Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive 2001 CD
"Out of Her Mind"
|FROM Seattle, WA
Aug 30, 2002
Blues On Stage
Reviewer: Tony Engelhart
Originally from the Midwest, Annie Eastwood settled in the Seattle area a little over 15 years ago and has played in every blues club in the city. Finally, she lays down her smooth brand of bar room blues on an impressive debut. Out of Her Mind.
Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive play a sleazy strain of blues which is both smart and sexy. Annie's sassy vocals are complimented by her magnificent band, including James Middlefield on harmonica, and Ian Waldie on slide guitar. The disc was nominated by the Washington Blues Society for best Recording and Eastwood for Best Female Vocalist in 2001. lWhile the awards went to other artists, it reestablished the group as a powerhouse in the Northwest.
Out of Her Mind contains all original material with no filler. With a relaxed ambiance, 'High Tech Blues' gets things rolling, a funky shuffle, with plenty of Annie's sexually charged innuendos in between smokin' solos. Jazz and Blues collide with 'Troubled Fool' which features stellar guitar licks, solid harp playing and a laid back groove. 'Burning Up' and 'Miss Phyllis' are chock full of dangerous lyrics as Eastwood tantalizes the listener with her mischievous voice.
Out of Her Mind is campy, fun and just close enough to the edge without crossing the boundaries of good taste. Like another Northwest Blues Diva, Duffy Bishop, Annie isn't afraid to lay it out for all to hear while using her womanly ways to lure the listener in.
FROM NORFOLK, VA
Look out blues scene, Seattle, Washington is coming to call. These six musicians are the real deal. Tight band, outstanding vocals, great lyrics, and they even print the lyrics in the insert.
Bob Mahan, Natchel' Blues Network
|FROM KRISTIANSAND, NORWAY
March 20, 2002
Editor: Blues-Stikka Magazine
I received your CD just a couple days ago, and I'll write a proper review one of these days. Just wanted to tell you that I think your "Out of Her Mind" CD is fantastic and it hasn't been out of the player since it arrived. It sort of creeps in under your skin. Again, fantastic... I'll be back in touch when I have my review written.
FROM OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
Details: This super-tight band out of Seattle, Washington, delivers a good romp through some fine rockin blues! The album impresses with all original material six songs by Annie Eastwood and four by Ian Waldie. This is a CD youll turn on and leave on.
If the lyrics on the first two cuts, "High Tech Blues," and "I Dont Know," both by Ian, are a little gimmicky, the music still grabs you and keeps you! The third cut "Troubled Fool,"by Annie, is where the group gets into my kind of blues slowed down and sensual! Ed Martinez turns in some boss guitar work on Annies sassy "Moody Woman Blues" while Annie sure tells it like it is! Annie is smoldering on the very sexy "Burning Up" and touchingly plaintive on "Family Matters," a sad lament to her late mother.
There is some kickin guitar on Ians "Stand Up For Something" good lyrics too! The chorus by the boys in the band on the title track "Out of Her Mind," (by Ian) is fun! Get ready for some super harp playing on "In My Slipper," (Annies) though the lyrics left me mystified. Equally mysterious is Annies "Miss Phyllis," but whether "Miss Phyllis" is a girl or a dog, youre gonna love her!
The variety of tempo and topic is smoothly balanced. Annie has a uniquely clear and beautiful sound and her own approach to delivering the blues. She includes in the dedication on her liner notes, "
to the talented musicians on this project; a support group of six friends doing what we really love to do." That group includes Ian Waldie guitar, slide, vocals who shares lead guitar with Ed Martinez. Jack Kinney who is unwavering on bass and vocals, with Carl Jackson rock steady on drums and percussion on "Out of Her Mind." James Middlefield gives us some mean harp and also contributes on vocals. (Hes their booking agent as well.)
FROM COSMIK DEBRIS
Last Fall, I saw Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive open for Tommy Castro at Seattle's Century Ballroom.
After the show, I thought they were ready to be a headliner, and after listening to "Out of Her Mind", I'm looking forward to their next show.
Their debut CD features roadhouse style blues and the entire CD rocks like they do live, and this ten-song set should get them more than a little airplay outside their Pacific Northwest home. Leave it to a Seattle blues band in dot-com land to do "High Tech Blue," a nod to relationships connected via phone, fax, pagers, and electronic mail (for better or worse). "Moody Woman Blues" is one of my favorites off this disc, and "Burning Up" shows off Annie Eastwood's fine and sultry vocals...
FROM WILLIAMSPORT, PENNSYLVANIA
Based out of the Seattle area, Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive are about as tight as bands get. The musicianship on this album is immaculate, the songs (all original tunes) are well written, and the approach is delightfully refreshing. All that said, this was a tough piece to review. There was nothing about the release that I found distasteful or objectionable....I just couldnt find the words to label it. Thats probably a good thing. Bottom line...buy this album and if given an opportunity, get out to see the band. You wont be disappointed. The band covers everything from straight-ahead rockin blues to smoldering slow burners...all covered with more than a touch of class. Annies voice is one of a kind and the band is tighter than a gnats behind.
