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Norman John Darwen
  • Male
  • United Kingdom
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A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

PROFESSOR LOUIE AND THE CROWMATIX - Crowin' The Blues (Woodstock WR 61)

"Well, this gives the lie to the statement that the best blues is laid down spontaneously, often in the last few minutes of a studio session as the producer's trying to get the musicians to pack up". That was my first thought listening to this CD "blind" - this is carefully crafted music, thoughtful blues with meticulous arrangements, such as Professor's Louie's excellent piano playing on his version of Tommy Tucker's classic 'High Heel Sneakers', Miss Marie's immaculately timed gospel shouts…See More
6 hours ago
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

PROFESSOR LOUIE AND THE CROWMATIX - Crowin' The Blues (Woodstock WR 61)

"Well, this gives the lie to the statement that the best blues is laid down spontaneously, often in the last few minutes of a studio session as the producer's trying to get the musicians to pack up". That was my first thought listening to this CD "blind" - this is carefully crafted music, thoughtful blues with meticulous arrangements, such as Professor's Louie's excellent piano playing on his version of Tommy Tucker's classic 'High Heel Sneakers', Miss Marie's immaculately timed gospel shouts…See More
Mar 22
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

DAVID M'ORE - Passion, Soul & Fire (Own label)

Born in Argentina but based in California since 1990 - initially in Los Angeles where he played with some of the local blues musicians but nowadays he calls San Francisco home - David M'ore is an unabashed blues-rocker, with a gruff voice in the vein of Howlin' Wolf or Captain Beefheart (though a little less flexible, if truth be told - an occasional vocal duet might go down well), and a guitar style that draws in about equal amounts from Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Gary Moore and Deep…See More
Mar 22
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

DAVID M'ORE - Passion, Soul & Fire (Own label)

Born in Argentina but based in California since 1990 - initially in Los Angeles where he played with some of the local blues musicians but nowadays he calls San Francisco home - David M'ore is an unabashed blues-rocker, with a gruff voice in the vein of Howlin' Wolf or Captain Beefheart (though a little less flexible, if truth be told - an occasional vocal duet might go down well), and a guitar style that draws in about equal amounts from Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Gary Moore and Deep…See More
Mar 18
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

KATHY & THE KILOWATTS – Let’s Do This Thing (Lectro Fine 022017)

This is a very fine, almost straight blues set from singer Kathy Murray, aided and abetted by some wonderful guitar playing by her husband Bill “Monster” Jones, a top-notch rhythm section and the occasional use of horns. As for those superlatives – did I mention that these guys are veterans of the Austin, Texas, blues scene? The band’s strapline is “real deal Texas roots and blues”. Initially though, I was rather less keen. On first listening, I got to around track three thinking something was…See More
Mar 14
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

KATHY & THE KILOWATTS – Let’s Do This Thing (Lectro Fine 022017)

This is a very fine, almost straight blues set from singer Kathy Murray, aided and abetted by some wonderful guitar playing by her husband Bill “Monster” Jones, a top-notch rhythm section and the occasional use of horns. As for those superlatives – did I mention that these guys are veterans of the Austin, Texas, blues scene? The band’s strapline is “real deal Texas roots and blues”. Initially though, I was rather less keen. On first listening, I got to around track three thinking something was…See More
Mar 14
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

HURRICANE RUTH – Ain’t Ready For The Grave (Own label)

 Track Two, ‘Hard Rockin’ Woman’ is an aptly titled powerhouse performance, a statement of intent with Illinois-born Ruth approaching the power of Tina Turner in her prime and maybe a tinge or two of Janis Joplin. Mind you, the opening ‘Barrelhouse Joe’s’ brought Koko Taylor to mind, so yes, we can be pretty sure that Ruth can roar out the blues with the best of them. Things become a little quieter for ‘Far From The Cradle’, with electric slide guitar the main accompanying instrument over a…See More
Mar 10
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

HURRICANE RUTH – Ain’t Ready For The Grave (Own label)

 Track Two, ‘Hard Rockin’ Woman’ is an aptly titled powerhouse performance, a statement of intent with Illinois-born Ruth approaching the power of Tina Turner in her prime and maybe a tinge or two of Janis Joplin. Mind you, the opening ‘Barrelhouse Joe’s’ brought Koko Taylor to mind, so yes, we can be pretty sure that Ruth can roar out the blues with the best of them. Things become a little quieter for ‘Far From The Cradle’, with electric slide guitar the main accompanying instrument over a…See More
Mar 10
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

PATTY REESE – Let In The Sun (Azalea City ACCD 1602)

 Blues, roots-rock and Americana is what singer Patty offers on her fourth album, opening with the tough blues of ‘Is It Too Late For Me?”, with Patty’s passionate vocal performance driven along by Jonathan Sloane’s wicked electric slide guitar playing and a gritty band. ‘Your Love’ continues in the straight blues vein, a fine Texas shuffle with Patty’s voice in a more sensual mood, before veering off into the hard funk of ‘Soul Satisfier’ and the torch-y jazz of ‘I Won’t Let You Down’. The…See More
Mar 2
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

PATTY REESE – Let In The Sun (Azalea City ACCD 1602)

 Blues, roots-rock and Americana is what singer Patty offers on her fourth album, opening with the tough blues of ‘Is It Too Late For Me?”, with Patty’s passionate vocal performance driven along by Jonathan Sloane’s wicked electric slide guitar playing and a gritty band. ‘Your Love’ continues in the straight blues vein, a fine Texas shuffle with Patty’s voice in a more sensual mood, before veering off into the hard funk of ‘Soul Satisfier’ and the torch-y jazz of ‘I Won’t Let You Down’. The…See More
Feb 24
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

MARY’S LITTLE LAMB – Elixir For The Drifter (RootzRumble RR98703)

 This Belgian five piece outfit takes us back to a time when country music drew heavily on the myth of the Old West – the opening twangy guitar instrumental is a little reminiscent of The Ramrods’ early 60s hit version of ‘Ghost Riders In The Sky’, and employs strings providing a sound little heard since that era. There is also a strong mariachi band influence (as there is also on several other tracks). The rich vocals of band-leader Bart Hendrickx hark back to a time when singers were…See More
Feb 20
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

MARY’S LITTLE LAMB – Elixir For The Drifter (RootzRumble RR98703)

 This Belgian five piece outfit takes us back to a time when country music drew heavily on the myth of the Old West – the opening twangy guitar instrumental is a little reminiscent of The Ramrods’ early 60s hit version of ‘Ghost Riders In The Sky’, and employs strings providing a sound little heard since that era. There is also a strong mariachi band influence (as there is also on several other tracks). The rich vocals of band-leader Bart Hendrickx hark back to a time when singers were…See More
Feb 17
A blog post by Norman John Darwen was featured

GAETANO LAETIZIA & THE UNDERWORLD BLUES ROCK BAND Resurrection (Own label – www.underworldblues.com)

“You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover”, sang Bo Diddley – but looking at the late 60s quasi-psychedelic cover of this CD and the band name, and even after listening to the Hendrix/ Freddy King hybrid of the title track, you could certainly be forgiven for expecting a heavy blues-rock set. Well, no, it’s not. Cleveland, Ohio-based guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader Gaetano also has a parallel jazz career which sometimes comes through in his playing - think of Robben Ford…See More
Feb 5
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

GAETANO LAETIZIA & THE UNDERWORLD BLUES ROCK BAND Resurrection (Own label – www.underworldblues.com)

“You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover”, sang Bo Diddley – but looking at the late 60s quasi-psychedelic cover of this CD and the band name, and even after listening to the Hendrix/ Freddy King hybrid of the title track, you could certainly be forgiven for expecting a heavy blues-rock set. Well, no, it’s not. Cleveland, Ohio-based guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader Gaetano also has a parallel jazz career which sometimes comes through in his playing - think of Robben Ford…See More
Feb 5
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

GAETANO LAETIZIA & THE UNDERWORLD BLUES ROCK BAND Resurrection (Own label – www.underworldblues.com)

“You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover”, sang Bo Diddley – but looking at the late 60s quasi-psychedelic cover of this CD and the band name, and even after listening to the Hendrix/ Freddy King hybrid of the title track, you could certainly be forgiven for expecting a heavy blues-rock set. Well, no, it’s not. Cleveland, Ohio-based guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader Gaetano also has a parallel jazz career which sometimes comes through in his playing - think of Robben Ford…See More
Feb 3
Norman John Darwen posted a blog post

TOM CRAIG AND SOUL PATCH - Get Ready For Me (Independent - www.soulpatchband.net)

Philadelphia born singer, guitarist and songwriter Tom Craig and drummer John O'Connell have been playing blues and roots music together for the past ten years or so, and they recently joined up with Hammond organist Eric Johnson, tenor saxophonist Vince Gleason and baritone saxman Skyler Hagner, adding a few guests including the Vizztone label's Dave Gross on bass and backing vocals on four numbers on this, the debut album for this Delaware-based outfit. Its inspiration is clearly the blues…See More
Jan 2

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

PROFESSOR LOUIE AND THE CROWMATIX - Crowin' The Blues (Woodstock WR 61)

Crowin' the Blues

"Well, this gives the lie to the statement that the best blues is laid down spontaneously, often in the last few minutes of a studio session as the producer's trying to get the musicians to pack up". That was my first thought listening to this CD "blind" - this is carefully crafted music, thoughtful blues with meticulous arrangements, such as Professor's Louie's excellent piano playing on his version of Tommy Tucker's classic 'High Heel Sneakers', Miss Marie's…
Continue

Posted on March 22, 2017 at 21:20

DAVID M'ORE - Passion, Soul & Fire (Own label)

Born in Argentina but based in California since 1990 - initially in Los Angeles where he played with some of the local blues musicians but nowadays he calls San Francisco home - David M'ore is an unabashed blues-rocker, with a gruff voice in the vein of Howlin' Wolf or Captain Beefheart (though a little less flexible, if truth be told - an occasional vocal duet might go down well), and a guitar style that draws in about equal amounts from Johnny Winter, Jimi…
Continue

Posted on March 18, 2017 at 10:08

KATHY & THE KILOWATTS – Let’s Do This Thing (Lectro Fine 022017)

Let'sDoThisThing!_CoverArt

This is a very fine, almost straight blues set from singer Kathy Murray, aided and abetted by some wonderful guitar playing by her husband Bill “Monster” Jones, a top-notch rhythm section and the occasional use of horns. As for those superlatives – did I mention that these guys are veterans of the Austin, Texas, blues scene? The band’s strapline is “real deal Texas roots and blues”. Initially though, I was rather less keen. On first listening, I got to…

Continue

Posted on March 14, 2017 at 13:56

HURRICANE RUTH – Ain’t Ready For The Grave (Own label)

 

Track Two, ‘Hard Rockin’ Woman’ is an aptly titled powerhouse performance, a statement of intent with Illinois-born Ruth approaching the power of Tina Turner in her prime and maybe a tinge or two of Janis Joplin. Mind you, the opening ‘Barrelhouse Joe’s’ brought Koko Taylor to mind, so yes, we can be pretty sure that Ruth can roar out the blues with the best of them. Things become a little quieter for ‘Far From The Cradle’, with electric slide guitar the main…

Continue

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 9:51

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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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