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Beale Street to the Bayou

Wainwrights album bigger than Dallas’

Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots; Beale Street to the Bayou; Wildroots Records

Victor Wainwright is a big man with a great big voice. A product of Savannah, Ga., this is his first LP. The Wildroots are a piano, drums and guitar quartet. Notable influence comes from bassist Stephen “Cat Daddy” Dees who wrote or collaborated on most of the album's 13 original tracks, along with being the producer, arranger and engineer. The title says what's going down. You're about to hear an American musical odyssey from Memphis to New Orleans. Wainwright recalls several strong voices including Mac Rebennack, Don Van Vliet and Leon Russell. The tunes are rich and tasty as a good thick gumbo. They all have distinguishing characteristics that make this a fascinating trip. There are gentle numbers such as Not Afraid and rockers like Mighty Man, Guest appearances by 11 other musicians add saxophone, congas, dobro, blues harp, cello, trumpet, trombone and fine female back-up vocals. Overall the effect is one bigger than Dallas.

Doug Hill, pop reviewer
The Norman Transcript

Victor Wainwright & The WildRoots “Beale Street To The Bayou”. Wild Roots / BlindRaccoon 2009.
Faultless piano player and singer who surprises us with a good conceived album and a risky convincing and daring proposal. Victor is a piano player who easily combines boogie and blues with rock roots and some drops of swing, rhythm and blues, funky and groovy soul, that reinforce and complete final result. The four band musicians have wide varied influences, from Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard or Ray Charles to Muddy Waters, B.B. King, James Brown or Otis Redding. Lyrics are cool and interesting, with deep thoughts about social injustices to the painful feelings of losing a true love. You will find Victor Wainwright on vocals, piano, organ and harmonica, Stephen Dees on bass, electric and acoustic guitars, vocals and percussion, Greg Gumpel on main guitar, mandolin and bass and finally Brian Kelly on drums and percussion. An excellent album I eagerly recommend to all fans of the good roots music you will find if you travel from Memphis to the bayous. GREAT.

96.6 Barcelona FM (Spain) 


The twentysomething (!) boogie-woogie piano man from Memphis by way of Savannah, GA, Victor Wainwright, wields a mighty left hand and a robust vocal delivery that brims with the very spirit of the blues.  He and his devastating band, the WildRoots, have just released "Beale Street To The Bayou," fourteen cuts of slammin', piano-heavy blues that indeed takes us on a musical journey from the Delta on down ta N'Awlins, with a few stops in Funkville along the way. 

The WildRoots are a vital part to Victor's overall sound.  Bassist Stephen Dees has played with Hall and Oates and Pat Travers,  among others.  Drummer Brian Kelly knew Dees from way back, and guitarist Greg Gumpel, himself a friend of Victor's, fit right in the ensemble.  With everyone familiar with the other's styles, it makes for an interesting mix and a rockin' good time overall!

The whole shootin' match kicks off with the swagger of "Mighty Man," with Victor extolling his prowess as a lover.  A plea for peace and unity inspired by Marvin Gaye and "What's Goin' On" is the funky "Planet Earth," with a sweet backing chorus.  Speaking of the funk, the "WildRoot Jam" is a foot-stomping, horn-heavy tribute to James Brown.  and, we learn fast what it's like to be a bluesman in "School Of Hard knocks."  Victor takes a soulful, somber turn with two related songs, "Sold Down River" and "Long Way To Go," which recall the dark days of slavery in American history.  Today's economic plight is the subject of "Blues Grass, a blues-and-bluegrass hybrid featuring sweet harp from Mark Hodgson.

We had two favorites, too, which close the set.  There simply ain't nothin better than a good cover of Brother Ray's "What'd I Say," and Victor's is right on the money.  And, the title cut is the true tale of a rockin' road trip down Highway 61 from Memphis to New Orleans to "make some noise in Dixieland!"

Victor Wainwright And The WildRoots'  "Beale Street To The Bayou" has everything you'd want in a good blues CD--great songwriting, passionate playing, and that certain joie de vivre that lets you know you're in for a great listening experience!  This is truly one to----ENJOY!!!    Until next time....

Sheryl and Don Crow
Nashville Blues Society


"Beale Street to the Bayou" is a fitting title for the debut release from this band. This is one of those pieces I felt a love for from the opening note, one of those things I put on when I have a need to regroup and relax. A smooth melding of jazz, blues and r&b, this recording has the feel of something that has been around forever. Extremely diverse with great songwriting, exceptional arrangements, flawless playing and vocals soulful enough to make Otis Redding sit up and take notice, Beale Street to the Bayou has something that is sure to get your attention, no matter what your taste. This one slides seamlessly from soul and r&b to hard driving numbers that are sure to get your feet moving and slow-burning soulful ballads. If I had to choose a single word to describe this disc, it would be "timeless." The big question is "Where do they go from here?" I can honestly say they've got Beale Street to the Bayou well covered. This disc is a virtual melting pot of styles and textures that cover the full range. The recording is a party in full swing... just add friends.
Bill Wilson - Billtown Blue Notes http://www.billtownblues.org/

"There's a tendency these days to forget that rock and roll music can be fun and doesn't have to be about "serious" matters. Us critics can be the worst for that with our penchant for doing in depth analysis of lyrics and looking for hidden meanings under every bass line and chord progression. I dread to think how much of that is us trying to make our subject sound more important then it really is to inflate our own importance. I mean we're not taking about high art here folks, we're talking about down and dirty rock and roll - stuff that smells of sweat, cigarette smoke, and whisky.

All we have to do is think back to the early days of the music and lyrics like "Be bop be lula", "Whole lotta shakin' going on", or "Tutti Frutti - all rutti" to remember it was fun and nonsense first and foremost. Of course that made it dangerous to the establishment because it encouraged abandonment and frivolous behaviour, although I'm sure most people's objections to it in the 1950s were the sexual innuendo inherent in its name. Anyway, it's always good to be reminded that rock and roll is fun and doesn't need any other justification for its existence than to ensure that we'll have a good time listening to it.

Victor Wainwright And The WildRoots' new release, Beale Street To The Bayou, is just such a creature, as the fourteen tracks on the disc capture that spirit of abandonment and fun quite unlike other recordings that I've heard in a while. Not only that, they don't just stick to playing one style of rock and roll either, for as the title suggests they've latched on to various inspirations for these songs. One song might have some gospel flavour, while another you can hear rock and roll's country roots shining through, and yet another smacks strongly of the Mississippi Delta. What's even better is that none of the songs sound like any of those influences were pre-meditated. If there's a gospel flavour to a tune its only because that's what worked with the lyrics, not because somebody said we should write a gospel tune.

