NATURAL Andrea Marr (Only Blues Music) ***½

Soul music is kissing cousins with the blues, and soul is what Andrea Marr's new and 7th album is all about. Blessed with a sultry, expressive voice, Natural captures Andrea in her- ahem- ‘natural' habitat.

Natural is a high energy, horn laden ride into the music that Ms. Marr loves the most; the sound of Stax, Motown, James Brown, Otis Redding and Etta James. It's a mix of 9 originals and 2 covers, including Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady. And no, she's not actually from Detroit- Andrea Marr was born in Sri Lanka then immigrated to Australia. She's a formidable songwriter, and when you throw this on you'll find out she's a passionate singer too. Down under she's won several blues awards, and this album features her 8 piece band, "The Funky Hitmen", who earn their name here. The horn section in particular makes this disc almost feel like a James Brown album.

In the liner notes, Andrea says that "Natural is an album several years on the making. It contains my personal favorite songs", and I can understand why. She really gets to flex her gifts over a range of moods, from the uptown funk of a track like Mama Got It Wrong Sometimes Too to the slinky groove of Sticks & Stones that ends off the disc, to a ballad like That's Where Love Ends. Ultimately Natural is all about the ups and downs of relationships, and who can't relate to that?

Great songs, sassy vocals and a band with tight grooviness make Andrea Marr's Natural a tough one to resist, so don't resist- throw this on and let the good times roll.

KEY CUTS: That's Where Love Ends, What Do I Have To Do, Sticks & Stones


Hotwax Album Reviews Cananda
November 2017


Don and Sheryl's Blues Blog

The first thing you are going to notice when you listen to Andrea Marr is that hugely-soulful voice. She's another "world-travelin" blues woman, having represented her home country (since the age of 14) of Australia twice in Memphis for the IBC's. She has a passion for the music of Motown, Stax, Etta, Aretha, Sharon Jones, and JB, and she's got the chops to pull it off. Her full-length debut started as an EP back in 2013, featuring her tight-as-a-rib-tip 8-piece backing unit, The Funky Hitmen, and evolved into the nine originals and two covers that comprise "Natural."

Folks, Andrea "don't hold nothin' back" and it's refreshing to hear a singer just turn it a loose and have fun with this material. She busts outta the gate with a strong tale of a "hurricane of emotion," comparing her feelings for a lover to a "Force Of Nature." She reminds us all to be "Grateful" for "every day that I'm breathing," a song with a powerful gospel feel. She likes to get her love groove on, too, thru danceable cuts such as "Credit," her ode to that "Real Good Man," who'll "never let this woman down," as well as knowin' when the time is right to say, "Let's Take It To The Bedroom."

We had three favorites, too. Andrea turns in perhaps the most bluesy cut on the set with the horn-and-piano-driven sweetness of "That's Where Love Ends." She shouts out to her mom and the life lessons passed down to her, altho, admittedly, "Mama Got It Wrong Sometimes Too." And, no album of this stature would be complete without a nod to The Godfather. Andrea and The Hitmen get it tight, right, and outta sight on a blistering read of the ultra-funky, "What Do I Have To Do to prove my love to you?"

Fans, since the untimely passing of Sharon Jones, someone has to step up and carry the soul torch forward. Why not Andrea Marr? She's sho' nuff a "Natural!" Until next time ... Sheryl and Don Crow.


Sheryl and Don Crow
Don and Sheryl's Blues Blog
November 2017


Caesar - Blues Again

Let things be clear, nothing new, but a job done with 4C. Heart, Chorus, Brass and Class. If you like Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Tina Turner know that you are knocking on the right door and that the recovery of the late Sharon Jones is assured. Like these women, Andrea Marr, Sri Lankan emigrated to Melbourne where she opened a school of singing, has all the assets to interpret R & B, soul and blues. The feeling, the power, the charisma and orchestra provided to accompany it inevitably, besides a bass / drums / guitar as a locomotive, a brass section made to swing, roll and groove with an organ to bind all that. Eleven titles on this seventh album, six recorded in 2017 and five in 2012 which all have in common the word dynamism except the last 'Sticks & Stones' which brings out the sensual side of the singer. Otherwise we are in full celebration of the glorious days of Stax and Motown together. The machine is lapped and leaves like an arrow with 'Force Of Nature'. Everyone is obliged to follow the frantic pace imposed by the snare drum, and it relaxes. 'Rock Steady' and 'Mama Got It Wrong Sometimes Too' come next and we can say that it's James Brown's feminine. She calms down a bit with 'Grateful' who offers us her Motown side and starts 'That's Where Love Ends' where we can imagine herself standing right next to the piano that starts the song, soon joined by horns in gentleness, all soon helped by the organ to arrive at the sax solo; nice piece a little jazzy as this title. There is also 'Credit' that could have been in the soundtrack of a Blues Brothers movie, too good! Come on, it's decided, I pack my bags and I'm going to take lessons with Andrea Marr so she can sing me 'Real Good Man', another funk song from this album.


Caesar - FRANCE
www.bluesagain.com
November 2017


REVIEW FROM ROOTSVILLE GERMANY

With Andrea Marr's new album you bring a natural exciting and floorfillin' soul explosion into your life...

