Archive for the Blues Guitar Category

Kal David & Miss Lauri Bono

Posted in Blues Guitar, Blues Music, Duet, Female Vocalist, Indie Music, male vocalist, new music, Producers, Rising stars, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 6, 2015 by damngoodtunes

2015 DamnGoodTunes Artist Of The Year

kaldavidandlauribonoweb2015Photo by Tom Bombria


We don’t give away a lot of awards here at DGT. This is due to the fact that we talk to hundreds of artists every year and we try to remain un-biased even if we really dig someone’s work.  But each year a few are so outstanding that we just can’t ignore their contribution to music and to the arts. And for that reason, Kal David, with Miss Lauri Bono with their totally insane smash album, “Living The Dream” become our Top Artist(s) of the entire year! 

To say that Kal David is just a great Blues Guitarist would be a shame, although he is. But then again other Blues guitarists don’t even come close to the wide range of his styles, the colors on his palette if you will.  A short while after the fuzzy glow of the British Invasion had subsided a bit, and being a guitar player myself I immediately started listening to BB King, Muddy and one particular English fellow named John Mayall and his band, the Blues Breakers as I was seeking a higher meaning and more depth, feeling, and that elusive element known as “soul “.  The Blues Breakers were home to many great guitar players including Jimi Page and Eric Clapton and one very young and talented Kal David, who was with the band touring and making records for some three years.  Knowing that tidbit of history will make most reviewers pen a pretty convincing argument that Mr. David is indeed a fine and experienced Blues Guitarist, which as I said earlier –  he is. But they’d miss his depth and the mark by a mile!

Kal David is a singer. He is a true vocalist, a professional with way above average vocal chops to be called a Blues singer. Few of the known men and women in the Blues really have much of a great voice at all with certain exceptions. And if asked, they would probably never dispute that claim either. For example, the now very rich and famous icon of Blues-Pop, Sir Eric Clapton who came from the same school of knocks “across the pond “as most of the American Blues legends had done and had to fight his own long battle upward to stardom, but when you talk to people that you think should know their music, they just go on about the old days of Cream and Yardbirds with no talk of the great songs he wrote and sang and earned Grammys on. He too was passed over as a singer by the critics and the media but I’ve always disagreed with that nonsense. Same is true for Kal David, as when I talked to many of my Blues connections and they speak  about his guitar playing, saying how great he was on the guitar years back with little mention about his singing and original songs. Now though, I have re-discovered just what a total “all-around “musician he is and I feel he deserves all the same respect as Sir Eric is accustomed to. And I know that’s a big pill to swallow for some of you but it is this writers’ opinion that the world is about to wake up to a living legend of music, not just the Blues. And then, this is where the road starts to really divide and get interesting….

Miss Lauri Bono, music partner for many years to Mr. David is fully featured in this new record of theirs called “ Living The Dream “ and she is one of the most dynamic and amazing female vocalists I’ve heard in decades!  You know how it is, with all these reality Talent shows on TV these days, with  the seasonal new crop and even some old bloods who come on to compete with their trademark vocal “ gymnastics.  These are the girls who sing a hundred notes a measure just to show that they heard Aretha records and they have something to prove, never knowing that as in the guitar like Kal knows how to play, less is always more.  Lauri sings in a way that she can sound like soft velvet or turn on the gravel and guts – raising the old goose bumps on your arm and then, she pulls you right back into another soft passage of her angelic flute-like whispers of melody and you just say whoa…..and it’s like something spiritual just happened in front of the whole church-audience….yep, someone got saved! Now I don’t know a great deal about Miss Lauri and her own up-bringing or where she studied music but I know it is a gift. A gift that she has chosen to share with Kal David as they traverse the globe making records playing concerts, television shows and major VIP events.  Most acts that consist of two great singers will usually take turns in the spot light but rarely an act like Peaches and Herb, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, Barry Gibb and Barbara Streisand – all seventies legends I might add – comes along and makes music history together singing as a real duet. Music, at least Pop and Country music has for the most part missed this element of the male-female duets and the power of two to tell a story.  It worked well for Kenny and Dolly on “Islands In The Stream” and also Lionel and Diana with their “Endless Love “, but producers seem to focus differently these days on developing one icon at a time, one song of the week and one flavor of the month than to foster and market the passion and the power of a duet, as evidenced in this incredible new record by Kal David and Lauri Bono and released on Crytone Records.

We’ve been blessed with this(damngoodtunes.com) magazine because of all the amazing talent and rising stars we’ve been able to meet, interview and review. And there have been hundreds of talented bands and singer-songwriters!  There have been Blues artists who are really great at what they do and some of them were already major stars when we met them, and many were on their way to the top but not one of them were anywhere like or on the level of Kal David and Miss Lauri here on their brand new record, “ Living The Dream “ . There’s something so very special about the chemistry between the notes. You can’t just say “Oh Kal is the star here and write a review about him because they are a TEAM. And a team works synergistically toward the greater good of the total performance, the compete record. The members of the team don’t think they are better than the other; they co-exist because of and for each other. Perfect Harmony.

