domingo, 26 de junio de 2011

Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More

2009. Volvemos después de una ausencia más prolongada de lo deseable y volvemos con Mumford e Hijos, banda inglesa (formada en 2007) de lo que podríamos llamar indie folk que poco a poco ha ido ganando adeptos y reconocimiento, amén de sustanciosas ventas. El disco lo publicaron originalmente en UK a finales de 2009 pero ha ido cogiendo rodaje durante 2010 e incluso aún en 2011 han sacado nuevo single. Esta versión que tengo entre manos se publicó a finales de 2010 y contiene, aparte del disco original, un segundo CD con casi todos los temas en directo y un DVD con una especie de documental de gira, además de una excelente presentación. Ni es nada nuevo ni descubren la pólvora, pero suenan tan bien... Me limito a poner el enlace a Spotify para que juzguen ustedes mismos si aún no los conocen. Salud!

jueves, 16 de junio de 2011

Mississippi Mudsharks - The Train Rolls On

2006. Pues tendríamos que haber hablado de este disco hace mucho tiempo, pero ya veis que lo mío no es la actualidad. Autodenominados como "Grease Punks", más una manera de definir su actitud que su música, que la podríamos englobar en lo que se da en llamar American Roots Music, los amigos de Mississippi Mudsharks tienen una historia repleta de cambios de formación. A partir de su segunda reencarnación abrazan un sonido sucio y pantanoso, con los pies firmemente anclados en el blues pero tirando de ritmos hipnóticos de inspiración vudú y sobretodo mucha actitud. Son tipos que llevan 2 décadas pateándose los más sórdidos garitos de la América profunda pero que por fortuna se han hecho alguna visita a Europa como en la que nos deleitaron hace 2 o 3 años, no recuerdo bien. Os pongo abajo la historia de la banda sacada de su página web. Si me aceptáis el consejo, haceos con este disco cueste lo que cueste, lo agradeceréis. ¡Salud!
Playing in bands since the age of sixteen, Scottie "Mad Dog" Blinn cut his teeth with legendary San Diego bluesman Tomcat Courtney in the late '80's. By 1992, at the age of 23, Blinn hooked up with drummer Tom Essa, who was drumming for the rock band Natashia's Ghost. With bassist Mike "Sandalwood Haze" Jones joining up, they formed the Mississippi Mudsharks, a hard rockin' blues band that took the San Diego scene and developed a young, loyal following.
By 1994, the Mudsharks were gigging 300 nights a year, and put out their first CD "Workin' For Nickels And Dimes", and opening for every major blues headliner coming through town. What really set the band apart in the blues scene was the energy coming off the stage at every show, the "we don't give a fuck if it's too loud" attitude, and the effort they put into writing original songs.
With all the hard work paying off, the band was touring the southwest and California regularly, the European market was taking notice, and they were opening shows for the likes of Buddy Guy, George Clinton And P-Funk, Dick Dale, and Willie Nelson. Even Brian Setzer and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown would drop by to sit in! But the highlight was getting to hang with ZZ Top several times, including a night where Blinn and "idol" Billy Gibbons pulled an allnighter in Dallas, Texas, talking cars, guitars, blues, and playing guitar.
By 1996, the Mississippi Mudsharks were on their way to Europe, where their first CD hit #1 on the CrossCut Records Blues Charts. Following up the tour, they returned home to record their second CD, "Traditional Heavy". This CD also hit #1 on the CrossCut Blues Charts, and by 1997 the band received the honor of receiving their third straight San Diego Music Award for "Best Blues" ('95, '96, '97).
1998 brought more of the same for the Mudsharks, with touring and more recognition in Europe, ranking #2 at the Cologne, Germany's "Talkin' Blues Show".
By 1999, everyone wanted to go in different directions. They put out one more CD, the live "Whatcha Hear Is Whatcha Get", and toured Europe one more time. Blinn also formed a new hard rockin' trio , The Tiki Torchers, with former "Hooters" drummer Dave Uosikkinnen and Tim Butler (Hot Rod Lincoln) on bass. They put out the CD "Hoodoo Charm". Blinn's efforts earned him San Diego Music Award nominations for "Best Blues" with the Mudsharks, "Best Blues CD "with the Tiki Torchers, and "Artist Of The Year" the same year. "Hoodoo Charm" went to #4 on the CrossCut Blues Chart, following Stevie Ray Vaughan & Albert King, Rory Gallager, and Luther Allison.
After a 2001 European tour with The Tiki Torchers, Blinn hooked up with old friend and former harmonica player for Social Distortion, Eric "Jailhouse" Von Herzen, and formed "Mississippi Mud". 
