Archive for the Producers 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 

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Nashville Producer Jim Ritchey at Number 1 !

Posted in Jake Owen, Music Row, Nashville, Producers with tags on December 3, 2012 by damngoodtunes
Jim "Jimmy " Ritchey

Jim “Jimmy ” Ritchey

Jimmy Ritchey, co-writer for Jake Owen’s ” The One That Got Away ” which reached Number 1 on Country Music Radio just days ago is no stranger to the airwaves. He has collaborated with and composed songs for George Strait, Mark Chesnutt, Tommy Shane Steiner and recently as producer for Greg Bates who also has the skyrocketing hit song ” I Did It For The Girl ” to his credit.

A consummate professional musician he plays many instruments and sings quite well of course, but it is the guitar that is his first love. Playing since just a young boy Jimmy Ritchey was in high demand as a concert lead guitarist for countless Country acts who toured the Pacific Northwest where he spent his youth. Making a decision nearly two decades ago to pursue his dreams of Country Music, Jimmy realized there was no better place to call ” home ” than Nashville Tennessee. Since his arrival back all those years ago, Jimmy has traveled a hard road up to the top – wearing many hats as musician, singer, writer, engineer and producer. He is comfortable being that type of artist who can change with every day and each opportunity that may come his way. His clients are now becoming the new ” Who’s Who ” of Country Music and his services are in high demand.

But with all this success, Jim has not allowed the pressure or fame to change him at the core level. I know this because this writer was fortunate to have watched Jim Ritchey grow up and become the local phenomenon who the folks in my home state, my home of Lewis County Washington came to know and  admire. He was always a nice kid who got along with everyone and talked to others, especially older players for whom he had the utmost respect. He would ask how a song or guitar riff would go, then politely say thank you, turn around and play it correctly the first time. Yes, he was just that good! It was really no wonder that Jimmy should go off to Music City and make it big. We all knew and expected he would do that someday but as our own James Dean Fisher of DGT who is also a resident of Nashville has pointed out, the hopes and dreams arrive daily, and many leave discouraged. It takes old fashioned determination and hard work to stick it out and get  where Jimmy is today. Anything he may own, and any status  achieved was done so with blisters on the fingers and oftentimes a lack of sleep!

When he comes home to see his family and friends you can always find him at the local Jam or benefit concert just sitting in, being one of the boys. There is never any trace of ego with Jim Ritchey on stage. He plays from the heart and damn…does he play! It can be Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country or Acoustic Folk;  he does it all tastefully as the skilled master he has become. What more of a compliment would an artist in the recording studio want more than a man of Jim Ritchey’s experience into their song or album?  He’s been there out in the trenches paying his dues and learning his craft, yet Jim Ritchey never forgets the long hard road leading him to where he is today. His ability to put himself in the shoes of the singer, band or songwriter gives him an edge. An edge only someone who has actually done it all, not studied it as a science or theory from a textbook would be able to provide. And you know, the best is yet to come!