the Sonny Moorman Group
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the Sonny Moorman Group

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | INDIE

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Rock

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Jul
28
the Sonny Moorman Group @ South Washington Sq.

Lansing, Michigan, USA

Lansing, Michigan, USA

Jul
26
the Sonny Moorman Group @ Blues on the Mall, Rosa Parks Center

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Jul
23
the Sonny Moorman Group @ Hartwood Acres

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

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Music

Press


Blues Revue Magazine
Issue #130
July/August 2011

SONNY MOORMAN
More Live as Hell
Atlas
This rocked up live set contains much of the bluesy material that Cincinnati based Sonny Moorman has been playing for years. And although listeners can hear the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rory Gallagher, Lonnie Mack, and Peter Green in his music, any comparison does him no justice. Basically, Sonny sounds like Sonny, with a fat, creamy, and wonderful power blues resonance. Fans of his earlier Telegraph Road and Crossroads Motel albums, as well as the digital Power Blues, will recognize the whole set.
It’s easy to see by title alone that the Sonny Moorman Group’s More Live As Hell (subtitled Up To My Neck In The Blues) is part two of his earlier, Live As Hell. The biggest difference is in its emphasis on original compositions as opposed to the many covers that made up a good portion of the prior live release. But in staying true to his admiration of Peter Green, the ten-song set ends with the album’s sole cover, a rocking arrangement of “Black Magic Woman.”
In a theme-like manner, Moorman begins the set with the two self-titled songs of the highlighted albums, “Telegraph Road” and “Crossroads Motel.” Those aforementioned fat and creamy Gibson guitar tones are front and center with his proficient vocal talent in both. Moorman fills all possible spaces with rhythmic flare and sagacious chops.
Most of what comes next is a good display of the music of Sonny Moorman from the blues perspective. Even though “Texas Blues” is a familiar strut, Moorman’s voice and heavy guitar sound keep it in his arena. He lays down some sweet sounding slow blues in “Last Call” and tears it up in the guitar solo at the end of “Up To My Neck In The Blues.” Funky slide guitar makes way for scorching solo work in “Old Slow Blues.”
Besides the teacher the song is actually dedicated to, “Remembering Cal” is an exotic instrumental that seems to shine light on a few six-string mentors. Moorman then kicks some serious rock and roll butt in the monstrous “House of Thunder,” and gets downright personal and original in “Sonny’s Blues.”
Blues rock fans who have yet to hear the award winning sound of Sonny Moorman needn’t look farther than More Live As Hell. The set covers his powerfully inspired, yet creative style in a comprehensive and electrifying manner. He produces a guitar tone that’s velvety and pleasantly listenable at any volume. And although he’s also known to get more classic and earthy on acoustic slide and Dobro resophonic, this is the power blues of Sonny Moorman. And it rocks.
– Brian D. Holland - Blues Revue Magazine


Sonny Moorman: Live at the Cincy Blues Fest! (Atlas 0008; 49:38) ***
(three stars)

Solo performer Moorman, singing and fingerpicking his acoustic guitars to an appreciative hometown audience, has his own sense of rhythm - robust, not relective - that allows him to get away with inhabiting hallowed old songs owned by greats like Robert Johnson ("32-20 Blues", three more) and Mississippi Fred McDowell ("You Got to Move"). Alert and assured, the torchbearer keeps every recieved complaint and observation interesting. Only two originals: the perfectly decent "Bad Woman Blues" and "Cincinnati Shuffle". - DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE JUNE 2007


