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Blues Rock Review by Pete Francis - 1d ago

Buddy Guy is set to tour the USA in a massive tour that will see the 81-year-old blues singer and guitarist travel to 54 confirmed dates in venues such as theaters, arts centers and casinos. The tour starts on March 9th at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Arizona and runs until the final date on July 27th at South Shore Music Circus in Massachusetts. As fans already know, he doesn’t disappoint on the road.

George “Buddy” Guy is the embodiment of Chicago Blues but is also an original and inspirational musician with a unique style that combines traditional deep blues with unpredictable avant-rock and jazz elements. His unconventional and anarchistic guitar skills earned him a place among legends, and Buddy influenced artists such as Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, who described him as the “greatest guitarist of all times”.

Buddy is well known for his time spent playing with Muddy Waters. He was signed with Chess Records in his early career and came to fame as a solo artist during the blues revival of the late 80s and early 90s. After being asked by Clapton to play at The Royal Albert Hall in London for the “24 Nights” blues concert, Buddy attracted the attention of more labels and signed with Silvertone Records.

Among the many gigs on his current U.S. tour, Buddy Guy will play the SugarHouse Casino Event Center in Philadelphia on Friday, April 13th. Tickets are available now for $49 to $69 from the SugarHouse events page. The casino has nearly 1,900 slots, 103 gaming tables, as well as 28 table poker rooms with games like Texas Hold ‘Em, the world’s most popular type of poker.

The legendary blues artist also plays the following day at Hollywood Casino at Charles Races in West Virginia. Other casino dates include the Silver Legacy Resort & Casino in Nevada on March 23rd, the Golden Nugget in Los Angeles and the Hampton Beach Casino in New Hampshire.

During his highly successful career, which spans several decades and continues to this day, Buddy Guy has picked up 37 blues music awards, including seven Grammy awards and the Billboard magazine Century Award. He appears as number 23 on Rolling Stone’s “100 greatest guitarists of all time”.

Buddy Guy’s albums have also gained notoriety. “Rhythm and Blues” was named number one on Billboard’s Top Blues Album list, as was his most recent addition “Born to Play Guitar”. Perhaps his most acclaimed song, “Stone Crazy” ranked 78th in Rolling Stone’s “100 greatest guitar songs of all time”.

Buddy’s most recent album, the aptly-named “Blues is Alive and Well,” is a testament to the famous guitarist’s ability to move with the times while keeping a classic genre of music going for fans of the era and of today alike.

If there’s one blues tour worth seeing in 2018, it has to be the living legend Buddy Guy on one of his U.S. tour dates. This is a golden opportunity to catch Buddy Guy in action, still in his elements, performing Chicago Blues like you have never heard it before. The full tour schedule is available on the artist’s website.

Marina Biljak

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The 1960s are widely thought to be the decade that truly signalled the move into the modern era. However, the 1950s was equally (if not more) instrumental in ushering in today’s world – thanks to the emergence and expansion of blues music. Here we consider how blues was involved in some of the main cultural developments in the West, and has made a lasting impact on contemporary life.

Early 1950s: postwar life and an appetite for change

The UK began the 1950s very much in the shadow of the Second World War, as the Labour Government under Clement Attlee were working to rebuild the country’s prosperity. They had already set up the NHS and unemployment was relatively low at under 5% but there was much work left to do. The electorate didn’t believe that they were the party to take such a challenge on and the Conservatives were returned to power in October 1951.

Popular music was still dominated by post-war crooners like Perry Como, Guy Mitchell and Frankie Laine as well as home-grown talent like the “forces’ sweetheart” Vera Lynn. The key American influence was swing jazz, but that was soon to change.

Meanwhile, there were great social changes taking place in the US. Following the war there was what was known as the Second Great Migration as millions of African Americans who had been living in rural communities started to move into the country’s major cities including Chicago, Memphis and Detroit. It’s estimated that 8% of African Americans living in the South moved out in the 1950s – a trend that was to continue and increase over subsequent decades. Naturally, they brought their music with them and, in doing so, it started to change from so-called country blues to a more urban manifestation of the genre, helped on its way by the increasing use of electric guitar.

