Love Money Can't Buy

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Reviews

Songlist

  1. Broken Heart Row - 3:21
  2. On A Saturday Night - 3:15
  3. The Love Money Can’t Buy - 4:16
  4. Man Size Job - 3:09
  5. Wild Stage Of Life - 4:08
  6. Low Down Dirty Dawg - 2:49 -
  7. Standin’ In My Doorway Cryin’ - 4:24
  8. I Play Dirty - 3:16
  9. What Makes You So Tough - 2:47
  10. Daddy’s Love - 4:23 -
  11. Bag Of Bones - 4:02 -
  12. Moonlight Over Memphis - 2:56
  13. That’s Where My Brother Sleeps - 6:06 -

* Sample Song in music box

The title says it all. Barbara has had the great fortune for the third time to go to Los Angeles and record with Taj Mahal's world renowned PHANTOM BLUES BAND.

Keep the faith and spread the LOVE.

Produced by Tony Braunagel
Co-producer: Barbara Blue
Engineered by Johnny Lee Schell and John Porter
Mixed by Johnny Lee Schell
Mastered by  L. Nix & Co., Inc./Inside Ardent Studios/Memphis TN 
Recorded at  Ultratone Studio - Studio City, California & Young Avenue Sound, Memphis, TN
Lead Vocals: Barbara Blue
Bass: Larry Fulcher
Piano, B3 and Wurlitzer: Mike Finnigan
All Guitars: Johnny Lee Schell
Drums and Percussion: Tony Braunagel
Horns: Lanny McMillan, tenor sax with Ben Cauley, trumpet on tracks 2, 3, 6, 9 & 12, Dedrick Davis trumpet on tracks 7 & 8
Background vocals: Deborah Swiney and Carolyn Chatman on tracks 2, 6 and 12 Johnny Lee Schell on tracks 3 & 10, Mike Finnigan on tracks 3, 10 & 11
Special guest appearance by John "JUKE" Logan on Harmonica track 4.

Executive Producers:

  • Barbara Blue Productions

Reviews

Blueswax logoBarbara’s Beale St. Blues, (05/31/06)

Wandering down Beale Street nowadays, you're sure to hear a sound, the loud, boisterous sound of Barbara Blue belting out songs at Silky O'Sullivan's. This is her long-time residence in Memphis, where she shakes, claps, and smiles about the Blues.

Barbara was not born in the sweltering south, but up above Dixie in Steelsville, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been fronting her own band for over fifteen years, as well as sharing the stage with notables as Taj Mahal, Jeff Healey, Marcia Ball, and James Cotton. Speaking of Taj Mahal, this CD was recorded with his Phantom Blues Band in the sun of California. John "Juke" Logan makes a guest appearance on the Blue-penned "Low Down Dirty Dawg," a song written by Blue to the man who ripped off the donated retirement funds that she had helped raise for Jessie Mae Hemphill (a "Low Down Dirty Dawg, indeed). Barbara wrote two of the songs while she pulled on some of the great songwriters of the region to round out the disc: Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper's "On a Saturday Night"; the title track by Jimmy McCracklin; "Man Size Job" written by Denise LaSalle; Jessie Mae Hemphill's "Standin' in My Doorway Cryin'"; and Nancy Apple's "Moonlight Over Memphis." Each song here is given its own sound regardless of the writer or origin of the song.

This is the third disc on which Barbara Blue has teamed up with the Phantom Blues Band and it is an excellent fit. You would think that they have been together for years by the chemistry on these songs. The power of Blue's voice is tremendous, with the force of a southern thunderstorm rolling across the Mississippi River and on up the bluffs. Barbara not only has a strong, powerful voice, but one that works in many different settings, as the music before you so demonstrates.

Right from the start the tone and mood are set on the album with a mid-tempo, almost Latin rhythm on "Broken Hearts Row." The song order creates a wonderful contradiction in sounds and tempos throughout the disc. There are funky songs with a tight groove as on "Love Money Can't Buy," and "Daddy's Love." An older R&B style permeates the horn -renched "What Makes You So Tough" and "Man Size Job." The slow "Wild Side of Life" reminds me of Lou Ann Barton singing an Etta James song. "Standin' in the Doorway Cryin'" is a nod to her influence and support for the Mississippi native Jessie Mae Hemphill. The song has a rhythmic drone that you get lost in, until it is broken up by Jessie Mae talkin' and hollerin' "Hey Baby!!" Then the drums kick into "I Play Dirty." This song has a dirty groove with a chorus that reminds me of Lonnie Shields' "I Can Play Dirty." Hmm, someone has been listening to someone else. Other than that similarity, it is a different song that picks the album right back up after the hypnotic state of "Standin'." To take another turn, "Bag O' Bones" slows things down again with sparse, haunting sounds you hear walking down an empty dirt road at midnight with only tumbleweeds blowing around you in a crisp, dank air.

