Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Blues Jam -The Limelight Lounge - The Tap -Host - Michael Fioretti

Sunday Afternoon Blues Jam
The Limelight Lounge - The Tap
Haverhill, MA
Host - Michael “Fee” Fioretti

Review by Georgetown Fats

The Patriots had just had their backsides handed to them by the lowly Cleveland Browns, the fall nip in the air continued to drop into the bitter range, and the intermittent clanging of my furnace reminded me of just how ridiculously expensive it is to live in Massachusetts. I had the blues, and with my own band spending Sunday afternoon recovering from a Saturday night of chasing women, there was only one way to let these blues out.

While other areas of the state are losing blues locales due to the economy and low turnout, those of us in the Greater Haverhill area are fortunate enough to have bar owners still looking to cater to a blues-loving crowd. Michael “Fee” Fioretti has recently taken over as the host for the Sunday afternoon Blues Jam at The Tap’s new “Limelight Lounge,” and extended an open invitation to the jam and cemented it with the promise of a micro-brewed beer to-be-named later.

With a house band consisting of Steve “Tats” Taturunis on bass and Dave Mattacks on drums, Fee and his jam rhythm section opened the afternoon jam up with a quick forty-five minute set. Due to a previously booked event at the Limelight Lounge, the jam was moved down to the main dining room at The Tap. While The Tap may not have a juke joint vibe, the acoustics in this old mill building are just exceptional for live music. The floors creak, the steep stairwells offer an interesting exercise in depth perception for those who may have consumed a bad ice cube, nothing in the room is level, and the exposed brick wall offers both visual and audio appeal. And the special appearance of the flashing blues lights from Haverhill’s finest through the uninsulated windows provide both an impromptu light show and a moment of comic relief for the assembled blues and beer enthusiasts. The old mill building in which The Tap is located provides a vibe and ambiance rarely found outside of New England.

Mindful of his jazz and funk roots, Fee keeps almost every sound out of his custom homemade guitar and boutique amp tinged with jazz and funk, which are complemented perfectly by his soulful vocals. Though capable providing a lot of sizzle with his bass work, Taturunis provides a low-end foundation and groove big enough to drive a cement mixer through. Like a reality television star, “Tats” has the innate ability to appear whenever there is a crowd, live music and alcohol. Unlike a reality television star, “Tats” has actual discernible talent, justifying his ability to be an in-demand local musician. Mattacks’ drum work propels and swings the trio through an exercise in tempo and creativity. They started every piece in the same key and tempo, and finished every piece in the same key and tempo -- not always the norm with a piecemeal backing band.

Probably one of the one of the most entertaining aspects of anything musical Fee involves himself in is the ability to push the envelope of blues. Fee and the assembled group of musicians brought their ‘A Game’ delivering an afternoon of deep tracks and a sprinkling of original pieces.  A sampling of this particular Sunday afternoon had Bob Leger pulling out Lloyd Price’s “Mean Disposition” and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking,” Dave Thompson of The Resuscitators singing Kim Wilson’s “Wait on Time” and an original composition called “So Free” while holding down an airtight groove on the drums. With ‘Rockin’ George Leh and John Shiavoni patiently waiting for their turn to jam, by no means was the quality of the jam going to diminish as the afternoon went into early evening.

Ever mindful that while the dining room had been taken over by the jam, it was a full service eating establishment, Kirsten and Zaida provided more than the appropriate level of hustle, charm and navigation through tables and instruments to make sure all were taken good care of. Glasses were kept full and appetites were satiated despite being slightly understaffed for the situation. Clearly, ownership and management of The Tap knew that the best way to handle the scheduling issue was to put some of their best waitstaff together to handle the thirsty blues-lovin’ crowd.

So if you find yourself in the Haverhill area on a Sunday afternoon and have that itch for live blues, the Michael Fioretti Trio’s Sunday afternoon blues jam at The Limelight Lounge at The Tap is well worth the investment of your time. Or be sure to check out their other nights of live blues, which have featured Gracie Curran and  The High Falutin’ Band, Blind Billy and The Spectacles, Jeff Norwood, Drivin’ Blind, Lydia Warren, and The Ten Foot Polecats. While the weather may not be warm enough for the jam to take place on The Tap’s expansive back deck overlooking the Merrimack River, The Michael Fioretti Trio have assembled quite an assortment of local musicians to keep it plenty hot inside at their Sunday afternoon jam.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Shirley Lewis Going Back To Her Roots With A Special Gospel Concert

