Two years ago, Nick Millevoi released Desertion, a record which found him diving into an old-school blues aesthetic, mutating it with his forward-thinking and experimental outlook. This quest for transforming standardised forms of blues, country and surf rock is now expanded, with Kevin Shea and Johnny Deblase joining Millevoi and forming the Desertion Trio. The band’s first record carries down the same path that Desertion explored, seeing the trio taking on jazz notions, desert rock passages, noise rock aggression and free-rock improv tactics. All these elements are passed through the band’s kaleidoscopic vision of rock music, presenting an extravagant result in their debut album, Midtown Tilt.
Combining sessions that blues pianist Sunnyland Slim and blues guitarist Johnny Shines recorded separately on the same day in Chicago in 1968 for the Blue Horizon imprint, this interesting little set shows two blues veterans doing what it was they did, which was, in part, to push and pull the Delta blues one small step closer to being in the modern urban world. The Slim sides, several of which are new to digital disc, are a bit more interesting than the Shines sides, but only by degree. Slim's songs can appear on the surface to be tossed-off exercises in the usual blues clichés, but they were actually carefully written, while Shines worked similar territory, giving old blues figures a slightly ironic twist. Since both played at one time or another with Robert Johnson, and both straddle the old and new worlds of the blues as it transfigured into an electric and urban form, it makes perfect sense to stick these two sessions together in one package.
By 1928 and '29 jazz was beginning to mature and recording technology was growing up along with it. Even taking into account his remarkable accomplishments on phonograph records from 1923 through early 1928, the exciting material gathered together on this disc represents - without question - some of the very best jazz ever recorded by New Orleans/Chicago clarinet archetype Johnny Dodds. On the first 11 selections, Natty Dominique blows one tough little cornet, and Bill Johnson's bull fiddle comes across more clearly and dramatically than ever before. Throughout the 1920s, many bands relied on the tuba to provide the bassline on their recordings…
For those who wish to develop a strong relationship with early jazz, there are certain records that may help the listener to cultivate an inner understanding, the kind of vital personal connection that reams of critical description can only hint at. Once you become accustomed to the sound of Johnny Dodds' clarinet, for example, the old-fashioned funkiness of South Side Chicago jazz from the 1920s might well become an essential element in your personal musical universe. Put everything post-modern aside for a few minutes and surrender to these remarkable historic recordings. It is January 1927, and the band, fortified with Freddie Keppard and Tiny Parham, is calling itself Jasper Taylor & His State Street Boys…
Johnny Cash: Forever Words is a collaborative album consisting of 16 songs created from Johnny Cash's unknown poetry, lyrics, and letters set to music by an astounding array of contemporary artists including Chris Cornell, Ruston Kelly & Kacey Musgraves, Rosanne Cash, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Brad Paisley, Kris Kristofferson & Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello, and more.
Dodds was one of the very finest New Orleans clarinetists, and the only non-Creole among them. The peak experiences here, and some of the finest small-group recordings ever made, are the New Orleans Wanderers sessions - Armstrong's Hot Five with George Mitchell instead of Armstrong. Also present are Freddie Keppard's only two recordings and a bunch of marginally lesser cuts that Dodds transmutes into gold.
The latest solo album from the leader of Chromatics is a full-scale concept album about inclement weather.
Guitarist Johnny Whitehill has been a fixture on the British blues scene since the 1970s, emerging as a star while a member of the Blues Burglars, the band he formed with harpist Paul Lamb in the early '80s. As a guitarist, his inspirations and influences came from the likes of B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller, Lightnin' Hopkins, et al., and, later on, fellow British bluesman Peter Green, among others. He has recorded albums of his own intermittently, amid two decades working mostly with Paul Lamb & the King Snakes – the successor band to the Blues Burglars – and since the opening of the 21st century has toured England with his own group, Johnny Whitehill's Real Deal.