When I listened to the new albums sent by promoter Frank Roszak this 'Natural' from Andrea Marr, this immediately gave me a smile on my face from here to down below. Not only because the new material was forwarded by Frank, but first because this gracious Andrea Marr born in Sri Lanka is the owner of an undisturbed soul voice. The other reason why I drove a nearly hilarious laughing noise is that we always hear that there is little news under the sun. This, despite the fact that we get so good and say, super stuff sent by people like Frank Roszak. I even begin to get the courage to lose weight when we immediately inform the clubs and festivals in 'new releases' that they will be determined to stay stuck in the usual habit of ... I do not know. So here with this Andrea Marr the next wake-up call ...

Together with her parents and two older brothers, there was no future for them in the poor neighborhood of Colombo (Sri Lanka), so the family moved to Australia. Because Andrea Marr grew up in a musical family, it was obviously written in the stars that she would make it in the music world.

Ever since the blues and soul scene came down in 1999 with this Andrea Marr knowledge, the life of this outstanding soulsinger also changed. The birth of a new 'Soul Diva' was naked. It is a little art for this lady to make soul, rhythm a blues, funk, blues and gospel blend together. It is therefore not necessary to argue that Andrea But immediately fell to the Aussies. In 2002, she brought it to "Female Artist of The Year" with her album "Sassified". In 2005, she earned the award for "Blues Performer of The Year".

On the other side of the world, this Andrea Marr was immediately noticed, and at the Chicago Blue Skunk label she released her album 'Little Sister Got Soul' in 2008. The moment also for this Andrea Marr to become a world citizen. A true globetrotter. With this new 'Natural' her contest is on '7' and immediately after listening we have to fix hell hell this is natural ... soul.

Pure nostalgia to the area of ​​Stax and Motown comes back to life on this 11th album. Images of an Aretha Franklin or Betty Wright are burned back on my retina when listening to this album. In addition, 9 of the 11 numbers are originals, four of which are written by Andrea or in co-writing. Excellent interpretations include Marva Whitney's classic 'What Do I Have To Do' featuring a sublime trumpet solo of Funky Hitman, Sean Rankin.

Open Andrea Marr and her Funky Hitman in the atmosphere of an unexplored Stax interpreting with the soulshakin 'Force Of Nature'. When we say that this Andrea Marr is originally a blues singer, we must also decide that this is an 18-carat soul diamond. Gossiping blazers are like a red thread through this album like her funky 'Rock Steady'. A true revival of the 'rhythm' a blues era 'from the sixties. Oustanding is definitely the number 'Credits' and do we not hear a new 'Queen of Soul'. To end all the time in the soul of 'soul', they bring the funky grooves of Fred Wesley & The JB's back to life with 'Snakes'.

Leave steam on the soulbreak 'Grateful' where this Andrea Marr takes us back to the celestial period of a Gladys Knight and her Pips. It's like takin 'back the midnight train to Georgia. WOW! They conclude on this 'Natural' with the jazzy toned 'Sticks and Stones', one on which Randy Crawford and the Crusaders would be jealous. Have you said that there are still plenty of good bands available?


ROOTSVILLE GERMANY
November 2017


BluesMagazine Netherlands

When, born in Sri Lanka, but in Melbourne, Australia, Andrea Marr lives at the age of seven with Elvis Presley's music, the first flame to make music is inflamed with her. During her youth she sings in the gospel choir of the local church. There is always music in her area, her father who makes jazz music is a great source of inspiration, and he begins to sing cautiously known jazz standards, which they also approach in a bluesy way. When she is pointed to her bluesy feel on her sixteenth, without realizing it herself, she begins to focus more on that style. Etta James and Koko Taylor may also be seen as inspirational sources. In 1998, her first album 'Inheritance', which was followed by 'Sassified' in 2001, appears. This edition is a successful period, she wins as a result of Sassified's Female Blues Artist of the Year award, with her name being instantly established. As a winner of the 2005 Blues Performer of the Year, awarded by the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society, she is able to represent Australia at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, and gives her the opportunity to enter the BB King's Blues Club in that city. In 2006, her album "Watch Me Work It", which plays international airplay and the title track is selected for the compilation CD National Women in Blues 2007, is an American production featuring Andrea Marr as the only foreign singer. In 2008 there will be new material from this meanwhile as Aussie Rhythm and Blues Queen-nominated singer. 'Little Sister Got Soul', the title says enough, Andrea Marr is giving more space to soul in her repertoire. And again, she falls in the prize, the album will bring her an Australian Female Blues Artist of the Year award in 2009. In 2012, she takes up the EP 'Sass & Brass' in Chicago, based on the Blue Skunk Music records, a copper-plattered disk that reminds Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Ike & Tina Turner's work. The same year, they will be selected again by winning the MBAS Blues Performer of The Year competition to represent Australia during the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where they can kick it up to the semi finals. Her latest release concerns a live recording and is available to her fans in 2015 under the title Live Blues Party At The MBAS House Of Blues. In the same year, she collaborates with the Hip / Hop R & B artist Markia, with whom she takes her own gospel R & B song Grateful, which reaps the successes in her native Sri Lanka country.

On the recently published album 'Natural' Andrea Marr focuses on soul, returning to Stax and Motown's sound, known to James Brown, Otis Redding, Etta James and Sharon Jones, but of course she has her own turn given. The origin of the album returns to her EP 'Sass And Brass' from 2011, all tracks are represented on this album and supplemented with six new recordings. Of course, much copper work on 'Natural'. On both sessions is trumpet player Sean Rankin of the party. The saxophonists Jeff Mead and Stuart Byrne make the blazers section of the 2017 session complete for the 2012 session, Andy O'Connell (saxophone) and Dave Palmer (trombone). The cd starts with the smooth Force Of Nature, which immediately sets the pace right and where the bright spicy voice of Andrea Marr immediately strikes. With the funky Rock Steady, original of Aretha Franklin with fun funky guitar game by Dave Reynolds, the second fixed value on this album. Andrea Marr has not shaved her blues past long ago, this is evident from Mama Got It Wrong Sometimes Too, in which blues, funk and soul elements come together. Also, the aforementioned Grateful is present on this album, a ballad in which she reads that she is grateful for every day that she may recover again. Cam Scott takes care of That's Where Love Ends, a slow bluff, who knows a strong gospel feast for a Hammond and piano bottom that drives the whole song. The rush returns to Let's Take It To The Bedroom, which features blues, funk and soul elements. Both Credit and What Do I Have To Do (Marva Whitney) are like a house where the first tends toward soul tendencies and the second has a powerful funky performance. Definitely worth mentioning are the rhythm tandems Steve Temple (bass) and Paul Angas (drums) who provide Snakes with a soulful and funky groove and bassist Rob Little and drummer Robby Corelli for the same role in Real Good Man. With the mellow sounding Sticks And Stones, in which space is for subtle guitar clicks by Dave Reynolds, the CD comes to an end. 'Natural' has become a nice smooth album, with Andrea Marr moving to soul and funk, but she has not shaken her blues past and this combination produces some nice songs, most of which are also self-contained. to be


Martin van der Velde
BluesMagazine Netherlands
November 2017


Review from Rudolfs Music - Netherlands

The album 'Natural' is not the first album of the Australian Andrea Marr but her first full length soul album. On the album, the sound of Motown and Stax is the basis for the music on the album.

What strikes is the passion and energy that Andrea Marr puts in each of the eleven songs on the album. Besides soul, we also hear Andrea Marr flirting with funk. It's incredibly handsome

Andrea Marr still retains her own style in a genre of music that many hair have been for. In addition to an excellent voice and the help of outstanding musicians, the singer also shows her versatility by writing a number of songs.

In my opinion, the album 'Natural' is an excellent album which makes more than curious about the stage work of this versatile singer


http://www.rudolfsmusic.com
Netherlands
November 2017


REVIEW FROM ROOTSVILLE BELGIUM

With Andrea Marr's new album you bring a natural exciting and floorfillin' soul explosion into your life...

When I listened to the new albums sent by promoter Frank Roszak this 'Natural' from Andrea Marr, this immediately gave me a smile on my face from here to down below. Not only because the new material was forwarded by Frank, but first because this gracious Andrea Marr born in Sri Lanka is the owner of an undisturbed soul voice. The other reason why I drove a nearly hilarious laughing noise is that we always hear that there is little news under the sun. This, despite the fact that we get so good and say, super stuff sent by people like Frank Roszak. I even begin to get the courage to lose weight when we immediately inform the clubs and festivals in 'new releases' that they will be determined to stay stuck in the usual habit of ... I do not know. So here with this Andrea Marr the next wake-up call ...

Together with her parents and two older brothers, there was no future for them in the poor neighborhood of Colombo (Sri Lanka), so the family moved to Australia. Because Andrea Marr grew up in a musical family, it was obviously written in the stars that she would make it in the music world.

Ever since the blues and soul scene came down in 1999 with this Andrea Marr knowledge, the life of this outstanding soulsinger also changed. The birth of a new 'Soul Diva' was naked. It is a little art for this lady to make soul, rhythm a blues, funk, blues and gospel blend together. It is therefore not necessary to argue that Andrea But immediately fell to the Aussies. In 2002, she brought it to "Female Artist of The Year" with her album "Sassified". In 2005, she earned the award for "Blues Performer of The Year".

On the other side of the world, this Andrea Marr was immediately noticed, and at the Chicago Blue Skunk label she released her album 'Little Sister Got Soul' in 2008. The moment also for this Andrea Marr to become a world citizen. A true globetrotter. With this new 'Natural' her contest is on '7' and immediately after listening we have to fix hell hell this is natural ... soul.

Pure nostalgia to the area of ​​Stax and Motown comes back to life on this 11th album. Images of an Aretha Franklin or Betty Wright are burned back on my retina when listening to this album. In addition, 9 of the 11 numbers are originals, four of which are written by Andrea or in co-writing. Excellent interpretations include Marva Whitney's classic 'What Do I Have To Do' featuring a sublime trumpet solo of Funky Hitman, Sean Rankin.

Open Andrea Marr and her Funky Hitman in the atmosphere of an unexplored Stax interpreting with the soulshakin 'Force Of Nature'. When we say that this Andrea Marr is originally a blues singer, we must also decide that this is an 18-carat soul diamond. Gossiping blazers are like a red thread through this album like her funky 'Rock Steady'. A true revival of the 'rhythm' a blues era 'from the sixties. Oustanding is definitely the number 'Credits' and do we not hear a new 'Queen of Soul'. To end all the time in the soul of 'soul', they bring the funky grooves of Fred Wesley & The JB's back to life with 'Snakes'.

Leave steam on the soulbreak 'Grateful' where this Andrea Marr takes us back to the celestial period of a Gladys Knight and her Pips. It's like takin 'back the midnight train to Georgia. WOW! They conclude on this 'Natural' with the jazzy toned 'Sticks and Stones', one on which Randy Crawford and the Crusaders would be jealous. Have you said that there are still plenty of good bands available?


ROOTSVILLE BELGIUM
October 2017


Natural Album Review

This album has been years in the making...beginning in 2012 with Andrea's band, "The Funky Hitmen". That unit released an EP titled Sass & Brass in 2013. That EP made a good jumping-off point for a great full-length album. This has all the heart and soul of classic soul, funky enough to make James Brown sit up and take notice and has a look that most guys would drive around the block to see a second time. Having grown up with a love for the music of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Stax, Motown and more, she had a good base to start from. With a core band that is right on the money and a horn section that sounds like it could easily have come through the era when Soul was king, Marr is free to do what she does best...set the house on fire. Top-notch vocals, all the power of a runaway train...and she wrote (or co-wrote) all but two of the album's 11 tunes...this is a woman on a mission. With a repertoire that ranges from blues and soul to gospel, R&B and Funk, this is a woman armed with everything she needs to face any situation she might come up against on the road. Natural is powerful and passionate. If classic soul is your bag, this is one album you will not want to miss. I really dislike making comparisons between artists. Andrea has developed a style of her own to be sure. I'd be lying if I didn't acknowledge hearing the influence of Etta James, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin, but this is Andrea Marr, start to finish. This woman is the real deal, not some cheap knock-off. In a world full of people trying to sound like their favorite star, Andrea Marr is a bonafide original...100% the real deal.


Bill Wilson USA
http://chickenwilson2.blogspot.com/p/october-reviews.html
October 2017


Soul Sister and Heartbreaker Extraordinaire

As an old Soul Boy; finding good high quality Soul Music these days is becoming increasingly difficult, as the majority of what is being called R&B ain’t really got Rhythm and certainly isn’t what I call The Blues!

My appetite was sated a recently when I accidentally discovered a label called Ecko Records which released some really saucy and sassy albums by acts like Miss Jody, Sheba Potts-Wright and (my favourite) Barbara Carr, but it appears to have sunk without trace; leaving me with my old record collection for solace.

So it was with great delight when my favourite Blues PR man, Frank Roszack sent me this terrific album by Sri-Lankan born and Australian brought up, musical powerhouse Andrea Marr.

Even the cover artwork will get Soul aficionados blood pumping and when opening track Force of Nature comes blasting out of the speakers feet all over the world will twitch and tap as hips shake like leaves in a storm.

Andrea Marr and The Funky Hitmen sure know how to get a party started as they use every trick in the book with their swinging horn section and a firecracker guitarist coupled to a steam powered organ, drummer and bassist giving Andrea’s amazing voice a backing it well deserves.

Track #2 will give you a real idea about where Ms Marr is coming from as she tears away all of the Pop trappings from Aretha’s Rock Steady and turns it into the sassy Rhythm AND Blues song of seduction it was always meant to be!

As with all the great Soul that came out of Stax and Atlantic in that halcyon bygone age and what Daptone Records currently do better than anyone else, Miss Andrea Marr combines passion, energy and S-O-U-L with melodies and hooks to die for on What Do I Have To Do and Mama Gets It Wrong Sometimes Too, but it’s when she writes and sings from and about the heart this album surpasses any similar releases in the last 20 years.

That’s Where Love Ends and Sticks and Stones are both the type of slow song I wanted to hear when the lights went down low at the end of the night in a Club or at a party.

While not as ribald as those Ecko albums I love, Andrea includes a couple of earthy songs of seduction in Good Man and the quaintly titled Let’s Take It To The Bedroom, when she shows she’s a lady that knows what she wants and…..trust me; she’s going get what SHE wants!

That last song was very nearly (and probably should be) my favourite track here; but I’m actually going for something a bit left of centre with Grateful; a rather beautiful bittersweet love song that evokes memories of discovering the delights of Aretha, Phyllis Nelson and, of course more recently Sharon Jones; and now Andrea Marr appears to have the same ability to touch my heart with her magical words and phrasing too.


The Rocking Magpie
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/andrea-marr-natural
October 2017


Natural Album Review

"This new cd from Andrea Marr –"NATURAL" – ticks all the boxes to indicate a first quality album. The original compositions and Andrea’s robust vocals are wedded to excellent instrumentation to give the album the class and professionalism to put it in the forefront of Australian soul and blues. It is a NATURAL to win awards !!!!"