What's great about this band is not only are they completely comfortable playing any of the styles above, but they do so without making any sort of big deal out of it. They play this music because they enjoy and love doing so and it's bloody obvious when you listen to them. While the core of the group is composed of only four members; Victor Wainwright (Vocals, keyboards, harmonica), Stephen Dees (Bass, acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, and percussion), Greg Gumpel (Lead guitar, mandolin, and banjo), and Brian Kelly on drums, they not only extend the line up to include a couple of saxophones and extra percussion on a couple of tracks, they haul in a whole bunch of special guests to fill out the sound on individual tracks with everything from trombones to cellos.

One of the great things musically about these guys is how they are able to sound loose in their playing while being really tight. It feels like at any minute the music could disintegrate into a mishmash of sound, but the reality is everything is played for a reason and every note is in the exact right place all the way through. Dees, who used to play extensively with Pat Travers, appears to be the musical director of the band as he's either written or had a hand in the writing of the fourteen original tunes on the disc. It's also his responsibility, along with drummer Kelly as the bass player on most tracks, to hold the band together no matter what song they are playing. His bass is not only the heart beating at the centre of each track, it's also the pulse the band adheres to that ensures they stay on track and never lose sight of what they're playing.

If Dees is the glue holding the band together, Victor Wainwright is the ball of energy that threatens to periodically send them off into orbit. As keyboardist and lead vocalist he's the voice of the band, and he loves to sink his teeth into anything he sings. He throws everything he's got into every song in terms of passion and enthusiasm. Now that doesn't mean he goes over the top, or sound like he's too much on a softer number, as he always manages to never cross the line into excess. He's also got one of those great rock and roll and voices that sound like its been soaked in whisky since birth and then hung out to dry in a smoke filled room every night. Rough as it is though he is surprisingly versatile and his range is much greater than you'd expect.

While it might sound like an odd thing to say, the fact that I hardly noticed guitar player Gumpel's contribution is probably one of the best compliments I can give him. That means his guitar playing is exemplary as far as I'm concerned as he never once puts himself above the needs of the song or the band. It doesn't mean he never takes a solo, or that his solos aren't really good, but he makes sure that it's never just about him, but about how he can serve the song with his leads. He also does some really wonderful banjo and mandolin work, something not all guitar players can handle. As for the fourth member of the band, drummer Brian Kelly, there's a real case of not noticing him because he's done his job so well. I mean let's be real, the only time most of us notice a drummer - unless he does one of those really boring drum solos I've learned to dread since the 1970s - is when they screw up. Kelly is back there on the drums for the whole disc keeping them steady and helping Dees hold it all together.

While The WildRoots are primarily a good time, boogie-woogie band who would sound right at home being the house band for a bordello - and I mean that as a compliment - they do have their surprises as well. The second song of the disc, "Planet Earth", is a beautiful gospel tinged number reminding us that we'd better take care of where we're living or we might just find ourselves homeless in the middle of the solar system. However, what really distinguishes these guys in my eyes from so much of what I've been listening to recently is they are having so much fun doing what they do that you can't help get caught up in it. For those of you who miss the days when rock and roll was about having a good time, or have never really known what's it like to simply enjoy music, this CD is a timely reminder of just how much fun there can be had listening to rock and roll." 

Article Author: Richard Marcus
Editor Epic India Magazine http://epicindia.com/magazine
Contributing Editor Blogcritics.org http://blogcritics.org
Leap In The Dark http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark
Richard Marcus is the author of the forthcoming book What Will Happen In Eragon IV? and has had his work published in print and on line all over the world. The not so long-haired Canadian iconoclast writes reviews and opines on the world as he sees …



Beale Street to the Bayou - Wild Root Records - Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots

Every now and then a new artist comes along that just seems to "get it." They understand the music and its traditions and they instinctively know how to interpret and perform the music with a freshness and a flair that breaks through all the clutter on the sonic landscape. In short, they score a musical Bull's Eye.
Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots are just such artists and their CD, "Beale Street to the Bayou" definitely hit the Bull's Eye.

Steeped in a variety of American Roots music, the CD explodes with exceptional songs and musicianship. The song "Rain" is a perfect example. As the saying goes, "It hurts so good."

Throughout the CD, Victor's vocals anchor the commanding performances of the Wildroots and it all sounds so beautiful that we just don't want it to end.

[BarrelHouseBlues.com "Sound Impressions" Bridgewater, MA]



WildRoots are Victor Wainwright; piano & vocals, Stephen Dees; bass (he also produces the album), Greg Gumpel; guitar, mandolin & banjo, Brian Kelly; drums & percussion. This album is a wonderful amalgamation of captivating and extremely invigorating Rock& Roll, Soulful Blues, sweetly gelling with Bluegrass and Country. A distinct aroma of Hill Country music can also be found in the mix, fusing with a hazy lazy New Orleans second line strut.

The  welcome addition of an acappella Gospel chorus on some of the fourteen numbers are  reminiscent of the fervour and belief found at a revivalist meeting or in the performances of a travelling medicine show.

Twelve of the numbers are original compositions with very fine covers of  “School of Hard Knocks” and the Ray Charles old favourite “What’d I Say.”  

Victors’ jaunty rockin’ piano leads from the front showing the way for some splendidly footappin’ mandolin and banjo playing, which is underpinned by thoughtful, unobtrusive and subtle guitarwork. The whole album exudes an atmosphere of rollicking honky tonk  and delightful bonhomie. 

Brian Harman
Blues in the South (UK print) http://www.bluesinthesouth.com/ 



Here’s another exciting new name from the USA, the Memphis-based, Savannah, Georgia-born, pianist and singer Victor Wainwright, together with The WildRoots – namely Stephen Dees (bass and guitars), Greg Gumpel (lead guitar) and Brian Kelly (drums) – together combining to make in “Beale Street To The Bayou” an enjoyable gumbo of blues and rock, with some funky, soulful grooves. 

Stephen Dees has a major input to this record. The former Pat Travers, Foghat and Todd Rundgren bass player, also produced, arranged and engineered the album, as well as penning the bulk of the 14 tracks here – also adding backing vocals and some guitar. 

However Victor Wainwright himself is a fine player and singer, as evident on the opening “Mighty Man”, a rollicking blues with some biting guitar from Greg Gumpel, whose muscular playing is all over the album. The WildRoots hit an irresistible funk groove on “Planet Earth”, with a definite Marvin Gaye feel to it, with nice additional vocal from Nisha Bevins. 

The pace is taken down for the acoustic blues of “Sold Down River”, a short piece with Josh Roberts on Dobro, leading into the excellent “Long Way To Go”, with Roberts excelling on electric slide guitar. The lovely “Blues In The Rain” is a standout, with heartfelt, intense vocal from Victor Wainwright and very soulful. 

The band get funky again on “What You Want”, a tale of lost love, with Memphis musician Chris Stephenson guesting and soloing on organ, and some fluid bass playing from Stephen Dees. “WildRoot Jam” dips into James Brown territory, with Wainwright’s own organ playing sizzling on this one as the band hit another great groove. 

