Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Foolproof reviewed by Lisa Palmino

Yvonne Schmidt
Wild in Blue Productions
10 tracks

Buffalo’s fabulous Miss Y is back with a new CD sure to please all blues lovers, some who love country, and even gospel fans.  Her first release since the soulful Nothing but Blue, Foolproof is sure to be a party favorite. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Tom Hambridge (who worked on the last album), the 10-track compilation offers hard-driving danceable blues, modern country with a twist, and slow deep blues ballads.

The first track starts off with “The Right Track,” a full-bodied tune by Hambridge, Jim Lauderdale and Gary Nicholson. The band really gets off to “the right start” here, with Max Abrams’ horns and plenty of keys to get everyone ready for some more blues.

Yvonne’s sound is better and lovelier than ever, her smooth alto voice taking command without getting throaty or overdone. Bonnie Raitt’s influence is clear on the vocals, and Miss Y even added one of her songs to the mix, “Give it Up,” made wildly popular by the Dixie Chicks.
“What You Gonna Do About Me?” is pure Chicago blues. Featuring lots of easy vibrato in minor, Schmidt and Rob McNelly’s guitar dominate the ballad while the band fills in the background deep in the pocket.

Probably the most fun song on the CD is “Daddy is a Rocker,” a country tune with lots of blues influences about a daddy trying to make it in the business.  Hambridge nails the high hat properly as Miss Y tells the story about the dad who gets to “drink on the job” and is always trying to “get that sound.”

She said, “Right around the corner, I swear there’s fortune and fame/sooner or later we’ll all know his name/turn on the radio and you’ll hear his song/see my daddy he’s a rocker and we all play along/now see my daddy likes to rock, he never punches a clock he never like to piss and moan….see my daddy is a rocker, he never turns anything down.”

The song is hit material, and Yvonne sounds exceptionally cool on this one.
Hambridge adds vibraphone, percussion and background vocals to the CD; Ann and Regina McCrary provide the subtle background vocals; Tom MacDonald plays all bass tracks; and Kevin McKendree plays piano, B-3 organ and the Wurlitzer.

Covers include a terrific rendition of “Born Under a Bad Sign, featuring Chris Tuttle on keyboards, and “Come to Mama,” a perfect choice for Miss Y’s sultry attitude and sound.

Another highlight of the album is lucky (or holy) #7, “Thank the Lord.” This simple, slow blues/gospel Hambridge original showcases the three ladies, Yvonne, Ann and Regina. It is light and uplifting as Miss Y sings “I thank the Lord for letting me stay around a little longer/Lord knows I love the life I live.”

Daddy might be a rocker, but “Mama” Yvonne definitely got “just the right sound” this time. Foolproof is a testament to the breadth and depth of what is included in blues music and all of its influences, plus a bevy of talented music veterans to make it real.

Put out by Schmidt’s own label, Wild in Blue Productions, Foolproof was recorded at Vibe 56 Recording and mixed at Insanery Recording Studio, both in Nashville, Tennessee. Even the CD cover is eye-catching, with three photos of the diva in summer garb and a convertible, stone archway and forest in the background.
Most of all, though, Foolproof is a very fun 40-minutes worth of listening material. I can’t wait to hear it live.
For more information, visit .

Reviewed by Lisa Palmeno

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