Concert Rating: 5/5 

Chicago Music Magazine

There are very few bands on the live music circuit today that share the chemistry presented by The Blues Olives. Tonight at Beckett’s in Chicago, they showed the Friday night crowd what happens to a bands chemistry with over 3200 shows in 10 states under their belt. Everything about this band displays why they are such an amazing well respected live band. The song arrangements were brilliant, especially the horn section that really displayed an attention to detail with their intertwined instrumental harmonies. The lead vocals and vocal harmonies are flawless and they had a ton of energy on stage with their mix of blues, rock, and funk for 3 hours. The best part of this band goes far beyond the music they play. It is how much fun they have playing music together. Many bands (especially bands who have been together as long as Blue Olives) forget that above all else they began playing because they love playing music with their bandmates. I highly recommend this band to anyone who enjoys watching a band enjoy playing music together while giving everything they have energy wise for their fans both new and old. The Blue Olives are a firm example of how to stand the test of time when you are good at your craft and enjoy what you do.

Pimento Project Album Review

Indie Music Digest

 Sounds Like: Grateful Dead, Traffic, Randy Newman, The Black Crows

Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Three Hour Tour, I won’t let you get away Again 
Weakness:  Winded Songs, Multi Singer Line-up 


NOTE: 10 star rating are reserved only for Full Length CD releases.

Chicago based band The Blue Olives just released their latest EP entitled Pimento Project in 2012. Band members include Anton Seda (Trombone) Dave Turner (Guitar and Vocals), David Bell (Drums), Joan Heraing (saxophone and Vocals), Johnny Payne (Bass and Vocals) and Ryan Shea (Saxophone) and Todd Phipps (Keys and Vocals). The band has made quite a reputation for themselves regionally as a Powerhouse Funk, Rock, Fusion band and has over 4 albums and 3,000+ shows to their credit. 

The EP kicks things off with “See You Smile” a dynamic intro piece that serves up soothing R&B groove against infectious vocal harmonies with catchy Keyboard accents against a grand slam chorus. Track 2 “Three Hour Tour” shifts gears a bit with its slamming rhythm against amazing guitar rhythms and solos against hypnotic horns and mesmerizing vocal delivery. This coupled with clever lyrical content makes for an interesting musical statement that flows and ebbs it’s way through to musical fruition. Track 3 “Side by Side” serves up a methodical intro eventually lending itself into an impressive ballad with passionate vocal delivery and impressive musical finale. This EP makes a great first impression. Right from the start you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of passion, variety and strong melodic structure. The songs themselves are addictive and packed full of passionate lyrical content and subject matter that simply cannot be faked. I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts such as Grateful Dead, Traffic, Randy Newman and The k Crows. The music itself is an impressive blend of Rhythm and Blues, Rock Saloon Jazz and Soulful Rock. What I like most about the music is The Blue Olives is they make no attempt at sugar coating the truth, in fact he tells it with bold honesty. From rocking “Best We Can” to Track 5 “I Won’t Let You Get Away Again” this EP has something for just about everyone. 

All Songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line in typical Fusion, Jam Band form. I’m not crazy about the 4 singer line-up. At the end of the day this multi singer line-up can be confusing to some listeners sounding like a different band track to track. There is also no bar code on the flipside of this CD indicating a retail non-compatibility – not typical of pro-caliber releases. I typically deduct 1 start for EP releases. The Full Length release provides the most complete snapshot to judge an artist from.  

Pimento Project is an impressive musical teaser from top to bottom. The music is clean, goes down smooth and the messages are passionate and are sung from a deeply honest perspective. It’s strong suit – the amazing creative genius of all members. They possess enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be dangerous. The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, writing, and singing abilities of The Blue Olives are amazing. The Blue Olives have clearly proven themselves with this latest release and they are worthy of attention, spotlight and praise worldwide.

Pimento Project Album Review: Rating: 7/10 


Most would agree most popular artists out there have something truly special to give to their fans. This goes above the typical attributes like raw talent, amazing songs, nice voice, or even a very marketable look, sound and image. There's something truly infectious at the core of these artists that simply makes us feel good when we listen to them. Whatever "it" is - they all seem to have "it".  

Today I listened to Chicago based blues band: The Blue Olives. Their latest EP release is entitled Pimento Project was released in 2012. Band members include Anton Seda (Trombone) Dave Turner (Guitar and Vocals), David Bell (Drums), Joan Heraing (saxophone and Vocals), Johnny Payne (Bass and Vocals) and Ryan Shea (Saxophone) and Todd Phipps (Keys and Vocals). Venturing to the website and reading their bio I get the impression these cats are vintage players. I also get the impression that these guys know what they're doing both behind the glass and on a stage. The band has played over 3,000 shows to date and has been awarded winner: Best Vocal Ensemble and Cover Band (2010) and Best Jazz Ensemble (2009) From start to finish this CD from Dave Turner and company is a very pleasurable and entertaining musical experience. It has a very soothing R&B quality to it and even dabbles in Saloon Style Americana and Psychadelic funk popular in the 70's. Any fans of any of these musical styles will enjoy this latest release from The Blue Olives. It's clearly marketed for those who like a male singer with a tongue and cheek mystique of say a Dr. John or Randy Newman. But there is a powerhouse side to this band as well with sounds similar to Rare Earth, Stevie Ray Vaughn and even Little Feat. I get the impression Turner and company are just rolling with what they knows as performers/songwriters within each one of these songs. In other words they hit the mark remarkably well by just being who they are. Favorite tracks include (Three Hour Tour) and (I Won't Let You Get Away Again). All songs possess amazing feel and personality. The songwriting digs a bit deeper than the next blues band. Within each one of these songs TBO bare their soul and delivers pure musical mojo. The overall vibe of the production is all things Rock-Blues - need I say more?  

