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Nicolet Plastics

Snappy Joe 715.571.3661

L&S Electric

WXPR Radio

Green Grass Sprinklers

Kwik Trip Stores

Loppnow's Sports Bar

Crystal Finishing


 The 44s


with special guest

Kid Ramos

“Hanging Tree” starts this journey and Kid Ramos’ lead pipe slide guitar playing turns this tune into a Hill Country Boogie Fest. Ramos produced this CD and his guitar playing can be found all over this release in various forms, including the dobro on “Hard Times.” This song reminds me of  Lonnie Mack’s “Oreo Cookie Blues.” 
Nice horns with a little bit of a funky groove, along with some Albert Collins sounding guitar work is found on “Lady Luck”. “Cocaine” is a harp driven Blues tune that had my toes tappin’.  Elvis had Scotty Moore on guitar in the 50’s and his style of guitar is what I’m reminded of when I listen to “Dixie.” “She’s Poison” reminds me of Treat Her Right’s “I Think She Likes Me”, I love the guitar work featured on this track.
You will find a “Dust My Broom” style slide guitar on “Pleading My Case.” “Mr. Operator” is a nice slow Blues tune. “Slip Slidn’ Thang” is exactly that, sliderama deluxe. “99 To Life” and “Mr. Highway Man” are upbeat rockin’ tunes driven by the guitar and harp. “Hold On” features a nice use of horns, especially the baritone sax. This comes courtesy of Ron Dziubla.
The band features Johnny Main on most of the lead vocals and guitar, Tex ”The Weeping Willow” Nakamura on harmonica, Mike Turturro on upright and electric bass and J.R. Lozano on drums. This CD covers a lot of ground that has been covered before but it is the epitome of what a good Blues CD should be. Grab someone who isn’t a Blues fan and play it for them, they will tell you its all good!
Ron Hoerter

 JT Coldfire


Always & Never

“Get it on (in the Back of the Bar)” starts things off here; it is an upbeat rocker with a Texas feel that will put people on the dance floor. This song has it all, piano, harp and sax. A mid tempo Blues Rocker with harp thrown in is what you will find on “It’s Alright with Me”. “Rather Die in My Sleep” is a slower Blues track that expands the range of JT’s vocals. It has great lyrics, a big time guitar solo along with layering of guitar and harp to make for interesting sound,
“Let’s Go for a Drive” has a Country flavor with a funky groove and nice placement of the female background vocals. When I listen to “Feelin’ the Music” I’m reminded of a song that I can’t quite place, it has kind of a 70s Rock/Pop feel to it. “Toast to a Bluesman” is harp driven with distorted and dirty vocals.
Deep Chicago style slow Blues is what’s on tap with “I’m the Best Thing You Ever Had.” The song asks the question “Why does good love have to hurt so bad?” I’m not sure that is a question that will ever be answered. “Party Lovin Pappa” is an upbeat swinger that has a 50’s rockabilly feel. “Tired Man’s Blues” closes out this CD with some New Orleans Zydeco flavor that is guaranteed to make you shake what the good lord don’t want you to break!
This CD covers a lot of different styles and territory and all of it is very enjoyable. JT Coldfire has toured extensively around the world over the last 15 years. This is the first that I have heard of this singer/songwriter/guitarist and I hope to hear a lot more in the future.
Ron Hoerter with Daniel Schlewitz

