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Mama Red and The Dark Blues - Review

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by Jay Crisp Crow (subscribe)
I am a copywriter and cake eater with a funny name squeezing delight from life in the Perth Hills with two invigorating teenagers, a cyclone of a toddler, and some geese. You can get to know me at
Launched into the Wages of Sin
There's something wickedly indulgent about a proper jazz club like the Ellington on Beaufort. It's dark and close, there are beautiful people at the tables, and the waitresses are like ruby-lipped goddesses risen up from a deep place.

Maybe it's because I don't get to go to many places that aren't dinosaur themed, but the Album Launch of Mama Red and the Dark Blues was deliciously adult from the get-go.

The Ellington was jam packed full of enthused music lovers for this event. Table tickets were sold out well in advance, and so those of us at the back got to know each other very, very well.

Thoroughly warmed up by support act Rose Parker, Mama Red, alter ego of Musical Maven, Harry Deluxe, took her audience from raw and sultry, to harmonious and sweet, with the assistance of an incredibly talented set of musicians - the Dark Blues. Get onto YouTube and iTunes to have those instrumentalists take your heart out of your chest and make it soar with their talents (and WHERE has back up singer Therese Cruise been hiding? The girls voice could light a candle!)

The album is the culmination of many years of collaboration between Perth writer Melanie Bainbridge and powerful performer Harry Deluxe; partners in music and soul.

The music was a mix of jazz, country and blues and went from upbeat hip-swaying to emotional (there were a few tears openly falling at the back of the room.)

The two hour launch dipped into all kinds of emotions and situations, and yes, the vocals only and torch songs were gutsy and brilliant, but I do love a ripping break up song and Come By Sunday is one of those songs you're still toe tapping to on the way home in the car.

Wages of Sin is out on iTunes right now. You'll have to imagine the jazz club environment. Mama Red announced a green twist - there'll be no CD's available but vinyl couldn't be denied. You might be able to grab one for Christmas.

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Why? Album Launch - Wages of Sin
When: Friday 1st July
Where: Ellington Jazz Club
Cost: From $20
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