Albert Cummings – Photo Credit: Jennifer Mardus

Sought after Blues Rock guitarist Albert Cummings finds a label home with Mascot Label Group imprint, Provogue Records. Mascot is known for being a market leader in the world of Blues, Rock and Metal with Provogue heading up the Blues sector working with guitar driven artists like Eric Gales, Govt. Mule, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, George Benson, Quinn Sullivan, Walter Trout, and now Albert Cummings.

Mascot Label Group President, North America, Ron Burman, commented, “Albert is an exceptional guitar player who is passionate with an incredibly strong work ethic. We are happy to have him become a part of our Mascot family.

With plans to release a new album early next year, Cummings is elated with Provogue’s support,” It’s such an honour to be part of a label that has helped shape the careers of the greatest guitar players our world has ever known,” Cummings says, “I’m confident that Provogue is the right home for me and I look forward to working with them and getting some new music to the loyal supporters that I have.

Known for his charismatic and energetic live show, Cummings has shared the bill with music legends B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Double Trouble, Susan Tedeschi, Johnny Winter and Sheryl Crow among many others. The prowess behind his live performance led to the release of his second live album ‘Live at the ’62 Center‘, in late 2017. Recorded in his hometown of Williamstown, Massachusetts, ‘Live at the ’62 Center‘, showcases an impeccable artistry through the album’s spontaneity and creative spirit, earning him the prestigious nomination for a Blues Music Award in the Blues Rock Album category.

Cummings grew up playing five string banjo and listening to bluegrass in Massachusetts—until the day he saw Stevie Ray Vaughan perform in 1987, when he was bit by the blues rock bug and switched to guitar for good. Cummings has provided some of the most powerful blues music of the 21st century since the release of his debut album ‘From the Heart‘ (2003), produced by Double Tree (Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section). The promising guitarist went on to work with multi-platinum producer and engineer, Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray Vaughn, Carlos Santana, Huey Lewis and the News’) to release ‘True to Yourself‘ (2004) and ‘Working Man‘ (2006) further solidifying his style of music and guitar proficiency with Billboard complimenting his work saying, “This recording is the calling card of a star who has arrived.” Cummings first live album ‘Feel So Good‘, followed in 2008, receiving praise from Music Connection, hailing it “one of the best live albums recorded in a long time.” In 2012, Cummings released his ‘No Regrets‘ album, which debuted at No. 1 in the U.S., Canada, and France on the iTunes Blues Charts and in 2015, he recorded ‘Someone Like You‘ with Grammy-winning producer David Z. (Buddy Guy, Prince, Jonny Lang, Gov’t Mule).

Albert continues to tour and take his unforgettable show on the road. For the complete list of dates, and more information on Albert Cummings visit: https://albertcummings.com/tour-dates/

Lay It Down‘, the ninth album from five-time Grammy nominee and critically acclaimed guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the KWS Band, is out July 21 on Provogue Records in Europe and August 4 on Concord Records in North America and the rest of the world. Recorded at Echophone Studios in Kenny’s hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana and produced by Kenny and Marshall Altman, the album was largely recorded live in the studio to analog tape.

The KWS Band on ‘Lay It Down‘ features his long-time lead vocalist Noah Hunt, the rhythm section from Kenny’s supergroup side project The Rides, Chris Layton (drums) and Kevin McCormick (bass), and keyboardist Jimmy McGorman.

A very limited number of signed CD’s are available now. Click the link below for yours.

Order N. America

Order Europe

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Alive In Amsterdam

Walter Trout – Alive In Amsterdam

Provogue Records (June 2016)

Reviewer: Peter Scallan

Walter Trout is one of these artists that down through the years I have heard the odd song and never got around to buying any albums. Therefore, when offered the chance to review this album I jumped at the chance! He has been around for quite some time, including spells with both Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers before becoming a solo artist. Recently he suffered serious health issues which could have been fatal, so I am guessing the album title is a play on the fact that he is still about, kicking up a storm.

