Blue Largo review…November 18, 2015…

ERIC LEIBERMAN AND

ALICIA ARAGON

BLUE LARGO

SING YOUR OWN SONG

COFFEEGRINDS MUSIC

WALKIN’ ON A TIGHTROPE–KINDNESS LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING–SING YOUR OWN SONG–TEARS OF JOY–GUITAR RHUMBA–PRISONER OF THE NIGHT–EVENING–NOTHIN TO PROVE–YOU KNOW MY LOVE–OKIE DOKIE STOMP–ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS–I NEED YOU SO BAD–REMINGTON RIDE–SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD

California-based Blue Largo consists of vocalist Alicia Aragon and guitarist Eric Leiberman, and they’ve been rockin’ up and down the West Coast since they started playing together in 1999.  They also released a couple of well-received albums in 2000 and 2002, but had to cease touring and recording after Eric contracted a rare neurological disorder in 2006, which affected his coordination in his right hand.  It took him nearly nine years, but he battled his affliction, and, like a whole lot of us, overcame it, and was playing well enough in May and July of this year to record “Sing Your Own Song”

Blue Largo has always preferred to spread the sounds of Louis Jordan, Billie Holiday, and others from the Forties and Fifties, as opposed to creating their own material.  However, during Eric’s recovery, he used his music as a healing poultice, and wrote several originals, seven of which show up on this fine set, produced by Nathan James, who adds guitar on a few cuts.  Check out Alicia’s torch-y, jazzy vocals on one of Eric’s originals, where “I don’t need no money nor accolades, all I need is your “Kindness, Love and Understanding!” It features an extended solo from Eric as well.

During his recovery stint, Eric had to “re-learn” how to play guitar, virtually one note at a time.  On this set, his perseverance pays off in the form of three difficult instrumentals, Earl Hooker’s “Guitar Rhumba,” Gatemouth’s signature “Okie Dokie Stomp,” and one of our favorite instrumentals of all-time that we first heard by Freddie King, the rolling “Remington Ride,”  which Eric blazes thru with ease and authority.

We had several other favorites as well.  Alicia gets right down to brass tacks and is “Going down to Louisiana to get me a mojo hand” in “Prisoner Of The Night.”  Her spirit-filled vocal turns the title cut into a full-on gospel shouter, and she and Eric close the set on a joyous, Delta-riffic acoustic note, with a playful read of the Sheikhs’ “Sittin On Top Of The World.”

We suppose that Eric Leiberman must feel that he, too, is sitting on top of the world after his physical struggles.  He and the extremely-talented Alicia Aragon, as Blue Largo, bring a feeling of hope and redemption to this material, making “Sing Your Own Song” a set to be savored, as a fine wine!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

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