Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers
No Good Deed
Pretty Good For A Girl Records
Mindi Abair is a two time Grammy nominated Jazz saxophonist who released her eighth solo album “Wild Heart” in 2014. That year she started to guest on blues releases including Jeff Golub and Brian Auger’s “Train Keeps A Rolling”; and on “Decisions” by Bobby Rush & Blindog Smokin’. In 2015 Abair recorded the “Live in Seattle” album with The Boneshakers and began to tour with them.
Randy Jacobs was the founder of the funk blues R n’ B band The Boneshakers and in 1997 released the highly successful “Book of Spells” on Pointblank/Virgin Records. Four more Boneshaker albums followed before Jacobs co-produced the I-10 Chronicle series featuring Charlie Musselwhite, Willie Nelson and others.
In 2017 Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers, together with Jacobs, released their first critically acclaimed studio album “The East-West Sessions”. They followed up with last years album “All I Got for Christmas Is the Blues”. Abair, who has been described as a Junior Walker type saxophonist, received a 2019 Blues Music Award nomination in the category of Best Instrumentalist – Horn.
The current line-up for The Boneshakers includes Abair: soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones and vocals; Jacobs, guitar and vocals; Rodney Lee, keyboards and vocals; Ben White, bass and vocals; and Third Richardson, drums, percussion, and vocals. Once again the album is produced by Kevin Shirley at Hollywood, California’s East-West Studios.
The album includes ten funky tracks including five new originals co-written by Abair. The irresistible title track written with Jacobs and Dave Yaden, one of Abair’s regular co-writers, features the band members chiming in on the chorus “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”. California’s James House is co-writer with Abair on the fabulous narrative “Mess I’m In” with tasty solos from Jacobs and Abair; and on “Sweet Lies” written by them with Jacobs.
“Who’s Gonna Save My Soul” is a bluesy lament, co-written with another frequent co-writer Tyrone Stevens, and featuring the lyric “I’ve got more life to live but I’m lost and alone”. “Movin’ On” from Abair and Brad Cox is an in-your-face anthem with attitude as Abair sings “let the past be the past, it’s dead, I’m gone.”
Five covers are also included and these are the most interesting. “Seven Day Fool” written by Tyran Carlo, Berry Gordy Jr. and Sonny Woods, was originally recorded by Etta James in 1961 on Argo Records. Tyran Carlo is an alias for Billy Davis. “On a Monday I’m gonna’ love you, on a Tuesday I’m gonna’ hug you”; once again the band members become background singers as they chant the lyrics. This is a really nice production with solos from Abair and Jacobs. “I’ll be your seven day fool, all because I really love you”.
“You Better Run” written by Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish was a huge hit for their band, The Young Rascals, in 1966; this is a fabulous new arrangement. “Bad News”, is a sultry vibe from Melody Gardot, with a great guitar intro from Jacobs and Nick Lane sitting in on trombone, “bad news has come, its closing time”.
“Good Day For The Blues” written by David Grissom was originally recorded by the underappreciated Storyville, a band out of Austin. On this funky blues The Boneshakers pay tribute to one of their influences. Abair takes several fabulous tenor solos.
“Baby, Get It On” was a 1975 single recorded by Ike and Tina Turner. Jacob’s guitar intro and duet between him and Abair is amazing. The horns of Lee Thornberg, trumpet and trombone; and Paulie Cerra, tenor saxophone, are added to complete the production and close out this fabulous album.
The combination of originals and selected covers works wonderfully. This is the best heard so far, from the pulsating Boneshakers.