The Blues Got Soul by Jean Shy & The Shy Guys

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The Blues Got Soul by Jean Shy & The Shy Guys

Postby TAW777 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:36 am

I'm sure that being nominated for a Blues Music Award in 2009 in the "Soul Blues Female Artist Of the Year" category was quite an exciting achievement for Jean Shy. However, when you're someone who at the age of twelve was signed to Chess Records and you're enjoying a career that involves being an acclaimed R&B, Jazz, Rock, Soul, Gospel and Blues Singer, an Accomplished Songwriter, a Music Producer, and an Actress as well, exciting achievements are quite commonplace.

"The Blues Got Soul" is Jean Shy's latest of many releases that crisscross several genres. On this project - which was mostly recorded live at the "Open Air Festival" in Duisburg, Germany - Jean, on vocals, is joined by: Klaus Zimmerman and Martin Hoette on Guitars; Frieso Luecht, Sascha Kuehn and Volker Wendland on Keyboards; Bernhard Spiess and Hendrik Smock on Drums; Peter Bruemmer and Michael "Schnuff" Strohm on Bass; Bernd Winterschladen on saxophone; George Mahr on B3 Hammond Organ: and, along with Michael and Jean, Ruth Bongartz on Background Vocals..

The opening track, "I Wouldn't Wanna Be You", is - in every sense of the word - powerful. Jean is amazingly strong on the vocals and yet, I got the feeling she wasn't even reaching all that deep just yet. Reinforced by a potent rhythm section and solid guitar leads made this one of the disc highlights.

"Unchain My Heart" seems to have unchained the bass player. On this very funky number, Peter is certainly at disc's - and possibly even career - best. Of course when there's funk involved, fierce sax riffs can't be far behind, and Bernd does get his share in. Vocally, this had to be one of the songs responsible for that BMA nomination.

It's this writers opinion that one of the most beautiful songs ever written is "Song For You", by Leon Russell. It's also this writers opinion that this was an absolutely splendid version of that song. Jean, Frieso and Bernd were flawless on vocals, piano and sax.

"One Day" is one of several Jean Shy originals and ya didn't need to read that to know it. Staying close to her Gospel roots, you can always count on hearing some spirituality coming from this lady -and this is one of a few. Great lyrics, vocals, background vocals and organ highlight this one.

One listen to this track will leave you with "Precious Memories" of what Jean Shy is all about. Yeah she can boogie, yeah she can rock and yeah she can jazz it up, but these slow and soulful ballads are her signature, and they're the main reason for people saying she has a "Golden Throat".

Eleven minute tracks usually feature everyone in the band getting in some highlights, and they all do on this version of Muddy's "Rock Me". However, the mesmeric guitar playing runs away with this one. Klauss and Martin were beyond amazing. Great stuff right here.

Other tracks on "The Blues Got Soul" are: "Livin' The Blues", "Never Loved A Man", "I Can't Save You (From Yourself)", "We Like The Same Thangs", "Old Time Rock 'n Roll" and "Amazing Grace".

Check out Jean Shy & The Shy Guys - who by the way, didn't sound all that shy to me - by going to http://www.jeanshy.com. Once there, you know the drill - buy something and tell them the Blewzzman sent ya.

c Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @ http://www.Mary4Music.com Contributing writer for http://www.Blueswax.com
posted by Tina Walker with permission of Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro.

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