Monday, July 11, 2011

F & G Band featuring Edlene Hart -- "Grease Up Yo' Strutt"

There are times when I really love this blog. I get to bring attention to some great blues, music that you might never hear about if not for me. This time out is one such occasion. This is a very fine cd! The F & G Band is Edlene Hart, lead vocals, backing vocals. She has toured the world, including Africa, as the lead with the Glory Gospel Singers based in Harlem, has won the world famous Apollo Theater's amateur night TWICE, and has sung with and for countless people, including Tony Bennett and Isaac Hayes...she even sang for the Pope! Sly Geralds bass, vocals and co-producer along with Suzanne & Tom Foscino. He has toured and recorded with Al Green, Maceo Parker, Cindy Lauper, Bill Perry and so many more. Tom Foschino, drums, performed, recorded and toured with the legendary Blues Hall of Famer, Sam "Bluzman" Taylor for many years before Sam's passing. Tom also performed with Sweet Suzi for many years, heading to the IBC three times. On guitar here are Bill Marino, Chuck Russell, and John Anderson--all of them very good players and they add their own style to the songs they appear on. Special guests include Lil Cliff Bernard, of Lil Cliff and the Cliffhangers, on harmonica and backing vocals on one song, and Tim Mitchell, on vocals, guitar, keyboards, and/or bass on eight songs. Tim is currently touring as the lead singer and bass player of the Javier Vargas Blues Band, playing all over Europe and Asia, recently doing a short stint of shows in Russia. During the 80s, Tim was James Brown's musical director. The songs are all written by Suzanne Foschino and Sly Geralds, thus the F & G in the title.

The songs are a departure from the current "lead guitar, bass and drums" style that seems to be in fashion. Nothing here is that simple. On this cd the players follow the vocals, providing a "deep pocket" to carry the songs along. It feels old-school at first, similar to the High Records sound by Al Green back in the day--but it sounds great. "Mama Said," the first song, is tight, sassy and rich, with Tim Mitchell creating a horn section and Chuck Russell and John Anderson's guitars surrounding Edlene with great playing. And Edlene really brings the goods. Here and throughout I am blown away by the way she sounds--strong, confident, awesome. We may not have heard her before, but Edlene makes the case that she is a singer to be reckoned with. Things continue to cook on the next track, "Can't Get Your Man Off The Rack." The next track, "Caught Between The Lost And Found" slows things down just a bit and features some great guitar playing by Chuck Russell. Things pick up again with "You Don't Sing The Blues, The Blues Sing You," which features Edlene's sweet soaring vocals along with Lil Cliff on harp and backing vocals and Bill Marino on guitar. "One Good Cry," the next track, is my favorite song on the disc. Edlene's vocals are terrific, but I am won over by the lead guitar on this slow blues, which is by Tim Mitchell. And the next six tracks are just as good as the first five! Of special note is the duet by Edlene and Sly on "Seeing Eye To Eye, Maybe Toe To Toe" which describes the current battle of the sexes in song. In a perfect world this would be a hit all over the radio....but anyway, it's a contender for Bruce's song of the year.

I enjoy this cd very much. I'm impressed by the cool heat of this band, and especially by Edlene Hart's vocal abilities. You need to hear this music. This an indy release. You can buy it at

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Trampled Under Foot -- "Wrong Side of the Blues"

Let me catch up on a really good blues cd that has been out since April by Trampled Under Foot. They are out of Kansas City, MO, and they have been on the fast track to blues stardom ever since, winning the 2008 International Blues Music Award, then releasing their 4th cd "May I Be Excused" (2008, Blue Edge Records) and "Live at Notodden Blues Festival" (2009) before "Wrong Side of the Blues." TUF have been nominated for two 2011 Blues Blast Music Awards, Blues Band of the Year and the Sean Costello Rising Star Award. TUF are siblings Nick (guitar), Danielle (bass), and Krin (drums) Schnebelen. This time out they have enlisted special guests Kim Wilson (harp), Johnny Lee Schell (cigar box guitar, engineer and backing vocals) and Mike Finnegan (organ). Tony Braunagel is in the production chair, along with co-writing eight of the songs with the band. He focuses on the band's strength's, which are considerable. Nick is a very strong guitar player, and Danielle sings like the sun shines, and Kris works the drums with power and drive. "Wrong Side of the Blues" is the best work by the band so far. It has been in my cd player A LOT since April, and I don't think it's leaving anytime soon. My favorite songs here are "Evil Train," and "It Would Be Nice," both of which just hint at the talent these young people possess. This is one of those cds you should share with your friends--this is not your father's blues, not the heyday of Chicago or Memphis blues--this is the current blues, and it's good stuff. Introduce your friends to TUF, open their eyes. This disc shows that the blues do have a long and exciting future ahead. Get this band into your collection, and enjoy the ride.

You can buy this cd at

Saturday, July 2, 2011

EG Kight -- "Lip Service" (Blue South/Vizztone)

I have been a fan of EG ever since I first heard her, back on KJLU-FM in Jefferson City MO. "Lip Service" is her sixth release, and like always, the center of the cd is her voice and song writing. The good news is that her voice is in great form, and the songs here are as good as any she has written. Eleven of the 12 are written or co-written by Kight. Paul Hornsby is in the producer's chair, and the band includes EG (vocals, rhythm guitar), Gary Porter and Bill Stewart on drums, Johnny Fountain and Marshall Coats on bass, Tommy Talton and Ken Wynn on guitar; with special guests John Nemeth (vocals), Randall Bramlett (Hammond B-3, piano, drums, guitar) Earl Ford (trombone), Marcus Henderson (Sax) and Gil Gillis (guitar, piano, bass, percussion). Hornsby also plays Hammond B-3, bass and piano, and Kimberly Welch brings soulful background vocals. The songs are in the typical EG Kight blues/gospel/country flavor, and they range from big band with full horn section numbers, such as "Goodbye" and "I'm In It To Win It" all the way to Kight vocals over keyboards bass and drum number like "It's Going To Rain All Night" and "I'm Happy With the One I Have Now." Every song has something to draw you in--the intensity of the vocal duet with John Nemeth on "Somewhere Down Deep," with a great guitar break by Tommy Talton, is my favorite track.

In my opinion, the top female vocalists in blues are Janiva Magness and CC James. EG Kight should be counted right beside them. Her voice and songwriting and tasteful music continues to shine. You can buy this cd at