Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas
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Chicago's WDCB Radio is a sponsor of BLUE TRAIN
Solitaire Miles, bandleader for Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas, has worked as a vocalist in Chicago and NYC performing and recording with Grammy winning musicians including harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy, swing violinist Johnny Frigo, Von Freeman, Willie Pickens, Doc Cheatham and TC Furlong. She has been leading the Lonesome Fellas since 2015 with the release of their first hit album which won an award from the AWA for "Best Song", crossing over on to Roots, Country, Blues and Jazz charts with her new release BLUE TRAIN. After 20 years performing and recording in the Jazz and Blues scene she has branched out to incorporate Blues, Roots and Americana into her caboodle.
PRESS For BLUE TRAIN
"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
"Did someone scrawl Susie Blue’s name on the wall for a good time to call? This lady’s a hoot, hitting the juke joints with Howard Levy and Eric Schneider for 16 beauties. She’s got a twinkle in her eye as she gets sassy on the 50s sounding “I Wanna Rock” while calling for Jim Dandy to the rescue on a fun take of “Lucky Lips”. She calypso’s with the limbo crowd on “Chills and Fever” while rides Chuck Berry riffs on “One Way Ticket to The Blues”. She belts out the blues with Levy on “Forever Yours” while having some sinister fun on “Give Up That Honey”. Who let her off her leash?" - George W Harris, Jazz Weekly
“BLUE TRAIN” is a wonderful collection of rarities from the late 1950’s – 60’s, a time when so much was evolving in modern music. There were many influences like Swing, Blues, Jazz, Roots and Gospel, all being mixed together by the Icons of the day. On their new album you will hear a little of Ruth Brown, Sarah Vaughan, Kay Starr and Patsy Cline, all blended together in Miles‘ interpretations of these songs. With solid accompaniment and outstanding solos by Grammy winning Chicago musicians like harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy, Sax Maestro Eric Schneider, and guitarist Neal Alger, Miles vocals glide effortlessly through classics like “Sweet Baby of Mine” , “The Peter Gunn Theme” or Hummin’ to Myself” with such authenticity that you think you are hearing a recording from the past and not a new hybrid recreation. She applies her luscious, slightly smoky voice to this collection of standards and originals and you‘ll think that she’s opened a hole in the fabric of time and stepped right out of 1959.” – J Reid, Chicago Music Guide
"Susie Blue & the Lonesome Fellas turn back the clock and dig deep into the musical archives on their latest CD as they put a new spin on 16 forgotten treasures from the ‘50s and ‘60s. It’s a mix of classy blues, jazz, swing and more that evokes the cocktail-lounge aura of bygone eras.
While mainstream blues fans might not be familiar with this 13-piece ensemble, the music they play consistently crosses genres while remaining thoroughly azure throughout. They swing from the hip in lockstep in every cut All of the music here walks on the razor’s edge of blues despite being culled from mixed media. All of the folks in this lineup – which includes harmonica genius Howard Levy, a co-founder of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones – are all world-class musicians.
Put on your poodle skirt, slip on your saddle shoes and pin on a brooch or two for this one. It’s a whole lot of fun" - Marty Gunther BLUES BLAST
Jazz, Swing, Blues, Roots, Americana
1994 - present
Willie Pickens, Howard Levy, Doc Cheatham,
Von Freeman, Johnny Frigo, Bruce Johnstone
John Robertson - Seraphic Records : firstname.lastname@example.org 312-636-9082
Jim Eigo - Jazz Promo Services : email@example.com
Jazz/Blues- Kate Smith Promotions : firstname.lastname@example.org
1. "I Wanna Rock" - written by A Jarvis from the Australian band Bang Bang Betty, this is a sassy Rockabilly/Swing original featuring raucous sax vibes with Eric Schneider - a fun and danceable intro
2. "Big Sweet Baby of Mine" - originally recorded by Ruth Brown and written by Robert Sharp, this vintage blues tune features saxophonist Eric Schneider and harmonica maestro Howard Levy boisterously playing together, for the first time on a recording, making Chicago 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 Algers 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 jumped 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 standard in the 1930's written by Sammy Fain, Herbert Magidson, Monty Siegel, the tune is transformed into a bluesy New Orlean'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.
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 tone for this powerful crossover
8. "She'll Be Gone" - 1960's early 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 salty patter along with background vocals by Chicago's 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, 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 fav for many 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 love 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 rarity 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 keep it groovy with a sultry blues swing featuring decadent background vocals by Zias and a forthright sax solo by Eric Schneider.
15. "Oh How I Miss You Tonight" - a crossover ballad 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 crooning with smooth backgrounds by Mike Harvey. Eric Schneider smoothly sails
throughout and is supported by 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" - Did you know that Mancini had lyrics written for Sarah Vaughan who recorded This 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!"