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LEGACY - Number 31!
Top 50 Contemporary Blues Album Chart
for the Week of Sep 5, 2020
Sound Waves Magazine
Volume 30, Issue 9
Dear Readers, for those of you who are familiar with my work it’s very rare that I “gush” about a musician or band so here’s a spoiler alert… I reallyreally like “A Band Called Sam”. This is a tribute band of sorts to the legendary blues performer Sam “The Bluzman” Taylor. His accomplishments span from performing with Joey Dee and The Starlighters, songwriting for Maxine Brown and B.T. Express, to being musical director for performers like Otis Redding, The Isley Brothers, and The Drifters. Truly an amazing, multitalented artist. BUT WAIT !! This isn’t your typical tribute fan-band that plays like the target artist note for note. No, these are seasoned, and highly respected musicians in their own right that take the music of Sam Taylor and add their own musical arrangement and playing style to enhance the blues texture of Sam’s work. Most of the band were actual members of the original Sam Taylor Band and played with him for years such as Sam’s daughter Sandra Taylor, a recording singer in her own right. She share’s lead vocals with Angela Canini and Maxine Brown. Sam’s grandson Lawrence “LAW” Worrell, singer and guitarist, has traveled the world with Sam, and has also been on tour with Amy Winehouse. Gary Grob, bassist, has also played and traveled with Sam. Mario Staino, drummer, plays across the globe with Savoy Brown as well as being a drummer for other artists. Gary Sellars, Sam’s protégé, plays guitar and sings. He has his own band that plays across Long Island and New York City. Danny Kean, keyboardist and vocalist, has played with Stevie Cochran, and Richie Cannata on Tenor Sax who is also a music producer, a multi-instrumentalist, and owns Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove, NY where this CD was recorded. He is most notable for playing Sax for Billy Joel for years before opening Cove City Sound Studios. OK, Lets get to the music. From the first track “Voice of the Blues” you immediately hear the overall quality of the recording. Nice to hear sound engineers that know what they’re doing. The most amazing is the horn section that consists of Richie Cannata playing Tenor Sax with Danny Kean who is actually filling in the other horns via synth. What does that mean? Cannata is the only one with a horn. Kean is filling in the other horns via a midi keyboard. From what I understand Kean did the horn arrangements and anyone who has read my reviews knows that I hold a special respect for music arrangers. They have to arrange each musician within the context of the music to get the right sound. I hear myself getting too technical here so lets get to my next favorite, track 4 “Mother Blues” is what I like to call a slow, comfortable bump & grind blues rendition. Picture a small, smokey blues club and sipping on Kentucky Bourbon and just taking it all in. That’s where “Mother Blues” puts you, and not a bad place to be. Tracks 5 “Hole in your Soul” and 7 “Nothing in the Street” have amazing horns and by the way the horns on track 7 is all Danny Kean on synth. You go it, no actual horns playing at all – just a midi-keyboard. Amazing! Next is track is 6 “Devil in our Eyes”. I dare you to try and sit still. I can picture the band playing at NYC Blue Note and driving the staff crazy because the patrons are all dancing in the isles. Track 8 is a 50’s style ballad with co lead vocals Sandra Taylor and Maxine Brown, and Richie Cannata on Tenor Sax. It brought me back to “Mel’s Diner” on Happy Days. I really enjoyed it. Finally track 8 “Stinger” spotlights the talents of Lawrence “LAW” Worrell, who takes center stage with lead guitar, and lead vocals on this more funk than blues rendition. Rhythm guitarist Gary Sellers and Bassist Gary Grob do a great job of assisting drummer Mario Staino with the overall feel of this song. A Band Called Sam, “Legacy” CD can be found at highlanderrecords.com/shop for $15.00. I give this CD a Strong Buy rating. Money well spent. You won’t be disappointed.
