Sunday, June 25, 2017 This Week's Paper

The Randy Oxford Band

Recorded live at The Sunbanks Rhythm and Blues Festival in Eastern Washington, "Festival" showcases all the reasons why Randy Oxford Band's sophisticated, Chicago-style jams continue to attract dedicated followers. Playing everything from blues classics and Americana, to soul, R&B, funk, rock, Motown and more, this six-piece outfit is legendary in the Pacific Northwest.

The beauty of this live recording is that you can hear the wound-up audience throughout. Oxford and his players sure know how to get the crowds going, and the shouts from the festival listeners inject excitement and even more life to the music.

The Randy Oxford Band is: Oxford on trombone, Jada Amy on vocals, Rafael Tranquilino on guitar and vocals, Jho Blenis on guitar and vocals, Richard Sabol on drums and Farko Dosumov on bass. "Festival" features nine tracks written by some of these band members and by other contributors. Oxford sounds as fantastic as ever on every song. It's no wonder why he has won more than 25 music awards in Washington State, among other honors he's earned.

On lead vocals, Amy brings her sassy, full-of-attitude voice to the table. The CD starts off right with leadoff song "Big Long Slidin' Thing," one of those blush-worthy, double-entendre types of songs that hardcore blues fans love so much. As Amy sings, "Where's my daddy with his big long sliding' thing?" one wonders if she is talking about his trombone or something else more risqué? Oxford's got mucho soul in his trombone solo, which will help prove his prowess to new fans while at the same time giving longtime admirers of Oxford's work something to say, "Ooohhh, yeah!" about.

On "Little Boys," Amy sings the blues for how men are so predictable and she's having none of it, especially when it comes to the way guys look at her chest rather than in the eye.

Tacoma guitar god Rafael Tranquilino contributed two songs to "Festival." The all-instrumental "Smooth Feeling" (clocking in at 10:05 in signature Tranquilino style) features Tranquilino's awesome guitar work with pedals to add sweet variety, a kickin' bass solo by Dosumov and even an old-school drum solo by Sabol. Tranquilino sings in Spanish on "Sabada."

"Hey, Baby" is up-tempo joy, with solid rock-n-roll footing, slap bass solo, and Tranquilino going all wildman on his six-string, and a brief and hot spotlight on Sabol's drums. On trombone, it sounds like Oxford makes it speak, saying "Oh, yeah" a few times.

The Randy Oxford Band plays the Madison Pub in Everett on Jan. 28 and Highway 99 Blues Club in Seattle on Feb. 18. For more info, visit