FROM LYNCHBURG, VA
Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive has been grooving for the past five years, playing in a number of clubs, mostly in the Pacific Northwest, and this is their first recording project...and I trust it will be the first of many more to come.
I'll admit that when I first started listening to "Out of Her Mind," while driving in my car, I thought, "Oh, this is pretty much a jazz group." The first two cuts, "High Tech Blues" and I Don't Know" have a distinctive jazz feel, so I'm thinking, "Is this supposed to be a blues group?". Then on comes "Troubled Fool" and my thoughts immediately shift and I'm telling myself, "This is not just your average band." "Moody Woman Blues" plays next and I'm hooked. "This group is different,!" I blurt out, careful not to swerve off the road.
I'm still trying to figure out what makes this band tick, when "Burning Up," plays. It's so good, I turn up the volume. Like its title, this cut is hot!
What I liked most about this CD was the fact that the band played all original songs, and thus chose not to cover any particular artist. This takes guts when your're trying to make a dent in the blues music biz. Annie wrote six out of the ten songs and Ian Waldie, Overdrive's guitarist wrote the remainder.
The more I listened, the more I liked, "Out of Her Mind", with the exception of the title cut which has the boys in the band singing the chorus. They probably had a lot of fun with this in the studio and I'm sure the intent was to be cute and/or funny, but I actually found it quite annoying (Sorry, Ian).
As long as Ms. Eastwood continues to be the driving force behind this band and each member plays their part in keeping it fine-tuned, we should be hearing a lot more from Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive in the future.
Rating: Worth listening to.
FROM GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive, from Seattle, Washington, offer a clean approach to the blues, with lead singer Annie Eastwood singing with a crystal clear voice that immediately strikes you as one-of-a-kind. The band calls the music "Rockin' Roadhouse Blues", and that's what it is. The fast paced songs are all original and definitely an enjoyable listen.
Opening the CD with "High Tech Blues", from the very first note you know you are listening to something unlike the standard female artists with their whiskey drinkin', cigarette smokin', gravel always audible. Backed by a great band, including a harmonica that holds the music together like glue, Stickshift Annie will definitely shift your gears. Worth adding to your collection, especially if you enjoy female artists!
|FROM CHESHIRE ENGLAND
From Seattle, Washington, USA comes a great six piece band called Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive that have released their first CD on June 22, 2001 after two years of plying together. If you like your blues a little more sedate then this album "Out of Her Mind" may be for your. It is a collection of 10 songs that I classify as sophisticated, late night Blues.
Annie's vocals remind me of the 80's band Heart (also from the Seattle area), and not only is she a talented singer she is also an experienced graphic designer and fine artist. The two guitarists, Ian and Ed, share the lead and rhythm guitar duties between themselves, and do a fine job. Jack (bass) and Carl (drums) provide the drive and beat in the band's powerhouse. Completing the line up is James on harmonica, in a soft and mellow style which melds well with Annie's vocals.
All ten tracks on the CD are written
Tracks from the album are also being played on "Cruisin' For A Bluezin" on Saturday afternoons (2 till 4pm on 93.7FM) and on Wednesday night on Radio Fremantle.
|FROM PUYALLUP, WA
Reviewer: Bill Hunter
Sleepless in Seattle no more ...
On first listen, I instantly fell madly in love with the mysterious "Miss Phyllis" ... certain to always be the captivating babe of my dreams ... along with "Burning Up" ... time to redecorate the kitchen!
Better on a long trip than a double-shot of espresso; this CD is foot-tappin', head-bobbin good! If the Overdrive really want to sell these, they should simply link a cut or two and let people listen, you'll be instantly hooked.
As my cube-mate said when I unplugged the headphones and let the speakers rippppp, this is "The best kept secret on the Seattle scene."
If Annie is "Out of Her Mind", what an exquisite asylum to visit.
|FROM FEDERAL WAY, WA
Washington Blues Society Newsletter
Reviewer: Randy Oxford
Most people I talk to have heard the name Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive but not all have heard their music or seen them perform. Speaking from experience, you definitely want to take the time to see their live show. This talented six-piece band has what it takes to keep an audience entertained, and now they have succeeded in the recording studio as well with their debut CD, Out of Her Mind.
The original configuration of Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive came together five years ago. Since then the band has redefined itself to arrive at the current lineup of the last two years: Annie Eastwood on lead vocal [who also did all the cover art and design of the CD insert], James Middlefield on harp and vocals, Ian Waldie on guitar and vocals, Ed Martinez on guitar, Jack Kinney on bass and vocals, and Carl Jackson on drums. The band has fine-tuned itself to a level of musicianship, cohesiveness, and common goals that will propel its future.
Sit down, buckle up, hang on, and get ready to ride. There are 10 original tunes on this CD; Annie wrote six of them, Ian wrote four. Ian is particularly good at composing and performing quirky songs with strong hooks in the chorus and refrain section. Annies compositions describe personal experiences with family, including her beloved dog, Ms. Phyllis, as well as tunes about relationship issues like love, lust, and cheatin hearts. Each member of the band adds their own unique instrumental contribution and feel.
There is something for everyone on this CD, with a selection of styles to suit a variety of musical tastes, ranging from sultry, torchy blues to contemporary, rockin, turn-your-radio-up-loud tunes. This band has their own original sound, while still satisfying your taste for the rockin blues.
Out of Her Mind is a high quality recording that was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Garey Shelton at Garey Shelton Studios in Lake City. This is a CD that you will want in your collection, but I also recommend you see their fine-tuned live show, so check their website for a venue near you and buy a CD (and if you like sweets, while youre there, pick up their own SAO labeled chocolate bar!!).
|FROM ATLANTA, GEORGIA
Reviewer: Patricia Kreeft, Editor
Atlanta Blues Society Newsletter,
VOLUME 6, ISSUE 3
The name Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive called to mind hard rockin', gravelly-voiced, tough chick music, and I really wasn't in the mood, but I promised to review it, so I put it on the player.
The CD starts out with the rocking "High Tech Blues" and I thought they were just easing me into it. When I heard the second song, "I Don't Know", I realized I was in for a treat. This album (all originals) covers all the bases from the jazzy "Moody Woman Blues" to the honky-tonk "Burning Up", to the "In My Slipper" jive, to the playful "Miss Phyllis".
Through it all is Annie Eastwood's voice, clear and bell-like. You'll find nice harp accents, clean guitar, and steady, subtle drums. This is a tight band that seems to have fun playing together, and a well mixed and engineered recording by Garey Shelton. They play out of Seattle and you can get the CD on NWBlues.com. Check it out, especially when you're in the mood for some variety.
Reprinted from a review in August 2001 Atlanta Blues Society Newsletter, VOLUME 6 ISSUE 3,
|FROM SEATTLE, WA
September 10, 2001
Experience the Music Project
Volunteers Rock, Newsletter
Reviewer: Norm Arnet
With songs like these, she's not "Out Of Her Mind"
A few months ago, my friend James asked me to listen to his new CD "Out Of Her Mind",
and give him my impression of it. James is a member of the northwest blues band "Stickshift Annie and The Overdrive".
Now, I'm a very critical listener, being a lifelong musician, and someone who is very particular about the sound and the mix of the music I like. I warned him that I would be very critical, and was concerned that I might hurt his feelings. When I got home that evening, I put on my headphones and fired up the Stereo to give his disc a listen.
I listened, and listened again, hmmmm maybe once more? Was my "critical" ear failing me? Was I biased by friendship? I think not, this is just a great, and easy to listen to blues/rock CD.
Stickshift Annie and The Overdrive bill themselves as "Rockin Roadhouse Blues"; I consider that billing an accurate one. In a live setting, this band just downright rocks, on "Out Of Her Mind" they really roll.
All ten songs on the album are originals. Guitarist Ian Waldie wrote 4 of the ten tunes, including one of my favorites "I Don't Know". The lovely Annie Eastwood penned all the other songs. This girl can write, from the slow and haunting "Troubled Fool", to the driving "In My Slipper" she belts them out.
A collaborative effort by all six members of the band makes the music flow, and keeps you coming back for more. A solid rhythm put down by Jack Kinney on Bass and Carl Jackson on Drums keeps these songs on track and in your head. The intertwined lead guitars of Ian Waldie and Ed Martinez make for a rich and exciting sound. Trading back and forth, and filling in behind each other, Ian and Ed's guitar styles are as different as their Fender versus Gibson guitars. The whipped cream on top of this mix is the fine harmonica work of James Middlefield, gutsy and soulful, James can make his harp sing.
|FROM ENGLAND, UK
June 3rd, 2004-
Reviewer: Rusty Red
A friend in the Washington Blues Society named Dennis Dudley, aka: Blues Boss, corresponds with a blues chat group in England and sent a copy of the CD to one of the members for a review. Below is a copy of his review.
|FROM REDMOND, WA
July 26, 2001
Reviewer: Rob Sargent
Stickshift Annie Revs My Motor!,
Corporate graphic designer by day, blues singer by night, Stickshift Annie's versatility as an artist shines in her debut CD. Annie's chameleon-like voice changes color to fit the various blues, jazz, country and occasionally folksy surroundings. James Middlefield's aggressive and swarthy harmonica is a stylish accessory to the slidin' & pickin' Ian Waldie and Ed Martinez. Annie's emotional and passionate connection to the lyrics (mostly a veiled diary), seasoned with solid instrumentals and arrangement, create a flavorful if not extravagant work.
Reprinted from Amazon.com customer review.
FROM SEATTLE, WA
You'll hear plenty of rockin' roadhouse blues here,
Reprinted from a review in August 2001