Just yesterday KuvVer Records dropped a nifty little EP on us, one with the living blues icon Boo Davis performing some trusty blues covers. Chicago Blues Covers puts in a single release a collection of tunes all recorded one afternoon in 2018, and released as singles over the next year. This plainly titled EP delivers songs that in most bluesman’s hands might be a little tired and pedestrian, but this is Boo Boo Davis we’re talking about here, a character as colorful as Howlin’ Wolf which all comes out in his authentic delivery. Hell, almost as if to underscore his kinship with that original blues giant, most of these seven songs like “Little Red Rooster” were made famous by the former Chester Arthur Burnett. Davis is backed by the ElectroBluesSociety (or should I say, the ElectroBluesSociety is backed by Davis?), a tidy little unit made up of Jan Mittendorp on guitar and Jasper Mortier and drums and bass. With Boo Boo handling the singing and the blues harp, this music needs nothing else. You can hear Davis’ echoed and looped in the background but otherwise, this is pretty much like it would be heard in a nightclub. And maybe you heard these songs many times before, but not in the way Davis & Company plays/slays ‘em. “Evil” is set apart by stomp on the two and four and Davis’ singing the song like a man possessed. On “Smokestack Lightnin’,” Boo Boo howls and moans with the fervor of a man fifty years younger. Davis takes his time getting started on “Back Door Man” to allow Mittendorp to noodle around with some biting lines, as the track is drenched in electronically-induced some psychedelic haze. “How Many More Years” sounds deadlier with Davis’ harmonica altered to resemble an organ, and Mittendorp’s slide sets the vintage feeling for Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom.” The band shuffles through “Tell Me” as Davis squeals on that harmonica with mid-century authenticity. Then again, everything Boo Boo Davis plays is authentic. And with the sympathetic backing of ElectroBluesSociety, Chicago Blues Covers is faithful in fanning the blues flame in the way that only Davis can do it.
There you go walking along the street trying to get your groove on when you realise that what missing in your step is an appropriate soundtrack. The question, however, is the choice of said soundtrack. Do you for the corporate sponsored playlist suggestion or do you roll the dice and choose something that might just be more than bit classier? Something like “The Duo Sessions” by David Philips and Abel Boquera?
Well, they say that music can put the spring back in your step and these three songs do that just. Two originals and a cover of a Michael Jackson hit might not sound like much to interest your ears but David Philips and Abel Boquera have something special cooking in their crock pot. That something is a surfeit of easy going charm which duly makes these simply arranged songs into a recipe for a smile.
With David Philips & Abel Boquera in your ears, the street is the place to be.
Boo Boo Davis is coming over to tour Europe at least twice a year and because of that he is able to survive in the USA. His Spring tour had to be cancelled because of the Corona virus and that means that he is almost without any serious incomes between now and the next tour (hopefully by the end of 2020). He has a lot fans all over the world and it would be great of all of those would reach out and help a little now that he needs it the most.
Hey everyone. Hope you are all safe and well in these trying times.
BAD NEWS and GOOD NEWS :
My tour of The Netherlands in May has been cancelled as we imagined might happen. I have also had all my local gigs cancelled for the foreseeable future. So apart from a bit of singing teaching online (more about that in another post) I am, like many other musicians, without income. The good news is, this means I have to be very creative in coming up with ways to pay my rent. I have a few ideas that I will post about, but first thing was to get a project done that I’ve been meaning to do for ages.
I have lots of old DEMOS and UNUSED song ideas scattered about on hard drives dating back to when I first started singing, writing and recording my own songs in 2007. So I have finally compiled the stuff I think would be interesting and I have made A NEW RECORD called “Demos and Ideas 2015 – 2007”
Taking advantage of Bandcamp’s new policy to send 100% of money made from downloads to the artists, I have created a Bandcamp page and you can download the record exclusively from there. It won’t be on Spotify or iTunes etc. The record starts at 2015 and goes in chronological order back in time to 2007. Demos and song ideas range from fully produced studio recordings, home recordings, 4-Track cassette demos, mobile phone demos and even a couple recorded on a Sony dictaphone I used to have.
It includes the original 4 Track Cassette demo for “When I’m Drunk”, the original dictaphone demo of “Angel” and a load of other demos and unused song ideas. 15 tracks in all. So if you feel like supporting, here’s the link to the record and I very much appreciate it! I hope to get back to playing live soon.
Many thanks and stay safe!
P.s. if you click on “info” at the side of each track there is a line or two about the song and which album it ended up on if any.
