The Carl Sonny Leyland Trio Meets Nathan James and Ben Hernandez | The Carl Sonny Leyland Trio Meets Nathan James and Ben Hernandez

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The Carl Sonny Leyland Trio Meets Nathan James and Ben Hernandez

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United States - California

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Moods: Featuring Piano
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The Carl Sonny Leyland Trio Meets Nathan James and Ben Hernandez

by The Carl Sonny Leyland Trio Meets Nathan James and Ben Hernandez

Good time boogie woogie piano trio meets down home torch bearing duo to take over the world..
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. 515 Miles
2:58 album only
2. Don't Know What You Did
3:46 album only
3. Take a Girl Like You
3:12 album only
4. Sweet Little Woman
4:15 album only
5. Hooray Hooray (These Women is Killing Me)
4:02 album only
6. City Blues
2:44 album only
7. Early Tuesday Mornin'
3:50 album only
8. Run Me Ragged
4:37 album only
9. Worn Out Wagon
3:06 album only
10. Make Your Own Mind
4:34 album only
11. Wonderful Time
3:34 album only
12. Black Rattler
3:59 album only
13. One Thing I Don't Understand
3:31 album only
14. Oh Red
2:42 album only
15. Sending Up My Timber
4:37 album only
16. The Prisoner's Song
3:41 album only
17. Mystery Train
4:45 album only
18. Nightmare Blues
4:08 album only
19. Jumpin at The Jamboree
5:25 album only


Album Notes
This is the collaboration of two groups with a similar musical approach, and vision. Carl Sonny Leyland has been a master of traditional blues, boogie woogie, and ragtime piano for many years. He has worked with and been the member of many stellar bands the world over including: Big Sandy and His Flyright Boys, Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets, and many others. Since living in Southern California, Carl has worked with several blues bands including James Harman where he met guitarist Nathan James. They have also recorded and toured together with the Jamie Wood band. During this time Carl and Nathan have talked about wanting to record and album together featuring Nathan's Duo partner Ben Hernandez, and Carl's trio w/ Marty Eggers on bass and Hal Smith on Drums.

Back of Cd liner notes:

Since I started playing blues, about 27 years ago, I have been an admirer of the recordings made for RCA Bluebird between 1935 -1953.
Artists such as Jazz Gillum, Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red, Washboard Sam, the first Sonny Boy Williamson & the fine musicians that accompanied them have remained a prime influence in my music to this day.
Unfortunately this style of blues is generally overlooked, not to mention maligned, by the many devotees of the electric era that followed.
Figuring I was in an army of one I had long since given up on the idea of meeting like minded players. Enter Nathan James & Ben Hernandez. Here finally were two young cats that were actually playing the kind of blues that I liked & playing it right.
The idea of collaboration between Nathan & Ben & my trio was an obvious one. The authentic rhythms of drummer Hal Smith & bassist Marty Eggers would be the perfect foundation for the style we wished to create.
Recorded at home by Nathan James the results are everything we had intended.
Here are the authentic sounds of 1930s, 40s & early 50s blues, plus a couple of excursions outside of those genres, presented with some new tunes & a fresh approach.
-Carl Sonny Leyland



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Nathan James and Ben Hernandez have a raw, authentic sound. Coupled with The Carl Sonny Leyland Trio's ragtime and boogie woogie styling the two groups deliver an exciting and energizing album.


Love 'em!
Ben Hernandez is awesome, and Nathan James is almost as awesome. I saw them twice just before Ben moved out of state and absolutely loved their stuff. Ben is just a plain-out natural musician -- fantastic voice, and sings like he was the creator of the type of music they do. Both are tremendous musicians with a great sense of professionalism, timing, dynamics, etc., etc., and both seem to be the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. They have a huge following of loving fans, and I certainly can see why. Ben will be hugely missed in San Diego, and we're hoping he'll return frequently to play with Nathan and the rest of us who love his performances. And of course Sonny Leyland is one of the best boogie keyboardists I've ever heard, and I play keyboards!

Roger Gatchet, KVRX Austin

A beautiful recording of classic, old-timey 1930s blues.
Sonny LeyLand is an old-timey boogie woogie pianist who grew up on the sounds of early piano pioneers Otis Spann and Roosevelt Sykes while growing up in Southampton, England. He migrated to New Orleans and later California, where he met up with one of the country’s premier country blues duos, Nathan James (guitar) and Ben Hernandez (harmonica, kazoo). The meeting of these three ambassadors of old-timey blues is a dream come true, and here they’ll take you back to a time when records were cut on wax and folks played bass on gut-bucket wash tubs. Hernandez’s vocal work is nothing short of stunning, and his harp playing evokes the spirit of Sonny Terry and Hammie Nixon. One of my favorite cuts is the Hernandez original “Run Me Ragged” (8), complete with a tuba-bumping bass line and kazoo solo. The boys throw down a classy ragtime number on the old school “Wonderful Time” (11), and Nathan James plays some inspired guitar on the eerie, moody “Black Rattler” (11).

Brett Morris

Young, fresh talent playing truly authentic music
Nathan James and Ben Hernandez are my favorite discovery of the past few years. I happened upon them at the Portland Blues Festival in my travels. Out of hundreds of veteran, famous acts I saw that day, these two absolutely blown away the most. I never thought I'd find guys my age that truly appreciated, and loved playing rural blues like I do. We're talking REAL, old blues here. Forget anything after 1950. Electric blues is wonderful in its own right, but I've always preferred the raw, country blues and folk fingerpicking, acoustic style like Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson, etc as well as the other early century black styles that surrounded it. As stripped down as it is, I find it much more musically advanced and emotionally powerful. Country blues guitar is one of the coolest in history, in my opinion. Well, Nathan James is a true master at it, and Ben Hernandez's voice, harp and percussion is just perfect. Both of their voices are great. You don't believe the sounds coming out of these young, otherwise normal looking dudes. It's refreshing, they know just when to turn on the technique and when to be simple, the kind of wise nuance you're only used to hearing from old black veterans of the genre, not the usual over-embellished showiness of younger artists these days.

This CD isn't quite the core of what that duo does, as far as I can see it, but it's just as good. It's a fantastic mix of country blues and ragtime, boogie woogie style piano. Hearing them with a full band is jaw-dropping. I love that they stick to the largely forgotten, criminally underexposed eras of this foundational music.