American Music-It’s Really Happening!!!!
Blues Art Journal: Issue MAY/JUNE/JULY 2008
MIKE DOLLINS BAND featuring Ginny Becton
Live Love Laugh
Own label - JAM Records
This outfit is based in Benton, Arkansas and has been raising some sand recently. This is not too surprising as the
Mike Dollins Band is a very versatile outfit which can range from the cool and jazzy sound of the opening (and title)
track, with its smooth vocal by Ginny Becton, delicate guitar work and underpinning organ, to the dirty, rocking boogie
sound of 'Be Your Man'. Along the way are such delights as the slow 'No One To Turn To' with a blueswailing vocal
by Ginny, the out-and-out jazz of 'Summertime', the rocking 'Leaving Chicago' with James Cotton styled harp-playing,
the down-home 'Strange Things', or the 'Help Me' groove, excellent organ and tough guitar playing of the closing
The other numbers also contain elements of soul, funk, rock and roll and swing to add to the delight of those
listening to this very enjoyable and varied CD
----- Norman Darwen http://www.bluesart.at
From: Texas Jake Lee www.myspace.com/texasjake
Mike Dollins Band 2008
Once again the "godfather"of the blues has put out a fantastic new CD! The title song features the beautiful vocals of
Ginny Becton. Combined with the great, inspirational music of the band, really sets the stage for this set!
The feel of 6"What Can I Say" reminds me of better days gone bye,when we had guitarist like Mike Bloomfield and
harmonica greats like Paul Butterfield, that set the standard for what blues should "be".
Number 10, Leaving Chicago, features the vocals and red-hot harp work of John Thaden, and really proves this
band has credentials won with hard work and soul.
11 Boogie Train, is a real toe tapper featuring some of the sweetest guitar licks and piano [played by keyboard
master,Steve Giles] you are likely to hear ...ever!
Throughout this album you will hear Bill McCumber [one of my favorite bass players] holding it all together with his
great bass tones.Together with "Mr. Right-on-time" Greg Jones, they lay down a beat and rhythm highway that is
bound to please you and make you want to "shake a tail feather"! Also you will hear David Wollard on guitar,adding
just enough sugar to the mix to make it really full!
I received this album Saturday, and have had it spinning ever since! Mike Dollins has always been one of my
favorite blues people and he has really out done himself on this new CD. Thanks Mike, Ginny, Steve, Greg, Bill, John
and David for giving us all a taste of what the "blues" are supposed to sound and feel like!
Texas Jake www.myspace.com/texasjake
May 19 2008
Terry Knott's Brit BLUES Club
American Music at its best!
by Terry Knot
Hey Friends! Ive gotta share this with you! Id be totally selfish if I didn't!
I have had the greatest weekend ever! Why? Well, this is why! Ive just begun recording again after some time, and
Friday, I was at my mixing desk, when having a break and a "Cuppa Tea" the post box flies open and through it came
a padded bag with a label on it, I was so eager to receive! The Milk Dollins Bands New CD "Live Love Laugh".I was
like a 10 year old on Christmas day! That's what music does for me. But, when it comes from a "Living Blues
Legend" such as Mike Dollins, it makes it very special! I didn't want to do the album injustice. Anything that is worth
listening too, has to be done so when their are no interruptions that "break the moment" That moment came last
night! And my goodness, what a wonderful journey this Album took me on!
Music for most of us, are times, places, occasions, gyrating your toosh or a melody in the back ground while you are
doing stuff. This Album for me took me to many places throughout the whole 15 wonderful tracks. From Driving
down a beach road on a Sunny day like today, to the very time when I was a kid, when my brain absorbed the
sounds that inspired me do what I do today. This Album has every single thing you could want to enjoy an evening
either watching them live, or as I was just sitting down and digging it.
