PRINCE RONNIE LOVE
BACK 2 LOVE
by Rojene Bailey
The first track on the BCD (blues compact disc) opens by telling the story of a man that’s been in love. If you cannot identify with this song relating to at least one past relationship, then something is wrong. Prince Ronnie does an excellent job of setting up the BCD with what’s to come with “Daylight With A Flashlight.” “My Love Bone” is sure to thrill you, letting all men know that love at first sight is a reality. It does not in no way remind you of Johnnie Taylor’s “Love Bones.” It’s quite the opposite and much more “bluesy.” Don’t let the title fool you.
Not every track is great, as in any CD distrubuted today. But 80 percent of the tracks are really good. His style is that of a R & B singer laced heavily with good old blues. And he was not afraid to identify with problems so many of us have today, as in a any good blues song.
“Everytime I Turn Around” is for all of us who have family members or friends that want to take advantage of one’s success. Always wanting to borrow money. Listen to this song and Prince Ronnie will tell you exactly to handle the situation in a thoughtful, psychological manner. Great touch to the BCD.
Roy Roberts is the producer, writer and guitarist on the track list. The brilliant guitar work reminds me of a crosss between a virtuoso and an amateur; meaning it’s a great piece of work, with the scratching out of the blues that’s gritty, but good. Sort of like back in the day. But I must say and being honest here, the horns and the timing on a couple of the cuts are a little off. But I don’t hold that against them because the rest of the BCD more than makes up for it.
All and all, I give Prince Ronnie Love and “Back 2 Love” four (4) blues notes out of five. It’s on CDS Records and has only been out for a few months. And as usual, you can hear cuts from Prince Ronnie’s BCD on BluesTime In The City with me, R-R-Rojene Bailey every weekend. Click the tune in tab on this page to find the stations and times, or use the “Tune-In Radio App” and put “BluesTime” in the search window.
BOBBY BLUE BLAND
JANUARY 27, 1930-JUNE 16, 2013
How fortunate can one person be to have been in the presence of a great artist like Bobby Blue Bland. A lifetime fan, I was fortunate enough to play his music on my radio program, and to have actually sat down and talked with him. I’m a very fortunate and lucky man.
Mr. Bland passed on Sunday, June 16th at his home in Memphis Tennessee. A member of the blues community, seemingly forever, he entertained us with his incredible number of hits year after year after year.
He was born in January of 1930 in Rosemark Tennessee as Robert Calvin Brooks, then he became Robert Calvin Bland, but known to the world as Bobby Blue Bland. Bobby was a Blues and Soul icon that entertained the world with his precious style of singing. One thing everyone could say about Bobby and one thing that everybody knows, when Bobby sang, you knew immediately it was him. Nobody had that voice, that tone, that style, that distinction, nobody had THAT but him.
Bobby was honored by The Jus Blues Music Foundation with an Award that was named in his honor in August of 2011. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992: He received the Recording Academy’s “Lifetime Achievement” Grammy in 1997: In 1998, he received the Blues Foundations’ “Lifetime Achievement Award, and there were many other honors and awards including the Tennessee Governors Arts Award in April of this year. All of this from very humble beginnings going back to parking cars on Beale Street in Memphis Tennessee in the late 40’s, to singing in a group called The Beale Streeters with BB King, Johnny Ace, Junior Parker, Roscoe Gordon and Earl Forrest, to serving as a chauffeur and valet for Junior Parker and B.B. King to recording for Modern Records, Chess Records, on to Duke Records, to headlining his shows and to Malaco Records in 1985 where he cut a series of albums that appealed to his people. He had 63 singles on the charts from 1957 to 1985, an incredible feat for a Blues Man. His music has been covered by rock artists and covered some more by rock artists, and even some of his music was sampled by Jay Z. He was admired by young and old alike.
Some of the articles over the past week on Bobby Blue Bland said that “Bobby did not reach the heights that artists such as BB King, Ray Charles and others of that genre reached.” I totally disagree. When you attended a Bobby Blue Bland Concert, and saw the people that he appealed to, he was at the summit. You did not see the same type people at B.B. King’s concerts or the Ray Charles concerts that you saw at Bobby Blue Bland concert. Bobby knew his audience, and some of those writers totally did not understand Bobby Blue Bland or his music.
