ANTHONY GERACI AND THE BOSTON BLUES ALL-STARS
"Fifty shades of blue"
Delta Groove Rec. (Usa) - 2015
Everything I do is wrong/Fifty shades of blue/Sad but true/Heard that Tutwiler whistle blow/If you want to get to heaven/Don't keep me waiting/The blues never sleeps/Too late for coffee/Diamonds and pearls/Cry a million tears/In the quicksand, again/Your turn to cry/Blues for David Maxwell
Anthony Geraci is an excellent pianist with such a great experience. His artistic biography starts with a formal musical education, consequent to a precocious attitude for the piano, acquired at the very famous Berklee College of Music in Boston. From there, his career has brought him to record first with some blues giants such as Muddy Waters, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Rogers, Hubert Sumlin and then to be the former member of both the Broadcasters (Ronnie Earl’s band) and the Bluetones (harp master Sugar Ray Norcia’s band); and he’s still part of this last band after forty straight years of uninterrupted militancy.
With his Fifty Shades Of Blue Geraci signs his first solo effort supported, as the subtitles correctly declare, by an authentic all-stars band that includes Sugar Ray Norcia, Darrell Nulish, Michelle "Evil Gal" Wilson and Toni Lynn Washington to share the vocal parts; plus, the Bluetones almost in its entirety with Mike Welch on guitar and Michael "Mudcat" Ward on double-bass and Neil Gouvin to replace, only in a couple of tunes, Marty Richards on drums. The result is blue in its fifty shades really. Geraci, as said, doesn't sing and, after all, it would not be the need of it, considering his fluid, orchestral piano playing and the presence of all those good singers, each one with a strong, peculiar voice so that every single tune seems to be intelligently given to the singer who's better fit for. So, the starting minor key Everything I Do Is Wrong just as almost all of the other blues “shades” present in this cd (The Blues Never Sleeps and Cry A Million Tears) are assigned to the peremptory and authoritative Darrell Nulish’s voice; the most colloquial, crepuscular atmospheres (Don't Keep Me Waiting, Your Turn To Cry or the delicious country song Too Late For Coffee), as those more ’50s Chicago blues oriented (Sad But True, Heard That Tutwiler Whistle Blow) are faced by the sure and creamy Sugar Ray Norcia’s crooning blend. The brown, shaded, Toni Lynn Washington’s deep contralto voice just perform the stylish Diamonds And Pearls. In a program made of all songs written by Anthony Geraci, there is also room for a couple of instrumental that set his playing right under the spot: the shuffle In The Quicksand, Again and the conclusive Blues For David Maxwell, touching, devotee tribute to another great pianist recently passed. A special mention goes to Mike Welch and his deep, vibrating, intense playing that leads to extreme developments Otis Rush’s lessons mainly.
Lovers of blues piano and all of its stylistic facets will find, here, so much material to satisfy their own refined palate. G.R.