Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas
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Chicago's WDCB Radio
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Solitaire Miles has worked as a jazz vocalist in Chicago and NYC performing and recording with great bandleaders like Doc Cheatham, Johnny Frigo, Von Freeman, Bruce Johnstone, and Willie Pickens. After 20 years performing and recording in the Jazz scene she has branched out to incorporate Blues Roots, and Americana into her caboodle - The Lonesome Fellas - which includes Grammy alumna and harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy, Guitar Maestro TC Furlong, Chicago's Lion of the sax Eric Schneider, guitarist Neal Alger and many more.
"Vocalist Solitaire Miles sings with warm highs and holds her lows neatly. There's a jazziness about Miles's phrasing, but she holds fast to a sound reminiscent of roadside bars where just three people are left near closing at the pinball machine.” - Wall Street Journal
Chicago’s unabashed gal rolls out the carpet for cutting a rug one more time and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that she never intended to be a novelty act. Scooping up all manner of roots flavors, everything might be delivered with a wink but it’s not the kind of wink that let’s you know you’re in on a joke. Always sexy and sassy, this is the sound of rent parties that get started late at night and carry on until early in the morning. Turn on those blue lights in the basement and let one of the tightest sounds around wrap itself around you"- Midwest Record
"Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas includes some of the best Jazz and Roots players and Miles adds a lively vocal style that brings to mind a winning blend of Patsy Cline and Billie Holiday. " - DownBeat Magazine
Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas takes you back to the days of Kay Starr, with the husky voice of Solitaire Miles along with Chicago's best jazz and blues musicians. They get the crowd on the floor with syncopated honky-tonking. Miles is a joy and you feel like you’re listening to tunes at the juke box on the counter alongside your hash browns. This band takes you to a place you want to be." - George W Harris, Jazz Weekly
Jazz, Swing, Blues, Roots, Americana
1994 - present
Willie Pickens, Howard Levy, Doc Cheatham,
Von Freeman, Johnny Frigo
John Robertson - Seraphic Records : email@example.com 312-636-9082
Jim Eigo - Jazz Promo Services : firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Smith Promotions : email@example.com
1. "I Wanna Rock" - written by A Jarvis from the Australian band Bang Bang Betty, this is a sassy swing original featuring raucous sax vibes with Eric Schneider - a fun and danceable intro to this swing/jazz/blues hybrid album
2. "Big Sweet Baby of Mine" - originally recorded by Ruth Brown and written by Robert Sharp, this tune features saxophonist Eric Schneider and harmonica maestro Howard Levy boisterously playing together, for the first time on a recording, making Chicago jazz history. A bluesy vocal from Miles with solid blues guitar by Neal Alger
3. "Lucky Lips" - another Ruth Brown ditty written by Jerome Leiber and Mike Stoller, this fan favorite is an uptempo blues frolic featuring Eric Schneider blowing hard sax with Neal Alger swinging guitar behind Miles' sassy vocals while Jen Zias adds a playful girl vocal background. It's 1958 and you are feeling lucky, walking into a casino ready to roll the dice.
4. "Forever Yours" - Featured by BBC Radio in Feb 2022 and currently in rotation, This dreamy love ballad was written in 1957 by Carl Perkins and becomes a lilting duet with arrangement by Miles, featuring the UK Crooner Dominic Halpin who's mellow baritone compliments Miles' smooth alto. There is a plaintive harmonica solo by Howard Levy and Jen Zias' background harmonies adorn the entire song, wrapping it up like a vintage Valentine. Watch the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MUgUFIAmrE&ab_channel=SusieBlue%26theLonesomeFellas
5. "Love and Kisses" - Featured by BBC Radio, this bouncy tune was first recorded by the "Girl Elvis" Janis Martin in 1958 and written by Hutch Davie, and is jazzed up by Eric Schneider's playful sax and Neal Alger's guitar which swings the melody behind Miles and Zias frisky harmonies.
6. "Hummin' to Myself" - a big band standard in the 1930's before swing written by Sammy Fain, Herbert Magidson, Monty Siegel, the tune is transformed into a bluesy New Orelan's style ballad with driving guitar by Neal Alger and a galvanic sax solo by Eric Schnedier, all complimented by Miles's sultry blues alto. Another fan favorite with a new video coming out featuring Miles and Schneider.
