Michael Heyman | Heart Full of Blues

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Blues: Electric Blues Blues: Rockin' Blues Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Heart Full of Blues

by Michael Heyman

One of today's finest blues guitarists, MICHAEL HEYMAN is often compared to T-BONE WALKER, BUDDY GUY, FREDDIE KING and ERIC CLAPTON for the passion and artistry of his playing.
Genre: Blues: Electric Blues
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1. Set Me Free
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3:08 $0.99
2. Every Day I Cry For You
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4:09 $0.99
3. Mean Woman Blues
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3:44 $0.99
4. When it Came to Loving You
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5:12 $0.99
5. Love Against the Wall
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3:27 $0.99
6. Loving You a Long Time
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3:30 $0.99
7. Please Let Me Love You Again
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5:13 $0.99
8. Steppin Out
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3:55 $0.99
9. Three Hours Past Midnight
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6:17 $0.99
10. If You See My Baby
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3:23 $0.99
11. My Sweet Little Honey Dripper
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4:59 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
MICHAEL HEYMAN was born in Galveston, Texas and raised in Houston. He grew up listening primarily to his parents' collection of classical and opera music. His first instrument was the violin, which he began playing at the age of eight.

Having been introduced by a babysitter at an early age to records by Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, the Beatles and the Beach Boys, Michael soon discovered artists such as Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, the Animals, the Yardbirds, the Who, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. However, it was when he heard “Fresh Cream” for the first time that Michael decided that what he really wanted to do was play the guitar.

He got his first guitar â€" a steel string acoustic with painfully high action â€" together with a Mel Bay instruction book and pitch pipe when he was eleven.

Determined to learn the instrument, Michael taught himself a few chords and started taking guitar lessons at the age of twelve. Although his initial repertoire consisted mainly of songs by artists such as Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary and Simon & Garfunkel, he was enamored with the heavier side of rock music and set his sights on acquiring an electric guitar. He eventually purchased a Gibson Melody Maker and Harmony amp from a family friend and joined his first band, the Optical Illusion, featuring future Houston television news celebrity Wayne Dolcefino on drums.

Within a year, he completely immersed himself in music and began learning how to play electric lead guitar. Before long, his playing had achieved a maturity well beyond most of his peers. Perhaps more than anything else, it was this seminal period of woodshedding that determined the course Michael would later take with his life and music.

A turning point happened several years later when an older neighborhood friend introduced him to “Layla and other Assorted Love Songs” by Derek & the Dominos as well as recordings by Jimi Hendrix and blues artists such as Robert Johnson, B.B. King, Freddie King, Otis Rush, T-Bone-Walker, Muddy Waters, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Magic Sam, Memphis Slim, John Mayall and Fleetwood Mac. It is in these recordings that the foundation of his style was laid.

After graduating from high school, Michael traveled to Europe where he had the opportunity to play with musicians in England and Denmark. Inspired by the deep love of the blues he found on the part of these European musicians, Michael began to focus more on the blues. This led to the formation in 1980 of the Blues Union with bassist Calvin Hall (Carolyn Wonderland, Hightailers) , Patrick Forster and Jay Landry. The group appeared in concert with artists such as the Cobras and Lou Ann Barton and released an LP that year on the small Houston label Lunar # 2 Records. Due to artistic differences among the members, the Blues Union disbanded in late 1981.

Following numerous musical projects on and off the road, Michael decided to step up front in 1983 with the Michael Heyman Group - a blues trio that sometimes featured jazz saxophonist Bruce Harrison. This outfit featured Bob Armour (Dave Nevling) on drums with Calvin Hall and later Myron King followed by Little Screamin’ Kenny on bass. In fact, Michael played guitar in Kenny’s band while Kenny played bass for him â€" a cooperative arrangement that served both well in 1984-86. A highlight during this time was his association with noted British musicians Ronnie Lane and Ian McLagan of the Faces for the highly successful “RONNIE LANE APPEAL FOR A.R.M.S.” concert in 1985. Later that year, Michael also had the honor of participating in an all-star jazz/blues concert with legendary saxophonist Arnett Cobb. It was during this time that he began to be recognized as an up and coming guitarist in his own right.

