Album Review - Adrienne Osborn & S.T.A.R. - “The Phoenix, The Flame”

Tutelage Led By Vinny "Bond" Marini Wednesday, January 12, 2011 0 replies

What do you call a band with a shared belief that “we can all access a multitude of other frequencies than the five senses allow,” one that has a mission to “encourage people to live truthfully and courageously?” A band that calls their fans SuperSTARS and encourages them to send in short inspirational stories by sending verses and will then cut additional versions of the song with those submissions?

Americana, bluegrass, roots; it seems recently these are the fastest growing musical genres. Many bands try to capture the pure sound of mountain music but most end up with a weak impersonation of the music.

Out of Canada comes country-bluegrass that would make Bill Monroe smile.

Tuneage Tutelage Album Review - Barbara Blue "Royal Blue"

Tutelage Led By Vinny "Bond" Marini Friday, October 1, 2010 2 replies

Ms. Barbara Blue is a Memphis original, even if she was born in Pittsburgh, PA.

Holding court at Silky O’Sullivan’s Pub on Beale Street some 5 nights a week for the last 13 years, Ms. Blue has released seven albums in that time, the last three all Live recordings.

This week, her 8th album will drop. It is called ROYAL BLUE and it is a winner.

Recorded at the famous Royal Studios here in Memphis (the history of this studio is fodder for a post of its own), with Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell as producer, the album is a throwback to those great blues records of old.

Barbara’s band includes; Lester Snell on Fender Rhodes, B3 Hammond Organ and Acoustic Piano; Skip Pitts on Guitar Rhythm and Lead; Steve Potts on Drums and Dave Smith on Bass.

Additionally she has brought in Lannie McMillan and Gary Topper on Tenor Sax; Marc Franklin on Trumpet and Jim Spake on Baritone Sax.

She then sprinkles in some fabulous special guests including Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms on Harmonica (tracks # 7 and 10); Brandon Bailey on Harmonica (tracks #11 and 12); Josh Roberts on Slide Guitar (track # 12) & Guitar (track #11); Preston Shannon on Guitar (track #9); and Cody Dickenson on Electric Washboard (track # 2).

Background vocals are supplied by Daunielle “Pie” Hill and Jackie Johnson.

This is a true collection of blues, funk and soul. On the album, Ms. Blue has writing credit on 3 of the 13 tracks. The other 10 are classics she has put her own spin to.

The horn section gives a tremendous layering to the entire album with stand-out tracks including “If I Could Reach Out (And Touch Somebody)” and the opening tune “Beware”.

I found her take on the Al Green penned song “Rhymes”, as a wonderful tribute to the great man.

She takes the Syl Johnson song “Back For A Taste Of Your Love” and gives it a feel Jonny Lang misses, in this writers opinion.

You have to have total confidence in your abilities to take on “Heartbreak Hotel”, especially being from Memphis. Ms. Blue slows the number down and adds big horns and some tasty guitar licks by Skip Pitts and turns it into a brand new song.

Ms. Blue takes ownership of every song she sings, but even more so on her original tunes. “Blue” starts off the trio and seems autobiographical in nature. A fine example of Memphis Blues.

One of my favorite cuts on the album is the song “All You’ve Got” which was written by Ms. Blue along with Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms. Robert is the keyboard and harmonica player from the Reba Russell Band and it is some fine listening to hear him collaborate with Ms. Blue and add his sweet harmonica playing to this track.

Other songs on the album include “Your So Fine”; the J.D. Loudermilk tune “Turn Me On” on which Ms. Blue shows off her vocal chops on a sweet bluesy ode; “8 Men and 4 Women”; another Barbara Blue original “Too Late”; “Going Back To Iuka” and the final song on the album “Let’s Stay Together” penned by Al Green, Willie “Pops” Mitchell and Al Jackson.

Her interpretation will just send you soaring as high as Ms. Blue’s vocals on the song. This is as close to a capella as you come, with only minimal piano and some tasty horn work during the breaks.

Want to listen to a true Memphis soul but can’t afford to get in your car or jump on a plane or train, then click on over to Barbara Blue’s website and purchase Royal Blue. As a bonus, Ms. Blue autographs every album bought on her website.