Brian Elliott
Presenter at 94.1FM Gold Coast Radio Brian's Monday Blues
October 2017


Natural Album Review

"Natural" is a fabulous outing, Marr & the band are really cooking. Shades of Bettye Lavette and that's somethin'


Salty Dawg's Blues and Roots Podcast Australia
October 2017


Natural Album Review

"WOW, this is one HOT HOT HOT album"


Wayne Blackwell - IMP radio
October 2017


Blue Skunk Music

Ever since her arrival on the Aussie blues scene in 1999, multi award-winning soul/blues diva Andrea Marr has gone from strength to strength. Primarily a blues singer, Marr has always demonstrated equal mastery over gospel, R&B and soul, all her recordings exhibiting her commanding versatility across the entire blues spectrum. A five-song EP, Sass & Brass is her follow-up to 2010’s Little Sister Got Soul which was picked up by Chicago’s Blue Skunk label for release to wide acclaim Stateside. It sees Marr digging deeper into her classic soul/funk bag, expanding her growing fan base even wider. She delivers a dynamic performance backed by her torrid rhythm unit, three-piece horn section, and four part backing vocal chorus. Marr wrote four of the songs herself and co-wrote ‘That’s Where Love Ends’, a ‘60s R&B-styled ballad, with her musical director and co-producer, Hammond organ/keys player Cam Scott. The CD opens with ‘Mama Got It Wrong Sometimes’, Marr and her tight band locking into an intoxicating JBs-inspired booty-shaking groove that continues through ‘Snakes’. They ramp it up to a fever pitch on ‘Credit’ that would make Aretha Franklin envious, the band’s powerful brassy tones giving way to a sultry jazz-tinged sound for the closer ‘Sticks & Stones’ where Marr’s steamy vocals leave you hitting the replay button. If you dig Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings or The Dynamites, you’ll go for this.


- Al Hensley
www.rhythms.com.au


THREDBO BLUES FESTIVAL 2014 LIVE REVIEWS

But an amazing set by the Andrea Marr Band stole the show for me this year.. the crowd was on a high as the band were all wirelessly set up and lounged and flirted with the punters...these guys were so professional and so entertaining..


- Rod Neimier


Andrea Marr Band, one of the best things about Thredbo Blues Festival..


- Get Shot Magazine


LEICESTER BANGS UK

A five-track EP with a title that may just be the most concise three-word review ever written. I’m not sure I can better it, but here goes ...

Andrea Marr has been playing her blues since 1999 and winning awards almost from the off. The Melbourne singer-songstress, together with her band – this particular line-up has been playing together for five years – have also been recognized internationally. The much-respected Chicago blues label Blue Skunk Music signed them up in 2010, re-released their “Little Sister Got Soul” album in 2011 and now the “Sass & Brass” EP.

It’s easy to hear why the label was so impressed. Marr’s inherited a style that made Etta James a legend and Sharon Jones a cult phenomenon. These five tracks leap from the speakers, grab the listener by the lapels and force them onto the dance-floor; resistance is futile. The horn section works in perfect harmony with Marr’s powerhouse blues-soul voice and the songs themselves sound like a succession of classic hits, forged in the Chess studios or Muscle Shoals, 30 or 40 years ago – or yesterday. It’s almost pointless drawing attention to standout songs as there’s absolutely no filler, just a selection of timeless, soulful, high energy, feelgood blues. If you’re partial to any of the above names, or Ike and Tina or Aretha Franklin, then you’d be foolish to miss out.


- Rob F.


Live review - Echuca Blues Festival 2011

Hi Guys,

Just got back from my first look at the Echuca Blues Festival, and you know what? How good it is to see a 'council/business houses/volunteers/in fact,the whole bloody city jumpin' on the Blues wagon. What a great way to spend a couple of days in winter, goin' from pub to pub, have a 'dram' or two. Walk down the main street, with talent abound, grab a 'snag and onions', drop into one of the many coffee shops (all with great coffee), and all this, at your leisure for basically zero!!! If you don't drink or smoke, you're laughin' man.

The city heart of Echuca' was jumping, both in 'music,bodies',and nick knack shops, nearly "ALL" premises open, and so many pleasant assistants. I think that the city of "Echuca" should be bloody proud of what they achieved this weekend.

I got to see many of the acts at 'Echuca",and it was great to see so many young'uns strappin' on the old 'Axe" and givin' it a fair pasting. I'll go thru the program (which was free by the way, and a brilliant production it is too)

. . .

And the final Band I got to see on Sunday was my 'Fav for the Fest'. Andrea Marr and Band, Bloody Hell, Sharp, Tight, a Rhythm Section to die for, and Andrea's presence, and Vocals, World class. I've seen and heard a lot of guitar players in my life, but Greg Dodd has me enjoying the new face to an old instrument. He was really the reason we stayed all day at the Bridge Pub.

I know that he was Dutch's axeman over the years,and have seen him in Mildura a few years ago with Dutch. But now with the lineup that Andrea has now, I can't tell you how good this band is, I only wish that they will record some live stuff in the future. Jeez, they were that good.

. . .

That's my take on the Echuca Blues Festival for 2011.
"Tecka'. Terry Iredale .Tecka's Tracks R & B Program on CRN & HOTFM in Vic.



