California experienced a phenomenal growth in independent recording in the postwar years, after decades of dominance by the major labels. Millions had flocked there during the war years and they needed entertainment.
Soloing styles, techniques and essential insights Many a guitar legend has cut their teeth and left their mark on the jazz-influenced blues style known as "West Coast Blues" (aka "jump" blues): Charlie Christian, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Albert Collins, Johnny Guitar Watson, Duke Robillard, Hollywood Fats, Little Charlie Baty are just a few. But T-Bone Walker is likely the genre's definitive guitarist.
A half century after he made his debut waxings, Fulson is still going strong – and not as some museum piece, either. Still a vital blues artist who refuses to rest on his massive laurels, Fulson's latest is a fine addition to his vast discography, comprised mostly of fresh originals and featuring his customary biting guitar and insinuating vocals…
Getting a solid grip on the phrasing and rhythmic qualities of West Coast blues is also the key to achieving a real sense of boogie, swing, and jump ala Texas blues. Good enough for Stevie Ray, Jimmy Vaughn, Anson Funderburgh, and Johnny Guitar Watson - good enough for us. And what blues player worth their salt doesn't have a couple of dozen jazzy bebopish lines to spice up their solos and improvisations?!
"West Coast Toast" heralds the arrival of Mitch Kashmar’s long-awaited third studio album from Delta Groove. Although fans had the live recording "Live at Labatt" (2008) and a CD reissue of his early ’80s era LP "100 Miles to Go" (2010) to tide them over, it’s been ten years since his last full studio effort, "Wake Up & Worry" (2006). This time out, Mitch pays tribute to his legacy, tipping his musical hat to the unique sounds of West Coast blues with a program of well-chosen covers mixed in with his own original compositions, all filtered through his own individualistic approach to the blues, and distilled down into the essence of what the blues is today. Along the way, Mitch Kashmar, together with the stellar backing musicianship of Junior Watson (guitar), Fred Kaplan (piano), Bill Stuve (bass) and Marty Dodson (drums), ably proves that the golden era of West Coast blues harmonica isn’t behind us – it’s still happening right now!