A great songwriter from Memphis, Nancy Apple, penned the biggest treat on the album. "Moonlight Over Memphis" has a sound of Americana with a touch of The Band. This song is well produced and the musicians come across with feeling. Barbara's voice is very flexible and fits on all of the styles on the album. This song stands out because you don't expect this after what has been heard so far. The last song on the album is dedicated to the men and women who serve our country. "That's Where My Brother Sleeps" is a touching tribute for our country, starting off with a heartfelt piano and quiet organ accent. The rest of the band eventually kicks in, never overshadowing the main performer or the message. The last song has a surprise ending for all of the Janis Joplin fans out there. Barbara was also invited to the 14th Annual Janis Birthday Bash in Port Arthur, Texas, in 2001. So on to the little treat awaiting you when you reach the end: a rowdy, hand-clappin', foot-stompin' rendition of "Mercedes Benz," complete with a sing-along section. Blue not only has the vocals to pull this off, but does so with celebration.

This disc has a little something for everybody. Barbara Blue has a great voice, the Phantom Blues Band is a perfect fit throughout, and the song selection and order are well chosen. Look for Barbara on Beale Street, or on the road near you.

Kyle M. Palarino is a contributing editor at BluesWax.

RootsTime logoBarbara Blue, Love, money can't buy ////////. Lady sings the blues. They are not much around and they are rare at European bluesfestivals. Moulin Blues Ospel, Holland (5 +6 may) is a happy example of this rule and got a big fish with Susan Tedeshi. The person who should make the crossing over the ocean is BB born in Pittsburg, pa. who really surprised me (see rev.BB/album Memphis 3RD+beale). An album which was played many times in my old Volvo and her version of the songs "lake charles"(Lucinda Williams), One good man (Janis Joplin) was better than the original. A very good album which is followed by "Love Money can't buy". Just like the previous albums the boys of Tay Mahal Phantom Blues Band are there again (see picture) But we find bach some more old friends, Nancy Apple was responsible for the coverdesign, with thanks to many years of friendship BB covers at her own way the same Nancy Apple, who recently released the beautiful album River Road or Rail(see rev.jan.05) with Rob McNurlin, which was received very well in Europe. Apparently enough references for Barbara to cover Bag O'Bones of RobMcNurlin. Friendship for life and in times of distress one knows his friend because BB interested herself on behalf of Jessie Mae Hemphill(73) who was seriously swindled and we can support on the following adress: Community Bank/Jesse Mae Hemphill Fund c/o Leca Dew 475E Commerce Street Hernando - Ms 38632, USA. For extra income for charity BB covers "Standing in my doorway cryin" from Jessie on this album. So much charity only can be rewarded with a lot of cd's of" Love Money can't Buy" sold, which contains a lot more very nice covers. First number "Broken Hearts Row" of Brenda Burns builds on the same grounds which we know from the Memphis 3RD&Beale album: Hot Sultry Blues+R&B, From the New Orleans, The Delta, Memphis, St.Louis, Detroit,Chicago and back. This gal's got it all. The sound and Mike Finnigan on piano, b3+ Wurlitzer do the rest on 3On a Saturday Night" (Eddy Floyd, Steve(Ropper), + "The love Money Can't Buy"(Jimmy McCracklin), "Man Size Job"(Denise LaSalle). A lot of charity and even a tribute to the decreased men+woman who have served in the name of honor and freedom with "that's where my brother sleeps", but also the other side from BB is seen, because with "Play Dirty "and "You ain't nothing than a low down dirty Dawg(John "Luke"Logan mouthorgan) she draws out to the persons who do not mean well with her. That will not happen with this boy, who is very happy with this album...and "what makes her so though"?...$17.97 (cd Baby) and be convinced!!!!(The a-capella version of "Oh Lord won't you buy me aMercedes Benz/a coulor TV free)). She occasionally travels the US and abroad spreading her sweet sultry soul sound whereever she goes. CATCH HER!!!!.

Music City Blues logo"If you have plans to motor west," a great place to stop is, of course, Memphis. And, on most nights of the week, if you stop in Silky Sullivan's on Beale Street, you can check out one of the most talented women on the contemporary blues scene today, Barbara Blue. She's back with her fourth release, "Love Money Can't Buy," and it is also her third collaboration with Taj Mahal's Phantom Blues Band as her backing band. They are Johnny Lee Schell on guitar, Mike Finnigan on keys, Larry Fulcher on bass, and Tony Braunagel on drums, who also serves as the set's producer.
This is Barbara's strongest set to date, fans! Her songwriting is better than ever, and she tackles some tough subjects to boot, while remaining true to her blues roots in the process. In the leadoff cut, we find her walking away from a bad relationship, but refusing to let it get the best of her, or take her down "Broken Hearts Row." A white-hot love affair always seems to bring on memories of "Moonlight Over Memphis," while the raucous "Man Size Job" is a tale of a no-good older lover who's kicked to the curb in favor of one "young enough for action," but "old enough to know how to please!" Barbara also covers Eddie Floyd's "On A Saturday Night" and Little Milton's "I Play Dirty," both driven by a funky horn section. She turns in a sultry performance on the torchy "Wild Stage Of Life," and goes down to the Delta in the acoustic "Standin' In My Doorway Cryin."
Barbara touches on some poignant subjects, too. When "Daddy's Love" goes a bit too far, it's the child who pays the ultimate price. And, "Where My Brother Sleeps" is dedicated to everyone who has served this country in the name of honor and freedom. Keep listening after it's conclusion, too, for a neatly-hidden bonus live track of "Mercedes Benz!"
Our favorite cut was a tale of a "Lowdown Dirty Dawg," a two-timin' cheater who "gets his" that features some mighty fine harp from John "Juke" Logan. This cut also appears on the latest CD sampler provided to subscribers of "Blues Revue" magazine, too!
Barbara Blue is a unique talent who can take just about any song or genre' and put her own personal stamp on it. Catch her live at Silky's on Beale or getcha a copy of "Love Money Can't Buy" to see what we mean! Until next time....Sheryl and Don Crow..

--- Sheryl and Don Crow ---

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Vincente "Harmonica" Zumel

Barbara Blue "Love Money Can't Buy". Big Blue 2006. Cantante de voz segura y convincente Barbara nos ofrece un amplio abanico de estilos entremezclados entre si con gusto y elegancia. El disco contiene trece canciones de las cuales un par están escritas por la propia Barbara Blue, el resto se lo reparten entre Eddie Floyd, Jimmy McCracklin, Denise Lasalle, Henry Glover, Jessie Mae Hemphill y algunos otros menos conocidos. Barbara es una cantante independiente que asume este rol con atrevimiento, sin dudar ni un instante, con una total confianza en si misma y la verdad es que no solo sale invicta de la situación, sino que además consigue una alta puntuación. El grupo que la acompaña los Taj Mahal's Phantom Blues Band están mas que correctos y la sección de vientos suena compacta y enormemente efectiva. Barbara Blues se presenta en este disco de manera brillante y con personalidad propia. Buen blues, buen, swing, buen soul, buen groovin'…. ¿Qué más se puede pedir?. ¿Qué John 'Juke' Logan esté tocando la armónica como invitado? Pues también lo está. MUY BUENO.

(Translation)Singer with a convincing firm voice, Barbara gives us a wide range of styles, all them combined with great taste. The cd includes fifteen songs, two are Barbara`s own compositions and the rest are versions of Eddie Floyd, Jimmy McCracklin, Denise Lasalle, Henry Glover, Jessie Mae Hemphill and other less known artists. Barbara is an independent singer who takes on this role with self-confidence, audacity and the truth is she gets unbeaten of that situation with a very good note. She is backed by The Taj Mahal's Phantom Blues Band who do a professional good work, specially the compact effective bright horn section. Barbara Blues brings us a very personal colofurl piece of work with good blues, good swing, good soul, good groovin'… Can we ask for more? Perhaps ask for John 'Juke' Logan playing harp as guest musician? Of course, he is there! VERY GOOD.

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