Nightfire, Harvey Mandel, Freddie Roulette, Norton Buffalo & Pete Sears | Nightfire

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Blues: Chicago Style Rock: Psychedelic Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Nightfire, Harvey Mandel, Freddie Roulette, Norton Buffalo & Pete Sears

A "gem", per Blues Revue. Jazz, blues, rock, and funk, by lap steel and psychedelic guitar masters. Guests include Roy Rogers, Norton Buffalo, Henry Kaiser, and alumni of Santana, Jefferson Starship, Sly and the Family Stone, and the Rolling Stones.
Genre: Blues: Chicago Style
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Small Town Talk
6:52 $0.99
2. It's Getting Harder
4:05 $0.99
3. FreeFlow
4:29 $0.99
4. Baby Batter
4:46 $0.99
5. Bad Luck Situation
6:03 $0.99
6. Believe in Yourself
5:09 $0.99
7. NightFire
4:50 $0.99
8. Lost in Time
4:54 $0.99
9. Touch of Green
5:10 $0.99
10. Spider Web
5:02 $0.99
11. Guest House
6:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Psychedelic guitar great Harvey Mandel and lap steel guitar legend Freddie Roulette, both with roots in the Chicago Blues, reunite here for the first time in over 30 years! Harvey Mandel's credits include Canned Heat, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, The Ventures, and The Rolling Stones ("Black and Blue" album); Freddie Roulette, often called "the greatest lap steel guitarist in the world", has blended his ethereal sound with those of John Lee Hooker, Earl Hooker, and Charlie Musselwhite.

This album ranges from Psychedelic Rock to Chicago Style Blues, with a little jazz and a little funk thrown in. It is balanced between instrumental and vocal. The last track, Guest House, includes guest artists Roy Rogers, Norton Buffalo, and Henry Kaiser. Former Jefferson Starship keyboardist Pete Sears lends his magic to three tracks (4,9,11); other tracks include Santana's Michael Carabello on conga (1,7) and Jose Najera on conga and percussion (3,4,10), and former Sly and the Family Stone drummer Greg Errico (2), who also appeared on Santana's "Abraxas" album.

Appearing on every track is the San Francisco Bay Area band NightFire, which, in addition to Harvey Mandel and Freddie Roulette, includes veteran musicians Michael Borbridge on drums, Eugene Huggins on harmonica and vocals, and Michael Warren (formerly with Merl Saunders and The Rainforest Band) on bass.

Other guest artists on this album are Rikki Gordon and Sonny Reece on vocals, and Rob Pool, Liam Hanrahan, and Steve Evans on bass.

There's something for everyone here!

Producer: Harvey Mandel
Executive Producers: Michael Borbridge, Patricia Wong



to write a review


A fascinating compilation of songs that only work through the genius of Mr
As a 30 + year fan of Harvey Mandel, I find the NIGHTFIRE disc a fascinating compilation of songs that only through the genius of Mandel -- could this be brought off successfully. While Warren's bass could use a little more life and Roulette's lap steel could show a little less hesitancy on some songs -- I feel that as NIGHTFIRE jells closer -- only higher peaks are in their future.

Ray Hann

Harvey Mandel still making the best guitar sound ever
Another great CD from the ultimate king of guitars - touch of green was one of the best tracks I have ever heard.

John Ivey

Being a long-time fan of Harvey Mandel, I will buy just about anything that he plays on and Nightfire is no exception. This is one smoking little band. The album is all over the place stylistically, however, that does not detract from its overall quality. I really enjoyed the album and hope that these guys make it out to Colorado some day.

Blues Art Studio Journal (Maria Bainer)

superlative lap steel guitar playing...abstract, ethereal, Eastern-sounding inst performers, like lap steel guitarist, Freddie Roulette and guitarist, Harvey Mandel, and a lot of guest artists. CD has a few vocals sung by harpist, Eugene Huggins and a lot of abstract, ethereal, Eastern-sounding instrumentals. Music is not very blues related and is almost in a category by itself. Highlight songs are “Small Town Talk,” and “Guest House,” which are easier to identify with. Freddie Roulette adds a lot of mellow, spacey dimensions to album with his superlative lap steel guitar playing.

