Our first full length compilation. Mixed by DJ Filthy Rich
Hipbone Records UK! Full length compilation II for our UK debut!
Alexis P Suter' full length debut. Filled with Blues, Soul and Roots.
Running a holiday sale or weekly special? Definitely promote it here to get customers excited about getting a sweet deal.
Sophomore release for Alexis and her band.
Third full length for APSB on Hipbone Records.
Alexis P. Suter Band – Be Love | Album Review
BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE
AUGUST 10, 2019 BY MARTY GUNTHER
Possessing one of the deepest female voices in the recording industry, Alexis P. Suter is a powerhouse whose musical journey mixes blues, gospel, R&B and rock, delivering large doses of positivity in the process. This one takes a little darker turn, however, as some of the subject matter reflects problems of modern times.
A Brooklyn native who grew up in the church, she rose to prominence at the late Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble concerts in Woodstock, N.Y. Won over by her distinctive baritone/bass pipes and endearing nature, Helm invited her to serve as his opening act, a task Alexis performed more than 100 times.
A multiple Blues Music Awards and Blues Blast Music Awards nominee, Suter made her recording debut in 2005 with Shuga Fix. This is the ninth release in her catalog, including Live From Briggs Farm Blues Festival, a gospel performance that was released under the name AMOS – and acronym for Alexis’ Ministers Of Sound.
Her core band here consists of co-producers Michael Louis (guitars), Ray Grappone (percussion) and Vicki Bell (backing vocals). They’re augmented by Brandon Morrison on bass, Will Bryant and Daniel A. Weiss on keys, Lee Falco on percussion and Steve Jankowski and Doug DeHays on horns. Alexis’ 96-year-old mom, Mother Carrie Suter, delivers the vocals on the final cut.
With the exception of two covers, all of the material here was penned by the Suter band in differing configurations. “Empty Promises” — a dynamic urban shuffle that takes you to church, too — finds Alexis laying with her head on a pillow and staring at the wall, unwilling to deal with any more pain as she reflects on a relationship that she now realizes was devoid of romance. But the pain passes quickly. “Lips, Hips And Fingertips,” an R&B ballad, finds Suter ready, willing and able for love once again.
The pace quicks dramatically for “Little Back Rider,” another song of desire featuring Louis on slide, before the unhurried blues, “I Don’t See You Anymore,” offers up the sweet complaint that the singer and her man have to slow down in a life moving way too fast. The band gets funky for “Sway,” which will get you dancing, then slows down in a heartbeat for “Dog Eat Dog World,” which gives Alexis to stretch her pipes as she pleads for phone calls and words of kindness.The title tune, “Be Love,” is up next, exploding out of the box, a powerful urban blues that urges for compassion in a world of chaos with Alexis stating firmly that her arms will always be open and that she’ll never turn her back. The soulful ballad “(You Make It) So Hard” turns down the heat and slows the tempo as it continues the message forward in the midst of a distressed relationship. Suter dips into Odetta’s catalog for “Hit Or Miss,” reinterpreting it atop a funk arrangement before the pain returns for the straight-ahead “Sick And Tired Blues,” which is chockful of familiar imagery and flows directly into the ballad “Go,” which attempts to send a lover who’s become icy on his way. The final number, “I Just Got Off That Devil’s Train,” brightens the mood. A gospel number that was a personal favorite of disgraced evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, it’s sung by Mother Carrie with a jazzy ‘40s and ends the disc on a positive note.
Thoroughly interesting throughout, Be Love is especially appealing for folks with contemporary tastes. Alexis Suter has a distinctive voice for the ages. If you haven’t heard her yet, check this out. It’s available through most major retailers.
BLUES ROCK REVIEW By Steven Ovadia
April 4, 2019
There’s nothing subtle about Alexis P. Suter. On Be Love, she uses her powerful voice to own every track. She’s backed by a talented band, but Suter’s vocal talents are impossible to ignore.
Suter has a strong, deep voice. It resonates. You almost feel it in your chest before you hear it in your ears. She’s also not afraid to use that vocal strength. There’s a lot going on behind her instrumentally, but she always manages to stand out without having to resort to devious front- person tricks, like lowering the band in the mix. Nope, Suter seemingly invites her band to try and bring her down and then successfully fights everyone off. To get a sense of Suter’s power, all one has to do is listen to “Lips, Hips and Fingertips,” a 50s-inspired number that starts at a 10, energy-level wise, never really building. But unlike a lot of less talented singers who start out songs at a fever pitch, rather than letting things unfurl organically, Suter’s immediate intensity sounds more like something she can’t help. It’s who she is. And it works for the song, which features horns, gorgeous guitar riffs, and celestial background vocals. The production is dense, but instead of feeling overwhelming, it just feels cozy.