Bluesman Boo Boo Davis is pretty much the closest we now have to one of the originals. Born in Mississippi, he has actual experience of working the clubs of the Delta. His father, also a blues musician, played with the esteemed likes of John Lee Hooker and Elmore James and Boo Boo remembers such luminaries being around the house when he was young. The blues is in his DNA and this, his fifth album for Black and Tan Records, sees him on fine form, playing, as he has since 2008, in a stripped back trio format. It’s joyously blues…pure blues. Which is rare these days – no embellishments, no nods to anything remotely modern and, thankfully, no blues rock (which, if we’re brutally honest, is usually just rock with a token acoustic slide intro). Davis, although also a guitarist, is primarily a harp player and his distorted wailing heralds the arrival of lead track, ‘Dirt Road’. It’s minimal, gritty and totally authentic – there are shades of Muddy and RL Burnside to Davis’ vocals and the guitar has a nice, Stonesy feel, the band hitting a flawless, long practised groove. Groove. Groove is vital to this album. Songs are mostly frameworks, licks, jams, erm…grooves around which Davis adds buried-in-the-mix vocals and harp flourishes – usually ending with a lazy jam which, if freed from the confines of the studio, you expect would go on for several hours. Most of these riffs are as old as the blues itself but when they’re essayed this well – hey, who cares. There are 12 bar blues, slow blues, fast blues and subtle variations thereof. ‘Oh Baby’ (see above) has lonesome harp atop swampy guitar and muffled, metallic slide while ‘She Won’t Call Me On The Telephone’ hits the ground at runaway train momentum. Thunderous and abandoned, it’s 100% blues but as riotous as Jon Spencer or any avant garde NY noise terrorist, as relentless as prime Motorhead. ‘Bring My Baby Back Home’ is pure RnB, Brian Jones would have been in its thrall. There is also a definite Creedence delta swampiness to several tracks while John Lee Hooker returns in spirit with the dialogue led narrative of ‘Chocolate’. Final track ‘I’m Getting Old’ is taken at an ironically sprightly pace – a fearlessly bluesy take on mortality with added wah-wah, there’s no kicking of buckets yet for these dudes.This is a fine, rough edged, real blues album. It’s produced beautifully, recorded well with a genuine live-in-the-studio feel (with occasional chatter when songs end) and no new fangled trickery or knob twiddling (fnarr). It’s the blues folks, played from the heart with dirt under the fingernails. What you hear is what you get and long may we get blues of this quality and class. *drops the bullet mic
Released today on KuvVer Records:
It is the fifth track from a recording session that ElectroBluesSociety did with Mississippi blues man Boo Boo Davis in October 2018. Together they went back to the classic Chicago blues and here is another Howlin Wolf classic with a little ‘electrofication’
The track is released digital only and available on all stream and download platforms
This is what INDIE VOICE BLOG wrote about
David Philips is no stranger to indie music, or to this blog, as we reviewed his previous release back in May. On this brilliant EP, Philips strips down a pair of classic songs, “Dock of the Bay” and “Hit the Road Jack,” and totally re-imagines a pair of 80’s pop hits, “Freedom” and “Heart of Glass” to create a beautiful and peaceful soundtrack. This one is a treat from start to finish. We only wish there were more than four songs.
Recommendation: Definitely worth adding to your collection.
David Philips – Winter (Black & Tan B&T 962)
UK born but long based in Spain, David Philips has been working over the last few years as a folk inflected artist for Holland’s Black & Tan Records, one man and a guitar, and so this release for the blues label – David’s sixth, not including a couple of remix tracks – might come as a surprise. It is still a solo effort, but the guitar is electric, blues harmonica crops up occasionally and there is a rhythm section behind David’s excellent vocals. All the songs are David’s of course, he plays all the instruments, and he even provided the cover art. The sound ranges from indie-rock to blues, with comparisons being drawn with Ryan Adams and Doyle Bramhall II; I also hear a little Tom Petty in there too, ‘Running’ opens with a riff a little like Jimi Hendrix’s cover of ‘All Along The Watchtower’ before turning in the direction of Neil Young maybe, and ‘That’s Alright’ recalls early 70s Pink Floyd with a long, space-y passage. Mind you, ‘The One’ is a strong slab of blues-rock. This release contains eight rootsy, hook-laden songs, and if this review has intrigued you, then do check out this release..
Congratulations to Doug MacLeod !!!
Doug MacLeod won a 2017 Blues Music Award in the category Best Acoustic Artist. Doug released some of his best acoustic blues work on the five releases on Black and Tan Records; A Little Sin (2002), Dubb (2004), Where I Been (2006), The Utrecht Sessions (2008)and Live In Europe (2016)
The hard copies of all these releases are sold out but of course all the music is avaialble on all download and streaming platforms.
The new CD release of David Philips
CD B&T 043- David Philips – The Rooftop Recordings 2
will be limited to 1000 numbered copies. You can order your copy now and we will ship them in the first half of October.
In late May 2016 David Philips returned to his Barcelona rooftop apartment to record the Rooftop Recordings 2. David strips it right back to the bare essentials : guitar and voice captured with just 2 microphones and all doors and windows wide open. The result is a record that concentrates on the important aspects of Philips’ music, those being the songs and stories, soul tinged vocals and highly accomplished guitar playing. Philips is also a talented painter/draughtsman and the CD artwork is made up of a selection of his own watercolour paintings of birds that visit the Barcelona rooftops regularly. This special artwork version is limited to 1000 copies.