D2D Vinyl Record
"...Texan songstress Greenleaf and her band Blue Mercy exhibit precisely the kind of fire and grit that exemplifies the great blues and (southern) soul belters of the 1960s and 1970s...earthy, powerful interpretations of five tracks that suffer no sonic restraint...This is shake your booty stuff. I think I'm in love." Sound Quality: 88% - Ken Kessler, Hi-Fi News
"...That this music is getting recorded and released is by itself a good thing, but the fact that it comes out on audiophile vinyl is a whole lot of icing on the cake. As for the sound, this was analog like I remembered it (minus the hiss, wow, and flutter), with a warm, in-the-room feel from the drums, bass, and acoustic piano and a rich, full sound from acoustic guitars." - Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound, April/May 2010
Diunna Greenleaf and her band Blue Mercy returned to Blue Heaven Studios in 2009 for the 12th annual Blues Masters at the Crossroads and to make this D2D recording. She'd closed the 2006 Blues Masters and absolutely floored the Blue Heaven Studios congregation. So powerful and dynamic and soul-stirring was her performance that many concert regulars have commented that Greenleaf remains their favorite act through all the years. To say she was back in 2009 by popular demand is a wild understatement.
Greenleaf, of Houston, Texas, has a background steeped in both blues and gospel. She's been influenced by the likes of Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Rosetta Tharpe, Sam Cooke and Charles Brown, and she includes intricate patches of jazz and soul in her performances.
Greenleaf came to the life of professional performing quite late, considering how much talent she has to offer. She worked as a school counselor and occasionally sang rather informally for children's and educational benefits. She and her band played a small show at a hospice in celebration of Houston blues legend Teddy "Cry Cry" Reynolds' birthday. Afterwards, Reynolds told Greenleaf of how he'd known her parents, both gospel musicians, and how she was not only very talented but also had a duty to continue the family legacy of performing. So insistent was Reynolds that he solicited the opinion of his old friend Katie Webster, the Swamp Boogie Queen. Webster confirmed Reynolds' assessment and encouraged Greenleaf to seriously pursue a life in music, even giving her newfound protégé rules for forming and leading a band.
In 2005, Greenleaf and Blue Mercy represented Houston in the International Blues Challenge, an annual contest in Memphis that features the world's best-unsigned blues bands. Greenleaf and Blue Mercy finished first out of 84 bands from 32 states and eight countries. What's more, Blue Mercy's guitarist, John Richardson, earned the Albert King award for Most Promising Guitarist. From there, the gigs came steadily, and the group's been booked solid ever since.
Greenleaf also served for three years as president of the Houston Blues Society, becoming the first woman elected to that post. As president, she produced the Willie Mae Thorton Blues Festival, bringing in such talent as Texas Johnny Brown, I.J. Gosey, Koko Taylor, Bernard Allison, Mel Waiters and others.
|2. Love Treasure|
|3. Double Dealing|
|4. SIDE TWO|
|5. The Backdoor Man (You Want To Be)|