Roxi & the Blue Cats
Music Reviews, Articles & Testimonials
Built For Comfort .. absolutely amazing .. that bands going to go a long way....... we will be hearing a lot more of RoXi and the Blue Cats... !! When Baby Gets The Blues ..... I like to leave the good slow stuff for the end of the show ... which tells you how good it is! Amazing ... if your going to buy one album this year buy RoXi and the Blue Cats !
DJ Bob Blues - Ain't Nuthing but
8 1/2 minutes of pure excellence ... Ball & Chain... brilliant track from RoXi and the Blue Cats album .. great, really great!
DJ Kevin Beale - Blues On The Marsh
Playing one of my all time favourite tracks 'Ball and Chain' from RoXi and the Blue Cats album who are swiftly becoming one of my favourite bands ... those cats do boogie & play some serious blues!
DJ Hamr - Blues N Boogie Birthday Bash Live Show
UK Sensation RoXi and the Blue Cats : Outstanding version of Ball and Chain
Downtown Deb : 21st Century Blues Show : GoldRadio
***NEW*** RoXi & The Blue Cats - Blues für mitternächtliche Kneipentouren
"Blue Cat Strut" is the right number to: A dark, hypnotic groove and a lascivious voice. This is blues-rock kind of sexy: seductive and compelling...... (a short quote from the original German review - click the Languages tab at the top of the Wasser-Prawda page to translate). Read the full review by Blue Priest at Wasser-Prawda
Slick, down and dirty, but amazingly clean sounding, Roxi & The Blue Cats dish out the blues in a smooth, sexy, and even sultry fashion…the way blues is meant to be. They sound gruff, beautifully brusque, and wonderfully thick on some tracks, but turn it all around on the next track, coming off musically sharp and held together with an attractive barroom charm.
The band is a five piece outfit that play a well-chosen variety of old and new blues, jazz, and rock. The lead singer, known as Roxi, has a gifted voice that's powerful and rich, and whose style at times reminds one of Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks or even Janis Joplin at times. The musicianship from the rest of the band is tight, especially the guitar playing of Martin Ellins and the wonderful bass picking of Philip Plant, who holds together a number of tracks on their self-titled debut album.
The album opens with "Blue Cats Strut", a wonderful back-alley blues number that puts the drums and bass at the forefront, and then introduces the vocals with a wham. The song creeps, crawls, and prowls with a contagious, classic blues bass riff that just won't quit; an excellent opener for a debut recording. "Lotus Elite blues" is a flashback to the days when British Blues had its heyday, which was the mid to late 1960's and early 1970's. Right away, there are tones of the old Fleetwood Mac, lead by Peter Green, or of Eric Clapton's Cream, thanks to the song's pace and snappy drum work. The vocals are sharp and frantic, but keep up marvelously with the instruments while still managing to keep a cool, blues mood.
"Built For Comfort" is a Willie Dixon number that exudes the relaxed, laid back style of the blues. The band does another good job on this track, which is attractively simple when it comes to the guitar and drum work…just your basic blues riffs, yet done cleanly and efficiently. Singer Roxi sounds emerged in the music that's behind her, which gives the tune another dimension and more of a back porch feel.
At nearly nine minutes, "Ball and Chain" is slow moving blues tune that sounds somber, sorrowful and beautifully emotive. Melancholy, gloomy, and somewhat downhearted, this song, with its slow bass plucks and classic downtrodden tempo, reflects the deepest part of the blues. Even more superb though, is a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain." Roxi and the Blues Cats' version is more haunting than the original, to be sure, and there seems to be a little more depth to this rendering. It's difficult to cover such a classic, and while the magical voice of Stevie Nicks can never be duplicated, the band gets full marks for this effort.
The band falls off a bit with "Rock Me Right", as they meander slightly into rock and roll. The song is your standard blues/rock fare and comes across a bit hollow, almost too simple for their talent level. After hearing what the band can do in the first five tracks, "Rock Me Right" is instantly overshadowed by what one has heard already. "When Baby Gets The Blues" is another late-night, enchanting number with a slow pace. Again, the guitars and hypnotizing vocals creep along as if they're tiptoeing around a darkened house…wonderful mood and atmosphere created on this track, and yet another sharp reflection of the British Blues scene.
