REVIEWS OF PATRICK HAZELL RECORDINGS
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Review by Graham Clarke, BLUES BYTES Internet Magazine October 2003, http://www.bluenight.com/BluesBytes/wn1003.html
Patrick Hazell, the Godfather of Iowa Blues, bills himself as The One Man Band and his music as Midwestern Blues, Boogie, and Cornbelt Zydeco. Intrigued? You should be. Hazells recent CD, Rollin In The Moonlight (Blue Rhythm Records) is a fine introduction to his talents. Hazell, from Iowa, plays keyboards, harmonica, and percussion with his feet, all at the same time. Hes considered to be a legend on the Iowa music scene and is a member of the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame. His repertoire consists of not only the music described above, but also jazz and R&B. He wrote 13 of the 14 tracks here, the only non-original being a cover of Lil Greens In The Dark. This is not what you would ordinarily think of when you imagine a one-man band. He is the real deal, with well-composed songs and a relentless boogie beat on most of these tracks, along with some of the best harmonica youll hear on disc. In addition, he is an excellent keyboardist and his raspy vocals complement the music very well. Its exhilarating to listen to and I have to imagine its even more exciting to see him in person. Go to Hazells website, www.patrickhazell.com and check him out.
CD REVIEW: GANGSTER'S OF LOVE, BY DAGMAR FULLE, FRANKFURT, GERMANY, OCT. 1995.
I met the "Gangster's of Love" for the first time
in May 1994, on a stage somewhere in Hessen. Pat had just arrived
from Washington, Iowa. Iowa? Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, Texas,
yes, but Iowa? Somebody playing the Blues could come from Iowa?
I had my doubts. Later---the gig. In spite of the venue being
more qualified to give the Blues than for playing the Blues, it
turned out to be a thrilling concert.
The next day I found myself with a map in my hand. Washington, Iowa. About 200 miles west of Chicago, about 200 miles north of Saint Louis. With the way Americans perceive distances that means two Blues metropolises right next door. Nevertheless, Pat's songs belong neither here or there. When he sings about the "Hoodoo Queen" down in New Orleans, you can feel the swamp, the alligators and the voodoo magic, and the humidity rises to 90%. When he longs for the "Sweet Lovin' Arms" of his lady, even the coolest guy gets this warm feeling inside and wishes Pat would finally reach the end of this long, dusty road where his home waits, where he finds Joe's Bar and where he finds his woman. But he can never stay long - he soon has to say "Here I Go Again" - Back to the Boogie!
Pat, this down-to-earth guy with the friendly smile, plays and sings the Blues really dirty - so dirty that you get the strangest feelings. If you ever tried to play the harmonica, that seemingly harmless child's instrument, and now listen to Pat's Blues harp you will get the impression of having arrived on another planet. Blues fans who have listened to all sorts of players, from Sammy Lewis, Little Walter Jacobs and James Cotton (The Sun Studio era) to Junior Wells, Sugar Blue and Kim Wilson, will recognize from this CD, that Pat Hazell belongs to the big ones. His voice is as black as a night in the deep south of the United States of America. At home he often performs as a "one man band", here in Germany he has got musicians who have done their homework and have at least as much fun as does when playing.
-------DAGMAR FULLE, FRANKFURT, GERMANY, 1996
Patrick Hazell - Blue Blood CD
You can almost see the stogie in the mouth of this pianist, harmonicist and vocalist, at home with a bit of percussion--in the style of Champion Jack Dupree or Fats Waller. Intimate
--------BLUES ACCESS, Spring 1998
Review of PATRICK HAZELL'S BLUE BLOOD CD (BRR26CD)
This dude plays his Damned Ass off people, I know of no other
way of putting it and for this reason I give him a (5) HARP Salute
before I go any further. Patrick plays piano with a harmonica
in a neck holder, but his harp is super-duperly amplified and
it talks pure trash, I mean street walking -shit talking stuff.
He has C-Boy James playing percussion and drums and they cover
slow blues, shuffles and flat-out, drag-racing boogie-woogie.
I realize that is only two dudes, but they have the feelin' man.
Patrick has a bunch of cd's out, most of them are just him at
the piano and the harp, but he has some with full bands too!
----------- Steve"Big Daddy BluzHarp"Harvell
"BluzHarp's" Recommended Bluz Recordings Oct.1998
Review of BLUES ON THE RUN (BLUE RHYTHM RECORDINGS BRR21LPC, & BRR23CD) by CUB KODA, GOLDMINE, APRIL 26, 1996.
Patrick Hazell is a white, one-man band (piano, neck rack harmonica
and drums) from the distinctly non-blues area of Washington, Iowa.
But skin color and point of origin hardly matters as Hazell sounds
like a complete throwback to the recordings of the late '40's
and early '50's. His rhythmic drive is superlative while his sound
and style is highly reminiscent of Memphis one-man bands like
Doctor Ross or Joe Hill Louis. His raspy harp and vocals (sung
into the same distorted microphone he blows through) are fortified
with strong material, an unrelenting beat and sensational ambience
as he ekes out a piece of blues turf that hasn't been occupied
in a very long time.
Hazell's debut opus has all the portent of an album you'll find yourself still listening to 10 years from now, both for its content and its sheer uniqueness. The title track is five minutes of nasty modal shouting and honking while the opener, "Here I Go Again," answers the question, "What would it have sounded like if Joe Hill Lewis had cut a rock'n'record at Sun? That he manages to pull off his one-man-band turn without the use of overdubbing makes the performances on this album all the more amazing. In the current white boy blues community where seemingly every street corner has five people on it with shades, pleated pants and heat-up Stratocasters in hand, Patrick Hazell stands out as something very unique and cool. Winner of this month's "If It Sounds Like A Scratchy 78, It Must Be Good" Award.
----- CUB KODA, GOLDMINE, APRIL 26, 1996. ALL MUSIC GUIDE
IOWA BLUES COMPLILATION VOL.2 (HOT FUDGE RECORDINGS).Review
Big wing-ding highlight comes from the one-man-band from Washington,
Iowa, Mister Patrick Hazell, who turns in a performance on volume
two ("Got The Blues On The Run") that is downright eerie.
I mean anybody can do their best B.B.King-Albert King-Stevie Ray,
but how many white hoogies you ever heard sound just like Joe
Hill Lewis, fer Chrissakes?!? This is the kinda track you put
on one of your homemade C-90s to amaze yer friends with, cool
-------CUB KODA, GOLDMINE, OCT. 1995
BLUES ON THE RUN--Patrick Hazell, One-Man Blues Band
I do not know how in the heck he gets all that sound and only
him! He plays piano, organ, bass drum, and some of the best sounding
harmonica I've ever heard in a rack. It's well worth it to help
this guy out!
-------- STEVE "BIG DADDY BLUZ HARP" HARVELL, BLUZHARP'S CHRISTMAS LIST; AMERICAN HARMONICA NEWSLETTER, DEC. 1995
Pickin' da Blues (Hot Fudge Productions), compilation of Iowa Blues Bands, shows that there's more to do in that state than watching the corn grow. This latest collection is Volume IV of the series, and appears to be a joint production of Iowa's four blues societies. I once assembled a similar compilation of Arizona bands, and know how hard it is to bring together a wide collection of songs by many diverse artists. The producers have done a good job of mixing and matching the 17 tunes into a cohesive, well-flowing groove. None of the artists are ready to become big international blues stars, but there aren't any embarrassing moments either. The strongest cut is a deep, slow blues by pianist/harmonica player Patrick Hazell ("Blue Blood"). Other nice singers include Effie Burt and J.C.Anderson.
You can hear more of Patrick Hazell's work on Blue Blood (Blue Rhythm Recordings), with 14 songs of mostly acoustic blues piano and harmonica. Besides the title cut, which we heard on the Pickin' da Blues compilation, the best number is the uptempo "Hot Cakes," featuring very good harmonica work by Hazell.
--------- BLUES BYTES, Blue Night Productions, PHOENIX BLUES SOCIETY January 1998
REVIEW OF BLUE BLOOD CD
(Blue Rhythm Recordings BRR26CD)
by El Dormido; KANSAS CITY BLUES NEWS, MAY 1999
You know, sometimes it's just very simple, to get back down
to that mellowing basic blues soul healing music. Like Patrick
Hazell puts down on his CD, Blue Blood.
This release goes back to a 1997 solo recording session that has the Dean of Iowa Blues evoking a spare barroom feel, the sound echoing around an empty room on a bluesy afternoon, mournful feel of space unoccupied. Just me and him and maybe the bartender wiping out a glass.
The music echoes that Muddy Waters band sound, evoking Otis Spann and James Cotton at the same time. Has that same, deliberate blues pace that don't back down, keeps on keeping on. The very familiar blues fragments and phrases that echo in a lot of songs by a lot of people recast in Patrick's singular meditations on piano, harp and vocal.
He's also a pungent social critic as evinced by "Blue Blood", the title track, and "All Mixed Up". That's not something you hear in most blues repertoire.
