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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)!

01/16/2014 7:56am

Tim,
Greetings from Kansas City.
You nailed it on the head. Very well written and insightful in many ways. You really captured the feeling of....it feels good....Great way to start your NW GROOVE BLOG!
We are honored to be the first.

Reply
01/16/2014 8:40am

Randy! Very welcome! -- and thanks! ...it feels good... every time I hear it or see you guys live!

Reply
Jeff
01/20/2014 8:31pm

Thought the CD was pretty good and I especially like the trombone solos etc. Nice as you don't hear that too often.
However, being an old "blues" fan myself listening to blues bands for years, the "It Feels Good" CD has tinges of the sound of the Oakland, Ca band "Tower of Power". I always have been a "Tower of Power" fan and enjoyed the some-what similar sound although "It Feels Good" features totally original tunes.
Bottom line: I'd recommend it to other "blues and funk" fans. Slide in the disc and turn it up. Jammin' tunes!!!

Reply
Shadow Dancer
03/07/2014 2:18am

Wow! I heard Manuel Morais for the first time about a week ago and I am enthralled! Bought the CD two days ago and LoVe it! Music that stirs the soul. More PlEaSe! :)

Reply
Chuck Cutshall
05/07/2014 5:41pm

We meet you up at the oxford when Randy First released this cd. I was great setting next to you during the gig. The cover is fantastic.

Reply



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    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.

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    January 2014