“Mandeville is in fine form here, accompanied by a lengthy who’s who of Chicago-area musicians“
- Blues Music Magazine October, 2015
Blues In Britain
Liz Mandeville’s ‘Heart’O’Chicago’ demonstrates her love and mastery of the Windy City’s blues and soul scene over the last 60 years – and to do this she has recruited some top-notch musicians including Billy Branch, Charlie Love, Eddie Shaw, Dizzy Bolinski, Joan Gand, Minoru Maruyama, Darryl Wright and Wade Baker.
Mandeville opens with ‘Cloud Of Love’ where she sounds like a meld of Koko Taylor and Mary Lane as she testifies over salacious horns and percolating organ with Eric Campbell’s trombone adding a Crescent City edge to the proceedings. There is a Bette Midler feel to the late night swing of ‘These Blues’ with it’s jazz inflected piano and guitar – ‘Don’t Doubt My Love’ is a fine duet with Charlie Love which melds Chicago soul and laid back funk – Billy Branch adds his pure Chi-town harp to the funky shuffle ‘So Called Best Friend’ – whilst ‘Silver Lining’ is a swinging R&B tribute to Shirley Johnson, Mandeville shouting the blues over compelling guitar and jumping horns.
‘(Life Is like A) Wave’, with it’s irresistible swing, has a strong Ace’s feel accentuated by Bolinski’s superb harp – ‘Tic Tok’ harks back to the Big 3 Trio with it’s lazy swing – ‘Smart Women Foolish Choices’, another duet with Charlie Love, melds the influences of Memphis Slim, Al King and Little Milton.
Add in the funky ‘Why Would A Woman Sing The Blues’ and Mandeville answers her own question with her anguished vocals and dirty guitar riding a lowdown horn-fuelled groove – and you have a set that delivers on all fronts. (www.lizmandeville.com)
Four Stars from Soul Bag Magazine, France
http://a1artistspotlight.com/2014/12/18/396-liz-mandeville-heart-o-chicago/ Interview with Liz!!
Liz Mandeville’s music comes from the Heart o’ Chicago, showcasing local guest musicians Joan Gand on piano and B3, Billy Branch and Dizzy Bolinski on Blues harp, Charlie Love (vocals) and Mississippi sax player Eddie Shaw. Liz (vocals, guitar) is accompanied by her band featuring Minoru Maruyama (guitar), Darryl Wright (bass), Jeremiah Thomas (drums) and Wade Baker (trumpet) leading the 3-piece wind section, Baker, Eric Campbell (trombone) and Oz Landesberg (sax).
Liz has a powerful voice and is a brilliant singer/songwriter, she recorded 11 self-penned songs leaving ample space for her musicians to play their virtuoso soli. The 4 horns create an intoxicating Soul groove on “Cloud of love” supported by the B3 and lead by the breath-taking vocals. On “These Blues” Liz admits her addiction to Blues, a cool and jazzy track featuring soli by Joan and Minoru, and Billy, Minoru and Liz make a strong performance on “So called best friend”. Liz plays the solo guitar on “Why would a woman sing the Blues”, Soul, Funk and Blues melt together, and on “Smart women foolish choice” Liz sings a great duet with Charlie Love, Darryl creates a stunning bass pace and Wade adds a dazzling trumpet solo. They finish with “(Life is like a) Wave” and a virtuoso solo by Liz and Dizzy.
Liz Mandeville’s new album is one of my favourite Blues releases of the year, dynamic Blues from the Heart o’ Chicago.
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup
Heart ‘O’ Chicago wins #6 position in Wasser-Prawda.de Readers Poll for “Best Electric Blues CD”
Living Blues December 2014
“At her best, she’s an eloquent lyric storyteller, and her multi-octave vocal prowess and penchant for flamboyance invoke show-stopping chanteuses like Bette Midler as much as blues queens like Koko Taylor and Soul-blues divas like Denise LaSalle…”
Heart ‘O’ Chicago reaches #2 on the Living Blues Charts for November!
Heart ‘O’ Chicago is nominated for 2 “Jimi Awards” Best Song and Guitar Heroine for “Why Would A Woman Sing the Blues”
Gold Mine Magazine Reviews :
“Mandeville is pure Chicago, baby, the kind of blues belter who would’ve fit right in with Muddy himself.” -Mike Greenblatt
Read Full Review here: http://www.goldminemag.com/blogs/september-19-blog
DON & SHERYL CROW’s Nashville based Blues Blog
“…We had three favorites, too. Liz urges everyone to lay your troubles down and “sing like a crazy monkey on a Party At The End Of Time.” Billy is back on the harp on this one. Liz took a lot of flack early in her career from folks who called her out for singing the blues. She gets the last word in this stinging funk blast, “Why Would A Woman Sing The Blues.” She tells it like it is, but, sadly, not a whole lot has changed, because “I’ve been around since day one and I’m still paying my dues.” Her scathing, extra-verse solo lets everyone know her feelings on this issue. And, in a bittersweet look at the problems with social media today, Liz’s ex-lover breaks things off with the unkindest cut of all, when “He Quit Me On A Voice Mail” instead of face-to-face. This one is done up as a classic soul number, with more sax from Eddie Shaw.”
Read full review here: http://donandsherylsbluesblog.wordpress.com/
Reflections In BlueBlog By Bill Wilson:
“With a dynamic vocal range that goes from the sound of a purring kitten to the roaring of a mama lion protecting her cub, Liz has the tools and the vocal range to do whatever the situation calls for. Liz, backed by seasoned professionals delivers everything from straight-ahead blues to R&B and soul with roots deep in her heart and in the heart and soul of Chicago. The musicianship is, without a doubt, the best one could possibly hope for. It is powerful, passionate and overflowing with emotional power. Singing from her vast wealth of personal experience with a passion that springs from the deepest realms of her heart, this is one of those pieces that will stay with the listener long after the album has finished playing. The world is full of female vocalist, many good, and quite a number great but as always, the cream rises to the top. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Liz Mandeville. – Bill Wilson”
Read Full review Here: http://chickenwilson2.blogspot.com/p/september-reviews.html
Making The Scene Blog
“This is a great new album from Mandeville who seemingly deserves a lot more recognition than she gets. I dig her a lot.” Richard Ludmerer
Read full review here: http://www.makingascene.org/liz-mandeville-heart-o-chicago/
More are rolling in as this CD heats up the airwaves…get yours now! www.cdbaby.com/CD/lizmandeville13
Eric Schelkopf talks to Liz In Depth
before her 2013 ChicagoBlues Fest Show:
READ NOW!! Juicy tidbits Liz had never talked about before this interview…
What the Press is Saying About Liz Mandeville’s 5th,
It’s October 2012 and Clarksdale is still in the charts! Top 20 Nationally, #2 in Illinois…the rave reviews are still coming in from all over the world!
This was just posted in the Crossroads Blues Society News…
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2012
Clarksdale reviewed by Steve Jones
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2012, by John_Taylor Blinded By Sound.com
If there were ever any questions about Liz Mandeville’s blues credentials (and there shouldn’t be), consider this – Clarksdale, her debut on her own Blue Kitty label, features the very last recordings of the legendary Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith on both harp and drums. Indeed, it was Smith, a close friend, who encouraged Mandeville to launch her label, and plans for a follow up were in the works at the time of Smith’s passing.
Also on hand to help out on a track each are the equally legendary Eddie Shaw on sax and guitarist Nick Moss, a modern-day blues powerhouse in his own right. Elsewhere there’s bass, piano, and slide guitar here and there, but in truth Mandeville’s just fine on her own, her intricate guitar and powerful, growly vocals more than enough on a couple of solo tracks, while elsewhere accompaniment is spare and supportive.
Mandeville wrote all the material, ranging from the exuberantly naughty “Roadside Produce Stand” (it ain’t her fault!) to the gritty, kitchen-sink reality of “A Soldier’s Wife.” She reflects on relationships with “Mama And Daddy Blues,” exposes the absurdity of the ‘war on drugs’ with “4:20 Blues,” and is proudly patriotic on “My Mama Wears Combat Boots,” a song that could well be an unofficial anthem for women in uniform. Her delivery on the acapella “No Fear / Everything” is spine-tingling in its gospel fervor, while “Sand Baggin’” again highlights her coy and playful side.