As any fan of the music will know, the giants of this era were musicians such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and B.B. King, who introduced the classic Chicago blues style to a wider audience than ever before with his hit albums Singin’ The Blues and Sings Spirituals. At this point, other performers like Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard were taking blues into a more rock ‘n’ roll style of music that would take the country, and world, by storm.

B.B. King - Sweet Little Angel (Live) - YouTube

The decade also saw the growth of music venues across the US – and this ran in parallel to the gambling boom in Las Vegas. Indeed, these two trends coalesced in venues such as the Sahara Hotel and Casino, which booked jazz musician Louis Prima to be their late-night lounge act – one of the first on the strip. Along with Keely Smith, Prima’s wife at the time, and sax player Sam Butera, they created one of the largest entertainment attractions in Las Vegas.

The nostalgia for the 1950s shows itself in many unusual ways. Vegas grew substantially in the 1950s – and it was in this era that casino tourism took off. A night at the casino was considerably different in the 50s, the dress code was smart and it attracted a high calibre of guests. Modern day casino visitors and even those that play online look upon this era fondly. Due to this, the nostalgia for the 1950s shows itself in many unexpected ways. There is now an online slot game called The Glorious 50’s, which is based on the time and really gives players a feel for the era, land-based casinos also follow this example and often host 50s-themed nights.

 Late 1950s: transatlantic ties

In the 1950s there was an appetite for a new kind of music in the UK – and this was evident from the popularity of skiffle bands. These made a virtue of the post-war shortages by using improvised instruments like washboards and basses made from tea chests and lengths of string. The overriding philosophy was that anyone could make music – one that emerged again two decades later with the emergence of punk. Virtually every school in the country had a number of skiffle bands and it was Lonnie Donegan who really enjoyed chart success with the style, most notably with his version of Leadbelly’s Rock Island Line.

As the decade wore on, records from the blues masters started to make the journey across the Atlantic introducing a whole new kind of music to British ears. Because in those days most imports arrived by ship, it meant that Liverpool was one of the first cities in the UK to get a steady supply of this new music. This, it could be argued, was why the Liverpool scene gave birth to so many of the earliest blues, and rhythm and blues, groups in the country. A shared love of rare blues records is what first cemented the friendship between Beatles founders John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Muddy Waters’ first-ever visit to the UK in 1958 introduced the idea of electric blues to an eager and appreciative audience – among them a host of impressionable musicians who would go on to found pioneering British bands such as The Who and The Rolling Stones. Thanks to Muddy Waters’ influence, blues became embedded in the rock ‘n’ roll explosion of the 1960s.

The 1960s: like a Rolling Stone

Whereas The Beatles were initially inspired by the blues records they were receiving first hand, often through their manager Brian Epstein’s Liverpool record store, it was their great rivals The Rolling Stones who were more comprehensively influenced. Just as Lennon and McCartney had bonded over their mutual interest in esoteric blues records, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had done the same and the band’s early sets consisted almost entirely of cover versions of the blues records that they were listening to. Other bands like The Yardbirds were also heavily influenced by blues rock, along with the self-styled progenitors of heavy metal Led Zeppelin, who went to sell 300 million albums worldwide.

At the same time, the first generation free from military conscription emerged in the UK. With young people finally given a voice and the freedom they wanted, teenagers grew up significantly differently to how they had a decade before. Cultural life in the UK changed accordingly, with music at the core of a more social generation defined by music concerts and festivals. The US was also experiencing something of a musical heyday, epitomised by blues guitarist Jimi Hendrix’s star spangled banner solo at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

1960s and beyond: blues taking new forms

Over the intervening decades between the 1960s and now, blues music has stayed alive and continued to thrive, thanks to its huge and timeless appeal. Every weekend, up and down the country there are countless blues bands performing live, and the enduring and widespread popularity of artists like Jools Holland demonstrate that blues is a genre that will never die.

There’s also been a growth in 1950s nostalgia, with vinyl sales topping three million last year – the highest total in 25 years. And it’s not just in music, but in other realms, too. By the side of the road are 50s-style diners where you can enjoy a burger and shake while listening to a soundtrack from the time – not to mention the constant reappearance of fashions that hark back to the decade, too.

So it’s fair to say that the 1950s have never really left the public imagination and, just like the blues, they’re definitely here to stay.

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Lance Lopez has released a music video for “Down To One Bar.” The track is featured on the upcoming album, Tell The Truth, available March 2nd.

