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Various Artists - Ninth Annual Blues & Boogie Piano Summit

1-2-3 Records

One of the most exiting things about writing for Blues Blast Magazine is the opportunity to discover new events and new artists. The folks behind the Ninth Annual Blues & Boogie Piano Summit have been behind the keyboards for a long time, and this annual event at the historic Southgate House in Newport, Kentucky is an exceptional opportunity to experience some of America’s most talented piano men and piano women. Prior to pressing play on the Ninth Annual Blues & Boogie Piano Summit, I had only heard of Ann Rabson, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn about an annual showcasing blues piano players.

Producer Ricky Nye features 15 songs done by four performers: Christopher Rois, Ann Rabson, Martin Schok and Greta Holtrop, and Nye himself sits in with vocalist Bekah Williams on four cuts. While this CD is first and foremost a showcase for blues piano, there are several opportunities when sidemen get an opportunity to strut their stuff in a traditional, take-your-turn revue style.

On “Haste Makes Waste,” one of my favorite Uppity Blueswomen (for her work with Saffire), Ann Rabson, invites George Bedard to stretch out a bit on guitar, followed by solos from John Schmidt on upright bass and Brian Aylor on drums.

Other standout cuts for me include a mighty soulful interpretation of “Baby What You Want Me to Do” from Ricky Nye and Bekah Williams, along with that duo’s fast-moving boogie-woogie on “As Long As I’m Moving.” Nye’s received multiple awards from his native Cincinnati, including nods for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award from CityBeat magazine and a CAMMY Award from the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper, and this CD is evidence of a rare blues piano talent.

If you appreciate traditional blues piano from Professor Longhair, Dr. John, or Ellis Marsalis;, bought Pinetop Perkins and Friends on Telarc, or enjoyed Gregory Sabatino’s exceptional documentary on blues piano recorded in the Delta called Falsifyin ’ you’ll celebrate the magic made possible by 88 keys captured live at the Ninth Annual Blues & Boogie Piano Summit in 2007.

Discover a diverse range of blues piano styles online at this annual event in North Kentucky at

Reviewer Eric Steiner is President of the Washington Blues Society in Seattle, Washington. The Society was the recipient of the 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive Award in the blues organization category.

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