GAYE ADEGBALOLA & THE WILD RUTZ
Is It Still Good To Ya?
Hot Toddy Music/Gaye Adegbalola.com
Blues music can often be labelled as music with ‘attitude’; indeed attitude is generally at the very heart of the genre due to its origins and spread, its 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, writes the songs and picks guitar, at times resonator, at others simple acoustic, with a Piedmont twist at its base and a rhythmic flourish backed by a whole barrage of pounding percussive bassy background from the Rutz who push the whole project along with pace and vitality.
A-capella arrangements add to the fun while the fourteen tracks are self-written and include some pure tongue-in-cheek fun at times, playing with sassy lyrics, suggestive swirls and sheer fun: try one track, “Coffee Flavored Kisses” as a shining example with its memorable backbeat, catchy melody and cheeky, fun-fuelled lyrics.
The band comprises 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 1930s blues legend Gus Cannon’s (Walk Right In) family, while West Coaster, Tanyha Dadze Cotton, has backed the likes of Toots & the Maytals back in the day, and the final cadre Marta Fuentes brings a spark of fiery, spicey Salsa to the mix.
Overall, this surprising melange brings balance to produce an album here that is both demanding and rewarding. An album that grows in stature with repeated earfuls and makes its mark in a stealthy but steady way.