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Blue Plate Special © | Can You Dig It !

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Can You Dig It !

by Blue Plate Special ©

"Best U.S. Blues-Rock CD of the Year" - Real Blues Magazine- 05/26/07 --Come On In My Kitchen 'Cause Dinner Is Served.
Genre: Blues: Rockin' Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hard Enuff
Blue Plate Special ©
3:20 $0.99
2. Can You Dig It
Blue Plate Special ©
4:07 $0.99
3. Workin' On Love
Blue Plate Special ©
4:39 $0.99
4. Rocket In Your Pocket
Blue Plate Special ©
4:17 $0.99
5. She's Got My Number
Blue Plate Special ©
4:26 $0.99
6. I Like It Like That
Blue Plate Special ©
4:09 $0.99
7. Right Now
Blue Plate Special ©
5:08 $0.99
8. Feel So Good
Blue Plate Special ©
4:03 $0.99
9. Luck Runs Out
Blue Plate Special ©
3:41 $0.99
10. Yer' Bad Behind
Blue Plate Special ©
2:47 $0.99
11. Baby's Been On My Mind
Blue Plate Special ©
3:08 $0.99
12. Don't Lose The Spirit
Blue Plate Special ©
3:32 $0.99
13. Have A Little Faith
Blue Plate Special ©
5:49 $0.99
14. Unchain My Heart
Blue Plate Special ©
5:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Hello and Welcome !! Our new website is www.bpsblues.com

As of 8/27/07 Blue Plate Special is featured in the cover story of "Blues Rocks the World" magazine from Paris, France. Go To www.bluesrocks.net for a free download of this Issue. We are proud to represent our Sweet Home Chicago and honored to have been chosen. Thank You!

We hope your a PASSIONATE fan of the Blues and that you're searching for Originality in the Blues Market. I'm not gonna be slick and try to bait you into picking up a copy of any of our CD's. I want to let the music speak for itself on this and all three of our CD's. You be the judge!!! Blue Plate Special has gotten great reviews like the one below from Real Blues Magazine. Do you know how hard/ and cool it is to get the blues press to acknowledge that a Blues Outfit can be authentic, original and rock? Blues Fans are diggin' this, Rock Stations are giving us air, Country fans are adding us. We're stoked!! Please Give Us a Listen! This new album is buried in here at CDBaby but you found us, Congratulations!!!


You Guys are a DREAM BAND !!!
Reviewer: Andy Grigg -- Music Editor/ Real Blues Magazine
I Listened to your CD Last night with total focus and I was blown away !! You guys are a DREAM BAND!!! Many attempt to fuse Blues and Rock but almost all fail...You guys have such an honest, urgent, raw, powerhouse sound that it literaly lifted me off my chair and had me yelling "Yeah !! That's It !! They've Got It!!". There are Good, Excellent and Hall of Fame Levels... You guys are in the Top 10%. We're putting you in our Top 100 CD's Chart!!

The ‘proof-is-in-the-pudding’ and the Sound quality is primo with totally clear-as-a-bell crispness and the mix on every single song is perfect. Blue Plate Special has been around for over 30 years and at one time included Studebaker John, who has since become major Chicago Blues figure. The band now is Ron Michaels (a.k.a. Ron Parizek) on vocals, bass and keyboards, Harry Binford on guitar and Kevin Johnston on drums. Binford is a wonderfully inventive and mature guitarist with an unending supply of sounds and tricks. Great tone too! Kevin Johnston already has a big rep. in Chicago as one of the finest young drummers on the circuit. But, the final winning ingredient is Michaels’ voice. Vocals are always, it seems, the weak link with Caucasian Blues bands, but Blue Plate Special has an Ace-up-their-sleeve with a singer who sounds like he comes from the Shreveport, Louisiana Club scene. Grit, and plenty of it, defines Michaels’ singing style and it’s a natural sounding (as opposed to forced and imitating) easy on the ears, roar that would be just right for the din of a crowded roadhouse. So, what these guys have done is meld very impressive individual talents together with a unique signature sound that could be described as Hard-Drivin’ Blues with a dose of nasty funkiness. (Just right for any Biker Bash in Sturgis!) In a perfect Music World, Blue Plate Special would be hailed as Exceptional and they’d be on the road 300-plus nights a year and Festival-Headliners. We can always hope that the Music Scene straightens itself out and starts embracing Talent and Soulfulness again, but in the meantime, the folks in Illinois are getting their Blues Rocked every weekend!
“Hard Enuff” opens this CD with a bang. Harry’s wah-wah is deadly and Ron really roars out the verses – any and all Guitar freaks will go ape-shit over this track and it’ll also grab your tush and have you dancing. “Can You Dig It” is proof of Michaels’ song-writing mastery and this should be a Hit on the Shag Market as ‘feets-can’t-stay-still’. It’s a Boogie a’ la Canned Heat, fused with hard-driving’ guitar work that proves beyond a doubt that Harry Binford is a monster in the mold of Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Stunning! “Workin’ On Love” is a slower, hip-grinding, wah-wah heavy number that one can picture strippers getting down with. This band is a Power House and they should be ruling both Rock and Blues scenes. “Rocket In Your Pocket” is another goodtime up-tempo dance floor crammer. Kevin Johnston is like a freight train on those drums. How often do you hear an album that’s a Blast to listen to? This is a riotous party from start to finish. I never heard their first 2 CDs but “Can You Dig It!!” is one of the finest discs I’ve heard in the last decade. “She’s Got My Number” is a Funk-Blues that shows off more of Harry’s wah-wah magic and Johnston even gives us a tasty little drum solo. Nice! Harry is also a master at laying down the perfect rhythm guitar tracks and I’m sure Don Griffin had some input in that respect, but perhaps Binford doesn’t even need advice? “I Like It Like That” is not the Chris Kenner tune, despite what it says on the jacket. It’s more of a hard-drivin’ straight-forward Blues featuring Mark Zelepugas on harp. It’s a raucous bar-room anthem with a jubilant chorus that definitely causes audience participation. “Don’t Lose The Spirit” is dedicated to the people of New Orleans and, of course, no one’s more connected to New Orleans in a Spiritual sense than Musicians the World over. “Have A Little Faith”, the John Hiatt masterpiece, is delivered in fine fashion with Michaels’ piano and organ work giving superlative texture on top of Johnston’s drumming. I hope John Hiatt has heard this version of his song. It’s heavenly. Well, every time I’ve listened to “Can You Dig It!!” I get more and more convinced that Blue Plate Special needs to be ranked in the TOP 5 of Blues and Rock bands in North America. Very, very few bands still have that so-important connection to what it’s supposed to be about. When I hear this album, it rekindles my fires and the belief that Music Has The Power To Change The World for The Better. 5 Big Bottles for a perfect example of what Blue Rock (or Hard-Rockin’ Blues…) should sound like. May this CD get to the ears of millions, and if anyone you know complains about the crap music of 2007, just play “Can You Dig It!!” for them.
…A. Grigg




"Can You Dig It" Placed in "The Top Ten Albums of 2006" by the OKLAHOMA GAZETTE --compiled by C.G. Niebank

(#1- The Phone Call, #2- Yer' Bad Behind, #3- Workin' On Love, #5- Tell The Truth, #8- Hard Enuff, #9- Luck Runs Out)

I Like It Like That, Hard Enuff and Feel So Good Off "Can You Dig It !"

"In a time when musical groups come and go as quickly as the rapid-fire images on MTV, three Chicago area men have stayed true to their blues roots for over thirty years."
"Blue Plate Special has grown older and wiser but what hasn't changed is their friendship, collaboration and passion for the Blues."
These two quotes, written by Darlene Ostrowski of the Glen Ellyn News and Lynn Van Matre of the Chicago Tribune respectively, acknowledge Blue Plate Special's long time devotion to the Blues.
This Chicago based trio's sheer enjoyment in performing together shines through in their intuitive abilities to play off each other. This leads to constantly evolving live versions of their original material.
Blue Plate Specials main influences from early on were artists Freddie King, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Willie Dixon, Albert King and Muddy Waters.

The three members of Blue Plate Special and their own personal histories are:
R.P. Michaels
Songwriter, vocals, bass and keyboards.
Reviewer Bob Gabrella of In The Mix magazine described R.P. as a performer who "wrings the gamut of emotion from a powerful set of vocal pipes and at the same time lays down a furious range of bass licks." Ed Ivey of Blues Review said "Michaels is a great singer with gruff roadhouse vocals." Outside of his work with Blue Plate, R.P. played as an on call bassist for Muddy Waters and also Sam Lay back in 1971-72. During this time, R.P. was aided by Muddy, Willie Dixon, Charlie Musselwhite, and Cary Baker which led to gigs (Peppers, High Chaparral, Kingston Mines) and other industry contacts. Muddy and Willie's biggest influence was to advise R.P. to continue with his original songwriting because of the positive attitude he conveyed. Bad things happen in life but the blues is here to pick us up and keep us strong!

