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Blues - To be released June 4, 2021 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released April 30, 2021 | Provogue Records

How Blue Can You Get collects a selection of unreleased material from the late Gary Moore's archives. Included are takes of Freddie King's "I'm Tore Down," Elmore James' "Done Somebody Wrong," and Memphis Slim's "Steppin' Out," alongside some of Moore's own material. © Rich Wilson /TiVo
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Soul - Released April 23, 2021 | Provogue Records

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One of the most gifted of all '60s sidemen, Steve Cropper (Stax house band Booker T. & the M.G.'s guitarist and Otis Redding's co-writer on "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay"), has a rocky history when it comes to solo records. Several attempts in the '80s on which he tried his hand at vocals were eminently forgettable though he scored a notable success with 2011's Dedicated, the all-star tribute to The 5 Royales that featured a raft of vocal stylists from Sharon Jones to Steve Winwood. Perhaps trying to dispel some of the ghosts from those previous misfires, the guitarist, now nearing 80, is calling Fire it Up "the first Steve Cropper album since 1969." Along with longtime friend and multi-instrumentalist Jon Tiven and bombastic vocalist Roger C. Reale, once of long lost '70s punk pop band Rue Morgue, Cropper has fashioned ten tracks from what he calls "old grooves" he's had in his head for years, many of which faintly recall his Stax glory days. A long list of guest drummers headed by Anton Fig and Simon Kirke add their stick skills but what's curiously lacking here are more trademark solos from Cropper himself. While everything he plays is worth hearing, he's never featured on any tracks outside the opening and closing instrumentals "Bush Hog, Pt. 1" and "Pt. 2" which for some reason are then combined into a final track titled just "Bush Hog." If there's a Stax-flavored gem here it's "One Good Turn," a midtempo number with Cropper's friend Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals on organ and Cropper's most realized solo in his signature single note style. Unlike the vocal wonders to be found on Dedicated, Fire It Up will ultimately be judged on Reale's shouted vocals which have more volume than warmth or nuance. Also, in an odd twist, the horns heard on many tracks—always a Stax trademark—are not credited and seem to all be keyboard effects rather than actual players. A mixed bag from an old pro. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Blues - Released March 19, 2021 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released January 22, 2021 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released November 27, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released August 28, 2020 | Provogue Records

