Felix Cabrera | For Green

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For Green

by Felix Cabrera

Blues based with rock, r and b, Cuban influences.
Genre: Blues: Electric Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Josephine
2:47 $0.99
2. Cold, Cold
6:28 $0.99
3. Self Argument In D Minor
4:44 $0.99
4. Animalism
5:15 $0.99
5. Un Moco Loco
4:20 $0.99
6. I Keep Forgettin'
5:08 $0.99
7. Please Crawl Out Your Window
3:53 $0.99
8. For Green
6:08 $0.99
9. She Put Him On A Diet
4:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Aug/Sept 2007

by Kay Corditz

The Felix Cabrera Blues Band – Murray Street Grill – New York City – May 4

Felix Cabrera can shout the blues and blow a mean harp. But the Cuban-born bandleader also has a knack for rolling with the punches. The day before this Friday night gig, Phil Butler, Cabrera’s bass player for the past 11 years, was injured in a car accident. Then Guitar ace Jimmy Vivino, a frequent and popular addition to the band, was called out of town with Conan O’Brien. But Cabrera was undeterred. He contacted bassist Ritt Henn, who played in his band twenty years ago and has filled in before. Fiery blues guitarist Jason Green, one of several local players who have rotated through Cabrera’s band, answered the call too. With longtime drummer Bill Schroeder and keyboardist Eddy Bishai, the subs rocked this small basement club and solidly showcased Cabrera’s Latin blues style.

The self-taught Cabrera, who left Cuba as a child and came to New York by way of Miami and Union City, NJ, calls Paul Butterfield his first influence. He saw the original Butterfield Blues Band at a New York City club in 1966 and almost always starts his show with their songs. “Driftin’ and Driftin’” featured Cabrera’s emotional vocals, crying guitar from Green and jazzy organ from Bishai. The band likes to stretch out and jam, and as they took turns riding the groove, the warm-up caught fire. The intensity on the bandstand continued to build until Cabrera took it down with a small hand gesture. Even with little or no rehearsal, he seemed to be in complete control.

They segued into “Born in Chicago,” which in Cabrera’s hands became “Born in Havana,” taking it fast and furious. They followed the Butterfield numbers with three songs from Cabrera’s 2004 CD For Green. The ballad “Cold Cold,” a fitting farewell to winter on this balmy night, slowed the pace, and led into a catchy and clever Cabrera original, “Self Argument in D Minor,” a tale of lost love to Latin beats with a lilting harp melody picked up by Bishai on the organ. Changing it up again, Cabrera was dancing from the first note of Henn’s funky bass riff announcing “Animalism.” Shouting, gesturing wildly, playing bongos, congas and unusual percussion instruments, he put his heart and soul into every note.

Cabrera kicked off the second set with Butterfield’s “Lovin’ Cup,” followed by Leiber And Stoller’s “I Keep Forgettin’,” pouring on more wrenching harmonica and heartbroken vocals. The whole band really cooked on “Got My Mojo Workin’.” but their leader kept raising the ante displaying his amazing energy and showmanship, screaming, mugging, prancing, only stopping long enough to blow a few hot bars. Let’s face it, Cabrera is a wild man, and it’s an integral part of his appeal.

All of the musicians in the band know a thing or two about showmanship. One of Cabrera’s early bands opened six shows for James Brown back in the 1980s. Green has toured with Big Jack Johnson and Schroeder once backed Louisiana Red. They know how to step up when the front man needs a breather but otherwise, they keep the groove going and just stay out of his way.

Another heartfelt Cabrera original, “She Told Me A Lie” from 2001’s Pressure Cooker, showed off Green’s dazzling guitar prowess, and Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” cooled things down a bit before the big blowout finale. Cabrera said the first R&B record he bought was Ray Charles’ “Hit The Road, Jack.” He ended the show with his own wild rendition featuring Bishai’s funky organ, showing how much excitement can be produced by an enthusiastic leader and a great semi-pickup band.

The DownBeat Blues Column by: Frank-John Hadley


Felix Cabrera: "For Green" Si Records: 3 and a half stars

Cuba-born singer and harmonica player Cabrera has steadily turned up the burner on a bright talent over the course of three decades on the New York City blues scene. His strong personality takes over the mostly original songs on this his third album, from the romping Chuck Berry spin-off "Josephine" to the anguished charmer "Self Argument In D Minor" to the affecting slow lament "For Green". Most every word Cabrera sings sounds part of an urgent, soul-searching confessional and, aside from Jerry Portnoy and Annie Raines, no one in the Northeast ushers a Chicago style harmonica into lyricism with such ease. Longtime compadre Arthur Neilson on guitar steps up and moves things along when the bandleaders voice falters, on Leiber & Stoller's "I'm Forgettin'."
Throughout the album, Cuban seasonings keep Cabrera's personalized brand of blues continually interesting.
Felix Cabrera releases his 4th recording titled "For Green"; offering a mixture of Blues with R & B, Rock and Latin grooves. The CD contains nine tracks - seven original songs plus one Bob Dylan track, "Please Crawl Out Your Window"; and one Leiber/Stoller track, "I Keep Forgettin'".

Cabrera, a Cuba-born Vocalist, Harmonicist and songwriter/arranger has been part of the NYC blues scene since the mid 1970's, as both leader of his own outfits, as well as working with local R & B, jazz and Cuban groups. Over the years Cabrera has shared the stage with such musical luminaries as James Brown, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, James Cotton, Big Joe Turner, Dr. John, Wilson Pickett, Bobby Blue Bland as well as backing up the likes of Victoria Spivey, Hubert Sumlin and Honeyboy Edwards.
Felix Cabrera

Sunday, July 25, 2004 (San Francisco Chronicle)
Neva Chonin, Joel Selvin, Aidin Vaziri

Most of the many dozens of blues albums released every year aren't worth
the powder to blow them up. Blues is simple, traditional music that
rewards personal expression but rarely gets any. Cuban-born harmonica ace
Felix Cabrera may be under the spell of Paul Butterfield (and that's not
all bad), but his feeling for the music is all the way there. The Cuban
touches are subtle -- a bass part here, a touch of clave and congas there
-- because Cabrera knows that a little goes a long way in the blues. With
his collaborator of 30 years, guitarist Arthur Neilson, Cabrera created a
modest treasure; a snappy, unpretentious blues record with a lot of grit,
grace and charm. -- Joel Selvin

Reviews of past CDs:

College Music Journal (CMJ) Review, 1989

Felix and the Havana's "Next!"; "Felix and the Havana's score with a fierce, blistering set of some of the best independent blues-inspired rock we've heard in ages."


College Music Journal (CMJ) Review, 1997

Felix Cabrera with Jimmy Vivino and the Black Italians ";CU-BOPS, CU-BLUES"; "A raw, street-side vibe pervades this rockin' rootsy, ragtag-but real amalgam of blues, bop, rock and latin sounds."

Blue Suede News Review, Jan. 2002

Felix Cabrera "Pressure Cooker"; "Pressure Cooker is an outstanding recording, with a pronounced rock and R & B thread running through it, not to mention a Latin influence that permeates much of Cabrera's work."



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My first exposure to Felix Cabrera. From the fiery Animalism to the souful Cold, Cold, I glad that I just happen to catch Felix on the radio. Felix needs more exposure to show the world his talent and unique sound.