The Reba Russell Band emerged from Jim Dickinson's Zebra Ranch recording facility with a new quiver full of hot, original blues. Reba, her husband, bassist Wayne Russell, and keys/harmonica player, Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms have made independently produced albums for over 20 years. The new record, their eighth release, will be called, simply, 8. It is indubitably their finest collaboration to date, even outshining their formidable greatest hits. Reba is accompanied by guitars, bass, drums, a beautiful Baldwin grand piano, electric pianos, gutsy amplified harmonica, soul drenched Hammond organ, a superb Memphis horn section and lush background vocals. This project was lovingly mixed by hand using old school techniques (real echo chambers and huge reverb plates!) by Dawn Hopkins at the world renown, hit-making Ardent Studios. It is sublime.
The band, seasoned with the familiarity that comes from touring the world playing festivals, features searing guitar from their spectacular young guitarist, Josh Roberts, and impressive feats of percussion from professional drummer, Doug McMinn. After so many years, Reba's band has hit it's stride, playing solidly, together as one, with a ferocious intensity matched only by it's equally tear-evoking poignant tenderness. The interplay of instruments against the strong, sultry vocal styling of Reba Russell rings true to the musical heritage of Memphis, the band's home town... rootsy, blue and deep. The band seamlessly alternates from loping, hard driving blues with a massive back beat to finessing moving, gentle ballads and gospel-inspired soul music.
This band combines decades of experience, superlative instrumental virtuosity and the most moving female voice in the modern blues pantheon to create one of the most exciting entertainment packages to have ever come from Memphis, Tennessee.