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Lisa Biales: REVIEWS

" Over the course of my journey into blues I have heard just about everything.  This is every bit as good as anything I have heard...bar none.  Powerful, passionate and poignant, The Beat Of My Heart is one of those albums that goes beyond what is normally presented as blues.  This one is exceptional."                                - Bill Wilson, Reflections in Blue

 "Serving up a set of solid show room blues, this set takes flight and never stops to refuel. A winner throughout." - Midwest Record 

"Lisa Biales has again a gem of an album. Her flawless voice is easily guided by the musical diversity ...Great release!! "- Philip Verhaege, Keys and Chords (4 ½)  1

"Lisa Biales released a joyful, stirring new blues album . . . she nails the good-time spirit of the blues, propelled by groovin’ horns and gospel choruses." - Sean Arthur Joyce, Chameleon on Fire

"When this 'The Beat Of My Heart' is the marker for this year we're in for a swinging and groovin' 2017… " - Rootsville.eu

"Lisa delivers her strongest performance ever as a singer." - Dani Heyvaert, Rootstime

"I get excited whenever I see a new Lisa Biales CD in the mail. The Beat of My Heart lives up to every expectation! Biales is one of the strongest performers in contemporary blues and here she also shows her amazing ability with soul and gospel. What a great instrument her voice is, subtle and powerful and so expressive it just draws you in and engulfs you in whatever mood she wants you to feel. She is aided by an ace group of seasoned musicians on many different guitars, drums, piano, trumpets and saxophones. Her background singers are also top-notch.  Together they recorded for 10 days to give us a recording that will give us pleasure for a long time." - read more from Rhetta @ Making A Scene 

"...a vocal showcase that commands your attention from beginning to end."- Mark Smith, West Michigan Blues Society

"For my ears, this is Lisa’s finest recording.  Her voice, always spot on and clear, is so well framed in a variety of instrumental components with savvy arrangements that each song could almost be the lead track of a separate disc filled with that particular sub-genre.  Her delivery has class and dignity, but doesn’t forego emotion to achieve them." - Talkin’ the Blues with Microwave Dave WLRH / WJAB FMs

 

"I can't believe how Biales continues to improve with each new release. Her confidence and purity of voice is amazing. I love to listen to her sing and am becoming a huge fan of hers. I highly recommend this to anyone needing a nice fix of traditional, acoustic blues from one of the hottest female acts in the blues world!" - Steve Jones

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Belle of the Blues
Lisa Biales
Big Song Music
11 tracks
 
Lisa Biales’ newest CD is an excellent effort.  Produced by the ever popular chanteuse E.G. Kight and legendary producer Paul Hornsby, the CD features Tommy Talton on guitar, Randall Bramlkett on B3 organ, and Bill Stewart on drums along with Kight, Hornsby and others in support of this effort.  Kight produced Biales’ 2012 Just Like Honey and sang duets with her as she does here, along with playing a little acoustic guitar.
 
Biales starts off with the title track where Hornsby joins in on piano and Kight backs Lisa up as Talton picks out some nice acoustic guitar and and Paul Bergeson adds some sweet harp.  Biales is the star of the show, however, and she really sets the tone for this CD with her astoundingly good vocals.  She has transitioned from wanting to be the most desired back up singer on the planet to being out front and firmly in charge as a star.  Kight and Tom Horner have written a super song to start the CD and name the album for!
 
Bramlett makes his first appearance with some down home B3 as Biales testifies on “Sad Sad Sunday.”  Talton’s dobro is sweet, but Biales again steal the show with her soulful vocal prowess.  “Bad Things” features Biales sexily sing how her lover makes her do bad things as Kight back her.  Sweet and sexy stuff! “Mask” has Ken Wynn on lead acoustic guitar and Biales laments in this little ballad where she sings about hiding her true feelings behind a mask; she can hide her feeling swell because part of her has died.  Very emotional stuff here. “Graveyard Dead Blues” is a simple yet soulful delta blues with Talton again on dobro.  Biales co-wrote this with Kight and Horner and sings a pre-nuptial agreement to her man where she explains he’ll be more than dead if he cheats on her- he’ll be graveyard dead.  Superb vocals and dobro make this a winner.
 
With “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home” Biales shows subtleness and restraint in this down tempo and very soft vocal where she asks her lover to return home on this great old Bessie Smith song that she covers in a new way.  A few tracks later she does another cut, “Black and White Blues,” a biographical piece about Smith written by blues historian Dalton Roberts.  Very movingly sung, Biales again shows restraint  behind the powerful vocals chords that she has and delivers another special performance.  A duet with Kight “In My Girlish Days” is a Memphis Minnie number and the two of them really are emotional.  Biales is sweet and powerful while Kight is earthy and gritty. The two join forces again on “Peach Pickin’Mama.” The singing is primo as is Bergeson on harp and Talton on the six stirngeed instruments.  The double entendre of peaches is carried off well, especially when Kight notes hers are from Georgia while Biales’ hail from Ohio. As they recorded the song, Biales joked with Kight that the Ohio versions are just smaller.
 
“Trouble With a Capital T” features Wynn again on guitar and Kight in backup.  We get a little spelling lesson as Biales offers up another cool number penned by Kight and Richard Fleming.  She concludes with a tune Ann Rabson wrote with Kight and Horner and she dedicates the song to her 
sexy spirit.”  Wynn plays electric guitar here as Talton provides acoustic and slide.  Biales is sultry as she sings how she can’t hold back because her man makes her, “feel like a bad, bad girl.”  Bramlett has a nice B3 solo which is followed by a short one by Wynn.  The song builds to a big conclusion with Biales and Wynn blasting along together.
 
I can’t believe how Biales continues to improve with each new release.  Her confidence and purity of voice is amazing.  I love to listen to her sing and am becoming a huge fan of hers.  I highly recommend this to anyone needing a nice fix of traditional, acoustic blues from one of the hottest female singing acts in the blues world!
 
Reviewed by Steve Jones, Crossroads Blues Society
 
Steve Jones - Crossroads Blues Society (May 18, 2014)

 

"Lisa Biales is out there wielding a big ole fryin’ pan fulla knockout blues. Take the hit, lie back, and enjoy."

Belle of the Blues Receives Rave Reviews

LISA BIALES

BELLE OF THE BLUES

2014 Big Song Music

 

Singer Lisa Biales gets the star treatment with her new disc produced by the well traveled EG Kight and Paul Hornsby and musical support provided by not only the production team but by Tommy Talton on guitars and dobro, Randall Bramblett on Hammond B3 and Bill Stewart on drums. Things kick off to a great start with the title cut where Biales showcases her strong vocals in service of a tale about a mesmerizing singer who has the crowd in the palm of her hand. While that might strike some as boastful she has no problem living up to the expectations set by the lyrics with her sassy vocals. The same can be said of her tough covers of Kight’s classics Trouble with a Capital T and Bad Girl where little doubt is left regarding who is in charge of things even though some might try to sit in judgment of her actions. On a more somber note and on the flip side of the coin Sad Sad Sunday and Bad Things find her looking at being little more than a weekend toy and at being a puppet in her quest for love. Mask finds her putting a brave face on her loneliness while the shuffling groove of Graveyard Dead Blues features a stern warning to her future mate regarding the fate that awaits discovery of any cheating. Baby Won’t you Please Come Home tracks like the typical lonesome heartbreak song until the twist at the end where all the longing for the absent mate is revealed to be based on the need for money, which might just be the definition of the blues! Memphis Minnie’s In My Girlish Days is a duet between Biales and Kight which showcases the wondrous blend of their voices. Another lioness of the blues, Bessie Smith, gets her due on Black and White Blues. Biales has an elastic voice that can be tough one moment and sexy and inviting the next. Regardless of the style she leaves you convinced that she feels everything she sings. What more can you ask for? 

Mark Smith - Michigan Blues Society (Jul 15, 2014)

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"There are few vocalists locally or nationally I can think of that are even in Biales' caliber." 


Malcolm Kennedy - Washington Blues Society (May 5, 2014)

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BELLE OF THE BLUES Lisa Biales (Big Song Music)  ****

 

When Jimmy Page or Jeff Beck play guitar, the line between man and instrument is blurred.  When John Popper blows harp, the hair standing up on my arm tells me that I’m witnessing someone doing what they were put on this earth to do.  With Lisa Biales, her purpose is to sing the blues.   It was something I sensed immediately on Just Like Honey then Singing In my Soul, both of which lead up to her choice new album Belle Of The Blues.

As a singer Biales comes across as equal parts good-natured speakeasy vixen and soulful southern torch balladeer.  Produced by EG Kight and engineered by Paul Hornsby, this album compares to Maria Muldaur’s Memphis Minnie tribute from a year or two back.  Performances from the musicians are joyous lessons in how to groove, not unlike Biales herself. Featured guests are the amazing Tommy Talton on guitar (Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts), Randall Bramblett on Hammond B-3 (Sea Level, Steve Winwood, Widespread Panic) and Bill Stewart on drums (Gregg Allman, Bonnie Bramlett), and they play like they’ve been doing it together for years- on that gut-level instinctual plane.

 “I love singing sad songs” Lisa confesses. “The strong array of emotions that bubble up, and the connections I feel to people while singing them makes me realize my worth”, referring directly to Mask and Sad, Sad Sunday.  She considers Bessie Smith an influence, and it shows.  She calls Smith “One of the greatest classic blues singers of the 1920’s, and someone  I have grown to admire.  It’s only fitting to have her presence on this recording with two songs; Black & White Blues and Baby Won’t You Please Come Home.”

