CD Review: Enjoy The Ride. . . bursting with sensitivity and a soulful delivery that show heartache and hurt, love and loss will always be winning combinations. Blues Matters (UK) Iain Patience
. . . a journey throughout Alabama but more in particular the city built on music Muscle Shoals. I love everything about this album . . . Funky feel permeates throughout an exquisite soulful sound . . . Bond's guitar is tasty but understated . . . this Soul drenched stunner. Highly recommended. Peter Merrett, PBS106.7, Melbourne, Australia
Debbie is a truly American original . . . powerful, passionate and as close to "Old-school" production as I have heard in some time. The love and pure passion that Debbie has for the blues and soul styles that came from the Alabama area is evident in every note . . . Between the power of her vocals, her guitar work that is right on the money . . . this is a piece that is nothing short of a modern Masterpiece. I recommend it highly. This woman is the real deal. Bill Wilson, Reflections in Blues
A white girl with some deep Alabama blues running through her bloodstream kicks out the jams for album four at Muscle Shoals and clearly enjoys the ride . . . a sound steeped in all night juke joints, you don’t have to be Janis or Bonnie to let the world know you gots da blooz. Midwest Record, March 2016
. . . great emotion . . . soulful & blues set of southern music . . . Maybe after her summer in Europe, Bond will tour more the US so we can all enjoy her work. Mark Nelso, Crossroads Blues Society
. . . eleven delicious tracks of downhome, gritty Southern soul and blues . . . a tight set of new originals and well-chosen cover tunes, Debbie Bond and Enjoy The Ride prove that there’s still musical magic in The Shoals. Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes
Debbie Bond continues to serve up some mighty fine Southern soul and blues, and all us fans are much the richer for it. Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.
. . . a timeless slice of Muscle Shoals soul blues from the crossroads of all things true Southern American music . . . Bond's voice, playing and writing have developed like a fine wine . . . the best take of "I Am The Blues" that may have ever been recorded proves to be a cohesive career defining work with a sound that pulls Alabama blues and Alabama soul into one forged weld molten edge of sound. Debbie pulls together the diversity of sound that has put Alabama on the map and shapes it into a well defined crown of jewels which justifies her calling as the ambassador of Alabama blues to the world. Enjoy the Ride sets a new bar. . . her finest work yet and delivers pure bliss. Brad Hardisty, Nashville Bridge.
CD Review: That Thing Called LoveSometimes you get something great when it is least expected, which is the case with Debbie Bond and the TruDats’ new CD, That Thing Called Love. This material was originally recorded in a big army surplus tent out in the hills of West Nashville as a live performance for the WRFN Radio Free Nashville’s Mando Blues Show. When the smoke cleared, it turned out that the music and chemistry were so good that OmegaLab Studio’s Rob McClain was able to mix and master the recordings into something very special.
Debbie Bond has over 30 years of Alabama blues experience and has toured the US and Europe with legendary bluesmen, including Johnny Shines, Little Jimmy Reed, Willie King, Eddie Kirkland, and Jerry "Boogie" McCain. Since 1995 she has mostly run her own crew, and released her debut album in 1998. Debbie gives back to the blues community and is the founder of the non-profit Alabama Blues Project, which is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of blues from the Heart of Dixie.
That Thing Called Love is Debbie Bond’s third release, and it was accomplished with the bare minimum of personnel. Debbie provided the vocals, rhythm guitar, and lead guitar, and she is joined by her husband Rick Asherson on keyboards, keyboard bass, harmonica and backing vocals. He also acted as producer for this project. Dave Crenshaw was the drummer for the majority of this record and guest saxophonist Tom Pallardy came on board to lend a helping hand. There are nine tracks, seven of which were written by Bond and Asherson, and three of them were previously unreleased.
The first track is a cover of Solomon Burke’s “You’re the Kind of Trouble;” you may have seen this Holmes Brothers song being performed on the Nashville musical drama tv series last year. There is almost too much to process while listening to this soulful pop-oriented blues tune: Debbie has a beautiful voice and can play a fine guitar, Asherson and Crenshaw are tight as brothers, and this is one of the best-mixed live albums you will ever find. It is hard to compare Bond’s voice to any contemporary artist, but in a nutshell her sound is equal parts throaty and melodic and she is spot-on with her intonation and phrasing -- there is nothing like decades of real-world experience to hone one’s craft.
The other cover is also from the Holmes Brothers and “Feed My Soul” is a soulful ballad that highlights Asherson’s bass keys and electric piano. Pallardy’s sax makes the mood on this track, and it is impressive how reserved and disciplined he is, playing only what is needed. Too often sax players get a little out of control in live situations and kill the vibe, but that does not happen here.
The logical assumption would be that “Steady Rolling Man” is an ode to Debbie’s husband, who she met when they were both touring with the late Willie King. It certainly is a good description of his playing style and Rick Asherson delivers the goods with his speakeasy piano in this New Orleans flavored song. Crenshaw lays back, grabs his brushes and mutes his drums to complete the picture. This is an ambitious tune as it is is a departure from the rest of the show and it is a vocally difficult song, but Debbie and the TruDats pull it off and it shines as the standout track of That Thing Called Love.
“Tarragona Blues” appears twice on the album, and the second version is sequenced as the final track in an extended re-mix that features Ray Robinson on drums (Crenshaw moved over to Latin percussion), and Jonathan Blakney on background vocals and additional percussion. The extra personnel is needed as this is a bossa nova tour de force. It ends up being a shout-out to Debbie’s Spanish fans who appreciate her jazzy blues stylings, and she treats them (and us) with hearty vocals that are specific to their land and she throws in a smooth Telecaster break for good measure.
Debbie Bond and the TruDat’s That Thing Called Love is a slickly-produced CD, but since it was recorded live it has a raw energy that is missing from most studio projects. It is a great example of Alabama blues and soul from the premier ambassador of the genre, and you should definitely make the time to give it a listen!
Songs on an album: Right from the opening "You're The Kind Of Trouble," Debbie grabs your attention with her singing in this tight bluesy pop song, with very nice grooves. 2 "Steady Rolling Man" is the most adventurous song, with a blues / New Orleans sound, a stylish 'speakeasy' piano part by Rick Asherson and swinging sax fills from guest saxophonist Tom Pallardy. 3 "Feed My Soul" is the first soul ballad on the album, with a very attractive melody, which would do well on radio. 4 "I Like It Like That" is a track with a funky rhythm and Debbie's singing is again great. Asherson plays a harmonica reminiscent of compatriot John Mayall, which he manages well and makes this track even sharper. Very good! (My favorite song). 5 "Still Missing You" is a track with Debbie in the spotlight. She plays a very warm Telecaster guitar sound, which is complemented by the wonderful sax from Tom Pallardy. What a class saxophonist! More Latino grooves on 6 "Tarragona Blues", a track with a bossa nova soul beat, carried by Dave Crenshaw (Latin percussion), Jonathan Blakney (backing vocals / percussion side) and (there's a switch!) drummer Ray Robinson. Here, too, Debbie's guitar is again very beautiful and Asherson's piano riffs are something for you to relish. The other (better) soul ballad 7 "Falling" starts with Asherson's bass intro. Debbie's soulful style guitar and vocals bring out all the correct accents. Then there's the title track 8 "That Thing Called Love", a bluesy track with a lot of jazz, soul and funk influences and Pallardy's sax on the first row. To finish, we get a repeat: the 'extended' version of 9 "Tarragona Blues" . The percussion work is well done and the mix of vocals and instruments is very cool.
Debbie Bond brings white blues from the deep South, Alabama, embellished with funky rootsy, swampy grooves. Describe it as "Curtis Mayfield meets Memphis Stax Gospel". "That Thing Called Love" is an album with a great styling and delicious grooves, that will quickly put you in the right mood.
CD Review: Hearts Are WildCalifornia-born Debbie Bond may have had a worldly upbringing, living in countries like Holland, Germany and West Africa, but she's an Alabama girl through and through. Bond has not only worked with some of the state's best bluesmen . . . [including] Johnny Shines and Willie King, but she also began the Alabama Blues Project in 1995 in her adopted home state. The project's goal is the ultimate preservation of the blues as an art form through an awareness of education, live performance archival matters, and cultural understanding. Hearts Are Wild, though only her second solo disc (her first was in 1998s What Goes Around Comes Around), sounds like the work of a seasoned vet.
Bond's band, led by keyboardist and husband Rick Asherson (who co-produced the disc with Bond), is nimble and treads lightly-each instrument is tidily separated in a made-for-headphones mix. As a guitarist, Bond doesn't spend her time trying to get her licks noticed, instead relying on her songwriting and healthy groove, a la Memphis bump "Dead Zone Blues." Her playing is best exemplified on tracks like the title cut, her brittle, tremolo-doused leads accenting the velvety slow-blues of Asheron's last call piano-bar tinkling. "Drama Mama" is an ode to a woman who "has more tricks than I can mention, keeping her the center of attention," with trumpet from Brice Miller muted to produce a cotton Club-era jazzy whine.
Bond's spot-on cover of Aretha Franklin's 1967 hit "Baby I Love You" quakes with funky soul, her band sharpening up the original with stimulating drum lashes and economically siphoned melodic sax. Her voice segueing to the candy-coated breathy vibrato with "let me give it to you baby." Similarly engaging is the roadhouse-lite, "I Like It Like That," a tongue-in-cheek, libido-stoking cut ("my baby's young and able to feed my appetite, cooks it up in the morning, even late at night.") The disc ends appropriately, with the slightly churched-up soul "Since I Found Love," Bond proclaiming, "I thank heaven above, since I found love."
A mouthpiece for sultry, Southern charm and whimsical musical conversation, Debbie Bond gets her heart tangled up in an intimate mess of backwoods Alabama soul.
Mark Uricheck, Living Blues Magazine #217, February 2012
Happy New Year from the Southland! Want to make it happier? Pick up Debbie Bond’s new CD Hearts Are Wild for a rollicking blues entry into 2012. Debbie is from Alabama, by way of California, Holland, Germany, and even West Africa. She has been performing since she was 13, and hits a homerun with her new CD. Twelve songs and ten originals, with soul and love in each one. Debbie belts out some great blues with her sensuous voice, and long flaming red hair, she got the stuff, and looks the part. The band is cooking with horns, piano, harp, and a great sound. It’s a roller coaster ride from shuffles to ballads, to slow love songs, to pure blues. She’s got that Alabama drawl and rasp that makes us all love those Southern gals anyhow. She even sings "You’re the kind of trouble I could get into." "Hearts Are Wild," the cut the CD is named after, is just a great piece of slow blues. "Still Missing You" is another heart grabber. "I Like It Like That" is another favorite, and the last cut on the CD "Since I Found Love," is just the right song to leave you wanting some more. Overall the mix of horns, piano, tasty guitar, tempting vocals, and a sincerity to play good music, leaves this listener pretty danged satisfied. There’s not a cut on here that you will skip over. Yea, it’s good stuff my friends. Check into it and see what you think.
Blue Barry, Smoky Mountain Blues Society, January 2012
Her immersion in the blues has deeply flavored her guitar playing, soulful voice and original song writing, yet her sound is contemporary and original, incorporating soul, blues, rock, jazz and even country influences. This unique musical synthesis can be heard on her latest album, 2011's Hearts Are Wild.
Weekly Blues News, Blues Festival Guide, January 13, 2012
Red-haired singer/songwriter Debbie Bond has quite a pedigree, having worked with a bunch of Alabama-based blues legends in her day-Jerry “Boogie” McCain, Willie King, Wild Child Butler, Johnny Shines (for more than a decade) and Eddie Kirkland, among others. This album, only her second, represents a major turning point in her solo career. She not only demonstrates her song-writing acumen-all pco-pens with keyboardist Rick Asherson, except the witty “Your’re the kind of Trouble” and a mellow horn studded “Baby I love You.” She also displays her formidable guitar chops on titles like the jazz-tinged “Drama Mama,” a smoldering ballad called “Falling” and sensually cooking “I like it like that,” with Asherson adding some spicy harmonica. Other picks include the panoramic blues-rocker “Since I found Love” and Facebook and Myspace poplulated plea “My Time.” The founder of the Alabama Blues Project gives it her all and is at the top of her game. Recommended.
Gary Von Tersch, reviewer, Big City Rhythm and Blues, December 2011/January 2012
Guitarist Debbie Bond has most recently been connected with her work with the Alabama Blues Project, but she's traveled the world and played festivals as diverse as "The Biscuit" in Helena to the Cognac in France. On her latest release, Hearts Are Wild, she collaborates with keyboard whiz Rick Asherson on ten deeply-soulful originals and two covers that tell tales of life and love and all the zigs and zags along the way.
Also of note is the unbridled and unabashed passion of this entire project. With Debbie's vocals and Rick's deft piano and organ work, along with a full horn section and spiffed-up, jazzy arrangements, there's a sweet, New-Orleans-at-Mardi-Gras-time vibe that permeates the set. Things get started with Debbie's tale of someone caught in the age-old trap of "right place, wrong time," aptly-titled "Dead Zone Blues." A good girl's attraction to bad boys is the theme of "You're The Kind Of Trouble," while "I Like It Like That" is Debbie's ode to Asherson and his abillty to "cook it up in the morning and again at night!!" This one features some sweet harp from Rick as well.
There were several noteworthy cuts, too. You can feel the angst in Debbie's vocal and guitar in the title track, as she wonders aloud, "should I stay or should I go." Muted trumpet and a jazzy arrangement over Debbie's Rickie Lee Jones-ish vocals highlight the tale of a woman who's the "starring role in her own picture show," "Drama Mama." A rockin' tale of society's increasing dependency on social media is the swingin' "My Time." And, she takes Aretha's "Baby I Love You" and turns it into a sweet, N' Awlins-styled vamp.
Debbie Bond won a prestigious Keeping The Blues Alive Award in 2004 for her work with Alabama Blues Project and the Blues In The Schools program. And, with a strong set such as Hearts Are Wild, she's poised to receive more accolades in the future!
Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society, December 31, 2011
Debbie’s exposure to roots music across the world began at the age of eight when her family left their California home to live in England; she started playing guitar at the age of twelve, the family continued their travels across the world living in; Scotland, Germany and Holland; At the age of thirteen she made her performing debut on Sierra Leone television. Debbie joined her first band in Brighton, England.
In nineteen seventy-nine she returned to the U.S. and settled in Alabama, where she shared her band and the stage with the great Johnny Shines until his untimely death in nineteen ninety-two. After this she continued to work with such artists as; Jerry ‘boogie’ McCain, James Petersen, Eddie Kirkland and Willie King to name but a few. After the release of her first album “What Goes Around Comes Around,” in two thousand and two she returned to college to enhance her blues educational work receiving a M.A. in Blues Studies in the same year. Debbie performed and taught the blues in schools with Eddie Kirkland until his death in two thousand and eleven.
Now, with this album and her husband Rick Asherson who provides keyboards and harmonica we have an album that has a funky, rural open spaced feel with an almost medicine-show piano driving force that utilises a jaunty burnished, jazz inflected faultless horn section.
Debbie’s vulnerable, sultry gruff vocals are well suited to piano led slow burners such as “Still Missing You” and “Falling.” Throughout all the perfectly pitched numbers there is an uplifting community spirit ethos. Especially, so with “My Time,” and “Ricks’ Boogie,” “I Like it Like That” and the foot tapping, “Since, I found Love.”
Brian Harman. Blues in the South (UK), February 2012
Bond remains a steadfast figure in the Alabama blues scene, continuing to tour and perform. Her dedication to the blues tradition is clear on Hearts Are Wild, which showcases her classic vocals, piano-driven accompaniment and a smattering of horns and harmonica . . . reminiscent of music from a different time, truly capturing the spirit of classic blues. This makes sense, given Bond’s background, and it’s done well here . . . Each track contains a strong piano part led by Bond’s vocals. Hearts Are Wild is a solid album, especially for fans of true blues music. Can’t Miss Tracks: Dead Zone Blues, Nothing But the Blues, Falling. The Big Hit: Dead Zone Blues
Sarah Richmond, reviewer, Blues Rock Review, November 23, 2011
Born in California, Debbie Bond delivers an album filled with variety, and multiple moods. She is a singer able to artfully change her voice, who plays with different styles such as very Rhythm and Blues' numbers in the opening song "Dead Zone Blue”, or jazzy numbers like "My Time" with the subtle horn playing. She also knows how to make her guitar sing without superfluously showing off. You have to know that the lady played with the late Willie King.
Not one minute of boredom while listening to the 12 titles of the album. "Still Missing You " is a very "Americana" version. The superb lyrics are written with instrumentalist Rick Asherson who plays so many instruments.
The musicians are just as good, and they accompany Mrs Bond with talent and verve. An incredibly efficient and together band. Truly a superb album that I recommend you buy asap. "Rick's Boogie" is another example of finesse, a short irresistible guitar solo and that spellbinding nuanced voice or the irresistible "I like it like that" - harmonica, piano, a perfect shuffle...
Every title carries its own feeling which undeniably makes for the strength of this opus.
Sincerity is the perfect word to summarize this work.
Debbie Bond also has a project which is dear to her heart: the Alabama Blues Project which aims to make the blues known in schools or to make the blues and Alabama musicians better known to a larger population; for more info go to www.debbiebond.com
Hearts Are Wild is an album to be listened to after a hard day's work -calm and serene... IT'S GOOD... and you are seduced the first time you listen. It's not about liking the blues it's simply about liking music. That's all . . .
Boogie Radio (FR), January 2012
Debbie Bond is a California native but settled in Alabama in 1979, where she shared her band with legendary bluesman Johnny Shines from 1981 until his death in 1992. She's a fine guitarist and has taken to writing her own songs to match her vocals, which range from smooth and sensual to soulful and gritty . . . laced with tough horn and piano . . . a torchy and soulful outing . . . Bond is a sharp talent who makes fine music with some sultry blues roots.
Jim White, reviewer Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12 December 2011
Debbie Bond is a fixture in the contemporary Alabama blues scene, and this new CD only cements her stellar reputation while pushing the genre itself to soaring heights. The talent on guitar, keyboards, and other instruments is amazing, and Debbie's voice manages to be sultry, sexy and wise all at once--it's as if Adele grew up, and grew up steeped in a fine Southern tradition of musicianship. This CD will make you laugh, cry, shout along and stomp your feet--and most of all, it will make you move. For a taste of new blues with as much soul as it has heart, get this CD right away--your collection is bereft without it.
Tangerine at Amazon.com, November 7, 2011
Certainly no newcomer to the Blues scene, it’s surprising that Hearts Are Wild is Debbie’s second solo release. After years of working with legends like Willie King and Johnny Shines, and devoting time to the Alabama Blues Project, Debbie has released the long awaited follow up to What Goes Around Comes Around. Debbie’s voice is unique, and well suited to all the styles of Blues and Roots music that she explores on this CD. Moving effortlessly from strut to shuffle and from boogie to ballad she offers a little something for everybody. With twelve tracks, most of them originals, I was really looking forward to listening to this one.
"Dead Zone Blues" kicks off the CD and is a great song. Full of attitude and swagger, it’s just what you’re looking for in a CD like this. Another great track is "My Time." What I love about this, other than the rocker vibe, are the lyrics. As a child of the 70’s I can fully relate to the playful lyrics about how things like Facebook have changed our lives. "Falling" is a beautiful ballad full of emotion, and you can feel the love she has for her partner Rick Asherson, who is also a member of the band on keys, harps, and background vocals. Aretha Franklin’s "Baby I Love You" is the standout of the two covers. Aretha is never easy to cover, but Debbie does it extremely well.
There are solos throughout that are wonderful. From Brad Guin’s tenor sax in "Falling" to the guitar solos throughout, and the trumpet of Brice Miller, Hearts Are Wild is an inviting listen that I think you’ll enjoy.
Melissa Martinez, reviewer, Rock Over America, December 14, 2011
With Hearts Are Wild, Debbie Bond has turned a professional corner to concentrate on her own music. Having worked with dozens of top musicians over the years - from Little Jimmy Reed and Johnny Shines to Jerry Boogie McCain and many others - Debbie's established herself as a top-notch blues vocalist and guitarist while also heading the Alabama Blues Project, an entity that she co-founded to provide music education to the children of Alabama through workshops, blues camps, and in-school residencies. As I wrote about the Los Angeles native in the introduction to my book, Alabama Musicians: Musical Heritage from the Heart of Dixie, "[If] any nonnative artist deserves inclusion [in this book], it's Debbie for her relentless promotion of Alabama music and musicians through the Alabama Blues Project's educational programs, concerts, and CD releases.
Reviewers usually compare an artist to others who've come before, and I could do that as well, but it would be a disservice to the listener. In the CD's twelve songs, Debbie demonstrates a vast array of musical interests and influences. Debbie has developed a personal sound that immediately grabs the listener and doesn't let go until the last note fades to silence. Hearts Are Wild is a wonderful CD that features a variety of styles and themes, from the lyrical exploration of addiction in "Nothing but the Blues," to the funky, double entendre song about cooking, "I Like It Like That," to the soulful love ballad, "Falling," to my favorite, the rocking "My Time," a satirically funny indictment of our narcissistic love affair with social networks.
Backed on Hearts Are Wild by Rick Asherson, James "Mr. B." Brown, Brad Guin, Chad Fisher, Dave Crenshaw, Brice Miller, and Rob Alley, Debbie delivers ten original songs (cowritten with Asherson) and two covers that fully establish her as an original artist whose talent has become the standard to which comparisons are made.
C.S. Fuqua, author of Alabama Musicians: Musical Heritage from the Heart of Dixie, November 8, 2011
Debbie Bond is co-founder of the Alabama Blues Project, which promotes and helps preserve the state’s blues heritage. The educational non-profit presents programs for many Alabama schools promoting great Alabama blues artists. Bond’s primary focus, however, is as a performer. She worked with Johnny Shines through the 80’s and early 90’s, and has also worked with Jerry “Boogie” McCain, James Peterson, Eddie Kirkland, Sam Lay, Little Jimmy Reed, and Willie King (appearing on his last two albums).
Hearts Are Wild (Blues Root), her second release as bandleader, focuses on the blues from the soul side. Bond co-wrote ten of the twelve tracks with keyboard/harmonica player Rick Asherson. The original compositions range from the pulsating opener, "Dead Zone Blues," "My Time," a humorous jab at modern technology and communication, the funky "Drama Mama," "Still Missing You," a melancholy slow blues, and the soulful ballad, "Falling." Cover tunes include Shannon and Adam Wright’s R&B boogie, "You’re The Kind of Trouble," and a faithful take on Aretha Franklin’s "Baby, I Love You."
Hearts Are Wild is a feel-good collection of soul/blues with a rhythm and feel that’s sometimes reminiscent of New Orleans at times. Bond is a fine guitarist and a passionate singer who deserves more recognition. Hopefully, this release will be a good start for her.
Blues Bytes Review, February 2012
Just as fine wines are bettered with age, the same can be said of Debbie Bond’s Hearts Are Wild. Hearts Are Wild shows her songwriting has reached full natural growth…She penned 10 of the 12 tracks...That music is supplied by Debbie (vocals, rhythm and lead guitar), her husband, Rick Asherson (keyboards, harmonica, and background vocals), Mr. B Brown (bass, rhythm and lead guitars, back ground vocals) Dave Crenshaw (drums and percussion), Brad Guin (sax) , and Chad Fisher (trombone) Rob Alley (trumpet) and Brice Miller (trumpet). Her last album, What Goes Around Comes Around, was released in 1998. Debbie has certainly paid her blues dues.
Jerry Henry, reviewer, Planet Weekly, Music Matters, Tuscaloosa, Alabama February 21, 2011
Debbie Bond and Rick Asherson are certainly militants for a just cause but also humble and warm artist whose passion and experience have created an original music coming from the roots of the blues which they play with conviction, authenticity and a lot of talent. Their work and experience alongside Willie King taught them that the blues was also about sharing, emotions, a heart and soul. That is what they gave us when they came to the blues café live radio show to offer us their new album Hearts are Wild. (Translated from the original French)
Cédric Vernet & Francis Rateau, Le Blues Café Live Radio , January 2011, France
CD Review: What Goes Around Comes AroundAfter many, many years of performing, Debbie Bond has finally graced us with her first CD. In today’s blues world, the music is often dominated by electric guitarist who use vocals as a break between guitar solos. It’s always a relief to hear a recording where the instruments accompany the vocals instead of the other way around. Another thing I like about this recording is that nine of the fourteen tracks are written by Debbie and Mike.
