Gaye Adegbalola and the Wild Rutz review…May 6, 2015…

GAYE ADEGBALOLA AND THE WILD RUTZ

IS IT STILL GOOD TO YA?

HOT TODDY/VIZZTONEHTMCD 2320

IS IT STILL GOOD TO YA–GIVING YOU MY MOJO–EYE CANDY–FIREBALLIN–BOY IN THE BOAT (DOO-WOP)–COFFEE FLAVORED KISSES–THE DOG WAS HERE FIRST–SICK LEAVE BLUES–I KNOW YOU WANNA CHANGE (BUT YOUR MOMMA WON’T LET YOU)–ONLY ONE TRUTH–THE SKITTLES BLUES–LET GO, LET GOD–YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE IT–THESE BLUES ARE MINE

Gaye Adegbalola came to prominence in the blues world as a founding member of Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women, who recorded for Alligator Records over a twenty-five year span.  Gaye has been a successful solo artist for the last several years, and her latest set for Vizztone is entitled “Is It Still Good To Ya,” and features Gaye backed by three fabulous female singers who are referred to as The Wild Rutz (think “ROOTS”), and they perform the fourteen originals almost entirely a cappella, save for a few cuts with Gaye on guitar, and some sparse, well-timed percussion.

This set contains some light-hearted moments as well as some very serious ones.  Gaye has always been a torchbearer for women’s rights, feminism, and gay rights.  The other angelic voices backing her are Tanyah Cotton, Marta Fuentes, and Gloria Jackson, M. D., who all combine their voices to make this an unforgettable listen.

Starting things off is a sweet doo-wop look at our aging process, where we sometimes need reassurance from our loved ones, “Is It Still Good To Ya?” Gaye busts out her slide guitar for the tale of a red-hot lover, “Eye Candy.”  She uses a cute vocal inflection on a true “drinkin’ song”–“Fireballin.”  “Coffee Flavored Kisses” reminds us not to take for granted the simpler things in life, while another doo-wop cut, “Boy In The Boat,” could have easily been sung on a New York City street corner in the Fifties’  as in the studio.

Gaye touches on several topical subjects also.  “Sick Leave Blues” deals with the way people handle depression, while women who stand up to domestic abuse is the theme of “You Don’t Have To Take It.”

We had two favorites, too.  —-one rather humorous, the other a serious look at today’s society.  A funny look at a “love triangle” of sorts involves Gaye, her lover, and a dog, who ultimately wins out, because “The Dog Was Here First.”  And, Gaye name-checks Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and other victims of social injustices thru clever use of metaphors in “Skittles Blues.”

Gaye Adegbalola and the Wild Rutz truly do go back to the very roots of blues music with “Is It Still Good To Ya?”  Their unique approach to this great music is indeed fresh and exciting!!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society

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