Shirley Lewis Going Back To Her Roots With A Special Gospel Concert
Boston blues queen Shirley Lewis will present a special Gospel Jubilee Concert at 9 p.m. Dec. 3 at Hajjar's T-Room, 969 Washington St., Weymouth. Doors will open at 8 p.m.
Tickets cost $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. It is a 21-plus show.
There will be a cash bar, with food available from the regular restaurant menu.
The show will feature the Lewis Gospel Singers, plus special guests and friends who will treat you to some rockin' gospel and soul santifying songs.
There will be a 50-50 raffle, half of which will be donated to a food pantry in Waban (Newton) where Shirley herself has gone when times are hard. They need food!
Tickets can be purchased via Paypal at, or by contacting Shirley at 857-776-3479.

David Maxwell's "Conversations in Blue" Release Party - AJ Wachtel

David Maxwell "Conversations in Blue" Release Party
Passim's, Cambridge, MA                                  
Nov. 3, 2010

Tonight's music is impressive on a few different levels: first, this trio has reached the highest rung of musicianship. Maxwell may be the best blues/boogie-woogie piano player in the world, guitarist Troy Gonyea is a Fabulous Thunderbirds/Booker T veteran, and drummer Per Hanson plays in more Grade A local blues bands than any other percussionist. Harpist Rosy Rosenblatt guests after the intermission on a few melodies also. Seeing live music in Passim's is similar to seeing a band in your own living room: the throbbing beat surrounds the crypt-like club and makes the performance seem almost interactive between the band and the audience. The feeling is SO intense that the listener is swept up in the atmosphere too and becomes part of the event. Lastly, the covers, including "Marie," an Otis Spann instrumental, and Muddy Waters’ "Five Long Years" are performed very intimately; and the originals, including "Sister Laura Lee," a gospel-influenced tune, and a new song "R.I.P.," a slow instrumental blues, are as good as the covers. So Tight. So Professional. So Good.

By A.J. Wachtel

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fundraiser to send Satch and Cindy Daley to Memphis for the IBC




BBS winners Cindy Daley&  Satch Romano, winners of the solo/duo blues
category of The Boston Blues Challenge will hold an all day benefit to
raise funds for their trip to Memphis to compete in The (IBC)
International Blues Challenge from Feb 2-6, 2011.

The event will be held on Sunday, Dec. 5 from 2PM and end when it ends.
Location: The  Next Page Blues Cafe'
550 Broad Street, E. Weymouth, MA 02189

The following bands and artists will be performing (Not necessarily in
Satch Romano&  The Mighty HouseRockers Big Band
The Cindy Daley Band
Mission of Blues feat. Johnny "Bluehorn" Moriconi
Chris Fitz
Racky Thomas
"The Regal Queen of Blues" Miss Shirley Lewis
Driving Blind
Throwdown Blues Band
The Blue Gils with a possible very special guest TBA!
Gracie Curran&  The High Falutin' Band
Gypsy Thieves
Lickity Split
One kick ass blues jam at the end!
More TBA! Look for my email or Facebook event updates next week!

There will be some fine Next Page pies served throughout the day and pot
luck refreshments are encouraged as well.  There will be prizes and
50/50 raffle.

A splendid time is guaranteed for all!
Requested min. donation $10.00. Sponsors are also welcome.

Sponsored by The Boston Blues Society&  The Next Page Cafe'.

CONTACT: Satch Romano or 781-258-5232.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WACHTELIGENCE - David Maxwell Ten Fingers -Infinite Hooks - by AJ Wachtel


By A.J Wachtel

David Maxwell

"Ten Fingers- Infinite Hooks"

Even if David Maxwell wasn’t globally known as the heir apparent to the musical legacy of Otis Spann his enormous contributions to the history of the development of the Blues genre would still insure his place in any Blues Artists Hall of Fame. And even if he never played another note again his knowledge and verbal renditions of his involvement in the evolution of the entertainment scene is both spellbinding and priceless: from growing up and learning the Blues with Alan Wilson from Canned Heat to touring with Freddie King and having gigs with Muddy, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards to his current involvement with the release of "Conversations In Blue" (Vizztone), David's biography is fascinating; sort of like a storybook character coming to life. Read on and catch a glimpse:

BBS: You grew up with Alan Wilson from Canned Heat in Arlington, Ma. How close were you two, and were you friends with him in the mid 60’s when he played his open-tuned guitar on Son House's recordings?