The band rock out on “School Of Hard Knocks”, a co-write between Stephen Dees and former employer, Pat Travers, with incendiary guitar from Greg Gumpel. Wainwright’s fine voice is evident again on the pretty ballad “Not Afraid” – a tale of carrying on after a relationship has ended. 

Elsewhere the jazzy “Square” features a co-vocal with Patricia Ann Dees, and sax solo from another guest, Ray Guiser. Wainwright doffs his cap to the legendary Ray Charles on his timeless “What I’d Say”, with the album closing with the title cut – “Beale Street To The Bayou” - a rocking road song of the band’s journey down Highway 61 from Memphis to New Orleans for a gig. 

Another fine new name from the USA, and a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging album, well worth checking out – for those who like their blues mixed up. Look out for the name – Victor Wainwright And The WildRoots! 

GRAHAME RHODES - www.bluesinthenorthwest.com United Kingdom



The WildRoots are amazing! I am just listening to the new Victor Wainwright & The Wild Roots CD and I love it. Those guys are as tight as a good band can get and the way they mix different shades of blues is so tasty. Plus, Victor has strong pipes! His voice is bluesy as hell and memorable, very suitable for this kind of music. This album will find plenty of fans, I bet.

‘Voice of the Blues’ on Radio Sfera, Poland
DJ- Przemek Draheim
E-mail: draheim@blues.pl
phone: +48 609 97 35 2



WILDROOTS - VICTOR WAINWRIGHT & the Wild Roots/Beale Street to the Bayou:
It happens all the time.  An ambitious kid hooks up with Hall & Oates’ bass player and they become a roots act that likes to make roadhouse music that really tears it up.  Greasy, southern roots music that is sure to put weight on you, the music is original, as it the presentation and this is a mighty representation of where white boy blues is headed.  Since everyone on board is having a good time, it pretty easy to bet that vibe will just flow from the bytes to you.  Fun stuff that’s serious but doesn’t take itself seriously.
Volume 32/Number 339
October 5, 2009

Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher
Midwest Record
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
©2009 Midwest Record


"Beale Street to the Bayou" is the debut CD of the promising American blues Victor Wainwright and the Wild Roots. The quartet consists of Victor Wainwright (vocals, keyboards, harmonica), Stephen Dees (bass, guitars, vocals and percussion), Greg Gumpel (lead guitar, mandolin and banjo) and Brian Kelly on drums and make a funky mix of Memphis soul and rootsy rock'n'roll. This let them hear this fourteenth songs all written by Stephen Dees, some co-written by frontman Victor Wainwright.

The band consists of these four passionate musicians who each in turn have gained experience in both domestic and foreign bands. Besides singer / keyboardist Victor Wainwright is the contribution of Stephen Dees in the band is very large. The production of this record is held by the Dees, a more pop / rock history as bassist and vocalist including Hall and Oates, Todd Rundgren, Foghat and Pat Travers. In recent years he played in his own Bowie / Beatle-esque pop-rock band, the Bandees, which he formed in 1990. With their unique combination of rock'n'roll, Rhythm & blues, boogie-woogie piano and soul they have released an excellent CD entitled "Beale Street to the Bayou".That the band is influenced by men such as Elvis, Sun Records, Fats Domino, BB King, ... is best to hear. They are also the artists that Wainwright and Dees grew up. They are fairly free polished songs that make you think of the '50s. The roots of their music is also mostly in the r & b, rock 'n roll, soul and blues. It sounds nice and straightforward light, thus we think of songs like "Be Be Bop Lula," "Whole Lotta Shakin 'Going On" or "Tutti Frutti - all Rutti" music with a high level without hard rock'n'roll lyrics . Just dirty rock & roll - stuff with a sweat, cigarettes and whiskey odor. But the other hand sounds especially fresh and that has to do with the warm soulful voice of Victor Wainwright, who also frequently use the harmonica combined with tight guitar licks it ensures that you still hear strong blues influences.

Victor Wainwright has some musical colleagues are invited to play some songs. Thus we hear Patricia Ann Dees (vocals, saxophone, keys, harmonica, bass), Ray Guiser (saxophone, keys) and Alberto Cruz (congas, percussion). And how light and refreshed the songs may sound, the lyrics tell sometimes something else. The things of life with joy and sorrow close together. And of course you regularly hear the heartbreak pass. The jazzy, urban blues "Mighty Man", the opening number, the cards or table. The swings and the splashes, each musician is fully covered in this issue, which also applies to other numbers. An excellent introduction to the band so I would say. The guitar work of Greg Gumpel is quite sleek and unadorned, including Wainwright's baritone voice fits perfectly with their sound choice. Proportionate and where necessary, sensitive. This can be heard in the acoustic Delta blues "Sold Down River", the Allman Brothers tinted "Long Way to Go" and the acoustic guitar-folk ballad "Not Afraid". For further comparisons we hear echoes of Brook Benton and Otis Redding ballad in the "Blues in the Rain" and echoes of Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" in the soulful "Planet Earth". I mean to say that this CD well put together and the layout of the song choice was more than successful. The songs all sound tight, daring, exuberant and sometimes restrained, the instruments and vocals are aligned perfectly. "Beale Street to the Bayou" is a great rocking blues CD that the band makes this difficult to surpass. But given the qualities of the band will actually succeed in the future.

Victor Wainwright and the Wild Roots: Victor "Piana" Wainwright: Lead vocals, piano, organ, harmonica Stephen 'Cat Daddy' Dees: bass, guitar, vocals, percussion Greg "Six String" Gumpel: Guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals Brian " Machine Gunn "Kelly: Drums, percussion

c/o Wanted Productions
Generaal De Wittestraat 11
BE - 3545 Halen
Freddy Celis - rootstime@mail.com


[sorry some words unable to translate]

Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots are from Memphis, Tennessee. Victor Wainwright has a great throaty voice and a remarkable knack for good songwriting. Danaben he plays wonderfully piano, organ (Hammond, of course!) And harmonica. Victor Wainwright is only 28 years and yet he makes bereitrs many years of music, mainly boogie, blues and rock in his usual piano-dominated style. His musical partner, Stephen Dees plays bass and composes as skillfully as Wainwright. He has already worked with Hall and Oates, Todd Rundgren, and a few others. With his former band Novo Combo, he landed in the 1980s in the U.S. rock charts.  

For several years, Wainwright and Dees work together now and in that time they have developed a sound that is somewhere between Blues 'n' funk and rock 'n' Soul, and of course, is characterized by Wainwright's piano and organ playing. "Beale Street To The Bayou" is a compelling debut album in many ways, which is threatening to match mood and energy burst. Wonderful solos, good vocals and harmonious compositions, because everything just fits! Groove can not resist. The disc is fun, because there are roots music at its finest. "Beale Street To The Bayou" ... our recommendation is an absolute value.  

