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Here’s what reviewers are saying about The Griot:

“Female Genital Mutilation is not easy to talk about, and I doubt it’s easy to sing about. But it’s happening, and a lotta women need a hero.” – Terry Abrahamson, WNUR Radio

“Adegbalola has never been reluctant to express her views on politics and modern culture, but she often does so with good humor and style, so that whether or not you agree with her politics or her cultural views, there’s plenty of great music and musical ideas to take in.  Such is the case with her latest release, The Griot (Vizztone Records), a typically powerful set” – Graham Clarke, Friday Blues Fixe Blog, Blues Bytes

“Gaye Adegbalola has never been shy about speaking her mind through music. As a 25-year member of Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women, she delivered the truth – both frankly and with a wry sense of humor. And she lays it on full force once again with this tasty solo effort.” – Marty Gunther, Blues Blast Magazine, Senior Writer

Rarely does contemporary blues take on subjects with as much bold, often angry, and sometimes funny results as Adegbalola does here.  Nina Simone’s razor cut into the biting truth about the African-American state of mind and rang true enough to make some listeners squirm and others shout out, Right on, but Adegbalola ratchets things up another notch, presenting the yin AND the yang of the contemporary black experience.”

“Contemporary blues by and large has left the open wound honesty of addressing biting social issues up to hip-hop and films like The Green Book and If Beale Street Could Talk.  Its nice to see a genre steeped in mature heartfelt emotion dig info such subjects.  Adegbalola does that with authority and finesse.” – Don Wilcox, Blues Music Magazine

“The angel who comes with healing in her wings can just as easily bear a sword…and this is one woman who is equally adept at both aspects . . . Gaye is a masterful musician, a blues historian and a wordsmith of the highest order.” – Bill Wilson, Reflections In Blue

“Wit and wisdom flow freely, bringing healing, comfort and encouragement to many…to others, shining a light on actions they might rather were forgotten. That said, this is not an album dedicated to political protests alone, but a call to inspection and introspection. Blues has always been, for me, a source for advice and healing. The Griot hits the mark, delivering health, healing and a guiding light. Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Nina Simone and I approve wholeheartedly. This album is great, start to finish.” – Bill Wilson, Reflections In Blue

5 STARS  “Like a bucketful of cold water pitched in one’s face, Gaye Adegbalola’s lyrical assaults on a number of societal and cultural wrongs hit the listener unapologetically dead-center.”  ~ Duane Verh, Roots Music Report   

“Gaye Adegbalola is pissed — and not just a little! She’s morally infuriated. Outright raging. The Griot is a virtual kick-ass political manifesto by the husky-voiced, strong chanteuse. She is not just expressing righteous indignation and outrage, she is defiantly flipping the musical middle finger at a long list of deserved targets. . .the preponderance of power in The Grio is in the lyrics — modern blues poetics as overt social criticism.” ~ Frank Matheis, Living Blues Magazine

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Is It Still Good To Ya?:

“Gaye Adegbalola was a part of Saffire — The Uppity Blues Women for a quarter century (1984 – 2009). She may have left that group behind but her songwriting skills, sassiness, and edge have carried over to her newest incarnation. . . It is not a do-wop group but a gritty blues outfit with Adegbalola’s voice out front. It is a combination of smooth harmonies meeting raw lead vocals. . . . Is It Still Good to Ya? is an album that approaches the blues from a different perspective. More authentic than slick, it is a different mix that is worth exploring.” David Bowling, Cash Box Reviews

“These women make it clear that the human voice is one of the most beautiful and powerful instruments in an artist’s arsenal . . . Is It Still Good to Ya? is precisely what I imagine when I think of a band of Angels coming after me and what that would sound like. This is one of the finest pieces of work I have heard in quite some time. Gaye Adegbalola & The Wild Rutz have breathed new life into an old style and made it sound fresh and exciting. This is powerful, passionate and timeless, the kind of thing you will find yourself listening to repeatedly.” Bill Wilson, Billtown Blue Notes

“Saffire alumna Ms. Adegbalola here recasts the charm and chutzpah of that celebrated sisterhood in a highly appealing mix of roots and sophistication. Earthy percussion and roots-based backup choruses, that at times take very tasty harmonic turns, are key components of one of this young year’s freshest sounding releases.” Duane Verh, Roots Music Reports