Ending the album is the colorful "Woke Up This Morning", the B.B. King classic which is covered quite tastefully, and "Blue Cats Boogie", a fun little piece that jaunts along with a dance floor blues sound and an upbeat lilt running through its veins.
To say the least, Roxi and the Blues Cats is a truly great blues album. Lovers of the blues, especially the British Blues, will appreciate everything they hear on these tracks. The covers are well done, with style, and the band exudes a sincere blues sound on the originals. Most of all, the blues sound doesn't have to be looked for on each track: it's there instantly. The band has a unique chemistry of getting across their sound without doling out much effort. Blues lovers will notice this right away, and will get hooked after the first listen.
Review by Mike DeGagne (All Music Guide) / ReviewYou
Rating 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Mike DeGagne has been writing about music for over 15 years. Hailing from Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Mike has a B.A. in English from Laurentian University. He started reviewing music for a couple of local newspapers, and then graduated to the All Music Guide as a contributing writer specializing in album and song reviews from a multiple of genres. Although his forte is rock and pop, he has covered such areas as jazz, blues, country, avant garde, new age, progressive rock, and alternative. With over 1000 reviews written for the All Music Guide, both in the printed editions of the encyclopaedia and on their website, Mike has a true passion to write and to express his love of music in his writing. He has a fondness for British Blues and Classic Rock, with The Rolling Stones, early Fleetwood Mac, The Who, and The Beatles included as some of his most cherished artists. In his spare time, Mike teaches English to adult learners in Sudbury and also contributes reviews to the American Noise website.
Roxi & the Blue Cats is cinqtet a dynamic mix of original songs with strong alternating clever cover versions. The band was formed in England in 2004, singer and figurehead Roxi is actually the only female member. Martin Ellins (guitar), Rich Moxon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Phil Plant (bass) and Brian Johnson on the drum skins complete the whole. The powerful voice of Roxi makes us very promptly recall a young Janis Joplin. The catchy opening track "Blue Cats Strut" is immediately strongly supported by heavy bass lines and tight drums. The blues ballad "Ball & Chain" Martin Ellins takes the lead with understated guitar work, as is the impressive and emotional voice of Roxi. With "Built For Comfort" by Willie Dixon takes the band immediately back to the basics of the blues. In Fleedwood Macs 'The Chain' approach them very much the original sound, although this is clear that Stevie Nick is very difficult to replicate. But Roxi replied to this already powerful reply. Blue Cats Boogie is an upbeat dance number, which many dance floors will be filled with. Once the sound and the vocals in your neck are fooled, this is quite an enjoyable release.
This band is a must for blues lovers, but I hope in the future for a full release with more original work.
Philip Verhaege (4) / KEYS AND CHORDS Please note that the review above is an ENGLISH TRANSLATION from the original DUTCH using an online automated service. Visit KEYS AND CHORDS to see the original text.
It is not often that we review a cover band, as Jamsphere is almost strictly dedicated to original music, but Roxi & the Blues Cats is an exception as they do a bit of both and they do it rather well. If what we call British Bebop Blues, is your bag then you should have a Roxi album in your collection, or at least attend one of their many live performances... Read full review RoXi and the Blue Cats : British Bebop Blues article at Jamsphere : the Indie Rock Magazine by Rick Jamm.
"This group is a wonderful mix of Blues, Rock, Country and Jazz." Torrio ... read the review at HardCoreRemix Blog
From mouthwateringly cool to sizzeling hot, blues merged with flavours of rock, country and jazz .. read full article at A Voice To Hear, along with RoXi and the Blue Cats : Simply Six and the RoXi and the Blue Cats Points Of View.
