Congratulations to the Intrepid Ones on their nominations for the 2014 Living Blues Awards!
- John Nemeth for Male Outstanding Blues Singer
- Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials for Best Live Performer
To place your vote visit the Living Blues website at http://www.livingblues.com/
Every night that award-winning harmonica player, singer and songwriter Rick Estrin and his cohorts The Nightcats perform live— wherever in the world that may be—a crowd of dancing, shouting, laughing and cheering people will be enjoying some of the best live music they’ve ever heard. On one of these nights—October 5, 2013, at San Francisco’s Biscuits & Blues—the proceedings were captured live. The result is Rick Estrin & The Nightcats’ irresistible new release, You Asked For It…Live!
You Asked For It…Live! has the immediacy, feel and fun of a true Rick Estrin & The Nightcats performance. “No matter how much fun we have and how relaxed we can be in the studio, there’s still nothing like being in front of, and interacting with, our live audience,” Estrin says.
“After shows, people are always asking, ’Are any of these CDs live? Which of your CDs is most like what you did tonight?’” Estrin recalls. “Now, I can tell them, ‘This one right here. Thank you. We’ll be happy to sign it.’”
Coco Montoya releases his double CD set on RUF Records, Songs From The Road, the next best thing to being there version from this great guitarist and his crushing band. Push play and your front room transforms into the front row. Shut your eyes and you almost feel the crush of the crowd, the heat of the tube amps and the security barrier at your chest.
There’s nothing like a live recording. With no smoke, mirrors or safety nets, Coco is rightly celebrated for his studio cuts. The cheers that introduce, “I Got A Mind To Travel” and the hysteria that signs off “My Side Of The Fence” proves the bandleader can patently deliver the goods live.
Alongside Jim Gaines, Coco had a dream-team of compadres flanking him for this recording, with Brant Leeper swirling it up on keys, Nathan Brown holding it down on bass and Rena Beavers driving these 14 songs from the drum stool.
If you appreciate the studio cuts, then you’ll love these live readings. And if you’re yet to discover the genius of Coco Montoya, Songs From The Road’s cherrypicked setlist is a great place to kick-start your collection. Play it loud.
Janiva Magness’ new album Original stretches the artistic boundaries of roots, rock and soul music. Its 11 songs seamlessly weave all three genres into a highly original approach defined by nakedly honest storytelling and the live-wire emotionalism of Magness’ two-and-a-half octave range, buoyed by arrangements that effortlessly blend traditional sounds with edgy experimentation.
Original finds the Los Angeles-based artist undefeated — turning in her finest recorded vocal performances, co-writing a majority of tracks for the first time and testing herself by taking risks along with her production foil Dave Darling, whose credits include Glen Campbell, Brian Setzer, Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx and Stray Cats, and whose instincts compelled Magness to tap her deepest creative powers and led the songs to sonically unpredictable places.
“I always want to push myself,” she explains, “but this album demanded a high level of vulnerability to tell the absolute truth in every song, holding nothing back. It was frightening, at times, to be so raw in public. Dave drove me and even tricked me when he needed to. This is also an album that couldn’t be made with another record company, because we needed to be able to go wherever we wanted musically to tell its stories.”
“Now, I’m really looking forward to getting out and performing these songs live,” the artist continues. “When you’re on stage in front of an audience that’s singing along to your own songs, there’s no better feeling — and no place I’d rather be — in the world.”
It’s been quite the rollercoaster ride, but the eight members of Austin’s criticallyacclaimed soul collective Mingo Fishtrap have found their sweet spot. “We’ve experienced a lot of milestones and challenges in our lives together,” says founder Roger Blevins, Jr. “It’s easy to reminisce, even about moments that have just happened, but you reach a place in your life where you finally feel comfortable that that’s where you’re supposed to be.”
Mingo’s fourth full-length record, the aptly-named On Time, blends punchy horns and gritty Memphis grooves with New Orleans funk to create sounds steeped in both modern pop and sixties soul sensibilities, that transcend both era and genre. The infectiously catchy “End of the World” gets the record off to a sizzling start with buttery vocals, dance-floor-ready drums, and plaintive refrain.
“Our first couple albums were made more traditionally, in that we went into the studio for a couple of weeks and did everything in one place, under one set of ‘rules’,” says Roger. “On Time was made more guerilla style as we’ve gotten busier with touring in the past few years. About half the songs are ones we’d been living with on the road for a while, and others we haven’t played live once since the studio.” The result is a record that feels simultaneously familiar and fresh — a sound the band also strives for in their dynamic live shows.