Deanna Bogart

Deanna Bogart
Pianoland

Blind Pig Records

By Lady K
April 2013

Over the past few months Lady K has listened to and written about several blues bands from the D.C. area, and now they and Deanna Bogart’s Pianoland are making Lady K a little homesick for D.C. (except that Washington doesn’t have an ocean, and Lady K is used to living ocean-side now). Deanna Bogart (acoustic piano, vocals, songwriter), along with Scott Ambush (electric bass), Mike Aubin (drums), Dan Leonard (guitar); and Jeff Reed (upright bass), has put together Pianoland - a yummy concoction, of funky, jazzy, bluesy, very listen-able tunes, including six original tracks.

The covers include a couple of terrific piano rags: Garner’s “Boogie Woogie Boogie” and Pete Johnson’s “Death Ray Boogie;” a version of “I Love the Life I Live” that would do Willie Dixon proud; and a surprising gorgeously jazzy version of “Over the Rainbow.”

“In the Rain” is way up-tempo, funky, and too jazzy for dancing, but “music to the ears” so to speak, with Bogart’s crazy-insane piano and vocals: “goin’ home, goin’ home / odds and ends, hits and misses / goin’ home, goin’ home / with many a part that’s dented my heart, still beatin’ each refrain, in the rain, in the rain, in the rain.” There’s a heart-shaking explosive opener to the track “On and On” where “maybe it’s the world, and maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s just the way it’s supposed to be / some things are forever, and some need to be free, and on and on and on . . . ”

Bogart’s vocals and piano are amazing on “Couldn’t Love You More,” one of the more compelling tracks on the album. A love song vowing she’ll be there always – “sorrow always drifts away like a raft without an oar; Honey, I am here to stay, and I could not love you more.”

The mid-tempo, very funky “Where the Well Never Runs Dry” includes some killer bass pulsing in the background, with a very funky interlude toward the end of the tune.

“Pianoland” is Lady K’s favorite track – it grabs attention right away with a few seconds of REAL vinyl scratchiness that harken back to the olden days. “Pianoland” also includes some rockin’ guitar and drum, ending with a long keyboard solo before the final: “the past gets clearer and somehow nearer, a chance to touch it once again, when my soul longs to be free and only I can tend to me / I’d rather be in piano land.” Bogart excels in her piano land. “Blues at 11” is slow, jazzy blues, and nothing but that piano – and it’s all just so damned good.

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