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MP3 Blue Plate Special - The Blues Ain't Pretty

Hardworking trio with a big bag of original songs full of experience and grit. -Blues Access

14 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Electric Blues, BLUES: Rockin'' Blues


The Blues Ain''t Pretty by Blue Plate Special
Big City Blues / May 2000
I continue to be amazed by the tremendous indie market that feeds the labels nowadays. Why? Well the talent pool is so deep and broad that you find all brands and interpretations, most of which carry a great deal of musical experience and worthiness. This biscuit is an example of that richly-fibered carpet called the blues.
The majority of the work is carried by a trio of musicians. Bandleader R. P. Michaels lays out (in delicate layers) the lead vocals, bass, keyboards, and guitar work. Gary Maier lays down the shufflin'' drum work and Harry Binford provides the second guitar. Binford and Maier also share the vocal work with Michaels. Guests include harpist Mark Zelepugas and the background vocals of Charlie Prasma, as well as the voices of the Stumbling Pilgrim Choir (Ron, Charlie & Mark?).
While dubbing and layering are obvious, they are clearly interactive and reactive. Some cuts slump into the easy rock/blues groove while others stand out like bright lights on the highway. Tunes like the five-minute plus "Phone Call" and the slow and tempered "Not In The Mood" will fill your blues appetite. I know we''ve all heard it before! I call these powered-up blues with weighty rhythms and doubled and tripled lead tracks. The melodies are not constrictive, and they leave real room for the give and take!
Even when dissolving into rockin'' harmonies, the Blue Plate Special is indeed a plate full of tasty tidbits. A mixing triumph, this effort carries some heavy blues material. Power Fender guitar and sparkling compositions. Totallly original music that will knock you out ... TKO stuff!---Mark A. Cole


Album Notes:

In 1999 we returned to Crystal Recording with Charlie Prasma at the console to record our second CD just in time for the millenium. The year 2000 came and found us holding our CD release party at Fitzgeralds in Berwyn,IL. again as well as a special release party with Lonnie Brooks and Ronnie Baker Brooks. All of us had a new release to celebrate at the same party/club date.
"Crank It Up" has a rockin'' Chicago feel to it and has been our opening song for years. "Tell The Truth" is a tune I wanted to have a James Brown undertone to it yet a blues personality. The result was definitely different and successful too - It reached #1 on Blues Radio. "The Phone Call"-- It''s really the hardest to write a good, original slow blues that will still be considered a blues ballad without copying say Stormy Monday. I''m really proud of this one and to have it hit #1 on Radio was a dream come true. "Quicksand" is a favorite "LIVE" and has a bit of Dr. John influence in it. "Real Fast Life" is a real thick organ trio swing groove and was a favorite with CD reviewers. "Chains", we went for a gospel feel and began what we call "The Stumbling Pilgrim Choir". Kind of a humorous touch reflecting the "ICEBAG FOUR" vocals on the early Paul Butterfield albums. "Not In The Mood" is an instrumental by Harry Binford. Harry brought this one to the studio and we baptized it to tape. Wonderful Jazzy-Blues tune. "Get Some Fun Out Of Life" is definitely rockin''. It''s got a blues base and some growlin'' Hammond organ and the message to have some fun before ya'' get to old!
"Disneyland" is a slow blues and was my opportunity to inject "Jimminy Cricket" philosophy into the Blues. "Ready To Play" is some funk for ya'', and I wrote this tune a week after we opened a show for the great Billy Preston. His inspiration is all over this one. "Bad Drugs and Alcohol" is a song I wrote after the passing of our old buddy John Belushi. We all went thru high school and beyond together. My fondest memory is playing "Feelin'' Alright" on the piano while John did "Joe Cocker" in the student center at College of DuPage. We miss you Bro. !
"No Escape from the Blues" is an obscure Muddy Waters song. It has one of my favorite lines that "somebody told me ..Life was like a bowl of fruit ! Then I had to go down town and pawn off my brand new suit!".
"Reachin''" is a tune I wrote to give to Albert Collins for all the influence he had on us. Finally "Knock Knock" is a "ZZ TOP" type rocker with a sense of humor to it--"All your sidestep walkin'' and your fancy talkin''..your expression that it ain''t no sin ! It''s gonna stop all your rockin'' when the big hand comes knockin'' and the Blues done found you in !!".

Blue Plate Special combines low-slung psychedelic blues grooves with gruff, roadhouse vocals. This power trio''s 14 cuts have R.P. Michaels belting the boogie lyrics, and he''s a great singer. Best cut: the swingy boogie of Real Fast Life--Ed Ivey - Blues Review - April 2000
Blue Plate Special is indeed a plate full of tasty tidbits. A mixing triumph, this effort carries some heavy blues material. Power Fender guitar and sparkling compositions ... TKO stuff.--Mark A. Cole - Big City Blues -May 20
Midnight Special Blues Radio- The Best in Independent Blues
The #1 song "Tell The Truth" from this CD

The #1 song "The Phone Call"is here too.
Special Thank You to Paul at Midnight Special Blues Radio on Live 365 For being the First To add Songs from this album.

CHECK OUT OUR 2006 Release "Can You Dig It" on Prime Entertainment it''s here at CDBaby just scroll down and look to the left for the link. It was #1 on ElectricBlues Radio 56 and 16 for April and May/06

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