 

I fell in love with Lisa Biales when I first heard Just Like Honey in the summer of 2012, and through 2013’s Singing In My Soul and now Belle of The Blues, I fall deeper each time.  From the heartbreaking ballads already mentioned to rockin’ tracks like Trouble, Biales has crafted another stunning set of songs.  After a few months of self-imposed retirement from writing, Belle Of The Blues is the one that brought me back out from under a rock and whispered in my ear “you’re not finished yet”.  For that, I am grateful.  I did a phone interview with Lisa a couple of days ago for my radio show How Blue Can You Get (Sundays at noon on k-Rock in Cold Lake and Wainwright Alberta) and will share the results on the May 25th episode- noon Alberta time at www.953krock.com and www.krock1019.com .

HIGHLIGHTS:  Sad, Sad Sunday, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home

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" Lisa Biales astonished us again with this new album. With her crystal clear vocals and an excellent backing band, this album is a flawlessly produced jewel."

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Lisa Biales - Belle of the Blues (Big Song Music):  I've been listening to Biales, a 20-year vet of the music scene, playing bluegrass, rock, Americana, folk, and blues during that span.  Over the past couple of albums, Biales has teamed up with the Georgia Songbird, E.G. Kight, who has produced her last few discs, which have been showcases of American roots music.  Belle of the Blues has more of a focus on blues, with Kight writing most of the material, allowing Biales to focus on vocals.  She is one of the most impressive vocalists that you will hear, with amazing range and pitch, and she makes it seem almost effortless on these songs.  She's joined on this release by an outstanding band that includes guitarist Tommy Talton, keyboardist Randall Bramblett, and co-producer Paul Hornsby on piano.  This is a breathtaking release by a lady who deserves to be heard.
- Blues Fix (Apr 7, 2014)

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5***** for "Belle Of The Blues", another truly astonishing accomplishment from Lisa Biales and her super talented host of performers and, by far, one of the best Female fronted Blues Recordings you are likely to hear in 2014. Read the entire article HERE

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Don & Sheryl’s Blues Blog –March 5, 2014

LISA BIALES

BELLE OF THE BLUES

BIG SONG MUSIC  BSM2-2013

BELLE OF THE BLUES–SAD SAD SUNDAY–BAD THINGS–MASK–GRAVEYARD DEAD BLUES–BABY WON’T YOU PLEASE COME HOME–IN MY GIRLISH DAYS–PEACH PICKIN’ MAMA–BLACK AND WHITE BLUES–TROUBLE–BAD GIRL

Lisa Biales has been writing and playing good blues for over two decades, and came into her own in a big way with the release in 2012 of “Just Like Honey,” produced by E. G. Kight.  Her latest set again was produced by E. G. and, this time, Paul Hornsby, at Paul’s Muscadine Studio in Macon, GA.  It is entitled “Belle Of The Blues,” and has Lisa wrapping her golden voice around eleven songs that simply drip that Southern goodness that only Lisa and E. G. could create. 

Joining Lisa are E. G. on guitar and harmony vocals, Paul Hornsby on keys, Southern rock icon Tommy Talton on guitars, Randall Bramblett on B-3,  and Bill Stewart on drums.  They kick things off with the story of “The Belle Of The Blues,” who “likes champagne in a cup” and “looks real cool in her high-heeled shoes,” with country-blues harp from Paul Bergeson.  And, she rocks out on “the Devil’s scared to death of me,” because “I’m Trouble with a capital T!”

Lisa also has a penchant for singing melancholy songs.  She feels the emotions involved, and wants to empathize with those to whom she is singing.  Two excellent examples of this are  her poignant take of a lover who has to leave for the week each Sunday, leading to many a “Sad Sad Sunday.”  And, another minor-key ode to the lovelorn has Lisa hiding her broken heart behind a “full glass” and her “Mask.”

She’s a big fan of strong, independent women such as Bessie Smith and Ann Rabson, and gives a soulful read of “Black And White Blues” in honor of Bessie,  then closes the set with the blues-rock bite of a song written by Rabson, E. G., and Tom Horner, the anthemic “Bad Girl.”

We had two favorites, too.  Tommy’s dobro sets the tone for the tale of a “simple woman” who won’t take any abuse from any man, promising to make him “Graveyard Dead” if he tries to talk to her by hand!  And, Lisa and E. G. duet on a cool song from the Memphis Minnie catalog about coming-of-age, “In My Girlish Days.” 

With her crystal-clear vocals, it is easy to see why Lisa Biales has been dubbed the “Belle Of The Blues.”  With excellent material and an A-list of backing players, this set is a “can’t miss!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow

Don & Sheryl's Blues Blog (Mar 6, 2014)

LISA BIALES (‘BELLE OF THE BLUES’)

Belle_of_Blues_CDLisa Biales – Belle of the Blues
*** ½ (out of 4 stars)
Label: Big Song Music

One of the most consistent singers around, Lisa Biales, has recently released another high quality album — Belle of the Blues. It is produced by E.G. Kight and Paul Hornsby, and features Tommy Talton, Randall Bramblett and Bill Stewart. On it, Lisa Biales’ graceful vocals are framed perfectly by the musicians and, with each of the album’s eleven tracks, it is clear that she can do it all exceedingly well.

