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Blues In The South, Ian McKenzie, June 2015 Live Album Review

I'll Be Yours Tonight - Live, 33WM151

What a fabulous band this is.  Over the last three or so years (as confidence builds) the band has got better and better.  The album before this, 2014's "Exposed" was a greeted with much enthusiasm, one reviewer saying, "Zoe and her band have reached the point where they cannot be ignored and are poised to make the international breakthrough they deserve".

Zoe was a runner up in last years' Female Vocalist category in the British Blues Awards, and if there is any justice will top the poll this year.

The band, Rob Koral, guitar; Pete Whittaker, Hammond organ; Si Genaro, harmonica; Paul Robinson, drums and percussion are water-thight, and blend together in a way that is almost supernatural. 

On this album though, they have taken the plunge and have recorded the whole thing live.  The band is here enhanced by Ian Ellis - tenor sax, Andy Urquhart - trumpet and it is important to realise that the recording was done, almost on the spur of the moment.  In November 2014, the band was playing a gig at  Richard Dumming's 'Tuesday Night Music Club' when the suggestion was made to record it.  Too often, band going live after a number of studio albums, produce a wishy-washy mix of lazy musicianship and over-inflated ego.  None of that here.

Twelve tracks, all but one penned by Rob and Zoe (the only exception is one by Billie Holiday) are performed in an exemplary manner.  The recording is spot on and some of the tunes (e.g. The Beatitudes a vocal and band exposition of some of the words of Chirst) are better than the studio recordings, with fiery power and a BIG sound.

Neck on the block time.  This one will be an award winner and not before time.  It is already a June "Pick" by the IBBA . Get it NOW!! 

  • Words by: Ian McKenzie (Editor)