Ruby Tiger Creating Bluesy Vistas on Her EP

Ruby Tiger Creating Vistas on Her EPRuby Tiger Creating Bluesy Vistas on Her EP

Olivia Stevens (aka Ruby Tiger) is a British blues & soul singer that deserves to be heard – and Vistas provides the perfect opportunity.

The five tracks that make up this debut EP go beyond the realms of a standard 12 bar blues and take in elements of soul, jazz and more. But make no mistake, these guys certainly know how to play the blues when it’s called for. ‘Big feeling blues’ is a great example of that. It’s a real gem of a track which they went all the way back to 1928 for. Originally recorded by Ma Rainey, It features a stompin’ groove, tasteful harmonica and guitar solos and best of all – a vocal duet between Ruby and guitarist ‘King Rollo’. Doesn’t get much better than that! Or does it? Well , there’s also a fine version of ‘damn your eyes’. While there is certainly no shortage of Etta James covers out there, not many actually do justice to the great lady. Aside from Beth Hart and Warren Haynes, I can’t think of many – if any- that have done as good a job as Ruby has here. She really sings it like she means it, pouring her heart and soul into every word. The band deserve a lot of credit for this arrangement too. There’s bass, drums, guitar, keys and sax all audible amongst the purrs of their big cat band leader – but there’s never any danger of them treading on each other’s toes (or paws).

As well as the two covers there are a few original recordings on offer too. ‘Shattered not broken’ is a fun-time boogie blues track that sees Ruby Channel her inner Susan Tedeschi.

‘Me & my tears’ demonstrates another side to the band altogether – Close your eyes and you can imagine yourself in a smoky Parisienne jazz club. This self-penned number is full of slick changes and seriously smooth sax playing.

As you can probably tell, the EP offers great variety and for the most part, manages to flow quite nicely. The only anomaly is opening track ‘best friend’. Comprising of just bass and a slow arpeggiated guitar part sitting under the brooding vocal lines, this stripped back track is quite a contrast to what lies ahead. It’s by no means bad but doesn’t quite sit comfortably with the rest of the songs on offer.

Sussex based Ruby Tiger is undoubtedly the star of the show, but the real triumph here is the sum of all parts. The band is tight, inventive and full of energy. When a solo is played – Whatever the instrument – it’s always played with the song in mind.

Despite the slight disconnect between the opening track and the rest of the EP, there is a distinct, memorable sound on offer here. A welcome sound on the British blues scene.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track List:

  1. Best Friend
  2. Big Feeling Blues
  3. Damn Your Eyes
  4. Me & My Tears
  5. Shattered Not Broken

 

Ruby Tiger Creating Vistas on Her EP

 

First Fix from The Della Grants

First Fix from The Della Grants

 

First Fix from The Della Grants

 

 

Opening with Backbiter Blues this is a track full of grinding energy. Delta music with an urban twist that is the right fix for 21st century British rock n Roll infused blues. Backbiter Blues has flashes of the past churning into a modern beat and Tom on Harmonica adding to the excitement. First Fix from The Della Grants, paints the tonal shapes and the gritty textures that are produced from the rhythm section through to Max Manning and Tom Best up front. These textures are re-shaped and spat out with a False Promise. There is nothing false about this young band they click and Tom Walker on Drums and Andy Boulton’s Bass provided a bedrock that keeps the promise of blues true and upfront with attitude.

The tempo slows and the mood deepens with the guitar licks that kickstart Do What You Do. The sweet guitar licks curl around Max’s vocals that are deep and emotionally fueled. The track demonstrates the diversity of a The Della Grants that are creating blues full of soul rhythm and blues.

When you are angry you see – Red Mist there is a feeling of determined anger fueling the energy of a track with a relentless blues stoked drive. Closing with More Than Pray the blues take on a country feel. This is a stylish track that makes the EP feel like a project not quite completed. The range of styles and tonal shapes that The Della Grants can pull out of their hat will continue to grow. First Fix from The Della Grants, certainly fixes my blues.

The main fault with the quintet of tracks is there are not more. First Fix from The Della Grants is a mighty fine E.P. what is lacking is the ten or more tracks on an album for the band to fully exploit the depth of range and talents within the band.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

The Della GrantsFirst FixAvailable at Gigs NOW – General release 21st March 2016 – HERE
h3>Track Listing

1. Backbiter Blues
2. False Promises
3. Do What You Do
4. Red Mist
5. More Than Pray

EP Review: Lucy Zirins ~ What’s In Front Of Me

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Lucy Zirins
What’s In Front Of Me
Gingersnap Music

 

There has been a long wait for follow-up of recorded music from Lucy Zirins, her debut album Chasing Clocks set the bar high.  This is a snug little E.P. What’s In Front Of Me is a signpost of a future that shines bright as Lucy continues her solo, duo shows and a new band. There are half a dozen tracks that allow the nightingale of Burnley and her acoustic guitar continue to deliver the Zirins sparkle to modern English country shaded with blue her laugh is infectious and her vocals are mesmeric. Lucy is a talented songwriter with lyrics that blend around melodies and tell a tale.  The album has special guests to had tonal depth and excitement pedal steel legend BJ Cole and Richard Causon on keys along with her touring band “The Southern Company” including Andy Crowdy, Simon Price and Pete Billington.

 

The mix of styles shows the full scope of Lucy’s talents opening with the title track the guitar glows and the intro is full but the album really takes shape as Lucy’s vocals warm the song, her honeyed tones firm around the lyrics picking up the words and giving them musical shape.  The tempo rises and the instrumentation has more attitude and the vocals mean business on this country instilled number Changing Ground that will get everyone’s feet stomping. In the middle are two tracks that continue to show Lucy’s personality Falling to Pieces and a reflective gentle number Mercy. Feeling like a change of direction as the tempo hardens with a blues number that rocks Worry and Wine then there is a twist again with the closing song You Don’t Remember Me. This is folk with a Celtic twist ending the E.P. with refrains of fiddles that add a melancholy sadness as we are taken into a future of unknowns. What’s In Front Of Me is a tantilising taster that bodes well for the main course a full studio album for 2016.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. What’s In Front of Me
  2. Changing Ground
  3. Falling to Pieces
  4. Mercy
  5. Worry and the Wine
  6. You Won’t Remember Me