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Last Saturday, January 25th, Maria and I chose to stay close to home and make it an early night (as much as I'd like to spend all waking hours at The Oxford Saloon and other such fine blues-rockin' establishments, my early-morning work schedule tends to leave me not so awake many a night...), so I saw on my "Events" invites on Facebook that a band I'd never heard before was playing local (very local, maaayyybe two minutes drive-time) at the Port Gardner Bay Winery in Everett, WA. I'd been wanting to check out shows there, so...sure, why not?

Although guitarist/vocalist Jerry Peterson is on my "friends" list, I hadn't really had a chance to check out his band, The Black River Blues, prior to hearing them live at the winery... Their Facebook page stated that, "
We are the Black River Blues of Seattle, WA; playing the Cool-Rockin' Blues with a Downtown Bite!" -- so I had an idea they'd probably sound pretty cool.

Aside from some minor glitches with the mics at the start, the band was really, well, pretty cool. They laid down two-hours worth of music, BRB'd versions of blues classics ("Ain't No Sunshine," etc), as well as their own original tunes (which blended in very nicely, a compliment to the band: they know what sound they belong in). Playing along with Jerry are
Harold Wooten (Keyboards/vocals), Rocky Rossi (drums) and Guy Quintno (bass) -- very solid musicians, and they work very well together.

[If I have any of  the line-up wrong, please let me know -- I was going off the RN page for info and had not had a chance to meet the drummer or bassist at the show... The CD lists different people.]

Vocal duties are split up pretty evenly between Jerry and Harold, both complimenting each other and also owning their own styles
individually. I noticed that Harold tends to approach his vocals in a more laid-back, cool, smooooth fashion, with the occasional accent of a guttural growl, whereas Jerry seems to take a more gritty, more animated vocal approach, almost with a snarl and grin (like if Alice Cooper did blues -- more so, like in his early days). The way the two vocalists divided the set list, they also divided the songs equally on this demo-CD.

Before I get too far, Jerry referred to the CD as their demo, it's not a word I'm applying to it. It is a self-produced, self-manufactured disc, probably burned digitally off a computer dedicated to doing so. There are no frills in the packaging, although the cover looks pretty cool; this is the band's way of getting their music out to their audience at this time, and there is nothing wrong with that. Once it's in my car's CD player, it looks the same as any other disc. And for a self-made disc, it's produced rather well! Aside from the occasional level change between songs, which is minor, I didn't notice any hiccups.

As I mentioned, Jerry and Harold split the vocals on this seven-song disc, three each and a closing number; Harold's smooth vocals grace the odd numbers, whereas Jerry's gritty vibe takes the evens.
"Telephone Song," Harold's first, talks of missing a loved-one while being miles from home (he mentions overseas, so miiiiiiiles from home), track three is the funky, catchy, very fun "That Ain't Right," and he finishes his trio off with "Woke Up This Morning," a sobering tune about someone no longer there to wake up to... Jerry takes over on the second track, "Me," a pointed lyrical jab at anyone and everyone, that the only one he can rely on is himself -- definitely one people can relate to, especially if they'd been let down by others. "Going Out" deals with his "lady" stepping out on him, saying she's out with friend for "ladies night out," when in reality he thinks she's out with another guy -- and his reaction to his suspicions, and what he chooses to do about it (hey, I can't give away everything!). Jerry's last of three is "Help The Poor," which tends to lighten up on the previous grit-laced vocals in the other two ~ almost to those of a "crooner" (but not quite Sinatra); unlike the other two, this song pleads for the love of someone, that if they help the poor, perhaps they'll help poor me... A nice transition from the others, it shows Jerry's more sensitive writing style. The CD's closer is "Cantaloupe Island," an instrumental that flow beautifully, gently, and lets you hear how well the instruments blend well with each other.

I think this disc shows the bands potential very well, and seeing them perform live I know they are beyond what is laid down on these tracks. I look forward to hearing what they record next, and especially seeing them live again!

TSSutherland
1.30.14


 
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I love my job! I've only been at this blog for a couple weeks and things are taking shape! I plan on getting an official dot com pretty soon here!

In the next week or so I will be including reviews of Blacktop Deceiver "Monster on the Street" (which I just received in the mail today!) and the 7-song "demo"/self-recorded CD from Black River Blues that they let me take home for review when Maria & I checked them out last weekend at the Port Gardner Bay Winery!

