TAXI provided feedback regarding the Blake 'n' Blue original 'Plain Jane.' Here's what they had to say:
"This track sounds excellent in all respects; the song is well crafted in vein of classic Cole Porter, the group plays expertly, and the vocalist ears favorable comparison to great classic jazz ballad singers.
To my ears, the track is well produced as well and could potentially be viable for radio stations that not only play trad jazz but also some of the smooth jazz ones that also feature artists such as Diana Krall, Norah Jones and others of that ilk. I could also perhaps hear this working for some soundtrack uses, so perhaps consider pitching this to music supervisors for potentially film/TV placements. Keep up the good work."
"The night is dreamy, the bar is smoky, the bass is stand-up, and the drummer's using brushes: Blake 'n' Blue's CD A Little Chi-Town Sleaze is a late-night, urban cocktail romp. Terry Sullivan's world-weary vocals on "Plain Jane" make it sound like it's 4 a.m. and there's no one in the place, while Jeff Newell's flute solo on "The Minor Blues As A Facial Expression" brings the beatnik scene back in full force."
"An original program by guitar player Doug Blake. Refined and sophisticated, Jeff Newell's alto sax adds consistent excitement from sinuous ballads ('Alone') and mid-tempo ('Walking Home From Church') to his double-tempo flight in the upbeat 'Give 'em Rhythm.' Four tunes (One Finger Out Of Baton Rouge/North Side Shuffle King/Southwest '72/When Your Mommie Is A Commie And Your Dad Is A Rad) [sound like] a country CD."
"Doug Blake, a jazz guitarist and songwriter who has been playing locally for the last 25 years, recorded his first CD, "A Little Chi-Town Sleaze" a couple of years ago and recently followed up with "Burning In F and G." Both recordings, featuring his own jazz songs written in the style of golden-age masters like Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, were made with his band Blake 'n' Blue.
'I think I found I have a knack for producing' says Blake.
(The Pioneer Press, the local paper of Chicago's northern suburbs, has been chronicling Doug's career with numerous articles, pictures and many more listings from his New Trier student activist days in 1971 through his evolution as a bebop guitarist/bandleader and his many performances in the Chicago area.)
Also Blake 'n' Blue placed as semi-finalist in Musician Magazine's 1996 Best Unsigned Band Competition.
In addition "The Minor Blues As A Facial Expression" has been published twice as a poem. Doug's work as a poet has enabled him to write not only the lyrics to his own songs, but half a dozen for his fellow band members' compositions.
He also does artwork (see his album covers).
(For bio see "Burning In F&G")
Terry Sullivan - Vocals
Aaron Syrdahl - Vocals
Don Stiernberg - Vocals and Electric Mandolin
Jeff Newell - Alto Sax and Flute
John Roothaan - Piano and Organ
Rusty Jones - Drums
Brian Sandstrom - Electric and Acoustic Bass
Doug Blake - Guitar
Andy Meacham - Guitar