Mike for me is riding on the crest of a wave of creativity. He to me, has never sounded better. The Album is fused with
Jazz laced melodies, Rolling Stone infused Rockers, to Classic Blues Ballads that just emanate "Class". Mike is a
Guitar player that has that special something, which you cant buy or learn, you got it, or you aint! That simple! The
mark of a Class Guitar player is to know when to play and when not too. That I know is very difficult, because when
you are in the groove all you wanna do, is play!
Mikes timing in that regard is just perfection, playing wonderfully mellow Jazzed Chord Licks, Deep n Dirty Blues lick
breaks, or just a touch here and a flick there Mike really does shine on this! Against a back drop of top rate keys and
swirling Harmonica he lays it down spot on! With stunning vocals from Ginny, John, Greg and Mike himself shows
just how Mike is as a band leader, as he lets his band mates shine and take their place in the spot light, while he
sits in the back ground waiting and timing his next phrase! There are Albums & there are Albums. This is one hell of
a CD, you just gotta feel it to believe it. So, take that trip right here:
Terry Knott - UK
Blues Hall of Fame Inductee
& Ambassador for the Blues to the City of London.
"Official Blues Hall Of Fame Now on Myspace"
Terry Knott's Blues Club!
Where the music comes 1st!
CD Review Mike Dollins & the Cruize Brothers
Mike Dollins and I have been cyber buddies for a while now.
Mike and I are the same age, both being born in 1945 we have
received the same musical influences throughout our lives.
Early R &B, Rock and Roll, Jazz both traditional and modern as
well as Blues. I have several of his computerised digital studio
produced solo recordings, "Jazz Rhythm &Blues," "Blues,
Boogie, Shuffles &Stomps," and "Blues Guitar." Very cleverly
produced CD's, some of the techniques I am sure learnt from
one of the famous "Chess" label technicians Mike worked with
a while back. Mike has had a varied career, playing guitar in his
first band at high school, in a band with the "Neville Brothers"
during his Airforce days and many more since, notably "Blues
Incorporated," "the "Big Daddy Rucker band," the "King Biscuit
band" with harp king Ken Schoppmeyer, as well as his own
"Mike Dollins Band." On this album we have Mike Dollins
teamed up with his old school chum Victor Marquez another
noted San Diego blues guitarist, together with the "Enjambre
Family Latin Jazz Connection" Roy Enjambre on bass, Dominic
Enjambre on keyboards &Roy Enjambre Jr. on drums forming a
fusion called the "Cruize Brothers Band."
This CD unlike Mikes previous solo studio efforts is a "LIVE"
band recording by his wife Jo Ann at the San Diego Bay Cruise
Ship Terminal Festival 2003. The sound quality is not up to
modern day standards with all it's knob twiddling etc but it gives
an authentic jazz/blues feel of the 60's era to this thoroughly
enjoyable jam session, all the guys givin' their all. It's great to
have two masterful lead guitarists, Mike and Victor vying with
each other bringing out the best in themselves and from the
rest of the band.
This exceptional CD has a mixture of standard jazz and blues
tunes, 3 of them instrumental numbers, 5 vocal numbers. Two
original tunes "Cruize Control" and "Downtown," both well
written and performed. The style of the vocal numbers reminds
me of Hound Dog Taylor, just great. All numbers are extended
giving plenty of time for great solo's by guitars, harp, keyboards
and bass, together with great drums, solid man. Listen out for
the Cruise ship "horn" section on track 1.
|Inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame: 2003
Blues & More
Little Rock based bluesman Mike Dollins calls his submitted
CD-R album Chameleon because when it comes to guitar, he
likes playing so many styles and vintages. Blues, of course,
form the root of his playing, and his album features six
numbers so rooted. Dollins has been playing his axe since
1958, so if you do the math, he's got almost 50 years worth of
experience. Dollins loves to solo as well, peppering his songs
with improvised lines, not only in traditional solo sections, but
also between verses, as intros, as outros, and more. All this
means more and more guitar for the blues guitar lover. You can
groove and move to his music, and after that, you can check out
one of his other umpteen CDs available through his web site.
