Doña Oxfordnever gets older; she just gets better. Her new album, Live… and Loud is not only liveand loud, it is her best album yet in a career full of passionate songs, great albums and stunning musical accomplishments. Live…and Loud! is 5-star, platinum-level pure boogie woogie soul-drenched rock and roll.
Set for release November 30,the 13-song Live… And Loud!album was recorded during liveperformances in Europe this past spring and is timed to launch her next European tour, which kicks off with a gig at the famous 606 Club in London. Produced by Jim Williams, who cut his teeth with The Stooges, the album has the energy of live recordings and the acoustic perfection of the studio. The audio quality is remarkable, given the varied locations which included Matt and Phreds in Manchester, UK, Grand Ol’ Opry in Glasgow, UK and Liederbuch in Zwickau, Germany. Doña’s world-class piano/keyboard skills — which prompted none other than Keith Richards to shout “You’re a bitch!” as they jammed together on stage – spill out in a profession of razor sharp notes and streaming energy in every song, whether it was recorded in a London Pub, a German rock venue or the Grand Ol’ Opry in Scotland.
The album features Oxford’s UK band: James Beck on guitar, Mikey Ciancio on drums, Ellen O’Reilly on bass and Jim Williams on cowbell and other auditory pleasures. It kicks off with the rocking and rolling “It Won’t Be Long” followed by the slower tempo “Something You Got” before jacking up the pace and the emotion in “Get It Right” from her Soul Quest album.
The mood gets down and dirty with “Find a Fool Bump Her Head”, giving Oxford an opportunity to show her belting skills while guitarist Beck punctuates the lyrics with knife-edged notes and a red hot solo that hits you in the gut. But Oxford picks you up off the floor with the dance-perfect “Together” from the Step Up album and then keeps the momentum going with “Doe’s Boogie”, flashing her fingers across the keyboard at light speed while Mikey Ciancio keeps up a blistering pace on the drums and Beck’s guitar reaches stratospheric levels.
As she hits the halfway mark Oxford ramps the energy even higher with “Crazy ‘Bout You Baby”, the frenetic “Here We Go Again” from Step Up, and a foot-tapping version of “It’s Our Day” before she gets down and funky with “Steal Away”. Ciancio’s driving drum beat and the throbbing bassline from O’Reilly move as a single organism on “Steal Away” as Oxford’s fingers set fire to the piano keys.
Things cool way down with the sorrowful blues song “You’ll Never Ever Know” as Oxford’s exquisite voice delivers the pain of loss directly to your ears. But she can’t resist the energy as she moves into “Don’t Go” from Step Up and then blows you away with a 5 minute version of “Rock Rock Rock”, kicked off with a blistering hot 50’s guitar riff that would have done Chuck Berry proud.
The album is arranged like the tour, with a beginning, middle and end. The songs are punctuated with band introductions, stories, applause and a heartfelt thank you and goodbye after “Rock Rock Rock”. The electricity in the album flows not only from the fast-paced music, but from Oxford’s magical ability to make any crowd happy – including crowds listening on their speakers or earbuds.You really, really feel like you are in the room, singing and with Oxford and the blokes and birds in the club with you.Live…and Loud! is an extraordinary accomplishment and her best album yet.