I was made aware of a Chicago Metromix poll by a friend of mine yesterday that I think everyone should have a say in. They picked 10 bands out of 140 that submitted music, and the top four get to perform at Hard Rock in May.
Our friends The Congregation are currently tied for the lead and need your support to ensure a spot in the top 4!!
Here’s what I said about them last year, when their EP Not For Sleepin’ made the top 5 in my poll of Chicago releases:
It’s been a long time since I’ve been excited about a new blues band. I always get amped for new releases by the legends, and I try to catch certain guys every time they’re in town (B.B. King, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Chicago’s own Buddy Guy), but new blues artists generally leave me cold.
With the exception of Indigenous and The Chris Duarte Group, I can’t think of anyone I’ve followed for more than a year. I did follow Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who were great, but they left the blues to follow God’s path, whatever that means.
So I was more than happy when I threw on The Congregation‘s debut EP, Not For Sleepin’. I got knocked down due to the amount of Soul Power pouring out of my speakers. Gina Bloom’s pipes are ridiculous. Lady sings the blues, indeed. Not quite on par with Aretha or Billie Holiday, but not too far off. Certainly better than anyone else I’ve heard attempt songs like these in recent years.
If you take that to mean I enjoyed the record, you are correct. The songs “Save the Wine,” “A Good Man Is Hard To Find,” and “He’s Gone” are the highlights of the record for me. The vocals are out of this world, and guitarist/songwriter Charlie Wayne really shines on “Good Man.”
The horn section is lights out from top to bottom, as a good soul band should be. I’m sure that in a live setting they all get to show their stuff a but more than they do here, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing them perform.
This release doesn’t drop for a couple weeks, so consider yourself warned. You will be asked to pay money for this EP, and you should hand it over gladly.
So I hope I can rely on you, dear readers, to rock the vote. To do so, just click this link: Rock ‘n’ Vote 2011
Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause.