Over an hour of Saffire at their uppity best on tracks selected by the ladies themselves from each of their seven acclaimed Alligator releases. Includes fan favorites like "Middle Aged Blues Boogie," "There's Lightning In These Thunder Thighs" and "Silver Beaver." "Saffire dishes out irresistible portions of sass and soul, tradition and attitude, all in the name of contemporary, good-humored, take-no-guff-blues" --DOWNBEAT
With Larry Gray, Bass (9, 17). Mark Wenner, Harmonica (19).
1 Middle Aged Blues Boogie 4:52 (Adegbalola, Hot Toddy Music, ASCAP) from live & uppity (AL4856)
2 Sloppy Drunk 3:07 (Bogan, public domain) from hot flash (AL4796)
3 It Takes A Mighty Good Man 3:26 (Kight, Fleming & Wade, Georgia Songbird Music/Richard Fleming Music, BMI) from ain't gonna hush! (AL4880)
4 Ain't Gonna Hush 2:17 (Demilo, Josea, Ling & Taub, Careers/BMG Music Publ., BMI) from ain't gonna hush! (AL4880)
5 Bitch With A Bad Attitude 7:14 (Adegbalola, Hot Toddy Music, ASCAP) from live & uppity (AL4856)
6 There's Lightning In These Thunder Thighs 3:42 (Emmets, Ball & McDuffie, Gearhart Music/Groovelator Music/HP Music, BMI) from old, new, borrowed & blue (AL4826)
7 Tom Cat Blues 2:48 (Rabson, Eyeball Music, BMI) from hot flash (AL4796)
8 (No Need) Pissin' On A Skunk 3:40 (Adegbalola, Hot Toddy Music, ASCAP) from hot flash (AL4796)
9 Don't Treat Your Man Like A Dog 2:43 (Rabson, Eyeball Music, BMI) from broadcasting (AL4811)
10 Because Of You 2:37 (Barnes, Eyeball Music, BMI) from cleaning house (AL4840)
11 T'aint Nobody's Business 4:12 (Grainger & Robbins, public domain) from old, new, borrowed & blue (AL4826)
12 Silver Beaver 5:46 (Adegbalola, Hot Toddy Music, ASCAP) from live & uppity (AL4856)
13 Elevator Man 3:12 (Rabson, Eyeball Music, BMI) from hot flash (AL4796)
14 How Can I Say I Miss You? 3:49 (Adegbalola, Hot Toddy Music, ASCAP) from old, new, borrowed & blue (AL4826)
15 In My Girlish Days 3:31 (Lawler, Duchess Music, BMI) from cleaning house (AL4840)
16 School Teacher's Blues 3:39 (Adegbalola, Hot Toddy Music, ASCAP) from saffire-the uppity blues women (AL4780)
17 Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby? 2:33 (Jordan & Austin, MCA Music, ASCAP) from broadcasting (AL4811)
18 Falling Back In Love With You 4:22 (McIntosh, Mack's Flying V Music, BMI) from old, new, borrowed & blue (AL4826)
19 Wild Women Don't Have The Blues 2:42 (Cox, Northern Music, ASCAP) from saffire-the uppity blues women (AL4780)
20 The Equalizer 4:17 (Adegbalola, Hot Toddy Music, ASCAP) from cleaning house (AL4840)
Tracks 1, 5 & 12 produced by Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women & Bruce Iglauer at The Barns of Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA and mixed at Cue Recording, Falls Church, VA, 1997.
Tracks 2, 7, 8 & 13 produced by Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women & Bruce Iglauer at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, IL, 1991.
Tracks 3 & 4 produced by Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women & Bruce Iglauer with Bonnie Tallman, associate producer, at Cue Recording Studios, Falls Church, VA, 2001.
Tracks 6, 11, 14 & 18 produced by Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women & Bruce Iglauer at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, IL, 1994.
Tracks 9 & 17 produced by Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women & Bruce Iglauer at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, IL, 1992.
Tracks 10, 15 & 20 produced by Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women & Bruce Iglauer at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, IL, 1996.
Track 16 produced by Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women at Kingsnake Studios, Sanford, FL, 1989.
