Sean Costello | At His Best – Live

Released on November 5th, 2011
1 Intro
2 San-Ho-Zay
3 Blue Shadows
4 T-Bone Boogie
5 All Your Love
6 I Get A Feeling
7 Check It Out
8 Can I Change My Mind
9 You're Killing My Love
10 Reconsider Baby
11 Doing My Own Thing
12 The Hucklebuck
13 Motor Head Baby
14 Hold On This Time
15 The Battle Is Over But The War Goes On
16 Peace Of Mind
17 Lucille

Before his tragic death in 2008, Sean Costello had garnered a well-earned reputation as both a dynamic live performer as well as a consummate studio professional. Sadly, Costello left behind a sparse catalog of albums, and little that illustrated his electrifying live performance style save for a handful of random tracks on 2009’s Sean’s Blues compilation album.

On November 15, 2011 Landslide Records will release the much-anticipated Sean Costello: At His Best – Live, a sixteen-song collection of live performances culled from across his too-brief career, 2000 to 2007. The album features material taken from both U.S. and European performances, and includes eleven previously unreleased songs from the beloved blues guitarist. Better yet, proceeds from the album will benefit the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bi-Polar Research, a non-profit organization started by Sean’s mother, Debbie Costello Smith.

The tracklist for Sean Costello: At His Best – Live showcases the guitarist’s enormous versatility and ability to master any style, from traditional Chicago blues and soulful R&B to rock ‘n’ roll and jazz. Among the performances documented by the album are inspired Costello covers of classic songs from Freddie King (“San-Ho-Zay”), Magic Sam (“All Your Love”), Johnny “Guitar” Watson (“Motor Head Baby”), and Michael Bloomfield (“You’re Killing My Love”), among others.

“This CD release intends to share the incomparable power and magic of Sean Costello’s shows,” says writer and blues historian Tom Hyslop in the album’s liner notes. “Drawing from clean soundboard recordings and warts-and-all, you-are-there audience tapes alike, it offers a fair representation of Costello’s ever-evolving musical reach, including serious blues, sultry soul and R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll.”

– Reverend Keith A. Gordon, About.com Guide

Jenni Muldaur – Dearest Darlin’

Released on March 30th, 2009
1 I've Got A Feelin'
2 You're Breaking Me Up
3 Just Ain't No Love
4 I'd Rather Live Like A Hermit
5 Blame It On The World
6 Dearest Darlin'
7 Hopali
8 Lost Someone
9 Just Kiss Me Once
10 You've Got Me Uptight
11 There's Another Place That I Can't Go
12 Comatose Town
Purchase this CD

The sessions for Dearest Darlin’ took place with the band gathered in one room playing together live, with minimal overdubbing. The core band is Sean Costello – guitar (Susan Tedeschi, Blind Boys of Alabama); Brian Jackson – keyboards (Gil Scott-Heron); Brad Jones- bass (Jazz Passengers); Lenny Pickett – saxophone (Tower of Power, SNL Band); and James Wormworth – drums (Conan O’Brien Tonight Show Band). The recordings are one of the final sessions of renowned blues guitarist Sean Costello, who tragically died last year at the age of 28. Featured guest include Jim Campilongo – guitar (Norah Jones, Martha Wainwright); Barry Reynolds – guitar (Marianne Faithful, Grace Jones); and singers Teddy Thompson, Catherine Russell and Joseph Arthur.

Sean’s Blues – A Memorial Retrospective

Released on September 29th, 2009
1 Take Me Back
2 Sail On
3 Call The Cops
4 Lovin' Machine
5 The Plumber
6 Tell Me Baby
7 Big Beaver
8 Mellow Chick Swing
9 Walking Blues
10 Double Trouble
11 Who's Been Cheatin' Who
12 All Your Love (I Miss Loving)
13 Mojo Boogie
14 Motor Head Baby
15 Don't Be Reckless With My Heart
16 Your Love Is Amazing
17 It Takes Time
18 You Don't Know What Love Is
19 Feel Like I Ain't Got A Home
20 She Changed My Mind

Sean Costello is a brand name to blues aficionados. He died tragically in 2008, on the eve of his 29th birthday, just when it began to look as though his star was finally going to rise on the masses. He’d been recording since he was 16, and with his own crack band had played stages with virtually every living legend on the blues scene. Costello’s knowledge of blues and jazz — especially jump and swing jazz — was encyclopedic in his playing and singing. This compilation collects tracks from all of three of his albums recorded between 1996 and 2002, but the majority of this 20-track set is unreleased, with smoking live cuts recorded in Chicago and Marquette, MI. There are some unreleased studio gems recorded in his hometown of Atlanta as well. Costello’s best- known band featured harmonica boss Paul Linden (who also doubled — brilliantly — on piano), organist and pianist Matt Wauchope, bassist Melvin Zachary, and drummer Terrence Prather. These cats appear on the majority of these cuts, though there are some guest spots, including a few tracks with Matt Sickles playing upright bass. Guitarist and vocalist Susan Tedeschi sings and plays on a couple of cuts as well — Costello began wowing the world as the guitarist in her first high-profile touring band. Pulling out specific cuts here is ludicrous because, as a collection, this is just outstanding from top to bottom. Compiled (mostly) chronologically by Michael Rothschild and Jeff Bakos, this portrait of Costello accomplishes what it is supposed to: it not only showcases a tremendous artist who was in full command of his gifts, but lets us know what we lost when he passed away. Sean’s Blues is filled with great music form jump to Chicago to raucous primitive electric jazz blues; in addition, the sound here is incredible: it crackles with live energy and presence — Costello was a star to be sure, but he fronted a smoking live blues band whose members were true collaborators in his sound. All one can do after hearing this is say “if only,” and hope there is a second volume.

– Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

Tracks 1, 2 & 3 from CALL THE COPS, Blue Wave Records (1996)
Tracks 8, 10 &11 from CUTTIN’ IN, Landslide Records (2000)
Tracks 15 & 17 from MOANIN’ FOR MOLASSES, Landslide Records (2001)

* Unreleased Tracks
Tracks 4, 5, 6, 7 & 9 – Atlanta, GA (1998)
Tracks 12 & 13 – Live, Marquette, MI, (2000)
Track 14 – Live, Chicago, IL (2001)
Tracks 16, 18, 19 & 20 – Atlanta, GA (2002)

Sean Costello (Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals), Dave Roth (Upright Bass), Terrence Prather (Drums), Paul Linden (Harmonica, Piano), Susan Tedeschi (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals), Carl Shankle (Bass), Tim Gunther (Drums), Matt Wauchope (Organ, Piano), Melvin Zachary (Bass)

Technical Credits
Jeff Bakos (Producer), Rusty McFarland (Producer), Rodney Mills (Mastering), Steve Rosenthal (Producer), Michael Rothschild (Liner Notes), Sean Costello (Arranger, Producer), Jay Sheffield (Producer), Aaron Trubic (Producer)

Sean Costello | We Can Get Together

Released on February 19th, 2008
1 Anytime You Want
2 Same Old Game
3 Can't Let Go
4 Told Me a Lie
5 Hard Luck Woman
6 How In the Devil
7 Have You No Shame
8 Going Home
9 All This Time
10 Feel Like I Ain't Got a Home
11 Little Birds
Purchase this CD

Atlanta roots guitarist/vocalist Sean Costello changes labels again — this is his fourth in a five-album career — but that hasn’t proved to be a burden. If anything, his attack has sharpened both vocally and instrumentally on each subsequent release, resulting in this being his most impressive set. Although Costello is an accomplished guitarist and can shred with the best of his blues-rocking brethren, he wisely puts more emphasis on the songs and his singing. Nine out of the 11 selections are originals, the largest percentage of self-written songs on any of his albums, and even the two traditional tracks are substantially rearranged to fit Costello’s style. The sound shifts from the gritty, sparse, old ZZ Top-styled “Hard Luck Woman” to the smooth soul and light funk of “Can’t Let Go,” arguably the finest, most melodic moment here. He’s even convincing on the gospel cover of “Going Home,” somewhat uncharted territory that works just fine with his gruff voice and stinging guitar.

The material is so strong and the ensemble playing of his band, many of whom are established cohorts in the Atlanta blues community, so effortless that he doesn’t need to distract attention from the songs with the extended soloing he is capable of. Most importantly, he establishes a greasy groove that weaves through each cut, connecting them even when the styles differ. The closing waltz-time “Little Birds” is another traditional tune, this one picked up from the Band’s Levon Helm, who also performed it on his 2007 Dirt Farmer release. Costello’s tough, taut arrangement includes a sizzling slide guitar solo that’s every bit as respectful as Helm’s more old-timey, fiddle-dominated version. While Costello is clearly inspired by the blues greats, many of whom he has covered on previous collections, he slants more to ’70s Southern soul, rock, and R&B here, dousing these genres with a bucket load of swamp water and spearheaded by his whiskey-laced vocals. There’s a thick, gooey atmospheric vibe that hangs over the album, gels its contents, and shows Costello to be a terrific singer and songwriter and guitar talent just hitting his peak. ~ Hal Horowitz, All Music Guide

Joe McGuinness | From These Seeds

Released on March 1st, 2008
1 Hellhounds Blues
2 My Name Is Joe
3 I Will
4 Don't Say A Word
5 Ri
6 Freight Train
7 Trashcan Full Of Butterflies
8 Sad Affair
9 Do Right
10 Trovao
11 Binti
12 No Worries
Purchase this CD

Joe McGuinness is an Atlanta based folk/blues musician. His incredible fingerpicking, and slide guitar combined with powerful, soul-filled vocals, and unique overall style, make for an amazing listening experience. “From these seeds…” is Joes first solo release, and shows that as well as putting on a awe-inspiring live show, he is very talented in the studio as well. From raw roots footstompers to slanted backporch banjo pickin to intricate beautiful guitar landscapes, each song carrying you further into the tale. 10 Original tracks and two covers include Elizabeth Cotten’s classic, “Freight Train” and a beautiful version of the Beatles, “I Will”. The long awaited “From these seeds” is a unique take on old school back porch folk/blues, laced with lyrical gems, incredible guitar landscapes, old school blues for new school ears. An enjoyable listen from start to finish.