From the get-go the man receives a standing ovation before launching into the opening track called ‘Help Me‘ which opens with Walter soloing his ass off and also includes an organ solo midway resulting in just over seven minutes of bluestatstic rocking. This is quickly followed by ‘a song with message’ in ‘I’m Back‘ and this rocks along too. The pace drops for some slow burning blues in ‘Say Goodbye to the Blues‘ which could comfortably sit on any of Gary Moore’s blues albums with the opening guitar salvo. The song is dedicated to BB King with Walter explaining his relationship with the late, great man. We slip back into some blues rock with ‘Almost Gone‘ which lyrically sounds like it could be autobiographical in terms of Walter’s health issues. Based on a driving blues rock riff it rocks along nicely. In fact, the next song is autobiographical in that it is about his stay in hospital during his illness. Entitled ‘Omaha‘ it describes his experience during his illness and is another blues rocker. ‘Tomorrow Seems So Far Away‘ has a funky blues feel to it and bounces nicely around a great bass line and keeps up the theme from the previous two songs. The feel and pace change dramatically for ‘Playin’ Hideaway‘ which is a pacey riffed-up rocker with Walter sounding great vocally too. It also has some crowd participation for the woahs in the chorus. The closing song on the first CD is ‘Haunted By The Night‘ which is more moody and laid back with great guitar part driving the song. So far, so good!

The second disc doesn’t hang around opens with the superb ‘Fly Away‘ which is more blues with a melodic rock edge. It moves along swiftly with Walter giving an assured vocal performance. Next up is an acoustic ballad which sounds more country rock and for some strange reason reminds me of Pat Travers. Entitled ‘Please Take Me Home‘, Walter again provides a great vocal performance in terms of doing exactly what the song requires. In addition there is some rather tasteful guitar playing. Next up is a bit of a blues jam session with Walter introducing his son to the proceedings with the old blues standard ‘Rock Me Baby‘. While I am sure it is a real buzz for Walter playing with his son and pretty good to watch for me it does really translate to record as I found his son’s playing a little pedestrian in comparison to Walter’s – he still has a little way to go to be a chip off the old block! With ‘Marie’s Mood‘ the Gary Moore comparison is again valid. Walter treats us to some rather neat guitar work during this instrumental work out and shares the limelight with a great organ solo again. The mood is lifted for the slow burning blues of ‘Serves Me Right to Suffer‘. Opening with a great guitar solo, Walter trades off vocal and guitar licks as the song progresses. Coming in at well over eight minutes it highlights just how good a guitar player Walter is and also includes a drum solo. Last and by no means least, we have ‘The Love That We Once Knew‘ which is clearly a crowd favourite. Slipping back into an acoustic country rock vibe again, the crowd join in on the chorus and some it brings the set to a suitable close.

Having no real significant experience or knowledge of Walter’s back catalogue, this has served as a great introduction to Walter Trout for me. While by no means being innovative, Walter serves a great mix of rock, blues and a little country that really appeals to me. A sign maybe that I am becoming a boring old fart possibly, as the same time I find the melodic rock scene starting to converge on a generic style and sound, as it did in the 80s, that on the whole leaves me rather unmoved. My advice, check this out if you want to hear some real music – old guys rool!

 

Supersonic Blues Machine\West Of Flushing, South Of Frisco

Review: Supersonic Blues Machine – West Of Flushing, South Of Frisco

Provogue Records (Feb 2016)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Having heard snippets of the album I was eagerly awaiting getting my hands on this album to see if it lived up to the ‘supergroup’ hype that’s surrounded it.

Texan guitarist-singer-songwriter Lance Lopez, producer Fabrizio Grossi & drummer Kenny Aronoff are joined by a list of special guests which really is a Who’s Who of the blues rock World, with the likes of Billy Gibbons, Warren Haynes, Walter Trout, Eric Gales, Robben Ford and Chris Duarte contributing guest appearances.

Miracle Man‘ kicks things off rather nicely with the rather pleasing hints of Texan blues and Lance’s wonderful gravely vocals brought together in a really catchy number.

‘I Ain’t Fallin’ Again’ has a great infill of backing vocals and that Southern choir feel of swaying and clapping which just makes this such a joyous track if that makes sense. Next up is the first full track I’d heard from the album, ‘Running Whiskey‘ featuring the Rev. Billy F. Gibbons. Of course there are huge dollops of ZZ Top in this track and yes being a Top fan I love it! 