The range is impressive, but through it all it’s Mandeville’s personality that shines through magnificently. Production is top-notch, but rather than studio sheen and pop perfection, every song sounds personal – there’s no question that they’re Mandeville’s babies, her pride and pleasure, and she throws herself into every tune with infectious enthusiasm and joyous abandon tempered with years of hard-won experience (Mandeville has released four previous discs on the venerable Earwig label and has led her own band in Chicago for years).
The best blues manages to be both personal and universal, an emotional expression that connects on a visceral level. To truly work, the blues requires both strong songwriting (if it’s too personal, too topical, it simply won’t resonate) and passionate performances that sound as though they’re as necessary as breath itself. Mandeville has pulled it off admirably, with a disc that, even in its more somber moments, is pure pleasure through and through.
Music On The Couch Podcast with Vinnie Bond-Marini. August 20, 2012
Reviews From Around the World of Liz’s Latest, Clarksdale:
Comments from France!
Septembre 2012 – Rock and Roll Revue 62 – 37
Après son CD Red Top d’il y a 4 ans, le seul d’elle que je connaissais, Liz
revient avec un nouvel album contenant toujours rockin’ Blues,
rockin’ Rhythm’n’Blues et Rock’n’Roll (“Roadside Produce Stand” à la ligne
mélodique similaire à celle de “Rock Around The Clock” par moments et
“Sweet Potatoe Pie”, avec sax, qui rocke énergiquement). Elle y ajoute, bonne idée, un peu de
Swamp Blues (“Walking & Talking With You”), un Field Holler (chant des champs) acapella (“No Fear / Everything”) mais aussi, moins bonne inspiration, une ballade Variété et une autre
à tonalité Country qui font pâle figure à côté de “My Mama Wears Combat Boots”, rockin’ Rhythm’n’Blues fort musclé, registre qui convient bien mieux à son vocal que la bluette.
“Thank you so much for Liz Mandeville’s CD, Clarksdale. I love Liz:-)) All the best!!”
Alain ENJALBERT “Maxwell St” tous les lundis de 20h à 22h sur http://www.terremarinefm.com
Comments from Italy!
“This new CLARKSDALE is such a great album, but I think it’s even better than Red Top! I love it everyday more and more, ’cause it’s so sincere and straight to the heart and soul and it’s so plenty of marvellous songs to airplay ! It’s simply THE REAL THING ! What a wonderful way to start Your new personal label ! And then I ‘ve been so impressed and moved by the presence of the “LATE GREAT” WILLIE “BIG EYES” SMITH” , an artist that I’ ve always loved.
—-roberto rossi [email@example.com]
http://www.folkbulletin.com/ BLUES BORDERS 21 di Fabrizio Poggi
Questo disco nasce da una grande amicizia, quella di Liz con Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, cantante e armonicista ma soprattutto batterista storico di Muddy Waters.Questa è l’ultima registrazione di Smith scomparso il 16 settembre 2011 e quindi la sua presenza in cinque brani del cd è particolarmente toccante. Difficile definire il genere suonato dalla Mendeville (voce e chitarra) che spazia dal jump blues al classico Chicago sound, per proporre poi brani a cappella per sola voce, rock ‘n’ roll da roadhouse e brani acustici che sembrano usciti dal repertorio di una delle tante dive del blues degli anni Trenta (e che, a detta del sottoscritto, sono tra le cose migliori del disco). Dopo una brutta malattia che l’ha tenuta lontano dalla musica per tutto il 2009 Liz, dopo anni passati sui palchi della Windy City nel 2010, in cerca di ispirazione, ha deciso di visitare i luoghi sacri del blues. Per questo si è recata a Clarksdale Mississippi dove ha preso una stanza al mitico Riverside Hotel. Proprio lì, “assalita” da ottime vibrazioni ha scritto gran parte dei brani contenuti nell’album. Oltre a Smith il disco si avvale di altri ospiti: Eddie Shaw (Howlin Wolf band) al sax, Donna Herula alla slide e Nick Moss (che ha cominciato a suonare il basso proprio con Liz) alla chitarra.
il Blues – Settembre 2012
Comments from Germany! Concerto Magazine
Comments From Croatia!
