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Macelle’ Blues, Italy


"You stole my heart"
Dennis Herrera Music Rec. (USA) - 2018
You stole my heart / Takes money / Fore / With no refrain / Look out / Recovery / You can name it / Backed-up / My past time / Run with the losers / Bittersweet
It would appear suddenly from an unlikely journey back in the '50s or popped up from the shelves of an old collection of engravings of Specialty the Dennis Herrera of With No Refrain , one of the most captivating tracks of this third solo release, along with that R & R at - there Chuck Berry who gives the name of baptism to the disc. But it is a, albeit pleasant, fire of straw that soon runs out among the remaining traces of a CD that never diverges from the revival of a colorful blues, even if a little 'way.
The surname betrays, you do not know how far, chic origins , but Herrera is Californian: guitarist, singer with a shuffled and sing-songy stamp, as well as an author whose lyrical simplicity is coupled with a free and easy-going musicality. Stylistically speaking, he is in a free zone between the West Coast and Chicago, but his guitar sometimes speaks a language that betrays the Texan accent of Albert Collins. Recorded, half, at the studios of Kid Andersen, You Stole My Heart stars two different bands of musicians, among whom we recognize and appreciate Bill Stuve on bass, already with George "Harmonica" Smith, Rod Piazza, William Clarke and others heroes of the coast. In addition, the harmonica of the Parisian Dennis Depoitre stands out, although present in only two pieces, but above all the lively plan of Sid Morris, a constant and characterizing presence. The completely electric recording of the disc then closes with the acoustic and instrumental Bittersweet , a typical "front porch" piece.
Borrowing the slogan of a famous record label, with convenient precision, we could define You Stole My Heart "genuine houserocking music"! GR

GOLDMINE , The Music Collectors Magazine

Nov. 9, 2018

One of the better blues albums of recent vintage has to be You Stole My Heart (DAS Entertainment), by Dennis Herrera, a rollicking, satisfying all-original 11-track barn-burner from this debonair California singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer. He’s got Major League help from 10 seasoned pros providing sax, harmonica, piano, organ, bass, drums and percussion, all highlighting Herrera’s soulful vocals and stinging guitar. Highly Recommended.


Los Angeles Music Critic

BLUES MAGAZINE - Netherlands


Dennis Herrera was born and raised in San José, California. He grows up, a stone's throw from the Golden Gate Bridge and the hippie generation, which is in full bloom there. His first musical experiences go back to the mid-sixties when his mother tuned the radio to the KLIV station where the sounds of The Yardbirds, Animals, Rolling Stones and Wilson Picket frequently pass by. When he attends a James Brown gig at the age of fifteen, his interest in music is finally awakened. He then tries to visit as many rock, country and blues rock concerts as possible, which take place in venues such as the Fillmore, Winterland and Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco. But also local juke joints, where the blues are played are visited.  On an old guitar, which once belonged to his grandfather, he teaches himself to play the first chords. His first performance takes place during his high school period when a talent hunt is organized at school and Dennis plays his version of Richie Havens Freedom . The rock groups he listens to actually play the material of the old blues master like Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson, BB King, Howling Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters Dennis Herrera later on. Blues has always been a thread through his musical career. Every time when he gives space to other musical styles, Dennis returns to the blues after some time.  Jack Sanford (saxophone) and Robi Bean (drums) which he calls the northern California occupation and in the Greaseland Studios of Kid Anderson in San Jose, CA have their recordings canned. And Rich Wenzel (keyboard0, Bill Stuve (bass), Lee Campbell (drums), Gordon Peeke (percussion) and Denis Depoitre (harmonica) who is called the southern variant and have the Ardent Audio Studio in Torrance, CA involved for their tracks. There is not a lot of difference to be seen, the recordings form one whole. Dennis Herrera has a fine singing voice and also plays a beautiful guitar without being a virtuoso. And that is not necessary, rather not even because there are already enough of it. No, give me a guitarist who does it with less notes but has something to say.  Dennis Herrera releases deliciously accessible blues on this CD and opens with the rocker You Stole My Heart, after which shuffles like Fore , With No Refrain , Backed- Up and Run With The Losers are wiped out with the slow blues My Past Time and boogaloo rhythms in Takes The Money and Look Out and so together with the jazzy and South American sounding Recovery for a very varied album.  Herrera concludes the album with the acoustically played track Bittersweet , with which he proves that he is also a man on his own. In short, a very fine album that also consists entirely of its own material.  That's how I want to hear them more often!



