Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

WILLY MAY

Stone Blue

2012-05-25

Nick's Picks: 03 Stranger In My House; 05 Brand New Story; 06 Where Did We Go Wrong; 09 Hola Teresa

FCC ALERT: "clean, mean, smooth machine"

Review by Steven "Nick" Nickelson of Willy MayStone Blue :

As I have mentioned many times, there really is no ego in the Blues business. That couldn't be more explicit by the recordings on this cd. First up, we are treated to some tight rhythms on the snare and B3 that lend the beat, as well as the tune (“I'm A Stone”). The strings are elegantly stretched on the next cut (“Don't Do That No More”), and we get a solid rhythm from upright bass and traps. From the start, this true blues album exhibits all that is great about the genre. From the wonderful guitar solos and smooth vocals of singer/songwriter Willy May, through the classic keyboard accompaniment to rock solid rhythms and occasional mournful sax parts, this is simply an outstanding presentation. As is so often the case with the blues his pain is our gain (“Brand New Story”). Having been a fan of the blues for many, many years, I am often surprised by the number of best bluesmen I had never heard of. Such is the case here, as this is May's TWELFTH album! Perhaps my confusion rests in the amazing cross-genre talent of him and all the session musicians on this cd. Although predominantly blues, there is a sprinkling of rock and roll (admittedly a “child” of blues) in the mix (“Showtime”), as well as some memorable “lonesome” Creedence-type cowboy blues (“Where Did We Go Wrong?”, “So Long Ago”), and a touch of “Reggae” blues (“Made In The Shade”). The only instrumental (and best I have heard in a long while) is awesomely reminiscent of the Cuban group Buena Vista Social Club (“Hola Teresa”). Rarely does one give an unequivocal recommendation on first listening, but I have no hesitation in giving this the Nick's Picks seal of approval. And that's my two nickels' worth........................Nick

Bio:

Willie May has performed in basements, barns, garages, street corners, speak-easies, house trailers, preschool, high school, colleges, radio, television, bars, concert halls, outdoor festival arenas, and inside Attica prison. Willie has taken his original blend of music to the blues clubs, Willie May has performed back to back on stage with Alvin Lee, Steve Marriott, John Kay and Steppenwolf, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Otis Clay, The Climax Blues Band, Zorra Young, Jerry Portnoy, The Legendary Blues Band, Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Sue Foley, L.A. Jones, Chris Duarte, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Stan Szelest, Chris Beard, Rock Bottom, James Cotton, Big Jack Johnson and many more. The Willie May Band featuring Ron Kain, Tom E. Corsi, Randy Corsi and, of course, Willie May is a 5 time Buffalo Area Music Award winner voted Western New York Blues Beat Magazine's Band of the Year. from The LaFayette Tap Room in Buffalo to Antones in Austin, TX, The Black Swan in Toronto, The Penny Arcade in Rochester, The Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse, The Slippery Noodle in Indianapolis, Fat Fish Blue in Cleveland, Bflo Blues in Pittsburgh, and to countless other venues on thousands, yes thousands, of occasions.

The Musicians:

・ Williw May – songwriter, vocals, guitar, bass, kalimba

Special Guest Musicians:

・ Carl Eddy – guitar (track 6)

・ Evan Laedke – organ (tracks 1, 8)

・ Jim Bohm – trumpet (track 6)

・ Jim Whitford – upright bass (tracks 2, 3, 6)

・ Ken Parker – saxophone (tracks 3, 7)

・ Kenny Peterson – pedal steel guitar

・ Kevin Espinoza – harmonica

・ Mark Garcia – drums

・ Owen Eichensehr – drums, organ, guitar (tracks 4, 5)

・ Randy Bolam – drums (track 6)

・ Randy Corsi – drums (track 10)

・ Ron Kain – guitar (track 10)

・ Tom E. Korsi – Bass (track 10)

The Songs:

1. I'm A Stone

2. Don't Do That No More

3. Stranger In My House

4. Made In The Shade

5. Brand New Story

6. Where Did We Go Wrong

7. Showtime

8. So Long Ago

9. Hola Teresa

10. Old Friends

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.