Prije nekoliko tjedana, preko promotorske kućeFRRP (Frank Roszak Radio Promotions) i izdavačke kuće Blue Kitty Music primio sam albumClarksdale, koji je službeno objavljen 14. svibnja ove godine. A evo, materijala ima toliko da jednostavno idem radom i tako objavjujem ove svoje tekstove u kojima opisujem svoj doživljaj i svoje impresije svakoga od njih. Da, nisam vam otkrio o kome se radi, glazbenica je Liz Mandeville.
Mnogi opisuju album Clarksdale kao povratnički, no osobno mi se čini da je to ustvari samo logičan iskorak dalje. Korak prema naprijed. Da, ovdje su se Liz pridružili Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith, Eddie Show, Donna Herula i Nick Moss. Što na neki način zasigurno predstavlja potporu njenom radu i glazbi.
Ovaj puta Liz se vraća natrag na raskršće u državi Mississippi i taj njen povratak snažno obilježava gospel ugođaj, tradicionalistička struktura pjesama, dojmljiva gitara, opori vokal, uz već spomenute glazbenike, učinili su da cijeli album zvuči tako ‘rootsy’. To je taj njen Delta blues 21.stoljeća.
Zapravo, jednostavno pucam od veselja i zadovoljstva kada čujem ovako dobre i nadahnute materijale. Liz Madeville – glazbenica, gitaristica i pjevačica, koja iza sebe ima već cijela četiri albuma i to: Look At Me, Ready To Cheat, Back In Love i Red Top. Kako ne bi bilo nekih greškica ili nedoumica, Liz se i ovaj puta okružila sa odličnim Chicago glazbenicima koji su svaki u svom ‘fahu’ pružili i dali ono najbolje! Pa evo ih redom:
Comments From Poland!
” I knew Liz from her Earwig Music days but this new album is every bit as good as those older releases. She can sing the blues and she knows
her way around guitars, plus she can write songs that are free of clichés and can move the listener! Jjust like the song about being the soldier?s wife. Very moving.” Przemek Draheim, Polski Radio
Comments From Canada!
“Killer vocals. Thanks for the music. Best regards!”
–Wayne Vermette CFRC – Queen’s University Radio, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Comments From America!
“Clarksdale represents her strongest effort so far from start to finish.”
It’s been four years since Liz Mandeville’s last recording, 2008’s Red Top. In the interim, Mandeville battled with some health issues, but has bounced back recently, touring and forming her own record label, Blue Kitty Music. The label’s debut release is Mandeville’s Clarksdale. According to the liner notes, Mandeville made a pilgrimage of sorts to the cradle of Mississippi blues to recharge her batteries. She returned to Chicago with a new perspective on the blues, and more particularly some of the more traditional female artists of the early blues era, like Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Ma Rainey, and Lucille Bogan.
For this new release, Mandeville employed a stellar cast of musicians, including guitarist and musical partner (they made it to the semis in the IBC this year) Donna Herula, Nick Moss, Eddie Shaw, and longtime friend Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (in what might have been his final recordings), playing harp and drums on selected tracks.
Clarksdale features a diverse set of tunes. Mandeville narrates her Clarksdale experiences on “Clarksdale/Riverside Hotel Blues,” and has a sharp sense of humor, witnessed on songs like “Roadside Produce Stand,” “Walking & Talking With You” (“You be Yogi and I’ll be Boo Boo”) and the bawdy jump number, “Sweet Potato Pie” (featuring Eddie Shaw’s sax). She also covers current happenings in the world on tunes like “A Soldier’s Wife,” and “4:20 Blues.” Mandeville and Herula team for a few compelling acoustic tracks, notably “Bye Bye Blues” and “Sand Baggin’.”
Smith, who passed away during a break in recording, does a fantastic job on harmonica and drums, and special notice must be given to Darryl Wright, who wrote arrangements for the songs, and played bass on several tracks. However, the spotlight really needs to focus on Mandeville, who comes up big on this disc. The songs are uniformly fine, her guitar work (plugged and unplugged) is first-rate, and vocally, she’s never sounded better.
