Blues In The South (BiTS), 'The Blues And I Should Have A Party' Album Review Feb 2018,
The Blues and I Should Have a Party
One of the real joys of producing a publication month after month, year after year, is that you get to hear bands grow and develop as they wend ther own path to their musical Nirvana.
Such a band has been Zoe Schwarz’ Blue Commotion. From the earliest days, I have always felt that there is something special about the ‘front’ talent, Zoe, and her partner in life and music Rob Koral and this album confirms that they are indeed, something special.
Zoe is an outstanding singer, steeped in jazz inflection (a huge fan of Billie Holiday) she has the capacity to move from sultry to sassy with consummate ease.
Rob Koral is a subtle master of the guitar also bringing jazz flourishes to his work but with an inventivness about his playing that is sometimes jaw-dropping, here accompanied by Pete Whittaker (keys) and Paul Robinson (drums) the ensemble have produced their best work ever.
Thirteen tracks of blues mastery. As usual all the music is by Zoe and Rob but two of the tracks feature lyrics written by Pete Fenestra, one (Down In The Caves) about the Caves at Chiselhurst in Kent and the sensational music and musicians that have played there, the second a reflective poem, Time Waits For No One, that has verses in a minor key but bursts into a joyous major key in the choruses. The remaining songs are a mix of party and thoughtful, The title track is enhanced by some magnificent work by Rob, sounding at times like early Freddie King and demonstrating a phenomenal mastery of the fingerboard.
The first track, Please Don’t Cheat on Me, opens like a tornado coming down the valley. It is a rock bluesy piece, again with some outstanding and firey axework and some excellent drum and bass work. You’ve Changed, is a kind of Billie Holiday tribute with some nice reverb
background chords. Super song. Shout, is a simple but delightful foot-stomper of a song that constantly reminds me of some of the 1960s bands (Spencer Davis?) that were influenced by the blues.
Another award winner IMHO. Watch out USA, before too long, the British Are Coming - AGAIN
- Words by: Ian K. McKenzie