Malaya Blue Will Never Leave You Heartsick

AlbumArtwork_HighRes 020316Malaya Blue Will Never Leave You Heartsick

Two of the tracks were released as a double-sided single last summer, Hope & Let’s Reinvent. They have survived and are included in the album, the band though that supports Malaya Blue’s distinctive voice has been all change. The band with stunning production from Paul Long, capturing the tone that suits Malaya as her career progresses. The walk towards soulful jazz with the shading of blues continues apace. The band for the album recorded in The Grange Studio Norfolk are Dudley Ross, with the guitar playing that makes every lead break zing with anticipation, and alongside Dudley is keyboard player Paul Jobson and the synergy between them is natural. Added to this is a rhythm section that keeps the beat on an eye of the smallest needle, Stuart Uren bassist and drumming Andrew McGuiness. The reality is this is all window dressing for the heart of the album, Malaya Blue’s vocals which are drenched in soulful anguish as the album explores loves sharpest facets. The harp playing like a mirror bright and clear reflects the vocals from the lips of Paul Jones on Hunny Little Daydream & Let’s Reinvent (Love). Another guest is Carl Hudson whose piano playing enlivens the track To Remain The Same.

Opening with Heartsick the beat is driving with an uplift the opposite to what you expect. Malaya’s voice though is definitely Heartsick as she explores a disastrous relationship ignoring what Mama said to her peril! With Dudley and Paul opening with a guitar and keys exploring the chords, the drum picks up the beat and Malaya’s voice clear as bell curls her tongue around Colour Blind. Her voice is polished with a sheen that reflects the bands melodic line. Half way through the eleven track album is an upbeat statement I Have Arrived, full of confidence with a mix of sounds to underline who Malaya now is with a second studio album under her musical belt. Now for contrast a rhythmic opening with Dudley’s guitar blasting the way through for a gentler wistful Malaya. This is a Strand of Gold that is full of country soul the instrumentation shapes the mood. Bringing the album to a close is Hope the single we have all got to know and then the finale. This is drenched in slow emotion as the soul comes back and is it the cure for Heartsick the opening track?

The album crosses genres and has a mainstream feel. Perfectly formed for radio airplay and getting Malaya Blue the attention she is demanding on this crafted album. For me, the album and instrumentation is just that bit too crisp. Like a starched shirt, it lacks at times a natural flow to the singing. I want Malaya to loosen up relax and show a rougher, dirtier side of love some sweet sugar bowl blues would have given the album a deeper range. That said, it is an album with sex-appeal from guitar licks through to the carefully modulated shaping of lyrics and the clarity of Malaya Blue as she shares her feeling of being Heartsick.

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

Track Listing
1. Heartsick
2. Hunny Little day Dream
3. Colour Blind
4. Let’s reinvent (Love)
5. To remain The Same
6. I Have Arrived
7. Strand of Gold
8. Share Of Love
9. Hope
10. Soul Come Back

Cut The Funk – CD & Gig Review – 2014

downloadWeekend Coda
Cut The Funk

If you are looking to add something a little different to your collection then Weekend Coda the debut album of Cut The Funk is just the ticket with its skillful blending of Jazz and Funk that is never indulgent just a perfect harmony of sound that will definitely end your weekend and start you on a high for the week ahead with a feet tapping feel good sound. This Kent-based band have really nailed the beat and tempo as the individual instruments blend and meld together to rise to the top as the saxophone in the opening track Blue Milk so a rich milkshake of sound is created that makes you feel good and sets the quality for the whole album you know you are going to sit, dance tap your feet for just over an hour of pure delight.
The album brings a sublime mix of tempos with upbeat Afroturf and followed by the more mellow (ain’t nothing but a) Chicken Wing.
There are long tracks like Art Dart, which moves along with little interludes from bass, sax, piano and the guitar and drums providing a background that makes this track a musical art form in its own right ! Then there are short tracks at just over three and half minutes Funk Credit Cards opens with Ian Anderson style flute and then the beat picks up with a rolling funky rhythm that will make everyone’s mood upbeat.

This is an album full of musical complexities and a mix of subtle and in-your-face riffs and melodies, but it is not complex for the sake of complexity; Cut The Funk have cleverly got the balance right so this is an immensely listenable album that will keep appearing through your speakers as you listen again and I bet each time you listen your favourite track will change, mine is, for the moment, Cut The Funk full of fusion that reminds me of the bands from the past like The Meters.

Not sure about Funk/Jazz fusion this is the album to stretch your listening tastes as the music flows and surrounds you with a funky hug.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch



Gig Review – Riffs Bar Swindon – August 2014

Now youCut The Funk - August 2014 - DSC_7683l have listened to the album go see them live when you get the opportunity this busy group of musicians do not often get out on the road, Bluesdoodles was lucky enough to catch up with them at Riffs Bar, Swindon in August. We were treated to some tracks from the album and lots of other gems as well as the funky, jazzy fusion sound Cut The Funk create flowed off the stage and throughout the bar. Watermelon was a great tune and the communication between the members of the band ensured that there were seamless changes in which instrument was taking the lead and the finishing spot-on the beat every time.

Cut The Funk - August 2014 - DSC_7616lCut The Cake, was a fantastic version of Average White Bands number, the whole sound they create is interesting with a varied beat and sound making a real change from the guitar-dominated riffs and licks of many bands. Two tracks from the album The Blazer and The Promise demonstrated that this is a live sound with a fluidity from every instrument they want your attention and once they have it they are not going to let go. We were treated to a unique take on The Meters People Say showing what a versatile number this is. This is a band that comes together for a few gigs when they are able to as they all have busy lives on a myriad of musical projects; thus they do not really rehearse giving every show a fresh take on the tracks they play that sound natural and full of quality. This is definitely a band to look out for and make every effort to go see this band with a touch of fusion magic.

Paul Jobson – Keyboards / Vocals
Dudley Ross – Guitar
Tony Rico – Saxophone / Flute / Vocals
Joe Sam – Bass

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Katie Bradley She’s Ready (2012)

Celebrating International Women’s Day with Katie Bradley

Katie Bradley

This is an album that is alive with pure joy of excellent blues music that truly reflects the live recording of Katie Bradley’s, ‘She’s Ready’. This is a début CD of 8 tracks that take you on a roller-coaster of highs and lows, combining a mix of clever re-arrangements so that they fit into Katie’s style and self-penned tracks.

Katie fronts the band, showcasing her strong melodic vocals and playing blues harp, the rest of the band are not mere background to her voice but a quartet of top-drawer musicians, Paul Jobson, Keys & Vocals (Chaka Khan) and (Geoff Achieson & Soul Diggers); Sam Kelly, Drums, (Station House); <a href="″>Joe Sam, Bass (Gary Moore); and virtuoso guitarist Dudley Ross which all bring something special to the tracks.

The self-penned ‘I Hear a River’ is gorgeous with beautiful lyrics articulated by Katie’s soulful vocals that sends shivers down your spine; it is not surprising that this has been nominated for The Kevin Thorpe Memorial Prize; by Blues on The Marsh internet radio programme. This CD is receiving lots of airplay which is no surprise with tracks like ‘Damn Your Eyes’; and an interesting arrangement of ‘Hound Dog’; and will assure that Katie is definitely ready to have a successful future and should be gracing festivals and venues all over the country, as she delivers songs with a range of emotions from up-beat through to mellow blues. She never overpowers the lyrics but delivers with a clarity and delicate touch that tugs straight at your heartstrings.

This is the CD to sit back, relax and let the music wash away the strains of the day.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD a doodle rating of