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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Fiona Boyes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fiona Boyes. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Reference Recordings artist: Fiona Boyes - Professin' The Blues - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Professin' The Blues, by Fiona Boyes and it's pure. This release is stripped down with only Boyes on vocal and guitar/resonator, joined by Jimi Bott on drums and Denny Croy on bass. hand writing 18 pages of liner notes, Boyes does a real nice job of bringing you into the environment with her. Opening with Can't Stay Here No More, Boyes creates the feeling of years of living on the road and resting on a spot. With only acoustic guitar, tambourine and drum this is primitive. Devil You Know maintains the primitive feel but is stepped up in pace. With cool resonator slide Boyes considers the cons of accepting the status quo. With a jangly, rag time sound, Lay Down With Dogs considers fidelity with a touch of humor. With just a touch of country rock, Card Sharp, has a cool cigar box riff that follows the melody. Sliding into the chorus, a cool track with a cool hook. One of my favorite track on the release, Old and Stiff has a rag feel with rim shots and the sassy attitude of the original blues women with a play on words. A contemporary island sound with simple chords and bongos, this is a really cool little number with a dance beat and nice vocals. Another of my favorite tracks on the release is Stubborn Old Mule. With a quick stepping pace and traces of Taj Mahal reinforced by Croy's bass work, a strong foot stomper. Catfish Fiesta has a taste of New Orleans and features highlighted bass work of Croy and a snappy Latin beat. Very nice. If I Should Die is an eerie sort of track with a melody along the lines of Baby Please Don't Go. Interesting. Kicking to the full blown Chicago version of Baby Please Don't Go, Boyes vocals are strong and gritty accompanied by her cigar box guitar and drums. Wrapping the release is, Face In The Mirror, an easy folk track with a flowing waltz like rhythm. Boyes takes her time singing and with her guitar just takes it easy and sends it home. Nice closer to a cool release.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Reference Recordings artist: Fiona Boyes - Box & Dice - New release Review

I just received the newest release, Box & Dice, from Fiona Boyes and it's a gritty, bluesy guitar fest. Opening with Juke Joint on Moses Lane, Boyes gets a thick, rudimentary sound from a resonator guitar with superior sliding technique. Her voice is raspy and well suited to this polished form of primitive blues. Backed by Mark Grunden on drums and Dean Addision on bass this is tight. I'm A Stranger Here has a pure delta sound played only on a 6 string cigar box and she handles it with authority. Walking Around Money has a bit more rock blended in with an fast rockin beat on baritone guitar with Grunden and Addision. Boyes does a really nice cover of Howlin Wolf's Smokestack Lightning, with a driving electric guitar vamp, a cool loosely slung solo and some of my favorite vocals on the release. Louisiana is a somber blues ballad gently sung and accompanied on 4 string cigar box guitar, bass and percussion. Very nice! JC Johnson's Black Mountain Blues is delivered Bessie Smith style with Boyes handling the vocals nicely. With it's easy blues swing and Boyes' nicely fingered guitar work, this track sounds old beyond it's years. Another of my favorites is Mama's Sanctified Amp, a blues rocker with solid 6 string cigar box tone and basic rhythm and percussion. Very nice! I Done Quit has a real swagger with it's authoritative box guitar work and vocals. Just a hint of bass and percussion gives it a real stripped down feel but not sounding like a sole performer. Excellent! Walk With Me has a distinctive Blind Willie Johnson seriousness featuring Boyes on vocal and baritone resonator only. Very strong! Berry style rocker, Tiny Pinch of Sin comes the farthest north with an almost full band sound. Still remaining somewhat stripped down this track is quite appealing with a great beat and slippery sliding. Wrapping the release is Magic Sam's Easy Baby. Boyes pulls out the stops bringing a full electric guitar, bass and drums. With double stopped guitar riffs, bends and nicely placed blues riffs, this is a great conclusion to a strong blues release.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guitar Swing - Fiona Boyes

Australian blues guitarist and singer Fiona Boyes soulful, authoritative style — brilliantly displayed on her current US release 'Blues Woman' — has earned Boyes unprecedented international recognition. For the past three years she’s been a final five nominee in the Memphis based Blues Music Awards, the only Australian ever to be nominated in these awards, which are widely recognised as the Grammies of the Blues. She received a “Contemporary Blues Album of the Year” nod in 2007 for her Yellow Dog debut, the electric 'Lucky 13'. The next year she garnered a ballot for “Contemporary Female Blues Artist of the Year.” In 2009 she received an “Acoustic Blues Album of the Year” nomination for the recording 'Live From Bluesville', which also won the Los Angeles based International Blues Critics Award for Best Live Album.

It’s worth noting that Boyes first arrived in America to claim yet another honor: winner of the 2003 International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, where she swept away the competition in yet another incarnation — solo acoustic performer. Representing the Melbourne Blues Society, Boyes was the first woman and the first Australian to earn the title. Her current release 'Blues Woman' is all about Boyes’ depth as an artist and the musical odyssey she’s taken since that first visit to the US.
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