After signing her acclaimed self-produced album ‘Box & Dice’ to Reference Recordings, USA, Fiona Boyes returns with a dedicated audiophile acoustic project recorded by the Grammy Award-winning label.
Over the past 18 months Fiona has toured extensively in Australia and internationally, with performances in Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, UK, Canada, USA and Central America. In May 2016, she was a final five nominee in the USA Blues Music Awards for the ‘Koko Taylor Award: Traditional Female Blues Artist of the Year’, her fifth Blues Music Award nomination. Her immersion into the rich musical and historical traditions that make up the blues give conviction and authenticity to both her guitar work and her songwriting.
On ‘Professin’ the Blues’, Fiona goes back to her acoustic roots with 16 songs (14 originals and 2 covers) showcasing her mastery of a wide range of traditional blues. From the Lightnin’ Hopkins style opener ‘Can’t Stay Here No More’, through intricate finger picking (‘Lay Down with Dogs’ & ‘At the Crossroads’), Classic Era women’s blues (‘Old & Stiff’), cigar box slide (‘If I should Die’) to New Orleans and beyond, Fiona tells her own distinctive stories. Two highly respected instrumentalists join her in the studio: drummer and percussionist Jimi Bott (Fabulous Thunderbirds) and bassist Denny Croy (Brian Setzer Orchestra).
The album was recorded at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California, by audiophile recording legend ‘Professor’ Keith O Johnson, with all songs performed live, in real-time, with no overdubs or effects. ‘Professin’ the Blues’ proclaims Fiona’s passion for the Blues while also celebrating ‘Prof’ Johnson’s unique contribution, with his singular audio techniques and use of hand built or modified equipment.
“Boyes has a strong, searching voice and tackles a variety of blues grooves without missing a beat, skipping lightly from a strong Texan, Lightin’ Hopkins opener through ragtime rhythmic drive and reggae-inspired numbers that also include light jazz touches and some absolutely top fretwork. This is an album that is immediately gripping from the very off and highlights Boyes’ own songwriting strengths…Professin’ the Blues is an album that carries her power forward with total mastery and confidence, a wonderful offering.” – Iain Patience, Rhythms Music Magazine