The Nola Sessions: Dedicated To New Orleans, La.
SuperStar Factory Productions
Tom Hambridge is a two time Grammy Award winning producer, songwriter, and drummer. He also has six Blues Music Award nominations and shares his 2011 BMA for “Song of The Year” with Buddy Guy. Hambridge has produced Guy’s last four albums including 2015’s “Born To Play Guitar”. Guy’s newest album “Blues Is Alive & Well” also produced by Hambridge should be released any day now. Other recent Hambridge productions include albums for Kenny Neal and Mike Zito.
This new album is inspired by New Orleans and the creative depth of its local legends including the late Allen Toussaint, guitarist Sonny Landreth and organist Ivan Neville. All of the songs are written or co-written by Hambridge. Also guesting are the McCrary Sisters and The Naughty Horns.
On “Blues Been Mighty Good To Me”, written with Richard Fleming, Hambridge plays drums and shares the vocal with the iconic pianist Toussaint on one of the last recordings made before his passing in 2015. This is a great song that should receive considerable attention.
Slydeco guitar wizard Landreth enables the rockin’ side of vocalist Hambridge on four tunes; “This End of The Road”, “Little Things”, “Whiskey Ghost” co-written with Gary Nicholson, and “Me and Charlie” (dedicated to Buddy Guy’s bus driver Charlie McPherson). These are performed as just a trio with Hambridge on drums and bassist Tommy MacDonald. These are so good one has to wonder whether Hambridge might produce a future project for Landreth.
“What You Leave Behind”, written by Hambridge for his old friend John Flynn, features the B-3 mastery of Ivan Neville; guitarist Shane Theriot; bassist Calvin Turner Jr. and The Naughty Horns. On “Save Me”, co-written with Bobby Whitlock, McKendree is added on organ; David Torkanowsky on piano; and background vocalists The McCrary Sisters. On “I Love Everything” Hambridge’s daughters, Sarah and Rachel, replace the McCrary Sisters. “Masterpiece” is a fabulous song about a father reflecting on the beauty of his son. Neville plays again on “A Couple Drops”.
New Orleans guitarist John Fohl, formerly of Dr. John’s Lower 911 joins Hambridge and MacDonald on “Blue Crazy” with Kevin McKendree on piano; on the contemporary country ballad “Trying To Find It” with McKendree, and guitarist Rob McNelley; and on the closer “Faith” with Nathaniel Smith, cello.
Hambridge usually keeps busy by making others sound better. This is a fabulous album by him that should garner airplay in several different radio markets including Blues and Americana.
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