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Blues: Blues Vocals Blues: Funky Blues Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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LIVE NRG!

by NRG with NICOLE HART

"Imagine a classic band fronted by a beautiful blond with a gospel voice and all the moves of Tina Turner. Get the picture?" ~ The Working Musician CD Reviews
Genre: Blues: Blues Vocals
Release Date: 

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1. I Heard
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8:17 $0.99
2. Voodoo Woman
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3. (That Woman's Trash Is This Woman's) Treasure
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6:54 $0.99
4. Every Night of the Week
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5. It Hurt So Bad
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6. Think About Love
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7. Hot'lanta
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR NICOLE'S LATEST RELEASE, "TREASURE" PLEASE VISIT: www.nicolehartband.com/cd.asp


Nicole Hart stands at the crossroads of many musical boundaries, undefined by any genre. The sound is a natural evolution of Blues, R&B, Funk & Soul, aggressively combining a seductive, funky feel with the soulful nuances of the Blues. Under the direction of producer, arranger, and keyboardist Lance Ong (David Sanborn, Andre Crouch), the mission of this consortium is to bring an intense, provocative listening experience & a musically enticing & satisfying show to the audience.

"I am an artist influenced by all great music, undefined by genre,” says Hart. “Our music is inspired by many of the greatest artists of our time...we aspire to create a feeling & a depth of integrity representing those influences, while also conveying a viewpoint toward the world all our own."

Nicole’s timeless, powerful, intoxicating voice is beautifully soul/sweet – silky, then gritty – classic yet absolutely contemporary – and she is renowned for her electrifying stage presence. Lance Ong’s masterful command of the keyboards is undisputed; Ong is one of the most exciting and versatile soloists on the scene today.

Nicole’s impressive resume includes work with a variety of music greats such as Harry Belafonte, Billy Joel, Michael Bolton, Oscar Winning Film Director Jonathan Demme, Richard Bona, Drew Zingg, Chuck Berry, & Bo Diddley; she has opened for Bernard Allison, Odetta, E.C. Scott & Richie Havens, & has the distinction of being the first-ever Caucasian singer for the R&B super group, The Shirelles.

Lance Ong, Keyboards, Vocals, Musical Director: Lance Ong was part of a team that produced, wrote and arranged over 700 songs and whose credits include a Grammy Award-winning record by Andre Crouch and recordings with David Sanborn, The Pointer Sisters, Grand Funk Railroad, Michael Murphy, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Anne Murray, Johnny Halliday and Sylvie Vartan, Trini Lopez, Erykah Badu & many others. His masterful command of the keyboards is undisputed.

Guest Guitarists:

Grammy-nominee Gil Parris (David Sanborn) is one of very few artists who have 5 nationally released albums in over four different genres: R&B, smooth jazz, traditional jazz and blues. He has solo albums on RCA/BMG ("Gil Parris shines through as the brightest star in the genre since Larry Carlton" -Guitar One Magazine), Okra-Tone/Koch ("Parris has the goods and all seven cuts here show it" -Vintage Guitar), and his own "Jam This" release ("When it comes to improvising epic, crowd-pleasing solos in an eclectic range of styles, Parris is more than qualified to deliver the goods" -Guitar Player);

Special Guest Stanley Behrens, Harmonica & Tenor sax:
Stanley has toured with Ruth Brown, recorded two records with Willie Dixon, three records with Jimmy Smith, “Friends in the Can” for Canned Heat alongside guest artists John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, Roy Rogers, Corey Stevens and Walter Trout, & recorded for more television shows & movies than we can name here. For more on Stanley, simply "Google" him!

Reviews:

"Their initial CD,“Live,” is an in-performance document that testifies to their confidence and shows Hart's raw gospel passion and a seriously tight band."

~ Rick Kosta, Arts Writer, New London Day News, CT


"Clearly, Nicole has the chops to compete in the big time blues and R&B circuits. Her voice harkens back to her gospel roots, exuding blues soul. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Nicole is a talent who is on the move up in the biz. I was impressed by her ability to work the crowd into a frenzy with her voice. This gal knows how to use her beauty to enhance her talent without turning it into a distraction."

