Eliza Neals is one of those bombshell ladies that can belt it out full of soul and sometimes mischief. This Detroit powerhouse definitely comes charging at you hitting on all 8 cylinders.
From a full throated powerful voice that would fit a raucous tent revival, but moved to the best pub in town where the real fun begins. All the way to light and airy in the best possible way.
She truly has the talent to bring out those deep dark Blues and then flip it on it’s head to bring on the dancing mojo that gets you out of your seat before you even know it’s happening!
As a pianist, producer, songwriter and driving vocalist, Eliza has carried off numerous wins of awards for her talents and passion, with the drive to see them through. In 2018 Eliza was awarded the “Detroit Black Music Award for Blues Artist of the Year.” Also including awards in 5 categories from “Get Ready To Rock UK.”
She’s also been associated and worked with some of the best in the business including, Kenny Olson, Mike Zito, Poppa Chubby, Albert Castiglia, Victor Wainwright and Tommy Castro.
I had the pleasure of seeing Eliza in a pretty close time span. The first time I saw her perform live was at Chan’s in Woonsocket RI. And the second time was at the 7th Annual Gloucester Blues Festival in Gloucester MA. Both were powerful performances, and you can always tell the energy of a crowd by the return the artist gets and the charge it puts in that fire. Let me tell you, there was plenty of fire up on that stage!
No matter the size of the audience, Eliza gave absolutely 100% each time. Both at the keyboard, and with her vocals she absolutely sang her heart out. So much soul and so much talent on display it’s no wonder she’s won the numerous awards.
You can see and hear a taste of Eliza below, but let me tell you, the video doesn’t do the emotion and energy justice. She bled her heart out and the audience gave it right back. Each time was a unique experience, not just because of the tracks or the fact she had a guest guitar player with her this trip. (Her regular guitarist was home with a shoulder injury.) But because she put her honest, in the moment, feelings into each song which means they sometimes come off differently but no less passionate and no less wonderful.
Throughout her performance at the Gloucester Blues Festival, the audience stayed in the pouring rain and many were up dancing having forgone their ponchos and umbrellas, but no one was leaving.
On the stage with Eliza was her fill in guitarist, Allen Schwartz, who helped out while her regular guitar player (Howard Glazer) was out with a shoulder injury. Playing so well together you’d have never known they had just met less than a week before! Allen, with more than 25 years experience and being one of the top studio guitarists in New York, brings with him the skill and style that keeps him in high demand for artists and production companies alike. Sometimes learning a new song on the fly, and others well known, he made sure that each note came off in perfect pitch!
Also with her was drummer John Medeiros, a New England resident who teaches the new and experienced drummer alike. He currently is teaching locally in the MA/NH area and shows consistently why he’s a man to seek out for knowledge. I’ve seen him sit in with several bands in the last year or so. In fact at one show he was sitting in with a band for the first time and was literally learning the songs with an ipod and beat direction right there on stage. He was filling in at the last minute on that event and carried it off flawlessly!
And carrying the bass line, John Abraham. John being a regular member of Eliza’s Narcotics Band held the solid Detroit built sound and kept pushing away at it like a freight train on a mission. Never obtrusive and absolutely unmistakable. He was the balance of a bass man with style and talent with a commitment to the music and the artists he plays with.
I’m excited to say that the Detroit Blues engine will be powering back into our area at 9 Wallis on Saturday April 6, 2019!
Make sure you check out her other dates as well to catch her locally or around, because you’re going to insist your family see her too no matter where they live!
*This review was not solicited by the musicians or venue.