She specializes in a brand of blues that relies less on a performer’s histrionic delivery than most. Instead, she sings the song with such an ease that there’s never any doubt that she is the authority on the lyric being sung. To call her refreshing is an understatement. Playing along with Lisa Biales’ golden vocals throughout the album are: E.G. Kight (guitar and harmony vocals), Paul Hornsby (piano), Tommy Talton (acoustic guitar, slide guitar, dobro), Randall Bramblett (Hammond B-3), Bill Stewart (drums), Johnny Fountain (bass), Ken Wynn (electric guitar, acoustic slide guitar), Gary Porter (tambourine), Tommy Vickery (bass) and Pat Bergeson (harmonica).

Belle of the Blues is an intimate album. To listen to it from beginning to end is to appreciate just how well structured a good blues album can be; it is as seamless as Lisa Biales’ vocals. The effect is almost like hanging out with Ms. Biales in her dressing room before or after a gig, rather than being seated in an audience. These are songs that allow her to communicate big ideas in a personal manner, and she conveys them with a relaxed clarity that is almost deceptive in its simplicity.

Lisa Biales has a voice that is always inviting. Sometimes it invites you to nod in agreement. Sometimes it invites you inside a song you’ve never heard before. Sometimes it invites you to sing along. And sometimes, if you close your eyes and turn up the volume just enough, you could swear that it invites you to go back in time to an era when a sexy lady at the mic in front of a live band seemed to be singing to just you alone, and supplying you with answers to all the big questions you have about life and love and all that jazz.

Essential Downloads: “Sad, Sad Sunday,” “Mask,” “Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home,” “In My Girlish Days.”

To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.

Greg Victor - Parcbench (Mar 25, 2014)

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Lisa Biales – Belle of the Blues

Big Song Music

www.lisabiales.com

CD: 11 songs; 39:56 Minutes

Styles: Traditional and Contemporary Acoustic/Electric Blues

Even though the 2014 Winter Games have drawn to a close, what do Ohio native Lisa Biales and an Olympic athlete have in common? Both have the innate, incredibly rare ability to make their performances seem effortless, in spite of intense training and years of practice in their field. Even though the blues streams forth from Biales’ mouth “Just Like Honey,” as she proclaims there’s “Singing In My Soul,” she’s climbed several mountains in order to be the “Belle of the Blues.” “Recording is not all gravy,” comments Lisa about the sessions for this third release. However, her genius lies in the way that listeners would never know it. What’s her secret, besides raw talent refined and polished to a metallic gleam? Just as an Olympic dais wouldn’t be complete without three winners upon it, this CD achieves its glory via the flawless musical team of vocalists Biales and EG Kight, and guitarist Tommy Talton. Together, they “sweep the podium” on every one of eleven tracks. Seven are originals written or co-written by Kight, with the other four being crisp covers. All are top-notch numbers, but these three win medals:

Track 03: “Bad Things” – “I wonder if I’m under some spell that you bring, when you make me, when you make me do bad things.” Not since “Just Like Honey” has Biales sung a catchier vocal hook, this time alongside EG Kight in perfect harmony. Their cover of a Scott Sanford and Donica Knight melody proves that Lisa’s voice is truly at its best when there’s a sharp edge to its sweetness. Underneath its warm caress lies razor-keen menace, especially when she sings, “You make me a liar…you make me a thief.” Also featured are Tommy Talton on sly slide and acoustic guitars, Randall Bramblett on wah-wah Hammond B3 organ, and Gary Porter on ‘rattlesnake’ tambourine.

Track 05: “Graveyard Dead Blues” – A body can’t get any colder or deader than “graveyard dead.” This song’s co-writers, Kight, Biales, and Tom Horner prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. “There’s two things to remember before we tie the knot,” Lisa warns. “If you ever cheat or beat on me, you might get yourself all shot.” She minces no words, and neither does Talton on dashing dobro. He makes this resonator instrument tell as much of a story as the lyrics, which is nothing short of magic.

Track 08: “Peach Pickin’ Mama” – Originally by EG Kight and Richard Fleming, this is a ballad for fans whose favorite things about the blues are cheeky double-entendres: “Well, I’m a peach-pickin’ mama from up Ohio way, and my peaches taste good – that’s what all the farm boys say.” The innuendo is irresistible, as are Tommy Vickery on bass and Pat Bergeson on feisty harmonica.

Truly, this lovely “Belle” claims the vocal and team-effort gold in the “Blues Olympics”!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 34 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Biales really is a Belle of the Blues, March 29, 2014
This review is from: Belle of the Blues (MP3 Music)
Lisa Biales is a real blues queen and deserves the title of Belle of the Blues. She is
one of the most dynamic and powerful blues singers on the contemporary scene. Here
sheteams with another great modern blues woman, E.G. Kight, doing seven songs written by
Kight. who also sings harmony and performs a duet with Biales on "My Giriish Days"
which is just unbeatable. The CD was produced by E.G.Kight and Paul Hornsby and Hornsby also
plays on it. In addition, blues greats Tommy Talton and Randall Bramblett are also
featured musicians.