Following excursions into pop and arena rock, Michael returned from the road in 1986 to front a power trio called Nick Young & the Powerhouse. With Calvin Hall again on bass and Angelo Giovanni (né Hernandez) on drums, Nick Young & the Powerhouse earned a reputation in both blues and rock circles as an exciting and dynamic blues-rock ensemble in the long Texas tradition of guitarists fronting blues trios. This was largely the result of concerts with artists such as Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor (and later with Coco Montoya and Walter Trout), Albert Collins, James Cotton, Eric Burdon, Alvin Lee, Leslie West, Pat Travers, Nils Lofgren, Nick Lowe, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Omar & the Howlers and Marcia Ball. Nick Young & the Powerhouse were in fact the only blues act in Houston to have successfully crossed over to hard rock and metal venues during that time. Other highlights of this period were the band's association with blues great Joe "Guitar" Hughes as his back-up band in 1986 and being selected to represent Texas rhythm & blues at the Willie Nelson/Wrangler Jeans Invitational in Austin, Texas.

In 1987, Michael returned to Europe, where he spent 14 months performing with an ensemble that often featured drummer Colin Allen, known for his work with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart, as well as members of Sweden's premier blues/rock act Sky High. Michael also often played guitar with American blues artist Big Walker. Upon returning to the United States in 1988, he retired from performing to spend time with his family.

In late 2003, Michael unexpectedly found his heart leading him back into music with a passion that he thought was long dead. An extended period of soul searching followed, during which time he discovered a new depth in his playing, singing and writing. He resumed songwriting and returned to the stage in 2004 fronting a series of blues outfits that often featured a horn section, keys and double bass. With the intention of recording a demo of new and earlier material, he purchased a block of studio time in February 2004. It was not until eight months later in October 2004, however, that he felt confident enough to begin recording. What began as a demo session quickly developed into the sessions for "Heart Full of Blues."

Produced by Rock Romano, "Heart Full of Blues" features eight original songs as well as covers of "Three Hours Past Midnight" by Johnny “Guitar” Watson, "My Sweet Little Honey Dripper" by Jimmy “T-99” Nelson and the instrumental guitar showcase "Steppin' Out" by James Bracken. In addition to guitar artistry reminiscent of the early work of T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor, the CD features guest performances by internationally acclaimed harmonica virtuoso Sonny Boy Terry, Houston's First Lady of Soul Trudy Lynn and the incomparable Tommie Lee Bradley.

Since the release of "Heart Full of Blues" in June 2005, the passion and artistry of Michael's playing has attracted the attention of blues afficiandos both in the United States and around the world.


Reviews


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G-Man

Overall, I really dig this album.
While I like the blues - a lot, I find myself getting easily bored when a bluesman starts going crazy on a guitar playing note after note that is really just sound and fury signifying nothing. A little bit of this goes along way with me. So, when I picked up this album, I was wondering if I would be listening to that kind of blues. Fortunately, there is little of this on Heyman's cd. Sure, it's here and there, but it's tastefully done and his guitar slinging works well with the rest of the instruments rather than overwhelming them.

This is a very good thing, especially since Heyman assembled a really good group of local musicians to help him on this cd. On Love Against the Wall, Trudy Lynn and Tommie Lee Bradley add some tasty backing vocals to a song that really rocks. Sonny Boy Terry lends his harmonica skills to If You See My Baby, a scorching, hard-driving number. I can't decide which of those two is my favorite on the album. An up-tempo number that I also like quite a bit is Loving You A Long Time. I am less enamored of some of the slower numbers like his covers of Three Hours Past Midnight and My Sweet Little Honey Dripper, but that's probably my bias showing through. Overall, I really dig this album.

Catherine L. Tulley

"Being from Chicago, I can speak with authority about the blues, and I can tell
This CD was such a fun listen that I have been playing it over and over. Being from Chicago, I can speak with authority about the blues, and I can tell you that Michael Heyman knows his stuff.

