Reviews

61 GHOSTS

Like the highway it’s named after, the musicians of 61 Ghosts, have collectively done their time on the road. Gritty and primal rock n’ roll band, combining the talents of singer-songwriter Joe Mazzari and drummer Dixie.  Bass player J.D. Sipe joins them when they perform as a trio.

LIVE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS

“Walking into the club expecting "just another band” thankfully, instead I get that nice warm feeling of hearing amps turned up enough to give you that full chest thump rather than ear bleed volume. Just right, where you feel involved with the music rather than pushed against the back wall by it. 61 Ghosts are playing, three-piece band drenched in sweat and raunchy sensuality. A moment earlier their playing full out rocking blues, and turn on a dime shift to a bare whisper. Catches the crowd off guard and they appreciate the bands tightness, though the band make it look easy, as if doing it this way for years. Mazzari, singer guitarist has gone from frantic, string bending to the breaking point, raunched out leads to hands on hips almost talking into the microphone. The air is sucked out of the room, in a good way. The rest of the band is in lock step but make it seem effortless to go from 100 mph to virtually dead stop. J.D. Sipe, bass player, 6’ plus of stoic, rock solid confidence plays the bass as if he's been doing it for decades, and apparently he has. He does it with a style all his own, perpetual broad smile and expression that says, “I know something you don't and I ain't telling." Dixie, petite woman that plays as if John Bonham had a daughter, brought her to the Mississippi Hill Country at the age of ten, told her to give a call when she learned how to play like these drum masters and he'd show her a few things. Her energy is infectious, whether playing the kit or singing backing vocals. The band genuinely seems to be passionate about what they're doing. What a rarity, a band with catchy, driving songs with hooks and melodies, good lyrics, no boring leads throughout each song, actual dynamics from full on volume to pin drop quiet, no pretensions, no fake tough attitudes ,and they play with real old-fashioned grit. I'm left with the feeling after seeing 61 Ghosts play live, that there's absolutely nothing scripted, and that this band loves doing what they do. From the chemistry they have performing with each other to playing their music, they're going out to enjoy themselves. If you want to see and hear how high-energy rocking, blues should be played, check them out. This is the way it used to be done, and is again with 61 Ghosts. Highly recommended.” ~ David Barger, North Shore Examiner, Boston Mass.

Joe Mazzari fronted The Daughters, Two Saints, Jacknife Beat, and the Joe Mazzari Band. He also recorded and toured with Johnny Thunders of the NY Dolls and the Heartbreakers fame for three years, and appeared on three of Johnny's albums. Read more about Joe's chaotic days with Thunders. Joe recorded with legendary producer Jimmy Miller (Rolling Stones, Traffic, and Motorhead) and John Peel of the BBC.

"61 Ghosts is like being dragged behind an old Harley through the Americana Badlands." ~ Lester Thompson, Music Critic San Francisco Review

"Just what Johnny Thunders always wanted." ~ Alex Gecko, Music Critic Metronome Magazine Boston

CD REVIEWS

ALTERNATE ROOT MAGAZINE CD REVIEW...to the edge. 

"The trio that forms 61 Ghosts adds a fourth influence, the sound of the band’s base, Clarksdale, Mississippi, and its rich history of Blues. The recent E.P. release, ….to the edge, from 61 Ghosts, growls and roars in the language of dirty Blues with its blend of Hill Country homegrown styles, electric rock, and Americana. Gritty vocals and feral guitar chops are provided by Joe Mazzari, former guitarist for Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls) as well as fronting his own bands and recording with producer Jimmy Miller (The Rolling Stones, Traffic, Motorhead). Joining Joe in 61 Ghosts is the hard-edged rhythm section of JD Sipe on bass and drumming from Dixie (Leo ‘Bud’ Welch)."

The playing quiets for the spoken dark stream of consciousness that poetically describes a “World Gone Crazy” against raw electric Blues as …to the edge asks to “Show Me Your Scars” with an acoustic guitar as duet partner and continues the backing, keeping the simple man and guitar format, in “Passion Tipped Arrow”. 61 Ghosts crackles with a inch-by-inch build of electricity that rises slowly before turning into flames on “If Tears Were Dirt”, and playfully teases the Blues with Country in “Heartbeat”.

