CD Review: The Octavia Blues Band ~ It Ain’t What You Got, It’s What You Give

CD Review: The Octavia Blues Band ~ It Ain’t What You Got, It’s What You GiveThe Octavia Blues Band It Ain’t What You Got, It’s What You Give

This is Blues with power, attitude and a focus of purpose, Octavia sings the blues she definitely has the vocals and her harp playing is something special, the band gives lots on this their sixth album; It Ain’t What You Got, It’s What You Give. Having listened it is not surprising that Octavia is described as Pennslyvania’s First Lady of the Blues the ten tracks are steeped in blues that stretch your imagination with a deep down dirty and emotional feel. The band is a tight four-piece whose talents mesh together creating a full sound that drives the music along shaping the pace and tone. Octavia is at the heart as vocalist, guitarist, harp player and the writer of songs. The rhythm section Jason Gray, bassist and vocals and Jamie Furhman on drums, and sharing guitar and vocal duties is Chip Stanilla. Every track has something to offer opening with a fast-moving happy sound of Playin For My Keep, it is that tuneful with harp that catches your attention a perfect hook to get you listening to The Octavia Blues Band. The tempo is upbeat for the title track and the music has an infectious, foot tapping quality. Ice Cold Beer is just what is needed to cool you down dancing to the beat that just gets you off your seats with a hint of rockabilly fun this is a blast and the antidote for the following track; Got A Fever. This slows down the pace with blues infused with Jazz and a change of vocalist as Chip cries Oh Lord the gospel sound is intoned in a classy emotionally fueled track. Naughty Girl is full of devilish mischief, reflecting on this being a true story when Octavia sang her way out of a speeding ticket, in addition to the voice is stunningly accomplished harp playing as Octavia bends and shapes the notes to reflect her vocals; the drumming is relentless and you want to get to know this naughty girl.
The whole album is crammed with a soulful interpretation of the Blues that is full of emotional intelligence and lyrical expressiveness. Octavia is the heart of the band providing the beat, energy and verve for the band to play from creating a sound reflecting the skills of the musicianship of The Octavia Blues Band captured for fifty minutes on a blues-infused It Ain’t What You Get, It’s What You Give.

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

Track Listing


  1. Playin’ For My Keep
  2.  It Ain’t What You Get, It’s What You Give
  3.  It’s You I’m Lovin’
  4. Ready For The Weekend
  5. Service Call
  6. Itchin’
  7. Ice Cold Beer
  8. Got A Fever
  9. Naughty Girl
  10. Simply Pure

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