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A Chicago homestyle tribute to the blues, Wendy and DB’s fifth album, Into the Little Blue House, is set for release tomorrow, September 23, 2022. Past and present blend together on this album for all ages from the blazing talents of this multicultural, award-winning, Chicago-based kindie duo.
Produced by Grammy-winning producer Michael Freeman, and featuring an aggregation of Chicago’s finest blues musicians, including Grammy-winning drummer Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Into the Little Blue House is a positive and refreshingly wide spin on the blues, delivered in inimitable Wendy and DB style. Creating the album was a labor of love for Wendy Morgan and Darryl “DB” Boggs, native Chicagoans who grew up breathing the free atmosphere of jazz and singing the language of the blues.
“For Into the Little Blue House, we expanded our sonic horizons by joining forces with a group of authentic blues musicians from the Chicagoland blues community.,” says Darryl Boggs. “To make music with these gifted Chicago area blues musicians and share their love and understanding of the blues with children and our community is an honor we will never forget.”
“Bringing women into this project mattered a lot to me, as I feel it is still very difficult to be a woman musician in a field dominated by men,” adds Wendy Morgan. “I had a wonderful time writing and performing with vocalist Ivy Ford and violinist Anne Harris on ‘Women of the Blues,’ a song about important female blues musicians of yesterday and today.”
Every gesture in the book of blues expression is employed to bring off a beautifully satisfying Chicago blues band experience in the album’s opening track, “Little Blue House,” whose lyrics extol sharing and mutual respect for all. This number is grounded by Wendy and DB’s heartfelt vocals and embellished by remarkable bursts of blues harp joy and an improvisation of sustained intensity from Billy Branch, heir apparent to the Chicago blues harmonica throne. “Going to the City” rolls out with a gorgeous, hard-driving backbeat from the drum set of the one and only Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith. Wendy and DB are thoroughly in charge of the energy, with their powerful voices accompanied by “shout chorus” interjections from a group of children. The theme is one of wide-eyed amazement as travelers are embraced by the excitement of urban bustle, enhanced by guitar and piano solos of effortless, fluid virtuosity by Mike Wheeler and Johnny Iguana.
A particularly memorable highlight is “Women of the Blues,” which opens with guest powerhouse singer Ivy Ford’s gospel style recitative calling for names of women who have given voice to the feminine expression of the blues. “Women of the Blues” is an up-tempo, eight-to-the-bar, hard-driving number, with Ivy joined Wendy Morgan and the big bold sound of Anne Harris’s violin, to render tribute to female blues legends, from the great Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to the indefatigable singer/guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharp, Memphis Minnie, Koko Taylor, and more.
ABOUT WENDY AND DB:
Equipped with two guitars, a ukulele, and their voices, the multicultural, award-winning, Chicago-based children’s music duo, Wendy and DB, are committed to working in their community to empower BIPOC children and families. Examining the world with an infectious curiosity, they have developed a singular style that is reflected not only in their rich vocal blend, but also in catchy lyrics that focus on inclusion, diversity, love, kindness, and family values. They generously donate a portion of album proceeds to such not-for-profits as Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots, Xerces Society, A Better Life for Kids, Jumpstart, and No Kid Hungry. Wendy and DB are winners of Parents’ Choice Gold, NAPPA, and Creative Child Awards. Previous albums include Hey Big World (2020; NAPPA Award, Mom’s Choice Award, Creative Child Album of the Year), HomeEarth (2017; NAPPA Award), It’s A Doo Da Day (2015; Parents’ Choice Gold Award, NAPPA Award), and Pockets Seasons Rhymes & Reasons (2013).
Into the Little Blue House will be available at Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, and at www.wendyanddb.com. 10% of album proceeds will go to The Pinetop Perkins Foundation.