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Donna Greene

Born: September 18    Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Donna Greene

Take that perfect combination of tasty old blues women songs, season it with a few bluesy classics performed with ultimate cool, add a selection of distinctive, horn-laden jazz riffs and a woman who can really tell a story, and you have Donna Greene with “A Girl’s Gotta Have a Little Pleasure.” She has the range of Eva Cassidy, the grit of Etta James and the sly phrasing of Billie Holiday. This is a CD that just keeps getting better with each listening.

“Donna Greene’s blues are dry martini blues. She sings with a lotta swagger, a dash of sauce and a cool retro vibe. She’d have been right at home on stage at the Sands of the Rat Pack days or Ciro’s on Sunset Boulevard circa 1948. But, it's 60 years later and Donna’s attitude and energy is totally 21st century. She gives ya masterful singing that’s sensual, emotive, and fun. Donna Greene brings just the right feeling to a tune, whether it’s straight ahead blues like “You Can Have My Husband” or a Billie Holiday-era standard like “Comes Love.” “A Girl’s Gotta Have A Little Pleasure” is a winner! It’s a superbly-produced treasure highlighting Donna’s pristine singing with the style and punch of The Roadhouse Daddies!” Nick Gerard, Host of “Nothin’ But the Blues” on KKJZ 88.1 FM Los Angeles and www.JazzAndBlues.org...
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“With an ensemble that includes fine piano, understated guitar, and classy trumpet and sax, Donna Greene & The Roadhouse Daddies have the basis to do justice to standards ‘Lover Man’ and ‘Baby Get Lost’ and the zip to pull off rocking chestnuts ‘Mess Around’ and ‘You Can Have My Husband.’ Originals ‘Shoe Boy’ and the title track to A Girl’s Gotta Have a Little Pleasure (Dixie Blue Records) swing and jump, respectively. An impressive singer, the sultry Greene more than holds her own in present -- and historial -- company. The mid-set pair ‘Double Crossing Blues’ and ‘Love Make a Fool of Me’ showcase her blues-and-ballad technique. Wonderful!” Tom Hyslop, Blues Review Magazine, Issue 115, Dec 08/Jan 09

 

“Now this CD gave me a lot of pleasure and will probably do the same for many readers. Out of California, singer Donna and her guys The Roadhouse Daddies present a very fine set of jump, jive and jazz. Donna’s got a big, flexible voice, and the band excels at that ‘small combo but big band sound.’ I checked several times whilst playing this CD, but yes, it’s only sax and trumpet. There are several jazz standards, some very nice blues (even an impressive cover of Johnny Otis’s ‘Double Crossing Blues’), and a rather salacious ‘Shoe Boy.’ Guitarist (and co-producer) Greg Loeb is a perfect foil for Donna, and the big, crisp production ensures that this set is a definite winner. Donna and band are certainly an act to look out for.” Norman Darwen, Blues & Rhythm Magazine, Issue 235 (UK)

 

“California rhythm ’n blues act Donna Greene & The Roadhouse Daddies offer their first self produced album with plenty of 1940’s-1950’s nostalgia and some moderately well known standards. The results however are delightfully refreshing, versatile and above all, entertaining.

“Lady Blue” Greene, a native of Santa Barbara, CA and The Roadhouse Daddies led by guitarist Greg “Snoots Noodlemeyer” Loeb crossed paths presumably only a few years ago. In any case, the teamwork between the able vocalist and the experienced backing group has proved to work out quite well, and they don’t have much trouble with giving credible interpretations to such challenging evergreens as Dinah Washington’s “Baby Get Lost” or Billie Holiday’s “Comes Love” or “Lover Man.”

Delightfully, the CD contains a couple of congenial romantic-tempered jazzy blues covers from younger sources as well: Paul Rishell’s “Blues On A Holiday” (written originally in the early 1990’s for his eponymous debut LP) gets a nice rendition reminding me a little bit of Norah Jones’ style. Also, the restrainedly entertaining jazz tune “Love Make A Fool Of Me” written by NRBQ guitarist Al Anderson and the Nashville songwriter Bob DiPiero must be one of the most beautiful performances of the whole album. Also “Shoe Boy” written by Greene and Loeb themselves represents good-humoured night club swing with the addition of suitable harmony vocal parts.

The brisky jump rhythm ’n blues theme song “A Girl’s Gotta Have A Little Pleasure,” once again written by the leading couple, quickens the package nicely. Other great uptempo tracks are e.g. Irma Thomas’ seductive ”You Can Have My Husband” and Ray Charles’ classic ”Mess Around.” The old r&b chart topper “Double Crossing Blues” features guitarist and producer Greg Loeb as a duet (and spoken) partner. “Same Old Blues,” familiar from Freddie King’s repertoire is, along with the previously mentioned, the most “old-school” styled blues sides on the album. The sensitive final track is “Autumn Leaves,” this time accompanied only by guitar.

A successful debut release from the singer, who by all accounts, seems to be at the moment far from a first timer as a performer. Just wondering where she’s been kept hidden for all these years?”
Pete Hoppula, Blues News Magazine, Issue 234, Dec 08 (Finland)

As a Leader

A Girl's Gotta Have a Little Pleasure
Dixie Blue Records
2008
Tracks: Baby Get Lost; Blues on a Holiday; Comes Love; Same Old Blues; A Girl's Gotta Have a Little Pleasure; Double Crossing Blues; Love Make a Fool of Me; Shoe Boy; Lover Man; You Can Have My Husband; Mess Around; Autumn Leaves.
Personnel: Donna Greene: vocals/backup vocals; Greg Loeb: guitar/backup vocals; Jack Lee: piano/bass/organ/backup vocals/vocal arrangements; John Douglas: piano; Joel Bennett: bass; Jeff Elliott: trumpet/baritone horn/horn arrangements; Vince Denham: saxophone; Sinclair Lott: drums; Neal Eatherly: harmonica; Kevin Winard: percussion; Kenny Edwards: backup vocals; Cary Hitsman: drums; Margie Nelson: backup vocals; Anne Shaw: backup vocals; Jeff Friedl: drums.

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A Girl's Gotta Have a Little...
Dixie Blue Records (2008)
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