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MP3 Oreo Blue - Nuthin' but the Blues

Blues Revue Magazine says it''s got great writing and production, and Chris Payton''s vocals are steel belted and immediately identifiable.

11 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Chicago Style, BLUES: Rockin'' Blues

Show all album songs: Nuthin'' but the Blues Songs

OREO BLUE: Nuthin'' But the Blues (ESM007OB)
It is no exaggeration to say that this release from the Arkansas band Oreo Blue is constantly spinning on my player and not just because I''m too lazy to change the disc!

This 1998 release is solid energy from track one to track eleven, underline the word energy. The texture of Blue''s sound is impressive; slow, soul drenched blues, hard line funk, sultry R&B balladry, and straight-ahead rock n roll.

The secret of the unique sound isn''t difficult to fathom; it''s in the talent of the individuals. Brian Crowne is an incredible sax man, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. If this band had a musical anchor, it would be Crowne''s wailing saxophone. While his sax attacks on this disc are subtle, they are still pleasingly pervasive.

Also of note is the considerable vocal ability of Chris Payton. She has a powerhouse voice, soulful delivery and knows when to growl for effect. Check out how she works the mike on tracks like "Born to Suffer;" it''s in your face frustration and anger with just a hint of regret. Payton also does some outstanding voice work on "Mornin'' Blues," an acoustic piece that really pushes all the right buttons.

Not to underscore the searing contributions of Gary Hutchison; he is a fantastic guitarist whose myriad of influences could fill a CD store top to bottom. Marie was a little bit Country, and Donny was supposedly a little bit Rock n Roll but Gary Hutchison is a little bit of everything and then some! Check out the magic he pulls from his frets on "Pork Chop Shuffle."

High praise? Oreo Blue deserves it. Not only do they have incredibly talented personnel; they know how to utilize their individual strengths to make great music. It''s one of those CD''s that you want all your friends to hear but are afraid to loan out for fear that it won''t come back.

-- Bill Fountain
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