with Dave Thomas & The Ma Grinder
Live @ The Village Hall, Castor, Peterborough PE5 7BU
WHEN JAZZ & BLUES COLLIDE 7
Brenda Boykin is a fine blues and jazz singer who was born March 30th 1957 in Oakland, California and was working in San Francisco by the time I got to know her. The famous blues/jazz critic Lee Hilderbrand once wrote that Brenda had ‘the most authentic creative voice of this generation’. I’m sure we could all argue about that until the cows come home but I have enjoyed her music since hearing her first CD in 1997 on Blue Dot 102 which was named after the band she was working with called ‘Home Cookin’ a second Home Cookin’ CD on Blue Dot 103 ‘Afrobilly Soul Stew’ issued in 2004 confirmed my interest. During this time I assumed that she was simply working as a blues singer in local clubs but infact she was also working and appearing at the San Francisco Blues Festival, The Monterey Jazz Festival and the DuMaurier Jazz Festival in Vancouver. I then lost sight of her and a chance telephone conversation with one of the Home Cookin band members informed me of her relocation to Wuppertal in Germany.
A search on the Internet in 2005 revealed that she was now working with the Ulrich Rasch Jazz Quartet and had transformed from a good blues singer to an excellent jazz/blues singer. I contacted Ulrich Rasch with the idea of booking her together with the band for a Shakedown gig and was sent the bands demo CD which was outstanding and included wonderful ‘live’ renditions of ‘Next Time You See Me’, ‘The Letter’, ‘House of The Rising Sun’, ‘Money’, and ‘Whole Lot Of Shakin’. That year saw her appearing at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. After this the band fell apart and the Shakedown gig died.
At some point after this she began working with the Nu-Jazz Project issuing CD’s on Chin Chin Records including her recent interesting solo album ‘Chocolate and Chilli’.