Mike picked up the guitar in 1958 and fell in love with R&B,
blues, jazz and gospel music. His blues name, Whisker Fish,
came about by his number one all time radio play funk fusion
hit called "Whisker Fish", which can still be heard on jazz
stations world wide. After spending years forming bandsand
promoting other artists, Mike's first solo CD was issued in
2000, entitled "Jazz, Rhythm & Blues". Mike has family roots in
Arkansas and musical roots in jazz and blues. He has many
years of stage playing and performing experience, and has
been in bands such as Cruzin', The Jades and The Esquires,
among others. Listed in the Blues Hall of Fame, Mike has spent
years playing and promoting the blues before it was an in thing.
"Jazz, Rhythm & Blues" still receives airplay on blues, jazz, and
fusion FM & Internet radio stations.
- 'Mike Dollins & Cruize Brothers - Live' -- by Joe Curtis --
Mike Dollins & Cruize Brothers 'Live' is truly just that! An off-the-floor live
jam that clicked - preserved for musical posterity for those who really dig
the truly live 'magic' that happens sometimes, but rarely has the fortunate
chance of being recorded.
The Cruize Brothers band features San Diego Bay blues/jazz guitarist and
harp player Mike Dollins, sharing lead and rhythm guitar duties with fellow
guitarist Victor Marquez. Dollins also sings lead vocals on this fusion CD.
The superb Cruize Brothers rhythm section is composed of the Enjambre
Family Latin Jazz Connection featuring Roy Enjambre, Dominic Enjambre
and Roy Enjambre Jr. -- a popular Bay-area combo -- on bass, keyboards
and drums respectively.
The first tune -- one of two Cruize Brothers originals featured -- is
appropriately titled "Cruize Control". It's a real attention-grabber featuring
energetic, wild soloing on guitar, organ and bass; reinforced by incredible
jazz/blues guitar rhythms and hard-driving drumming.
The highlight for this writer, is "Sky Train" -- a superb slow blues winner,
that soars to the 'blues sky' with mouthwatering guitar solos that cry out
their urgency, and can definitely provide blues aficionados with their 'blues
fix'. Dollins sings out "the sky is crying", which is complemented by his
'crying' guitar riffs. Dominic's organ accompaniment is full-bodied and
adds much to this tune, as do the jazz/blues guitar rhythms, exquisite
piano soloing and Roy Sr.'s beautifully melodic bass solo featured in this
The classic jazz/blues "Summertime" is done in a Latin/Jazz style. This
refreshing rendition showcases the Cruize Brothers' Enjambre Family
Latin Jazz Connection rhythm section. The electric piano and percussion
solos they do, are enchanting, and are complemented by brilliant lead and
rhythm jazz guitar and percussion. The guitar leads scream out their
intensity, as only a master of the instrument can interpret them -- conjuring
images of Carlos Santana "
The classic "Stormy Monday" follows, and right from the start it's obvious
this rendition will be special, due to the fast-paced soloing intro. Dollins'
vocals are smooth, mellow and enjoyable to listen to in this classic blues
standard. The jazz-influenced guitar soloing and organ harmonies add a
classy jazz influence, which makes this version a classic in itself. Roy Jr.'s
drumming is excellent throughout. The guitar solos are well done but not
over-done. An inspired electric piano solo occurs just at the right time -
then more of Dollins' heartwarming, mellow vocals, along with incredible
guitar leads and jazz rhythms.