Blues Revue Magazine, April/May 2004 -- Eric Thom

look a little closer at this self-released gem...a taste well worth acquiring
Anyone searching to round out the "lush guitar tone" section of their music collection should look a little closer at this self-released gem. Harvey Mandel is known to most who idolize that relatively small league of "guitar players' guitar players." His jazz-informed blues-rock has been tagged "psychedelic" in some circles, but a more apt description of Mandel might be "musical explorer," as evidenced by his imaginative body of work.
Here, the 58-year-old, Detroit-born, Chicago-weaned Mandel teams with legendary lap steel guitarist Freddie Roulette. They're joined by Bay-area buddies Michael Borbridge (drums), Eugene Huggins (harp and vocals), and Michael Warren (bass), along with guests such as Pete Sears (keyboards), Roy Rogers (slide guitar), and Norton Buffalo (harp). The combined musical influences harnessed here cover a lot of stylistic ground (Santana, Bob Weir, Earl Hooker, and Elvin Bishop, to name a few) and the resulting musical palette is a broad one. At its core, however, are Mandel's otherworldly guitar tone and Roulette's Hawaiian slack-key-schooled blues. The combination remains inspired across such tracks as "Small Town Talk," "Lost in Time," and the achingly beautiful "Touch of Green."
The percussive "FreeFlow" and a brilliant revisiting of Mandel's "Baby Batter" are instrumentals that mine a deeply rooted guitar groove. The heavily Hawaiian-sounding "Small Town Talk" benefits from the relaxed vocals and complementary harp playing of Huggins, who also plays a pivotal role in the soulful, neo-political "It's Getting Harder." Things take on Dead-like proportions with the lazy-paced, drug-addled "Bad Luck Situation," where Sonny Reece turns in a surprisingly John Lennon-like vocal. The title track seems oddly out of place in its funky, sampled, Soul Train treatment that, due to the vocals of Rikki Gordon, sounds not unlike a Prince outtake. "Spider Web" blends elements of space jazz and funk, and the finale, "Guest House," blows out the seams with Sears, Buffalo, Rogers, and Henry Kaiser contributing to a jazz-fueled club party. There are a few missteps, but on the strength of Mandel's guitar and Roulette's pedal steel, NightFire comes across as a taste well worth acquiring.

Harold K

Brilliant, timeless
Brilliant! That's the best word I can come up with to describe this CD. Here's the deal. You start
with a rock solid rhythm section featuring Michael Warren on bass and Michael Borbridge on drums.
This gives Harvey Mandel and Freddie Roulette the foundation and the elbow room they need to do
some truly stellar guitar and lap steel work. On top of that you add the soulful lyrics and precision
harmonica playing of Eugene Huggins. Then, since variety is the spice of life, there are from one to
three out of a dozen guest musicians appearing on each of the eleven tracks, and I'm talking about
rock and roll royalty here. The net result is a CD where each song sounds fresh and different while
maintaining the integrity of the band's core sound. Another important point is that the songs are all well written and
tastefully arranged. There are no bad ones here and nothing is overdone. In fact, I have listened to this
CD over a dozen times now and I have yet to skip a track in order to hear the next one. I can't get
tired of it either.There seems to be a timeless quality to this disc that makes it get better every time I
hear it. These guys obviously worked their tails off on this thing and they came up with a real keeper.
It doesn't seem to matter if I'm partying, on a long drive, or just looking for good background music, I
can't think of any occasion when this CD wouldn't be a good choice of listening material.

Jim H

This a fantastic C.D. every track is great don't miss this one!
There is no mistaking the style of Harvey Mandel, this band is really tight. Every track on this C.D. gets you moving. Saw the band live Fri. Sept.5 unbeliveable. They were as tight live as they are on the C.D. Don't miss the chance to hear the legendary Harvey Mandel and Freddy Roulette on this album! Lots of great guest musicians on this C.D. you will love it!

James Huber

Truely Great!!
This C.D. is a classic already. The unmistakeable sound of Harvey Mandel. I think Harvey and Freddy have gotten better with age. Don't miss this one!!


I wish these guys would tour!
This is the band that Mandel really gets to show his stuff with; "Super-Tone", ultra-modern guitar,(although He's been doing since the mid-sixties!), along with the, (slide), guitarist that he interacts best with : Freddy Roulette. Hopefully the notice that the 'Chicago Blues Allstars' is getting lately will allow Harvey to go out with this band soon, because the CBA just don't do it for me, and these guys definitely do!