But my suggestion IS to get in your car, jump that plane or train and get yourself down to Silky's and watch this stellar artist live and full force.

5 out of 5 Turntables

Tuneage Tutelage Review - Moreland & Arbuckle - "Flood"

Tutelage Led By Vinny "Bond" Marini Tuesday, June 15, 2010 0 replies

It was the night before the 2010 Blues Awards here in Memphis, Tn and I found myself at The Juke Joint on Beale Street to see Brandon Santini and Delta Highway.

During the second set of the night Brandon invited musicians in the room onto the stage to jam and one of the participants was Dustin Arbuckle. That night I heard his harmonica playing for the first time and was immediately struck by his technique.

Later that evening, Brandon waa gracious enough to introduce me to Dustin and his partner, Aaron Moreland. I noted them and told myself I would get them on Music On The Couch as soon as possible.

That will happen next Monday, June 21st, when Dustin joins me. Prior to that, I received their album FLOOD, just released on the Telarc International label.

This is their third album, the first three being self-published. What is a trio live - Moreland plays Electric, Parlor, Resonator and Cigar Box Guitars and Banjo; Arbuckle is lead vocalist and plays Harmonica and Brad Horner is on Drums and backing vocals - is augmented by Tom Page (guitar on "Can't Leave Well Enough Alone"; Michael Moreland on keys; Trevor Stewart-Chapman plays Stick on "Before The Flood" and Dave Spindle contributes on bass.

The album opens one of three songs not written by Moreland/Arbuckle, the Little Walter blues classic "Hate To See You Go" and you are immediately struck by the sound of Arbuckle's harp layer over the bottom layers of Horner and Moreland. I was struck by the similarities to the East Texas sounds of ZZ Top - a compliment from this lover of that genre of blues.

Then a traditional blues song "The Legend Of John Henry" follows. A live performance, (no credit given as to where it was recorded) this shows the band as they are on stage. Just Harmonica, drums and guitar. Moreland's Cigarbox guitar is unique in that it has one string which feeds to the bass amp and three strings that feed to the guitar amp. The sound is gutsy and raw and transports you back to the delta.

Arbuckle's vocals are compelling on this song. He makes you feel the legend down to your soul and his harmonica riff in the middle of the song home is something special.

"Before The Flood" follows and is a departure from what came before. a combination of feedback from Morelands guitar as he picks and underneath various notes from the harmonica of Arbuckle it would be as if they added harp to one of the Dead's jams.

It smoothly segues into "18 Counties" a lamenting tune of the destruction of property and lives after the flood. "I am too damn old, too damn old, to start over now". The song is fueled by the rhythm of Horner and Moreland, that driving beat of roots blues and is tied up perfectly with the haunting harmonica riffs played by Arbuckle.

"Your Man Won't Ever Know" showcases the bands delta blues side. Stripped down to just Moreland's simple guitar run and Arbuckle's vocals and harp work. When I got to this song I really began to wonder why these guys are not huge.

"Don't Wake Me" brings us to the sound of Chicago blues, beginning with a barrel house run on the keys by Michael Moreland. Each player takes their turn to show their wares here...

"Bound and Determined" adds Tom Page to the writing credits and has what I call that railroad blues rhythm pushing it forward.

"Can't get Clear" appears twice on the album, first as an electric blues version and then a banjo version & Personally, I preferred the banjo version as I think it holds the song together better.

"Can't Leave Well Enough Alone" is an acoustic Piedmont-type blues song that is well formed and brought me to a different place than the rest of the album.

"In The Morning I'll Be Gone" brings us back to roots blues with an influx of electric blues.

"What You Gonna Do" is the one weak point on the whole album. It sounds like thousands of songs out there.

"Red Moon Rising" a delta blues based song is also acoustic in nature, but does not have the strength of "Can't Leave Well Enough Alone"

Here is what I know. Throughout the weekend as I was doing mundane chores outside the house, I found snippets of these songs rolling around in my head. Now this happens with songs I have known for years, but rarely, if ever, does it occur with an album I have only listened to a few times.