"Moving Time", the second track, sets a definite tone with that 1950'2 sound where piano and harp kick off the tune. Patrick is so successful though in carrying the whole tune without needing a full complement of an electric blues band behind him. You like that then you'll like "Walking On A Tightrope", a tune with a similar Chicago sound to it.
Check out that walking bass left hand on "Washington Boogie". The guy gets it right! "Easy Time Blues" is an extended piano blues meditation that really satisfies the soul.
You want vocal, then check out Patrick's performance on "One-Sided Love" that in some way captures a hint of that pain and anguish that Ray Charles can convey with a twist of phrase. Patrick conveys that same mournful soul blues but does it with straight head vocal style.
This CD is gonna be a staple for me, the kind I go back to for settling down purposes, get back to square one 'cause that's where the music is, right down on square one, sure roots, sure delivery, no artificial flavoring here.
Patrick Hazell is playing a BB's Lawnside Bar-B-Que May 22 and I can't think of a better place to get into his music, roadhouse cajun cuisine, up close performance, it's all out front. Check out the show and buy the CD from the man. That's gonna be as good as having a bowl of hot gumbo on a cold, rainy spring day!
-------- El Dormido; KANSAS CITY BLUES NEWS, MAY 1999
Patrick Hazell - Blue Blood
Now here's a dose of true blue blues for ya - blues vocals,
blues harp and that total blues feel all the way around. After
listening to this CD, I feel like I've had a total immersion into
a Blues Pool -- I'm completely drenched man!! I'm actually turning
blue! From Movin' Time to Avenue Called The Blues, Time Goes By
So Quickly and then some - but I guarantee, if you like the blues
and especially blues harp - you'll want to experience this CD
up close and personal. While it's obvious Hazell can manage the
whole thing with his talents at piano, harp and vocals, he does
get some assistance from C-boy James and Chris McCurdy on drums
and percussion. For a heavy dose of blues, get yourself a transfusion
of some Blue Blood.
------ R.C., Blue Zone internet Review---July 1999
REVIEW OF BLUE BLOOD by VASJA
IVANOVSKI. FM 91 BLUES
SKOPJE, MACEDONIA, EUROPE Jan.18,1998
"My personal favorite is PATRICK HAZELL! His (Blue Blood)CD
really sounds as if it comes from the fifties, yet he sounds so
refreshing and new! This one is definitely one of my favorites
received these days! I really hope that PATRICK will make it on
a national basis and in Europe given a chance. He proved like
the old masters that you do not need a wall of sound to make an
impression, it takes only personal, deep emotional statements
that reach blues lovers universally!"
--------VASJA IVANOVSKI, SKOPJE, MACEDONIA, EUROPE
More Iowa beef! Old-time blues ooze from the very bones of Patrick Hazell on BLUE BLOOD (Blue Rhythm Recordings BRR26CD), who uses naught but Hohner Marine Band harps and a 1916 grand piano with the genuine plinky, honky-tonkin' tone you never hear anymore. All self-penned, Hazell's tunes simutaneously evoke the boogie piano masters such as Henry Gray and the harp magnitude of Little Walter--14 musical gems, no studio tricks, just meaty licks and great singing. Best cut: instrumental "Washington Boogie," harp and piano bouncing off each other for the essential groove.
----------BLUES REVUE, JUNE 1998
CD Preview: Patrick Hazell:
Blue Blood (Blue
By Al Handa, DELTA SNAKE DAILY BLUES, Dec.1998
Patrick Hazell is an Iowa-based educator, who has also released 28 albums since the late 60s. His blues career began in 1960, leading a three piece band, and in 1968, established the Mother Blues Band, which became a midwestern legend.
In 1983, Hazell began performing as an solo act in a rare format, the one man band. He accompanies his vocals with harp, piano, organ, and bass drum, and integrates the elements extraordinarily well. Also, he quite smartly uses the early 50s electric era as the style, which is ideal for a one man show.
If you didn't know how he performed his blues, you would think that the music was by a band that had a very early Chicago feel, with a rhythmic emphasis right out of the old Southern King Biscuit radio shows. In this session, he's aided by a percussionist and a drummer on one cut.
What makes it work is that Patrick is a convincing vocalist, and a very effective pianist with an atmospheric feel. His harp work, heavily amped with a raw, roadhouse mood cuts through the keyboard textures and give the music it's raw 50s feel. Also, the room sound gives one the impression it was recorded in a room with four solid walls and a lot of atmosphere.
The music opens with "Here We Go Again, a harp and piano boogie-woogie, and a Howlin' Wolf shouting-style vocal. This leads to a very cool and downhome sounding "Movin' Time," a swinging "Washington Boogie," and a afterhours style slow one, "Blue Blood." The rest of the cuts follow in this pattern, and all have the same lowdown and dirty atmosphere.
Being able to effectively duplicate the old Chicago feel isn't simply a matter of recreating the environment. It also consists of performances by musicians who have played for decades, and who can get that relaxed, yet edgy feel that only the most experienced can achieve. Patrick Hazell has created an effective set of blues that sounds like someone turned on a tape machine in some smoky early 50s Chicago bar. That he plays most of the instruments is an interesting novelty, but would be irrelevant if the music didn't work. In this case, Hazell just happens to be the right man for the jobs. A real sleeper, and worth checking out.
--------AL HANDA, DELTA SNAKE DAILY BLUES
Over the years Patrick Hazell has continued to make...28 recordings in wide-ranging genres. From straight-ahead Blues, jazz, down home country folk, instrumental, to experimental over-the edge stuff. And a lot of points in between. One of the hardest things to do is to categorize Hazell's work because it so often slips from one style to the next.
---MIKE RICHARDSON, BLUES NEWS, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES SOCIETY, DAVENPORT, IA, NOV. 1998.
Blue Rhythm Recording artist Patrick Hazell has done it again
with BLUE BLOOD, a new release
following up on his 1995 BLUES ON
THE RUN. Hazell is a blues powerhouse and consistently
delivers up the good stuff.
Hazell has actually been producing music for a long time. Anyone who has explored his trunk full of tapes at a live gig can give testimony to the output of this versatile musician. But it is with the advent of this CD that Pat's recordings take on the nice, glossy look they so richly deserve.
But who cares about looks, let's get to the sounds. BLUE BLOOD opens with "Here We Go Again" with high-powered "back to the boogie" lyrics. The lyrics describe the song, and the song describes the disc.
"Movin' Time," accompanying himself "down the line," America's premier one-man band is back on the move, back in the groove. Keyboards, harmonica, drum, and vocals....this one musician sounds as good and full as a four-piece band.
"Washington Boogie" is an instrumental number with a rollicking boogie piano keeping step with the mouth harp and dancing its way to the title track. "Blue Blood" is a change of pace---real stuff, a history lesson, an essay. This is the blues with philosophy.
"Walkin' On A Tightrope" is slow and sultry. Highlighting the harmonica, this steamy piece has a more traditional blues theme. "Tightrope" speaks to anyone and everyone who has ever been in love.
"Time Goes By So Quickly" is the sequel to "Tightrope." This straight-up blues tune is for all those who have loved....and lost. Ain't that the blues? Patrick's voice lets you feel the hurt in this song. "Easy Time Blues" is another instrumental. This is the calm after the storm, a piano solo. It's healing time, it's easy time.
"Hot Cakes" is a spicy number back to the beat. Filled with suggestive lyrics, this song will put a smile on your face and get you up on your dancing feet. "All Mixed Up" could be called soap-opera blues. This song is about relationships, a lot of them!
"I Don't Understand" is what happens when you get all mixed up. It's a classic song of love gone wrong with nice harp work. "What Did I Do Wrong" could pass for the second verse of "I Don't Understand."
"Unspoken Words" is an instrumental piece with the piano and harmonica. It is sweet and sorrowful and speaks to you without words. "One-sided Love" is a seamless transition into vocals. The title tells the story. You know we are talking blues now.
The final cut is "Avenue Called The Blues," and it gets down while getting down the road. There's not a bad song on the album. This is another must-have CD for the home collection...for someone wanting a Pat Hazell Blues album, this is about as good as it gets.
---MIKE RICHARDSON, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES NEWS,
DAVENPORT, IA, NOV. 1997
IN THE PRAIRIELAND
by Patrick Hazell, Blue Rhythm Recordings
Now the going gets tough. Not only is this CD not Blues, but
it is hard to describe. It is personal. It is roots. It is Iowa.
It is a recording probably destined to have a limited following.
At the same time it is a work as likely to be found in a museum gift shop, library shelf, or book store as at a music store. The disc is a musical journey beginning with "Prairieland Nightengale" and "They Came From A Settled Land" then "Leaving For The Prairie" "Slowly They Came Walking" "Goin' Out West" with songs along the way "On The Wind" and "The Sky". Listen to "The Coyotes Call" on "This Land" our "Home On The Range." Titles that only hint at the somewhat hypnotic sound of the music.
