IndiePulse Reviews: Feels Like Freedom by Sandy Haley
Southern California-based blues vocalist Sandy Haley has proudly released her new album “Feels Like Freedom,” independently on CD, Vinyl, and Digitally this past January 17, 2022, which is available at sandyhaleymusic.com.
Produced by Grammy-winning artist Tony Braunagel, Haley describes the recording as “a testament to life, living and kicking ass in the 21st Century.” According to Sandy, “I was a gospel singer until I got my heart shattered in a breakup. Then I craved The Blues as an ointment for my soul.” Sandy Haley and the band exude a high-energy, soulful, blues entertainment experience with powerful vocals that gets the crowd up on their feet dancing. They present their original music with a deep connection to Chicago blues and Rhythm and Soul Blues.
In Review: Feels Like Freedom by Sandy Haley is a truly remarkable release, with powerful vocal style and musical arrangements that are a viable tribute to her talents, her voice is perfectly pitched and pierces the soul. The title track Feels Like Freedom is a beautiful track, bluesy but not down, it is uplifting and makes you move in time with the music. An anthem for hard-working people that want to celebrate life, love and friendship. Feel the vibe of” No work all play” and you’ll get swept away. Sandy wrote this song while inspired on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise. “The waves and the wonderful people all enjoying the bands gave me the realization that “I want to live my life this way, how about you?!”
The song Love Me Right or Cut Me Loose, takes you into her heart, the telling a lover that they done her wrong, and that she is worth so much more than an afterthought, the song of a woman who knows she deserves better that what she is getting. A soulful ballad and personal story, dedicated to all the single parents who have protected and raised their kids with love through lonely nights.
Dirty Dog, back to the upbeat and vivacious “at the hop” sound that only Sandy can provide, this song is happenin’ and is not so much “lecture” but just realizing the antagonist of the track is an “animal of habit” and needs to be treated as such, a good time track that makes you pop. This song is always a crowd favorite, with its catchy Swing/Blues beat and humorous look at what goes on after Midnight!
Run For Shelter a song about starting over, hard to do, but can be a way to be the person you need to be. Here I feel Sandy Haley really shows her metal, by taking a story and making it come to life, you can feel the warmth and emotion in every note, simply fabulous.
Never Sleep Your Way To The Middle is a tongue-in-cheek, true story of an office worker’s romance with the married boss with a humorous message and advice to girls of all ages and is currently getting international blues radio airplay around the world from USA to UK and Europe, The Netherlands and Australia! Listen on Spotify or Amazon music.
The vivacious Haley won the Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society’s 2021 “Best Blues Band” at their recent yearly IBC (International Blues Competition) and was getting ready to travel with her band to Memphis to compete nationally, when it was announced on New Year’s Eve the Memphis IBC was being postponed due to the latest Omicron outbreak.
Haley grew up playing piano and singing Gospel in the soulful city of Detroit. She attended Eastern Michigan University where she honed her craft in the music department. She connected with the now-legendary producer Eric Morgensen where her songwriting skills developed in the famed “Studio A”.
Upon her coming of age, she and the band moved to LA where they played the local blues/rock festivals. Unfortunately, before realizing any commercial success, the rigors of the music business saw the band break up, with most of the members going home to Michigan. Sandy however, persevered, staying in Los Angeles and assembling another band – one with the right musical chemistry that showcases Sandy’s unique fusion of Gospel and Contemporary Blues. Along the way, she has shared the stage with Contemporary Blues stars like Teresa James, Coco Montoya, Tommy Castro, John Nemeth, and many others. As a member of Detroit’s popular rock band, The Rockets, Haley performed with musical giants Joe Walsh, The Beach Boys, and Sammy Hagar.
Sandy also said “My band is honored to represent Southern California as a regional winner of the International Blues Challenge for 2022! We have had so much loving support from the Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society, many of the members will come to Memphis to cheer us on May 6-9, 2022. It’s expensive to take a band to Memphis so the blues society is doing fundraisers to offset the cost of flights and hotels. Beale Street will be open all night until 3am with great blues music from every venue from Rum Boogie to BB Kings, we will be playing our show each evening then jamming until 3am with musicians from around the world”.
In closing Sandy mentions “we also just found out we’ll be performing at the Woodystock Blues Festival in Bullhead City, Arizona, near Laughlin, Nevada at the Colorado River, on Saturday, April 9th, 2022“
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Thank you Joe Timmons for an insightful review and fun read!!!