“You very rarely come across a blues release with this caliber of vocal precision, writing quality and artistry. Gaye Adegbalola & The Wild Rutz’s latest release Is It Still Good To Ya? is just great listening.” Brian “The Bluesman” Beachum, Natchel’ Blues Network

“Let Go, Let God” is a beautiful spiritual equal to the works of The Blind Boys of Alabama and Sweet Honey in the Rock. . . Also, kudos for those liner notes: in addition to full lyrics, there is information about the genesis and content of each song, and biographies, thank-you’s, and credits. This album furnishes a primer on what liner notes should be.” Steve Daniels, Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine

“Gaye Adegbalola continues to prove, with Is It Still Good to Ya? just why she’s one of the most inventive, creative songwriters anywhere in contemporary blues today. . . With the Wild Rutz, two other fine African-American women vocalist and one Hispanic, Gloria Jackson, Tanyah Dadze and Marta Fuentes accompany her. Their sound on various tracks is reminiscent of the innovative folk and spirituals group, Sweet Honey in the Rock. . . she (Gaye) breaks new ground in contemporary blues.” Richard Skelly, Blues Music Magazine

“Together they sizzle hotter than a summer barbecue, especially on these three songs: Track 01: “Is It Still Good to Ya?” . . . This doo-wop will delight every person whose “sacrum ain’t sacred,” but whose heart is. Track 04: “Fireballin'” — This is the best drinking song of 2015 so far. . . Track 13: “You Don’t Have to Take It” — With choruses in English and Spanish, this a cappella stunner drives home the message that abuse is never acceptable.” Rainey Wetnight, Blues Blast Magazine

“The other angelic voices backing her are Tanyah Cotton, Marta Fuentes, and Gloria Jackson, M.D., who all combine their voice to make this an unforgettable listen. . . We had two favorites, too — one rather humorous, the other a serious look at today’s society. A funny look at a “love triangle” of sorts involves Gaye, her lover, and a dog, who ultimately wins out, because “The Dog Was Here First.” And, Gaye name-checks Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and other victims of social injustices thru clever use of metaphors in “Skittles Blues.” Gaye Adegbalola and the Wild Rutz truly do go back to the very roots of blues music with Is It Still Good to Ya? Their unique approach to this great music is indeed fresh and exciting!” Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society

“. . . Gaye Adegbalola is still making the same sort of smart, honest, usually sassy but sometimes profound music that she made with that group (Saffire), only now with three other talented women. . . The title track, “Is It Still Good to Ya?” plays to Adegbalola’s strength as a songwriter. . .”Boy in the Boat,” a masterpiece of sly double entendre. . . As they sing in “Giving You My Mojo” sharing their magic with us, if we are open to receive it. I encourage you to be open. You will laugh, you will be touched, and you will be stronger for sharing their mojo.Rhetta, Making a Scene Newsletter, The Independent Musicians Guide to Music Business

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Blues In All Flavors:

“The lively tunes combined with Adegbalola’s rich, soulful voice will have listeners singing along, moving, and dancing. The accompanying booklet includes the lyrics as well as a learning activity for each song, such as discussion questions, instructions for making a family tree, movement suggestions, and more. This delightful, entertaining album deserves a place in every collection.” Veronica De Fazio, STARRED REVIEW in School Library Journal

“Adegbalola’s musical chops and her awareness of young children’s sensitivities and their sense of fun, too, make an outstanding mix.” Lynne Heffley,Parents’ Choice Children’s Media & Toy Reviews / PARENTS’ CHOICE GOLD AWARD FOR MUSIC, 2012

“The musicianship is superb; the songs are socially relevant, easy on the ears and perhaps, most of all, fun. . . This album, as unique as it may be, is one of the most beautiful things I have heard in ages. If it managed to reach the child in me, the surly old dog that I can be, it will surely reach that child that lives within you.” Bill Wilson, Billtown Blues Society Newsletter

“Gaye Adegbalola, co-founder of Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, has made audiences ponder and laugh for years (in an “ooh. . . I can’t believe she said that!” way) with her suggestive, double entendre songwriting. It seems natural that this former 8th grade science teacher, Virginia Teacher of the Year, and Blues Music Award-winning songwriter, has combined her passions (teaching and music) to release a children’s CD. Yes, a G-rated educational blues CD for the whole family to enjoy! . . . Adegbalola’s website includes guitar chords and interactive learning activities for every song.” Beth Jarock, Natchel’ Blues Network Blues News

“… Gaye is a teacher. This disc is that woman shining through! She starts on the sunny side. . . in a light cheery way. Then she goes a little deeper, addressing issues like bullying, feeling left out and being kind.” Ms. Marci, Boston Blues Society

“The cool thing about this set is that it not only introduces children to the various styles in which the blues can be played, but each song also conveys a valuable lesson to be learned and passed on.” Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society

“This is an ideal way to supplement Blues in the Schools (BITS) Programs.” Blues Foundation News

“Now, this is a CD for children, or is it? It is really a family CD. The concept is as brilliant as the execution. . . I can’t think of a better way for a grandparent to spend quality time with a child than listening, singing and discussing the songs on this CD. There is so much content and interest that the CD can be played time and again. . . Children won’t even realize that they are learning about these topics because the music makes the subjects fun.Roger Stephenson, Magic City Blues Society, Birmingham, AL

“My seven-year old grandson is still “Shakin’ it to the East. . .” We had a great time and sparked some wonderful conversations! I am doing my best to spread this music and concept to every grandma and child-caring person I know!!” Susan Vinson, Grandmother

“dult aficionados of the blues sometimes wonder: “How can we best transmit our love of blues music to the next generation — especially the youngest children and grandchildren? They’re not quite ready for ‘I’m Ready” or cut out for ‘Cross-Cut Saw.” Enter Gaye Adegbalola …” Rainey Wetnight, Blues Blast Magazine

“If Putumayuo doesn’t pick this up to stick it in every Whole Foods, someone up there is asleep at the wheel. Adegbalola doesn’t talk down to the kids, varies the stills and puts a genuine good attitude up front which makes this stand out from a lot of the pack of kids records in general.” Midwest Record ~ Entertainment Reviews, News and Views

“… it’s as hip and uncondescending as Sesame Street discs. . . Anyone not of working age tends to come in for short shrift in just about everything in our society. . . to my mind, it should be put in all the schools across the country …” Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (FAME)

“Adegbalola provides solid rhythmic fuel in the Piedmont style, which features a strong rhythm foundation set by an alternating thumb that she often augments by using the body of the guitar itself as a percussion instrument much in the fashion of the late Odetta.” Rick Allen, Vintage Guitar Magazine

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Gaye Without Shame:

“Seldom, however, has an entire disc used life-affirming bluesiness with unabashed queer-activist spirit the way this one does.”

“Deja Vu Blues reminds us of the soul-killing struggles that oppressed minorities — racial, gender, sexual — must endure to earn the kind of hard-won triumphs Adegbalola sings of elsewhere.”

“Adegbalola’s well-tempered alto spans the emotional gamut from wracked heartbreak through steely determination to hurricane-force fury.”

“But it’s that very uncompromising strength — of music, of imagination, of spirit — that makes this disc special. Here Gaye Adegbalola offers new proof — if we needed it — that the blues remains a music of relevance and social impact.” David Whiteis, Living Blues Magazine

“Musically, there’s not a bad track on the CD. Thematically they are adventurous and honest . . . Musically they cover a wide range of styles, from honky-tonk ’20s to sharp electric edgy blues. This is all deliciously raunchy, poignantly tender, rough and ready, soft and sweet, lusty and loving, spiritual and profane — everything that good blues and probably the good life should be. All the while the music never loses the focus of her own personal struggles. It’s not an easy thing to do, but she does it very well.” Jim White, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Message albums aimed at a particular community sometimes alienate the rest of the audience, but Adegbalola manages to be warm and incluisive. Perhaps that’s because there’s a universal lesson to be drawn from her work: the commonality of all forms of prejudice.” Jennifer Zogott Levy, Blues Revue Magazine

“In telling her story in song, Gaye carries on a grand tradition. Granted, Gaye does not steer away from controversy, but her strength and honesty are refreshing and compelling. Regardless of whether we agree or disagree, she delivers her message elegantly and powerfully. The musicianship on this disc is superb and the arrangements beautiful. In short, WOW! Finally a CD with more to offer than just background music for a party. . . while it offers plenty of that as well.” Bill Wilson, Billtown Blue Notes

