Hard on the heels of their triumphant 2017 release “The EastWest Sessions” and a slew of music awards including Artist of the Year and seven other 2018 Independent Blues Awards, Mindi Abair (pronounced with a long A plus Bear) and the Boneshakers hit us with another surprise just in time for the holiday season with the release of “All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues.” This nine-song disc is a display of powerhouse blues rock, heavy duty funk and steamy soul on four fabulous original songs and reimagined holiday classics that will set the stockings on fire and light up the Christmas tree in time for a cool yule. Mindi Abair is a Grammy-nominated saxophonist, vocalist and author, who joined forces with Detroit Blues Rockers led by guitarist Randy Jacobs, The Boneshakers, in 2014 and have been tearing up the airwaves and touring circuit ever since. This amazing collaboration between Abair and the Boneshakers is a sight to behold.
Writing new material is a challenge for anyone and adding to the lexicon of Christmas songs is a daunting undertaking, one that Abair and her crew accomplish with zeal. She rips on lead vocals, howling the line “Sometimes I think I was born to lose, All I got for Christmas is the blues,” and a down-and-dirty blues classic is born. The title track bumps and grinds like a late-night jam session at a Chicago blues club setting the tone for what is sure to be a rocking good time. The slinky Cold Shot riff kicks off the celebratory reinvention of her 2004 hit ‘I Can’t Wait For Christmas,’ as Abair lists off a few of her favorite things in anticipation of the special day, before Jacobs blazes through an amazing solo.
They take the oft-covered Charles Brown R&B Christmas standard, ‘Merry Christmas Baby,’ on a raucous trip to the Mississippi Hill country for back porch romp featuring greasy slide guitar and stomping rhythm. Abair does her best Darlene Love for the Phil Spector “wall of sound,” masterpiece ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),’ blasting away on her mighty sax until Rodney Lee takes us to church on the Hammond B3. She then settles into the sweet melody of ‘The Best Part Of Christmas,’ a tender holiday love song penned by Mindi and her fellow Berklee College of Music alumni and long-time collaborator Matthew Hager (Halo Circus/Scott Weiland). The playful cover of the 50’s juke box hit ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,’ gives Abair a chance to play the role of both Brenda Lee and Boots Randolph as she swings on vocals and baritone sax.
An epic new arrangement of the timeless classic ‘The Christmas Song,’ showcases the full force of the Boneshakers and the breadth of Abair’s mastery of the sax, as she flows from a whisper to a scream leading the instrumental track to a dramatic climax. Abair and the boys then kick into high gear turning Chuck Berry’s festive favorite ‘Run Run Rudolph,’ into a Southern fried funky dance party. Jacobs grabs up his cigar box guitar and leads the gang thru’ the back porch break down ‘Christmas Fool,’ closing out the set with a holiday hoot n holler. Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers deliver a delightful Christmas gift by sharing their unbridled joy and passion on this newly minted holiday classic.
Rick J Bowen
One of the most recognized and sought-after saxophonists/vocalists, two-time GRAMMY nominee Mindi Abair has been electrifying audiences with her dynamic live performances and utter command of the saxophone since her debut album in 2000. No one since Junior Walker has brought saxophone and vocals in one package to the forefront of modern music, with a raucous tone and dynamic stage presence. Her solo work has sold over half a million records and has garnered ten #1 radio hits, a #1 Best Blues Album RMR, six Top 5 Billboard solo records, two #1 spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz and a #3 spot on Billboard Blues. In 2014, Mindi received her first GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category, followed by a 2015 GRAMMY® nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo LP Wild Heart featuring the late Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, and Max Weinberg.
The daughter and granddaughter of working musicians, Abair continues to captivate fans while evolving her sound. In 2014, after two seasons as the featured saxophonist on the hit series American Idol, Abair released Wild Heart. This LP showcased a compilation of grittier rock and soul tracks featuring some of the biggest names in music. To help translate this sound to her live shows, Mindi enlisted longtime friend and The Boneshakers founder Randy Jacobs (Bonnie Raitt, Was Not Was, Willie Nelson) to inject his brand of Detroit Blues Rock. The collaboration was undeniable, and it led to an almost immediate decision to join forces creatively. Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers features band leader Mindi Abair (Saxophone, Vocals), Randy Jacobs (Guitar, Vocals), Rodney Lee (Keys), Ben White (Bass, Vocals), and Third Richardson (Drums, Vocals). Their first record together Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers LIVE in Seattle was recorded at their first live show and was released September 2015. Their 2017 release Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers The EastWest Sessions debuted #3 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart and reached #1 on the Blues Rock Album RMR chart. In 2018, the band won an Independent Music Award for Best Blues Song Fan Award for “Pretty Good For A Girl” featuring Joe Bonamassa and received 8 Independent Blues Awards including Best Artist of the Year and Best Contemporary Blues Band.
Mindi is the author of How To Play Madison Square Garden – A Guide To Stage Performance. She created a signature saxophone mouthpiece with Theo Wanne that is sold worldwide. She currently serves as a National Trustee for the Recording Academy and hosts Mindi Abair’s Punta Gorda Wine + Music Fest.
Mindi has toured and/or recorded with: Aerosmith, Joe Bonamassa, Gregg Allman, Smokey Robinson, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Fantastic Negrito, Waddy Wachtel, Bobby Rush, Keb’ Mo’, Teena Marie, Lee Ritenour, Adam Sandler, The Reverend Shawn Amos, Duran Duran, Bill Champlin, Jimmy Webb, Max Weinberg, and Lalah Hathaway.
TITLE ALL I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS IS THE BLUES LABEL PRETTY GOOD FOR A GIRL RECORDS RELEASE DATE OCTOBER 26, 2018 DISTRIBUTION AMPLIFIED LINKS Artist Website Artist Facebook