ReviewsHere're what reviewers are saying about Gaye Without Shame:
"Seldom, however, has an entire disc used life-affirming bluesiness with unabashed queer-activist spirit the way this one does."
"Deja Vu Blues reminds us of the soul-killing struggles that oppressed minorities -- racial, gender, sexual -- must endure to earn the kind of hard-won triumphs Adegbalola sings of elsewhere."
"Adegbalola's well-tempered alto spans the emotional gamut from wracked heartbreak through steely determination to hurricane-force fury."
"But it's that very uncompromising strength -- of music, of imagination, of spirit -- that makes this disc special. Here Gaye Adegbalola offers new proof -- if we needed it -- that the blues remains a music of relevance and social impact."
- David Whiteis, Living Blues Magazine
"Musically, there's not a bad track on the CD. Thematically they are adventurous and honest . . . Musically they cover a wide range of styles, from honky-tonk '20s to sharp electric edgy blues. This is all deliciously raunchy, poignantly tender, rough and ready, soft and sweet, lusty and loving, spiritual and profane -- everything that good blues and probably the good life should be. All the while the music never loses the focus of her own personal struggles. It's not an easy thing to do, but she does it very well."
- Jim White, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Message albums aimed at a particular community sometimes alienate the rest of the audience, but Adegbalola manages to be warm and incluisive. Perhaps that's because there's a universal lesson to be drawn from her work: the commonality of all forms of prejudice."
- Jennifer Zogott Levy, Blues Revue Magazine
"In telling her story in song, Gaye carries on a grand tradition. Granted, Gaye does not steer away from controversy, but her strength and honesty are refreshing and compelling. Regardless of whether we agree or disagree, she delivers her message elegantly and powerfully. The musicianship on this disc is superb and the arrangements beautiful. In short, WOW! Finally a CD with more to offer than just background music for a party. . . while it offers plenty of that as well."
- Bill Wilson, Billtown Blue Notes
"Gaye has known prejudice and oppression all her life, as evidenced by the song, Deja Vu Blues. Still, she stands proud and strong, and it is that attitude that shines through in her art."
- Pat Jennings, Witchita Blues
"After a first time listen, I thought back to how many times I had heard a man insinuating sexual overtones in a song to a woman, and I had snickered or laughed. Or, I heard a sexy woman singing about the men in the same way and thought how they must have really "big ones" to even sing those x-rated insinuations. But, I always thought they were funny and entertaining. I thought they were just pushing the envelope back then. Now, I think the envelope just got pushed to a whole new level."
- Tom Schlesinger, Blues Blast e-zine
"Four Star Rating = Excellent, the highest."
- French magazine, Soul Bag, review column, Les Nouveaux Disques
"Top 10 Albums of 2008," by Sue Barrett.
- Australian magazine, Rhythms.
"The most provocative songs are written and/or performed by Adegbalola. She'd 'rather be hated for who I am/than loved for who I'm not' on 'Nothin’ In Your House.'"
See full review.
– Tim Holek, Blues Bytes, March 2009
"Adegbalola possesses a classic blues singer's talent
to breathe life into mere words. It's the combination
of prodigious singing, timely material and exquisite
production (courtesy of Block) that raises this effort
above any mere "women's blues" label . . . Her identification
with humanity's daily struggles - and her ability
to articulate them - secure Adegbalola's place
within the tradition."
– Blues Revue Magazine
"Adegbalola is so supremely connected to her music
that one feels the joy, beauty, and pain as if it were
– The Washington Blade
"Adegbalola combines an impish sense of humor
with hard-nosed feminist mettle; her effervescent
theatricality allows her to infuse even her most politically
righteous statements with life-affirming zest."
– Living Blues Magazine
" a vocal range that varies from the lubriciousness of
Sarah Vaughn to the crisp sonority of Nina Simone."
– The Boston Phoenix
"Adegbalola just keeps getting better and better as a
songwriter . . . the songs can't be pigeon-holed as
women's songs - they're people songs."
– The Buffalo News
“. . . some of the frankest and funniest songs in their
(Saffire's) repertory are Adegbalola originals, songs in
which a liberated woman looks on love with the rueful
eye of experience and the saving grace of good
– The Washington Post
"A gifted writer, vocalist and performer, her lyrics
speak of the human condition with as much eloquence
(earthy street talk, of course, qualifying) as
one could want. She tells it like it is. . . Adegbalola is
one of the most electrifying blues performers
– Sacramento Blues Society
" . . . Smart, savvy, witty, and unabashedly outspoken,
Adegbalola continues the Saffire tradition on her
solo debut of calling attention to some pretty severe
social issues with sympathy and incisive clarity . . ."
– amazon.com review
"She doesn't simply deliver a good line – she sings
her heart out, letting herself go with the flow of a
phrase . . .This is no Evita on a balcony, this is the
March on Washington!"
– fab! (magazine)
"Gaye's voice is instantly recognizable; she's made the
classic songs her own and her own songs classics."
– Bob Margolin, Blues Revue Magazine
". . . blues performed with so much heart and panache
that it is unreservedly recommended."
– Ron Weinstock, D. C. Blues Society
" The respect and love for this music is evident by the
joy just dripping from your speakers."
– Beardo, Sr. contributing editor, BluesWax ezine
"Gaye has always been the ultimate modern realization
of this breed of blues great (classic blues women).
. . She continues to be a pathfinder to the truth in all
its naked wonder."
– George P. Seedorff, Big City Blues Magazine
"Outspoken, yet introspective, Adegbalola's blues are
essential listening material! It's enlightening, entertaining
and effectively effervescent!"
– Blues Connection; BRITAIN
"With the obvious grand sense of showmanship this
lady possesses, a voice made for singing the blues, and
the simplicity of the duo (with Roddy Barnes), this act
made this concert a wonderful moment of pure emotion."
– Espace M. Begart, blues feelings; FRANCE
"This work (Neo-Classic Blues) has the power to be
pedagogical without being boring and deserves to be
a reference in schools of music, to show future virtuosi
what spontaneity brings to art.Well done!"
– Fred Delforge, Zicazine E Magazine; FRANCE
"The Saffire star boogies with the ballads and the
blues. This was not your party band at work; it was a
shining star treating her hometown to something very
good. . .When Gaye dons that white tux, she's straight
– Front Porch News, Fredericksburg, VA
Readers' Choice: Best Performance, Best Singer