FW: new King Biscuit Boy release

I got this from Blues-l today and I thought all of the King Biscuit Boy 
fans would want to see it:

From: owner-blues-l; WSHUTE
Subject: new King Biscuit Boy release
Date: Thursday, July 06, 1995 1:39PM

From: Bill Shute

KING BISCUIT BOY (aka Richard Newell)
"Urban Blues Re:Newell"
Blue Wave #124 (US)

One of Canada's foremost bluesmen (along with Donnie "Mr. Downchild"
Walsh, Dutch Mason (is he still around?),et al), King Biscuit Boy
is back with his first US release since.....is it since his third
lp on Epic, the Allen Toussaint-produced one where he was backed
by The Meters? If so, that was l973 or 74. Has it been that long?
What a shame. Yes, he's done other CAnadian and UK albums since then
and they've all been fine, but his first two albums which came out
in the US on  "Paramount"--Official Music and Gooduns (which cry
out for reissue--maybe One Way or one of those type of labels
would find it worthwhile?  One way did the MITCH RYDER AND DETROIT
album which was also on Paramount, that's why I suggest them.)--
I had hoped would make him a "major player" but alas that did not
happen here in the States. Many were let down by his third album,
the New Orleans one, because it wasn't a pure blues album like his
first two (it was broader-based and more subtle R&B), so it kind
of killed his career momentum when that album didn't take off
(and being on a label like Paramount didn't get you very far,
just ask Mitch Ryder! I first saw most Paramount releases in the
cutout racks, or in promo copies I bought at used record stores).

My friends in Hamilton have told me that over the years the Boy
has succumbed to the "blues lifestyle," but evidently that's
been conquered and he's back, rested and looking good and fit
for action. So it's nice to see Blue Wave picking the album up for
US distribution (they also picked up the latest Downchild Blues
BAnd album which I'll review in the next week or so).

Opening with the anthemic "Now I'm Good" (perhaps a commentary on
his former status), he launches into a diverse but cookin' set
which has some of the obvious Chicago influences (and lots of
the Boy's fine harmonica blowing) but which to me shows a new
maturity and diversity. In other words, it's not all uptempo
Chicago-esque stompers.

Covers like "Chills and Fever" and Big Al Downing's timeless "Down
on the Farm" work well, and Jimmy McCracklin's great "(Before We)
Think" is a really mature song that I had forgotten,but which
contains a lot of wisdom and fits well into this set. Of course,
King Biscuit Boy has always had a streak of humor/irony/satire
in his work, and the original "Glide and Slide" and the wonderful
cover "Too Poor To Die" as well as the album closer "Achin' Head"
remind us of the entertainment-oriented side of the King Biscuit
Boy persona. I wouldn't call this album "rough-edged "(Canadian
blues bands have never been noted for that, although KBB's earlier
records were more rough-edged than this is), but it is fresh and
spontaneous sounding...and it sounds great blasting from my
car's cassette deck. And thank god KBB has taste enough to
avoid that shimmering and fake 90s drum "gloss/sheen" you find on so
many otherwise-fine Alligator releases.

Let's hope that some Stateside gigs come Mr. Newell's way. I know
the "blues circuit" is a rough way to make a living for someone
on the level of success where King Biscuit Boy is, but maybe
he could get a few boxfuls of this album, sell it at gigs, and
build up a word-of-mouth reputation  that way...and maybe get
picked up by a larger label. I could see him eventually recording
for a, say, Blind Pig or Antone's if he had the right band backing
Unfortunately, except for old-time fans like me who were into the
blues in the early 70s and for Canadians and for Europeans who've
picked up on his Red Lightnin releases, King Biscuit Boy might
not be as well known as he should be.That's a shame, because here's
a man who has ALWAYS been devoted to the blues through thick and thin
and who has probably already seen three or four "blues revivals" come
and go along with the fair-weather blues fans attracted during each
one. He's in it for the long haul. Buying this album (available on
cassette and CD) will help insure another comes out in the US,
and in any event it's a good album. Certainly, no one can accuse
him of playing blues-rock or of jumpin on the blues bandwagon.

In the spirit of NAFTA, here's one Canadian export I welcome with
open arms...along with Moosehead, Labatt's, etc.

US Residents can order the cassette for $8.98 postpaid or the CD for
$13.98 postpaid from Blue Wave Records, 3221 Perryville Rd.,
Baldwinsville, NY 13027.
I have no connection whatsoever with either this label or the artist,
except for being a fan for 20+ years.
By the way, Blue Wave has other interesting releases too. Four King
snakes albums, a JimmyCarl Black/Arthur Brown album, various releases
by the underrated Mark Doyle (of the early 70s RCA band "Jukin Bone")
an album of obscure 80s Eric Burdon, and a fine fine Cub Koda comp
with stuff from his Swedish only lps, unreleased tunes, and an
unbelievable l966 cover of "Ramblin' On My Mind" that has a
high spot in my pantheon of 60s-punk-R&B blues covers.

Bill Shute
San Antonio, TX

ps, if anyone is reading this in "greater" Hamilton area, say hi to my
old pal "The Mole" and tell him I lost his e-mail address. Did anyone
up there hear the "Inner Mystique Radio" programs I did on CFMU back
in the mid-late l980s?I would sometimes get calls (the Mole would
give out my home phone to anyone who liked the show and called the
station) from people who were at that moment listening ..........
1500 miles away from where I was at...to a rerun
of a show I had taped a year or two previously, and as they were
talking to me on the phone I would hear MY OWN voice speaking
in the background "live" on the radio. I wouldn't even know what
particular show they were airing. Now THAT was a weird experience!!!

pps, in fact, maybe some on this network can help King Biscuit Boy
with his Stateside "comeback"--so here is the name/address of
his management firm as listed on the album. Festival organizers
looking to "diversify" their lineups, take note!

King Biscuit Boy managed by
   Peter Ramsey Management
   350 Charlton Avenue West
   Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA
   L8P 2E7
   phone/fax  905 525 1856

Texas Johnny Brown, King Biscuit Boy, Long John Hunter,Memphis Horns,
Guy Forsyth, Joe Houston, The Paladins, Bobby Mack and Night Train,
The (austin) Solid Senders, Hash Brown, Lazy Lester,Ronnie Dawson,
Henry Qualls, Doug & Augie w/ the West-Side Horns, Toni Price,
Omar & The Howlers, Ted and the Tall-Tops/The Naughty Ones...
there's my "dream" festival lineup!

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