Amazing guest artists:

Donnie McCormick (Atlanta legend, Eric Quincy Tate/Fat City Wildcats) – on the Chicken Coop
Charlie Wooton – (Charlie Wooton project/ Zydefunk) – on bass
Damien Lewis – (Motor City Josh/Sean Costello) – drums
Julea Thomerson – (Educator) – Vocals
Sean Costello – (Badass) – lead guitar

Kraft Quartet | Nervous Boogie

Released on April 1st, 2008
1 I Wish You Would
2 Ice Cream Man
3 Continental Missile
4 Tom Cat
5 Pills
6 Tragic Wind
7 Johnson Machine Gun
8 Roller Coster
9 El Conquistador
10 Nervous Boogie
11 Boss
12 Whose Muddy Shoes
13 Pipeline
14 Ice Cream Man (reprise)
Purchase this CD

The Kraft Quartet’s first full length album “Nervous Boogie” contains 14 classic blues and surf tunes including songs by Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, the Chantays, John Brim and Elmore James. Special guests for this album include bluesman Sean Costello, winner of the Memphis Blues Society’s talent award and nominated for the W.C. Handy “Best New Artist Debut” award; the legendary Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, who was guitarist for Muddy Waters from 1973 til 1980 and has won multiple W.C. Handy awards for solo or group efforts through the years including best blues guitarist; and blues/rockabilly musician and W.C. Handy multiple time winner Tom “Mookie” Brill on harp and vocals.

Aaron Bachelder lends his percussion skills on the vibes and marimba. Bob Margolin and Sean Costello both have recent solo albums, as well as back catalog available through their websites. These special guests bring an authentic blues flavor to the project, juxtaposed with the jazz artistry of the trumpet/double bass performances and the rock-n-roll drums/rhythm guitars creating a truly unique sound, undeniably new while washed in vintage feeling. The album was produced by Morgan Kraft, mixed by Mitch Easter and mastered by Brent Lambert.

Sean Costello appears on Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 & 12

Maddy Moneypenny | Maddy Moneypenny

Released on July 27th, 2008
1 Zebra
2 Son of a Preacher Man
3 Shotgun
4 You Are My Sunshine
5 Some Old Blues
6 Shaky Ground
7 Voodoo Woman
8 How Sweet It Is
Purchase this CD

Featuring 14 year old Maddy Moneypenny and a host of amazing musicians. Sean Costello and Oliver Wood on guitar, Kevin Thomas on organ, Dustin Sargent on bass, and Jack Jones on Drums.

Soul Shakers | Special Edition

Released on December 12th, 2008
1 There It Is
2 How Long
3 Lonely Man
4 Maybe The Last Time
5 Feeling Is Right
6 Goin' Down The Line
7 Same Kind Of Love
8 Darlin' Darlin' Darlin'
9 Hucklebuck

Featuring Sean Costello on tracks 1,2,7 and Paul Linden on track 2.

Produced by Paul Linden and Soul Shakers.

Engineered by Jeff Bakos.

Sean Costello | WFRG Memorial CD

Released on September 1st, 2008
1 Your Love Is Amazing
2 The Hucklebuck
3 Weep and Moan
4 Sean Talks Live on WRFG
5 Michigan Water
6 Canned Heat Blues
7 Penitentiary Blues
8 Smokestack Lightening
9 Check It Out
10 Baby Please Don't Go
11 Sean's Shuffle
12 I'm Leaving
13 I Can't Let Go (Soulful Mix)
14 Slip Away
15 Sean Hits the Road
16 Short Haired WomanSean Costello


Sean Costello WFRG Memorial CD of Rare & Unreleased Tracks

Limited Edition

WRFG Radio

Nappy Brown | Long Time Coming

Released on September 27th, 2007
1 Keep On Pleasin' You
2 You Were A Long Time Coming
3 Don't Be Angry
4 Give Me Your Love
5 That Man
6 Right Time
7 Who
8 Cherry Red
9. Aw Shucks Baby
10 Every Shut Eye Ain't Sleepin'
11 Bye Bye Baby
12 Take Care Of Me
Purchase this CD

Nappy Brown is one of the great voices in American music. He makes a triumphant return with an album that swings with the same soulful authority that he exhibited on his hits of a half-century ago. Inspired by stellar backing from musicians including Sean Costello, Junior Watson, and Bob Margolin, specifically chosen for their ability to capture the sound and feel of American music in its heyday, Nappy brilliantly recreates his classic songs, including his signature tune, “Don’t Be Angry,” and “The Right Time,” a song later associated with Ray Charles. Said Nappy, “This is the first time in 30 years I’ve had the chance to do my music with cats that understand it. This is the best record I have done since 1955!”

Bill Sheffield | Journal On A Shelf

Released on January 1st, 2006
1 Cherry Blossom Time
2 Black Bottom
3 Back In My Baby's Arms
4 Trouble (When It Starts)
5 New Tattoo
6 An Invitation To The Blues
7 I Don't Hate Nobody
8 It Don't Bother Me
9 Comes Easy, Goes Easy
10 You're Still On My Mind
11 Holy Mother
12 Shooky Come Home
13 The Ballad Of Brer Rabbit
14 Journal On A Shelf
Purchase this CD

Atlanta, Georgia born Bill Sheffield is celebrating the release of his ninth CD titled Journal On A Shelf. Performing for over 32 years, Bill has appeared in concert with legends Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, T-Bone Walker, Big Mama Thornton and many others. He’s also recorded and gigged with guitar great, Roy Buchanan. Passionate, rootsy, expressive voice and superb picking and slide guitar. “Journal On A Shelf” reached #13 on the Roots-Blues charts and came in 3rd place for the Best Traditional Folk Album category at the Just Plain Folks Music Awards for 2006.An honest, gutsy singer, and captivating guitarist, Sheffield also penned all but three songs on Journal On A Shelf. “The Ballad Of Brer Rabbit” along with “New Tattoo”.” Journal On A Shelf” exemplify Sheffield’s masterful storytelling and his cover of Tom Waits’ “An Invitation To The Blues” is a jewel. Another highlight is “Comes Easy, Goes Easy” with Sean Costello.