Coming up on February 17, The Randy Oxford Band will be playing at 3231 Creatives in Everett, WA, for Mighty Mouth Blues and MMB will be talking with me a little on-air! Not entirely sure what about, but I'm stoked! Having worked with Randy & Co on their CD cover, as well as reviewing them on NW Groove, it's like a homecoming of sorts!

If you have a CD you'd like reviewed (variations of blues, rock & funk), please contact me! I look forward to getting the word out for you!

Groove on ~
TSSutherland
1.28.14

 
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The CD Woodbury Band "Monday Night!"
Wide Willie Productions LLC
2013

Ok, so over the last few months, Maria and I have been attending shows at The Oxford Saloon in Snohomish, WA, and it has become one of our favorite get-away spots for great food and awesome music (having seen both The Randy Oxford Band and The Chris Eger Band there in December alone!), so when the weekend comes around (and work doesn't have me dragging my butt in on a Saturday morning) I like to see who's playing and try to catch a show. On January 17th a band was coming to the Oxford, one that I'd heard about for months but haven't had a chance to catch yet (and one, whose lead singer is on my Facebook friends list, d'oh!) and so..... A night of great food and (hopefully) awesome music was in store!

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I'd say something about The CD Woodbury Band living up to the hype, but...I hadn't really heard any. Not a bad thing, just that (as CD mentioned while talking with him) there are so many shows, so many bands in the area that it's hard to choose, and some fall through the cracks. (Rough paraphrase.) What I had seen around the area was their CD cover for "Monday Night!" (<--- that one, cover by Anthony Waters), one that I, as an artist, think is pretty cool! Anyway, back to the gig...

As I implied, said, mentioned in some form or another, I hadn't heard The CD Woodbury Band before, so I wasn't sure what to expect other than probably a pretty cool blues band. From the opening notes of the first song, yes...CD & Co were definitely a pretty cool blues band - a reeeeally cool blues band! Holy *bleep* this band had the joint jumpin' from the first before the first verse was done! A good dose of ZZ Top groove, deep south blues, funk, jazz... Oh, my my...what have I waited for? Four hours later, we were closing the bar dancing & jamming to these guys. To say that I found a new favorite band is putting it mildly. (Note to my close friends in bands, this does not imply that I don't love you guys anymore!)

CD & Co is comprised of five members, with three taking vocal responsibilities: guitarist CD Woodbury, drummer Don Montana, and jack-of-all-trades Mike Marinig (I'm not kidding, this guy had enough instruments on stage to supply a separate band!); keyboardist Chris Kliemann and Mike Fish, on bass, round out this awesome band. CD had mentioned to me about working with Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm Method ("Gather 'Round"), as well as others, and Don, Chris & Mike are the tight rhythm section of what once was
Tim Casey and the Bluescats...as for Mike, I'm not sure where he came from -- but what a find!

"Monday Night!"
is a ten-song powder-keg ready to explode from the moment the first song sets its sights on go!  Lots of deep dow, dirty blues, jazz fusion, funk, lots of thump! "Traditional" blues with an edge all their own, I can't even begin... It's kinda like, ok, yeah, maybe some Stevie Ray stylings, phrasings, whatnot, but lots of chunk and slam thrown in. Lyrics that bring on the party and keep it coming ("These Blues Keep Me Right Here," "Ring-A-Ding," "Mean Jenny," "Two Wheels" and the title track "Monday Night!" with its extra serving of funk for added pleasure) are meshed with life's realities, but not in a melodramatic way ("Pawn Shop," "Burn the Bridge"), a touch of Steely Dan-ish-ness ("Pleasure's All Mine") and is brought to a close with the sobering, soulful "SauBall Blues" -- a song that ends things quite nicely after all that raucous. I've played this CD a couple times in the car this week, and once at home while writing this up...and it's safe to say, this is going back into the car on the disc changer!

One thing I keep thinking when I hear this disc is that
The CD Woodbury Band and The Randy Oxford Band should do a show together -- heck, for that matter, tour! Double-bill the sucker, and bring along Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm Method to open the show (but allow Polly enough of a breather so she can gear up for Oxford)! That, right there, would be an incredible night of blues, funk & soul!

But I digress... This is about CD & Co, not some fantasy-football game of local blues faves.

CD & Co are very active in the Puget Sound area, and I suggest getting to a show and also grabbing this disc! The combo of the two is not to be missed. On February 1st, they will be playing
The REC Room in Everett, WA, for an evening of music and live video taping (tickets are available here ~ and yes, Maria & I will be there)!

TSSutherland
1.25.14

 
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A friend of mine suggested that I contact Eric Steiner over at the Washington Blues Society Bluesletter and see if he could use me as an artist, reviewer, writer... Turns out he could!

"
I really like your artwork and your writing style and welcome you to contribute to the Bluesletter!"

Well, cool! Looks like I have some work coming soon! I look forward to sharing my reviews with my NW Groovers and the WBS Bluesters!

 
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LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends "Rock 'n Soul"
Martez Music
2012

Where did you spend New Year's Eve, 2013? Maria and I spent it with friends...well, with LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends! Kirkland, WA, rocked the night away and we had front row seats to a crazy-fun night.

The activities were kicked off by a group that was new to me, Red Jacket Mine, but they won me over very quickly. Quirky, entertaining, and perhaps a jaded view or two about the world around them -- but I digress, I'll review their CD, "Someone Else's Cake" very soon...

LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends (do I have to type that out each time? LeRoy & Co?)
took the stage after a brief intermission that featured a couple "fire dancers" (that used LED lights instead of fire because of fire codes).....? Anyway, as odd as that was, when the band took over for the next 2--ish hours, the night was bliss. Songs new & old were brought out to bring in the new year, and what a joyous night it was, capped by fan-favorites "A Change Is Coming" and "Everybody" ("Change" involved audience participation, for which I was singled out a second time to aid in the chorus; the first was when the band played Redmond, WA, in 2012...okok, on to the band & CD, not my personal limelight highlights). 

Because we have seen the band perform so many times since first watching them perform at the Everett Marina in Summer 2010, even newer songs soon become familiar to us and we forget if we have them on CDs at home or not. (Yes, X-Factor era fans, LeRoy has a nice collection of discs before this one!) It was no surprise that I recognized most of these songs as soon as they began their rotation in my car...

[Ok, I know the date says 2012, and this is now 2014, but this is the most recent from the band and, well...it's my blog, so ;) yep, I make the rules. (Keep this in mind for future reference, as I will occasionally feature local artists that may not have an incredibly super-duper new disc!) It's new to me, as I didn't have the $$ for it last summer so I got it at the NYE show instead. So............ On with the review!]

...there were only a couple tracks on "Rock 'n Soul" that I wasn't familiar with (more likely because they haven't been performed live for some reason).
With this CD, LeRoy & Co blends in a couple older tracks in with all-new material, allowing new listeners to sample of what came before, and (hopefully) check out the prior albums. Also on this CD, LeRoy added another Only Friend, keyboardist Daniel Walker (who also performed with Red Jacket Mine in the opening act, as well as on their CD ~ to be reviewed later, yada yada). Before the four became four, LeRoy's Only Friends were a power-trio of skill, fun, and energy that consisted of (and still do consists of) bassist Terry Morgan and drummer Davis Martin.

This ten-song CD is just what the title says: rock and soul. There are moments when LeRoy cranks his Les Paul up to 11, only to be brought to a hush, drawing attention to they lyrics and LeRoy's smooth, soulful voice. The styles on here are what X-Factor SHOULD HAVE let LeRoy
focus on, like maybe they should have given him a Lenny Kravitz rocker or something...okok. I don't care for the show, he was the only reason I paid attention. Next!

One thing LeRoy has always been able to do is bring heart-felt lyrics and merge them in an urgency within the music to where they sink in even as you're be-bopping around, dancing in front of the stage... He's always had a way to bring the listener in with a phrase that catches you and you're drawn in for the rest. Pain, bitterness, moving on, redemption, becoming someone better than you were before. Within these ten songs, you are brought to very real circumstances and you can't help but connect. Whether the lyric is about joining together or splitting apart, finding middle ground, or continuing forward, I think he touches where we've all been at some point or another.

"I'm Coming Home" starts off the disc, a making-a-living-on-the-road-while-loved-ones-are-at-home song, has a catchy riff and anthemic
chorus, declaring he's coming home, that he misses the one he's singing to, that he's going crazy without them.  Whether you're on the road for work, in a band, or just spend too much time away at the office, I think we can all relate to desiring to be with loved ones and away from the grind.

Fun love-song types (not in the mushy sense, by any means!), like the upbeat soul-tinged "Wouldn't It Be Heaven"
(do I hear a smidgen of Sam Cooke here?) and the playful "Wind Me Up" (a new version of an older classic) are woven in between songs that deal with deeper issues of the heart, songs of loss and pain, hurt... "Where Were You" is a pointed track, asking, "Where were you when you could have made a difference in my life?" sounds like it's aimed at an ex-wife or lover, but could easily be directed at others that have caused pain. The heartfelt "I Still C U" and "One More Chance" are moving both musically and lyrically; a sense of sadness, longing and desire fill the lines, even over pop-ish hooks, and let the lyrics sink in. "Feels Like You're Dreamin'" brings things back up to a more blissful side of love, and loving life.

Being that many of LeRoy's "newer" fans are those who learned about him on the X-Factor, it seems only right to include a song he performed on the show -- one that means something to him, other than just another cover-tune. On "Rock 'n Soul" LeRoy brings his tender version of Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love," a song Adele
had made popular prior to LeRoy being on the show. I think I prefer his version better. ;)

"New Shoes" is probably LeRoy at his most vulnerable on the CD, dealing with a loved-one moving on without him and trying to move on himself. The song is vocal driven,
fragile and cautious about what comes next. He asks, "If I were you, what would I do" to move on, showing others that he's ready to reclaim his life?


The CD closes with a remix version of LeRoy's classic, "A Change Is Coming," one that is...may I be honest?...it's taking me some time to get accustomed to this version. Remixed by DJ Sbu from South Africa
, drum loops have been layered over the foundation of "Change," and a live performance w/ audience participation. I can see how this version is fun in a live context, but coming straight off the intimate "New Shoes," it almost seems out of place; I miss its gentle intro, how the song builds into the anthem... The drum loops seem to take away from that, for me. Please don't let this be a deterrent, check it out for yourself. I'm sure it will grow on me, I'm just being stubborn -- which is funny, because the song is about change!

For fans new and old. as well as those that enjoy really well written rock and soul, do yourself a favor and get this (and their previous releases) and see them in concert! Lovvvve their shows.

TSSutherland
1.21.14




 
Hello NW Groovers!

I want to thank The Randy Oxford Band and Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm Method for giving me the opportunity to review their CDs last week!  Talk about AWESOME blues-based music!  This week will feature LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends and The CD Woodbury Band and hopefully a couple others.

As I titled this, this post is a shout-out to NW Musicians & Bands. I WANT YOUR CD FOR REVIEW!
As well as website/contact info... This blog was created to support you, help get your music noticed. If you are blues-based, I belong to a multitude of blues groups & post review on their pages. Still working on getting into more rock, funk & soul groups.

You may email me at nwgroove@yahoo.com or use the contact page on this site.


Also, as a supporting role for your music, I am also a graphic artist (Facebook page TSSutherland
), and have recently worked on The Randy Oxford Band's "...it feels good..." and related promo. Let me know how I may help!

Thanks,
TSSutherland
1.20.14

 
Hello Groovers,

I'm in the process of listening to "Rock 'N Soul" by LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends and haven't had a chance to finish. My commute to work & back is...about 8 songs and I am 2 songs shy of being finished. Granted...I have known LeRoy for a number of years and know most of his "Only Friends" era songs, but I want to give the disc a fair listening and not just write based on my experiences of hearing the songs live.

Perhaps tomorrow, but definitely this weekend. I've not set out to definitely write this on a daily basis with a review each and every day...I just don't have enough CDs for that yet. HOWEVER, if you are an artist and would like to be reviewed, you may contact me here or at nwgroove@yahoo.com and we'll see what we can arrange to get your music reviewed & posted!

Thanks everyone, I hope you've enjoyed the first reviews! Your comments are always welcome!

~ TSSutherland
1.17.14

 
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Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm Method "Compass"
2013


I first met Polly O'Keary when she played the Everett Marina with The Randy Oxford Band last summer, although I had heard her name mentioned or printed around the area, more likely in The Bluesletter. She added a dimension to the band that had been missing -- not to discredit Farko Dosumov, an astounding bassist in his own right! Polly seemed to bring a lot of energy and a vocal unlike any I'd heard or seen.

Shortly after meeting her, during my early stages of creating the cover for Oxford's "...it feels good...," I heard she was running a Kickstarter campaign and I offered to help out where I could.  Oxford & Co played a show in Monroe in September, and she'd mentioned to me that she hadn't even written the album yet, but we'd be in touch (I didn't get the cover gig, but I forgive her).  In less than three months after talking with her in Monroe, I had a copy of the new disc, "Compass" sitting in my mailbox -- in less than three months, people! This is a fully produced eleven-song CD, not an EP with a few songs...

Polly is joined by drummer Tommy Cook
and guitarist Clint "Seattle Slim" Nonnemaker, completing a power trio to be reckoned with -- which I found out first-hand at the
Mighty Mouth Blues & the Washington Blues Society's Mighty Monday (a live radio broadcast) at 3231 Creatives in Everett, WA, this past Monday.  After a rather enjoyable set by Blues Playground, Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm Method took the stage for (I think) nearly ninety minutes, showcasing many of the songs on "Compass," as well as some I had not heard. They kicked it off with "Fools Gold" from the album (a funky number that just jams and has a catchy chorus: "What's it worth, the love you sold? Fools gold..." ), and wrapped up the night with a soulful rendition of Blind Willie Johnson's "It's Nobody's Fault But Mine" (which she said she'd recorded many years prior). Between the two songs were a blissful array of musicianship and well-seasoned experience that went flawlessly from one song to the next, including having Seattle Slim do an old song from his days with The Alley Cats called "Thunderbird" (thanks Tommy for the title!); Polly had mentioned that the song was her earliest memory of hearing an authentic blues tune & that it stuck with her for 20-some-odd years).

Ok, so this started as a short review of the band's Mighty Monday gig...perhaps I should start the album review?

As I had mentioned earlier, "Compass" is an eleven-song CD that was created within the span of less than 3 months (to my calculations).  I know that if I tried cramming 11 songs in that amount of time, it would probably be likened to what our dog, Brandy, leaves for us as gifts in the morning... Not so with this definite power-trio! 
From the opener, "Fools Gold," to the closer (her gospel tune) "Let Me Be Kind," this album is filled with glorious moments that are sure to thrill listeners -- casual, and those more appreciative of the fusion going on here.

To say this is merely a "blues" album ("merely" -- haha, is there such a thing?) is hardly the case. Every song has its own identity, its own feel.  The hook-laden "Fools Gold" jumps out and screams, "radio airplay please!" A sure crowd pleaser, one
to get the show started on an energetic note, talks about priorities in life and putting things we "think" are important -- to us -- higher than they should be (in a nutshell, Polly ~ correct me if I'm wrong).

"Summer"
follows up, and completely changes gear. This is a fun, old-time-ish romp through lazy days, fun in the sun, music & friends. It reminds me of...not really country, not even old country, but I do think I can imagine a fiddle in the mix.  A very enjoyable tune. Here's a live video the song from their ReverbNation page (click here)!

In the latin (Mexican?)-tinged "Nothing Left To Say"
& the stomping "Harder Than It Has To Be," Polly really rips an ex a new one in ways I'd never heard before.  She made a comment the other night about obligatory heart-ache songs, but she does them in such a way I'd hate to be on the receiving end!

"Your Honor" and "Losing You Again"
bring very sobering moments to this album, both dealing with loss -- one at the hands of another, and the other about coping with losing a loved one.

"I've Got None" is a playful number, taking the listener through a few examples of someone who has someone (or many), while she has none. I love the feel of this song, and Polly's hushed tones as she tells the stories is a pleasure to listen to.


"How The Mighty Fall" brings things back up to the "Fools Gold" energy level, this one dealing with the realities of the music/entertainment industry; one can only stay on top for so long before they have to start all over again. Humbling, for sure, the experience, in many areas of life.


The funky "Stop Train" is a fun one, and I think Polly mentioned that this one received airplay the other night! Love the drive in this piece, a sure crowd-pleaser. Sometimes the journey is wonderful & things are going right...but sometimes things take a crazy turn and you just have to tell the conductor to stop!


"You Get Me High" is an enjoyable piece, not in the same vein as "Summer," but just as fun. While I don't think Polly's talking about taking a toke, I do think she's likening the feeling of having a loved one so dear as being euphoric. We should all have someone in our lives that lift us to that state. :)


The closer, a song which Polly calls her "gospel" song, is "Let Me Be Kind" (with backing vocals by Anita "Lady A" White)
. This is a gorgeous song, one that can easily be imagined heard in church. When time has passed beyond our lives, how will we be remembered? Did we give to those in need, offer help, show mercy? Polly states that she hopes people will say that "she was kind"... "Compass" ends in a direction for which we can all set a course for: to be kind to one another. It's an age-old gospel truth, one that echoes through time. Love one another, let us all be kind.

TSSutherland
1.16.14


 
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The Randy Oxford Band "...it feels good..."
figgleblail records/Oxford Entertainment
2014

Some may feel that I may be biased in regards to The Randy Oxford Band, seeing that I'm the artist that created their CD cover, disc art & logo for the new album, "...it feels good...," and...perhaps I am; this is my blog, so I can make the rules as I go along. ;)  Regardless, I am approaching this disc as a listener, not as someone "on the inside..." ...kinda.  I know some of the scoop, some of the reason behind this album -- or at least the feeling.

When Randy approached me last summer with this project, or I should say, when I approached him about doing the cover, we had talked at length about how the music, the shows, the band itself is about an attitude -- "...it feels good..." -- and how everything about this album should convey that attitude.
  I sketched out the basic idea for the cover, and every piece on it represents the members of the band, and was done intentionally with a loose, free flowing artform, much like the band (well, they are tight, musically, but...you get the drift).  Randy liked that I kept the organic elements in the piece, and that translates well with the music that you will hear on the disc: organic, not over-produced computer-synced layers of noise.

Many times when a band releases an album, there is a set tone, style, direction throughout, and sometimes that kind of format lends songs to blend into each other, a feeling of, "Oh, this is a different song?"  Not so with The Randy Oxford Band. As in concerts, "...it feels good..." showcases all members, each sharing the spotlight, each bringing their own flavor, their own ingredients to the pot.  Band leader Randy Oxford, who slings his trombone around like a wild-west gunman meets charismatic motivational speaker, has brought together a blend of musicians that take as much from the blues as well as a multitude of other influences, creating an atmosphere where no two songs sound alike.
  With four vocalists in this six-piece band (seven, when you include a guest percussionist on occasion -- and on this disc, the honors go to LA Smth), the variety lends to a blissful listening experience.

In talking with drummer Richard Sabol at a Blutopia gig recently, he asked me how I would describe
the band, the style in general...  You can't.  You can say, "Well, blues...based, with...a lot of other stuff in the mix." Funk, rock, soul, jazz, latin fusion...  And not just "blues" in the generic sense, either. Dirty blues, nitty-gritty...soul searching, gut wrenching...bearing my heart-on-the-line blues. The album has two guitarists that wail like Hendrix or Stevie Ray, or bring it down to a sobering, delicate whisper, always complimenting each other (Randy Norris & Manuel Morais), a thumping monster of a bass player (Polly O'Keary), a very skilled madman on drums that can bring a song to heights and leave you begging for more (Richard Sabol), a sultry siren who can take you to church one moment and have you crying for forgiveness the next (Jada Amy), and the ring-leader himself, with his big, long, slidin thing (Randy Oxford on trombone).

Ok, so now that I've laid the groundwork, now on to the CD, "...it feels good...," which is being officially released tonight at a show in Kansas City in a place called Knuckleheads!  Yes, I intentionally chose tonight to do this write-up of the album.

As I mentioned before that there are four vocalists in this six-piece band,
and each brings their own flavor:

Jada Amy, who takes the bulk with four songs on this 10-song CD, brings sassiness, mixed with a touch of smoke & pain. She can lift you up in one song and lay you to waste in the next.  While her take on Paul Simon's "One Trick Pony" tends to be a crowd pleaser, the party-starting "Trouble," the soul-stirring "Leave Me Alone," and the disc's closer, the moving "I Believed" (featuring former bassist Farko Dosumov on the dazzling 3-ish minute intro) all showcase Jada's vocals in a way that is almost unreal. Since she's a friend, I don't think I can view her as a "diva," but when she takes the stage she is definitely the center of attention.

Guitarist Randy Norris
seems to be the trouble-maker of the vocalists. His songs, "Full Moon Rising" and "Run Over" bring to life the fun, guitar-oriented rockin' blues that getcha movin'.  You can tell he's having a blast, even if he may be singing about something that might bite him on the...............

Bassist, and newest addition to this stellar line-up, Polly O'Keary
, brings her crazy thump to many of the other songs on the album, but when her own songs come on ("The Loudest Thing" & "How Come You're Never Here (When I Get Home)"), Polly digs deep and pulls out heart-wrenching, passionate vocals that cry over the lyrics obviously written at very personal times in her life; one can't help but be caught up in the emotion these songs bring out.

Speaking of Polly's crazy thump, it drives guitarist Manuel Morais' "When You're Gone" into a frenzy. I remember listening to it on the way to work, the bass slammin', a very hot guitar...  I made a comment on Facebook about being in that moment and how it really got my day off to a great start & he appreciated the compliment. His other contribution, "Your Love," is a beautiful piece, a slow-dance for lovers, if you will...delicate acoustic Latin guitar throughout a majority of the piece (which ends in an aggressive electric guitar finish), lyrics sung in Spanish...a gorgeous song.

From the
CD's liner notes:

"Anyone who listens to music will agree on three words that best describe music and why we listen to it in the first place.  I have titled this CD accordingly...

...it feels good... ~ Randy Oxford"

I've seen it written that this should be the band's break-out album, the must-have disc, the one that finally lets the world know who these guys (and gals) are -- in a big way -- and I certainly hope so! 

Go Randy Go!

...and Jada, Polly, Randy, Richard, Manuel, LA & Farko!

TSSutherland
1.15.14


Added note!
(Revision, 5.6.14)


The Randy Oxford Band and NW Groove have teamed up to get the whole world feeling globally ...good...
and I am going to be spreading the word like wild fire!

Would you like a copy of ...it feels good...
? (You can hear it on http://therandyoxfordband.com/it_feels_good/ and you'll seen see why you do want to ...feel good...)

On Randy's home page, therandyoxfordband.com, you'll see the album cover and a Paypal
logo. Click that & follow the instructions, to include calculate shipping within the US or international. Once logged in and have your shipping info listed, you will see a link that says "Add special instructions to the seller" -- click the link, add this blog's name,"NW Groove," in the info box, and then proceed to check-out. Simple! That is all! Soon you, me, and the world will be feeling ...good... (well, hey ~ it's a start, at least)!

 
This blog was born out of a desire to review and share Northwest Blues, Rock & Funk with those who appreciate local music and those possibly seeking new music they'd maybe never heard before. Many of the artists that will appear on this page are (for the most part) "unsigned" or "independent" -- which is not to imply that they are sub-par!


It should be noted that the above listed styles are not set in stone, but are a general guide to let people know this is not a page talking about hip-hop, grind-core, sugar-pop, or things that are generally not associated with Blues, Rock & Funk. Variations of the 3 styles are always welcome!


Examples of what you will find on here are:
The Randy Oxford Band
Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm Method
The Chris Eger Band
LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends
Bump Kitchen
Bloodgood
Screams of Angels

So yeah...some wide variations of NW Blues, Rock & Funk!

While I can't promise not to slip in some cheesy humor in my reviews once in a while, I do promise to offer insightful commentaries and links to the artists' websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Please like this page on Facebook for updates to this
blog!
NW Groove

Thanks! I hope you enjoy NW Groove!
Feel free to comment and let me know you're in the groove!


TSSutherland

Oh, one more thing ~
I'm also a graphic artist, available for CD covers, posters, t-shirt designs, logos, etc.
My graphics page can be located here: (please click "like" to let me know you've visited)
TSSutherland Illustration & Graphic Design

    TSSutherland

    TSSutherland is a lover of music that thumps, bumps, rocks & wails! An avid believer in supporting local arts, this page will feature reviews of NW Blues, Rock & Funk.

    Archives

    January 2014