None More Blue is Misty Blues‘ 10th album (including the brilliantly titled Weed ‘em and Reap from last year) and can be regarded as a celebration of twenty years on the road. Written and recorded under the cloud of the pandemic, the blues, jazz, rock and R’n’B infused songs are all original and reflect some of the emotions and issues that throws up.
Although relatively unknown here in the UK, the band (and their revolving musician list) have toured most of the US and supported the likes of Tab Benoit, John Primer, Albert Cummings and Michael Powers.
The opener, My One And Only, gives you an immediate insight into the skills that have given this band such longevity; great drum intro that sets the feel as Gina seems to be singing about a banana (joke – give it a listen)…every instrument is audible and contributes to a bluesy, quality outing…but the great bits for me are the bass line and very good guitar and key solos.
I Can’t Wait slows a little with a lovely key-driven opening and a strong vocal…another good guitar solo too. These Two Veils brings a bit of funk and jazz blend that carries a real message. Bodega Blues uses familiar blues patterns but manages to keep its originality with keys and sax at the forefront. Change My Luck brings the harp into play on a Muddy flavoured blues romp that is probably my pick…because of the harp and guitar work in particular.
Down in Lenox Town is a staccato shuffle with more harp and a ‘riff’ that guitar/keys/harp play around in a great way…the solos are intelligent and well crafted. Ready To Play has a rockier edge as its harp train intro is backed by the heavier chord work. The key solo is brilliant and fitting, so this might be my favourite!
Listen starts with piano and cymbal washes before the piano takes the melody lead…almost (but not quite) an instrumental this needs a few listens (pun intended) to fully appreciate the knowledge and skill on display as piano/guitar/sax plays cleverly with the melodies. Step Right Up is R’n’B-’rock’n’roll with plenty of bounce.
Days Gone By is ye-ha country with great rhythms and a cigar box guitar and a bottleneck that makes it irresistible; especially the neat slide solo…so this is now my favourite! The final track, Nothing To Lose, is horny blues as everyone pours everything into it and wraps the album neatly.
So here are eleven tracks of quality musicianship that, while it may not set the world alight, is a very strong album that deserves a listen. It is no mean achievement to record such good songs while the damnable virus kept them apart and prevents them from airing them on stage.
Bluesdoodles rating: 3 Doodle Paws – a great listen for quality and varied blues with extra spices sprinkled liberally throughout.
My One And Only
I Can’t Wait
These Two Veils
Change My Luck
Down in Lenox Town
Ready To Play
Step Right Up
Days Gone By
Nothing To Lose
Gina Coleman: vocals, guitar
Bill Patriquin: bass
Seth Fleischmann: guitar
Benny Kohn: keyboards
Rob Tatten: drums
Aaron Dean: saxophone
Ed Moran: harmonica
(the iTunes run on track brought me some Mo’Indigo with Trouble Every Day from 2003…his usual high standard soul/blues/rock with, in this case, a hint of Santana; it works!)