Thursday, December 27, 2012

Recorded Live From The Throckmorton Theatre reviewed by Rick Davis

Recorded Live From The Throckmorton Theatre
The Blues Broads
Delta Groove Music, Inc.
CD 10 tracks, DVD 11 tracks

The Blues Broads represent more than two centuries of expertise as singers of blues, country, gospel, and rock. Collectively they have been referred to as a "super group" of roots music. Individually, Dorothy Morrison, Tracy Nelson, Annie Sampson, Deanna Bogart, and Angela Strehli have experienced successful careers in the music industry. Each one brings a unique vocal style to the group, bringing unsurpassed talent to the stage.

Dorothy Combs Morrison, a gospel music singer from Longview Texas, began sing-ing at the age of 13. She gained exposure as a singer in church events, bringing her talents center stage and gaining her notice in the San Francisco and Oakland Bay area. She joined the Edwin Hawkins Singers in the '60s and was lead vocalist on the Grammy Award winning, Hall of Fame hymn, "Oh Happy Day."

Annie Sampson developed her unique approach to music singing in a Bay area church and school choirs. After securing a role in the musical Hair at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco for a period of time, she joined the popular rock group Stoneground for a series of national and international tours.

Tracy Nelson grew up in Madison, Wisconsin where she sang folk music with The Fuller's Wood Singers and was lead singer in a band called The Fabulous Imitations. In 1964 Nelson recorded with harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite as a guest in her backup band. The album was recorded in Chicago where she met blues legends Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Otis Spann. She moved to San Francisco in 1966 where her band Mother Earth played the Fillmore Auditorium, along with the bands like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix.

Angela Strehli from Lubbock, Texas first learned bass and harmonica before be-coming a vocalist in the '60s. In her final year in college, she formed the Fabulous Rockets with Lewis Cowdrey. After that she sang backup for James Polk and the Brothers and then worked with The Storm which was formed by Cowdrey and Jimmy Vaughan. By 1972, she was a member of Southern Feeling with W. C. Clark and Denny Freeman. Her recording career began in 1986 with Stranger Blues (EP), which launched Clifford Antone's record label. She has since been on six more albums.

On Recorded Live From The Throckmorton Theatre, The Blues Broads' new release, the members of the group complement each other extremely well on stage. The new release contains the show at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley, California, November 4, 2011 on CD and DVD. Included on the CD are all of the tunes that are on the DVD with the exception of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" (Bob Dylan) performed by Annie Sampson on the DVD and complimented with a saxophone solo by Deanna Bogart. Sampson takes her powerful vocals to a whole different level on this number. The legendary singers take turns on center stage, while the other four provide backup vocals throughout the show. Tracy and Angela trade lead vocals on Tracy's tune "Livin' The Blues." Tracy takes the lead on her song "Walk Away" belting out the blues with her powerful, soulful vocals that only she can deliver, with Gary Vogensen providing lead guitar solos. The lead vocals change to Annie Sampson on "Bring Me Your Love." The incredible gospel voice of Dorothy Morrison will send you reeling on the Ike and Tina Turner tune "River Deep, Mountain High," The Spinners hit "Mighty Love," and her own number "Oh Happy Day." The fabulous Texas blues artist, Angela Strehli, is stellar on her classic blues tunes "Two Bit Texas Town" and "Blue Highway." Morrison, Nelson, Sampson, and Bogart share the vocals on the tune "It Won't Be Long." All five singers harmonize making "Jesus, I'll Never Forget" the highlight of the show.

This one unforgettable night with five of the best female singers brought together for one fabulous performance. It is a live concert that can truly be enjoyed for years to come.

Reviewed by Rick Davis

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