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RETROSPECTIVE the CD

RETROSPECTIVE the CD

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About this point in one’s career, well actually before this, many artists choose to release a “Best Of” CD.  But I have decided to release this Retrospective CD, which is a project that presents alternate recordings of tunes from earlier projects, early recordings of tunes no one has heard yet, and live recordings from some Scandinavian performances, including the Nottodden Blues Festival. I think it’s a really fun project, and fans will find a few surprise and twists!

For nearly 20 years now, I have been recording on all kinds of projects with the multi-talented Paul Opalach at his studio, LONG HILL RECORDING. Paul’s number one instrument is the bass, but he also plays one heck of a guitar and I get to feature some of his playing on this CD. Paul also adds piano and organ on the studio recordings, and we brought in Crispin Cioe to overdub some tenor and alto sax parts. Crispin and I first met when his horn section, THE UPTOWN HORNS, joined Albert Collins on stage at Carnegie Hall in NYC, and on tour promoting Albert’s Point Blank release, Iceman. Crispin is the real deal, and another kindred soul from “back in the day.”

It’s quite amusing to me to listen to some of the older recordings as I can’t sing many of these tunes in the same keys anymore, so if my voice sounds higher on some of those mid ’90’s recordings, that’s ‘cuz it is!!  My playing has grown a lot since then too, but I am still proud of what I was puttin’ out back then, and happy to share it with you all. I think my favorite version of everything Paul and I recorded is LUCKY IN LOVE. I left his guitar work on there, front and center, because I find his solo so haunting and perfect. To me what Paul plays here is reminiscent of the artistry of Jesse Ed Davis.

The first live cut is from a tour of Sweden that I did with my trio about 10 or 12 years ago. I was so proud that I got through a tune like “WHERE THE BLUES COME TO DIE” with its many chord changes outside of one, four and five, without too many glitches, that I had to add this one! Damn, the boys are tight on it, aren’t they?

The rest of the live tunes are from a 2007 performance at the Notodden Blues Festival with Janiva Magness and Her Band.  Janiva was just really starting to take off at this point, and I was fortunate to be able to do a series  of shows and festivals with her that year.  The band is hot, and her vocals on GOOD MORNING LITTLE SCHOOL ‘BOY’ are other worldly!  I can’t wait for all of the fans to hear this burnin’ batch of tunes!!  The rest are my performances, with Janiva’s band.  Sit back, relax, and crank this baby up!

Now you may ask, if this is RETROSPECTIVE the CD, will there be a RETROSPECTIVE the DVD? Ya never know!

NORWAY

 

NORWAY

 

Deb and Sven Zetterberg

 

This has been one of the most perfect trips ever, to Norway, or overseas, for that matter.  Everything went very smoothly and was really fun!  This country, and all of Scandinavia, still loves the blues as much as I can remember when I first began coming over here about 25 years ago.  The blues cruise was only two days long, like a little mini Legendary Blues Cruise!  The ship was smaller but still had the big showroom and all of the music was inspired and top notch!

 

I was so thrilled to see my old homey, Linwood Slim, performing and in great voice and high spirits after all he has been through!  slim is another one of our “Super Heroes” folks, along with Candye Kane, Kid Ramos, Juke Logan, and so many more battling cancer and worse, and fighting through the Chemo, the radiation, and near death, to return to performing!  I am so much stronger now from knowing them and getting next to their courage!  Slim was backed up by an extraordinary band from Brazil; the Igor Prado Band.  Igor is the band’s leader, singer, and guitar player!  This band is seriously swingin’…I mean like deep, big band, swing when they want to!  Igor’s brother, Yuri plays drums like a cat from the ’30’s when he swings…and of course they cover many other blues styles, too!  One of the best bass players I’ve heard in a long time, Rodrigo Montavani is powerful, and very deep in his knowledge and brings killer energy and vibes to the stage!  The youngest member of the band is about 20 years old, Denilson Martin plays both Baritone and Tenor saxes and I can’t remember hearing anyone as fluid soloing on  a Bari sax! and he’s go all the cool moves on stage!!  Slim is able to croon like the best of ‘em with this band behind him!  He pulls out his harp on the low down blues numbers, and sometimes even plays his flute!  Now that’s too cute!!

 

It’s so exciting hearing players from all over the world playing American music!!  and sometimes, even better than many of us!!   :)

 

Sven Zetterburg is one of the most talented musicians on the planet.  He’s been well recognized by his native country of Sweden with multiple awards and is a true blues man!  He sings from his heart and sole and when he plays his 335 is reminiscent of Otis Rush.  Then he will pick up one of two guitars set up for slide and do a deep Muddy Water’s style tune.  He also plays harp….really well!   And he writes his own stuff!  What a soulful cat!  We had a very cool hang after his set the last night there, and i feel like he is a new brother!

 

JT Lauritson always blows me away with all of his multi-talents!  He’s a great singer, and also plays as he puts it, a “Squeezebox!”  He has this real custom made beauty that he brought on the ship!  Did I mention he plays harp, too?  And these cats all had first rate bands!  Sven’s second guitar player was a monster, too. I believe his name is Anders Lewen and he had the west coast style down so well I knew Rod Piazza would be smiling!!

 

Lots of new friends and musical pals, and then of course my old buddy, Larry McCray and his band performed!  I hadn’t seen Larry and his brother Steve, on drums, since the  LRBC blues cruise quite a few years back.  Larry is one great singers and guitar player of the blues!  And what puts his band a cut above so many, for me, are the killer arrangement with 3 part harmonies!  Now who is doing that any more?  I hope I can have that goin’ on one of these days!!  His bass player’s name is alluding me right now which is so embarrassing….but if it pops into my head or anyone knows his name…please contact me!   A real showman, strutting a 5 string bass with orange strings!!….talented and uber entertaining!!