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The life of a traveling blues musician isn't easy. The vocation is rife with loneliness, bad food, cheap hotels, and lack of sleep. Walter Trout is a survivor of that life (just barely). During the late 1960s and '70s, he worked the road with Big Mama Thorton, Joe Tex, and John Lee Hooker. In the 1980s, it was Canned Heat and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. He's led his own bands since 1990 and experienced cycles of triumph, tragedy, alcohol and narcotic addiction, and recovery from a near-fatal liver transplant that required two surgeries. Trout's dues are paid and then some. Ordinary Madness was produced by longtime collaborator Eric Corne and cut in analog at guitarist Robby Krieger's studio. Its many surprises reveal it to be unlike any other record in his large catalog. Its 11 songs detail with brutal honesty incidents of childhood and adult trauma, struggles with mental, emotional, and physical health issues, personal shortcomings, and more, all without grousing. The title track is introduced with ambient electronics before emerging a slow, intense guitar blues, appended by organ, electric piano, and rhythm section. Trout's harrowing lyrics portray a mind observing itself in an act of self-destruction, frustrated by its lack of control: "It feels like a stalker, that's always around/It's an interior talker, that's trying to take you down." His slow, screaming solo ratchets the intensity. "Wanna Dance" is a scorching hard rocker examining life on the edge, soothed by music and the motion it dictates. "Heartland" is a love song that weds electric and acoustic guitars to an intricate roots rock melody. The uncharacteristically tender "My Foolish Pride" unflinchingly reflects on Trout's failures with hard-earned wisdom and equanimity -- as well as the influence the '70s singer/songwriter era: "Ain't it hard/when you've got no one but yourself to blame." "The Sun Is Going Down" is singular in Trout's recording career. It's a slow, droning, desert-tinged blues, drenched in Hendrix-ian psychedelia. Trout borrows from the Delta blues in the opening line, "Stones in my passway...," before addressing the inevitable encounter with mortality in his own words, "And time has no mercy, it just don't seem to care," then cuts loose with the first of two blistering solos in overdrive. In "Make It Right," he employs funky Chicago blues and soulful vocals in trying to make amends with his beloved before the clock runs out. There is real anger and frustration in his solo, while the band pushes hard for more. Set closer "OK Boomer" is a perfect manifesto for Trout as a guitar slinger nearing 70. He turns the generational insult on its head with raucous, loud, dirty hard rock blues that's indebted to records by early Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. On Ordinary Madness, Trout takes unprecedented chances with his legacy. His musical and lyrical depth reveal an overflowing abundance of restless creativity. This album is perfect for American audiences to finally embrace Trout as a blues icon; Europeans did that decades ago. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 3, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released February 28, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released February 21, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Louisiana guitar slinger Sonny Landreth returns to the studio with his quartet two years after 2017's Grammy-nominated Recorded Live in Lafayette. Blacktop Run is more than just a new studio outing, however. Landreth reunites with producer R.S. Field for the first time since 2005's Grant Street. Field produced Landreth's three breakout sets for Zoo as well as several later albums. He is a studio empath and extends artists full faith and credit. Landreth possesses a distinct sound to be sure, direct, resonant, and simple, but he's restless when it comes to experimenting with styles. He juxtaposes, combines, and balances them with alarming regularity and reckless abandon. But he always anchors them into easily relatable grooves. He and the band recorded live to tape at Dockside Studios. Landreth's band includes keyboardist Steve Conn, drummer Brian Brignac, and bassist David Ranson. The guitarist wrote eight of these ten tunes; Conn penned the other two, which include the stellar instrumental "Beyond Borders," a jam that melds hard Southern swamp rock, electric slide blues, and Latin cumbia. The opening title track begins with fingerpicked National Steel guitar, a droning bassline, washboard, and bumping tom-toms. Landreth's singing voice at almost 70 years of age is better than ever: he glides through the lyrics, allowing his guitar to help carry them with his deft plectrum and slide-guitar picking, often in the same line. The tune is a rambling blues, infused with the energy of a pickup rolling down the open highway. "Lover Dance with Me" is a dirty Cajun blues instrumental with funky overtones. Landreth's scorching leads crisscross jazz, R&B, and garage rock on his way to blues while Ranson's bass growls with distorted passion in the backdrop propelling him forward. "Mule" is a Cajun stomper complete with button accordion; zydeco and Delta blues melt together on a honky tonk dancefloor. "Groovy Goddess" is a spiky instrumental showcasing Landreth's electric slide-playing swing. It has a hooky chorus line inserted to break up the pyrotechnics, but only holds them in check momentarily "Somebody Gotta Make a Move" is a cautionary tale with a reggae-cum-R&B backbeat injected into swamp blues. "Don’t Ask Me" brings the acoustic National Steel back to the fore in front of a shuffling drumkit and singing accordion. While "Many Worlds" commences as a slow-ish Americana tune, Landreth's nasty electric slide delves deep into shades of Southern blue. "Something Grand" is a country song written by Landreth. Accompanied by martial snares and a shimmering, soulful Hammond B-3, Landreth's fingerpicked acoustic frames a vulnerable lyric that amounts to narrative poetry. It argues the place for love: one that heals tragedy, ruin, and broken promises. It sends Blacktop Run out on notes of tenderness and mercy born of grit. Landreth and Field bring out the best in one another. They are symbiotic in their restless energies and experimental visions, and have consistently delivered excellence together; Blacktop Run is no exception. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Blues - Released February 14, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released February 13, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released February 7, 2020 | Provogue Records

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House - Released February 6, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released January 31, 2020 | Provogue Records

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In 2009, just over a year before his untimely death, the late, great Irish bluesman played an intimate set at London's Islington Academy which has since gone down in legend among his fans. Recorded for posterity, it appeared in January 2020. Featuring Moore at the top of his game, it includes some of his best-loved tunes including "Since I Met You Baby," "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," "Walking by Myself," and the classic "Parisienne Walkways." © John D. Buchanan /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 31, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released January 24, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released January 10, 2020 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released December 13, 2019 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released December 6, 2019 | Provogue Records

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