Reviews for the
Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive 2001 CD
"Out of Her Mind"

2017 Calendar - Stickshift Annie with Kimball and the Fugitives

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
Nov/Dec 2001
Natchel' Blues Network Newsletter
Reviewer: Bob Mahan

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.

All tunes are original, written mostly by vocalist/percussionist Annie Eastwood and a few by vocalist/guitar and slide player Ian Waldie, and all are good. Other Band members include Ed Martinez on guitar, Jack Kinney on bass and vocals, Carl Jackson on drums and percussion, and James Middlefield on harmonica and vocals.

Blues from a distinctively female point of view. "Moody Woman Blues," is an outstanding take on Women's vs. Men's point of view. "High Tech Blues," and "Burning Up," remind me somewhat of the power of Melissa Etheridge's vocals. "Miss Phyllis," is a boogie tune that won't quit. "Out of Her Mind (into the blues)," the title cut, is my personal favorite. This band does it all, from shuffles to ballads to hard-hitting blues, and they do it all really well. Go to www.nwblues.com to sample a listen. I'm sure you'll want to order a copy for your collection.

Bob Mahan, Natchel' Blues Network

FROM KRISTIANSAND, NORWAY
March 20, 2002
Bjorn Wiksaas
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
Jan/Feb 2002 Back Beat
Oklahoma Blues Society Newsletter
Reviewer: Judy Goudeau, OBS Member

I have three words for you: Buy this CD! (http://www.nwblues.com/)

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 you’ll turn on and leave on.

If the lyrics on the first two cuts, "High Tech Blues," and "I Don’t 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 Annie’s 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 Ian’s "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," (Annie’s) though the lyrics left me mystified. Equally mysterious is Annie’s "Miss Phyllis," but whether "Miss Phyllis" is a girl or a dog, you’re 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. (He’s their booking agent as well.)

Did I say this is their debut album? You won’t believe it either!

FROM COSMIK DEBRIS
http://www.cosmik.com
Jan 2002 Online Magazine
Reviewer: Eric Steiner

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
Jan/Feb 2002, VOLUME 7.01
Reviewer: Bill Wilson, Music Editor
Billtown Blue Notes, a publication of the Billtown Blues Association, Inc.

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 couldn’t find the words to label it. That’s probably a good thing. Bottom line...buy this album and if given an opportunity, get out to see the band. You won’t be disappointed. The band covers everything from straight-ahead rockin’ blues to smoldering slow burners...all covered with more than a touch of class. Annie’s voice is one of a kind and the band is tighter than a gnat’s behind.

FROM LYNCHBURG, VA
Nov/Dec 2001
James River Blues Society Newsletter
Volume 7, Issue 4
Reviewer: Bob Lauro

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
August 2001
West Michigan Blues Society Review
Volume 12 Issue 8

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
September 2001

Hi James,
Yes, I did get the CD, I have played it a lot at home, on the radio and at the club. Every body I play it for loved it.
I will be reviewing it in the next "BLUES MATTERS" and will send you a copy.
Ray O'Hare
Lancashire Blue Notes
Cheshire, England
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FROM AUSTRALIA
September 2001
The Perth Blues Club W.A. (Inc.)
Reviewer: Mike Jakins

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
by the band and show that they have learned their craft well. Some of the songs are slightly comical with their lyrics, "High Tech Blues" and "Moody Woman Blues" are two examples of this, while others are of a serious nature, full of deep meaning and significance. "Family Matters" was written by Annie after she lost her mother to cancer some years ago. Each of the performers has plenty of opportunity to showcase their talents, and I for one am keen to see them live.

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
August 2001
Reviewer: Bill Hunter

Sleepless in Seattle no more ...
Annie ROCKS!!!
A great addition to your CD collection that you'll never tire of. "Out of Her Mind" is a wild, free-ranging ensemble of beautiful, witty lyrics set to a potpourri of energetic and insightful instrumentals that are sure to please. With cuts that capture a sort of Louisiana/Zydeco/Cajun blues rift that simultaneously speak to basal urges while nurturing the human spirit ... my only regret is that there isn't another five tracks on the CD, I just couldn't get enough.

