june 2012
beyond the blue

sharon lewisSHARON LEWIS & TEXAS FIRE, The Real Deal--You don’t want to cross Fort Worth native Sharon Lewis. A mainstay on the Chicago blues scene since the early ‘90s, she has made some kind of statement on The Real Deal, a title worthy of the artist and vice versa. In her husky, gritty, sassy, church-trained voice, Ms. Lewis is in some kind of mood here.

nighthawksTHE NIGHTHAWKS, Damn Good Time--Ever reliable on record and on stage, Washington, D.C. blues stalwarts the Nighthawks are heading into their 40th year with not merely another solid album but better than they ever was. Newest member Mark Stutso joined the band in 2010, stabilizing a lineup that includes founding member Mark Wenner, the harmonica man nonpareil, and veterans of a near-decade’s standing, guitarist Paul Bell and bassist Johnny Castle. This seasoned quartet wastes no time reminding us that the Nighthawks have always been more than a blues band.

toronzo cannonTORONZO CANNON, Leaving MoodLike his labelmate Sharon Lewis, Toronzo Cannon sees the bigger, dysfunctional picture of personal relationships and takes dead aim at them on this, his Delmark label debut.


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