Tag Archives: R.L. Burnside

Heavy Blues trio The Wooden Shields release debut album “First Fall of the Axe”

Heavy Blues trio The Wooden Shields release debut album “First Fall of the Axe”

They will bring you awesome blues guitar riffs, fast Rock ‘n Roll rhythms and howlin’ vocals. But above all the Wooden Shields hailing from Paris, France are good musicians that play a mix of heavy Blues and Rock ‘n Roll in various styles. Their inspitation comes  from the Delta to the  Chicago blues and from the Bay Area to the far East Coast. You will quickly notice that their music easy fits the liquor bottle it is made for.

Wooden Shields Album “First Fall of the Axe”

After releasing two singles and a live album, their first full length studio album  was just “First Fall of the Axe” released. In the Wooden Shields you will hear a sound that is comparable to the Black Keys or Reign Wolf. Inspired by the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough the Wooden Shields are able to create some of the best composed songs around. The diversity of the songs on this album really amazed and therefore it is a pleasure to listen to it.

“With a poised, soulful croon, the band sing out each of their battle songs as if it is their last fight. To witness one of their shows is to stand exhausted on a field of battle and survey the scars and bruises left by the wild energy and the fuzzy sound.”


Continue reading Heavy Blues trio The Wooden Shields release debut album “First Fall of the Axe”

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.44 Pistol a daily dose British Electric Blues

.44 Pistol a daily dose British Electric Blues

These British Bluesmen probably took their name from the Roosevelt Sykes and RL Burnside song ‘.44 Pistol blues’ which is a cool example for their music.

Blues Music for in the bar

I liked listening to the 44 pistol songs, and you will notice that they are at their best in the bar.  Like  they showed us in the video for “Born in the Borderlands”.

.44 Pistol are a young, high energy electric blues band. Slide guitar driven, stripped back & dirty, they bring together the laid back country blues of artists such as Mississippi Fred McDowell with the raw electric sound of contemporary bands like the White Stripes. Up-tempo, rough & ready this is music to drink, dance and stomp your feet along to.

The band recently announced a hiatus until further notice. Lets hope these guys will be back on stage one day! Listen en learn more about .44 Pistol here.

SOUNDS LIKE: Electric British Blues | R.L. Burnside | T-Model Ford |

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The Blues Rock of a unique duo Little Hurricane

The Blues Rock of a unique duo Little Hurricane

If you would make a human being or an animal out of Little Hurricane from San Diego you would feel the bones of the blues in the guitar riffs and solo’s. In the muscles you feel the garage and rock. The skin is soulful. The feet are dirty.

Little Hurricane based in San Diego California brings you catchy Blues Rock, Garage and Soul since 2010. On stage this boy and girl from California are not only a cool combination of musicians they also seems to know what it takes to entertain a crowd. The band consists of front man Anthony “Tone” Catalano and drummer Celeste “C.C.” Spina. Their influences include Van Morrison, Dead Weather and Paul Simon. In the drum you will hear a lot of half time beats variations, that make the songs of very rhythmic. The Guitar consists some bluesy groove, and high slide licks. The vocals are soulful.

Blues guitar riffs inspired by the Blues

Anthony “Tone” Catalano shows to be a blues guitarist, and not only by the slide guitar that lays in front of him on a table during the show, waiting for the next Elmore James kind of solo. Tone Catalano’s guitar riffs will also remind you of Freddie King, R. L. Burnside and Lightning Hopkins. He now and then slides a solo on that guitar that will remind you of ‘Elmore Contribution to the Jazz’.

little hurricane – Crocodile Tears

Little Hurricane’s Music since 2010

Little Hurricane isn’t a band that makes music in one genre. They found a common interest in unique and vintage equipment and a love of grimy, down and dirty blues. And that is what you hear: they combine Blues, Rock, Soul, Garage and Indie into a mix of new wave of modern blues rock. This method works for Little Hurricane. Since their start in early 2010, these folks have performed in major festivals, including Lollapalooza and South by Southwest. In May 2015 the Blues rockers toured through Europe for the first time.

Little Hurricane debuted with the album Homewercker in 2011. I really like two songs on this album ‘Crocodile Tears and ‘Haunted Heart’. It  are songs with bones of blues. The Lyrics are deep soulful, I could listen to it drinking beer after beer all night long. It gets you.

Two Years later Stay Classy (a collection of covers) was released. This album is very interesting. Experience how Little Hurricane sets a bunch of classic songs to their hand. Their latest album Gold Fever was released in 2014. “Sheep in Wolves Clothes” is a killer balled. Deep to the bone. I really like the Lyrics of this one.

When the Sun is burning red,
Push out my diamonds.
My whole life I did,
Leave them behind us.
All my questions’ll
Be answered in the dark.
I’ve got you here

Photo Credit: Official press photo of Little Hurricane. Credit to the record company, Little Hurricane and the photographer of the picture.

Natural Blues (Moby/Vera Hall cover) – – little hurricane

LITTLE HURRICANE – “Haunted Heart”

Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Withers cover) – Stay Classy – little hurricane

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GravelRoad hits new ground with El Scuerpo Album

Band GravelRoad credit Gravelroad - Knick knack Records
Band Photo // Credit: GravelRoad – Knick knack Records

GravelRoad hits new ground with El Scuerpo

Imagine the music of Seattle based blues band GravelRoad as a vintage tour through American garage and roots music. GravelRoad is a groove machine, inspired by the early Mississippi blues greats and combined with Rock ´n Roll and Garage rawness. After releasing seven albums including two with blues legend T-Model Ford they are set to release “El Scuerpo”, GravelRoad’s best album yet.

El Scuerpo the best album yet

El Scuerpo gravelRoad
Find more about GravelRoad’s ‘El Scuerpo’

The music of Gravelroad fits each moment of the day and “El Scuerpo” is a good example of that statement. On ‘El Scuerpo’ you will experience how garage and heavy rock are close family of original blues from the Mississippi. GravelRoad knows very well how to bring it all together. 

“El Scuerpo” is a heavier album than the other albums, sometimes comparable with Black Sabbath “as if they had grown up in Mississippi”. Vocalist and Guitarist Stephen explains: “We used Sabbath as a touchstone and reference to give some context to our heavier sound. Then again, the music speaks for itself. The root of all we do is in the blues, which of course influenced rock and roll and heavy rock, so a natural progression”.

GravelRoad Blues

The Backbone of their music lays in the blues of artists like R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimborough, Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell and of course T-Model Ford. An example of the influence is Fred Mc Dowell’s Song Gravel Road Blues which was the inspiration for the band name.

‘El Scuerpo seems to be an album of old and new GravelRoad material. “Some of the songs on ‘El Scuerpo’ are old ones that the we used to play years back, and others just came quite spontaneously. – like 40 Miles. Which came to me almost fully formed. Another one, Asteroid, is based on a riff I have been playing since I first picked up the guitar. It just came back to my consciousness and asked to be crafted into an epic heavy tune”.

“Sometimes a song is fully formed when introduced to the band, and others are simply a riff or 3, maybe even some lyrics, and the band helps arrange it, maybe even adding more to it.” 

GravelRoad and T-Model Ford

Throughout the repertoire of GravelRoad you will hear a great groove, you will move your head, tap your feet  and rhyme along with it. That groove could be the reason for Chris Johnson (founder of Deep Blues) to ask the band help T-Model Ford to the Deep Blues Festival in 2008. Stephen recalls: “Marty (drummer) and I used to travel around to see T play, and Marty went down to Mississippi to live for a few months years before we even started playing with T. We were asked to help bring T to Deep Blues in 2008 by the founder of that festival, Chris Johnson, and never looked back. T really enjoyed playing with us and you know damn well we enjoyed playing with him!”

Future plans GravelRoad

While El Squerpo hasn’t officially  been released on stage, GravelRoad is already working on songs for the next album. As indicated GravelRoad is a band for every moment of the day, and:  “So far, it looks like the next album will mostly be a deep, deep Hill Country album, perhaps with a few surprises thrown in”, Stephen reveals.

During the Spring of 2015 GravelRoad will be visiting Europe with a tour through Germany, Poland, Holland and Belgium. If there is one thing sure about these guys: they know how to play them Blues!

Visit the GravelRoad website. Find more about ‘El Scuerpo’ Here


GravelRoad – Lord Have Mercy

GravelRoad – Monkey With A Wig

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The Blues of underground legend R.L. Burnside

The Blues of underground legend R.L. Burnside

The music of underground legend Robert Lee “R. L.” Burnside is so divers that we could write multiple books about it. R.L. had two careers as a blues musician; one that contains the life of a performing delta blues farmer in Mississippi and one that reaches through television studios in France and the United States in the 90s. Between these two careers you will find a line of hard-edged blues that reminds you of the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Son House.

