Back To Reviews page

Jackie Payne Steve Edmonson Band - Overnight Sensation

I liked Overnight Sensation from the first time I listened to the disk, but I was not particularly excited by anything I heard. I listened a second time, a few days later, and liked it even more. Then I read the liner notes and discovered that nine of the 13 songs are originals, and excellent originals, at that. With headphones I began to hear better how the various instruments blended together. Now I’m excited about the latest offering from the San Francisco Bay area sextet, The Jackie Payne Steve Edmonson Band.

The disk is an excellent combination of solid musicianship led by the guitar work of Edmonson; interesting lyrics written mostly by Payne; tight backup work from saxophone virtuoso Carl Green; Lech Wierzynski puffing away on trumpet; Bill Singletary on bass and percussion from Nick Otis, plus some guest musicians and backing vocals.

Payne and Edmonson have played together in California for the better part of a decade, but both trace their roots back to traditional blues haunts in the south and Midwest. Payne began his musical career as a teenager in Atlanta and worked with Albert Collins and Johnny Otis, among others, before settling down in San Fran. Edmonson grew up on the road with his traveling folk music father Travis Edmonson before joining forces with the likes of Buddy Miles, Van Morrison and James Cotton. Together they bring years of musical tradition to their new release.

Here’s a look at what Blues Blast found in Overnight Sensation:
The first cut, an original, is also the title cut, “Overnight Sensation,” and it’s a good one to set the tone. It’s a solid, soulful beginning with horns and guitar about how long and hard the night can be, before you become an overnight sensation. Next is “Can I Hit it Again,” a danceable funk groove original with solid trumpet work, Average White Band guitar strumming, and some cleverly suggestive lyrics. It’s chased by some B.B. King-style guitar work in a song about the one person that can give anybody the blues, “Mother-In-Law Blues.” Next, you’ll hear a hint of Percy Sledge in “Take a Chance on Me,” a blues ballad about trying to close the deal.

Move over Robert Johnson: Chicago may have a new blues anthem with “I Got a Mind to Go to Chicago,” another Payne-Edmonson original that may do for Chicago what Marc Cohn did a few years ago for Memphis. If you know anything about Chicago, you’ll recognize plenty of blues icons and fixtures in this one.

“Uptown Woman, Downtown Man,” is an original big band blues swinger about going out on the town and trying to step up a notch or two while stepping out. It’s followed by “Midnight Friend,” a horn-driven song about saying all the right things to get lucky at closing time. Then, you can almost hear Otis Redding in “Your Good Thing is About to Come to an End,” a lonely soul tear-jerker of a song originally penned by Stax masters Isaac Hayes and the underrated David Porter.

The band switches gears with “No Money, No Honey.” It’s an obvious tribute to capitalism and what a deep well of cabbage can do for you!

Do women change? Apparently so, according to the original, “Bag Full of Doorknobs,” a song that hints suspicion might have at least a little something to do with that change.

The medley, “She’s Lookin’ Good,” and “I’ve Never Found a Girl,” the latter written by two more Stax stars, Eddie Floyd and Booker T. Jones, and with a smooth transition courtesy of a sampling from “Shout,” is a cheerful coupling of two blues love songs. It leads to the instrumental “Bringin’ Me Right Back,” an up ‘til news kind of song featuring writer Edmonson on guitar, Wiersynski on trumpet, and guest musician Gail Deadrick on the B-3.

Tremolo guitar and wailing sax set the tone on the final cut, “Feel Like Going Home,” a cover of a Charlie Rich country cryin’ song that the band makes it’s own thanks to a gospel blues spin laid on by the vocal work of Payne.

Neither Payne nor Edmonson are exactly spring chickens, but they say by blues standards, they’re still pretty young. That “youthful” enthusiasm for their music is evident with Overnight Sensation. Two Anchor Bocks up for Overnight Sensation.

Reviewed By Rob Paullin

To submit a review or interview please contact:


Home  |  Contact  |  Submit Your Blues News - Advertise with
 Copyright - 2007 - Design by: