While primarily a blues vocalist, Lady Bianca first earned notice as a session singer on a wide range of projects including recordings from Van Morrison, Frank Zappa and Merle Haggard. Born Bianca Thornton in Kansas City, Missouri on August 8, 1953, she was influenced by gospel as a child and studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music before lending her contralto to the role of Billie Holiday in an acclaimed production of Jon Hendrick’s Evolution of the Blues; in the early ’80s, she appeared on Morrison LPs including Beautiful Vision and Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, and also backed blues legends like John Lee Hooker and Willie Dixon. In the late ’80s, Lady Bianca teamed with songwriter Stanley Lippitt, an alliance which yielded a number of tracks that grabbed the attention of Joe Louis Walker and in turn resulted in a record deal; she made her solo debut in 1995 with Best Kept Secret. Her long-awaited follow up appeared six years later on Rooster Blues.
mp3 256 kbps | 67 MB | UJ
The second Rick Estrin solo album to replace the Nightcats’ longtime guitarist Little Charlie Baty with Kid Andersen (who again co-produces, records, and mixes, almost making him Estrin’s equal for support responsibilities) shows a bit of a progression. It’s still rooted in the good-time approach Estrin and Little Charlie adhered to for nine Alligator releases, but pushes more at the edges, toughening up the attack to include hints of surf, rock, jump blues, reggae, Booker T. & the MG’s soul, and a terrific ’50s-styled slow dance ballad in “Movin’ Slow.” As frontman, the sartorially sharp Estrin is difficult to beat. His sly fox-guarding-the-hen house vocals and dynamic harp work are flashy in all the right ways, and these songs are some of the best he has recorded which, with his extensive catalog, is quite a compliment. The title track is a typically swinging blues pushed by an Estrin harp solo even the great Little Walter would have been proud of. It’s complemented by Andersen’s tough rhythmic guitar fills and organ from Lorenzo Farrell, the band’s somewhat hidden MVP who also handles bass duties. Estrin’s humorous, show-stopping story songs are his calling card with this album’s clever “(I Met Her on The) Blues Cruise” filling that slot and simultaneously letting him namecheck some of his fellow blues cruise musicians. But it’s when he displays serious chops playing it straight on “Broke and Lonesome,” a cutting Chicago blues with Andersen’s biting guitar shifting tempos for the bridge, proving Estrin and his band aren’t just about double entendres and flamboyant frontmen. He even hands vocals over to bandmate J. Hanson for the drummer’s rocking and slightly mean-spirited “You Ain’t the Boss of Me,” but Estrin seems M.I.A. on the album’s two instrumentals. That’s odd, because the second of those, Andersen’s closing “The Legend of Taco Cobbler,” is, at nearly seven minutes, the disc’s longest and arguably most ambitious track, shifting from surf to Tex-Mex, spaghetti Western, Memphis soul, and about three other genres (including a brief classical riff) throughout its many changes. As a producer, Andersen’s intricate and detailed touch brings additional sounds, occasional overdubbing, and unexpected effects to bolster the mix (the album sounds particularly good with head phones). When an unaccompanied Estrin goes completely solo (harp, vocal, and foot stomps) on “Old News,” you understand that in a pinch, he could carry a set without a band. But for this release he has one, and a pretty great one at that, making One Wrong Turn the right move at this stage of Rick Estrin’s lengthy and productive career.
mp3 160 kbps | 59 MB | UJ
The second album from Manchester’s Milk Maid – not to be confused with the terrific US band Milk Music – is part dreamy British indie and part frazzled US psych-rock, albeit perhaps never quite as dreamy or frazzled as it could have been. Bandleader Martin Cohen, formerly of Nine Black Alps, sets the tone straight away with opener Dopamine, as its big, sunny guitar jangle and reverb-heavy vocal give way to a minor paisley explosion of feedback and woozy wailing. The tempo shifts quickly up on the stompier, garagey Do Right, the scene of more guitar-led storm fronts and a melody that motors away nicely, before Stir So Slow settles back into the album’s predominant mid-to-slow pace. Mostly No’s sound is a pretty familiar one – the Jesus and Mary Chain loom large in particular – which does burst into bloom here and there (Your Neck Around Mine’s overflowing hooks, Old Trick’s gorgeous coda), but there’s also a sense of pedals unstamped-on and wigs unflipped that makes you wonder if it could all have gone further.
Crowned winner of The Voice Australia, Karise Eden has her debut album My Journey.This album is a collection of songs Karise has performed during the show, her debut single ‘You Won’t Let Me’, plus brand new recordings of songs that have inspired her throughout her life and her journey to reach The Voice.
Blues On Solid Ground is John’s 2nd CD from Blues House Productions. This intimate, ‘down-home’ style CD is John’s first tribute to his early Mississippi life and showcases his powerful, soulful voice along with his masterful guitar style.
The intent of the CD is to keep the blues traditions John grew up with alive and on solid ground, as well as exposing those traditions to the next generation. These 13 songs are all Primer originals, “I really don’t try to change the blues I just try to keep it original. You do want to expand it, but you can’t expand it too much”, he says. Mixing John’s traditional rhythm with all new lyrics keeps the blues up to date and relevant to its roots.
mp3 320 kbps | 138 MB | UJ