BLUES ELEMENT – Overview:
Blues Element was formed in Toronto in the spring of 2005 to support the release of "Baby's Got The Blues", a collection of 10 jazzy blues songs written by Jamie Browning & Iain Green.
The cd was recorded in October 2004 at Liquid Toronto with producer/engineer Alec Fraser and an all-star line up of guest musicians including Alec, Rod Phillips, Michael Fonfara, Michael Keith, Dave Powell, Bryan Huntley and Kenmi Chank. With this talented crew Jamie & Iain created an album that is being enjoyed in 30 countries on 6 continents, and counting.
First released to Canadian campus radio and the CBC in May 2005, several tracks received airplay and appeared on campus jazz & blues charts. Since August 2005 the cd has also been receiving airplay worldwide via internet, campus, cable, commercial, public, satellite radio, and podcasts. Traffic to Blues Element’s websites has increased daily, as have sales of digital downloads. In 2006 “It’s Not You” was included on the soundtrack of the feature film “Chicknapping”, and Jamie & Iain are on the lookout for similar future opportunities.
International response to the Blues Element sound has been very positive with many comments along the lines of how refreshing, unusual and different it is. Jamie & Iain call it "happy blues"; a fun, sexy and danceable mix of original compositions along with (for both fun and filler in the live show) select mid 20th century R&B, funk, jazz and blues favourites. Artists covered include Ruth Brown, James Brown, Dinah Washington, Etta James, Little Wille John, and Louis Jordan.
Since their 1st CD release party in Toronto in June 2005 Blues Element has been working on their live delivery playing clubs and private parties mostly as a 4 piece. The trick was finding and keeping players for the live band that are as hot as those that joined them in the recording studios, but after some trial & error and down time the right combination of people has finally been found, including an occasional guest keyboard player.
New material continues to find its way onto the set lists, including the 12 brand new tracks from their just released 2nd album. Recorded at Toronto’s Wellesley Sound by Jeff McCulloch, mixed and mastered at Silverbirch Productions by Ted Onyszczak and Andy Krehm respectively, “Are You Ready” is ready for radio and your ears. Kenmi Chank, Jason Wilson, Justin Snikkar, Garfield Stoddart and Rebecca Campbell rounded out the cast in the studio this time, all delivering excellent performances.
Several tracks from "Are You Ready" are now also receiving airplay world wide and the response has been great.
BLUES ELEMENT – Close Up:
Iain comes from a jazz background and while living in the Caribbean performed with many of the pioneers in Caribbean Jazz. He composes on piano and can get by on most instruments but will only play the drums in public. Appearances outside of Blues Element have included keeping the beat for the Inkspots, Ernest Ranglin, Salome Bey, Melba Moore, Julian Fauth & Chain Gang, Lynn Taitt, Jason Wilson & Tabaruk, Pee Wee Ellis, Kobo Town, Lord Superior, David Rudder, Eddie Bullen, Jay Douglas, Dave Ward and many others. Iain is proficient in at least a dozen styles of music, and has also been known to sing now and then. His role in Blues Element has grown from co-composer and drummer to include music director, arranger, back up vocalist and producer.
Jamie was already a big fan of the genre, but she still did her time performing and writing mostly alt-rock with shades of funk & folk in various bands before she found herself singing the blues. As a small child her favourite toys were a portable record player and her mom's 45's, but it was a colleague's introduction to the music of Ruth Brown and her subsequent stint performing in Truly Ruthless, a mostly Ruth Brown cover band, that lit the torch. Add to that performances at local blues jams, and she was hooked. The songs that make up “Baby's Got The Blues” started popping out, leading to writing sessions with Iain. Songs for album #3 are now simmering and are nearly ready to join the 22 jazzy blue co-compositions/recordings already under the Blues Element belt.