I first heard Mike Mattison’s voice, like so man my of us did, listening to Derek Trucks Band records, but truly, the break through was a song called Sweet Inspiration. But Mike is more than just a singer as his now with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, he is a musician, a songwriter, an incredibly talented artist. He’s made records with a project called Scrapomatic, which is, as you’d expect rooted in blues, but After Glow a solo record, shows his breadth as a songwriter, and the palette of sounds at his disposal. After Glow, his second solo record offers more than what you’d probably expect. It’s filled with Americana, Country and more, giving us some insight into the singer songwriter and artist Mike actually is.
G.Love's latest record, The Juice is out January 17th. This album marks a reunion of sorts for G. Love having reconnected with debut label mate and blues guitarist Keb Mo, who produced The Juice. The album is also filled with guests including Marcus King, Robert Randolph and Roosevelt Collier. So of course, with so many friends of the show contributing to G's record, we had to reach out. Truth be told, we're also big fans of his work, dating back to that debut record. We even chatted with him recently when he was in town as part of the tour that matched him with Blues Traveler and moe. So this time around our conversation started when I suggested that there are so many moving parts to this coming of age record, and that tackling the socio-political nature of The Juice must have been an important one. For more on G.Love and a reminder of all the tour dates and details on how you can pre-order the Juice, visit philadelphonic.com
The latest release from Robert Randolph and the Family Band, "Brighter Days" is a wonderfully full record. Not just with songs, but with inspiration, faith, and terrific musicianship. Robert Randolph never fails to deliver incredible performances on pedal steel, and the rest of the fam is equal to the task. We caught up with Robert, who we've chatted with before, in another life, and it was just like old times. He is an incredible musician, but an even better person. The man can play, and will go down as probably one of the top sacred steel players of all time. You'll definitely want to check him out live when you have a chance. For tour dates, and lots of great videos visit robertrandolph.net.
The New Mastersounds are a Funk/Soul/Blues/Rock outfit that blend all of those sounds and more into a really brilliant mix that you have to hear. The band has always added extra pieces here and there from horns to extra percussion, and this album seems them add vocalist Lamar Williams Jr.20 years in, this four piece continues to evolve and led by Eddie Roberts there is no end in sight. We caught up with Eddie to talk about New Mastersounds, Shake It and his label Color Red, based in Denver, Colorado. To learn more about New Mastersounds visit newmastersounds.com, and do yourself a favor and check out Color Red Records at color-red.co
The Jam Band community owes a debt of gratitude to Blues Traveler, who in many ways pioneered the neo Jam Band scene back in the late 80s and early 90s. In fact, they supported the post Garcia Jam Band scene by putting on the HORDE festival, which is the pre-cursor to Lockn' or even Bonnarroo for that matter. I've always been a fan of the band and fondly remember listening to them lots and going to see them. But it's been a while since I had, but they came through Toronto recently, after a long hiatus and wanted to catch up. Chan Kinchla, the founding guitarist made some time, which was a thrill for sure. Our conversation started when I reminded Chan of his Canadian heritage, since he was born in Hamilton, a stone's throw from Toronto. To learn more about Blues Traveler's tour schedule and other happenings visit bluestraveler.com
If you’ve been listening to this podcast for at least a year, you’ll know that we’re big fans of both Devon Allman and Duane Betts, and both have been on the show separately and together since we began. Last summer Duane joined Devon on the road, supporting the Devon Allman project. Things went well, and they collaborated on writing some tunes, recorded them, and got a band together in time for a tour, and today on June 28th, the Allman Betts Band has released their debut album, Down to the River. For more on the Allman Betts Band, visit allmanbettsband.com.
Reckless Heart is Joanne Taylor Shaw's 6th in just a few years of recording and was produced in Detroit, Michigan a bit of a haul from Black Country in England where she grew up and indeed fell in love with the very native blues of that area, and of course soul music. So it should come as no surprise that this latest release is packed full of great blues licks, but absolutely soulful vocals which pop out of your headphones or speakers as you listen. We recently caught up with Joanne, as she gets set to do a heavy dose of the festival circuit both here and abroad. Our conversation started when I asked Joanne about her inspiration to pick up and play a guitar, let alone have a career in music.
Next week the band will be releasing their highly anticipated Bring on the Music live at the Capitol Theatre package in various CD and DVD packages. You can check out all the configurations at mule.net. Aside from front man and guitar wizard Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule is made up of 3 other extremely talented musicians including founding member Matt Abts on drums, Jorgensen Carlsson on bass, and keyboard and frankly multi-instrumentalist Danny Louis. Together this quartet makes genre and mind bending music rooted in blues, hard rock and Americana. Our affinity for this band has been well documented, and we’ve been on the Mule train since day one. So with the release of Bring On the Music forthcoming we thought it would be fun to talk to Danny Louis about not just this awesome musical package, but also about life in Gov’t Mule more generally and indeed the intangible ingredients he brings to the table.
