For the 13 all-instrumental tracks on "Blues in Other Colors", David Maxwell blends traditional keyboards, guitars, bass and drums along with exotic instruments from India, West Africa, Morocco and Turkey for a delicious palette of sounds that transcend the traditional boundaries of the blues.
David comes to Shining Stone Records on the heels of his Blues Music Award winning release in 2012 for "Acoustic Album of the Year", entitled "Conversations in Blue" CD, which paired him with the great Otis Spann. He won that same award in 2010 for his duets album with the late Louisiana Red, "You Got to Move" . With an impressive resume of blues, jazz and improvisational styles, David has amassed a large collection of awards, including a 1996 Grammy for his work on the James Cotton album, "Deep in the Blues." Besides his 2012 and 2010 Blues Music Awards, David also has been nominated for 11 other awards from the Blues Foundation, and has garnered two Boston Music Awards in his hometown.
"'Blues in Other Colors' represents a snapshot of the melding of traditional blues with music from other countries to which I've been drawn," says Maxwell. "There is a 'blues' sensibility in the vocal and instrumental folk and classical music from many places around the world. For instance, one can 'feel the blues' in some of the traditional music of Spain (flamenco), Northern and Western Africa, many countries in what is referred to as the Near and Middle East, as well as parts of Asia, India and Japan".
This album came together when I approached Harry Manx from British Columbia about doing a project together. He was touring in the Northeastern US and we arranged for some studio time. Harry is a stellar singer and songwriter with award-winning CDs, who plays, among other instruments, the Mohan Veena, a kind of hybrid guitar/sitar. I fleshed out a few arrangements and called up some friends who live in the Boston area, too. We have an oud and raita player from Morocco (Boujmaa Razgui), a Turkish ney player (Fred Stubbs), a master percussionist of West African and Indian styles (Jerry Leake), an inventive blues guitarist who is a regular member of my blues band (Troy Gonyea), a drummer (Eric Rosenthal) and a bass player (Marty Ballou), with whom I've played many gigs from blues, jazz and beyond. Paul Kochanski (electric bass) and Andy Plaisted (additional percussion) completed the picture. Relax and enjoy the trip!"
David Maxwell has played piano with some of the greatest and well-known musicians in the blues. David plays many styles of blues, jazz and improvised music, but he is best known for his soulful virtuosity and unmatched ability to reach the heart of post-war Chicago blues. Through his work, he has gained the respect of artists, critics and fans and has established a reputation as one of the finest blues pianists alive, having played in the touring bands of Freddie King, James Cotton, Jimmy Rogers, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, Bonnie Raitt, Otis Rush and Hubert Sumlin.
"I don't think anybody could be tighter playing the blues on the piano than David Maxwell. He plays the blues like it should be played. He plays the low-down, dirty, funky blues. He's got it all together," said John Lee Hooker. "Dave has always been one of the most amazing piano players I've ever heard," remarked Bonnie Raitt about his playing. "David Maxwell plays with fire and soul. He keeps the spirit of Otis Spann alive," said James Cotton on their work together. And Otis Rush said about Maxwell, "You remind me of the old guys - T-Bone Walker, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles. You've got a lot of talent on your hands."