Music Reviews from the International Music Press

Dave Hannon's Blues Canon CD:

 

Norman Darwen writes in "Blues In Britain" magazine:
"Hannon's 'Canon' was recorded at Delmark's Riverside studio in Chicago, so it should be no surprise that Dave has assembled a stellar supporting cast...The results are impressive..."
"The music itself is mainly in fifties Chicago vein- but that of the light, deft touch of the Aces and Jimmie Rogers, with some jazzy touches easily discernible. Tom West on keyboards is a revelation, making stunning contributions to just about every song, whilst Specter impresses with his concise and relevant soloing. Hannon's own harp playing avoids cliche, bringing to mind James Cotton in his search for licks that have not been played before, and Dave's singing is cool and attractive on the ten originals, all cleverly written and with some genuinely amusing and/or insightful lyrics...."
"To sum up then, a very fine release that deserves wide recognition. These quality blues guys keep turning up out of Boston, don't they? It must be something in the water- tea perhaps?"
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and in "Harmonica World" magazine:
"Boston, Massachusetts based Dave Hannon is a singer/ harmonica player/bandleader with a cool approach to his music. His playing belongs to the 'less is more' school, as he frequently limits himself to a couple of choruses for his own instrumental breaks, and on a couple of the ten tracks, he omits the harmonica altogether. He plays amplified for the most part, but avoiding cliché. The songs are all originals, with some clever and often witty lyrics, which suit Dave's slick vocal delivery. The band includes the acclaimed guitarist, Dave Specter, who was recently on tour in the UK, and suits the swinging, skipping style- think Little Walter and Jimmy Rogers- that Dave employs. I suspect that we will be hearing more from Mr. Hannon quite soon. Let's hope so..."
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Mark E. Gallo writes in "Blues Bytes" (on-line magazine):
"Boston-based vocalist and harper Dave Hannon assembled an all-star team of Dave Specter, one of the finest guitarists in the business, drummer Marty Binder (Coco Montoya, Albert Collins), bassist Harlan Lee Terson (Lonnie Brooks, Jodie Williams, Steve Freund) and pianist Tom West (Susan Tedeschi, Duke Robillard), and took them to Delmark studios. The results on Blues Canon (Damasaca Records) are largely successful. The opening "LP Hi Fi" ("45 got all the hits/16 just too slow/CD never did it for me/I like that 12" daddy-o") is an ode to the big black circular things that we used to play. Being a recovering record collector, I can dig it. The territory covered throughout the rest of the disc is familiar, with shuffles mixed in with straight-ahead Chicago grooves. Hannon is a solid song writer and an enthusiastic singer and harp player surrounded by a crew of stellar musicians. Specter shines on "How Long." West rips it up on the New Orleans-soaked "Telephone." On "Tears of Blue," Specter and West both shine and Hannon offers an impressive harp solo. His intro to "Bad Girl" is more impressive. On "Sugar Daddy," the drumming sets the bluesy mood, and the piano boogie that drives "Little Blue Lies" is superb. The disc is dedicated to Hannon's late brother Mark, a well-regarded Chicago blues singer who recently passed. I'm sure brother Mark is looking down with a grin ear to ear."
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Charlie Gray writes in "BluesFreePress":
"Dave Hannon, one time harp playing frontman of Boston's Blues phenomenon "One Eyed Jacks", is back...The musicians concerned in this enterprise all have impressive playing histories. The spread of styles presented here...all delivered with class & expertise in an ambient Chicago atmosphere."
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Christophe Mourot écrit en "Soul Bag" magazine:
