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Norman John Darwen
  • Male
  • United Kingdom
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Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

ANDREW CHAPMAN A.K.A. JOJO: Well, It’s About Time! (UpIsland Records)

 That album title is pretty appropriate – let’s have a little history… Vocalist Andrew Chapman first met Tony Braunagel – now a renowned drummer and producer on the modern blues scene – back in Houston in the late 60s. Andrew came to manage Braunagel’s band, Buttermilk Bottom, before forming a band called The Bloontz All Stars with bass player Terry Wilson – Braunagel joined them later, and they made an album around 1972 and ‘73 before touring with Johnny Nash.  Then Andrew more or less retired…See More
22 hours ago
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

SCOTTIE MILLER BAND - Stay Above Water (independent release)

Stylistically this set ranges from the acoustic country of 'Guardian Angel' at one extreme to the progressive rock tinges of 'Come Along'. The bulk of the material though falls into a blues, or at least a blues-tinged, bag. The opening 'Burned All My Bridges' is a fine blues-rocking shuffle with just the merest hint of Howling Wolf in the introduction and rhythm, 'Keep This Good Thing Going' features the excellent Ruthie Foster as special guest giving vent to truly gospel wailing vocals, and…See More
Tuesday
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

SCOTTIE MILLER BAND - Stay Above Water (independent release)

Stylistically this set ranges from the acoustic country of 'Guardian Angel' at one extreme to the progressive rock tinges of 'Come Along'. The bulk of the material though falls into a blues, or at least a blues-tinged, bag. The opening 'Burned All My Bridges' is a fine blues-rocking shuffle with just the merest hint of Howling Wolf in the introduction and rhythm, 'Keep This Good Thing Going' features the excellent Ruthie Foster as special guest giving vent to truly gospel wailing vocals, and…See More
Monday
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

MICHAEL PACKER – “I Am The Blues – My Story Vol. 3” (Iris Music Group IMG-986-3)

Born in 1950, Michael Packer died of liver cancer on 6th May 2017, shortly after having completed this set as the final part of his musical legacy. He recorded as a member of country/ folk/ rock band Papa Nebo on Atlantic, then with Free beer for Buddah and RCA, then as a well-respected bluesman in the New York area, working frequently with the late Delta blues legend David “Honeyboy” Edwards.This is a musically varied set, though strongly rooted in the blues – indeed, ‘Chicago’ and ‘Mr.…See More
Jul 1
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

KAREN LOVELY – Fish Outta Water (Independent)

Massachusetts- born Karen first came to wider attention in 2010 when this versatile singer, now based in the Pacific north-west came second in the International Blues Challenge. This is her fourth album, produced by Eric Corne, who also wrote or co-wrote nine of the album’s dozen tracks. It does come across most definitely as Karen’s album though, in case you were wondering – her strong, soulful voice tackles the many blues tracks, the swampy ‘Nice And Easy’, soul such as ‘Under The Midnight…See More
Jun 27
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

KAREN LOVELY – Fish Outta Water (Independent)

Massachusetts- born Karen first came to wider attention in 2010 when this versatile singer, now based in the Pacific north-west came second in the International Blues Challenge. This is her fourth album, produced by Eric Corne, who also wrote or co-wrote nine of the album’s dozen tracks. It does come across most definitely as Karen’s album though, in case you were wondering – her strong, soulful voice tackles the many blues tracks, the swampy ‘Nice And Easy’, soul such as ‘Under The Midnight…See More
Jun 26
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

WILLA AND COMPANY – Better Days (Building Records)

I had never heard of Hudson Valley, New York-based singer Willa Vincitore (previously Willa McCarthy) before but right from the opening notes of the romping up tempo blues ‘Love Looks Good On Me’, with its excellent vocal, gospel styled chorus, blaring horns, sharp guitar and rollicking rhythm section, I knew I would want to hear more. Nor did this album disappoint: ‘Stop Drop And Roll’ brings the funk forward, ‘Hooked On You’ harks back to classic soul, and ‘Hey Little Sister’ is dirty…See More
Jun 20
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

MICHELE D’AMOUR AND THE LOVE DEALERS: Lost Nights At The Leopard Lounge (Independent)

 Led by the Seattle-based singer/ songwriter Michele D’Amour, this outfit has here a very fine blues set, their third album. Right from the excellent opener, the up tempo shuffle of ‘No Good’, the songs are all originals, intelligent and interesting, well sung by Michele whose voice is flexible and convincing, ranging from the strong slow blues of ‘Trouble’ to the ever-so slightly pop tinged ‘When The Blues Come Calling’. The Love Dealers themselves are a very tight three piece, with a rhythm…See More
Jun 9
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

MICHELE D’AMOUR AND THE LOVE DEALERS: Lost Nights At The Leopard Lounge (Independent)

 Led by the Seattle-based singer/ songwriter Michele D’Amour, this outfit has here a very fine blues set, their third album. Right from the excellent opener, the up tempo shuffle of ‘No Good’, the songs are all originals, intelligent and interesting, well sung by Michele whose voice is flexible and convincing, ranging from the strong slow blues of ‘Trouble’ to the ever-so slightly pop tinged ‘When The Blues Come Calling’. The Love Dealers themselves are a very tight three piece, with a rhythm…See More
Jun 6
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

MARK CAMERON BAND – Live At Blues On The Chippewa (Cop Records LPM-1678)

 Minneapolis based singer, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader Mark Cameron started out playing folk-rock in the 70s, but for many years he has focussed on the blues. He has been building a solid reputation, particularly over the last couple of years. The Mark Cameron Band is a five piece, with the leader’s strong and flexible vocals backed by the expected line-up of guitar, harmonica, bass and drums (Cameron, Bill Keyes, Scott Lundberg and Dan Schroeder respectively) augmented by Sheri…See More
May 31
Norman John Darwen posted blog posts
May 30
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

BOBBY MESSANO – Bad Movie (Prince Frog Record Company BM1-41517)

 Guitarist, singer and bandleader Bobby Messano has many years experience of working with rock artists like Steve Winwood and country artists like Jimmy Wayne and Rodney Atkins. Yet in his own right he is known as a contemporary blues artist, and certainly the first few tracks here point to him as an accomplished blues-rocker, with an influence from the British blues-boomers of the late 60s, and Jimi Hendrix (try ‘Why Water A Dead Rose’ for the latter). The vast majority of this album’s fifteen…See More
May 24
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

DAVIS COEN – These Things Shall Pass (Soundview SP 1008)

 Here’s a varied CD of inspirational sacred music, covering a wide range of styles from traditional country spirituals ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’ and ‘Old Rugged Cross’ and the pure country cover of the title track (previously covered by Johnny Cash and Hank Snow) to the Memphis soul-inflections of former Jackson Southernaire Willie Banks & The Messengers’  ‘Working For Jesus’ and the vintage rhythm and blues sound of 'Lord, Let Me Do Right' via the almost honky-tonk sound of ‘Saint…See More
May 11
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

DAVIS COEN – These Things Shall Pass (Soundview SP 1008)

 Here’s a varied CD of inspirational sacred music, covering a wide range of styles from traditional country spirituals ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’ and ‘Old Rugged Cross’ and the pure country cover of the title track (previously covered by Johnny Cash and Hank Snow) to the Memphis soul-inflections of former Jackson Southernaire Willie Banks & The Messengers’  ‘Working For Jesus’ and the vintage rhythm and blues sound of 'Lord, Let Me Do Right' via the almost honky-tonk sound of ‘Saint…See More
May 9
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

JIM ROBERTS AND THE RESONANTS – Beneath The Blood Moon (KKP Records)

Right from the opening notes of the title track, there is no doubt that this is going to be a fine Southern rock styled set, with plenty of blues influence, and Jim’s own droning cigar box guitar establishing a low-down dirty mood. Then Mike Finnigan’s Hammond organ comes in and everything moves up another notch. Though Jim is based in Los Angeles, he has been around since the 1970s and this outfit was previously known as The Jack Roberts Harvey Band.. He has a straightforward singing voice,…See More
May 5
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

LIGHTHOUSE SWEDEN – Silence In The City (Moody Maraccas MOM007)

   This Swedish five-piece, under the leadership of the husband and wife team of Mats and Linda Brandemark (with the latter taking – just - the majority of the lead vocals), offer an excellent selection of blues - try ‘Everybody’s Been A Fool’ or for a more modern take, ‘Hole In My Soul ‘ – Dire Straits styled rock as on the…See More
Apr 24

Profile Information

Name
Norman Darwen
Do you wish to be a FS correspondent/reviewer
yes
What is your involvement in music?
Freelance journalist/ reviewer for numerous magazines and websites - specialising in Blues, Caribbean music (esp. French Caribbean), music of La Reunion, African music - and anything else of interest!
How best do you see your involvement here developing?
Review CD's

Norman John Darwen's Blog

ANDREW CHAPMAN A.K.A. JOJO: Well, It’s About Time! (UpIsland Records)

 

That album title is pretty appropriate – let’s have a little history… Vocalist Andrew Chapman first met Tony Braunagel – now a renowned drummer and producer on the modern blues scene – back in Houston in the late 60s. Andrew came to manage Braunagel’s band, Buttermilk Bottom, before forming a band called The Bloontz All Stars with bass player Terry Wilson – Braunagel joined them later, and they made an album around 1972 and ‘73 before touring with Johnny…

Continue

Posted on July 27, 2017 at 15:33

SCOTTIE MILLER BAND - Stay Above Water (independent release)

Stay Above Water - Scottie Miller Band

Stylistically this set ranges from the acoustic country of 'Guardian Angel' at one extreme to the progressive rock tinges of 'Come Along'. The bulk of the material though falls into a blues, or at least a blues-tinged, bag. The opening 'Burned All My Bridges' is a fine blues-rocking shuffle with just the merest hint of Howling Wolf in the introduction and rhythm, 'Keep This Good Thing Going' features…

Continue

Posted on July 24, 2017 at 11:44

MICHAEL PACKER – “I Am The Blues – My Story Vol. 3” (Iris Music Group IMG-986-3)

Michael Packer - I Am The Blues My Story, Vol. 3 (2017) 320 kbps

Born in 1950, Michael Packer died of liver cancer on 6th May 2017, shortly after having completed this set as the final part of his musical legacy. He recorded as a member of country/ folk/ rock band Papa Nebo on Atlantic, then with Free beer for Buddah and RCA, then as a well-respected bluesman in the New York area, working frequently with the late Delta blues legend David “Honeyboy” Edwards.

This is a musically varied set, though strongly rooted in the…

Continue

Posted on July 1, 2017 at 20:14

KAREN LOVELY – Fish Outta Water (Independent)

Karen Lovely - Fish Outta Water (2017) 320 kbps

Massachusetts- born Karen first came to wider attention in 2010 when this versatile singer, now based in the Pacific north-west came second in the International Blues Challenge. This is her fourth album, produced by Eric Corne, who also wrote or co-wrote nine of the album’s dozen tracks. It does come across most definitely as Karen’s album though, in case you were wondering – her strong, soulful voice tackles the many blues tracks,…

Continue

Posted on June 26, 2017 at 13:25

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At 1:12 on August 16, 2015, Vallecia Jones said…

Hello
How are you today?
I wish you the best of season
I will like us to discuss important issues.
Write me back once you read my mail.
vallecia_jones@aol.com
Hope to hear from you
Take care,
Vallecia

 
 
 

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Year 2016

1
Levi Parham
90 pts.
These American Blues
Music Road Records
GC,JBO,TK
2
Martha Fields
86 pts.
Southern White Lies
Independent
BP,BH,FB,JAB,RW,SP
3
Carter Sampson
75 pts.
Wilder Side
Independent/CRS
AN,CRS,JB
4
Anna Elizabeth Laube
65 pts.
Tree
Ahh...Pockets! Records
DH,NC
5
Michael McDermott
60 pts.
Willow Springs
Pauper Sky Records
BK,MM
6
Shovels & Rope
54 pts.
Little Seeds
New West
 
7
Robert Ellis
53 pts.
Robert Ellis
New West Records
DHO
8
Sturgill Simpson
52 pts.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Atlantic Records
JJ,JF
9
Douglas Greer
50 pts.
Baja Louisiana
Zilker Park Records
HDB,ML
10
Lucinda Williams
46 pts.
The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Highway 20 Records
EM
11
Buddy Miller & Friends
44 pts.
Cayamo Sessions at Sea
New West Records
 
12
Wink Burcham
43 pts.
Cleveland Summer Nights
Continental Song City
 
13
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
42 pts.
C&O Canal
Red Beet Records
BR
14
Brent Cobb
41 pts.
Shine On A Rainy Day
Elektra Records
HH
 
Daniel Romano
41 pts.
Mosey
New West
CVL
 
Leonard Cohen
41 pts.
You Want it Darker
Sony Music
HO
17
Christian Kjellvander
40 pts.
A Village: Natural Light
Tapete Records
BM
18
Drive-By Truckers
39 pts.
American Band
ATO Records
AR,EZ
19
Birds of Chicago
38 pts.
Real Midnight
Five Head Entertainment
LM,SZ
20
John Prine
37 pts.
For Better, or Worse
Oh Boy Records
FS,MB
21
The Cactus Blossoms
36 pts.
You’re Dreaming
Red House Records
GS,HD
22
Richmond Fontaine
35 pts.
You Can’t Go Back
Décor Records
FCE
23
Gillian Welch
34 pts.
Boots No.1: The Official Revival Bootleg
Acony Records
LK,PR,TJ
24
Sarah Jarosz
33 pts.
Undercurrent
Sugar Hill
RM
25
Joe Purdy
32 pts.
Who Will Be Next?
Mudtown Crier Records
AL
 
The Devil Makes Three
32 pts.
Redemption & Ruin
New West

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