MAX: Alan and I grew up in adjacent towns: me, in Lexington MA and him in Arlington. I forgot how we met exactly; possibly through one of his friends who was at Lexington High School with me (Class of '61). Alan was into real New Orleans music at the time: George Lewis, Kid Ory and the like. Alan played trombone: we had regular jams at an older drummer's parent’s house in Lexington, joined by another musician or two. Alan and I were close: he was philosophical and sensitive and explored many musical worlds: early New Orleans music, jazz, ethnomusicology, and blues. All this brought us together, whether it was in a listening booth in one of the Cambridge record shops or going on excursions into Harvard Square to Albioni's all night cafeteria.

"Baddest dude since Otis Spann- and that's MAJOR! Different than Spann-he's Moagy and in his own right-He got it right and moved it forward. A man and a player to be hailed" - T-Blade (Steve) Berkowitz

BBS: Alan was known for his blues harp with the fat tone and great vibrato. Did you know him as a harpist or a guitar player?

MAX: My family moved to Arlington just a few blocks away from Alan's family house in the mid-sixties. We were still friends, of course and I was aware of his work with Son House. Alan had moved into Harvard Square, and at some point migrated to CA where the Canned Heat project was spawned. I knew him when he began to play guitar and harp. (He had abandoned trombone because he couldn't surmount some "lipping problems"- so he just dropped it and moved on to mouth harp). He eventually started messing around with Indian string instruments; sitar, tanpura and vina. He had great ears and tuned his instruments precisely.

“David Maxwell is literally a genius of Blues piano," is what I thought the first time I saw him more than 40 years ago. He proves it in thousands of gigs and recordings since then. His soulful talent is a gift to us." – Bob Margolin

“A TRUE piano man of boogie-woogie; God bless David Maxwell" – Preacher Jack

BBS: Any good stories about you and Alan you'd care to share?

MAX: Alan was a sensitive guy, concerned about the state of the world and the suffering of so many people, as well as the ecology of the planet, etc. etc. Alan Watts and his lectures on Buddhism were up there on his list. He wasn't too concerned about his personal appearance when we were hanging out; it was all about the music, art and philosophical concerns (and baseball). When he met Skip James and wanted to learn something about playing harp, I seem to remember Alan's feelings were hurt when Skip told him that he was "fat"-that really bummed him out. Overall, Alan was so into the sounds-transcribing music (Skip James' piano style and Robert Pete Williams' guitar licks, among others) that were published in Broadsides Magazine. But it wasn't just pre-war and post-war blues for Alan. He was curious and listened a lot: Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Thelonius Monk, Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, John Cage and contemporary classical music, etc. In short, his tastes were eclectic, and I credit him with turning me on to stuff I didn't know about. He was kind of a purist; for instance he used to complain about Northern Indian music that the time sped up as the raga unfolded whereas in Southern Indian music the rhythm held steady and that agreed with his nature.

BBS: What was the local music scene like when you two were getting into the blues in suburban MA? Who did you listen to on the radio and where did you go to see shows? What great artists did you see growing up?

MAX: The local music scene: for a kid in Lexington, MA in the late 50's and early 60's............nothing. I remember seeing posters on street lamps and telephone poles in Boston advertising.....BB King, Bobby Blue Bland, etc at Louis Lounge and soul acts at Estelle's and jazz guys at Connolly's (I saw Sunny Stitt there) but in high school where were we to go? I played gigs but it was the teenage band kind of thing: a little R and B, some pop covers and some jazz. In junior high school I played Dixieland, and for a bit in high school before I got a little more "hip" with the jazz sounds Soon, Alan and I and the guys we were jamming with in high school played Bobby Timmons, Cannonball, Fathead- no "folk blues". Alan played trombone-no harp at all. On the radio, WILD played soul and blues and gospel (Skippy White's programs), but coming out of high school, I was more focused on the jazz scene. I went to NYC and remember one show at the Jazz Gallery downtown on New Year's Eve, 1960. Drinking age was 18 back then. I sat overlooking the stage from around 9 PM to 3 AM watching back to back performances of the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet featuring James Moody on sax and Lalo Schifrin on piano, and the Thelonius Monk Quartet with Charlie Rouse on sax! that afternoon (Sunday) I remember getting off the bus at the Port Authority Building and walking into the Metropole Club and hearing Lionel Hampton's Band blasting away. I thought that stuff too square-I was disappointed-it was the hipper shit I wanted to hear (which I did) later that night. Later on it was Cecil Taylor and Alber Ayler and Slugs, down on the Lower East Side.

BBS: Alan's body was found in Bear Hite's backyard in '70 under strange circumstances and Hite died in '81 of a supposed heart attack. Do you know the real stories behind their deaths?

MAX: All I know of Alan's death was that he misjudged the dose of sleeping pills.....unintentionally. He liked sleeping outside and under the redwoods particularly. I have no information about Bob Hite's death.

BBS: Do you currently keep in touch with his family still in Arlington?

MAX: I keep in touch with Alan's mother in Arlington, although it has been awhile. His father passed away years ago and Alan's siblings and their families are in the area.

BBS: You appeared with John Lee Hooker on the Dick Cavett Show in '69. How did this happen and what was Hooker like? Any funny stories about the gig or the man himself you'd like to talk about?

MAX: I began playing with Hooker when he came to Boston-when he needed a band behind him. Peter Malick was involved in that as well and Billy Colwell earlier. So when Hooker was invited to appear on a pilot show of Dick Cavett's in the summer of '69 in NYC, I tagged along with the rest of the band That same weekend Woodstock was happening and Canned Heat played. I wanted to get there but traveling was impossible. Hooker was great any time he came to town; he stayed at the Lenox Hotel in Copley Square (he played at the Jazz Workshop on Boylston St.) and used to hold court in his hotel room. the talk and action between us was mostly about women; one old dog to one aspiring young dog. He loved Otis Spann and he really liked my playing; we remained always great friends throughout the decades.

BBS: In the early '70's you toured with Freddie King. I recently saw a great video from '73 of "Have You Ever Loved a Woman?" from the 1973 Montreaux Music Festival. You told me you had an interesting story about that show. Care to share? Also, what was touring with Freddie like for you being young and white? What do you miss most about Freddie?

MAX: When I was with Freddie it was a very intense time for me. (I was) out on the road for the first time, getting a taste of that blues culture: both the down-home African American Southern stuff and the crossover to middle class white America. The story on Montreux on "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" is this: in that tune Freddie always gave me a solo. If you watch the camera pan to Freddie near the end of my solo you can see him wind up and get ready to stroke it at the top of the next chorus. However, I thought I would stretch it and take another chorus (probably the first and only time I did this). So you see the grimace on Freddie's face when he realizes what is happening: it’s an agonized look, as though someone had kicked him in the stomach-or worse. Priceless! At one point, we had an old beat up Greyhound bus. Freddie knocked out a seat near the back and put a piece of plywood on the frame and turned around the next seat so- there was our card table. Freddie loved to gamble and drink and it was kind of mandatory to play poker if you knew how, so there goes my money.......he would fine me as well for stuff: leaving peanut shells in the bus or one time he detected some sardine oil that had spilled on a seat and fingered me; another time I was a few minutes late making it to the club, another time I was too high. He liked to play the boss-and also wanted his band to sound good. I was the only white guy in the band and I think he kind of relished messing with me a little. I would laugh in his face when he fined me-he liked my playing and never fired me. I left on my own accord because I wanted to do some other stuff. A few weeks later I joined Bonnie Raitt.

BBS: On that video, Freddie plays with no pick; just using his fingertips to pluck the strings. Was this his usual M.O. when playing the guitar?

MAX: He played both ways-fingers and picks-I didn't pay too much attention to that.

BBS: You've played with Muddy too. How did this happen and what was Muddy like? What was your favorite song to play in his band and why?

MAX: One night in Boston in 1969 at the Jazz Workshop Muddy asked me to fill in for Otis Spann who was sick. It was a great thrill. I asked Muddy how I did and he said "OK-stay in one place more." I knew what he meant; be more supportive. Don't show off so much. I loved playing the slow stuff with Muddy, particularly "Five Long Years".

BBS: You backed up Keith Richards and Eric Clapton on Hubert Sumlin's 2005 CD "About Them Shoes". Were you all in the same room playing together at the same time? What are Keith and Eric like? Did you talk blues with them? Did you jam together? If so, what songs did you play together?

MAX: On the Hubert album I was in the studio three separate times. Eric came in and was all business; played his tunes, a few photos and that was it. On a separate session with Keith it was one long jam with his buddies. Eric played Long Distance Call" and "I'm Ready". Keith just played and played. On the album a duet with just him and Hubert was used-none of the other stuff.

