Blues Underground Network
The Nancy McKeen Bluz Machine "Three Jacks And A Jill" (EP)
Even before the release of their EP "Three Jacks And A Jill", The Nancy McKeen Bluez Machine already had a lot of goods things going for it, first and foremost being their great lead singer, Nancy McKeen. Described as a "fiery red-head with powerful pipes", a description that is certainly easy to understand, especially after you hear her belt out the blues, Nancy McKeen and the rest of her band which includes, Mark McFeely (Guitar/Percussion), Bob Giacometti (Bass/Percussion), and Pat Rush (Drums) are a Quartet that have been making quite a name for themselves, since they first formed in 2009. In that relatively short period of time, they have managed to be noticed by a lot of the greats and have gotten the opportunity to open for "Johnny Winter, Gary Hoey, Rory Block, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, The Jamie McLean Band, The Dirty Pearls and national recording artist, Shannon Curfman". Also to their credit, thus far, were appearances at The Wheeling Heritage BluesFest and The Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival. All in all, a rather nice start to any bands young resume.
"Three Jacks And A Jill" consists of 5 tracks, all originals written by the bands Bass Player/Percussionist Bob Giacometti and written, I am sure, with Nancy's talent as a vocalist in mind, especially the last Track, "Slow Burn", which I found to be a really interesting number with just Nancy McKeen accompanied by some light percussion in the back ground. Actually the first few moments of the song reminded of the opening to Alice Cooper's Black Juju and if you were to tone back that beat a bit, you would have a pretty good idea of the beat throughout "Slow Burn".
In addition to the four members of The Nancy McKeen Bluz Machine, there is also a guest performer on Track 3, "Eleven", by the name of Dave Hixon who's forte' is his wonderful harmonica work, which absolutely shines on this slow soulful tune, intermingling between Nancy McKeen's rich vocals and Mark McFeely's superb guitar work. "Eleven", is the longest and for me the best track on "Three Jacks And A Jill".
"Three Jacks And A Jill" came across to me as a very well produced, well thought out, and well performed EP, which has certainly left me, as all good EP's should, with the feeling of wanting to hear more in the future from this well seasoned, well oiled band.
Being influenced by such greats as Susan Tedeschi, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Al Green, and Grace Slick, to name a few, Nancy has certainly seemed to have learned well, how to deliver a powerful musical message, which for now, thankfully centers on the Blues.
Congrats all, on this fine first glimpse of what will hopefully be much more to come.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
1. Part Time Woman 2:22
2. Third Rail 2:25
3. Eleven 5:20
4. Blues For Christmas 3:29
5. Slow Burn 2:55
Listen To Samples Here...