~ Writer Rick Grant, Review, Springing The Blues Festival


"Hart is, er, kinda gorgeous, and she has a big voice, too, with a road-tested backup band that delivers nicely on the band's CD, "Nicole Hart & The NRG Band Live!"

~ Tad Dickens, The Roanoke Times, VA

"This vocalist can be hotter than hot or cooler than cool but, make no mistake, Nicole Hart & NRG lights up the phone lines like a x-mas tree - a treat instead of a treatment, both in person, or on the airwaves...I know talent when I hear it. She has a tremendous future in the music industry...A major star."

~ Bill Nolan, host of "Antique Blues", WPKN-FM 89.5, Bridgeport, CT


"Imagine Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies swinging to a Bonnie Raitt groove. That's Nicole Hart."

~ Robert Breslin, The Berge Record

"Hart and the NRG band are traipsing up and down the East Coast creating a stir with a style inspired by the music industry's greats -- and a measure of their own ingenuity."

~ Jeffrey Theodore, The Jersey Journal


"Sensual, smoky, smooth, Hart's...sultry vocals take on the brash confidence and gravel of a woman empowered....calling up hints of Bobby Bland and Aretha Franklin on the way..."

~ Ben Cox, WEAI, IL


"What a stage presence! Gorgeous Nicole Hart sings with power, passion, and incredible range... (her) BIG voice hits all the right notes...but it's the emotion in her voice that really grabs you."

~ Jim Hynes, Blues Director - WDVR-FM

"Sweet, fine, sensitive, charming, sexy...Is this excellent, versatile singer who tastefully and cleverly combines funky music, blues and ballads."

~ Vincente Zumel, DJ & Host of The Blues Hour, Barcelona, Spain


"Nicole Hart leads the band with an incredible voice similar to that of Susan Tedeschi, but with a sound very much all her own."

~ Al Lundy, KZUM Radio - Nebraska

"Don't let Atlanta, Georgia native Nicole Hart's movie star good looks fool you, she can belt out vocals with the best in music. With her full rich tone, impeccable phrasing and precise pitch, it's obvious that she is a singer's singer."

~ Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation, JSJBF.org

"Record label scots take not: Nicole Hart & The NRG Band gots chops! The independently-released "Live NRG" (***) is a splendid showcase for frontwoman Hart and the NRG Band."

~ Dylann DeAnna , contibuting writer to BluesWax & Blues Revue

"Nicole belts out some seriously soulful and very bluesly vocals... She really gets to show her broad and versatile range ... also highlighted by more great organ and guitar work."

~ Peter "The Blewzzman" Lauro, contributing writer to Blues Revue, Blueswax Ezine, and Mary4Music.com


"Nicole Hart & The NRG Band whipped up some of the most soulful tunes of the evening ... with Hart's impervious vocals supported by a few of the most critically accredited musicians around, including the Grammy nominated guitarist Gil Parris and the quick paced harmonica solos of Stanley Behrens."

~ Good Times Magazine Review


"A great mix of R&B, blues and originals—Nicole is truly one of the finest and most charismatic vocalists I’ve ever heard. She sings with tremendous passion and style, and has great audience rapport."

~ David Goldman, Songwriter & Recording Artist, World Wave Music (ASCAP)


"Lance Ong...an amazing artist to listen to and trust me, your eyes will be glued to his performance. Ong's performance during "Treasure" was electrifying...collaborating with Ms. Hart's very soulfully charged vocals."

~ Connecticut Excursionz Magazine


"Been a long time since I heard a voice like yours...You got the magic."

~ Blues Legend Sam "the bluzman" Taylor


"Imagine that classic band fronted by a beautiful blonde with a gospel voice and all the moves of Tina Turner. Get the picture?"

~ The Working Musician


"The musicianship and vocals carry the listener along on a musical journey spanning a cohesive mix of Blues, soul, funk, R&B & Nicole Hart's sultry vocals. If you love your Blues mixed in with a touch of soul & sprinkled with a bit of good old fashioned rock n' roll, The NRG Band delivers! "

~ Robert John, Correspondent, BARRELHOUSE BLUES



"Hart can give Sade a blues make over that is simply moving... shakes and shimmies the blues with a powerful beat and genuine feel of loss and pain..."

