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Blues In Britain Issue 138 June 2013

Album review for 'Good Times'

Blue Commotion returned to the Maltings after their July 2012 gig. The band consist of partners Zoe Schwarz on vocals and Rob Koral on guitar, with Si Genaro on harp and vocals Pete Whittaker on organ, Paul Robinson on drums and Rodney Teague on bass. The band opened with ‘I’m Leaving you’ from their Good Times CD, guitarist Rob immediately impressing with fluid solo. An older, but as yet unrecorded, ‘Pebble In My Pond’ then led the way for the band to play several new song. ‘Your Sunshine’s Rain’ had a strong rhythmic base with drummer Paul heavily featured. A dynamic harp solo from Si showed that he is more than just a visual attraction with his dance moves and quirky character. Bobby Parker’s ‘Blues Get Off My Shoulder’, one of the standout tracks on their current album, was given a polished performance, Rob’s solo having light and shade, a mood then picked up by the rest of the band. Two more new songs were highlights of the first set: ‘Broken Hear Blues’ being a catchy tune whilst ‘I Believe In You’ really stood out, a ballad with subtle wah-wah underpinning a lovely vocal performance from Zoe, Rob then abandoning the pedal to deliver a lovely solo. Etta James’ ‘Something’s gotta Hold On Me’ brought the first set to a close, Zoe’s dramatic opening leading to a soulful reading of the song.

The second set opened in jazzier mood with two originals, ‘Heartbreak Tears’ and ‘If I Didn’t Care’. The band then played another song that they had never performed live before – and what a cracker it was! ‘We’ll Find A Way’ was a dramatic ballad with a strong emotional vocal and another great solo from Rob. There was time for two more tracks from the CD (‘Take Me Back’ and Koko Taylor’s ‘Voodoo Woman’) before closing time loomed. The band declared that they had just time for ‘a very short one’ and the familiar Bo Diddley beat signaled a ferociously fast version of Willie Dixon’s ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover’ in which Zoe updated the chorus to “I look like a scrubber, but I’m a lover”, much to the amusement of partner rob!

The band will be recording the new

CD in May and I for one will e anxious to hear it after this excellent live show.

words by: John Mitchell