Lance Lopez - Down To One Bar (Official Music Video) - YouTube

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Starting Gun is the debut studio album by English hard rock band The Bad Flowers featuring Tom Leighton on vocals and guitar, Dale Tonks on bass and Karl Selickis on drums. It’s a breathtaking record by one of the most exciting new bands on the rock scene today. The album was recorded at Vigo Studios, near the band’s hometown of Cannock, and produced by Adam Beddow.

Starting Gun opens with the first single, “Thunder Child”, a fantastic rock song with a monstrous riff and great lyrics and chorus. This song sets the pace to the following songs, “Lions Blood”, “Secrets” and “Rich Man”, heavy songs featuring lots of energy. The album takes a different turn with the acoustic song “I Hope” followed by the slower “Let’s Misbehave”. The latter is one of the best, starts like a ballad but gets progressively heavier, highlight to Tom’s guitar solo. “Who Needs A Soul” and “Be Your Man” bring the best of the band; fabulous guitar riffs and solos, cool bass lines and superb drumming. “Hurricane” is the heavier track, Tom’s screaming vocals are first class. “I Don’t Believe It” is also very heavy, the song starts with a great bass line followed by another huge guitar riff. It’s one of the fastest tracks and perhaps the best guitar solo. The band kept the high quality until the end, “City Lights” ended the album in a great way.

The Bad Flowers debut Starting Gun makes them one of the most promising bands. It’s not a traditional blues rock band, it’s a heavy blues rock band. If you are in the heavier side of things, you should definitely check out this record. It really is amazing the sound that this power trio can produce.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Thunder Child
– Lions Blood
– Rich Man
– Let’s Misbehave
– Who Needs A Soul

The Big Hit

– Who Needs A Soul

Review by Pedro Matta

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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The Billy Walton Band website is newjerseyrockband.com, conjuring up images of tacky bar bands wearing their Springsteen influence like a tattered denim vest. The URL is unnecessarily self-deprecating as the Billy Walton Band is actually a versatile, horn-propelled group and Soul of a Man, their latest album, shows a band capable of executing different styles without sounding derivative.

Walton has an interesting voice, not unlike an upbeat, more melodic Tom Waits. It works extremely well over his band, which includes a sax and trombone, but that plays like a much larger big band horn section. The few gaps in the sounds are filled in by keyboard, with Walton’s voice and screaming guitar soar over the top of it all.

Soul of a Man goes in a number of different directions stylistically, often within the same song. “I Don’t Know” starts off as Brian Setzer Orchestra big band jump blues before morphing into hard rock for the chorus. “Let Go” is another interesting track, a fast-paced funk with talk-box guitar that’s pure Jersey glam on the chorus. The album’s highlight is the fantastic cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Green River.” Where the original is simple and spartan, the Billy Walton Band gives their version grandeur and majesty, with the horns propelling the song into an incendiary guitar solo that eventually submits to a fantastic organ break, only to see the horns rejoin the band at the end of it all. The track represents everything great about the band.

The Billy Walton Band is a New Jersey band and on Soul of a Man, they pay tribute to different Jersey styles, but they have crafted something that goes beyond beach music, soul, and rhythm and blues, and instead have created a hybrid sound that stands up to repeated listens.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Let Go
– Save the Last Dance
– My Little Bird
– Poison Pill
– Green River

The Big Hit

– Green River

Review by Steven Ovadia

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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Black Country Communion has released a music video for “The Cove.”

“Joe captured the mood brilliantly on this song. I’m still shaking my head in astonishment. I wanted to write a song about my love for dolphins. Each year thousands of these beautiful Souls are murdered by Hunters in the coastal town of Taiji Japan. They are drove into the Killing Cove and brutally slaughtered. I have been working with Ric O’Barry from the Dolphin Project for four years, and told him I had written a song about this senseless & horrific scenario for BCCIV, that has been happening for decades,” said Glenn Hughes.

Black Country Communion - The Cove (Official Studio Video) - YouTube

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New York’s punk/blues girl band, follow up their 2016 covers debut No B! with a collection of mostly original material, but the noise levels remain intact.

