BLUE LARGO Celebrates Fourth Album 'BEFORE THE DEVIL STEALS YOUR SOUL'
Co-produced by Eric Lieberman and Nathan James, BEFORE THE DEVIL STEALS YOUR SOUL's 14 tracks (plus a bonus track), include ten original songs, as well as soul and R&B covers of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good", Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted'', Nat Adderley's "Work Song", and a mambo guitar instrumental that pays tribute to the great Cuban guitarist, Manuel Galban. The nine-piece "Original Vintage R & B" band featuring ERIC LIEBERMAN (guitar/baritone guitar/bgv/co-bandleader), ALICIA ARAGON (vocals/co-bandleader), Taryn "T-Bird" Donath (piano), Rafael Salmon (Hammond organ), Marcus P. Bashore (drums), Mike "Sandlewood" Jones (Fender bass), and Dave Castel De Oro, Jonny Viau, and Eddie Croft (saxophones) were joined in the studio by Nena Anderson Cote & Missy Andersen (bgv), Nathan James (bgv/guitar/baritone guitar/tambourine), Mike Tempo (percussion) and Marty Dodson (drums/tambourine).
The songs on BEFORE THE DEVIL STEALS YOUR SOUL tackle some big subjects - the current political and social climate of our country in Wash Away and Same Race, the loss a loved one to terminal illness in The Long Goodbye, and the need to live our lives to the fullest, in truth and righteousness, before it's too late, in the title track, Before The Devil Steals Your Soul. The track If I Can Make It To Augusta is a tribute to all the musicians who have been out there paying their dues on the road for decades, and who now wish to settle down to a more serene, peaceful life at home. Monrovia is the first song Lieberman has written as a fictional story - the theme being betrayal, infidelity, jealousy and ultimately murder. For its musical ambiance, Lieberman was channeling a Quentin Tarantino or Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western soundtrack. I'm Alive addresses the incredible inspirational healing power of music itself!
Guitar player/songwriter Eric Lieberman has been a fixture on the Southern California blues scene since 1981, when he began his four-year stint with San Diego's King Biscuit Blues Band. He then went on to form The Rhumboogies, and subsequently The Juke Stampers. As part of the Southern California blues community during the 1980s, Eric became closely associated with The Paladins, The James Harman Band, Hollywood Fats, Kid Ramos and Junior Watson. He even was lucky enough to play a gig with Hollywood Fats at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California, just two weeks before Fats' untimely death in 1986. Lieberman first met vocalist Alicia Aragon when he was playing guitar with The King Biscuit Blues Band in 1982. In 1999 they formed Blue Largo.
In November, 2006, Eric developed a neurological condition known as Focal Dystonia, which caused him to lose coordination in his right hand. He could barely play in time and couldn't hold onto a pick at all. But playing guitar is such a passion for Lieberman that he wouldn't allow himself to stop. So he kept the band going, playing mostly small local gigs, while doing everything possible to overcome his Focal Dystonia, including learning to read Braille and taking formal piano lessons. The key is to learn new tasks, using the affected parts of the body, in order to create new neurotransmitters which hopefully will replace the damaged neurotransmitters that are causing the dystonia.
Unwilling to give up, for the past 11 years Lieberman spent approximately five hours a day retraining himself how to play, one note at a time, without the dystonic, spasmodic hand motions. And while he's still not one hundred percent free of his dystonia, he's about ninety five percent back to normal, and still spends five hours a day working towards getting back to a hundred percent.
Because of Lieberman's condition, Blue Largo didn't record another album for a dozen years. But by 2015, with Alicia's encouragement, Lieberman became convinced that he was healed enough to once again commit something to tape. Until then, Blue Largo had been a traditional 1940s / '50s era blues band, specializing in covers by such artists as Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Louis Jordan, T Bone Walker and Julia Lee. But Lieberman started jotting down some song ideas of his own over the intervening years, which he and Alicia revisited when they decided to record this new record, entitled Sing Your Own Song. The fortunate result is that Blue Largo's third release contains seven original songs, many dealing with life's greatest issues...confronting challenges, despair, hope, perseverance, and ultimately prevailing! Meanwhile, the musical landscape on that album ranges from gospel to Louisiana swamp grooves, 1960's rhythm and blues, jump blues, sensual ballads and lowdown acoustic country blues.
While maintaining its home base in San Diego, California over the past eighteen years, Blue Largo has traveled up and down the California coast, playing such well-known venues as Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco, The Derby in Los Angeles and the legendary Blue Cafe in Long Beach. In 2017 the band played both The Baja Blues Festival in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, The San Diego Blues Festival, and played the Gator by The Bay Festival in 2016 and 2018.
'This band borrows elements from so many genres and blends them for a seamless sound...a sound that is cool and refreshing. (Bill Wilson/Reflections in Blue)