Monday, November 23, 2009

New Projects

So I was hoping the Ten Foot Polecats winning at The Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge would bring a new acceptance to the Deep Blues sound to Boston. Sadly through no fault of their own, the Polecats who played an exceptional set at the first round of the Blues Challenge, the Polecats and I are still ahead of our time.

So, as my contribution to the Deep Blues anarchy there will be a concerted effort to seek out Deep Blues material and continue to spread the Deep Blues gospel to all who will read & listen.....

Stay tuned reviews of the 2008 Deep Blues Sampler and “Must I Holler” from Boston’s own Whoa! Man! Jesus!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Matthew Stubbs Band Feat. Sax Gordon Sat Nov 28 Mal's Haverhill MA

Matthew Stubbs Band Feat. Sax Gordon Sat Nov 28 Mal's Haverhill MA

Hey Folks,

Come catch the Matthew Stubbs Band Feat. Sax Gordon at Mal's Lounge in Haverhill

MA. Mal's is a great new venue featuring national Blues and Roots Acts.

Matthew Stubbs is currently on tour with Blues Legend Charlie Musselwhite. Come

see Matt and Sax Gordon play thier own brand of rocking Soul, Roots and Blues.

Mal's Blues and jazz Lounge (above George's Restaurant)

77 Washington St

Haverhill MA

get tickets here

Heres what people are saying about Matthew Stubbs;

"Once upon a time, blues greats like Albert Collins, Freddie King, Gatemouth Brown, Earl Hooker, and Magic Sam cranked out hooky instrumentals, but now with a few exceptions (notably Rick Holmstrom and Ronnie Earl) it's become an almost extinct species. It's great to see it back in such capable hands.”

-Dan Fort Vintage Guitar Magazine

“Now here is a guy who understands taste. Nice, compact, to the point instrumentals. At only 25, he has a maturity beyond his years... It’s not the note, it’s the space in between them... Way to go Matt Stubbs! Check him out!”

-Junior Watson

“It would be hard to hear another guitar player doing any better on this material. The parts get quite intricate at times. Matt Stubbs has a great vocabulary. It’s not just the same licks over and over”

-Kenny Lee Smith KY Blues News

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tokyo Tramps - With These Hands - Boston Blues Society December Newsletter

Tokyo Tramps

With These Hands

TT35820 - Vagabond Entertainment

Review by Georgetown Fats

Being blown away by a band at a live show which had been previously unknown to me, is a magical moment which fuels my passion for live music. I had heard great things from reliable sources before regarding The Tokyo Tramps, but it was not until the first round of the 2009 Boston Blues Challenge did I have a chance to witness why so many people spoke so highly about the Tokyo Tramps. I went into the Blues Challenge having only second hand knowledge about the Tokyo Tramps, I left a fan their music and back story.

Stay tuned for the BBS December Newsletter. I have a hunch The Society will want to support such a great local blues rock trio.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Deep Blues show at Harper's Ferry w/ Kent Burnside & The New Generation

Kent Burnside & The New Generation

w/ The Ten Foot Pole Cats

& Whoa! Man! Jesus!

Live at Harper’s Ferry

November 8th, 2009

While a large portion of the Massachusetts blues scene was offering support to the Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge, another group of blues punk renegades happened to be catering to a younger and under-served audience. With a headlining act of Kent Burnside & The New Generation and support of two local acts turned a hard rock bar with area enough to land a small jet engine into a quaint cinder block juke joint.

Some refer to the sound as Deep Blues, while others call it Hillbilly Punk, while still others refer to it as a Punk Blues. The name of the genre is meaningless, but you should refer yourselves to some of the purveyors of that sound. If there is any justice in the blues world then blues fans and blues societies will start supporting this sub-genre as it combines an originality and energy level to an under-served audience, and that is a college crowd which has not had the opportunity to create a preconceived notion as to what is blues.

