Archive for June 19th, 2010

19
Jun
10

glee/the music-the worst pablum-still selling and topping BILLBOARD-by john emms

THE MUSIC FROM this T.V. show is so bad..yet it sells like crazy.

Wake up America, Wake Up Canada..ARE U TONE DEAF?????

Plain and simple it’s a disgrace when this stuff tops the BILLBOARD CHARTS..

HELL when you have covers of actual good songs this awful..it’s ridiculous.

In fact, it hurts artists that are actually trying to make a living as musicians trying to write their own stuff

I have never been big on musicals..SO YES High School Musical cd’s I HAD TO TAKE THEM OFF

I played this stuff for my grandson..then played him the originals. Thank God he could hear the difference..

JOHN EMMS is a radio show host, and veteran music journalist who writes product reviews for all MAJOR Labels and some indie labels

19
Jun
10

JOE LOUIS WALKER-ONE OF THE TOP 5 BLUES CD’S IN THE LAST 3 YEARS-BY JOHN EMMS

JOE LOUIS WALKER-JOHN EMMS/CD REVIEW-BETWEEN A ROCK AND THE BLUES

September 24, 2009 john emms Edit Leave a comment

joe lous walker 2009-[rock & the blues (2)WALKER is the perfect blues/roots vehicle for any music label (in this case Stony Plain Records) because he offers listeners such a wide pallete of dazzling song options. Produced expertly by the legendary Duke Robillard Walker has no problem walking the line between the roots of blues with the healthy infusion of rock or soul.

Just check out the mule kick of I’ve Been Down, the whiplash stroll of I’m Tide and cross tie soul of Black Widow Spider.

There is a sense of urgency about this album that jumps out of your speakers. The hard driving If There’s A Heaven with the earthy tones of Kevin Eubanks and the spellbinding slow  minor chord blues of Hallways with it’s  gorgeous piano and guitar solo breaks reach far further into the passion of where many artists would even would dare to go. That is commitment folks!

Tell Me Why written by Duke Robillard is a ‘serves you right to suffer’ barn burner that could be a Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street outake that Buddy Guy or Jagger/Richards would have killed to have recorded. An incredible vocal take by Walker both on the aforementioned track and on The Ray Charles penned Blackjack

The album ends with the wah wah rip of  Big Fine Woman and the acoustic Delta-ish vibe of Send You Back.

Walker is not stuck between A Rock and the Blues he’s  burning rubber at the Crossroads

Categories: Uncategorized
19
Jun
10

RONNIE EARL-SHEDDING NEW LIGHT ON THE BLUES

ronnie earl AND THE BROADCASTERS cd review living in the light

June 18, 2009 john emms Edit Leave a comment

earl coverronnie earl photoREJOICE..THIS  album  may change the way you listen to blues.  It is that powerful.

The soul and feel it is simply mindblowing. Following up his  successfull Hope Radio Sessions cd and dvd releases on Stony Plain Records Earl is in a a very reflective and engaging work ethic

Earl and the band’s cover of Bob Dylan’s What Can I do for You sung by Dave Keller is the most poignant and soul serching track you will hear this year.  Earl’s winding guitar solo at the end the track  is breathtaking.

Elsewhere the disc deals out around 5 gorgeous instrumentals the best being Pastorale which closes the album and two long  tracks SOS and Recovery Blues both showing the sheer dynamics and feel of the BROADCASTERS as a band.

Not enough can be said about the way this group interpets the songs. IT IS OUTSTANDING

EARL’S guitar work has always reminded me of the way Mike
Bloomfields’s work got under your skin. yes, it’s that GOOD

Kim Wilson drops into the mix for 3 tracks the most notable being the 9 nminute opus Child of a Survivor where he and the band push, pull and get reflective on the homage to the events of the very real Jewish holocaust. This  album will move you…john emms

Categories: Uncategorized
19
Jun
10

OLP MUSCLE DOWN TO THE BASICS BY JOHN EMMS

our lady peace-john emms-cd reviews-burn burn

August 18, 2009 john emms Edit Leave a comment

OLP COVER ART

SOLID, & PUNCHY    Did I say  INTELLIGENT..you bet…Who would have thought after 14 years in the business OLP would create one of the best albums of their catolog.    NOT ME. 

