ZOE SCHWARZ BLUE COMMOTION – Exposed (33 Records 33WM150)

ZoeSchwarzThe opener, ‘Angel of Mercy’, starts with the gentle tick-tock of a drumbeat, descending fingerpicked chords and soft vocals, lulling you into thinking this is a gentle ballad…, but then the crashing rock chords and powerful chorus breaks in and the mood is instantly changed. A strong track to introduce this collection of blues/rock songs.

Miss Schwarz has a powerful voice, edged with a huskiness that is ideal for this genre of music, and it is her voice that is the focal point of the album. The musicianship is of a high standard, as exemplified in ‘Let Me Sing The Blues’. A rockabilly beat with some nice blues harp and an excellent lead solo from Rob Koral. The tempo drops for ‘You Knock Me Out’; a more traditional slow burner of a blues ballad. Again, Zoe Schwarz’s voice the driving force.

The album drifts between differing styles of blues, sometimes Santana-like in sound, and there is a distinct 60s feel with the organ melodies, harmonica and guitar. It’s hard to pick out the cream from an album full of worthy songs , but the stand-out track for me, was the funky ‘I’m Glad’, complete with a wonderful brassy rhythm section.

Although not noted on the sleeve notes as such, the last track, ‘Broken Heart Blues’, is a live recording, that demonstrates that the band can produce the goods on stage.

This is a consummate collection of blues tunes ranging from boogie to funk, jazz to rock. If blues is your bag, then give Zoe and the boys a spin.

Ron D Bowes

Artists’ website: http://www.bluecommotion.com/

Here’s a rather good promotional film for ‘Exposed’. Great jeans.

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