CD & Performance Reviews

 

LIVE PERFORMANCES

Lula Lounge
(Toronto, ON Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
November 15, 2006
Gig Review - Sebastian Cook - Live Music Report
“Tonight he was cast perfectly in the role of the sage, right down to his road-worn and incredibly resonant hollow-body guitar.

Massey Hall
(Toronto, ON  Canada) [ FULL REVIEW ]
Pickett's performance at Massey Hall this night was flawless and engrossing throughout his entire time on stage. He played acoustic guitar throughout, as well as blues harp (on a rack) with rousing, forceful vocals that radiated the confidence and supreme talent that only a decades-long blues performer can muster up and deliver to an audience, with ease, effortlessly like a blues angel flapping its wings.

BluesNights
Dorset Blues Society
Dorchester Arts Centre
(Dorset  UK)
Saturday, 18th September 2004
Gig Review - Lewis A. Harris - BluesNights Reviewer
[ FULL REVIEW ]
Then one of his own compositions, “Blues Is A Friend of Mine”. This built wonderfully and showed why he has been the nominee for or winner of so many songwriting awards in his native Canada. He rounded off the set with a true barnstormer, harp and slide to the fore. We could not let him go so he obliged with a vocal and harp solo – ‘Lose your money’ - that set the seal on what had been an excellent evening. My assessment was that we saw and heard a superb concert; Michael Pickett is certainly deserving of a wider audience. Go see him when he next returns to BluesNights!

1794 Meetinghouse
(New Salem, MA, USA)
"Words cannot describe how moved I was by your performance at the 1794 Meetinghouse this year. I'll just say this: you were amazing when you played here in 2002, but you were even better this year. I look forward to seeing you the next time you perform in the Northeast--no matter when or where, you're an act, an experience not to be missed for any reason!"
Adam Bergeron

The Belleville Club
(Belleville, ON, Canada)
"AWESOME !
I've been going to the Acoustic Edge in Belleville for a couple of years now. Have seen and heard some pretty good muscians. Until you showed up last night ! Your passion and skill just blew me away. AWESOME ! Thanks for a great show...."
Wolfgan Braun

Pickett/Browne Concert Review
(www.CKTimes.ca, Wallaceburg, ON, Canada) [ FULL ARTICLE ]
Michael Pickett, one of Canada's top rack harmonica players and an outstanding slide guitarist, and Michael Jerome Brown, one of the best traditional blues instrumentalists in Canada, delighted those who attended by performing a variety of blues standards, from Leadbelly to Robert Johnson, then adding original roots blues tunes from their extensive repertoire.

Pickett A Compelling Solo Show
(The Daily News / Halifax, NS, Canada) [ FULL ARTICLE ]
"Hanging around Michael Pickett's neck, on a long beaded lace is a tiny harmonica. The silver-haired bluesman wears it like a talisman: a good luck charm to keep his mojo working. It announces the Toronto native is linked inextricably with the 10-hole harp - it's been the focus of his life for more than 35 years."

Millpond Performing Arts Centre
(Alliston, ON, Canada)
"Even after the two hours plus of Michael pouring out his talent through elements of the blues, jazz, and folk styles he knows so well, the audience didn't want to let him go. They proved it with their standing ovation. They wanted to hear more of his guitar, harmonica, vocal and stories of the music business, its songs and its legends."
Andy Harasymczuk, A.D. / October 2001

Kipawo Arts Centre
(Wolfville, NS, Canada)
"Michael performed to a full house this summer. Anticipation was high and advance sales strong for this highly acclaimed artist. Absolutely no one was disppointed. During the concert the audience was excited, elated and spellbound by this masterful musician and his virtuoso performance that ran uninterrupted for two solid hours. The concert was climaxed by a spontaneous standing ovation and an enraptured audience almost bombarded the stage and the performer to congratulate him and purchase CDs. Clearly this was one of the finest concerts ever held at the Kipawo Arts Centre."
Jack Sheriff, A.D. / August 2001

Wallaceburg Courier
(Wallaceburg, ON, Canada) [ FULL REVIEW ]
"You could sit and close your eyes and you'd have thought you were somewhere down in the Mississippi Delta in a little, one-room shack, listening to one of the guys who made this music an art form. Absolutely great stuff."

 



LIVE AT WINTERFOLK!

John Valenteyn / MapleBlues (Toronto, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
Solo introduced the new Michael Pickett sans band and this one serves to confirm his status as a major force in acoustic blues. It seems this CD was not intended as the next album but the performance this night was so hot it literally forced itself out.



MICHAEL PICKETT SOLO

Andy Grigg / Real Blues Magazine (Victoria, BC)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
The man needs to be recognized as a world-class tunesmith and while he still blows fine harmonica (major understatement) he has now decided to become a solo guitar and harp playing Blues Troubador and he pulls off this new persona majestically.

Sing Out! (Bethlehem, PA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
His playing is stark but not simplistic, his rack harp adds just the right touch, and his singing is passionate without sounding forced.  That all adds up to a very good CD.

Concerto Magazine (Austria)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
Acoustic, traditional blues at its best performed by a true bluesman!

Blues in Britain Magazine (UK)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
Michael Pickett is one of Canada's most popular blues artists, and it is easy to understand why after listening to his performance on 'Solo', where he accompanies himself on guitar and rack harmonica on a selection of original compositions that meld seamlessly with the four well chosen covers that make up the balance of this fine set.

Blues Revue (WV, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
Michael Pickett must be one of Canada's top acoustic blues artists.

Green Man Review (Toronto, ON CANADA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
This is the sound I love in solo recordings; the intimacy and warmth of live performance. Pickett and co-producer Alec Fraser capture it wonderfully. SOLO is a fine addition to the blues collection.

Blues Bytes (AZ, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
Who can dispute the harmonica mastery of Canadian music legend Michael Pickett?.

Przemyslaw Draheim ( "Twoj Blues" ) (Poland)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
SOLO is the third album of one of the best vocalists and harp players in Canada, Michael Pickett. It is an authentic, intimate meeting between the music and the man with a lifetime of inspiration in this musical genre.

B. Hutchinson / Blues Matter! (UK)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
A change of direction for Michael Pickett this time around in coming up with a traditional blues acoustic CD.

C.Darling / WMPG (Portland, ME, USA)
Michael Pickett's latest SOLO disc is the work of a seasoned master on Guitar , brilliant Harp and voice, a Voice meant for singing the blues and a return to where the blues comes from; the solo performer givin' it his all. His own songs are hard to tell from songs of the "Greats" he includes on this disc. Michael is the real deal, SOLO should not be missed!"

J.Valenteyn / MapleBlues (Toronto, ON, CANADA)
Solo is how you'll see Mr. Pickett performing these days but when the result has this much power and presence, I think you'll agree that this is the equal of his previous albums and a wise career move. With just guitar and harmonica assisting that remarkable voice, there is no place to hide and Pickett's performance is up to the challenge. It also concentrates attention on his guitar playing, something he's not generally known for. The CD puts traditional blues lyrics in a way that's completely up to date. Various influences, from Robert Johnson to Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee are incorporated but never copied, creating a seamless set list."

N.Thaw, Exec. Dir. / 1794 Meetinghouse (New Salem, MA USA)
"This debut solo acoustic CD from a 30+ year veteran of the roots music scene is extraordinarily good. Intellectually and technically, Pickett owns this music - both covers and originals. His vocals are stunning - honest and completely unaffected - Pickett is a natural blues singer. This is thinking man blues layered over feeling man blues. His rack harmonica playing is exceptional, as is his acoustic blues/slide guitar. An incredible debut acoustic CD by an untapped INTERnational treasure. Highly recommended."

 



CONVERSATION WITH THE BLUES

John Valenteyn / MapleBlues (Toronto, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
As with Blues Money , this album has some of the funkiest modern blues you're going to hear along with some music not normally associated with Pickett.

CanadianBlues.ca (Ontario, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
It's a stunning disc, a fully realized and thoroughly mature work of uncompromising integrity.

