Artist: Gaye Adegbalola & the Wild Rutz
Album: Is It Still Good to Ya?
Label: Hot Toddy
Release Date: 04/07/2015
Blues often times can be labelled as music with attitude. Indeed attitude is generally at the very heart of the genre due to its origins, message and heart. Gaye Adegbalola and her three supporting musicians and singers certainly take this central concept by the horns and pitch it into the mix with immediacy and emotion.
Adegbalola herself fronts the outfit and writes the songs. Her guitar playing, at times resonator and at others simple acoustic, is unique with Piedmont twist at its base and a rhythmic flourish backed by a whole barrage of pounding, percussive bass background from the Rutz who push the whole project along with pace and vitality.
Acapella arrangements add to the fun! The fourteen tracks are self-written and include some pure tongue-in-cheek lyrics, playing with sassy phrases and suggestive swirls. Take “Coffee Flavored Kisses” as a shining example, with its memorable backbeat, catchy melody and cheeky, fun-fuelled lyrics.
The band is comprised of four bluesladies with at times explosive, salsa rhythms and ballsy pounding drumbeats, reflecting their own personal and individual musical backgrounds. The band’s chief musical arranger, Gloria Jackson, is a member of the 1930’s blues legend Gus Cannon’s family, while West Coaster Tanyha Dadze Cotton has backed the likes of Toots & the Maytals, and Marta Fuentes brings a spark of fiery, spicy Salsa to the mix.
Overall, this surprising mix brings balance producing an album that is both demanding and rewarding. Is It Still Good to Ya? grows in stature and makes its mark in a stealthy, but steady way.
– Iain Patience