This cd is a return to the scaled down rock punch of NAVEED while the lyrics and melodies come from a place which shows how experienced songcraft can benefit a band’s overall sound.

Whatever you do pick up the deluxe version of this package containing the cd/dvd. The dvd is pure stripped down magic. The 4 members of the band working the groove live in the studio. Check out the ripping bass line to Monkey Brains, the atmosphere of Dreamland, and the integrity of Refuge. These tracks  are just the tip of the iceberg    The new single All You Did Was Save My Life is banging up radio already, and this is one cd that will not dissapoint!OUR LADY PEACE

19
Jun
10

JOSS STONE/CARRIE UNDERWOOD REVIEWS/JOHN EMMS

joss stone 3

JOSS..STONE/COLOUR ME FREE/CARRIE UNDERWOOD/PLAY ON.

As most people are aware both Stone and Underwood are exceptional vocalists. The difference on these releases is that Stone’s cd comes off more  organic to her own talent. On tracks like Parrallel Lines  the new single Free Me, and her gorgeous cover of Ray Charles’ I Believe It To My Soul Stone reaches an emotional depth while keeping the tempo upbeat, making intelligent lyrical choices on her own songs, and singing the hell out of the tracks.

Stone seems in lock and step with the musicians among them David Sanborn and Jeff Beck and feeds off of their chops . Underwood relies on a more polished studio approach on Play On  where ballads rule. That may be fine, but there seems less distinction in the overall songcraft. Even the rock single Cowboy Casanova sounds like a Mutt Lange/Def Leppard outake.

Elsewhere Mama’s Song, Temporay Home, and Someday When I Stop Loving You all containing superb vocals sound like they could have come from any country album over the last 5 years by any female vocalist

The better songs on Play On such as the funky Undo It and the banjo jump/rock vibe of Songs Like This find  Underwood simply getting closer to a performance feel. If you have ever watched Underwood on stage you know just how captivating she can be

Elsewhere on Colour Me Free Stone’s  originals like the smoldering Lady, the unforced duet Big Ol’ Game with Raphael Saadiq and the political soul show stopper Governmentalist with it’s terrffic wordplay  really push her talent in a good way.

19
Jun
10

JEFF HEALEY’S JAZZ TREAT-BY JOHN EMMS

JEFF HEALEY LAST CALL-CD REVIEW BY JOHN EMMS-ALBUM RELEASE APRIL 6 2010

Jeff Healey’s final jazz  album titled Last Call is the sonic and emotional equivalent of  a walk on a warm summer night or a cozy sunday morning with a cup of good coffee. What makes the cd truly entertaining is in the choice of material

Songs like Time On My Hands, Autumn In New York, Deep Purple. and the opening track Holding My Honey’s Hand are melodic and inviting. Healey’s overdubbing of guitar, muted trumpet and smooth vocal tones capture the timelessness of the songs.

Helping out Healey is the  shimmering piano work of Ross Wooldridge. Check out his chops on Autumn in New York, Laura,  Keeping Myself For You and his solo on Deep Purple.. Wooldridge also doubles on clarinet. Elsewhere Jazz Wizards violin player Drew Jurecka and Healey swing the hell  out of the track The Wildcat and nail the rhythmic jaunt of Black and Blue Bottom.

Don’t forget this is an easy going jazz album. However Healey guitar fans will note Jeff does contribute some fantastic acoustic guitar on Hong Kong Blues and many other points throughout the cd.  Kudos to Silverbirch mastering engineer Andy Krehm for achieving the  warmth and nuances of  Healey’s chops in the most ‘vinyl” of ways.

Diverse, warm and engaging Last Call is a  surprise jazz treat at any level of the genre..

19
Jun
10

HERBIE HANCOCK-THE IMAGINE PROJECT-HANCOCK BRINGS OUT ELITE PERFORMANCES-JOHN EMMS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

For starters this is flat out one of the best sounding recordings I have heard in recent memory. The depth and clarity is stunning!  The vinyl version will I’m sure be a revelation.

Ok, that’s out of the way.

Herbie Hancock as the old saying goes “has forgot more about making music than most could even learn in a lifetime”” That’s probably a fact

So when Hancock releases an album to the pop market, it’s sure to be genuine but maybe not a multi-platinum seller.

Let’s face it, fusing the textures of straight jazz to pop music can be messy. In fact the melodic end of jazz is not usually appreciated by today’s ‘POP’ music download crowd.  Anyone who listens to music these days wants and often seeks out the solid hook or riff.  There is nothing wrong with that.

On the Imagine Project Hancock attempts to unify an international cast of musicans into a whole meaningful collaboration. You could say a binding musicality worldwide where songs can make a difference.

On the Imagine Project Hancock and friends move the listener in stunning fashion.

Let’s be clear this recording will NOT change our crazy world.  But what it does show is music indeed is a universal global movement

The meat of this is cd comes down to elite perfomances by some of the biggest talents in the world of music. Space Captain featuring Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, and Hancock  is a tour de force of soul and groove. It has to heard to be believed.

Peter Gabriel’s Don’t Give Up moves in familar territory but Pink and John Legend  infuse it with new found relevance. The same could be said about the cover of Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are Changing featuring an extrordinary vocal by Lisa Hannigan and an outro jam by Hancock and guitarist Lionel Loueke along with the backing of The Chieftans.

K’NAAN welds together a world music throwdown with Tinatiwen, Los Lobos and Hancock into a blend held together by Larry Klein’s killer bass groove. It should be noted Klein also produces and arranges this project with Hancock. 

Without going into more detail it’s  sure fire musicianship by James Morrsion on Sam Cooke’s A Changes Gonna Come, Dave Matthews on John Lennon’s Tomorrow Never Knows and Anoushka Shankar’s excellent sitar working against Wayne Shorter’s sax work on on The Song Goes On that puts this album into Orbit.

Elsewhere vocalists Chaka Khan, Juanes, and Indie Arie reach new heights.

A world album of the tallest order! I will feature some of this recoridng on a special jazz roots radio feature of Collection of Songs http://emms.podbean.com/

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host and musician.

19
Jun
10

DUKE ROBILLARD-BLUES MAN FOR ALL SEASONS-JOHN EMMS MUSIC REVIEWS

duke robillard/review..stomp the blues tonight

July 2, 2009 john emms Edit Leave a comment

duke coverduke robillardLet’s face it Robillard has forgot more about blues music than most younger musicians currently know. That’s a stone cold fact.

As a throwback to his days with ROOMFUL OF BLUES, this disc proves to be very worthy.

With the  updated engineering of today coupled with Duke’s killer feel you might think you’re in some smoky club mid fifties but with the perfect seat, and nice clean ambience to boot. I’m talkin’  smack dab in your living room folks!!

The  material is mostly from the 1940′s and 50′s, and with the players all of Robillard alumni, the actual recording comes off as musicians totally in sync with the project.

In short they all love this stuff! That’s the trick folks.

Johnny Watson’s 3 Hours Past Midnight is a prime example of  how good the band and cd sounds. Nothing is forced and Duke whips off one of those ringing pure vibrato single note type solos, that are so good it makes you smile from ear to ear.

Elsewhere the horns play charts that anchor up the  melodies of Baby You Don’t Know and Do Me Right, and simply swing like hell on the title track written by Robillard 

I ’m not in love with all 16 tracks for one reason only.

If Duke had cut this cd back to 10 or 12 songs it would have been more  like an old vinyl album experience.

Other highlights are Look But Don’t Touch with Sunny Crownover,   the Ike Turner jump of Tore Up and the much recorded Early In the Morning, done here with real class.

Standout chops throughout the disc from drummer Mark Teixeira, sax guru Doug James, basssit Marty Ballou and Bruce Bears on piano.