Bobby, another great Blues Man, has gone. His memory will live forever in the music he made, and through the messages that comprised his music. Here’s a quote from an interview Bobby did on The House of Blues Radio Show. ”I’d like to be remembered as just a good old country boy that did his best to give us something to listen to and help them through a lot of sad moments, happy moments, whatever.”
I’m happy: Happy to have had Bobby Blue Bland as a part of my life. This weekend on BluesTime In The City, the entire second hour will be dedicated to Bobby, with music, sound bites, and just fun with “THE MAN.” Rest in Peace Mr. Bland….
THEODIS EALEY HAS DONE IT AGAIN….HE’S HIS OLD SELF AND I LIKE IT
HIS LATEST WORKS IS “YOU AND I, TOGETHER”
His latest works is “You and I Together,” which was just released. I think Theo put a lot of thought in this one, not that he did not put a lot of thought in his prior releases. I really think he got kind of stuck in “The Stand Up In It” label and did not know how to get out of it for a while. With this release, he’s definitely lost that label and is forging ahead. Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing wrong with “Stand Up In It” but it was a little over the edge for me. He even went as far as to employ the services of some former Curtis Mayfield and Lenny Kravitz personnel for this one.
And speaking of over the edge, you can easily miss a beat on the first cut of this BCD (blues compact disc) and hear something that is not there. The cut, “Shut The Puck Up” can easily be heard as something that rhymes with “Puck.” Not to worry, I’ve listened to it many times over and it is very clean. He does a couple of tunes with Lacee Reed, an up and coming Southern Soul star of “I Ran a Good Man Away” fame. The songs, “You and I Together” and “Think It Over” were beautifully done. Theodis really lets Lacee showcase her talents in both of these songs. On a side note, Theodis is quite known for letting artists on his shows showcase their talents.
The remake of the old Wilson Pickett tune “634-5789” just seemed to be a natural for Theo. He put his special bluesy, soul, rockin touch to the song, and I predict that this tune will do much greater than even Theodis anticipates. If he used this song to “add another track” to the BCD, I think he will be very surprised. It’s a great remake. And cut number 8, The Old Man Story, aka (MBFDD) may be a little provocative, if not raunchy. But keep in mind, this is grown folk music. And grown folk music will bring the girls that got “Them Blue Jeans On” which is cut number 11, and a pleasant addition to the Album. But my favorite on the entire BCD is the everyday life, everyday situation, everyday story, “Number One Baby.” This is a great story that only a bluesman can put into a song.
Overall, I like it that Theodis is back with such a powerful piece of work. You will hear cuts from it on BluesTime In The City. And thinking about it, that’s what Theodis does….Whether he’s “The Stand Up In It Man,” “The Blues Man Lover,” or “The Man In Black,”….he makes great Blues.
MY BLUES MY SOUL
COOL RICKY BLUES IS REALLY “COOL”
By Rojene Bailey, Host of BluesTime In The City (October 13, 2012)
I very seldom pick up a BCD (Blues Compact Disc), stick it in the machine and enjoy the first cut on it. As a matter of fact, I very seldom pick up a BCD. I’m of that tech age where if it’s not on a computer, or on my Ipad or Iphone, I don’t listen to it. But, for some reason I picked up Cool Ricky Blues release of “My Blues My Soul.”
The first cut caught my ear. It was true Southern Soul with a great story line. Maybe it was the guitar licks that stood out, but never the less, I listened and I liked what I heard. I continued on to cut number 2, and it put a smile on my face. (Flash Back Here) I remember when I was Naughty 40, looking for a Dirty 30, which is the name of the tune, “Dirty 30, Naughty 40.” Then on the next tune, I was again reminded of some of the “stuff,””trash,””junk,” the boys use to talk on the street when the cut “You’re Stacked Like A Pile of Dirty Clothes.” That is a great line to describe the beauty and figure of a women. It’s also a great song, great story, and again, a great guitar.
I believe Cool Ricky wanted to be a comedian at one point in his life. Anyway, he describes this woman in blues terms, in terms that only a person that knows the blues can do, with a combination of perfection in his eyes, and a picture of the prettiest thing he’s ever seen. And speaking of pictures, there’s the tune, “A Picture Speaks Louder than Words.” OK, she cheated on him and broke his heart, but you get the “picture.” The title sounds simple, but he brings it back to reality when he discovers when the picture was taken, and using old technology to do so; A story teller for sure. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be this way, but that’s the way it grabbed me. It’s great!!!! And let me mention this. Cool Ricky brings to light what many men want to tell some women they meet today. “Your Babies” tells it like it is. This is one serious, real, but funny cut. And, let’s not forget a great club cut that’s included, “Girl You Hot.”