The eleven-track album features a variety of songs, eight of which are original compositions. While the three cover songs are good, I have to wonder if Heyman shouldn't have just gone with his own music for this CD. His songs could stand alone and carry the album just fine. The covers don't detract from anything though, so I guess that you get a little more music for your dollar.

If you are a harmonica fan (and who isn't?) check out track ten, "If You See My Baby," for a song that will set your feet a-tappin'. My personal favorite was track two, "Every Day I Cry For You," which sings its lament as the blues should, over and over, with feeling. The band that backs Heyman is skilled, and the musicians are allowed to take their turns in the spotlight here and there. It's a strong CD, and if you like the blues, you'll want to check this one out.

Rocky Stone/Music News

If the blues is to have a future that is at all relevant as anything other than
The blues certainly is a path well trodden. Because it is revered by so many as a cultural cornerstone and the foundation of most modern American music, it neither expects, encourages or depends upon innovation for its survival. Indeed, although it has in fact spawned numerous quintessential American musics, any modern deviations from the tried and true accepted formulas of the genre are viewed by many with suspicion if not downright hostility. What began as music by and for the fringes of our society has become as safe, predictable and conservative as Muzak in the hands of countless hacks. In the light of these developments, Michael Heyman's new album, "Heart Full of Blues" is as welcome and pleasant a surprise as any fan of the blues could ever have hoped for. Heyman is unafraid to alter the sonic landscape of the eleven tracks featured here and in doing so he transports the listener into a world painted with far more colors and textures than most blues artists (or even blues-based artists for that matter) seem to have at their disposal or be willing to use these days. Heyman paints commandingly with numerous styles and feels from "My Sweet Little Honey Dripper" performed as a duet for piano and guitar, through the hard rockin' boogie woogie of "Loving You A Long Time," the tighter drier treatment of "Mean Woman Blues" and the lush arrangement of "Set Me Free" which is reminiscent of Robert Cray circa "Strong Persuader." But more impressive than any of this are the performances that Heyman gives on this record. As a guitarist, Heyman is competent and occassionally even imaginative. (He only really cuts loose on the instrumental track, "Steppin Out.") But it is his vocal delivery that really shines. His voice is clear and unfettered by baggage or pretense. He is above all else an honest performer, who wisely avoids hiding behind the grotesque, cartoonish mannerisms that far too many other blues singers unwittingly or even obligingly adopt. Instead, he chooses to make himself vulnerable and therefore believable. It is this quality of unselfconsciousness and (forgive me I must say it again) honesty that truly distinguishes him and sets him apart from his peers. It is for this reason that this album offers us something we almost never see from a blues act: freshness. If the blues is to have a future that is at all relevant as anything other than museum fodder, it will be through the efforts of musicians like Michael Heyman.

Vicente Zumel (La Hora Del Blues - Barcelona, Spain)

Totally full of blues passion, feeling and good taste . . .
First album of texan singer and guitar player Michael Heyman with a cd totally full of blues passion, feeling and good taste. Michael draws with his Gibson elegant clever guitar phrasing and riffs, perfectly backed by Michael’s piano and Hammond organ, which gives the perfect support to conceive an intense cool well structured cd. The rhythm section are on a par, with Roger Tausz on bass and Bob Armour, Steve Treanor and Rick Berman on drums, who also give an smart performing. Mention, among other guest musicians, Trudy Lynn on vocals and Sonny Boy Terry on harp. Very actual contemporary blues without losing the orthodoxy, together with an outstanding Rock Romano’s final production. GREAT.

Blues Matters!

