San Francisco, though widely recognized for its cultural sophistication, and its contribution to the psychedelic sixties, has never been celebrated for being a blues town. Well, that is apparently changing, and this has been going on while the rest of the country is going about its localized music business. Spearheading this movement is the independent Blue Dot Records, which has been releasing exceptional records for over a decade now, the latest being the Bey Paule Band record Not Goin' Away. Led by two veteran performers as Frank Bey on vocals, and guitarist Anthony Paule, this outfit could arguably be the hottest soul-blues band in the Bay Area. With their third release on the label since "You Don't Know Nothing" and "Soul For Your Blues" were released in 2013 to wide acclaim, they keep the groove going with a mixed bag of down home blues and big city soul, wrapped and delivered with the authenticity of a rhythm and blues revue from yesteryear, complete with horn section and organist.
Frank Bey is the consummate soul singer who came up in the traditional gospel household in Georgia, paying his dues on the road with numerous gospel acts in his teens. His early brush with the big time was as an opening act for Otis Redding, before singing for several bands throughout the 1970's. He then went into a personal hiatus before surfacing in Philadelphia in 1996, putting out a record. By the turn of the new century he was in the Bay Area and eventually hooked up with Anthony Paule. Paule, meanwhile, had released several solo efforts in the mid '90's, all the while backing some of the biggest names in the business. The union of these two talents is one of those which was meant to happen, resulting in an extensive creative output.
From the biographical "Black Bottom," to the hard hitting "Right In Front Of You," the band supplies a solid backdrop for Bey to show that he can grind with the best of them. "Next To My Heart," and "Don't Ask Me How I Feel," bring the pace way down, where the vocals wring the most out of the lowdown lyrics, and then it's back up to the defiant "Not Goin' Away," which not only is the perfect title track, but should be the bands calling card. 'Ballad Of The Lover Man," with classic organ riffs by Tony Lufrano, harkens back to when soul music was made for jukeboxes, Saturday nights, and wishful thinking. The instrumental "Noel Haze," is done in the vintage Booker T & The MG's groove, complimented with a honking tenor by Nancy Wright.
The Bey Paule Bad performs in a manner which upholds the tradition from where this music came from, while keeping it relevant for today. This is not something one decides to do one day on a whim, but is the result of a lifetime of dedication and direction. Frank Bey, as good a singer as he is, could not do this alone, it is the combining with Anthony Paule and this perfect band that makes this an excellent record. Electric soul is what these guys are about, and they are not going away.
Black Bottom; Kiss Me Like You Mean It; Right In Front Of You; Next to My Heart; Someone You Use; This Party’s Done; Nobody’s Angel; Not Goin’ Away; Ballad Of The Lover Man; Noel’s Haze; Don’t Ask Me How I Feel; If I Could reach Out.
Frank Bey: lead vocals; Anthony Paule: electric, acoustic and National resonator guitars; Paul revelli: drums, percussion; Paul Olguin: bass, back up vocal (1); tony Lufrano: Hammond B3 organ, grand piano, Wurlitzer; Nancy Wright: tenor sax; Mike Rinta: trombone; Tom Poole: trumpet; Christoffer “Kid” Anderson: slide guitar (7), rhythm guitar (12); Loralee Christensen: backing vocals (1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 12); Lisa Leuschner Anderson: backing vocals: (1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 12); Larry Batiste: backing vocals (1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 12); Jack Sanford: baritone sax (8).