Wih talent like that and a voice like Biales, you just could not find a better blues CD
than this. If you like blues and you have not discovered Lisa Biales yet you are in for a treat.
If you are familiar with her you will be surprised to know that on this CD she has
actually gotten even better. Don't hesitate! Grab this one now!

Rhetta Akmatsu - Amazon (Mar 31, 2014)

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BLUES IN BRITAIN 

 

Lisa Biales – Belle Of The Blues

Big Song Music BSM 2-2013

 

Lisa Biales latest CD finds her, yet again, collaborating with EG Kight and Paul Hornsby to deliver yet another impressive slab of eclectic blues that effectively display the clarity and emotiveness of her passionate vocals.


The title track is a shuffle in the classic ensemble Chicago blues style replete with wailing Rice Miller influenced harp (Pat Bergeson) and rolling “Spann-esque” piano from Hornsby.  ‘Sad Sad Sunday’ – one of 7 EG Kight songs) showcases Biales’ wistful vocals echoed by Randall Bramblett’s haunting B3 and Tommy Talton’s Dobro – Talton making impressive contributions on many tracks including the Robert Johnson inspired ‘Graveyard Dead Blues’ where the clarity of Biales’ vocals enhances the moodiness of the number.


Clarence Williams’ ‘Baby Won’t You Please Come Home’ finds Biales’ classic blues “come to bed” vocals accentuated by Hornsby’s Blind John Davis inspired piano giving the song a strong Tampa Red feel – Biales’ duet with Kight captures the lowdown feel Memphis Minnie garnered on ‘In My Girlish Days’ echoed by Talton’s evocative slide – whilst another duet on ‘peach Pickin’ Mama’ evokes the spirit of Big Joe Williams accentuated by Bergeson’s Sonny Boy 2 Storyville period harp.


Lisa Biales is a blues treasure who deservedly accedes to the title “Belle Of The Blues.”

Mick Rainsford - Blues In Britain (Mar 24, 2014)

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The good news is Biales is back; the just as good news is, good God!, she sure knows how to recruit a band—Tommy Talton, EG Kight, Randall Bramblett (I still miss the hell out of Sea Level, dammit!), Paul Hornsby, Bill Stewart, etc.—and the best news is that her new disc continues much in the golden footsteps of her last two, Just Like Honey (here) and Singin' in my Soul (here). As the title indicates, however, Belle of the Blues is more in a true blues vein than the too-hip old-timey stuff we heard the last couple times around (though Baby Won't You Please Come Home is definitely solidly in a Leon Redboney vein, a Mama Cass type song). More, though, there's a very solid folk and country baseline to Belle.

And, boys, there are a few songs here yore mama wouldn't approve of, especially the last two: the bad girl Trouble and the better bad girl Bad Girl, both co-written by EG Kight, who seems to know a good deal more of the temperamental and carnal sides of women than most. Kight takes Thelma and Louise down a street they never knew, a dark one made no lighter by all the gltiz. I'm pretty sure even you, no matter what ilk of carouser you might be, would balk at the hard-nosed gold-digging temptress in Trouble but am equally certain you wouldn't at all mind running into the sex kitten in Bad Girl. Just don't tell mama, especially while she's reading her Bible.Graveyard Dead Blues ain't too far from the mid-point 'twixt the twain, and with the sweet lover-girl in the narrative, the rules are simple and direct and the rewards abundant, but if'n ya cross her, well take a look at the song's title. This is the kinda stuff Maria Muldaur loves.

And later days Muldaur isn't a bad comparison for Biales: especially catch In my Girlish Days. The two ladies have a lot of the same qualities, though Maria doesn't have Talton and that killer slide and dobro of his. In fact, that very song is the rawest of the CD and purposely so: Hornsby, who co-produced the disc, wouldn't let Biales and Kight do a re-take on the first run-through. Despite all pleading, he refused to relent, and he was right. The song shows what's running underneath much of the album, and a glossier version would have been really nice but would've deleted the grittier tang. I mean, Lisa and EG were right, as the later timbre would have matched the rest of the disc, but Hornsby was more on the mark here. Go ahead, listen to the cut and then ruminate on what the obvious cleaned up version would've been, it isn't difficult to discern, and tell me the latter shoulda been chosen. I dare ya.

Mark S. Tucker - FAME (Mar 23, 2014)

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What is a “Belle?” Webster says it is “a beautiful woman at a particular event.” She is also “admired for her beauty and charm.” However, it is her personality that catches my attention. A “Belle” is one who is “powerful, has an artistic flair, and who is a natural entertainer with an infectious exuberance that draws a crowd.” Wow, what a coincidence. That is exactly what one hears when listening to Lisa Biales’s new album, Belle Of The Blues. Essentially, she is the “Belle Of The Ball.”

