Self-Release - 2020
10 tracks; 36:48
Published in Blues Matters! Issue 120 June-July, 2021
These songs are a combination of old tunes he recorded with previous bands and a few unreleased and just plain lost. But you certainly can't see the join and Brindell and his band swing through a set of really enjoyable tunes. He's an excellent guitarist and a mean harmonica player as well. There is a lengthy guest list of musicians but it is very much his show with Mike Brindell, JW Jones and Johnny Burgin on guitar, Alec Brindell, Dave "Shakey Dizz" Wagner, Eric Byorth, and Joel Meints on bass, Mitch Kashmar, John "Honeyboy" Turner, and Jim Wilson on harmonica, Jimi Bott, Gary Williams, Dave Meints, and Don Holmquist on drums and Dennis Lusk on Hammond Organ all making splendid contributions. His lyrics tend to take a wry look at life which makes for some fun listening.
There are more than a few jazzy guitar runs in there with The Old Zoo Bar a prime example. Elsewhere the title track is an amusing take on what it's like to be struggling to make ends meet while Blues For Omaha sounds like it could have come straight out of 1950 as he finds himself homesick, broke and carelss after his woman done done him wrong. Worst of all, he's going to have to explain this to his wife! An excellent release.
STUART A HAMILTON
"Pennies On The Dollar"
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro February 2021
Having recorded and written songs for projects with other bands, "Pennies On The Dollar" is Harvey Brindell's first release under his own name. Of the disc's ten tracks, a few are his originals from those other projects, some are originals he's performed live but never recorded, and a few are newly written for this debut release.
For this recording, Harvey - on guitar, vocals, Hammond organ and harmonica - is joined by: Mike Brindell, JW Jones and Johnny Burgin on guitar; Alec Brindell, Dave "Shakey Dizz" Wagner, Eric Byorth, and Joel Meints on bass; Mitch Kashmar, John "Honeyboy" Turner, and Jim Wilson on harmonica; Jimi Bott, Gary Williams, Dave Meints, and Don Holmquist on drums; and Dennis Lusk on Hammond Organ. Recognize any of those names? Of course, you do!
The cleverly written and playfully sung opening and title track finds Harvey stressing over his financial situation. With rent and other bills due, and in dire need of some food as well, Harvey assumed getting a job would make him right. Wrong! It seems his paycheck only amounted to "Pennies On The Dollar". Additionally, in drastic need of gas for his car, he attempted to pawn his guitar but, of course, was only offered pennies on the dollar. As a matter of fact, when being ordered to pay his back alimony and child support, the judge threw him in jail for only offering to pay - yeah, you guessed it - pennies on the dollar. Musically, with his outstanding guitar leads, Harvey successfully pulls off the singer, songwriter, musician hat trick; Along with Jimi Bott on the drums, Harvey's son Alec is in a perfect rhythm groove on bass; and Mitch Kashmar, as you do expect, is killing it on the harp. Very impressive first impression.
When using it to describe a three piece blues band, the term "power trio" frightens me. Reason being is that more often than not this type of blues band is actually a rock band. That said, "Take The Boy Out Of The Country" features powerfully sung vocals, powerfully blown harp and powerful guitar leads by Harvey; and a profoundly powerful rhythm being laid down by brothers Joel and Dave Meints on the bass and drums; that I've got to go ahead and say it - this is indeed one hell of a power trio blues band.
If you're going to sing a song about the legendary Zoo Bar in Lincoln, NE; and you're going to mention some of the legends such as Magic Slim, Lurrie and Carey Bell, Koko Taylor, Luther Allison, Albert Collins, Little Charlie and more who have played there; it might be a good idea if you make it a legendary performance. On this track titled "The Old Zoo Bar", Harvey Alec, Mitch and Jimi did just that. As a matter of fact, Mitch's harmonica lead and the rhythm groove Alec and Jimi are in midway through the track will totally blow you away.
Having lived in Nebraska for thirty years before relocating to Oregon, Harvey woke up one morning with the "Blues For Omaha". Being quite homesick, amongst other problems, the relocation started off a bit rough. You see, Harvey had a pocket full of money when he arrived, but waking up another morning, he discovered her - along with that money and his car - were gone. Bad, huh? Kind of, but the worse part is how he's going to explain this all to his wife. Yikes! Switching out the ensemble while not at all affecting the quality sound, this bluesy ballad features Dave Wagner (bass) and Gary Williams (drums) in a nice rhythm pocket with Honeyboy blowing some hot blues harp.
The instrumental "Short Flight" absolutely blew me away. It's one of those tracks that has so much going on that you've got to replay it many times - with 1-2 of those times being for me to try and figure out what song it was reminiscent of. It features Harvey working his magic on both the guitar and the Hammond organ; Eric Byroth and Don Holmquist creating the dreamy rhythm on the bass and drums; and Jimi Bott on the tambourine. BTW, if you want to know the song it reminded me of you'll just have to give it a listen, but the tracks title is a good hint.