Live acoustic blues is one of God's great gifts to us, particularly when it is placed in the capable hands of Sonny Moorman. His live performance is captured on this 13-song CD that showcases some original songs alongside classic blues from Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Willie McTell and others.
From the double Robert Johnson opening of "Kind Hearted Woman Blues" and "32-20 Blues," Moorman grabs the audience and has them in his pocket for the rest of this incredible night of music. Sonny's voice conveys the spirit of the blues perfectly, as do his finger-picking and slide guitar styles. There are two original songs "Bad Woman Blues" and "Cincinnati Shuffle," named for Sonny's hometown -- that illustrate how he has learned from those who prececed him down the path.
The traditional "Amazing Grace" is presented on slide guitar as an instrumental, and Sonny's playing is exquisite as it segues into "As the Crow Flies." The familiar strains of "You Got to Move," "Statesboro Blues" and "Rollin' and Tumblin'" get the listener jumping as Moorman takes on these historical numbers and makes them his own.
Going back to Robert Johnson, Sonny leaves us with "Crossroads Blues" and perhaps one of Johnson's greatest songs, "Love In Vain." The pain in his voice is poignant and moving, and it is a wonderful way to wind up "Live at the Cincy Blues Fest." Sonny Moorman's award-winning blues is something you need to hear. - Hittin' the Note Magazine - By Bill Ector



Cincinnati CityBeat : 10/12/2005 : Locals Only: Local Disc-O-Mania

· THE SONNY MOORMAN GROUP ­ CROSSROADS MOTEL (ATLAS RECORDS)

Crossroads Motel is a fitting title for the latest from the Sonny Moorman Group. The trio has not only visited the cross section between Blues and Rock -- they've grabbed a room and set up camp for the long haul. (Hope they don't charge by the hour!) Moorman is a masterly guitarist and vocalist, well versed in Blues' various forms. But as Crossroads expertly shows, it's a fool's move to try to pin Moorman down to just one thing. The album kicks off with the crackle of old vinyl before kicking in full-bore for the slide-guitar and harmonica-drenched "Rainmaker," which is reminiscent of Alt.Blues revivalist The Black Keys in its riff-and-melody mirror imaging. After throwing stakes down in the Blues, Moorman and Co. jam the gears and skid into "I Forget to Forget You," a remarkable, highly melodic slab of Heartland Rock that wouldn't be out of place on your favorite Rock radio station. From there, the trio skips between roadhouse rumble ("Texas Blues"), sky-is-cryin' balladry ("Last Call"), Hendrixian expansiveness ("Remembering Cal"), creeping, smoky swingers ("Blues After Dark"), monstrous Riff Rock ("Chance We Take For Love," "House of Thunder") and reverential acoustic minimalism ("Souled Out"), never sounding like musical tourists at any turn. The Sonny Moorman Group is the full package -- ace chops, soulful vocals, proficient songwriting and a daredevilish adventurousness that not only helps make the band dynamic and multifarious, but also gives them a distinct identity in a field where distinctiveness isn't always evident, let alone celebrated. The Sonny Moorman Group plays Ivey's Pub Friday and Saturday. (Mike Breen) - Mike Breen


The Sonny Moorman Group have followed up some good time live albums in recent years with a new studio effort that finds them kicking some blues-rock tail. The title cut exemplifies the rockin’ side of the band, while “Change My Mind” finds Sonny breaking out the wah-wah to good effect. “Texas Blues” is just that, Lone Star stomp that burns its groove into the wood, and “Last Call” has Sonny and his band mates, Marc Hoffman on bass and Jamie Combs on drums, slowing it down for some straight-no-chaser blues. Sonny also takes the time to pay tribute to his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio with “Remembering Cal,” a sendoff to the late and great jazz guitarist Cal Collins, and a bonus track, a live version of Freddie King’s “Hide Away,” a song King recorded in Cincinnati and made history with. Classify this CD as ‘Turn It Up.’ (Derek Halsey) Gritz Music Magazine
- Derek Halsey


"[Moorman and his band] take the blues ethos, plant it in the garden of their own experience, and let it grow into something which is natural, unforced, blues-drenched, and rocks like crazy." -- Bill Shute, BLUES-L - Bill Shute


