“Raisin Cain” by  Chris Cain

“Raisin Cain” by Chris Cain

“Raisin Cain” by Chris Cain

“Raisin Cain” Chris Cain
(Alligator Records 2021)
CD review by Scott Morris

Chris Cain returns with a superb recording. The lyrics are crisp, sometimes cynical, always witty, and will hit the mark for those who have been in a relationship for any length of time.

Blues Magazine quotes Chris as saying “These are the best pack of tunes I’ve ever written.” I wholeheartedly agree. I love this recording. The band is on fire, and Chris’s playing has never been better.

“Raisin’ Cain” was produced by Kid Andersen (Rick Estrin & The Nightcats) at Andersen’s Greaseland Studio in San Jose, California. Joining Chris is this touring band: Steve Evans on bass, Greg Rahn on the keys, and sharing drums are Chris’s touring drummer Sky Garcia and D’Mar Martin. Chris pitches in on keyboards on some of the recordings.

Raisin’ Cain” begins by rocking out on “Hush Money”. This toe-tapper of a song sets the tone for the lyrical quality that permeates the recording. The second tune contains my favorite lyric on the recording “If you think I’m the problem…” and then resolves with the title “You Won’t Have A Problem When I’m Gone”. The band is cranked up quite a few notches on this one.

Anyone familiar with Chris and his music understands his love and reverence for the man he respectfully calls, Mr. B.B. King“Too Many Problems” lyrically allows Chris to explode upon the landlord, and musically compares to the style of Chris’s mentor. Slowing down Chris spins a blues ballad about called “Down on the Ground”. Superb keyboards accompany a guitar solo by Chris that shows why Chris is a guitar player’s guitar player.

“Out of My Head” is far and away my favorite song on “Raisin’ Cain” Chris and the band perform at a level that brought favorable comparisons to Mr. B.B. King and his band. Chris’s solo is outstanding and the sound of the horns leads to a bigger band comparison. I could not get enough of this song and rank it among the best that Chris has ever recorded.

Chris shows off his lyrical creativity with the line “Laying around all-day, watching Dr. Phil, and drinking Tanqueray”; found within “I Believe I Got off Cheap”. This song relates the “benefits” of being kicked to the curb, in a relationship sense.

Concluding the recording is the sole instrumental, “Space Force”. This song will showcase the jazz elements in Chris’s music. It’s inventive and the most different song on this recording.

For me, “Raisin’ Cain” quickly became a “desert island disk”. “Raisin’ Cain” is one of the best recordings from one of the best guitar players in existence. Well done, Mr. Chris Cain. HIGHLY recommended.

Sources
Blues Magazine – Chris Cain
Chris Cain Alligator Records
Chris Cain Website

Click here to purchase your copy of “Raisin Cain” 

 

Curtis Salgado CD Review

Curtis Salgado CD Review

Curtis Salgado CD Review

Curtis Salgado CD Review

Events in 2020 have inspired some great Blues music.  “Damage Control”, Curtis Salgado’s new offering, really hits home.  It was recorded at five different studios – Ultratone and Greaseland in California, Rock House in Nashville, Falcon Studios in Portland, Oregon, and Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana. The list of notable musicians is extensive.

Curtis always spins magic with his lyrics and phrasing.  “The Longer I Live the Older I Want to Get” speaks volumes.  Curtis doesn’t want to leave the stage and nobody wants him to.  We need Curtis and his smooth healing blues for as long as possible.  “The Longer I Live” video

“Always Say I Love You” speaks of losing friends, something many of us have experienced lately, and how to treat them when they are still around.

“Truth Be Told” is a snappy, Cajun flavored tune with Wayne Toups on squeezebox to make it authentic.

Did you Know?

Curtis Salgado has a connection to John Belushi and “The Blues Brothers”
Read the Letter from John Belushi and find out how.