Welt Music Review – Germany - Oct 2009
The CD does not (yet?) Is not sold in Germany, but they can be ordered online. http://www.myspace.com/victorwainwrightandthewildroots



Rootsy music from Victor Wainwright - "Beale Street to the Bayou"

BlueNotes is happy to report that he's been listening to another CD from one of those fine little regional bands that comes along, sneaking their music under the radar, and probably not well-known here in BluesBurgh.

The band is Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots, out of Savannah, GA, and the CD is "Beale Street to the Bayou," a fine mix of rootsy rock, bluesy blues and a little bit of lots of other music -- some sensitive, some raucous, all lots of fun.

Most of the music is written by Wainwright and the band's guitarist and producer, Stephen Dees, formerly of Hall and Oates, Todd Rundgren, Foghat and others. The thrust of the music comes from Wainwright on keyboards, harp and vocals.

Together, and with a tight band that sounds pleasantly loose, plus some horns, they whip out a bunch of songs that range from almost soft pop ("Square") to tough acoustic blues ("Sold Down River"). "Blues in the Rain" is a nice slow, soulful cut featuring Victor and his piano.

Wainwright is referred to as a 20-something guy, but his vocals are filled with a smooth grit that belies his age. You can hear it all on the band's swinging cover of Ray Charles' classic "What’d I Say." It's the only cover here, and while it won't make you forget The Genius, it holds its own.

... a very good album full of tasty original music from some excellent musicians who clearly feel their Southern roots.

Jim White – Blue Notes
Contact: http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/bluenotes/contact.aspx


Although this is the debut album for the band it is in fact a second collaboration between the young and infectiously enthusiastic pianist/singer Victor Wainwright and bass player/producer Stephen Dees (who, during his career has played with Todd Rundgren, Pat Travers and Foghat).  For, at a chance meeting six years ago at a benefit concert at Ormond Beach, Florida, they were so impressed with each others performances, they agreed to work together at some point in the future; this resulted in the solo album from Victor, “Piana’ From Savannah”  in two thousand and five.

Now, they have formed a band to express their love and deep affection for the many musical forms that entwine together to create the ‘Memphis Sound,’ Victor is the charismatic front man while Stephen holds it all together with his solid Willie Dixon influenced bass lines and also captures the bands unique sound from the producers chair. Joining these two to create The WildRoots, are Greg Gumpel; guitar, mandolin and banjo with Brian Kelly on drums and percussion. Twelve of the fourteen numbers here are band originals, the two covers are; “What I’d Say,” by Ray Charles and “School of Hard Knocks,” by Stephen Dees and Pat Travers.

The most striking aspect of this album is that the conglomeration of styles and types literally meld and fuse together so well, also even more surprising is that none of them sound awkward or out of place. The overall symmetry of rock & roll, southern gospel, bluegrass and the hint of hill country music sits well with soulful blues. A touch of country is combined with the winding thread of New Orleans second line strut footappingly led by the rollickingly jaunty and energetic goodtime piano of victor.

A fine acappella chorus of backing voices indicates and adds a pleasing mixture of the travelling medicine show with the solemnity of a Sunday morning church gathering or a fervent revivalist meeting.

This album has a wonderfully goodtime atmosphere juxtaposing and rolling all the emotions!

Most certainly one for the collection!

By: Brian Harman
Bluesart Studio (online and Austria print)
http://www.bluesartstudio.com/ http://www.myspace.com/bluesartstudio



[sorry some words unable to translate]

The Savannah, Georgia from Victor Wainwright and bassist, composer, producer Stephen Dees six years ago, Ormond Beach, Florida, met with both a convert occurred. Both of them had a huge impact in the other game, and after it was revealed that he loves each one of the early-'50's and 60's years' R & B and rock 'n' roll - as BB King, Ray Charles, James Brown, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters and Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard - agreed on the possibility of working together. Dees undertook to become the producer and co-author of the 2005 Wainwright released her debut album vision Piana From Savannah disk. The album proved successful, so it was decided that the joint making music under the name Victor Wainwright And The WildRoots continue - this has resulted in the formation debut, Beale Street To The Bayou on CD.

The twenties involved a raspy singer Victor Wainwright, a dynamic artist, strong blues and roots rock music to create your own unique style of boogie piano.
Stephen Dees alongside other members of the WildRoots: the blues-rock guitarist and drummer Brian Kelly, Greg Gumpel, but also turned many guest musicians in the studio during the

The boys did not entrust the management of anything to chance, because the CD out of 800 copies have been circulated to U.S. and international radio stations, publicists for. Since the disk does not contain pure blues music, see it that way broaden the ideal choice.

Blues van


The album of Victor WAINWRIGHT and the Wild Roots "Beale Street to the Bayou" has reached us Ok, thanks...I'm listening it (second time). I love the various styles (Rock, old blues, Deep Blues), the liveliness ambiance, the homogeneity of the groupe. Excellent!

Serge WARIN, Radio Canal Bleu
OBJAT, France


"Victor contacted me about 7 years ago when he was just getting started in the music.  We discussed pianos and piano playing.  Well, I can see he has done his homework.  This is a powerful cd with loads of energy.  His piano playing is exciting and soulful, along with his strong vocals.  Victor is a blues star on the rise.  Be sure and pick up on his new CD." 

[Honey Piazza
, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers]



"Every once in a while I get to work on a project that has all the right ingredients, great songwriting, stellar performances and great sonic range. Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots new release "Beale Street to the Bayou" will take you on a "Blues" ride from the pumping soul beats of Memphis to the down home Blues of the deep south. I know you will enjoy listening to this CD as much as I enjoyed working on it."

[Bryan Bassett, FOGHAT Guitarist/Mix Engineer]


"This is a great collection from a band obviously steeped in the Memphis tradition. And I grew up right down the river, so I think I know what it's supposed to sound like."

[Tommy Malone/subdudes]



"Victor Wainwright of the WildRoots sings his songs with incisive soul. There is a yearning for escape and company we all recognize in our bedroom mirror."

[John Shelton Ivany - National News Bureau]



"Power, Structure, Melody, Attention to Detail, Performance, Honesty, Chops, Passion......Brilliant Production...........this new set by Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots is as good as anything out there.....

[Mark ‘muddyharp’ Hodgson [Fugitive Poet Music, Recording Artist]


[sorry some words unable to translate]
All of us who have directed their interest towards the blues was always glad when you listen to the album, which we oduševi as the first listen, even if it's inaugural album, and if the band you have not yet heard, with surprise and delight is the greater and more luxurious. Before you dear visitors Blues Corner is the inaugural album Beale Street to the Bayou at the very least an excellent band, Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots. This band is promoting their album Blind Raccoon, and was published in catering over WildRoots Records, 22 September this year.