Harry Binford on guitar:
In The Mix magazine said "Harry's searing guitar gouges at the bare walls for every last scrap of pain and heartache." Big City Blues calls his playing "Truly powerful Fender guitar." Harry has also done side work in the past, most noteworthy was with Lavelle White. Harry is everything you could want in a guitarist. Sonic Voodoo is what's happening here. He's influenced by the greats, but what comes out in his playing is always his own. I picked Harry to join forces with because He is powerful like Freddie King, He's ecclectic like Gatemouth Brown and He can be sweet and soulful like B.B.

Kevin Johnston on drums:
In The Mix said our drummer "kicks up a really crisp and solid boogie and plays with the utmost precision and class." Kevin was previously the drummer with Buddy Guys band. Kevin joined Blue Plate Special two years ago, and his ability to DRIVE this Mutha' fit right in with our jammin' blues style.
Can You Dig It! ... I knew that you could.


Album Notes:
Four years had passed since "The Blues Ain't Pretty" and Gary Maier, our original band partner and drummer, was retiring. Harry and I were fortunate to find Kevin Johnston (formerly with Buddy Guy), a great drummer I could totally lock in with, as it was all those years with Gary. Don Griffin, another well respected guitarist in Chicago, contacted me about his career change to Producer-Engineer at his company STUDIO VMR in Brookfield. Things seemed to be taking a new direction and we felt it was time to record again.
"Can You Dig It!"
The first song "Hard Enuff" is a hard driven musicians tune about tryin' your best and still comin' up short in someone's opinion. "Can You Dig It" has a great early Savoy Brown Boogie feel to it. I miss Chris Youlden, his top hat-mink coat-cigar and cool voice. "Workin' on Love" has a cool funk drive to it, some really explosive guitar from Harry and talks about how some folks don't put enough effort in when it comes to Love. "Rocket In You Pocket" is based on a cliche I heard from a bartender back in '78 when it seemed like every club we played was on Route 6 between Joliet,IL. and South Bend Ind. I love that Driving guitar figure over the thumping bass. "She's Got My Number" has what I call an Albert Collins feel to it and features Kevin. "I Like It Like That" is a Chris Kenner tune I heard Jimmy Vaughan do years ago. Later he recorded it much differently, we kept that roadhouse feel to it. "Right Now" is where I wanna be. We tried for a Magic Sam Maghet feel on this and rolled in some growling organ. "Feel so Good" was the first song we put together for this CD. We have an inside joke about Blue Plate music giving folks Happy Feet. We took a different approach here as an Organ trio to give it a Jazzy feel. "Dark clouds may roll, but that don't worry me--I got Happy Feet"!! This song should have made it into the Warner Bros. "Happy Feet" movie. I can just see the penguins dancing and singing along! "Luck Runs Out" is a heavy keyboard song with some scorchin' guitar. This song is about the "Humpty Dumpty" syndrome, nobody but you can put you back together again."Yer Bad Behind" is a funky little stomp with a message -- want you to heed it well, as Bob Hite of Canned Heat used to say. Some folks out there been "Suckin' up all the good vibes". "Baby's Been on My Mind" has a B.B. feel to it and is simply dedicated to the one I Love.My, My, My.
"Don't Lose the Spirit" was already musically finished and waiting for vocals when Katrina hit. I took a little time and came back with this dedication to the folks down in New Orleans. The Preacher says "Long is the struggle, Hard is the fight". Leave the politics out of it and bring back the spirit !! My prayers and wishes are with you." Have a Little Faith" is a great John Hiatt song that begged for a full band version, and fits so well after Spirit. "Unchain My Heart" what can I say--Ray was the man. The backup vocals here help to give it a Louis Prima tone. Who was Louis Prima? The man who rocked before rock learned to roll!! I hope you check this CD out, pick it up and Dig on it!!-------I knew you could !
R.P. Michaels ___

Check out our other 2 CD's available at CDBaby
The Blues Ain't Pretty
No Place To Fade
Both on Prime Entertainment Records (Independent)

When you purchase a Blue Plate Special CD you help us further our efforts to keep the blues alive. CD albums will still be enjoyable long after single song downloads are accidently erased and I-pods have gone the way of the 8-Track. We Thank you for your support!

So far as of 02/17/07 all 14 songs from Can You Dig It are being played on Radio worldwide.


Hats off to Andy Grigg of Real Blues magazine for the fantastic comments on this CD (at top of page) and the upcoming review in Real Blues (June-July/07 issue). Check out the magazine, they cover it all!