So we give this award whole-heartedly but not lightly. Kal David and Miss Lauri Bono are the  most deserving Artists of the year but if we gave awards for best male-female vocal performance, they would win that one too! Every track of Living The Dream is great and I’ve played it over and over for a month now in my car whenever I travel, so I don’t have a favorite because they are all, forgive the pun….damn good tunes !

Bruce J Maier

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND CD SALES PLEASE SEE
KALDAVID.COM 

CD also available on Crytone Records 

Best Guitar Players ( you never heard )

Posted in best guitar players, Blues Guitar, Celebration, Memorial, Uncategorized with tags , , on October 22, 2013 by damngoodtunes

One of the Best Guitar Players
By Bruce Maier

When I was growing up and learning to play guitar I was fortunate to have a few of the real gurus of the instrument around me and to learn from, and probably wherever you are on this planet you can likely say the same thing. I guess music is just that way. We get the privilege to have these wonderful mentors around to inspire and teach.

One of the  Best Guitar Players

Mike Keller – Guitar Master

Mike Keller was someone special though; I saw him, I watched him play and I heard him for over four decades, but I never got the honor to really hang out with him and get to know the local legend that he truly was. Now I can brag and say that I did meet his dad once. He even showed me around his shop where he was building violins, but with Michael it would be many years before I would get to spend a little quality time with him at one of his concerts where he, Sherry Potter on Bass and vocals and Michael Lacey on drums were playing a Blues Festival. That was a day I will never forget!   

Best Guitar Player Michael Keller

Mike Keller and Sherry Potter

Mike Keller had such a unique style that made you think you were listening to a much larger band. The way he comped, or played his chords and his selective choices of riffs and runs in his beautiful solos. His was masterful on the instrument and didn’t have to mask his playing with too much performance. Not to say he was stoic, he just didn’t need to do much more than just be Michael, the one with a very special gift. I will always remember Mike Keller, his amazing playing and a subtle smile. He loved to play music and loved to be in the company of special people and he was indeed, very happy to take to the stage with the love of his life. He was really – one of the best!

For the complete story please see http://damngoodtunes.com/The_Best.html

The Blues from Afghanistan with Rock-Khan

Posted in Afghanistan, Blues Band, Blues Guitar, Frontlines, The Blues, Washington Blues Society on April 21, 2011 by damngoodtunes


Rock-et from the Front Lines Dateline: Northern Afghanistan
Rocky “Rock Khan” Nelson

This message comes to you from the ancient Silk Road area, known for being the lucrative “crossroads” of conquering armies, cultures and peoples. Diverging and diverting, settling and vanishing. All the while bringing with them Intellect, art and music. Music created by instruments to make sounds to be heard by the human ear to tell tales and to please the listener.

From time immemorial they came and left. Alexander the Great, the Brothers Khan: Genghis and Grandson Kublai who “slept here” as did Tamerlane, Babur, the Russians, Taliban, Northern Alliance and Al Qaeda. With mixed emotions following September 11, 2001, the International Security Armed Forces under NATO and a multitude of Americans also arrived trying to create an atmosphere of safety and security to this war torn country filled with loving and caring yet dangerous peoples. This is my part in this human drama of history

This truly is an place in space and time where you could think about creating a whole new Genre of Blues, the makings of American Blues that originated not only from the Delta to Chicago but from Americans that have been to Afghanistan and Iraq. Blue seems to be my basic color on the palate of my mind’s eye each night under threat of rocket attacks, IED’s, the image of the anguish on people’s faces, their needs, their desperation.

Each time I go on missions “outside the wire” in harm’s way to do my job, I take with me my “lucky charms”. Guitar picks from PNW musicians, prayers from friends, dirt from Muddy Waters home in Clarksdale MS and of course my bullet proof, Vashon Island Company, LOLLAR GUITARS logo t-shirt! Strong medicine for a superstitious, experienced war wary and weary volunteer.

READ THE REST OF ROCKY ” ROCK-KHAN ” NELSON’S STORY TODAY
IN damngoodtunes.com!

Gary Moore dead at 58

Posted in Blues Guitar, Gary Moore, Skid Row, Still Got The Blues, Thin Lizzy, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 6, 2011 by damngoodtunes

Guitarist and vocalist Gary Moore has passed in his sleep while on holiday in Spain. Though only fifty-eight years of age, Moore had accomplished much and was known the world over for his soulful playing and innovative approach to Blues and Rock music. Highly underestimated for his singing, Gary Moore had a top hit with ” Still Got The Blues ” which showed the pop community that this man had vocal skills way over the top of the norm set by contemporary Blues rockers. Our deepest sympathy goes to his children, family and friends at this time of sorrow.