Robben Ford: Purple House Review

Veteran blues man Robben Ford, I would hope, needs no introduction. This, his umpteenth album, is co-produced by Casey Wasner, featuring nine powerhouse tracks and features special guest appearances from contemporaries such as blues powerhouse vocalist Shemekia Copeland, she sings a duet with Ford on “Break In The Chain”, Travis McCready, the lead singer of the Natchez, Mississippi band Bishop Gunn, contributes the lead vocals on “Somebody’s Fool, plus we hear a fantastic guitar solo of Bishop Gunn’s guitarist Drew Smithers on the album’s closing track “Willing To Wait”. The rhythm section throughout the album is made up of drummer Derrek C Phillips and funky bassist Ryan Madora. Robben Ford makes much of the fact that he never records similar albums. Purple House isn’t so much concerned with the amount of time it took to record, as the way it has embraces a bigger production, giving him additional electronic touches and an overall bigger sonic impact.

Chris Robinson Brotherhood: Portland Gig Review

This past May Blues Rock Review covered Chris Robinson’s other band, “As the Crow Flies,” so we wanted to check out his primary project, “The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, which hit Portland, Oregon on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at Revolution Hall. While “As the Crow Flies” played many Black Crowes tunes, “The Brotherhood,” obviously had its own agenda. That was apparent from the beginning when you entered the venue and saw before you, unfurled as the backdrop of the stage, the legendary “Freak Flag,” that Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang about at Woodstock, and on their 1970, Déjà Vu album. The motto or slogan that Portlander’s espouse is “keep Portland Weird,” which translates into letting their freak flag fly.

Vote for the Top 20 Albums of 2018!

On Wednesday, December 19, Blues Rock Review will reveal the Top 20 Albums of 2018! Place your votes for your favorite studio albums from 2018 and count for 50% of the vote! The remaining 50% will be voted on by the staff of Blues Rock Review. Tuesday, December 18 is the deadline to vote to help determine the year’s number 1 blues rock album!

Steve Rodgers: Head Up High Review

Fathers, sons, and rock and roll are a tough combination. No matter how close a father and son are, there’s a natural need for a son to not want to grow up in the shadow of his father. But rock and roll is a cut-throat business and a new artist needs to use every tool at his disposal. And often the most effective marketing tool is paternity. The tension between the need to stand alone versus the need for a boost is audible on Steve Rodgers’ debut, Head Up High, Rodgers being the son of legendary rock singer Paul Rodgers.

Ben Poole: Aberdeen Gig Review

For the first time since February 2017, Ben Poole played in Aberdeen on November 30, 2018 at Drummonds. This time, Ben was promoting his new studio album Anytime You Need Me, released on September 2018. The album was produced by Wayne Proctor of King King. Ben Poole’s touring band features Beau Barnard on bass guitar and Wayne Proctor on drums.

Eric Gales announces “The Bookends”

On 8th February 2019, Eric Gales returns with his brand new album The Bookends on Provogue/Mascot Label Group and it features collaborations with B. Slade, Doyle Bramhall II and Beth Hart.

The challenge for making The Bookends was for Gales to challenge himself. “As a guitar player it’s been established that I can play a little bit, just a little bit,” he smiles. But for this album he not only wanted to push himself as a musician, but also as a vocalist, to build up his vocal discography. “What spearheaded that was the artists that I have on the record,” he says.

Vintage Trouble: Chapter II EP Review

Who would have guessed that Amy Winehouse and The Weeknd would be cited as influences on a new Vintage Trouble release? The concept may seem odd at first, but when you take a moment to think about it, it’s not so wild—after all, this is the band that channeled James Brown in early live performances and has made the vintage-with-an-edge style work for them for several years. Even so, Vintage Trouble’s latest EP Chapter II, out last month, is vastly different from anything the band has released before, taking several calculated risks that likely won’t resonate with every fan. Which is exactly why the band also made an acoustic version of the same set of songs, a decision that began as a gesture to loyal fans and transformed during the recording process into an entirely different creative venture.

Joe Bonamassa: Portland, Oregon Gig Review

Joe Bonamassa is the premier generation X blues rock guitarist and began his career at the age of twelve when he opened for B. B. King, in 1989. Since that time he’s put out thirteen studio albums, with his most recent, Redemption, along with collaborations with other artists, like Beth Hart and Glenn Hughes. On November 27, 2018, he was playing a familiar venue,  in Portland, Oregon, where this writer has seen him perform twice previously. The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall is a nearly 3,000 seat beautiful historic venue in down town, with ample reasonable parking across the street.

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