Mindi Abair And The Boneshakers review….September 16, 2017….

MINDI ABAIR AND THE BONESHAKERS

THE EASTWEST SESSIONS

PRETTY GOOD FOR A GIRL RECORDS

VINYL–NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL–PLAY TO WIN–PRETTY GOOD FOR A GIRL (FEAT. JOE BONAMASSA)–LET ME HEAR IT FROM YOU (FEAT. SWEET PEA ATKINSON)–LIVE MY LIFE–FREEDOM–HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY–SHE DON’T CARE NO MORE (FEAT. FANTASTIC NEGRITO)–DONE ME WRONG–I LOVE TO PLAY THE SAXOPHONE

Mindi Abair is one of the most versatile sax players on the planet.   With her ability to easily play blues, funk, jazz, and, even a bit of country. you almost expect her to leap tall buildings in a single bound, too!  Her exquisite talent is all over  the eleven cuts  of her latest set with The Boneshakers, “The Estwest Sessions,” named for that legendary Hollywood studio.

Mindi and the Boneshakers have been basically on the road, touring incessantly behind their last set, the very well-received “Live In Seattle” from September of 2015.  Along with Mindi, there is Randy Jacobs on guitar, Rodney Lee on keys, Derek Frank on bass, Third Richardson on drums, and guest vocalist Sweet Pea Atkinson.

The set opens with the sound of a needle touching down on an LP, and is a stone blast of funk, “just like a needle on Vinyl.”  Randy  lights the fire with some guitar spunk that plays over Mindi’s vocal on her ode to survival in the music business, “knock me down, I get right back up again,”  “cause I Play To Win.”  She continues in that vein with a spit in the collective eye of all her critics and naysayers over a killer slow-blues groove that proves she’s waaaay more than just “Pretty Good For A Girl.”  And, to further set things straight, Blues Award winner Joe Bonamassa adds guitar to this one!  More celebs step up to the mic as 2017 Grammy winner for Contemporary Blues album, Francisco Negrito,  teams up with Mindi for a midnight ride down to the Crossroads on the brooding, “She Don’t Cry No More.”

We had two favorites, too.  Another fine shot of funk is Mindi’s ode to “holding my ground,” because “no one said it was gonna be easy,” “Had To Learn The Hard Way.”  And, she closes the set with her breezy, country-tinged autobiography, “I Love To Play The Saxophone–the sound of the sax always brings me home!”

Funk master Bobby Rush himself compared Mindi’s sax work to that of the great harp men, using her sax to play the lead lines as well as the fills.  She’s jammed with the Roots on “Jimmy Kimmel–Live!,” and, we are gonna take it up to the next level.  If we may be so bold as to paraphrase the Godfather Of Soul, Mindi Abair ain’t nothin’ but a stone cold “SAX MACHINE,” and, with The Boneshakers,  The Eastwest Session” solidifies it!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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