"61 Ghosts are tearing it up on HanksAmericana.com ~ This 3 piece is packin' a lot of rock n roll history and firing on all cylinders with there new album 'To The Edge'"  ~ Scott Hankosky, Hank's Americana Radio

"A power trio based in Clarksdale, Mississippi with a 6 track EP featuring Joe Mazzari on vocals and lead guitar, Dixie on drums and back-up vocals and J. D. Sipe on bass.This is down and dirty rock ‘n’ roll flavoured with touches of Americana and Mississippi hill country blues created with passion and fervour. Opener Heartbeat displays all the aforementioned qualities in abundance but also has a commendable feeling of restraint with the band always remaining in control and not getting into a noise/thrash fest.  No One At Your Door is a hard driving groove featuring heavy riffing guitar and Mazzari’s vocals sound like early unfettered Springsteen. There is a slightly more relaxed feel to the bluesy World Gone Crazy which still rocks but also uses dynamics effectively in quieter passages with Mazzari almost speaking into the mic. If Tears Were Dirt is an Americana rocker which builds in intensity with pumping bass and thumping drums and Mazzarri lets rip on his guitar solos. The hurt filled Show Me Your Scars features whispered emotive vocals and acoustic guitar and this style continues with the soul baring closing track Passion Tipped Arrow. A short and sweet EP which gets a short and sweet review from me with a big thumbs up. More please." Dave Drury Blues Matters! Magazine Issue 95- April/May 2017 

"Joe Mazzari of the Boston based Two  Saints  headed  to  Mississippi  for a  holiday  and  soaked  up  the  swamp fumes  and  the  local  talent   to   come up with some of his best work yet. On “Heartbeat“ drummer Dixie  Deadwood keeps the back beat with a deceptively simple outing on her cymbals and snare while  Mazzari summons  all  of  human emotion  with  his  gritty,  yet  vulnerable voice   and   a  fluent  and   hypnotic  lead guitar joy ride of epic proportions. With J.D. Sipe holding  down  the rhythm on bass, Mazzari has never had this  much  leeway.  This  was  one  hell of  a passionate night  out  in  the  barn under the Badlands moonlight. Mazzari occasionally lets his guitar soar on the chorus like  parts of  “No  One  At Your Door,”  but   usually  keeps  it  controlled with a muffling maneuver for a regretful  feel. 61 Ghosts deliver authentic deep down    delta    blues    on   “World   Gone  Crazy“and swagger through the  verses with intelligence and style and no hurry to get  off the  porch. Mazzari  blows  you away  with   stream  of   consciousness poetry  on  “If Tears  Were  Dirt,“ but  lets his guitar rip and tear on the solos. You can  feel the dirt under  your fingernails. In the last third of the disc Mazzari gets more up close and personal with simply unadorned acoustic tunes such as   “Scars“  that   remind   you   of  early Dylan or Springsteen in their directness while “Passion Tipped  Arrow“ emanates some real  honky  tonk  flavor  and   soul searching.  Americana  never  sounded this in-your-face." ~  Gecko, Metronome Magazine Boston February 2017

"It's a very special experience when you really like something you really feel alive. I've listened right thru 'to the edge' 4 times today and I've had that special feeling each time I played it. From the opening track "Heartbeat" to the beautiful acoustic song "Passion Tipped Arrow".  I'm quite simply blown away by the quality of the songs. The music, the lyrics, and the quality of the production. If I was putting a promotional statement on what the band are about I would say the following.........If you want to experience music that is honest comes from the heart and so powerful 61 Ghosts have the lyrical honesty of Springsteen, the energy of Green Day at their best, and the awesome power of Led Zeppelin! Miss them at your peril. I won't!!" ~ Gerry Casey, Music Enthusiast Monaghan, Ireland 

"61 Ghosts walks the generations in a mix of the depth of Delta blues with a clash of the classic rock it birthed through the street poetry of Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. "How does it feel?" asked the Nobel laureate. 61 Ghosts answers with grit and soul, sinew and sweet melodies, wrapped in stories of longing and persistence, energy and delight." ~ Charles Guyette, Music Critic Long Island Tribune

"Chasing 61 Ghosts" just may be the pinnacle of Mazzari’s career to date. It's rock, it’s blues, it's country, it’s folk, without regard to where one style stops and another takes over. . . Joe Mazzari reaches beyond what he’s accomplished before by expanding his musical vision and breaking down barriers.” ~ ReverbNation

"Dixie is dedicated to hill country blues, playing the style correctly and passionately. Deep blues indeed.” ~ Blues Revue Magazine

"The late, great T-Model Ford really locked into his own sound when he had the late, great Spam backing him up on drums. The two shared an almost telekinetic sense of communication between them and rare were the times when words had to be spoken when they were up on the bandstand. It seems that Welch has found his ‘Spam’ in the form of the dynamic Ms. Dixie Street, his drummer for the past couple of years. Just like T-Model and Spam, Leo Bud Welch and Dixie Street go together better than peanut butter and jelly."   ~ Blues Blast Magazine Senior Writer Terry Mullins