e) suitcase johnnie: cadillac
|a) Crazy About a Cadillac||Here are the free newly (2016) released Suitcase Johnnie downloads all mastered and ready for your listening pleasure. This venture in time is titled “Crazy About a Cadillac" and stars Dennis Roger Reed and Marty “Cadillac” McPhee as the lead conspirators. It also co-stars the usual suspects such as Phil Hawkins, Don Reed, Tim Horrigan, Steve Zoerner, Mike Dowling, and Carolyn Miller. For a physical CD…. Look for one at your favorite online shopping spot or hit us up.
Special thanks to Barry Wood @ “The Other Room” for his mastering and David Imlay for his Cadillac rendition artwork.|
**A BIG special thanks (as always) goes out to Waverly Reed for her brilliant graphic artistic talents! Enjoy!
|b) CD itself||Artwork|
|b) Inside cover||with liner notes|
|b) Original cover||with liner notes|
|b) Rear j-card||with liner notes|
|01gobackhome.mp3||c) Go Back Home|
|02MoveToKansasCity.mp3||d) Kansas City|
|04PeterPaulRubens.mp3||f) Peter Paul Rubens|
|05LittleWhiteMoon.mp3||g) Little White Moon|
|06Me&MyUncle.mp3||h) Me and My Uncle|
|07FunkyPoultry.mp3||i) Funky Poultry|
|08UpToYou.mp3||j) Up To You|
|09DontEaseMeIn.mp3||k) Don't Ease Me In|
|10PumkinPie.mp3||l) Pumpkin Pie|
|11LeaveItThere.mp3||m) Leave It There|
|12NeverThoughtIdFall.mp3||n) Never Thought I'd Fall|
|13WashingtonHotel.mp3||o) Washington Hotel|
|P) Want a physical CD?||Available at CD Baby or wherever all fine music is sold.
|y) Word on the streets...||What the people are saying about Suitcase Johnnie...|
|z) Blues Blast|
... July 24, 2017
... By Steve Jones
|Suitcase Johnnie is a blues and toots rock band out of Southern California who have released their first CD. Mixing covers and originals, the band has a nice sound and works hard to make songs their own. Leading the band is Marty “Cadillac” McPhee on harp and vocals. Dennis Roger Reed and Don Reed play all the guitars and Dennis sings lead on two songs. Phil Hawkins plays drums, Tim Horrigan is on keys and Steve Zoerner plays the bass. Mike Dowling plays a resonator on a few cuts and sings harmony on one of them as does Carolyn Miller.|
“Believe That I’ll Go Back Home” gets the ball rolling, a swinging little cut with some lap steel used for good effect. The beat drives along as the band harmonizes and moves along together with lots of drum effects. They put a new spin on “Move To Kansas City,” giving it a southern California sort of sound. There’s a big electric guitar solo with a little cool distortion and the ever cool vocals delivered by McPhee. Next is the title Cadillac song- “Crazy About a Cadillac” where there is some restrained harp, nice resophonic guitar work, backing organ and good harmonies. “Peter Paul Reubens” is next, a short little ditty sung by Reed as he plays some mandolin, too. Dowling slide ont he resonator also adds a cool factor to this cut. “Little White Moon” brings the lap steel back as McPhee and he band bounce along with this number. Horrigan offers up a good piano solo, too, as the band plays in a California hill country style. The mandolin is again featured in “Me & My Uncle,” a western themed song. The straight harp solo adds to the feel of the song. “Funky Poultry” is a stylistic departure from the prior songs as Don Reed picks the baritone guitar with abandon in this instrumental written by Dennis. Some greasy harp by McPhee also scores points as he slips and slides through the funk, too. The electric guitar and resonator also appear and the song is a a fun take off on the name Funky Chicken.