Suter explores a number of musical styles on the album. “Little Black Rider” is an acoustic blues shuffle and “I Don’t See You Anymore” is soul. The album isn’t about genre so much as it’s about performance. Suter spent a lot of time opening for the Band’s Levon Helm and it’s easy to understand why the two artists were drawn to each other. They both share voices that can’t be contained and that will always take over a song. And they both share a love for the song that isn’t about sticking to a certain style, but rather to performing (and writing) in whatever style you’re taken. It makes Be Love pass quickly, since there are so many different kinds of songs.
The album ends with a “I Just Got Off that Devil’s Train,” a Wally Fowler gospel song performed more like a jazz blues, with piano, acoustic guitar, and vocals from Carrie Suter, Alexis’ 96-year- old mother. It’s a sweet track and indicative of the energy of the album, which is familial. The album is produced by Suter, Bell, Michael Louis (who also handled the beautiful guitar work on the album, as well as some of the bass) and Ray Grappone (drummer/percussionist). That Brooklyn-based quartet, working in various permutations, also wrote most of the songs on the album. Be Love feels like a family affair and while Suter’s vocal power cannot be ignored, her performances are enhanced by a-just-as-talented band.
The Review: 9.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Lips, Hips, and Fingertips – I Don’t See You Anymore – Hit or Miss
– Empty Promises
– Be Love
The Big Hit
– Be Love
LIVING BLUES MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2019
By Jon Kleinman
ALEXIS P. SUTER BAND Be Love
The Alexis P. Suter Band doesn’t like to do anything small. Whether digging into a soul- searching ballad or churning out high-octane blues rock, this Brooklyn-based band’s music always has an outsized feel. Suter’s deep, smoky voice and larger-than-life presence mesh beautifully with the band’s melodic, airplay friendly musicianship. Having earned praise from late legends Levon Helm and B.B. King, the band showcases their polished, genre-hopping style on Be Love.
Suter’s irrepressible energy and the band’s well-honed chemistry can make even a tale
of love gone wrong sound upbeat. On Empty Promises, Suter brims with self-assurance as she calls out an unfaithful lover while Michael Louis’ expressive slide guitar keeps the energy level high. Suter’s vocal chops get a workout on the glorious soul ballad Lips, Hips and Fingertips. Horn players Steve Jankowski and Doug DeHays add some old-school Memphis grit to the arrangement, and Suter’s performance overflows with joy and eroticism. When the Alexis P. Suter Band dials up the tempo and gets into a groove, it may be hard for listeners to sit still. On Sway, the band dishes out a mashup of Hill Country blues and rock ’n’ roll energy that recalls the North Mississippi Allstars. Ray Grappone’s work on drums and percussion create an irresistible backbeat while Louis shines on slide guitar. Hit or Miss is another track that’s sure to get butts out of chairs. Will Bryant’s keyboards bring the funk while Grappone and bassist Brandon Morrison lock into an airtight groove.
Much of the Alexis P. Suter Band’s music blends a variety of roots music styles. However, when they take a foray into no-nonsense, 12-bar blues they more than hold their own. On Sick and Tired Blues, Suter’s voice takes on a sandpaper growl that would have made Koko Taylor proud. Louis’ snarling guitar fills add a touch of juke joint atmosphere. The blues is just one ingredient in the Alexis P. Suter Band’s musical stew, but their passion and chemistry will make blues fans smile.
By Phillip Smith; April 19, 2019
Be Love, the latest album from Alexis P. Suter Band is one hot record. Suter, who carved out her career in New York, opening for The Levon Helm Band and B.B. King, knocks another recording out of the park with her powerful and soulful voice. Her band consists of Michael Louis (guitar,vocals,bass), Vicki Bell (vocals), and Ray Grappone (drums).
Suter pines for her loved one as she pours a smooth layer of deep Sixties soul on ballad “Lips Hips and Fingertips”. The song has a warm nostalgic essence about it. A revving rhythm topped with some bodacious slide guitar brings some fast-paced blues to ”Little Back Rider”.
It really hits the spot. I love the hip-swinging blues of “Sway”. This funk-filled line dance number is an absolute favorite. I love the slow groove and cosmic atmosphere of “Dog Eat Dog”. There’s a definite George Clinton/Eddie Hazel influence on the front end. When it come to the title track, “Be Love”, there’s a lot of energy flowing through. This is a sure-fire blues- rocker that begs to be heard loud. Filled with horns, keys, and searing guitar, the song jams indeed.
Be Love, from the Alexis P Suter Band is a hit in my book.
Elmore Magazine By Jim Hynes
Alexis P. Suter Band Be Love
In one sense this release signals a retreat, but anyone familiar with Alexis P. Suter and her bandmates knows that “surrender” is not in their vocabulary. So, yes “retreat, no surrender.” When Alexis P. Suter and her force-of-nature baritone voice takes the stage, there is no stopping her. The songwriting has always been a communal thing between Bell, Grappone and Suter. Now add guitarist and co-producer Michael Louis to the mix and the results are bound to be just a little different. With their seventh album, they’re more than entitled to try some new things.
Blues fans and festival goers should be familiar with Alexis P. Suter by now. The rocking, enormous power of Suter and her band is on full display with this release, one that captures the power of their live performances. The Brooklyn/Jersey based Alexis P. Suter Band that got their start at Levon Helm’s Midnight Rambles, where they appeared 99 times. Alexis has since been twice nominated for Blues Music Awards in the Koko Taylor Vocalist of the Year and as Soul/Blues Vocalist.
With ten originals and two well-chosen covers, Be Love touches on betrayal, self-doubt, and introspection. The underlying message could be “stand up and be strong.” There’s not much gospel here and not as much blues rock compared to previous efforts but plenty of soul-blues. In fact, guitarist Louis channels his inner Steve Cropper a few times. The opener “Empty Promises” burst forth with as much energy as any track and is probably the closest to the sound from the two previous albums. Then the new fun starts. The playful “Lips, Hips and Fingertips,” a ’50s-inspired number that keeps an unrelenting groove which features horns, gorgeous guitar riffs, and soulful background vocals. “Little Black Rider” is an acoustic blues shuffle, a new approach for Suter, and “I Don’t See You Anymore” is soul. They completely transform Odetta’s “Hit or Miss” into a funk workout, proving they can do that, too.
The album ends with a “I Just Got Off that Devil’s Train,” a Wally Fowler gospel song performed more like a throwback old jazz tune from Carrie Suter, Alexis’ 96-year-old mother. It’s so vintage that it doesn’t really fit the rest of the material, but given that it’s Alexis’s mom, the inclusiveness gesture works.
Alexis P. Suter continues to bring powerful blues and soul, with just a touch of gospel. New guitarist Michael Louis has plenty of talent and it’s interesting to hear some experimentation. My bet is, though, that the next one will be more focused in the soul-blues mode, drawing on ’50s R&B and early Stax. Those are the ones that worked best here.
MAKING A SCENE By Richard Ludmerer May, 2019
Alexis P Suter Band Be Love
Alexis P Suter’s roots are in the church and she possesses a powerful bass/baritone voice. B.B. King once remarked “It’s a rare thing to share the stage with great talent like that young lady”. Suter also wound up opening for Levon Helm over 90 times.
Suter’s debut album was 2005’s “Shuga Fix” on Hipbone Records. Her follow-up recordings included 2008’s “Just Another Fool”; and 2011’s “Two Sides” produced by Vicki Bell and Ray Grappone. The latter resulted in Suter’s first Blues Music Award nomination as 2012’s “Soul Blues Female Artist of The Year”. Suter was signed to American Showplace Music and released two more albums; 2014’s “Love The Way You Roll” and 2016’s “”All For Loving You” each receiving another BMA nomination.
“Be Love” is Suter’s seventh recording overall. The album is co-produced by Suter with her band including backup vocalist Bell; drummer/percussionist Grappone; and guitarist/bassist Louis. The producers are also the songwriters having written ten of the twelve songs.
The opener “Empty Promises” is the first of four songs co-written by Bell, Suter, and Louis; the lyric suggesting disappointment “things will never be the same ...you’re full of nothing but empty promises”. The opposite emotion is expressed on the playful “Lips, Hips and Fingertips”, “now you’re home laying next to me, I’m laying here baby in sweet ecstasy”. Relationships are further explored on “I Don’t See You Anymore” and on the title track “stop trying to be what you think people want to see ...just Be Love”.
Suter states “the number seven is a great number, a blessed and lucky number! At this time in my life I’ve gotten to experience a lot especially growing up in Brooklyn. This album represents growing pains, gains and pains...sharing this music with the world lets me know I’m not alone when people can relate to that, it starts a healing process, a therapeutic relationship with my fans. People know when you’re real they can feel that”.
Grappone joins the songwriting team on both “Sway” with its New Orleans’ second line beat and “Sick and Tired Blues”. Guitarist Louis also contributes “Little Back Rider” and “Dog Eat Dog World”. Bell also contributes two more songs “So Hard” pleading that “you make it so hard to love you”; and “Go” about how the road to happiness is sometimes found only by “letting go”.
Nobody knows Suter better than her musical family, except for mom, and these songs are written especially for her. Suter and the band cover Odetta’s “Hit or Miss”; and the gospel tune “I Just Got Off That Devil’s Train” sung as a duet with her 96 year old mom Carrie.
This is a total band effort as the recording captures Suter at her very best. -Richard Ludmerer
TE Mattox - TRAVELING BOY
The Alexis P. Suter Band has just hit the streets with their seventh album entitled, ‘Be Love’ on Hipbone Records. From the outset you realize this project was a communal labor of love. Loaded with original music and a few well-chosen covers, ‘Be Love’takes the listener on a journey through betrayal, self-doubt, reflection and ‘Empty Promises.’ But nestled deep within those 12 tracks you’ll find there’s an underlying resolve to speak out, to be yourself, and if all else fails, recognize when it’s time to cut your losses and simply walk away.
If you’ve followed Suter’s career, you already know her roots are in the church and that she and her band mates were regulars on Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble. As a festival favorite the Suter Band has shared the stage with Bo Diddley, Dickey Betts, B.B. King, Coco Montoya, Etta James, Buddy Guy, and Allen Toussaint. Credentials earned in the last 15 years and enhanced by a prolific and steadily growing catalogue of discography.
When asked about her 7th release and how ‘Be Love’ came to be, Alexis says. “The number 7 is a great number, a blessed number and a lucky number! At this time in my life I’ve gotten to experience a lot especially growing up in Brooklyn. This album represents growing pains, gains and pains...” She adds. “Sharing this music with the world lets me know I’m not alone and when people can relate to that, it starts a healing process a therapeutic relationship with my fans. People know when you’re real they can feel that. #7 is really a true testament of my/our walk in life thus far, and like they say... It ain’t over til the phat lady sings and even then, more stories are created.”[Alexis Suter and guitarist Michael Louis]
Guitarist Michael Louis and Alexis Suter rippin’ it! Photo: Celine Sicotte
Alexis’ distinctive voice resonates throughout this album and you hear the bands playfulness on tracks like ‘Lips, Hips and Fingertips’ and ‘Little Back Rider.’ But there’s renewed urgency in the woman’s growl-like plea when she sings ‘you make it so hard to love you.’ With emotions laid bare, you sense the pain on ballads like ‘So Hard’ and ‘I Don’t See You Anymore.’ Life ain’t easy but understanding that and accepting it... two totally different things. Vicki Bell’s
track ‘Go’ reminds us that sometimes the road to fulfillment and happiness can only be found by calling it quits.
The angelic ‘Dog Eat Dog World’ is an education in how far a kind word and a little compassion can go in our day-to-day lives. Guitarist Michael Louis shared a little about the making of the album. “It was great to see the project go from the demo stage, to recording stage, to mixing and finally becoming a finished production.’ He said. “We definitely had fun, but it’s a ton of hard work and like a race, you have to cross the finish line... and we did! Everyone involved should be proud. I think it’s an excellent piece of work.”
The album’s title track is a brass-infused rocker that lays it out, there are no guarantee’s in life, only love is real... so ‘Be Love!’ ‘Sway’ has a 2nd line rhythm that forces you to get up on your feet, only to have the gnarly ‘Sick and Tired Blues’ knock you right back off them.
When asked about the Odetta cover ‘Hit or Miss’ Louis says, “it was the first thing I pitched to band mates Vicki Bell and Ray Grappone when we first got together to discuss new material and songwriting. I knew that jam as an ‘underground’ funk classic and I thought it fit Alexis’ message and style to a tee, ‘Love conquers all and be yourself.’”[drummer Ray Grappone, Alexis Suter and Vicki Bell performing]
Drummer Ray Grappone and Alexis and Vicki Bell in harmony. Photo: Celine Sicotte
Another nugget of goodness comes at the end of the album when Alexis’96-year old mother, Carrie performs on (I Just Got Off That) Devil’s Train. Louis says, “Alexis had sent me an Iphone recording of her mom singing (what you hear) and Alexis is backing her up. A capella; no
music. Alexis has got great pitch and we know where she gets it from. I found a few recordings of the song... it was definitely Jimmy Swaggart’s jam. Figured out the chords, wrote a chart & played guitar, bass and percussion (banging on my resonator guitar).”
The entire album was self-produced by the band and the extraordinary lineup includes Alexis P. Suter on lead vocals and singer/songwriter Vicki Bell backing her up. Ray Grappone plays drums, percussion and sings background vocals while Michael Louis plays all guitars and the bass on select tracks.
Additional Musicians include bassist Brandon Morrison, who also mixed the project. Will Bryant on keyboards and Lee Falco doubled up on the drums and percussion with Ray Grappone. Daniel A. Weiss performs on piano for the special final track (I Just Got Off That) Devil’s
Train with Alexis’s mother, Carrie Suter.
Bottomline: ‘Be Love’ is life as we know it, the ups, the downs, the pleasures and the heartaches. And much like this album, it’s a wild ride...enjoy every minute of it. https://travelingboy.com/travel/alexis-p-suter-band-be-love/