Abby Bryant & The Echoes – Not Your Little Girl
There was a period in 1968 when a group of prominent musicians including Eric Clapton came together remarkably as part of a dynamic all-star band with horns — known as Delaney & Bonnie & Friends (the studio “Groupie [Superstar],” written by Bonnie & Leon Russell was a hit by The Carpenters & “Only You Know & I Know”).
Now, I know North Carolina’s Ms. Bryant is too young to remember this band unless friends turned her onto it. Nonetheless, from the first cut, Abby displayed a generous bluesy-warm voice of Bonnie Bramlett (“Forever Young,” from her solo LP). Not the gritty powerhouse blues voice many gravitate towards.
Her tunes written by Abby & Bailey Faulkner are rooted in that era. Two particular jewels are “Not Your Little Girl,” as well as, “Tried.” They exemplify why Abby is solidly in that genre. She makes it rewarding, satisfying & a pleasure. Delaney (since deceased) & Bonnie suffered from a band of egos that led sadly to a premature band demise. Hopefully, that isn’t the case with Abby. Bonnie & her vocalist daughter Bekka (once a member of Fleetwood Mac) continued with their careers.
“Better Now,” unleashes a fiery Abby without sounding bombastic. That Bramlett vocal warmth Abby possesses surprises me. By cut 4 “When I’m Gone,” has some sweet sax through the riveting tune. Abby has good musical instincts & never sounds dated or retro through her filters.
Abby’s debut Not Your Little Girl (Drops Oct 15–Independent) — 13 generous slices of brandy flavored soul cake that’s hard to put down. Produced by Bailey Faulkner (guitars/tambourine/shakers) & Anthony Dorion (bass) the songs were recorded near me in Bernardsville, NJ, & studios in Ashville, NC & New Orleans, LA.
While Abby concentrates on vocals to her real-life experience songs, she joins the proficient John Ginty (Hammond organ/piano/keys), Jeff Sipe (drums) with the Naughty Horns: Nick Ellman (baritone & alto sax), Ian Bowman (tenor sax) & John Culbreth (trumpet).
Abby’s Southern-Soul-Rock recipe, Bonnie Bramlett intonation, is consistently sharp as she unleashes some wonderful vocals on “Love Crushed Blues.” A great song for Billie Holiday. Many songs touch on maturity, leaving home – the need to build a separate identity. Subjects younger listeners can relate to. These 13 are a culmination of hard work, that shaped Abby’s showcase. Having a deep love & understanding of Americana on a soulful road.
A better image for the front cover would be the one above – where Abby appears as beautiful as the late Eva Cassidy. On softer songs (“Time Wasn’t On Our Side”) Abby is in that soulful Cassidy world. The cover art is just as important as the music. That’s the first thing people see.
Abby color image courtesy of her website.
The 50-minute CD: Available @ https://www.abbybryantandtheechoes.com/
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