artists tour dates news catalog gallery jukebox t-shits contact links
 
TRACK LISTING
1. Playgirl
D. Bartholomew – EMI Unart Catalog, Inc. - BMI

2. Bad Luck Blues
D. Bartholomew/E. Dorothy – EMI Unart Catalog, Inc. - BMI

3. Early Every Morning
J. Josea/R.B. King – Powerforce Music/Nocturnal Eclipse Music - BMI

4. Gumbo Blues
D. Bartholomew – EMI Unart Catalog, Inc. - BMI

5. One Night Of Sin
D. Bartholomew/P. King/A. Steinman – EMI Unart Catalog, Inc. - BMI

6. On The Other Hand
R. Charles - Wendy Music, Inc. - BMI

7. My Baby Pleases Me
M. Campbell/O. Sain, Jr – Conrad Music - BMI

8. Lil Phil's Shuffle
J. Maher – Good Rockin' Music/DE Music - BMI

9. Big Long Buick
J. Maher–Good Rockin' Music/DE Music - BMI

10. I'll Always Love You
J. Maher – Good Rockin' Music - BMI

11. How Come People Act Like That
Writer & Publisher Unknown)
Special Guest, Lee Roy Parnell – Slide Guitar

12. Let's Get High
Writer & Publisher Unknown

13. Lex Meets Big
A. Schultz – DE Music - BMI

14. Lemonade
L. Jordan/W. Grey – Cherio Corporation – BMI

 
BIG JOE & THE DYNAFLOWS
I'M STILL SWINGIN'
SEVERN CD 0004
BUY  / DOWNLOAD
"I've been a big fan of Big Joe's for years. I love I'm Still Swingin'. It's his best effort to date."
Anson Funderburgh
Rounder Recording Artist

Jump blues music is experiencing a resurgence and Big Joe Maher is poised to lead the revival. With the release of I'm Still Swingin' on Severn Records, Big Joe & the Dynaflows find themselves on familiar ground performing the music from an all but forgotten age.

The disc opens with two strong covers by legendary New Orleans songwriter, Dave Bartholomew ("Playgirl" and "Bad Luck Blues"). The New Orleans flavor continues throughout on Joe's versions of B.B. King's "Early Every Morning", and Ray Charles', "On the Other Hand". When you add to the mix a handful of originals, the result is an album that captures the Crescent City's heart during the height of the swing era.

Backing Joe on Swingin' are long-time sidemen including bassist Jeff Sarli (who recently recorded with the Rolling Stones on their album Bridges to Babylon), John Cocuzzi who shares keyboard duties with Kevin McKendree (currently playing with Delbert McClinton), guitarist Ivan Appelrouth, and seasoned veteran on the tenor saxophone Joe Stanley. Also appearing are a host of guests including former Mighty Flyer, Alex Schultz whose fret work is the perfect compliment to Joe's belting vocals, former Black Top recording saxophonist Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff, and country music great Lee Roy Parnell who adds his trademark guitar licks on one number.

Big Joe grew up in a suburb of Washington, DC listening to the music his father would play. "My dad listened to guys like Louis Jordan, Little Milton and B.B. King all of the time" remembers Joe. "When I got a little older, I would go to hear live blues at clubs in D.C.".

After singing and playing with local bands for years, Joe decided to do his own thing. In 1988 he recorded Good Rockin' Daddy for Powerhouse Records. This lead to session work with several other Powerhouse artists such as Bob Margolin, Mark Wenner of The Nighthawks, and Tom Principato.

"An exciting time for me was when Anson Funderburgh came to hear me at a club in Atlanta," says Joe. "It was Anson that put me in touch with Hammond Scott at Black Top Records." That meeting led to a record deal for Joe, and in 1994 he released the critically acclaimed Layin' In the Alley for the New-Orleans based recording company.

Joe's experience and good fortune have certainly paid off. He has self-produced two of his own releases, Cool Dynaflow, and Mojo (co-produced with Jeff Sarli), and most recently King of the Honky-Tonk Sax by Joe Stanley.

Big Joe and the Dynaflows are happy to call Severn Records their new home. "We're all dedicated to making this thing work. We put a lot of time into the new disc and I'm happy with how it turned out". With his new record company and new release Big Joe plans to be Swingin' for a long, long time.

