DENNIS HERRERA 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 ” - Giovanni Robino

Macelle’ Blues, Italy

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.” - Mike Greenblatt

GOLDMINE , The Music Collectors Magazine

 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!    ” - Martin van der Velde

BLUES MAGAZINE - Netherlands

The Windy City and other Blues meccas... October - November 2018 Issue  ” - Steve Daniels

BIG CITY BLUES

donandsherylsbluesblog Sheryl & Donald Crow

JAZZ WEEKLY George W. Harris

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 MICHAEL DOHERTY AT 10:40 PM ” - Michael Doherty

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