Tuesday, April 13, 2010

CD Review: Jason King Band

Blues Skies and Black Shoes
Jason King Band
(Hip-Rox Music, 2009)
by Steve "Fly" Klein

Northern Nevada is Reno and Sparks, casinos and open spaces. It's not the home of the blues. But amid all of this Western grandeur is Jason King Roxas and his fellow musicians, the Jason King Band.

Born in the Philippines in 1973 of Japanese and Castilian ancestry, Jason King Roxas (vocals and guitar) immigrated to Los Angeles in 1980 and began playing guitar in the church choir during high school. His band consists of Wilbert Banks (bass), Michael Patrick Moore (drums), and Tommy Stiles (guitar, lap slide, and pedal steel) with guest appearances by Pat Dotson (drums), Jason Stanton (keyboards), Freddie Mills (harmonica), and Rick Metz (saxes).

The first thing I noticed was the well-crafted sound of Blues Skies and Black Shoes. Great performances that were really well recorded, not something you will always find in this era of the everyman's home studio. Hands off to Todd Rold at Watersign Studios in Reno for his recording, engineering, and mixing, as well as Jason King Roxas and Todd for their work as producers.

A highlight of the CD for me was "Cryin' Shame". It is a nice, slow blues that Jason Stanton drops some tasty piano behind. Mr. Roxas noodles through some classic riffs and sizzles with his solos.

I found "Broken" and "6 Years Gone" to be excellent acoustic blues numbers with yearning guitar work that will break your heart. While "Driftin'" and "SoulShaker" try to rip the doors off with vocals and guitar playing that Stevie Ray would be proud to hear. Jason is in total control of his voice and his other instrument, his Strat.

This CD is very good with some moments of greatness. All eleven tracks are original compositions and seem to show a good range in style and ability. Jason's guitar playing is both masterful and emotional, and the band lays down a solid groove and contributes textures and key solos that push this CD beyond the typical first album for a band.

Friday, April 9, 2010

March 20 2010 Saturday night was Electro Glide Records Showcase and  it was a resounding success. By 8:00 PM there was not an empty set in the house.

 When the Catch blues Band hit the stage. All I could see from the back of the house were rocking and bopping heads. Catch Blues Band started off with that famous lumpty -lump refrain that sent the bodies swaying. By the time their short 35 minute set was over they had the crowd in the palm of their hand.  Catch Blues band is out of Virginia the Ohio valley area and they are smoking.

Tagged Photos | May 2009 cover | CHICAGOSROCK / Project X  (Mario) | DANNY and the DEVILS

“Danny and The Devils” took the stage next and I for one was very excited about the quality of this act. Danny at one point yielded his guitar just like it’s proverbially nickname “AXE”. Man oh man this cat can play. He did all the tricks, behind the back over the head. His band was solid as a brick and right in the pocket. I am looking forward to great things from “Danny and the devils”.

David Gerald from Detroit is a Blues man in every sense of the word and Saturday he showed us all what the blues is all about. David hails from an area of the country that is economically depressed and probably worse than other areas in the country.  I felt this in his music and I find his work intriguing and absolutely well worth going to see and hear even if you have to travel some distance to do it. Pure Gold.

Al Stone came up next and was meet with thundering applause from the audience. The venue was located in Al’s hometown and after twenty years away he was back. Al lives in Jacksonville, Florida and the crowd had not heard him play in a long, long, time. As the heat goes in the sweltering summertime in the everglades so does Al.  His guitar riffs set the stage on fire. I literally saw a guy rush to the fire extinguisher and pretend to use it.  After Al left the stage it took me awhile to realize it was over. He is one of that rare artist’s that stun you and then makes you want him to play again and again.  He did an encore and I was double stunned. .  I like this Guy!!
The Mighty Jimmy Warren

The last act was the Jimmy Warren Band. As Rembrandt is to the oil portrait crowd and Pavarotti to the opera world, Jimmy is to Blues Rock. From his opening fiery almost mystical solo to the last resonance from the last note of the night he captivated the audience. He took us on a roller coaster ride and the ride was stupendous.  He has assembled a band that will go very, very, far. I predict within six months he will be a force to reckon with. You better lookout Trout, look out Bonamassa, lookout new releases from the Hendrix estate Jimmy Warren is knocking at your door.

The night concluded with an after hour Jam session. It featured Vivian Vance Kelly and L V Banks. Just smoking. 

Electro glide Records launched that Saturday night with a rocket headed straight towards the sun. I can’t what to see what’s next. 

Check out Electro Glide Records  Click Here
Terry "Gatorman" Lape