REVIEW by Rambles.NET: Miss Bix & the Blues Fix, We Don't Own the Blues by Jerome Clark

sept 14 2019 

Leslie Bixler, who is the Miss Bix end of the Blues Fix, is a singer-songwriter but just as importantly a notable blues creator and performer. Her songwriting skills are formidable, though curiously she has had previous careers in smooth jazz and children's music. She's a late-comer to the blues, though you wouldn't know that.

Much blues writing is formulaic, there as a taking-off point for instrumental and vocal showcasing. Bixler's songs each claim their own personality and their own story to tell, however. Notwithstanding the excellence of her band, on We Don't Own the Blues the focus is on her singing, which is never given to excess. It's recognizably within the tradition, but the voice is conversational, never abandoned to hair-raising, exhibitionistic screech, just as her band holds back from hyper-volume and self-indulgent jamming.

With about three exceptions, Bixler's lyrics reflect been-there blues subject matter but manage to make it surprisingly fresh and immediate. Her approach amounts to a synthesis, at once contemporary and akin to what a time traveler could have heard at any given moment in blues history, from the early rural South through mid-century Chicago and beyond. Other blues acts ought to be covering sterling concoctions like "Follow Me Down'" (the opening cut, which brilliantly fuses the spiritual and the erotic), "Slave to the Grave" (domestic abuse), "Gotta Get Off This Ride" (a train as both escape and metaphor) and "Black Widow" (malicious gossip).

"It Wasn't Me," a gorgeous nightclub confessional, hauntingly recounts an intimate encounter more downbeat than pleasurable. It is every bit an impressively imagined piece of short fiction as it is a song, and it will stay with you. Even so, for all its dignity, I couldn't help being reminded of the rollicking, cheerfully coarse "Who Were You Thinking Of?" recorded by the Texas Tornadoes some years ago. The rest of line goes "when we were making love last night." Two very different songs with a single theme, sufficient to set off a severe case of cognitive dissonance if you hear them in dangerously close proximity.

We Don't Own the Blues bows out with another non-blues, "All the Time," which hovers ambiguously between a secular love affirmation and a sacred hymn, and moves the listener on either side of the reading.

Take my word for it: this is not just another by-the-numbers blues album.

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MISS BIX & the Blues Fix/We Don't Own the Blues: This white gal with the blues took some time off to spend some time at the crossroads and soak it all in. The result? A wild amalgam of all kinds of southern swamp voodoo rolled up into the kind of smoky, sensual sound that probably got black men arrested for the crime of non-aversion back in the day. Like the down and dirty side of Bonnie Raitt you always wanted to hear, Bix is the seductress/enchantress that'll work you harder than a stripper that has to feed her habit and her pimp. Hot


Volume 43/Number 328
September 14, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record.

Miss Bix & The Blues Fix

We Don’t Own The Blues


Miss Bix (Leslie Bixler) has a distinctly contemporary approach to the blues.  While she draws more from the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow than she does from Bessie Smith and Memphis Minnie, it is most certainly a blues album.  We Don’t Own The Blues addresses issues common to us all and manages to paint a picture of the South.  It may be a picture we’ve seen before…but she does it incredibly well.  This woman has a voice that is strong and sultry, yet compellingly vulnerable.  She is joined on the album by Ralph Carter who plays everything but the kitchen sink, John “JT” Thomas on assorted keys, Gary Mallabar and Chad Smith on drums, Brian Calway and Rj Mischo on harmonica, Franck Goldwasser on guitars, and Bill Bixler on saxophones.  This is one of those recordings I find myself going back to on a regular basis.  Bixler is an accomplished guitarist, a powerful vocalist, and one hell of a songwriter.  This album covers the bases, offering everything from straight-ahead blues to tunes colored with jazz influences and Motown infused R&B.  What’s not to like?  - Bill Wilson


Miss Bix review,,,September 30, 2019…..

Posted October 1, 2019 






Miss Bix is the blues nom de plume of one Leslie Bixler (nee’ Letven).  She spent several years on the L. A. scene while her son was growing up, becoming involved in the making of a couple of children’s albums with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.  After her son grew up, Miss Bix got the itch to study and record some of the history behind the myths of the blues.  Take it from us, she went to the best place there is to conduct this study–down at the Crossroads itself, in Clarksdale, MS.  Miss Bix spent several months down there, soaking up the local color and learning from the players still active there.  The astonishing results are the twelve cuts that reflect the stories we have heard for a lifetime, dealing with tales that have been passed on thru generations.  The album is entitled “We Don’t Own The Blues,” and every song is a story in itself.

Anyone who has spent any time at all “down South” knows that dysfunctional love is, for some, a way of life.  Our heroine has had enough, tho, for “a body can only endure for so long,” and she’s gettin’ away from the abuse in “Slave To The Grave,” It features slide from Ralph Carter, and a haunting harp from Brian Calway.  A shot of bluesy funk finds our girl knowing somethin’ ain’t right, and, “If You’re Doing What I’m Thinking, I’m gonna break down and cry!”  The title cut is a tale of two more lovers on the outs, full of secrets and lies, with Miss Bix coming to the wise conclusion that this stuff happens to nearly everyone, and “We Don’t Own The Blues.”

Our favorite was a sultry, torchy, cautionary tale for all you fellows out there with a roving eye.  Trust me–SHE KNOWS, and you can’t hide it for long.  Yep–she knows there was someone, and “It Wasn’t Me.”

Miss Bix learned her lessons well on her excursion down to the Crossroads.  She shares her Southern tales of mojos, hoodoos, voodoos, and truths in the most-excellent “We  Don’t Own The Blues.” 


Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.


Miss Bix & The Blues Fix – We Don’t Own The Blues
Format: CD / Label: Eigen Beheer
Releasedatum: 20 september 2019

Tekst: Peter Marinus


Miss Bix & The Blues Fix - We Don't Own The Blues

Format: CD / Label: Own Management
Release Date: September 20, 2019

Text: Peter Marinus

Singer Leslie Bixler from Los Angeles has been active in the music world for some time. For example, she recorded a jazz album as Leslie Letven and was also involved with children's albums.

Under the name Miss Bix & The Blues Fix , she is now on the blues path. And not with the least musicians to assist her. Her new album includes Ralph Carter (bass, guitar, keyboards, producer), John “JT” Thomas (keyboards), Gary Mallaber (drums), Franck Goldwasser aka Paris Slim (guitar), Bill Bixler (saxophone), RJ Mischo (harmonica) and Chad Smith (drums). Musicians who have a history with artists such as Eddie Money, Bruce Hornsby, the Steve Miller Band, Van Morrison and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The album starts very lazy and relaxed with Follow Me Down . A funky blues with raw sharpening guitar work from Paris Slim and the howling harmonica from RJ Mischo. Miss Bix has an intimate, let's say sensual, soul voice that fits well into this song. The atmosphere remains languid and sultry in the gently crawling Slave To The Grave with an atmospheric howling slide guitar and soft moaning harmonica.
If You're Doing What I'm Thinking is a smooth funky shuffle with fiery piercing guitar work and a "Shotgun" (Jr. Walker) -like groove. Then Gotta Get Off This Ride is a very relaxed semi-acoustic shuffle with a soothingly light jazzy sound. In the sweaty Black Widowyou come across a swampy Tony Joe White sound a la "Steamy Windows" while Alannah Myles "" Black Velvet "is also not far away. The slow sneaking Voodoo Man also has that swamp sound.
The acoustic Crazy Bout You is a soulful intimate blues that is followed by You're A Child . Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith will play in this song. The result is a funky blues rock song with a "Message To Love" sound (Jimi Hendrix). We Don't Own The Blues is a wonderful "old-fashioned" shuffling blues shuffle in the best "I Just Want To Make Love To You" tradition.
In the next three closing songs, Miss Bix says goodbye to the blues. It Wasn't Meis a jazzy ballad with sparkling piano work and the beautiful sensual and tormented vocals of Miss Bix. In Baby Come Back, Miss Bix enters the softsoul terrain in a song with a Bill Withers-like sound.
The closing song All The Time is a piano ballad that could just as easily have been from Tori Amos.

Miss Bix & The Blues Fix have delivered a wonderful blues album and prove to be an asset to the blues with this album!