"Moorman plays guitar with precision, conviction, and a natural flow. The...songs [on Telegraph Road] are chock full of sinewy lyrics and hooks that sink deep." -- Tom Clarke, Hittin' the Note Magazine - Tom Clarke


"Power Blues is an apt description for a trio that treads the territory laid out by ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the Allman Brothers. Watch out for these guys." -- BLUES ACCESS Magazine - editor


"[Moorman] can blister through metal blues, get raunchy with heavy slide, cry like an Atlanta Brave after the World Series, and be delicate and precise..." -- Buz Morrison, GUITAR Magazine - Buz Morrison


"Sonny Moorman...pounding, high-volume blues/rock that opens the throttle..." -- LIVING BLUES Magazine - editor


The Sonny Moorman Group:
Continuing Cincy’s Blues-Rock Tradition

By Randy McNutt



The Sonny Moorman Group, Cincinnati’s premier blues-rock band, is back with another album, “Live As Hell.” Like guitarist Moorman’s previous recordings, this one won’t disappoint his growing number of fans.

He can flat-out play—and sing.

It’s encouraging today to pick up a recording made by real musicians—talented, enthusiastic players who are close to the people. These guys don’t need drum machines and the latest hi-tech gadget that’s necessary to disguise sloppy playing and off-key singing. But then the Sonny Moorman Group doesn’t need any gimmicks. All they need is a room filled with music lovers, and that’s exactly what the band gets wherever it performs.

Backed by the steady drumming of Dave Fair and the hot bass licks of Marc Hoffman (what a delight to hear them, too), Moorman wails through Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited,” the rock classic “Whiter Shade of Pale,” and Lonnie Mack’s “Cincinnati Jail.”

Co-producers Erwin Musper and Moorman provide a clean, high-quality sound.

The trio’s musicianship is tight and they are obviously having fun with the 14 songs on this album, released by the independent Atlas Records. The Macon, Georgia-based label specializes in blues-rock, a field in which Moorman excels. (The band’s other Atlas recordings include “Crossroads Motel” in 2005 and “Supreme Special: Live at the Cincy Blues Fest!” in 2006.)

As a guitarist, Moorman gives a dynamic performance of Mack’s “Wham!” It’s no easy number to master, yet Moorman manages to place his personal stamp on the high-energy instrumental that was a hit for Mack on Cincinnati’s Fraternity Records in 1963.

I love “Wham!” Come to think of it, what I like about Moorman and his band is their appreciation for the past. While they stay firmly grounded in the present, they aren’t afraid to pay homage to blues-rock icons such as Mack and bassist Tim Drummond, whose “If You Have To Know” also appears on the album.

Since 1996, when Moorman (with the Dogs) recorded “Telegraph Road” for 706 Records in Memphis, he has been turning out carefully crafted recordings for the blues-rock audience. He has steadily built a following across the region and the nation, always giving credit to the older Cincinnati musicians who taught him to appreciate hot licks. So in a way, Moorman carries on the city’s blues-rock tradition by teaching even younger players what he has learned.

Sounds have been passed from blues giant Freddy King to Lonnie Mack to Sonny Moorman.

If you enjoy blues-rock, check out “Live As Hell” by Sonny Moorman, Marc Hoffman, and Dave Fair—the Sonny Moorman Group.

They are real players who make real music.

Randy McNutt is the author of Guitar Towns: A Journey to the Crossroads of Rock ’n’ Roll and other music books. http://www.randymcnutt.com/guitartowns.htm


- Randy McNutt is the author of Guitar Towns: A Journey to the Crossroads of Rock ’n’ Roll and other m


Discography

NEW RELEASE! -- "More Live as Hell". Once again recorded by Erwin Musper, this Atlas Records release shows the band at their best playing Sonny's songs! The Sonny Moorman Group's release, "Live as Hell" on Atlas Records was recorded by acclaimed producer/engineer Erwin Musper (Jeff Beck, Van Halen, Scorpions, etc.) and shows Sonny and the band at their very best! This follows four previous releases on Atlas -- "By Request", "By Request 2", and "Sonny's Blues" -- which also received national airplay and strong regional sales. Sonny has two prior releases on Sun Studio/706 Records --"Telegraph Road" and "L*I*V*E" which received nationwide airplay and positive critical response.