Not only did the packed house filled of blues fans and drunk dancing college co-eds provide the inspiration for one hell of a show, knowing there were members of Boston’s A-List of blues acts (Satoru & Yukiko of The Tokyo Tramps as well as the sometimes mild-mannered “MartySax” formerly of Hoodoo Revalators) helped raise the bar. The best part of the night had to have been all three acts involved more than met the challenge.

Local act Whoa! Man! Jesus!, a local act with a Deep Blues sound did not show any rust after a band hiatus and set the bar high for the rest of the acts tonight. Jason, Julian and Wayne locked in from the opening set and peppered their material with tributes to the innovator of trance blues, Mr. RL Burnside.

Next up, after a spectacular opening set last sunday at The Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge was The Ten Foot Polecats. Featuring a majority of original material, especially a new instrumental dubbed “Scratch Ticket”. The Polecats had the dancing drunk co-eds alternating between trips to the bar & to the merchandise table.

To close the night Kent Burnside & The New Generation proved that musical talent may in fact be a gene passed along through generations, with no intended disrespect to John Lee Hooker Jr and Big Bill Morganfield, the real good music gene skips a generation.

Part of being a somewhat anonymous reviewer is the ability to just blend into the background. Sometimes it pays to not announce my presence in order to have to deal with the fall out of a bad review, other times the pure enjoyment of the show makes it damn near possible to fight the urge to drop my notebook and just enjoy the dancing revelry. Tonight was one of those nights where just being a part of something great was just to overwhelming. Luckily with the support of the right people, I left with more than enough disks to hip people to the North Mississippi/Deep Blues/Punk Hillbilly scene. Please stay posted to The Boston Blues, Brews & BBQ Blog as well as my monthly work with The Boston Blues Society. Judging by the large turnout on a sunday night, a lot of you are already hip to this sound however it should not be a secret for those who have yet to experience it. So just grab a dancing partner and shake your hips!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Just call me Carnack The Magnificent - Boston Blues Challenge Round II

Having sat through the first round of the Boston Blues Challenge last sunday and having fallen right on my face trying to predict the winners, I figured it would be an interesting exercise to take a stab at predicting the winners for tomorrow night’s show.

Before I proceed, please let me reiterate my picks for last Sunday were wrong. 100% across the board wrong. I am also not a judge, so my preconceived notions are my own and will not be influencing anyone. I would just like to document the attempts as after sitting through last week’s show, I am more comfortable about thinking like one of the judges.

The acts featured tomorrow are Geezer, Alley Blues, the Mike Crandall Band, 2120 S. Michigan Ave. featuring Sweet Willie D, and Sit Down Baby! The show starts at 8:15 and runs to about 11PM. You can either check out this show and contribute to a great cause, keeping the blues alive in Massachusetts, or come across town to see Kent Burnside at Harper’s Ferry.

In their own words off of their website ( “Geezer is a hard-rocking blues and R&B band. We pay homage to the living and dead giants - including Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Jimi Hendrix, and others - and we write our own tunes inspired by them. With two (sometimes three) guitars, electric bass, harp, keys and drums, we produce a driving, danceable sound that's a throwback to an earlier era, yet thoroughly up-to-date - after all, the blues never goes out of fashion. With the addition of the LakeView Horns, the sound is big, beautiful, and authentic. Having lived and played through many musical eras, we are today's answer to the question: "What has eighteen legs and still sits?" We have over 300 years experience playing for indiscriminate audiences and we've shared the stage with such acts as Kim Wilson, Sugar Ray Norcia, Roomful of Blues, Southside Johnny, and Brian Auger. We were even semifinalists in the Boston Blues Society's Blues Challenge. We stick to rockin' electric blues because that's what we do best. And at our age, we can't afford to waste time on anything but the best. Plus we've all lived the blues - teenagers, mortgages, IPOs in the tank.... Despite suggestions to the contrary, we ignore the clock and calendar and just keep crankin' out great music.”

