CD: 11 Songs; 45:52 Minutes
Styles: Mellow Piano Blues, Romantic Ballads
Piano blues is one of the most underrated, underrepresented categories of its parent genre. When most people – especially novices – think of blues, they almost always picture a guitar in their mind. The ivories upon which musicians ‘tinkle’ are mostly reserved for classical compositions or jazz. Nevertheless, their role should not be ignored in this magazine’s favorite subject.
Deanna Bogart, originally from Detroit, knows this well: that the marriage of blues and her instrument of choice is “Just a Wish Away”. Her style is more laid-back and mellow than other boogie-woogie specialists. Several of her eleven songs might be considered romantic ballads instead of pure blues or even pure piano blues.
Seven of the songs are originals, with the other four being covers. Accompanying Deanna are three guitar players, three bass players, four drummers, one percussionist, one pedal steel/lap steel guitarist, and the Bonerama Horns (Mark Mullins, Craig Klein, and Greg Hicks). The following selections are the most traditional of all:
Track 01: “If It’s Gonna Be Like This” – Derwin “Big D” Perkins and Cris Jacobs take the guitar lead in the opener, a throwdown rock-and-roll extravaganza: “I was looking at the writing on the ceiling where I lay. Never read the walls; they didn’t seem to have that much to say. One more story to reminisce – It just might be over if it’s gonna be like this.” Also featured are bassist Charlie Wooton, drummer Terrence Houston, and Marty Rifkin on pedal/lap steel.
Track 02: “Fine By Me Good Bayou” – With a quirky intro sounding like it’s from the latest popular video game, this is a salute to love and Louisiana. “Hey, you, what is it that we do? Laying low: something only we knew. Say it ain’t so; got a little touch of voodoo. Joie de vivre and a mite taboo – it’s fine by me if it’s good bayou.” Cris Jacobs provides both guitar and vocals, as he did on the previous song, and the Bonerama Horns are hotter than summer.
Track 09: “Conversing with Lincoln” – Co-written by Deanna Bogart and Charlie Wooton, this boogie is where the title of the album comes from. Propelled by a bouncy bassline and Caribbean-style bongo drums, number nine is charming and wistful: “Wanna hike to the summit for the first drop of the day, where every dream spillin’ from it is just a wish away?” Dance to this tune while an orange summer sun sinks into the ocean – or the cornfield or mountains.
Deanna’s vocals are rather flat and understated, but that matches the atmosphere of this CD. She’s not aiming to sound raucous or raunchy, but relaxing. For more of her albums over the past decade, check out her extensive professional website.