Thank You's Go Out To:
Clarence Stevens, John Bowles and KoKo Taylor at WGVE 88.7 fm South Chicago Radio for the airplay and great review (see below).
Paul Bondarovski at Midnight Special Blues Radio, DJ Smilstir at Blue Icewater Radio, Herm at ElectricBlues 56 &16 and Tom Edwards at Bluebird Radio For breaking this album to the World !! Your work helped us expand our Radio Footprint to encompass the list you see below!

(The following List of Top Shelf Radio Programs and Stations is regularly updated. Last Update on 02/17/07.)

Blue Plate Special would like to thank the following Radio Stations, On-Air Hosts and Shows for getting behind our music and spreading the word to the hearts and ears of Music Fans everywhere!

Syndicated AM and FM Radio Broadcasts:

"Rewind Show"..the Hits you grew up with... w/ Jimmy Jay
1Hr. Radio show heard round the world.

WORLDWIDE INTERNET (Live 365, Real, and others)
Midnight Special Blues Radio w/ Paul Bondarovski - Paris, France- Live 365--
ElectricBlues Radio 56 & 16 w/ Herm- Fla. USA- Live 365--
Blue Icewater Radio w/DJ Smilster- NH, USA- Live 365--
Bluebird Radio w/Tom Edwards- London, UK- Live 365--
Bandit Blues Radio-USA--
Midnight Blues- Utah, USA--
Tex-Mex Oldies Radio w/Carlos- Tx, USA--
Triad Radio Revisited w/Saul- Chicago,USA--
Rootstime Radio- Belgium--
Back Alley Blues Show- RadioAmerica-ITunes, w/ Richard Mulcahey--
Taproot Radio- Chapel Hill, NC. w/ Calvin Powers
N.A.R. Radio- Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Hound Dog Radio- Stone Mountain, GA.
Helsinki's Blues Cafe- Finland- w/ Geoff Barton
Rewind Show- Live 365- w/ Jimmy Jay

FM and AM Radio Stations
WBEZ 91.5fm- Chicago,IL. w/Sara Toulouse and Niles Franz--
WLUP 97.9fm- Chicago,IL." the Loop"w/ Erin Carmen--
WUIC Radio- Chicago,IL. w/ John Rose--
WDCB 90.9fm- Glen Ellyn, IL. w/Blues Edition- Greg Freerickson and Hambone's Blues Show--
WGVE 88.7fm- Gary, Ind.- The Blues You Can Use- w/ Clarence Stevens, KoKo Taylor and John Bowles-
WXRT 93.1fm- Chicago,IL. w/Tom Marker--
WNUR 89.3fm- Evanston, IL.
WRTB 95.3fm- bobfm-Rockford, IL. "Sunday Morning Blues" w/Rich Gordon
WGLT 89.1 fm- Normal, IL- GLT Blues w/Jon Norton
WGLT 103.5 fm- Peoria, IL.-w/ Jon Norton
WXPR 91.7fm- Rhinelander, Wi.
WXPW 91.9fm- WauSau, Wi.
WOJB 88.9fm- Hayward, Wi.
WYCE 88.1fm- Grand Rapids, Mi.
KJLU 88.9fm- Jefferson City,MO.--
WVPE 88.1fm- Elkhart, Ind. Blues Revue w/ Ol'Harv
WRSW 107.3fm- Warsaw,Ind.- The Blues Cafe w/Pat Gervais--
WTTS 92.3fm- Indianapolis, Ind.
WWOZ 90.7fm- New Orleans,LA.- w/ BIG D's Radio Program--

WRCT 88.3fm- Pittsburgh, PA.--
WNTI 91.9 fm- New Jersey, Rock-It Science Blues w/Greg--
WNJC 1360am- Philadelphia,PA.--
WBGO 88.3fm- Newark, NJ. w/ Michael Bourne
WFDU 89.1fm- Teaneck, NJ. w/ Bob Putignano's "Sounds of Blue"
WFUV 90.7 fm- Bronx, NY- Fordham University

KUNV 91.1fm- Las Vegas, NV. w/Nothin' But The Blues w/Brian (the Blues Dr.) Spencer--
KRVM 91.9fm- Eugene,OR. Breakfast with the Blues w/ Coffee Jack--
KEXP 90.3fm- Seattle,WA.

