Song List... 1. Ladies Shoes 2. That's How I Feel About You 3. No Vacancy 4. Harlem Nocturne 5. Tutti Frutti 6. Cow Cow Boogie 7. Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean 8. Sashimi Mimi (Too Much Wasabe Makes Me Wanna Blow My Top) 9. Honeysuckle Rose 10. My Love 11. I'm Blue 12. Jakob's Boogie Woogie Lullaby
Song List... 1. Bricktop 2. I Love Paris 3. East St. Louis Toodle-oo 4. Misunderstood 5. Swingin' Mama 6. Beignets & Bourbon 7. If You're Lonely 8. Down Among the Sheltering Palms 9. Do Your Duty 10. Frankie & Johnny 11. Dark Eyes
"Bricktop is guaranteed to please anyone who has grown to love Sue Palmer, The Motel Swing Orchestra, and the music they make." - Paul Hormick, The Troubadour, July 2015
"Does Sue Palmer have the Boogie Woogie flu? No, but she's without a doubt a carrier." - Michael Kinsman, producer of the San Diego Blues Festival
Album of the Year 2015 for me
It is a little early; I usually wait until the following February to finalize a choice for AOY to ensure that late-year releases get a full shot; but it is already obvious that nothing is close enough that 20-30 more listenings will push it past this.
And fair warning-- though a born in the 50's, Beatles/Stones/Dylan type, I'm apt to choose any damn thing in a given year-- jazz, country, bluegrass, english folk, famous or obscure-- someday I may even find a rap album I like. I'm as likely to choose Hot Club of Cowtown as Steely Dan, Elaine Summers as the Stones, and I'm as likely to choose choose Patti Scialfa as her husband Broooce-- and in fact the couple both have one win.
Also, transparency-- my copy of this comes directly from the source; I've admired and been slightly acquainted with Ms. Palmer for something like a decade.
But I've never considered any of her other releases in the AOY category before. This one is different. The unit is played in, really a unit now-- Deejha sounds like part of the band to me rather than a really really good singer sitting in with somebody else's band; and Steve Wilcox has been around long enough now that he's gotten something of a transfusion of Charlie Christian and Eddie Lang to go with his already considerable 50's-and- 60's chops. Everybody's in the car now, facing forward; nobody's hanging out the windows or running along side any more, and that just gives it a major extra charge of musicality. That's how it feels to me.
The material is very strong-- Porter and Ellington and Palmer's title track to open, but a variety of types throughout. In all cases the song is served by the band; yet for all that, it is not a band trying out different identities-- the jigsaw all fits together and the band is not subservient to the tunes-- it all belongs in this "Motel Swing" idiom.
If you come to it from a Bonnie Raitt consciousness, "Do Your Duty" will be an entry for you; if you are a Deadhead "East St Louis Toodleoo" will be familiar. If Lyle Lovett or his ancestor Spike Jones is your fave "Down Among the Sheltering Palms" is made to order. If you are a Dixieland fan, guest clarinetist Jean Paul Balmat's New Orleans flavored "Beignets & Bourbon" is the catchiest track on the album; whatever your taste there's something here to whisper in your ear. The material is all around the dial, but it is all on the same clock, and the clock is definitely striking.
If there was any disappointment for me it was a rather idiosyncratic one-- I'm a trombone fan, and the estimable April West is a bit less forward than on previous releases; but against that the drumming of Sharon Shufelt is special-- it has a definite "bubbles in the beer" quality that brings smiles all through, and the saxes of Jonny Viau are, as always, very tasty-- the man is one of the best kept secrets in music-- and Pete Harrison deserves his metaphor too-- I just can't think of the right one at the moment.
A long way to say "5 stars, I strongly recommend this album."
