Rae Gordon Band – Wrong Kind Of Love
Rae Gordon may have taken third place in the 2017 International Blues Challenge but she is a winner when it comes to serving up fantastic vocals and original blues. Her powerful voice expresses a wide range of emotions and really stands out. Her band is equally up to the task, providing outstanding support musically and backing her vocals. Representing the Cascade Blues Association, Oregon’s Gordon has gotten her name out there with her fine showing at the IBC and also appears regularly up and down the west cost of the US and Canada.
This is Rae’s fourth album and all the songs are originals. Six songs were written by keyboardist Pat McDougall, three were co-written by Rae and Pat, and the other one was written by Portland area guitar player Rod Furlott. Her 7-piece Band is featured here on the album; they are Rae on lead vocals, Kivett Bednar on guitar and vocals, Pat McDougall on keyboards and vocals, Ed Pierce on drums, Joseph Conrad on bass, Allan Kalik on trumpet (and he does the horn arrangements), and Scott Franklin on saxophone. Six songs were written by Pat McDougall, three co-written by Rae and Pat, and one by Portland guitarist Rod Furlott.
The album opens with “Comin” Back For More,”vocals a jumping and swinging cut with Rae’s vocals front and center. The guitar groove sets a funky pace and the horn section does a spectacular job. Things slow down a bit with “Don’t Look Now,” a slower blues ballad with Rae testifying and the band aptly supporting. Piano and horns are right up there with her and the band backs her well vocally. “How You Gonna” continues with a tender pacing and phrasing as Gordon emotes and asks her lover how they are going to tell her they are leaving even though she still loves them. The band helps set the mood with thoughtful fills and an impressive organ solo. The pace quickens with “Might As Well Be You,” another swinging song with a great groove. Nice instrumental work including a great sax solo are featured here. “Sea Of Blue” is a somber cut with Rae testifying how she’s “drowning in the deep, darl sea of blue.” The guitar solo is thoughtful and quite impressive.
The title track opens the latter half of the CD. The song opens with some distorted guitar, then the organ joins in and then the horns appear before Gordon begins emphatically singing and stating, “That man had the wrong kind of love!” Bednar’s guitar stings as do Gordon’s vocals. “How Much I Love You So” is a pretty cut with piano up front in support as Gordon croons of her love. The band is stalwart in their support here and throughout. Bednar showcases his guitar skills again in another fine solo, too. There is an air of intrigue to “Got To Have You” with some soulful trumpet work; beautifully done! “Last Call” is a dark cut with nice sax and trumpet work along with Gordon’s vocals as she stresses that folks need to leave the bar and the annoying person she’s singing to needs to leave now, too. Gordon belts out the vocals with passion. The CD finishes up with “Get Right With The World,” a mid-tempo blues rocker with a nice little driving beat and everyone filling in well. The organ solo is cool and the song wraps up a great CD of new tunes.
I enjoyed Gordon and her band at the IBC and I also really enjoyed this recording. She is a powerful vocalist and her band is top notch. The songs showed a nice variety of tempos and themes and all the performances were great. I highly recommend this one!