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Likho Duo (USA)
Blues And The World Beyond (2017)

Likho (Leek-Ho) Duo was formed in the fall of 2016 by Italian guitar and harmonica player Noe Socha (Noé like No-a, Socha - So-Ha), and upright bass player Cliff Schmitt. This is the duo’s first release.

Noé is legally blind. He does have extremely limited vision in one eye and can see shapes and colors if it is not too bright or dark out. Cliff has a vision issue in one eye, so between the two of them they have one good eye. Like a cyclops. But that would be too obvious, so they decided to use the name of a lesser known one-eyed monster.

Likho, liho (Russian: Лихо, Belarusian: лі́ха, Polish: licho) is an embodiment of evil fate and misfortune in Slavic mythology, a creature with one eye, often depicted as an old, skinny woman in black (Лихо одноглазое, One-eyed Likho) or as an evil male goblin of forests

The album is made up of classic blues, with a few originals, and traditional Italian songs. There’s an interesting rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog.

1. Derby Street Blues (Socha) 03:21
2. Spoonful (Dixon) 05:30
3. The Downtowner (Schmitt) 05:09
4. I Can't Be Satisfied (Morganfield)04:49
5. Romance Among Thieves (Socha) 05:12
6. I'd Say (Socha) 04:54
7. Black Dog (Page/Plant/Jones)02:56
8. You Shook Me (Dixon/LeNoir) 07:48
9. Hide Away (King/Thompson) 05:37
10. Almere (Socha)04:29
11. Georgia (Carmichael) 05:29
12. Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl (Williamson)03:29
13. Tu Vuò Fa' L'Americano (Carosone/Salerno)04:16
14. Waltz For Katja (Scmitt) 04:26

The album can be heard and purchased from their website:

Here’s a video of the guys performing spoonful of the album:

Jimmy Carpenter (USA)
Plays the Blues (2017)(Vizztone Records)

I have to say until recently I had never heard of Jimmy. Truth is I had probably heard him on other peoples release and not realised who he was. A chance connection via Facebook resulted in Jimmy sending me a copy of this album. I’m not normally big on sax, but I have to say I LOVE this album! Definitely in the running for album of the year. A solid album from start to finish. Do yourself a favour and go check it out……

Mike Zito plays guitar and also produced the album.

The album can be purchased from Jimmy’s website.

You can hear the album here.

Jimmy Regal & The Royals (UK)
Jimmy Regal & The Royals (Self Released)

Although the band’s called Jimmy Regal & The Royals, no one is actually called Jimmy Regal. The band is made up of Joff Watkins/Harmonica & Vocals – CJ Williams/Guitar and Sammy Samuels/Drums.
Formed in 2014, this is the bands debut release. Made up of 3 originals and 9 covers, this is a great album. High octane from start to finish. Already looking forward to the next release. Go check it out.

The album can be heard and purchased here:

Altered Five Blues Band (USA) 
Charmed & Dangerous (2017)(Blind Pig Records)

Another fine release from the band. Not what I would strictly call a blues album, but that said the guys don’t stray to far from there roots.

Steve Cohen/Harmonica plays on two of the tracks.

The album can be purchased from the bands website. There are also videos of the band performing tracks from the album.

Chris Daniels And The Kings with Freddi Gowdy (USA)
Blues With Horns Vol 1 (2017)(Moon Voyage Records)

If horns are your bag, you’re going to be happy as a pig in….. The ten tracks include three new originals and seven covers of.  The album features guest artists like Sonny Landreth, Subdudes keyboardist John Magnie, Hazel Miller (Big Head Todd & The Monsters), Clay Kirkland (Gary Morris, Robben Ford) and others.

This along with their other releases can be purchased from their website.

Sunday Wilde & Reno Jack (Canada)
Two (2017)(hwy11records)

The CD contains more covers than originals., though kicking off with Howlin’ Wolf’s Howling for my darling. Three Ruth Brown songs are covered as Jack and Wilde lean on her repertoire heavily during live shows.
The recording session started at noon and was done by eight. Very few second takes were even contemplated.
The players on the recording include; Cleave Anderson (Battered Wives, Blue Rodeo, Handsome Ned) on drums. Steve Koch (Viletones, Demics, Hand-some Ned) on guitar. John MacLeod (G Rays, Handsome Ned) harmonica and guitar. Reno played bass while Sunday played piano. Produced by John Borra & Reno Jack. Mixed and Recorded by John Borra. Mastered by Grammy winner Peter J Moore (Bob Dylan, The Basement Tapes).

Over the past decade Reno and Sunday have released 8 albums, some of which have garnered awards and various nom-inations including: Best Blues and Roots Release of the year on Blues411, Voters Choice Best Blues Song of year on the Independent Music Awards (2x), Finalist in the International Songwriting Contest and much more. All of their releases have had worldwide roots and blues radio play including #3 in Mexico and #1 at Vasser College (Blues Charts), Hit the The Living Blues Report and some have remained on the roots music report charts for months. As a duo they have done a number of tours the past few years in Canada and the USA.

The album can be heard and purchased here: