Andra Faye and Scott Ballantine review…August 1, 2015…

ANDRA FAYE AND SCOTT BALLANTINE

COULDA WOULDA SHOULDA

VIZZTONE  VT-AFSB-01

WALKIN HOME TO YOU–CRACKHEADED MAN–IT’S A NEW DAY–TAKE IT SLOW–BLUES FOR A CRAPPY DAY–TOO MUCH BUTT (FOR ONE PAIR OF JEANS)–ONE DREAM AT A TIME–COULDA WOULDA SHOULDA–STANDING IN THE NEED OF PRAYER–WORKIN MAMA IS GONE–FEELS LIKE RAIN–WHEN YOU GONNA STOP YOUR DRINKIN?–CLYDE

Andra Faye gained notoriety as a member of Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women, known for her brilliant blues mandolin and violin stylings.  Scott Ballantine made his mark as a guitarist who embraces all genres’, and plays them all exceedingly well.  For their second collaboration, entitled “Coulda Woulda Shoulda,”  for Vizztone, they combine their talents for eight originals and five covers that showcases not only their stringed and vocal abilities, but their strong songwriting as well.

Andra and Scott play all the instruments on this predominantly-acoustic set (save for a few cuts with Andra on amplified bass), and they kick things off with Andra’s fiddle paired with Scott’s guitar on the lively “Walkin’ Home To You.”  Scott adds duet vocals on the tale of “layin’ down your troubles” because “It’s A New Day!”  That feeling of redemption resurfaces a few cuts later with “One Dream At A Time,” and Andra goes into torch-song mode for a request for her lover to “turn on the stereo” and just “Take It Slow.”  Scott takes the lead vocal with Andra backing him at the chorus on the traditional gospel of “Standing In The Need Of Prayer.”

The set had plenty of light-hearted moments, too.  The title cut takes a humorous look at life’s chances and consequences, while Andra is asked “When You Gonna Quit Your Drinkin,” and her answer is simple—“when there’s a better way to get that good whiskey down!”

We had two favorites, too.  Scott’s shimmering guitar leads are reminiscent of a brewing storm on the John Hiatt classic, “Feels Like Rain.”  And, be it Valenti or Calvin Klein or whoever the designer might be, Andra just has “Too Much Butt (For One Pair Of Jeans)!”  This one is playful, flirty, and a heckuva lot of fun!

“Coulda Woulda Shoulda” brings together two great talents in the blues world—Andra Faye and Scott Ballantine.  Their music fits as easily as a hand in a glove, and this set’s vintage vibe makes it special, indeed!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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