idea behind the new Wild Oats Records Blues
Series of CDs is
to show the wide range of blues-influenced music. We’re definitely
not purists... in fact, we feel that one of the great things about the
blues is its variety of styles... so our new blues series will feature
everything from Delta blues to Chicago blues to Piedmont blues
to blues-rock to New Orleans blues to Kansas City blues to ????
Each CD in this new series will include a mix of better-known and
lesser-known blues artists, as a way of showing where the blues has
been and where it's heading. Available in June 2003, FOUR ACES
(featuring Eddie Kirkland, Melissa Sigler, Billy F. Otis and the late
Foster), inaugurates our new Blues Series in fine fashion.
The first album in the series: "4 Aces"
Kirkland Born in Jamaica, raised in Alabama,
a longtime fixture on the Detroit music scene -- where he played for years with John Lee Hooker -- the great Eddie Kirkland is still going strong after 60 years (!) of singing and playing the blues. During his long and illustrious career, the man has recorded for labels like Prestige, Stax/Volt and Telarc, and we're honored to have him as part of our first Wild Oats Records Blues Series CD. Since running off with a medicine show at
the age of twelve, Eddie has performed everywhere from Montana to Turkey to Greece, and as these new recordings show, the man's gritty vocals, drivin' guitar and soulful harp are still sounding as great as ever !
Sigler An excellent vocalist, songwriter
and keyboard player from out of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Melissa's style
is a potent blending of blues with jazz,
pop and rock elements. She describes her sound as "Chicago speakeasy meets New Orleans blues"...
and that's as good a label as any for Melissa's very soulful and down-home mixture of styles. (True to her Louisiana roots, she also tosses some swampy zydeco into the musical pot.) A versatile singer who can belt
out the rockin' numbers and croon on the laid-back ones, Melissa was named "Emerging Blues Artist of the Year" by OffBeat Magazine in New Orleans; and once you've heard her music, you'll definitely know why !
This singer/harmonica player from the DC area writes fine songs in a blues-rock
vein. His punchy and rockin' style is rooted in the classic Chicago blues;
nevertheless, Otis has his own bluesy sound, with some rock, a little R&B,
and even a touch of country in the
mix. A fine addition to our blues series, Billy is currently working on a full CD of his own, planned for release in early 2004. Though heavily influenced by legendary bluesmen like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, Otis
has broadened his sound during the past few years.
"I started breaking out of the 12-bar blues mold when writing songs", he says, "and it's made my music more interesting". Check out Billy F. Otis... you'll like him.
late Willie Foster
was born in the Mississippi Delta
in 1921. During his many years of playing the blues, Foster worked with musicians like Muddy Waters and Snooky Pryor, and headlined shows from Chicago to
the Netherlands to New Zealand. He first recorded in 1953, and on this 2001 session -- the artist's last before
his death in May 2001 -- Willie's wailin' harp and his earthy, rough-edged vocals were still sounding just
fine. Right to the very end, Mr. Foster loved the blues
... and he sang and played 'em with all of his heart. We're thrilled to have his music in our new Blues Series CD. If you haven't heard this classic blues artist, you're definitely in for a treat. Willie Foster was the real thing.