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Gator’s Christmas Sampler

Gator Bites – Gator’s Christmas Sampler featuring 8 new CD’s - some great Christmas ideas for your music library or for those on your list with great music taste. Here’s a variety of great sounds…

Kelly Hunt - New Shade of BlueKelly Hunt - New Shade of Blue (buy)
2006 – Coda-Terra Records
Kelly Hunt is a terrific talent and a huge show in person (see previous review on her show at Lucas Schoolhouse which got a 4.99 from me). This 12 cut CD is a great buy with 6 originals and one cut with Delbert McClinton and another cut written by Lennon/McCartney “The Word”. Outstanding. Give Kelly another 4.9 on the STLBluesometer. Thanks Kelly – Gator

Shemekia Copeland - The Soul Truth (buy)
Shemekia Copeland - The Soul Truth2006 – Alligator Records
My namesake record label has another outstanding star in Shemekia. The gene pool is good to her as her father’s (Johnny Clyde Copeland) feeling for the blues blended with obvious female influences gives Shemekia a solid enduring quality. This CD has me in mind of Mavis Staples and is clearly a contemporary female’s look at the blues and I like it as lot. Again 12 cuts of solid well produced (Stax’s Steve Cropper) music. Great mojo. Gotta give this my superior 4.9 on the STLBluesometer. Nice stuff Shemekia – Gator

Guitar Shorty - We the PeopleGuitar Shorty - We the People (buy)
2006 – Alligator Records
Again with the huge Alligator talent pool - Guitar Shorty comes at you with a heavy blues guitar in the “Texas style” of ZZ and The Stones. For 50 years Shorty has hit the notes of great songs behind the likes of Ray Charles, BB, and T Bone. This classic guitar blues CD is a keeper in anyone’s collection. “We The People” gets a 4.7 on my STLBluesometer. Love the variety of bluesy sounds Shorty – Gator

The Mescal Sheiks - This World Is Not My Home (buy)
The Mescal Sheiks - This World Is Not My Home2006 Blue Cap Records
Obviously influenced by their diverse backgrounds from New York, Chicago, Arkansas, and L.A. the Mescal Sheiks have combined a unique blend of ingredients to create their own sound. It’s not Memphis, or New Orleans, or Mississippi, it’s the Sheiks own. I hear a little influence of the Blind Boys of Alabama if there is any direct association. Nonetheless it’s good, subtle, and solid. Good enough for a 4.7 on my STLBluesometer. Gator

Lou Pride - Keep On Believing (buy)
Lou Pride - Keep On Believing2005 – Severn Records
Severn Records has been releasing some of the best produced soul, blues & gospel CDs of any label the last 6 years or so. This one is a home run, as Lou Pride puts out a very tight CD of R&B in a sound reminiscent of Al Green or Sam and Dave. It’s hard to pinpoint but Lou’s obviously influenced by early gospel and old Chicago and Detroit R&B. Lots of good moods and feelings. Nice CD for drivin’ down the road. Lou gets a 4.8 on my STLBluesometer. Thanks to Severn for the great production – Gator

The Beat Daddys - 5 Moons
2006 – Self Produced
Solid southern delta blues in a rockin’ 12 cut CD that has it all. Well done in all aspects. This band works hard to keep the sound true without hurting it electronically good mix of moods and songs and messages. Nicely done Beat Daddys gotta be at least a 4.7 on my STLBluesometer - Gator

Chris Beard - Live WireChris Beard - Live Wire (buy)
2005 - Northernblues Music
Chris Beard’s third CD, “Live Wire” is a compilation of two “live” performances in Grand Rapids, MI and Chicago, IL which contains new songs and bonus studio tracks. This disc exhibits his influence as a “northern” blues artist in the Chicago style like a Buddy Guy. Good contemporary blues music and a fun listen. Chris gets a 4.7 on my STLBluesometer – Gator

The Calvin Owens Show - I Ain’t Gonna Be Yo’ Dog No Mo’ (buy)
The Calvin Owens Show - I Ain’t Gonna Be Yo’ Dog No Mo’2006 – Sawdust Alley Records
And now for something completely different--- big band blues and R&B like the old days. Calvin Owens Big Band gives you 15 huge songs to groove on. You gotta have at least one big band blues CD in your collection and in your experience so this would be the one. Good groove Chris - You get a 4.8 on my STLBluesometer - Gator

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