Review: Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – Exposed

Posted on: Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Zoe Schwarz CD exposed.jpg

Review for ZOE SCHWARZ BLUE COMMOTION – CD – ‘Exposed’ – 2014 – 33WM150

This is the third and an interesting album by Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion. With a definite leaning towards the sounds of Billie Holiday, – even though all the tracks on the album, ‘Exposed’ are self penned – the flavour is there.

Fronting the band on lead vocals is Zoe Schwarz, with Rob Koral on guitars, Pete Whittaker on Hammond, St Genaro on harmonica and backing vocals with Paul Robinson on drums and percussion. Guesting were Ian Ellis on sax, Andy Urquhart on trumpet and Carl Chamberlin on backing vocals.

The first track, ‘Angel Of Mercy’ has a sultry rock feel and is beautifully sung with great lyrics. ‘Smile’ dives into the realms of rock with jazz overtones. Raising the tempo with ‘Let Me Sing The Blues’ a tongue in cheek rhythm & blues with some great Hammond input, reminiscent of ’60s classics bringing in harmonica and some basic raw guitar.

‘Let’s Explain’ (Blues For Billie) is sultry blues with jazz overtones – an ode to Billie Holiday. Nice harp intro with some great brass input on ‘You Knock Me Out’. Then a slow rocky anthem, ‘Heroes’ with Zoe giving a great vocal performance.

‘If I Had Wings’ is a standard bluesy take with super vocals. Funkin’ it up with ‘I No Longer Feel Blue’ a funky blues, then bringing the pace right down with the haunting ‘You’re Not Alone’, which I would put firmly in the realms of jazz. A class take.

‘I’m Glad’ is an up tempo rock and roll. Lots of brass, Hammond and harmonica input with 50’s/60’s style guitar playing. Continuing the rock and roll feel with ‘I Wonder Who My Next Man Will Be’ an upbeat 12 bar with harmonica and brass input.

The penultimate track ‘Fifteen Days’, slows the pace right down and shows Zoe at her best. To finish off the album a great ‘live’ take of ‘Broken Heart Blues’, an up tempo rhythm and blues with some superb Hammond and harmonica input with jazzy guitar overtones, probably one of my favourites on the album.

A pleasing album with superb vocals from Zoe. A great band for a live performance, to get the true taste of the music.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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