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Friday, March 9, 2012

Heritage Blues Orchestra

And Still I Rise (Raisin' Music)

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It's rare to find American roots musicians with the depth and scope of Heritage Blues Orchestra. As their name promises, they perform traditional blues with conviction and mastery, infusing Son House with New Orleans brass while lifting the Delta out of the rut with imaginative arrangements. The Orchestra attack Muddy Waters like a hard-stomping '40s R&B combo as conducted by Gil Evans, and switch on a dime from Saturday night to Sunday morning with an old spiritual. The showstopper among the album's showstoppers is their hypnotic take on the traditional “C-Line Woman,” whose bewitching vocal by Chaney Sims conjures the spirit of Nina Simone at her grandest.