Blues - Released January 25, 2019 | Blue Note

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Her hoarse, unique voice is gripping from the start. A voice like a descendant of Nina Simone wrapped up in a coat sewn in New Orleans. Following in the footsteps of her illustrious elder, Sarah McCoy is like a fairground attraction. A soul diva with blond mane, inhabited by the most poisonous ghosts of jazz, blues, folk and rock'n' roll. A strong personality burdened by the torments of life. Like a second cousin of Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse, Tom Waits or Janis Joplin, or even good old Dr. John... After singles and concerts where the intense McCoy revealed her raging side, her album Blood Siren, produced by Chilly Gonzales and Renaud Letang, is contrastingly calm. A calm facade of course. A rage that’s controlled on the outside but still very real on the inside. Sometimes, the American woman's playing has the naivety and sincerity of pieces played on a toy piano. Perhaps a way to highlight the childish despair of her songs. The Death Of A Blackbird, a superb instrumental that testifies to her classical training, reveals a certain solitude. The shamanic Devil's Prospects feels like a New Orleans voodoo tale, with all the stickiness of the night and flavors of gin woven in... Take your time to understand Blood Siren. Soak up its melodies and lyrics. This lady easily could have played her larger than life card. She could have belted down the microphone to attract onlookers. Sarah McCoy proves with this record that her art is deeper and will last longer than an evening spent at the circus... © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

Blues - Released January 31, 2014 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
When white blues guitarist Michael Bloomfield was found dead at 37 of a drug overdose in his 1965 Chevy in 1981 in San Francisco, he was no more than a rock footnote to most people, having never had the kind of fame and adulation given to guitar peers like Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, and Jimi Hendrix, although he surely influenced all of these players with his sharp improvisational skills and his exciting, and admittedly sometimes erratic, performances. While most guitarists of his generation learned the elements of blues guitar playing from records, Bloomfield, who grew up in North Chicago, learned them first-hand by playing with the likes of B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Big Joe Williams, and others in Chicago's gritty blues clubs, and skin color meant nothing to Bloomfield at a time when it seemed to mean everything to everyone else in America. His first bands, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Electric Flag, were racially mixed blues powerhouses, fusing the blues with jazz, R&B, psychedelia, and seemingly everything else under the sun, and like Bloomfield, both of those bands are woefully underappreciated. Bloomfield was also a much in-demand session player, playing guitar at Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited sessions and adding his energy and guitar licks to projects by Muddy Waters, Janis Joplin, and many others. His solo albums were strange, eccentric, occasionally brilliant, and never sold well. This set, produced and curated by longtime collaborator Al Kooper, is the first overarching survey of Bloomfield's woefully short career, containing three music discs, Roots, Jams, and Last Licks, with a DVD disc of Bob Sarles' documentary Sweet Blues: A Film about Michael Bloomfield rounding out the set. It's a must for any Bloomfield fan, and hopefully will open the gates to a renewed appreciation for this brilliant, manic, and groundbreaking guitarist. ~ Steve Leggett