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Washington Blues Society

Wicked Cool is the newest release from Eugene, Oregon's Joanne Broh Band. Joanne was voted Best Female Vocalist twice by the Rainy Day Blues Society and the band was a finalist at a Cascade Blues Associations Journey to Memphis International Blues Challenge local competition.

Joanne sings and the band consists of Jerry Zybach on guitar, Jim Badalich on bass Gus Russell on keyboards and Dan E. Miller-drums. Wicked Cool opens with the title track a double shu e featuring Mitch Kashmar on blues harp. "(Shake 'Er) Like Josephine Baker" features a horn section with Dave Bender and Sean Flannery on trumpets and Linda Kanter-sax with arrangements by Joe McCarthy.

One of the standouts is piano driven "Smokin' Again" featuring Dana Heilman on a muted trumpet solo and Joanne's emotive vocals as she sings "do you care that I'm smokin' again/I stay up late, and I'm drinking your gin/I leave the lights on, ‘cause I might, I might disappear, if you're not here, you make me real/that's how I feel, I'm smokin' again." Mitch Kashmar's harp appears again on the rollicking "Let's Work It Out" which also features a short; but notable slide guitar solo by Zybach. "Sad ‘Ol Heart" is a heartfelt tune with acoustic guitar that could come out of Leanne Trevalyan's songbook. "Bad Boy" shows yet another side with a touch of funk as Joanne sings "when we're out on the town/everybody looks you up and down."

Wicked Cool received the Rooster Award from the Rainy Day Blues Society for "Best New Local Recording" and charted at #18 on the Living Blues Radio Charts. Highly recommended. Malcolm Kennedy - Washington Blues Society

Blues Blast Magazine
August 4, 2016

The Joanne Broh band comes from Oregon and features Joanne on vocals, Jerry Zybach on guitar, Gus Russell on keyboards, Jim Badalich on bass and Dan e. Miller on drums: Mitch Kashmar adds harp to two tracks, Hank Shreve to one; Dana Heitman adds trumpet to one track and a full horn section of Joe McCarthy, Dave Bender, Sean Flannery and Linda Kanter plays on one cut. Several of the songs come from within the band, the rest from fellow West Coast musicians: Jerry had a hand in six songs, Jim four and Joanne two, Gus arranging a song from outside the band.

With a West Coast band you will expect to find some swing and the title track opens the disc with exactly that, an upbeat shuffle, Mitch Kashmar's harp accents, Gus' full sounding organ and Jerry's light touch on guitar offering a solid foundation for Joanne's clear vocals. "Gettin' Old Blues" offers the view that you "go to bed young and you wake up old" and things don't get any more cheerful when Joanne sings of your friends passing on if you last long enough – great piano though to offset the rather depressing lyrics!

The top pick here has to be the fabulous "(Shake 'Er) Like Josephine Baker" which opens with jungle drums and the horn section riffing away behind Joanne's expressive vocal that recounts the tale of the great singer who had to seek her fortune in Europe due to racial prejudice in the USA at the time. Another strong song is the funky "Bad Boy" in which Gus' clavinet gives the tune a 70's feel to which Jerry adds with some distorted guitar work. Lyrically Joanne does not sound too concerned that the title character has roving eyes as he remains hers at the end of the night; in fact she sounds quite happy that her guy is admired by other women!

Elsewhere the band offers us some late night blues on "Smokin' Again", some midpaced blues on "Two Way Street" (with Hank Shreve's harp to the fore) and uptempo swing on "Let's Work On It" (Mitch on harp again and fine piano and guitar solos). The band plays in acoustic vein on "Sad Ol' Heart", an older song from Jerry whose acoustic guitar is the only accompaniment to Joanne's vocal on the first verse, the rhythm section joining in later on.

Overall this is a solid disc of mainly original material – worth a listen.

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK who enjoys a wide variety of blues and roots music, especially anything in the 'soul/blues' category. Favorites include contemporary artists such as Curtis Salgado, Tad Robinson, Albert Castiglia and Doug Deming and classic artists including Bobby Bland, Howling Wolf and the three 'Kings'. He gets over to the States as often as he can to see live blues.

Wicked Cool on the Radio

"Now, what the hipsters discovered many moons ago, before I-pods, before computers, before TV, was the REALLY Cool folks all hang out on the 'Ray De Oh'!

June 19, 2016 on Hammered By The Blues (every Sunday on KOWZ 1170AM at 10pm, available for streaming replays on my website www.bluemondaymonthly.com on the Juke Box page June 19 thru July 22, 2016)

We set the bar high right off the bat as the Joanne Broh Band flat out brings it with tracks off 'Wicked Cool'." - John 'blueshammer' Hammer - Member of Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame- KOWZ, MN

Cascade Blues Association Review by Greg Johnson, president

The Joanne Broh Band's latest album, Wicked Cool, has already reaped some mighty fine accolades. Recently receiving the Rainy Day Blues Society's 2016 Rooster Award for best blues album, the disc is filled with the bluesy arrangements and vocals you've come to expect from one of the most beloved artists from the Eugene area.

Joanne's voice fills many layers befitting the material. Most of the albums' compositions are original numbers created by Broh, bassist Jim Badalich, and guitarist Jerry Zybach. There are a couple tracks from Zybach that stretch back to 2002 (Two Way Street) and 2003 (Sad Ol' Heart). The band is rounded out with drummer Dan E. Miller and keyboardist Gus Russell.

There are also some hefty guests lending a hand to the selections as well, with harmonica players Mitch Kashmar and Hank Shreve, trumpeters Dana Heitman (The Cherry Poppin' Daddies) and Dave Bender (The Flying Instruments of Karma, Emerald City Jazz Kings), and saxophonists Sean Flannery (formerly with The Cherry Poppin' Daddies) and Linda Kanter. Portland's Joe McCarthy's produced the horn arrangements for the track Swing 'Er Like Josephine Baker.

Plenty of emotions spin through Wicked Cool. From the funky beats of Bad Boy," the tender heartfelt vocals on Sad Ol' Heart, the biting guitar interludes on Getting' Old and Let's Work It Out, the loneliness within love lost in Smokin' Again, to the closing Reap What You Sow with its R&B piano paced flavor. Overall, the album is a well-crafted sampling by a strong group of musicians with a truly remarkable lead vocalist that takes you on a musical journey that is not only cool, it's Wicked Cool!

Time: 38:37 Wicked Cool / Getting' Old Blues / (Shake "Er) Like Josephine Baker / Smokin' Again / Two way Street / Let's Work On It / Sad Ol' Heart / Bad Boy / Reap What You Sow

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