This energy is sustained throughout this classic blues CD, live and
thoroughly enjoyable jazz/blues jam-style concert featuring Mike Dollins &
This outfit is based in Benton,
Arkansas and has been raising some
sand recently. This is not too
surprising as the Mike Dollins Band is
a very versatile outfit which can range
from the cool and jazzy sound of the
opening (and title) track, with its
smooth vocal by Ginny Becton,
delicate guitar work and underpinning
organ, to the dirty, rocking boogie
sound of 'Be Your Man'. Along the way
are such delights as the slow 'No One
To Turn To' with a blueswailing vocal
by Ginny, the out-and-out jazz of
'Summertime', the rocking 'Leaving
Chicago' with James Cotton styled
harp-playing, the down-home 'Strange
Things', or the 'Help Me' groove,
excellent organ and tough guitar
playing of the closing 'Teaser'.
The other numbers also contain
elements of soul, funk, rock and roll
and swing to add to the delight of
those listening to this very enjoyable
and varied CD
Pat Graham’s Blues Highway KLBC Long Beach, CA
Midnight Special Blues Radio, France
KABF 88.3 Deb’s House Party, AR
One Chord Show WWPV Vermont
Mark Kerr’s Blues Nation, Louisiana
Ron Ryder’s Radio Cave, New Jersey
Uwe’s Wolfe Blues, Germany
We Love The Blues, Germany
Geoff’s Helsinki Blues Café, Finland
Cynthia Hammond KSDS, San Diego, CA
Blues With Russell, California
Bay Area Blues Radio, San Francisco, CA
KKUP Cupertino, CA
Larry Lowe’s Cybro Radio, El Cajon, CA
WBFO 88.7 Buffalo, New York
KABF Amy’s Smokestack, Little Rock, AR
Larry’s Delta Boogie Radio, Jonesboro, AR
WEVL 89.9 Memphis, TN
KRVM 91.9 Eugene, OR
WUCF 89.9 Florida
Smokestack Lightenin, Orlando, FL
WMBR 88.1 Cambridge, MA
KSPC Radio, Claremont, CA
KUNV 91.5 Las Vegas, Nevada
Ron Moreland, Philly’s Hip Hop
WWOZ New Orleans, LA
WRRW 100.9 Williamsburg, VA
WMHB 89.7 Maine
WGVE 88.7 Chicago, IL
Blues Blow Torch, Chicago
Blues You Can Use, Dolton, IL
Radio Jazz, Canada
Rocking The Blues, England
Midnight Blues Lounge Show
Tornado Valley Radio
Kansas City Online Radio
WQLN 91.4 Denmark
Arkansas Net Radio
Barikada Radio, Bosnia
Preying Lizard Music, Alabama
Blues Corner, Württemberg Germany
Sunday Night Blues 92.1 FM, WI
La Hora del Blues, Barcelona, Spain
KCOR, Kansas City
Blues Radio UK
Chittlin’ Circuit Radio, Florida
Eli Marcus Blues Radio, Israel
Mark Dr. B, Verbert, Belgium
Jempi Samyn, Brussels
ENDORSEMENTS & COMMNETS
“Nice Freddy & BB King type chops”
Bruce Iglauer, President Alligator Records
“Cool as country spring water, and smooth
as a breeze.”
Al Bell, President of Stax/Volt Records
“Mike plays some mean guitar & sings quite
well too“ Doug Treadway, Nightflying Magazine
“Mike is just amazing” Pat Lynch,
Talk Radio, Arkansas www.lyncho.com
“Checked out your jazz, R&B CD – Good work.”
Dave Berryman, President Gibson Guitar
“Your CD is part of our play list –
hooked on whisker fish.” Ron Moreland,
Jazz Radio Philadelphia
“Playing your CD every weekend.”
Delta Frank, Blues Blowtorch WGLT Illinois
“Your CD is great. We’re giving it lots of airplay.”
Laura Morrison WMHB 89.7 FM, Maine
“Looking forward to your new CD.”
