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Twangville review for Doug MacLeod – Live In Europe

You may not have heard of Doug MacLeod yet, but he’s been kicking around the California blues scene for decades. And if you’re looking for excellent country blues, you can’t go wrong picking up one of “Dubb” MacLeod’s many releases. Born in New York City, raised in North Carolina and St. Louis, and spending a number of years in Norfolk, Virginia while in the Navy before settling in Los Angeles, MacLeod had an opportunity to hear and play with many excellent blues musicians.  After working as a sideman for a number of years, MacLeod released first album, No Road Back Home, in 1984.  Among his solid offerings over the years were 1997’s Unmarked Road and Whose Truth, Whose Lies?, released in 2000. Now 70, MacLeod continues to tour and create music.  But Live in Europe was recorded during a 2006 tour.  On it, MacLeod’s skill with the guitar, crusty singing and overall reverence for the music form he has embraced is on display.  Check out “I Want You,” below.  Other highlights include MacLeod’s arrangement of a Bukka White classic, which MacLeod renamed “The New Panama Ltd.,” “Cold Rain,” and “Masters Plan,” which MacLeod co-write with Danny Jesser.  Except for “The New Panama Ltd.” and “Masters Plan,” all the songs are MacLeod originals.

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review for Doug MacLeod – Live In Europe

Here we have a new album recorded live some years ago, back in 2006 to be precise. Now, a full decade down the road, it sees the light of day, begging the question why has it taken so long? For this is a release that captures the very essence of MacLeod live: his near-droll, languid laid-back vocal delivery perfectly matched by his soulful, deceptively understated fine resonator slide fretwork and tasteful picking. As ever with this guy, the lyrics reflect his own experiences, mini-memoirs for the most part, and echo his usual themes of life on the road, love and hardship and simpering pleasures greatly appreciated, with eight of the nine tracks self-written. The sole exception is his extended – a full fourteen minute take – cover of Bukka White’s old standard “Panama Limited”, which despite its length and being a train-song – never wanes or bores. Instead it serves as a clear, shining example of MacLeod doing what he does best and clearly hauling the audience along with him down the tracks. Dubb, as he’s affectionately known, is a repeated Memphis Blues Challenge award winner, again picking up another gong earlier this year for his work. With this album, where he grumbles about feeling under the weather during the session, he illustrates just why he has a growing reputation and following in the world of acoustic blues music. A positively excellent album, a must for all lovers of the genre. Don’t let this one slip away.

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review Rivherside from the UK

review new Rivherside by Norman Darwen for BluesInTheSouth:

French blues artist Renaud Villet a.k.a. Rivherside released his well-received first album in 2012, and a couple of years later this one man band from Clermont-Ferrand decided to mix hip hop and electro sounds with his blues. Stop! Don’t go away just yet… take a listen to ‘Albert Dre Jr.’ which offers Albert King licks over a harsh urban beat, or ‘Come Over Here’, with its trance like backing combining with an R. L. Burnside styled approach; so too does ‘Muddy Water’, which also has a rap from TDP. ‘I’m Going Away’ is a John Lee Hooker-ish performance, with the low in the mix vocals adding to the boogie approach, whilst ‘Need To Speed’ is a slab of manic rock and roll and ‘Paranoid’ is a tough blues-rocker. The pace slows again for the folky ‘See How They Shine’, then ‘Skinny Woman’ is a gritty-toned Fred McDowell flavoured piece (plus effects) and ‘Treat Me Right’ hits another powerful blues groove. The set closes out with Dave Crowe and LigOne guesting on ‘Who You’re Talking To’, with the electronic effects pretty noticeable here. OK, I realise that this release is not going to be to everyone’s taste but if you like your blues modern, unafraid to take risks and with a bit of an edge, do investigate this.

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review Rivherside – Electraw Blues Album from Belgium !

review for Rivherside on Rootsville (Belgium):

Voor deze Rivherside moeten we afzakken richting Frankrijk en meer bepaald naar Clermont-Ferrand. Het is daar dat Rivherside zijn solo carrière in 2012 leven in blies. Zijn debuutalbum ‘Something On My Mind’ leverde hem als one-man-band meer dan 80 optredens op. In 2014 wilde deze Rivherside zijn horizont verruimen en begon blues te combineren met Electro en Hip-Hop waardoor hij zijn 4-track tellende EP uitbracht met dezelfde titel als nu het full-album. Een jaartje later begon hij samen te werken met rapper TDB en samen brachten ze ook een EP op de markt. Nu in 2016 wil hij met de blues nog verder gaan en als gevolg daarvan verscheen nu dit 12 nummers tellende ‘Electraw Blues’. Voor dit album schreef hij 10 van de 12 nummers en ook rapper TDB is weerom van de partij op diens ‘Muddy Water’. ‘Skinny Woman’ is de enige cover op dit album van de hand van R.L. Burnside. High energy vanaf de eerste song met ‘Need To Speed’ en daarmee wordt de trend van dit album gezet. ‘Who You’re Talking To’ is dan een schoolvoorbeeld waar Reanaud Villet heen wil met zijn visie op de mix van blues met electro. Een nummers waar Dave Crow te horen is op de beatbox en LigOne het ‘scratching’ gedeelte voor zijn rekening neemt. Met ‘Something’ neemt hij een beetje gas terug waardoor deze electraw blues meteen wat verademing geeft. Hopelijk zijn we Renaud Villet aka Rivherside ook eens live aan het werk want ondanks alle electronische toestanden zijn sommige nummers best wel te smaken.

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French review for new release Rivherside

nice review for new release Rivherside in Blues Again (France):

L’Auvergnat Rivherside, que l’état civil donne pour « Renaud Villet », sort un deuxième album, d’abord en digital. Black and Tan doit le glisser dans son catalogue à l’automne prochain. Longue de douze plages, l’œuvre se déplie en trois mouvements : une sorte de hill country rockabilly trépidante, écho sur le chant et, parfois, ponctuations de beatbox qui fomentent, de façon très convaincante, la rencontre des pôles ; une sorte d’americana boogie acoustique, brisée, dans le titre ‘MuddyWaters’, par un break de hip-hop au débit ravageur ; et quelques titres incantatoires, presque planants, dont un morceau de bravoure de plus de sept minutes intitulé : ‘Come Over Here’. Dans tous les cas, Rivherside montre un goût pour le tintamarre organisé, que la guitare soit sèche ou électrifiée, et une finesse de dandy dans l’exécution et le développement des chansons. Plus deux parenthèses instrumentales : ‘Albert Dre Junior’, beaux dégagements de soliste sur un beat funky-blues, et ‘Fading Memory’ qui termine l’album sur une rêverie mélancolique diaphane. Onze compos et une reprise de RL Burnside, ‘Skinny Woman’. Qui tient encore Burnside par les cheveux, au-dessus des limbes, sinon cette génération de blues-rockers qui, à défaut d’avoir l’histoire avec eux, ont tout le temps d’expérimenter, maintenant que le marché est tombé en lambeaux ? La frugalité et la modestie font partie de l’entraînement. Dave Crowe beatboxe, LigOne scratche, TBD rappe, Rémi Faraut et Rachel Villet battent, ça dépend des morceaux. Rivherside fait tout le reste : chant, guitares, basse, batterie et programmation. Tous les titres de cet album sont hautement recommandables, la partie rockabilly est fantastique.
Christian Casoni