Professin’ The Blues proclaims Fiona Boyes passion for the Blues as she celebrates the unique contribution of recording and mastering engineer ‘Professor’ Keith O. Johnson, Reference Recording’s Technical Director and audio legend. In her self-penned and illustrated liner notes Fiona makes the declaration, “’Professor’ Keith’s amazing approach to capturing sounds, mostly with his own hand built equipment, is nothing short of sonic alchemy”.
Australian Blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Fiona Boyes has been recording and performing for more than 25 years, building a career that has taken her to major festivals and stages around the world. A veteran recording artist with 13 releases, she has received 7 Blues Music Award nominations in 4 different categories from the Blues Foundation in Memphis, more than 30 Australian music awards, worldwide accolades and legions of supporters. She has 2 BMA nominations in 2017; Best Acoustic Album for Professin’ The Blues and for Best Acoustic Artist. Fiona’s immersion in the rich musical and historical traditions that make up the Blues lend conviction and authenticity to both her guitar-work and songwriting. Her abundant talent, artistic sincerity and musical integrity are a beacon.
In solo, duo and trio settings, Fiona presents 16 tunes (14 originals and 2 covers), employing a traditional acoustic guitar, two different metal body resonators and a unique 4-string cigar box guitar. Joining her are two highly respected instrumentalist; drummer Jimi Bott and bassist Denny Croy.
Recorded at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California, Professin’ The Blues, like all of ‘Prof.’ Johnson sessions, was recorded live, in real-time, with no separate tracks, overdubs, or effects and was co-produced by Fiona Boyes and Janice Mancuso.
“Fiona Boyes means business, blues business…easily the best blues recording I’ve heard in a long, long time.” —Steve Guttenberg, The Audiophiliac (CNET)
“Boyes has a strong, searching voice and tackles a variety of blues genres without missing a beat, skipping lightly from a strong Texan, Lightnin’ Hopkins opener through ragtime rhythmic drive and reggae-inspired numbers that also include light jazz touches and some absolutely top quality fretwork. This is an album that is immediately gripping from the very off and hi-lights Boyes’ own song-writing strengths, with only two covers in the mix, one being the ever-popular “Baby Please Don’t Go.… an album that genuinely stands out from the blues crowd.… Professin’ The Blues is an album that carries her power forward with total mastery and confidence, a wonderful offering.” —Iain Patience, Rhythms
“Fiona has been around for a long time, her credits are well known. Nevertheless, it is always good when an established artist doesn’t loose momentum and hits the jackpot again.…Masterful execution of acoustic Blues guitar, all styles and then some. Vocals that range from soulfoul to spooky. Lyrics sometimes dead serious, turn into open satire on occasion. Blues, gospel, rock ‘n’ roll, the woman does it all. …Professin’ The Blues is a great new record from the bluesy aussie. Go get it right now, punks!” —“Dirty Harry”, Another Blues Is Knocking
“With her latest release we can now let the cat out of the bag. Fiona is Boyes middle name, her first name is The Great.… Boyes is sounding like she’s on the run from Piedmont and the delta with hell hounds on her tail and they think she’s a steak. With an audio team that puts her front and center in your face… using her amazing command of all the authentic, traditional moves, particularly no matter what instrument she’s picking on, she will just blow you all the way away. A simple, most unadorned presentation, never sounded so hot before. Killer stuff throughout.” —Chris Spector, Midwest Record
“Australian singer/songwriter/guitarist Fiona Boyes is an earthy force of nature. Her gravelly vocal timbre is straight out of the red dirt of the Outback. No swishy Blues affectation, here. You’ll be getting as honest a voice as you’ve heard in a long time. ‘So bloody refreshing’, as the Aussies might say. … ‘s very intimate, very personal. Like Bille Holiday and Bessie Smith, Boyes takes you on her journey. … You’ll enjoy the ride. … Now, to the recording. Equally brilliant and honest. The instrumentation is so unique — cardboard box as a drum, tambourines, children’s bongos, shakers, and other unique percussive instruments — Johnson has a field day. The recording captures in flawless detail the myriad of colours of all the instruments. … It’s not only a technical tour de force, it’s one of the most musical albums it has been my pleasure to review this year. Very highly recommended.” —Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia
“Crafted with technical skill, wit and deep feeling, Fiona Boyes’ Professin’ the Blues effectively showcases her acoustic mastery.” —Living Blues