Album Reviews

Bonita & The Blues Shacks

Bonita & The Blues Shacks

Artist:     Bonita & The Blues Shacks

Album:     Bonita & The Blues Shacks

Label:     Cross Cut Records

Release Date:     11/13/2015

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Bonita & The Blues Shacks is the collaborative effort of European blues band, B.B. and the Blues Shacks and South African singer, Bonita Niessen. In a clear ode to mid-century American blues, songs like “Turn The Lamps Down Low” make for easy, upbeat listening. The band starts out with strong traditions in mind, backing their first song with a familiar twelve-bar style. Rockabilly fans will find something to love in the sweet, short jam, “This Little Girl’s Gone Rockin’.”

Bonita & The Blues Shacks maintains a consistent sound from song to song, but they do successfully change tone at a few points throughout the album without losing steam. While “Bad News” fires listeners up with a taste of Niessen’s voice at its most soulful, sequential track “Be Cool” takes the tempo down to a low chill. Brothers Andreas Arlt on guitar and Michael Arlt on accompanying vocals and harmonica complete the ensemble, and Fabian Fritz brings an extra kick to the music on the piano and hammond-organ.

Although there’s not a lot of experimentation or deviation from established traditions in Bonita & The Blues Shacks, its musicians present a skilled and enjoyable love letter to the heart of blues and soul.

-Leah Dearborn

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