Bryan Lee – Katrina was her Name

The other night I went to see Mr. Bryan Lee play at the Ringside Cafe’. I think at this point everyone knows of my admiration of Bryan, and if you don’t, you need only to read through the archives of this site. So, with that said, I am gonna skip on the Bryan Lee bio and my fanboy gushings and get to the subject at hand…..a new Bryan Lee cd.

IMO, the best place to start getting to know Bryan (and blues music at all), is via his live albums. Specifically, get Live at the Absinthe House….it’ll kick your ass. To my surprise, Bryan’s studio effort (this is the first I’ve heard from him) seems just as personable. Like he bypassed all studio trickery and just went for the “reach out and grab ya” card. There is nothing about this cd that will disappoint a Blues (Chicago mostly?) fan at all. At a time when anyone with a second cousin is writing songs about Katrina, leave it to a New Orleans resident and Bourbon street regular to write a song about the devastation in such a blunt and plain manner. People listening long after the words “Hurricane Katrina” loseWeight Exercise their sting will understand exactly what happened in one particular port town on the Mississippi delta.

Bryan Lee – Katrina Was Her Name
Bryan Lee – Don’t Joke With The Stroke
Bryan Lee – 29 Ways

Bryan Lee’s Official Site, Buy Katrina Was Her Name

Rocky Votolato – Bragg and Cuss

“Jack Daniels in one hand / Basic Light in the other / My two best friends for so long that I can’t even remember” ~ Postcard from Kentucky

Are you fucking kidding me? If there was any such thing as a paint-by-numbers template for writing songs for me to like, that line right there would be on it.

Look, sometimes I look back at things I have written on here and think about how I could have gotten that point across in a much more efficient manner….I am god damned determined not to end up doing that with my review of this cd. This cd is perfect to get drunk alone to. PERFECT! To make sure, I waited until the wife was gone and got three sheets to the wind before doing this piece….sucks to be my volunteer editor tonight…[yes, yes it does- the volunteer editor]

“There’s some demon way down South some kind of confederate ghost. It holds me close and shows me where to go until I’m sure I’m lost…but some mistakes can’t be undone it’ll never be like it was and wishing for it only makes it worse.” ~ Red Dragon Wishes

I listen to this album when I have to drive late at night. It’s a bare-bones album where the bells and whistles and production tricks are set aside. The songs themselves are allowed to take center stage, and if you are alone with a whiskey drink and you turn it up just enough, it will feel like the songs written just for you.

Unlike Makers, this album features a full band consisting of James McAllister (Sufjan Stevens) on drums, Bill Herzog (Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter) on bass, Casey Foubert (Pedro the Lion) on electric guitar, banjo, mandolin and percussion, and Rick Steff (Catpower, Hank Williams, Jr.) on Hammond b3, piano, and accordion. However, that Makers raw, to-the-bone emotion is still there. This cd is Essential Listening. My drink is empty and the cd needs to be restarted.

Check it out.

Rocky Votolato – Postcard from Kentucky
Rocky Votolato – Red Dragon Wishes
Rocky Votolato – The Old Holland

Rocky Votolato’s Official Site, Rocky Votolato on Myspace, Buy Bragg and Cuss

TAMPA/ST. PETE…GET OFF YOUR ASSES! Rocky will be playing The State Theater tonight. You can see him for mere twelve dollars. The doors open up at 7pm. If that isn’t your cup of tea join me at Ringside Cafe’ tonight for a blind date with Mr. Bryan Lee. It will certainly be a great night of Blues guitar, sweat and beer. DVR what ever shitty drama you were gonna watch tonight and get out to see some damn live music.

Bryan Lee – Tina Marie
Bryan Lee – Gave You What You Wanted
Bryan Lee – The Sky is Crying

Bryan Lee is your Braille Blues Daddy:

When I was a teenager I had an electric guitar. I was never very good, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Sometimes when I would be playing it, I would get really focused on what I was trying to do and all of a sudden….plop…a big ol’ dollop of drool would fall outta my face. That’s what it feels like listening to these two Bryan Lee live albums I got. I keep expecting to just let a puddle of drool come out somewhere in the middle of one of the guitar solos.

I’ve spent the past month or so with Bryan Lee’s live cds, Live and Dangerous and Live at the Absinthe Bar in the car cd player. Aside from being perfect music for the work commute, they are just terribly fun albums. With Bryan being on one of my favorite tracks on Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s Ten Days Out cd, I was really interested in checking out his music and then he came to town with Kenny on the Ten Days tour, and I knew I needed more.

If you wanna check out some nice electric delta blues and some performances that you can’t help but to turn up and roll the windows down to, check out these cds. Just don’t drool on your shirt.

From Live and Dangerous:
Bryan Lee – Hug Me Till It Hurts
Bryan Lee – Gave You What You Wanted
Bryan Lee – Six String therapy

From Live at the Old Absinthe House Bar: Friday Night
Bryan Lee – Braille Blues Daddy
Bryan Lee – The Sky is Crying
Bryan Lee – Going Down

Bryan Lee’s Official Site, Buy Bryan’s Music

Hey Tampa/St. Pete: If you like what you hear Mr. Lee will be playing Ringside Cafe’ in St. Pete on October 9 and Ace’s in Bradenton on October 12. I, for one, am counting the days till both shows.