Leslie Bixler released her first notable album success on Syndrome Records, entitled ‘Make It Right’ under her maiden name of Leslie Letven. This reached number twelve in the smooth Jazz category also at that time she was collaborating with her husband Bill Bixler of the Wild Blue Band and nightclub. After relocating to Los Angeles she and her husband produced and released the album ‘Porcupine.’ Leslie changed her focus to playing music in pre-school classes after the birth of her son; her efforts in this field brought her work to the attention of Dick Van Dyke and Chad Smith (drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), whose child attended her class. She went on to produce two albums “Moon Food” with Dick Van Dyke and “Rhythm Train” with Van Dyke and Chad Smith. She also, toured with Dick and Chad promoting the albums and garnered positive comments from celebrities and publications which led to her winning a parent’s choice award. As time passed (and as her son grew up) Leslie yearned to create music again, which led her to spending a good deal of time living in Clarksdale, Mississippi and while there befriending and learning from the good people and musicians there. Leslie, who takes lead vocals and guitar, was joined in the producers’ booth, by Ralph Carter (The former Musical Director for Eddie Money) who happily lent his invaluable skills in the making of this album. On the twelve numbers here he is featured playing guitar, bass, keyboards and percussion along with; John ‘JT’ Thomas; keyboards, Gary Mallaber and Chad Smith drums, Franck Goldwasser (aka Paris Slim); guitar, Bill Bixler; saxophone, Brian Galway and RJ Mischo; harmonica....  The atmosphere that permeates throughout this album is one of treacle thick closeness and mysticism, whether it is about love, obsession, possession or retribution, it haunts you and invites you in. This is evident from the opening number “Follow Me Down,” with its simmering low level burning guitar and organ, that is dominated and overshadowed by Leslie’s sensuous, softly alluring vocals. “Slave To The Grave,” continues with a darker theme; that is one of abuse, the slithering slide, burning organ and lonesome bass satisfyingly melds with a low wailing harmonica underpinning disturbing lyrics. “We Don’t Own The Blues,” is a slinky, tramping slowburner with rolling piano and grooving harmonica, assisting a slippery slide as Leslie reveals the secrets of her lovers infidelity.  “It Wasn’t Me,” is a slowly heartbreaking ballad of love slipping away, the sparse mournful rolling piano and dripping bass is carried along upon almost desolate brushwork. While above it all Leslie’s fragile vocals tell the tale. “Baby Come Back,” is firmly set in intimate Motown / Marvin Gaye territory; succulent, sexy guitar and percussion grooves while a soothing organ and horn section is backed by cooing vocals mmm...  “Black Widow,” is a swampy, acoustic driven smoky burning tale of a young woman taken salaciously advantage of and is now wreaking her own revenge upon other predators, the bubbling, swirling, urging organ and low wailing harmonica adds lustre to the darkness.

Greatly endorsed!