This proved to be a great turning point in the musical direction of the band. After three European tours and two CD's, "Mississippi Mud" (2002, nominated "Best Blues Album at the SDMA's), and the EP, "The Hangin' Tree" (2004), Blinn and Von Herzen had planted the seed for a "new sound" they coined "Grease Punk".
After a serious illness sidelined "Jailhouse" in 2005, Blinn regrouped with original Mudshark drummer Tom Essa, and bassist "Big" Mike Lars. The Mississippi Mudsharks were back! 2006 brought a new CD of originals, "Train Rolls On", which hit #3 on the CrossCut Blues Charts, was nominated for "Best Blues Album" by the San Diego Music Awards, and has received great reviews for it's hard edged roots/punk sound. The band immediately went on a festival and club tour in Europe for two months to support the CD, and came home fired up.
2007 had the boys at it again with a Summer European Tour, hitting Germany, Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland for festival and club dates. The tour was probably the best yet, hitting hard and groovin' their
European friends and fans at packed shows night after night.
2008 started off on a high note with the return of Eric Von Herzen on harmonica and vocals (fresh off of playing with Social Distortion on the So. Cal. leg of their tour), and Greg "Whiskey Willy" Willis on bass (both of "Missisippi Mud"). A new CD titled "Voodoo Doll" was recorded, and the band hit the roadon an extensive 8 week European tour to promote it. One of the main highlights was opening for one of "Mad Dog's"favotrite bands, "Tito & Tarantula" at the Rockhouse in Salzburg, Austria.
2009 brings the release of "Voodoo Doll", with special guests such as Jonny "Two Bags" Wickersham(Social Distortion), Joey Harris (The Beat Farmers), and Tim Butler (Hot Rod Lincoln). Also, the return of "Big" Mike Lars on bass/vocals! 
With a new booking agency on board (Teenage Head Music, Belgium), the Mississippi Mudsharks will be hitting the road from September-October, breaking new ground in Spain and France.
~~The Mississippi Mudshark's Sound~~
Although steeped in Traditional Blues and American Roots music, the Mississippi Mudsharks were never ones for being pidgeon-holed into any one catagory. They've always approached their music with a great sense of originality and cross-over appeal. "Grease Punk" is the term they've coined to describe their blend of Traditional Blues, Country, and Surf, done with a "fuck you" attitude.
Eric "Jailhouse" Von Herzen got his nickname directly from Mike Ness of Social Distortion...for obvious reasons going back to his younger, wilder days. Von Herzen's harmonica swings from dark and melodic, to a full steam rollin' freight train that'll knock you on your ass and keep on going.
The driving force behind the band's sound comes from Tom "Sleepy T" Essa on the drums. Solid and hypnotic, Essa lays down the foundation for eveyone else to build upon. He is the backbone, and a show unto himself.
Layin' down a groove on the bass that's 4 lanes wide is "Big" Mike Lars. Mike is as cool to watch as he is to listen to. And his tone and attack is as big as he is.
Scottie Blinn's aggressive guitar style, gravely vocals, and propensity for putting drunk patrons in their place, earned him the nickname "Mad Dog" by partner Eric "Jailhouse" Von Herzen. He approaches the Blues, and all Roots styles, with that same aggressive attitude that'll sock you in the gut every time.
With their roots firmly planted, these guys blur the lines between American Roots, Rock, and Punk with an original sound all their own. Blinn likes to compare it to his '52 Chevy..."flat black on the outside, but a souped up 350 under the hood and loud-ass lakespipes off the sides." Dark, Greasy, and Raw... The Mississippi Mudsharks. 

miércoles, 1 de junio de 2011

Lou Rawls - Black and Blue / Tobacco Road

1962-1963. Escuchando estos dos discos, de lo mejor que publicó Lou Rawls, uno puede sentir como la atmósfera se torna densa y todo se llena de humo. Te transportas a un oscuro garito donde ocasionalmente un choque de copas y algún comentario al oído acompaña, como un susurro, esta música deliciosa. Pero no nos pongamos poéticos y vayamos al lío.
Este CD recoge los que fueron el segundo y tercer disco de Lou Rawls, excepcional cantante alabado por el mismísimo Frank Sinatra, y que también tuvo su pequeña carrera como actor. Si bien tuvo algún éxito de manera esporádica (nunca masivo) lo cierto es que no tiene el reconocimiento que sin duda merece, a pesar de seguir grabando hasta poco antes de su muerte en 2006. Se cruzó también con Sam Cooke, metiendo coros en algún tema de DIOS, que es como conocemos en la familia a Cooke, y le puso voz a personajes de animación. Un todoterreno, vaya. Y poco más os cuento, acojonantes versiones y un plantel de músicos que quita el hipo, músicos comandados por Onzy Matthews, que se encarga de la dirección musical y los arreglos. Absolutamente recomendado. ¡Salud!