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Debbie Bond – Blues Without Borders


With the myriad of issues troubling our world it can be a struggle for an artist to focus on just one of the many subjects available to reflect upon. For her fifth album, singer/songwriter, blues activist and founder of the awardwinning Alabama Blues Project, Debbie Bond decided to tackle as many as she could. The ten original tracks on Blues Without Borders take on a wide array of topics from social justice, environmentalism, and equality to all the complications found inside that thing called love.

Along with her collaborator and husband, keyboardist and blues harp player “Radiator” Rick Asherson, Bond began the project in the spring of 2020, tracking with UK drummer Mickey Barker until the world was shut down by the pandemic. Through the miracle of modern technology Bond and company were able to continue recording via the internet, utilizing five studios to record ten guest musicians in the US and UK. The international musical family includes award-winning vocalist Lea Gilmore, Jamaican saxman Ray Carless, a member of the Muscle Shoals Studios Horn section, Brad Guin, and percussionists Joelle Barker and Dave Crenshaw, along with background vocals from Meshon Omoregie, Gabrielle Semoine, and Carla Don and Rachel Edwards (Aka AfroUnicorn), who flew in their parts remotely. This product of connectivity gives greater meaning to the album title and further proves the only borders to creativity are those inside our hearts and minds.

Bond begins her treatise with the Delta swamper “High Rider Blues,” with the trio of guitar, drums and harmonica performed with old-school fire. The simple question “if we only knew what love could do,” is put forth as the chorus of the title track “Blues Without Borders.” Bond collaborated with Lea Gilmore to write this stylish global beat track as a soulful prayer for peace and healing from a collection of stirring voices, who need to be heard worldwide. Bond displays her skills on the Telecaster during the scorching R&B track “Let Me Be,” and the guitar driven blues lament about bad love “ Blue Rain,” pouring heart and soul into the performances. She spells out the many charms of her “main man,” during the playful Memphis Soul styled “Radiator,” shedding some light on Asherson’ s automotive nickname.

Brad Guin echoes Bond’ s pleading vocals with his saxophone on the dulcet call for reconciliation, “Heart of the Matter.” Dave Crenshaw lays down a steady groove on “Winds of Change,” as a firm foundation for Bond to deliver a scathing rebuke of our world’ s war with itself. The gospel-fueled tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “ Let Freedom Ring,” is inspired by his famous speeches and documents pivotal moments in his life, delivered with sincere and passionate love for the iconic civil rights hero. The country tinged “Shades of Blue” is an examination of the complications found in love and its many pursuits. Bond and Asherson close the album with “Road Song,” a celebration of their love and life as traveling troubadours singing the rambling blues, the whole world over. Patience, persistence and innovation brought the Blues Without Borders project to fruition. Debbie Bond and her whole team should be proud of the accomplishment. – Rick J Bowen

... a genuinely gripping blues offering that slips along purposefully and strongly from start to finish, covering all those essential blues bases with a confidence and command that makes this an essential release for blue lovers everywhere.” – Blues Matters (UK)

Track Listing:
01 High Rider Blues
02 Blues Without Borders
03 Let Me Be
04 Blue Rain
05 Radiator
06 Heart Of The Matter
07 Winds Of Change
08 Let Freedom Ring
09 Shades Of Blue
10 Road Song

Website Debbie Bond

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