CG,Blues press clippings and quotes:
CD foot note: For us, this Cd is for all our loyal fans that have supported us all these years, and for those to come. It's been a long time in the making, and we hope you find it to be worth the wait. We put our hearts into making this a Cd that is listenable, interesting, and definitely blues at the core. All while remaining true to the individual sound and style that keeps Cg,Blues a unique, vital, living and breathing blues band. Much love. And thank you all for embracing Common Ground Blues!
press clippings and quotes:
Blues Blast Magazine Issue 5-27 July 7, 2011
Common Ground Blues – Too Much Talkin’
8 tracks – 37 minutes
Phoenix is the USA’s biggest state capital but geography and demography deny it as big a blues presence as say Austin in Texas or Baton Rouge in Louisiana. You’re more likely to find concerts under ‘Rock’ or, in particular, ‘Country’ in the AZ Weekly listings. But Blues is a hardy perennial and thrives in a cluster of downtown bars and clubs such as CK’s, The Rhythm Room, Skipper’s Lounge and Pat Murphy’s. It’s here that Common Ground Blues ply their bluesy trade. And their self-released CD – Too Much Talkin- takes you straight to that scene without the inconvenience of flying into Sky Harbour International Airport.
CG Blues is a five-piece outfit based around the vocals of Glen Farkash and the guitar of Brian Marsherella. They also provide the only self-penned song on the CD -its title-track. Making up the quintet are Earl Abbot (keys), Timothy Kinsey (bass) and Guy Mazzarella (drums).
The band, individually and collectively, have been around long enough to have seen waves of blues come and go and to absorb material and licks from each...
The stand-out track, for me, is "I Smell Trouble" (Track 5) which was, coincidentally, recorded by both those fine artists as well as Ike and Tina Turner and, memorably, by Johnnie Taylor. Glen sings the mid-paced mournful classic with an anguished growl with Brian excelling on an extended guitar solo and tasteful Otis Spann-like piano from Earl sitting nicely in the mix. Earl’s jazz influences at to the fore when he switches to organ for Art Blakely’s instrumental "Moaning" (Track 6) which first saw light-of-day on the very first Blue Horizon LP in 1957. This has a real ‘Wade in the Water’ feel to it and clearly shows the instrumental prowess that CG Blues possesses. Earl’s B3 sound complements Brian’s clean Strat-tones beautifully with Timothy and Guy providing irresistible bedrock for their melodies. This track emphasizes that the combo value musicality over bluster –the guitar sound eschews distortion and the drums are miked to emphasize snare rather than bass. Full credit should go to engineer Mike Bolenbach. With the exception of B. B. King surely Taj Mahal is our greatest living bluesman and is without equal amongst those emerging in the second half of the twentieth century. The band pays tribute to him with his 1993 classic "Strut" (Track 3). For my money this is Glen’s best vocal performance on this release. His delivery is looser and understated and brilliantly punctuated by Earl’s keys.
There are hints within the CD of a ‘good-time-was-had-by-all’ band in their live setting; not always easy to replicate in the studio. What does it take, then, for an extremely proficient, experienced outfit like this to break through to the next level? Oodles of good luck helps, obviously, but beyond that choice of material makes all the difference... The title-track, their own, "You Talk Too Much" (Track 8) is a good performance which stands up well amongst the ‘standards’ included, and ought to encourage them towards including more Phoenix-penned material on their next visit to Full Well Studios.
Reviewer Michael Ford is a retired school principal living in the North of England. He is a heavily involved volunteer in the organization of Bronte Blues Club (www.bronteblues.com) and writes for and performs in the house-band there. He has played in bands over the years opening for such artistes as Clarence Carter, Howard Tate, Dorothy Moore, Sherman Robertson, Doug MacLeod, Mojo Buford and Larry Garner.
CD Review -Too Much Talkin' .. Written by J. Buzz Fowler is a freelance writer and owner of First String Promotions, an Arizona based firm providing events entertainment, website and social media marketing.
Common Ground Blues Grinds Fine Blend with Too Much Talkin’
When the Phoenix Blues band, Common Ground Blues released their first nationally available CD, last month, it might have been destined to be a bare sapling amid the forest of titles, growing each year. With roots firmly planted however, this one has potential for growth.
The first thing that stands about Too Much Talkin’ is its title. One might expect an in-your-face type of grind on Blues tunes with an edge. That could not be farther from what you will find from this independent label [Full Walls Studios] Blues jaunt. Nor could it be a more accepted reprieve from the too often fossicking chart trekkers.
Common Ground Blues (CG Blues) comes through without disappointing the listener in terms of performance quality on this project. A CD’s song selections make a big difference, too and the mix is done well. Individual song arrangements and overall selection order takes the listener on a well-routed tour of good Blues. Starting from its throaty organ pieces and carrying through to its sonant whispers, the CD elevates from valleys of Bluesiest imperatives to emotionally exciting peaks of the bouncy, danceable shuffles.
Many Blues bands would agreeably nod, it is somewhat obligatory for Stormy Monday to be amid their repertoire; nevertheless such a standard should have homage paid to its essence, when performed. CG Blues does exactly that with its strongly delivered- yet respectfully not overdone- intro. Lead singer, Glen Russell guides with command vocals, from warm tones to a Bluesy growl.
Brian Eddie Marsherella keeps a masterful yet refreshingly not overbearing projection through his lead and rhythm guitar. In fact, the interplay between this CD’s co-producer [produced along with Russell] and the band’s organist/pianist, Earl Abbott meliorates everything, song after song. Bassist, Timothy E. Kinsey and percussionist, Guy Mazzarella, blaze with veracious stride and cadence to impel the band to each overlook..
