Named after an obscure Bill Doggett song from the 1950s, Americana soul band Blue Largo formed in 2000, specializing in covering 1940s and ‘50s blues music by Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Louis Jordan, and T Bone Walker. Blues scholar and guitarist Eric Lieberman moved the band into doing more original music and big-band jump blues, mixing in ’50s and ’60s R&B, straight-up boogie, and heartfelt soul. The group has also included cofounder Alicia Aragon and tenor sax symbol David Castle De Oro, as well as drummer Marcus Bayshore and bassist Joe Jazdzewski and singer-pianist Taryn Donath.
In 2001, they released their What A Day album (produced by Mavis Staples’ bandleader Rick Holmstrom), followed in 2003 by a full-length called Still in Love With You. Then they were sidetracked in 2006 after Eric Lieberman was diagnosed with a neurological condition known as Focal Dystonia, which severely affected the coordination in his right hand. This resulted in years following a strict regimen to create new neurotransmitters to replace the damaged ones, including taking formal piano lessons.
In 2015, the band returned with its third album Sing Your Own Song, followed in 2018 by their fourth album Before The Devil Steals Your Soul, which was nominated Best Blues Album at that year's San Diego Music Awards. Both albums continued the shift toward original music over covers.
A new CD dropped in October 2022, Got To Believe, featuring ten original songs, plus a cover of Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” A video was produced for the album's lead track “A World Without Soul.” Got To Believe debuted at number 26 on the October Relix/Jamband radio chart.
(Photo by Dan Chusid, courtesy Leighton Media)