Thursday, May 17, 2012


Big House is a self-labeled "blues" band from Nashville via Bakersfield, California.
Lead vocalist/guitarist Monty Byron and keyboardist/slide guitarist Dave Neuhauser comprise the core of Big House; they've been writing and playing music together for fifteen years. Bassist Steve Vines and drummer Bernie Rappa complete the current manifestation of the band. Together they form a tight ensemble, at times reminiscent of a fine jazz quartet. There are no "stars" here, no ego-tripping showmanship. These musicians clearly respect the part each contributes to the whole.
Byron's voice is, to my ear, more country than bluesy, although I suspect such distinctions are more useful to marketers and promoters than to listeners. I find his strong voice warm and soulful, even a bit raspy where the music requires.

CDBaby's definition:
Big House is somewhere between the west coast country of the Eagles and the Memphis Stax /Volt sound of Otis Redding and the M.G.'s Soul Country.

Tracks :

01. You Ain't Lonely Yet
02. Cold Outside
03. Amarillo
04. Love Ain't Easy
05. Walkin' On Me
06. Sunday In Memphis
07. Blue Train
08. Soul Country
09. Cryin' Town
10. Whose Baby Will You Be Tonight
11. Road Man

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Joe Cocker's debut album holds up extraordinarily well across four decades, the singer's performance bolstered by some very sharp playing, not only by his established sideman/collaborator Chris Stainton, but also some top-notch session musicians, among them drummer Clem Cattini, Steve Winwood on organ, and guitarists Jimmy Page and Albert Lee, all sitting in. It's Cocker's voice, a soulful rasp of an instrument backed up by Madeline Bell, Sunny Weetman and Rossetta Hightower that carries this album and makes "Change in Louise," "Feeling Alright," "Just Like a Woman," "I Shall Be Released," and even "Bye Bye Blackbird" into profound listening experiences. But the surprises in the arrangements, tempo, and approaches taken help make this an exceptional album. Tracks like "Just Like a Woman," with its soaring gospel organ above a lean textured acoustic and light electric accompaniment, and the guitar-dominated rendition of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" -- the formal debut of the Grease Band on record -- all help make this an exceptional listening experience. The 1999 A&M reissue not only includes new notes and audiophile-quality sound, but also a pair of bonus tracks, the previously unanthologized B-sides "The New Age of Lily" and "Something Coming On," deserved better than the obscurity in which they previously dwelt.

Tracks : 

Side one
  1. "Feeling Alright" (Dave Mason) – 4:10
  2. "Bye Bye Blackbird" (Ray Henderson, Mort Dixon) – 3:27
  3. "Change in Louise" (Joe Cocker, Chris Stainton) – 3:22
  4. "Marjorine" (Joe Cocker, Chris Stainton) – 2:38
  5. "Just Like a Woman" (Bob Dylan) – 5:17
Side two
  1. "Do I Still Figure in Your Life?" (Pete Dello) – 3:59
  2. "Sandpaper Cadillac" (Joe Cocker, Chris Stainton) – 3:16
  3. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (Gloria Caldwell, Sol Marcus, Bennie Benjamin) – 4:41
  4. "With a Little Help from My Friends" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – 5:11
  5. "I Shall Be Released" (Bob Dylan) – 4:35

Artwork Included

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