When you wake up from a dream crying out and screaming; when you're thinking about your fate and your heart starts palpitating; when you're feeling really wise then you find your compromised; "That's The Blues". These are just a few of the many similes you'll here on this all out blues rocker.
Other tracks on this outstanding debut release include: "Need Him And Weep"; "Mississippi Medicaid"; "Omaha Bones"; and "Queen Of The High Waters"
For more on Harvey Brindell, to grab yourself a copy of "Pennies On The Dollar and/or to possibly get some psychological help from a guy with a Masters Degree on the matter, just go to www.harveybrindell.com. When you do, please tell him the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
Harvey Brindell - Pennies On The Dollar
This is Harvey Brindell's first solo release and he has brought together a stellar list of friends and bandmates to help him out. A veteran of 35 years on the circuit, Harvey has put together a set of songs that he has either previously recorded and not released, recorded on other albums and reworked here or are staples of his live set.
The title track opens up the album and this tale of financial woes is delivered as a shuffling Blues. Mitch Kashmar guests on harmonica and joins Brindell's guitar in being well played. The rhythm section of the famous Jimi Bott on drums and Alec Brindell on bass provides a solid base. Kashmar's harp sounds like its speaking to you at times.
The considerable talents of JW Jones are added on lead guitar for Need Him And Weep, a mid-paced R&B. Dave Wagner takes over on bass with a throbbing beat and a change of tempo brings in long time bandmate John 'Honeyboy' Turner on harmonica and he blows it out of the park.
It's Chicago Blues for Take The Boy Out Of The Country with Harvey taking on harmonica duties and shows he can blow the harp. Joel and Dave Meints complete a trio for this on bass and drums respectively. Kashmar returns on harmonica for The Old Zoo Bar, an easy going, stylish Swing Blues that is hard not to like. In a further switch of style, Blues For Omaha is a pared back electric Delta Blues. Turner is back on harp duties and puts in another top performance. Jimi Bott just plays hi-hat for additional percussion as Gary Williams takes over the kit.
Mississippi Medicaid sees a superb addition in the form of Johnny Burgin on lead guitar with Turner retaining his place on harmonica. This shuffling Blues will make a great live track as they all get into it with Williams and Wagner forming a formidable rhythm section. Harvey adds Hammond organ to his repertoire for Short Flight and for a further change to the line-up brings in Eric Byorth on bass and Don Holmquist on drums for a straightforward mid paced guitar led Rock instrumental. This trio remains for That's The Blues, an up-tempo, strident, gritty one to get the heart going with bass high in the mix. Strident.
Harvey shows a different, plaintive, side to his vocal on Omaha Bones. This harks back to a golden age wrapped up in a Rock N Roll ballad. The closing track, Queen Of High Waters (Des Moines 1993), is an energy laden Chicago Blues from the Elmore James school. The added harmonica from Jim Wilson is most pleasing and this is the track of the album with the Meints' back on rhythm section duties.
Harvey Brindell is the epitome of the working musician and this album gives a great insight into what that means.
Review of "Pennies On The Dollar" from Vincente Zumel
Harvey Brindell "Pennies On The Dollar!" Self Production 2020
Although Harvey Brindell has been in the business for about thirty-five years, performing and recording alongside some of the most respected musicians on the West Coast, it is not until now that he has made up his mind to record his first album under his own name. Although Harvey considers himself above all a guitarist, in some of the songs on the album he also dares with the harmonica and keyboards and the truth is that the result is more than satisfactory. For this album Harvey has had a team of excellent guests and friends such as JW-Jones and Johnny Burgin on guitars, Mitch Kashmar on harmonica and Jimi Bott on drums, a trio of aces, who are joined by the bassists Alec Brindell, Dave Wagner, Joel Meints and Eric Byorth, guitarist Mike Brindell, drummers Gary Williams, Dave Meints and Don Holmquist, harmonicist John 'Honeyboy' Turner and keyboardist Dennis Lusk. Some of the songs that are included in the album had not been recorded before but belonged to the repertoire of his live concerts, a couple more had been published together with John 'Honeyboy' Turner and some others had been recorded before but they had never seen the light. A good blues record that accurately reflects the interesting work and tastes of this singer and guitarist named Harvey Brindell.
Harvey Brindell - Pennies on the Dollar
Nebraska native Harvey Brindell has been making music in the Pacific Northwest for the past 30 years, but steps into the spotlight here and hits all the high notes on his debut album -- a rock-solid, all-original ten-tune set that mixes traditional and contemporary blues. Recorded at Portland's Roseleaf Studio under the direction of 20-time BMA drummer-of-the-year nominee Jimi Bott, Brindell put together a killer lineup for his coming-out party, including Mitch Kashmir and others on harp, JW Jones and Johnny Burgin on second guitars and a host of others. Midwestern themes run throughout, including "The Old Zoo Bar" – a tribute to the venerable club in Lincoln, "Blues for Omaha" and "Omaha Bones." Don't miss "Pennies on the Dollar," "Mississippi Medicaid," "That's the Blues" and "Queen of High Waters," which recounts an Iowa flood, to close.
Marty Gunther's Red, Hot 'n Blues Music Reviews - May 2021
Self-Release - 2020
10 tracks; 36:48
Published in Blues Blast Magazine, Issue 15-11 March 18, 2021
Harvey Brindell's Pennies on the Dollar, his solo debut, is straight-forward blues that holds your attention in the same way you know a good band the second you walk into a club. Honest blues grabs you immediately, and Brindell's crafted an album of sincere blues.
Brindell, based in Portland after some time in Nebraska, has recorded with the Honeyboy Turner Band, in addition to playing countless live shows. His voice has a bemused bluesy quality, a la Elvin Bishop, an interesting wrinkle given Brindell's career as a mental health therapist. Songs often have the quality of someone not laughing at the human condition, but also unsurprised by it. Brindell also plays guitar, harmonica, and organ, on the album, along with plenty of guest stars.
The title track features Mitch Kashmar on harmonica, everyone playing over a groove reminiscent of Muddy Water's "Mannish Boy," but sped up. Kashmar is especially incendiary on the rideout, trading licks with himself, never concerned with the quantity of notes, but instead focused upon his rich tones and soulful licks. No one is pushing any boundaries, because that's not the point. Everyone locks into each other, propelling the song and not trying to cut heads, unlocking an energy between manic and lazy. It's talented musicians listening to and playing off of each other within the respectful confines of the song.
Brindell plays with different styles. "The Old Zoo Bar" has a 50s, Stray Cats kind of feel, with a gorgeously thick solo courtesy of Kashmar. "Blues for Omaha" is an immaculately clean guitar tone that sounds almost acoustic. It's the album's most laid-back track, a nice opportunity to reset just about halfway through the album. In a different time, it's the song that would have led to flipping the album over to side two. Which brings us to "Mississippi Medicaid," featuring the always amazing guitar work of Johnny Burgin, who uses some quick-picking to make his solos sounds like hummingbirds somehow plugged into guitar amps. And "That's The Blues" has a high-energy Brindell vocal, where he even sounds hoarse from shouting. Guitar cuts through wave upon wave of organ (also provided by Brindell), the whole tune sounding like the very best of 1960s garage rock, making it one of the best tracks on a good album.
There are lots of great regional artists like Brindell who, even pre-pandemic, we don't get to see for geographic reasons. Pennies on the Dollar is an introduction to a talented songwriter and performer. He's learned a lot playing out, but he's also no slouch when it's time to lay things down on tape.
Reviewer Steven Ovadia writes about music and technology. You can see more of his music writing at steven.ovadia.org/music/
Pennies on the Dollar!
Long before Harvey Brindell moved to the Northwest, he had made himself quite a reputation playing the blues in the Midwest. Rubbing elbows with world-renowned artists such as Magic Slim, Jimmy Thackery, Shawn Holt, Guitar Shorty, Mike Zito and numerous others, as well as being a regular act playing on the stage at Lincoln, Nebraska's, famed Zoo Bar, Brindell has earned his rights to play the blues. That is certainly true listening to his first recording since arriving in Portland a few years back. There is an authentic Chicago-sounding delivery that purrs full of jumping blues.
Brindell hooked up with a number of friends that he met over the years mixing a collection of original songs at Jimi Bott's Portland studio, Roseleaf Recording. The talented friends Brindell brought into the songs include the likes of John "Honeyboy" Turner (who he used to record with back in the Midwest), Mitch Kashmar, JW Jones, Johnny Burgin and of course Bott.
The album itself is sensational with not a sore spot to be heard anywhere. It flows with exceptional playing from all, especially Brindell's guitar work and vocals. "Pennies on the Dollar" opens with a bouncing beat as Brindell explains the tribulations of working for next to nothing when it is all said and done, the true life of a musician. "The Old Zoo Bar" is a tribute to the renowned club that has hosted the greatest blues artists during its 50-year history, with Brindell naming several. "Short Flight" is a nice tuneful instrumental, while he lets you know of his adoration for his old stomping grounds in a couple of tracks about Omaha. Brindell definitely has a knack for turning a phrase blues-wise as he does repeatedly. A favorite personally is "Mississippi Medicaid" with a humorous take on "alternative" medicine only found in the South that just might include a few unorthodox ingredients like a black cat bone, mojo hand, John the Conqueror root and a little gris gris, too. But honestly, this album hit it quite enjoyably start to finish. Well done!
Total Time: 36:52 Pennies On The Dollar / Need Him And Weep / Take The Boy Out Of The Country / The Old Zoo Bar / Blues For Omaha / Mississippi Medicaid / Short Flight / That's The Blues / Omaha Bones / Queen Of High Waters (Des Moines 1993)
Pennies on the Dollar!