march 2011
beyond the blue

elvin-bisopELVIN BISHOP, Raisin’ Hell Revue-- Let’s make something clear from the outset: it is never a good idea to second-guess Elvin Bishop, so when he titles an album Raisin’ Hell Revue, rest assured he and his mates do exactly as they claim.


girlsSAMANTHA FISH/CASSIE TAYLOR/DANI WILD, Girls With Guitars-- Ahead of their joint appearance on the 2011 Ruf Records Blues Caravan Tour, American blues women Samantha Fish and Cassie Taylor and the U.K.’s formidable Dani Wilde holed up in a Berlin studio with Blues Award winning producer/guitarist Mike Zito and cut an album to mark the occasion. Singers-songwriters-instrumentalists all, each gal contributed three original songs, wrote one together, then bookended these with two ambitious covers. As such, Girls With Guitars boasts a pleasing variety of electrified blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll by a trio of gifted female artists in ascendance.

judy-wexlerJUDY WEXLER, Under A Painted Sky--California-born and -bred Judy Wexler floats above and flits about her songs with breezy joie de vivre and with such delight in their themes that a casual listener might mistake her sunniness for superficiality. Those casual listeners would be wrong. Wexler’s warm, airy voice is deceptively but deeply engaged in her repertoire’s emotional textures, and once you hear its woodwind quality in the context of her tight jazz octet’s sublime conversations, her passion for the moment, and her determination to find a distinctive opening for herself (especially in some of this album’s more familiar tunes), become dramas unto themselves.

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