Its a rare joy to discover an artist whose music adds to, or at least enhances, the meaning of life. A rare joy, a relief, and also an underlying apprehension; what if you had never happened upon it? What if you had been just plain lazy about listening to it? And then finally you did and fell in love with it and then wondered how you ever managed a day without it. Thats when you know its The Real Thing.
Peach isnt exactly a new artist and this isnt exactly her Blues Rock Records debut. But when you have the singular pleasure of discovering this ever-fresh, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter-guitarist, whether its with her current masterpiece (no exaggeration) The Real Thing, her acclaimed live underground release Peach Live! (2002), which won her a coveted distribution deal with Morada Music, or her first recording, the EP The Cure for You (2001), then it doesnt matter that youre coming to the party a little late. As long as youre here…
The prestigious L.A. Music Awards have been dialed in to Peach from the not-so-long-ago beginning, naming her Blues Artist of the Year in 2001. Noting the Anderson, Indiana natives consistent quality as a musician and performer, this music industry arbiter of talent followed it up with an Award of Excellence in 2002. But the L.A. Music Awards wasnt the only one to give credit where its due.
With no artificial anything, The Real Thing is a historical record, sounding the return of the lost art of music with an unmitigated whos-who of blues and jazz players showing up to back Peach on this truly spectacular collection of songs produced by Marty Grebb (The Band, Bonnie Raitt, Etta James).
She duets with Taj Mahal on the title track, and serenades Beyond My Wildest Dream, backed by Reggie McBride (Tony Bennett, Keb Mo) on upright bass, whom she admiringly calls the Mack truck of bass. Theres The Bands Garth Hudson (keys, sax, accordion); James Gadson (The Temptations, Beck) and Gary Mallaber (Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen) on drums; Peachs own drummer/percussionist Maria Martinez (Barry White); baritone sax player Cece Worrall Rubin (Diana Ross, Guns n Roses); Paul Barrére (Little Feat), Jon Woodhead (Leon Russell), and Rick Vito (Fleetwood Mac) all on slide; guitarist Amos Garrett (Stevie Wonder, Maria Muldaur), the worlds most bendy-note guy, according to Peach; and horn arrangement by Lee Thornburg (The Tonight Show Band, Tower of Power) on Someone Else is Steppin In.
The list is long on power players, but to Peach, what really mattered was who was right for each of the lucky 13 tracks, half which she wrote, including the gorgeous ballad, The Cure for You, featuring a sax solo by smooth jazz superstar Mindi Abair. The balance were written by the likes of Bobby Charles, who says he adores her rendering of his 1972 classic I Must Be in a Good Place Now; Danny Timms and Jodi Siegel, who penned the Triple A radio emphasis track, the sultry Come Up and See Me Sometime; and Jerry Lynn Williams (Eric Clapton) and Grebb, who conceived Beyond My Wildest Dream.
They’re songs that I dug up by local songwriters that I thought were incredibly great pieces of music, explains the former University of Denver voice major, whose accompanist was Condoleezza Rice, who left the piano for politics as National Security Adviser. Its all pretty sexy music, but its also really real.
A tireless philanthropist, Peach is the co-founder of Rock n Cure, an annual event she produces and performs in to benefit Cedars-Sinai Medical Centers breast cancer and stem cell transplant research. The organizations 2003 flagship concert format fundraiser, which Peach headlined with special guests The Delgado Brothers at the House of Blues in Los Angeles raised $78,000 not bad for a first run production.
Just as Rice didnt know at that time that she was destined for The White House (She was on her way to being a great starving musician, Peach laughs), Peach didnt know she was a blues player.
But the real thing always shines through. She found her voice, and heres to everyone else discovering it too.