Havin' The Last Word
Uppity as ever, Saffire delivers their most infectious collection yet of passionate, funny, rollickingly soulful blues. With poignant tales of romance won and lost, sidesplitting odes to the female body and stirring affirmations of life, they prove themselves modern day equals of the legends that inspired them. “A rollicking joyride of infectious blues energy…smart and sexy, soulful and sassy”-–CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
Music Video for "Bald Headed Blues"
Ann Rabson: Vocals, piano, guitar and guitar solo (track 9)
Gaye Adegbalola: Vocals, guitar, slide guitar, harmonica and background vocals
Andra Faye: Vocals, mandolin, fiddle, upright bass, guitar (track 7) and background vocals
Produced by Saffire –The Uppity Blues Women and Bruce Iglauer
Associate Producer Jeff Covert
Recorded by Jeff Covert at Wally Cleaver’s Recording Studio, Fredericksburg, Va
Mixed by Sam Fishkin and Bruce Iglauer at The Mix Kitchen, Chicago, Il
Mastered by Dan Stout and Bruce Iglauer at Colossal Mastering, Chicago, Il
Photos by Rebecca Sell
Packaging design by Kevin Niemiec
Alligator logo by Michael Trossman
Jeff Covert plays electric bass on “Bald Headed Blues”
Cover photos taken at Hyperion Espresso, Fredericksburg, Va
Saffire and Bruce want to express extremely special thanks to Bonnie Tallman of BC Productions Artist Management Group, Saffire’s long-time manager, advisor and friend
Gaye Adegbalola wishes to thank: To the Creator, I humbly receive and thank you for my gifts. To my family of friends and musicians, I am grateful for your love and inspiration. To Ann, Andra, Bonnie and Chris, you have my eternal appreciation for the magic. To my Mom, Gladys, and my son, Juno, every day I give thanks for you—I am so blessed. To Suzanne, I could never have continued Saffire without your support through my illnesses. My life’s journey would have been impossible without you.
Ann Rabson wishes to thank: My dear husband, George, who has made the bad times so much better; my daughter, Liz Rabson Schnore, who is always there for me; my granddaughter, Georgia Rabson Schnore, who makes me so very proud; all my family, for being funny and musical and always interesting; my manager, Bonnie Tallman, for being committed, tenacious and sensitive; my friends Gaye, Andra and Earl for the years of good times and good music; and our fellow musicians, who have been a joy and inspiration to me.
Andra Faye wishes to thank: My soul sisters, Ann and Gaye, who continue to bring joy into my music and my life. My husband, Chris Jones, for love, laughter and music. Both our families for unending love and support. Thanks to my students for all I learn from each of you!
Saffire wishes to thank: Our hard-working and loyal team: Brad, Chris, Val and Kerry from Mongrel Music; Bruce Iglauer and the staff of Alligator Records; and Bonnie Tallman of BC Productions Artist Management Group. We also wish to thank our road managers, Chris Jones and Steve King. We wish to thank radio everywhere for the 25 years of spins, and Bill Wax from XM Radio. We wish to thank Jeff Covert from Wally Cleaver’s Recording Studio for his wisdom and endurance. Thanks to our luthier, Thom Schiff, to Pete Mealy and Bill Mason from Picker’s Supply and to Karl Steinbach from Apple Music. A special thanks to all the venue and festival buyers who hired us and treated us so well...especially in those early years. Also, thanks to Earlene and Scott Lewis, Beth Perkins, Kathleen Finigan, East Coast Entertainment, The Blues Foundation, Chase Jackson, Gus Rabson, Felicia Mazur, Rosemary Oakley, Jay Bell, Larry Thompson, and to Lisa Timmons of United Nations Travel. Thanks to Sarah Knight and Barbara Ghammashi for making the documentary Hot Flash a reality! Most of all, thank you to our fans, who have been faithful about coming to see us and buying our CDs. We would not have lasted 25 years without your support.
Often farewells and goodbyes bring about sadness and regret. But that’s not the case with Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women, who are about to celebrate 25 years of fond memories and achievement. This milestone event includes their final tour and this final release on Alligator Records.
Ann reflects, “I’ve had the opportunity to make music and tour the world over with my Saffire sisters for 25 happy years. Our travels have given us wide exposure and a wonderful audience. I wanted this farewell recording to be special and personal, and I’m really happy with how it came out.” Ann looks forward to concentrating on her solo career, which began in 1962. In addition to her solo performances, Ann will tour with a variety of gifted musicians under the name Ann and the Annimators. Ann says, “In the future I want to be musically promiscuous, instead of faithful to the same partners.”
“After nearly eight years, it was exciting to get back into the recording studio with my sisters,” Gaye proudly says. “Every song is a keeper, and every song offers something special to the listener.” She calls the entire process, from the initial concept, to writing songs, to the countless rehearsals, to the special treat of working with a hometown studio and engineer, “a true labor of love.” Looking back on the Saffire years at this crossroad, she says, “All three of us have different needs and different visions. For many years our visions coincided, but as we have aged and grown, our individual agendas have changed. Our love of the music and our love for each other has not changed, and as we move off in different directions, we look forward to providing support and encouragement to each other. Saffire has given me the opportunity and the honor of making a living doing what I love, the dearest friends, and a platform to take my message of empowerment to the far corners of the planet Earth.” Gaye plans to honor her established demand for speaking engagements and workshops while continuing her solo, duo and band performances.
Andra Faye finds her 17 years with Saffire a dream come true. “What a wonderful recording experience! We all put our hearts and souls into the project, as we always have, but this one is definitely special as it feels like the cap on our ‘legacy.’ We all worked so easily and well together, from many rehearsals to actual recording; it just came together with a special ‘Saffire’ glue. To have been able to make a living by playing music with people I care so much about has been a magical journey. We’ve shared a truly special chemistry that is much more than triple our individual talents. I feel blessed to have been part of this wonderful crazy ride for over two-thirds of Saffire’s history.” In addition to accelerating her schedule of live performances with The Mighty Good Men and others, Andra will generously share her talents with others by continuing to teach voice and the many string instruments she has mastered.