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The Windy City and other Blues meccas...

October - November 2018 Issue












Dennis Herrera: “You Stole My Heart” (2018) CD Review

The blues can make you feel so damn good. Dennis Herrera knows this to be true, and shows it with his new release, You Stole My Heart, an album full of great grooves and classic sounds. Two different bands back Dennis Herrera on this album, one based in northern California, the other in southern California. The first includes Sid Morris on piano, Frank DeRose on bass, Jack Sanford on saxophone, and Robi Bean on drums. The second features Rich Wenzel on keys, Bill Stuve on bass, Lee Campbell on drums, Gordon Peeke on percussion and Denis Depoitre on harmonica. All songs are originals, written by Dennis Herrera.


The album kicks off with its title track, “You Stole My Heart,” which has something of a classic rock and roll sound, complete with great work on keys and saxophone. And there is joy in his vocals, as he sings lines like “Maybe give me a chance/For some love and romance.” Because, hey, this is a love song, and not one of love gone wrong. This is just the thing to get your body moving and your mind off the state of the country. This song is a rock and roll party, and we’re all invited. See you there! This track features the northern California players, and they do jam on it.


That’s followed by the southern California musicians joining Dennis Herrera for “Takes Money,” a groovy rhythm and blues tune with some delicious work on bass. “I learned it takes money for this/It takes money for that/It’s all about the money, babe/And that’s a fact/I don’t want to believe it/But it’s true.” It develops into a good blues jam led by Denis Depoitre on harmonica. That band (without Depoitre) also plays on “Fore,” which features more classic vibes, and an easygoing stroll-like rhythm that is so damn appealing. This playful track is so much fun that I don’t even mind that it’s about golf, an activity I do not care for at all.


In “With No Refrain,” the line “Well, you make me feel just like a king when you call my name” makes me think of Donald Trump. This is why he has those rallies, he feels like a king when his moronic followers shout out his name. But even though it reminds me of that mendacious prick, this is a good tune, and features some nice work on guitar. And other lines make me think of my girlfriend, someone I’d much rather have on my mind. Take this line, for example: “One day without your loving is one day too long.” True. That’s followed by “Look Out,” a song about aging, and about how life is short, stuff I am well aware of these days. Yet the song has a positive, empowering vibe. I mean, that cool, steady rhythm feels like something we can latch onto and ride forever, through life, through death, and beyond into whatever might be out there.


“Recovery” is a groovy, jazzy tune that also deals with getting older and perhaps wiser, looking back at certain choices. This one becomes a cool jam with some good work on saxophone. It’s followed by “You Can Name It,” a delightful instrumental track with a somewhat relaxed groove and nice stuff on keys. Denis Depoitre returns on harmonica for “Backed-Up,” a song about a topic that is familiar to those of us in Los Angeles. “Lord knows I’m tired/I’m sick of waiting/Just creeping along, lord/This back-up I’m hating.” He then adds, “It’s hell on the highway.” You’d be surprised how many conversations in Los Angeles are about the roads and traffic. And for good reason. Last night (or this morning) I got off work at 2:30, and traffic was stopped on Route 5. Fortunately, someone who left a bit earlier sent messages warning us, and we were able to take another route. Traffic is ridiculous in Los Angeles, and – as Dennis sings in this song – “It gets worse every day.” But don’t use the solution offered by Dennis Herrera in this song: “Might just buy me a motorcycle/Scoot on down the middle lane.” Motorcycles riding between lanes are so bloody dangerous.


“My Past Time” is a wonderful slow blues number, one of my personal favorites. It’s about looking back, taking stock. He sings, “But I have my regrets, people/Maybe more than I should” then quickly adds, “And I don’t like to think about that.” This track features some really good stuff on organ. “Some say don’t live in the past/If you want your peace of mind to last.” Then “Run With The Losers” is a fun, bluesy rock tune. The album then concludes with “Bittersweet,” a very cool tune with a back porch blues vibe, performed solo by Dennis Herrera.





CD Release - April 21, 2015



CD Review
(October-September-August 2015)

Con unos invitados de lujo como Anson Funderburgh, Tommy Castro, Igor Prado, Jeffrey Paul Ross, Dan McCann, Alan Maggini, Bill Bates y Lynwood Slim quien, de hecho, falleció poco tiempo después de participar en estas grabaciones y al que Dennis Herrera dedica este disco, el resultado no puede ser otro que una obra de un gran valor musical. Texas, Chicago y California se dan la mano para encontrarse en un repertorio repleto de ‘howlin’, muddy rockin’ raw blues’, todo dentro de un energético y contundente sonido capaz de ponernos las pilas y la energía a tope y del cual difícilmente uno puede escapar. Son doce temas donde destaca la inspiración y el buen hacer de todos los artistas que colaboran junto a una banda formada por Dennis Herrera vocal y guitarra, Denis Depoitre armónica, Hank Van Sickle bajo, Rich Wenzel piano, órgano y wurlitzer y Lee Campbell batería. Todos ellos consiguen mostrarnos cómo se deben tocar los blues para que suenen auténticos, viscerales y apasionados, eso si, desprovistos de afectaciones y amaneramientos. Es el simple y puro blues eléctrico de siempre pero, qué queréis que os diga, me gusta con locura. BUENISIMO. 

With such a deluxe guest musicians like Anson Funderburgh, Tommy Castro, Igor Prado, Jeffrey Paul Ross, Dan McCann, Alan Maggini, Bill Bates and Lynwood Slim who, in fact, passed away shortly after these recordings, so Dennis Herrera has dedicated him this album, the result cannot be otherwise than a work of great musical value. Texas, Chicago and California hold hands and come together in a repertoire full of 'howlin', muddy and rockin' raw blues', all performed with an energetic and straightforward sound able to recharge batteries and put us in top form energy with a music you will not be able to get out of it. Twelve songs where the inspiration and the excellent work of all these guest artists shines at a very high level, together with Dennis’ band including Dennis Herrera vocal and guitar, Denis Depoitre harmonica, Hank Van Sickle bass, Rich Wenzel piano, organ and wurlitzer and Lee Campbell drums. All of them show how their real and genuine blues has to be played to make it sound passionate and deep rooted with no affectation or an excessively polite music. There is simple and well known electric blues but, what you want me to say, I madly love it. ESSENTIAL.

Vicente Zumel
2013 Keeping The Blues Alive Award
International Recipient by The Blues Foundation



Issue 9-27, September 10, 2015
Featured Blues Review – 4 of 5

Dennis Herrera Blues Band - Livin' Life Not Worrying'

DAS Entertainment/Ardent Audio Productions
CD: 12 Songs; 56:45 Minutes

Styles: Ensemble Blues, Contemporary Electric Blues and Blues Rock

Deep down, what is the blues all about? Some people believe that this genre is a sad one, meant to move people to tears. It’s true some of the most common themes are heartbreak, deprivation, and irritation. Blues are meant for catharsis – an emotional release, though not necessarily one in the vein of weepy romance dramas. San Jose, California’s Dennis Herrera Blues Band is Livin’ Life Not Worryin’, and in this reviewer’s opinion, the cathartic nature of the blues is the reason why. On twelve dynamite original tracks, Herrera and several outstanding guest stars give their all to the “Hakuna Matata” (“No worries”) sentiment that they express.

Performing alongside Dennis Herrera, as he tackles vocals and guitar, are the regular members of his band: harpist Dennis Depoitre; drummer Lee Campbell; bassist Hank Van Sickle; Rich Wenzel on piano, organ and Wurlitzer, and guitarists Alan Maggini and Bill Bates. Joining them as magnificent musical guests are guitarists Anson Funderburgh, Tommy Castro, Igor Prado, and Jeffrey Paul Ross; vocalist the late Lynwood Slim, and bassist Dan McCann.

