Back in the summer of ‘78 someone told me that there was one hell of a harp player blowing hot and cold up and down the boulevards of Paris. “You can‘t miss hirn. He wears a floppy beret and when he takes it off he has all of his hair…his name is Andy and he‘s just arrived from the States“. Julio Finn had skipped town in a haze of Havana smoke and 1 was looking tor someone to put a harp track I was producing for an album that featured the current crop of American and British musicians hanging out in Paris. lt didn‘t take long to track Andy down and get him in front of a microphone tor, as 1 learned much later, his first taste of the recording process. He blew a stunning solo, first take. Later he told me he was real nervous and the notes were bending themselves without effort on his part. He‘s been in front of a lot of microphones and audiences since then and his playing just keeps getting better and these days the notes bend like they‘re Romanian gymnasts……
The lyrics are very interesting, subtle and strangely refreshing. They songs stay with you, especially "Vacances d'Enfer". It is a classy blues CD with excellent harp work, low down grit (like in "Ode to Muddy"), zydeco, swing and New Orleans grooves. Also the vocal performance is probably the best that Forest has ever recorded. Having read the book "Letter From Hell" made the music all that more enjoyable. As a musician and songwriter Andy J Forest keeps getting better and he stands further and further apart from the vast reservoir of blues artists on the scene today.
This recording BLUE ORLEANS has a lot of blues and a lot of New Orleans in it but is 100% me now it's up to you so.
This CD may be rockin',funked up with a little soul and just a dash of jazz.But it all boils down to three things…blues,blues and blues yours A.J.Forest
This music is dedicated to two people. The first is my Daughter who will be five years old about the time this album is released She composed "Night Song last summer while Lookingat the stars from the back seat of a car driving through the mountains of Southern Italy.She means the world to me. he other person is a man whho helped me get back my feeling deep (I like to cal‘voOdOO“) blues. as I had been straying away the past few years.Kenny "Wieload“ Banta fronted a band withl Frank Christian in Los Abgeles called "Wideload" and I had the honor of being a sideman for them the last few mounths brfore Kenny was tragically killed in a car crash. Kenny had a voice and heart as big as he was (300 Ibs). We all miss hirm. I wrote “Feeling No Pain“ for him prior to bis death. but added the last verse alfer he died.I also wrote a sang for him which was in the first person called “l‘m the Wideload“ and I couldn‘t imagine anyone else singing it so I turned it into a lnstrumental - “Wideload Boogie.“ After writing “Livin‘ Like a Gypsy“ I loaded up the car in L.A. and took a stoW trip to TucSOfl. Austin. and wound up in NeW OrleafS. which 15 where 1 first started playing in clubs at age 19. I got a gig on Bourbon Street at St “Rhythms“ thamks to my old friend Bllly Gregory. This makes four recordings Billy and I have done together‘ since 1980.
The blues cannot heip but be derivative and therein lies its attraction and challenge. i Today‘s modern blues performers and songwriters face the towering task of shaping andbending an ageold, classic form of music to their own proclivities. Sometimes that requires changing or manipulating the basics to get a “new and improved“ version and sometimes it requires just laying in the groove and letting the form determine content.Andy j. Forest chose to do the latter on this project and has produced a rootsy, traditional blues CD. At the suggestion of his record company, and after years of touring with a full-blown band, Andy heeded the call to come home, Iiterally and figuratively home to the real, down home acoustic blues, and home to New Orleans where he hired Crescent City‘s finest musicians to play and contribute to this outstanding collection of original and standard blues songs.Andy‘s formula is as follows: equal parts sweat and congeniality, a massive dose of songwriting talent, and everything liberally seasoned by his tasty virtuosity on harmonica. Lyrically, Andy‘s songs are poetic glimpes into his everyday experiences. If you‘ve ever been to Mardi Gras and experienced the ultimate “day-after-and-I-don‘t-know-where-l-am-orwhere-I‘ve-been blues‘ you know what he‘s singing about on “Hogshead Cheese.“ And you can‘t get much simpler than the sentiment expressed on “Capable“ — 1 ot things to show you and places to take ya, music so bw and love to make ya. ‘12 Bar Dive“ is a fine updated take on the blues form: contemporary road-weary lyrics riding a sparse John Lee Hooker groove…..
The blues cannot help but be derivative and therein lies its attraction and challenge. Today‘s modern blues performers and songwriters face the towering task of shaping andbending an ageold, classic form of music to their own proclivities. Sometimes that requires adding changing or manipulating the basics to get a “new and improved“ version and sometimes it requires just laying in the groove and letting the form determine content.
The Andy J. Forest Band has recorded many albums, and opened for artists like B. B. King, Albert King, Albert Collins, Canned Heat, Robert Cray, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Otis Grand, Duke Robillard and Johnny Winter. Guest artists on Andy J Forest's CDs include Marva Wright, John Mooney, and the late Willy DeVille. "GrooveRockBluesFunk'N'Roll" is a good bluesy, jazzy album with many blues jazz influences. If you like Dr. John, Rod Piazza, and the late Willy DeVille's music, you may find this obscure album of interest. The album was recorded live on 9th, 10th, & 11th March, 1989 at Il Posto, Verona, Italy. The album is live, real as played with no overdubbing. Track 10 was released on the CD as an incomplete take.
This recording is dedicated to Johnny Shines,Wayne Bennet,Albert King,Rockin'Dopsie,George Adams and Cooper Terry.