Tough as Love
Lindsay Beaver is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She grew up in a working class family. Her parents loved soul music and as a child she used to sing around the house. At age 11 she fell in love with hip, hop which led her back to blues and jazz. She soon discovered Jimi Hendrix and learned to play guitar. At 17 she discovered Billie Holiday and began to train as a classical soprano. She started to sing jazz but her drummer didn’t want to lug his kit over to the house, so her father purchased a set. As soon as she sat down at the drums she was hooked. She states her biggest drum inspiration is Earl Palmer, who recorded with everyone from Fats Domino to Frank Sinatra, citing “he understood how to play for the song.”
When she was nineteen Beaver saw The Garret Mason Trio and she decided to be a real musician and have her own band. “When I first started out, I couldn’t find a singer I liked and I couldn’t find a drummer I liked, so I decided to do both”. She decided however not to tell the blues guys about her singing figuring that they wouldn’t take her seriously as a drummer. Beaver decided to study jazz drumming in Toronto “I got in because I was the only applicant that could play a shuffle”. She started her band the 24th Street Wailers and released five albums under that name self producing three of them.
At the young age of thirty-three Beaver possesses an old soul. Bruce Iglauer says “I’m very excited to welcome Lindsay to the Alligator Records family. She’s a great young talent”. “She’s like the love child of Amy Winehouse and Little Richard.” “Her songs evoke the spirit of 1950’s and ‘60s R&B and blues, but her singing and playing infuse them with a raw, rocking punk energy. Her music is full of unvarnished emotion and power.”
Recently Beaver relocated to Austin her new home; and where she recorded this new album, her first release under her own name. Beaver formed her new band with guitarist Brad Stivers, who released his own debut recording last year, and bassist Josh Williams. Some well-known friends add their talents.
Beaver has written seven new songs and covers five more. “I like music with drive and passion. I write what I know and I sing what I know…I want people to have fun and to be moved. I want everyone to be inspired to dance and I want at least some people to be moved to tears…I definitely want every person to go home saying, ‘I’m never going to forget this’.
“You’re Evil” features harp ace Dennis Gruenling, who plays again on a fabulous version of Slim Harpo’s “Got Love If You Want It”.
“Too Cold To Cry” features label mate Marcia Ball with some brilliant piano. Ball appears again on Little Willie John’s “You Hurt Me”. I can’t help but believe they inspire each other.
“What A Fool You’ve Been” features Gordon Beadle wailing away on his saxophone. On “Don’t Be Afraid of Love”, Stivers shares the vocal.
Three more originals are included each featuring a guest guitarist. On “Dangerous” Red Casey joins Beaver, Stivers, and Williams. On “Oh Yeah” the honor goes to Eve Monsees. While on “Mean To Me” Laura Chavez takes the second guitar solo.
Additional covers include Angela Strehli’s “Lost Cause”; Art Neville’s “Let’s Rock” and Joyce Johnston’s “She’ll Be Gone”. On these Matt Farrell is featured on piano.
Beaver says of her special guests, “these are all folks that I’ve admired or wanted to perform with for years. It was important for me to highlight people that have inspired me.”
Beaver stands behind her kit when singing and reaches down deep to deliver her soulful vocals with swagger and intensity. She has a timeless authenticity that grabs your attention. She cannot be denied.
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