There are ten cuts on the BCD, and I really love seven of them, and the other three are not that bad. Cool Ricky is obviously a young man that’s been mentored in the old school blues which is what we need more today. You made me happy Cool Ricky and you will be hearing many cuts of this BCD on BluesTime In The City. I’m sure the listeners of BTIC will agree.
One day, I may snag an interview with the Cool one…… Working on it…. “Your Babies are just to bad for me.” That’s so funny!!! But so true…..
There’s only one Muddy Waters. There is only one Johnny Taylor. At least that’s what I thought. When Floyd Taylor first came on the scene, I would have bet my last dime that it was Johnnie. The sound, the resemblance, and the mannerisms told me that I could not be wrong. But I was. It was Johnnie’s son, Floyd Taylor. Now, it’s happening again, but only this time it’s Larry Williams. Larry goes in the name of Mud Morganfield, the eldest son of McKinley Morganfield, better known to the world as Muddy Waters.
Mud Morganfield released “Son of the Seventh Son” in January of this year, and I just really started paying attention to it. For the record, Muddy is one of my all time favorite blues artists. His “Muddy Mississippi Waters Live” is, in my opinion, the best blues album ever recorded. So for me, there will never be another. But listening to Mud’s BCD (blues compact disc), I may have to take those words back. We will only find out in due time, but he’s the closest thing out there.
From the opening song to the last, you hear Mud Morganfield, the son of Muddy Waters. The voice, the growl, the looks, even the hair is so Muddy Waters. This is not an act by Mud, but the genuineness of the bloodline of a talented blues family.
The BCD was produced by Bob Corritore who’s no stranger to the blues. When you listen to the BCD, you will hear the works of Bob on the harmonica, and another pleasant surprise is the drummer. Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith is the son of former Muddy Waters’ drummer, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. And, there’s Rick Kreher on guitar who once played for Muddy. The musicians presented here are a who’s who is Chicago Blues.
How fitting that the generation of now is able to experience the likeness of Muddy Waters with the pure power and energy that Mud is doing. Only two of the songs on this BCD are songs that his father did and the rest are originals, mostly penned by Mud.
Mud is to be commended for his work on this BCD. He’s already an international star, and now his artistry is gaining momentum in the states. It’s kind of ironic; Muddy worked from the inside of the states out, and Mud is working his way outside of the states in.
By the way, my favorite song on the BCD is “Son Of The Seventh,” which tells the entire story. You just got to know where he’s coming from to understand this.
You will hear a lot of “Son Of The Seventh Son” on BluesTime In The City for some time to come. I Love Chicago Style Blues, and if this is any indication, which it is, Chicago Blues is here to stay.
For a special treat, go to this URL, and watch Muddy’s sons, Mud Morganfield and Big Bill Morganfield do their rendition of “Hoochie Coochie Man.”
DONNIE RAY – I’M GOIN BACK
If Donnie Ray walked into this room right now, I would not know him. Never had the occasion to meet the man. I was first introduced to his music a few years ago, when a song called “She’s Got My Vote” caught my ear. It’s on the “You’ve Got Me” BCD (Blues Compact Disc) He has recently added another BCD from ECKO Records that just hit the streets. It’s called “I’m Goin Back.”
To make a long story short, I like “I’m Goin Back.” I will admit, the title cut for me could have been a little stronger, but he more than makes up for it on some of the other tunes. Let’s start with my favorite, “Bring The Blues Back.” This song is nothing but good old party blues. This song was put together in the ‘jump blues’ fashion, but is still good old party blues. When you listen to this tune, there is a lady that’s talking about partying. I don’t know if there is a connection, but Freddie King had a tune out in the 70’s called “Shake Your Booty.” There was a lady on that tune that was talking, and these two women have got to be related in some kind of way. I can’t prove that, but they sound so similar. I don’t know if this was accidental or intentional, but it works. I have got to do some more research on this. “Southern Soul Blues Slide” takes the party to the steppin and slidin floor. This song is great for all of those that love to do the slide, and Donnie does it to perfection. Great choice. The first tune on the BCD is “I’m Looking For A Woman.” It’s a smooth upbeat party song that just jumps out at you from the beginning to the end.
