Severn Records announces an October 30 release date for Blueswoman, the new CD from Blues Music Award-nominated singer Nora Jean Wallace. The new album was produced by Severn label head David Earl (who also plays guitar on four tracks) and recorded at Severn Studios in Annapolis. Backing Wallace’s powerhouse vocals are Severn’s A-list team of musicians, including Johnny Moeller – guitars; Steve Gomes – bass; Kevin Anker – organ; Steve Guyger – harmonica; Stanley Banks – keyboards; and Robb Stupka – drums. Multi-Blues Music Award-winner Kim Wilson is a special guest on harmonica on one track.
Nora Jean Wallace (formally Bruso) returns after 16 years since her 2004 BMA-nominated and critically-acclaimed release, Going Back to Mississippi. Blueswoman shows why Nora was born to sing the blues. A staple of the Chicago Blues scene, Nora Jean pours her heart into eight originals including the Koko Taylor inspired title track, “I’m a Blues Woman,” and “Rag and Bucket” written with co-writer, Stanley Banks. The Syl Johnson classic, “I Can’t Stop,” and George Jackson’s “Evidence” are great canvases for Nora’s powerful gift. No wonder The Chicago Sun-Times called her performance at the Chicago Blues Festival “show-stopping,” and the legendary Koko Taylor is quoted as saying, “Nora Jean sounds just like I did when I was her age!” This is a must for all fans of real-deal blues.
During a very low period in my career a friend reminded me that the Bible says your gifts will make room for you. When I gave serious thought to that which I already knew, I never looked back. Slowly but surely my gifts indeed have made, and continue to make, room for me and this project is living proof of that.
I left the blues scene to take care of mom who was sick at the time (she has since passed). From the cotton fields of Mississippi to the bright and steamy windows of Chicago blues, she always supported me. I think a part of her felt guilty because I had to leave what I loved doing the most to take care of her. And although she’s gone, she’s still with me. I thank God for all she instilled me. She always told me to put God first, never quit and everything else will fall in place.
Here I am in 2020 embarking on a renewed career in blues. The gifts that have made room for me have come in the form of creative people who’ve helped me pave a new path in the blues. I believe God had a hand in it all and has placed people in my life to make me better, stronger and more determined to do what I love best…sing the blues.
Thank you David Earl, the owner of Severn Records, for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to record again. Hugs and kisses to your wife Bridget for the hospitality she extended to me while we completed this project. Seems like this day would never come, but through it all you’ve been steadfast in making sure this project would be a success. With your support I’ve been able to once again share my voice with fans and the blues community that I’ve grown to love. Big, big shout out to Stanley Banks who put pen to paper to write some incredible songs for this project as well as share his talent.To all my family, friends and fans I look forward to seeing you on the blues trail. I’m excited about what 2021 holds for me and hope to see you all soon.
Nora Jean Wallace: Vocals
Johnny Moeller: Guitar (all except track 5)
David Earl: Guitar (tracks 2, 5, 8 & 10)
Steve Gomes: Bass
Kevin Anker: Organ
Kim Wilson: Harmonica (track 6)
Steve Guyger: Harmonica
Robb Stupka: Drums
Produced by David Earl
Recorded and mixed by David Earl
at Severn Sound Studio, Annapolis, MD
Mastered by Charlie Pilzer, Tonal Park, Takoma Park, MD
Photography by Donna Grass,
DGPhotoDesigns, Valparaiso, IN
Art Direction and Design by Al Brandtner,
Brandtner Design Chicago, IL