Rockabilly, Psychobilly and everything in between.

Tag archive

rhythm’n’blues - page 2

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes

in Reviews
Nico Duportal & his Rhythm Dudes - Dealing with my blues
Nico Duportal & his Rhythm Dudes – Dealing with my blues

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes – Dealing with my blues

Rhythm Bomb Records ‎– RBR5844 [2016]
Don’t You See – I Know The Rules – Now Hush – The One To Blame – I Will Unfriend You – Mess And Chaos – Benzola Ascensor – Sometimes – Brand New Day – Junior’s Mambo – Soul Patch – Long Way To Go – Mess And Chaos (Acoustic Bonus Track)

Nico Duportal,French ace guitar player and singer, is not the kind of guy to rest on his laurels. One year after the excellent Guitar Player (that I hope you all own) he releases a brand-new platter that is even better. Once again, the Rhythm Dudes (Pascal Mucci on drums, Alex Bertein on baritone, Thibault Chopin on upright bass, Sylvain Téjérizo on tenor and Olivier Cantrelle on piano and organ.) are here to provide the perfect background to let the many talents of mister Duportal shine.

While his previous album was almost 100% rhythm’n’blues, “Dealing With My Blues” expands his musical horizons and shows the influence of many other genres, including a heavy dose of Soul with, terrific idea, the use of an organ (and if you like Jimmie Va. There’s someTilt a Whirl band, you’ll be delighted) Mambo too with Junior’s mambo penned by  Tim Lelegems ex-Fried Bourbon and Shakedown Tim and the Rhythm Revue, a band recently produced by Duportal. There’s also a bit of of surf (Soul Patch), a hint of Calypso (the One to Blame) and more modern things like Mess and Chaos (that Don Cavalli co-wrote) that shows that Duportal is not a “revival” guy and that his music is not a piece of museum.

All songs are originals mostly penned by Duportal but bass player Thibault Chopin composed two (and co-wrote another). In addition to Junior’s Mambo Tim Lelegems co-wrote I will Unfriend You (facebook friends beware!) and last but not least French blues legend Benoit Blue Boys penned Benzola Ascensor an instrumental on which he also plays harmonic (by the way Nico will appear on Benoit Blue Boy’s forthcoming album, a tribute to French Rock’n’rollers of the of the fifties like Mac Cak.)

Buy it here or if you order from France here.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes - Guitar Player
Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes – Guitar Player

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes – Guitar Player

Rhythm Bomb Records  – RBR5800 [2015]
When I’m Gone – Lost In The Game – Polish Woman – Oh Baby – Can’t Afford To Lose Her – She Knows How – Real Good Lovin’ Tonight – Big Mary’s – Guitar Player – Oh Oh – Josh & Slim – Much Later – Polish Woman (bonus track, unreleased version)

If you dig 50’s black rhythm’n’blues, stop what you’re doing right now and run to your local record shop – if it still exists – or go to Rhythm Bomb’s website to buy Nico Duportal’s amazing fourth album. When you listen to it, you’d swear that someone has unearthed a lost recording made for Peacock or Specialty and put it on cd.
The last time I had the same level of enthusiasm for a similar artist was at the turn of the millenium when I listened to Nick Curran’s debut album.
Like Curran, Duportal has the whole package: the voice, a guitar style in which one can hear the influences of Tiny Grimes, T. Bone Walker, Gatemouth Brown and Johnny Guitar Watson and the songs (and he even has the look!). Six out of 12 are originals he wrote or co-wrote and double bass player Thibaut Chopin wrote another one. The cover are well selected coming from the catalog of Jackie Brenston, Titus Turner, Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Eddie Bo.
One word has to be said about the Rhythm Dudes without whom this album wouldn’t be such a success. The rhythm section (Olivier Cantrelle on piano, Pascal Mucci on drums and Chopin on bass) keeps a steady beat whith precision and swing (yes, both!) while the horns (Alex Bertein on baritone saxophone and Arnaud Desprez on tenor) are groovy, juicy and hot.
A must have.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Red Peters and her Solid Senders

in Albums/Contemporary artists/R/Reviews
Red Peters and her Solid Senders - Rockin' Out The Blues
Red Peters and her Solid Senders – Rockin’ Out The Blues