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
August 2001
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. Annie’s 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 you’re there, pick up their own SAO labeled chocolate bar!!).

Reprinted from the August 2001 issue of the Bluesletter a monthly publication of the Washington Blues Society.


Mike Jakins from the Perth Blues Clubwith John Mayall 5/8/01

FROM ATLANTA, GEORGIA
August 2001
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.

The Review:

Blues Boss is the soul of kindness and when, a few months back, he heard of my two daughters' growing interest in the blues, he lost no time in sending them a copy of a splendid contemporary blues album with a female vocalist. The album was entitled "Out of Her Mind" and was by PNW band Stickshift Annie and the Overdrive.

The girls liked the album. In fact, the trouble was that they liked it so much, they wouldn't let me have a listen. Jessy played it every night in her room after school, and although she once let me hear some of it in exchange for driving her into Cirencester to do some shopping, that brief 20 minute snippet in the car was all I was allowed. Until now. Jessy is off, staying overnight with a friend, and Rusty Red has finally managed to get his hands on this splendid album. With her permission, of course. And on the strict understanding that he gives it straight back when she comes home tomorrow. I'd better make the most of my opportunity!

"Out of Her Mind" is an impeccably recorded album of succulent and sophisticated contemporary blues. There are strong hints of jazz in the musical mix and even traces of country music and western swing in some of the the arrangements, but Ed Martinez and Ian Waldie's twin guitar and slide guitar attack, abetted by James Middlefield's soulful harmonica, keep the music solidly rooted in the blues even when other musical influences are strongly in evidence.

The rhythm section of drummer Carl Jackson and bass player Jack Kinney is solid, flexible and impressively funky, especially on the album's deliciously left-field title track, which sounds at times like Steely Dan with a female lead vocalist.

Stickshift Annie herself is Annie Eastwood. I may be showing my age here, but this sad old blues lover finds her voice impossibly sexy. It doesn't help that many of the self-penned songs on the album are so playfully provocative! Maybe I really ought not to let my impressionable young daughters listen to this stuff... Perhaps I really ought to hang onto this CD myself... No, they'd see through that one in less than 10 seconds flat... Oops - sorry about that! Back to the CD.

There are 10 tracks, and they vary from the wittily defiant feminism of "Moody Woman Blues" (Jessy's favourite track) to a jazzy lament for a lost mother in "Family Matters". There's even some splendid dual guitar harmony playing on the final track, "In my slipper", which wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Wishbone Ash album.

So: modern blues with a driving groove, witty lyrics, some great guitar and harp solos, and a stunningly seductive female vocalist. I can see why the girls like this album so much. I can also see why Blues Boss likes it so much too!

Rusty Red / aka: Nigel Price, England

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.

Out of Her Mind is straightforward and professional, but not unoriginal. There are no spectacular cuts, but you won't be tempted to skip over any of the ten offerings. I found myself listening to it over and over again in my truck the first couple of weeks I had it. Not because I had nothing else to plug in, I just didn't tire of it.

Reprinted from Amazon.com customer review.

FROM SEATTLE, WA
August 2001-
Reviewer: Lisa Kay Deeter

You'll hear plenty of rockin' roadhouse blues here,
with "High Tech Blues," as sung by Annie Eastwood, reflecting the sign of the times. On "I Don't Know," the lyrics provide the listener a chance to sit back and daydream. "Troubled Fool," a slow blues, features arpeggiated guitar work and a nice harmonica solo by James Middlefield. "Moody Woman Blues" is a fun and upbeat tune with great melodic guitar solos from both Ian Waldie and Ed Martinez. "Burning Up" features more of Annie's sonorous voice while "Miss Phyllis," showcases some fancy chicken pickin' on guitar. "Stand Up For Something" features some wonderful slide guitar. On "Family Matters," the rhythm section composed of Jack Kinney on bass and Carl Jackson on drums lays down a solid groove, kicking off the song. "Out of Her Mind" introduces great backing vocals by the band and the final track "In My Slipper" has both guitarists playing riffs in harmony.
Overall, this CD is a joy to hear as is listening to the band live.

Reprinted from a review in August 2001
Blues To Do