Before us all is an album that brings us 14 great songs, of which thirteen of copyright and is one of their successful treatment of the famous and legendary
nžalost late Ray Charles, this is a song What'd I Say. But before you write your impressions about their treatment of this well-known songs, order that you present to the album Beale Street to the Bayou with these copyrighted songs deserved a high place on numerous charts around the world. Personally, I will definitely try this band and their album to introduce more people who love the blues and who love these musicians. These and other musicians really diligently and perform their uncompromising vision and perception of the blues. On this album shows that it is this perception more than an effect on the complete musical expression very well assembled people.

Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots come from Memphis, Tennessee, and it is no wonder that such a good band presents its music, which includes a number of musical influences that truly has all the soul, funkyja, R'n'R, r & b, jazzy elements and above all expressed feeling blues . Yes, the fact that the great Victorov keyboards and vocals in the foreground, but it is no wonder, given that Victor's heart and soul band. So here is get to know this good band, it consists of:

Victor 'Piana' Wainwright: vocals, piano, organ
Stephen 'Cat Daddy' Dees: bass, guitar, vocals, percussion
Greg "Six String" Gumpel: guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals
Brian "Machine Gunn" Kelly: drums, percussion

beside them there are also:
Patricia Ann Dees: vocals, saxophone, keyboards, harp, bass
Ray Guiser: saxophone, keyboards
Alberto Cruz: conga, percussion

All together, they really take a very good album, which will probably do very much in their affirmation of the world, on the one hand there are very effective compositions, which will surely win your strength, i
zražajnošću and balanced but extremely efektnimm arrangements. Band really sounds very strong, effective and breakdown whether the tracks quieter atmosphere, or it comes to rhythmic r & b. From the first song to the last things you just agree and the whole project gets put on weight and importance. If I start now to analyze the thing thing, who knows when I finished and I will only mention my favorites are in order: Mighty Man, Planet Earth, Sold Down River, Long Way To Go, What You Want, WildRoot Jam, School of Hard Knocks , Not Afraid, Square, Blues Grass, What'd I Say (particularly expressive and emotionally done this Rayjeva success OA) and Beale Street to the Bayou.

Back several years, and Victor and his band have developed their original musical style, which is located somewhere between the blues 'n' funk and rock 'n' soul and decorate it just his keyboard and extremely expressive vocals. In addition there is a strong joints and guitar, and there are truly distinctive song, which will win in the first listening.

Soundguardian -
Mladen Lončar - Mike, Ponedjeljak, 02 Studeni 2009


[translated from Belgium to English, some words unable to translate]

Victor Wainwright comes from Memphis and blues artist if you are you will of course visit Beale Street. The band called themselves The Wild Roots and behind it the driving force of bassist Stephen Dees for the "Beale Street to the Bayou" or not with Victor guarantees all tracks on this album, and in addition he also draws a producer. Victor Wainwright 'limited' itself to the keys and vocals, although we should not minimize because the voice of Victor is a "beauty" and an enrichment for the blues. Stephen Dees is a multi-instrumentalist and thus the jack of all trades in the band, an artist who ever it was working with Hall & Oates. The Wild Roots are further from Greg Gumpel (guitar & banjo) and Brian Kelly on drums. There is also the canning of the "Beale Street To The Bayou" invoked a veritable multitude of artists that only the quality but can benefit.

When the "Bayou" Beale Street to involve no more than this should give fireworks and this album is a perfect marriage between the two styles so the title could not be more apt. A beautiful example of this mix of styles is "Wild Root Jam", an energetic song with New Orleans funk intertwined in a dance number and size varied with piano solos and then a thrusting Horn section.

Even the definition of a square on 'Square' Wild Roots bring me ecstasy partly by the vocal contributions of Patricia Ann Dees, a jazzy and sensual song ... with a Victor who delivers excellent work on the black & white keys, backed by Stephen the bass and a masterful Ray Guiser on the saxophone, a combination which will push you automatically replay. Songs like "Sweet Louise" and the bluegrass song "Blues Grass" our desire to do more of this mix to listen.

A strong and varied album with a perfect marriage between the Bayou and Beale Street, but with acoustic blues as in "Sold Down River" with Josh Roberts on the "Dobro" and even echoes
uitswinger as "the hit from Brother Ray the speakers and "What I'd Say" Victor let his soul are feeling .... The title track 'Beale Street to the Bayou ", so that they keep to the very last song on this album and now we print without error replay.

Rootsville - Belgium


Victor Wainwright & The WildRoots blew us away Saturday night! Barrel-house piano that had folks rockin', soulful vocals that filled the room, a rhythm section that matched Victor note for note and infectious stage presence. Good! Really good! Our best "new" find for 2009. They'll be back.

Gary Anton, Bradfordville Blues Club, Tallahassee FL


"Beale Street to the Bayou" is Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots' debut album, although Wainwright did release his own CD back in 2005, aided and abetted by current bassist Stephen Dees. Along with Greg
Gumpel (guitars) and Brain Kelly (drums) they create a sound that is true to the album's title.

Things get off to an auspicious start with "Mighty Man" which opens in a jazzy style, before rocking along with Wainwright showing what a good voice he has. The band then get very funky on "Planet Earth" (think
Meters meet the Radiators) before taking things down home on "Sold Down River" and the excellent rolling blues of "Long Way To Go". They also get soulful on the ballad "Blues in the Rain".

The album's best moments come when the band get funky, such as "What You Want", and the excellent James Brown tribute "WildRoot Jam", although there are not really any bad moments. All the tracks are band originals too, with the exception of a straight retread of "What'd I Say".

"Beale Street to the Bayou" marks a very good start to the career of Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots. All the band play their part in contributing to a vibrant, entertaining album that comfortably straddles blues, funk, rock and jazz. It will be a hard act to follow.

Gordon Baxter - Blues in Britain

"Victor Wainwright puts me in mind of no one so much as Burger, from his singing style through his subject matter to his utilization of an esoteric mix of musicians. His music has some bite to it, but it is also smoothly satisfying, just like vintage Burger. Stephen Dees (Cat Daddy) produced and wrote most of the songs and played electric guitar, bass, and some percussion, while Wainwright plays piano, organ, harmonica, and lead vocals (and to stretch the simile, even has a guy playing trombone). Patricia Ann Dees adds some sweet sax and smoky vocal work. This is a fine example of the best of what can be heard around these parts: jazzy, bluesy, rollicking good fun. Yeah."

Nightflying Publications


Old roots - fresh point of view [translated from Russian to English]

Probably, only the musicians themselves can explain why on the cover of the album next to the team is only the name of Victor Wainwright. Yes, of course, he plays the keyboards and his voice - one of the most attractive moments in the album Beale Street To The Bayou. But the contribution of bassist and producer Stephen Dees in this project is also very significant - he wrote alone or co-authored, almost all the songs on an album, except for one cover songs - What'd I Say Ray Charles, and very subtly and effectively arranged them.