Blues Access (Boulder, CO, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
" ... his Dobro work on "Bad Love" is as restrained and tasteful as his harp playing is throughout."

Downeast VFM RADIO (Vinkovci, Croatia)
Conversation With The Blues
"What Is There To Say? What Is Left For Me To Say? When Somebody Plays Blue For 30 Years - There's nothin' to say - IT'S BETTER THAN OLD WINE AND MORE SHINY THAN GOLD He Is The Man and The Blues Together - He's A Bluesman ! Fantastic Harp, Vocal Roars when Needed - Soulful When Needed - and Band Does Their Job Perfectly. No Time To Wait - Put It In CD Player AND BLOW YOURSELF AWAY WITH FINE BLUES FROM CANADA - FROM MICHAEL PICKETT!!!!!"
Krunoslav Markutovic / February 2002

Downeast (Sabattus, ME, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"Michael Pickett is a talented musician and an amazing artist who breathes a new life into the Blues by bringing it back with original energy and charisma. His style is very much his own..."
(! ! ! ! !) out of five!

Rhythms (Queensland, Australia) [ FULL REVIEW ]
*** 1/2

Washington Blues Society (Seattle, WA, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"... magic combination of distinctive but appealing vocals, above average talent on his instruments of choice - harmonica and resophonic guitar...." "What also makes this CD a "keeper" are the lyrics."

Concerto Magazine (Austria, EUROPE)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
***** (out of five!)

Real Blues (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"... twelve mini-masterpieces that easily match all of the genious level gems of his first CD..." "I defy anyone anywhere in the world to not be amazed and moved by the talent, creativity, superb production and feeling contained in this recording."

SOCAN Words & Music (Toronto, ON, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"... Pickett listens to the music in his head. And it has made him one of Canada's most respected songwriters."

Blues On Stage (Minneapolis, MINN, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"The CD begins the way Michael hits the stage and that's smoking!"

BILLBOARD Magazine (International)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
" Conversation With The Blues ... transcend[s] the urban blues idiom...."

Performing Songwriter (Colorado, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"Occupying center stage is Pickett himself whose talents on harmonica (which he treats as an ensemble, rather than a solo instrument) and resophonic guitar shine throughout." "Pickett's soulful voice serves as the perfect vehicle with which to convey his roots-oriented musings. "

Blues Revue (Illinois, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"Pickett quarterbacks his way to his favourite places, arriving at a diverse collection of cool, confident, satisfying grooves. His powerful delivery is as joyous as it is infectious. This conversation is an intoxicating one."

Shirley Eikhard (singer/songwriter... ON, Canada)
"The production is clean and edgy, singing soulful, and the songs are heartfelt and compelling."

The Gazette (Montreal, QC, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
**** "Michael Pickett ... singer, songwriter and harmonica player is in the front ranks of Canada's top blues artists."

The Toronto Star (Toronto, ON, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"[ Conversation With The Blues ] ...Pickett mines the blues style repertoire with impressive brio."

SEE Magazine (Edmonton, AB, Canada)
"... Michael Pickett has delivered a real gem titled Conversation With The Blues..." "... not just one of the best Canadian blues albums of the year, it is one of the best, period."

The Nail (Cambridge, ON, Canada
"... [ Conversation With The Blues ] is easily the best blues CD I'll hear this year." "This album contains way too many good songs to single any out..."

Maple Blues (Toronto, ON, Canada)
"... Conversation With The Blues ... a masterpiece."

BluzHarp (Raleigh, NC, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"Michael Pickett is THE top harmonica player/singer that Canada has to offer..." "This is one of the top ten CDs that I have gotten this year [and] will meet and surpass all expectations, I promise!!!"

Scene (Winnipeg, MB, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"The follow-up to Pickett's Juno-nominated Blues Money, Conversation With The Blues is a smoldering collection of positively glowing sparks and embers." "Definitely a front runner for this country's blues recording of the year."

Blues Bytes (Phoenix, AZ, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"These songs could go on forever, you'd still be there bopping your head. All in all, an excellent showcase for a multi-talented musician."

