Saturday, February 16, 2019

South Florida Weather Is In It's Prime, and the Marty Stokes Band Is THERE!

Marty Stokes Band
Blues, under the palms...

8: SLATES, CAPE CORAL ~ 7-10pm
15: GEORGE & WENDYS, Sanibel ~ 9pm-12am
16: BLUE MONKEY, Naples ~ 8:30-11:30pm

Saturday, February 23, 2018 ~ 2-3:30pm
Ave Maria


Marty Stokes
"Down On My Knees"
USEPPA Records
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © June 2018

"Down On My Knees" is Marty Stokes' fourth release and the third that we here at Mary4Music have had the pleasure of working with. Also, since Marty is a fellow Floridian, I've also had the pleasure of seeing him and his band perform on many occasions. Florida, being the blues hotbed that it is, has more festivals, clubs, juke joints and tiki bars than one can count, and Marty's pretty much played them all - and more than once at that. Things like that don't happen by accident.

The Marty Stokes Band consists of: Marty on vocals and rhythm, lead, slide and acoustic guitars; Jennifer Mazziotti on saxophone; Daryl Best on bass; and Rick Whiteman on drums. Special guests include: John McLane on B3; Summer Mendez Kilgore on vocals; and JP Soars on guitar and cigar box guitar. "Down On My Knees" contains thirteen tracks of which eleven are Marty Stokes originals.

Being one of my favorite guitar players in the genre, as soon as I read in the credits that JP Soars was featured on "Do You No Harm" I knew it would be one I'd love and would ultimately mention. That said, just like Frazier and Ali, Marty was right there going toe to toe with him.

So if you're going to do a song about a powerful hurricane, it had better have a powerful force behind it. On this absolutely flawless rendition of Albert Castiglia's "Hurricane Blues", Darryl on bass and Rick - with a chest thumpin' drum lead, saw to it that there indeed was. That, along with Jen's fierce sax leads and Marty's frantically paced slide guitar licks, created a sense of was time to batten down the hatches.

For so many reasons, "Stop" (Lonnie Brooks) is my favorite track of the lot. Right off the bat, Marty's slow, scorching, note bending guitar intro immediately told me that this one was going to be some pure, straight up, unadulterated and smokin' slow blues. Then Marty starts belting out some of his best soulful and emotional vocals and just as I'm thinking "whoa", Summer takes over and that angelic voice of hers just stopped me in my tracks. That's when I decided to sit back, put the head phones on, start the song over and just lose myself in it.....three or four times over. Now as good as I just made that all sound, it couldn't have happened without some monster rhythm going on and Darryl, Rick, Jennifer and John were all over that. Off the top of my head, I don't seem to recall how Lonnie's original version of this song went, but I honestly believe I may have just heard the best rendition ever recorded. Those few replays were unquestionably the best 20-25 minutes of music I've heard all week...and maybe even longer.

Inasmuch as the subject on "Whiskey Drinkin' Woman" is obviously a woman intoxicated by whiskey, take it from me, it will be the guitar work on this one that'll intoxicate you. With a very rich bass line pushing it, Marty and JP are killing it. From the plain old rhythm chords - and there's really nothing plain about them at all; to the scorching solo swaps; to the crazy amount of sound JP gets out of that two string cigar box; to Marty's skillful slide; - this is one is all about the guitars.

Like women, men appreciate being told they are loved as well. It doesn't need to be said often but it does need to be said from the heart. Here, listen to how Marty likes to hear it.....

"Tell me that you love me,
and not just like some old friend.
Tell me that you love me baby,
and not just like some old friend.
You don't have to tell me every day,
I just want to hear it 'Every Now And Then.'"

This is another one of my favorite situations where one of the best slow blues songs on the disc is also the longest song on the disc, it's like doubling my listening pleasure. For the better part of seven minutes you'll hear Darryl, Rick and John locked into just the perfect rhythm groove this type of song calls for; Jennifer crushing it on slow, sultry sax leads; and Marty - dare I say on disc's best - putting on a ninety second guitar solo that could hold up against any I've ever heard. Killer stuff!

The disc closes with "Pack Two Bags (Reprise)." It's a minute-and-a-half instrumental continuation of the non-instrumental track with the same title. The song coming to an abrupt end, just as it was peaking, caused my jaw to drop. I was thinking WTF, did my speakers break? If this was Marty's way of leaving the listener wanting more - IT WORKED! It's an all out power trio type thing with Marty, Rick and Darryl lust laying it all out. Phew!

Other tracks on "Down On My Knees" include: "Back Trackin'," the title track "Down On My Knees," "Pack Two Bags," "Pick Up The Phone," "Inside The Bottle," "I Found A Love," and "It Ain't About You."

For a lot more about Marty Stokes, - - is the place to go. Once you do, as always, please tell him his friend the Blewzzman sent you. 

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @

2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient 
Jennifer Mazziotti  & Marty Stokes

Daryl Best

 w/ more of Marty's great 
original tunes is 
Down on My Knees - 2018 Release
Selected by Orange Blossom Blues Society
 for entry in International Blues Competition's
Best Self-Produced CD Category!
~ ~ ~

Promotional distribution by
Jazz & Blues Florida

If you wish to be included in our FREE subscriber
list or update your current preferences
 please use this FORM

Did you know that as Florida’s ONLY dedicated promotion platform for live jazz & blues:
*We have the only monthly publication dedicated to previews of upcoming jazz and blues shows in Florida at 
*We have the most comprehensive festival page for Florida jazz & blues at ?
*We have the most complete and current listing of Florida jazz and blues links at ?
*We have the largest email notification system for upcoming jazz and blues events in Florida? 

And, of course, you can LIKE us on FACEBOOK!
~ ~ ~

No comments :

Post a Comment