“LUST and LOVE”
HELENA ARTIST RICK RYKART’S OWN COMMENTS ON OUR LATEST RELEASE :
“ Ahhh, Love. And, oh yes, ahhh Lust…We all live, breathe, ultimately NEED, Love in our lives. Whether we think we do, or not. And Lust ain’t bad either, is it my friends? No less than the very survival of our species comes about because of it…
In this record you’ll find songs of Lust and Love. But, as the Greeks pointed out, there are many forms of Love in this life, not just romantic Love. So while I wanted plenty of romantic love songs on this album, you’ll also find songs of Love of friend, and Love of family. And songs of losing Love too. But as the wise man said—it’s better to have loved and lost, than to be on the sidelines, playing video games and drinking beer ( or he said something like that anyway ). Of course, also here are songs of finding Love, in all it’s various forms “…
And I hope you find Love, and it’s associate, Lust, in abundance in your life…
All the best—
Citizen of the World
MYSTERY OUTLAW BAND RESURFACES
The James Boys are back with a bang ! The mysterious outlaw band has surfaced with some new tracks on the Helena label and they’re available now at iTunes and all major digital download stores and streaming sites. Now, while it is true that since the release of their historic collaboration with the late Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, music icon Johnnie Johnson, The James Boys have been entertaining multi-generational audiences with their unique hybrid of sounds (Roots Rock, Classic Rock, Blues Rock, Country Rock, Pop Rock, and even R&B)—-the fact is they hadn’t been heard from on CD. But now, from their secret studio locations, TJB has served up this collection, a fusion of all those elements heard in their live performances.
There’s the title track, the rollicking homage to Rock pioneer Chuck Berry, you’ll find “A Really Good Rocker” to be an entertaining, contemporary rocker that, at the same time, gives a nostalgic tip of the cap to earlier days. As TJB front man and songwriter Rick Rykart forcefully says : “Chuck Berry started this whole thing. Everyone that ever set foot into this, from Elvis & The Beatles, to all the present day people that are part of the music scene and making a life of it, they need to tip their cap to Chuck.”
And that continuum, dating from the Big-Bang of what would come to be called “Rock and Roll”, is what the Re-Mixed version of their collaboration with Berry’s long time piano player Johnson, the tribal and anthem-like “A Dose of Rock & Roll”, is all about. It’s on this track that the great piano master, one of the Prime-Movers of the dawning of Rock, showcased the blazing, boogie piano he had pioneered so many years earlier—that very style that earned him a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
But how about “Anne Marie” for a purely contemporary rocker ? Contemporary, yes, but this scintillating track still is all about the most enduring and oldest of Rock themes : paying tribute to a hot girl ! (and for those who are into fiery, electric slide solos—you’ll love this dope shred)
Speaking of fiery electric guitar, nowhere do The James Boys shine more in that regard than in their Rapping adaptation of the John Lee Hooker classic “Boogie Children”. In fact, every instrument shines with power in this track, another characteristic amalgam of styles pulled off by TJB.
The Boys show off their Country Rock chops on the ironic, role-reversal song “Same Girl”—a turnabout on past clichés. Instead of a reference to a “kept woman” TJB voices the refrain of a man who was once the “property” of a successful woman of means—but now has decided to follow hearts in matters of love, not diamonds.
A lot could be said regarding all the tracks but one listen to this Helena release will speak louder than anything else. All the descriptions of the great instrumentation and the terrific songs you will find on this album would all be true—but here’s what’s even more important : The James Boys are all about having fun—and you, too, will have a lot of fun listening to this record. Buy it at iTunes, Amazon, or any other digital outlet, or stream it on Spotify or any other streaming site worldwide…
HELENA RELEASES HISTORIC COLLABORATION
“The James Boys and Johnnie Johnson”
Two of the final tracks ever recorded by legendary Rock Hall of Fame icon Johnnie Johnson– “A DOSE OF ROCK & ROLL” and “THE REASON FOR THE BLUES”…
“A Dose of Rock & Roll” by Helena artists The James Boys
and the late, great Rock and Blues icon Johnnie Johnson is one of the greatest tracks Johnson ever chose to record post his playing days with Chuck Berry in the classic Rock style that Johnnie helped pioneer. As hot as it is historical, the song and track will absolutely blow away the listener.
A contemporary homage to 50’s and 60’s Rock and the icons who created it,“A Dose of Rock & Roll” was penned by Johnson friend James Boy lead singer Rick Rykart.
“Johnnie was one of the great Blues performers of all time, not just a Rock and Roll guy, he was so much bigger in his artistry than the pigeon-holing thing the culture tries to do with performers and artists” Rykart mused, “yet he was, and is, a giant in the Rock and Roll universe and anybody that missed that fact—hey, just listen to this record.” Indeed the track reveals, in a way that the original Berry classics often tended to obscure in the mix, the incredible power of the Johnson invented, boogie-woogie driven hybrid mix of piano styles that fused with Berry’s guitar and songs to create what the world would come to call “Rock and Roll.” Rykart continued, “I’m so lucky, and the whole world is lucky that Johnnie chose to do his Rock thing one more time on this record—generally he avoided it”. Rykart noted and went on with obvious awe that “at his age he still could create fire on the ivory like no one else.”
Legendary and beloved for the warmth and giving nature of his personality, Johnson’s passing inspired this observation from Rykart “Johnnie’s generosity knew no bounds and he wanted to help me out, but you can bet he also wanted to show the world yet again the absolute magic he could create on a record.” He certainly did that and more on “A Dose of Rock and Roll”—a record for the archives.
“The Reason for the Blues”–“A groove that really cooks”—that’s the understated way in which
James Boy singer/songwriter Rick Rykart describes the other track in this historic
Helena Records release …
This is a track sure to, in fact, chase away the listener’s blues…
Johnnie Johnson, the legendary piano man and seminal figure in Rock who passed away earlier this year, collaborates with The James Boys in what is yet another historical offering featuring the only known recording of Johnson playing organ. “You’ve got something there that no one else has,” reflected Johnson’s widow Frances upon review of her husband’s studio history. Indeed Johnson was musically far more in life than the rock piano prime mover visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will find enshrined forever—his blues and jazz records and gigs were also the stuff of legend. “Johnnie was a bluesman through and through and he particularly liked jazzy blues” opined Rick Rykart, the song’s co-author, “and that’s why we wrote the song—as a vehicle for capturing that side of him.” That effort in songwriting by Rykart and former guitarist and musical director of the Johnson touring band Tom Maloney succeeds in a big way. It’s a jazzy blues toe-tapper that will delight blues purists and jazz fans alike. “Let me tell you, in the studio when Johnnie wanted to play organ on this song I was just thrilled,” proclaimed Rykart on release day. “I’m just another of the millions of Johnnie Johnson fans, I loved everything he did,” he continued, “and I’m truly happy and humbled to be instrumental in the whole world being able to hear him cruise on organ the way he does here.” Rick, so are we at Helena Records.
Available at all major download and streaming sites worldwide…