Brian Harman - Blues In The South



Her first album 'Make It Right' was released on Syndrome Records under her family name Leslie Letven. At the time, she worked closely with her talented husband Bill Bixler from The Wild Blue Band and blues juke joint owner. Back in LA, Leslie and Bill produced the self-published album 'Porcupine', which they sold on gigs and via media channels such as CD Baby. After the birth of their son, Leslie turned her attention to children's music and spent several days a week in kindergarten. There she wrote and tried several children's songs, which caught the attention of Dick Van Dyke and Chad Smith, drummer of Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose little one was also in her class. Together with Dick Van Dyke, Leslie produced the album "Moon Food" and "Rhythm Train" with Van Dyke and Chad Smith. Once her son was independent, she went to Clarcksdale, Mississippi and fell in love with the blues sound. Now there is 'We Don't Own The Blues'. The concept of this collection of songs is inspired by the blues and crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Leslie Bixler aka Miss Bix spent a few months in Clarksdale, MS and learned about the culture of the deep south and learned the blues first hand. Leslie Bixler and co-producer Ralph Carter, who has worked with Eddie Money and Sugaray Rayford in the past, play bass, percussion, guitar and keyboards. The duo is accompanied by John 'JT' Thomas (keys), drummer Gary, guitarist Franck 'Paris Slim' Goldwasser, Bill Bixler (saxophone) and harp player RJ Mischo. Together they create a sound that is reminiscent of earlier songs and records. When albums told a story. Just like with the swampy and New Orleans' Voodoo Man, '' Black Widow, 'the slide guitar and harp inspired' Slave To The Grave 'and the intimate' Crazy 'Bout You' with that deep bluesy groove. All this diverges with handsome ballads such as 'It Wasn't Me', the acoustic 'Gotta Get Off This Ride', the Chicago blues oriented 'We Don't Own The Blues' and the soul-sensitive 'Baby Come Back'. But she does open with a modern touch and 'Follow Me Down' and the funky 'If You're Doing What I'm Thinking'. What a musical enrichment is Miss Bix and her Blues Fix! the acoustic 'Gotta Get Off This Ride', the Chicago blues oriented 'We Don't Own The Blues' and the soul sensitive 'Baby Come Back'. But she does open with a modern touch and 'Follow Me Down' and the funky 'If You're Doing What I'm Thinking'. What a musical enrichment is Miss Bix and her Blues Fix! the acoustic 'Gotta Get Off This Ride', the Chicago blues oriented 'We Don't Own The Blues' and the soul sensitive 'Baby Come Back'. But she does open with a modern touch and 'Follow Me Down' and the funky 'If You're Doing What I'm Thinking'. What a musical enrichment is Miss Bix and her Blues Fix!
Philip Verhaege 

The concept of this collection of songs is inspired by the home of the blues, the Crossroads in. Clarksdale, Mississippi. Together they create a sound that is reminiscent of earlier songs and records. When albums are told a story!

Peter Merrett PBS106.7 Melbourne Australia


*** MISS BIX & THE BLUES FIX    "We Don't Own The Blues".


* Label: Self Release.


*** Track 1. - "Follow Me Down"  Composed by Leslie Bixler.

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals.

* Ralph Carter: Guitars, Bass.

* John 'JT' Thomas: Hammond B3.

* Brian Calway: Harmonica.

* Gary Mallaber: Drums.

There is a mysticism about this opening track as it swirls around like fog on a dark night on the bayou. Miss Bix instantly establishes her bonafides as a masterful expressive passionate singer that continues that feel of the orchestration with each and every lyric. Ralph Carter's guitar shimmers and pulsates throughout and then he combines on bass with Gary Mallaber on drums to make for a formidable rhythm section. John "JT" Thomas is absolutely  mesmerising on Hammond B3 as he wistfully glides throughout the mix in a magical way that is mesmerising. The Hammond certainly helps maintain the mysticism of the song. Then to add to the incredible sound Brian Calway produces a performance of stunning proportions on harmonica. This certainly is an amazing introduction to the album and one that displays a masterful display of not only performance but also production from Ralph Carter and Leslie Bixler. This certainly bodes well for the remainder of the album.


*** Track 2. - "Slave To The Grave"  Composed Leslie  Bixler.

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals and Guitar.

* Ralph Carter: Slide Guitar, Guitar, Wurlitzer and Bass.

* John 'JT' Thomas: Hammond B3.

* Brian Calway: Harmonica.

* Gary Mallaber: Drums.

Slinky cool slow smouldering Blues that has the South permeating through every note and the pathos is very tangible. Miss Bix is sensuous in her vocal presentation and very expressive as she caresses the listener with each lyric delivered with total conviction. Ralph Carter is in his element here and his guitar offering is stratospheric what with the blistering soul shaking slide guitar and then the laconic acoustic guitar for good measure. If that wasn't enough this true musical genius also provides the amazing powerful Wurlitzer organ in all of it's grandeur. Leslie "Miss Bix" Bixler herself also provided guitar on this track. John "JT" Thomas adds to the grandeur of the keyboard sound with the Hammond B3 and the sound created by the spinning Lesley speaker is hard to match in music. Gary Mallaber has his reed perfectly modulated throughout and the runs from his harp are simply gorgeous to say the least. With such a powerful Blues ballad one needs a masterful rhythm section and here you have the best with the return of Ralph Carter on bass and drummer Gary Mallaber. Such a strong but also sensitive ballad  that just has it all.


