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Gaye Adegbalola - Blues in All Flavors

Hot Toddy Music

14 songs; 42:24 minutes

Styles: Various Blues Songs for Children and Grandchildren in Multiple Styles

Adult aficionados of the blues sometimes wonder: “How can we best transmit our love of blues music to the next generation--especially the youngest children and grandchildren? They’re not quite ready for “I’m Ready” or cut out for “Cross-Cut Saw.” Enter Gaye Adegbalola (ah-deg-bah-lola), born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This co-founder of the now retired “Saffire: The Uppity Blues Women” realizes that there exist “Blues in All Flavors,” and she’s out to prove it to the primer school-age set! On this highly-entertaining and inspiring CD, Adegbalola’s songs run a full gamut of blues flavors, including Piedmont-style, Chicago-style, New Orleans blues, and a bit of funk! Not only that, but each number teaches a pertinent life lesson. To top it all off, this album includes a 16-page insert booklet featuring lyrics, guitar chords, and interactive learning activities for teachers. Here are three tracks out of fourteen that are guaranteed to grab blues fans’ attention, no matter if they’re six years old, sixteen, or sixty-four:

Track 07: “Grandma and Grandpa’s House”--This Piedmont Blues production is a prime pick. Not only is it catchy, but it’s bound to elicit fond memories of many kids’ two favorite people (besides Mom and Dad)! Featuring a clicking shuffle beat, zesty harmonica, and loving lyrics, the seventh selection on this album is a sure source of smiles.

Track 09: “It Hurts (The Picked Last Song)”--On this Chicago Blues song with Stop Time, Adegbalola provides one of the most poignant reasons why people sing the blues: “If you’re feeling bad about something, a blues song like this can help take away those bad feelings. So start out by grabbing your guitar--yeah, it’s an air guitar, but act like you’re playing that guitar. Now, make a funky blues face like you’re putting all your bad feelings right into the guitar…” This is a fabulous slow tune about being last on everyone’s list. As everyone (kid or not) probably knows, “it hurts,” and it’s perfectly okay to say so.

Track 11: “Don’t-Be-Moody-Do-Yo’-Duty Song”--This isn’t about voting, signing up for the Selective Service at the age of eighteen, or another duty commonly mentioned in the blues. Rather, the title refers to something all of us understand: “If you open it, then you should close it. If you turn it on, then you should turn it off. It’s the Don’t-Be-Moody-Do-Yo’-Duty Song!” With a medium-tempo Bo Diddley beat, this bouncy number isn’t to be missed, and neither is its moral.

It’s no wonder that Gaye Adegbalola was a former Virginia State Teacher of the Year. With songs like these, combining valuable advice for living with memorable melodies, children of all ages will love savoring Blues in All Flavors!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 32 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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