- Clint
Tue, 30th August 2011


Little Sister Got Soul! (Blue Skunk) Blue Skunk BS4524
I go through long stretches when I feel that soul music is one of those things whose day is past. Then, something miraculous happens…the slot in my door opens and I am blessed with some of the best stuff I've heard in quite some time. The Chicago area's Blue Skunk Music has released a CD by Andrea Marr that is reminiscent of what I was hearing when soul was king. Little Sister's Got Soul has it all…a strong vocalist with the power to melt the soles of your shoes or to blow those shoes right off your feet, depending or her mood or the cut you choose to listen to. Andrea Marr pours 100% of her heart and soul into every cut, never delivering less than her all. Little Sister's Got Soul! is soul the way it was meant to be, mixed with enough pure, raw blues to reach straight to the heart. Andrea Marr delivers the goods with pure raw emotional power. This is one of those albums that grabs you from the opening notes and leaves you hoping she never lets go. Then, there's the band. I have said a hundred times if I've said it once, no performer can be better than the band backing them up. In this case, that is not a problem. This band is as solid as bands get, their playing is right on the money, soulful, yet technically right on the money. Their arrangements are flawless and they play with a power that can only be reached when the band loves the music with their entire being. There is no doubt that this band loves the music. Like a throwback to the days when soul and blues were indistinguishable, Marr is a voice that will not be silenced and I, for one, am glad of it. This album and the folks responsible for putting it together are real winners.
- Bill Wilson
Mon, 9th May 2011


Andrea Marr - Little Sister Got Soul (US album review) 10 songs; Time 41:21 minutes; Suggested Style: Soul
Blues music was born in the United States, yet there are Blues artists in Australia. What a wonderful testimonial to the power, richness, and impact of the roots of all Roots music, Blues!
Australia has a thriving Blues and Soul scene, and they can rightly brag about the crossover-the-ocean artists that have made a name in the U.S. like Sugarcane Collins, Dave Hole, Harper, Jimi Hocking, Fiona Boyes, and now, Andrea Marr.
Andrea is truly a first class singer with a dynamic, gospel fueled voice, and I’m not the first to notice. She already has an impressive resume:
* 2009 Female Vocalist of the Year (Chain Award, the Australian Blues Music Awards)
* 2007 Female Vocalist of the Year (Newcastle Blues Awards)
* 2005 Blues Performer of the Year
* 2002 Female Blues Artist of the Year (Vic/Tas)
This is simply a wonderful album. If you are a Baby Boomer very familiar with Aretha Franklin, Dinah Washington, Etta James and Memphis Soul sounds, you may not hear anything new, but you’ll hear an artist and her band who have mastered the idiom, breathing new life into it. If you are younger, or not familiar with the classic Soul music of America’s best, you’ll feel like you have discovered a gold mine!
This is Andrea’s fourth album, and her performance, backup band, production, and engineering and mixing create a world class effort. There are seven originals plus covers of Etta James (“I Prefer You”), Dinah Washington (“Soulville”), and Glenn Kaiser (“If I Leave This World Tomorrow”).
Her core band is Greg Dodd, guitar, Dean Matters, drums, Clint Healy, bass, Cam Scott, keyboards, and Sean Vagg, sax. Two of the originals are written by the band, and another is written with Dodd. The skilled instrumental contributions from each plus full band studio additional musicians make the CD more than just a vocal showcase.
Standout moments beyond Marr’s singing are Dodd’s guitar work on “If I Leave This World Tomorrow” and his intro to “What’s Wrong With You,” the groups sagacious advice found in “Don’t Touch What You Can’t Afford,” the full horn section in “Real Good Man,” and Cam Scott’s piano work in “Baby Got Me Crazy.”
This is no “regional” or “niche” album; this is great Soul music. Meet this “Little Sister” now and then watch for her to tour the U.S. – hopefully SOON!
- James “Skyy Dobro"
Reviewer James “Skyy Dobro” Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show “Friends of the Blues” can be heard each Thursday from 4:30 – 6:00pm on WKCC 91.1 FM in Kankakee,
Thu, 30th July 2009


ANDREA MARR - LITTLE SISTER GOT SOUL (album review)

I reviewed Andrea’s first CD, Watch me work it, back in June 2006, and while I liked it, I didn’t really “get it” until I saw Andrea live at Goulburn the following February. Man, she is a dynamo, has a great blues/gospel voice, and really pumps out the sexiness, sass and attitude you hear on the CD. Sometimes an artist can create a particular personality in the recording studio, but they can’t deliver it live. This lady delivers in abundance! After all, she was the MBAS Performer of the Year in 2005 and represented them in Memphis.

With Greg Dodd (guitar), Clint Healy (bass), Dean Matters (drums), Cam Scott (keys, Hammond), Sean Vagg (sax), a 3 piece horn section (Paul Williamson, Shane Hughes, Dave Palmer), and 4 backing vocalists (Rudy Tadros, Jeke terei, Edith Borradale, Carmel Sundaram), this CD is a powerhouse outing from this pint-sized songstress.

Andrea has come up with a great collection of 7 originals and 3 covers that don’t have a weak one among them. The covers are Dinah Washington’s Soulville, Etta James’ I prefer you, and Glenn Kaiser’s If I leave this world tomorrow and they are terrific versions. You can get an idea what the originals (by Andrea and B. Strafford or various band members) are like by checking out the titles: Steam up the windows, Don’t touch what you can’t afford, Superwoman, Taught me to love, Real good man, What’s wrong with you, and Baby got me crazy. There’s a nice mix of feels and tempos, with lots of brass, and great guitar and piano and, of course, Andrea’s big vocals.