 

My band was the Billy T. Band, a multi-award winning Norwegian blues band.  But Billy is originally from NYC!  With him on bass, Freddie Johannessen on second guitar, and Alex Pettersen on drums, we rocked the boat each night on the cruise, and then Sat. night at Buckley’s in Oslo!

 

But I must digress…I was to travel into town with Linwwod Slim and Igor and his band when we got off the cruise, but young Denilson never got off the boat!   We waited and waited, but of course they won’t let you back on the ship to search…so the crew had to search every nook and cranny for him…Not speaking a word of English or anything but his native Portuguese,  we could only imagine what happened.  Slim was lookin’ on the bright side and says “Gee, I hope he didn’t fall off the ship!”  and Igor said “I told him at 5:00 in the morning that we needed to be off the ship at 10:00 AM!”  So finally Igor stayed with one of our Norwegian fan/helpers and we made our way to Buckleys and the Hotel next door.  Turns out they finally found him!  He was so deep into sleep that when the crew opened his door he screamed at them in a language they could not understand, so they figured he was staying on the ship for the next trip over to Germany….this was a real close one!  But that afternoon, there he was, on stage for their set at Buckleys!  and I was thrilled to jump up and sit in with them!!  All’s well that ends well!

 

NORWAY    This has been one of the most perfect trips ever, to Norway, or overseas, for that matter.  Everything went very smoothly and was really fun!  This country, and all of Scandinavia, still loves the blues as much as I can remember when I first began coming over here about 25 years ago.  The blues cruise was only two days long, like a little mini Legendary Blues Cruise!  The ship was smaller but still had the big showroom and all of the music was inspired and top notch!     I was so thrilled to see my old homey, Linwood Slim, performing and in great voice and high spirits after all he has been through!  slim is another one of our "Super Heroes" folks, along with Candye Kane, Kid Ramos, Juke Logan, and so many more battling cancer and worse, and fighting through the Chemo, the radiation, and near death, to return to performing!  I am so much stronger now from knowing them and getting next to their courage!  Slim was backed up by an extraordinary band from Brazil; the Igor Prado Band.  Igor is the band's leader, singer, and guitar player!  This band is seriously swingin'...I mean like deep, big band, swing when they want to!  Igor's brother, Yuri plays drums like a cat from the '30's when he swings...and of course they cover many other blues styles, too!  One of the best bass players I've heard in a long time, Rodrigo Montavani is powerful, and very deep in his knowledge and brings killer energy and vibes to the stage!  The youngest member of the band is about 20 years old, Denilson Martin plays both Baritone and Tenor saxes and I can't remember hearing anyone as fluid soloing on  a Bari sax! and he's go all the cool moves on stage!!  Slim is able to croon like the best of 'em with this band behind him!  He pulls out his harp on the low down blues numbers, and sometimes even plays his flute!  Now that's too cute!!     It's so exciting hearing players from all over the world playing American music!!  and sometimes, even better than many of us!!   :)   Sven Zetterburg is one of the most talented musicians on the planet.  He's been well recognized by his native country of Sweden with multiple awards and is a true blues man!  He sings from his heart and sole and when he plays his 335 is reminiscent of Otis Rush.  Then he will pick up one of two guitars set up for slide and do a deep Muddy Water's style tune.  He also plays harp....really well!   And he writes his own stuff!  What a soulful cat!  We had a very cool hang after his set the last night there, and i feel like he is a new brother!     JT Lauritson always blows me away with all of his multi-talents!  He's a great singer, and also plays as he puts it, a "Squeezebox!"  He has this real custom made beauty that he brought on the ship!  Did I mention he plays harp, too?  And these cats all had first rate bands!  Sven's second guitar player was a monster, too. I believe his name is Anders Lewen and he had the west coast style down so well I knew Rod Piazza would be smiling!!   Lots of new friends and musical pals, and then of course my old buddy, Larry McCray and his band performed!  I hadn't seen Larry and his brother Steve, on drums, since the  LRBC blues cruise quite a few years back.  Larry is one great singers and guitar player of the blues!  And what puts his band a cut above so many, for me, are the killer arrangement with 3 part harmonies!  Now who is doing that any more?  I hope I can have that goin' on one of these days!!  His bass player's name is alluding me right now which is so embarrassing....but if it pops into my head or anyone knows his name...please contact me!   A real showman, strutting a 5 string bass with orange strings!!....talented and uber entertaining!!   My band was the Billy T. Band, a multi-award winning Norwegian blues band.  But Billy is originally from NYC!  With him on bass, Freddie Johannessen on second guitar, and Alex Pettersen on drums, we rocked the boat each night on the cruise, and then Sat. night at Buckley's in Oslo!   But I must digress...I was to travel into town with Linwwod Slim and Igor and his band when we got off the cruise, but young Denilson never got off the boat!   We waited and waited, but of course they won't let you back on the ship to search...so the crew had to search every nook and cranny for him...Not speaking a word of English or anything but his native Portuguese,  we could only imagine what happened.  Slim was lookin' on the bright side and says "Gee, I hope he didn't fall off the ship!"  and Igor said "I told him at 5:00 in the morning that we needed to be off the ship at 10:00 AM!"  So finally Igor stayed with one of our Norwegian fan/helpers and we made our way to Buckleys and the Hotel next door.  Turns out they finally found him!  He was so deep into sleep that when the crew opened his door he screamed at them in a language they could not understand, so they figured he was staying on the ship for the next trip over to Germany....this was a real close one!  But that afternoon, there he was, on stage for their set at Buckleys!  and I was thrilled to jump up and sit in with them!!  All's well that ends well!