Guitarist Peter Parcek is what you might call a late bloomer. At 60 years old, he’s just released his first national release. Hailing from the New England area, his post-high school years were spent abroad, soaking up the British blues of Eric Clapton and Peter Green, and avoiding the Vietnam combat. Once things calmed down, Parcek returned to the States and took jobs as a school counselor and instrument salesman. A chance meeting with blues legend Pinetop Perkins resulted in Parcek leading Perkins’ band for awhile. After gaining more confidence, Parcek decided to strike out on his own. The Mathematics of Love, only his second solo album, showcases his varied style, something he calls “soul guitar.” He gets help from another legend, Al Kooper, on several of the tracks on the album. Click below for the Peter Parcek interview.
Jimmie Vaughan – Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites (Shout Factory) – CD review –
Jimmie Vaughan has recorded sporadically since he left the Fabulous Thunderbirds two decades ago; Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites is only his fourth solo album, and his first since 2001. Vaughan has assembled a collection of his favorite tunes, and recorded them in a loose, live-in-the-studio environment.
It truly sounds like someone held up a single microphone in front of the band and they went to work. Most of the album moves along at a pleasant simmer, never really cooking hot, but always bringing some heat. Sax, trumpet, organ and harmonica mix in with the usual instruments to keep things interesting. The best tracks feature vocalist Lou Ann Barton dueting with Vaughan on songs like “I Miss You So.” Vaughan’s guitar playing is relaxed, with his signature clean tone still intact. Most of his solos aren’t flashy, but that’s the point; Vaughan is strolling down memory lane and we’ve been lucky enough to come along. –Tony Peters
Delbert McClinton has been playing his own mix of blues, country and rock n’ roll for almost 50 years with no sign of slowing down. His latest release, Acquired Taste, was a gritty collection of songs and another triumph. He talks with Icon Fetch about where he still gets inspiration for his songs (he co-wrote almost every song on the album), plus his upcoming Sandy Beaches 17, a cruise vacation that he started that’s in it’s, that’s right, seventeenth year. In addition, he sets to rest the rumor that he taught a young John Lennon how to play harmonica. Click below for the Delbert McClinton interview.
Elvin Bishop – Red Dog Speaks (Delta Groove) – CD review –
Elvin Bishop has been making music for almost 50 years, and his latest CD, Red Dog Speaks, is a reflection of the twists and turns he’s taken throughout his career. The title refers to Elvin’s vintage Gibson guitar, which has become his axe of choice. Some tracks on the disc are sung by him, others by John Nemeth (the best of which, “Neighbor, Neighbor,” is a blistering cover of an old Jimmy Hughes song).
While Bishop has never been much of a singer, he does make the best of it by turning his songs into conversations, as in “Fat & Sassy,” where he bemoans a trip to the doctor, where he’s told all the things he can no longer eat; or “Clean Livin,’” where he wonders how he “ever got this old / It sure wasn’t clean livin.” There are several tasty instrumentals, including the “Doo Wop Medley” which melds “In the Still of the Night” with “Maybe,” two Fifties classics that let Bishop’s slide work really shine.
There’s also “Blues Cruise,” which was actually recorded on the boat of the same name, featuring many of the other musicians who were part of the trip. The real surprise is that despite the album’s hodge podge of styles, nothing comes off as a stretch; it all works. This dog might be old, but he’s still capable of surprises like this one. — Tony Peters
Veteran blues guitarist Elvin Bishop returns with a new CD “Red Dog Speaks,” on June 15th. The title refers to his favorite stringed instrument, a 1959 Gibson hollow body. Bishop’s storied career includes a stint in the acclaimed Butterfield Blues Band in the mid 1960’s. In ’68, he went solo and played a series of stellar co-headlining shows with the Allman Brothers Band at the Fillmore East. Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” hit #3 in 1976 and is still a staple at classic rock stations around the country. He was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Blues Album for 2008’s star-studded “The Blues Rolls On.” You can order Elvin’s CD by going directly to his record label’s site or at amazon.com as well.