Rolling with the good times

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P.V. Nunes and the Occasional Saints


Lighthouse Records

Pianist P.V. Nunes plays with a mixture of Big Easy ease and lapsed Catholic chagrin. It’s nasty, but Nunes and his band, the Occasional Saints, don’t work blue. They don’t have to. They get enough salacious swing out of their new self-titled 10-song pleasure platter. 

It’s Professor Longhair with a haircut.

It’s Fats Domino just before he found his thrill. 

The songs lean on the double entendre and it’s closely composed with Nunes’ obvious love, and adherence, of the idiom—not just  jazz—but New Orleans Jazz. 

Here’s a style that demands respect, and Nunes and Co. wallow in the strain like a loyal zydeco puppy. Some have tried with the “Nawlins’’’ shuck ’n’ jive but fall short in a pool of mediocrity. Not the Saints. Not Nunes. This is as real as it can possibly get without a round-trip ticket. It  hurts where it should and soothes the burn the rest of the time. Les bon ton roulet!

Sarah De Valliere

“Pour Over Me” —video review

Self release

Not too often, but at times, some music critics fall into a trap by telling the reader what the artist is not as opposed to what they are. This happens most when I hear an Americana act spinning on the turntable.

Sarah De Valliere is not an Americana act per se, but she’s got the wood and wire moxy of a seasoned songwriter swimming in and around distant and still waters. And, hell, the gal is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music. So, you know, she can read the dots. And while she’s whisking you away, the rest of her pop and sparkle wraps, envelopes, consumes, and shares the experience.

But as we speak, this enchanting singer from Rochester is busy with the bizz buzz that’s gathering around giving the push to her new video, “Pour Over Me.” Perhaps you’re like me and have a bit more familiarity and affinity with and understanding of previous releases like “Dreams On Hold” with its bashful boogie and charm or the stark cinematic rendering on “Borderland.” It still leaves room for “Pour Over Me” in De Valliere’s long, languid and lovely lexicon. 

You see I did it; all what she is with all you’re gonna love. Like mixing the good with the good.

GA -20

I’m bringing this one to the attention of your emaciated ears a wee bit early because it would be a cryin’ shame if you were to miss this trio. I’m  talking ‘bout the sleazy and greasy, the salacious and bodacious blues done right, and raw. I’m talking about GA-20.

The ghosts of Hound Dog Taylor, Lazy Lester, Earl Hooker, and Junior Wells are safe in the hands of this fistfight set to music; this three-man raunch-o-rama from Beantown. Again, don’t forget I’m talking about GA-20.

The band came together in 2018 out of an affinity that guitarists Pat Faherty and Matthew Stubbs had for low-fi, low-down dirty blues. Stubbs should also be recognized for his work over the last decade as guitarist for blues master-harmonicat Charlie Musselwhite. Tim Carman beats the drums. But now I’m talking about Hound Dog Taylor. Stay with me.

This is the kind of gut-bucket raunch that’ll drive you wild. It’s amazing what you can do with a piece of pipe and cheap guitar. Hound Dog’s style was fiercely simple

despite having six fingers on each hand. I’m not making this up … seriously.

You can hear the jump and joy in Taylor’s howl after all these years.

Hound Dog Taylor went to his reward in 1975, so the closest you can get is at the hands—five fingers only on each—of GA-20. Somebody say Hound Dog! 

GA-20 plays Wednesday, June 15, at Abilene Bar and  Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way, 7:30 p.m.

Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On

Frank De Blase is Rochester Beacon music writer. The Beacon welcomes comments from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name.

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