"Keeping the Blues Alive Award" Achievement for Blues on the Internet Presented by The Blues Foundation
Duffy Bishop is a well-known singer in the Portland area. This recording on the Burnside label although released in 2002 is from 1998. Having only heard this live recording makes me wish for three things. One, that she can still sing this well 4 years later. Two is that I hope her studio recordings sound this good. Three, that her supporting cast is as good as it is on this recording.
This CD starts off with the band doing an opening instrumental workout credited to Charlie Christian. Since Bishop contributes only vocals, it's all the band. The second tune gets Ms. Bishop in the act in a supporting role on the Willie Dixon tune, "Insane Asylum". This tune is carried by the spoken introduction by guitarist Chris Carlson. He does a nice job, reshaping a well-worn tune.
Bishop has a dramatic and smooth voice. She sounds kinda campy at times, like Bette Midler or Candye Kane. Humorous but with feeling when she wants to. From the sound of this recording it would be a lot of fun to see her live show. When she says " I'm Duffy, I'm Queen Of My Own Thing" you know she means it, but doesn't' come across with conceit but assurance.
She is not a prolific songwriter. Of the 10 songs on " The Queen's Own Bootleg" she wrote or co-wrote 2 songs. However, she knows how to pick her material. Writers include the aforementioned Christian and Dixon along with Johnny Adams, and Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer. One has to question redoing the great Johnny Adams tune" Room With A View". Probably no one could do a better job than the original. It is different having a female voice to it. The same could be said for the classic "Old Black Magic". But when she throws in this heavenly " Eyyow!" you can tell she's having fun with it.
Special mention should be made of the horn section, which consists of John Goforth on saxes and flute and Bryan Dickerson on saxes and clarinet. The sax solos are consistently hot and inventive. It's difficult to tell which one is blowing during the solos. They alternate and they both have plenty of room to do their thing. On 'Hey Chester" they trade solos for most of the 9:44 length of the song. They really tear it up throughout the entire session.
This CD ends up with a song that might have been their opening tune. It's called "Everyone's Coming To A Party". It sounds like they had a party the night this recording was made. If this is typical of a Duffy Bishop concert, it's easy to see why she is a local legend. "The Queen Indeed".
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