Both of them, Victor and Stephen, - the pillars of The WildRoots, whose history actually began with their meeting in Florida in 2003. A native of Memphis, Wainwright has always loved the blues and blues-rock, Dees had by this time considerable experience with various rock and roll and pop-rock teams. Their collaboration began with the fact that Dees produced and acted as a co-author of his debut album, Wainwright's  Piana' From Savannah (2005). And then Victor found  blues-rock guitarist Greg Gumpel, and Stephen, invited his former colleague, drummer Brian Kelly, a great admirer of jazz and New Age. Thus was born the ensemble The WildRoots and began work on the album, which we are privileged to represent.

As you can see, in the group The WildRoots together are people with very different tastes, but they have a common background - they live and work in the American South. This was the basis of the album - true southern roots and a tribute to this nascent fields of music - especially blues and soul music. All tracks in the disk to some extent consistent with this style. Moreover, some of them - Tributes legendary musicians: Willie Dixon (Mighty Man) and James Brown (WildRoot Jam), well, and the song Ray Charles - a tribute in itself. In the slave past of the South facing and the subject of this song Delta, as Sold Down River. With such a repertoire of particular value absolutely adequate style vocals Wainwright. I have several times in disbelief saw the cover photo, listening to the album - really sings this young tight bearded man? It seemed that so can sing only African American, who has been doing this for thirty years! In general, if you like blues and soul, travel on the American South, along with Victor Wainwright & The WildRoots will be very interesting!

Леонид АУСКЕРН - Belarus
Jazz-Quadrat/jazz News

Some Blues fans contend that there are certain songs so classic as to be sacred and, therefore, should never be covered by a contemporary artist! You, yourself, have probably heard a pointless cover version of a reference quality song that leaves one wondering, “Why not just play the original”? An example is Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.”

Victor Wainwright and producer Stephen Dees had to know they were walking on eggshells when they tackled Ray’s rave up number. Regardless of one’s opinion about sanctity, the fact is they pulled it off in grand style, as only a rare few could. While still honoring the song but without note for note copying, they made it their own behind Wainwright’s powerful vocals and crafty keyboards. “What’d I Say” was the first cut Shuffle Shoes and I played on WKCC’s Friends of the Blues Radio Show.

The stirring “Long Way To Go” will be the second cut I play. Guest Josh Roberts from the Reba Russell Band deftly fills and solos on sweet slide guitar. Opening with Brian Kelly on some ruckus drumming, Victor’s “piana” then sets the rhythm while he sings emotionally about reaching the promised-land, but, we still have a “Long way to go.” Even more serious is “Sold Down River” with only Roberts on Dobro guitar and Victor on harmonica and vocals about slavery.

My first Ear Worm (a song that sticks in your head) is the first track, the muscular "Mighty Man." Opening with innovative piano chords, the players all give examples of what’s to come in the CD. This includes Victor’s deep, powerhouse vocals as he explains his formidable attributes as a lover reminiscent of “Hootchie Cootchie Man’s” theme.

Both the band and piano driven, all-original-save-one-cover CD are a project of two main musical forces: Wainwright, a 28 year old Memphis Boogie Blues pianist and singer, and Florida’s Stephen Dees, an MTV-savvy pop-rocker. Wainwright left his native Savannah, GA for Florida to pursue a double major in college, instead earning what he calls a "double major in Boogie - a Ph.D. in Swing and a Master's in Rhythm." The "Piana’ from Savannah" then graduated to a house gig at Wet Willie's on Beale Street in Memphis.

Florida-bred musician Stephen Dees was seduced away from his family’s Country roots by Rock and Roll. By the 1980s he was touring and/or recording as bassist and vocalist for Hall and Oates, Todd Rundgren, Foghat, and Pat Travers. Dees also co-founded Novo Combo with former Santana drummer Michael Shrieve. Since the late 1990s, Dees has continued his pursuit of eclectic pop-rock with his band the Bandees, based in Edgewater, FL.

The two met six years ago at a benefit concert. Impressed after hearing each other perform, they found a common love for early Rhythm and Blues and Rock and Roll music. They discussed collaborating on an original recording project, paying homage to their Rock and Rhythm roots. Dees agreed to produce, perform on bass and second guitars, add vocals, and co-write.

For the project, Victor brought in guitarist Greg Gumpel, a friend and band mate since they had met in 2002, who additionally impressed Dees with mandolin and banjo. Stephen brought in drummer Brian Kelly whom he had met playing in a progressive rock band. Victor was likewise impressed with Kelly's versatility. The band clicked, and after some outstanding live performances, they knew they had something special: Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots. For the CD, they extended the line up in select songs to include a couple of saxophones and extra percussion, and special guests fill individual tracks with background vocals, trombone, trumpet, and cello.

As the title implies, they've successfully achieved their goal of using various inspirations for these songs and obviously had a hell of a good time along the way. Anything but disjointed, the set eases gracefully from one style to another. One may not like every song, but “Beale Street to the Bayou” has something for every taste. Worthwhile project? Check!

Reviewer: James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Thursdays from 7 - 8 pm and Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at www.wkccradio.org in Kankakee, IL



"The title really lays it out. This band does it's best to do the route justice, picking up greasy grooves along the way. Driven by Wainwright's "piana" and top notch vocals, they have a little sumpthin' for anyone while retaining a roadside core. The songs run from back porch jug band to Nevilles-like big easy funk anthems. I'd check these guys out!"

Baltimore Blues Society - BluesRag


"Victor Wainwright is a talented boogie woogie piano player who is formerly based out of Georgia and New Orleans. He happened to meet up with pop and rock bass player Stephen Dees one night and they started jamming. Eventually they put a side project together after discovering they loved early R&B and early roots rock. They did some live shows and decided they had some recordable stuff. This is the culmination of that project which finds most of the tracks here based on old R&B, rockabilly, boogie woogie, and rock styled rave ups. Dees and Wainwright pen all the tracks herein, with Wainwright's boisterous vocals and boogie-woogie piano leading the way in arrangements. The songs have some catchy hooks, namely "Mighty Man" and "School of Hard Knocks." "Slow Down River" and "Blues Grass" are the lone pure blues on the disc, as acoustic country blues. "Square" sees Patricia Ann Dees add a nice feminine foil to Wainwright vocally on the loungy tune. Overall, this is a raucous journey for contemporary blues fans and those who like their blues mixed with everything else."

Ben the Harpman to Juke Joint Soul



"Beale Street To The Bayou, the debut release from Victor Wainwright & the WildRoots on WildRoot Records, offers a rousing set of blues, soul, R&B with origins in that musically fertile region that give the album its name. Wainwright is a powerhouse piano man from Memphis via Savannah, GA who has learned his lessons well, combining a reverent respect for his musical predecessors while adding his own exuberance to the mix.

