“None More Blue”
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © April 2021
Lead Singer Gina Coleman and Misty Blues are in the midst of celebrating two milestones that are not all that common for a blues band – or for that matter, a band in other genres, as well. On top of Misty Blues being together for over twenty years, “None More Blue” is the bands tenth release. Impressive numbers indeed.
The nucleus of Misty Blues consists of: Gina Coleman on lead vocals and cigar box guitar; Seth Fleischman on guitar; Bill Patriquin on bass, trumpet and vocals; Benny Kohn on keys and vocals; Rob Tatten on drums, trombone and vocals; and Aaron Dean on saxophone. Guest musicians for this project include: Ed Moran on vocals and harp; Dan Esko on bass; Richard Boulger on trumpet; Wendy Lipp on vocals; and Gina’s seventeen year old son – who is a two time recipient of the Blues Foundation’s Generation Blues Scholarship and a two time participant in the International Blues Challenge Youth Showcase with his band Born IV Blues – Diego Mongue on drums. bass, and percussion; The albums eleven tracks of blues with hints of jazz, funk soul and gospel are all original material.
The opening track, “My One And Only”, starts off with an attention calling drum solo by Rob, followed by Gina scatting her way in vocally, and then the horn section leading the rest of the band in behind her – and in less than a minute, the bands repertoire of that jazz, soul and funk just presented itself to you all at once. With it’s powerful vocal performance, forceful rhythm, and guitar, piano and horn highlights, it was the perfect introduction to the band.
On “I Can’t Wait”, the band settles into more of a blues groove. Emotionally belting out some soulful blues lyrics, the list of things Gina can’t wait for are many, but waiting for her baby to take her hand seems to be tops on the list. Musically, the mid-song instrumental interlude features Seth, Benny and Aaron following each other on fabulous guitar, organ and saxophone leads.
Where else can you get a loose cigarette and a single can of Black Label; a strand of rosary beads and bags of pork rinds in twenty-three different flavors; a finely home made guava paste and a low blood sugar life saver? These, and many other things you just can’t live without are all available at your local convenience store, where Senor Morales is always happy to be helpful. In addition to “Bodega Blues” being filled with seriously hilarious lyrics, it’s also filled with some serious percussion and organ highlights from Diego and Benny.
As I’m listening to “Down In Lenox Town”, the disc’s sixth track, what I’m seeing as a common denominator on Misty Blues’ songs is that although the band is led by such a powerful and commanding vocalist, the tracks all tend to have a very large portion of instrumental runs. That said, kudos to Gina for spreading the love and showcasing the skills of this talented band she’s assembled. This one features Bill and Rob in smokin’ rhythm grooves as they first back up Benny, followed by Seth, then Aaron, on extensive and impressive organ, guitar and sax leads. It’s also one of just a few tracks where we get to enjoy Ed’s outstanding harp playing.
Although the guys are doing their usual fabulous job, this one is all about the vocals. With somewhat of a fear inducing, attention demanding, matter of fact growl, there is absolutely no mistaking that Gina is “Ready To Play”.
This track is titled “Listen”, and if it were up to me – as a way of making it a command – I’d have added an exclamation point at the end. You see, while this masterpiece is spinning, you really need to “Listen!” The first two-and-a-half minutes features the whole band in an ultra cool jazz instrumental vibe; then, for the middle thirty seconds, Gina lays down some very cool range roaming scat; and on the last two-and-a-half instrumental minutes the guys take turns playing “follow the leader” with Bill and Aaron mimicking Seth’s guitar leads on their horns, then Benny mimicking the leads of the horns on his piano. Giving this five-and-a-half minute long song several replays was indeed the best half-hour of my day so far.
With it’s toe tappin’, knee slappin’ country blues vibe, and some great story tellin’ and pickin’ on a cigar box geetar by Gina, “Days Gone By” is Misty Blues’ most impressive rendition of front porch acoustic blues.
Other tracks on “None More Blues” include: “These Two Veils”; “Change My Luck”; “Step Right Up”; and “Nothing To Lose”.
To purchase and/or get your hands on a copy of “None More Blue” for airplay, just go to the bands website – www.mistybluesband.com. When you do, please tell Gina and the guys that the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient
“None More Blue”