Shades Of Blue.
American/Danish Shades of Blue has, since its inception, some twenty 20+ years ago, been in a class all its own on the blues-scene. The nerve and authenticity of the band is renowned as are the front-men on stage – American singer James Loveless and guitar virtuoso Uffe Steen. With effortless grace, Shades of Blue covers the full palette of the genre from powerful blues-fireworks to fragile, intense ballads.
’On A Mission from Muddy Waters’ is the telling title of Shades of Blue’s second album released in 1992. It pretty much sums up, what has always been and still is a prime motivator of the band: namely the goal of passing on- through their respectful and joyful renditions of the music- the heritage of grand masters like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Sonny Boy Williamson. Respect for the roots of the blues shines through each bar played – be it covers or self-composed material from the band’s wide and varied repertoire of songs, many of which are recognized as classics in their own right by the Danish blues-audience.
Shades of Blue was formed in the late 80’s. For several years the band successfully toured in Scandinavia and Germany, until a health issue suddenly put a stop to the music in the late 90’s. Singer and dynamo of the band, James Loveless, discovered that he suffered serious heart-decease. After triple bypass surgery he basically called it quits and had no desire to return to the stage- but in 2006 the remaining band-members persuaded him to help them honor a contract, by performing a single gig as Shades of Blue. The result was stunning. Loveless and the band felt and sounded stronger than ever before. They therefore took up playing again carried on a wave of enthusiasm from delighted fans from the old days as well as a considerable number of newcomers.
The following year Shades of Blue celebrated their return to the concert scene by recording ‘Feels Like the First Time’- something as rare on the modern blues-scene as a double live-album. An effort cheered by both critics and a dedicated audience. The intensity literally is steaming from each track, as the band unfolds the stories of 22 tunes accompanied by tall tales and an audience answering back with cocky remarks, engaged laughter and spontaneous applause.
Right now Shades of Blue is recording a brand new album that should be in the shops by the beginning of 2011. The material is basically all new tunes that have been tested at the bands gigs in the fall. And judging from the reactions of the audience, they should be spot on.
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