CD Review – Vicci Martinez Showing the love on “Live From Jazzbones 2”

Vicci 2Jazzbones in Tacoma has been an important part of Vicci Martinez’s journey and she, along with her band have played many legendary shows there. Back in January 2011 Martinez released her first “Live From Jazzbones” which gave people that couldn’t be there a chance to experience some of the energy and musical magic that happens at a Vicci Martinez show. Especially a Jazzbones show.

Of course 2011 was the year that the world found out about our Vicci as she appeared on NBC’s hit show The Voice and captured the hearts and ears of the television audience with her “War Dance”. And anyone that happened to be at Art On The Ave that year also knows how awesome her performance on the Jazzbones stage was as she played to a sea of people under the blazing sun on Tacoma’s 6th Ave.

Live From Jazzbones 2 is a new release that was recorded in May of 2014 at the jam-packed venue on 6th Avenue in Tacoma.

The CD contains exactly what you’d expect from Martinez and the musicianship is just what we’ve grown accustomed to from Vicci’s band as well. Her sweet, soulful and powerful voice takes control and grabs the listener song after song.  Fans will enjoy the ride she takes us on as she dabbles with several genres on Live From Jazzbones 2.

The first song “Free To Play” sets the energy and vibe as she dives into the reggae influenced tune. The next offering on the 13 song release, “Piece of Mind”  is a bit a of a soul/pop tune that has just hint of pop country in it, showing her ability to cross genres at will.  Long-time band member Eric Robert adds some very tasty keys that compliment her voice in a delightful way.

While the entire album is great. the 4th tune is a standout. “Matchbox”  is a beautiful song and shows  just how skillful she is and how flexible her vocal range can be. From an almost whispered verse to singing at the top of her lungs the next moment, this is her pure talent on display. The song  needs very little other that Vicci’s voice and the amazing harmonies that the band comes up with.  The understated vocals for parts of the song give even more life and power to the crescendos, as she seems to dig deep and provide the emotion that allows her to connect with the audience. The song is well crafted and finishes with an out of this world a capella bit that  has Vicci and her backup singers trading and matching vocals in a delicious blend of  choral excellence.

Tracklisting for Live From Jazzbones 2

1. Free To Play
2. Piece Of Mind
3. The Morning After
4. Matchbox
5. Not Gonna Let You Down
6. Tiny Apple Trees
7. Freeway
8. Gold
9. Better Than A Dream
10. Back To Love
11. Let Go
12. Come Along
13. Heart Of Gold

Long-time fans of Vicci Martinez will love this album and anyone new to the camp should have a similar experience. Before the 10th song on the album Vicci shouts out to raucous Tacoma crowd – “This is ‘Back To Love'” as the band rips into a funky melody that allows Martinez to show off her Soul/Funk/Blues side. The next song finds Vicci telling the story of how she found out the song “Let Go” was being used on a TV show called Basketball Wives, which I’ll admit I’ve never even heard of but if they are using one of Vicci’s songs, then good on them. About the song though, it is another fantastic tune on here. It is an emotional journey and the listener should find it hard not to connect with at least some type of feeling while she is pouring her heart out.

The next song showcases some of the superior slide guitar work of northwest guitar titan Rod Cook, that mixed with more of Robert’s keyboard prowess and Vicci’s howling vocals leaves us with a funky – swampy mix of southern rock/psych blues that seems fit for the dusty jukebox in the dark corner of a roadhouse somewhere along Highway 61.  The CD finishes with “Heart Of Gold” ….one of the lines in this song seems like a fitting end to this great new release.. “And I hate to leave you baby”……

These 13 songs come from somewhere deep inside the talented Tacoma native who has always had the ability to express herself on stage and connect with her people. And while her circle of fans has grown exponentially in the last few years, Vicci has never lost site of where she came from and Jazzbones is a huge part of that.

The Vicci Martinez Band will play at Jazzbones on November 26, get tickets HERE

Pre-order Live From Jazzbones 2 HERE





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