Mapleshade

Midnight Blue

MIDNIGHT BLUE:

Inner City Blues

These guys take me back to my roots in the DC music scene. They play real-deal soul jazz, the stuff that was bubbling out of the clubs on Rhode Island Ave. where I taught myself to record in the ’70s. Singers Artie and Selena are the duo up front. The pair’s trash talking could make a tomato blush; their harmonies make the angels wanna strut. The band is a who’s who of great R&B sidemen, featuring Wilson Pickett’s trumpeter and his organist, “Groove” Holmes’ guitarist and James Brown’s drummer. And let me tell you, this band is tight (they’ve toured together for 15 years). Midnight Blue combines urban blues, organ trio jazz and R&B. I hear touches of Marvin Gaye, Dinah Washington, Smokey Robinson and Ruth Brown, but without a trace of imitation. Tunes here include “What You Won’t Do For Love”, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “My One and Only Love” and the title track. (#09352)

Midnight Blue:
Selena McDay, vocals
Curtis Pope, trumpet
Artie Sherman, vocals/Hammond B-3
Rudy Turner, electric guitar
Robert “Mousey” Johnson, drums
Mark Stewart, drums

 

TRACK LISTING:

1.
What You Won’t Do For Love 6:30 - Listen to Sample
2.
Ain’t No Sunshine 5:06 (B.Withers) - Listen to Sample
3.
Red Top/Goin’ To Chicago 6:27 (W.C.Basie/J.Rushing) - Listen to Sample
4.
My One And Only Love 7:58 (G.B.Wood)
5.
Inner City Blues 5:41 (M.Gaye)
6.
Hard Times 6:21 (P.F.Mitchell)
7.
Suicide Is Painless 6:31 (M.Altman/J.Mandel)
8.
Heartbreak 4:53
9.
Bring It On Home To Me 5:52
10.
You’re Mine (We Belong Together) 5:20
  Total Time: 63:04

 

IF YOU ENJOYED INNER CITY BLUES, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT:

 

REVIEWS:

reviewed by Craig Fenemor

Man is this good. I mean really, really good. Buy two because you'll wear the first one out. Sometimes you find one of those rare commodities - great music startlingly well recorded and boy, oh boy, this is just such an album.

Let me calm down a little. Midnight Blue are trumpeter Curtis Pope, Artie Sherman is on the B3 and he shares the vocal duties with Selena McDay. Add in drums and guitar and you've got one very, very tight R&B/soul band. This is music that could come straight out of the late 60's/early 70's such is the feel and style these guys have.

Upbeat and down they put it together. Ain't No Sunshine, Inner City Blues, What You Won't Do For Love, My One And Only Love, they're all here and presented with passion. When Selena cranks it up on the medley of Red Top/Goin' To Chicago/Kansas City it's impossible not to be jumping out of your seat. Listen to all the years working together when Artie and Selena are singin' up a storm on Sam Cookes Bring It On Home To Me.

Following on from my review of Mapleshade's Music Festival last month I have to say that this recording is one of the most live sounding I've ever heard. Curtis Pope's trumpet just rips the air at times and the impact of the drums puts you right in the front row.

Okay, I can't say much more. This is authentic, infectious R&B/Soul that will bring a huge smile to your face. It's the real deal folks - get in quick.

July/August 03