In my opinion, this CD is a great example of a local product that’s the equal of anything coming into Australia from “the home of the blues”. Some albums have some great songs, some have some great performances, some have great recording quality, but some, like this one, have it all and just “hang together” and “sound right” from start to finish. (Actually, it reminds me of another great album; Dutch Tilders & The Blues Club, The blues is my life.) You’ve got to have a listen to this one.
- Gary deWall
www.sydneyblues.org
Wed, 11th February 2009


ANDREA MARR - LITTLE SISTER GOT SOUL Launching the big horn-laden sound of her sequel to 2006’s Watch Me Work It, Melbourne soul-blues dynamo Andrea Marr wraps her unrestrained pipes around Dinah Washington’s ‘Soulville’ ahead of seven new powerhouse original songs, Etta James’ funky ‘I prefer you’ and Christian music singer Glenn Kaiser’s gut bucket blues ‘If I leave This World Tomorrow’. Guitarist Greg Dodd, bassist Clint Healy, drummer Dean Matters, saxophonist Sean Vagg and keyboard player Cam Scott were Marr’s musical running partners in the realization of this project. Scott’s tight and snappy horn charts and Marr’s vocal arrangements for her backing chorus by members of the Urban Praise Gospel Choir inject a soulful edge to songs of depth and attitude. The sassy ‘Don’t touch what you can’t afford’ and ‘Superwoman’ and the sultry ‘Baby Got me Crazy’ and ‘Steam up the Windows’ exemplify Marr’s growth as a creative artist. A fervent musical chemistry exists between marr and her road-tested band during the whole 41-minute set.

- Al Hensley Rhythms Magazine
Tue, 6th January 2009


Andrea Marr: Little Sister Got Soul

HATE to sound chauvinistic about the music in this town, but here goes anyway: the depth of talent in Melbourne can astound, and this album is a delight, truly jump-out-of-your-skin stuff, passionate, poised and, most of all, musical. Andrea Marr's voice is so sensuous, sassy and dynamic, her command of her idiom so assured that one is tempted to accost strangers to tell them. Marr announces her rock-the-house intentions from the get-go with the call-to-arms Soulville. Organ (Cam Scott) and horns are to the fore. Scott also did the horn arrangements and Marr the vocal arranging. The rhythm (Greg Dodd, guitar; Clint Healy, bass; Dean Matters, drums) is hot as a pistol and the horns lift the music to a higher level. Whether drawing on Dinah Washington, Aretha Franklin or Etta James or her own works (seven of 10 songs are originals), Marr is inspired. In 2005 she won the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society's blues performer of the year award. I was honoured to be one of the judges and I'm pleased we got it so right.

See original article here
- Ken Williams for The Age
Tue, 30th December 2008


Little Sister Got Soul! album review by Rooster

ANDREA MARR
Little sister got soul
This is Andrea’s fourth album and she has finally got a band that not only can materialize her vision, but also enhance it. Andrea’s soulful vocals seem effortless whether it is on one of her 7 originals or covering Etta James and Dinah Washington. Her core band of Greg Dodd, guitar, Dean Matters, drums, Clint Healy, bass and Sean Vagg, sax are truly that, a band, who have committed themselves to Andrea’s sound which seems to have allowed Andrea to relax and concentrate on her vocals. Two of the originals are written by the band and another with Greg and it really appears to be a true group effort, with everyone being valued and everyone working with each other to get the best sound. This album represents somewhat of a comeback for Greg, who didn’t pick up a guitar for a number of years. His distinctive style and blues edge adds a punch, whilst Dean and Clint deliver a beat and groove so dependable and polished. Sean usually carries out sax duties alone so he must have been in fantasy land with session buddies Paul Williamson, Shane Hughes and Dave Palmer. The luxury of a horn section is enhanced even further with Cam Scott’s piano and Hammond which takes this album to a level usually only acquired by the greats as Etta and Aretha. The engineering and mixing (Troy Trigwell & James Kilpatrick) of such a large band takes some doing and I can’t see how it could have been done any better. It is a world class effort that rips you from your seat and doesn’t let you go, and when it does you want to do it all again!

- Rooster for MBAS Bluesletter
Fri, 24th October 2008


THE MARR STAR Andrea Marr Sings The Blues Because She Loves It.

Those familiar with Melbourne's vibrant blues and roots scene will probably know the name, Andrea Marr. For around seven years this pint-sized singer has been belting out blues tunes in a voice the size of Australia's World Cup hype, and whilst it's been a struggle, more a labour of love than a "career", things are now starting to fall into place for Marr. Singing the blues isn't usually the dream of many people, but for Andrea Marr, it's been a long time coming.

"I started singing blues without even realising it," she says down the phone of her introduction to music. "I was brought up in Sri Lanka, and I was 14 when I came over here… they don't have any blues music over there at all. But my dad was a jazz musician, and we'd listen to a lot of stuff at home, and I think through him, my earliest blues influences were Elvis and Ray Charles. That's pretty much all that I would have heard that would have got me started with the blues. So when Dad was playing jazz songs, I would sing them in a blues phrasing without even realising it.

Click here for the full story

By Sam Fell for Rhythms magazine
27 Dec 2006


Andrea Marr Works It All The Way! The Sultry vocals of Andrea Marr get the full showcase treatment in her latest release titled, Watch Me Work It. Ten tracks, of which six are Marr originals that have been co-written with guitarist Brian Strafford and others, sees Marr wrap her R'n'B vocal chords around such showstoppers as Stand And Deliver, He Only Rocks On Stage, and the aptly titled, Duke Robilard Tune. One Sided Love Affair gives Marr a chance to relax with a classic slow blues whilst her treatment of Jimmy Witherspoon's Ain't Nobody's Business, also allows her to bring the room temperature down. Lloyd Spiegel's guitar licks, bump, grind and shimmer in all the right places. Dean Matters and Luke Hodgeson provide tight rhythm, Chris McConachy wails on harp and Andy Cowan provides a keyboard cameo appearance on Stand And Deliver. Andrea Marr works damn hard and as such has turned this one into a winner just like her appearances at last years Blues Performer Of The Year contest.