*** Track 3. - "If You're Doing What I'm Thinking" Composed by Leslie Bixler and Ralph Carter. 

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals.

 * Frank Goldwasser: Lead Guitar.

* Rj Mischo: Harmonica.

* John 'JT' Thomas: Hammond B3.

* Ralph Carter: Bass, Guitars and Drums.

Romping, stomping, grinding Blues that has Miss Bix in her element with stunning vocals that have a bit of rock in the delivery. The inclusion of the backing vocals from Miss Bix herself and Ralph Carter add a wonderful element to the mix also. Frank Goldwasser certainly unleashes a whiskey fuelled full on guitar performance on this one as he just smokes the frets in no uncertain terms. Harmonica tyro the infamous Rj Mischo unleashes a full on reed attack on harp and man this cat takes no prisoners as he lets rip all over this one in a virtuoso display. Ralph Carter steps up for duty not only on guitars which he is masterful on but also takes care of the rhythm section on bass and drums holding down the perfect cadence that has this Blues moving in the best possible groove. John "JT" Thomas caresses the mix with his stunning Hammond B3 and if one listens carefully you can hear that spinning Lesley speaker.  Sensational Blues that has a perfect groove and the most perfect of performances on a song written by Leslie Bixler and Ralph Carter that is an instant Blues classic. 


*** Track 4. - "Gotta Get Off This Ride" Composed by Leslie Bixler.

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals.

* Ralph Carter: Bass, Piano and Drums.

* Frank Goldwasser: All Guitars.

* John 'JT' Thomas: Hammond B3.

Slow stylish Blues that has Miss Bix caressing the microphone with a breathless sensuality with her vocals. Her voice is expressive and in complete control as she holds you in the palm of her hand. Stunning performance once again on a song she composed herself. Frank Goldwasser returns with another masterful display on guitar that simply takes your breath away. His runs a re mesmerizing with a complexity that he makes sound so simple such is his ability. The stunning rhythm section that so comfortably sits in the pocket on this one is handled by the maestro of the album Ralph Carter with his drumming and bass playing second to none with the cadence laconically rolling along. Ralph Carter not only delivers the rhythm section so perfectly but also sits in on the 88's laying down the sweetest of triplets. Rounding out this Blues brilliance is John "JT" Thomas on his ever present Hammond B3 and what an impact he has on the sound, pure liquid gold is the best way to describe his playing and he certainly can't be denied. Another piece of Blues that has everything going for it and can't be improved at all. Wow what a track. 


*** Track 5. - "Black Widow"  Composed by Bixler.

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals.

* Ralph Carter: Bass, Guitars and Drums.

* John 'JT' Thomas: Hammond B3.

* Brian Calway: Harmonica.

Catchy intricate guitar runs from Ralph Carter introduce this one and his playing is simply stunning but wow what an impact he makes with the various guitars he plays. Miss Bix enters with her vocals and instantly establishes herself as to be in total control of the song even down to providing her own beguiling backing vocals. Expressive song with complex runs but stunning breaks that completely amaze the listener. John "JT" Thomas's Hammond B3 weaves his magic throughout the mix weaving a web just like a "black widow" spider. Ralph Carter also delivers a very potent addition to the rhythm section on bass along with boisterous drumming also in a one man wrecking crew of power and passion.  Throughout the mix one can only be amazed with the tonality and luxurious harp playing from Brian Calway as he calls out from the depths of the mix.


*** Track 6. - "Voodoo Man" Composed by Bixler.

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals.

* Ralph Carter: Guitars and Bass.

* Frank Goldwasser: Lead Guitar.

* John 'JT' Thomas: Hammond B3 and Wurlitzer.

* Brian Calway: Harmonica.

* Gary Mallaber: Drums.

Frank Goldwasser shimmers and grinds on guitar on the intro to this one as he plays with a demonic abandum that is just so very beguiling, weaving a magical spell on the mix! Miss Bix enters with expressive plaintive vocals that call out to the listener and maybe the devil at the crossroad seeking an audience. Ralph Carter also provides guitar on this wonderful sensory overload of just what great Blues guitar sounds like when played with a passion that can't be taught but rather be born with or the selling of one's soul. Brian Calway certainly is in his element on harp with this one as he simply rips it up covering the top and the bottom effortlessly with a tenacity that is hard to control. On such a potent Southern Blues you need an equally potent rhythm section and here Ralph Carter on bass and Gary Mallaber on drums drive this one like a rattling rumbling old steam train moving on down the line. John "JT" Thomas has the keyboards covered what with the stunning Hammond B3 and the grandiose Wurlitzer for good measure and provides a masterful display, no a virtuoso display of playing. This is a big, bold and brash Blues that has everything going for it and is one for the ages.


*** Track 7. - "Crazy 'Bout You" Composed by Bixler.

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals.

* Ralph Carter: Guitars, Bass, Keyboards and Drums.

* Brian Calway: Harmonica.

Stunning intro with Ralph Carter providing wonderful percussion that instantly draws you into the song. There certainly is far less orchestration with this one than previous tracks but that being said this one has a stunning intricacy about it. Miss Bix effortlessly slides into her vocals and they just  sort of lazily drift along at the most beguiling of cadences. The tempo and her tonality are simply stunning and carry you along with her story and she also provides her own backing vocals on this one. Ralph Carter certainly is a masterful guitarist and here he displays in full that maestro like quality. Not only does he display that brilliance on guitar but again here he provides the wonderfully structured in the groove rhythm section playing drums and bass. Brian Calway's harp playing will have you drawing breath such is the sheer beauty of it and his ability to place it in the mix at precisely the right time is a standout. To round out the sound Ralph Carter provides the wonderful full bodied keyboards to the mix in what in the overall scheme of the song is an amazing contribution to say the least.     


*** Track 8. - "You're A Child" Composed by Bixler.

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals.

* Ralph Carter: Guitars, Bass, Keyboards and Drums.

* Brian Calway: Harmonica.

Ralph Carter unleashes the inner rock guitarist and sets about to provide an incendiary performance on this one and he certainly doesn't disappoint. Entering the realms of Blues/Rock this one has a potency about it and a complexity in the orchestration also. Wonderful percussion work permeates throughout the mix courtesy of Ralph Carter as does his incredible hard driving work on bass and drums as a one man rhythm section in a take no prisoners performance. Not content to stop there Carter also lays down the wicked keyboards in another virtuoso display of musicianship. When it comes to the vocals Miss Bix has is it just right with a nice big helping of attitude and  a wonderful tone that along with her impeccable phrasing make for the most perfect of performances from her. Again she has composed a killer track. Brian Calway handles the harp duties and his playing is superb on what overall is absolutely stunning. You can't do any better than this. 


*** Track 9. - "We Don't Own The Blues" Composed by Bixler.

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals.

* Ralph Carter: Resonator Guitar, Piano and Hammond B3.

* Frank Goldwasser: Guitars.

* Brian Calway: Harmonica.

* Gary Mallaber: Drums.

Very cool Blues is the title track that could have come straight out of the Clarksdale Mississippi songbook but was composed by Leslie "Miss Bix" Bixler herself in the perfect homage to one of the great centres of this great venerable music. Loping, rollicking laconic song that has the most smile inducing cadence about it and man this is the Blues and just what makes the Blues the music we love. Whether the song is eighty years old or two years old doesn't mean a thing when it is this good. Miss Bix rolls along effortlessly with her vocals as if life is simply just a dream and she doesn't have a care in the world, such a joyful experience to hear her. The addition of her voice and Ralph Carters voices as backing vocalists adds to the sheer delight of this song. Ralph Carter's Resonator Guitar has the sound and feel that perfectly encapsulates the time and place as does his other guitars in what is a display of sublime genius. Frank Goldwasser is also on guitar and with his input the sound just magnifies to the stratosphere and would have every Blues guitar God on high smiling with delight. The most enjoyable combination of guitarists would be nigh on impossible to find elsewhere. Ralph Carter also lays down some very stunning Hammond B3 on this one. The rhythm section is just drummer Gary Mallaber and man this cat keeps the cadence cookin'. Brian Calway is the dynamo on harp and he absolutely cooks his reeds in a performance that would have Sonny Boy 1 & 2 smiling in appreciation. Excellent Blues!