Going back in time somewhat to 2012 this “strong sultry voice” singer/songwriter released her 8th album entitled Just Like Honey. The album received tremendous reviews including hitting the “Blues, Americana, and Roots Charts at #2, #14, and #13.” Plus, she even caught the eye of Francis Ford Coppola where she was cast in a singer/actor role in the movie Twixt. To add fuel to the fire, Just Like Honey was co-produced by E.G. Kight, better known as the “Georgia Songbird” of the blues, and Paul Hornsby, astounding producer for several gold and platinum albums for artists such as The Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels Band, and Greg and Duane Allman’s, The Hour Glass Band.

So when it came time to release Lisa’s ninth album, she once again turned to her “partner in crime,” E.G. Kight, with the added creativity and exceptional piano playing of co-producer Paul Hornsby to record her new album Belle Of The Blues. The formula for Belle Of The Blues was very simple: you need an an awesome singer/songwriter, two seasoned producers, and a back up band consisting of Tommy Talton on guitar, Randall Bramblett on organ and a great jazz fusion drummer, Bill Stewart, on percussion. Very simple, be an artist who can stand on her own, then surround yourself with some of the best artists and producers past and present.

After listening to her new album, it is safe to say Lisa brings a lot of emotion and attitude to the table. In her own words, she stated Belle Of The Blues is “down home contemporary acoustic blues music,” and “guitar driven.” “It’s a place where I can connect to an audience” with her “sadness” of the blues.

For example, in “Sad Sad Sunday,” we hear Lisa convey in her somber, melancholy voice a very familiar situation for many of us: having a weekend romance, being forced to wait, weekend to weekend. But finally, the anticipation she dreams of in her voice we hear, “I wanna hear my baby whisper from this Sunday on I’m here to stay no more sad sad Sunday;” but reality sets in ending the number in sadness. The acoustic guitar of E.G. Kight adds to the lonesomeness and empty feeling to this song.

In another piece, Lisa really sings the blues in “Mask.” Once again, in her sultry voice, you can just feel the hopelessness. I love this piece. I can’t help but hear a little Lena Horne here. The lyrics are so real as we put on our game face, trying to hid the pain. What is interesting is in the first two stanzas she sings about putting on her “mask and smile.” But in the end, she simply sings, “I’ll put up my glass take off my mask and cry.” I guess the alcohol and mask can only do so much when trying to give a theatrical performance. The intro on the guitar is a great attention getter, and sets the mood. 

As I mentioned in the beginning “Belles” are very powerful. Here is a perfect example in “Graveyard Dead.” She is very accommodating in the beginning, letting her “soon to be” know what she is capable in doing for him. However, there is another side to the coin. She also gives due warning offering a weapons inventory at her disposable including a shot gun, frying pan, and broom stick. Not sure what she could do with a broom stick, but this writer is afraid to ask. This particular piece was co-written by Lisa, E.G. Kight, and Tom Horner. Once again in this number, Tommy Talton did an awesome job on the Dobro with the accompaniment from E.G. on the acoustic guitar. As Lisa sings, it almost sounds as if she is communicating with the guitars going back and forth.

To add to Belle Of The Blues some timeless numbers, Lisa gives us a little something special in “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home,” and “Black and White Blues.” I have to admit, these two pieces are number one on my list. She does a great job, paying tribute to one of her favorites, Bessie Smith, in “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home.” Listening to Bessie on YouTube, she would be very proud of Lisa’s rendition. Once again love the piano of Paul Hornsby. Listening to him I seem to hear somewhat of a “barroom” sound that adds a little nostalgia to the piece, nicely done. Lisa also sings her best with “Black And White Blues,” written by Dalton Roberts as a tribute to Bessie Smith.

Finally, need to to touch base on one more tune, the album opener of Belle Of The Blues. In her opening piece, a somewhat Texas Blues dance piece, is a perfect album opener, much lighter and upbeat. The harmonies of E.G. and Lisa almost sound as if they are one. To add, the song features Pat Bergeson on harmonica, who did an outstanding performance giving the piece a “jukebox” flavor as the lyrics said “She keeps people dancing for romancing out on the juke joint floor.” Paul Hornsby and Tommy Talton did an excellent job on the piano and guitar as well respectfully. The song is very well produced. While listening to this track, Lisa is singing more to herself as she sings, “when the spotlight shines she gets in the mood, her eyes twinkle in time to the groove. She’s the belle of the Blues.”

Belle Of The Blues has so much to give to the blues enthusiast. There are so many players on this project. It is obvious, Lisa and E.G. Kight work well together. They really do not need to hear that from me, it goes without saying. They are as one writer stated, “blues sisters.” In fact, they have formed their own duo, The Peach Pickin’ Mamas. The message seems to be if it works, keep working it. Why mess with perfection? I expect to hear more of Lisa and E.G. as they continue to work together. However, it has to be said, even without the prodigious Kight, there still will be Lisa Biales, standing tall on her own two legs. Her “clear-as-a-bell singing voice” resonates. In 2012, she gave us Just Like Honey. In 2013, she gave us Belle Of The Blues. I am looking forward to what Lisa might give us in 2014. One footnote, Lisa will be appearing in August 2014 at the Cincinnati Blues Fest if you would like to catch her live. Hopefully, there will be some studio time in the near future. Regardless, this little “buckeye” has given us a great album in Belle Of The Blues.
I think as time goes by, we will be hearing more and more from her with and without E.G. Kight.