Dennis Herrera’s vocals verge on talk-singing on several songs, but that’s a minor issue. The band’s promotional info sheet states that their style is “an excitingly provocative fusion of Texas, Chicago, California howlin’, shufflin’, muddy rockin’, raw blues.” Purists should read that product description twice, and then decide if they will find that mixture of musical flavors appetizing. For those who prefer a blues smorgasbord over particular entrées, Livin’ Life Not Worryin’ will be a tasty treat.

These three numbers are the top “orders” on the twelve-selection menu of the CD:

Track 03: “Damn Uncle Sam!” – There are two universal truths about taxes: 1) They’re as certain as death and 2) Everybody hates paying them. “You know I jump, and yes, I holler, but it makes no difference if I still ain’t got a dollar. I say, that damn Uncle Sam left me nothing again.” This Chicago-style number minces no (swear) words. Neither does Dennis Depoitre on a harmonica hotter than New Orleans’ Augusts.

Track 06: “Slim Baby Slim” – Being healthy is no cake walk, as this brilliant boogie proves: “If you want to get slim, you’d better listen to me. Eat a whole lot less; make it sugar-free. Looking like a mess for too many years, sucking down the pops and drinking all of those beers.” Naturally, Lynwood Slim performs lead vocals – one of his last, Jeffrey Ross nails his guitar solo, and Rich Wenzel plays a savory barroom piano.

Track 10: “Somethin’ I Read” – Another fitting title for track ten would be, “Facebook’s Done It Again”. Social media junkies know the drill: They read a comment, and it gets stuck in their craw for the rest of the day. As for Dennis? “It don’t worry me. I don’t care. It’s just a passing thing: Facebook’s done it again.” Shuffle your computer over to the nearest “Recycle Bin”.

Dennis Herrera and his posse are Livin’ Life Not Worryin’, in order to encourage all of us!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 35 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.


Review: Livin’ Life Not Worryin’ – Dennis Herrera Blues Band

(Ardent Audio Productions: 35961 32132)

Here’s a most enjoyable ‘pure’ blues album from the California-based Dennis Herrera Band, with the emphasis firmly on the swinging West Coast style, with some great Texas shuffles thrown in for good measure! All songs were written by band leader Dennis Herrera, who also features on guitar and vocals.

Apart from Dennis Herrera himself,  his regular band comprises of Dennis Depoitre (harmonica), Lee Campbell (drums), Hank Van Sickle (bass), Richie Wenzel (keyboards), with additional guitar from Alan Maggini and Bill Bates. However, Herrera has been able to call on some ‘heavyweight’ friends who include Anson Funderburgh, Tommy Castro, Igor Prado and the late, great Lynwood Slim, for additional contributions.

The 12-strong song album is strong throughout, and kicks off in fine style, with Brazil’s Igor Prado helping out on the roadhouse rocking blues of “All This Fun’s For Free”, with some sparkling piano work from Rich Wenzel; the more rocky “Can’t Get Enough veers away from most of the blues stylings into a sort of Rolling Stones groove; however it’s back to the blues for the low down “Damn Uncle Sam!”, with some nice harmonica from the Paris-born Dennis Depoitre.

The title cut, “Livin’ Life Not Worryin'” is a stand out with Igor Prado’s second contribution and he lays down some fiery guitar leads as Herrera and band lay down another great shuffle. The late, and sadly missed, Lynwood Slim puts his classy vocals on the driving “Slim Baby Slim”, with the band firing on all cylinder and with more tinkling ivories from Wenzel. Texas guitar legend Anson Funderburgh  throws in his trademark sublime guitar on . . . what else but . . . “Mean Ole Texas Shuffle” – lovely stuff indeed!

 Elsewhere Lynwood Slim returns on the slide-driven nod to Elmore James, “Talkin’ At My Back Door”, with guest guitar from Jeffrey Paul Ross; best of all is possibly the closing “Hooker Heater”, with the sparring guitars of Tommy Castro, Alan Maggini and Herrera himself on this driving John Lee Hooker-style boogie – the harmonica work of Depoitre outstanding again.

A new name to me, and for those who love the blues, and nothing but the blues, this will be a treat . . . a fine collection of songs, and all well played and produced by Dennis Herrera and Rich Wenzel. Highly recommended!



UK Independent Blues Broadcasters Association - IBBA Most Played Albums for May 2015



SUNDAY, JUNE 21, 2015
3:00 - EARLY BLUES - Snooky Pryor
4:00 - BLUE SPOTLIGHT - Bryan Lee
5:00 - LIVE AT FIVE - Etta James and The Roots Band
6:00 - 7:00 - INDIE HOUR - The Dennis Herrera Blues Band


Interview - Barbara Morrison Performance Center

Interview with Dennis Herrera, Part I, II, & III

Music U Can See

"When the Dennis Herrera Band is in the house, expect no mercy"

Danny's Venice Newsletter


Dennis Herrera and his band does not disappoint every show is energetic and well played, this band mixes up a powerful gumbo of Texas juke-joint blues and Chicago blues that has found an appreciative audience here at Danny’s Venice, He developed his team approach to blues music while learning from the likes of Freddie King, Jimmy Reed, and Albert Collins and other great bluesmen. Dennis and his stellar bandmates; Hank Van Sickle on bass providing power and energy along side of Lee Campbell’s solid drumming and Denis Depoirte’s (Chef Denis) low-down harmonic harmonica playing just knock me out onstage, song after song, as the true embodiment of what I imagine the heart and soul of a great group and performance to be like. Don’t miss these cats the next time they come to your area; I know I won’t!
~Ravi Kristin/Danny's Venice manager

American Blues News

"The Dennis Herrera Band has been bringing top shelf Blues back to LA for more years than they'll admit" ~American Blues News

"No 'baby steps' taken here, the Dennis Herrera Band owns every stage they set foot on"

Southland Blues Magazine

This Southland band rocks with a true blues tradition. Their core focus goes way back to the origin of the blues with an added emphasis on ‘50s and ‘60s revivals. The album’s final track, “Sumlin Groove,” recalls the mighty force of Hubert Sumlin’s guitar and what a great influence it had on British electric guitarists who followed. Leader Dennis Herrera, who was born and raised in San Jose, absorbed the Sumlin guitar groove along with a wide range of experiences available through the blues of radio, LPs and live performances. The impact of blues on the soul is universal reaching into boogie-woogie with the help of pianist Rick Wenzel and beyond with the aid of guitarist Herrera and his band, who enjoy giving life to this eclectic program of original music. With them on this train ride through history are guitarist Alan Maggini, bassist Hank van Sickle and drummer Ron Felton. Dennis Depoitre sits in on harmonica for “I Got Lovin’ on My Mind” and “Run for Cover.” With Herrera’s throwback grooves, Blues Well Done! does justice for blues history and proves that the New Year holds a promise for good times to be had. 
-- Jim Santella/Southland Blues Magazine


"Dennis Herrera, he stole our hearts with his blues...and a whole lotta soul!"

Michael Doherty's Music Log

"The blues can make you feel so damn good.  Dennis Herrera knows this to be true, and shows it with his new release, You Stole My Heart, an album full or

Great grooves and classic sounds."


"A new name to me, and for those who love the blues, and nothing but the blues, this will be a treat... a fine collection of songs, and all well played and produced by Dennis Herrera and Rich Wenzel.  Highly recommended!"


"San Jose, California's Dennis Herrera Blues Band is Livin' Life Not Worrying' and in this reviewer's opinion, the cathartic nature of the blues is the reason why.  On the twelve dynamite original tracks, Herrera and several outstanding guest stars give their all to the "Hapuna Matata" ("No worries") sentiment that they express."

Issue 9-27, Sept 2015

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LA HORA DEL BLUES - Vicente Zumel

"Texas, Chicago and California hold hands and come together in a repertoire full of 'howlin', muddy and rockin' raw blues', all performed with an energetic and straightforward sound able to recharge batteries and put us in top form energy with a music you will not be able to get out of it….There is simple and well known electric blues but, what you want me to say, I madly love it. ESSENTIAL."

October 2015

LIVING BLUES - Jon Klienman

"The Dennis Herrera Blues Band's positive vibe is a refreshing departure from the "badass" image that so many white blues musicians feels is mandatory.  This alone makes Herrera a welcome new face on today's blues scene."  October 2015.

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