Classic Rock’s The Blues Magazine – Issue 11 Jan/Feb 2014

Blues chanteuse with whip-crack band let loose some jazzy interludes.

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion and the 100 Club would have been a perfect fit in the pre punk, jazz and blues era.

Faced with the problem of putting across their subtle brand of blues after the barn burning, powerhouse performance of the Billy Walton Band, they simply play to their strengths and let Zoe’s expressive voice fill the room with songs that are frequently stretched to the max by a band that loves to jam.

As a six foot blond clad in black with bling, Zoe may be the natural focus of attention, but the 6 piece Blue Commotion are a confident band in their own right with impressive material.

They rock out on The Blues Don’t Scare Me, the title track of their current album, and offer us an object lesson in space and time on the magnificent I Believe In You, before switching gears again on the swinging shuffle Too Darn Rich To Be Happy.

Everything gels nicely, as Zoe soars on Lowell Fulson’s mellifluous Reconsider Baby and though her precise phrasing momentarily gets lost in a mushy mix on Liberated Lady, she rises again on Nina Simone’s Buck.  Si Gerano’s harp provides the perfect foil for her jazzy phrasing on a defining moment, in which they draw from the past to revitalise the present.

  • Words by: Pete Feenstra

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