Blues Revue Magazine’s recent review of our second CD, Waiting for the Phone to Ring, praises Chris O. as a master storyteller, highlights the tight knit velvety saxes of Andy and Chris D., and proclaims the band as one of the most interesting and exciting blues bands on the current scene. Read the full review clipped from the magazine below.
Richard Ludmerer, a contributing editor at BluesWax, the online weekly for the Blues Revue Magazine, says that the band’s second CD, “Waiting For The Phone To Ring,” is as exciting as their award-winning debut. In his words:
‘Chris O’Leary spent his early career as a vocalist with Levon Helm and The Barnburners. The Chris O’Leary Band’s first CD, Mr. Used To Be, was nominated for a Blues Music Award and was also a Blues Blast Awards winner for “Best New Artist Debut CD.” This follow up: Waiting For The Phone To Ring is equally exciting.
‘O’Leary, vocals and harmonica, has put together a talented band, including guitarist Chris Vitarello; Jeremy Baum on piano; the horn section of Andy Stahl, tenor sax and Chris DiFrancesco, baritone sax; and the rhythm section of Sean McCarthy, drums and Frank Ingrao on bass. Willa McCarthy is the background vocalist.
‘On the opening track, “Give It,” producer Dave Gross provides additional percussion and helps to augment the infectious beat. “Without You” features a nice harp solo by O’Leary. Vitarello’s tasteful guitar opens “Louisiana Woman.” “Pictures of You” features Baum’s piano.
‘O’ Leary is a soulful vocalist who also wrote all thirteen of the album’s songs, and there isn’t a weak one here. Other highlights include “Hole in My Head” and the title track, “Waiting for the Phone to Ring”, with the lyric “If I’m too low for your standards, what say you lower your standards.” “Questions” and “History” are two bits of New Orleans second line with additional horns added making the overall sound similar to that of Roomful of Blues. Dave Gross has quickly built a reputation as a “first call” producer and he once again proves himself here.
‘This is a thoroughly enjoyable album. I find it difficult to imagine how good O’Leary might become as this is only his second recording. O’Leary’s future is bright; he is one worth watching.’
BluesWax Rating: 8
Blues singer and underrated harp master Chris O’Leary follows up on his critically-acclaimed release Mr. Used To Be with a new white-hot slab o’ soul ‘n’ blues titled Waitin’ For The Phone To Ring. Thirteen new original numbers, produced by talented guitarist Dave Gross, lots of guitars and horns and, of course, O’Leary’s great voice and harmonica tone…what more could a blues fan want? (Release date: 06/26/12)
For all of you fans that are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next CD, the wait is almost over: Waiting for the Phone to Ring will be released on June 26th.
While the first CD, Mr. Used to Be, catapulted the band into the forefront of the blues world and brought them well-deserved recognition, this new CD proves that The Chris O’Leary Band can follow an award-winning first CD with a second CD that confirms the band’s evolution and musical ability. The reviewer who said “this is a band to watch out for” was right.
Please check out the band’s gig dates and come buy a new CD in person. If you can’t wait for the band to play at a venue near you, go to Amazon or iTunes to buy a copy.