Sam "Bluzman" Taylor aka Samuel Willis Taylor Jr. (1934-2009), son of jazz and blues saxophonist Sam “the Man” Taylor, was an American blues singer-songwriter, producer and actor. Sam began his music career while serving in the military while stationed at Westhampton Beach Air Force Base, not far from the Long Island blues scene. His musical performances range from performing with Joey Dee & the Starlighters, Drifters and The Rascals, to songwriting and band leader. Taylor wrote hundreds of songs, many of them hits and some even gold records such as "Do It 'Til You're Satisfied" performed by the BT Express. Taylor has worked with Freddie King, Son Seals, Jimmy Witherspoon, Jay & The Americans, Joey Dee, Maxine Brown and Joe Tex. He has also been a band leader / guitarist for Big Joe Turner, Isley Brothers, Tracy Nelson, Otis Redding and Sam & Dave, among others, as well as an esteemed singer with Joey Dee & The Starliters. Sam returned to Long Island until he died in 2009. Sam Taylor still lives on in A Band Called Sam, who guards his “legacy” on Long Island and beyond. The band consists of: Sam's daughter, singer Sandra Taylor. Sandra also sings with the studio band The Toys and The Cookies. There is also Sam's grandson, singer and guitarist Lawrence ”LAW” Worrell. He has traveled the world with his father and George Clinton (Parliament Funkadelic) and Amy Winehouse. His own ensemble is called Planet12. Drummer is Mario Staino (Savoy Brown, Kerry Kearney), bassist is Gary Grob and guitarist is Gary Sellars, Sam's protégé. Danny Kean, keyboardist and singer, has played with Stevie Cochran. (To avoid any misunderstanding: 'The Magic Sam Legacy' is a compilation of previously unreleased songs by the American blues musician Magic Sam (1937-1969), recorded in Chicago between 1966 and 1968 and released by the Delmark label in 1989. A Band Named Sam recorded their debut album 'Legacy', featuring nine Sam Taylor compositions. The album opens with the appropriate “Voice of the Blues”. It will be a soulful swinging duet between Sandra and Lawrence, with infectious punches on guitar. The “Next in Line” also says a lot, “Good to Ya” is very funky because of the wah-wah’s and the slow blues “Mother Blues (Papa Blues)”, introduced on piano by Danny Kean, the first quiet intermezzo. With the shuffle “Devil in Your Eyes” everything sounds cheerful, “Nothing in the Streets” is very soulful because of the horns, “Funny” a beautiful emotional ballad and “Stinger”, the closing track, some extra funky very danceable soul . With "Legacy", daughter, grandson and A Band Called Sam respectfully pay tribute to legend Sam "Bluzman" Taylor. The future will tell whether this story will be continued in the studio. "With" Legacy ", daughter, grandson and A Band Called Sam respectfully pay tribute to legend Sam"
August 26 2020
Making A Scene Magazine
Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and bandleader Samuel Willis Taylor, Jr. a.k.a. Sam “Bluzman” Taylor was born in 1934 in Crichton, a suburb of Mobile, Alabama. He was the son of jazz and blues saxophonist Sam “The Man” Taylor, but was raised by his mother a vaudevillian. They moved to Brooklyn and as a child he began singing in church; later he trained as a boxer while serving in the Air Force on Long Island. After leaving the service Taylor decided to pursue a career in music. Taylor released his debut album “The Tunnels of My Mind” in 1969; before relocating to Santa Monica, California where he first formed “A Band Called Sam”. Read More
August 31, 2020
It is to pay tribute to Sam “Bluzman” Taylor, author, composer, producer and artist from Long Island who died in 2009 that his daughter, grandson and some of his relatives and former musicians created A Band Call Sam and recorded this album in which they revisit in their own way the titles of the one who accompanied Joey Dee & The Starlighters, composed for Maxine Brown and BT Express and provided artistic direction for Otis Redding, The Isley Brothers and The Drifters! Composed of Sandra Taylor on vocals, Lawrence Worrell on vocals and guitars, Gary Sellars on guitars, Danny Kean on keyboards, Gary Grob on bass and Mario Staino on drums, artists some of whom have performed with George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic, Amy Winehouse, Savoy Brown, Kerry Kearney or Stevie Cochran, A Band Called Sam comes to serve us on a silver platter treasures of blues, rhythm'n'blues and soul by not only putting the forms but adding art to the style. The guitars shine with a thousand lights, occasionally distill small funky clusters, superbly supported by ivories that never cease to cause a sensation, and it is carried by two beautiful voices but also on occasion by ingeniously served brass that titles like "Voice Of The Blues", "Good To Ya", "Hole In Your Soul", "Nothing In The Streets" or "Funny" and "Stinger" hit the mark each time. Read More.
IAN K. MCKENZIE
Volume 44/Number 299
August 22, 2020
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
A BAND CALLED SAM/Legacy: delivers the goods in a set that lights the fuse and keeps the party going all night long. Just pure bred rocking and rollicking that keeps the night alive, they bring the good times, all you have to bring is you. On the money. (Highlander)
Review: Faith Hope Love
by Bob Silvestri
Best of WNY.com
Jack's Waterfall is the name that musician Jack Licitra uses as his musical nom de guerre whether as an ensemble or a solo performer. For his latest release titled Faith Love Hope Licitra handles almost all the instruments and vocals along with help from producer Sean Power and a smattering of guests. The twelve song album is a mix of country, folk rock, alternative and some blue eyed soul for a comfortable pleasing sound highlighted by Licitra stellar vocals. The album kicks off with the country flavored patriotic anthem “This Country's Gonna Rise” followed by the aptly titled yacht rock love song "Love Song" which would have been a hit in that genre’s heyday. Other highlights from the album include the nostalgic “This Town”, “Every True Dancer”, the haunting piano ballad “1972” with violin from guest Brian Chabza, the churchy “7, 8, 9” with excellent background vocals from Camryn Quinlan, the country pop confection “See Her Again” and “A Reason” which reinforces the positive message in the album’s title. The album also has two remixed alternate versions of “Every True Dancer” and “This Country’s Gonna Rise” which close out the album.
Kerry Kearney Band Nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Band 2020 Independent Blues Artist Awards
Review: Faith Hope Love
Volume 44/Number 221
June 6, 2020
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
JACK’S WATERFALL/Faith Hope Love: A smart later day folkie that follows in the tradition of the 70s stars that redefined the genre, whether singer/songwriter or alt.country, this cat has a smart pen and knows how to deliver a song that cuts to the chase to makes its point. A keen observer, this crew keeps its eye on the ball and hits it out of the park. Well done!