~ Mark "Dr. Blues" Gresser


"Nicole Hart belts out the Blues...She's a Heartbreaker"

~ North Shore Sun


Nicole Hart of NRG...This blonde bombshell’s sweet, sultry and energetic vocals brought the audience into her hands."

~ The Journal News


“Great keyboard work by Lance Ong & vocals from Nicole Hart.”

~ BLUES REVUE


“Wrote the book on putting on a perfect show. Their sound treated the blues in the highest regard. They exemplified how the blues doesn’t have to be just a simple twelve-bar phrase.”

~ GOOD TIMES MAGAZINE


“A big sound steeped in Jazz, R&B, Blues & Rock with incredibly soulful vocals. This band really knows how to cook with a blazing musical bonfire.”

~ MUSICMORSELS


"NRG Band is off the hook !!!!!! Love your groove...leaves a great taste in your soul !!!!!!"


~ Alexis P. Suter, LEVON HELM'S MIDNIGHT RAMBLE


“Spectacular vocals & instrumentals bring their considerable talents together to rock your world: Rhythm & Blues at its finest!”

~ BARRELHOUSE BLUES, recipient, USA Today’s coveted “Hot Site” award & “Livin’Blues” Gold award for Virtual Excellence on the Web


"TOUR DE FORCE" ~ LONG ISLAND BLUES SOCIETY REVIEWS


“A top notch band of immense talents...something special in a world cluttered with the ‘next best things’...this band IS the next best thing...”

~ UNITED JERSEY BLUES NETWORK


"High energy, action-packed show. A real crowd pleaser!"

~ Tom Gahan, Producer, RIVERHEAD BLUES FESTIVAL


"First rate Rhythm & Blues show...hits all the right grooves in all the right places!"

~ Mike Moss, Producer, BLUES 2005 FESTIVAL


“Ms. Hart unleashes a torrent of emotion. Slinging his keyboard over his shoulders like a guitar, Lance attacks it just like a guitar - his stinging vibrato drives the crowd into frenzy.”

~ NEW YORK BLUES & JAZZ SOCIETY REVIEWS

“The group is one hard workin’, soulfunkin’, blues jumpin’ R&B revue.”

~ RHYTHM & NEWS MAGAZINE



“Terrific!!” ~ BLUESVIEWS



"Great! The crowd's favorite!"

~ Bob Putignano, President NY Blues & Jazz Society, 2003 KeepingThe Blues Alive award recipient, contributing writer Goldmine Magazine, & Blues Music Association Communications Committee www.BluesMusicAssociation.org


Reviews


to write a review

Ben Cox

Let’s talk about this seven-track gift to the ears!
This band’s first effort, though recorded live, is mixed like it just came out of the studio. Save for some opening applause at the beginning of the first track, you wouldn’t believe this was a live recording! Lead singer/songwriter Nicole Hart has plenty of great credits under her belt as far as knowing the blues/R&B/soul world, living it, and being a part of it. (Hart is the only Caucasian singer to ever be a part of the classic R&B girl group The Shirelles, as she was chosen by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Shirley Alston to fill the slot after an audition). Lance Ong, the band’s leader/arranger/producer, also has arranged and written for more famous folks than I care to type, and then there is guest guitarist Gil Parris who was nominated for a Grammy and is one of only a few artists to have 4 major label albums on the market in 4 different genres.

With that said, let’s talk about this seven-track gift to the ears! The band’s opener is the funky blues-progressed, world wise, “I Heard”, that demonstrates both the intelligence of writer Lance Ong and the control of the sensual, smoky, and smooth vocals Hart portrays throughout the course of the disc. Ong’s keys float over and around and between the spaces as Stanley Behrens presents some less-is-more-for-the-better harmonica leads and rhythms. Parris turns in some Albert King-inspired licks to further accentuate this groove. The band does a complete turnaround on the Koko Taylor classic a la Susan Tedeschi-inspired “Voodoo Woman.” Hart’s usually rather smooth, sultry vocals takes on the brash confidence and gravel of a woman empowered. The attitude typifies the fast-growing appeal of the band’s sharp-paced, high energy performances. Hart demonstrates her songwriting abilities on “Treasure,” turning in a passionate and heartfelt R&B groove that tells a great story to any woman who has ever found their man kicked to the curb by another. “Every Night of the Week” is as classic blues as it gets, but not stale by any means. This slinking blues shuffle adds a dose of jazz and sexuality around the dynamics of Hart’s well-controlled and defined vocals. Rich Cohen, the other guest guitarist on the disc, produces work on this cut that stands next to the more reknowned Parris equally.

The real reach-down-and-get em’ track comes from another staple out of the fellow Northeastern native Susan Tedeschi songbook. Originally penned by Tom Hambridge, “It Hurt So Bad” would grab the attention of any classic R&B/soul fan for its yearning lyrics and howling vocals. Hart gives it a new spin by adding spacing in the lyrics calling up hints of Bobby Bland and Aretha Franklin on the way. The space that she provides in the phrasing demonstrates both her command and the band’s precise movements throughout the disc. Cohen, again, gives some wonderful reverb drenched solo work, adding to the classic R&B/soul feel that seems to pull from Hart’s origins and the band’s core.

Bobby Bland, Ann Peebles, and the Malaco Records sound also come to mind with the soul-blues of the sixth track “Think About Love.” The final track is a nod to Hart’s homeland of Georgia and the Allman Brothers, demonstrating Lance Ong’s virtuousity and the band's in-the-pocket rhythm section on the instrumental “Hot ‘Lanta.”

The virtuosity and command of all players in this band leaves one wondering why and when this band will break into the national attention that it most certainly deserves.

Bluesbunny

Capturing the Energy
The NRG band attempts that tricky feat of committing a live performance to CD for prosperity while capturing all the energy and enthusiasm that makes live music special. Many have tried to accomplish this feat, few have succeeded. And with a solid set of unpretentious blues passionately delivered by both Nicole and the NRG Band they seem to fall somewhere in the middle.

"I Heard" is a slick and soulful piece of mid tempo blues, while "Treasure", co-written by Ms Hart and keyboardist Lance Ong, has a bluesy and sultry midnight hour sound. "It Hurt So Bad" is somewhat reminiscent of the great doo-wop songs of the 50's, and their take on Koko Taylor's "Voodoo Woman" has a funkier rhythm and feel which makes it a difficult one to sit still to. Front woman Nicole Hart comes up with the goods on the vocal front and the band put in some fine performances that make this great entertainment.

Al Lundy's Highway Blues, KZUM, Lincoln, NE

Nicole Hart leads the band with an incredible voice similar to that of Susan Ted
Coming to us from norhern New Jersey, "The NRG Band" is one impressive group of musicians. This young band delivers the sound that usually comes from many years of touring together. It's hard to believe that they have been performing for months rather than years. Nicole Hart leads the band with an incredible voice similar to that of Susan Tedeschi, but with a sound very much all her own. Surrounding herself with musicians that compliment each other, it's no surprise that their 1st CD release is such a solid debut. "NRG Live" is a well produced CD with the kind of clarity you don't always get with a live recording. Each cut on the CD was hand picked by the band from past performances through out the year. Included are well done covers of "It Hurt So Bad", and Koko Taylor's "Voodoo Woman", along with originals "I Heard", and a true story put in song by Nicole Hart and Lance Ong entitled "Treasure". If this is just the beginning for The NRG Band, then with out a doubt it will be the listeners that benefit on into the future.

Al Lundy
89.3 FM
KZUM
Lincoln, Nebraska

John Devine

This girl can sing! Vocalist Nicole Hart is both very beautiful & very talented
I first came across this singer on a CD compilation released last year (2006) through United Jersey Blues Network featuring Blues musicians from the Garden State of New Jersey...the first song on that CD was Voo Doo Woman by the NRG band, and from the moment I heard this girl sing, I was hooked. There were no photos of her on that cd either, just like this one, but there SHOULD be, because she is drop dead gorgeous! I searched on Google for the NRG band, and found their website, which directed me to this CD. It's fantastic. Not only are the vocals just great but each member of this band is a monster player with great chops. I love every tune on it & would recommend this to anyone. Buy it, you will be glad you did.

Roger Z

"Imagine a classic band fronted by a beautiful blond with a gospel voice and all
The NRG Band with Nicole Hart takes a big step forward with this live release. The core of the group, vocalist Nicole Hart and musical mastermind, keyboardist Lance Ong, introduce original material. As Ms. Hart sings in Mr. Ong's composition, "I Heard," "the clock is ticking, baby...it's time to draw the line." And they do just that. With Gil Parris and Rich Cohen alternating on guitar, the rhythm section of drummer Joe Piteo and bassist Vonnie Hudson create a jazzy, R&B groove reminiscent of The Doobie Brothers. Take it a step further. Imagine that classic band fronted by a beautiful blond with a gospel voice and all the moves of Tina Turner. Get the picture?

Think about it. Making it in the music business revolves around four main ingredients: vocals, groove, looks, and material. Playing three or more nights a week for the past year (and probably working out a lot at the gym), this band (an outgrowth of THE SHADES), easily refined the first three. With the introduction of original songs, the group takes the final step in creating an indelible image. "I Heard" can be heard on national radio. Another new tune, "Treasure," co-written by Hart and Ong, focuses on the old axiom, "One woman's trash is another woman's treasure." With these new songs, the group has successfully extended the blues and put their own, unique stamp on it.

The incredible sound captured by Joe Piteo and Sean Moffit (mixed and produced by Ong and Hart) focuses on the space between the notes -- and the incredible, high-energy vocals of Ms. Hart. At a recent gig at The Lazy Lounge in downtown White Plains, I spoke with the band about the introduction of original material. Interestingly enough, as much as they enjoy it, they face a conundrum as old as musical time. The many blues festivals they play require mostly recognizable covers. The group achieves an admirable balance on this CD with three originals out of seven tunes.

Live, this band kicks ass! Keyboardist Lance Ong wears his keyboard like a guitar and thinks nothing about running out into the audience, jumping onto tables, and getting into peoples faces (with Ms. Hart close behind making sure nobody trips on the cable!) Mr. Hudson took a bass solo the other night that astounded me with its originality. Most bassists will try to impress with their thumb slapping. Hudson achieved funkiness with incredibly fast 32 notes. Mr. Piteo lays down a razor sharp groove. On occasion, he can subdivide it into more parts than I ever imagined possible. The band features one guitarist per gig. Rich Cohen and Gil Parris provide an interesting contrast. Cohen plays with a louder, rockier, Telecaster sound. High points include trading licks with Ms. Hart on "Treasure" and his forceful, in your face, wah-wah powered solo on "Voodoo Woman." Gil Parris lays back more on rhythm guitar, subtly enhancing the groove. But when it comes time to solo, he wraps the band in the palm of his hand as in "I Heard." I love it when he emulates a pedal steel player on acid in "Think About Love", the third original of the release.

And finally, let's talk about Ms. Hart. What a great, high-energy performer. Men can't take their eyes off her -- and women view her as a sister! When she sings "They call me the voodoo woman," you don't doubt it for a moment. She thinks nothing about grabbing a member of the audience and focusing the spotlight on their dancing as she did the other night at The Lazy Lounge.

When Hart sings "It's raining on the other side of the world," she doesn't realize that the water comes from the tears of joy her music causes. Or maybe the tears of jealousy streaming from the eyes of those less talented. Catch The NRG Band with Nicole Hart at The Turning Point in Piermont, New York on Friday, January 12, 2007.

©2006 Roger-Z

Mark "Doctor Blues" Gresser

"Hart can give Sade a blues make over that is simply moving."
"Hart can give Sade a blues make over that is simply moving. The band lays it down with soul/jazz that caresses and soothes one moment and riles up hot and burning the next. NRG shakes and shimmies the blues with a powerful beat and genuine feel of loss and pain..." ~ Mark "Dr. Blues" Gresser, LIBS CD Reviews