Here’s another CD review for the Blues Society of Western PA’s blues newsletter. This one’s for Stacy Mitchhart’s Gotta Get The Feeling Back Again.

You can get to the original publication by clicking here.

Stacy Mitchhart – Gotta Get The Feeling Back Again

In February of 2013, I had the opportunity to be on the bill with Stacy Mitchhart at the Cincinnati Winter Blues Fest, and today I will be reviewing his album “Gotta Get The Feeling Back Again.”

In Nashville, Stacy can be heard several times a week at the Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar. This album reflects his house band mentality with a collection of well written swing and dance tunes like “I Can’t Get Enough Of Your Lovin,” “The Blues Has Got You Bad,” and “Better Off Without You.” Each of these songs has a familiar groove and a singable payoff line that would satisfy any modern blues fan. I also like that this album really sounds like a group of well-rehearsed musicians playing together in a room (an added benefit of a dense performance schedule).

Even though this album came out about 8 years ago, many of these tracks could easily be used in blues playlists today. I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard a cut from this album on the WYEP Rollin’ and Tumblin’ blues program while I was driving home from a show on a Saturday night.

To add a bit contrast to this strong blues club set, tracks like “Given Me Reasons” and “Doghouse Blues” provide more traditional melodies. For example, “Given Me Reasons” appears to be loosely based on the lasting tune “Sittin on Top of the World.” Furthermore, the double-timed instrumental “Blow On Them Baby” and the final track “Blue Monday” provide space for impressive guitar work to be at the forefront for a bit.

Lastly, the track that stands out to me most in this set is the Led Zeppelin medley (…or Led Zeppelin / Willie Dixon medley). Stacy’s guitar part on “Black Dog” morphs the well-known rock riff into a nice bluesy response line, so I thought it should be this review’s accompanying transcription. The original Jimmy Page run is already accurately documented on line, so I would suggest you learn both and figure out your own cool way to play it.

Written by Chris Yakopcic

 

Occasionally I write CD reviews for the Blues Society of Western PA’s blues newsletter. I thought I would repost this one for Austin Walkin’ Cane’s One Heart Walkin’ here.

You can get to the original publication by clicking here.

Austin Walkin’ Cane – One Heart Walkin’

I’ve been able to see Austin Walkin’ Cane play anywhere from Kent, OH to Memphis, TN. Given the number of dates that appear on his calendar each month, chances are you can too.

One Heart Walkin’ is Austin’s latest release made entirely of original tunes composed by him and his writing partner Chris Allen. First off I like the artwork, this variable font size, constant width design seems to be catching on these days. Overall, I think this set of songs are his most creative arrangements to date.

There’s a lot of fun stuff to listen to on this CD. “Living, Working, Dying” and “Whose Gonna Love You?” would make great standout additions to any blues playlist. They immediately grab the listener’s attention and offer a lot of exciting musical content that is sometimes left out of the modern blues genre. I love the rhythm parts, the governing voice, and the general sense of not knowing what going to happen next.

I liked the bass (sousaphone) line on ‘Whose Gonna Love You?’ so much that I had to make it the accompanying transcription this time. The tune is played somewhere between D and D?, so I tabbed it in D using a standard guitar tuning. It’s pretty much based on the melody in the first measure. There are a few improvised variations throughout the song, but I think you can get the idea by following this part.

Written by Chris Yakopcic

Earlier this month I traveled to Memphis to compete in the annual International Blues Challenge (IBC) for a second time. As always, I tried to cram as much as I could into the week I was there.

Monday: Had a recording session at Ardent and I got 2 new tracks recorded. They are currently being mastered and I should be able to post those tunes within the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday: Stopped by DittyTV for a live streaming performance. If you missed it I should be able to provide you with a permanent link soon.

Wednesday and Thursday: Round 1 and 2 of the competition. I think these first two rounds of the competition went pretty well. Each was a 25 minute set, and I decided to do all original songs. It was a combination of new songs, and some rewrites of some of my older material. You’ll be able to hear some of this new stuff as soon as I get the mentioned recordings and the DittyTV archive link.

Friday: …while I didn’t qualify for the next round on Friday, I got to see and connect with dozens of great musicians from many different countries. I would recommend this experience to anyone interested in going as a competitor or a spectator.

Lastly I would just like to thank the Cincy Blues Society for allowing me to represent them in the solo/duo category at the IBC.

I would also like to thank the Cincy Blues Society for having me play the 2013 Winter Blues Fest this past weekend. It was a great four-stage indoor festival with a super attentive and appreciative audience. It was one of the most fun festivals I’ve played thus far. Hopefully I’ll be playing again in Cincinnati soon.  If you happen to be in the Dayton area, my next show is going to be on February 25th at the Trolley Stop (see the Schedule tab for details).

See you later

-Chris