Recorded at Fastback Studios in Seattle, “Big City Blues” is the second album by this Pacific Northwest powerhouse blues band, and it demonstrates just how much they have grown in the past couple of years. While their first effort, “The L.A.B. Results”, recorded live in the studio in 2005 and available here at CD Baby, showed that this high energy band had a ton of promise, this latest effort clearly states that the band is here to stay and that more great stuff is on the horizon!
There are four originals on the disc. The straight shuffle, You’re Killin' Me, and the Muddy Waters inspired Pardon Me, both authored by Tom Boyle; the title track and a modern twist on the "Rockinitis style" groove, Big City Blues, co-written by Jeff Hayes and Tom Boyle; and If You Let Me Call You Sweetheart, a love song penned by Les White, all hold there own against the hand picked cover tunes that range in style from the low-down-n-dirty Elmore James classic, The Sun Is Shining, to the early rock hit, Farmer John by Don & Dewey, to the doo-wop style ballad, Maybe, that features the fantastic vocal harmonies of Becki Sue and special guest vocalist, the sensational Candye Kane.
Also featured on the disc is boogie-woogie piano king, Mitch Woods, who takes a fine solo on Albert King’s tune, I Get Evil, done up here with a New Orleans flavor. Then along comes big-time piano man, Eric “Two Scoops” Moore, lending his hands and talents on Kim Wilson’s Tell Me Why and the King Curtis instrumental, Soul Serenade, playing both piano and B-3 on those and several other cuts.
Also featured is one of Seattle’s top B-3 wizards, “The Deacon” Ron Weinstein, who provides a perfect smoldering backdrop for You’re Killin' Me. Last but not least is Peter Dammann, the late, great Paul deLay’s longtime guitarist, who popped into Studio 61 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where Becki Sue & her BRD’s were laying down some live tracks during their trip to The Delta to play at the 2006 King Biscuit Blues Festival (ok, ok... The Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival now). Albert Collins’ instrumental, Backstroke, is a result of that session that was added here as a bonus track.
The band, consisting of guitarist/producer Tom “T-Boy Neal” Boyle, harp/sax/vocalist Jim King, upright bassist Les “WildChild” White and drummer Jeff Hayes, gels together in fine fashion as if they have been playing constantly week after week, gig after gig, for the past five years... which, by the way, they HAVE been doing! Collectively they have been nominated for 27 Washington Blues Society “Best of the Blues” (BB) awards between 2006-2007, winning ten of those awards including, “Best Electric Guitar” (4 out of the past 5 years), “Best Blues Horn”, Best Bass (twice), “Keeping The Blues Alive”, and “Best Blues Band” in both 2006-2007.
Add to the mix, the dynamic, saucy blues vocals of Becki Sue, The Washington Blues Society’s “Female Vocalist” AND “Performer of the Year” for 2007, and you have a combination that many blues nuts consider right up there with the best of ’em.
Here are some quotes from judges at the 2007 International Blues Challenge, an annual blues "contest" which is held at various clubs along the infamous Beale Street in Memphis, TN. The band performed twice at The Hard Rock Cafe there, representing The Washington Blues Society.
"Your performance that night (at the 2007 International Blues Challenge) was most memorable. Teddy Lee Hooker was a great entertainer and your band knew if they had any chance they had to rise to the occasion and put on a 'performance'. And indeed you did. I remember Becki Sue on stage saying that your band 'had never given a performance like that before'... which is what you needed to do. After Teddy Lee got finished I was certain he was going to be my favorite. I didn't think it possible for anybody else to out perform him. Yet, you guys did it. You got 1 point more from me than Teddy Lee did."
-Nancy Edwards, Marketing Director for The Blues Festival Guide and one of our IBC judges at the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street in Memphis, TN.
"Out of all the bands that I saw at the 2007 International Blues Challenge (IBC), Becki Sue & Her Rockin' Daddies was the band that I enjoyed the most, I would have to say. I'd go see them anytime that I would get that chance. What a dynamite show! Very entertaining and the whole band is a smokin' outfit. T-Boy is one bad boy on the guitar. He has an original approach to a traditional sound - gotta love it! Lotta fire, also ... gotta love that, too!"
-Don "T-Bone" Erickson, founding editor, BluesWax - the Online Voice of the Blues, IBC Judge.
I was a judge at The 2007 International Blues Challenge. Your band played some sets at the IBC that were very, very good. You ranked right up their with the best I've seen. You all followed the rules to a tee and you could have just as easily won. Love your cd, The L.A.B. Results!
Well there you have it! Please feel free to check out the sound clips here and if you like what you hear, please buy the disc. If you think it’s worth the time and effort, please come back to this page and write a review. The band would really appreciate it!