John Stephan Band | 99 Degrees

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United States - Washington

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Blues: Electric Blues Blues: Funky Blues Moods: Featuring Guitar
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99 Degrees

by John Stephan Band

Original Blues w/funk and rock flavor. Strong songwriting style. Electric blues guitar, strong slide guitar. solid grooves
Genre: Blues: Electric Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Ride Two Horses
3:12 $0.99
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2. Restless
4:13 $0.99
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3. Fat Tuesday Blues
4:01 $0.99
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4. Spoonful
4:27 $0.99
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5. Bobby's Rock
3:55 $0.99
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6. Nothing Wrong With Love
3:29 $0.99
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7. Red Light Green Light
2:32 $0.99
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8. Big House
5:32 $0.99
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9. Call My Job
3:46 $0.99
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10. Peace In The Northwest
4:11 $0.99
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11. Tom's place
3:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes

The John Stephan Band plays original, contemporary, and traditional blues; featuring dynamic vocals, guitar, keyboards, and a very danceable rhythm section. Formed in 2000, the group has become a regular on the Seattle area blues scene; delivering fresh material and a crowd - pleasing show. The group released it's debut album, 99 Degrees, in 2002, which is featured on many NW radio stations.

John Stephan performs vocals and guitar, as well as writing most of the group's original material. A regular on the Seattle blues circuit since the mid- 1970's, he has worked extensively with Albert Collins, Isaac Scott, and JB Hutto, as well as many of the greatest names in Seattle blues. Stephan recently recorded an album in Berkeley, Ca, with former Alaskan friends, John Lee ,Seattle vocalist and bassist ,and John "Johnny Nocturne" Firmin, Bay Area Saxophonist, as The 3 J's (Blue Bucket Records).

Tom Roesch, bassist for The John Stephan Band, is the prime mover for the rhythm section; and also provides much direction for promotion and booking; as well as some songwriting. As quoted by Diane Wells, Canadian music critic, " Tom keeps things tight". Andrew Larsen, well known Seattle keyboardist, currently holds that position in the group. Stuart Nyren and Kevin Cook alternately provide the great drumming the band is known for. Contact John @ (206) 244-0498 or Tom @ (425) 744-9776 for booking. e-mail: jvstephan@msn.com or website: johnstephanband.com for calendar. Order the CD,"99 Degrees" online @ CD Baby.com or CD Street.com.

Excerpts from quotes: " The group plays a funky blend of blues" Jon Kertzer, Gov. of NW Chapter of The National Academy of Recording Arts. " These guys drive the blues hard and truly lift you up with John's grinding slide and gritty guitar work, a tight rhythm section and cool organ grooves", Washington Blues Society, live review. " John Stephan leaves us wanting more of that delicious slide guitar work; I've been a longtime fan of electric/ slide guitarist, composer, John Stephan" Diane Wells, Canadian music critic. "Stephan's cd, "99 Degrees", moves from brooding sounds to guitar ripping licks and even brings in some swinging jazz influences. John Stephan is one of the mainstays of our music scene, and has pushed a rooted sound forward. His music is very accessible, has the crowd moving, and is rooted in NW blues traditions. His lead and slide work is legendary." Chris Linn, Festivals Directory.

On his slide guitar, John says" It's a Lindell, made by Teisco. I call it "40 Dollar", since that's what it cost new, but I got it for free in 1975". Washington Blues Society interview with John "Johnny Broomdust" Widell. " I started playing when I was 8 years old, and was playing gigs at 14 in my hometown of Palmer, Alaska, and nearby Anchorage. I have had a never ending drive to express myself all my life; and have had the good fortune of working and recording with Albert Collins, Isaac Scott, JB Hutto, Paul Green, Mike Lynch, Dick Powell, Little Bill, and Afro-Pop group Je Ka Jo. My early influences were Lead Belly, Charley Patton. Louis Armstrong, Howling Wolf, Elmore James, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan."Elmore James, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan."

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Reviews


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Diane Wells

Original blues tracks paying homage to legends of the genre.
99 Degrees – John Stephan Band

“Ride Two Horses" (with mix-master/engineer Jeff "Captain Sound" Taylor adding fullness on back-up vocals) and "Restless" (containing the clue to the CD title), start off this collection of mostly original blues tracks from Seattle singer-songwriter-slide guitarist John Stephan. These two laid-back songs would have fit right in on the B.B. King/Eric Clapton collaboration, "Ridin’ With the King".

John's vocals actually have a similar pitch and vibrato to B.B. King's as well as that of Canadian guitarist Buzz Upshaw, which is quite evident on the slow blues "Fat Tuesday [a.k.a. Mardi Gras] Blues". John's keening slide guitar style and Dan's furious keyboards complement each other perfectly on this lyrically insightful song in particular, which addresses one town's determination to overcome the deviant forces of nature and mankind.

His solid team of players consists of Danny ("Pianny") Sturner on keyboards (piano, C-3 and Rhodes organs) and vocals, Tom Roesch, on bass and vocals and Stuart Nyren on drums. The only non-originals are the classic "Spoonful" (credited here to Willie Dixon, but attributed to Howlin' Wolf by other artists), an instrumental "Bobby's Rock" (Elmore James) and "Call My Job" ("Detroit" Emery Williams Jr.).

"Nothing Wrong With Love" didn't really appeal to me, in its lounge-jazziness, but fans of the genre would appreciate the assistance of Keith Lowe on bass and Mike Stone on drums, certainly for the diversity in style alone.

Notable tracks are "Red Light Green Light" and "Big House". The former is an explosive instrumental collaboration among the quartet, which also features Paul Green on harmonica and gives Stuart and Tom the opportunity to fully demonstrate their percussive and rhythmic talents. The latter is a slow blues whose melody called to mind Robert Cray's "I Wonder". Lyrics dealing with prison blues tend to be somewhat predictable, but at the same time, anyone who has ever had the misfortune to end up in one could definitely relate to the sentiments expressed. It's also a song about not appreciating what one has until it's gone.

The surprise entry is "Peace in the Northwest", featuring Drew Warren (a.k.a. M.C. Insane) on an intriguing rap-funk-blues fusion which somehow reminded me of Blondie's "Rapture". It also features John Marshall on harmonica and "Rustic" Dave Cameron on wah-wah guitar.

John Stephan leaves us wanting more of that delicious slide guitar work on the instrumentally rootsy CD closer, "Tom's Place”.
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