This Prairieland that Patrick takes you to is a place of the mind where you grow and move and change and continue on the journey. It is evocative, deep, flowing and always moving forward. This is not music to listen to all the time. But it is music you should take time to listen to.
---MIKE RICHARDSON, BLUES NEWS, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES
SOCIETY, DAVENPORT, IOWA, NOV.1998
DREAMCATCHER by Patrick
Hazell, Blue Rhythm Recordings,
A dozen songs with great names, none of which matter. This
really cool album is the hardest to review of the entire Blue
Rhythm CD catalog. It is definitely not Blues. The closest thing
to it is "In The Prairieland" but this goes much further
out to the edges. The theme, which is less a unifying feature
than a great excuse to make a totally eclectic recording, is dreams.
"Some of my songs come to me in the middle of my sleep."
While others, "come from a semi-conscious state of mind where
ridiculous things somehow make sense."
What can be said. Patrick took the photos for the CD cover. He dreamed the material he then wrote which he then performed and produced. This musical effort is as creative and self-revelatory and honest as it gets.
---MIKE RICHARDSON, BLUES NEWS, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES
SOCIETY, DAVENPORT, IOWA, NOV.1998
A two-disc release of improvisations on piano and harmonica,
all instrumental, make Patrick Hazell's finest CD to date. It
is not Blues. It is not jazz. It is not any current genre. It
is, however, beautiful music. The release of "SOUND
TRACKS" marks the beginning of a new class of music.
Patrick describes it as, "Musical meditations with strong
jazz, Blues, and impressionist underpinnings."
This collection of wonderful piano music, so original it is improvised, is as hard to describe as his "DREAMCATCHER" CD because it to is about a magical dream state. This is music you can meditate to, clean the house with, entertain at gatherings, and just simply enjoy.
Patrick Hazell wants a new music venue for the millenium. He has a right to ask since he has given us music for a new millenium.
---MIKE RICHARDSON, BLUES NEWS, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES
DAVENPORT, IOWA, NOV.1998
Patrick Hazell is especially proud of his CD, IN THE PRAIRIELAND, which includes an eight minute harmonica instrumental in the first cut. All selections, with the exception of "Home On The Range"--like you've never heard it before--are written and performed by Hazell on the harmonica, piano, sleigh and cow bells, rattles, kettle, drum, darbakka, snare and conga drums, and a Zube Tube. This is a real different side of Hazell in what might loosely be called NEW Age Blues with a western influence.
---TONI RADLER, EASY REEDING MAGAZINE, HOHNER HARMONICA
COMPANY, SPRING 1998
SOUND TRACKS, the double-sided CD, includes improvisations on piano and harmonica; it is something altogether different yet again from Patrick Hazell. The piano was tuned with just intonation to match the tuning of the Marine Band harmonica. Blues, jazz or whatever, it's a haunting collection by a very talented guy.
----TONI RADLER, EASY REEDING MAGAZINE, HOHNER HARMONICA
COMPANY, SPRING 1998
Perhaps the most different CD from Patrick Hazell's latest series of works is DREAMCATCHER, a collection of dream songs in which the harmonica adds to the Erie dreamlike picture painted by Hazell.
---TONI RADLER, EASY REEDING MAGAZINE, HOHNER HARMONICA
COMPANY, SPRING 1998
PATRICK HAZELL strips things down to the fifties and gives you timelessly classic sounding songs. BLUE BLOOD is a feeling and not just a title. I found feeling coming out of my speakers pouring onto the floor and with its seductive hand caressing my ear. The CD is comprised of acoustic piano, harmonica and percussion. That's it! I'm used to hearing larger numbers of people put out blues and it doesn't come off. Then this drops into my lap and I'm mesmerized from beginning to end. Less is more comes to mind. One man band also comes forth. Patrick wrote, performed and produced the entire CD. Pick it up if you like the blues. Pick it up if you like music.
-----------STEVAN ROBINSON,JR., MUZI.COM MAGAZINE,
DES MOINES,IA, JAN.1998
If you're not familiar with Patrick Hazell, you should be. A one-man band with keyboards, bass drum, rack-mounted harp and a big, big sound.That combined with great original tunes, drivin' boogie woogie and down-in-the-alley Blues, is the sound of BLUE BLOOD. Patrick's got a unique sound--raw and powerful--that's been packing Midwest clubs and dance halls for years. Rightfully so. I recommend you order BLUE BLOOD directly from Blue Rhythm Recordings....Do it now!
----MARTY KOOL, BLUES BEAT, TUCSON BLUES SOCIETY,
AUG'97, TUCSON, ARIZONA
BLUES ON THE RUN is a collection of blues and boogie-woogie tunes that are guaranteed to make you feel good. When you consider that Hazell plays the harp in a rack while playing the keyboard, using foot pedals for percussion, and interspersed all this with distinctive vocals, Hazell is a pretty incredible musician/juggler, artist/entertainer.
---TONI RADLER, EASY REEDING, HOHNER HARMONICA MAGAZINE, Spring'98
My wife and I had just gotten off the tram ride at the Iowa
State Fair in Des Moines this past August and heard some pretty
cool (but different) blues coming from a nearby building. Naturally,
I had to check it out. As I looked around the room, I was disappointed
that it wasn't live (I was looking for a full band). So we looked
around at the exhibits, worked our way to the back of the building
and there he was, Patrick Hazell, a virtual one man show. He had
a triple layer of keyboards in front of him, a harmonica around
his neck and was playing the bass drum as well. What a talent--a
mix of traditional blues, blended with some sprinklings of Cajun
and an obvious passion for the music. My next thought was, "Where
has this guy been? He's fantastic!"
During his break, I learned that he performs quite frequently at fairs and festivals and has several releases available in his repertoire. BLUES ON THE RUN is all original tunes (except Wang Dang Doodle"). I don't think you'll find Pat's stuff in any local music stores, but you can get a complete list of his recordings by writing to Blue Rhythm Recordings.......This may sound like an advertisement rather than a review, but trust me on this one, it will be worth the effort to contact Pat and get a list of what he has available. Your ears will thank you well!
----CHARLIE WOLF, MUSIC CITY BLUES BLUESLETTER, APRIL'97,
--TONI RADLER, EASY REEDING, HOHNER HARMONICA MAGAZINE,
Say one thing for Pat Hazell--he may be slow to pick up on
technological advances, but when he does, baby, he's on it like
sleaze on Maury Povich. Through 1995, the 30-year-veteran bluesman
from Washington, Iowa, had released over 20 tapes and records
on his own Blue Rhythm Recordings, but not one single stinkin'
CD! Cut to spring of '97, and here he is with his fifth CD (1996
brought Patrick Hazell and the Mother Blues Band 1975-1980, Blues
On The Run, In The Prairieland, and Dreamcatcher) and a double-disc
instrumental set to be released in a matter of weeks!
Long established as one of the Midwest's premier blues harpists, pianists and singers, Hazell has spent the past 15-years-plus touring as a unique one-man band using a harp-rack, electronic keyboard stack and a kick drum to back his earthy blues howling (an act well-represented by last year's Blues On The Run). With BLUE BLOOD, Hazell takes advantage of the studio setting to present his blues in a more formal, traditional setting, employing one C-boy James on the drum kit (Chris McCurdy on the title track) and eschewing the 'lectric 'boards in favor of a 1916 vintage Hazelton Bros. Grand piano. The result is--to these ears--Hazell's finest recording to date.
The uninitiated should be forewarned about the "Hazell Sound." A strict traditionalist (at times, to a fault--see first paragraph), Hazell doesn't cotton much to new-fangled gizmos. His idea of perfect sound is apparantly bright, undampened and strictly unadorned--harp mic overloaded and ready to shred; rattle-y drums and shiny piano notes. It's a sort of loose-board, piled-up-junk, dishes-on-a-metal-cupboard, shack-y kind of racket he aims for...way more Alan Lomax than Alan Parsons (i.e.--field recordings over "Strawberry Fields"). Strange, maybe; idiosyncratic, to be sure, but in the context of his musical pursuits, it makes perfect sense--just takes some getting used to....
BLUE BLOOD kicks off with "Here We Go Again," Hazell's unofficial theme and general call-to-party. (It could be noted here that there are way more great blues songs than there are great blues lyrics, and in that respect Hazell does not break from the fold. No matter---the muscle is in the grooves. The words are just here to give that amazing voice something to wrap around.) Highlights include "Washington Boogie"--a honking boogie-woogie instrumental romp, the harrowing "Walkin'On A Tightrope," the cautionary small-town soap opera "All Mixed Up" and the hauntingly beautiful harp-and-piano soundscape "Unspoken Words."
For my money, though, the ace in the deck--and one of Hazell's most fully realized songs yet--is the mournful, aching "Time Goes By So Quickly." Over six minutes of rolling, world-weary lament, "Time..." presents Hazell's raspy vocal at its absolute peak delivering a copacetic lyric over impassioned, spot-on harmonica blowing, swinging piano and an other-worldly cowbell keeping time like an eight-pound hammer on a railroad spike. I'd give this bad boy a solid 10.
