Jill Newman travels back to a simpler time on Lovestruck Blues
Blame the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. And, while you’re at it, the White Stripes, Black Keys, and every other act that at some point decided the only thing Robert Johnson’s old recordings were missing was a lethal injection of distortion and some serious tub-thumping on the back-end. Somewhere along the line, blues rock fell out of fashion, replaced by blues rawk that sounds more indebted to Led Zeppelin than Leadbelly.
Jill Newman dials back time on Lovestruck Blues, a record that features an unfussy and economical production job that’s retro-sounding without seemingly precious or coldly calculated. The singer has a voice that’s more well-worn country twang than back-alley blues, but that works to her advantage on numbers like the strutting “Too Hard to Handle” and the last-call shuffle “Without You”.
As for the playing, if you’re looking for obnoxious showboating, better to haul that old Stevie Ray Vaughan vinyl out of the crawl space. Newman’s unflashy but solid work always comes down on the right side of tasteful, so close your eyes and cue up the title track and you’re transported to a honky-tonk somewhere deep in Tennessee—the kind of place where there’s sawdust on the floor, cigarette smoke hangs thick in the air, and no one has ever heard of those overamped phonies known as the Soledad Brothers.
Mike Usinger on Twitter at @mikeusinger.
Jill and her blues trio will perform a set of original blues on Friday June 20th from 2pm-3pm as part of the International Art Festival at Peace Arch Park.
Friday is all about live blues music from noon – 5pm.
For folks in Canada who don’t want to cross into the US, just park your car on the Canadian side and walk into the park without any need to go through the border.
For more info about the festival check out www.peacearchart.org.
The Cottage Bistro on Vancouver’s Main Street was the perfect venue for the Lovestruck Blues CD release on May 9th .
The evening featured guest performances from some of the talented folks who performed on the album including vocalists Michelle Baynton and Cecile Larochelle.
It was great to see so many old and new friends out at the show and a special thank you to all those who bought the new CD!
Thanks to Ken and Jill Peck from Dakota Creek Wineries for inviting me to perform on May 10th at their annual Springfest Art Tour and wine release event on mother’s day weekend. The Dakota Creek Winery is set on beautiful grounds just outside of Blaine, WA. It was a truly inspiring location for playing music, sampling the Jill’s blend wine and checking out the wares of some great local artists.
I am pleased to announce the CD release party for my new CD, Lovestruck Blues on May 9th at the Cottage Bistro in Vancouver, BC. I’ll be featuring some special guests from the recording and we plan to have a whole lot of fun. Hope to see you there.
The Cottage Bistro
4468 Main Street
Cover: $10 at door
Featuring: Jill Newman – lead & slide guitar, vocals
Brian Scott – bass and Loren Etkin – drums
I’m very pleased to announce that my new CD, Lovestruck Blues is hot off the presses and finally ready! Lovestruck Blues features ten original blues and roots tunes and showcases my lead and slide electric guitar work, vocals and songwriting. The CD was recorded over the past year in two of my favourite cities, Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, BC .
Lovestruck Blues features tracks with some great guests including Vancouver musicians, Keith Bennett – harp, Scott Smith-rhythm guitar and Seattle musicians Polly O’Keary- bass, Tommy Cook Jr.- drums, and Seattle Slim- rhythm guitar. It was a long time coming, but I’m delighted that it’s finally ready.
CD’s or digital downloads can be purchased at CD baby, Amazon or iTunes and samples of tracks can be found under the music tab.
Check out the new CD and let me know what you think or leave a review.
It was a lot of fun playing the Conway Muse on Saturday Night during this holiday long weekend.
The Muse is an eclectic venue that features original music and has hosted a lot of great blues and roots acts, most recently Karen Lovely and Margaret Wilder. Situated in rural Conway, WA just south of the tulip fields that envelope the Skagit Valley and on the banks of the Skagit River, the Muse was an old dairy barn from the 1900’s that has been converted into a two level arts/music venue. It’s got a warm and welcoming vibe, a funky atmosphere complete with lights and a soundman (Kevin). The boys in the band, Kelly Van Camp (drums and harmonica) and Rob Mitchell (bass) did a great job holding down the rhythm. I look forward to returning to the Muse.
There’s nothing like good blues therapy and we had a great session last Sunday at Guilt & Company. Guilt & Company is hidden away in a corner basement location in Gastown, Vancouver, but when you walk in there’s a great vibe with warm wooden furniture in a cavernous room and a big sparkling stage outlined with rough hewn logs and stone. I always love a stage where I can set up my three guitars, Fender amp and pedal board and still have space to walk around without tripping. Guilt & Company not only has a great stage, but a helpful sound tech and attentive and friendly staff. The room’s big enough that I got to really wail on some slide guitar and the audience seemed to dig it. We had a blast playing there on Sunday night.
Sitting home on this snow day got me to thinking about music and why we all make so much effort to create music and play music when most of us won’t even come close to a financial return on our investment of time, energy, touring, practice. I recently attended a music industry event in which the keynote speaker told the university crowd that if you’re willing to make music despite the fact that most musicians struggle to make a living and that being on the road is a hard life, then you’re probably ready.
On that note, the new CD, Lovestruck Blues is now mastered and awaiting final design followed by pressing. I’m planning to release the CD in May 2014 with some shows booked in Vancouver, BC and in Washington. I’ll be posting the details soon so please check back.
December was a busy month. I’ve been finishing the final mixes for my upcoming CD in the studio.
But I did take some time for performances in Washington and Vancouver, BC. Among the highlights, was a benefit for hurricane victims in the Phillipines: Reach Across the Water at the Silver Reef Casino with Andy “Badd Dog” Koch.
Janice Cleven Gage, host of the Blues Note at KSVR 91.7FM, invited me to play at the Washington Blues Society Christmas Party at the fabulous Conway Muse. I had a lot of fun playing and listening to some great local talent.
My pre-Christmas performance at the FanClub in Vancouver, BC on Dec. 21st was really special. I invited my daughter to join me on stage to sing harmonies on a couple of my original songs. I’m looking forward to more live shows in the New Year, CD release parties and some touring too.
Happy New Year everyone and please support live music!