Personnel: Deanna Bogart (vocals, piano); Dan Leonard (guitar); Jeff Reed (upright bass); Scott Ambush (electric bass); Mike Aubin (drums).
Audio Mixer: Luke Rohwer.
Recording information: Acacia Recording Studios, Mount Airy, MD.
Photographer: Michael G. Stewart.
Deanna Bogart is a blues pianist and sax player with an eclectic resumé that includes years in the Western swing band Cowboy Jazz and a long tenure with Root Boy Slim's skewed R&B outfit. She also has impressive country, jazz, and boogie-woogie chops, the latter showcased on two standout tracks here -- Erroll Garner's "Boogie Woogie Boogie," a romp that shows of her strong syncopated left-hand bass runs, and Pete Johnson's "Death Ray Boogie," where she concentrates on bright, jazzy right-hand fills. Her original tunes provide the album's heart and soul. "Where the Well Never Runs Dry" is a slow, fervent love song that urges lovers to ignore the pain and go deeper to find deliverance. Bogart's soulful keyboard work and Scott Ambush's brooding electric bass support her fervent vocal. She's more upbeat on "In the Rain," a jaunty tune about looking for better times, featuring bright, sparkling keyboard work and Jeff Reed's driving acoustic bass, while "Blues at 11" is, not unexpectedly, a lonely, late-night instrumental delivered by Bogart alone at the keyboard. The album's showstopper is her smoldering version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Most singers emphasize the song's message of hope and its dream of better days, but Bogart slows the tempo way down and delivers a vocal that's full of sadness and desolation. Her bluesy take reminds us that we're usually under the rainbow, and the rain clouds, hoping for a better day that most likely will never come. ~ j. poet