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blues from the burgh 5
Reviews

A Cd Compilation celebrating the music of western pa

produced by BSWPa 2019

13 songs | 59 minutes

Review By peter "blewzzman" lauro (c) 2019

Blues In The Burgh 5 is a compilation CD that contains thirteen tracks by thirteen different bands.  Although all the tracks are original, some of them are not actually performed by the writer and although some of the bands may not actually reside in Western PA - or anywhere in PA for that matter, they are all indeed member bands of the Western PA Blues Society.

 

Since this is a compilation CD I want to make sure that I touch on all the tracks and mention all the bands and their members.  That said, my comments will have to be brief.
 

Accidental Theft (Barbara Blue) is performed by "The Queen Of Beale Street" and now "Blues Music Award Winner" Barbara Blue on vocals; Scott Scharrad, Will McFarlane and Dave Smith on guitar; and Buernard "Pretty" Pudie on drums. With a world-class lineup like that, you gotta know there's some serious rhythm, lead and slide guitar and blues-belting going on. Yeah! There really is.

 

 Xtra Xtra (Jill West) is performed by Jill West on vocals; and Blues Attack, who consist of: Greg Krupa on guitar; Hank Rafetto on bass; Nick Crano on drums; and Steve Binsberger on keyboards.  Being a fan of Jill West & Blues Attack for about twenty-five years now, I knew this would be a smoker.  Just like Barbara did in the above track, Jill is belting the hell out of the blues on the vocals, Greg's laying down some crazy good blues guitar licks and a non-credited harmonica is absolutely on fire.
 

Bad Attitude (Max Schang) is an all-out rocker by a power trio consisting of Max Schang on guitar; Tim Graziaon on bass; and Jim Richley on drums.  Make sure you're dancin' shoes are on for this one.

 

Bed And A Bottle (Cheryl Rinovato) is a concert hall quality performance put on by: vocalist Stevee Wellons; guitarist Cheryl Rinovato; keyboardist Steve Binsberger; bassist Jim Spears; and drummer Allen Muckle.  I'm only four tracks into the field here but I'm calling this masterfully done ballad one of the front runners for the disc's best track.  Steve and Steve nailed the vocals and the organ leads.

Bottle Full Of Blues (Jeff Fetterman) is a scorching slow blues number by the Jeff Fetterman Group that includes: Jeff on guitar and vocals; John McGuire on drums; Ralph Reitinger III on bass; and Anthony Brown on keyboards.  With the guys in that oh so perfect slow blues groove behind him, Jeff takes this one and runs with it.  His emotion-filled vocals and stinging blues guitar licks are totally masterful.  It's songs like this that I often say are "Song Of The Year" worthy.  WOW!  
 

There is no question in my mind that when this one comes on you will Shake That Thing (Dan Bubien) of yours - and if I'm wrong, you should call a doctor.  This one features Dan Bubien on slide guitar & vocals; Shawn Mazzei on guitar; Christian Caputo on bass; Mark Pollern on drums & percussion; and Charlie Barath on harmonica.  Collectively they are called The Delta Struts and collectively they are absolutely on fire.

 

Ordinary Guy (Bubs McKeg) is performed by the Aces: Bob "Bubs" McKeg on guitar & vocals; Terry Bates on drums; Mike Sweeney on bass; John DeCola on keyboards; Frank Glove on lead guitar; and Charlie Barath on harmonica.  This is a well done medium tempo shuffle that I really would love to hear the original version of.  Somehow the mix on this just didn't do the well-performed song justice.

 

This next track is done by another fabulous "Lady Of The Blues" (Steve Nestor) - Miss Freddye.  Joining this fabulous Blues Music Award nominated vocalist are: Kid Andersen on guitar; Endre Tarezy on bass; June Core on drums; Eric Spaulding on tenor & baritone saxes; John Holblaib on trumpet; and one hell of an unnamed organ player.  Since I can use one word, being brief on describing a song has never been easier....POWERFUL!   
 

Ease Me Down (Mike Sweeney) is performed by: Jimmy Adler on guitar and vocals; June Core on drums; Kid Andersen on bass and Jim Pugh on keyboards.  When a talented vocalist and guitarist like Jimmy Adler surrounds himself with three Blues Music Award nominees/winners you should expect nothing less than perfection.  FYI - by clicking this link you can read my review of Jimmy's 2015 release titled Grease Alley - which also features these same band mates at http://www.mary4music.com/CD66.html#CDJimmyAdler1
 

We Walk On (Mike Sweeney) is performed by Hoodoo Drugstore and they are: Bob "Bubs" McKeg on lead vocals; Robert Peckman on vocals & percussion; Larry Seifers on harmonica; Jim Daugherty on slide guitar; and Mike Sweeney on bass. This is a percussion powered call and response/Gospel style song that was very easy to sit back and get peacefully lost in.

