Down Home Blues - 2000
From the take-charge attitude of "I Can Love You Like a Woman" to the sexy "You Can Leave Your Hat On" to the soulful Billie Holiday classic "Fine and Mellow," Deb Jenkins' voice shines with assertive confidence and musical nuance.
The band is also showcased on this album -- keyboardist Mike Jenkins displays his signature Hammond C2 organ and piano wizardry throughout and sings lead vocals on two songs, guitarist Ron Meier shows his effortless command of the blues in all its moods, and the rhythm section of bassist Jeremy Cahill and drummer Frank McDaniels provides a compelling foundation with an irresistible groove.
Guest artists add punch to the mix on several tunes including a brass section made up of some of the best players in Fargo-Moorhead: John Pederson on trumpet, Russ Peterson on tenor sax and Harley Sommerfeld on baritone sax; backing vocalists Jenny Thom (St. Paul, formerly Fargo), Patti McVane (Detroit Lakes) and Linda Coates (Fargo); and percussionist Roger Gress (Fargo).
Tom Pantera, entertainment columnist of The Forum, notes, "One of this area's real artistic treasures has a new CD out -- the Deb Jenkins Band has released a new CD, Down Home Blues. The band is good, but Jenkins' voice -- smooth as good bourbon, even when she's singing sassy blues like "Fight You Like a Man" -- is pure pleasure. Let's hope no bigger market tempts her away." (December 17, 2000)
Freedom, Deb Jenkins' debut release, includes tracks by the Deb Jenkins Band as well as several songs from Deb's Tribute to Billie Holiday stage show performed with pianist Merry Helm.
Two songs on the CD, "Leaves" and the title cut "Freedom," are original songs written by Deb several years ago. "Leaves," a reggae-groove crowd favorite featuring the Deb Jenkins Band, tells of a journey from self-doubt to the discovery of personal strength and belief.
"Freedom" brings a touch of improvisatory cool-style jazz to the album with guest drummer Roger Gress and guest bassist Al Bergstrom. Freedom was recorded at Raptor Studios by producer/engineer Mike Coates and includes stage-honed audience favorites as well as impressive originals.
pianist Merry Helm and Deb Jenkins
From the uptempo stomp of Etta James' "Jump Into My Fire" which opens the album to chilling scenes of Southern lynchings in Billie Holiday's signature song "Strange Fruit" to the a cappella gospel tune "Farther Along" which closes the album, Freedom is a rich musical feast from an extraordinary vocal artist.
Freedom is available at Fargostuff.com.