The B.C. Read Band
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The B.C. Read Band

| SELF | AFM

| SELF | AFM
Band Blues Singer/Songwriter

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The best kept secret in music

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By: Al Handa/ Delta Snake Daily Blues News

B.C. Read: My Tunes (Bluebudda)

Brian "B.C." Read is a multi-instrumentalist and singer from
Saskatoon, in Canada. His sound is an eclectic mix of swing,
hard core Chicago, folk and Delta Blues. His gruff voice has
the same quality that the Band had in their vocals, and the
set comes off a very Bluesy "Music From Big Pink." A very
pleasant and likable set of music.

In this outing, he is accompanied by over a dozen musicians,
including Brent Burlingham, George Tennent, Doug Scarrow,
Sheldon Corbett, Dwayne Harder, Sharion Metheson, Terry Long,
S. Kelly Read, Brent Parkin, Johnny V, and Ken Whiteley. This
variety gives him an almost unlimited palette of sounds to
work from.

Read starts things off with and uptempo Blues called "Believe Me,"
and an even funkier one, "New Thing." Some hard-edged Delta Slide
opens the "The Job," a Delta Blues, leading into the folk ballad,
"Love To Keep Me Warm."

"Starts All Over Again, a folky Blues, that one can only compare
to an outfit like the Band, or maybe Jesse Winchester comes next,
followed by a Blues rocker called "Working On You." Read then
does some more Delta Blues slide that transitions into a great
rocker, "Big Car," then breaks into some rhumba-Blues in "Tough
As She Can Be."

A country-flavored "Unconditional" leads to the acoustic Blues of
"Blues in Paradise," another rocker, and then a folk Blues called
"Two Faced Man." The CD ends with a fine ballad, and a very nice
fingerpicking number called "Thats My Tune."

Considering the eclectic line-up of supporting musicians, one could
have expected a record that went all over the place and had no
aesthetic core. However, Read is clearly a true unifier, an
artistic presence that has a clear direction and sense of soul.
Each song shows the strong imprint of his personality, and all
of the varied elements seem like colors on a single palette, and
not a series of wild jams that happen to have the same singer.
A very worthwhile set of music from someone who has a long career
ahead of him.
- Delta Snake Blues News


B.C. READ: BOWL OF SUGAR (BLUE BUDDA)

Welcome back B.C. Read! Back in 1998 B.C. released a debut disc “My Tunes” that floored critics across Canada and the U.S. and Big Things were predicted for the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native (in 2002 a “Live” disc apparently came out but few outside Saskatchewan heard it). But, the man they called “a natural talent” vanished from the radar leaving fans to ponder, “Whatever became of…”
Well, despite his ‘retirement’, “Bowl Of Sugar” is an album that sounds like a natural progression from “My Tunes”, giving listeners more of the honest, down-to-earth True Blues that B.C.’s known for. Assembling some of Western Canada’s finest players (and both friends and fans of B.C.’s) there’s an intimate labor-of-love feeling that’s pervasive throughout. While B.C. Read is not 100% Pure Blues, his music is akin to Delbert McClinton/John Hiatt’s just-plain-good genre with enough Blues Foundation to keep a whole mess of music-lovers happy. Diverse fare for sure but all top quality and honest.
“Once And Awhile” opens the disc in rollicking fashion, a horn-driven Blues Rocker about a nasty girl, the kind musicians sometimes meet. Great dance floor fare and the band (Glenn Ens – drums, George Tennent – bass, Rod Salloum – organ/piano, Doug Scarrow – guitar, Sheldon Corbett – sax, David Anderson – trumpet, Ross Ulmer – trombone, S. Kelly Read and Sharon Mathison – background vocals, B.C. – guitar) do a sharp and slick job. Next up is a tongue-in-cheek “A Blues Man’s Got To Wear A Hat” with guest Big Dave McLean guesting on harp (nice acoustic) and Tom Cunningham on drums. B.C. dares to challenge Blues Etiquette and opts for going against the stereotype. “Loves Rule” is an excellent little number that has a timeless and genre-spanning identity with an easy-going sermon on Life (“Life is short, there’s only one to live, you can’t expect to get more than you give…”) and a strong and memorable score. Track #6, “Can’t Be Found” is a gem with its’ tuba and Dixieland horn climax and typical of Read’s talents and taste, both of which are unique. “Louisiana Dream” is an ode to New Orleans (as it once was) with B.C. showing-off his tasty guitar chops. Guitarists like him use their instrument to paint hues in the song picture unlike the macho power wankers. “Garbage Man” is one of the best tracks, a story of a woman who leaves a trail of destruction in her wake but delivered with a sense of comedy. (I see/hear others grabbing this tune to record). “So Glad” is easily the Dee Jay pick of this album and it has C&W potential as well as Blues & Roots audience appeal. Hearing this should convince any Record Label executive with taste/ears that B.C. Read is an exceptional talent worth signing. It’s a Love Song delivered in a whole new way with great Barrelhouse piano, harmonica banjo, guitar (and bass & drums) that defines The Joy love can bring.
A big change of pace is “Raining & Pouring” a T-Bone Walker-ish Texas-style Blues complete with vintage guitar and piano. Beautiful, slow soulful stuff that proves B.C. can do it that way if he so desires. “Why Do Girls Do That” is actually Big Dave and B.C. doing a funky Blues duet. Nice guitar hook and harp from Big Dave (a Canadian Blues icon). “Bowl Of Sugar”, the title track, is the 15th and last track and it’s a fun, good-time dance floor shuffle that does define the album and B. C. Read. (Have some fun ‘cause when you’re dead you’re done!).
Yes, B.C. Read is back and “Bowl Of Sugar” reiterates all that was said back in 1998. Good-time Blues, excellent song writing, loads of talent and B.C.’s recipe for curing all our Blues. After all, a Bluesman is supposed to Heal us, right? 5 Bottles of Saskatoon Berry wine for an excellent ‘comeback’ album from one of Canada’s finest.
…A. Grigg

- Andy Grigg


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Still working on that hot first release.

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