 

Mama She Knows is soulfully performed by Lori Russo & The Uppercuts who are: Lori on vocals; Frank Glove on guitar; Larry Seifers on piano and organ; Mike Sweeney on bass and Bob Breide on percussion. It's a foot tapper, sing-a-long type song that features outstanding harmony vocals.

 

Down To Memphis is an original by The Nied's Hotel Band and they are: John Vento on vocals; Tim Hadley and Jim McCullough on guitar; Russ Oblinger on bass; Ron Beitle on drums; Fred Delu on keyboards; and Ed Jonnet on saxophone.  If the term "Memphis Soul" means something to you then you'll know how good this one is.  
 

You Can't Fix Lonely is smoking original by The Aris Paul Band who consist of: Aris on guitar and vocals; Johnny Rooster on harmonica; Alexander Peck on drums; and Tyan Masters on bass.  Ya know those kinds of songs where the band goes full throttle from start to finish causing the audience to go absolutely nuts? Yeah, this is that song.  
 

As brief as I may have been, here's a sentence that applies to all thirteen tracks.  Every track was excellent and worthy of airplay.

 

To find out more about  Blues In The Burgh 5 - and the bands that were a part of it - just go to www.bswpa.org, and if you'd like a copy for airplay just contact BSWPA at webmaster@bswpa.org.  As usual, please tell them that you were referred by The Blewzzman.
 

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro

Blues Editor @  www.Mary4Music.com

2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient

Blues In The Burgh 5 is a compilation CD that contains thirteen tracks by thirteen different bands.  Although all the tracks are original, some of them are not actually performed by the writer and although some of the bands may not actually reside in Western PA - or anywhere in PA for that matter, they are all indeed member bands of the Western PA Blues Society.

 

Since this is a compilation CD I want to make sure that I touch on all the tracks and mention all the bands and their members.  That said, my comments will have to be brief.
 

Accidental Theft (Barbara Blue) is performed by "The Queen Of Beale Street" and now "Blues Music Award Winner" Barbara Blue on vocals; Scott Scharrad, Will McFarlane and Dave Smith on guitar; and Buernard "Pretty" Pudie on drums. With a world-class lineup like that, you gotta know there's some serious rhythm, lead and slide guitar and blues-belting going on. Yeah! There really is.

 

 Xtra Xtra (Jill West) is performed by Jill West on vocals; and Blues Attack, who consist of: Greg Krupa on guitar; Hank Rafetto on bass; Nick Crano on drums; and Steve Binsberger on keyboards.  Being a fan of Jill West & Blues Attack for about twenty-five years now, I knew this would be a smoker.  Just like Barbara did in the above track, Jill is belting the hell out of the blues on the vocals, Greg's laying down some crazy good blues guitar licks and a non-credited harmonica is absolutely on fire.
 

Bad Attitude (Max Schang) is an all-out rocker by a power trio consisting of Max Schang on guitar; Tim Graziaon on bass; and Jim Richley on drums.  Make sure you're dancin' shoes are on for this one.

 

Bed And A Bottle (Cheryl Rinovato) is a concert hall quality performance put on by: vocalist Stevee Wellons; guitarist Cheryl Rinovato; keyboardist Steve Binsberger; bassist Jim Spears; and drummer Allen Muckle.  I'm only four tracks into the field here but I'm calling this masterfully done ballad one of the front runners for the disc's best track.  Steve and Steve nailed the vocals and the organ leads.

Bottle Full Of Blues (Jeff Fetterman) is a scorching slow blues number by the Jeff Fetterman Group that includes: Jeff on guitar and vocals; John McGuire on drums; Ralph Reitinger III on bass; and Anthony Brown on keyboards.  With the guys in that oh so perfect slow blues groove behind him, Jeff takes this one and runs with it.  His emotion-filled vocals and stinging blues guitar licks are totally masterful.  It's songs like this that I often say are "Song Of The Year" worthy.  WOW!  
 

There is no question in my mind that when this one comes on you will Shake That Thing (Dan Bubien) of yours - and if I'm wrong, you should call a doctor.  This one features Dan Bubien on slide guitar & vocals; Shawn Mazzei on guitar; Christian Caputo on bass; Mark Pollern on drums & percussion; and Charlie Barath on harmonica.  Collectively they are called The Delta Struts and collectively they are absolutely on fire.

 

Ordinary Guy (Bubs McKeg) is performed by the Aces: Bob "Bubs" McKeg on guitar & vocals; Terry Bates on drums; Mike Sweeney on bass; John DeCola on keyboards; Frank Glove on lead guitar; and Charlie Barath on harmonica.  This is a well done medium tempo shuffle that I really would love to hear the original version of.  Somehow the mix on this just didn't do the well-performed song justice.