The title track “Damage Control” should be up for some kind of award for Curtis’s smooth lyrics and timely message, aided very artfully by Mike Finnigan and Jim Pugh on keyboards and Dave Gross and Johnny Lee Schell on guitars. Nice work.

“Precious Time” and “Slow Down” both deal with recognizing that time is our most valuable commodity. Enjoy it, celebrate it, listen to some blues.

“The Fix is In” features some great harmonica from Curtis as he comments on trust and honesty, frequently absent – ‘same old Okey Doke’.

Age and wisdom can change habits.  “I Don’t Do That No More” pokes fun at what we used to get away with in our youth.

Some of the other artists that contributed to this fine work need to be mentioned.  Depending on location, Kid Anderson, Alan Hager, and George Marinelli on guitar.  On drums the duty was shared by Kevin Hayes, Jack Bruno and California’s favorite drummer Tony Braunagel.  On bass – Jerry Jemmet, Dave Gross, and Tommy McDonald.  Background vocals by J.T. Lauritsen and Wendy Moten.

The album leaves a positive feeling that Curtis doesn’t want to quit performing ever, and his fans are thrilled about that.   -Lafayette Reid

Click here to purchase an autographed

 copy of “Damage Control”

Memphis Rub Band Review

Memphis Rub Band Review

Memphis Rub Band Review

 

The Memphis Rub Band

 


The Memphis Rub Band is a fun way to spend a night listening and dancing to a wide range of blues-based musical genres. Suncoast Blues Society presents a review of two recent shows, at Blue Rooster and Stottlemyer’s Smokehouse, both in Sarasota.

Long-time local club goer’s have likely had the pleasure of attending a Memphis Rub Band (MRB) show. With many new residents in the area Suncoast Blues Society believes the time is right to share highlights from recent shows.

The band consists of bassist Scott Matzke, guitarist “Hurricane” Gary Drouin, keyboardist Dan Ryan, and its newest member drummer David Wells. The band was formed in 2016 by Gary and Scott to perform blues, rock ‘n roll, and a healthy mix of funk, and rhythm and blues.

In many ways this band may be the perfect vehicle to introduce your friends who claim they do not like the blues, to the blues. There is something for everyone in the set list, most of the songs have blues roots and are performed where appropriate with a blues feel.

Vocals are mostly performed by Scott, and David adds vocal variety to the mix by singing from the backline. The MBR spin is throughout the set list and the show includes original songs from the 2018 release Taste.

From the deep blue’s catalog, the band performs a nice version of Magic Sam’s “Just a Little Bit”. Switching to soul/R&B, MRB set included Otis Reading’s hit “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember”, and the Rufus Thomas hit “Walking the Dog”.

The shows included MRB band originals “Packing Heat” and the song “Red Tide Blues” which received airplay on local stations. David Wells sings the J. Geil’s Band song “So Sharp” and at Stottlemyer’s kicked in with The Band’s “The Weight”.

I enjoyed songs from two personal favorites. The band pays homage to Coco Montoya with “Back in a Cadillac”. And multiple songs from Delbert McClinton. Both are unusual choices for a band that plays blues-based covers and it shows the depth of their musical knowledge and the talent to properly honor these artists.

Depending on the whim of the band one may hear Delbert’s “Giving it up for your Love”, and “Shaky Ground”, which while a Temptation’s song is now so much a part of Delbert’s shows that he “owns” it. Delbert’s classic “Old Weakness (Coming on Strong)” is a particular specialty of the band.

Also performed was the soulful Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions song “People Get Ready”. The Master of the Telecaster, Albert Collins, is featured with his “Love Me Like You Say” and most will recognize MRB’s version of The Rolling Stones funky hit “Miss You”. Dan took the lead on the Booker T. & the MG’s hit “Green Onions”.