BBS: Your music was used in the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" and on the TV series "Touched by An Angel". Tell me about this.

MAX: I did some music for a sound library. One of the sequences was used on an episode of "Touched by An Angel". On the 'Fried Green Tomatoes" sound track I was recording with Ronnie Earl and Peter Wolf singing. Ironically, what ended up in the actual movie, behind a car jockeying battle in a parking lot, was the high end piano solo of one of the tunes we recorded. Go figure.

BBS: You were on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 1999. Did you talk blues or Boston with him? Is he a blues fan?

MAX: I played with the band on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. We never talked on stage. My friend, guitarist Jimmy Vavino, was responsible for getting me on the show.

BBS: You've had 7 W.C. Handy Award nominations correct? And you've won Grammy Awards too, right?

MAX: I've been nominated seven times for the "Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year" for the national W.C Handy/Blues Music Awards. I won the 2010 Blues Music Award: Acoustic Album of the Year" for a CD I produced and played on with Louisiana Red called "You Got to Move". I contributed to the 1998 Grammy Award winning album James Cotton's "Deep in the Blues". I've contributed to a handful or more of albums nominated for Grammys and Blues Music Awards. There's been other stuff too, like the Boston Music Awards "Best Blues Act" for 2009 and 2008.

BBS: You write most of your own material. What covers have you done onstage and on your releases?

MAX: My blues based material is a synthesis of classic styles (like Spann and Pinetop) mixed in with some boogie- woogie feels derived from the greats (Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Meade Lux Lewis) with some gospel/jazz stylings (Ray Charles, Richard Tee and such) combined with my own jazz predilections and phrasing. One cover I particularly enjoy playing is "After Hours”, he Avery Parrish classic. Some of my instrumentals are modeled on some Spann influenced licks. I play a lot of jazz-tunes and such, but I particularly enjoy open improvisation. I do regular gigs around town with some great musicians. One series I call "OutTakes Unlimited”. I just came back from NYC to hear an Iranian trance/dance group. Some of my favorite music is Iranian Classical and Japanese Gagaku. Also (I enjoy), Balinese Gamelan, North African, Egyptian, Turkish, Afro-Cuban and on and on. There is so much great stuff out there; indigenous and folk music from ethnic groups all over the globe. And don’t get me started on contemporary Classical composers: Ligeti, Messaien. Xenakis, Morton Feldman, Stockhausen, and many lesser known artists.

"What's exciting about David's playing isn't just his blues mastery-although he is the most direct link to music's greatest piano man, Otis Spann- but his incredible range, which can shift from classicism to pure gut improvisation to Eastern music all within the passage of a few measures. He is truly an under-appreciated giant of the instrument, as well as being a colorful, interesting person." - Ted Drozdowski (The Scissormen)

"David Maxwell has been THE Blues piano player in Boston for good forty years now-hands down, no contest. He's worked around the globe with so many of the Blues heavyweights; he's really become a bit of an icon himself and the rightful heir to Spann's throne. But beyond that, he's a brilliant, wide-ranging player who applies his soulful style to anything he touches." - Rosy Rosenblatt (Vizztone Records)

BBS: What are you up to now?

MAX: I have a new CD "Conversations In Blue" to be officially released next spring although there will be a pre-release party at Club Passim (the location of the seminal Club 47) in Cambridge, where I used to hear Muddy with Cotton and (Otis) Spann. Son House, Skip James and so many more in the mid to late sixties (would also play the Club 47). The Club 47 used to be on 47 Mt. Auburn St where Joan Baez and so many more folkies played. In high school, just to tie all this in, Alan and I went to the original Club 47 to hear Sam Rivers, the great sax player. Sitting in one night was this 12 year old drummer, Tony Williams. Years later, when I heard that the Club 47 was doing blues, and not just the folk stuff I wasn't into , I decided to hear one of these guys that had been "rediscovered"-possibly Son House-and I showed up at the old location on Mt. Auburn St. not realizing the club had relocated to its present spot in Harvard Square. So, on Nov.3rd, I will be playing at Passim and I will have copies of the new CD. The CD features four "duets" with Spann and me (where I've overdubbed instrumentals from the 1960 Candid Records sessions, one with Robert Junior Lockwood that Alan and I used to listen to), seven new solo pieces of mine where I bring out the Spann influences and a Spann solo piece. Plus (there is) a 12 page booklet describing aspects of my blues journey. Wednesday, No. 3rd at Club Passim is the pre-release party at 8 p.m. Troy Gonyea (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Booker T) will be playing guitar and Per Hanson will be on drums.