A band that never fails to pull in a crowd with their excellent credentials, great music and musicianship... whether it's a small intimate room or a large outdoor event, they have songs to suit the occassion and keep the audience entertained. Tracey Howard-Baker Electric Blues Club Founder & Events Organiser
The Lotus Festival gig was great with the dancefloor packed for the second set. A good range of music with something for everyone. Fortunately my short visit to the stage didn't end with me falling off. The Chain went down a blast and I look forward to the release of Lotus Elise Blues. Hopefully Burt will book the band at another event. Peter Punter Top Oils Sponsor
You guys were awsome on saturday at the Lotus Festival, hope to see you again! cheers Jason/Christine
A great lively and dynamic band that never fails to attract a crowd to our annual live music events with their great mix of Blues/Rock music that keeps our feet tapping and the audience coming back for more! Electric Blues Club
What a great day out we had at Hilly Fields Park! Thank you so much for the entertainment, we can't wait to see you again in 2010. Friends of Hilly Fields
Thank you for choosing us for the launch gig - our members loved the band and keep asking when you will return! Bolyn Hall
The Blues has had its ups and downs over the years. From its beginnings as a folk music in the American South, to spreading across the globe and becoming one of America's biggest musical exports, the Blues has a fundamental feeling and grip on the human condition that allows it to appeal to fans of all musical backgrounds and tastes. Almost as soon as American Blues musicians put their songs on record and began to sell singles in the first half of the 20th century, British musicians grabbed a hold of the genre and adopted it into their culture and musical output. Early artists such as Eric Clapton, Eric Burdon, Brian Jones and Rory Gallagher all took the Blues they heard from across the pond and made it their own, creating the genre we now call British Blues-Rock. Over the years many UK bands have added their own take to the Blues, one of which is Roxi and the Blue Cats, with their self-titled album diggin' into the Blues tradition and injecting a modern twist to this beloved musical idiom.
Featuring a mixture of original songs and classic Blues and Rock covers, the songs on the album paint a broad stroke of the blues and its relationship to classic rock, swing and jazz. Tracks such as the Willie Dixon classic "Built for Speed," feature a classic Blues ostinato bass-groove, doubled in the guitar, that lays down the main foundation for the vocals and guitar solo to build upon. Vocalist and bandleader Roxi digs deep into her blues vocal palette to deliver one of her finest performances on the record. There is one moment near the end of the track when the drums line up with her vocal punches, driving the words into the listeners psyche and showcasing the band's ability to lock up on the time and dig deep into the pocket. As well, lead guitarist Martin Ellins puts down one of his best solos of the album on this track, alongside the slow blues number "Ball and Chain," which reminds one of Jimmy Page's groove on "Since I've Been Loving You" and Stevie Ray Vaughan's slow blues classic "Tin Pan Alley."
Overall Roxi and the Blue Cats is a solid addition to the traditional and even modern Blues library, but there are a few moments when the album doesn't live up to the expectations set by the highest points on the record. Since the album was mixed very quickly, noted by Roxi that it was done in a few hours, there are moments when the mix is a little weak and takes away from the success of a track. Songs such as "Lotus Elise Blues" are well-written and arranged, but the rhythm guitar tends to be buried a bit, something that is due to the quick mixing job. But, for having such a short time to mix the record, engineer Tom Moxon should be commended for getting such a good overall sound out of the band in that short of time.
As well, there are some moments when the lead guitar work is great, such as the solo on the intro to "Ball and Chain," but there are other moments such as the short solo on "Lotus Elise Blues" where the solo just doesn't stand up to the quality set down on other tracks. With such a rich history of monster guitarists in the Blues and Blues-Rock genre any guitarist will automatically get compared to the greats of the genre, fair or not. It's tough to be a Blues guitarist these days, there is a lot of pressure to lay down rippin' solos every time, so when one falls flat it stands out probably more than it should. The lead lines are good overall on the record, but there are a few moments when they fall a little flat and detract from the success of the tune.
Regardless, Roxi's self-titled album is a fun listen, full of classic rock and blues tracks, as well as a few nice originals sprinkled in between the covers. There are a few moments when things probably didn't come out as the band wanted, but that's the risk and fun part of recording a record. Overall the band does a great job of interpreting these nine blues and blues rock tracks.
Review by Matthew Warnock
Dr. Matt Warnock is a highly experienced music journalist, educator and performer who has written books for Hal Leonard and Mel Bay, as well as hundreds of articles for Just Jazz Guitar Magazine, All About Jazz.com and Modern Guitar Magazine. Currently, he is Editor in Chief for Guitar International Magazine where, beyond his editorial duties, he has interviewed some of the biggest names in the business including Robby Krieger, Ace Frehley, Brian Aubert , George Benson and John Pizzarelli. Matt is also Director of Guitar Studies at Western Illinois University and the Executive Director of the WIU Guitar Festival.