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Classic Rock’s The Blues Magazine – Issue 6 April/May 2013

Album review for 'Good Times' 7*s

‘Lady sings the blues with passion verve and retro style’.

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion inhabit the jazzier end of the blues spectrum, where the voice is primary. And Zoe Schwarz fits the bill perfectly in terms of her range, emotion and ability to interpret a song.

The challenge Blue Commotion set themselves is to try and put an original spin on some familiar sounding material via Zoe’s expressive, effortless phrasing and the band’s su;bltel use of layered instrumentation.

Their self-penned material, such as the shapy horn arrangement of I’ll Do Anything, the humorous Too Darn Rich To Be Happy, the deftly arranged Give Him Up Girl and the pivotal Beatitudes, fit seamlessly with Billie Holiday’s Fine and Mellow and the cool groove work out of Koko Taylor’s That’s Why I’m Crying.

Not everything works, as they lose their way a little on the overwrought There’s Only You, but it’s a blip on an otherwise well played album. 

words by: Pete Feenstra