Next up for the night is the Alley Blues Band. In their own words on their site (; “Emitting soul-shaking vocals over earth moving grooves, the neo-soul/retro R&B outfit Alley Blues is a female fronted funk machine. Carrying the echoes of the vintage blues masters through the vibe of the new breed, Alley Blues summons an aura of "the Old Soul" immersed in gritty, captivating vocals. Invoking the essence of Aretha Franklin, mingled with Janis Joplin, in lock step with today's grooving diva's, Amy Winhouse, Joss Stone, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Me'Shell N'degeocello, backed by the rich, earthy grooves of the Dap Kings, the Meters, and the Roots... you have Alley Blues. In 2008, they were selected as Finalists for the Boston Blues Challenge. The band brings a refreshing blend of groove based Funk, Soul and R&B to the Northeast Music Scene. Featuring Alley Stoetzel's powerful, vibrant vocals and alluring stage presence, backed by Eric Vincent's tasteful, ear-pleasing guitar riffs. Louis Ochoa's infectious; fat, funky grooves hold down the low end on bass. Rounding out the rhythm foundation is Justin Oliver's solid, core-shaking pocket on drums. The band has been touring extensively throughout the New England region.”

On 3rd tomorrow night is the Mike Crandall Band. Via their Myspace site the Mike Crandall Band is a powerful original band that plays traditional blues, uptempo jumps and swings. Crandall is a gritty vocalist and master of the diatonic and chromatic harp. His diatonic tone is reminiscent of Sugar Ray Norcia; his lush chromatic tone is influenced by William Clarke. Rick Harrington is equally adept at scorching leads and a mean slide guitar. Guitarist Ricky “King” Russell played with John Lee Hooker, Eddie Clearwater, Kim Wilson, and Susan Tedeschi. Bassist Ed Parnigoni played with Roomful of Blues and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson. Danny Banks, a phenomenal 14 year old drummer, played on David Letterman, who called him “a young prodigy” and invited him back for another appearance. Discography: Black Rain, the band’s debut CD in 2004, drew a rave review Blues Revue magazine: “great tone all around, “ “harp is thick and creamy without being brash,” “righteous vintage (guitar) sounds.” “The talent level is evident from the opening one-two punch.” Tracks from the CD received heavy rotation on non-profit college radio stations throughout New England, and cuts have also been played on Sunday Night Blues with Beef Stew on The Rock 106.9 WCCC in Hartford, Connecticut. Set List: The band’s set is always different; they never go on stage with a set list. The band plays three sets – the first set is 90 minutes, the other two are 45 minutes each. The Mike Crandall Band’s repertoire is 75 percent original material. Their cover songs include hard driving harmonica tunes by Little Walter, Magic Sam, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. The band’s original tunes include “Jump Blues,” “Black Rain,” “I’m On My Way,” “Howlin’ At The Wolf,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “Listen to Me,” “So Many Times,” and “Out Alone.”

The fourth act is a hybrid act, Sweet Willie D with 2120 South Michigan Avenue. Due to a lack of website and promotions, I will have to take a stab on this one. Sweet Willie D sings a Texas Jump style while 2120 South Michigan Ave feature a Chicago Blues sound. It could be an interesting combination.

The final act of the night is Sit Down Baby! Per their website

( “They’re something to behold live….. They fear no challenge” Motif Magazine, March 2009 issue. Sit Down Baby! is redefining the world of Juke Joint music. It’s Delta music on Steroids. It’s an archaic gut-bucket riot taken into the 21st century. Sit Down Baby! travels pre-war from Mississippi to Memphis, Texarkana to Chicago and back to New Orleans. From trance to dance, Sit Down Baby plays jump, blazz, grinding delta and reeling train-time bar-b-q boogie. David Roscoe Tippett (guitar and vocals), Mark Milloff (guitar, slide guitar and vocals), Richard LaGuardia (drums), and Harry Milloff (bass) bring their shared musical experience together to create Sit Down Baby! This band is the real deal, the authentic experience. Sit Down Baby! is a runaway train spiraling the mountain of the Southern Blues Tradition.

I encourage everyone out there reading to see each act live to form their own opinions, however I am predicting the two bands advancing to the finals will be Alley Blues and 2120 South Michigan Ave Featuring Sweet Willie D.

Let's see if I can handicap this competition correctly, good luck to all participants.

The Coupe Deville Band - Live

It was just one of those nights when all I wanted to do was just stay inside and curl up with a nice bottle of Jamesons and listen to Robert Belfour over and over again. But a promise was a promise, and I didn’t want to go back on my word to “Johnny B” so I set out for The Roma to catch The Coupe Deville Band live.

And, I’m damn glad I did. Based on the turn out on a rainy Saturday night, it is pretty clear why The Coupe Deville Band is a well-respected band within the Merrimack Valley.

The Coupe Deville Band goes back some 30 years. Started by Dale Stubbs & some friends/coworkers from Hewlet Packard, with an ever evolving line-up The Coup DeVille Band continues to play to full houses throughout the Merrimack Valley. Keeping a band together for any length of time is an impressive accomplishment. Playing music at a semipro to professional level requires passion, dedication, commitment and humility. For every “packed house” story there are several stories of “long hours for short money”. What makes The Coupe Deville band so much fun is all five guys enjoy just about everything to do with playing music live. They are often at the venue early, chatting up old and new friends and their enjoyment of playing live is infectious.

The bar at The Roma bar is a local watering hole where the drafts beers are tall and reasonably priced and the cheeseburgers are cooked to perfection. A medium rare burger is medium rare, nicely red and juicy, not medium well. Patrons come to the bar at The Roma to drink, eat and gamble. Expect to catch a ration of shit for ordering an Apple-tini from the bar staff and expect to sit next to a stranger at the bar and leave strangers. It is about as perfect a setting for blues music as we get in the Merrimack Valley. Since relocating their Tuesday night blues jam to The Roma ( it made sense to catch a live show at Coupe DeVille’s unofficial home base.

Before the gig I had a chance to catch-up with both “Johhny B” Schiavoni and Matt Stubbs. Johnny B was beaming over the positive response their tuesday night blues jam was receiving and Matt was continuing to spend time as Charlie Musselwhite’s road guitarist, taking some spot gigs with Coup DeVille while also prepping for the March release for Medford & Main, Matt’s solo release scheduled to drop in March of 2010. Blue Bella Records, out of Chicago Illinois, will be releasing Medford & Main and Matt was planning several CD release parties for February 2010. After catching up with some of the guys I headed to the bar, placed my order and prepared myself to be entertained.

Coupe DeVille has a bar friendly and danceable blues rock sound by five guys with superior chops. This is not your average bar band. There may not be a lot of deep tracks in their encyclopedic catalog of cover tunes, but the execution is near flawless. Though the line-up has changed throughout the 30 years of the band, signals, communication and cues improve over time. This superior communication is key, especially since Dale & the band often like to jam out instrumentals when the moment suits them.

A standard Coup DeVille line-up features the father and son team of Dale & Matt Stubbs on guitar, with “Johnny B” Schiavoni on vocals. Watching and listening to Matt & Dale play off each other it is easy to see that while other fathers and sons spent countless hours tossing a ball back and forth, these two spent countless hours tossing phrygian scales back and forth. Schiavoni with Dale Carnegie inspired front man skills, delivers smooth vocals sounding somewhere between a cross of Paul Butterfield and Stevie Ray Vaughn. None of this firepower is possible without a rock solid and airtight rhythm section capable of pushing the tempo when necessary to keep people dancing, or keep rock solid time if a six string guitar player decides to play over the bar line. Coupe Deville’s current rhythm section of Steve Tatarunis on bass and Phil DeLaine on drums are just that section. Tatarunis and DeLaine obviously have more chops than on display, however they propel the band by locking in an airtight groove.

The Coupe Deville Band hosts the Tuesday Night Blues Jam at The Roma every week, starting at 9PM and play throughout the Merrimack Valley several times a month. For more info on The Coupe Deville Band check out their schedule at or keep posted with Matt’s solo project at . As with all live shows recommended here, please tell them Georgetown Fats sent you.