Blues On Stage (Minneapolis, MINN, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"[ Conversation With The Blues ] ... is a masterpiece! Unquestionably one of the best blues/roots recordings of the year! Michael is blessed with a naturally sweet voice... flavoured with just the right amount of grit to add the requisite gravity to every phrase." "Despite stellar performances by all concerned, it's the songs that come first. And what songs they are!" "... the title track is one of the best all-alone-at-the-end-of-the-night tunes I've ever heard."

To-Nite (Toronto, ON, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
" Conversation With The Blues engages you from the get go and draws you into the soulful and thoughtful world of a veteran Blues man who must now be acknowledged as one of Canada's premier songwriters." "... a magnificient followup to 1998's Juno-nominated (Best Roots/Blues album) debut disc Blues Money." "...this is grown-up, confident Blues. Mature stylings, subject matter and exquisitely crafted performances all blend to make each track a shining gem." "Looks like more awards are headed Pickett's way with this one."

 



BLUES MONEY

Blues Bytes (AZ, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"This was the first of a CD trilogy that would guarantee Michael Pickett a spot in Canadian music history. In 1998 and 1999 respectively, this disc (Pickett's first solo effort in a career spanning more than 30 years) was voted Blues Album Of The Year by Real Blues magazine and the Jazz Report Awards. Additionally, Real Blues selected "World Gone Crazy" as the Blues Song Of The Year."

Concerto Magazine (Austria, EUROPE)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
" Blues Money is the album previous to the excellent Conversation With The Blues . Canadian-born Michael Pickett has travelled the blues highway for over three decades and Blues Money shows great artistry."

The Toronto Star (Toronto, ON, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"PICKETT DESERVES SPOTLIGHT" "[ Blues Money ] is a winner! "

The Jazz Report (Toronto, ON, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"... [ Blues Money ] has a warm, live feel that is not typical of today's blues-rock recordings, as it never substitutes aggression for feeling." "The unifying force of the recording is the leader's gritty but always musical vocals and his sharp to-the-point harp playing.

Real Blues (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"Pickett...head and shoulders above the legion of harp-blowers out there, displaying uncanny power, taste and technique." " Blues Money is quite simply one of the very best blues CDs to ever come out of Canada." "...an exceptionally original, unique and talent-heavy offering from a truly gifted artist."

To-Nite (Toronto, ON, Canada)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"There's not a disappointment among the entire 12 tracks of this disc of Pickett originals...." "[ Blues Money ] ... definitely been worth the long wait it's taken for this material to emerge..."

BluzHarp (Raleigh, NC, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"Michael Pickett is a Blues Harmonica player from Canada that is seasoned and playing what I like to call, Dangerous Blues and Boogie. I give [ Blues Money ] a perfect score and highly recommend it!"

Big City Blues (Chicago, MI, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
[ Blues Money ] Michael's blues are a combined Chicago and West Coast brand that jump, squirm, and sometimes wiggle. His bluesy harp playing is well-balanced with his positively pious vocal profile. It seems as if his voice has been soaked in brine and wrung out - a very individual character.

Blues On Stage (Minneapolis, MINN, USA)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
[ Blues Money ] is a mature, confident work of the very highest caliber... a work of art... a life statement of a man who's been around long enough to dismiss frills and frippery, who's learned from hard experience what matters, and who has the skill and experience to translate that into music that's honest and true. Yes, it's that good. There's Chicago blues, there's jump blues and Texas blues, etc. ... and now there's [all original] Pickett blues. This is one for the ages!

Winthrop R&B Festival Director (Seattle, WA, USA)
"It's hidden treasures like this guy that make you say 'wow'!"

South Australian Blues Society (Australia)
[ FULL REVIEW ]
"Michael Pickett is quite a sensation. "... Pickett knows how to play some kicking Blues."

 

 

Michael Pickett
HomeNewsBiographyGigsContactPromo KitOrder CD
CD CatalogueCD ReviewsArticlesMusic AwardsPerformance VideosPhotosFree DrawLinks

 

© 2006 Michael Pickett