In a genre that has seemed to "swing" in and out of the spotlight over the years, one thing has remained: Big Joe & The Dynaflows have been one of the top jump blues artists on the East Coast for quite awhile. This recording (released in 1998) marks his sixth solo outing and his debut with Severn Records. Joe's crooning vocal style and smooth drumming, combined with bassist Jeff Sarli's "in the pocket" approach drive this set throughout. John Cocuzzi and Kevin McKendree share the keyboard duties. Cocuzzi also brings the cool sounds of the vibraphone to the mix. On guitar Ivan Appelrouth lays it out with country great Lee Parnell on one number. With a top notch horn section featuring Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff and Joe Stanley trading sax duties, this disc offers 1st class swing music.
LINER NOTES:
This platter is about swing. Not the new swing music that is so popular right now, mostly played as if faster is better, but the swing where "sway" was part of the mix. Big Joe takes his lessons from the small swing bands that flourished after World War II, especially Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five – heck, there is even an obscure Jordan tune here called "Lemonade," and the B.B. King cover, "Early Every Morning," owes as much to Mr. Jordan as it does to Reily B. That should not come as a surprise since B.B. has said how much he learned from and loved Louis Jordan. This disc also borrows from the great music of Lionel Hampton, even featuring the vibes on three of the tracks. When was the last time you heard vibes on an R&B album?
The other great influence here is New Orleans, in particular Smiley Lewis. David Bartholomew, the legendary New Orleans producer, has said that Smiley was a hard-luck singer because he never sold more that 100,000 copies of any of his singles. Well if that's true, then Big Joe is a perfect person to cover Smiley's tunes since he has never really been appreciated for the fine music he has recorded. Maybe this platter will bring both of them their long over due accolades. Funny though, I don't think Joe will change much if his ship comes in. This is the music he loves, and you can hear that every time he belts out another tune. Maybe folks have missed Joe's fine vocal work because he is hidden behind the drums; not many lead vocalists are willing to sit behind the skins--most are too busy out front of the band trying to become stars.
Driving Joe's vocals and making the music on this disc cook is the fine ensemble playing of the band that Joe put together. Some of the players are known nationally for their fine chops. Alex Schultz, the lead guitarist on most tracks, spent years on the road with Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers. He also appears on Benjie Porecki's debut release on Severn Records, Servin' It Up. Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff is one of the best-known contemporary sax players, in the grand tradition of the wailing, soulful tenormen of the late 40's and 50's. He has been a mainstay of Black Top Records and the Austin sound for a long time.
The rest of musicians are not as well known, probably because they have mostly stayed around Washington, DC--for whatever reason, the DC area has never gotten its due as a music hot spot. Maybe, just maybe, this platter will bring them some well-earned attention. There are two keyboard players here. Kevin McKendree has worked with Joe on previous recordings. Kevin is a young man with an old soul, now hanging in Nashville, playing with the likes of Lee Roy Parnell, who sits in on one number here. Whenever Kevin touches the ivories, folks take notice. The other keyboard player, John Cocuzzi, is a talented singer, songwriter and player in his own right from the DC area. John also doubles on vibes for three tunes, which help make them swing just a bit harder. The other sax man is Joe Stanley, a local legend in DC who has been playing in R&B bands since the 50's. When Joe takes a sax break you hear a sound wrought by years of endless nights in smokey dives. He's the real thing.
Bassist Jeff Sarli, who appears on the Rolling Stones' most recent disc, Bridges to Babylon, works now with John Mooney. Jeff plays the upright like it is a woman needing to be held but who may walk away at any moment. Guitarist Ivan Appelrouth, a long-time side man with Big Joe, knows intuitively what each song needs and never lets his own ego get in the way. Clyde Hunt's trumpet work in the section is simply wonderful. Also dig his argumentative-woman accompaniment to Big Joe on the tune "On the Other Hand." Lastly, John Wolf on trombone has been gigging around DC for years and has just joined Roomful of Blues.
Along with four fine originals by Big Joe, this platter features covers of songs by Percy Mayfield, Little Milton, Bobby Charles and Roscoe Gordon, some of Joe's favorite artists. He pays them tribute without recording pale imitations, as only an artist who has his own voice can. Often, originals can stick out like sore thumbs among such hip covers--not so for Joe's songs. Each borrows from the past but still stands on its own. Heck, if you don't read the credits you might not be able to pick out which ones they are. Like any good gumbo, the individual parts make up a greater whole. As the chef of the mix, Big Joe makes this platter swing. I can't think of a better compliment for Joe and the guys in the band.

Bill Wax
Host
Blues Plate Special

WPFW, Washington, DC

MUSICIANS:
Big Joe Maher: Vocal and Drums
Kevin McKendree: Organ and Piano
Alex Schultz: Guitar
Jeff Sarli: Acoustic Bass
Ivan Appelrouth: Guitar
Joe Stanley: Tenor Saxophone
Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff: Saxophones
John Cocuzzi: Piano, Vibraphones, Organ
John Wolf: Trombone
Clyde Hunt: Trumpet
CREDITS:
Executive Producer: David Earl
Producer: Big Joe Maher
Recorded at Wally Cleaver's Studio, Fredericksburg, VA, September, 1997.
Engineer: Peter Bonta
Lee Roy Parnell's solo on "How Come People Act Like That" Engineered by Chris Salamone
Mastered at Air Show, Springfield, VA, by Charlie Pilzer

Horns arranged by Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff.

Lee Roy Parnell appears courtesy of Arista Records