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MICHAEL DOHERTY'S MUSIC LOG

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.

 
POSTED BY AT 10:40 PM 

LIVING BLUES

 

LA HORA DEL BLUES

CD Review
(October-September-August 2015)
http://www.lahoradelblues.com/criticas.htm

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


www.lahoradelblues.com
www.radiotubelive.com

 

BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE

Issue 9-27, September 10, 2015
Featured Blues Review – 4 of 5
http://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/issue-9-37-September-10-2015/

Dennis Herrera Blues Band - Livin' Life Not Worrying'

DAS Entertainment/Ardent Audio Productions
www.dennisherrera.com
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.

BLUES IN THE NORTHWEST

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!

GRAHAME RHODES

bluesinthenorthwest.com

 

WMHB Top 100 Blues Chart, 2015

1 Voo Davis, Midnight Mist
2 MOONDOG MEDICINE SHOW, Let It Go
3 Anthony Gomes II, Electric Field Holler
4 Eliza Neals, Breaking and Entering
5 The Steve Cal' Band, Room to Move
6 TG AND THE SWAMPBUSTERS [TG Swampbusters], Swamp Tooth Comb
7 MISSISSIPPI FEVER, 300 Miles to Memphis
8 Brad Hatfield, For a Change
9 Barbara Blue, Memphis Blue - Sweet, Strong, & Tight
10 HUNTER & THE DIRTY JACKS, Single Barrel
11 SAMANTHA FISH, Wild Heart
12 MICHAEL FALZARANO, I Got Blues for Ya
13 BALKUN BROTHERS, ReDrova
14 BILLY WALTON BAND, Wish For What You Want
15 JC CROSSFIRE, AWOL Blues
16 Billy Hector, Old School Thang
17 DELTA DEEP, Delta Deep
18 Dennis Herrera Blues Band, Livin' Life Not Worryin'
19 Regina Bonelli, Open Up the Door
20 Lazer Lloyd, Lazer Lloyd
21 LOW SOCIETY, You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down
22 Tas Cru, You Keep the Money
23 SLACKJAW, It's Always Something
24 MICHELE D'AMOUR & THE LOVE DEALERS [Michele D'Amour McDanel], Ante Up
25 JP BLUES (John Pagano), Live at Darwins

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

WMHB TOP 40 BLUES CHART MAY 2015

Top 25 reported to Living Blues.  Over 430 spins reported to Roots Music Report in May.  Thanks to artists/bands for the great music! 

 

1.  THE STEVE CAL' BAND, Room to Move
2.  VOO DAVIS, Midnight Mist
3.  ANTHONY GOMES, Electric Field Holler
4. MICHAEL FALZARANO, I Got Blues for Ya
5.  ELIZA NEALS, Breaking and Entering
6.  JOHNNY RILEY, Crossroads of My Life
7.  BILLY HECTOR, Old School Thang
8.  BARBARA BLUE, Memphis Blue - Sweet, Strong, & Tight
9.  SLAM ALLEN, Feel These Blues
10. MOONDOG MEDICINE SHOW, Let It Go
11. AMANDA FISH BAND, Down in the Dirt
12. DENNIS HERRERA BLUES BAND, Livin' Life Not Worryin'
13. JC CROSSFIRE, AWOL Blues
14. DELTA MOON, Low Down
15. AJ GHENT BAND, Live at Terminal West
16. MICHELE D'AMOUR & THE LOVE DEALERS, Ante Up
17. PAPERMOON GYPSYS, Papermoon Gypsys
18. BALKUN BROTHERS, Redrova
19. BRANDON SANTINI, Live & Extended!
20. TG AND THE SWAMPBUSTERS, Swamp Tooth Comb

WMHB TOP 40 BLUES CHART, JUNE 2015

WMHB Top 40 Blues Chart, June 2015

WMHB Top 40 Blues Chart for June 2015. WMHB 89.7 FM/www.wmhb.org

 

1.  MISSISSIPPI FEVER, 300 Miles to Memphis
2. THE STEVE CAL' BAND, Room to Move
3. ANTHONY GOMES, Electric Field Holler
4. MICHAEL FALZARANO, I Got Blues for Ya
5. VOO DAVIS, Midnight Mist
6. ELIZA NEALS, Breaking and Entering
7. MOONDOG MEDICINE SHOW, Let It Go
8. DADDY MACK BLUES BAND, A Bluesman Looks at Seventy
9. LAZER LLOYD, Lazer Lloyd
10. DENNIS HERRERA BLUES BAND, Livin' Life Not Worryin'
11. JC CROSSFIRE, AWOL Blues
12. JOHNNY RILEY, Crossroads of My Life
13. THE RUSTY WRIGHT BAND, Wonder Man
14. BILLY HECTOR, Old School Thang
15. BARBARA BLUE, Memphis Blue - Sweet, Strong & Tight
16. BRAD HATFIELD, For a Change
17. HUNTER & THE DIRTY JACKS, Single Barrel
18. TG AND THE SWAMPBUSTERS, Swamp Tooth Comb
19. AMANDA FISH BAND, Down in the Dirt
20. BLACKBURN, Brothers in the Wind

KJAZZ 88.1 NOTHIN' BUT THE BLUES

FEATURED ON NOTHIN' BUT THE BLUES THIS WEEKEND

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

 

WMHB TOP 40 BLUES CHART JULY 2015

1. SAMANTHA FISH, Wild Heart
2. DELTA DEEP, Delta Deep
3. TED DROZDOWSKI'S SCISSORMEN, Love & Life
4. SLACKJAW, It's Always Something
5. ANTHONY GOMES, Electric Field Holler
6. LAZER LLOYD, Lazer Lloyd
7. MISSISSIPPI FEVER, 300 Miles to Memphis
8. JOHNNY RILEY, Crossroads of My Life
9. THE STEVE CAL' BAND, Room to Move
10. REGINA BONELLI, Open Up the Door
11. VOO DAVIS, Midnight Mist
12. MOONDOG MEDICINE SHOW, Let It Go
13. BROTHER SUN SISTER MOON, Brother Sun Sister Moon
14. MARTY MANOUS, Transcendence
15. DENNIS HERRERA BLUES BAND, Livin' Life Not Worryin'
16. JC CROSSFIRE, AWOL Blues
17. MICHAEL FALZARANO, I Got Blues for Ya
18. BILLY HECTOR, Old School Thang
19. BARBARA BLUE, Memphis Blue - Sweet, Strong, & Tight
20. HARRISON KENNEDY, This is From Here

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" ~MusicUCanSee.com

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

~Blues-E-News.com

"No 'baby steps' taken here, the Dennis Herrera Band owns every stage they set foot on" ~Blues-E-News.com

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

A Select Few Promo Posters

   

  


ROOTSVILLE (Belguim)

"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."

BLUES IN THE NORTHWEST - Grahame Rhodes

"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!"  

bluesinthenorthwest.com
 

BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE - Rainey Wetnight

"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

Featured videos:





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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Upcoming shows!

  • October 6, 2018
    ARCADIA BLUES CLUB, Arcadia, CA
     
  • October 20, 2018
    Aptos St. BBQ, Aptos, CA
     
  • November 3, 2018
    Aptos St. BBQ, Aptos, CA
     
  • December 8, 2018
    Aptos St. BBQ, Aptos, CA
     

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Track Dennis Herrera Blues Band on Bandsintown