And Still I Rise

And Still I Rise

by Heritage Blues Orchestra
     
 
The word "heritage" in this N.Y.C.-based blues collective's name is technically correct since, with one exception, they stick to traditional fare. However, anyone expecting a dusty, acoustic, backporch approach will be alarmed by the rollicking, horn-enhanced, multi-layered sound these folks lay down. A four-piece horn section augments the basic five-piece, bringing

Overview

The word "heritage" in this N.Y.C.-based blues collective's name is technically correct since, with one exception, they stick to traditional fare. However, anyone expecting a dusty, acoustic, backporch approach will be alarmed by the rollicking, horn-enhanced, multi-layered sound these folks lay down. A four-piece horn section augments the basic five-piece, bringing spicy New Orleans jazz strains to the festivities. Bill Sims, Jr. and Junior Mack handle the slide guitars but it's Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith's kinetic drumming and the zippy, imaginative yet organic rearrangements that keep this fresh and crisp. Smith pushes the beat for a hyperactive Muddy Waters' "Catfish Blues" that features Vincent Bucher's frantic Little Walter-styled electric harp sparring with the brass section and nearly stealing the show. The tunes may go back decades in their original form but the way this group arranges them brings new life to old sentiments that are, like blues music in general, universal. The styles ping-pong from the raw, a cappella prison gang grunts of "Go Down Hannah" to the slide guitar-fueled gospel stomp swamp version of "Get Right Church" and Son House's Delta blues classic "Clarksdale Moan." Female vocalist Chaney Sims (Bill's daughter) is underutilized but pulls out some stunning Nina Simone moves on the percussion/voice/tuba arrangement of "C-Line Woman," one of the album's starkest and most riveting moments. Alternately, the four horns add bulk, bringing a distinct jazz tone with arrangements that are far more complex than just adding brass flavor. That's especially true on the closing seven-minute reworking of the standard "Hard Times," as the song shifts from its acoustic blues first half to a funeral brass midsection that gradually gives way to a rousing jazz/blues climax. It ends this inventive and inspiring debut on a memorable note and leaves you wondering how they will follow it up.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/28/2012
Label:
Mri Associated
UPC:
0820236101001
catalogNumber:
10
Rank:
39839

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Heritage Blues Orchestra   Primary Artist
Clark Gayton   Trombone,Tuba,Sousaphone
Matthew Skoller   Harmonica,Soloist,Group Member
Kenny Rampton   Trumpet
Vincent Bucher   Harmonica,Group Member
Steve Wiseman   Trumpet
Chaney Wilson Sims   Vocals,Hand Clapping,Group Member
Bruno Wilhelm   Tenor Saxophone
Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Bill Sims   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Group Member
Junior Mack   Dobro,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Alan Lomax   Composer
Son House   Composer
Huddie Ledbetter   Composer
McKinley Morganfield   Composer
Winston Stewart   Composer
Eric Bibb   Composer
Jim Caruana   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Michael Weintrob   Portrait Photography
Larry Skoller   Producer
Chaney Wilson Sims   Composer
Charlotte Höglund   Composer
Bruno Wilhelm   Horn Arrangements
Junior Mack   Arranger,Composer

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