When you listen to my show, “BluesTime In The City,” you hear a segment called “The Low Down Dirty Lying Cheatin Blues Song of the Week.” In the good old blues fashion, Donnie even included a great Cheatin tune called “She Was At The Hideaway.” Great stuff. I’ve used this song already because it tells it like it is.
Donnie is one of those guys that can sing, play multiple instruments, and write. He penned all but two of the songs on this BCD. He managed to keep his oh so cool style while taking it to another level. When you’re dealing with Blues and Southern Soul, that’s very difficult to do.
“I’m Goin Back” is a great BCD. Thanks Donnie for doing what you do. And doing it very well… Someday, I’ll get a chance to meet you in person….
by Rojene Bailey, Host of BluesTime In The City
I’m very surprised to hear a hard driving blues man like Grady Champion. He’s not new, just new to me. I first heard of him when he won the International Blues Challenge back in 2010. I picked up his new “Dreamin” BCD (blues compact disc) on a whim, and immediately added a couple of song to my BluesTime In The City show rotation. I suppose I was inspired by the producer’s credit of Zac Harmon. He too won the IBC a few years back.
The first cut on the BCD is called “My Rooster is King.” While this is not the best cut on the disc, or one of the best cuts of the blues I’ve heard in a while, it was strong enough for me to keep listening. I immediately fell in love with the title cut, “Dreamin.” It’s not overly upbeat, but the right beat. It’s not overly blatant, but sassy. In other words, my kind of blues. And speaking of blues, Grady managed to keep the blues alive and well on this piece of work, while entertaining me. That’s hard to do in this age and time with so much suspect blues hitting the streets.
There are a couple he missed on, but that’s common when a Blues, R & B, Country, Jazz or any disc is released. He is definitely not a psychologist, which I thought when I first listened to a couple of the cuts, but I understood the message. He managed to hit the right mix in the right spots. For a young blues dude, his harmonica playing is impeccable.
My favorites are “My Rooster is King,” “Dreamin,” “Make That Monkey Jump,” and the inspiring and beautiful message to all, “Laugh, Smile, Cry Sometimes.”
Not bad for a young bluesman and a young blues band from Canton Mississippi. And for his city’s appreciation of their accomplishment of winning the IBC in 2010, they were given the key to the city and the day was declared, Grady Champion Day. I like his plan for the future that he expounds on in his liner notes; “To keep The Blues Alive.” With young talent like Grady Champion, the Blues, with its’ original meaning, will definitely be around for some time to come.
The man just keeps on impressing me. He never quits. Bobby Rush has been singing the blues close to 50 years, maybe more. You would think he would keep repeating himself, and doing the same thing over and over, get stalled out or just get tired. Sure, he has his very unique style, but he keeps doing something to let me know that he’s still got it.
“Show You A Good Time” came out a couple of months ago on his Deep Rush label, and as soon as I placed it in the player, I said “that’s unique.” I really said something else with that, but let’s stick “that’s unique.”
I immediately felt the presence of The Blues. Not in the traditional sense, but in a sense that he used just enough technology to not to be noticed. The title cut, Show You A Good Time, is a good tune. It’s fun, upbeat, great for the party, and done in the traditional Bobby Rush style. His song “Sniffer” just tells it like it is. You may call them “gossipers” but Bobby calls them “Sniffers”. It’s funny, as only Bobby Rush can make it.
Bobby even went down home on us with “I Am Good As Gone” and “Broken Hearted Man.” He totally displays the 12-Bar 3-Chord blues which the blues is known for, complete with harmonica solo and some old school “pickin.”
If anything didn’t work for me, it’s the track, “I Got A Story to Tell.” Maybe it’s a little too serious for me, or maybe it’s just not vintage “Bobby” to me. He does that every once in a while, which is good, but not for me. But overall, this is a great BCD. (Blues Compact Disc)
When you listen to it, let me know what you think. I would love to place your comment(s) on this page.
Overall, I give “Show You A Good Time” 4 1/2 discs out of 5. It’s a great BCD, and I’m glad to know that Bobby Rush, however old he is, still got it. I will definitely be playing a lot of this on my BluesTime In The City program. Listen for it…..