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Rock n Roll Hurts!! (Sometimes)

RDSH Shirt CBAU

What else can I say? The last leg of our awesome Australian tour, I caught a wicked something or other bug that started out as chest congestion and turned into full-blown pneumonia- we hit the doc’s as soon as we got home so I’m already on the mend for that.

But now get this- while we were at the airport Monday night, loading up our gear into the van to take us home, I fractured one of my ribs! I didn’t know it was fractured- it just hurt suddenly a lot. I was worried about the coughing and breathing, so dealt with that.

Then at Friday night’s show, my side hurt a lot so I couldn’t jump around and wiggle like I do on stage, let alone sing very well. After the show, I bent over to pick up a mic cable and heard and felt a loud, angry POP! And almost fell over from the pain. We drove to emergency and sure enough, the rib was fractured. Crazy…

So now I’m on bed rest, we’ve cancelled a few shows so I can heal up, and I’m aiming to be all set and primed to sing and jump–n-jiggle around by mid-September for the European tour. Rock n roll hurts!! 😉

Meanwhile, LITTLE BLACK HEART has been charting on the AMA charts, and getting great reviews. The only thing that would make me happier is to have full lung function, nothing broken, and maybe a little sanity around these here parts… soup visitors always welcome…!

Once again, we would like to sincerely thank all our family and friends who helped us avoid the AU tour fiasco and turn it into a huge success. Thank you so much! We hope you all are enjoying your CDs and other gifts 🙂 and we look forward to seeing y’all really soon at a show somewhere- as long as nothing vital is broken and we can put on a show for ya! Until then, you can pick up your copy of LBH here or digitally here

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The Daily Country LBH Review

1394462872 Eight years ago, Ruby Dee was involved in a scooter accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury that resulted in her suffering from vertigo, memory loss, nausea, mental confusion and language challenges. “I could picture an image in my mind, but couldn’t think of the word. I couldn’t finish thoughts or sentences or conversations, let alone write songs.” Dee says.

It was a few years until she started writing songs again, and in 2011 the band’s release, Live from Austin, Texas, saw songs chart on both the AMA and Texas Third Coast Music charts, and earned the band a 54th Grammy consideration for Best Americana Album. The band also released a children’s album Rockabilly Playground, which charted at #15 on the FAR charts and #103 on the AMA Charts, and earned the band another spot on the ballot for the 56th Grammy Awards.

Now, Dee & her Snakehandlers return with their latest album, Little Black Heart. The thirteen track collection, which includes one cover and twelve originals (all penned by Dee) fuses rockabilly, country, and R&B into a swinging disc that’s a pleasure from the first song to the last. Things kick off with the sax-heavy jive of “Not For Long” and flow nicely into the upright bass-filled “Can You Spare a Match?” before landing into the rollicking tale of the homecoming queen in “All Knocked Up.” The album also includes the dark tale of love gone wrong “Put You Down,” the rapid-fire “Mean Mean Woman,” the fun kiss-off “You Underwhelm Me” and the murder ballad of a title track where Dee’s smoky vocals are on full display.

Little Black Heart showcases a woman who has undoubtedly worked hard to regain what she lost and in doing so produced an album with sharp lyrics and tight musicianship that’s fit for dancin’…and just splendid. Read the Review

Tara- The Daily Country

RUBY DEE AND THE SNAKEHANDLERS Little Black Heart
Catty Town Records (2016)

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Pop Dose LBH Record Review

logofouroh101 This Seattle-based band has been at it for 14 years and this new album from Ruby Dee & The Snakehandlers, Little Black Heart, is a definitive statement. Aside from the sheer joyfulness, sexiness and bawdiness of their rockabilly-meets-Memphis-meets-Americana-meets Western swing, et al twang, it’s got its serious side, as this is an album born of a near tragedy. Eight years ago, Ruby Dee had a devastating scooter accident that caused significant brain injury and trauma; she was, in many ways, forced to almost start over from scratch. It’s a testimony to her courage and willfulness to be able to regain the ability to write songs (let alone do everything else that was crucial to her life) and resume her “other” career (she’s been a successful restauranteur in Seattle as well). Recorded in Austin and kicking hard, this album sounds as raw as it feels in a great, natural way.

“Not For Long” announces the band with a drum roll that, indeed, kicks in a classic swing style, complete with sax punches, Gretsch-sounding reverbed twang, slap bass and a relationship gone wrong – easily, it could have been recorded in ’57, ’58 but never sounding forced or phony; “Can You Spare A Match?” goes more toward ’40’s jive but is upbeat and good-timey; “Put You Down” gallops along with a heavy, proper minor-chord bodied twang, with crisp acoustic guitars and a simple yet completely perfect solo. “I See Green” is a modern-sounding piece, poppy, yet countrified and as radio-friendly as the day is long (and one of the album’s standouts to me); the album’s title track has a dark edge to it; “Camille” is another of the pop-pier tracks, sad and sweet and “The Way I Walk” thunders along with a slinky, Cramps-like feel, which is another high mark.

Thirteen tracks and a lot to feast on. So sink your teeth into this meaty musical fest but get ready to be fattened up by what you hear.

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Read the Review
Rob Ross (Staten Island, NY)

RUBY DEE AND THE SNAKEHANDLERS Little Black Heart
Catty Town Records (2016)

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