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The Pauline York Band - Get Down and Ride!

Run Time: 58:04

As she states in her opening number, Pauline York is real. There’s no frills, nothing fancy, just straight ahead rootsy blues, rhythm and blues, and garnished with a little bit of funk. Hailing out of the Joliet IL area, York and Co. debuted in 2001 with the critically acclaimed release Blackberry Wine and then released Muddy Water in 2004. Blending a singer-songwriter sensibility with incorporations of various influences, York is a bright torchbearer for the next generation of American music.

York brings the funk on Get Down and Ride telling she is real, she’s simple and she’s willing to stand up and play with anyone. Her woman-empowered ideals don’t come off as preachy or overly political. She is simply a woman who knows who she is and she is not afraid to sing about it.

Choosing interesting covers throughout the album, York’s straight ahead approach fits the entire playlist here very well. With Barrelhouse Chuck on keys for “Howling Wolf” and “Reap What You Sow,” York demonstrates a deep knowledge of early Chicago Blues with her stripped down, no nonsense approach. On the title track, York shows off her ability to pen and play a catchy funk number without coming off as some folks sometime do, schmaltzy.

Her funk is stripped, ripped, and gritty and makes you tap your feet. York’s sounds a bit screechy at times but her voice is her own and she never pretends to imitate. She sings the songs as herself.

Her singer-songwriter approach seems a bit folksy for a blues crowd on “Brand New Day.” Both the album cut and the alternate take, seem disjointed here with the rest of the album. Her voice, her guitar, and her writing style seem better suited to stay in the blues/soul/funk based music that fills the rest of this disc.

Check out Pauline York at the Washington Street Jazz & Blues Festival this summer. Her CD is available from her website or from CD Baby. Visit Pauline on her re-vamped MySpace Page: 

Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.

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