So, there you have it--lots of heartfelt blues from a guy who sure ain't fakin'. Give it a spin, then get some more. (If you can't find Hazell's recordings at your favorite record shop, tell them to get them. Or, write: Blue Rhythm Recordings, 220 E. 17th Street, Washington, IA 52353.)
----JIM MUSSER, ICON MAGAZINE, JULY 3,1997,
IOWA CITY, IOWA
PATRICK HAZELL--BLUE BLOOD
When Pat Hazell performs he never has a conflict of interest
with any of his band members. That's because there are no other
band members. Mr. Hazell is the total package--vocalist, piano,
harmonica, and percussion player. All 14 tracks are penned by
Most of Patrick's music on this CD recaptures the sound of the early '50's style of the blues. Tracks like "Walkin' On A Tightrope," "Time goes By So Quickly," and "Avenue Called The Blues" sounds like some of the music that floated out of Chess Records during its heyday. Other cuts like "Washington Boogie" and "Here We Go Again" have more of a contemporary feel to them. As a vocalist Pat has a good voice that's very deep-felt. Even though Pat is very good on the harmonica, I admire his keyboard skills the most. He displays this fine talent on the instrumental called "Easy Time Blues." A superb performance! For those of you not familiar with Patrick Hazell's output, this disc is a solid introduction.
---DR. SOUNDGOOD, THE BLUESEYE, CROSSROADS BLUES
SOCIETY, LANARK, ILLINOIS, OCT. 1997
BLUES ON THE RUN ....features the one man blues band Patrick Hazell has been presenting to his fans for the past fifteen years. Juke joint, down-home roadhouse and at times even "corn-fed zydeco" boogie blues. This CD is an example of why this man is still drawing crowds after nearly four decades of touring.
---JAMES RONAN, TRAPEZE MAGAZINE, DECORAH, IA, OCT.1997
PATRICK HAZELL AND THE MOTHER BLUES BAND 1975 TO 1980..is vintage blues from the "classic" lineup of this great Iowa band: Joe Price, Dan Magarrell, Rick Cicalo, Steve Hayes, and Bo Ramsey. All selections were written by Hazell, with ever popular tunes like "Back On The Road Again," "Blues On The Run," and one of my faves, "Mississippi Mama." If you weren't there and want to know why this band holds legendary status in the Midwest, this is the music to check out. If you were there, this will bring back many memories of great nights of dancing to the sounds of Patrick and Mother Blues. Either way---BUY ONE NOW!!!
---JAMES RONAN, TRAPEZE MAGAZINE, DECORAH, IA, OCT.'97
PATRICK HAZELL AND THE MOTHER BLUES BAND 1975-1980
This 14 song collection of a five-year period of the Mother Blues Band contains some of the best recordings made. The band was consistently voted the Best Blues Band by the Prairie Sun, a six-state music magazine, in the late 70's. One of the primo cuts on the disc is an 8 minute version of "Back Country Shuffle" that makes you just want to go for the repeat button on the CD player. If you were a fan of the Mother Blues Band you absolutely need this in your music collection. If you never got to hear the band then you now have a chance to catch up on what you missed. Either way this is a must buy Blues CD.
---MIKE RICHARDSON, BLUES NEWS, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES
SOCIETY, DAVENPORT, IOWA, NOV.1998
PROFILE OF PATRICK HAZELL
Harmonica players seem to crop up everywhere. Iowa may not
have the reputation enjoyed by Chicago or Memphis, but it is home
to at least one top harp player, PATRICK HAZELL. Did I say harp
player? This guy also plays piano, organ and drums as well as
singing--all at the same time! A veteran of the Iowa music scene,
Hazell formerly led an outfit called the Mother Blues Band, but
these days, with his harp in a rack, a stack of keyboards and
a foot-operated bass drum, he is the band.
As well as playing live across America and Europe, Hazell has recorded across the last few years, a range of albums that reflect his varied musical tastes and influences --from the usual blues greats to jazz performers Miles Davis and John Coltrane, to composers such as Debussey and Ravel and avant-gardists like Stockhausen and John Cage. Some of these albums are recorded "live" with his one-man-band set-up, whilst others are built-up using multi-track techniques. One of his most spectacular recordings is the two volume set VICKSBURG--THE BATTLEFIED AT NIGHT and VICKSBURG--THE BATTLEFIELD AT DAWN. Recorded at the site of the Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg, Mississippi using period instruments (harp, cornet, whistles, snare drum, etc.) it is a hauntingly evocative and quite unique album. Similarly evocative is the album BLACK HAWK SPRINGS AND THE WAPSIPINICON FANTASIES, another impressionistic piece, but if your tastes lean more towards straight blues, Hazell has got that base covered too. One of my favorite Patrick Hazell recordings is THE NEW COOL, recorded using his one-man band set-up without over-dubs. The harp and the electric piano blend together beautifully, weaving around each other on some very tasteful tunes.
On a technical note, Hazell prefers Hohner Marine Band harps, but occasionally switches to Lee Oskars for the lower keys, finding them louder in this register. He also prefers the 10-hole Chromonica, claiming they are louder and more durable then the 12-hole version. For amplification he use a Shure SM51 Lavelier mike fitted to his harp rack and takes it into a 65 watt Music Man amp with two JBL 12" speakers. He has been using the overblow technique for some time now, discovering it for himself after a gig in 1971 and has a rather different approach to the basic playing positions from other harp players---but it certainly seems to work for him. Check out Jasmine Rage from his album EAST OF MIDNIGHT and you'll see what I mean--it sounds to me like some terrifying cross between Johnny Mars and Roland Van Straaten!
If this article has stirred your curiosity, then I suggest you write for further information about PATRICK HAZELL and his recordings to: BLUE RHYTHM RECORDINGS, 220 E.17TH ST., WASHINGTON, IOWA, 52353, USA
---PAT MISSIN, HARMONICA WORLD, HULL, ENGLAND 1993
SOUND TRACKS DOWNEAST
REVIEW Sabattus, Maine 8-15-2001
For this double album Patrick Hazell has focused on an improvisational Jazz format. Armed with his neck harmonica holder and a grand piano Patrick Hazell treats the listener to two hours of captivating music on a twenty-two track, all original compilation. The 1916 Hazelton Brothers Grand piano which Hazell uses is specially tuned to match the tuning of his Hohner Marine Band Harmonicas. Hazell plays both instruments with an intense passion which aid him in accomplishing his mission of presenting hearty original textured compositions.
While "Reflections In Blue" features a rootsy improvisational Jazz quality with expertly crafted piano riffs and steady
harmonica with emotional strength, "Bluesintergration" has a piano sound in a Thelonius Monk vein and a harmonica sound
with a unique improvisational essence not unlike Walter Holden. Other songs from the album explore a Jazz style with a more prominent Blues presence, adding variety and a bit of spice to the contents.
The second disc from the compilation appears more focused on the roots Blues style, unlike the first disc which has a stronger focus on the Jazz presence. The songs which have a strong Blues presence are, "Bohemian Blues", which features intense steady rolling bass and melodic high piano phrases. "Reeding The Blues" has a hearty roots blues quality in the piano parts with some harmonica riffs which run the entire spectrum from high to low range played with lungs of steel. These are some of the meatier presentations, but all of the compositions from the album are certainly hearty enough to please the lover of improvisational Jazz and Blues music. Exploring an area that few have tapped, Patrick Hazell has expertly put together an
entertaining and infectious package in the double disc presentation of improvisations on piano and harmonica for "Sound Tracks".
Track 1- Reflections In Blue
The piano line for this piece has a bit of Ragtime feel with tons of Jazz feel. The harmonica has a Jazz quality with a strong
Blues essence. Both instruments are masterfully played with true heart and soul roots beauty. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 2- Why Do You Keep On Crying?
For this tune Patrick Hazell puts out some strong emotional phrases on his harmonica, making that baby cry oh so sweet. The piano smoothly accents the harmonica's groove, cutting loose with sharp chords when needed. For only two instruments the piece has a quality full sound with amazing depth and color. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 3- In A Cloistered Garden
The tranquil effect created by Hazell's hypnotic piano makes this an interesting aural adventure. With a charming melody that flows off his fingertips with an ease and graceful quality one is drawn into the piece at the tone of every note. Bordering on a
Classical style, with complex phrases and intricate movements, one needs to approach this tune in the proper frame of mind. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 4- Cloud Tracing
Another tranquil feeling intro comes around on this composition, with more of a Jazz flavor and an uptempo quality coming as the piece progresses. The harmonica helps elevate the intensity and pick up the groove with an enchanting melodic presence. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 5- The Memory Box
Patrick Hazell likes to focus on complex pieces with amazing light flowing melodies. The beauty is an intricate element in the structure of the song, but the skill and talent of Hazell on the piano is what leaves the listener in awe. He expertly paints a sonic portrait which shimmers with vibrant tonal color and rich depth as only a true master of the instrument is able. ( ! ! ! ! !)