Track 19 produced by Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women at Bias Studios, Springfield, VA, 1989.
Recording engineers: Brian Bassett (16), Sam Fishkin (2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20), Ron Freeland & Ed Eastridge of Big Mo Mobile Recording (1, 5, 12), Chris Murphy (3, 4), Jim Robinson (19). Additional recording on 6, 11, 14 & 18 by Jim Godsey & Dave Brickson. Assistant recording engineers: David Brickson (9, 17), Heather Handberg, Paul Lundin, Kevin Baker & Brian Jensen (6, 11, 14, 18), Brian Jensen (10, 15, 20).
Mixers: Brian Bassett (16), Sam Fishkin (2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20), Chris Murphy (1, 3, 4, 5, 12).
Remastered for the Deluxe Edition at Colossal Mastering, Chicago, IL by Dan Stout & Bruce Iglauer. Deluxe Edition series produced by Bob DePugh, Bruce Iglauer & David Forte. Design Production by Kevin Niemiec. Deluxe Edition series design by David Forte. Cover photo by Julie Crowe. Back cover photo by Bob Martin. Back book photo by Dan Fitzpatrick. Tray photo by Peter Amft.
DAUGHTERS OF THE FOREMOTHERS
In the blues world, men have long ruled the roost. Since the end of the "classic blues" era of the 1920s, when "wild, wild" women like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith were superstars, it was the male artists who dominated record sales and bandstands. With a few exceptions, the remaining successful blues women were vocalists who didn't play an instrument. And when they did play, they were considered flukes, women who didn't know their place, like Memphis Minnie, who "played guitar like a man."
In the late 1980s, from the unlikely blues non-hotspot of Fredericksburg, Virginia, three middle-aged women emerged determined to break that pattern. Not only did they play their own instruments, but also they played acoustic instruments in a blues scene dominated by electrification. And they performed many of their own feisty, original songs, combining the classic blues themes of those first generation blues foremothers with the insights and viewpoints of modern women.
Ann Rabson has played blues guitar for decades, inspired by the music of Big Bill Broonzy and Brownie McGhee. She moved to Fredericksburg in 1971 and took a day job while playing solo on nights and weekends. Soon she was giving guitar lessons to an eager-to-learn local science teacher, Gaye Adegbalola. Meanwhile, Ann tackled blues piano, and the keyboard quickly became her main axe. In 1984, the two started gigging as a duo. Joined by local bluegrass bassist/vocalist Earlene Lewis, they formed Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, melding Ann's rock-solid piano playing and deep knowledge of the blues, Gaye's exuberant stage presence and sassy songwriting, and Earlene's country twang. They self-produced a cassette to sell from the bandstand, and began building a loyal grassroots following. Word spread quickly through the blues world, and, still unsigned, they performed at the 1988 W.C. Handy Awards show in Memphis.
In 1989, the trio cut a self-produced album at Florida's Kingsnake Studios, and sent a copy to me, as head of Alligator Records. Alligator was all about electric blues bands, but I found myself struck by the quality of the musicianship and the fresh, infectious songs. I wanted to share this unexpected pleasure with the rest of the world. And the world agreed; their debut album, Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, became one of the best sellers in the label's history. Saffire grew from a regional phenomenon to a national and international act, sharing stages with Koko Taylor, B.B. King, Ray Charles and master blues songwriter Willie Dixon. Their mix of blues standards with insightful and often hilarious originals along with their trademark "take-no-guff" attitude won them legions of fans.
In 1992, Earlene left the group, and longtime friend Andra Faye became a full-time member of Saffire. Andra brought new instruments to the group-fiddle and mandolin (which she studied with Delta bluesman Yank Rachell)-as well as guitar and upright bass. Her soaring voice perfectly completed the trio's vocal chemistry.
From then until now, the story of Saffire has been one of success after success. They've toured nationwide as well as traveling to Europe, South America, Africa and Australia. They've cut eight albums as a group and each has recorded at least one solo project. And they've continued to perform the uppity songs of their uppity foremothers-Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Memphis Minnie, Lucille Bogan, Ida Cox, Edith Wilson and Koko Taylor, as well as compelling originals in the great female blues tradition that Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women are so proud to carry on.