RICKY NYE - THE VEVAY SESSIONS.
The Vevay Sessions was recorded in rural Vevay, Indiana in cooperation with Jerry Girton aka Jerry King (upright bass & engineer); Anthony Ray Wright (drums & guitar) and Eli Gonzalez (tenor & baritone sax). Released March 15, 2023 Produced by Ricky Nye Recorded at Girtone Studio - Vevay, Indiana Engineering & mixing by Jerry King Mastering by Anna Bentley Illustration & layout by Karen Boyhen Photo by Sam Girton
Available from https://rickynye.bandcamp.com/album/the-vevay-sessions
Reviewed March 2023 This is an album with an interesting mix of songs from a number of different genres from boogie woogie, blues, western swing and rock and roll.
Track by track:
Kay-Bee Boogie – If you’re a fan of Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson et al then this opening instrumental will put you at ease about buying this album. Piano, Bass and drums work well together to give a classic boogie woogie feel to the tune.
You Can't Get That Stuff No More – This was originally done by Tampa Red and Ricky does a good version. His vocals fit the song well and there is some great sax playing to enjoy too.
The Fives – Another instrumental, a version of a track which dates back to the early 20s written by Hersel Thomas who recorded for the Okeh label in the States before the time when the term “boogie woogie” came to public attention when Pinetop Smith recorded “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie” in 1928.
She's So Sweet – This was first done by Lonnie Johnson in 1949 and is a mid-paced rhythm and blues tune. Ricky’s version is a faithful reworking of Lonnie’s song.
Low Down Dog – Written and first recorded by Leroy Carr in the 1930’s this is a song I know because of Big Joe Turner’s version. Ricky’s version doesn’t have quite the bounce as Big Joe’s, but it does have a great solid beat and some intricate piano work.
Trouble In Mind - This is a vaudeville blues-style song written by jazz pianist Richard M. Jones. Singer Thelma La Vizzo with Jones on piano first recorded it in 1924 and in 1926, Bertha "Chippie" Hill popularized the tune with her recording with Jones and trumpeter Louis Armstrong. Ricky is the latest in a long line artists to do a fine version of it.
Am I To Blame – Ricky does a more jazzy version of the Jimmy Rushing’s blues number. The drummer uses brushes to keep the rhythm going. It is quite easy to imagine you’re listening to the band in a small, smoked filled backstreet club sipping on some bootleg liquor.
Train Kept a Rollin' – Have to say I really like this version of the Tiny Bradshaw classic, the saxophones and backing vocals complement the piano and bass. My favourite track on the album.
Lights Out – When I saw this in the track listing I thought to myself “surely not the Jerry Byrne number?” I am very pleased that it is indeed a good rocking cover of the song first issued on Specialty records in 1958. Great sax playing and a rocking piano, a true recreation of a classic piece of New Orleans rock and roll.
Faded Love – A complete change of tack from Boogie Woogie, R&B and Rock ‘n’ Roll Ricky shifts to an instrumental version of the Bob Will’s classic piece of Western Swing.
Summary: I really like this album. It is well produced without being over produced. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was recorded “live”, a definite novelty these days. Ricky is clearly a very accomplished piano player who loves Boogie Woogie. Definitely a worthwhile purchase!
The following YouTube is Ricky playing “The Fives”: https://youtu.be/HJiCWPqDYSY Reviewed by Jailhouse John Alexander.