Stew Cutler has spent the better part of four decades channelling the blues through his magical fingers. Cutler’s talent is so engulfing that he easily incorporates jazz, gospel, and R&B in his repertoire.
The blues always take centre stage. Cutler’s seventh studio albumThe Blues From Another Angle, proves his immense dexterity for the revered musical genre. Throughout 11 tracks, Cutler and a cast of talented singers and players weaves an intoxicating aura that immerses the listener from the first note.
The Blues From Another Angle, was recorded at Hobo Sound in Hoboken, New Jersey during 2020. Produced by Stewart Lerman and engineered by Lerman and James Frazee, The Blues From Another Angle showcases a room full of top-notch musicians including drummer Bill McClellan, keyboardist Tom Wilson, bassists Booker King and and Chulo Gatewood, saxophonist Steve Elson, and vocalists Bobby Harden and Mary Jean Cutler, Stew’s wife. Also showcasing their prowess on the album are guest artists Mike Stern, blazing through a guitar solo on Blews, and James Montgomery making the harmonica sing on Say What You Mean.
Among the highlights on The Blues From Another Angle, most of which were written or co-written by Cutler, are: the scorching Night Shift Blues, which features Cutler on lead vocals; a fiery cover of Tyrone Davis’ mega-hit Can I Change My Mind featuring Bobby Harden on the microphone; the deliciously rhythmic Get It While You Can featuring Mary Jean Cutler on lead vocals; a soulful instrumental, The Passing of RR Moore, that pays tribute to the late comedian-actor-singer Rudy Ray Moore; and the jazzy album-closer Shine or Rain.
A Stew Cutler album is more than a collection of songs. He has soaked up so many musical experiences that it’s head-spinning. Cutler has shared stages and recording studios with luminaries Z.Z. Hill (Cutler was only 19 at the time), Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Fontella Bass, Earl King, Jimmy Castor, David Sanborn, Bill Frisell, Meat Loaf, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Sweet Georgia Brown, and many more.
Through it all, Cutler has honoured the blues. “The blues is a beautiful form and there are so many flavors,” he says. “It’s what makes American music sound American.”
Movies and television are also innately American, and Cutler has done both. He’s on the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s 2019 film, The Irishman, performing How High the Moon. That same year Cutler began his association with the Emmy Award-winning Amazon TV series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Cutler is on the Maisel soundtrack for seasons 2 and 3, plus he’s on camera during an upcoming episode for season 4.
The album is available from Amazon, CD Baby and Spotify.