2019 BMA Winner, Bruce Katz, embarks on his Solo Ride Tour
Bruce Katz, renowned Hammond B-3 organist/keyboardist and 2019 Blues Music Awards “Best Acoustic Album” winner, and his Bruce Katz Band, embark on their ‘Solo Ride’ Fall 2019 U.S. Tour, with a performance in Falls Church, VA, Thursday, September 19.
Solo Ride (released August this year) is the newest CD on American Showplace Music from the legendary keyboardist, and his tenth album to date. The album was produced by Katz with label owner Ben Elliott, and co-produced by Bruce’s manager and agent, Legare Robertson. Solo Ride marks Katz’s only solo release after thirty years of composing, touring, and playing. It captures the emotion and intensity of his music and contains all instrumentals from start to finish, drawing from his vast background of stylings from jazz to blues to classical, gospel, and country. “I’m tellin’ ya, he’s downhome and uptown all at once, and that’s a winning combination.” – Ted Drozdowski, Music Critic
For the first time in his career, he has recorded a solo piano album and the results are stunning and unmistakably original. Bruce’s virtuoso and original playing draws the listener into his musical world where many of the artificial boundaries created in the ‘music business’ fall away and leave the listener with a new appreciation for what Bruce calls “improvisational American Roots and Blues music.”
Known throughout the world as the keyboardist with Gregg Allman, Delbert McClinton, John Hammond, Ronnie Earl & many others, Solo Ride puts Bruce Katz and a grand piano in a world class studio and sounds as rich and dynamic as any of the recordings he has done with full bands.
“On Solo Ride, Bruce Katz becomes the Picasso of the Piano” – Nashville Blues & Roots Alliance
Solo Ride puts Bruce Katz and a grand piano in a world class studio and sounds as rich and dynamic as any of the recordings he has done with full bands.
Eleven of the twelve tracks on the album are original Bruce Katz tunes and exhibit not only his virtuoso playing, but also showcase his eclectic and compelling compositions. These range from barrel-house Boogie-Woogie to classic ‘30s/ ‘40s style jazz to gospel-influenced and New Orleans-influenced tunes and even a “country” waltz, all with the little details and surprising “twists” that set Bruce’s writing and playing apart from the ordinary.
“After years of working with the top names here’s Bruce Katz combining his vast knowledge of the legendary piano blues masters with his unique sensibility and styling. No one else brings this kind of passion to their piano playing. Bruce is so talented he can even play the piano with both hands… and at the same time!” – Ben Elliott, American Showplace Music, Engineer/American Showplace Music Label Owner
Solo Ride has a rolling New Orleans number, aptly titled “Crescent Crawl,” that favors the late Dr. John or Allen Toussaint. Bruce cruises the 88 keys, as he takes you to Street Level, cruising the French Quarter with the locals. The gospel- soaked “Praise House” is filled with fire and brimstone, as if you wandered into a Sunday church service; the notes cascade, telling their story without a word spoken. As Bruce explains, “it was inspired by hearing the Blind Boys of Alabama. The term ‘Praise House’ refers to a hidden shack in the woods that enslaved African Americans would use for their religious worship. Again, mixing tradition and modern leanings; at its core, this is a combination of gospel and blues with some jazz ideas about melody thrown together to bring that feeling to the piano.”
Country music is at the heart of a lot of modern music. “I love country music and decided to write a ‘country waltz’ for this album,” Katz explains. “Of course, the songs about lost dreams and longings are the best ones. That’s what ‘Dreams of Yesterday’ is about.”
Bruce takes a small turn with “Red Sneakers,” something Randy Newman or JellyRoll Morton might’ve written. His slide and glide techniques recall the Scott Joplin rags: “I love 1930’s-style ‘Stride’ piano, and this tune is all about that and feeling good. My daughter gave me a pair of red sneakers, and I just happily bounced down the street in them. I decided to write an unabashedly ‘retro’ stride tune about that feeling.”
“Solo Ride is unusual and a little unique, I think,” continues Katz. “It is a purely solo acoustic piano album — no vocals and all original tunes of mine except one cover. It has blues elements, to be sure, but also jazz (as in 1930s/40s style stride piano), a country waltz, a modern-day hymn, a Ramsey Lewis-style boogaloo. And yes, Boogie-Woogie/New Orleans and blues as well.”
“Now that’s a piano player.” – Pinetop Perkins (Katz is a five-time (2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2018) nominee for the Blues Music Award (W.C. Handy Award) for “Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year”
UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
Sept 19 (Thr) JV’S RESTAURANT Falls Church, VA
Sept 20 (Fri) THE STANHOPE HOUSE Stanhope, NJ
Sept 28 (Sat) TURNING POINT CAFE Piermont, NY
Oct. 11 (Fri) CARRIE’S CORNER MUSIC Marietta, GA
Oct. 12 (Sat) THE ROASTING ROOM Bluffton, SC
Oct. 13 (Sun) BLUE JAY LISTENING ROOM Jacksonville Beach, FL
Oct. 16 (Wed) ENGLEWOODS ON DEARBORN Port Charlotte, FL
Oct. 17 (Thr) TERRA FERMATA TIKI BAR Stuart, FL
Oct. 18 (Fri) CAMPING W/ THE BLUES Brooksville, FL
Oct. 19 (Sat) BUCKINGHAM BLUES BAR Ft. Myers, FL