Red Peters and her Solid Senders – Rockin’ Out The Blues

Crazy Gator Records ‎– CGRLP003 [1997]
My Man Ain’t Coming Inside – The Big Saturday Nite – Gettin’ High – As Long As I’m Movin’ – Ride Daddy Ride – Rock This Joint – I Ain’t Talkin’ – Hey Everybody – Whole Lotta Shakin’ – Shake That Thing

Red Peters, the girl with the big voice, and her band the Solid Senders (guitar, honkin’ saxophone, trumpet, drums and double bass) and guest Chris Gardner (Stargazers) on piano released Rockin’ Out the Blues, their debut 10″ in 1997. With no concession made to modernity this hot platter is a white heated slab of late 40’s/early 50’s Rhythm’n’Blues and Jump in which one can hear the influences of Ruth Brown, Big Mama Thornton, Big Joe Turner and of course Ella Mae Morse. The band’s originals match with the covers easily. Red’s voice is really impressive, confident and powerful without shouting while the band provides a solid backing.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Billie and the Kids – Jukebox Daddy

in Reviews

billie-and-the-kids-jukebox-daddyRhythm Bomb Records – RBR 5757 [2014]
Scorched – Your First Kiss – Bumble Bee – Jukebox Daddy – Blueprint Of My Heart – Maybe – It’s Wrong – How Can You Leave A Man Like This – I’ve Got A Feelin’ – Lonely Days – Come On and Fool Around With Me – You’re Gonna Be Sorry – Need You Tonight – Your Love – Tough – I’m Wise – I Thought I Told You Not To Tell ’em

I realised that this one was on my list of record to review for quite a long time and I quickly put it in the player. After a few bars of the first song I thought I had made a mistake, the sound I hear didn’t match the picture I saw on the booklet. How could a strong and “black” voice like that come from such a young and frail lady? I double checked, pinched me (one never knows) but I soon had to admit the reality: Billie & the Kids don’t come from New Orleans but from Zagreb, Croatia and Jukebox Daddy has not been recorded for Savoy or Modern in the fifties but for Rhythm Bomb in 2013.
These boys (piano, guitar, double bass, drums and three saxes as well as a couple of guests) and girl nailed the sound of their favourite records (Etta James, Ruth Brown, Varetta Dillard) perfectly and make it sound natural. It’s due to their musicianship and ease, but mostly to their ten originals penned by Jurica Stelma, the band’s bassist that include ballads, boppers, jumpers and some latin too.
Don’t miss it.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Roy Brown – Saturday Night

in Reissues

roybrownrb_smallEl Toro R&B 112
Hurry, Hurry Baby – Old Age Boogie (Parts 1 & 2) – Laughing But Crying – Grandpa Stole My Baby – Money Can’t Buy Love – Letter From Home – Midnight Lover Man – Mr. Hound Dog’s In Town – Caldonia’s Wedding Day – Trouble At Midnight – Crazy, Crazy Women – Everything’s All Right – Bootleggin’ Baby – No Love At All – Up Jumped The Devil – Don’t Let It Rain – Ain’t No Rockin’ No More – Queen Of Diamonds – Gal From Kokomo – Worried Life Blues – Fanny Brown Got Married – Black Diamond – Shake ‘Em Up Baby – Saturday Nite – Everybody – The Tick Of The Clock – I’m Stickin’ With You – Party Doll – Let The Four Winds Blow
It would be a mistake to summarize Roy Brown’s discography to “Good Rockin’ Tonight”. In addition to Deluxe/King, he cut sides for Imperial, Home Of The Blues, DRA and even Chess and died in 1981 after making a well deserved triumphant return to New Orleans. This mammoth cd (29 songs) presents his lesser known sides recorded for King between 1952 and 1955, and 6 tunes from his Imperial sessions. Brown’s new home had no plan to change a formula that was successful and this sides are in the same vein of his precedent releases, sharing the same arrangements or themes (“Ain’t No Rockin’ No More” is a sequel to his massive hit). “Mr Hound Dog’s In Town” (which is nothing but a adaptation of Hound Dog) is slightly different accompanied by just a guitar-bass-drums trio. The Imperial sides show a different side of Brown with an unexpected cover of Buddy Knox’s Party Doll which saw his return in the charts in 1957 (#13) followed by “Let The Four Wind Blow” (#5). A good addition to anyone interested by Blues shouters and a good replacement to the Classics (1951-1953) cd which is now hard to find.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Hot Lips Page – Roll! Roll! Roll! The R&B Years

in Reissues

hotlipspageEl Toro R&B 110. [2009]
In A Daze – Miss Larceny Blues – Roll, Roll, Roll – Gimme Gimme Gimme – Jeety-Boat Joad – Florida Blues – Ashes On My Pillow – Open The Door Richard – Birmingham Boogie – I Want To Ride Like The Cowboys Do – Let Me In – Strike While The Iron’s Hot – The Jungle King – The Cadillac Song – Blow Champ Blow – Chocolate Candy Blues – The Hucklebuck – Pacifying Blues – That’s The One For Me – Sharp Little Sister – Main Street – I’ve Got The Upper Hand – Moanin’ Dan

Hot Lips Page could have been a serious rival to Louis Armstrong both as a vocalist and a trumpet player. Sadly, it never materialised due to bad moves and mistakes from his management (though it may have been deliberated as Page shared the same manager than Armstrong). But Page became a sought after session man, playing with Billie Holiday, Artie Shaw, Pete Johnson and Wynonie Harrie with whom he recorded “Good Rockin’ Tonight”. He also assembled various small jump blues combo under his own name and recorded sides for labels like Columbia, RCA, King, Harmony, Circle etc. With those hotter than pepper bands he pionneered the pre-rock’n’roll era in a genre similar to the great Louis Jordan (whom he admired). This compilation gathers 27 of his best sides recorded between the 40’s and his death in 1954, including unissued material and duet with female singers like Little Sylvia, Pearl Bailey and Mildred Anderson.
Absolutely and totally essential.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Headcoats Sect (thee)

in GARAGE

Thee Headcoat Sect-1 Thee Headcoat Sect-2

Thee Headcoats Sect

Deerstalking Men – DAMGOOD265CD
Strychnine – My Dear Watson – Fog-Bound Pinhead – Troubled Times – Cowboys Are Square – Baby What’s Wrong – Why Don’t Toy Smile Now – The Witch – Squaresville – Lie Detector – Deerstalking Man – I’m A Gamekeeper

Ready Sect Go!– DAMGOOD266CD
Ain’t That Just Like Me – Down In The Bottom – I’m A King Be – Take Out Some Insurance On Me – Knight Of The Baskervilles – I’m A Lover Not A Fighte – Mean Red Spider – A Certain Girl – She’s Fine She’s Mine – I Got Love If You Want It – Ready Sect Go – I’m Ready

A recent discussion with a friend about the Rolling Stones and Sir Jagger’s birthday brought the name of the Downliners Sect back to the map. After that, it wasn’t long before we talked about the Headcoats Sect.
It seemed inevitable that sooner than later, Billy Childish would meet those ’60s rhythm’n’blues misfits that are Keith Grant and Don Craine of the Downliners Sect. Back in the sixties, The Downliners Sect were raw, and next to them, the Rolling Stones and the Pretty Things sounded almost suave. Needless to say that no one ever thought of ennobling Craine nor Grant. And though there was a generation between them, they were clearly with the same page, like fathers and sons. It was not just the hat; it was the music, the sense of humor, and the attitude, both bands sharing the same aggressive, rough, and no-compromise approach. Together they recorded two albums in the second half of the ’90s. Each band benefited from this fruitful collaboration. Childish, Johnson, and Brand brought the freshness of their youth, the right backing band (with a special nod to Johnny Johnson on harp), as well as a bunch of Childish originals that seemed tailored fit for the two veterans. Craine and Grant brought a touch of professionalism to the project. Thee Headcoats records often sound as if they were recorded in the kitchen on a mono/two-track cheap recorder. Nothing like that here with Liam Watson’s recording who managed to capture the vibe without altering the spontaneity of the performance. Musically both acts melt perfectly, Craine’s rhythm guitar and Grant’s superb fuzzy bass perfectly complementing Thee Headcoats. Worth mentioning is the musical dialog on “I’m A Dearstalking Man” and “Ready Sect Go.”
The first album relies more on Childish’s classics with some covers thrown in for good measure (including two Sonics tunes) while “Ready Sect Go” contains classic blues/rhythm’n’blues covers with two Childish originals (Knight of the Baskervilles and Ready Sect Go!). Both are excellent and complimentary.

Find them on Damaged Good website.

Go to Top