Saturday, July 14, 2012

John Lee Hooker reviewed by Craig Fenton COOK WITH THE HOOK DVD

John Lee Hooker- 
Cook With The Hook Live In 1974 DVD:

Review by Craig Fenton

There are umpteen reasons why John Lee Hooker is a blues legend.  In his almost eight-four years (he passed away June 21st, 2001) on the planet he recorded over one hundred albums!

“Boogie Chillen”, “Dimples”, “Boom Boom”, and “I’m In the Mood” are a modest sampling of the legacy the Hook left.  A Mississippi native who flourished in Detroit there wasn’t a town John Lee Hooker couldn’t conquer.  The weapons of choice were his guitar and a set of pipes that enthralled those within an ear shot.

Obviously Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix had performed his songs over the years but when ACDC, the Doors, the MC5, and Van Morrison are covering the material it reverberates all over the globe the far reaching influence the Hook had on the music industry.

Robert Boyd who owned a production company and was one of the early pioneers of Public Access Cable TV recorded the performance on Saturday July 6th, 1974 in the land fill district of Gardner, Massachusetts.  Filmed in glorious black and white the DVD showcases John Lee Hooker and the Coast to Coast Blues Band leaving a piece of their soul Down in the Dumps (the name of the concert event). 

There is incredible irony an opening track to a fixated crowd is titled “It Serves You Right to Suffer.”  Hooker who often is seated during the set can mesmerize even the purist with the gut wrenching delivery of the vocals. 

My first viewing of the gig confirmed my suspicion.  I watched the DVD with a Hooker fanatic and a casual blues fan and they both had their wallets out ready to purchase the forty-five minute piece of history.

An introduction to the blues or the icing on the cake for the long time Hooker music collector the MVD Video is a great way to “Cook With the Hook.”

All the best,
Craig Fenton
Author Jefferson Airplane “Take Me To A Circus Tent”
Jefferson Starship “”Have You Seen The Stars Tonite”   

Friday, July 13, 2012

Craig Fenton Reviews Kat Quinn's EXHALE 7-13-12

Artist - Kat Quinn

CD Title:  Exhale

Produced by Peter Calo
 Review by Craig Fenton
    When a producer, guitarist, and songwriter with Peter Calo’s credentials become entrenched in the cultivation of a debut release there is obviously talent that has been unearthed.  Calo’s long time work with the legendary Carly Simon has made his expertise as a musician and producer oftentimes requested. Kat Quinn’s choicest four song CD “Exhale” released in 2012 commands instant respect with the combination of Peter Calo’s ability as a producer and engineer (as well as his guitar playing) and Kat’s exceptionally confident vocal delivery.
     Kat is a refreshing change from the performer that has an ego the size of the national debt and the talent of a Model T car.  Her website displays Kat’s first attempt at a YouTube video and the way she addresses her fans exhibits genuineness. 

       Quinn’s journey to the musical landscape started in Massachusetts and often leads her to New York where her solid combination of singer songwriter, folk, and country style sounds have earned her many offerings for live performances.
Quinn and Calo made a tremendous tactical decision to introduce the public to her attributes with the four song release.  Often a newer artist without the benefit of free-form radio of yesteryear can find it difficult for the consumer to digest ten, twelve, maybe fifteen songs.  The opening track “What Love Feels Like” is an eye opener with a superlative vocal delivery and instrumentation that gently guide the ears toward the finish line.  It sets the ride in motion for a smooth arrival to the finale “So Damn Cute.”
     Kat has a track on the release that puts everything into perspective “Coffee Shop Song.”  You can identify with a performer that gives the aura she is no different than those watching and listening at their favorite local eatery.
All the best,
Craig Fenton

Author Jefferson Airplane “Take Me To A Circus Tent”

Jefferson Starship “Have You Seen The Stars Tonite”