FLOOD is a winner in my book, Moreland and Arbuckle are on the cusp of being household names in homes where the blues is admired and appreciated.

This is a band to watch and a band to listen to. This is a MUST BUY.

5 Out Of 5 Turntables

Tuneage Tutelage - Miles, As Fast As You Can

Tutelage Led By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, May 24, 2010 0 replies

The band is called Miles and is composed of Marc Plotkin on vocals, guitar, saxophone, percussion, organ, and Benjamin Jacobs on bass, vocals, guitars, percussion, piano, organ, synthesizer, and drum programming. Then they surround themselves with talented musicians like Kenneth Flax, Ryan Andrews and Nick Svoboda on drums, Brandon Sherman on guitar, and Adam Ahyia on piano and what you come up with is a truly enjoyable set of music from this band from Brooklyn, NY.

The Young Rascals - The Rascals

Tutelage Led By Vinny "Bond" Marini Friday, May 14, 2010 2 replies

Today, I get to take over here and share with y'all a bio of a band that was huge for me as a teen.

This Tutelage will be archived on my blog TUNEAGE TUTELAGE .

It was the early 1960’s and a young Felix Cavaliere (keyboards and vocals) was a student at Syracuse University and playing in a band called Felix & The Escorts. One day a call came asking if he would join the band Joey Dee and The Starliters (they of “Peppermint Twist” fame) for a European Tour.

This proved to be momentous, as Felix met two other members of the band, Eddie Brigati (vocals) and Gene Cornish (guitar) on this tour. As they made their way through Europe it soon became apparent to all three that this is not what they wanted for their musical lives – being back-up to a front man.

After a few months the three left the Starliters and recruited drummer Dino Danelli to join them in Felix’s basement.

Quickly the four realized they had hit gold…As told by Gene Cornish, "All of a sudden we hit magic in Felix's Lodi, NJ basement. We'd all been in bands before and we just looked at each other and went, 'woah!' It was just amazing; I can't explain it. That day literally changed my whole life. I think we blasted through 30 or 40 songs at that rehearsal. We knew we belonged together."

The band found a believer in one Sid Bernstein, who signed on as their manager. This was another huge move for the band as Bernstein was the promoter who would bring The Beatles to Shea Stadium in 1965.

Ahmet Ertegun saw the band playing in a club in Westhampton, NY on Long Island and offered them a contract that night, but before they could move on, one problem had to be addressed. Borrah Minnevitch's and Johnny Puleo's Harmonica Rascals, objected to their release of records under the name Rascals. So, Sid suggested the name the Young Rascals and history was made.

In the member’s own words, the band was about “Marvin Gaye's voice, Ray Charles' piano, Jimmy Smith's organ, Phil Spector's production and The Beatles' writing -- put them all together and you've got what I wanted to do." Says Felix.

On February 27, 1965, The Young Rascals appeared on the TV program “Hullabaloo” where they performed their debut single, "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore".

The song went to #52 on the US Charts and reached #23 in Canada. An even bigger break came when Bernstein put The Young Rascals in the lineup of August 23, 1995 concert when The Beatles took over Shea Stadium.

On March 28, 1966 the debut album THE YOUNG RASCALS was released. It was a collection of covers with only one original song “Do You Feel It” included.

The band was on the rise now and followed up their debut single with “Good Lovin’” from the first album, which rocketed to the #1 in both the US and Canada and earned the boys their first gold record.

The song writing team of Cavaliere and Brigati (Cavaliere wrote alone much of the time in actuality), began cranking out hits. Six of the 11 songs on their second album were penned by band members.

“You Better Run” (covered by Pat Benetar some 14 years later) reached #20, “Come On Up” topped off at #43 and “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long” went to #16.

These songs were included on the second album COLLECTIONS released on January 9, 1967 and the third album GROOVIN’ released on July 31, 1967.

In those days, singles were released prior to the album to build up popularity for the album. The song “Groovin’” was released on April 10, 1967 and jumped to the #1 spot on the charts and spent four weeks on top. Showing it (and the group's) crossover appeal, it also reached number 3 on the Billboard Black Songs Chart.