Word is the band is working on a new recording. Scheduled shows for Memphis Rub Band include:

  • March 6: Englewoods on Dearborn, Englewood 7pm
  • March 13: Clancy’s Irish Sprots Pub & Grill, Bradenton 6pm
  • March 20: Snook Haven Riverside Eatery, Venice, 1pm
Pasco Blues Fest Review

Pasco Blues Fest Review

Pasco Blues Fest Review

Pasco Blues Fest Review

On a cloudy February 6th the 5th Annual Pasco County Blues Fest was welcomed by a good-sized crowd that was clearly starved to hear their blues music. Kevin and his team at Penguin Productions did a great job pulling it off – a beautiful day spent with friends and live music!

The day started with a blistering set of music by new-to-the-area Memphis Lightning. This trio brings it to the stage! The band is led by showman, “Lightnin’” Thiboutot, who is also superbly talented with guitar. And it showed, clearly, why no one less than Jimmy Vaughn called him “one of the greatest players around today”. High and well-earned praise indeed.

Backed by “Big Red” Thiboutot on bass, and Ephraim Lowell (Roomful of Blues, Albert Castiglia, and Johnny Winter) on drums, the band played tracks from their 2017 release Trouble and the new release Borrowed Time. Featured during the performance were “Great Day” from the 2017 release, and the title track for the current recording. “Borrowed Time” is a song about when “Lightnin’” was diagnosed with cancer, a subject that along with the recovery was weaved into the performance. The band left the stage to a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.

Next up was the always entertaining Sean Chambers Band. No stranger to the fans in attendance, Sean none-the-less delivered a fine set, highlighted by tracks from his release Whiskey and Trouble, along with songs from the recent Welcome to My Blues recording.

A few raindrops fell as Sean started his set, but they were soon gone for good. The set included the “Red Hot Mama” and the always appreciated “Bullfrog Blues”. Sean brought to the stage guest bassist Pat DeSalvo, who previously performed with Savoy Brown and Kim Simmonds. The band mixed in a nice version of Bob Seger’s “Come to Papa” and “You Don’t Love Me”, popularized by The Allman Brothers on the legendary Fillmore East recording. 

The show’s final act was Damon Fowler Band.  Damon, along with his regular band mates Chuck Riley and Justin Headley never disappoint and this time was no exception. Calling on his wide range of material, Damon played something from just about every part of his large catalog and also included many songs from this forthcoming release Alafia Moon. A good story teller as well as a musician, Damon gave context to a new song that came together while on tour with George Thorogood. Much of Damon’s set was recently reviewed by Suncoast Blues Society at a show in Sarasota, and that review was sent to our Suncoast Blues News subscribers.

The show ended with a jam that included Damon, Sean, Lightnin’ and surprise guest RB Stone that left the crowd wanting more.

The Pasco fest is not as large as some of the more well-known fests in the area but it was highly enjoyable and easily reachable by most within the Suncoast Blues Society geographic area. This reviewer came up from Manatee County and will be back for the next edition. Put this fest on your watch list for 2022!

Message from ‘Madame’ President…

Message from ‘Madame’ President…

Message from ‘Madame’ President…

Message from ‘Madame’ President…

Hello Blues lovers and Happy New Year, such that it is.

I am proud and excited (and a bit nervous) to introduce myself to you as the newly elected president of the Suncoast Blues Society (SBS).

So many greats have come before me. I know that I have huge footsteps to fill – pretty intimidating to say the least but I will try my best to do so.

A little bit about me…

I was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago – what more could you ask for! Music has always been an integral part of my life – started playing guitar when I was in seventh grade. We used to organize “hootenannies” and I actually sang with “Up With People” for a while. (Go ahead – Google it and get a good laugh!!)

By high school, friends were in bands (wasn’t everybody in a garage band back then) so by the time I was 16, it was a must to have a fake ID to get into clubs. (Still have it, it’s a work of art, lol.) Of course, my boyfriend(s) had to be in a band (duh) and was eventually playing clubs down on Rush Street so from an early age I had the opportunity to be backstage and meet folks such as John Mayall and Paul Butterfield who would drop in to jam with the band. Yep, lots of great memories.