“Up To You” is an acoustic ballad on resonator with lots of vocal parts harmonizing. The pal steel adds its’ voice to the mix, a soulful little piece. “Don’t Ease Me In” is a Grateful Dead cut with sweet acoustic guitar work. It’s got a bit of a country feel to it and the boys have fun with it. “Pumpkin Pie” brings the mandolin back as the band as the band goes back down home with this little ditty with harmonies and harp making it fun. “Leave It There” is an Gospel cut arranged by Dennis and is Dennis Roger Reed’s second cut fronting the band. His deep baritone voice is featured as is the lap steel and electric guitar, piano and harp. It’s a cool cut. The album concludes with two more originals, “Never Thought I’d Fall” and “Washington Hotel.” The former features the organ, several of the guitars (although uncredited here) and harp in a big instrumental work, the longest on the CD. The latter is a country styled tune with McPhee and Reed doing a duet. Acoustic guitar and harp are also part of the duet and it’s a sweet ending to the album.
These guys are a California band who play more of a country blues than anything else. They seem to have a lot of fun as they mix it up in the songs. Several of the songs are short as they were in the old days, giving you just enough to get a good taste and then on to a new one. The guitar work is varied and cool The harp fills in and punctuates nicely. The keyboards are tasteful and add a lot when they feature them. The back line is solid as are the vocals. The album was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it!
|z) Blues Matters|
... Issue 95
... April, 2017
|Suitcase Johnnie is a band rather than a person, led by lead vocalist/harpist Marty McPhee and guitarist songwriter Dennis Roger Reed. The quality of the artwork and recording leads me to think this is more of a homegrown release and it is really a flat-out Country album. The tracks seem to be split pretty much 50/50 covers and originals. Opener Believe That I'll Go Back Home is quite lively and a bit of a toe tapper that sort of sets the tone of the album. For the most part these a light and breezy songs that don't really call for much deep analysis and the Reed compositions like the title track, Peter Paul Rubens (about the artist) and co-write Up To You are humorous, short ditties that I'm sure were fun to play and will go down well in bars. The instrumental Funky Poultry is exactly what you'd expect from the title. In amongst the tales of cowboys and Pumpkin Pie with lashings of mandolin, lap steel and harmony vocals there is one little gem, Never Thought I'd Fall, another Reed composition where the band take it into a slightly different direction, pulling against each other and dirtying the chords a bit., more of this please guys.|
... E. Schuurmans
Marty "Cadillac" McPhee is a singer and harmonica player. He and singer / multi-instrumentalist / producer Dennis Roger Reed are the creators of Suitcase Johnnie, a rocking country blues band from the north of the Mason-Dixon.
Crazy About A Cadillac is the debut album by Suitcase Johnnie, released earlier this year by PlasticMeltdown in San Clemente, California, USA. Also collaborating on this project: Phil Hawkins (drums), Don Reed (guitar, lap steel, mandolin), Tim Horrigan (keys), Steve Zoerner (bass), Mike Dowling (guitar) and Carolyn Miller (backing vocals).
The album features thirteen tracks. Dennis Roger Reed wrote several. The other songs are covers, with singer-songwriter John Philips covered. "Believe I'll Go Back Home" by Eddie Harris and George Jackson opens the tracklist. Don Reed’s lap steel creates the right atmosphere. "Move to Kansas City" by Herman Parker Jr. & Sam Phillips is a song with some harmonica interventions by Marty "Cadillac" McPhee, interspersed with guitar solos by Don Reed. Title song "Crazy About A Cadillac" is characterized by the vocal harmonies by Mike Dowling. In "Peter Paul Rubens" Dennis Roger Reed plays mandolin. "Me & My Uncle" is one of the John Philips songs. It is a known and popular Southern rock song, which also was recorded by Judy Collins and Grateful Dead. "Funky Poultry" is an original instrumental. On "Up To You" Reed has songwriting help from McPhee. American Methodist and gospel composer Charles A. Tindley wrote "Leave It There." It is an easy country swing rocker with gospel influences. We finish with two Dennis Roger Reed originals. "Never Thought I'd Fall" is a rocking shuffle and "Washington Hotel" an old-fashioned acoustic blues about ... a hotel.