If you ever had any doubts about the quality of musicians in Alabama, this CD will certainly erase them. There’s the horn section that sometimes provides a great Memphis feel. Topper Price lends his harmonica talents to several tunes including the acoustic slide blues “High Rider Blues”. This tune is all Debbie Bond, and she knows how to sing a ballad . . . I encourage everyone to grab this CD.
Leonard Watkins, reviewer Alabama Blues Society, May 1998
Live Show ReviewsA little bit of soul, some down home blues, clever lyrics, excellent musicians and angelic voice. That's what you experience with Debbie Bond. A true original in every sense of the word.
Maxwell Russell, host of the Shoals Songwriters Showcase, May 2014
Straight from Spain’s Tarragona Blues Festival to Oxford’s Famous Monday Blues at the Jericho, Bond and her backing band were far from tired or jaded. Still high on the festival vibe, she produced a cracking set that showcased her growing talent as one of the leading– and few – female blues players on the US circuit.
Bond has clearly paid her blues dues. Formerly with the late Willie King for the last seven years of his life, she has also toured and played extensively with Johnnie Shines and Eddie Kirkland. Her band for the night included her partner and former Willie King band-member, Rick Asherson, on keyboards, harp and backing vocals, together with Richard Blanchard on sax and Sam Kelly on drums.
This was the only gig played by Bond in the UK, squeezed in on her return leg to her Tuscaloosa home in Alabama. With due reverence to her old pal, Willie King, she naturally included many of his socially-aware brand of blues numbers in the set while also promoting her latest CD release, That Thing Called Love, pretty well in its entirety.
‘You’re The Kind Of Trouble’ led into the1930s-sounding, ragtime influenced, ‘Steady Rolling Man’, followed by ‘Feed My Soul’ and ‘Still Missing You’. King’s old standard, ‘I Like It Like That’, went down well with the crowd and the aptly titled, ‘Tarragona Blues’ also featured.
Kelly’s skinwork was, as expected, solid and Blanchard provided some simply splendid sax solos together with some cleverly understated backing. Bond’s vocals were strong, throaty and well-paced while Asherson’s growling backing vocals meshed nicely and his keyboard work was inventive and engrossing. His harp solos were always grippingly good, demanding attention and admiration.
All in all, this was a polished, liquid and relaxed session from a player and band that seem to be constantly improving and developing. It’s fitting that she includes some of her late mentor, Willie King’s stuff in her sets but she is now clearly in a position to shake off the past and roll ahead on her own account.
Iain Patience, Blues In Britain, November 2013
On the occasion of the presentation of his latest CD 'Hearts Are Wild' (2010) to 'Mi' Place of the Blues, Debbie Bond, with Rick Asherson, explained the objectives of the Alabama Blues Project and paid tribute to bluesman Willie King. For this first concert of the year 2011, the small hall of the 'Mi' Place of Blues sold out. Special visit by singer-guitarist Debbie Bond and Rick Asherson (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), both former companions of the late Willie King had fueled the curiosity of members of the Black Jack Blues Association.
Debbie and Rick seemed to experience a real pleasure to appear before this audience of connoisseurs. In a repertoire that showcases the latest CD produced by Debbie Bond 'Hearts Are Wild' (2010), the two artists played their blues with great sincerity, which did not fail to touch the audience. The times (including an excellent 'Red Bean Cooking') mingle with compositions like 'I Like It Like That' on which Debbie Bond invites his young nephew to play drums or 'Rick's Boogie' highlighting the play of Rick Asherson keyboards. The atmosphere is very relaxed, almost familial, with ultimately the public who dances to 'You're The Kind Of Trouble' while Rick alternate keyboards and harmonica to the delight of all.
During the intermission, Debbie Bond was presented the Alabama Blues Project and it runs since 1995 whose objectives are to promote the blues in Alabama in all its forms, whether through the recognition of history blues in this state that by raising awareness of this music at school-age children or helping old bluesmen in need. She then went a tribute to Willie King, who has also worked hard for this association and with whom she played, as Rick Asherson within Liberators. Debbie Bond also insisted on the importance of his meeting with Johnny Shines, his mentor, source of its active engagement in Alabama Blues Project, as well as the role of Eddie Kirkland in his musical career.
