Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers "Usual Suspects"..high octane mistress of the modern blues
The whip-wielding mistress of modern blues is again bringing listeners to their knees: Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers have recently released their seventh original album, “Usual Suspects.”
Made up of award-winning musicians and recording artists from a variety of diverse backgrounds, The Urban Pioneers are an eclectic, wildly entertaining, little (and sometimes big) band with a captivating singer and front-person. Lex Grey is a multiple ASCAP award-winning songwriter who beckons audiences into her world of personal stories cloaked in smoke and stage lights -- a world of drama, humor and rowdy abandon that makes music lovers feel as though they're doing something wrong just by listening. The band juxtaposes bawdiness with intimacy, introspection and a vulnerability that draws you in like a warm embrace. Having earned a reputation as a legendary live band with a dazzlingly theatrical show, the group emerges from the studio capturing live performances that constantly deconstruct and reinvent their palette of sounds.
Official website: http://lexgreymusic.com/
Though she cites Ma Rainey as her greatest inspiration, Grey's vocal stylings have been compared to those of Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey and, interestingly, Robert Plant, her voice an ever-morphing instrument that changes textures and tones on a dime. "Usual Suspects" fearlessly dances through genres while keeping its feet firmly rooted in blues, and it's certain to become one of the year's most talked-about blues releases.
"Lex Grey’s vocals are high-octane and top-notch. And the band, the Urban Pioneers, support her well. ... You get the feeling Grey could sing from the phone book and make you get up and dance in a way you wouldn’t want your granny to see." - M.D. Spenser, Big Fat Wide Americana Hour
"I was immediately drawn into the world of this band, in part because of Lex Grey’s voice, which commands attention in both upfront and sly ways."
- Michael's Music Log
"Starting from a blues base, Lex Grey and The Urban Pioneers develop a multifaceted style with a prominent rock influence. Excellent instrumentalists."
- Ilpopolodelblues (Italy)