Amazon review by taosjohn, December 13, 2015
Sue Palmer and Her Motel Swing Orchestra - Party Favorites
Song List... 1. Lovey Dovey (feat. Sharifah Muhammad) 2. Bei Mir Bisdt Du Schoen 3. Something's Got a Hold On Me (feat. Sharifah Muhammad) 4. Cow Cow Boogie 5. Miss Celie's Blues (Sister) 6. Nighttime Is the Right Time (feat. Sharifah Muhammad) 7. Pink Panther 8. Chatanooga Choo Choo 9. Don't Get Around Much Anymore 10. Tain't Whatcha Do 11. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Song List... 1. Don't Cry Sister 2. Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer 3. Scream in the Night 4. Do You Want It? 5. Lover Man 6. Dragnet for Jesus 7. That's Enough 8. Swing Brother Swing 9. The Lady is a Tramp 10. Dream a Little Dream 11. Only Time Will Tell 12. I Left My Heart in Texas 13. Cry Me a River 14. Boogie Woogie Country Girl
"14 songs recorded live in Eeklo, Belgium circa 1999. Just voice and piano, the album is well recorded and an engaging listen. To be clear, this is a warts and all, in concert, recording – check out the bumped mic on “Dream A Little Dream of Me” at 2:00 – but small things like that add to the charm of the album. Best of the bunch is a great version of r&b ballad “Only Time Will Tell,” but “Cry Me A River” comes close."
by Bart Mendoza, San Diego Troubadour, November 2016
Sue Palmer/After Hours, solo piano
Winner of the Best Blues Album 2010, by the San Diego Music Awards "intoxicating and illuminating..." Michael Kinsman, Blues Revue - Sept. 2010
Song List... 1. After Hours/ Avery Parrish 2. Down the Road Apiece/ Freddie Slack 3. Boogie Noir/ Sue Palmer 4. Room Service Boogie/ Sue Palmer 5. Speakin' My Mind/Sidney Bechet 6. Frog Tongue Stomp/ Lovie Austin 7. Nice Work if You Can Get It/ Gershwin 8. Honeysucklerose Boogie/ Fats Waller 9. Domino Boogie/ Sue Palmer 10. Caddo Boogie/ Sue Palmer 11. Rockhouse/ Ray Charles 12. Lil Rock Getaway/ Ferraday Breakdown/Joe Sullivan/Sue Palmer 13. La Vie en Rose/ Edith Piaf
"ON AIR" NOMINATED FOR BEST BLUES ALBUM 2009 by the San Diego Music Awards
Listen to Sue's Interview with Jazz 88.3's Vince Outlaw
Song List... 1. Springroll, instrumental 2. C Jam Boogie, instrumental 3. Soundtrack to a B Movie, instrumental 4. Take the A Train, vocal Cynthia Hammond 5. Clipjoint, vocal Deejha Marie 6. Swango, instrumental 7. Sue's Boogie, instrumental 8. East of the Sun, vocal Deejha Marie 9. Gotcha On My Mind, lead vocal Deejha Marie, back up vocals Sharon Shufelt, April West 10. Big Bossman, vocal Lady Dottie 11. Mustang Sally, vocals Lady Dottie, Deejha Marie, Cynthia Hammond 12. Just a Fool, vocals Lady Dottie, Deejha Marie, Cynthia Hammond
Nominated by the San Diego Music Awards, for Best Blues Album, 2007! Winner of the 2008 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE (IBC) Award (in Memphis) for Best Self Produced CD of 2007!
Sue wants to thank Blues Lovers United of San Diego (BLUSD) for submitting her album, her all star band for playing on it (Steve Wilcox, Jonny Viau, Sharon Shufelt, April West, Deejha Marie, Pete Harrison, and guests), PHPRO Music for recording it, Julie Warren for the cover, Candye Kane for the liner notes, Janell Rock for writing "Queen of the Boogie", and San Diego for supporting her all these years!
Sue Palmer Piano with The Hayriders
with Sue on this album are Johnny G. D'Artenay, Hal Smith, Katie Cavera, and Gino Meregillano