Review: Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – The Blues Don’t Scare Me

Posted on: Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014

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Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – The Blues Don’t Scare Me

( 33 Records: 33WM148)

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion are a six-piece outfit, based in the South of the UK. Fronting the band is Zoe Schwarz, with Rob Koral on guitars, Si Genaro on harmonica/backing vocals, Pete Whittaker on Hammond organ, Pat Davey on bass and Paul Robinson on drums and percussion. Guests on the album were Ian Ellis on sax, Andy Urquhart on trumpet and Sue Hawker backing vocals. All the tracks on the album ‘The Blues Don’t Scare Me’ are self- penned, bar one.

The first track on the album, ‘I Believe In You’, is a lovely track using influences from 40’s blues, with great vocals from Zoe. The Hammond takes a lead but there is also a haunting guitar solo too. Next an upbeat blues, with initial acoustic guitar input, ‘Liberated Woman’, some classic Hammond playing and great harmonica input.

The title track of the album ‘The Blues Don’t Scare Me’, rocks up the antics with some blasting brass and great earthy vocals from Zoe. Superb harmonica playing on this track. This is followed by a laid back blues number ‘I’ll Be Yours Tonight’, with superb vocals.

A blues number leaning towards jazz, ‘We’ll Find A Way’ is a slow number, but builds up to a bit of an anthem with superb guitar work and vocals. Then in comparison, straight into a full on rocky track ‘Lucifer Is Blue’.

‘Just Another Day’ has an ‘old style’ blues feel with Hammond overtones and cool guitar work. Whereas ‘Your Sun Shines Rain’ is a hard-hitting, up tempo rocky number with great raw harmonica playing towards the end.

‘Billie’s Blues’, a Billie Holiday number, is a rolling blues with acoustic guitar input, harmonica, Hammond and brass. It has a great full-on sound. An acoustic guitar intro features on the next track, ‘Come Home Sweet Baby’, which also bringing in a touch of funk.

The next track’, Pebble In My Pond’, is an uptempo standard 12 bar blues, but with a jazzy feel. The album finishes with the big band sound of ‘Say It Isn’t So’, plenty of brass input and a definite leaning towards soul.

All in all a well put together album. Zoe has a superb voice, reminiscent of Beth Hart, but she also has the feel of Billie Holiday. Some great varied guitar work from Rob, with class musicianship from the rest of the band. I can see this band being at the face of the festivals this year and if their live performances match up to the album we will see much more of them in the coming year.

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive

www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

www.bluecommotion.com

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