RECENT REVIEWS of "BLUE EYED BLUES":
© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
MuzikMan wrote a review - here's a bit of it:
Michael Barclay brings his Blue Eyed Blues to the table this year. He plays some mean guitar licks and sounds like the prototypical bluesman, and at times he is so expressive and heavy he sounds like the old black blues players. Barclay offers up 16 solid tracks of spicy and red-hot blues-rock, the kind that starts a fire that never goes out. I mean this does not let up for second on the entire recording.
The album has a great kickoff song that typifies the blues; “Give It To Me Straight” sings the blues about a lover gone astray. Then “A Diary of the Blues (All the Prayin' in the World)” is another sad but funny rocker, as the man singing, who happens to be Barclay (this is autobiographical by the way), laments about his wife divorcing him and his girlfriend leaving town. Sounds like the blues came pouring down on him in this instance because of his own doing, but there is always a guitar to pick up and a saloon around the corner to make it all go away, yes sir this is da blues. “Stinky” and “NY Blues” are great instrumental tracks that give you an opportunity to appreciate the well-honed chops of everyone in the band, not to take away their equal expertise on the vocal tracks of course. “NY Blues,” which features Barclay playing all the instruments on the track, is a slow cooker, with some funky up front bass and stinging guitar licks; it is surely one of the best cuts on the album but far too short-lived. There is something special about an all-instrumental number; it allows you to focus in on the music without having to think about anything else. These are just a few highlights of a CD jam-packed with them.
© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
(http://www.radiogetswild.com/MReviews/op=show/rid=125.html)SONOMATUNES REVIEW OF LIVE PERFORMANCE:
December 17, 2006
Michael Barclay Blows My Blues Away! (12/06)
I headed down the road to the Tradewinds lastnight for some long due Michael Barclay Blues Band.I'm not sure why I haven't been to one of their shows in recent months but I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna miss any more.I've been staying home most weekends regrouping so to speak, and I had forgotten just how damn good this band is.I was settling in on the warm up opener and it didn't take long to get back into that groove. They made it so easy and it all felt right from the beginning. I was in my comfort zone.It was great to see the band, the familiar faces of the crowd, and to hear that guitar of Michael's that had my knees like jello. I was short of crawling to him on the floor begging him to stop because I just couldn't take no more!I was willing to sell my soul, sacrifice something living, even myself, if he would just stop- it was that euphoric. I felt like reaching in my chest and pulling out my still beating heart and handing it to him, it was that intense.I wanted to kneel before him and pray, even though I'm not a big believer, he was making one outta me lastnight.I wasn't sure what I wanted to do and if I didn't let out a holler, scream, or whistle, jump in the air, I was gonna burst!!I'm not sure why blues guitar, I mean good blues guitar, gets to me this way. it's like it gets inside and touches something very vulnerable inside of me. I've tried to analyze it and I just can't seem to pinpoint the reason for my obsession with it.And Michael....he'll just take it slow and build it up higher and higher, never faltering until it reaches the very top to where one can go no further.The band follows behind him and helps the build up, higher and higher till I was literally almost floored.A guitar player can build up and up but without a band such as this crew to build the foundation for the songs euphoric conclusion , it don't mean much.What an awesome band!!Rick, Kent, Jane, Joel, Banana, Roger....Thank You!I feel mellow today thanks to lastnight. It's amazing how therapeutic live blues is for me. Not a trace of anxiety today and it feels good to just be calm, quiet and serene. Except for the Jimmy Dawkins I've got going in the background, it's quiet in my head and I have Michael Barclay and his Blues Band to Thank for that!I don't know what else to say except Thank You Tony for having these guys every month at your establishment and I'll see you next month for some more of.....The King of Sonoma County Blues!!
Mo (Maureen Hayes) The Blues Traveler
Michael worked with Chuck Berry in the late sixties on the east coast and also recorded at Electric Lady Studios for Michael Jeffries (Hendrix manager). In the seventies, after moving west, Michael joined both Banana, keyboardist for the Youngbloods, in his band. Michael worked as a side man with jazz singer, Randy Crawford ("Street Life") - picture below. In addition to gigs at major venues, her band also opened for Ronnie Laws, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Harris, Stanley Turentine and other jazz luminaries. For two years, Michael worked with San Francisco organist, Merl Saunders with stints behind singing acts like Hodges, James, and Smith, and others. Michael performed and recorded with Bay area fusion group WBBH. Philip Elwood, in a San Francisco Examiner review of the WBBH record , wrote: "A beauty on the LP called 'Lover's Lullaby' features...Barclay on guitar. Barclay, an impressive front man and guitarist, also is an excellent singer." Michael composed the piece Elwood refers to. His compositions form most of the Michael Barclay Blues Band set list, 12 out of 13 tunes on the CD- Midnight Rendezvous, and, 13 of 14 tunes on the new CD, Soul Patch. After gigs with Dorothy Morrison ("Oh happy day") in the notorious Marin jam band, Fast Company, and WBBH, Michael formed and recorded The MICHAEL BARCLAY BLUES BAND. Recently, Michael backed Julian Lage, Norton Buffalo, Nick Gravenites, Sarah Baker, Stu Blank and others. He produced the most recent recordings of the late Pattie Santos (It's a Beautiful Day). Michael was a featured performer at the Russian River Blues Festival, in June 1996; The Sonoma County Blues Festival 1991 and recently 1998, where the band was received enthusiastically.