That is how it goes. This is Lisa Biales, and she is the Belle Of The Blues.

- High Note Reviews (Mar 4, 2014)

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LISA BIALES: Belle Of The Blues  

Big Song Music BSM 2-2013 (39:58)

This is Lisa Biales’s (pronounced Bee-Alice) latest release on the Big Song imprint. Production is by Blues Music Award contender, E.G. Kight, and Paul Hornsby. It’s a mostly original set, with a couple of covers.
Biales is a bluesy songstress, although it’s not blues all the way, bluesy Americana is how I would describe it. Highlights are: ‘Belle Of The Blues’, a bluesy shuffle with acoustic guitar and harp; ‘Graveyard Dead Blues’ featuring superb Dobro from Tommy Talton; and a sweetly sung take on the Bessie Smith classic, ‘Baby Won’t You Please Come Home’. The always impressive Tommy Talton plays superb guitar on Memphis Minnie’s ‘In My Girlish Days’; and ‘Peach Pickin’ Mama’ is a tough blues with nifty blues harp from Pat Bergeson.

An impressive follow-up to her ‘Just Like Honey’ release from 2012, Miss Biales gets better and better. 

Phil Wight - BLUES & RHYTHM (UK) – APRIL, 2014 (Apr 26, 2014)

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REFLECTIONS IN BLUE – MARCH 2014

 Lisa Biales

Belle of the Blues

Big Song Music 2-2013

A collaboration between the “Belle of the Blues” and the “Georgia Songbird”, how can one possibly go wrong?  All but four of the disc’s eleven tunes were written by Kight, Horner and Biales or some configuration of the three with EG Kight involved on every tune.  EG & Lisa have a bond that for whatever reason, works.  The band is superb, working as a single unit and as tight as any band I have heard.  The songwriting and arrangements are exceptional and Lisa Biales is right on the money.  Her vocals are warm and comfortable, like a well-worn denim and her delivery is impeccable.  This is one of those albums that is nearly impossible not to love.  The opening tune, “Belle of the Blues” sets the tone with Pat Bergeson’s harp work adding those accents that are like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae.  From there the band goes into a slow-burner that cuts through straight to the heart.  The album is a great mix of the up-tempo numbers and the ballads, giving the piece that diversity that keeps it fresh and powerful.  Between the exceptional guitar work and the ability that Biales has to deliver those emotionally charged tunes that give it the power that is essential when it comes to the blues.  This is one of those recordings that has a timeless sound and feel that will never get old.  As I sit here listening, I am reminded of Patsy Cline and others.  When I look back over the scope of her work I am amazed at the diversity and the power with which Lisa Biales delivers her music.  I hear elements of so many of the greats throughout the history of the blues when I listen to her music.  The styles of Bessie Smith, Sippie Wallace, Memphis Minnie, Saffire- the Uppity Blues Women and more blend and are incorporated into the style that is distinctly Lisa Biales.  The epitome of southern charm, Lisa delivers the goods with style and finesse, not relying on sexuality, which she certainly could, to get her point across.  This is a woman who has true talent.  Belle of the Blues is another winner, no doubt about it. – Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson - REFLECTIONS IN BLUE (Mar 5, 2014)

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"Her phrasing and delivery are impeccable, there's a nice range to the material here."

Kerry Doole - Exclaim.ca (Mar 18, 2014)

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Lisa Biales Live on Vinny Marini's Blog Talk Radio. This segment with Peach, Brent Johnson, Blues411 Report with Chef Jimi, and Lisa Biales talking about her CD "BELLE OF THE BLUES."

Radio Inverview (Mar 5, 2014)

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"Lisa Biales has a marvel of a voice - clear and sweet, as pure as mountain air."

- Biales is simply wonderful.

"Biales is blessed indeed - that voice!"

" . . . with Tommy Talton's absolutely stellar guitar work a highlight, along with some tasteful harmonica fills from Pat Bergeson."

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SINGING IN MY SOUL Lisa Biales with Ricky Nye & The Paris Blues Band

(Big Song Music) *****

I’ve just found my favorite blues album of the year- so far, at least!  I’m Singing In My Soul, following on the heels (more or less) of 2012’s terrific and freshly surprising Just Like Honey, is a gentle, vintage, jazzy breath of fresh air.


