Anthony Geraci (and The Boston Blues All-Stars)
Fifty Shades of Blue
Delta Groove Music
Anthony Geraci, piano; is a founding member of Sugar Ray and The Bluetones and has been with them for thirty-five years. He appears on all of the Bluetones recordings beginning with 1989’s “Knockout” on the Varrick label produced by Ron Levy.
Geraci has played with Muddy Waters, Big Walter Horton and Jimmy Rogers. He is also a founding member of Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters. In 1994 Geraci released an album of duets with Sugar Ray Norcia called “Take It From Me” on the Tone-Cool Record label. He has two albums fronting his own band “Little Anthony and The Locomotives” including 1995’s “Don’t Wait on Me” on the Deluge imprint. Geraci was nominated for a Grammy for his keyboard work on 2000’s “Super Harps 1” album on Telarc Records. He also has two previous albums under his own name; 2008’s “Wake Up” and 2011’s jazzy “Serendipity”.
This new recording features thirteen Geraci originals. The band is called The Boston All-Stars and it includes Bluetone members: Norcia, vocals and harmonica; Monster Mike Welch, guitar; Michael “Mudcat” Ward, acoustic and electric bass; and Neil Gouvin, drums. Additional vocalists include Darrell Nulisch; Michelle “Evil Gal” Willson, and Toni Lynn Washington. Drummer Marty Richards sits in for Gouvin on all but two tracks. The cover photo was taken by photographer Joe Rosen who has been documenting the Bluetones since doing the cover of Sugar Ray’s 1991 recording “Don’t Stand in My Way”.
Nulisch handles the vocals on the opener “Everything I Do is Wrong”; on “The Blues Never Sleeps” and on “Cry a Million Tears”. The later is a slow blues with great interplay between Geraci’s piano and Welch’s guitar.
Bluetones bandleader Norcia sings on eight of the tracks. Highlights include “Don’t Keep Me Waiting”; “Your Turn to Cry”; my favorite “Too Late For Coffee” and a duet with Willson on “Fifty Shades of Blue”. Willson’s beautiful voice is heard again on “If You Want to Get to Heaven”.
Boston’s great Washington is one of our most underrated singers. She is especially expressive on “Diamonds and Pearls”.
Two great instrumentals are included. “In The Quicksand, Again” features pianist Geraci knee deep with guitarist Welch. “Blues For David Maxwell” is a beautiful tribute to the late and great pianist who was a friend and inspiration to all those involved in this project.
Geraci’s performances are understated gems. In fact each and everyone associated with this project is deserving of an award. Do not pass this one up as this may be the album of the year.