Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers, No Good Deed, Pretty Good for a Girl Records
Mindi Abair Abair is perhaps best known as an award-winning saxophone player. She’s played with bands like Aerosmith and Duran Duran and has been the featured saxophonist on American Idol. She and her Boneshakers band – Randy Jacobs on guitar, Rodney Lee on keys, Ben White on bass and Third Richardson on drums – have just released this album of ten songs, half of which are originals and the other half covers of songs by Etta James, Young Rascals, Tina Turner, Storyville and Melody Gardot. It follows up the bands multiple award-winning album and blues chart-topping album The East West Sessions.
It’s a fine album of joyous, upbeat, full-production blues rock, with a dollop of soul and funk here and there. The musicianship from the whole band is outstanding, the choice of songs interesting, the arrangements fabulous and the whole thing make s for a hugely enjoyable summery record. Abair is a classically trained musician, with a solid jazz background before converting to blues and rock, and boy, can she blow that horn! Her incendiary, rockin’ sax style is very much in evidence throughout, particularly in the title track and Baby Get it On, but we get a fuller appreciation of the full range of her skills on songs like Good Day for the Blues and Who’s Gonna Save My Soul. She’s a terrific singer, as well, as she tackles the Young Rascals’ You Better Run, her own The Sweetest Lies, or Melody Gardot’s Bad News, showing she is equally at home in raucous rocky numbers or more late-night jazzy blues.
There’s some nice six string work for guitar fans from Randy Jacobs as he lets rip on No Good Deed and Movin’ On. This is a band with a huge amount of experience, going in a direction that clearly plays to the individuals’ strengths and you get a sense that they’re all really enjoying the ride.
And an electrifying and captivating ride it is, whether it’s the rockers You Gotta Run and Baby Get It On, the funky Mess I’m In or the oh-so-soulful Sweetest Lies and Good Day for the Blues. Perhaps the most enjoyable of this excellent set is Storyville’s Good Day for the Blues which becomes a great deal more breezy in the Boneshakers’ hands and a great vehicle for Abair’s virtuosic saxophone.
Hugely enjoyable album from a band that hopefully we’ll hear a lot more from.