It was around this time that the band decided to drop the word “Young” from their name and became simply “The Rascals”.

In 1968, The Rascals had their biggest hit and their last #1 song with the political “People Get Ready”. Written in reaction to the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy assassinations, there was some initial resistance to the song, but the fact that it was a damn good song it took hold.

"That the song was #1 in places like Berlin and South Africa meant a lot to me," said Felix.

In the next year the band took a different musical direction that resulted in less than enthusiastic support from the record label. PEACEFUL WORLD and THE ISLAND OF REAL were both more jazz-tinged and the commercial success balloon was punctured.

Cavaliere believed that THE ISLAND OF REAL was the best record he ever made, but the public did not agree.

With little support from Atlantic Records, the band moved to the Columbia label in 1971 but that did not cure the ills. Then personal frictions began to build and Brigati and Cornish left the band being replaced by Buzzy Feiten (from the Paul Butterfiled Blues Band) and Ann Sutton who had been singing with various soul and jazz groups in the Philadelphia area.

It did not help matters and the following year The Rascals were no more.

In 1974, Cavaliere began his solo career with the release of the album "Felix Cavaliere". Eddie Brigati recorded a solo album with his brother David in 1976. Cornish and Danelli started a new band called Bullfrog and later teamed up with former Raspberries guitarist, Wally Bryson in Fotomaker. In April, 1980, Felix Cavaliere released a solo single called "Only A Lonely Heart Sees", which climbed to # 36 on the Billboard chart. In 1982, Danelli joined Steve Van Zandt's Little Steven.

Danelli, Cornish and Cavaliere reunited in 1988 for a US tour, but split soon after and were involved in a nasty law suit over the use of the band's name. Cavaliere continued as a solo artist and a producer, releasing a new album in 1994 as well as playing keyboards for Ringo Starr's All-Star Band.

In 1997, The Young Rascals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, but even here, the tensions that tore the band apart, rose again. All four former members of the band appeared for the ceremony, but Eddie Brigatti refused to join the others, accepting his award from The E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt on the opposite side of the stage.

It wasn't until April 24th, 2010, that all four original Rascals gathered again at the Kristen Ann Carr Fund gala in New York after being invited by Steven Van Zandt. Van Zandt and his wife Maureen were honored by the charity for all of the work they've done for the fund, which was founded in 1993 by Bruce Springsteen's co-manager Barbara Carr and her husband Dave Marsh to honor their daughter, who died from sarcoma. Hopes for a more permanent reunion were dashed by Gene Cornish, who said: "I speak on behalf of the band when I say all the money offers in the world could not entice the Rascals to reunite."

A short run for a band with so much talent. Their songs still stand up today and have a special place in my memories…The Young Rascals.

I selected a mix of familiar and maybe not so familiar for TRAVIS' "Five On Friday", where you post five songs - your choice of subject matter, the set can be as random as - I love these five songs - I thought it would work well with this post, especially my doing the five songs inspired me to share their tale. Just hit the play button and all five will stream.

"It's A Beautiful Morning"
"If You Knew"
"People Got To Be Free"
"Island Of Love"

10/03/08 - Allman Brothers Band - Wrap Up

Tutelage Led By Vinny "Bond" Marini Friday, October 3, 2008 0 replies


To read Part 1 go HERE
To read Part 2 go HERE
To read Part 3 go HERE

We end this week of Allman Brothers with some basic facts, more pictures (remember, all photos enlarge by clicking on them), and music for you to enjoy...

10/02/08 - Allman Brothers Band - Part 3

Tutelage Led By Vinny "Bond" Marini Thursday, October 2, 2008 0 replies


You can read Pt.1 HERE
You can read Pt.2 HERE

2008 - (L-R)Jaimoe, Marc, Butch, Greg, Derek, Oteil, Warren

The Allman Brothers had to pick themselves up after the double tragedy. It was the end of 1972 and they were in the middle of recording their next studio album Brothers & Sisters. Lamar Williams was asked to join the group to take over for Berry.