She Swings Blue: After Hours 2


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SKU: 4324800427869554


With their previous release She Swings Blue Volume 1: The Joint Is Jumpin, The Rhythm Rockets proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they rate with the best of todays horn-powered jump blues outfits. This second volume spotlights the opposite side of the stylistic coin, when its after hours and last call is just around the corner. Tempos get sexier and bluer, couples dance closer, and The Rhythm Rockets, a Chicago fixture since guitarist Dave Downer founded the band at the end of 1996, dig deep into the sensuous torch ballads that Nicole Kestler sings so persuasively. quot;I always love an opportunity to do a good ballad,quot; says Nicole, who joined The Rhythm Rockets as their featured vocalist in 2000. quot;Thats kind of really where my heart is.quot; The band laid down enough material over the course of two years of recording sessions to release a two-CD set. Then rock-solid drummer Mark Fornek spoke up. quot;It was Marks idea to put the up-tempo stuff on one album and the slower stuff, the torch tunes, on another one,quot; says Dave. quot;So we just kept that theme and released them separately.quot; Downers slashing fretwork, heavily influenced by T-Bone Walker, Pee Wee Crayton, and plenty more postwar electric blues guitar legends, and the fat-toned sax section, led by tenor man Mike quot;Buckoquot; Bielecki, bring just the right shading to every selection. Guest pianists Tony Kidonakis and Brian OHern provide rippling, fluid backing that sensitively accompanies Nicole and the Rockets throughout this late-night musical journey down a deep blue trail. As always, theres plenty of splendid cover material for Nicole to wrap her honeyed pipes around. Dinah Washingtons voluminous songbook gifts us with a supremely sassy quot;Mean And Evil Blues.quot; quot;She has become one of my favorites,quot; says Nicole. quot;I love the music that she does, and I love the arrangements.quot; Dave customized the 1946 blues to the bands specifications. On the original, the first three progressions are all piano,quot; says Downer. quot;I gave the song to Jon Novi (the bands ace arranger) to transcribe for us, and he created a saxophone intro that mimics the piano intro. So what the guys are playing is pretty close to what the piano played.quot; Dinah herself co-wrote the unusual quot;Duck Before You Drown.quot; quot;When I first heard it, I thought there was no way that we were going to be able to pull it off,quot; admits Dave. quot;Its a weird song. We dont even know what its about!quot; Another popular chanteuse from the same era, Peggy Lee, introduced the sultry quot;You Was Right, Babyquot; after co-writing the easy swinger with her husband and bandleader, guitarist David Barbour, in 1944. quot;I heard it one day on YouTube. I charted it and finished it the next day, and we were performing it the very next show,quot; says Downer. quot;The thing about the video, its just Peggy Lee and her little group. It looked like they were recording it live. And it just mesmerized me.quot; Nicole greatly admires Lee as well. quot;She always has a great arrangement behind her, and then of course her great voice and the great songs,quot; says Kestler, who grew up in the Detroit area. After graduating from Chicagos Columbia College, where she studied film and theater, she began her singing career. quot;I went from never singing publically ever, not even for a school play or church-nothing-to working five nights a week,quot; citing the popularity of the Swing revival of the late 1990s. Although the stop-time groover quot;40 Cups Of Coffeequot; was written and first recorded by Chicago R&B guitari


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