Living Blues - 1-2/00, p.63
"...combines an impish sense of humor with hard-nosed feminist mettle....an impressive...debut solo-outing..."
Personnel: Gaye Adegbalola (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica); Mike DeMicco, Tom Principato (guitar); Jordan Valdina (piano, keyboards); Warren Bernhardt (piano); Carl Adami, Randy Mattson (bass); Peter O'Brien, Clyde Connor (drums); Jerry Marotta (percussion); Resa Gibbs, Ysaye Barnivell, Juno Pitchford (background vocals); Rory Block.
Recorded at Jerrsville Studio, Woodstock, New York in April 1999 and at Omega Studios, Rockville, Maryland in July 1999. Includes liner notes by Gaye Adegbalola.
Personnel: Gaye Adegbalola (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, background vocals); Rory Block (acoustic guitar, background vocals); Mike DeMicco, Tom Principato (electric guitar); Jordan Block Valdina (piano, keyboards); Warren Bernhardt (piano); Clyde Connor, Peter O'Brien (drums); Jerry Marotta (percussion); Resa Gibbs, Juno Pitchford, Ysaye Barnwell (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Eric Lemley; Rob Macomber.
Liner Note Author: Gaye Adegbalola.
Recording information: Jersville Studio, Woodstock, NY (04/1999/07/1999); Omega Recording Studios, Rockvi (04/1999/07/1999).
Photographers: Les Gruseck; Suzanne Moe; Marc Norberg; Craig Hemp.
With Bitter Sweet Blues, Gaye Adegbalola has produced an album that starts off where her work with Saffire the Uppity Blues Women left off, and jumps into a new, adventurous space. An expanded cast of musicians and more personal lyrics are some of the benefits to going solo, and Adegbalola makes use of both well. Each song has either humor or power, sometimes both. The only thing that seems incongruous is the mixture of songs with wildly varying moods and topics. While satirical woman-power songs like "Big Ovaries" are empowering and funny, when paired with "Nightmare" -- a powerful, personal song about child molestation -- the effect is somewhat gross. The feminist politics of both songs mesh rather well, but it is difficult for the listener to shift from laughing at bawdy sexuality to somber empathy in just a few tracks. Overall, though, this is a fine first solo effort that resonates with spirit and emotion. ~ Stacia Proefrock