Jacques Garcia, president of the Black Jack Blues Association in Ampuis, France http://blackjackbluesasso.free.fr/
One of Tuscaloosa’s most well-known names in blues, Debbie Bond has been doing her thing for more than three decades. With her soulful voice and songs, you’d think she grew up in the heart of the Deep South. In fact she grew up all over the world, in places like West Africa and England. Once she moved here in the late “70s, she was home. Her voice has been compared with legendary female powerhouses Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt, comparisons she is flattered by, yet she has a sound all her own. She has worked with top names in business, and toured the U.S. and overseas with Lil’ Jimmy Reed, Little Whitt and Big Bo, Eddie Kirkland and Sam Lay.
Tuscaloosa News Readers Choice Best of T-town: Musician/Band, December 2011
Doing great work in the Deep South is the talented Debbie Bond… She has been busy playing the blues in the back woods of the US south where her emotion-rich style is described as a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Janice Joplin. On Monday she brings her mix of treasured covers and searing originals to the Famous Monday Blues at the Bullingdon. Don’t miss the chance to see this talented, and thrilling blueswoman doing what she does the best.
Tim Hughes, reviewer, Oxford Mail, Oxford, England Oxfordmail.co.uk/theguide, January 2011
The main stage then presented a great set by Alabama's Willie King featuring " Ride Sally Ride," "Sweet Potato Man" and "Spoonful," all tracks from his CD One Love. Guitarist Debbie Bond played superbly throughout as did her English husband Rick Asherson on keys. A great tight band that got the earliest dancers on their feet . . .
Debbie's passion for the blues resonates. Her life, experiences, lessons taught and learned, weaving their way through her music.
Jo In the Afternoon, BBC Radio Oxford, England, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/england/oxford/, January 26, 2011
I feel enthused by what I see her do on stage. I would look forward to Debbie being my guitar player any day of the week. Her singing and her guitar playing on a scale of one to ten . . . lets try 15! Her band I wouldn’t be scared to take anywhere!
Blues legend Sam Lay, Chicago IL
Debbie Bond, Rick Asherson, and band always put on a well done and exciting show and Thursday was no exception . . .
Jerome Adams, reviewer, Planet Weekly, Tuscaloosa AL, September 2009
Debbie Bond has truly caught the essence of Southern Blues…an international personality who got her feet wet in an Alabama swamp…a true Baptism into the blues!
Jerry Henry, publisher, That Alabama Musician Magazine
If you like your blues with a little feminine sass, Janis Joplin sound-alike Debbie Bond and the Kokomo Blues Band fit the bill.
Shawn Ryan, music reviewer, Birmingham News, Birmingham, Alabama 1998
With no PA available there was some concern that the audience wouldn’t be able to hear. Debbie Bond and Mike McCraken encouraged the large audience to move a little closer before starting. Debbie’s vocals were excellent and their songs warmly received.
Acoustic tour review Target, Yorkshire, England 1995
She’s an original, not a copyist. Debbie can do other people’s material and make it her own. Her soaring powerful voice, which is very musical, makes her a blues singer in the tradition of the best blues women.
Barry Neville, host of Saturday Night Blues, WUAL Public Radio, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, WQPR Muscle Shoals, 1995
Debbie Bond sings with taste and emotion and she has a feeling for the music, a voice which can cover the sweet to the sinful.
Blueprint Magazine, UK 1991
In a world sadly short of good blues women, Debbie is a real find! Debbie is a star . . . I can’t wait to see her again.
David Freeman, host BBC Radio Oxford Blues, 95.2 FM, Oxford England 1991
I’ve worked with Debbie - she reminds me a lot of Bonnie Raitt – and I’ve told her she’s star material, she just needs exposure.
Johnny Shines 1986
Not only is she one of the nation’s top blues talents, but it is sure to be a memorable show in the intimate confines of the 1048.
Rick Harmon, Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, Alabama
One of the hottest blues acts in the county.
Shoals Magazine, Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Mike McCracken and Debbie Bond were the catalysts that sparked the Komomo Blues band in 1981. . . they joined forces with Johnny Shines and revived his career. His collaboration with Kokomo provides for a powerful blues experience.
Spotlight, Tuscaloosa, Alabama