I moved to Florida after college, started a career, got married, raised two kids, got divorced and started over. 10 years ago, I met my favorite photographer (sorry Cap & Rick) Mark Goodman who introduced me to the SBS family and has supported and put up with me since then. (You can thank him if I do a good job or blame him if I don’t, lol.)

I had already been volunteering with SBS for a few years before that memorable day in February 2017 when Mark Thompson called me and said he heard I would be retiring soon and would I consider joining the Board as an alternate. Well, as many of you know, it is hard to say no to the Big Kahuna. Thus, I retired from my 27-year career at Sunrise Domestic & Sexual Violence Center in Dade City and stepped into a new world of great music and great friends. That same year, our beloved Conrad Sewer died suddenly so I stepped in to become a permanent member of our Board and became the Treasurer.

In addition to paying bills the past three years, I helped with organizing and working various festivals throughout the years, handled the advertising and took on some of George Willett’s responsibilities after he retired. (BTW – it took 3 people to replace him!) Now I have the honor and pleasure to work beside this great team of volunteers in my new position.

So I am asking for your patience and support as we continue to struggle through these challenging times. I am going to need your help, ideas and guidance and would love to hear from you. Stay safe 🙏🏻

Terri O’Brien
President@suncoastblues.org

 

Exit Message from the President

Exit Message from the President

Exit Message from the President

Exit Message from the President 

On Inauguration Day your Suncoast Blues Society had a board meeting and held our annual election of officers.  We set a new and important milestone by selecting Terri O’Brien as the first female President of the Suncoast Blues Society.  No one deserves to hold this position more than her.  Most departing presidents leave the board, I have decided to stay and try to return some of the loyalty and support she showed me. She deserves your utmost respect.

James Randolph will be our Vice President and will still run our fundraising efforts and his successful Outreach programs.

Jesse Smoot will remain our very able and helpful Secretary.  Jesse and Pat Smoot have become two of our most valued board members.  It’s been great having them aboard. Cheryl Spradling remains on the board and we look forward to the great things to come from her new role as the Facebook administrator.

Finally, Scott Morris stepped up in a big way to accept Terri’s former position of Financial Officer.  I would like to state that without Scotts’ friendship, technical skills, and plain loyalty I would have failed miserably at my job.  I really can’t give this man enough credit.

I am going to still oversee Events and Membership duties, in addition to the Content Committee for Social Media.

Although all positions are filled, we now have no voluntary alternates, which have been a vital part of our board.  Almost all the members of our board started as alternates, including myself.  We are currently looking for at least two people who have skills in publishing, writing, printing, editing, promotions, technical and social media experience that can assist this hard-working board.  If interested, please submit a short bio  to bluesnews@suncoastblues.org telling us what skills you possess and how you might be able to assist.

I would like to thank some people who have offered the board assistance during my tenure.
To Mark Thompson this might be the last time I thank you, but seriously thanks.

I would like to give a big thanks to Tom (T-Bone) Hamilton and West Bay Media for the great job they did in designing and maintaining our new website  Tom is a true professional and has been a pleasure to work with.

Special thanks need to go to Franc Robert who has helped the SBS behind the scenes for many years. Franc now attends our weekly content committee meetings and cool graphics.  We are all happy to have Franc as a friend and valued associate.

Thanks again to Sheree E. and Go Tonight for all her assistance with our calendar. I really do miss Don’s smiling face.

For the first time in a while, we are planning to participate at some events.  As of right now the Tampa Bay Blues Festival is planned for April 9th, 10th, and 11th.  We rented a tent – come and find us at our usual TBBF spot!  We will also be attending with a booth the Pasco Blues Fest on February 6th.

One last exciting bit of news:  Jack Sullivan, my old boss at Blues Music Magazine, has graciously offered his support to SBS.  Soon, your Suncoast Blues Society will be posting blues material from Jack on our web site. Thank you, Jack!

I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity I was given to be your president.

Thanks!

Lafayette Reid