This disc is, in its own way, along the same lines as the terrific blues based releases Maria Muldaur has been releasing in recent years, particularly last year’s tribute to Memphis Minnie.  9 of these ten tracks are deft remakes of many long-forgotten classics, like Sister Rosetta Tharp’s Strange Things Happening Every Day, Mississippi John Hurt’s Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me and You Got To Know How from the pen of Sippie Wallace. Despite gathering songs from so many different artists, the whole set meshes together spectacularly well into a sublime, smoky backroom vibe that, frankly, is too delicious for words- even my thesaurus said “you’re on your own here, pal!”
Ricky Nye, a Cincinnati based piano player, also produced the record and plays on it too.  The band is actually from Paris; Thibaut Chopin on upright bass, Anthony Stelmaszack on guitar and Simon “Shuffle” Boyer on drums. There’s almost an old cabaret feel to this disc and while it’s not bluegrass, I get the feeling it would be quite comfy next to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack in the CD changer.  As with music of this sort it’s very sparse and uncluttered- while enjoying the performances overall, I was particularly taken with the mellow, supple jazz runs of Stelmaszack’s guitar.


Though this is only my 2nd Lisa Biales disc, it is in fact her 7th or 8th album, so it looks like there’s some catching up to be done.  At 10 tracks and a playing time of just over 31 minutes, Lisa & The Paris Blues Band wisely heed the old showbiz axiom “always leave them wanting more”. Singing In My Soul is definitely on my ‘essential listening’ playlist. Chances are looking fairly decent that I’ll be able to score a phone interview with Lisa sometime in the next month for my radio show How Blue Can You Get, which airs and noon Alberta time on Sundays at www.953krock.com  I’ll keep you posted.


COOL CUTS: Strange Things Happening Every Day, I only Have Eyes For You, Write Me In Care Of The Blues

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Lisa Biales

Singing In My Soul

All cover tunes with the exception of “Magic Garden,” Singing In My Soul was done to showcase Lisa’s ability to take a cover tune and in put enough of her personal touch in it to make it her own so to speak.  Recorded with Ricky Nye and the Paris Blues Band this one highlights her abilities beautifully.  To say that it has a timeless quality would be silly as most of the tunes are from a day long gone by.  What I found perhaps most impressive is her ability to choose tunes so well.  The songs sound as if they were written for her and the band specifically.  If you like music with an old-time feel, Singing In My Soul would be a perfect choice.  Biales’ voice is right on the money and the music is not only flawlessly played, it has that vintage feeling.  This could have easily been recorded anywhere from the 20s to the 40s.  The only thing missing is the hiss and crackle of the 78s.  Done in much the same way as things were recorded in that era, Singing In My Soul is one sweet piece of work.  The more I hear from Lisa Biales, the more I like what I hear.  This woman has a wide, dynamic vocal range and can cover just about anything she might need to do and do it with ease.  The arrangements and orchestration of the songs on this disc are beautiful and very much in the style of the original tunes.  This is one of the sweetest pieces of work I have heard in quite some time and one that I would feel comfortable recommending to anyone.  It is fresh enough to appeal to the contemporary blues lover yet sounds authentic enough that it could be played for the elderly at a retirement home.  It is the sort of thing that will lift your spirits and leave you feeling like you’re on top of the world.  This one is a winner and is one of those recordings that has major staying power.  

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There are no better words than Lisa Biales' own to capture just how wonderfully jubilant is Singing In My Soul , the eighth independent release from the Ohio-based singer and guitarist ...

"I love working with musicians who give themselves over completely to a song, and who play with joy.  Here's to you, my Jolly Goodfellows," says Biales in the liner notes.

They're the words of a warm and generous spirit, qualities that emanate from every note of theSinging In My Soul.

The Goodfellows that Biales refers to include Cincinnati's Ricky Nye on keys, along with the Paris Blues Band -Bassist Thibault Chopin and drummer Simon 'Shuffle' Boyer, both from indeed Paris, and guitarist Anthony Stelmaszack, who hails from Bordeaux.   They're pretty much perfect here, swinging easily and effortlessly throughout, unobtrusive but providing a lithe and lively pulse that's utterly irresistible.

Yet despite the international cast, the playlist is pure Americana, from the loopy "A Little Bird Told Me" (seldom heard these days, though at one time a number-one hit record for Blu Lu Barker) to a pair, including the title track, from Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  Also among the ten tracks on offer are tunes from Mississippi John Hurt (the surprisingly upbeat "Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me"), Sippie Wallace (a sassy and saucy "You Got To Know How"), W.C. Handy ("Careless Love") and a languid take on Al Dubin's "I Only Have Eyes For You."  Biales wrote just one, the period-perfect "Magic Garden," a sunny and slightly surreal slice of undying optimism.  Songs made famous by Peggy Lee ("Waiting For The Train To Come In") and Patsy Cline ("Write Me In Care Of The Blues") complete the set.

What's truly remarkable about Singing In My Soul, though, is Biales' voice, an instrument of astonishing clarity and power.  She's been a performing musician since her teens, and her background includes a stint in a theatrical production based on Cline's life.  It's a marvel, with a crystalline clarity that gives her delivery an unforced yet undeniable command, yet retains an engaging and unaffected warmth, a sweetness at the heart.  Every song she sings seems to wear a smile, and it's delightfully infectious - it's hard to imagine anyone not feeling a little better, a little happier, after listening to Singing In My Soul.

This is genuinely wonderful stuff, very highly recommended!

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