Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Although Deb Landolt did have a prior release as Long Tall Deb And The Drifter Kings, “Raise Your Hands” is officially her first “solo” release. Now by no means does that mean she’s alone. As a matter of fact, while assembling the band for this project, the long, tall and talented Deb went with a “more the merrier attitude”. She pretty much assembled the number of – as well as quality of – musicians you’d commonly see at a two day blues festival.
Joining Deb Landbolt on lead & background vocals are: John Popovich on Fender Rhodes, organ & piano; Sean Carney, Dave Clo, Damon Fowler, Colin John, Matt O’ree, Brent Pennell, JP Soars, Jimmy Thackery and Bart Walker on guitar; Melvin Powe and Chuck Riley on bass; Jan Roll and Chris Peet on drums; Shaun Booker and Philip Pemberton on lead vocals; Big Llou on step out vocals; Nikki Scott on lead & background vocals; Michelle Swift on background vocals; Victor Wainwright and Reese Wynans on organ; Lynn Williams on percussion; Mark Earley on baritone & tenor sax; Rich Lataille on alto & tenor sax; Doug Wolverton on trumpet – all of whom are collectively known as the Roomful Of Blues Horns; and a half dozen or so of the aforementioned musicians collectively referred to as the Handclapper’s Union on…..yep, you guessed it – hand claps.
“Raise Your Hands” features two covers and ten original tracks co-written by Deb and several members of a collaboration group affectionately referred to as the “Wednesday Night Music Club”.
The word “train” in the title usually indicates you should expect to hear some smokin’ rhythm and “Train To Tucson” has just that. The discs best drum work from Jan Roll has this train rollin’ at just the right speed. Additional fuel aptly provided by not one, not two, but three guitarists – Sean, Dave & Colin.
“Coa Breeze” should be mandatory listening for all aspiring female vocalists. With the band in a very relaxed mode, Deb puts on a singing class for anyone interested in learning the perfect usage of vocal range.
After continually hounding her about finding a man and settling down, I’m not quite sure how happy Deb’s mother was when she told her that she’d set a date to get “Married To The Blues”. As Deb sees it, The Blues are an ideal mate. The Blues don’t care if she stay’s out all night or if she’s wrong or right. The Blues don’t care when her money’s all run out or if she’s down and out. The Blues don’t care if she sees other men or even where she’s been. Deb’s vocals - lead and background – are just one of many of this tracks’ highlights. Others include: Big Llou, as the preacher, performing the marriage; and three guitarists – Matt, Jimmy & Bart – doing blistering solos.
Those powerfully, yet sultrily sung ballads – with a strong horn section that’s intense when it needs to be, yet subtle enough to blend in with the soothing sounds of the organ – always, always win me over. “Finally Forgot Your Name” is one of those songs. Melvin, Jan and John are magnificent on rhythm; the Roomful Of Blues Horns are being the Roomful Of Blues Horns… no further explanation necessary; and Deb, along with some background help from herself and Michelle, is pure perfection on lead vocals. The number eight suits this song well. It’s the eight track you just might replay about eight times…I did.
Even though it’s one of the covers, I couldn’t wait to hear “Muddy Jesus”. It features Deb, on lead vocals, teaming up with all of my good friends from Southern Hospitality: Damon & JP on guitar, Chris on drums, Chuck on bass and Victor on organ. As expected, it delivered. Damon & JP are as good a tandem guitar duo as these ears have ever heard. Add their monster rhythm section and Deb belting out some Gospel style blues and you’ve got one of the discs best tracks.
The disc closes with one of it’s most beautifully done songs, “New Coat Of Paint”. It’s a short two and a quarter minute ballad that I was wishing was about triple the time in length. On it, Deb and John are absolutely masterful together on vocals and piano.
Other tracks on “Raise Your Hands” include: “What Would A Good Woman Do”, “Hush Your Mouth”, “Let’s Get Lost”, “The Last Time”, “Raise Your Hands” and “To Find His Home”.
To find out more about Long Tall Deb Landolt just go to her website… www.LongTallDeb.com. While you’re there, please take a minute to tell her that the Blewzzman sent you and that he’s very excited about seeing her at the Rum Boogie Cafe, in Memphis, next week.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com 2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient