Betty Fox Band
Too Far Gone
BluesWax Rating: 8 out of 10
Soulful and Fun
The Betty Fox Band from the Tampa Bay, Florida, area has certainly grabbed ahold of my attention. Too Far Gone, their introductory album, has an instant likeability to it, with a solidly sexy finish from beginning to end. Songstress Betty Fox fronts this well-oiled band featuring Josh Nelms on guitar, Matt Walker on bass, drummer Aaron Fowler, and keyboardist Mark Cunningham. The initial attraction is most certainly Fox’s lovely voice, which can go from soulful to sassy in the wink of an eye. Then it sinks in that it takes well-written songs and a great backing band to bring out the great vocals. This is where Betty Fox stock prices rise even further. Penning all but two of the songs on the album, and putting the band together as well, proves just that she is the complete package.
As Fox enters into the funky opening track, “Take Your Time,” she tosses out a few neat little jazzy vocables, like little hand grenades clearing the way for the bombshell of a song that follows. Then, to smooth out the adrenalin, they slow it way down with “Dirty Soul,” which instantly brought to mind West Side Story’s “Cool” with its finger-snapping introduction. The remainder is soaked in the influential spirit of Howlin’ Wolf.
Like a bluesy Christina Aguilera, Fox takes us on a delightful vocal journey with some very interesting runs on the title track, “Too Far Gone.” Some mighty fierce singing breaks out on top of Nelms’ catchy slow-cooked groove. Speaking of Nelms, I really like the way he approaches the song “Maybe Next Lifetime,” with a Mark Knopfler kind of style.
Too Far Gone is soulful and fun. I enjoyed this album very much and expect to hear more from this band in the future.
Phillip Smith is a contributing writer at BluesWax.
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