 

This next track is done by another fabulous "Lady Of The Blues" (Steve Nestor) - Miss Freddye.  Joining this fabulous Blues Music Award nominated vocalist are: Kid Andersen on guitar; Endre Tarezy on bass; June Core on drums; Eric Spaulding on tenor & baritone saxes; John Holblaib on trumpet; and one hell of an unnamed organ player.  Since I can use one word, being brief on describing a song has never been easier....POWERFUL!   
 

Ease Me Down (Mike Sweeney) is performed by: Jimmy Adler on guitar and vocals; June Core on drums; Kid Andersen on bass and Jim Pugh on keyboards.  When a talented vocalist and guitarist like Jimmy Adler surrounds himself with three Blues Music Award nominees/winners you should expect nothing less than perfection.  FYI - by clicking this link you can read my review of Jimmy's 2015 release titled Grease Alley - which also features these same band mates at http://www.mary4music.com/CD66.html#CDJimmyAdler1
 

We Walk On (Mike Sweeney) is performed by Hoodoo Drugstore and they are: Bob "Bubs" McKeg on lead vocals; Robert Peckman on vocals & percussion; Larry Seifers on harmonica; Jim Daugherty on slide guitar; and Mike Sweeney on bass. This is a percussion powered call and response/Gospel style song that was very easy to sit back and get peacefully lost in.

 

Mama She Knows is soulfully performed by Lori Russo & The Uppercuts who are: Lori on vocals; Frank Glove on guitar; Larry Seifers on piano and organ; Mike Sweeney on bass and Bob Breide on percussion. It's a foot tapper, sing-a-long type song that features outstanding harmony vocals.

 

Down To Memphis is an original by The Nied's Hotel Band and they are: John Vento on vocals; Tim Hadley and Jim McCullough on guitar; Russ Oblinger on bass; Ron Beitle on drums; Fred Delu on keyboards; and Ed Jonnet on saxophone.  If the term "Memphis Soul" means something to you then you'll know how good this one is.  
 

You Can't Fix Lonely is smoking original by The Aris Paul Band who consist of: Aris on guitar and vocals; Johnny Rooster on harmonica; Alexander Peck on drums; and Tyan Masters on bass.  Ya know those kinds of songs where the band goes full throttle from start to finish causing the audience to go absolutely nuts? Yeah, this is that song.  
 

As brief as I may have been, here's a sentence that applies to all thirteen tracks.  Every track was excellent and worthy of airplay.

 

To find out more about  Blues In The Burgh 5 - and the bands that were a part of it - just go to www.bswpa.org, and if you'd like a copy for airplay just contact BSWPA at webmaster@bswpa.org.  As usual, please tell them that you were referred by The Blewzzman.
 

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro

Blues Editor @  www.Mary4Music.com

2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient

Review by chicago blues blast magazine

Blues from the Burgh 5 is the fifth compilation of Pennsylvania area artists from the Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania. Albums like this fill a special niche for showcasing artists old and new. It’s also perfect to play at a party, or at a live venue between live bands, when one wants to offer a smorgasbord of different songs from different groups. It is a mixed bag, so take your pick. Some people like “coconut” blues songs. There’s a wide assortment here, from the traditional-sounding opener “Accidental Theft” to the upbeat “Lady of the Blues” to the gospel homily “We Walk On.” Sample as many of these as you can, because before you know it, your mind and your ears will be gorged with the blues.

In order, the artists presented are Barbara Blue, Jill West & Blues Attack, Max Schang, Stevee Wellons Band, The Jeff Fetterman Band, The Delta Struts, The Aces, Miss Freddye, Jimmy Adler, Hoodoo Drugstore, Lori Russo and the Uppercuts, The Nied’s Hotel Band, and the Aris Paul Band. Several of the songs were written by Mike Sweeney, and number twelve, “Down To Memphis,” features several co-writers. Together, they form a solid if not always stellar whole. For more information on the members of each individual band, check the album’s liner notes.

The following number should have been the opener instead of the closer, folks. It’s a winner.  Track 13: “You Can’t Fix Lonely” – The Aris Paul Band cuts loose and takes no prisoners with rocking number thirteen. From the chugga-chugga guitar intro to Johnny Rooster’s howling harmonica to Aris’ pointed vocals, “You Can’t Fix Lonely” takes the cake. When the band combines postmodern angst with classic sentiment and blues-rock rhythm, dynamite results.

If Blues from the Burgh 5 were a box of chocolates, it would be a Russell Stover or Whitman’s Sampler with a few pieces of Godiva mixed in. Its blues are sweet, regardless of flavor!