CD Review|Debbie Bond – Enjoy The Ride: Shoals Sessions
Album | Enjoy The Ride
Artist | Debbie Bond
Label | Blues Root Productions
Genre | Blues
Debbie Bond is often dubbed ‘The Alabama Blues Queen’ such is her connection with the music of the Southern state she calls home. She is actually an adopted Alabaman – having been born in California and then spending much of her childhood in England. She started playing in a band as a teenager, and made her debut on the Blues scene at a gig in Brighton while a student at the University of Sussex.
Her passion for the Blues and it’s history, took her to Alabama in 1979 and she immersed herself in the music, playing with luminaries like Johnny Shines and Eddie Kirkland. She spent years interviewing and recording a fast disappearing generation of Alabama Blues artists and created a unique personal archive in the process. There is no doubt that she genuinely FEELS the music – she knows its history and understands its roots. Her new album ‘Enjoy The Ride’ is testimony to that heritage, blending six originals and five interpretations of songs by trailblazers such as Kirkland, Willie King and Ann Peebles.
Debbie wrote the original songs and co-produced the album with her musician husband, ‘Radiator’ Rick Asherton (a Londoner). It was engineered by Billy Lawson at the Big Star Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals.
The opening track which gives the album its name, is an instant favourite, its philosophical lyrics imbued with funky guitar licks. Eddie Kirkland’s ‘Rainbow’ is given a haunting re-working, and provides an opportunity for Rachel & Carla Edwards to shine on backing vocals. The arrangements and production are superlative on the swinging ‘Humble Pie’, with masterful Hammond organ- playing from Rick augmenting Debbie’s distinctive vocal range.
‘Enjoy The Ride’ features some suburb musicianship from Dave Crenshaw on drums and percussion; and Brad Guin on horns, but the album also offers are guest spots from guitarist Will McFarlane (who spent six years with Bonnie Raitt’s band), and legendary Muscle Shoals veteran Spooner Oldham on organ – and then there’s Rick’s outstanding harmonica playing,
The final track ‘Train Song’ is a stripped down tour de force. Debbie and Rick played it live in the studio cappella-style when they came on Soul of The Blues last summer, and to hear it now in all its Muscle Shoals glory is a real treat.
What a journey!
“Enjoy The Ride”