Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Review: Jon Paris "Blue Planet" Blues Leaf Records
The thing about blues music is there are always deeper roots to be explored. Before James 'Blood' Ulmer there was Howling Wolf. Before Howling Wolf there was Elmore James. And before Elmore James there was Robert Johnson. And before Robert Johnson there was Charley Patton.
Well, lately I've been listening to newer stuff, particularly Chris James & Patrick Rynn and Ian Parker and Matthew Stubbs and Todd Wolfe--and all this listening seems to lead me back to Albert Castiglia and Michael Bloomfield and Peter Green. And to one other guitar slinger, who may not be as well known as these others I've mentioned: Jon Paris.
Jon Paris is well known as a guitar ace to blues fans around New York City, but he might not be as familiar to those of us out in the "flyover zone." He played with Johnny Winter for ten years. He also toured with Mick Taylor, who was with a little band you might remember called Rolling Stones. Well, after all that, Jon Paris put out a great cd in 2002 called "Blue Planet." The band is Jon Paris–guitar, harp & vocals; Amy Madden– bass; Sandy Gennaro-Drums. Yessir Mark, this is a slammin' three piece, and they lay down some of the heaviest blues yet done in this 21st Century! The guitar and vocals are double heavy, the drumming kicks, and the bass is rock solid. I've listened to this cd a bunch lately and it gets better every time through. The opener "Good To Go" could have been a radio hit in 2002--it sounds a little like The Fabulous Thunderbirds tune "Wrap It Up." Then Paris does the John Lee Hooker number "The Boogie" and "Til I Lost You" which sounds like Robin Trower should have done it. There is a Muddy Waters number, "the Blues Had A Baby" a Sonny Thompson number, "the Sad Night Owl" and an Elmore James number "Talk To Me, Baby" and several fine originals. Paris does an especially fine Bo Diddley-styled treatment of "Big Big City." Even though this cd shows its roots, two things stand out--it sounds like great stuff, and it does a great job of blowing on those embers to make the fire HOT!
You can buy this cd at Blues Leaf Records. http://www.bluesleaf.com Pick it up--you'll see what I'm talking about.