Opening with the lip-curling vocals of Dana “Danger” Athens on the rocking “How Ya Doin’?”, name-checking just about every American city, through to the Lawler – Thornton cover “Black Rat”, the pace never lets up. Having said that, “How Bright The Moon” is a classy ballad, Athens accompanying herself on piano, interspersed with reverent guitar work from Tracy Hightop/Tina “T-Bone” Gorin. The pace hots up again with the rhythm section of drummer Melissa “Cool Whip” and bassist Hail Mary Zadroga doing a sterling job on the Don Robey classic “Turn On Your Love Light”. If classic slow blues is your thing, closer “The Breeze” is for you, cracker!

With the plethora of female artists on the blues/rock scene at the moment, gaining momentum must be difficult. But there is enough class on this album for this relatively new band to pull it off. Oh, lastly, keep those names!

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– How Ya Doin ?
– Black Rat
– How Bright The Moon
– Turn On Your Love Light
– The Breeze

The Big Hit

– Turn On Your Love Light

Review by Clive Rawlings

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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Philip Morgan Lewis has released a music video for his new single, “Sinner.”

Philip Morgan Lewis - Sinner [Music Video] - YouTube

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Today Joe Bonamassa is one of the most accomplished guitarists in modern day blues and rock. Bonamassa was born on the 8th of May 1977 in New Hartford, New York and started to learn how to play the guitar encouraged by his own father who was a big music fan. Actually, as Joe Bonamassa stated, his father was the first one to expose him to the work of great classic like Eric Clapton or Jeff Beck and from there things just picked on.

The Beginnings of Joe Bonamassa’s Solo Career

Since Bonamassa started learning how to play the guitar as such a small age, by the time he was 11 he had the chance to being trained and mentored by guitar legend Danny Gatton. This meant a lot for the young Joe Bonamassa that already was dreaming of playing with huge artists that were his idols all the way during childhood. With such a strong musical background, Joe Bonamassa started his own band billed as Smokin’ Joe Bonamassa and they had some small shows around Pennsylvania and New York during weekends since he had to be in school during the week.

Joe Bonamassa’s first guitar was a Fender Stratocaster made in 1972 that he named Rosie for the fact that it was crimson. This guitar would prove to be the first magical instrument that Joe used to create his wonderful pieces of art. The same man that paved the way for his musical path was the one to buy Joe the guitar, his father.

Joe Bonamassa Songs and Albums

Joe Bonamassa’s debut album didn’t see the light of day until the year 2000 when A New Day Yesterday was launched at the independent record rabel Okeh but in collaboration with Epic Record and 550 music. This Joe Bonamassa album of debut contained original tunes as well as covers of his favorite artists like Jetrho Tull, Rory Gallagher, and Warren Haynes. The entire album made it to the number 9 spot in the Billboard Blues chart and this was only the beginning for Joe Bonamassa.

Joe Bonamassa - "Miss You, Hate You" - OFFICIAL Music Video - YouTube

Starting with 2002 up until 2006, no less than three of Joe Bonamassa’s albums climbed all the way to the top of Billboard blues chart and another 5 pieces of his work made it in the top 10 songs of this very important chart.

Fulfilling a Childhood Dream

Out of all of the Joe Bonamassa songs he has given to the world, he says the most important part of his career was when he managed to complete his childhood dream. Ever since he started playing the guitar he wanted to play along Eric Clapton and that happened in 2009 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. After this peak he has continued to produce many studio album that have enjoyed a lot of success.

Joe Bonamassa "Introducing Eric Clapton" to "Further On Up The Road" from RAH Concert 2009 - YouTube

So, now that you know a bit more about the creative history of this huge guitar player, perhaps the best approach is to play a Joe Bonamassa record and relax while enjoying some awesome mobile phone casino no deposit bonus 2018 on your smartphone, in the comfort of your home.

Thomas Glare

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The Kris Barras Band has released a music video for “Propane,” which is off the upcoming album, The Divine and Dirty, available March 23rd.

“‘Propane’ is quite different to the other songs on the album and anything I’ve written before,” said Barras. “It’s got a driving groove behind it but it’s a bit softer than the other tracks. The song is about using people’s negativity towards you as fuel to fire you up on whatever journey you might be on. It’s about taking what the doubters say and using it to drive you on to succeed. The guitar solo on this track is one of my favourites of the album”

Kris Barras - Propane (Official Studio Video) - YouTube

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