Frank Skinner, Spalding Blues Club, England
“Your CD is really good.” Doug Carlisle, WLGX
106.7 FM South Carolina
“Mike is one of the best, & he’ll receive a big
welcome on this side of the pond.” Jim Moore,
J&B 96.3 Blues Radio, Scotland
“Blues and R&B, superbly executed.” Joe Curtis
of Delta Dawn, Lincolnshire, England
Reviews and media, as Featured in:
Chittlin’ Circuit Magazine
Blues on Stage
Blues Art Journal
Nightflying Entertainment Guide
Blues Blast Magazine
All About Jazz
Mike Dollins formed the Cruize Brothers during the seventies and
were highly popular in California. Although the personnel have
changed over the decades, the super energetic music remains the
same. All pure American Roadhouse music with a mix of Blues,
R&B, Rock, Jazz and favorite songs from over the years.
The current edition of the Cruize Brothers features journeymen,
Guido Ciardetti on bass and in Brad Messer on drums both in
constant demand for sessions and shows. All three members sing,
and share in what they call jammin’ keeping audiences alive and
well. The three seasoned musicians blend and flow as if they've
been together for decades.
Mike Dollins & The Cruize Brothers CD success is well noted, and
heard on over 100 radio stations worldwide. Also featured guests
on radio and television broadcasts. The group has received great
reviews in major music magazines including Chittlin’ Circuit,
Nightflying Entertainment Guide, Blues on Stage and the Austrian -
Blues Art Journal. The group also has one of the hotest videos
on YouTube, MySpace and AOL Videos. http://www.youtube.
The group is based in Central Arkansas now, but travels the
southland where they’ve performed at many clubs, showcases,
festivals and events. Mike was inducted into the National
Heritage Blues Hall of Fame in 2003. Visit the rest of the site for
more complete history, endosements and music networking.
For further information
and details please contact:
POB 2077, Benton, AR 72018
Radio Stations featuring the Cruize Brothers
in their broadcast play mix.
NEWS ARTICLE KASU 91.9 FM
MIKE DOLLINS, THE CRUIZE BROTHERS TO PERFORM AT KASU BLUESDAY TUESDAY MAY 14
JONESBORO, Ark. — For the May 14 Bluesday Tuesday concert in Newport, KASU Radio brings back Mike Dollins
and the Cruize Brothers for their first Newport appearance in over four years. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at Newport
Country Club, 703 Walker Drive, and is free to the public. KASU will pass the hat for the band.
Mike Dollins has earned the respect of blues musicians, record producers and radio deejays from San Diego to
Philadelphia to London. Born in 1945 in southern California, he got his first guitar at the age of 13 and grew up
listening to early rhythm and blues, rock and roll and jazz. He played in his first band, The Esquires, in 1960.
As America’s musical tastes changed over the next 50 years, so did Dollins’ clothing and hair styles. But his passion
for the blues remained constant while he perfected his guitar craftsmanship. Dollins became a well-known band
member and leader in the southern California club, festival and studio scene playing styles that ranged from rhythm
and blues to gospel.
About 10 years ago, Dollins moved to Arkansas and found a musical home in the Delta blues region. Mike Dollins and
the Cruise Brothers Band is based in Benton, Ark., and will release a new CD in June that represents over a decade of
their best work. The band has played at nightspots and at blues events all over Arkansas including Hot Springs,
Helena, Fayetteville and Little Rock. They have played at one previous KASU event in Newport.
KASU station manager Mike Doyle said, “Mike Dollins is a 68-year-old guitar master and a musical treasure that has
been playing for over half a century. We’re glad to bring him back for Newport’s Bluesday Tuesday audience. You can
enjoy this night by dancing to a full tilt boogie band if you like, or by just sitting back and appreciating their subtle
styling and musical craftsmanship.”
The monthly Bluesday Tuesday concerts at Newport Country Club are presented without membership fee or cover
charge by KASU, the broadcasting service of Arkansas State University, underwritten by ASU-Newport, C and C
Distributors, and Harris Ford in Newport. The Newport Country Club prepares a buffet supper available for a fee.
KASU News: http://www.astate.edu/a/asunews/newsDetails.dot?newsid=1c3c4fc1-a1fc-40ce-97d6-50e9af24cf6c