Roots Music Report says..”the big man from Atlanta, Georgia has a wonderfully expressive voice and superb picking and sliding skills…a must buy for all lovers of acoustic blues and roots music…”Dave Drury, Blues Matters, UK

“Passionate, spiritual and rootsy, Sheffield sings like a soulman trapped in a blues man’s body” Hal Horwitz, Creative Loafing

” Listening to Sheffield is like church for cool people” Lisa Love, Georgia Music Magazine

CD Baby writes of Bill’s 2004 release “Hearing Things”.. “Dancing his way through the blues in various incarnations, Sheffield brings in the ache, the down-home grit and soul of the blues while mixing in contemporary angles as well. Quite the performer – his groove demands a second and third listen”.

The Levon Helm Band | Midnight Ramble Sessions Vol. II

Released on June 1st, 2005
1 Battle Is Over But The War Goes On (M. Rogers, J. Winn)
2 What Kind Of Man Are You (Ray Charles)
3 Don't Ya Tell Henry (Bob Dylan)
4 Blue Shadows (Lowell Fulson) featuring Sean Costello
5 Johnny Boogie Goode (Levon Helm Band)
6 I Want To Know (Ray Charles)
7 A Fool In Love (Ike Turner)
8 Borrowed Time (Mac Rebbenack) featuring Dr. John
9 When The Battle Is Over (Mac Rebbenack, Jesse Hill)
Purchase this CD

Singing for the first time since his bout with cancer, Levon delivers pure American roots music with the help of his daughter Amy, Dr. John, Johnnie Johnson, Little Sammy Davis, Jimmy Vivino & others. Truly inspiring for all fans of music. 2-disc CD/DVD set from Midnight Ramble sessions at Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock, recorded live in January and November 2004 and March 2005. Available from levonhelm.com. Volume I was released earlier the same year. The DVD has a bonus video with Levon singing a wonderful version of The Band and Dylan’s “Don’t You Tell Henry”.

“The Battle Is Over (But The War Goes On)” is Levon’s best performance since “Dixie” at The Last Waltz… It’s all fabulous stuff with astonishing sax work. You really have to get this album! It crawls under your skin in the very best way.”

~ Peter and Karen Viney on The Midnight Ramble Sessions Vol. II, The GB, September 2005

Ollabelle | Ollabelle

Released on March 9th, 2004
1 Before This Time
2 Soul Of A Man
3 Elijah Rock
4 Jesus On The Mainline
5 Get Back Temptation
6 I Am Waiting
7 Two Steps
8 No More My Lawd
9 Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus
10 The Storms Are On The Ocean
11 John The Revelator
12 I'm Willing To Run All The Way
13 I Don't Want To Be That Man
14 All Is Well
Purchase this CD

New York sextet Ollabelle’s music is a hybrid of indigenous American styles, mixing folk, blues, and gospel, and drawing upon traditional sources to create something that sounds wholly new. If one is tempted to say “you’ve never heard anything quite like this before,” it isn’t because the ingredients are unfamiliar, it’s because the mixture and the approach are. The alternating male and female vocalists usually sing traditional material, with arrangements that recall the kind of updated authenticity of Ry Cooder as much as the original sources.

Somehow, these performances steer in between the alternating obstacles of sounding too retro on the one hand or taking an ironic posture on the other. The performers seem utterly immersed in the music, utterly sincere in their singing (though it would be surprising to find that their commitment to the religious lyrics was anything but figurative), yet they clearly are reaching back to their archaic sources through the context of contemporary music. Their few originals are of a piece with the traditional material, and even a revival of the Rolling Stones’ “I Am Waiting” fits right in. It’s no surprise that T-Bone Burnett’s DMZ label is issuing this debut, since Burnett has demonstrated his affinity for American roots music and ability to re-contextualize it for the 21st century. And it is appropriate that The Band’s Levon Helm, the father of the group’s Amy Helm, drums on “Soul of a Man.”

Ollabelle is trying to create a new sound out of long-standing folk-based musical styles in much the same way that The Band did with Music from Big Pink in 1968. The wonder is how well the group succeeds. Ollabelle is a moving collection of performances that will remind the listener of the emotional depth and scope of American music. If there is any disc capable of turning the term “Americana” into a full-fledged musical genre, this is it.

Tinsley Ellis | The Hard Way

Released on April 27th, 2004
1 Still in the Game
2 Let Him Down Easy
3 Me Without You
4 I'll Get Over You
5 And It Hurts
6 La la Land
7 My Love's the Medicine
8 Fountain of Youth
9 Love Bomb
10 Her Other Man
11 12 Pack Poet
12 The Last Song
Purchase this CD

On his ninth album, the fiery Atlanta guitarist stretches his established boundaries just enough to prove he’s not stagnating, but not too far as to alienate his established fans. Opening with “Still in the Game,” a Cream-filled dose of ’60s psychedelic blues-rock, the road-hardened Ellis also kicks out the jams with extended solos on the grungy riff-based “12 Pack Poet” and the dynamic closing ballad “The Last Song.” But he displays a less volatile personality during the album’s midsection. The sweet R&B of “Me Without You”–with its thumping drums and snaky organ–could easily be a forgotten cover from the Stax or Hi labels. Here Ellis forgoes his usual growl to sing in a convincing falsetto-like croon and plays with the control of Steve Cropper. He applies similar restraint to the swampy, funky “I’ll Get Over You,” the lazy Jimmy Reed shuffle “Fountain of Youth” (with hometown buddy Sean Costello blowing slithery harp), and even the jazz-rock instrumental “Love Bomb.” The Hard Way is a diverse yet cohesive work played with class and intensity, proving that Ellis can comfortably transcend the often-limited blues-rock genre. ~ Hal Horowitz

