Review: Deb Ryder – Might Just Get Lucky

Posted on: Saturday, Dec 28, 2013

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Deb Ryder – Might Just Get Lucky

(Bejeb Music)

Deb Ryder was born in Peoria, Illinois; her incidental musical education began at an early age when her father moved the family to Chicago, He, Allan Swanson was a very popular singer and musician who flourished in the many clubs that existed at that time and as a consequence of his obvious popularity the Swanson household was brimming with the influences of blues, gospel and jazz.

After another move, this time to Los Angeles, her re-introduction and education in the subjects of blues and jazz was continued by having the good fortune of having Bob Hite (the legendary lead singer of the band Canned Heat) as a next door neighbour; the friendship that ensued allowed her access to Bob’s extensive record collection, which enhanced her ever growing knowledge of the blues. During this time of the early seventies Canned Heat were regular performers at her step-father’s prominent blues and rock club The Topanga Corral.

It was also at the Topanga club that Debs burgeoning singing career began to take shape, for, she started to open the shows for legendary artists such as; Big Joe Turner, Etta James, Taj Mahal and  Charlie Musselwhite to name but a few. it was, during this period that she also attended a music course at U.C.L.A. Whilst at college she combined studying and receiving tutoring for her vocal skills from two legendary larger than life artists; Big Joe Turner and Etta James but, eventually it was Etta who became her mentor and helped to shape and craft Debs distinctive voice into the singular talent that is has now become.

After leaving college she embarked on a career of studio work as a backing singer which she combined with providing vocals for television commercials. After marrying the bass player Ric Ryder, they together formed a Blues band which has been performing at festivals and in clubs for the last twenty years; Deb provides not only lead vocals but also original material.

This, the debut album is packed with solid numbers that reach out to you from the speakers in many differing forms, the opener “Get A Grip”, is a jolly B.B. King inspired number full of sparkling guitar ripples that are backed with bright, brassy horns which smoothly sail under the energetic bluesy, blousy gripping, vocals that Deb enthusiastically delivers.

Two numbers have that extra sparkle of magic courtesy of Albert Lee; firstly “Blue Collar Blues”, a jitterbugging swinging saxophone led groover matched with a Les Paul inspired picking guitar backing Debs swinging Andrews Sisters styled vocals and “Ce Soir, Ce Soir”, A zydeco influenced accordion hip-swinger with teasing piano and guitar suggestively swirling with an insistent slapped percussion in the background.

Numbers that particularly highlight Debs singular vocals are “Might Get Lucky”, a string bedded late night crooner featuring a languid harmonica languishing behind Debs smoky, sultry and breathy vocals that are indeed in full Etta James temptress mode. “Bad, Bad Dream”, is a mournful torch song where Debs vocals give way to inner thoughts and longings. The album finishes on a high note with the gospel influenced delta blues stomper, “These Hands”, the rich seeping Dobro guitar matches Debs vocals as they beautifully soar in hymn like fashion.

An impressive debut!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.debryder.com

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