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MP3 Carol Bean - Read The Road Signs

Read the Road Signs features Carol''s original songs of swampy blues, zany alt/country tunes and introspective stories from west coast America, where Carol was a past student of Ry Cooder''s, to south of the line Aotearoa, New Zealand.

13 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Rockin'' Blues, COUNTRY: Country Blues

In her debut album Read the Road Signs, Carol Bean’s original songs link her North American upbringing in Los Angeles to her life in Aotearoa New Zealand. While living in LA during the 60’s, Carol was inspired by the performances of blues musicians at the legendary music venue the Ash Grove. Most weekends were spent listening to musicians such as Mississippi John Hurt, Lightin Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, Doc Watson, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder of course and many more of the greats. She took guitar lessons from Ry Cooder at McCabes Music and from David Cohen at the Ash Grove. She now fronts the Wellington blues band Blue Highways.

As her song Land of Smiles says, Carol was "born in the middle of England, was a girl in Ontario, she moved to LA, Hollywood - just north of Mexico". Her first solo album, Read the Road Signs showcases Carol’s ability to create original songs with driving rhythm and great feel. Her unique voice and style of playing guitar move easily from the blues through to rock and alt/country backed by an exciting line up of New Zealand musicians including Steve Cournane on drums (from the award winning CL Bob jazz band) and Clinton Brown on bass (from the Wayne Mason Band). On guitars Michael Petrie, Mark Laurent, and Ray Ahipene-Mercer lend their talents and virtuosity. Blair Latham (CL Bob) takes the smoky honours for his saxophone playing along with Bob Smith''s Hammond organ sounds with the classic Leslie speakers. Richard Klein (Ar-Kay Cajun Band) plays fiddle on a slow and brooding number while at the other end of the spectrum Lester Mundell and John Broadbent play duelling harmonicas on a swinging dance tune. Added to the mix are two songs with the Celtic sounds of Live Bait’s Paddy Burgin https://www.tradebit.com on his Weissenborn slide guitar and mandolin, Ruairidh Morrison on pipes and fiddle, and Bernard Wells, banjo.

Carol specialises in playing funky blues riffs and soulful West Coast rhythmic rock on her various guitars. Her acoustic style includes Travis picking and her electric rhythmic-hooks style is accented by quirky turn-arounds. She draws on a variety of influences from blues and rock for example: Debbie Davies (from the bands of Albert Collins and Coco Montoya), Bonnie Raitt, James McMurtry, Rolling Stones, and New Zealand’s Darren Watson and Bullfrog Rata. Some of her alt/country influences are Lucinda Williams, Eliza Gilkyson, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and John Doe. Occasionally she incorporates the brooding sounds of European and Cajun music (gypsy/Celtic mixes) into her solo and band songs.

Carol plays a Gretsch Duo Jet 1957 reissue that she bought at the Guitar Centre in Hollywood on one of her visits to LA in October, 2005. Carol also plays a 1954 Martin 0021 that Ry Cooder spotted for her at Reno’s Music Store on Pacific Coast Highway, Manhattan Beach. On Read the Road Signs she primarily plays her EC10 Gibson semi-acoustic (pictured on the album cover) and an MIJ Fender/Squire Stratocaster. She plays her electrics through a Fender Deluxe amp, uses a TS9 Tube Screamer, and AKG mics.

Read the Road Signs was produced by Carol Bean with assistance from Clinton Brown (NZ) and Tom Villano (USA). It was recorded mixed and mastered at Braeburn Recording Studio, Wellington, by Robbie Duncan.

Read The Road Signs was launched on May 4th 2006 at Wellington''s Capital Blues'' Roomfulla Blues night at the Hotel Bristol, Cuba Mall, Wellington.

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