Mississippi-born musician John “Blues” Boyd is The Real Deal when it comes to blues music. The soulful septuagenarian, now based in California, just released a new album staked on this swaggering attestation of showmanship. Boyd plays the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest this month to back up his artistically audacious claim.
The Real Deal, recorded at Greaseland Studios in San Jose, finds Boyd at the top of his crooning game. The album, which dropped in June, showcases the bluesman backed by seasoned musicians such as guitarist and producer Kid Anderson, pianist and director Jim Pugh, harp man Aki Kumar, drummer Big Jon Atkinson, bassist Dave Chavez, percussionist Martin Windstad, trombonist Faris Jarrah and no less than four saxophone players.
Boyd brings the Real Deal to life in a bluesy stage show set to pop off at SJ Jazz Fest next weekend. The festival highlights the Silicon Valley’s blues community on twelve stages across three days, Aug. 12-14. Mr. Boyd and his band perform at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13 with help from the collective Little Village Cavalcade O’ Stars featuring harpist Kumar and ukulele player Aireene Espiritu.
In an interview with The Mercury News, Boyd proudly proclaimed his blues might:
“I was born with the blues. I’ve always sung it just the way I felt it. I might be the best-sounding blues singer today … since all the greats are dead.”
The Real Deal was released in conjunction with Little Village Foundation. In a review of the album for All About Jazz, writer James Nadal recounts the production endured in the effort:
“Under the tutelage of Jim Pugh at Little Village Foundation, and with the production savvy of Kid Anderson from Greaseland Studios, Boyd was able to make an album of pure blues the way they use to do back in the day. He wrote most of the songs, letting Anderson take over the controls and procure all the accompanying musicians.” – By Philip Trapp
Below, watch a sampler video for John “Blues” Boyd’s new album, The Real Deal.