Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Brick Fields -- "Gospel Blue"
Brick Fields are an Eureka Springs, Arkansas-based band combining elements of blues, jazz and gospel into a remarkable roots music. The members are Rachel Fields Brick on vocals, acoustic guitar and flute; Larry Brick on guitar and backing vocals; Randy Fairbanks on keyboards; Johnny Ray on bass; Casey Terry on sax and Caleb Bomar on drums. Rachel and Larry met and started the duo in 2007, forming a partnership based around music and their Christian faith. The band was fleshed out in 2010 and won the Ozarks Blues Society of NWA Blues Challenge and competed in the 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
Gospel Blue contains nine original songs and a jazzy, bluesy cover of "Amazing Grace." Things open up with "On The Vine," which is a showcase for Fields' voice. She has a big but gloriously controlled alto, with a wide range, always deep in the pocket and wonderfully supported by the passion of Brick's guitar. Fields adds flute to the slow minor blues of "Cryin." "In The Light Of Love" is an up-tempo gospel number spotlighting Brick's jazzy guitar. "Hopelessly Addicted" is an old-school acoustic blues ballad, and probably Field's most effective vocal. Here her voice blends beautifully with Brick's guitar and Terry's sax to form a transcendent musical moment. "Talk About The Weather" features a sweet sax turn by Terry, along with good vocal interplay between Fields and backup singer Rain Equine. "How Long" is a sweet love ballad that could be addressed to a lover or the Creator. Again here Brick and Terry shine on guitar and sax. "These Are The Days" is an upbeat R&B number, and then the rest of the cd shifts towards bluesy gospel with "Go With The Soul," "Lord I'm Coming Home," and "Amazing Grace" wrapping things up.
Brick Fields are a welcome addition to the blues world, especially as a vehicle for the voice of Rachel Fields Brick. She stands out, worthy to be compared to Kris Schnebelen of Trampled Under Foot. If you are a fan of female vocalists and good guitar work, (and who isn't?) you will like this cd. I like this cd. Good job Brick Fields!
This cd is self-produced. You can see Brick Fields live at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena Arkansas on October 8, 2011, and you can buy this cd at http://www.brickfieldsmusic.com/