Review Written By – John Muller – Taken From – Blue Notes and Conversations – 2023 / 2024

Nick Gravenites w/Pete Sears – “Rogue Blues” – M.C.Records – www.mc-records.com – Produced by Pete Sears and Thomas Yeates
Special Guests – Charlie Musselwhite , Jimmy Vivino , Barry Sless, Wally Ingram , and Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers
Renowned Illustrator Thomas Yeates designed the cover and photo art

Nick Gravenites w/ Pete Sears – “Rogue Blues” –

Cearly a project of admiration , love , and friendship , a project that is the blues at its’ most basic form – wrapped in the lifeblood of the human experience , raw, powerful , and uplifting , cheeky and ironic , the blues is life’s soundtrack . Pulsating with emotional intensity, the blues presented here is carried along on waves of uncomplicated , easy-going guitar work , and talented journeymen adding their own distinctively unique touches , with vocals as weathered as a sunbaked Mississippi juke joint . Just the blues here, plain and simple , expertly performed, with well-written songs, a very cool project of classic blues with that slightly modern edge .
Nick Gravenites – Making music his way, on his own terms! In Nick is one of the last viable links between the 1950’s folk scene, the early 1960’s urban electric blues scene in Chicago, and the late ’60’s psychedelic West Coast blues scene. His long-time association with Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield, The Electric Flag, Janis Joplin,Quicksilver Messenger Service, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Big Brother and the Holding Company – among others – is legendary! Nick has appeared on over 45 albums as singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader, and producer. Nick was working with Janis Joplin right before she died unexpectedly. In fact , “Buried Alive in the Blues” was written for Janis, the instrumental completed by her band, and vocals were to be completed by Janis on that October day in 1970. It was on that day that Janis was found dead in her hotel room. She never made it back into the studio where Nick and several others were waiting for her to record. “Buried Alive in the Blues” was released as an instrumental only on her album “Pearl”.
In 2006 and 2015 Nick was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame , and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for his songwriting contributions. At 86 years young,with arthritis preventing him from playing the guitar, Nick Gravenites is still out there singing the blues, doing it his own way, celebrating the emotional roller coaster that is the human condition .
Pete Sears – Co-Producer – “Rogue Blues” – Played on the Rod Stewart albums “Gasoline Alley”, “Every Picture Tells A Story”, “Never A Dull Moment”, and “Smiler”, He also played on the hit singles ” Maggie May” and “Reason to Believe”. Peter Sears joined the band Jefferson Starship in 1974 and remained with the group ” Starship” until leaving in 1987. He can also be heard on the Starships “Red Octopus” album. With a career spanning more than six decades, recording and performing with artists across the musical spectrum, Pete can easily perform acoustic rock, country blues and folk; jazzy,mellow instrumentals; and smooth 12-string guitar work. He is well known for his fingerpicking guitar style, bluesy harmonica, and soulful singing. Pete has played keyboards or bass guitar on many records, written many celebrated compositions, and worked on well over 100 albums .
Alongside special guests Charlie Musselwhite, Jimmy Vivino, Barry Sless, Wally Ingram, and Lester Chambers, Nick Gravenites and Peter Sears have produced a well-crafted and highly enjoyable release, sessions that bring back those classic sounds of Chicago blues and Delta soul. Listening to these mighty tasty sessions instantly transports the listener to roof rattlin’ juke joints, raucous backyard parties, and even crowded street corners, where the blue flows freely like a jug of corn whiskey. Outstanding acoustic blues that is stripped-down and genuine, performed by veteran road warriors and masterful musicians. With song-writing that comes straight from the soul, and music reflecting the ebbs and flows of all that life can throw at us, “Rogue Blues” is a remarkable accomplishment. Great to have Nick Gravenites back with all of us once again after an 8-year absence.
Special Thanks –
Nick Gravenites – Vocals; Charlie Musselwhite – Harmonica; Piano, Bass, Accordion – Pete Sears; Wally Ingram – Drums; Jimmy Vivino – Guitar,Mandolin; Barry Sless – Pedal Steel Guitar and Acoustic Rhythm; Percussion, Drums – Wally Ingram; Roy Blumenthal – Drums; Lester Chambers – Harmonica; Sousaphone – Keith Baltz; Willard Dixon – Clarinet