Springfield Illinois’ Mary Jo Curry is a classically trained singer, and pianist. In 2011 Curry heard music on the street, emanating from a small club, and the sounds pulled her in. That was the first time Curry heard the blues. She wound up becoming the band’s singer and married the guitarist.
What started out as a demo in order to get gigs eventually became a full length album in 2016. This is the bands sophomore recording and first with the new lineup. Vocalist Curry is joined by guitarist Michael Rapier, bassist Chris Rogers, and drummer, Rick Snow. Rounding out the band is either keyboardist Brett Donovan or Ezra Casey; and saxophonist Brian Moore. Guest musicians include guitarists Albert Castiglia and Tom Holland, and vocalist Andrew Duncanson from the Kilborn Alley Blues Band.
Six new songs were written by Rapier. The opener “Nothin’ Is Easy” tells us that it’s not easy making a deal with the devil even if your down at the crossroads; vocalist Curry is fabulous as Castiglia is featured on guitar, with Donovan and Moore. Castiglia plays again on the title track. “All Your Lies” again features Donovan but this time he is paired with guitarist Holland who appears again on “Shake & Bake”. On “Lookin’” Duncanson shares the vocal with Curry. “House is Lonely” features both keyboardists Donovan and Casey. “Joyful” was co-written by Rapier with Snow.
Bassist Chris Rogers contributes two songs; both the good time song “Turn It Loose”; and “The Man” with David Alexander on saxophone replacing Moore, and Conrad Lee added on guitar. “Exploring The Blues” was written for the band by Chicagoan Andrew Blaze Thomas and it’s a showcase for vocalist Curry. Castiglia appears again on a cover of Edgar Winter’s “We All Had A Real Good Time”.
“Front Porch” establishes Curry and her tight band as a force in the category of Contemporary Blues Female Artist. Check them out on this highly recommended recording.