Talkin' Fishbowl Blues
\'This album has some of the catchiest songs on one record that I've heard in a long, long time. Queen Esther combines the grittiness of Rolling Stones take on blues/rock, silky-smooth black-gospel harmonies with pop-sensibilities that makes you sit up and take notice." - Ear Candy \' \'Leave Me Alone\' has an attitude with it's commanding instrumentation and potent vocals. Hidden in the midst of the track is an almost country twang jam suffused in the blues.\' - Kweevak.com "There's a decidedly Stones-y swagger to many of these tunes with just a touch of twang, and Queen Esther shows herself to be as versatile a vocalist as Tina (Turner), covering not only the lead vocals but nearly all the background vocals as well. She\'s got a great voice (4 octave range) and maybe it's her theater background but all her vocals (even the backing vox) are filled with passion and brimming with personality. Queen Esther writes about what she knows: mostly being a young woman transplanted to New York City and relationships, but she's a keen observer and turns some great phrases throughout. The band is Rock and Roll basics: guitars, bass and drums--and more guitars, and they play with just the right mixture of being together but playing loose. Jack Sprat's production is crisp but not glossy and there's a freshness to the performances that implies they didn't play these songs to death hoping for the "perfect" take... You'll have to set your preconceptions aside for this one. Queen Esther is active in the theater and performance art worlds, sings the blues, sings jazz with the JC Hopkins Biggish Band and now has offered up a great Rock and Roll album. Is there anything this woman can't do?" (4 out of 5 stars) - All Music Guide "A quick glance of the cover could confuse this release with Meshell Ndegeocello's Comfort Woman. Not really a blues album, yet aptly tagged as "Black Americana,' Manhattan-via-Austin super-side-woman Esther melds roots, pop and R & B in a way Lucinda Williams, Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow never could on their best days. "Shine" rocks akin to Exile-era Stones, 'Love' and 'The Way of the World' ooze BB King sufferage via classic Philly soul grooves, 'New York City' simmers with raucous urban funk riffage and 'Get It Right This Time' floats neo-psychedelic overtones on a greasy backbeat to kill for. Who\'s your mommy?" - Amplifier \'(Queen Esther's) first full-length album shows that her own preferences run toward traditions that have somewhat lacked for an African-American presence of late. She calls her music "Black Americana"and makes it stick with a clutch of tastefully tuneful tracks that dabble in bluesy soul, pop, funk and country. Her cover of "Stand By Your Man" strips the song down to a weary woman's blues without losing it's twang. Highlights include "Shine" a bit of catchy swaggering rock, the aching lap-steel driven "Taster\'s Choice" and the a capella "Help Me." The album is an implicit statement of it\'s own - that however you slice up American roots music, those roots come in several shades." - No Depression Queen Esther\'s unique sound -- Black Americana -- is a hybrid of the music that raised her: 70\'s country blues-rock, sanctified gospel and old timey twang. Queen Esther stepped out of her Low Country childhood and took her classically trained four octave range from a performing arts high school in Atlanta, GA to Austin, TX quickly becoming a local/regional favorite as a vocalist and performer/entertainer on the alternative theater scene and as a member of RoTel and the Hot Tomatoes. After relocating to Harlem, her work as a vocalist, lyricist/writer, songwriter and actor/solo performer led to creative collaborations in neo-vaudeville, alternative theater, various alt-rock configurations, (neo) swing bands, trip hop DJs, spoken word performances, jazz combos, jam bands, various blues configurations, original Off Broadway plays and musicals, experimental music/art noise and performance art. As Queen Esther\'s distinct sound -- Black Americana -- began to emerge through performing and recording her ideas, she also formed creative collaborations with guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Elliot Sharp (their critically acclaimed effort \'Mighty\' on the now defunct Homestead Records is available as a German import) and jazz guitar icon James \'Blood\' Ulmer, performing throughout Europe and Scandanavia. Her featured vocals on his recent release \'No Escape From The Blues\' (Hyena), produced by Vernon Reid (Living Colour), garnered national/international critical praise while earning a spot in Rolling Stone\'s pick of The Best 50 CDs of 2003. On their latest effort, \'Blues & Grass: The 52nd Street Blues Project\' (Chesky) a black folk oddysey produced by and featuring Mr. Ulmer, Queen Esther writes several songs and performs alongside Charles Burnham, Mark Petersen and Aubrey Dale. Queen Esther also sings regularly in New York City with composer/pianist JC Hopkins\' Biggish Band \'Champagne Fountain of Joy\', a thirteen piece line-up of celebrated New York City musicians (Patience Higgins, James Zollar, Vincent Chancey) and guest vocalists (Madelene Peroux, Norah Jones, Syd Straw) that features original swing tunes and hard bop. Their debut CD \'Underneath A Brooklyn Moon\' is to be released in January on Tigerlily Records. Armed with her own songs and a diverse array of seasoned musicians (Marvyn Sewell/Cassandra Wilson, Sebastian Steinberg/Soul Coughing, Kelvyn Bell/Defunkt, Booker King/Sandra St. Victor, Boo Reiners/Demolition String Band), Queen Esther started her own label and released \'Talkin\' Fishbowl Blues\' (EL Recordings), her full-length debut CD of Black Americana. Rooted in her Southern upbringing, infused by her Texas experiences and nurtured on the world famous stages and venues in New York City, Queen Esther is poised to bring a new sound to the world.