Sugar Lime Blue New Album 'The Blackbird Sessions' Out Now
To a great degree, Sugar Lime Blue’s The Blackbird Sessions is a showcase for Ashley Beth, the act’s lead singer. She shines on multiple of styles throughout the album sounding perfectly at home with every one
The group sometimes tours with jam bands, and units of this nature need to be conversant in quite a number of sonic genres. For example, early on they do one titled “Nowhere,” which is – for lack of a better term – white reggae. Then with the very next track, “Troublesome Man,” Beth
sings an acapella blues. Right after that, to show that the blues is a comfortable fit, they give us “Didn’t Mean to Kill You,” an amplified blues song.
This variety makes for an enjoyably surprising ten song collection. This unpredictability keeps The Blackbird Sessions from ever sounding same-y. Musicians are, of course, music fans too. Just as they don’t want any dull spots on the albums they listen to, it’s understandable that they
long for variety in what they play and sing. There are few things sadder than seeing a veteran band playing the same old boring hits they’ve played a million times for decades. It’s not uncommon for artists to apologize to audiences whenever playing new songs. Unfortunately, fans – that aren’t required to rehash all the hits night after night – mostly only want to relive the hits, without new material muddying the waters. It’s a balance of give and take. With the differing styles addressed on this album, Sugar Lime Blue has at least set itself up to cover a wide spectrum of styles when they tour behind this album.
One of the sweetest songs is titled “Hello October,” which sounds a bit like old time rock and roll. On it, Beth can be heard addressing the months and seasons of the year directly in its lyrics. It’s more than a
little original to hear such a song. After all, pop and rock music is filled with songs about girls, drugs and the music itself. When was the last time you heard a song with an act speaking directly to the weather?
The album ends with “Chupacabra,” which is a big old chunk of musical fun. It’s a lighthearted song about that mythical beast. (Well, maybe not so mythical). It was first sighted, they say, in Puerto Rico in 1995. If you believe the legend, it attacks and drinks the blood of livestock, especially goats. It’s sung as a warning to anyone that might become a Chupacabra victim. After an album of consistently serious music, this is a delightful manner to close out the record.
Sugar Lime Blue is a highly skilled band and shows off many of these talents during The Blackbird Sessions, a fully satisfying album. The group is fortunate to have a flexible vocalist like Ashley Beth. Without her ability to easily transition from style to style, Sugar Lime Blue simply wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. It’s roots music, with these roots deep in multiple types of music. If you’re an eclectic music listener, and don’t want to listen to an album that starts to sound like a series of musical reruns, this may be just what the doctor ordered for you.