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The Lucky Losers | A Winning Hand

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Instagram Soundcloud The Lucky Losers Official Website Twitter Amazon Bandpage Cathy Lemons Facebook Page RDIO Spotify itunes Phil Berkowitz Facebook Page

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United States - California

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Blues: Electric Blues Rock: 60's Rock Moods: Type: Vocal
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A Winning Hand

by The Lucky Losers

Male/Female blues and roots duets!. A vocally rich, harp infused, eclectic album with highly personalized covers of rare classics plus originals. A beautifully crafted gem from Kid Andersen's Greaseland--the West Coast Chess Records of today.
Genre: Blues: Electric Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Change in the Weather
4:22 $0.99
2. I Take What I Want
4:21 $0.99
3. What Have I Done
3:51 $0.99
4. A Winning Hand
6:57 album only
5. Suicide By Love
4:30 $0.99
6. What Was It You Wanted
5:03 $0.99
7. What Is Success
4:52 $0.99
8. Long Hard Road
4:55 $0.99
9. Baby You Got What It Takes
3:22 $0.99
10. Cry No More
4:08 $0.99
11. Detroit City Man
5:30 $0.99
12. Don’t You Lose It
5:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz, as the Lucky Losers, take a modern approach to classic blues and R&B songs and combine compelling originals with rarely recorded covers. The outstanding “A Winning Hand,” produced by Kid Andersen, includes guest artists such as Steve Freund, 2015 International Blues Challenge Best Guitarist winner Ben Rice, and Andersen himself. Far from a simple case of two solo acts teaming up for a combined effort, “A Winning Hand” is a 'duets' album in the truest sense, with a give and take that allows each artist to draw out the best in the other. As Cathy pushes toward earthiness and grit, Phil pulls toward sophistication and tradition, creating a mild tension that keeps the listener focused on the ongoing dialogue between the two. The gentle back-and-forth brings the storyline of each song to the forefront.

The album's wide range of influences include Chicago and Texas blues, Stax/Volt-styled soul, blues rock, jazz, and New Orleans funk. Of its twelve tracks, half are originals: three by Cathy, and three by Phil and collaborator Danny Caron. The remaining six are a mix of older blues and roots songs ranging from Allen Toussaint's incisive "What Is Success" to Jimmy Rogers' meat-and-potatoes "What Have I Done" and even a funk-laced jaunt through the late period Dylan masterpiece "What Was It You Wanted."

CATHY LEMONS is a blues-singing legend who has performed regularly in the Bay Area for 25 years. She has been described as “the finest light-skinned female blues vocalist in the U.S.” (Real Blues, 2010) with "a velvety and hypnotic voice resonant of a female Howlin’ Wolf” (Fulltimeblues, 2010). Hailing from Dallas, Cathy honed her chops with Anson Funderburgh, performed with Stevie Ray Vaughan, and has worked with some of the greatest names in blues, including John Lee Hooker, Tommy Castro, and Ron Thompson." " Her 2014 release “Black Crow” on Vizztone was a Downbeat magazine “Winners' Pick.”

PHIL BERKOWITZ is a charismatic San Francisco-based harmonica player and vocalist who has brought his unique, energetic music to audiences for more than 17 years. He has mastered many different types of blues, a fact that's exemplified by his diverse repertoire. Phil’s last two CDs, “Louis’ Blues” and “All Night Party,” were met with critical praise. He has toured, performed, and recorded with a variety of top blues and jazz musicians such as Danny Caron (Charles Brown's musical director), Duke Robillard, Sean Carney, and Billy Branch.

1. “A Winning Hand” / West Tone Records/ June 2015

“An old school soul explosion!”
Elwood’s Bluesbreakers/TheBluesmobile, July 30 2015

2. "In Any Town" / Dirty Cat Records / July 2016

“A throwback to the hybrid of soul, blues, rock, gospel, and country that emerged in the late 1960’s … impassioned vocals …electrifying interplay… powerful harmonica… dramatic, heavy blues rock…. such a compelling listen… haunting soulful….Roots music listeners who take a chance on the Lucky losers will surely hit the jackpot.”

Living Blues, Robert H. Cataliotti, Oct/Nov 2016, Issue 245

3. "Blind Spot"/ Dirty Cat Records/ May 2018

“The Bay Area has known many top-notch bands over the years and this outfit is no exception. The real selling point is how well these two relate to each other musically, and how tunefully they play off each other’s strengths. Whether solo vocals backed by the other, or duets, they are a match made in heaven. Like Cathy’s (if Tina Turner and Bonnie Raitt had a baby) soulful solo on “Take the Long Road” backed by Phil’s tasty harp, or Phil’s blues radio hit “Alligator Baptism”, a vintage Fabulous Thunderbirds meets Curtis Mayfield romp with Cathy helping out on the chorus, they each more than hold their own. But when they get together on tunes like “Make A Right Turn” it’s Dan Hick’s and the Hot Licks time… a main stream hit for sure. This is the high point of the album…. ‘Blind Spot’ is the modern-day blues album.”

—Blues Blast Magazine, Steve Gabe, August 9, 2018



to write a review


Great vocals on this album from start to finish--and great songs!
This is one cool album and the vocals are wonderful! Great musicians abound but the voices reign supreme. I love the songs "A Winning Hand," "Change in the Weather" and "What is Success" the best! But every songs is great!


Lucky Loser Love!
Well a release worth the wait! I am so impressed by the natural coupling of vocals. Hopefully this is the first of many recording compilations coming.

Sheila Lemons

It's All Good
It's all good on this CD. I tried to pick a favorite - I do love "Cry No More" because the vocals sounds so great - but actually I can't stop listening to the whole CD. If you love the blues, you will love this CD. EXCELLENT!


A Winning Hand is a winner!
This album is the complete package -- great musicianship, energetic vocals, and soulful, authentic lyrics that tell a story. Each track, whether a cover of a classic or original composition, offers something special. A fine addition to the blues and roots music scene by Lemons and Berkowitz.

Soul Man

Excellent Piece Of Work
This is much better than most other Blues/Roots recordings out there. Top-level musicianship, great original songs, loads of energy and spirit! Each song is varied and interesting from start to finish…you can tell that Cathy and Phil have real soulful stories to tell…there is a definitive message in these songs that most people should be able to relate to. An excellent creative effort from The Lucky Losers!