 Cee Cee James


Blood Red Blues

Heavy slide guitar with a mixture of sexy purring and deep dark growling vocals is what you will experience on the title track, “Blood Red Blues.” OK, let’s get this out of the way right off the top, if you don’t recognize a similarity to Janis Joplin’s vocals, I don’t know what to tell you.
I love the lyrics on “Let’s All Get Loose.” This upbeat rocker has me dancin’ in my desk chair. “Feel My Love Come Down” has a hypnotic groove featuring more of that dirty gutbucket slide guitar. That guitar comes courtesy of Rob “Slideboy” Andrews. That man has a fine tone and feel for playin’ that slide!  Slow and sweet is what you will find on “Comfort Of A Good Heart.”
“Thick Like Blood” starts off with a Janis Joplin like growl. This toe tapper has a funky groove and is more Classic Rock than Blues, “I Got A Right To Sing The Blues” has James singing “Listenin’ to the step daddy drinkin’ and beatin’ my Mamma - With Child in her belly my little baby brother – Some food stamps, shelters, runnin’ day and night – Hidin’ all the time from the sad drinkin’ monster” I’m not going to argue with her right to sing the blues and neither are you. I have to mention the slide playing again, the solo is outstanding.  
Susan Julian’s piano playing fits nicely on “Worn Out Sins,” I would like to see the piano have an even bigger presence earlier in the song. The background vocals near the end give this track a little gospel flavor to go along with the lyrics. I like the vocal mix on the mid paced Rocker,“Walk On.” “Cover Me With Love” is a poppy piano driven track that in my opinion could have used a kickass guitar solo by Rocky Athas.  The players holding down the bottom are Chris Leighton on drums and Dan Mohler on bass.
“I’m Takin’ Mine” features agreat rocking guitar riff by Rocky Athas and James sings.  “I got a steel ass, a brick wall, A concrete laid, love filled will - I’m Takin’ Mine - Its been a long time comin’ Takin’ Mine - I’m Takin’ Mine, long time comin’ Takin’ Mine - Right to the edge my destiny is shovin’ me - Watch out below…. ‘cause I’m jumpin’”
Yes Cee Cee James is certainly taking hers; this is the second CD of hers that I’ve had the pleasure to listen to. I listen to a lot of female artists and most of them only have a few Blues songs and the rest is Pop, Soul, and R&B. That is not the case with Cee Cee James, this is a Blues/Rock CD that will disappoint no one. Now I need to get a copy of that live CD that I somehow missed!
Ron Hoerter with Daniel Schlewitz

 Albert Castiglia


Living The Dream

The title track “Living the Dream” starts off with a funky guitar riff, a great guitar solo and powerful vocals, this song has it all. “The Man” has great lyrics and I love the percussion by Emedin Rivera.  Castiglia sings “The game is rigged and it ain’t on my side, hard luck and trouble I just cannot hide. Willie’s weed and Johnny’s Tanqueray, couldn’t kill this pain that I’m feeling today.”  “No one’s getting over but the man.”  I think we all feel that way every so often, some more than others.
The Freddie King instrumental “Freddie’s Boogie” just kicks ass. The Hammond B3 by John Ginty, provides a perfect backdrop for Albert’s guitar, which must have had to have been put out by fire extinguisher by the time this song was over, “Directly from My Heart to You” the Richard Penniman aka Little Richard penned tune, has a nice slow soulful groove to it. Ginty’s B3 and piano playing rule the day here until Albert’s guitar solo.  That guitar solo reached inside me, got my heel to tap slow, then everything just amped up and blended together for one last blast that left me wanting a lot more
“Sometimes You Win” is an acoustic track. I’m not usually a fan of acoustic guitar songs but Albert always does them with such passion and intensity that you can’t help but love them. I love the lyrics and great slide guitar work on “Public Enemy #9” Sandy Mack’s dirty harp playing puts a cap on the most alive version I’ve ever heard of Paul Butterfield’s “Lovin Cup.”
The instrumental “Fat Cat” is another original where Albert just dares you not to be jumping around in your seat. “I Want Her for Myself” is another enjoyable acoustic track with Sandy Mack adding harp and “Juke Joint” Johnny Rizzo on acoustic slide guitar. Things slow down a bit on”Walk the Backstreets” but it is still a powerful track. I guarantee Mose Allison didn’t envision “Parchman Farm” sounding like this when he wrote it. This final dose of mind melting guitar is a great way to close out this CD.  
Albert’s vocals are right where they always are and his guitar playing is off the charts. Holding down the bottom in fine form are the usual suspects, Bob Amsel drums and AJ Kelly on bass. I just have to say thank you to Albert and the guys. They played at our Blues Café’ back in March and put on an awesome show. Albert is one of the nicest artists that I have ever met and let me tell you, I have met many. Thanks again!
Ron Hoerter with Daniel Schlewitz



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