“Gaye has known prejudice and oppression all her life, as evidenced by the song, Deja Vu Blues. Still, she stands proud and strong, and it is that attitude that shines through in her art.” Pat Jennings, Witchita Blues

“After a first time listen, I thought back to how many times I had heard a man insinuating sexual overtones in a song to a woman, and I had snickered or laughed. Or, I heard a sexy woman singing about the men in the same way and thought how they must have really “big ones” to even sing those x-rated insinuations. But, I always thought they were funny and entertaining. I thought they were just pushing the envelope back then. Now, I think the envelope just got pushed to a whole new level.” Tom Schlesinger, Blues Blast e-zine

“Four Star Rating = Excellent, the highest.” French magazine, Soul Bag, review column, Les Nouveaux Disques

“Top 10 Albums of 2008,” by Sue Barrett. Australian magazine, Rhythms.

More Reviews:

“Adegbalola possesses a classic blues singer’s talent to breathe life into mere words. It’s the combination of prodigious singing, timely material and exquisite production (courtesy of Block) that raises this effort above any mere “women’s blues” label . . . Her identification with humanity’s daily struggles – and her ability to articulate them – secure Adegbalola’s place within the tradition.” Blues Revue Magazine

“Adegbalola is so supremely connected to her music that one feels the joy, beauty, and pain as if it were one’s own.” The Washington Blade

“Adegbalola combines an impish sense of humor with hard-nosed feminist mettle; her effervescent theatricality allows her to infuse even her most politically righteous statements with life-affirming zest.” Living Blues Magazine

” a vocal range that varies from the lubriciousness of Sarah Vaughn to the crisp sonority of Nina Simone.” The Boston Phoenix

“Adegbalola just keeps getting better and better as a songwriter . . . the songs can’t be pigeon-holed as women’s songs – they’re people songs.” The Buffalo News

“. . . some of the frankest and funniest songs in their (Saffire’s) repertory are Adegbalola originals, songs in which a liberated woman looks on love with the rueful eye of experience and the saving grace of good humor.” The Washington Post

“A gifted writer, vocalist and performer, her lyrics speak of the human condition with as much eloquence (earthy street talk, of course, qualifying) as one could want. She tells it like it is. . . Adegbalola is one of the most electrifying blues performers around.” Sacramento Blues Society

” . . . Smart, savvy, witty, and unabashedly outspoken, Adegbalola continues the Saffire tradition on her solo debut of calling attention to some pretty severe social issues with sympathy and incisive clarity . . .” review

“She doesn’t simply deliver a good line – she sings her heart out, letting herself go with the flow of a phrase . . .This is no Evita on a balcony, this is the March on Washington!”
fab! (magazine)

“Gaye’s voice is instantly recognizable; she’s made the classic songs her own and her own songs classics.” Bob Margolin, Blues Revue Magazine

“. . . blues performed with so much heart and panache that it is unreservedly recommended.” Ron Weinstock, D. C. Blues Society

” The respect and love for this music is evident by the joy just dripping from your speakers.” Beardo, Sr. contributing editor, BluesWax ezine

“Gaye has always been the ultimate modern realization of this breed of blues great (classic blues women). . . She continues to be a pathfinder to the truth in all its naked wonder.”
George P. Seedorff, Big City Blues Magazine


“Outspoken, yet introspective, Adegbalola’s blues are essential listening material! It’s enlightening, entertaining and effectively effervescent!” Blues Connection; BRITAIN

“With the obvious grand sense of showmanship this lady possesses, a voice made for singing the blues, and the simplicity of the duo (with Roddy Barnes), this act made this concert a wonderful moment of pure emotion.” Espace M. Begart, blues feelings; FRANCE

“This work (Neo-Classic Blues) has the power to be pedagogical without being boring and deserves to be a reference in schools of music, to show future virtuosi what spontaneity brings to art.Well done!” Fred Delforge, Zicazine E Magazine; FRANCE

At Home:

“The Saffire star boogies with the ballads and the blues. This was not your party band at work; it was a shining star treating her hometown to something very good. . .When Gaye dons that white tux, she’s straight off Broadway.”  Front Porch News, Fredericksburg, VA / Readers’ Choice: Best Performance, Best Singer