Track 6- Lost Love
This tune simply takes too long to get going. One gets tired
of hearing the same piano riff over and over again and begins
to lose focus. The flow of the melody is slow and only begins
to gain momentum half way through the piece. Too little too late
to save this tune from it's demise. ( ! ! )
Track 7- Little One
This tune starts off slowly with some scale runs on the piano with a melody line on the harmonica that is contagious. A sad feel to the melody adds to the tranquil quality. One can picture Hazell sitting in the shade of a big oak tree playing his Blues away on the harmonica. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 8- Early Spring Waltz
This is certainly one of the better pieces from the album with very well structured piano and harmonica melodies. The keyboard accentuates key phrases from the lead harmonica with depth and great tonal color. The infectious groove though
not uptempo has a magnetism which has a great beat for slow dancing. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 9- Hallways Through Time
This tune is very, emphasis on very, mellow. When presenting a solo piano piece, without harmonica, Hazell has a tendency to perform recital type music. One is left impressed by his skills on the piano, but the melody is soon forgotten. On the up side the pieces are not lengthy, so one does not tend to nod off in the short time span. ( ! ! ! )
Track 10- A Closer Walk
The harmonica is again featured in this tune, and the tempo is increased a couple of notches. The melody is more defined and the overall groove is easier to follow. This allows the listener to become engrossed into the musical action and enjoy the piece more thoroughly. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 11- Tender Moments
There is not a person who could honestly say that they are not impressed by Patrick Hazell's piano performances. This tune
which borders somewhere between Classical and Jazz, is an excellent example of his amazing skill and talent. What the song lacks in originality it makes up for by giving the listener a tremendous stylistic piano performance. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 1- Home Again
This tune kicks off the second disc with a very low flame having very little spark in the energy element. MELLOW with a
superb piano performance, which borders heavily on the Classical style. The improvisational factor may be there, but it
certainly eludes the listener with a very structured presentation. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 2- The Endless Dance
To pigeon-hole this song to a particular genre would be a diificult task. It certainly is in the style of an accomplished musician, but to stick it in the Jazz, Blues or even Folk genre would be bending the ethic code a bit. An original piece is the best one
can say about this piece, with a truly unique style. With the harmonica in the formula, the tune is uptempo and bright. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 3- Bohemian Blues
Now this tune has Blues in the piano phrases and has an exceptional infectious quality with a superb performance. This is the
groove which people want more of when looking toward improvisational Blues and Jazz piano. Hazell creates like a true
master and captures the listener in his woven web with some excellent passages on this piano piece. If only half of the songs
on the album were in this style, Hazell would have a huge hit album on his hands. This is certainly the direction he should focus on, because he pours his heart and soul into the song which has won my vote for an ace performance and composition. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 4- Soul Changes
It's hard to fathom that this is the same performer who did the previous number. This one slides back into the complex light
Jazz style and leaves the Blues by the wayside. The articulate playing is certainly there but it comes from a different region of
the soul and displays another side of the artist. One of the better solo piano pieces but still a few notches below "Bohemian Blues". ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 5 Bluesintegration
Hazell has found his Blues groove again much to the pleasure
of the listener. His harmonica playing is soulfilled and carries
the weight of the heavy groove with ease. The piano accompaniment
has a slight Jazz edge, which is a nice contrasting touch. Having
that Jazz and Blues edge increases the charisma a great deal making
this another of the highlight pieces from the
compilation. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 6- The Big Valley
Patrick Hazell for this tune has slid down to the big valley of pretentious complex piano compositions. Again with a strong
performance but lacking in orginality, just a well done composition by a great pianist. A tune for those longing for lengthy
piano recitals. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 7- Reeding The Blues
Hazell has again exposed his Blues side to the listener with an exhilirating edge. The Blues piano is here as well as the Blues
harmonica, making the presentation a double the pleasure masterpiece. What an infectious groove this man can lay down
when he gets into this mode. One could not ask for sweeter Blues with a roots quality. The harmonica cries the Blues with a
powerful presence, while the piano struts that special bassline walk and plaintive accents creating a truly emotion filled
adventure. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 8- Lazy Dog Rag
This tune has a contagious ragtime groove which has a familiarity in the melodic intro. The tempo increases throughout the
piece, at times falling out of ragtime into a boogie woogie bassline on the piano. The harmonica and piano work in a close
syncopated melodic lead make this an exhilirating presentation. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 9- Together At Last
One could argue about the complexity, or lack of it, of the piano performance on this tune. The song has no apparent
direction and Hazell merely wanders around the fingerboard using a random combination of notes and single notes. This
leaves the listener unimpressed and bored. ( ! ! )
Track 10- Blue River
On this tune one finds Hazell forming an audio portrait colored with Blues harmonica and New Age improvisational piano
phrases. The mellow tempo makes for a relaxing quality, but also tends to make the song appear to drag on for a bit over nine minutes. Hazell does make a futile attempt at increasing the tempo three quarters of the way through the piece, but by then he has lost the listener. Too little too late. ( ! ! ! )
Track 11- The Promenade
The closing song for the album is an exhilirating piano performance by Hazell with true melodic beauty. He runs his fingers
over the keyboard with the grace and allure associated with the harp creating similar tonal color and depth. ( ! ! ! ! )
Steve Harvell---BLUZHARP REVIEWS July 2001
This is exactly what the title implies, one half the CD is by one trio and the second half by the other.
Tracks 1-6 has Billylee Janey on guitar(left channel) vocal/kickbox, Bob Dorr snare drums/cymbals/harp, Bryce Janey on guitar(right channel)vocal kickbox. The first six tunes are as follows, "Iou", "Walkin' Out", "Doghouse
Blues", "Gamblin' Man Blues", "Bottle It Up and Go", "Goin' Out of Business".
This has got to be the rawest music since John Lee Hooker and
Elmore James, you just don't hear it much like this anymore.What
I like about a trio setting, all of the instruments get to step
it up a notch or two and shine more. Bob Dorr's harp playing is
as good as any that I have ever heard in my life. Most of you
that read me on a regular basis know that I will not bullshit
in a situation like this. Bob blows even better on this CD as
with "The Blueband" CD that I reviewed before this and
he kicked butt on it .The guitar and vocals sound like something
that you would hear down on the plantation juke joint just after
they got electricity and all the cats ordered some amps and stuff
thru the "Sears" catalog.
I give the first half the strongest (7) Harp Salute that I have ever given, Top Drawer Stuff, so good it makes ya sweat!
O. K. here we are ready to check out the second half festivities. On this section from tunes 7-13 you have Molly Nova on 5 string electric violin, Bob Dorr on drums, Patrick James Hazell on vocals/grand piano/organ/keyboard/harmonicas/all played simultaneously-no overdubs. Yes, there is a different vibe to this half but it carries along just fine thank you. Ol' Patrick Hazell for those of you that have not heard of him ,well, here goes. Patrick is like a wildman Little Richard, Fats Domino/Jerry Lee Lewis/Jimmy Reed all rolled up in one. I know, but he is as raw as air cured country ham, when he plays/sings every pore in his body oozes music. And Miss Molly, I want you to know that if you love the way you play that electric violin, well your man is the luckiest man on this planet. Molly has a way of working those strings with that bow that sounds like it is squeezing and rubbing what it needs to make you feel thru your whole body what she is doing. Molly plays electric violin better than any man or woman that I know of. And, Bob Dorr, what the hell man, harmonica and drums too, you have got it going on brother. And he plays the drums the same way that he does harp, tasteful and weaving a groove that holds it all together.
Here are the tunes. It's Been a While, Kansas City Bound, One More Time, Hoodoo Queen, All Mixed Up, Try Me, Look Up. I also give this half a (7) Harp Salute too, Patrick's harp playing is not the same as the first half that Bob did, but they are different styles for different grooves. This has been one heck of a month, I am so happy that there is so much great music out there. This CD can also be found in my "Favorite CDs" section as well.
This CD has my highest personal seal of approval. Top drawer
stuff, but should be shared with all that you meet, kind of akin
to religion, it will set your soul free.
TWO TRIOS: DOWNEAST
REVIEWS March 14, 2001
Tracks 1 - 7 Janey, Dorr & Janey;
Tracks 7 - 13 Hazell, Dorr & Nova
Our grading system- Excellent- ! ! ! ! ! Good- ! ! ! ! Average- ! ! ! Poor- ! ! Nix- !
This is a seventy minute disc with a split personality! The first thirty minutes is tough raw stuff in the tradition of Hound Dog Taylor, via two guitars and drums, featuring father/son guitar slingers BillyLee and Bryce Janey. The following forty minutes spotlights The Godfather of Iowa Blues- Patrick Hazell, a 2000 inductee into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame, playing piano, organ, Casio keyboard, harp and singing all at the same time! No overdubs! Joined by noted five string electric violin player Molly Nova. Dorr is the musician that fills in the percussion sound that completes the entire seventy minutes of musical splendor.
