If you’ve been wondering what’s the state of America’s authentic ‘roots’ music lately and where are its contemporary practitioners, well look no further, because here comes the Back Alley Players! This tight and tasteful ensemble is creating a blues for the 21st century which is aptly demonstrated in their new CD outing Beyond the Blues.
This dynamic band is made up of seasoned musical pros from a variety of musical backgrounds from Jazz and Funk, to Hip-Hop and R&B. But make no mistake, the Back Alley Players are playing a blues for the new century that draws on many of the disparate elements of traditional blues which are rarely heard in one setting. As Blues Blast Magazine has pointed out in reference to Beyond the Blues, these dudes “deliver one of the tastiest and schizophrenic soul and country blues releases since, well, ever.” Since Johnny Turco (‘Johnny T.’) formed the Back Alley Players they have performed in New York City at the internationally famous Nuyorican Poets Café and the Sugar Bar (owned by international recording stars Ashford & Simpson). In addition, two songs from Beyond the Blues—Nuttin’ But the Blues and Can’t Get You Outta My Head have debuted on WHCR 90.3 and WBAI 99.5 in New York City, and Beyond the Blues is #21 on the Living Blues charts and #18 on the Roots Music charts.
The Back Alley Players’ rhythm section is grounded by drummer Stix Bones and bassist Al Brisbane—and what a foundation it is! These guys provide a pocket that effortlessly propels the band and allows singer L. Umar Conry and guitarist/mandolin player Johnny T. to put the icing on the cake while gliding on that propulsion like an ice cube on a hot stove. The Back Alley Players are a soulful combination of the talents and energy of four very impressive individuals* who form a seamless whole. Few groups capture the harmonious cohesion that these players achieve so that the result is as if the music is emanating from one human musical entity, as opposed to the collective identity of a group of separate individuals.
“Beyond the Blues is a fantastic and fresh debut . . .”
–Jon Norton, Music Director at WGLT, Normal, IL, for Blues Blast Magazine
As good as Beyond the Blues is, the Back Alley Players are a must see live act who create a high energy and uplifting celebration of the blues and life, and remind us why we frequently come back to the blues for that joyous catharsis.
“The baddest band to bring you Nuttin’ But the Blues” –Nick Ashford of Ashford and Simpson
The Back Alley Players currently reside in New York City.
Redwood Entertainment, Inc.