Art of Blues

by Art of Blues, Steve Arvey & Bill Buchman

Released 2015
Art of Blues
Released 2015
Art of Blues
A rollicking band of pros deliver exciting and authentic blues performances of classic numbers and polished originals featuring rich, powerful vocals plus great guitar, piano and harp solos... a winning spectrum of grooves from Chicago to New Orleans.
NOTES
When you hear the “Art of Blues” you know immediately you are listening to a group of musical veterans with deep musical roots who know what they are doing and who share their joy in doing it. They have all individually earned their stripes playing with the best of the best ever since the early seventies. The fact that these musicians have found common cause to revel in the art of playing the blues has led to a musical celebration on CD you won’t want to miss!

Both co-leaders guitarist/singer Steve Arvey and jazz/blues pianist Bill Buchman have led their own exciting groups for many decades and are well known in their own right. Guitarist Steve Arvey began in Chicago on Maxwell Street in the 70's performing, recording and working with the cream of authentic blues musicians in Chicago including Otis Rush, Junior Wells, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy Rogers, Big Smokey Smothers, Honey Boy Edwards, Lefty Dizz, Big Moose Walker, BB “Big Voice” Odum, Big Jack Johnson, and Sam Carr Jr to name a few. Steve has travelled the world performing at blues festivals and has 15 CDs to his name. Pianist Bill Buchman, who played with the Mojo’s at Cornell University in the 60’s and became friends with Memphis Slim in Paris in the 80’s, is a keen student of the blues who has studied many years with jazz masters Jaki Byard and Ran Blake and has Bachelors and Masters’ degrees in music from the New England Conservatory. He has performed around the US and Europe with the likes of “Papa” Jo Jones (of Count Basie fame), Red Callender, Alan Dawson, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, John La Porta, Sammy Rimington, Joe Lee Wilson, Per Goldschmidt, and Emmanuel Abdul Rahim. Drummer Rick Andre has worked with The Drifters, The Platters, The Miracles, Leslie Gore, The Tokens, and The Coasters to name but a few. Michael Dempsey was the 5th Dimension’s bassist for four years and subsequently has performed/recorded with Linda Rondstadt, Dan Fogelberg, Vince Gill and many others and has appeared on over 100 albums. Harmonica player Tony Smith has wide playing experience and is able to channel Sonny Boy Williamson II at will.

About The Tracks:

1 Good Morning Little School Girl (7:07) The collection starts off with a hard driving version of Sonny Boy Williamson’s great song with powerful vocals and guitar, piano and harp solos that build to a rousing finish. Tony Smith channels Sonny Boy on the harp.

2 My Jelly Roll (7:28) Based on a 1921 novelty number by the once popular but now obscure Norfolk Jazz Quartette, this original arrangement has a funky New Orleans beat and rolling bounce, some mysterious words, and inspired solos.

3 Worried Life Blues (7:34) Steve’s rich vocal gives this great blues classic with the unhurried tempo and warm colors a fresh work over with Bill’s gospel tinges on the piano and Tony's emotive harp - strong instrumental solos all around contributing to a fine mood.

4 How Do Spell Love (7:26) A medium tempo barrelhouse feel gets this humorous song by Kraig Kenning into gear. It gradually cruises up to overdrive where Steve asks “Can I kick my leg?”

5 Mississippi Winds (5:37) Jerry Jakala’s moving and moody composition inspires a lowdown odyssey deep into the Delta which disappears into the murky fog and wind.

6 Thick Cut Bacon (3:47) Bright and upbeat, this instrumental composition by Bill and Steve was motivated by the blues instrumentals of the 60’s that crossed over into Latin and jazz territory long before anyone ever heard of “fusion”.

7 Let’s Get High (4:04) A classic by Roscoe Gordon, this easy going medium blues with a Memphis beat invites everyone to get in the mood .

8 Head On to New Orleans (3:49) – Steve and Bill’s original composition takes you on a rollicking and rolling trip down the streets of New Orleans.

9 BB Boogie (2:57). Bill at the piano, with bass and drums accompaniment, takes you back across the decades to an earlier era, Inspired by Pete Johnson’s Kansas City boogie woogie style, Bill creates his own BB Boogie.

10 I Wanna Stay Sober (3:50) This theme (and it’s opposite) have been recurring themes in blues songs through the years. This medium rocking blues is Bill and Steve’s contribution to the genre.

11 Bad Boy Blues (4:08) The band digs in on this hard driving medium blues by the great Eddie Taylor.

12 Boogie Woogie Mama (4:15) This composition by Steve and Bill gives everyone the chance to explore and celebrate the boogie woogie roots of the blues.

13 AIn’t Gonna Drink No More Whiskey (5:26) This collection closes out with an arrangement of this blues anthem which celebrates the abstemious urge with confident performances all around.