MICHAEL HAS SHARED THE BILL WITH (among others):
Robben Ford Delbert McClinton Roy Rogers Joe Louis Walker John Mayall Roy Buchanan Nick Gravenites Mark Naftalin Etta James Ronnie Earl Elvin Bishop Coco Montoya W.C. Clark Terry Evans Johnnie Johnson James Armstrong
CHATTERBOX RECORDS PRESENTS: THE NEW CD ENTITLED: Blue Eyed Blues
The current performance line-up includes Kendrick Freeman (Joe Craven, Alison Brown) and Rick Cutler on drums, Kent Fossgreen (Earl Thomas) on bass, Banana (The Youngbloods, Zero, Steve Kimock Band, Barry "the Fish" Melton Band) on rhythm guitar and organ, Joel Rudinow (Elvin Bishop) on Keys, and Roger Volz (The Dynatones, Rhythm Kings) on alto sax and vocals, Jane Fossgreen, tenor sax; and MICHAEL BARCLAY on lead guitar and lead vocals.
The Russian River Blues Festival '96 was a great success for the blues band !! - at least 5000 people in attendance. The MBBB got a great response. Be listening for CD airplay on the radio in the Sacramento area and the San Jose area in CA as a result.
A highlight of the '97 and '98 Spring seasons was the Bodega Fisherman's Festival. Performing both years with the band was Julian Lage, the then 9 year old guitar phenomenon who has recently played with the likes of Carlos Santana, Buddy Guy and many others. Julian (then 10) and Michael and band performed at the Sonoma County Blues Festival in August, '98 to a huge, receptive and enthusiastic crowd. The band was back in Bodega last year too - it was a great afternoon, with a very receptive crowd. Check out the Event Calendar (click) for dates of upcoming gigs. The band was there on 4-21-01 and is due back in '02. Sonoma County fans watch for the band at The Tradewinds, in Cotati every 3rd Saturday of every month in '01 just like '97, '98, '99, '00. The band plans to release a second CD. Check out the New CD page for info "Soul Patch", click here. You can access the first CD info "Midnight Rendezvous" click here.
Some months back, Greg Allman sat in with the band - picture below. And, more recently, Greg's harp player, Hook Herrera, did a few tunes with the band on a No. CA gig. Also recently, one song from the CD was chosen by the German record company Taxim ( Taxim, Fourth Wave of Blues) to be on a compilation CD of blues acts from the Bay Area.The band recently played to a very receptive audience at the Inverness Fair - outdoors on a flatbed trailer. It was a beautiful day and the local folks were dancing in the streets, and especially supportive of local boy made good, Banana, who fronted a few tunes for the event.
The Michael Barclay Blues Band was recently featured at the Sausage and Suds Festival in the East Bay - performing once again to a very receptive audience October 7, 2001. Expect the band back in '02.
Recently, Michael was part of the "Sonoma County Allstars" who performed before thousands of folks at a benefit for firefighters in NYC, through the American Redcross. The 'Allstars' included: Norton Buffalo, Sarah Baker, Vince Welnick, Blair Hardman and Tom Hyashi.
Northern CA fans turned out for the band at Santa Rosa's First Night - the newyearseve celebration '96, '97 '98, and '00. In the pouring rain, the set in '97 was still a great show for the dancers and the band!! Last year's show included a set with the late Stu Blank and Myra, Disney's hot young singer. This year's show at First Night '01 was hot with special guest, Norton Buffalo. ...We're going to try to keep the band Event Calendar up-to-date.
Most Recently, Michael produced his new CD Blue Eyed Blues featuring The Michael Barclay Blues Band. In addition, special guests included:
Vocals: Levi Lloyd, Roger Volz, and Banana
Keyboards: Ozzie Ahlers, John Allair, and Jack Jacobsen
All songs published by Michael Barclay Music, BMI except: Old Love, Drown in my own Tears, and Just Can’t Quit the Blues, used by permission.
Bedroom Eyes Studio:
Engineering: Michael Barclay
Zone Recording, Blair Hardman Productions
Engineering: Blair Hardman; also Mark Benanti
Prairie Sun Recording:
Engineering: Allen Sudduth, Michael Wilson
The Doctor’s Office:
Engineering: Michael Barclay, Joel Rudinow
Graphic Design: Jim Wirth, Xooka; design elements, Colleen Barclay; Design editing and finalization, Michael Barclay and Clone Digital
Produced, arranged and mixed by Michael Barclay; Mix Consultant, Blair Hardman
Mastered by: Michael Romanowski at Paul Stubblebine Mastering, San Francisco, CA
Cover Photo: Suren Rai; other photos, David Licht, Colleen Barclay
A pic for fans from 1966 Pic of Mike at Cotati Cabaret w/ John Mayall, circa 1988 8x10 glossy pic