In close The Blue Olives are a polished 7 piece unit. Let me go on record and say this CD went straight from my home stereo to my car stereo. Once again I'm not so sure what "it" is, but I think it's safe to say The Blue Olives have whatever "it" is.  

Michael Morrison (UK) Scotland

Pimento Project album rating: 8.5/10
Blues Rock Review:

While The Blue Olives are big in many ways–number of performers, amount of live performances under their belt, type of venues–the most important is their sound. Pimento Project is a pretty good example.

The band is led by huge, confident vocals that still retain a surprising amount of nuanced clarity. The instrumentalists provide solid support to the vocals, and really give the record a freshness that sets them apart from many other blues bands of today. Organ plays prominently throughout the EP, and squealing horns add an element of playfulness.

The subject matter is equally as lighthearted, highlighting happy relationships as well as (on one track) a thorough description of the cast of Gilligan’s Island. The EP is a hodgepodge of lyrical trappings, to be sure, but at least it’s a fun one.

Pimento Project is a substantial effort from a substantial band. It’s fresh, fun, and totally funky. The band did a pretty great job, and I’d like to see where the future takes them. Not to mention, “I’d rather have mac ‘n cheese with you than fillet mignon alone” is simply a killer line.

Pimento Project Album Review: 7/10

Rock N' Roll View

This is the latest 5 song EP entitled “Pimento Project” (2012) from Chicago based 7 piece Power-House Blues band “The Blue Olives”. Reading from their rather extensive bio: They’ve shared venues and stages with the likes of BB King, Santana, Sting, Robin Trower, Ted Nugent, Los Lobos, James Taylor and Steve Winwood and more. Influences include: Robben Ford, BB King, Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Carlos Santana, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steely Dan, Jimmy Herring, Jazz is Dead, Miles Davis, Victor Wooten, Neville Brothers, Maceo Parker, Tower of Power. Need I say more. 

Review: “Pimento Project” is one release that certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is one band that brings to the table effective songwriting with a slamming musical delivery meshed with a superlative Jam Band-Power-House Blues sound. The Blue Olives even dabble in Classic Rock and Fusion. This EP is quite entertaining with an infectious musical persona coupled with well-crafted movements, top tiered musical performances and a heartfelt delivery. Clearly one can see The Blue Olives have much in the way of experience. Overall this was an emotional invigorating journey which will have listeners highly entertained. All songs are wonderfully simple but masterful in their overall arrangements. Music reminded me of a cross between Traffic, Nevile Brothers and Tower of Power. There are some fantastic moments on this CD which gives The Blue Olives an amazing feel when connecting with a cult fanbase. There is no doubt they know how to work a crowd – did I mention they’ve played over 3,200 shows in 10 states.

Criticism: Some of the songs are way too winded. Could this band be trimmed up to a 5 piece line-up?


Conclusion: Pimento Project by The Blue Olives is clearly a solid release. The Blue Olives are very talented and capable songwriters/musicians/artists. The band is clearly doing all the right things musically within the region. This usually indicates he is something special about the artist deserving of praise, recognition and musical fame at the international level. 

Drew Blackwell
Wellington, NZ.

Marmalade album rating: 9/10 

Maximum Ink

Upbeat, slick and well juiced blues and blues rock backed with swingin’ sassy horns and a gutsy robust vocal blast.


Christine Bellport- NBC15 NewsAnchor: My favorite band! ... Every band member fronts a song or joins in. The talent pool is very deep with them.

Michael Massey: Outstanding job on [WISC-TV] Urban Theater guys!!!

Nezzy Nesbit: Amazing show at Hope & Anchor last night!!! Julie & I had a blast. But seriously--"Amazing Grace" segueing into "Burnin' Down the House"??? It's so wrong but felt so right! Come back to Rockford soon--we'll always be there for ya!

Jenniffer Julseth: Caught the first set at Hope & Anchor the other night - you guys are phenomenal!!!

Mary Baer McNamee: Amazing show at Naut's Landing Friday night. My first time seeing and meeting the band...instant love/love.

Amy Martin Chazan: Last night was amazing!......thank you so much for coming to our school. What a treat it was! I am in awe! we have family coming to visit in may and will be sure to bring them out to see you play.

Jeff Hughes: Was an awesome night last night!!! Thanks so much for coming to Englewood, FL. Very magical evening due to all of your great playing!!!

Planned Spontaneity Event Planning: The Blue Olives rocked the Monona Community Festival on Sunday night! Thanks for making me feel so welcome!