Electrified Chicago inspired Delta Blues

Burnside lived most of his life in Holy Springs Mississippi and performed in his early life in every juke joint around town with his electrified, Chicago inspired blues. R.L. Burnside created a new sound of Delta Blues. He was a neighbour of Mississippi Fred MC Dowell who also played in his band.

Long stays in Memphis and Chicago inspired him to play the blues he liked. It was the blues of guys like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and John Lee Hooker. That early R.L. Burnside sound is recognisable in songs like ‘Old/Poor Black Mattie’ and ‘Telephone Blues’.

Blues Band R.L. Burnside

When Robert Lee Burnside returned to Mississippi in 1959 he opened a bar where he played his own music. Kind of how Smokey Wilson did in L.A, but R. L. Also brewed his own Moonshine Whiskey. His band in was formed alongside Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell and harp player Johnny Woods, who you can see in the video of ‘Telephone Blues’.

He is very rhythmic and has a soulful expressive voice. He is innovative was rediscovered after the release of the documentary “Deep Blues” in 1992. In that period he also released his debut recording “Bad Luck City” on Fat Possum Records.


Deep Blues documentary R.L. Burnside

Liri_Blues_R._L._Burnside_1992 photo creative commons by Sardognunu
Blues_R._L._Burnside photo creative commons by Sardognunu

At the premiere of “Deep Blues”, R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimborough performed, John Spencer was at that premiere too, he once listened to Burnside and was fan of Burnside’s latest album “Too Bad Jim”. Spencer and his backing band The Blues Explosion wanted to play with Burnside. When Spencer asked Burnside to play with him, R.L. Had no idea who these guys were. So Burnside demanded the impossible: “A ton of money and airlines and everything”. After this, Spencer contacted Matthew Johnson of Fat Possum who managed Burnside and Burnside would open for John Spencer Blues Explosion in 1995.(Billboard june 22, 1996)

The best thing of the collaboration of R.L.Burnside with John Spencer is maybe the album ‘A Ass Pocket Of  Whiskey. This album released in 1996 is a true  raw electrified blues, punk  album. Listen to songs like ‘Boogie Chillen’, ‘Snake Drive’ and ‘Have You Ever Been Lonely’.  Working with John Spencer brought Burnside to a new and younger public. It was the thing the old blues dog needed. Het performed in music studios and festivals around the United States and Europe.

After A Ass Pocket of Whiskey, the album Mr. Wizard followed  a less experimental album, more blues less punk. R.L. Burnside was a innovative musician who personally experienced the change of the blues throughout the ninetees in the Garage rock scene.

Click around and listen to his finest tunes.

RL Burnside – A Bothered Mind (full album)

R.L. Burnside’s sons hambone (1978)

R.L. Burnside: See My Jumper Hanging On the Line (1978)

RL Burnside – 44 Pistol

R. L. Burnside – Rollin and Tumblin

R.L.Burnside – it’s bad you know

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Charles Caldwell, the forgotten blues great

Charles Caldwell, the forgotten blues great

An example of a bluesman who never got the fame he deserved is Charles Caldwell. A Mississippi musician who can easily be compared with Lightning Hopkins or John Lee Hooker, R.L. Burnside or Junior Kimborough. Caldwell who was born in may 1943 near Coffeeville, Yalobushi-county Mississippi spent most of his life working at an industrial plant.

Caldwell begun playing the blues as ateenager, for over fourty years Charles Caldwell songs stayed unrecorded. Nevertheless, he made little fame at the local juke joints.

Charles Caldwell’s blues recording

Fat Possum Records owner Matthew Johnson met Caldwell and offered him to record some songs. Charles Caldwell accepted the offer. It resulted in the fantastic original Delta Blues album Remember Me.

Johnson writes on the website of Fat Possum: “seeing Charles Caldwell play changed everything for me. He still enjoyed playing; he was charismatic; he had a presence. In my view, Charles would be the next bomb, a last, undiscovered bastion of a dying breed. Did he want to make a record? Hell yes.”

Charles Caldwell Remember me

Remember Me is an album absolutely worth listening. It reminds of later albums of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimborough. It has the same deep Delta blues and rhythmic guitar sound.

For Vinyl lovers there is some good news: the album is available on vinyl. check it out here.

Charles Caldwell – Same Man

Charles Caldwell – Down The Road Of Love

Charles Caldwell – Movin’ Out Movin’ In

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