The East River Blues Bandıs
BY KARLENE HAMILTON
Music lovers, in
particular lovers of the blues, are in for a treat from East
River Blues Band's latest compact disc release, "High Tide."
High Tide is the band's second recorded release
and is comprised of only original material.
describes its music as a blend of "mostly blues with a little
"It's a working
class New York kind of thing," said guitar player Ken Hughes.
"Itıs blues with a New York edge and a New York theme."
Lead singer Dan
Cumberland describes the band's genre as being "kind of like a
good session of scratching and biting sex. "
From the first
swingy track, "Closing Time," with its hilarious lyrics "When my
baby goes drinking she don't stop till closing time" or "My
first born son has the bartender's eyes and he gets his milk for
free" to the playful vibe of "Lovin' Girl" with Tom Brumley's
harmonica ripping up that track, right down to "Fiona's
Shuffle," "High Tide" is slamming.
an instrumental piece, is a haunting and soulful melody and
Brumley lets the harmonica talk again on this groove.
"Ken has done
fantastic arrangement on these songs," Cumberland said. ³When
someone who loves the blues hears the harmonica they knows it's
Rats," the band's biographical song, tells of them growing up in
the working class neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens.
The Latin flavor
of "Hasta La Vista," with its wild rhythm featuring Bill Acosta
on bass, with Congo drums echoing and Cumberland belting "I
can't find my money baby/What's going on?/ In a west side hotel
room/All my clothes are gone," is somewhat of a crossover that
the band still manages to give a bluesy type of feel.
Shuffle," the only other instrumental piece, was inspired by
"My daughter is
5, and three, four years ago, when I'd still walk around holding
her trying to get her to fall asleep, my wife's childhood friend
came over and said what I was doing was the feeling of shuffle.
I had that melody; it seems sweet, like Fiona has a little
melody. It captures her mood sometimes," Hughes said.
combination of lyrics by me and music by Ken," said Cumberland.
In the past, the
band has covered music by Muddy Waters, Louis Jordan, Willie
Dixon and John Bartholomew.
East River Blues
Band plays mostly in Long Island, New Jersey and Manhattan,
where the band held its CD release party.
sponsored by the New York Jazz and Blues Society," said Hughes.
We had about 100 people there. We played and kicked off our CD.
We sold a bunch of CDs and tested the waters and the people
really liked our original material. The acoustic stuff went over
well. The important thing about this band is that we can show
off things acoustically and electrically."
Hughes named 90.7 WFUV as their favorite radio station.
"They reach out
to different types of listeners presenting different genres. They play old but also
a lot of new," said Cumberland.
"I listen to
that station for the music as well," added Hughes.
East River Blues
Band has been together for about 10 years, according to
"Ken and I knew
each other in high school so we go way back," he said. "I had a
guitar and Dan had a drum. We used to sing harmonies back then
and played for our local neighborhood and friends back then."
Hughes is a
music teacher in Jackson Heights at PS 69, and Cumberland
retired from the Department of Corrections last year.
said they will arrange with the Jazz and Blues Society to
organize a concert for the end of the summer.
"High Tide" can
be purchased through cdbaby.com or www.eastriberbluesbad.com.
Contact the East
River Blues Band for booking at (516) 482-1098.