Blues rocker Joe Pitts pays tribute to the "cats" that influenced him with his 2010 album "Ten Shades of Blue". The album, featuring ten tracks paying homage to Eric Gales, John Mayall, Elmore James, Walter Trout, and more, showing how truly diverse Joe Pitts really is. Some of the tracks in my opinion actually give the original artists a run for their money. Now I've got to be completely honest, is Joe Pitts the best blues musician in the business? No, but I firmly believe that he is not only worthy of playing with them, but having people like BB King, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton as special guests on his records. Pitts successfully remembered his influences with this incredible album. I have only a few problems with "Ten Shades of Blue". First, it's not nearly long enough, I feel the album could have easily been an amazing two disc set (maybe he'll do a volume 2 in the future?). Second, no songs in tribute to people like Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, etc. And lastly, where was this album in 2007 when I was starting to fall in love with the blues??? In short, Joe Pitts is one of my favorite blues rockers, and if you don't own one of his records, you should buy one NOW! I'm going to give this album a 7/10 (Only because I've heard the music Pitts did with Liquid Groove Mojo, and that's hard to top0. Also, stay tuned for "Axe To The Grind", the newest album from Joe Pitts, to be released this summer!
"Hot Mess" It's anything but!
It's often said that, "It's a man's world" and that there are too few great women in music. Some people even go as far as to say that women simply don't have as much musical ability as men. Well, Pam Taylor is living proof that women are not only just as good as men, they're better by far (At least when it comes to singing the blues).This high energy album is one of my personal favorite debut albums in the blues genre mostly because of Ms. Taylor's amazing voice, I must admit however, that it's the saxophone that makes this album so great. It's like putting BB King on stage with a band and asking him to sing. Sounds good right? Now hand him Lucille, that's the finishing touch that makes the music so great. Pam Taylor should be very proud of this album featuring nine original tracks and one Otis Redding cover. Pam Taylor's rendition of Otis Redding's "I'd Rather Go Blind" literally brought tears to my eyes, making her one of only three blues musicians that have moved me so much with one song. I'm very pleased to award this album an 8/10. Stay tuned here at AMS for updates on Ms. Taylor, her fantastic band, and blues music the way it's meant to be heard. Oh, and did I mention she's also a helluva guitar player? Doesn't get much better than that!
Connect With The Pam Taylor Band Here:
Check out my exclusive interview with Douglas G Le Febvre, the newest edition to the Steve Hester and DeJaVooDoo band!
1. When did you start playing?
I began to "play" at the drums when I was 14...a friend said I'd never play drums cause I lacked rhythm and timing
2. Which instrument besides drums do you play?
Similar to my early experiences with the drums, I have been "learning" guitar for three years.
3. Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
I greatly admired Buddy Rich, Gene Kruppa, Louie Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubek...big band leaders....probably had something to do with dads jazz influence.
4. Tell me about your first drum teacher?
A young lady named, Elaine Vestal, she played drums in the high school jazz ensemble and could play very well, ergo when I decided to learn, I gravitated toward her. She taught me basic rudiments, some jazz licks, but mostly she encouraged me to play by feel.
5.Describe first instrument:
very first instrument was the sax/alto, followed by piano...folks did not feel it would add to home serenity to have me beating on drums, so attempted the others.
6. What is your most fond performance Memory?
Probably first time I played publicly, at a high school venue, where I got to sit in behind Elaine Vestal and do a brisk jazz piece...Louie Armstrong, " when the saints come marching in"...I was 16 or 17 at the time.
7. What are your favorite musicians/ albums/ groups?
Wow, so many to pick from...Allman Brothers, The Outlaws, Pablo Cruise, a few others have been mentioned previously....Bon Jovi, Phil Collins, Marshall Tucker Band, Foghat, Led Zeppelin, Paul Rogers, Chris Rhea.
8. Do you have any advice for beginners?
Wow, tough question...face this, you are going make mistakes, especially as you are starting out, nerves are going to be present, play your best, stay confident in your ability, especially on drums: there is so much going on at one time behind the drums that you got to stay focused on your instrument, know music, look for cues from other band members, they'll help you along, enjoy what you are doing: the drums are the driver of the band, ergo, remain calm and carry on.
9. What do you practice?
I do a bit of all of this: however, after awhile, there is nothing new under the sun, so I pay attention to dynamics, subtiles, breaks, different chops, nuances within the composition.
10. Why blues?
Blues are the heart and soul of most music, its soulful, moving, eclectic, sensual, fun, exciting, energetic
11. What was your most embarrassing musical moment?
I was playing with the Isley Brothers in a club in Hollywood, CA. and totally missed the lead in chops so their drummer ran up on stage, pulled the sticks from my hands and kicked me from behind the kit.
12. Tell me about the band you're paling with.
Steve Hester: DeJaVooDoo, out of Lonoke, Arkansas...been together for 10 years, with a few turn overs in the interim, point I am the fourth drummer they have been with: personnel include Steve Hester: bass/ lead vocals, Zach Hawkins: lead guitar/ vocals, Chip Goodwin: guitar, keyboards, dobro, myself. our music is southern rock, blues and originals, and we met thru a musicians referral ad on Facebook, though I'd had contact with Mr. Hester previously, as my Heat/ AC tech.
13.Tell me about the gear you use.
I play a Tama Rock Star kit, basic setup, I use Sabian cymbals, SpeedKing kick pedal, Tama hardware, etc.
14. Is there anything else you'd like to share with the fans?
Play on, have fun, enjoy what you are about; be an entertainer, stay enthusiastic, continue to learn your craft, be glad you are part of an exciting career/ life....to fans, come hear us play...we are dang good, and highly entertaining...put your dancin' shoes on, cuz if you aren't tapping your feet, moving your body to the beat, wanting to dance, you gotta be comatose.....
Sounds like HoMe
Anyone can write a catchy tune, a song that sticks in your head and makes you want to sing along for days. That's easy to do, but the real challenge, is taking the listener to a familiar place through an unfamiliar song. And that is exactly what Daniel Christian does. From the moment you put on his 2013 record "Speak", you're transported to the most comfortable place you can imagine, 'home'. The record features ten tracks with songs written from the heart showing the true, incredible, and relatable stories of the Tecumseh, Nebraska native. Of all the acoustic artists I've seen and met, Daniel Christian was by far one of the best and most certainly the most humble and generous. If you have not heard of Daniel Christian, here's what you need to know. He is a young award winning Christian artist from Tecumseh, Nebraska, his music will bring your fondest memories back, and his musical style is very reminiscent of John Lennon and other incredible singer/songwriters of the era with a great Keith Urban type twist. If you have not heard Daniel Christian before, NOW IS THE TIME TO START! Catch this inspiring Christian musician on tour, or online. Either way, you simply will not regret it. "Speak" is an album that I'll be listening to for weeks, if not months, or years. Daniel Christian is hands down the greatest Christian artist I've seen yet!
For More Daniel Christian
To Buy CD's: www.cdbaby.com/DanielChristian
To Buy mp3's: www.iTunews.com/DanielChristian
Lefty Blues Done Right!
Neon Lights shine bright in Omaha!
Thanks for visiting the OFFICIAL AMS ENTERTAINMENT BLOG! Check back soon for reviews of some great (and possibly not so great) albums and concerts!
Andrew Smith is a journalist and promoter specializing in blues/rock and guitars. Check out this weekly blog for concert and album reviews.