This is a real artist at work . . .
According to his website, Michael has performed throughout the U.S.A. and Europe and has shared the bill with such artists as John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, James Cotton, Alvin Lee, Nils Lofgren, Nick Lowe, Eric Burdon, Leslie West, Pat Travers, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Coco Montoya, Joe "Guitar" Hughes, The Long Ryders, Lou Ann Barton, Omar & The Howlers And Marcia Ball, so he has a very prestigious background. He delayed the launch of his first album, Heart Full Of Blues for over 20 years, and that is way too long! This is a real artist at work, with some wonderful guitar solos, all tasteful and carefully crafted. I felt that his guitar skills were better than his vocals, and the songs are well chosen to show off those skills. The tracks were mostly self-penned and there are a couple of covers to boot. He plays how I like a guitarist to play, not way too many notes just for the sake of it, but melodic structures that make sense. There are obvious influences in here; Robert Cray, BB King but also I noticed similarities to Rockpile and The Georgia Satellites. A fine album, let's just hope that he doesn't leave it another 20 years for his next release!

Rick Lacey

frank van engelen-bluesiana

great guitarriffs and tracks
revieuw michael heyman bluesey frank van engelen-bluesiana radio, purmerend, the netherlands

these are 8 originals and very splented ones i may say, great guitarriffs and blues in a different way. some rocking, slow, mean music, touched from a ,odern bluesangle prospective. this guy is great, and is joined by the great trudy lynn and harpplayer sonny boy terry. sghould i say more? yes, this one is for you without any doubt.

Blueswalker

This debut certainly is a success and deserves airplay
This is the debut album by Michael Heyman, originating from Houston. He grew up with classical music and opera. At eight he began playing violin but at twelve he discovered the guitar and the emotions it could convey. Among his biggest influences are Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and The Rolling Stones. But the album sounds more like BB King, Jimmy Vaughan and John Mayall. Among the eleven tracks there are three covers. Michael surprises with nice guitar playing on the ballads as well as on the up-tempo songs. Listen to the sensitive "When It Came To Loving You" or the swinging rock blues "Love Against The Wall". On this album there is also fine piano and hammond playing by Michael Stone, a few horns here and there and excellent backing vocals. One could argue that Michael Heyman's voice is a bit too clean but it is never boring. The album mixes Texas with Chicago blues and more contemporary sounds. This debut certainly is a success and deserves airplay.

JIM SHORTT (THE SCENE JULY 2005)

This is a blues album, not a rock and roll masquerade. Highest recommendation.
This studio album has eight original tracks and three covers. Total time is just over 47 minutes. Sound and production quality are good. The project is seasoned contemporary blues artist Michael Heyman's debut release. Musicianship is top-notch throughout. This is a blues album, not a rock and roll masquerade. Heyman's renditions of the three covers are fresh and good treatments done without losing their traditional blues appeal.

The instrumental "Steppin' Out" (James Bracken) showcases Heyman's prodigious guitar skills. Virtuoso keyboardist Skip Nallia's performance on the Hammond B3 organ and piano complement Heyman's guitar excellently. On "My Sweet Little Honey Dripper" (Jimmy "T-99 Nelson), Heyman's guitar and Michael Stone's honky-tonk piano give the song a dandy, juke joint feel. "Three Hours Past Midnight" (Johnny "Guitar" Watson) features Heyman's mournful guitar intro. Together with Roger Tausz's great bass line, this rendition is reminiscent of seminal urban blues classics.

Heyman's original songs are contemporary but maintain a classic urban blues feel. The medium tempo tunes, "Set Me Free" and "Love Against the Wall" are infectious romps. On both tunes, Houston Soul-Blues Queen Trudy Lynn and Diva Tommie Lee Bradley contribute superb backup vocals. "Every Day I Cry For You" and "Mean Woman Blues" are cut from the rich cloth of close-up and sweaty, honky-tonk blues. "Please Let Me Love You Again" is reminiscent of the great Otis Rush's work in the mid and late 90's. Ms. Lynn and Ms. Bradley again do banner backing vocals. "When It Came to Loving You" is perhaps the album's best slow tempo, back alley gut-ripper. Heyman's guitar work is the epitome of essential electric blues. The best uptempo tune is "If You See My Baby." This jump blues tune features Houston harmonica maestro Sonny Boy Terry, a masterstroke. Highest recommendation.