Crazy About A Cadillac by Suitcase Johnnie is a pleasant roots CD. It sounds like the musicians enjoy their interplay. It is the debut album by a band of which is very little available on the internet. What they show here will surely appeal to a broad roots audience.
ROOTSTIME BE Review
|z) SD Troubadour|
... By Terry Roland
... January 2017
|Crazy About A Cadillac by Suitcase Johnnie, is an R&B roots-soaked romp from the opener, Eddie Harris’ song “Believe That I’ll Go Home” to the final track, “Washington Hotel,” by producer and instrumentalist Dennis Roger Reed. It is a fast-paced, original and good-time musical journey. Front man Marty “Cadillac” McPhee sings his heart out even as he’s laying down some fine blues harmonica.|
There is a sound in these sessions that is reminiscent of the Band during their Basement Tapes days. But, Suitcase Johnnie also walks close to the fire once lit by Ronnie Hawkins. It’s close enough to make this home-spun and warm album entertaining, light-hearted and filled just some damn-fine music.
The ultimate test of the original material, when a group of musicians combine cover interpretations with original songs, is how well the songs blend together well as a whole. The news is good. It is hard to tell the difference between the original songs and the covers on Crazy About A Cadillac.
The sound leans heavy on a strong back beat and boogie-woogie guitar and piano, with occasional lapses into bluegrass, which pays off as each song is realized to its fullest potential.
The song, “Crazy About a Cadillac,” is an acoustic-based Piedmont-style original by Dennis Roger Reed. With guitars blended in with mandolin and a good-time harmonica and an easy-riding vocal by McPhee, the song is downright infectious, as is the majority of this album.
A stand-out original song presents the audience with what may be the only time they’ll ever hear an R&B song about a Flemish-Baroque artist from the 17th Century by the name of Sir “Peter Paul Rubens.” But, in the hands of Dennis Roger Reed, who provides one of two lead vocals on this song, even the Counter-Reformation gains a strong sense of boogie between the lines of its paintings.
The song “Funky Poultry” yields a fine electric guitar solo with an acoustic lead guitar duet. The song is reminiscent of early Little Feat.
The cover songs are carefully selected lesser-known tunes by icons like Sam Phillips, the Grateful Dead, and John Philips. “Don’t Ease Me In” does the Grateful Dead song justice, while Herman Parker and Sam Phillips’ “Move to Kansas City” rocks with a slow bump-and-grind crawl. But, it’s John Philips’ “Me and My Uncle” that allows multi-instrumentalist Don Reed to cut loose with intricate and joyful bluegrass mandolin solos.
As the album concludes with a duet by McPhee and Reed on the original song, “Washington Hotel,” there is a feeling of having spent an afternoon throwing back a few beers with old friends on a front porch overlooking the coastal sea. It makes you wish the afternoon would never end. And it makes you want to play this record over and over again.
|z) Southland Blues|
... By Jim Santella
... January, 2017
|Suitcase Johnnie sounds a lot like a travelin' band. Their music comes from all over. A combination of original songs and several covers, their program draws from a wide variety of music, all of it deeply embedded in the blues. Yet this record label is local, from San Clemente, where blues bands travel through town almost as often as Metrolink. This band sure knows how to play authentic blues.|
Using acoustic and electric instruments, they keep the mood countrified and as pleasant as a warm summer day in Southern California. Dennis Roger Reed's "Crazy About a Cadillac" swings with a rural stomp that lays down easy. Each selection lets the lead singers and band tell blues stories that echo a comfortable feeling. Even the Grateful Dead tune "Don't Ease Me In" lets the band swing with a mellow frame of reference.
Throughout the session lead vocalists Marty "Cadillac" McPhee and Dennis Roger Reed allow themselves to interact with mandolin, harp, organ, and more. Reed's "Funky Poultry" lets the band get down with an instrumental romp while his "Peter Paul Rubens" lets him tell about a noted artist who has left an impression on art lovers for centuries. Reed's "Washington Hotel" closes out the session with a pared-down acoustic mood that simply summarizes what the band represents: easygoing blues for everyone.
Southland Blues Review