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Heritage Blues Orchestra

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The grit of low-down country and urban blues to the bold brass of New Orleans; the hand-clapping, hustle and bustle of gospel to fiery postmodern, jazz-infused horn arrangements; the haunting cries of work songs to pulsating drums that reach back to the roots of it all—if you are lucky enough to hear the Heritage Blues Orchestra, you’ll experience this and more.

From the first of the twelve tracks on their debut album And Still I Rise, Junior Mack’s propulsive rendition of Son House’s Clarksdale Moan, Heritage Blues Orchestra unapologetically stomps onto the scene and digs in with both heels—taking us from Bill Sims’ hard-shuffling version of the immortal Muddy Waters classic, Catfish Blues, to the solemn dirge of Chaney Sims’ interpretation of Leadbelly’s Go Down Hannah to magnificent three-part harmonies against a slippery slide guitar in their head-nodding version of Get Right Church.

The group is driven by the powerful rhythms of Grammy-awarding winning blues drummer Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith; buttressed by the churning, precise and percussive rhythms of harmonica virtuoso, Frenchman Vincent Bucher; and ablaze with some of New York City’s heaviest horn players who have worked with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Sting and Springsteen.

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