First Listen: Omar Coleman sings about these "Strange Times"

(March 25, 2021) Sweet home Chicago houses some of the finest singers and musicians in the world, whether soul, jazz, or the blues. And as all those powerful elements come together, they evolve into magnetic performances that tug at the heart.  Enter in noted U.K. guitarist/producer Eddie Roberts, who was drawn to Chicago’s West Side blues stylist/harmonica virtuoso, Omar Coleman.  Naturally, their musical feelings were immediately mutual.  

For over a decade, Coleman has played numerous blues festivals, joined Chicago blues giant Eddy Clearwater in numerous Sunday jams and participated as part of the Chicago Blues Harmonica Project. Some of Coleman’s body of work can be found on the historical blues label, Delmark.  And Roberts’ background, especially within the West Coast deep funk and soul movement, includes his long-time band The New Mastersounds and his extensive work with Greyboy All Stars, The Meters, and others.

(March 25, 2021) Sweet home Chicago houses some of the finest singers and musicians in the world, whether soul, jazz, or the blues. And as all those powerful elements come together, they evolve into magnetic performances that tug at the heart.  Enter in noted U.K. guitarist/producer Eddie Roberts, who was drawn to Chicago’s West Side blues stylist/harmonica virtuoso, Omar Coleman.  Naturally, their musical feelings were immediately mutual.  

For over a decade, Coleman has played numerous blues festivals, joined Chicago blues giant Eddy Clearwater in numerous Sunday jams and participated as part of the Chicago Blues Harmonica Project. Some of Coleman’s body of work can be found on the historical blues label, Delmark.  And Roberts’ background, especially within the West Coast deep funk and soul movement, includes his long-time band The New Mastersounds and his extensive work with Greyboy All Stars, The Meters, and others.

In their introduction to First Listen, Coleman and Roberts shed light on pandemic days with “Strange Times,” the title track of the upcoming Color Red Records project.  Nicely bookended by Coleman’s swift harmonica passages, the delectable recipe recalls those raw studio sessions of retro sixties soul label Daptone and that Chicago blues swagger a la Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy. While Coleman flexes his husky voice, the backing band featuring keyboardist Chris Spies from Roberts’ current group, Matador! Soul Sounds, are in the blues zone sparked by in-the-pocket grooves. Overall, when Coleman’s Chicago West Side blues locks into Roberts’ West Coast funky soul, these “Strange Times” become not so strange.  Give it a listen.

By Peggy Oliver

Omar Coleman - "Strange Times"

 

Leave a comment!