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Image of Jackie Payne & Steve Edmonson Band - Overnight Sensation Jackie Payne & Steve Edmonson Band - Overnight Sensation
Delta Groove - Released July 22, 2008

Jackie Payne began singing professionally at the young age of 13, and over the next 30 or so years he has performed with such talents as T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, Freddy King, and Etta James, to name a few. During his blues education, Jackie also toured as the lead vocalist with The Johnny Otis Show, and performed with the popular touring band the Dynatones.

Jackie gives us an insight to his “blues upbringing” on the title track “Overnight Sensation.” The lyrics tell us the story as to how he learned from the greats, mostly during one night stands. Even though he has been referred to as an overnight sensation, Jackie reminds us it has been a mighty long night and an incredible journey to where he is at today, pursuing his solo career.

Steve Edmonson is a veteran guitarist with great tone and emotion. His playing has been compared to other blues talents such as Jimmie Vaughan, Duke Robillard, and Ronnie Earl. Steve is the son of folk musician Travis Edmonson (of Bud and Travis fame), where he rode alongside his father as he toured and performed with folk and blues music legends like Josh White, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and Lightnin' Hopkins. Steve has earned his reputation as a stellar musician by performing behind folks such as Luther Tucker, James Cotton, Syl Johnson, Sir Mack Rice, and Sugar Pie De Santo, among countless others.

These two seasoned veterans of the blues and R&B music scenes have put together a CD which has earned them a nomination for the “Soul Blues Album of the Year 2009” sponsored by the Blues Foundation.

From the first track, I was hooked. I could tell there were better things to come, however it’s difficult to call out one or two tracks on this CD, because they are all great in their own right. The songs on this album are originals written by Jackie, some in collaboration with the band members. Three tracks are covers; Your Good Thing is About to End by Isaac Hayes, “Feel Like Going Home” by Charlie Rich, and then they offer up a 9 minute medley of Rodger Collins’ “She’s Looking Good” and Eddie Floyd’s “I’ve Never Found a Girl”

The album is a compilation of genres from soul, R&B, and blues. At times you get influences from Al Green and Isaac Hayes, then Chicago influences taken from Bobby Blue Bland as this record maneuvers through gutsy blues and swinging soul. This in itself makes it hard to classify this as solely a blues album and that’s the way Jackie and Steve want it. In their words,” If a song has a certain feel, we don’t copy it, but make it sound like it’s the only thing we have ever played.” This philosophy is evident as you listen to each song, which contains its unique arrangement.

Track List:

Overnight Sensation
Can I Hit It Again
Mother in Law Blues
Take a Chance on Me
I Got a Mind to Go to Chicago
Uptown Woman, Downtown Man
Midnight Friend
Your Good Thing (Is About to Come to an End)
No Money-No Honey
Bag Full Of Doorknobs
She’s Looking Good/I’ve Never Found a Girl (medley)
Bringing Me Right Back
Feel Like Going Home

The true highlight of this CD is not the silky smooth soulful voice of Jackie or the crisp guitar playing of Steve, which is never overplayed, but the chemistry of the band and how the horns find their spot which always fits the mood of the song. It is apparent these guys know how to gel and support one another making the music magical. Band members Carl Green on tenor and alto sax, Bill Singeltary on bass, and Nick Otis on drums are pillars of the blues music scene playing back up to a number of legendary headliners. A special mention to Mitch Kashmar who brings his harmonica talents to Chicago blues tunes like “I Got a Mind to Go to Chicago”

There is no wonder this CD is nominated this year for a blues award. I’m ranking this recording a solid 5.0 on the STLBluesometer, because these guys have found a niche of their own and have let creativity define their sound bringing a freshness rarely heard.

-- Jeff “Harpin Homer” Winders
The STLBluesometer

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