"Originaire de la région de Boston, et frère de chanteur Mark Hannon, récemment disparu, Dave Hannon a d'abord conduit la formation One Eyed Jacks avant de prendre son envol et de produire ce nouveau CD enregistré aux studios Delmark à Chicago. Chanteur agréable, pas si éloingné que ça de variété jazzy, Dave est aussi un harmoniciste sobre et chaleureux, guère démonstratif mais respectueux des canons (oups!) Du genre, Il est accompagné par des piliers (blancs) de la cité venteuse, dont Dave Specter aux guitares et l'élégant Tom West au piano. Le résultat est une sympathique séance de Chicago blues gentiment électrique, swingante, au son plein, varié, qui vous fera passer un bon moment. Sans cependant marquer les memoires, mais qu'on prendra toujours plaisir à réécouter."
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Michael Tiefensee schribt in "bluesnews" magazine:
"Seinem verstorbenen Bruder Mark Hannon widmet Dave Hannon dieses Album, das ihm mit dem CD-titel zugleich eine weitere Referenz erweist. Eine wahrhaft würdevolle Erinnerung, denn Dave Hannon und sein Band (Dave Specter,g; Tom West,p; Harlan Terson,b; und Marty Binder,d) bieten allerbesten Chicago Blues in Reinkultur. Unverwässert, abwechslungsreich und obendrein voller Spielfreude, dabei nie in billige Klichees abdriftend. Cool und abgeklärt also, diese Truppe aus Boston, die ihr Album gleichwohl in, na?, Chicago/Illinois einspielte. Lange haban sie dafür nicht gebraucht, an nur2 Tagen wurden die 10 Songs aufgenommen, und man muss annehmen, dass sie diese tracks zuvor oft und gerne miteinander geü bt habab, denn die Sache läuft in jedem Augenblick auf verblüffende Art und Weise rund. Kein einziger Cover-Titel ürbrigens, alle Songs wurde von David Hannon himself geschrieben. Dass Hannon ein mehr als nur passabler Sänger und ein hervorragender Harp-Spieler ist, macht dieses Album zu einem echten Gewinn, das allen Freunden authentischer Chicago-Blues Musik zu empfehlen ist."
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Vincente Zumel de "La Hora del Blues" escribe:
" Un nuevo cantante y armonicista nos llega desde Boston, MA, estado que ha dado grandes armonicistas blancos como Barbecue Bob o Sugar Ray Norcia por nombrar solamente un par de ellos. Hannon parece que no se quedará atrás si continua en activo y trabajando con regularidad. Dave ha tenido la suerte de rodearse en este disco de grandes músicos como Harlan Terson, tan musculoso como siempre, al bajo o Dave Specter a la guitarra, quienes conocen a la perfeccióón el lenguaje del blues y eso se nota a lo largo de las diez canciones que componen el disco que se nutre básicamente de blues de Chicago en la más pura tradición, forma y estilo y algún que otro guiño al swing que tanto le gusta a Specter. Marty Binder está en la batería cumpliendo con buen criterio y excelente sentido del 'tempo', tanto en los shuffles como en los slows o en los 'groove', mientras que Tom West (Peter Wolf, Susan Tedeschi) nos obsequia con preciosos y muy jugosos riffs de piano. La complicidad existente entre este úúltimo y Dave Specter es total a lo largo del álbum. Un buen disco para descubrir a un nuevo talento de la armónica amplificada...MUY BUENO."
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What others have to say about "Blues Canon":
"Great CD! Have been listening to it in the studio. Pretty damned impressive and hard to believe that it happened in a couple of days. Bravo!....Thanks for the discs. It really sounds good. Good mixing job....Thanks for the discs. I'm really enjoying listening to it....first of all, David- I love your cd and have been playing it at the bar [for] all my customers! Needless to say, they are all impressed and asking when you will come down and play....Hey Dude, Nice shoes on the cd cover! Dave Dave Dave, what can I say? I love this cd. The band really sounds great....Specter is just fabulously Specter, I love the way Harlan and [Marty] sound- right on it. Tom is a motherf***er no doubt. The songs are great....[and] you are the icing on this moist and hearty blues cake....great singing, great harp, great lyrics. I love this cd....Just a quick note to thank you for the cds....I love what you've done! One of the cds is permanently in my car for listening pleasure....Just consider me a David Hannon "groupie"! Looking forward to more and more great music....Your cd it's an enjoyement. Do you have realize another records?....good cd. Anything with Dave Specter usually cooks....great design, photos and soundin' mighty fine...."
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Dave Hannon & The Solid Sinners' Solid Sinnin' CD:

