Sweet Lady is the very powerful blues-rock trio comprised of Chris “Blue” Williams (guitar and vocals), Brandon “Boomer” Purcell (bass) and Jordan Simpson (drums). This current lineup of the band has been bringing their high energy performances to Louisville area venues for about 18 months. In 2023, they are launching out to Cincinnati, Lexington, Nashville and beyond. Here’s some background on the band as you get ready to see them live in your area soon.
An EP is in the works, but right now Sweet Lady has three singles out on streaming services.
The first single released last June is called “Hot Pressed”. It is an original song, but if had you told me it was a Montrose cover I wouldn’t have been surprised. As is the case with all Sweet Lady tunes, it has Blue’s signature clever lyrics: “Lady love – fitting like a glove / Things you don’t wanna tell your mother” or “Baby them boots ain’t gonna unzip themselves”.
In October, “Red Handed” made its debut. What stands out in this song is the band’s jam in the last half of the song. It is mostly two minutes of a Blue Williams’ guitar solos where he expertly layers different styles and tones. It reminds me of early Fleetwood Mac that you might find on the “Then Play On” album (like “Fighting for Madge” or “Searching for Madge’).
While I enjoyed the first two singles, I had considered Sweet Lady to be a band that would excel mostly in live shows. Last month they released “She’s On Fire” and it blew me away. Lyrically, it is a straight-forward sincere, but obsessive, love story (what guy hasn’t been there?). Everything about this recording is a leap forward for Sweet Lady. The talented rhythm section of Boomer and Jordan really shines through on “She’s On Fire”. Boomer’s bass fills out the bottom end as always, but the runs on this arrangement stack up there with most any bass player. He is easily a top shelf bass player in the Louisville market and beyond. On drums, Jordan is as steady as they come possessing an almost “Charlie Watts” feel: a little bit of jazz, a little bit of blues and a whole lot of rock solid.
Blue adds some really nice slide guitar on “She’s on Fire” which is a big part of what elevates this song. It is also Blue’s best vocal performance to date of the songs available on streaming. “She’s on Fire” has ZZ Top’s grit with the playfulness of Aerosmith. It is sincerely one of my favorite songs released in 2023.
I hope you listen to the singles released by Sweet Lady. They are very good, fun songs and “She’s on Fire” is one I know you’ll enjoy. The true “Sweet Lady Experience”, however, is in their live performances. I had never heard of Sweet Lady before first seeing them open last August for The Cold Stares. It is impossible to not be immediately hooked on them when you see them in concert. Sweet Lady checks all the boxes for a great live band.
Your band had better be pretty darn good if you walk up on stage in a bright floral pattern suit and giant hat or loud, plaid-pattern slacks and vest. If you are going to dress like a rock star, then be ready to back it up. Sweet Lady certainly does. The on-stage personas just add to the reckless abandon (but extremely tight) high energy they bring to their performances.
In addition to the theatrics and the energy of a Sweet Lady show, most importantly, you get to hear them jam. It is in these times where they are in their “sweet” spot. Whether it’s an extended guitar solo by Blue or a bass-run exhibition by Boomer that puts you in mind of Jack Bruce or John Taylor, Sweet Lady live is on par with any band around. The hidden gem in the trio is Jordan. He is at the back of the stage and isn’t as flashy as Blue or Boomer, but his presence and ability as a drummer often drive him to the forefront. You can tell he is a good drummer on the singles, but when you see Sweet Lady live you learn very quickly that Jordan is, in fact, a great drummer. He has skills and instincts for a drummer beyond his years and his drum solos are a highlight of any Sweet Lady show.
The individual talents of the guys in Sweet Lady are evident whether on a recorded track or live. The way they fuse that skill together with passion and blues integrity makes Sweet Lady a “band’s band”, earning the respect of their fellow musicians. At the same time, their high energy live shows make them crowd-favorites for even casual music fans.
Upcoming shows include The Nook in Danville (KY) on February 25, The Crow’s Nest in Cincinnati on March 3 and Henry Clay’s Public House in Lexington on March 4. For other concert dates and more information on Sweet Lady go here. You can also watch their appearance on Bourbon Turntable. However you choose to do it, now is the time to tap into the high energy of Sweet Lady.