Sunday, September 25, 2016

Nancy Wright - Playdate!


2016 –  Vizztone
By Phillip Smith; Sep. 25, 2016

In 2013, San Francisco musician, Nancy Wright pulled down the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame’s Blues Saxophonist of the Year award.  She’s been touring with Tommy Castro for the past couple of years, and has just wrapped up her latest album, Playdate!.  For this project, she has enlisted a slew of top tier blues talent – Tommy Castro, Victor Wainwright, Elvin Bishop, and Joe Louis Walker to name a few.  Her band consists of producer/guitarist Christopher “Kid” Anderson, with Chris Burns on keys, bassist Joe Kyle Jr., drummer J. Hansen, Tom Poole on trumpet, and Faris Jarrah on trombone, and percussionist Martin Windstad.

Guest vocalist Wee Willie Walker gives a standout performance and Wright gets down on sax, as the gang breaks out the sweet funk on the Willie Harper classic, “Why You Wanna Do It”.  I fall hook, line and sinker for this track.  It’s absolutely fabulous.  I also have to crank up the volume when the soulful “Been Waiting That Long” kicks in.  Sung by Frank Bey, who toured with the Otis Redding Review in the sixties, this killer song was written by Wright’s friend and mentor, the late, great Lonnie Mack.  Kyle’s funky bassline grabs ahold and doesn’t let go on “Warranty”, a smooth bluesy track featuring the lovely and silky vocal talents of Terrie Odabi. 

Wright pulls in the carefree and classic Motown sound on original track, “Good Loving Daddy”.  It’s a terrific listen for sure.  Playdate! winds down and closes out with the with the slow and wonderfully bluesy “Soul Blue”, which features the spectacular guitar sounds of Chris Cain.  This album is a definite keeper.