You can’t fake this stuf baby, and that’s what makes this disc so vital

19
Jun
10

jack de keyzer-canada’s best bluesman-JOHN EMMS MUSIC REVIEWS

DE KEYZER-THE CORKTOWN SESSIONS-CANADA’S BEST BLUESMAN ON A ROLL-by john emms

April 18, 2010 john emms Edit Leave a comment

After 25 years of being a class act, it’s scary to think JACK DE KEYZER is now hitting his full stride

THAT FOLKS IS IMPRESSIVE

I have been a huge JACK DE KEYZER supporter for many years. Perhaps some people  may have grown tired of my absolute steadfast proclamations that Jack is one of the leading lights of blues music in NORTH AMERICA.

Well, with his most recent album THE CORKTOWN SESSIONS being virtually stuck in my vehicle’s cd player for the last 7 months it only seems right his recent 2010 Juno win for BLUES ALBUM of the year is icing on the cake.

I’ve been writing reviews, playing his music on my new radio show and finally put my own natural trust in Jack to produce and play on both of our SHAFTMEN CD’S.

I could go into huge  detail why you need THE CORKTOWN SESSIONS as part of your blues collection, but any artist who bridges the gap between blues, roots, jazz and plain ol’ rock n roll deserves your full attention.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran musician, radio show host and music journalist

Visit John and THE SHAFTMEN at www.theshaftmen.com

listen or purchase THE SHAFTMEN’S music at

http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-shaftmen/id365389445

19
Jun
10

BEST BLU-RAY DISCS-2009-EAGLE ROCK RULES-JOHN EMMS MUSIC REVIEWS

best blu-ray concert discs-2009-EAGLE ROCK LEADS THE WAY-john emms reviews

December 21, 2009 john emms Edit 1 comment

BLU-RAY discs with quality picture and amazing surround or stereo mixes is THE way to experience “live” concerts in your living room. Personally speaking  EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT is without a doubt a leader in this field. Crisp images, clarity of detail and their amazing audio formats notably the DTS HD Master Audio are superb.

HERE ARE  my TOP BLU-RAY DISCS MUSIC LIST FOR 2009

Jeff Beck-Live at Ronnie Scott’s-Exciting performances with mind blowing solos..stunning picture, great tonal balance

Paul Rodgers-Live in Glasgow-Killer video tranfer.Fantastic mix on everything..That voice-may be the best in rock

Rolling Stones-Shine A Light-Martin Scorsese-is the best filmaker on earth-the camera work is stunning.- audio mix is good but Eagle Rock’s blu-rays have more audio depth-Hey it’s the Stones is all u need to know 

Diana Krall-Live in Rio-Krall’s voice is superb, the orhestra sounds like it’s in your front room-not for your rockin party..better late at night, superb quality

John Mayall-& The Bluesbresakers/Friends-70 th Birhday Concert-the blu-ray detail, audio, and video is hands down killer with this release-MAYALL IS IN TOP FORM TO BOOT

Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood-Live From Madison Square Garden-Great aduio stereo presence on both vocalists, camera work is detailed and yes the this is a quality show

Iron Madien-Flight 666-This blu-ray disc is from different concerts-so the AUDIO IS not as potent as it would be if it was a one shot concert..having said that..most will probably not notice-…my fave headbangers FOR SURE

Carlos Santana-Presents Blues At Montreux-Carlos jams with Buddy Guy, Bobby Parker, and Clarence Gatemouth Brown..blues mania on blu-ray..some  amazing guitar performances

here are other HIGH QUALITY  blu-ray CONCERT discs—U NEED-

STYX-ONE WITH EVERYTHING, KD LANG-LIVE IN LONDON, THE POLICE-CERTIFIABLE, ASIA-FANTASIA LIVE IN  TOKYO, GARY MOORE ONE NIGHT IN DUBLIN, BLACK CROWES, WARPAINT LIVE, BILLY IDOL-IN SUPER OVERDRIVE




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