Archive for the Blues Music 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 

Columbia Theatre Longview Washington Blues Show

Posted in Blues Music, Karen Lovely, Lisa Mann, Lloyd Jones, Longview Washington, Louis Pain, Portland Oregon with tags , , , , , , on February 22, 2015 by damngoodtunes

By Bruce J Maier – damngoodtunes founder

 

On February 21st I attended a concert in the city of Longview Washington which lies just west of Interstate 5, about forty miles from Portland Oregon. The show was presented by the historic Columbia Theatre and co-produced by drummer Willis Moss and Gian Paul Morrelli, the Theatre Director.  There was an incredible lineup of talent including three of the top Portland Oregon area Blues and R and B artists, the first being Mr. Lloyd Jones. Jones has become synonymous with the Blues who’s – who of the entire region for many years, and is always writing new material and releasing CDs when he’s not traveling the seas for a Blues Cruise or touring Europe.  Lloyd Jones is an outstanding guitarist and singer but it’s his personality on stage that I’ve always liked the most. Over the past few years I’ve been to about a half-dozen of his performances and have enjoyed each and every one. Once I was in a very small club and yet when Jones grabbed his guitar and stepped up to the mic, it was as though he was playing a stadium with fifteen thousand fans. Makes no difference, Lloyd Jones gives his one hundred ten per cent at any venue. If you get a chance to see him at a festival on a sunny day he makes everybody dance, even the little children and their grandmas. He’s a real “peoples “entertainer! Always two thumbs up way high for Lloyd Jones!Lloyd Jones plays

On Bass and also starring the incredible Lisa Mann, who proved to be everything that the press has been saying about her all over the net. She is a talented musician and a rhythmic Bass player who danced around the stage in a classy evening dress with leopard-pattered high heel shoes while delivering soulful, bluesy vocals on top of her Bass lines, something that not all Bassists are able to do. Though my first time seeing her in person it will not be my last – this young woman has something to show and offer to the world in the line of sublime talent and a charismatic  though gentle command of the stage. The way she interacts with the others shows experience and craftsmanship without a hint of over-indulging ego. In my estimation would be a great candidate on my personal bucket list to perform with or even work in the studio for the respectful attitude with which she displays to the other musicians. I doubt there is a style of music she could not play or a suggestion she would make that would not completely enhance anyone’s musical project. Of course, with several CD’s and numerous awards to her credit, the rest of the world already knows this Lady is on a great course with her music career without me to tell them. I could see her music making a rare cross-over into mainstream Blues-edged Pop as easily as the success came to the now legendary Bonnie Raitt.

Lisa Plays Bass

 

The third superpower of the evening was the very electric and powerful soul-singing, rocking and jumping Karen Lovely! Again I was at a bit of disadvantage and felt badly that I had personally never heard Karen before and, living so close to Portland Oregon I fail to see how I missed her. That said, by the time Lovely came onto the stage to join the crew, there were large shoes to fill and man…she filled them up, grabbed the audience right out of their seats and took control of the theater!  Karen Lovely has been talked about, written about across the country and into Europe, where she is scheduled to tour again in early June 2015. She has recorded multiple CD’s and received many awards for her songs and shows. Karen has this beautiful smile and warmth when you meet her, and I can immediately see how things get to be real fun on stage when she starts this high-jump dance that she does in time with the music which just fuels the already “on-fire “musicians at her side. I love to see real energy like this where it’s not contrived, just a natural pulse reaction to the feeling within, which some artists, and certainly the three here being mentioned are all blessed with.  During the Intermission I got to spend a few minutes with Karen in the green room and I immediately was put at ease, as though I’d just met up again with a long lost friend. She’s just that way and I cannot wait to see her perform again in the near future.

Karen Lovely sings

Rounding out this terrific band of friends this evening were Keyboardist Louis Pain and Willis Moss on drums and vocals. Louis Pain is affectionately known as King Louis as well as Portland’s Best Kept Secret of the Northwest. Well schooled in the vanishing art of the Hammond B-3 and the modern-tech NORD keyboard systems, Louis and his authentic “ Leslie “ speaker system talk, I mean sing to the band in a tone and texture that you really either know, or have to experience for yourself or you’ll be clueless to my reference. The B3 sound has been around since the nineteen-forties, decades before Louis Pains’ time, but thanks heaven he took a path in music that is void of the millions of players, like we (dime-a-dozen lol!) guitar slingers! A person who understands the B3 can make up a wall of sound all on their own with precise control of volume, dynamic key articulation and variance of the rotation in the Leslie. It’s a superb sound and addition to any music but lends itself well to Blues, Jazz and of course Gospel music. Louis is a fine player and my observation is that he, like each of the players in this lineup was equal on all levels.

Louis Pain plays B3

Now, for my dear friend Willis Moss; as I mentioned last week in the promotion for this show, Mr. Moss is one of the rare ones who has walked through the fires of life and came out a new and reinvented soul. Plagued by diabetes and related ill-health for a lifetime, Willis received both a donor pancreas and a kidney and has been doing very well for going on ten years now. He appreciates life and has dedicated himself to promotion of music and the artists who play with passion. Moss surrounds himself with the best of the best as evidenced here in this show with the great Lloyd Jones, Mann, Lovely and Pain. Willis is a very talented drummer who is right there in the pocket, solid but never getting in the way of the music, rather driving it forward just as a great drummer should do. On top of that, he’s one of the best Blues singers in the business, looks good in a hat and is just a damn fine human being who is relentless at promoting regional music events and encouraging everyone around him to live life to the fullest.

Willis-Moss-drums-in-desert

This review would not be complete without a mention of the man at the helm of the Columbia Theatre, Gian Paul Morrelli, without whose help and love for music and the arts none of this would have happened in a place called Longview Washington. I spoke with Mr. Morrelli in his office prior to the show starting and came away convinced that this is a man with great ideas who just wants to bring good music and entertainment to the people with no agendas of his own. In the coming months there will be many more great shows at the Historic Columbia Theatre which Gian will be producing with a full lighting and amazing sound system in place. The building itself is warm, comfortable and a work of architecture and pure Art. A bar is available for your favorite beverages during the intermissions and there is plenty of safe, well-lighted parking adjacent to the theatre.  Watch for the updates and upcoming shows all about the Columbia Theatre right here in DGT!