Janey Dorr & Janey
Track 1- I.O.U.
This tune has a massive of amount of Texas Blues enveloped into the solid groove. The lead guitar work is raw with an excellent group of interesting and charismatic phrases. The harmonica in the background maintains a steady base in the melody line and adds depth. The vocals are similar to the lead vocalist from The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kim Wilson, with a raw intensity that fits the style very well. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 2- Walkin' Out
This tune contains a marvelous mixture of Blues styles, incorporating phrases from Delta, Texas and Chicago masters throughout. Improvisational licks appear within the composition, lending the melody a hot jam sound which builds with energy as the song progresses to multiple levels. The vocals are melodic and have a familiarity that lends to the comfortable overall groove of the melody. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 3- Doghouse Blues
This tune has a high intense energy level, via some excellent screaming electric lead guitar phrases and some heavy rhythm guitar filling in the bass line. The harmonica has a vibrant melodic solo that adds some spice and variety. The straight forward drumming forms an excellent foundation for the expressive instrumental solo work that is a vital component in the overall intensity of this piece. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 4- Gamblin' Man's Blues
This tune is a virile mixture of the finest lead guitar phrases from George Thorogood, Jimmy Vaughan, Alvin Lee, Billy Gibbons and other Blues-Rock guitar masters. These phrases are held together by the solid rhythm section and the colorful Kim Wilson-esque vocals. A solid powerful example of what Blues guitar rooted music is all about, or should be about, music that gets one solidly into the dance groove of the genre. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 5- Bottle It Up
The heart and soul of the Delta Blues groove is displayed in the infectious melody of this dynamic presentation. The vocals accentuate key melodic phrases lending a captivating dimension not often examined. The lead guitar solos are expertly crafted and presented with a minimal amount of electronic accentuation, relying on raw talent from the artist rather then electronics to embelish the sound wanted. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 6- Goin' Outta Business
BillyLee Janey, Bob Dorr and Bryce Janey close their part of the album with a powerful Blues-Rock number which is strongly rooted in the Blues genre. The boogie-woogie rhythm and keyboard accentuations keep this tune hopping with a very danceable drive. Molly Nova electrifying five string violin and Patrick Hazell's harmonica jump into the mix with the energy of a lightning bolt, sparking the energy level up another notch. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Hazell Dorr & Nova
Track 7- It's Been A While
This tune kicks off the second half of the Two Trios album, with Patrick James Hazell doing all keyboards and harmonica, all played simultaneously with no overdubs. Molly Nova plays her five string electric violin with a raw energy that evokes a powerful emotional awe for the intensity she provides to the overall sound of the trio. Bob Dorr completes the full sound with precise percussion accents which form the backbone of the compositions. The melody has elements of Blues, Boogie-Woogie, Rock and a bit of Rockabilly finely crafted into an excellent dance number that keeps the joint jumping. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 8- Kansas City Bound
The originality in this piece certainly lies in the unique beat and the phrases from the violin expertly blended with the keyboard accentuations. The lyrics are well written and the vocals are well presented, but they take second seat to the infectious instrumental groove that is in the forefront, as it should be. This tune is very much in the Dr. John Creaux, Mac Rebennack, vein of New Orleans Blues, with a contagious funk groove. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 9- One More Time
The Country element in this tune is a welcomed bit of variety to the album, for one thing the tempo is slowed down a couple of notches. This tune has a Cajun feel that is only lacking accordian to slip it comfortably into that genre. A Blues tune, with Country familiarity and a Cajun essence is certainly a new format for this charismatic trio and album. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 10- Hoodoo Queen
The break away from the Blues genre is clearly evident in this piece. Leaning more towards a Bluegrass, Country, Cajun sound this song not only speaks of New Orleans, instrumentally it screams Bayou Swamp Boogie. The high energy level makes this an excellent dance, party tune. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 11- All Mixed Up
With the mix incorporated to make up the components of this tune, one can certainly hear where Blues is so influenced by the Louisiana sound. This tune has a definite Bayou sound, with a virtual melting pot of fine musical influences "All Mixed Up" into the infectious groove. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 12- Try Me
This tune moves back into a more rooted Blues sound, with beautiful accentuations from the five string violin. The steady rhythm from the keyboard and drums allows Molly Nova to display the improvisational style that leaves listeners in a stupor. The rollicking lyrics lend to the infectious quality of the melody. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 13- Look Up (Before You're Lost In The Blues)
The last song on the album, is an interesting piece with a unique groove that falls somewhere between Rock and Blues-Rock. The originality of the piece make it extremely difficult to compare, but that is the key to making great music that people will notice. It is no wonder why Patrick Hazell is called "The Godfather of Iowa Blues"( ! ! ! ! !)
TWO TRIOS is exactly what the title implies, it is two trios of musicians performing songs in the Blues genre with the use of different instruments in each trio. The first trio consist of father/son guitarists and vocalists, BillyLee Janey and Bryce Janey respectively, and Bob Dorr sits in on snare drum, cymbals and harmonica. They lay down some solid guitar rooted blues in the first six tracks from the album. The second trio is, Patrick James Hazell doing all keyboards and harmonica, all played simultaneously with no overdubs. Molly Nova plays her five string electric violin with a raw energy that evokes a powerful emotional awe for the intensity she provides to the overall sound of the trio. Bob Dorr completes the full sound with precise percussion accents which form the backbone of the compositions. Their groove incorporates the Blues, Country, Cajun, Bluegrass genres, employing keys, violin, harmonica and drums, to create a unique blend of compositions.
This album is a must have for any Blues fan and a terrific addition to their collection of Blues music. Two Trios, is like buying two albums for the price of one. The two trios are as alike as day and night, one common link is Bob Dorr but, even he, takes on a very different facade from one trio to the other. The other common link between the two trios, and possibly the most important thing to a potential listener, is that both trios are made up of very talented musicians who craft some of the finest tunes available to date.
PO Box 703
Sabattus ME 04280
Copyright © 1999-2001 Downeast Reviews ®
Belanger Crowley & Small Publishers
with the Mother Blues Band 1975-1980
DOWNEAST REVIEW 10-31-2001
Patrick Hazell started the Mother Blues Band in 1968. Although
the songs on the album were recorded between 1975 and 1980 the
majority have the feel of the late 60's and early 70's. This was
an era when Blues and Rock were blended together by a great number
of bands. One band that made a great impression from this style
music was the group, The Yardbirds, which gave Eric Clapton, Jeff
Beck and Jimmy Page their first experience within the style. The
Mother Blues Band has much of the same qualities which listeners
sought out in that era, a tight soulful root Blues essence. "Back
On The Road Again", recorded in 1980, kicks off the album.
A tight arrangement is at the core of this piece. The multiple
percussion accents lend the quick tempo an excellent quality.
The overall groove is in a 60's Rock & Roll vein with a contagious
presentation by a tight group of musicians. "Late Again Tonight",
recorded in 1975, is the earliest tune on the album. The band
presents a very tight performance and a high quality sound for
their first experience. There are many great influences which
can be heard throughout the composition, but the overall piece
has an original charm. The guitar work, both rhythm and the lead
solo, is a key element to the overall excellence of the presentation.
"Late Again Tonight" is more Rock than Blues, but also
displays how the two genre were used to create truly contagious
music. "Late Again Tonight" is guaranteed to be a favorite
from the album because of the infectious melody one will be unable
to shake. Those who want to experience music from an era when
musicians put their heart and soul into a performance are sure
to enjoy this album. Patrick Hazell with the Mother Blues Band
has captured a timeless sound which will live on in the hearts
of many. If the Blues fan acquires one album in the near future
it should certainly be this entertaining album.
Our grading system- Excellent- ! ! ! ! ! Good- ! ! ! ! Average- ! ! ! Poor- ! ! Nix-
Track 1- Back On The Road Again
Recorded in 1980. A tight arrangement is at the core of this piece. The multiple percussion accents lend the quick tempo an excellent quality. Dan Magarrell lends his hot saxophone licks to the infectious melody which is highlighted by superb lyrics.The overall groove is in a 60's Rock & Roll vein with a contagious presentation by a tight group of musicians. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 2- My Kind of Woman
Recorded in 1978. This tune was recorded live, unlike all but one other piece on the album, and the effect of the live performance lends a personal feel to the piece. This number is pure Chicago style blues and Hazell's Little Milton-esque harmonica work is certainly a highlight in the piece. The shouts from the crowd display what a positive response the band had at this live venue. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 3- Crescendo of Blue / Good Evening Mr. Blues
Recorded in 1977. The intro in this piece, which must be "Crescendo of Blue", is a light jazzy piece which has some captivating keyboard work. When the transition into "Good Evening Blues" rolls around one is treated to some great harmonica playing. Hazell also cuts loose with some soulful and emotion-filled vocals. One can certainly see why the band was sought out for their great Blues expressive music.
( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 4- Can't Pay The Bill
Recorded in 1980. The vocals and lyrics are outstanding on this number. The music is also excellent, but the vocals are just amazing. The funk is in high gear as the rhythm section rocks the house. Hazell's expressive harmonica blended with the brass work creates the perfect backdrop lending to the overall charm created.( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 5- Late Again Tonight
Recorded in 1975. Although this is the earliest tune from the album, the band presents a very tight performance and a high quality sound. There are many great influences which can be heard throughout the composition, but the overall piece has a unique charm. The guitar work, both rhythm and lead solo, is a key element to the overall excellence of the presentation. This tune is more Rock than Blues, but also displays how the two were used to create contagious music. This is guaranteed to be a favorite from the album and should be played loud. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 6- Back Country Shuffle
Recorded in 1978. This tune starts off slowly but picks up both in intensity and with a serious Blues groove. The lead vocals are very soulful with a gritty Blues styling lending to the roots quality. The jazzy saxophone solo break is a captivating element which breaks up the tune nicely. Hazell's harmonica work on this tune is ace and there is more of it presented here than on previous tracks.
( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 7- Potoholic
Recorded in 1977. This tune has the insanity of a Frank Zappa composition with a Jazz fusion quality. The Cheech and Chong rapping in the background lend to link the music to the title's theme. This tune serves to display the roots of Hazell's exploration into an experimental style and sound using his unique piano phrases. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 8- Funked Up
Recorded in 1977. This tune is certainly funked up with the heavy drumbeat being the driving force and continuity in the piece. The entire rhythm section is tightly held together as the expansion from the melody instruments create a improvisational jam with vivid color and depth. A great instrumental which has an era quality that can be enjoyed for it's timeless creativity. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 9- Where Have All The Dreams Gone?
Recorded in 1980. On this tune one finds a bit of a Reggae element sneaking into the mix, it is ever so slight but still an important ingredient. In an era where Disco was making it's presence felt, one can even feel a slight influence here. The band was feeling the change in the wind and were trimming the sails ever so lightly. Sally Weisenburg lends her angelic harmony vocals for the first time on the album to add a new dimension to the bands sound. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 10- Eye Opener
Recorded in 1980. It becomes clear in this song that the band was actively toying with and exploring different styles. The focus seemed to be to an improvisational quality in a Grateful Dead vein. The jam sound was very popular, though the fan was now a bit older and had a refined taste. This type of professional tight arrangement was the type sought out but seldom found. This tune is made up of great songwriting, arranging and presentation, all the ingredients of a Hit tune.( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 11- Look Up
Recorded in 1980. If one fails to hear the disco beat on this tune then they are certainly missing a key element. The vocals maintain a styling which one would describe as a bit more refined than usually associated with disco music. This may just be the saving element which rescues this piece from the trashbin for all who are not fans of disco music. This is not just run of the mill disco music, there is so much more depth and color than what was par for the era. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 12- Blues On The Run
Recorded in 1980. The guitar and harmonica on this jumping Rockabilly tune are cooking big time. The vocals and lyrics are also well crafted and lend to the overall magnetism. This tune is also an excellent choice to add a bit of spice and variety to the contents of the album. Truly a great rockin' dance tune.( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 13- Mississippi Mama
Recorded in 1980. This tune has a happy quality via the contagious melody and the vocal play between Hazell and Sally Weisenburg. The hand clapping in the background lends the tune a live quality. The bassline on this tune is especially wild and infectious. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 14- Easy Time Lovin'
Recorded in 1980. The album closes with a bang as the composition is made up of multiple stylings. The steel drum sound is quite unique to the beat and overall funk groove of the piece. The constant drone of the bass lends an original foundation as the rest of the instruments are so melodic. Creative songwriting and original structure are key elements to the strength and charisma of this piece. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
by Larry Belanger
PO Box 703
Sabattus ME 04280
© Copyright 1999-2001
® Downeast Reviews
Belanger Crowley & Small Publishers
PATRICK HAZELL---BLUE BLOOD
Downeast Review NOVEMBER 7, 2001
by Larry Belanger
Our grading system- Excellent-!!!!! Good-!!!! Average- !!! Poor-!! Nix-!
Patrick Hazell is an incredible performer whether it be on
the piano, harmonica or belting out an emotional Blues piece.
For, Blue Blood, Patrick Hazell brings back Blues music at it's
best. No studio gimmicks, just raw roots emotion-filled Blues
presentations of the highest songwriting quality make up the contents
of the album. Though some of the songs leave a bit to be desired
in sound recording quality, this is quickly overlooked with the
high quality instrumental performances and magnetic melodies.
A great example of a perfect and charismatic performance is found
on the instrumental, "Easy Time Blues". For, "Easy
Time Blues", one finds Hazell presenting an exhilarating
slow Blues, solo piano performance. The complex piano phrases
that Hazell unleashes in the structure of this piece is sure to
amaze even the most experienced musician.
On the other side of the spectrum, Hazell surprises all with a Soft Rock piece, "Unspoken Words". The song has an infectious melody which Hazell magically presents with his grand piano and harmonica. A true break from the Blues genre, this instrumental adds variety to the album while being extremely rich in entertainment value. Hazell does incorporate a drummer, C-Boy James, for some of the songs on the album. The use of the percussion is minimal and usually simplistic in structure. This lends to the overall raw quality which makes the songs so appealing to the Blues fan searching for meaty presentations.
What one finds on this album is a musician who is a master on the piano, with skills that are seldom heard today. Hazell is easily placed in the ranks among Big Maceo Merriweather, Johnny Jones, Otis Spann and Henry Gray. His harmonica playing is unique while showing influences of Little Walter, Big Walter Horton and Junior Wells. His vocal style is very much his own with an ability to captivate his audience while maintaining a soulful presentation well within the boundaries of the Blues genre.
If one is ready to re-examine the roots of Blues, Patrick Hazell has Blues bleeding through virtually every note on the album, Blue Blood.
Track 1- Here We Go Again
Here we go again with some roots Blues music with a unique performer. On this presentation Hazell blows his harp until it virtually smokes, and his vocals and piano are steaming along at a rapid clip. Solid rocking piece. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 2- Movin Time
The quality of the recording leaves a bit to be desired because there is quite a bit of echo, but the groove is strong. Lovers of Blues music are accustomed to weak recordings and should be able to enjoy the raw beauty of an emotional piece such as this. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 3- Washington Boogie
Hazell does some cookin' on the piano for this jumping Blues presentation. It's really amazing to experience a performance with the intensity of this composition. To experience Hazell's work on the harmonica and piano, with each instrument played with extreme precision, is an adventure unparalleled. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 4- Blue Blood
This song has a extremely well crafted lyrics which describe the Blues experience with a soulful presentation. Hazell's piano fills add depth and color to the infectious melody. Unfortunately when the harmonica solo comes around it gets cut rather abruptly as the recording is faded out. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 5- Walkin' On A Tightrope
The harmony lines between the piano and harmonica on this piece are the elements which elevate this piece to the incredible stature it achieves. Hazell's lyrics are in an Albert King vein with a soulful vocal execution at the root. A slow and grinding beat is the base of this original composition. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 6- Time Goes By So Quickly
The slow groove is back at the root of this classic style Blues performance. The percussion is basic and neither enhances or takes away from the magnitude of the piano, vocals and harmonica. Time does go by quickly as one is held in Hazell's trance inducing performance for a bit over six minutes on this gem. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 7- Easy Time Blues
On this tune one gets to closely experience Hazell's skills on the piano as he thrills and entertains with his bag of magic phrases. He is definitely up there with the masters of the Blues piano as this tune more than adequately demonstrates. The harmonica, vocals or percussion are not missed at all on this great performance. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 8- Hot Cakes
Hazell takes off on a hundred mile per hour gallop as he smokes up the joint with his sizzling harmonica licks. His magical fingers tickle the ivory on the keyboard making colorful notes fill the voids. As he starts belting out the intriguing lyric with an old-time flavor one is captured in Hazell's musical web. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 9- All Mixed Up
Hazell slows down the pace a notch for this Blues ballad. The storyline makes for good solid entertainment and the instrumental groove is just as infectious. The downside is that the drum track seems a bit off, but this small element is easily overlooked because of Hazell's performance. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 10- I Don't Understand
Hazell puts down a strong groove with his piano chops and harmonica licks for this powerful BB King-esque tune. What BB King does with his guitar, making the instrument shout with soulfilled emotion, Hazell does with his magic harp and fantastic piano phrases. The vocal presence is equally in the same vein and equally as powerful. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 11- What Did I Do Wrong
This tune has a powerful presence which lies in the magical performance that Hazell presents with just his piano and vocals. With a Ray Charles ease Hazell projects the lyric with a charismatic energy that only he is able to attain. His small harmonica solo only adds to the grandeur of the performance. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 12- Unspoken Words
This tune appears to stray from the path followed on the rest of the album. This one has much less of the Blues essence and more of a Soft Rock presence in the melody. A beautifully written piece which is expertly performed, but certainly far from the structure of common Blues material. A bit of variety adds a touch of spice to the contents of the album. Unspoken Words is an excellent title for this instrumental.