Kieran McGee | Anonymous

Released on September 14th, 2004
1 Faithless
2 Good Enough
3 Odessa
4 Waiting For A Friend
5 Don't Lie Down
6 I Guess I Lied Again
7 Losing You Again
8 Lonesome Road
9 Quiet
10 The Second Time
11 Hope
12 Big Surprise
13 Anonymous
Purchase this CD

Anonymous, the third full-length album by 23-year old Kieran McGee, builds on the experiences that coursed through his 1997 debut, Left For Dead, and its independently released follow-up of 2001, Ash Wednesday. The new album picks up on themes of faith (religious and otherwise, in “Faithless” and “Good Enough”), self-worth (“Waiting For a Friend,” “I Guess I Lied Again”), dangerous girls (“Odessa,” “Big Surprise”), the stillness of death (“Quiet”), ghosts (“The Second Time”), guilt (“Hope”), more than one breakup (“Losing You Again”), more than one drug overdose of a close friend (“Don’t Lie Down,” “Anonymous”), and the Myth Of Sisyphus (“Lonesome Road”). The new album was produced by Steve Rosenthal, known for his recent work in the studio with Ollabelle, the homegrown group signed to T-Bone Burnett’s DMZ label (via Columbia Records). Ollabelle’s rhythm section (bassist Byron Isaacs, keyboardist and guitarist Jimi Zhivago, drummer Tony Leone) accompanies Kieran throughout most of Anonymous, proving themselves on tunes that range from twangy country ballads to bashing rock numbers to the bruised and bloody title track.

Sean Costello | Sean Costello

Released on October 5th, 2004
1 No Half-Steppin'
2 I'm A Ram
3 She Changed My Mind
4 Hold On This Time
5 Simple Twist Of Fate
6 I've Got To Ride
7 Take It Easy
8 Peace Of Mind
9 Father
10 All I Can Do
11 Big Road Blues
12 I Get A Feeling
13 Don't Pass Me By
Purchase this CD

This self-titled album is Atlanta blues guitarist Sean Costello’s fourth solo release, and although he is still only 25 years old, his informed knowledge of the blues genre (and lately, soul and R&B as well) belies his age. The contemporary blues scene is full of hotshot young guitar players, but Costello is somewhat of an exception, having learned that less can be more, and his guitar playing doesn’t take center stage here, but falls instead into a wonderful ensemble style that draws as much from Steve Cropper’s economic playing as it does from the slash-and-burn approach of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Not that Costello can’t amp it up when necessary (his version here of Tommy Johnson’s classic “Big Road Blues” is nothing short of thundering), but he has learned to play the song rather than play the guitar, an important distinction that some of his flashy contemporaries have yet to discover. Nor is this strictly a blues outing, as Costello explores an intriguing mix of soul, funk, and hard rock, covering songs by Johnny Taylor, Al Green (the horn-driven “I’m a Ram”), and Bob Dylan (a version of “Simple Twist of Fate” that features Levon Helm on drums — Helm’s daughter, Amy Helm, helps out on backing vocals on several tracks here as well), along with seven original compositions, including the dynamite opener, “No Half Steppin’.”

It is worth mentioning, too, that Costello’s voice has matured into a surprisingly flexible and expressive vehicle, and he even moves into a kind of urban soul mode with the self-penned ballad “All I Can Do.” Although this is a fine and impressive outing, one gets the feeling that Costello is just starting to hit his stride as a songwriter and singer, while as a guitar player he has obviously learned the vital and difficult lesson that drawing attention to your playing should only happen when the song demands it. ~ Steve Leggett, All Music Guide

Clarence Fountain & The Five Blind Boys of Alabama | I’m Not That Way Anymore

Released on November 23rd, 2004
1 I'm Not That Way Anymore
2 Heaven Is The Place For Me
3 Lean On Him
4 I Can't Forget
5 Is Your All On Your Altar
6 My Mind Is Gone
7 Draw Me Nearer
8 No Secret
9 I'm Not That Way Anymore (Reprise)
Purchase this CD

Evolving out of the Happyland Jubilee Singers, this traditional black gospel quartet was formed in 1937 at the Talladega Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Alabama. By the ’40s they became “The Blind Boys” and recorded for Specialty, Vee Jay, Savoy, Elektra, and other labels. Their first hit was “I Can See Everybody’s Mother but Mine” in 1949. Current lineup: Joe Watson, Jimmy Carter, Sam and Bobby Butler, Curtis Foster, Johnny Fields, and Clarence Fountain.

They appeared on Broadway in Gospel at Colonus, but gained much more fame during the late ’90s and early 2000s while recording for Peter Gabriel’s Real World label a series of albums beginning with the collaboration-heavy Spirit of the Century. The group also appeared on Gabriel’s 2002 album Up. ~ Bill Carpenter, All Music Guide

Compilation | Blues On Blonde on Blonde

Released on April 22nd, 2003
1 Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
2 Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
3 Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
4 Visions of Johanna
5 Pledging My Time
6 Just Like a Woman
7 Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
8 Obviously 5 Believers - Sean Costello
9 One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)
10 Temporary Like Achilles
11 I Want You
12 Absolutely Sweet Marie
Purchase this CD

In the annals of rock and pop music, only a handful of albums stand out as watershed moments of artistic and historical significance. Elvis Presley’s eponymous debut album in 1956, the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, the Clash’s London Calling in 1979 and Michael Jackson’s Thriller in 1983 are among the few. Also on that list—somewhere between the raw epiphany of Elvis Presley and the innovative brilliance of the Beatles—is Bob Dylan’s landmark 1966 recording, Blonde on Blonde, an album that chronicled Dylan’s evolution from Guthrie-esque acoustic folk troubadour to something much more broad-based and transcendant.

Nearly forty years after the debut of Blonde on Blonde, Telarc releases Blues on Blonde on Blonde—an assembly of some of the finest artists on the contemporary blues scene paying musical tribute to the pivotal recording that blended blues, country, rock and folk and marked the zenith of Dylan’s electric period. “While the songs of Blonde on Blonde do not adhere to strict blues progressions, one can certainly hear an affinity to the blues, and related musical styles, and this is the concept we explored on Blues on Blonde on Blonde,” says producer Randy Labbe, who helmed the similarly themed Blues White Album, a 2002 blues tribute to the Beatles’ self-titled 1968 opus that has come to be known as The White Album. “Some of our performances could be considered straight-ahead blues, while others may fall into related categories like early jazz, folk, soul and zydeco.” This diversity of voices and styles among the twelve tracks on Blues on Blonde on Blonde is a direct reflection of the album that inspires it, Labbe adds. “Blonde on Blonde, like it’s creator, is not limited to one stylistic approach but, like the blues, it goes wherever it needs to in order to convey the message.”

Jody Williams | Return of the Legend

Released on February 26th, 2002
1 Lucky Lou
2 Come Over to My House
3 Lifelong Lover
4 You May
5 Moanin' For Molasses
6 Monkey Business
7 I'm Coming Back in Again
8 She Found a Fool and Bumped His Head
9 Jive Spot
10 Brown Eyes and Big Thighs
11 Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am
12 What You Gonna Do?
13 Henpecked and Happy
Purchase this CD

Jody Williams was a staple on Chess recordings from the early fifties through the mid-sixties, playing guitar on classic recordings by Howlin’ Wolf, Billy Boy Arnold and Bo Diddley. But in the late sixties, Jody was tired of getting ripped off. It seems quite apparent that his instrumental Lucky Lou was transformed into Otis Rush’s All Your Love (I Miss Loving), a blues and rock classic. A guitar solo Jody recorded behind Chess R&B singer Billy Stewart on his single Billy’s Blues seems to be the entire core of Mickey and Sylvia’s smash hit classic Love Is Strange. A lawsuit against RCA records over songwriting credit for that track failed, and in the late sixties Jody had had enough of the music business and quit. He spent the next three decades working as a repair technician for Xerox and then as an ATM machine repairman. Now, after thirty plus years outside of the music business, Jody Williams is launching a comeback that includes recording his first album ever: Return Of A Legend (Evidence 26120). The CD features three guitar stars who were influenced by his style—Sean Costello, Tinsley Ellis and Rusty Zinn—as well as old cohort Billy Boy Arnold, and a superb Chicago rhythm section that includes Ronnie Baker Brooks on rhythm guitar. All thirteen tracks were written by Jody, including old hits Lucky Lou, You May, Moanin’ For Molasses, and Jive Spot.

Sean Costello | Moanin’ for Molasses

Released on March 15th, 2001
1 Moanin' For Molasses
2 You're Killing My Love
3 Don't Be Reckless With My Heart
4 You're A Part Of Me
5 One Kiss
6 No Lie
7 The Plumber
8 I Want You So Bad
9 It Takes Time
10 Miles Away
11 Low-Life Blues
12 You Can't Win With A Losing Hand
13 Good Advice

The third time’s the charm for this young Atlanta bluesman. Not only is Moanin’ his most accomplished and evocative album, it is also the one that took him from being a little-known but promising up-and-comer who once backed Susan Tedeschi to a prominent solo artist who landed W.C. Handy award nominations and was featured on the cover of national blues magazine Blues Revue. Combining stunning covers of obscure soul (James Brown’s “I Want You So Bad” and Johnnie Taylor’s “You Can’t Win With a Losing Hand”), blues (Otis Rush’s “It Takes Time” and Willie Dixon’s “One Kiss”), and R&B (Mike Bloomfield’s “You’re Killing My Love,” likely picked up from Atlanta’s Theodis Ealey, who also covered it) along with his own sturdy originals, the album crackles with excitement.

Costello’s soulful voice has matured, and his singing is authoritative, although without the pretentiousness that often mars many young blues musicians. Most importantly, Costello owns these songs and makes his points concisely, with most tracks running under four minutes, and some under three, a rarity for blues albums. His solos are classy, crisp, and succinct, supporting the songs without overwhelming them, and the occasional horns perfectly punctuate the tracks, adding emphasis but never overshadowing Costello’s finesse and charm.

He sounds absolutely inspired here, helped by tough and sparkling originals like “You’re a Part of Me” that easily hold their own with the covers. Costello also shares the spotlight here, especially with harp player Paul Linden, who co-wrote a few tracks and plays solid solos throughout. Costello’s natural charisma and obvious delight in performing, along with his ability to mesh blues, R&B, and soul, make this album one of the roots highlights of 2001, and a terrific listen anytime. ~ Hal Horowitz, All Music Guide

Sean Costello | Cuttin’ In

Released on January 25th, 2000
1 Talk To Your Daughter
2 Cuttin' In
3 Cold Cold Ground
4 Mellow Chick Swing
5 I Want To Be Loved
6 Who's Been Cheatin' Who
7 Double Trouble
8 Jumpin' Salty
9 Goombay Rock
10 I Got Loaded
11 Those Lonely Lonely Nights
12 Close To You
13 Rub-A-Dub
14 Ah'w Baby

This is Costello’s second solo album, his first since his appearance on Susan Tedeschi’s hit CD Just Won’t Burn. Costello is only 20 years old, but his guitar work is in a completely different league from that of the other kid blues guitarists currently causing a fuss in bluesland. Costello comes from a remarkably well-informed place as a player. This is reflected not only in his guitar style, but also in the choice of material on Cuttin’ In.He has a nice feel for jump blues, as we hear on his cover of Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Mellow Chick Swing,” and he can do the hard-edged Chicago blues with the requisite skill and fury — check out his Butterfield-esque original “Who’s Been Cheatin’ Who.”

The R&B influence has not eluded Costello either — his cover of Otis Rush’s “Double Trouble” is handled with a soulful feel that belies his age. And Costello’s not afraid to take a flyer, either, which brings us to the calypso funkiness of “Goombay Rock,” a song worthy of the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ attention. Costello the guitarist has snatched the key to the blues kingdom. His playing is shockingly deep for a 20-year-old. And his vocal work is nearly a match for his guitar chops; given time, that too will become very real. Of all the young blues lions out there brandishing their electric guitars, Costello is the one who’s got his head and heart into the deep blues. ~ Philip Van Vleck, All Music Guide

Mudcat | Mo’ Better Chicken

Released on February 1st, 2000
1 Four Twenty
2 Sweet Tooth
3 Savannah Strut
4 Cow Cow Boogie
5 Devilish
6 Pal-O-Mine
7 Dirt Road
8 My Sweetie
9 Grinnin'
10 White Flame
11 Chauffeur
12 Bottom of the Bottle
13 White Shoes

The discs [Mo’ Better Chicken; Mud, Sweat & Beers] showcase several notables from the Southeastern blues scene, including blues prodigy Sean Costello, a former sideman (and boyfriend) of Grammy-nominated singer Susan Tedeschi. Danny Dudeck says of 21 year old Costello, “He’s an awesome player and he puts everything into every note, and every note is right where it needs to be. He has a wonderful career ahead of him.” Eddie Tigner, former keyboardist for the famous Ink Spots, contributes some fantastic organ and electric piano. One of Dudeck’s favorite contributors was long-time Atlanta blues scenester Little Brother, “He’s real smooth and I’m real raw and rough and don’t really know what I’m doing, and he really knows what he’s doing. But somehow when we get together we effect each other, and I love it.”

Sean Costello & His Jivebomber | Call the Cops

Released on January 1st, 1998
1 Take Me Back
2 One More Chance With You
3 Anna Lee
4 Call the Cops
5 Why Baby?
6 Sail On
7 Jelly Roll
8 Sit Down Baby
9 Blues Para Mi Angelita
10 (Let Me) Take You Home
11 My Favorite Things
12 Take a Walk With Me
13 I'm Leaving
14 Everybody Wants Her
15 She Was a Dreamer

Sean Costello & His Jivebombers | Call the Cops
GHS Associates, LLC | 1998| 2011 Reissue

Young fretburner Sean Costello was a mere 16 years old when he recorded this debut opus in ’96 but was already showing class A chops and a deep knowledge of the blues. With over half of the material on here emanating from his pen, Costello also takes on some classic tunes like “Anna Lee,” “Take A Little Walk With Me,” Willie Dixon’s “Sit Down Baby,” and Little Walter’s “One More Chance With You” and turns in solid versions that show his understanding of the material. This 1999 reissue clearly shows that not all young guitarists are merely Stevie Ray Vaughan-abees.
~ Cub Koda, All Music Guide

Susan Tedeschi | Just Won’t Burn

Released on February 1st, 1998
1 Rock Me Right
2 You Need to Be with Me
3 Little by Little
4 It Hurt So Bad
5 Found Someone New
6 Looking for Answers
7 Can't Leave You Alone
8 Just Won't Burn
9 (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean
10 Angel from Montgomery
11 Friar's Point
Purchase this CD

“Just Won’t Burn, featuring young guitarist Sean Costello, was released in February 1998 to very positive reviews from blues publications.”

The very idea of a lady slinging a guitar sets traditional blues fans swooning. But with the release of her debut, Susan Tedeschi slings, aims, and hits her target. What a talent! Singer, songwriter, player, performer, and more, the lady from Boston can do it all. Effective, she does justice to John Prine’s classic “Angel from Montgomery” while making her own efforts known. Her tunes include “You Need to Be with Me,” “Found Someone New,” and the title cut. Leading her own band, she has what it takes to keep the boys in line while she wails away. Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith must be proud, and B.B. King must be impressed, since she has opened for that blues master on several occasions. Just a little taste of things to come, Just Won’t Burn blazes a trail that Tedeschi is pioneering for herself and younger women in the blues world. A brave heart with spunk and plenty of soul. ~ Jana Pendragon, All Music Guide

Mikael Santana | In Transit

Released on March 1st, 1998
1 High-class Automobile
2 Sexy Like a Tango
3 Hey Big Joe
4 Always Gettin' Burned
5 Fine Lookin' Woman
6 The Moon Is Risin'
7 One More Roll
8 Bluffin' Mama
9 Express Your Desire
10 In Transit
Purchase this CD

Released in 1998 on the North Magnolia label, this is the second installment of Mikael Santana’s musical odyssey. Bill Ellis, music writer for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, gave “In Transit” a 3 and a half stars rating and wrote of it: “Garnering help from guitar whiz Sean Costello and the creative half of the junkyardmen – harpist Billy Gibson and drummer John Scalici – performer Mikael Santana beautifully blurs the lines between jazz and blues on his dazzler of a record “In Transit.”A big influence is Mose Allison, especially on the hipster glide of High-Class Automobile (aided by another great musician, pianist Gerald Stephens). Santana also goes south of the border in Sexy Like a Tango, acknowledges Chuck Berry on One More Roll, and nails the jump blues in Express Your Desire.

This cat has all the bases covered – not only is Santana a heavy composer, his harp playing lands on all the right notes and his seasoned voice runs the show. Impressive down to the cool CD cover.” With the release of In Transit, Mikael formed The Mikael Santana Band. Using The Black Diamond Club on Beale Street in Memphis as their base of operations, they have regularly gigged there as headliners, or have opened up for such blues notables as Little Jimmy King, Blind Mississippi Morris, Studebaker John, Sean Costello, and Anson Funderburgh with Sam Myers. On June 2, 2000 they were given the honor of opening for B.B. King at the B.B. King Homecoming in Indianola, Mississippi.

Bobby Little and the Counts of Rhythm

Released on January 1st, 1996
For CD Listing, please contact:

North Magnolia Music, Post Office Box 1816, Oxford, Mississippi 38655

The first time I saw Bobby Little play was at a club in Oxford, MS. I remember the band included Johnny Billington on guitar, Bobby on drums, and Chris Nesmith on bass. I believe it was the winter of 1989. The club was packed and the band was really groovin’. I knew immediately that I wanted to play in that band. The bass player lived in Oxford and would drive to Clarksdale, MS to practice and gig because both Bobby and Mr. Johnny lived in Clarksdale.

To make a long story short, I talked with Chris and he set up an audition. They liked what I was doing on the harmonica and hired me. Bobby and I have played together on and off for over 5 years. This album is my attempt to capture Bobby’s sound on drums and vocals. For this project I enlisted the help of my current bandmates Sean Costello (guitar) and Carl Shankle (bass). 

Also from Memphis, TN Al Rollog came into the studio to help fill out the rhythm section. I recorded Bobby’s drums, vocals, and piano down in Oxford, MS at the Zombie Birdhouse Studios (home to many Fat Possum sessions). Bruce Watson engineered. Then the rest of the band was recorded at Rockingchair Studios in Memphis, TN. Alan Mullins engineered. This is the blues album I always wanted to record with Bobby. I’m very pleased with the results and am sure you will be too.
~ Bill Gibson, North Magnolia Music

Pat Ramsey | It’s About Time

Released on January 1st, 1995
1 Allergic to Work
2 Georgia Swing
3 King of Fools
4 Stingin' Stang
5 I Need Money
6 Broken Hearted
7 It's About Time
8 Jammin' in the Jungle
9 Baby Baby Let's Go
10 Loan Me a Dime
11 Too Many Drivers
12 We Can Fly
13 Hippie Song

“It’s About Time” features some stellar musicianship, including an appearance by a young (15 years old!) Sean Costello on tracks 2 and 6. Renowned for his incendiary harmonica work on Johnny Winter’s “White Hot & Blue” LP, Pat Ramsey has been called “a harp player’s harp player”.”Ask harmonica buffs which Johnny Winter album is their favorite, and I’ll lay odds that “White Hot & Blue” gets cited most often. Pat Ramsey’s harp work on that album is the reason why. Now Pat has released his own project, the aptly named “It’s About Time”
~ Tom Townsley, Blues Review

  • “It’s About Time is one of the most exciting albums I have heard in ages. Two months later, I have yet to pull it out of my tape deck.” ~ Baker Yates, Beale St. Blues Society
  • “Pat Ramsey’s new CD, It’s About Time, smacks you between the ears. When the testosterone is alternately powering the harp and the guitar, this is pretty exciting fare.” ~ Magic City Blues Society, Birmingham, AL
  • “It’s About Time has some of the best harp and vocals you’ll hear anywhere.” ~ Music City Blues Society, Nashville, TN
  • “Variety aplenty and all done well… seasoned and on target… harp sparks flying throughout.” ~ Tom Ellis III, Blues Access
  • “Pat has fabulous tone, as big as the Grand Canyon.” ~ Steve Harvell, Bluzharp Newsletter
  • “The band could hardly be said to have a very traditional sound, and yet no one is going to dispute this man’s blues credentials with the completely fat, soulful sound he gets out of the harp. ” ~ ColumbusAlive.com
  • “Pat can blow a harp as well as any of the best I have seen, and combined with his very dynamic, soulful, bluesy vocals, his performances are always memorable.” ~ Peter Lauro