We've long admired Keb' Mo'. He is a crafty guitar playing bluesman, who is equally adept at both acoustic and electric blues guitar, but his real appeal is in his songwriting and storytelling. Oklahoma marks his 18th album, and it is likely his best yet, which is saying something given that he has won multiple Grammys and most recently released an album with roots-music icon Taj Mahal. So you can imagine, my absolute thrill to get the opportunity to chat with Keb. Our discussion while mostly focused on Oklahoma due out June 14th, did bounce around from politics, to the environment and much more. A lot, I'd say, like the themes of Oklahoma which are deeply personal but certainly shareable moments. For more on Keb you can visit his website at kebmo.com
Tal Wilkenfeld's sophomore record Love Remains has been out since mid March, and shame on you if you haven't heard it. Even more shameful probably is, is if you've never heard of this absolute prodigious woman who has played bass for the likes of Herbie Hancock and Jeff Beck. Her career has already been a fairy tale for anyone into classic rock, and music more generally. She counts people like Jackson Browne, Benmont Tench, as friends, which in and of itself is so random. She has also sat in with the Allman Brothers (which we'll get to when we chat with with Tal), and Bob Weir and Wolf Brothers and so many others. But what makes her even more outstanding, then just her talent at bass is her ability as a songwriter and singer. We've been trying to get in touch with Tal for quite some time, because we are intrigued by her story and talent. You can learn more about Tal Wilkenfeld talwilkenfeld.com but seriously, take the time to do a search on youtube for some unreal performances.
The record, the Memphis outfit's sophomore release is filled with great R&B, Blues, and Funk sounds, tightly wound in a great little package. There are outstanding vocal performances from lead singer Tierrini Jackson, not to mention awesome outstanding musicianship from the rest of the band including guitar prodigy Ori Naftaly. We've been fans of this band since their debut, because, well to put it succinctly, nobody else sounds like Southern Avenue, and that is a good thing. We caught up with Ori, at his home in Memphis ahead of a grueling tour schedule that sees the band heading over to Europe and then back here for most of the summer. For more on the Southern Avenue's tour schedule and lots of great performance videos, visit southernavanuemusic.com.
It's an interesting concept album for Luther, well regarded as one of the loudest contemporary Mississippi blues and slide guitar players out there. You know him for sure, from his work with brother Cody in North Mississippi All-Stars, but this project, is completely different, softer, gentler, but equally strong in performance, production and complexity. Luther has been a favorite of ours dating back to Shake Hands with Shorty and we've watched his career blossom since. So imagine my absolutely amazement when I received an email directly from him, a few weeks back at brunch with my family. Well, we had to get him on the show to talk about Solstice, and other things he is working on, and indeed an update on what the North Mississippi All-Stars are up to. We can't wait to get back in touch when that North Mississippi All-Star record is ready to talk about. For more on Luther Dickinson and his solo projects visit lutherdickinson.com. To keep updated on the North Mississippi all-stars visit nmallstars.com where you can find a link to Luther's Truefire app.
I first heard about Ida Mae, when I actually heard them open for the Marcus King Band here in Toronto back in November. I was impressed by the duo, who combine an acoustic rock sound with a gentler country blues thing. The couple's chemistry is something to be hold, and before any rumours start, Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean are in fact married. They have received critical acclaim already from Rolling Stone magazine and other media outlets. Their debut record Chasing Lights isn't out until June, but in the interim, they are on the road opening for Blackberry Smoke. You definitely will want to check them out on the road, and check out their album when it comes out. It's best if you follow Ida Mae or social media or check their website at idamaemusic.com for more information.
What’s so remarkable about our scene is how many musicians are part of it, that we don’t unfortunately readily know. Like other genres or other scenes, or indeed in life, there are those that toil in near obscurity, honing their craft, and occasionally making “big league” appearances. Such is the case for Marcus Rezak who has played with a list of jamband scene types that is too long to list here. In fact because Marcus is such a phenomenal player, who’s style is hard to define much like his hero’s Frank Zappa, we thought it might be interesting to catch up with him and learn more about his record Gateway to the Galaxy and all the various projects he is in.To learn more about Marcus Rezak, all his gigs, and news from the various bands he plays in, visit marcusrezak.com.
I’ve had a chance to listen to the forthcoming Signs from the Tedeschi Trucks Band, multiple times, and it’s definitely eclectic and very strong. Their fourth album might be their finest collection of tunes to date. It’s a deeply personal album, and this band, has been through quite a bit the last few years…. The album is dedicated to Col. Bruce Hampton, and when our conversation started with Derek Trucks, I asked if tragedy, loss, and change, ultimately fuels the fire to make inspired music, full of hope, celebration and love. You can pre-order Signs in various configurations with cool swag at tedeschitrucksband.com where you will also find upcoming tour dates.