Tom Coulson, "Full Moon Hacksaw", Radio Phoenix ... "I don't want any more time to go by without letting you know I listened to your whole CD and like it. Glen works hard, has the right attitude and enthusiasm for the blues. He sounds best on 'Every Day I got the Blues.' Good guitar, good dynamics. Good band on what might be their debut disc. Much work on good arrangements has paid off. It's great they paid tribute to the late Lil' Dave Thompson. The T-Bone Walker cover is sympathetic to the original arrangement, well, to a T. A nod to many blues masters and in their spirit. The concluding track is original and catchy. The packaging is professional and sharp. Now a few critiques:... I'd like to hear a bit more consistent backbeat from the drummer throughout, yearning for "blues tempo" groove rather than frequent fill. And the audio, though clean, lacks some high frequency." I am playing them on http://radiophoenix.org/. Archived for several weeks at http://fullmoonhacksaw.com/. Full Moon Hacksaw, Radio Phoenix, A Weekly radio program spotlighting blues and jazz....
From the Phoenix Blues Society News letter 6-14-2011
"Thanks to everyone who came out to support the Common Ground CD release party at the Rhythm Room! .... the crowd enjoyed two excellent sets from the Common Ground Blues Band as they celebrated the release of "Too Much Talkin!" The disc sounds great, and Common Ground Blues should be proud of a job well done!"
Common Ground Blues, Reviewing a Local Legend
Written By: Philip C. Castello Editor in Chief Blue Sky Publishing.
Glen and the boys from Common Ground Blues have still definitely got what it takes to be one the hottest bands in town. The intensity these guys have on the stage is enough to leave a burn from across the room. I’m not sure what the club is paying these guys to play for the night but I’m sure its not enough. Rarely do you see so much energy & Passion. It's just pure fun. I find my foot taping along to the beats.
One of the things I find most interesting is I really don’t recognize any of the music, and as I’m finding out a lot of the music they play is original or just off the beaten path. As I’m writing these very words a group of people are crowding the dance floor and man are they tarring it up. From the looks of it many of them are well practiced dancers doing all kinds of cool moves.
The crowd is absolutely, loving the band. You can see them all hanging on every word, screaming and hooting every chance the get trying to Cheer them on. Here’s a little bit of what the crowd had to say: “If you like to Dance this band is for you” “The best blues in town” “we are new to Arizona and will be coming back to the to see them again”
"Arizona and will be coming back to to see them again”
This Article was published February 4th 2010, Jack Dudo Publisher of Table Talk & The Dart Star Newspapers
"Over 21 years of Valley Entertainment"
"CG Blues will make Saturday concert special" The Payson Round up, DJ Craig. July 10, 2009
This Saturday’s Concert Under the Stars at Green Valley Park will be a special night for those who love the blues. CG Blues will be performing from 7 to 9 p.m. band promises to bring us the best the blues has to offer.
Bambi Breeze, Live Blues World, I am a DJ on LIVE 365 @ Radio Scooter Intl.
I do "The Mornin' Breeze & Blues Show" Sunday's 10am-1pm EST, then for you night owls I repeat that show on Wed evenings 11pm-1am EST
I played two of your songs on my show this week, in fact one was CG,Blues doing Some Day After A While, and well, as you can tell by my radio show.. I am all about the lix, the guitar in this one kicks ass your vocals don't get lost in the tune, and the keys are a perfect touch in the mix. The other was Fumbling With The Blues. I love the drums here, in the pocket. The keys stand out, like back off boys this ones mine, but this song is still all about the vocals. I love the rough powerful vocals, they really bring it all together. It's just an awesome, funky little blues tune with lots of soul.
Thanx for letting me share your tunes with my listeners..
Midnight Special Blues Radio.
"You now have 3 songs in rotation: Someday After A While, Fumbling With The Blues (great! much better than the original to me!), and Gone At Last. Keep me informed of the progress of your studio project. I'll skip all compliments to you - too evident! All the Best! Paul, Midnight Special Blues Radio."
Cg, Blues can also be found on their collection CD. It is compiled from performances by independent Blues Artists from Europe, Australia, and America. Songs were selected from literally hundreds of disks reviewed by both the station, and by their listeners.
Steve Jessney blues show on Vixen87 , England.
"I played 'Someday after a while' on my blues show on Vixen87 "It's a great track with lots of atmosphere & some great guitar."
Steve Jessney 12-24-2005
"The 'Blues' are back"
By Teresa McQuerrey, Roundup staff reporter Tuesday, July 5, 2005
"While the blues is the band's primary stock in trade, the group can pull out the stops and put on some hot jazz and cool rhythm too".. "Even residents taking a stroll around the park seemed to step to their blues beat... They did a really good job for us.."
From a Calendar for the Senses. By: Teresa McQuerrey, June 6, 2005
This is a return engagement for Common Ground Blues. "The five-man group had an audience enthralled for the entire evening."
"The group rocked the Rim country"
"Blues performers will be tough act to follow" .. From , RIM REVIEW By Teresa McQuerrey, Roundup staff reporter, Wednesday, June 23, 2004
"The five-man group had an audience of all ages wrapped up in its cool combinations..... The combination of these five great artists produced a sound that set a high standard for the rest of the Concert Under the Stars acts to follow."
Cg,Blues is delighted to be one of the
"BarStar Best Bands of 2004" award winners.