MP3 Michael Pickett - Conversation With The Blues
A masterpiece. Unquestionably one of the best roots/blues recordings of the year. Grown up confident Blues. Mature stylings, subject matter and exquisitely crafted performances all blend to make each track a shining gem.
12 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Blues Vocals, BLUES: Electric Blues
In a musical career that has spanned more than three decades, singer/ songwriter and award winning recording artist, Michael Pickett, embraces the blues with style, substance and musical integrity. In the 70s and 80s he established himself as a musically ground-breaking, electrifying singer/songwriter/harmonica player, leading seminal bands Whiskey Howl, Wooden Teeth, and The Michael Pickett Band. Musically profound, they pushed the envelope for blues and funky roots in the Toronto area. He provided the direction for all three projects and surrounded himself with some of the top musicians in the country.
1998 was a banner year for Michael when he released his long anticipated and eagerly awaited debut band CD, ''Blues Money. This original recording was nominated for a JUNO and received the Jazz Report and Real Blues awards for Blues Album of the Year. Michael was also presented with the coveted Maple Blues Blues With A Feeling Award in recognition of his passion and commitment to the blues.
In 2000, ''Conversation With The Blues'', an extraordinarily creative band CD,earned him another JUNO nomination and won the Canadian Indie Music Award for Blues Album of the Year. This recording is an eclectic mix of ten original compositions comprised of blues, r&b, soul, jazz, delta, and gospel. In addition, "Night Comes" (Doug Riley/Molly Johnson) is a deliciously intimate ballad recorded live in the studio... Doug Riley on grand piano, Michael on vocal. "Mother Earth", an exquisite chestnut was also recorded live in the studio and given the big band treatment with backup singers, horns and the definitive three minute Pickett harp solo. And then there''s the beautiful and haunting original title track, "Conversation With The Blues" featuring a string quartet!
In the Spring of 2000, Michael revealed yet another layer of his seemingly endless reservoir of musical talents. His deep love of roots/blues music compelled him to pick up his Gibson guitar after a 30+ year hiatus. With focus and diligence, this musical transition transformed him into a formidable guitarist on the six-string, twelve-string, and National Steel Duolian. With exceptional award winning rack harmonica skills and remarkable vocals, he delivers performances that are charged with electricity and filled with passion, authenticity, substance, and a unique style. Whether putting his own spin on obscure tunes of legendary icons such as Robert Johnson, Sticks McGhee, Bukka White, Mississippi John Hurt or respectfully re-interpreting the music of Tom Waits, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, or showcasing his own extraordinary eclectic material, Michael reveals a profound understanding of where this music comes from and why it stands the test of time. He''s been known to share a story or two about some of the legends who have visited his life over the past three decades. It''s no small wonder that his audiences repeatedly respond with standing ovations and demands for an encore.
His career has included extensive recording, film, radio, and television credits. He has shared the stage with John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Koko Taylor, John Hammond, Sunnyland Slim, James Cotton, Tom Rush, T Graham Brown, Jeff Healey, Matt Minglewood, The Kentucky Headhunters and has opened for Taj Mahal, Muddy Waters, Son Seals, and James Cotton at venues ranging from Massey Hall to New York''s Village Gate.
"... his Dobro work on "Bad Love" is as restrained and tasteful as his harp playing is throughout."
(Downeast VFM RADIO, Croatia)
"What Is There To Say? What Is Left For Me To Say? When Somebody Plays Blue For 30 Years - There''s nothin'' to say - IT''S BETTER THAN OLD WINE AND MORE SHINY THAN GOLD He Is The Man and The Blues Together - He''s A Bluesman ! Fantastic Harp, Vocal Roars when Needed - Soulful When Needed - and Band Does Their Job Perfectly. No Time To Wait - Put It In CD Player AND BLOW YOURSELF AWAY WITH FINE BLUES FROM CANADA - FROM MICHAEL PICKETT!!!!!"
"Michael Pickett is a talented musician and an amazing artist who breathes a new life into the Blues by bringing it back with original energy and charisma. His style is very much his own..." (! ! ! ! !) out of five!
(Washington Blues Society, USA)
"... magic combination of distinctive but appealing vocals, above average talent on his instruments of choice - harmonica and resophonic guitar...." "What also makes this CD a "keeper" are the lyrics."
(Concerto Magazine, Austria)
***** (out of five!)
(Real Blues, Canada)
"... twelve mini-masterpieces that easily match all of the genious level gems of his first CD..." "I defy anyone anywhere in the world to not be amazed and moved by the talent, creativity, superb production and feeling contained in this recording."
(SOCAN Words & Music, Canada)
"... Pickett listens to the music in his head. And it has made him one of Canada''s most respected songwriters."
(Blues On Stage, USA)
"The CD begins the way Michael hits the stage and that''s smoking!"
"Conversation With The Blues... transcend[s] the urban blues idiom...."
(Performing Songwriter, USA)
"Occupying center stage is Pickett himself whose talents on harmonica (which he treats as an ensemble, rather than a solo instrument) and resophonic guitar shine throughout." "Pickett''s soulful voice serves as the perfect vehicle with which to convey his roots-oriented musings."
(Blues Revue, USA)
"Pickett quarterbacks his way to his favourite places, arriving at a diverse collection of cool, confident, satisfying grooves. His powerful delivery is as joyous as it is infectious. This conversation is an intoxicating one."
(Shirley Eikhard (singer/songwriter ''Something To Talk About'')
"The production is clean and edgy, singing soulful, and the songs are heartfelt and compelling."
(The Montreal Gazette, Canada)
**** "Michael Pickett ... singer, songwriter and harmonica player is in the front ranks of Canada''s top blues artists."
(The Toronto Star, Canada)
"Pickett mines the blues style repertoire with impressive brio."
(SEE Magazine, Canada)
"... Michael Pickett has delivered a real gem titled Conversation With The Blues..." "... not just one of the best Canadian blues albums of the year, it is one of THE best, period."
(The Nail, Canada)
"... is easily the best blues CD I''ll hear this year. This album contains way too many good songs to single any out..."
(Maple Blues, Canada)
".... a masterpiece."
"Michael Pickett is THE top harmonica player/singer that Canada has to offer..." "This is one of the top ten CDs that I have gotten this year [and] will meet and surpass all expectations, I promise!!!"
"The follow-up to Pickett''s Juno-nominated Blues Money, Conversation With The Blues is a smoldering collection of positively glowing sparks and embers. Definitely a front runner for this country''s blues recording of the year."
(Blues Bytes, USA)
"These songs could go on forever, you''d still be there bopping your head. All in all, an excellent showcase for a multi-talented musician."
(Blues On Stage, USA)
"... a masterpiece! Unquestionably one of the best blues/roots recordings of the year! Michael is blessed with a naturally sweet voice... flavoured with just the right amount of grit to add the requisite gravity to every phrase." "Despite stellar performances by all concerned, it''s the songs that come first. And what songs they are!" "... the title track is one of the best all-alone-at-the-end-of-the-night tunes I''ve ever heard."
"Conversation With The Blues engages you from the get go and draws you into the soulful and thoughtful world of a veteran Blues man who must now be acknowledged as one of Canada''s premier songwriters." "... a magnificient followup to 1998''s Juno-nominated (Best Roots/Blues album) debut disc Blues Money." "...this is grown-up, confident Blues. Mature stylings, subject matter and exquisitely crafted performances all blend to make each track a shining gem." "Looks like more awards are headed Pickett''s way with this one."