"Blues Addiction" is a joint effort by the dynamic vocalist Ms. Lisa Chavous and The Philadelphia Blues Messengers, the adventurous blues-jazz and world rhythm ensemble founded by the late great Byard Lancaster Philly Sax. It was Byard who brought these two forces together on The Messengers' first effort, "Blues for Sale." Lisa has performed with jazz greats Byard Lancaster, Odean Pope, Trudy Pitts, Pat Martino, Jimmy McGriff and Bootsie Barnes, and is regularly backed by former members of Patti LaBelle’s band, as well as by Don Evans, former guitarist for Billy Joel. Lisa’s forte is her great versatility in singing jazz, blues, and rhythm & blues, all with tons of soul that projects her sincere love and devotion to her music and that creates powerful audience attraction and response.
With Byard away on peregrinations to Europe, Africa, and Jamaica, The Messengers seized the opportunity to make a straight-ahead record of old-school covers spiced with two originals, the title cut "Blues Addiction," and "One People, One World, One Blues," which was designated one of top ten new original blues songs of 2011 by blues deejay Jonny Meister of WXPN 88.5's Saturday night "The Blues and Beyond " fame.
On this record Lisa brought in B-3 legend Billy Holloman to play keyboards and the rest is history. All of the tracks except "One People, One World, One Blues" were cut live in just two sessions, and that is what gives this record that special feeling that you are in the room with the musicians as it is happening. Jim "King James" Levy took a break from his duties as professor of jazz studies and church choir director to overdub piano on "Shake Rattle and Roll," and record the track "One People, One World, One Blues," with gospel feeling. Philadelphia jazz guitar heroine Monette Sudler came out to give her rendition of Jimi Hendrix's classic blues,"Red House." It is this openness to the talents of Philadelphia jazz artists that has helped the band achieve its sound and its identity.
One last note-- the work of Don Williams on saxophone. Throughout this record, his clear, strong tone is soothing and powerful at the same time. We all came together to make a record. It's hard to believe that before we hit the studio we had never all played together at the same time. You have got to give it up for Lisa Chavous and The Philadelphia Blues Messengers for having the resolve and trust in each other to pull off this extraordinary effort.