7. "Blue Train" - an original written by LA songwriter Mel Harker, this tune is a robust Blues tune with dynamic solos by Howard Levy on harmonica and Neal Alger playing guitar. Miles' voice matures into a throaty blueswoman tone for this powerful jazz/blues crossover
8. "She'll Be Gone" - 1960's early R/B inspired blues song about a woman done wrong and leaving on a train, "Bye Bye Honey, I'll drop you a line" Miles lays out some Gladys Knight patter along with her blues vocals accompanied by Chicago vocalist Mike Harvey who intones some Pips articulation. You are left stunned by some very heavy blues guitar phrasing which rivals BB King by Neal Alger and dynamic percussion by Phil Gratteau.
9. "Chills and Fever" - this seductive early 1960's blues song made famous by Tom Jones and written by Billie Ness, this gem is revived by the band with a horn section including Jack Gallagher on trombone and Eric Schneider on sax. The provocative lyrics are swinging with Miles and Zias harmonizing with each other and the band. "Kiss me and squeeze me tight, tell me babe you wanna love me all night" is suggested in a minor key.
10. "One Way Ticket to the Blues" - this Jack Kellar tune has been one of the other big fan favs on the album and the song has had a long history. It was a hit for Neil Sedaka in 1959, who gave it a 007 spy theme treatment, but it has been a huge hit for hundreds of bands internationally, especially in Europe, through the 1980's as a pop favorite. SBLF gives it a blues treatment with Don Stille playing Hammond, and some kitchy vocal harmonies by Miles and Zias take it back to the early 1960's, it's just crazy, fun and ultimately cool.
11. "How Could I Help But Love You" - was written by Allen Toussaint for Aaron Neville and released in 1962 and is a Nawlin's jazzy ballad featuring an intricate harmonica solo by Howard Levy who is a master with tangos and Latin styles, which he incorporates into his complicated phrasing on this tune. You wonder how he can beautifully play so many notes together in each phrase on a harmonica, and the changes present Howard at his Grammy winning best.
12. "Give Up That Honey" - written by Swedish singer Eva Eastwood, this lively blues tune features Miles singing "Me oh my! I just cry!" about some Honeybee she is crazy about while the Lonesome Fellas repeat her phrases behind her in true bluesman fashion. Hard driving guitar by Neal Alger keeps the song bouncing and Howard Levy lets loose a full harp reverb for full effect. A very fun and uncomplicated frolic played masterfully.
13. "Do You Love Me" - another early 60's inspired blues/jazz tune by Cookie Jackson, played by SSLF with heavy percussion and a driving horn section featuring Eric Schneider on sax and Jack Gallagher on trombone. Miles sings "I got to know if you're still my little red rooster" while Zias sings "I gotta know, I gotta know" in the background. The tune fades out with trombone and guitar following the vocals "I gotta know, right now, right now!"
14. "In the Palm of Your Hand" - a huge hit for vocalist Dolly Lyon in 1957 and written by Mamie Thomas, this song propelled the Popcorn fad in music (sometimes called Belgian popcorn or oldies popcorn) it is a style of music and dancing first established in Belgium in the 1970s which includes a variety of American and British recordings of pop-soul music made between the late 1950s and mid 1960s. Dolly Lyon is one of the most famous Popcorn singers and this tune is well known as the Popcorn anthem.
Miles and the Fellas don't dissappoint, keeping in with a blues/ jazz sultry swing, with decadent background vocals by Zias and a forthright sax solo by Eric Schneider.
15. "Oh How I Miss You Tonight" - a swing band favorite going back to the 1940's, most famously recorded by Kay Starr but originally composed by Benny Davis, Joe Burke, and Mark Fisher in 1925, it features Miles singing in her pure jazz voice with smooth backgrounds by Mike Harvey who ahhs and repeats her jazz phrasing in a similar arrangement to Starr's, but with more jazz and less pop influence. Eric Schneider smoothly sails throughout and is supported by jazz pianist Tom Hope and Neal Alger on guitar. The band also gives it the big send off ending that Starr was famous for, in tribute to her.
16. "The Peter Gunn Theme" - This famous Manicini theme is the jazziest track on the album. Did you know that Mancini had lyrics written for Sarah Vaughan who recorded it in 1965? Miles belts through the lyrics and is supported by a boisterous horn section featuring Eric Schneider on sax and Jack Gallager on trombone. The whole piece is propelled by Neal Alger on guitar and Chris Bernhardt slapping the bass - it is a perfect song to end the album, with Miles singing the groovy and period-style lyrics "So baby it's Au revoior, adios, chow chow, goodbye!"
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2005 - present//