Charmed & Dangerous
Blind Pig Records/The Orchard
The Altered Five Blues Band is a Milwaukee based quintet formed in 2002. They released their debut recording “Bluesified” in 2008 and followed up with 2012’s “Gotta Earn It” which received a rave review from Downbeat’s Frank-John Hadley. Their third all original album “Cryin Mercy” was mixed and mastered by Tom Hambridge and Michael Saint-Leon; and the band won the award for Best-Self Produced CD at the 2015 International Blues Challenge. The album was also nominated for two Blues Blast Awards and reached #1 on the Roots Music Report Blues Album Chart.
Blind Pig Records was recently purchased by The Orchard, one of the biggest independent record distributors in the world. The Altered Five Blues Band is honored to be the first artist signed to the revived blues and roots music label.
The new album is produced by the multi Grammy winning Tom Hambridge whose production credits include Buddy Guy and James Cotton. The band lineup on the recording is Jeff Taylor, vocals; Jeff Schroedl, guitar; Raymond Tevich, keyboards; Mark Solveson, bass and producer Hambridge, drums. All of the songs were written or co-written by Schroedl with various members of the band. Once again the album is mixed and mastered by Hambridge and Saint-Leon.
We first get to hear Taylor’s gritty but beautiful voice on the opening title track “Charmed & Dangerous”. Schroedl’s lyrics are superb especially on “If Your Heart Went Public”; on “Eighth Wonder”; and on “Look What You Made me Do”, and they enable Taylor’s expressive vocals on these and throughout the recording.
Schroedl utilized the music of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” and wrote new lyrics for “Three Forks” featuring Steve Cohen on harmonica. Cohen plays again on “She’s Still Crazy” with some great bass from Solveson and Tevich on the B-3. “Mint Condition” is an infectious shuffle with some fluid guitar playing from Schroedl. Tevich’s piano is especially nice on “Cookin in Your Kitchen”; on “Rotten” he plays both piano and organ.
The band is superb. This highly recommended album is one of the year’s best.
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