On the heels of their critically acclaimed debut release, “Grease Up Yo’ Strutt”, The F&G Band
has returned with a fabulous sophomore release entitled, "Pass It On". “Pass It On” is a
collection of all new, original songs written by the songwriting team of Suzanne Foschino
and Sly Geralds (F&G) and performed by The F&G Band featuring Sandra Taylor on lead
vocals, and a few very special guests. Sandra Taylor, a true blues legacy, is the daughter
of the late, great Sam "Bluzman" Taylor, a legendary bluesman who had performed with
other blues greats like Etta James, Joey D and the Starlighters, Freddie King, Son Seals,
Maxine Brown, Otis Redding and more. It's safe to say that Sam has left his mark on the
blues, and has lovingly “passed it on” to Sandra, who is carrying that torch with style and
grace. Sandra continues to tour extensively in the Doo Wop world with the legendary
bands The Cookies and The Toys, and so many more. Band leader, Sly Geralds (bass
and vocals) comes from a varied musical background, having played with such greats as
Al Green, Richie Havens, Joe Perry, Maceo Parker, to name a few. A founding member
of the F&G Band and a co-writer of all tracks, Sly has an uncanny ability to put music to
Suzanne's words with flare and meaning. Tom Foschino, (drums) also a founding
member of the band, shows amazing diversity in style and dynamic, and on this CD in
particular, he demonstrates that he is influenced by all styles of music and he applies
those styles handily. Tom also shares a special "Taylor connection" in that he was a
drummer for Sandra's legendary father for a number of years. Chuck Russell (guitar),
played on the band’s first CD, and once again shows masterful playing and is steady and
rocking on this new album. He too demonstrates that can play most any style of blues
and play it with gusto. Special guests on the CD are just that...very special. Goddess of
the violin, Anne Harris (The Otis Taylor Band) makes a memorable appearance on "I'll
Find My Way Home". Jazz guitarist Dave Parker lays down a gorgeous guitar track on
"Love...and Other Unfortunate Things". Gregory Harrison, a dear friend of the band,
makes a vocal cameo on "Let Yo' Feet Stink", playing the part of “the good friend”. And
finally, the amazing multi instrumentalist Tim Mitchell out of Mallorca, Spain appears on a
majority of the tracks on organ, piano, horns and rhythm guitar. Tim is an exceptional
musician and very dear friend of the band who, from an ocean away, laid down his tracks
and made it sound like he was in the room with the band in New York. (see CD jacket for
individual instrument and track info for Tim Mitchell)
This new album proves that some music just keeps getting better with time and age.
"Pass it On" touches on all edges of the blues genre, pushing the envelope just enough
to keep things exciting, at the same times as remaining traditional, yet fresh.
REVIEW OF "PASS IT ON"
by Bruce K. Edwards of “The Sunday Night Blues Project”
This second release by The F & G Band is a big success! Following on the heels of their 2011 cd "Grease Up Yo' Strutt" (which was in my Top Ten list for that year) this disc features a new lead singer--Sandra Taylor, the daughter of Sam 'Bluzman' Taylor. Edlene Hart moved to Atlanta in an amicable separation from the band, and Sandra Taylor stepped in. With her father's blessing from The Beyond, Sandra seems born to sing the blues--and she sings great on every song here. The songwriting team of Suzanne Foschino and Sly Geralds--the F & G in the band's name--still remain, this time with a batch of new original songs. And so does that funky, slinky, supremely musical band--Sly Geralds on bass and vocals, Tom Foschino on drums, Chuck Russell on guitar. Guest artists include Tim Mitchell plays organ (7 songs) horns (1 song) and rhythm guitar (two); Anne Harris from the Otis Taylor Band, plays fiddle on "I'll Find My Way Home; "jazz guitarist Dave Parker lays down a delicious guitar part on "Love...And Other Unfortunate Things;" and Gregory Harrison adds the second vocal on "Let Yo' Feet Stink." My favorite song? "Untie That Knot," which starts out with BB King style slow guitar break, and Sandra's vocal sounds like a younger Koko Taylor.
The F & G Band is most truly a band, in the most musical sense of the word. They can play any kind of blues, and on this release they pretty much do--fast blues, slow numbers, blues about relationship, about life, about circumstances, both modern and traditional, some laced with gospel, some laced with rock, some laced with a touch of country. Every member contributes to the music this band makes--Sandra sings Sly and Suzanne's great songs with heart and soul, Tom is a great drummer to dance to, and Chuck's guitar work is a blessing. The music on this cd will heal whatever ails you.
"Pass it On" touches on all edges of the blues genre, pushing the envelope just enough to keep things exciting, at the same times as remaining traditional yet fresh. There is no doubt that this is a blues album to it's core, and you will definitely feel the roots entrenched solidly in blues...but you will hear the newness shining through as well, with each song being a new experience in itself. It is an interesting journey through this American based music, from traditional roots and swampy slide guitar blues and swinging shuffles, through the funky sound of Stax, touching on gospel and even flirting a bit with country. Reflective and personal, this is The F & G Band at the peak of their musical influences, including the songwriters, Suzanne Foschino and Sly Geralds. Each song is a story in itself, an individual experience, some a message and some a lesson...some just a tribute.