Photos

Bio

"I came to play" says Sonny Moorman. "I was raised in the bars my folks owned in and around Hamilton, OH and got to hear world class artists Lonnie Mack, Cal Collins, Dumpy Rice, Troy Seals, Wayne Perry, and a score of others up close and personal and learned one thing – all the hype in the world doesn't mean a thing unless you can back it up!" Those are words Sonny has lived by through the decades of roadhouses, bars, and juke joints from coast to coast. He backed it up gig after gig, night after night, and year after year until his own "hype" got too big to go unnoticed any longer. After a decade of playing rock bars in Michigan with a variety of bands and a five year "visit" to LA during which he graduated from Musician's Institute and played with "Z Deluxe" (Warren Zevon's former tour band), Moorman returned to Ohio – and to the Blues.

When Cincinnati Blues icon Big Ed Thompson suffered his debilitating stroke, Sonny was brought in to handle the guitar and vocal chores in Big Ed's band – the Cincinnati Blues All-Stars. The CBA's ETH Records release – Live at Burbank's chronicled the band during this period, and Living Blues Magazine was effusive in it's praise for Moorman's playing and singing. Not satisfied with the stylistic limitations of the All-Stars, Sonny moved on – to the Blues/Rock power trio format that is his vehicle to date.

In 1994, Moorman and his band played the Memphis Cross-Cultural Music Exposition and got a recording deal with Sun Studio's 706 Records imprint. "Gary Hardy (then Sun Studio manager) came up to me before I walked off of the stage at Blues City and offered us a deal", says Sonny. Two 706 Records releases followed – L*I*V*E and Telegraph Road. At that point Moorman started what became a four-year tour with Easyriders Magazine playing their events and became a client of manager William Perkins (Allman Bros., SRV, Tinsley Ellis). Sonny recorded his next releases on Perkins' Atlas Records label, including the 2009 Just Plain Folks, Best Blues Album / Best Blues Song nominee – Crossroads Motel, Live as Hell, and and Sonny's current release, More Live as Hell – Up to My Neck in the Blues.

In addition to the critical acclaim from these releases, Sonny is the 2007 International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo 2nd place, 2008 Solo/Duo "Blues Artist on the Rise" – Blues Festival Guide Magazine, and he and his band were finalists in the 2010 International Blues Challenge.

Noted music Journalist Randy McNutt may have said it best,
"He can flat-out play—and sing… Sounds have been passed from blues giant Freddy King to Lonnie Mack to Sonny Moorman."

"Although listeners can hear the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rory Gallagher, Lonnie Mack, and Peter Green in his music, any comparison does him no justice. Basically, Sonny sounds like Sonny, with a fat, creamy, and wonderful power blues resonance."
Brian D. Holland, Blues Revue Magazine

"In the best tradition of power trios, Moorman delivers the crunch and the wow!" -- Jim Hynes, Elmore Magazine

To learn more about the Sonny Moorman visit his website:
www.sonnymoorman.net

ReverbNation EPK at http://www.reverbnation.com/sonnymoormangroup

Sonicbids EPK at http://www.sonicbids.com/theSonnyMoormanGroup

Sonicbids EPK (Sonny Solo) at http://www.sonicbids.com/SonnyMoorman
Please contact:

William Perkins
Republic Artists Management
2919 Audubon Drive
Macon, GA 31204-1129
ph.. (478) 475-9909
fax (478) 476- 8236
WHP0854@MSN.COM

Sonny Moorman Group
2550 Service Lane
Hamilton, OH 45011
ph. (513) 544-6912
Cmoormanjr@aol.com