Hopefully, Liz Mandeville has her health problems behind her and can continue to focus fully on her music. Clarksdale represents her strongest effort so far from start to finish. Maybe she will continue to make regular trips down south….it seems to have paid off handsomely this time around. –Blues Bytes
“A Solid Return, With a Little Help From a Few Blues Legends”
This is Liz Mandeville’s fifth recording, first for her own and recently formed Blue Kitty Music label. This recording includes guests Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Eddie Shaw, Donna Herula, and Nick Moss, who are also dear old friends of Mandeville.
Clarksdale is a mixed bag that covers various genres. I felt that Mandeville’s strongest selections are her more rocking and jump tunes. Kicking off the album is “Roadside Produce Stand” which finds her band tight and jumping in fine fashion. Mandeville’s vocals are also strong and definitely right on the target. I found “A Soldiers Wife” to be an odd inclusion; though lyrically passionate, it’s far from anything else on this recording and has no blues roots whatsoever. Eddie Shaw honks powerfully on the bouncy “Sweet Potato Pie,” and it’s a track that will definitely have you moving and grooving. I thoroughly dug Donna Herula’s slide work on the duet performance of “Sand Baggin,” which I suspect has connections to the 2011 Memphis floods. The album concludes with a jumping and hilarious “My Mama Wears Combat Boots,” which is seemingly a tip of the hat and tribute to women in our armed services, additionally Nick Moss adds some very sharp guitar licks on this upbeat and high-flying finale, which left me wanting for more songs from Mandeville’s fine album.
Clarksdale is dedicated to the late, great Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, who appears on five tracks playing drums and adding some blues harps on two. (By the way: The storyline is that “Big Eyes” recommended that Mandeville should not give her music to a label and suggested that she should start her own. Willie told Liz that he’d help her, and kept his word.) Additionally, the liner notes are fact filled, and I found out that Mandeville and Herula were semi-finalists at the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. In summary, this is fine addition to Mandeville’s discography; there’s definitely something here for everyone, she also wrote and produced all eleven of the tracks. Mandeville’s career was interrupted by illness in 2009 and it’s been about four years since her previous recording, but she is back on the road and active again. It will be interesting to see what Liz has for us on her next album, but for now you will enjoy Clarksdale. I certainly did. - Bob Putignano, Blues Review
Bob Putignano is a senior contributing editor at BluesWax, a contributing writer at Blues Revue, and the heart and soul of Sounds of Blue.
“Clarksdale is a great CD, filled with blues harp, steele guitars, grand piano, tenor sax and Liz’s sultry growl. Acoustic blues just doesn’t get any better.” -Jim Clark, publisher, Lee County Courier, Tupelo, MS
“Mandeville has proven for years that white girls get the blues as well as white boys, and can play them like a mother as well. She kicks off her own label in fine style by showing there are lusty white women that make the trek to the west side of Chicago for something other than a drug deal drive by. She can hang with anyone from Bonnie Raitt to Fiona Boys without having to withstand comparisons. Smoking stuff… She continues to be the real deal throughout, dig in, dig it. -CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher, Midwest Record
“Clarksdale is a welcomed release that should be on everyone’s player…well crafted songs, excellent musical presentation and the wit and charm of a seasoned veteran. “ - Chef Jimi, Blues411
Dutch Blues Reviews:
“She really sings her soul out on this one… some really great harmonica solos and the lead guitar has a great tone.” - Rating: 4 Stars - Kirk Bullough – Muzikreviews.com Staff
“A fine album. A lot of variation as Liz can be heard with band, as duo and solo, acoustic and electric. The songs are not typical Chicago Blues, but have a more free country feel. As far as this goes the inspiration in Mississippi was good and therefore the title “Clarksdale” is aptly chosen.” —By: Eric Campfens (website http://barnowlblues.punt.nl )“Liz Mandeville is a sympathetic stage tiger with enthusastics and powerful vocals. Clarksdale is an impressive album, perhaps her best work to date.” ———-Philip Verhaege
“…a robust singer (strong but not strident) and versatile guitarist, “ -Phil Wight, English Blues Blog
“With “Clarksdale” Liz Mandeville delivers a fine slab of Chi-Town blues that will delight all aficionados of the genre. Helping her to deliver this with the authenticity that she achieves are some of the greats of the genre with Willie Big Eyes” Smith and Eddie Shaw, aided by modern blues disciples Nick Moss and Donna Herula who’s resonator guitar adds a Robert Nighthawk feel to Mandeville’s wistful vocals on “Bye Bye Blues”
The set opens with the rollicking shuffle “Roadside Produce Stand” which highlights Mandeville’s powerhouse vocals and Smith’s Carey Bell styled harp. “Mama & Daddy Blues” has a melancholy Tampa red feel and is reminiscent of “Mama Don’t You Tear My Clothes” – “No Fear/Everything” is an impassioned acapella meld of country gospel and a field holler – “Clarksdale/Riverside Hotel Blues” is permeated with the spirit of Memphis Minnie with it’s strident vocals underpinned by Leandro Lopez-Yaraday’s Memphis Slim styled piano – whilst Eddie Shaw’s sax fuels the rollicking “Sweet Potato Pie”.