CKRLfm- Quebec, w/Michel Dobois--
CKOD 103fm- Montreal, w/Benoit on "Passion Blues"

Murphy's Saloon- Edmond,OK. w/ Murph
Taproot Radio- Chapel Hill, NC. w/ Calvin Powers

Baker Street Radio- France-on Radio Menergy w/ Xavier
Radio Mon Pais 90.1fm- "Tout Le Monde Aime de Blues" w/GG Bluz
Radio Canal Bleu FM- France w/Serge

AUSTRALIA and New Zealand-
101 FM- Queensland- Railway Blues w/Steve Morgan
101 FM- Queensland- Honky Tonk Blues w/ Henry Prokop
2MBS FM- NSW- w/Austin Harrison
2RDJ 88.1fm- NSW-
2RRR 88.5 fm- NSW- w/Mark Ryding
3 Way FM 103.7fm- Victoria- w/ Garry Dalton
5BBB 89.1fm- S. Australia- w/ Tess Coleman
Twin Cities 89.7fm- WA- w/ Derek Cromb
Bay FM 99.9fm- NSW- w/the Honeydripper
HOT FM 106fm- Victoria- w/ Tecka's Tracks
Rod Niemeier Show- FM
Spirit FM 92.3fm- NSW- w/ Wendy Rudin
The Sound Lounge w/ Fast Eddie
The Studio FM 107.4fm- New Zealand- w/Mike Butler

Blue Plate Special-- Can You Dig It !

Recorded at: Studio VMR- Brookfield,IL.
Engineered by : Don Griffin
for Vital Music Recording
Produced by: Don Griffin & R.P. Michaels


Club owners and Booking Agents interested in bringing Blue Plate Special to your area ,go to www.sonicbids.com/BluePlateSpecial for a printable EPK



to write a review

Midnight Special Blues Radio /Paul Bondarovski

Blue Plate Special is Delicious!!!
New Opinion on Can You Dig It 1/31/06
Midnight Special Blues Radio - LIVE365
"I hate the words like "great" or "awful" - too used ... Your album is the most delicious blues record I've heard in at least about a year! Valid for each and every track." - Paul Bondarovski

John Bowles / the Blues You Can Use-- Radio Show

Hell Yeah !!
This is guitar driven Blues served up just right! Had our phone lines tied up for hours when we played tracks off this LP. Ron Michaels snarling vocals rips into each track and tells you how it is... and Harry Binfords smokin' guitar work treats you right throughout the disc. All this and these guys come from Chicagoland ! All I can say is "Can You Dig It"....Hell Yeah !!!...and I'll do it again too !!-----The Blues You Can Use- WGVE 88.7 fm, Gary, Indiana-- Clarence Stevens, John Bowles and KoKo Taylor streaming at blueswebradio.com


This CD will jump start any party!
From start to finish this CD will jump start any party! You'll certainly have "happy feet" after listening to this one. Buy this CD so you can dig it too.

Andy Grigg -- Music Editor/ Real Blues Magazine

You Guys are a DREAM BAND !!!
I Listened to your CD Last night with total focus and I was blown away !! You guys are a DREAM BAND!!! Many attempt to fuse Blues and Rock but almost all fail...You guys have such an honest, urgent, raw, powerhouse sound that it literaly lifted me off my chair and had me yelling "Yeah !! That's It !! They've Got It!!". There are Good, Excellent and Hall of Fame Levels... You guys are in the Top 10%. We're putting you in our Top 100 CD's Chart!!

Andy Grigg -- Music Editor/ Real Blues Magazine

You Guys are a DREAM BAND !!!
I Listened to your CD Last night with total focus and I was blown away !! You guys are a DREAM BAND!!! Many attempt to fuse Blues and Rock but almost all fail...You guys have such an honest, urgent, raw, powerhouse sound that it literaly lifted me off my chair and had me yelling "Yeah !! That's It !! They've Got It!!". There are Good, Excellent and Hall of Fame Levels... You guys are in the Top 10%. We're putting you in our Top 100 CD's Chart!!

Keith Kessler

It'll blow you away!!!!
When listening to this I could hear everything from ZZ TOPP to Robin Trower.This cd is loaded with great tracks from start to finish.Highly recommend it.

Mike Butler host of "Blues For Hippies" Studio FM - New Zealand

Romping and Stomping Blues !!
This is a romping stomping blues rock output with strong gutbucket vocals a powerhouse
rhythm section and lead guitar that invokes comparison to the three kings (Freddy, Albert & B.B)
plus at times having flavours of Hendrix...a strong mix for sure..!!

Mike Butler

producer & host, "Blues for Hippies"
The Studio Fm (NZ).