( ! ! ! ! )
Track 13- One-Sided Love
Hazell has found his way back to the Blues side of town with this contagious gem. His harmonica, piano and vocals are fashioned with a great Blues presence. One is easily drawn into the lyric and can feel the Blues in each note and phrase which Hazell expertly portrays. At just over six and a half minutes this is that special tune to slow dance with that extra special someone. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
Track 14- Avenue Called The Blues
As Patrick Hazell brings this album to a close he selects a piece which drips with Blue Blood on each expertly crafted passage. His harmonica cries out with a spirit filled with Blues energy, matched only by his piano and vocals. Raw emotion-filled Blues is the element which elevates this piece to the creative plateau it attains. ( ! ! ! ! ! )
PO Box 703
Sabattus ME 04280
© Copyright 1999-2001
® Downeast Reviews
Belanger Crowley & Small Publishers
BURLINGTON'S BELLS RING OUT ON NEW CD
By BOB SAAR for The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa 12-17-2003
Hawkeye Valley Bell Project is the creation of local
musician Patrick Hazell, who composed the onehour
piece for nearly a dozen bells at churches, the Arts for Living Center and the fire station in downtown Burlington.
The musical work debuted on a chilly February night this year. Additional rings were held on May 1, Aug. 1 and
Nov. 1. The performance, a first in America, required two people at each location a captain who rang the local
bell, and a timer who followed a time chart and instructed the captain when to ring.
The Bell Project CD is a clear digital recording of this year's August ring. It was captured on DAT by Tim
Nicola in a backyard near Washington Street. It opens with ambient sound from the downtown area, including a
dove hooting wistfully on the Snake Alley hill. The 32 "cuts" blend smoothly in line, giving the impression of one
solid, 60minute offering. This CD makes an excellent addition to any relocated Burlingtonian's collection. It is a
warm background track that brings the feel of Burlington into any household, whether here in the valley or off in
the concrete canyons of California or New York.
Of particular delight are the ambient sounds, especially the audio battle between a cardinal, a dove and a
throttlerevving hotrod. While Hazell's bells clang merrily forth, the three nonbellular entities vie for center
stage. Burlington's bells date back to the early 1800s and include masterpieces brought downriver on Twainera
paddlewheelers. Hazell measured the tones of each Burlington bell and subsequently composed the project to use
each unique tone.
"There was no way to rehearse it," he said. "It's like putting ingredients in a soup ... you don't know what the
final thing's going to taste like."
The Hawkeye Valley Bell Project CD is available downtown at Original Cyns, The Art Guild of Burlington Gift
Store, Serendipity, Weird Harold's and Digger's Rest Coffee Shop. They also can be ordered by sending a $12
check or money order to Blue Rhythm Recordings, 220 East 17th St., Washington, Ia., 52353.
Hazell is working with Nadia Utkina and Sergey Kungurov on a June 12 bell performance in Russia as part of
the Udmurt Republic's celebration of Independence from the Communist regime.
Vicksburg: by Nan Montgomery -Minneapolis Poet and Irish/Native
American Story Teller August, 2004.
Haunting and so filled with loss and grief, it's soul-shattering.
I found ..that .. it evokes the fairy folk --or "glamoured" Of Ireland. The unseen people; Whether one is a believer or not doesn't even matter. The history of Ireland goes hand-in-glove with the superstitions of the people that lived there because their superstitions shaped their political perspective Oddly, the Camptown Races and the Old Black Joe medley put my mind towards the Belfast wall. On Volume 1, tracks 7,15 and 17 bring on the "glamoured." The jew's harp, harmonica and wind chimes combine perfectly to make a shimmer-veil for the sid (pronounced "shee") to walk thru. The sid of the Irish remind me of the Chindi of the Navaho. They're soul-stealers. On Volume 2, there is more of lament -- the mourning Widows and lonely children. That's what I hear this first time around.
PATRICK HAZELL-- IN THE PRAIRIELAND
AUGUST 8 - 2001 Copyright © 1999-2001 Downeast Reviews
Belanger Crowley & Small Publishers
Our grading system- * Excellent- ! ! ! ! ! * Good- ! ! ! ! * Average- ! ! ! * Poor- ! * Nix- !
Larry's overall impression-
Patrick Hazell has taken the Prairieland as his subject of
focus for this album. All of the lyrics from the album are well
focused on the subject, never straying far off course. The music
which colors the intriguing lyrics ranges from Blues to American
Folk, with a New Age / World feel in the depth and breadth of
the melodies. Patrick Hazell reaches into a huge bag of captivating
keyboard and harmonica phrases to piece together some charismatic
His lyrical style works well with his Cowboy-esque vocals. It's as though Hazell has climbed onto a horse and is playing the part of the singing Prairie Cowboy. Instead of the usual guitar Hazell has inserted keyboard and outstanding harmonica riffs to complete the aural portrait.
Patrick Hazell performed and recorded all of the instruments and vocals on the album between 1992 and 1996. Some of the instruments used were a 1916 Hazelton Brothers Grand piano, a Yamaha DX-7 II FD keyboard, Hohner harmonicas, a Zube Tube, rattles, kettle drum, darbakka, snare and conga drums as well as sleigh and cow bells.
One of the key highlights from the album is, "Home On The Range", which was penned by Dr. Brewster Higley in his one room cabin in the Prairieland. Hazell's interpretation takes this melodic classic to an all new level by instrumentally expanding on the original expertly. He also adds an intensity to the lyrical content with a powerful vocal presence. At a bit less than ten minutes this song makes the acquisition of the album a guaranteed pleasure.
Track 1- Prairieland Nightingale
This tune has a New Age feel with a Blues element via the magnetic harmonica. Featuring an extended presentation filled with melodic nuances this tune displays the creative songwriting genius which Patrick Hazell portrays on this instrumental. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 2- They Came From A Settled Land
This tune takes a different route in song structure, with a unique vocal style which has a Country Folk character. With a New Age keyboard textured sound blended with bells and chimes the melodic journey is an intriguing adventure. The spoken lyrical content has a unique ballad quality, while the portions which are sung cling to the melody note for note with a harmonic effect. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 3- Leaving For The Prairie
This tune kicks off with some super charged harmonica chops which have a Blues feel with an improvisational Jazz quality. The soft keyboard accents with the chimes and bells lend a unique foundation for the harmonica to build from. The lyrics create an interesting portrait which works well with the melodic flow. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 4- Slowly They Came Walking
With multiple percussion instruments used to layer the sound of this tune which has a Native American quality, Patrick Hazell has the effective ingredients to produce a captivating piece. His laid back vocal style is also an interesting element which is accented superbly by the piano and keyboard nuances. At just under eleven minutes the piece tends to drag and be repetitious at times. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 5- On The Wind
For this song Hazell brings out his harmonica to lend a haunting feel to the melody. Using his harmonica in much the same way as Kenny G uses his sax, Hazell hypnotizes and charms the listener deep into his musical den of enchantment. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 6- Goin' Out West
With a more conventional structure to this song, the end result is a piece that's easier to follow. The infectious groove of the melody makes this a piece which sticks like honey on the brain, sweet and contagious. The lyrics are catchy and have an uplifting quality perfectly suited for Hazell's vocal style. At four and a half minutes the song is also in a realm of time which maintains the listener's attention span adequately. ( ! ! ! ! ½ )
Track 7- The Sky / Kansas
The sound reverts back to the layered percussion sound for another tune in a Native American vein. It would be a welcome addition if Patrick Hazell would include the lyrics with the album, because his lyrics are very poetic and deep in nature. The music comes off as only a complemetary element for the poetic recital, as the lyrics are spoken word rather than sung. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 8- The Coyotes Call
On this tune one gets to put their finger on the vocal style which Hazell has, it is in a Hoyt Axton vein. Having a bass range with great depth and presence balanced with melodic highs when needed one is charmed by the Americana quality. The instrumental accents are perfectly suited to complement the lyrical context. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 9- This Land
This tune has a strong soundtrack quality with many noise effects used to enhance the emotional effectiveness in the piece. Hazell's spoken word style for this piece is bewitching and compliments the haunting overall feel in the melody. Once again the poetic lyrics are the depth in the structure and the charismatic element. ( ! ! ! ! )
Track 10- Home On The Range
As with most artists, Patrick Hazell has saved the best for last. His interpretation of Dr. Brewster Higley's classic tune is nothing short of musical genius. The melody is enhanced by multiple layered piano and keyboard nuances while maintaining the quality of the original composition. Hazell's true Americana vocal style also lends to the powerful character in the overall presentation. He brings a classic tune back to life with a vitality and beauty which all can enjoy once more. ( ! ! ! ! ! )