 

Le Tonton writes in "Blues & Co." - (France 2006):

[forgive my weak translation- dh.]

"Behold Boston. It’s been a long time since we took a stroll on this side of the States. Nevertheless, there are things happening over there in the question of music, and it’s not for the discovery of Dave Hannon and his pals, the Solid Sinners, that one would change one’s opinion. Here is a guy who endlessly pleases the ears of Tonton, because cyclically, one has to keep replaying the music of this guy, Dave. A sacred music that we love, by God !!! It’s beautiful. It’s rich. It’s gripping, that joyous, wholesale soundfest! In all, a great missive sent forth from Boston- as usual. Obviously, there is a nest there [in Boston] I tell you (and I tell you often!!!). So, when there is so much [good music] there, it is well that we reach for the top level and immerse ourselves in that, of course.!!! Their music, a cross of Chicago and West Coast, a powerful barroom blues full of energy stays very personal and rich. Brimming with swing and maximum groove, it’s necessary to say that the band is not built of bric a brac- all of them have long resumes reaching back with no end... with references to Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson, or again, Jerry Portnoy, so for sure this works...
The only drawback: these guys didn’t work their asses off- five titles, that’s all. Imagine the expression on Tonton’s face every time he’s obliged to press the replay button every twenty minutes?? But to their credit, it’s necessary to note that these five marvels are available for downloading on their web site. So...
Five superb (you already said that!!!) compositions...from this guy Dave Hannon. Excellent singer and moving harmonicist, he conducts the combo with authority and confidence, leaving maximum room for guitarist, Charlie Baum, and that’s even better, because this one, he’s the real thing, all great with a rich game and totally inventive, the guy who doesn’t grease everywhere, but whose understated playing sticks to your soul. As for the rhythm section, you don’t hear one like this so often. It’s solid, heavy, and efficient, so as to force one into the crime of blissing out. Dave Clarke (bass) and Frosty Padgett (drums) consolidate the slap that the other two spun you with by delivering a mega kick in the ass. And yet, worst of all, even after this ass kicking, we still ask for more, because we like it so much.
A huge crunchy for the Tonton."

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Norman Darwen writes in "Blues In Britain" (#52):

“The predecessor to Solid Sinnin’ (Damasaca DA-102) by Dave Hannon & the Solid Sinners received a rave review from yours truly just over a couple of years back in Blues In Britain #26, and this five track CD/EP proves the quality of that previous release was no flash in the pan. Dave is a singer and harpman out of Boston, Massachusetts, here accompanied by his own trio [The Solid Sinners] (Charlie Baum guitar; Dave Clarke bass; Frosty Padgett drums) on his own distinctive material. There is a strongly authentic and extremely attractive retro slant to both the production and to the material, which is mostly in a fifties Chicago vein but with a little swamp-blues and more than a hint of good old rock and roll. Excellent vocals, some [tuff] harmonica work and a tight band ensure that Dave and the Sinners are real winners.

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Jaime Hailstone writes in "BLUES MATTERS!" (#36):

You really should buy this CD for the cover alone. As Nigel Tufnel once said, "What's wrong with being sexy? " and Solid Sinnin'" is the blues turned up to eleven on a steamy and sultry amplifier. This five track CD from the American roots and blues band is a little gem for anyone who likes their blues with plenty of harmonica, courtesy of Dave Hannon himself. Each track comes with an extra helping of the stuff, but his backing band is just as impressive. Guitarist, Charlie Baum has played with JohnLee Hooker and Junior Wells, while drummer, Frosty Padgett worked with Luther "Guitar Jr" Johnson. Bassist, Dave Clarke, who sadly died in October, also worked with Big Mama Thornton and Jerry Portnoy. Mr. Hannon's CV includes a CD on the DAMASACA label, "Blues Canon," which came out in 2002, and he has been performing with the Solid Sinners since December, 2004. The quartet's experience really shows on tracks like "Big Bad Wolf" and "Takin' Me for a Ride," which are both fine examples of this genre. All the songs were written by Dave Hannon. The closer, "One Eyed Jack" recalls the rocking swagger of Dr. Feelgood, while the opener, "Big Bad Wolf" is straight out of the Howlin' Wolf book of songwriting. You can almost close your eyes and smell the Jack Daniels. It's that good and a fitting tribute to the late Dave Clarke.

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Vicente "Harmonica" Zumel writes in "La Hora Del Blues" - (Spain 2006):

"Powerful band lead by singer and harmonica player Dave Hannon, who shows an effective strong sound with a deep fat tone. The band sounds cool and well teamed which lets them give a precise performance, not only in shuffles but also in rockin’ and slow blues. ‘‘Solid Sinnin’’’ includes five original songs and it is only an exciting trailer for the whole new cd. I dare say it will be acclaimed by media and fans. If you like bands in the style of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, you will certainly hold Dave Hannon & The Solid Sinners among your favourites.
GREAT."