The Alexis P. Suter Band – Love The Way You Roll | Album Review

alexispsutercdThe Alexis P. Suter Band – Love The Way You Roll

American Showplace Music

12 songs – 47 minutes

The Alexis P Suter Band is a five piece ensemble fronted by the eponymous Ms Suter. With a growing reputation for incendiary live performances, particularly in the North-Eastern USA where they are based, Love The Way You Roll – the APSB’s sixth album – should be the catalyst that helps introduce the band to a wider audience.

Love The Way You Roll is fine slab of modern guitar-led electric blues-rock. Opening with the riff-based “Nuthin’ In The World”, Jimmy Bennett’s heavily over-driven guitar has echoes of Hendrix in his soloing style, particularly in the outro solo as he bends and releases his strings with abandon.

The most distinctive aspect of the ASPB however is Suter’s deep, husky, powerhouse of a voice. She began singing in her church choir in Brooklyn as a four-year-old, and the gospel influence is still evident in her tone, particularly on ballads such as “Anything”, which also features some lovely organ from John Ginty, or “Waiting”. Blessed with a deep bass/baritone voice, Suter is a highly impressive singer, capable of convincingly conveying deep emotional turmoil, whether it be the pure lust of “Big Mama” or the anger and resignation of “You Don’t Move Me No More.” She is well-supported throughout by Bennett’s warm, choppy guitar playing and the solidly swinging rhythm section of Peter Bennett (bass) and Ray Grappone (drums/percussion), together with Vicki Bell’s voice (which adds lovely touches to songs like “Hang On” and “Them Days”).

Of the 12 songs on the album, various members of the band contribute 10 of the songs in different writing combinations. They cover a wide range of styles, from the funky blues of “It Ain’t Over” (with the memorably assertive lyrical punchline at the end of each verse that “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings”) to the R’n’B/pop ballad of “Them Days” and the Black Crowes-esque “Hang On.” The memorable title track features a rumbling bass and drum backing with distant and discordant slide guitar framing Suter’s voice of abandon.

The two covers on the album are Big Mama Thornton’s classic “You Don’t Move Me No More” (which is given a rock and roll re-interpretation with excellent jungle drums from Grappone) and Slim Harpo’s “Shake Your Hips”. The one-chord groove of the latter can be tricky to nail convincingly, but the APSB turn in a fine modern version, with Suter and Bell’s voices combining magically.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Ben Elliott at Showplace Studios, Love The Way You Roll is a very enjoyable release and well worth checking out by fans of modern electric blues and blues-rock.

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