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Album Review: ‘Blues In My Blood’ packs a one-two punch

“Blues In My Blood” is an apt title for the debut of Tiffany Pollack & Eric Johanson.
Photo by Kelsey Coste

If you’re looking for a good background story to pair with a strong new release, Tiffany Pollack & Eric Johanson have teamed up to put forth an unlikely pairing with the new bluesy, soulful, rootsy album “Blues In My Blood.”

“Blues In My Blood” joins New Orleans jazz singer Tiffany Pollack with acclaimed Whiskey Bayou Records artist Eric Johanson (Tab Benoit’s label) to bring forth a swampy, gritty take on blues and roots. What’s fascinating about this pairing is how they met. Pollack was reunited with her biological family at the age of 25, and at that time, she discovered that she and Johanson were third-generation members of a family with quite a bit of musical history. The cousins’ mothers pushed for them to work together, and now the project has come to life.

The album kicks off with howling bottleneck slide guitar by Johanson on the title track. Pollack’s soulful vocals cut through with pristine clarity, and a four-on-the-floor Delta blues stomper ensues, with powerful cracking of the drums by Brentt Arcement. You can hear the blending of styles, as New Orleans-inspired jazz vocals combine with gritty blues guitar. The production choices by Grammy Award producer Jack Miele, and clever chord changes inside of a traditional blues vibe, create a tasteful blend of old versus new stylings.

“Memories To Forget” follows, with haunting harp licks throughout from Johnny Sansone. Other highlights include uptempo groove number “Keep It Simple,” and a couple of choice covers – “No Expectations” by The Rolling Stones, “River” by Joni Mitchell” and Pete Seeger’s “If I Had A Hammer” – all being done justice by these two, who clearly have developed a musical chemistry together.

“Blues In My Blood” is a recommended listen. It hits all the marks – good songwriting, solid production without distracting the listener, excellent singing, beautiful guitar work, and rock solid musicianship all around.

— Jon Siembieda

Blues In My Blood

  • Tiffany Pollack & Eric Johanson
    ‘Blues In My Blood’
    Label: NOLA Blue Records
    Release: Feb, 15, 2019
  • Musicians
    Tiffany Pollack – vocals
    Eric Johanson – vocals, guitar
    Phil Wang – bass
    John Gros – organ, piano
    Brentt Arcement – drums
    Sean Carey – backing vocals
    Johnny Sansone – harmonica
    Jack Miele – additional guitar, percussion, bass
    504 Horns – brass

    Tahoe Onstage

    Eric Johanson played in Reno with with Jeff McCarty and Whiskey Bayou Records owner Tab Benoit.
    Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

 

About Jon Siembieda

Writer Jon Siembieda plays guitar in the Southern California-based touring rock 'n' roll band Hunter & The Dirty Jacks. He is an avid concertgoer and album collector. His top five favorite bands are The Rolling Stones, Black Crowes, Faces, Mother Hips and Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

One comment

  1. Can’t wait to get my DVD!!! So excited for them. Looking forward to hearing them play in person this Spring when we travel from Kerrville, TX to New Orleans.

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