Teaming up with former rocker Stephen Dees (Novo Combo, Todd Rundgren, Hall & Oates, Pat Travers), who writes, produces, and plays bass in the band, Wainwright has found the ideal catalyst to get the band to the next level. Dees also produced Wainwright's previous release, Piana' From Savannah, which also included two current members of the WildRoots in support, guitarist Greg Gumpel and drummer Brian Kelly. After some live performances together, the group decided to join forces fulltime and WildRoots were born.

Beale Street To The Bayou consists of 14 tracks. Thirteen were written or co-written by Dees. They include the opener, "Mighty Man" a fond tribute to the music of Chicago legend Willie Dixon, the acoustic Delta-drenched "Sold Down River" and "Blues In The Rain" a gut-wrenching track featuring an excellent vocal from Wainwright. "What You Want" is a robust slice of Memphis soul, driven by guest Chris Stephenson on keyboards, and "WildRoot Jam" is a funky jam session that gives all the band members a moment to shine on their own. "School of Hard Knocks" is a deft blues rocker that was co-written by Pat Travers.

The jazzy "Square" features a duet vocal turn with Wainwright and Patricia Ann Dees, and "Blues Grass" has a country flavor to it, courtesy of Mark Hodgson and Gumpel's mandolin. The title track captures the feeling of traveling on the road perfectly. The lone cover on the disc is of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" which doesn't break any new ground, but manages to retain the good-time feel of the original very well.

Wainwright has a strong and passionate voice and is a top notch piano man. The band offers wonderful support, moving smoothly from acoustic Delta blues to smooth Memphis soul to blues/rock to country. Beale Street To The Bayou is a superlative set that will satisfy fans of any of those genres. Visit CDBaby and give it a listen. "

Graham Clarke - Blues Bytes
www.bluesbytes.info, www.bluesbytes.net and www.bluesbytes.biz


When I saw the cover of this CD with Wainwright and the band cruising in a late 50’s vintage pink Chevy I hoped that the music inside would be as much fun as the packaging. Luckily, it was. This is an upbeat and fun album that hearkens back to the early rock days where the blues influence was so strong. A lucky thirteen original tracks and one Ray Charles cover comprise this strong musical set from this Memphis based band (via Savannah,Georgia, and Florida).

Victor Wainwright is a boogie woogie “piana playa” from Savannah with a hot left hand and perhaps a hotter set of vocal chords. He can belt out a tune with great aplomb. His piano and vocal virtuosity is matched by bassist, vocalist, backup guitar player and songwriter (of most tracks) Stephen Dees. Dees played and sang with the likes Hall and Oates, Todd Rundgren, Pat Travers, and Foghat. These two provide the anchor to the WildRoots, but drummer Brian Kelly and lead guitar player Gerg Gumpel add their strong musicality and talents to the mix to create a solid quartet of musicians.

From the start to finish we get to hear music played with both great talents and great instincts. “Mighty Man” starts us off with a guy singing about his prowess in the bedroom and then switches to a funky environmental song called “Planet Earth”. After these first two numbers I was impressed but wondering a bit. But then a short acoustic number with harp and vocals that sounded right out of the delta called “Sold Down River” and a wolf howling “Long Way to Go” that gave us a more traditional piano blues approach told me that this really would be the fun ride I’d hoped for.

I don’t have space to comment on all the tracks, but “WildRoot Jam” was a nice jam session adding other pieces to the mix and “School of Hard Knocks” has great, big organ and guitar solos that were impressive. The title track closes the album out with a big, raucous boogie sound. Even the Ray Charles cover of “What’d I Say” sounded pretty cool; Wainwright’s organ and vocals grew on me to the point that I really enjoyed it. No one can do Ray better than Ray, but this cover was nicely done.

This is a band whose basis is founded in Wainwright as front man, but they work as a cohesive team to produce a great overall sound. When Wainwright is not singing or playing lead we get to hear the other members step up and play their hearts out. The extended WildRoots members and guest musicians also step up to fill in quite admirably. All in all, this is a solid CD with a great set of musicians. Boogie woogie piano and early blues rock fans will thoroughly enjoy this album!

Crossroads Blues Society Music
http://crossroadsreviews.blogspot.com/ Steve Jones 0 comments


Here is a new name from Memphis Tennessee where he will now count. Born in Savannah, Georgia, the young Victor has just published its 2 ° CD "From Beale Street to the Bayou" a joyful gumbo of blues and rock spiced with a handful and a funky groove that Soul would not deny Marvin Gaye in person. Fan of Ray Charles, James Brown and Jerry Lee Lewis, Wainwright put their hearts and kindles joy to embellish his piano turn stories of love lost and more serious subjects such as defense of our beautiful planet . Excellent pianist, a superb singer, Wainwright fully welded to his band The Wildroots to attack the road linking the starting point on Beale Street in Memphis to complete his run wild in the bayous of the Gulf of Mexico. From Beale Street to Bayou is undoubtedly one of the Great Albums of the year 2009, moreover, indicative of the future stars of the Blues ...

Baker Street Radio Menergy



It might be the debut album for this four-piece from the Savannah, Georgia, but these guys are already driving on a full tank. The focus is the soulful vocals of Victor Wainwright – his voice as mighty as this frame (think Dr. John on Viagra). Guitarist Stephen Dees, who has worked with Pat Travers, handles the majority of the songwriting, and his compositions are finely crafted. The tracks signpost most Blues genres, and the quality of the playing ensures the handle each with aplomb. Of particular note are the affecting ballad “Blues in the Rain” and the country Blues of “Not Afraid”, where Wainwright’s vocals drip emotion. This boy can really sing! My personal favorite is the short “Sold Down River”, a Delta Blues number that’s so authentic, you can almost taste the cotton fur your mouth. The funky wig out “WildRoot Jam” and jazzy “Square”, augmented by sax and a breathless co-female lead vocal, demonstrate their range and class. The lyrics cover the standard tales of Blues libido but also take in environmental concerns and equal rights. For the Blues fans across the board, this is on road trip you should hitch a ride on.

Duncan Jamieson
Blues Matters - UK



For the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots' "Long Way to Go"

Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots take the listener down the blues highway from Beale Street to the Bayou--Memphis horn soul blues tracks drifting towards the jazzy boogie of New Orleans. Yet, on “Long Way to Go,” songwriter/bassist Stephen Dees has crafted a song to bring us from Egypt to Israel to Memphis, a Beale Street blues for a telescopic history of men who could very well all have sung the blues—Moses, Abraham, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2010, “Long Way to Go” rides as a faithful companion, a song sung by Wainwright with intensity—not frivolity. This isn’t just held up like a trivial comparison. Abraham raising up a nation out of such a small group without a land of their own yet, Moses crying out on behalf of God’s people, and King calling on a nation to recognize all of its people. A song of such heady, lofty, and bold comparisons could sound trite, as if too quickly drawn up. But Dees has written, Wainwright sings, and the WildRoots play a deeply felt blues for the Old Testament, for Memphis and the American South, and even hinting at the Gospel blues waiting for Jesus to return again. “We still have a long way to go.”

While the Christian puts hope in Jesus returning and bringing all believers to eternal life, may Christians also see in this song a call to recognize that there’s still a long way to go in this life, a long road of calling out on behalf of others, a long road of raising our voices for equality, justice, and peace. “Oh, we’ve got to change.”

Pastor Ben Squires
Brookfield, WI 


Wanted to let you know that last night's performance was a religious experience for my husband and I. I want to thank you for showing us what it is to truly have passion and soul for music. I was left very interested and amazed in hearing more. In our culture this type of music is sometimes not very appreciated. But know this, I have not stopped playing your CD and have told all my Hispanic/Cuban friends and family about rhythm & blues music. God Bless!” - Janet Perez   



American Blues News  Info@ameriblues.com
Link to interview:  http://www.ameriblues.com/2010/01/victor-wainwright-blues-boogie-and-more.html



"Victor and The WildRoots CD, Beale Street to the Bayou, is one of the top releases of 2009 for Blues Moon radio because it has been a rave fave on the Blues Moon radio show. It's high on my recommended purchase list for listeners. 

Victor is not only a great musician with bangin' piano skills, but he is such a genuinely warm, wonderful person. So glad the CD is a such great success; it is well-deserved. All the best for more to come!"

Clair DeLune
WUSC Blues Moon Radio www.twitter.com/bluesmoonradio  SC

Victor Wainwright and the Wild Roots with the album Beale street to the Bayou. And now for something completely different, that is the feeling I get when reviewing Wainwrights album. What a power, what an energy! You might find some traces of folk, but mostly this is fabulous blues-rock with the powerful vocals of Victor backed by a bunch of great musicians on drums, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, mandolin etc. Wainwright rolls over the piano and hits the organ in a swinging way. But in a song like Sold down river he proofs to be a great singer of traditional blues as well. Although Sold down the river is self composed, this feels like a song from the early years of blues. Wainwright and the Wild roots recorded an convincing album with some raw and pure blues(rock). Sometimes with a touch of soul, country, bluegrass, folk or jazz. But always intriguing and top quality.

Folk World - Eelco Schilder



96.6 Barcelona FM (Spain) 

Victor Wainwright & The WildRoots “Beale Street To The Bayou”. Wild Roots / BlindRaccoon 2009.
Faultless piano player and singer who surprises us with a good conceived album and a risky convincing and daring proposal. Victor is a piano player who easily combines boogie and blues with rock roots and some drops of swing, rhythm and blues, funky and groovy soul, that reinforce and complete final result. The four band musicians have wide varied influences, from Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard or Ray Charles to Muddy Waters, B.B. King, James Brown or Otis Redding. Lyrics are cool and interesting, with deep thoughts about social injustices to the painful feelings of losing a true love. You will find Victor Wainwright on vocals, piano, organ and harmonica, Stephen Dees on bass, electric and acoustic guitars, vocals and percussion, Greg Gumpel on main guitar, mandolin and bass and finally Brian Kelly on drums and percussion. An excellent album I eagerly recommend to all fans of the good roots music you will find if you travel from Memphis to the bayous. GREAT.

Impecable pianista y cantante que nos sorprende con un álbum de buena factura, con una propuesta arriesgada, convincente y atrevida. Victor es un pianista que combina con soltura el boogie y el blues con las raices del rock, más algunos toques de swing, rhythm and blues, funk y groovy soul que refuerzan y complementan el resultado final. Las influencias del cuarteto son amplias y variadas, abarcando desde Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard y Ray Charles, hasta Muddy Waters, B. B. King, James Brown u Otis Redding. Las letras de las canciones son frescas e interesantes, con profundas reflexiones que van desde las injusticias sociales, al intenso dolor que se siente cuando alguién pierde el verdadero amor de su vida. El cuarteto está formado por Victor Wainwright a la voz, piano, órgano y armónica, Stephen Dees bajo, guitarras eléctricas y acústica, voz y percusión, Greg Gumpel guitarra principal, mandolina y banjo y finalmente Brian Kelly a la batería y percusión. Un estupendo álbum que recomiendo encarecidamente a todos aquellos aficionados a la buena música con raices que se encuentra desde Memphis a los bayous. MUY BUENO.



The four-piece group featuring Victor on piano (or Piana as he describes it) blends some boogie with some Cajun and blues.  A capable cast of “Extended Roots Members” supports the disc.  The bulk of the songwriting goes to bassist Stephen Dees and Victor.  The 14-track release has some Dr. John feel to it, including the vocals, starting off with the first track Mighty Man.  Planet Earth has a good vibe with a bit of Hammond and some female backing vocals thrown in for good measure.  Sold Down River has a Robert Johnson acoustic plucking thing going on, with some mild harp in the background.  Fortunately, for everyone involved, the harp is used sparingly throughout.  You all know the joke, “What's the difference between a harmonica and an accordion?  It takes longer to burn an accordion!”

In looking for the ballad section, Blues In The Rain is a nice slow paced track, and Not Afraid features mainly acoustic melody.  What You Want carries on the Nawlin's tradition with a Neville Bros. styled track. Wildroot Jam has some interesting funk bass lines and guitar work, with well-used horn accompaniment.  Square features Patricia Ann Dees on offsetting vocals, and is reminiscent of a Tom Waits song treatment.  Beale Street To The Bayou is the fastest paced boogie on the disc.  The group also does a good cover of Ray Charles’ What'd I Say. 

I was apprehensive before listening, but liked the change of speed and pace throughout the disc.  The release holds your interest, as it doesn't stereotype one particular song or style.  Good guitars, bass, keys, drums, and vocals from start to finish. Throw some Gris, Gris in the air, and give it a spin on the old CD machine!

Skope By R.M. Engelman


translated from German to English, some words unable to translate]

In addition to a portion belong musicality it needs a healthy self-confidence to bring so many different influences in a hat and it has yet to produce a homogeneous sound which stands on its own. Victor Wainwright and his buddies from Memphis make this clear with the left. Is it rock with funky-bluesy, jazzy, soulful bluegrass bonds and Bayou-Country-dressing or any other way around? Does not matter: The fourteen numbers convince by strong songwriting (mainly by bassist Stephen Dees) And interesting arrangements, through craftsmanship and by Wainwright's extraordinary voice, which has absorbed from Dr. John via Joe Cocker to  the legendary Soul Angern the Sixties all what can trigger emotions. "Beale Street to the Bayou" is a special discovery.

Jazz 'n' More - MP




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