This fine set will garner Liz Mandeville many new fans and is a tribute to the depth of her talent.
Mick Rainsford, Blues in Britan
Other Blues Lovers Comments!
“I hope that I could raise the interest with my short introduction, about the perfectly composed, easily loveable record of Liz Mandeville, who is less known in our country. I inform you very happily, that the CD is great!” ————- Attila Horváth, HU
“Remélem, hogy rövid ismertetőmmel sikerült felkeltenem az érdeklődést a hazánkban kevésbé ismert Liz Mandeville kiválóan összerakott, könnyen megszerethető lemeze iránt.” ———-hoati
“Liz Mandeville has a blues growl that keeps her hot!” ———-Mike Breen
Liz Mandeville-Clarksdale…. in the Charts!
WEMU top 25 Week of OCT 21, 2012
The Alternate Root –Featured Artist of the Week 8-03-12
WCMU Top 25 for July 2012
KSCU HOT 25 Blues CDs for July 2012 —— 14. Liz Mandeville / Clarksdale / Blue Kitty
Top 30..Aug 2012…Blues Power…WWNT, Dothan, AL –8…Liz Mandeville…Clarksdale…Blue Kitty Music
Top 25 for Living Blues—July, 2012 >>> 17)Liz Mandeville / Clarksdale / Blue Kitty
Top 25 for Living Blues—August, 2012 >>>>>19) Liz Mandeville / Clarksdale / Blue Kitty
|Clarksdale Entered the Living Blues Charts at # 10 !! Thursday, July 05, 2012 10:48 AM|
ATC Blues Network top picks July 30-Aug 5, Clarksdale is one of 11 chosen!
Rootsmusic report #2 in Illinois 8/4/12 #11, in the World 8/4/12
CMJ Radio 200 Report from KAOS - July 31 2012
—————–29. liz mandeville – clarksdale
additional stations that spinned from “Clarksdale”
1. WITR 2. WBSD 3. KRVS 4. Midnight Flyer 5. WPCR 6. Radio Em – Poland 7. KSCU
Radio review WFHB
Mandeville, Liz – “Clarksdale” (Blue Kitty Music) B
Wisconsin guitarist, songwriter and blues singer, Mandeville grew up singing folk songs her dad played and getting comfortable on stage (entertainment genes from actress mother). In the ‘90s and 2000s, spent time in Chicago covering the clubs and backing up people like Aaron Moore and the usual suspects. Signed to Earwig label and became friends with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (among others) She was in the middle of recording this disc with him on harp and drums when Willie died. She carried on and this CD is dedicated to their friendship and to other Chicago greats (Willie Kent, Bonnie Lee and Dave Jefferson) who have recently passed. Belting out vocals with a little hard edge but adept. Songwriting interesting and often ribald. Willie’s harp proves kept it “deep” right up to the day he died.
What the Critics are Saying about RED TOP – Download now
Taste of Chicago Thank You Letter – Download now
Podcasts of LIZ!!
Liz writes the “Inside the Blues” column for the Chicago Blues Guide, a free online blues magazine. Read her now: www.chicagobluesguide.com
Liz is a member of the community DJ staff on the Blues Show on WNUR-FM 89.3 Sundays from 2-4:30 www.WNUR.org