Music

The Blues Is Personal

by Nigel Egg

Released 2014
Spiff Key
Released 2014
Spiff Key
One foot in the blues tradition and one foot right outside my own back door
NOTES
Carl Unbehaun, KSRQ Minnesota: "Nigel Egg takes blues to a new level with unique subject matter, gritty vocals, and melodies that won't leave you alone--an incomparable effort by a rising blues artist!"

This is a singer-songwriter album - a singer-songwriter who loves the blues. It is no coincidence that the release date (7/1/2014) coincides with the 99th anniversary of Willie Dixon's birthday.
Nigel Egg believes that the Blues could be as popular as Country music if we would just make great music that connects with how people live in the 21st century. He says, “Let’s move beyond ‘Keep The Blues Alive’. It’s time for the Blues to prosper and multiply! Willie Dixon made it happen fifty years ago by writing new kinds of blues songs. His music became the new blues tradition because it fit the times. The times haven’t stopped changing.
"Somewhere out there is a teenager who has the talent and courage to blaze a new path in the blues that resonates with other young people. If we really want to keep the blues alive, I hope we give her a big welcome and lots of encouragement. Blues has become the province of the Baby-Boomers and let's face it, we're all going to die soon. We need to let go of the power to define what is, and what is not Blues and give that power to the kids."

You can read and download all lyrics to these songs from nigelegg.com along with CD art and liner notes with comments and background for each song.

Only acoustic instruments were used in recording this album. You'll hear some unusual tonal features. When you hear Tony Balluff's clarinet, you may wonder why the clarinet isn't used more for blues - it has just as much expressive potential as the blues harp. The horn arrangements on three tracks were written by trumpeter Zack Lozier and performed by Balluff, Lozier and trombonist Steve Sandberg. The horn ending on "Imagining You Naked" evokes classic burlesque and benefits from Lozier's experience as a trumpet player in the Doc Severinsen Big Band.
The electric guitar has become a dominant blues instrument of the 20th and 21st centuries. The electric guitar has the sustain and dynamics to evoke the human voice and beyond. Bob Ekstrand's acoustic guitar playing on this album shows how the more percussive nature of the acoustic has its own voice to add. Ekstrand is a master and his soloing puts wood and steel at the center of the mix.
Greg Schutte and Tom Lewis lay down solid rhythms on eight of the twelve tracks. Lewis is a particularly inventive bassist and there are instances on this record that hint he can play free jazz with the same fluidity he applies to this album. Schutte is an all-around percussionist who tours with the Mickey Hart band as well as playing with modern dance troupes and rock outfits. Dale Peterson's piano brings a little Otis Spann to the table on three tracks. David Stenshoel, World Music master of the violin provides flavor and pizzazz to three tracks, blending with the horns and providing counterpoint to Egg's harp playing. Egg credits Tony Glover as his main harmonica influence. "I got Tony's blues harp instruction book many, many years ago and he said the main thing is to play from your heart. I don't play a lot of hot licks, I just try to play what fits and what I'm feeling at the time."

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