl LP, CD and at all popular streaming and download sites. The first single, the ripped-from-the-headlines howler FLorida Man, hit radio and streamers in May.

On Exorcist, Birchwood delivers the most far-reaching, musically adventurous album of his career. Recorded in Florida and produced by Grammy Award-winner Tom Hambridge, each of the 13 vividly detailed songs was written and arranged by Birchwood. The soul-baring tracks all hit with lasting rhymes and unexpected rhythms. Each twists its own tale, ranging from the love-gone-wrong Horns Below Her Halo to the love-gone-terrifying Exorcist to the autobiographical Underdog. According to Blues Music Magazine, “Selwyn Birchwood heralds a fresh, exciting new direction in the blues. Toe-tapping, hip-shaking, joyful and inviting…expansive and focused, exploratory and time-honored, but always original.”

Live, Birchwood is a force of nature. His ability to win over an audience—any audience—is proven night after night on the bandstand. With his warm, magnetic personality, Birchwood is as down-to-earth as his music is thought-provoking and electrifying, with Birchwood’s band featuring the pulsating interplay of his blistering guitar with Regi Oliver’s driving baritone sax. When he sits down to play his lap steel, he takes the crowd to a whole other level, with the music exorcising any bad times and troubles.

Now, with Exorcist, Selwyn Birchwood and his band are ready to deliver the new songs live to expanding, enraptured audiences around the world, lifting spirits while banishing demons. Asked what fans can expect when they see him, Birchwood replies, “My goal is to be sure you cannot listen passively. We’re going to make you dance, and we’re going to make you think.” One listen to Exorcist will no doubt convert many new true believers: this is visionary contemporary blues written and performed by an endlessly creative, modern-day blues master.


Cash Box Kings CD Review

Cash Box Kings CD Review

Cash Box Kings CD Review

For their third release on Alligator Records, the Cash Box Kings are back with another marvelous release that revels in the electric Chicago blues traditions. Right from the jump, the title track finds lead singer Oscar Wilson making sure the ladies know he is available to cure their ills, punctuating the proceedings with Wolf-like moans. The mournful tones from Joe Nosek’s harmonica create a telling down-home feel.

Guitarist Billy Flynn shows off his stellar slide work on “Trying So Hard,” while Wilson offers a dark laments about his woman troubles. Drummer Kenny Smith reminds us that he is the master of the shuffle on “Pontiac Blues,” with John W. Lauler matching him every step of the way on his upright bass. Since the passing of Barrelhouse Chuck, Lee Kanehira has been handling the keyboards, subtly filling out the arrangements. She gets a chance to shine on the sprightly “I Want What Chaz Has,” while Wilson and guest John Nemeth take turns expressing their admiration for a major player around town

Nosek takes over the vocal on “Hot Little Mess,” deep in the throes of love over a woman with plenty of issues. The soothing tones from Al Falaschi on tenor and baritone saxophone offer a measure of comfort. “She Dropped The Axe On Me” lays out the inevitable results of his ill-fated relationship, leaving him little choice but to pick up his harp and blow his blues away.

Other highlights include “Please Have Mercy,” with Wilson demonstrating his mastery of the slow blues lament, the band coming together once again in the intricate musical dialogue that is the hallmark of finest blues performances. Even better is the hilarious run-through of “I Can’t Stand You,” as guest vocalist Deitra Farr and Wilson air out the details of their on-going Facebook “feud”. Horns brighten the arrangement on “Down On The South Side”. Wilson narrates the typical goings-on to be found in the clubs and taverns in Chicago’s famous blues area on the weekends, while doing his best to focus on his female companion.

The closing tune, ‘Ride Santa Ride, “ proves to be more than a seasonal throw-off, with Flynn firing off his best Berry-esque licks while Kanehira pounds away on her piano. Wilson does his part, turning in one more inspired vocal turn that finishes off another stellar effort from one of the finest blues bands on the planet. Highly recommended!

Mark Thompson

Reprinted by permission from Blues Music Magazine, Issue #37, Spring 2023

Tom Craig – “Good Man Gone Bad” CD Review

Tom Craig – “Good Man Gone Bad” CD Review

Tom Craig – “Good Man Gone Bad” CD Review

Tom Craig
Good Man Gone Bad
By Scott Morris

’Good Man Gone Bad’ is just out and about to make a big splash in the blues world.” Tas Cru


Pennsylvania blues man Tom Craig hits the mark with his second recording “Good Man Gone Bad”.

Produced by harmonica ace Mikey Junior and mixed at Fat Rabbit Studios by Dave Gross, this set of tunes follows Tom’s first recording with Soul Patch. “Get Ready for Me “. Comparatively speaking “Good Man” documents Tom’s growth as a musician all while presenting an enjoyable collection of 13 songs that cover most blues styles. But it’s Tom’s writing, and co-writing with Mikey Junior, along with the soulful delivery that rang true for me.

Beginning with the first cut “I’m Working Too Hard” Tom sets a lyrical theme for the recording that hops from one side of a relationship to another. Accompanied by a driving beat Tom professes to be “I’m working too hard for your love”. Many probably have felt similar, but wisely, for the health of their specific relationship kept their own council. Tom’s words might have you saying to yourself “I feel you brother”!

I really enjoy the next track “What A Man’s Gotta Do”. The guitar work accentuates the beat and the harmonica by Mikey Junior lends a nice touch throughout the song, specifically as the song fades out. Performed live this song has people up and dancing.

The title track (You Made A) “Good Man Gone Bad” appears third on the recording and Tom’s soulful voice resonates in this song. This bluesy ballad bespeaks of making “the worst of a good situation”, leading the listener to speculate on the destructive nature of succumbing to temptation. Tom’s vocals are spot on and clearly Tom is at home base with these types of blues ballads.

Harmonica sets the tone on another ballad “It’s All My Fault”, another one of Tom’s fine ballads. The band lends just the right touch with a beat that fits the lyrics. Tom’s guitar solo is perfectly measured.

“Sheepdog”. Well truth be told on first listen I was not quite sure how I felt. But on repeated listens; yes, Tom has crafted a winner! This rocking blues song is a fan favorite during performance, especially memorable was the version performed during Blues Bash at the Ranch with Gabe Stillman lending a hand on slide guitar. This song grew on me. On a recording where my ear preferred the soulful ballads, this is more than an add-in change of pace. “Sheepdog” is a fine song and deserves presence within Tom’s performance set list.

Slowing down, Tom showcases his vocals on “When You Love A Bluesman”.  Perhaps this is when Tom is at his best. His soulful blues vocals and smart lyrics fronting a tight band, and in this song the harmonica rings true. Tom chips in with tasty blues licks on his guitar. The groove captured me right away. Most enjoyable.

“Treat Your Daddy Nice” has a familiar blues beat, and the lyrics make this song work. Once again, this hard-working bluesman asks “baby” to “treat daddy nice” because after all,” I’m the one that makes you feel all right”.

“My Turn to Cry” finishes off the recording with a soulful, saxophone backed ballad. Once again demonstrating that Tom knows how to deliver a song that places “Soul in My Blues”.  Close your eyes and picture slow dances late at night. The symmetry on the recording of the hard-working hero from the first song now practicing patience on the last song is a subtlety that I enjoyed. And the delivery lets the listener speculate on the cause of the tears.

On a personal note, it’s been a pleasure to see Tom perform and grow musically over these past few months. Wintering in Florida Tom put together a tight band that delivered an enjoyable show experience. Secondly, Tom switched roles from front man to sideman while touring with Tas Cru, sometimes on the same day. Tom is putting in the work, to fine success. This is an up-and-coming bluesman to keep an eye on.

Tom has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve as a musician. I intend to “keep my eyes wide open” to see where Tom’s musical journey takes him; I suspect that after a few listens to “Good Man Gone Bad” you will choose to do the same.

“Good Man Gone Bad” is due to be released on April 20, 2021. The recording is presently available for pre-order. For more information visit Tom Craig Band’s website.

Jeremiah Johnson: Hi-Fi Drive By Review

Jeremiah Johnson: Hi-Fi Drive By Review

Jeremiah Johnson: Hi-Fi Drive By Review

Jeremiah Johnson: Hi-Fi Drive By Review
 October 21, 2022  Fidel Beserra 

St. Louis native and natural-born blues rocker Jeremiah Johnson has stood out greatly in recent years on the scene. His brand of feel-good, working man’s blues rock incorporates elements of funk, soul and country in a, if not exactly groundbreaking, still extremely satisfying blend. With a career already solidified by a number of well-received albums and successful stateside and European tours, he is now adding another compelling chapter to his incredible musical journey with the release of Hi-Fi Drive By.

Produced by Paul Niehaus IV and Tom Maloney and featuring several talented backing musicians, the album, as hinted in its title, features a polished mix and production. Each instrument is captured and calibrated with good accuracy and the sound as a whole has just enough breathing space, which results in a clear and expansive sound. In terms of songwriting, the record is structured around rock and blues’ most notorious and identifiable elements, and the influence of Albert and Freddie King, Steve Cropper, and all that classic Stax and Motown sound is quite notorious, with incisive yet tasty fretwork, huge-sounding horns and swaggering vocals being the record’s driving forces.

The dancing, rip-roaring rocker “68 Coupe Deville” opens the album with all guns blazing and is followed by the equally hard-charging “Ball And Chain” and its remarkable chorus. On the other hand, the lush number “Skippin’ School” leans more towards the classic blues/soul structure and impresses for its engaging delivery while the funk rocker “Hot Diggity Dog” boasts an irresistible hook. Similar in structure, “The Squeeze” features perhaps the album’s best horn passages and guitar solos, in addition to a simply thrilling, addicting chorus.

The R&B-infused and Latin-textured “Hot Blooded Love” keeps the bar high with Johnson’s guitar slashing through with absolute finesse, and the catchy JJ Cale-influenced “Sweet Misery” follows suit. Then, the high-energy cut “Quicksand” brings back the rock-oriented approach and combines it with another delicious funk groove. The song also features a delicious, instantly recognizable saxophone riff.

In summary, Hi-Fi Drive By is a roots-oriented album focused on reclaiming and celebrating the core and already long established elements of blues and rock, and while this approach may seem a bit raw and straightforward for some, the magnetism and quality of Johnson’s passionate approach are undeniable.