BBS: Any advice for young aspiring blues artists on how to survive and get your music heard today in this tough economy?

MAX: Advice to young aspiring blues artists. Play what's in your heart and say what's important to you; be true to the blues sound but be open to fresh concepts. Keep blues out of the museum by making your message vital, reflecting what's happening today. Master networking skills.....and find another way to make money if you need to. You can live simply, but there's no virtue in scuffling.

For more information on David Maxwell’s shows or back catalog, please check out

Monday, November 1, 2010

Motor City Josh -Forty Four A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf - Review by Georgetown Fats

Motor City Josh
Forty Four – A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf
Fordco Music
By Georgetown Fats
When presented with the opportunity to review Motor City Josh’s “Forty Four-A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf”, skepticism immediately surfaced. The musical catalogs of Willie Dixon and Chester Burnett are well-mined sources, and, given that the late great John Lee Hooker is often associated with The Motor City, it was also curious of Motor City Josh, also known as Josh Ford, to have been chosen Howlin’ Wolf.

Given Jason Ricci’s special guest status on the disk, and given Ford’s choices of tracks, “Forty Four – A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf” was worth a few initial spins.

“Forty Four – A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf” opens with Ford’s interpretation of one of Wolf’s signature tunes “Forty Four”. Though possessing a similar vocal timbre’ to Wolf’s, Ford wisely leads his five piece band with this arrangement. Though Ford has the grit, attributed to his fourteen plus years of smoking, he does not have Wolf’s growl. So by making his arrangement of “Forty Four” into an up-tempo blues rock piece Motor City Josh added some originality and play to the strengths of the band.

On “Spoonful” though Motor City Josh’s recording does have a great sound bite from an audio recording of Howlin’ Wolf, the arrangement is a lackluster rehash of previously recorded versions. Even the somewhat reserved harp fills from Jason Ricci and Wolf’s own vocals can’t save this one.

For “Evil is going on” Ford once again kicks the tempo up over the original recording and focuses the track on his own slide guitar rather than trying to reproduce another classic track. The use of stop time and Justin Headley’s drum work provide a big funky groove for Ford to lay down a fairly strong slide guitar solo. It is a cover that Motor City Josh certainly has people up and dancing to with this rendition in a live setting.

Sadly Motor City Josh felt the need to also cover “Sittin’ on top of the world”. Not as widely known as the majority of the other hits on this disk, Ford’s attempt would have been best left on the cutting room floor or as a B-Side. Ford’s gruff vocals are not up to the challenge by yet he tries to reproduce the original rather than take it into a new direction. Again he processes Wolf-like vocal grit, but there is a difference between achieving the grit through 14+ years of smoking as opposed to growing up singing field hollers and blues yodels.

Ultimately the 13 tracks on "Forty Four – A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf" are a musical mixed bag. When Motor City Josh takes some risks and leaps with arrangements "Forty Four – A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf" is very good. When they don't take risks and leaps, the results leave Ford sounding more than happy to walk in Wolf's immense shadow and path rather than trying to create his own.

Live Review - Danny Klein's Full House - AJ Wachtel

Danny Klein's Full House
The Chicken Bone   Framingham            
Live review - AJ Wachtel - 10/1/10

As the evening progresses, I realize the set list sounds like a group of titles from my autobiography, songs that formed my life: "Nothing But A Party,” "Give It To Me,” "Must Have Got Lost,” “Love Stinks,” “Freeze Frame,” "Centerfold" and "Whammer Jammer.” And I quickly realize this band is tight with a capital T: only 2 seconds separate the songs. And this is feel-good music performed powerfully. At one point singer Artie Eaton says: "I expect this roof to shake”; and with people shouting out J.Geils requests and singing loudly along with the songs, his wish is quickly fulfilled.  Hearing everyone doing the "na na na na na-na's" to "Centerfold" or singing along with every word in "Love Stinks" is thrilling.  D.K. is playing a 5 string bass, harpist Rosy Rosenblatt's superb solo in "Whammer Jammer,” complete with five measures of "When The Saints Go Marching In" thrown in, the hard rocking guitar of Stevie Gouette, the melodic strains of keyboardist Dave Quintiliani and the heavy pounding of drummer Jim Taft combine to make a memorable performance. This band is as good as the Geils band: just different.

Recap filed with both The Boston Blues Society ( and The Noise (