Sandy Carroll | Delta Techno

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Delta Techno

by Sandy Carroll

Imagine if Sade went to Al Green’s church with Bonnie Raitt, then the two headed over to Raifords near Beale Street that night to hang out with Little Feat.
Genre: Blues: Mellow Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Back In Business
3:58 $0.99
2. Toolbox
4:09 $0.99
3. Used To Be
4:05 $0.99
4. Where Blue Begins
4:12 $0.99
5. Bound For Glory
3:47 $0.99
6. Woman In Me
4:37 $0.99
7. No Looking Back
5:00 $0.99
8. Bottom Of The Blues
3:49 $0.99
9. Nothin' Hurts Like A Heart
5:15 $0.99
10. Smooth Blues
4:42 $0.99
11. Never Be Free
3:34 $0.99
12. Make Up Your Mind
4:53 $0.99
13. King Of The Mountain
3:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ringo Records is proud to present DELTA TECHNO, the label’s debut of blues woman SANDY CARROLL and her first collaboration with her Grammy Award winning husband and producer JIM GAINES. When the multi-talented pair decided to make this record, the plan was to do something different. Instead, they are introducing audiences to a truly original new musical style '" Delta Techno. Imagine if Sade went to Al Green’s church with Bonnie Raitt, then the two headed over to Raifords near Beale Street that night to hang out with Little Feat. Those who “get it” will love it, and those who don’t will love it too.

Songwriter and piano player Sandy Carroll has had tunes covered by legends (Luther Allison, Albert King, Jim Dickinson) '" and Jim Gaines has worked with a few himself (Santana, John Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins). Together they are lethal. The press is sure to welcome not only the marriage of musical genius, but Jim’s first ever songwriting and musician credits (drums, bass).

Sandy started playing professionally at age 15 and continued working steadily in clubs during her undergraduate and graduate collegiate years. Turning full-time professional, she was on the road for four years where, she says, she earned “her doctorate in street music.”

In 1984, she recorded and released:”If You Got It” and “Memphis in May” produced by Jim Dickinson. She left Memphis for San Francisco to write and record for three years and then moved to Missouri to write music for an animated movie for kids, all the
while performing at regional clubs, state fairs and festivals. She also released a single “You Are Not Forgotten” to call attention to missing POW’s.

In 1989 Albert King recorded “If You Got It” and in 1990 Sandy
returned to Memphis where she released her first CD “Southern Woman.” With this recording Sandy was invited to tour the United Kingdom both as a solo performer and with an English band for over a month. One interesting gig was writing “Mad Dog Boogie”, a football theme song used for the Memphis Mad Dog team.

During 1997, the great Luther Allison recorded “Just As I Am” and “It’s A Blues Thing” on his last album, Reckless, which was nominated for a Grammy. Also during 1997, Sandy recorded and released “Memphis Rain.”

Starting the new millenium, Sandy again appeared at concerts, clubs and festivals. Artists recording her songs included Don McMinn, Anna Popovich (from Yugoslovia), Ellis Hooks, Barbara Blue and Reba Russell.

She released “Just As I Am” - on a compilation CD entitled “Goin’ Down South.” She also duets on a McCarty-Hite CD & contributed piano to other just released records by Memphis arists.

Sandy enjoys doing both solo and band gigs. “The intimacy of a solo show is a quiet nurturing and the groove of a band is the rockin’ feast. The studio is where the ingredients mix together...”



to write a review

Norman Darwen

A truly contemporary album in outlook, approach and sound.
Delta Techno

I did not recognise Sandy’s name but perhaps I should have. I recognised the name of her husband Jim Gaines, producer/ engineer for the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Luther Allison and many others (including this set). More importantly perhaps though, this is no case of her trading on her husband’s reputation. Sandy herself has written fine material for Luther, Albert King and others, and she is a fine pianist and a very distinctive vocalist, as this, her debut set for the Memphis based Ringo label shows extremely well.

Guitarists James Solberg and Rocky Athas both guest here (and they are also co-composers - the former with one number, the latter three), but this is no traditional blues – or even blues-rock set – despite the attractive Duane Allman influenced slide playing of Sandy’s own guitarist Evan Leake. The nearest to a traditional blues comes with the closing track ‘King Of The Mountain’, dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, and although there are indeed elements of funk, jazz, rock, pop, and the seventies singer-songwriter style in evidence, this is a truly contemporary album in outlook, approach and sound. The rhythm section in particular has a very ‘now’ feel, and to be honest, I can see several modern blues acts plundering material from this set. Get in first and hear these songs as the original composer intended them – and you may find that Sandy Carroll is a very fine artiste in her own right. Norman Darwen

Billy Hutchinson

Nicely done and ear friendly.
Ringo Records 13 tracks, 55:52 mins.

This is first time husband & wife Jim Gaines & Sandy Carroll have collaborated together. Jim one of Blues music’s foremost producer/engineers, while Sandy’s name is better known on the credits of songs recorded by Luther Allison, Albert King & Jim Dickinson. First off the title is an anomaly as what we have I would classify (pigeon-hole if you like) as a white R&B singer covering material that mixes & matches several genres as the album unfolds with a bit of Folk/singer-songwriter stuff slipped in. The opening track has loads to offer with what sounds like Indian tabla along with popish organ adding countrified slide courtesy of ex-Luther Allison alumni James Solberg; with a lazy swaying overall feel. We get a dose of blues via a female’s double entendre, that although not as solid as the opener has some catchy lines. There is a retro feel running throughout this CD that is very 70’s chart orientated in which the only techno traces are the piano/organ lines that sometimes point to more pop-like Vangelis etc than the very Germanic techno players. The rasping sax and Santana-esque beat to “Where Blue Begins” (“Smooth Blues” also) is more bluesy than blues, with B3 imitating an accordion on the gospel fuelled “Bound For Glory” that swings Southern styled. Tim Hinkley’s Spanish guitar bristles over the locked down organ keys in the aching balladry of - “Woman In Me”. A faux reggae back beat with guest Rocky Athas on guitar who adds the only blues element to “No Looking Back”. A lot of what Sandy singing is a bit too melodic to class this as a blues release even when the instrumentation clearly is – think white female 70’s R&B goes chart. Sandy is in the same bag as many female strong accent R&B singers that can mix up their repertoire, though her voice is similar to Mary-Ann Brandon with similarly fine material to work with. Nicely done and ear friendly for those with a more commercial hankering.
Billy Hutchinson

Kyle M. Palarino

Many contrasting sounds that work well
A BluesWax Reprint

This review originally ran in
BluesWax on March 20, 2006

Sandy Carroll
Delta Techno

The Delta Summer Breeze

The title of this album alone enticed me. The terms "Delta" and "techno" evoke such opposite images. The first being the Mississippi or Arkansas Delta regions along with the farm work that goes on, and the latter being of the young ravers heading out late into the night to dance in a trance. For the sake of why we are here, this album leans more towards the farming communities.

Delta Techno brings Sandy Carroll and her husband Jim Gaines together for the first time on an album. Sandy is an excellent songwriter who has had some incredible musicians record her songs...Albert King, Luther Allison, Ana Popovic, and Don McMinn. All but one song here is written by Carroll with some amazing co-writers, Jim Dickinson, James Solberg, Rocky Athas, William Lee Ellis, and, of course, Mr. Gaines. Jim has produced Grammy-winning or nominated albums by legends Albert Collins, Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Lee Hooker, and many more. He is one of the most sought-after producers in the Blues. This is no Blues Rock affair that Jim normally brings out, but this is a Sandy Carroll album so that even James Solberg's guest appearance is very subtle.

As opposite as the two terms are, this album has many contrasting sounds that work well. Sandy can craft songs into the feeling she wants. The feeling overall is a laid-back lazy summer afternoon in the southern heat sippin' on a lemonade, spiked if you like at times. "Toolbox" has some great old-fashioned innuendo; the writing reminds me of the Bo Carter days. The lazy feel continues on "Used to Be" with nice, smooth vocals encouraging the sun to sink into your skin. The background vocals of "Bound for Glory" make you want to get up and sing along with them. The song just has a revitalizing sound with tasteful guitar provided by veteran Evan Leake. On "Nothin' Hurts like a Heart" Carroll's vocals are strong and sincere. Evan Leake and Rocky Athas should be commended on their guitar work throughout this album. Some of the tones that they create fit perfectly with Sandy's voice and the mood being set. These guys all work together very well.

The last song is dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King, and is co-written by William Lee Ellis. The song, "King of the Mountain," is not a sad, melancholy tribute, but a positive, strong dedication to a great man's life work.

Sandy sliced the watermelon ripe off the vine and put that sweet taste on this piece of disc (well, vinyl is outdated according to some). The band puts a lot of feel onto this album and it comes across perfectly. The whole production from writing to musicians to packaging is done as they should be. Sandy has done a wonderful job on this release. The teaming with Jim worked well. The chemistry was right on and it all made for a feel good n' blue album.

Kyle M. Palarino is a contributing editor at BluesWax