The second special guest appearance is Warren Haynes, guesting on the laid back ‘Remedy‘. A beautifully chilled song which the more you listen too the more you realise how many layers there are. Pure class. With the title ‘Bone Bucket Blues‘ it’s pretty obvious what’s about to hit your lugs. Now this is Texan blues pure & simple. I defy your foot not to tap along to this one.

Let It Be‘ is such a smooth laid back track with to my ears hints of Robert Cray about it. Next up it’s the turn of Chris Duarte to guest on the soulful ‘That’s My Way‘. Another track with a gospel style choir backing which adds hints of funk in the main body of the song. A real melting pot of styles which works extremely well.

Okay I must confess, I have a real weakness for the next song having fallen in love with it when Whitesnake first covered it oh so many years ago. That song is ‘Ain’t No Love (In The Heart Of The City)‘. What Messers Lopez, Grossi & Aronoff have done is bring it back to it’s roots, back to the soul track it first was. I could just leave it on repeat, but that would be so unfair on the other album tracks.

Nightmare And Dreams‘ features the talent that is Eric Gales. Eric bringing his unforgettable style with also hints of the late, great Jeff Healey to the mix. Walter Trout guests on ‘Can’t Take It No More‘, a laid back, richly infused number which I admit is another one of my favorites on the album.

Whiskey Time‘ is actually an extended ending to ‘Running Whiskey’ a good enough excuse to have some more Rev Willy B delight the ears. Last but one track on the album ‘Let’s Call It A Day‘ has the last guest spot filled by Robben Ford. A ballad-esque number, it has some wonderful guitar playing, a song to really make you listen carefully to every note plucked.

Now we reach the last track ‘Watchagonnado‘ with it’s Hammond organ and blues rock vibe I found myself nodding along, being completely drawn into a track I didn’t want to end.

So to sum up, has it lived up to my expectations? Absolutely and more so. So much so I’ve ordered the vinyl for my collection.

 

Live At Radio City Music Hall

 

 

Review: Joe Bonamassa – Live At Radio City Music Hall

Provogue Records(2015)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Joe Bonamassa is back with another live album ‘Live At Radio City Music Hall’ comprising 13 tracks and which was recorded at one of the World’s iconic music venues and features over 75 minutes of music, including two newly recorded songs, and the DVD/Blu raycomprises 19 tracks and is over 2.5 hours of live footage, plus a special 45-minute behind-the-scenes featurette. So you could say plenty of bang for your buck!

As someone whose been a Bonamassa fan from way back after hearing his Bloodline release back in the mid 90’s, I always look forward to something new.

The DVD/Blu ray is split into two halves with Bonamassa once again teaming up with The Huckleberries, who we last saw/heard on the An Acoustic Evening At The Vienna Opera House for the first half of blues, and then we’re back to Joe’s touring band for the ‘electric’ second half

Starting off with ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied‘ there’s that wonderful sound of the horn section as well as the distinctive Hammond organ. Yes there are no surprises but that’s not the point, what your getting is well constructed and recorded blues. ‘One Less Cross To Bear‘ follows with a rather nifty drum performance.

The following tracks are all pretty much upbeat with plenty of the Huckleberries horn & percussion, making it very accessible for those people still finding their feet in the world of blues music. I love the version of ‘Dust Bowl‘ presented on this release, a track that’s certainly on my favorite Bonamassa list. The acoustic guitar on ‘Trouble Town‘ is also a highlight for me. ‘Still Water‘ has a huge chunk of Celtic charm, obviously due in no small part to Irish fiddler Gerry O’Connor, and as the saying in my house hold goes, it gets your diddly feet going!

Different Shades Of Blue‘ and ‘Happier Times‘ have also been given a ‘makeover’ from the original album version, with a far more atmospheric sound to it and I’ll be honest and say I actually prefer these versions.

Never Give All Your Heart‘ is the second longest track on the CD at just over 8 minutes, slowly building until we get one of Joe’s ‘giving it all’ guitar breaks.

Hidden Charms‘ romps along almost at such a pace you’ll almost miss it, followed by two more tracks from the Different Shades Of Blue album ‘Love Ain’t A Love Song‘ and an extended version of ‘So What Would I Do‘, and I do mean extended, being  nearly twice as long!

My only criticisms would be I wish that more of the ‘electric’ tracks from the DVD/Blu-ray were on the CD and that it was a new studio album rather than another live album, but putting those aside, another sterling release by Bonamassa.

I must give a large thumbs up to the sound and picture quality on the DVD/Blu ray which once again are superb.

You can catch Joe on tour in the UK on the following dates –

JOE BONAMASSA – OCTOBER 2015 UK TOUR DATES

Book tickets online from www.jbonamassa.com, www.eventim.co.uk,

www.ticketmaster.co.uk or www.seetickets.com

Newcastle Metro Arena                            Wednesday Oct 21

Liverpool Echo Arena                                  Friday Oct 23

Leeds First Direct Arena                            Saturday Oct 24

Nottingham Capital FM Arena                Sunday Oct 25

Cardiff Motorpoint Arena                         Tuesday Oct 27

Bournemouth BIC                                         Wednesday Oct 28

Brighton Centre                                            Friday Oct 30

Brighton Centre                                            Saturday Oct 31

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2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Jimmy Barnes’ debut as Scottish born Australian rock singer-songwriter, and to celebrate this extraordinary milestone, Jimmy’s recorded ‘Hindsight’, his 15th studio album. Provogue Records will release the album in the UK on Monday 27th October, and will be issued on limited edition 180 gram double vinyl (1,000 copies only), CD and digital download.

The hotly tipped new album features an all-star line-up with Keith Urban, ‘Little’ Steven Van Zandt, Joe Bonamassa, and Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain of Journey, to name but a few.

‘Hindsight’ recently debuted at the top of the Australian album charts, firmly cementing  Jimmy Barnes’ place in Australian’s rock music’s history books, chalking up his fourteenth number one album, ten of which he has earned as a solo performer and four from his time in Australian rock band Cold Chisel.

Jimmy Barnes,

 

Album Track Listing

  1. Lay Down Your Guns (w/ The Living End)
  2. Time Will Tell (w/ The Baby Animals)
  3. Good Times (w/ Keith Urban)
  4. Ride The Night Away (w/ Steven van Zandt)
  5. Stand Up (w/ Mahalia Barnes + The Soul Mates)
  6. I’d Die To Be With You Tonight (w/ Diesel)
  7. Stone Cold (w/ Tina Arena and Joe Bonamassa)
  8. Working Class Man (w/ Jonathan Cain and Ian Moss)
  9. Going Down Alone (w/ Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain)
  10. Love And Hate (w/ Shihad)
  11. No Second Prize
  12. I’d Rather Be Blind (w/ Jon Stevens)
  13. When Your Love Is Gone
  14. The Other Kind

 

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Multi award winning guitarist, singer/songwriter and British Blues Hall of Famer, Matt Schofield, returns to the UK to embark on his largest headlining tour since dazzling audiences nationwide last year as Joe Satriani’s special guest. Schofield kicks off the 15-date tour on November 13th with special guest The Ben Poole Band. Tickets for all shows are on sale from 0844 478 0898 or thegigcartel.com.

The UK tour follows Schofield’s critically acclaimed fifth studio album, “Far As I Can See” released in the UK in February 2014. (Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group).

Over the last decade Schofield has earned a formidable international reputation as one of the most innovative and revered contemporary blues inspired guitarists on the world stage.  “There isn’t a better British blues guitarist playing currently,” says Guitarist magazine.  Schofield represents a long tradition of British blues greats, and the new album finds him on stunning form.  Alongside two covers from his musical heroes, the album’s nine original tracks showcase his continued growth as an exciting songwriter, delivered with impassioned vocals to create a diverse and unique take on the blues.

Schofield is the recipient of major awards including the British Blues Awards including Guitarist of the Year 2010, 2011 and 2012 (making him the first guitarist in the British Blues Awards Hall of Fame), and the winner of Mojo magazine’s Blues Album of the Year 2011