Werner Martin - Inpress magazine
Posted: Wed, 14th June 2006


Album Review By Lee Howard: Herald Sun Scanned article reviewing the "Sassified" album.

By Lee Howard: Herald Sun - Saturday, 23rd November 2002

RARELY has an album been so aptly named, assuming "sassified" means sassy to the fullest. Andrea Marr is a blues shouter the likes of whom we have seldom seen in Australia. It is a quality that allows her to sing out with conviction on Surgarpie De Santos's sexy Use What You Got, bringing the inderlying humour to the fore. In fact, it is almost possible to hear a smile in some of the songs, Marr leading a tight band of cohorts that would overwhelm a lesser singer. The horns of Ken Mailing, Steve Williams and Brian Stafford drive the singer to be at her best and Chris Wilson's keyboards and production are spot on. It all coalesces on the slower tempo of a Bed Full of Blues, one of the fine, self-penned songs on the 14-track album. This again is brassy in a way a couple of American labels would do well to emulate.

- LEE HOWARD
Sat, 23rd November 2002


ANDREA MARR'S BLUES TRAIN GET SASSIFIED The sassy Andrea Marr has been part of the Melbourne blues scene for some years now and finally people are sitting up and taking notice...and rightly so. Whilst her first release a couple of years ago was a bit patchy, her newest outing is anything but! Laced with Marr's sensuous and soulful vocals, Sassified has an inner strength that not only emanates from her own musical journey over the last few years but also from her choice of material, musicians and her song writing collaboration with guitarist/saxophonist Brian Strafford. Right from the opening track - the funky superwoman (a Marr/Strafford collaboration)- the scene is set for a soulful album. The Blues Train don't disappoint and stop at all stations without ever leaving the tracks! Marr knows how to deliver a tune and she's got the nuances, the inflections, the wails down pat and whether it's a blues, soul or gospel tune, whether it's an up tempo number or a ballad, Andrea Marr has stamped her vocal authority all over it. Sassified delivers 15 tracks in all and my faves are the opening track, the innuendo laden Sugarpie De Santo cover Use What You Got, Sweet Southern Blues and Marr's original tune It Takes A Woman To Sing The Blues. Marr has been knocking on the door for some time and with this release she's opened that door and is damn well delivering the goods. A great album and one that I can thoroughly recommend.

- Werner Martin: Inpress Magazine Issue 694
Wed, 9th January 2002


One wonders what rock was big enough to hide the immense talents of vocalist Andrea Marr. With a voice suited to blues, jazz, soul and gospel (all of which Andrea performs), one struggles with the realisation that this artist has been around for some time. With an impressive independent release, titled "Inheritance", featuring a strong emphasis on original material with some decidedly impressive arrangements, Andrea is well poised to make herself known on the national front. On this album, Andrea not only proves herself a gifted vocalist but also a talented lyricist, having penned a majority of the tunes. There is some very impressive harmonica and saxophone work courtesy of Steve Williams, with Billy Kavanagh (ex-Tin Pan Alley) contributing some guitar. Chris Wilson adds keyboards and bass (Chris also recorded Inheritance at his Studio 7), while a number of other guests also make appearances.

The solo saxophone (Steve Williams) intro of the jazz-infused "Summertime", followed by the keyboards of Chris Wilson with rhythm section and guitar open and set the mood for the album.

Following is the very funky "Shaky Ground", with decidedly commercial leanings.

The bluesy jazzy "Pray for Rain" (an album highlight) sees Billy Kavanagh lend some tasty guitar, with Williams' saxophone and harp also making strong contributions, as Wilson's keyboards back the rhythm section.

"When I Laid My Eyes On You" has a Little Willie John "Fever" feel performed as trio plus voice.

"It Takes A Woman To Sing The Blues" is straight-ahead blues, with sax and guitar solos by Brian Strafford and Peter Healy respectively and keyboards by Wilson.

The title track "Inheritance" is performed a capella gospel style.

R & B surface on "When You're Gone", with female backing vocalists.

The slow blues "Heaven Sent", again with Kavanagh and Williams making strong contributions, will demand air play on any self-respecting blues program and is another album highlight.

"What's Wrong With You" adopts a more rock/blues approach devoid of sax or harp.

The Thomas Dorsey "Precious Lord" sees keyboards to accompany voice, as does the laid-back original ballad "Words Cannot Express", with a decidedly mainstream feel to finish this album.

While diverse in nature, the album is also focused and a fine example of a debut release for an artist wishing to expose and promote themselves. Andrea Marr is currently working up a straight-ahead blues outfit in hometown Melbourne, known as "Hideaway," and we here at Highway 49 will be watching closely for activity within this camp.

Copies of Andrea's album may be obtained by posting cheques or money orders for $23.50 inc within Aust and $25.00 overseas, to A & L Marr. (P.O Box 159 Noble Park Vic Australia 3174).

- Glenn Nelson
Sun, 30th September 2001