*** Track 10. - "It Wasn't Me" Composed by Bixler.

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals.

* John 'JT' Thomas: Piano and Hammond B3.

* Ralph Carter: Guitar and Bass.

* Gary Mallaber: Drums.

The first impression that comes to mind with this breathy Blues ballad is just how gorgeous a song it is and just how good a composer Leslie Bixler is. Here the piano of John "JT" Thomas is heartbreakingly and achingly stunning as he caresses the 88's with a richness in his phrasing that perfectly frames the statement that less can be more. Such a perfect performance as is his brilliance on Hammond B3 that exquisitely frames the piano and floats throughout the mix on gossamer wings. Miss Bix delivers a achingly beautiful vocal performance that is full of gravitas and just reeks of sentimentality also. Her phrasing is out of this world and it is evident that she is perfectly in tune with just how to compose the perfect song for her voice and this is most certainly just that. Ralph Carter's guitar is supple and somewhat understated but none the less gorgeous also. Rounding out this very sophisticated recording is the perfectly modulated rhythm section of bassist Ralph Carter and drummer Gary Mallaber. Now this is a song and performance to savour such is the desirability of it and the sophistication. Slow smouldering Blues at it's very, very best.


*** Track 11. - "Baby Come Back" Composed by Bixler and Carter.

* Leslie Carter: Lead Vocals.

* Ralph Carter: Guitar, Bass and Additional Keys (strings).

* Frank Goldwasser: Lead Guitar.

* John 'JT' Thomas: Wurlitzer and Hammond B3.

* Gary Mallaber: Drums.

* Bill Bixler: Saxophones.

Here we are heading in a slightly different direction, a R&B direction with an emphasis on heavy percussion courtesy of Ralph Carter. Groovy overtones to the sound with a cadence that rolls along revolving around the rhythm section of Ralph Carter on bass and Gary Mallaber on drums. Miss Bix has her vocals in a pleading style that is perfect for R&B and she displays so much emotion in doing so. Bill Bixler adds the obligatory saxophones in true R&B fashion and his reed work is excellent. Frank Goldwasser and Ralph Carter lay down the stunning guitar runs throughout and demonstrate a perfect understanding of the style and sound. John "JT" Thomas provides not only the mighty Wurlitzer but also the obligatory Hammond B3 in a wonderful display of playing. The additional keys come from the extremely talented Ralph Carter who also adds to this with the strings inflection. Pure stylish R&B given some extraordinary flair for good measure in a masterful display.


*** Track 12. - "All The Time" Composed by Bixler.

* Leslie Bixler: Lead Vocals.

* Ralph Carter: Acoustic Guitar, Ukulele, Keys, Piano and Bass.

Uncomplicated look into a mirror by Miss Bix at her life and all that she has achieved and just what it all has meant to her. Without a big fanfare here she is able to critically observe just what her life has achieved and what she sees in her future. Her vocals comfortably convey her story with all the drama and pathos of the story that is tinged with the not knowing beautifully. Joined only by Ralph Carter who provides all of the instruments on the track in what is a virtuoso performance itself, he establishes himself as a rare breed of musician indeed. One of  immense talents of our time. He provides Guitars, Bass, Slide Guitar, Drums, Piano, Keyboards, Organ, Resonator Guitar, Hammond B3, Acoustic Guitar and  Ukulele,  he certainly has provided the most poignant of musical beds to this pathos laden song. There is just so much emotion about the song that one is instantly carried along on Leslie Bixler's life story and can't help but be moved by it.



Mmmmmhhh Miss Bix And The Blues Fix you certainly know how to make an impact with an album and this album certainly makes a very big impact. It is laden with brilliant song after song composed by you Leslie Bixler or with Ralph Carter and each and every song is stand alone superb. The recording qualities of the alum are of the highest quality and perfectly frame each song and the brilliance of the performances there in. When it comes to vocals l suppose we can say "oh l've heard it all, they all sound the same" and yes maybe that could be true in some instances but trust me when l say "not here"! Leslie "Miss Bix" Bixler is one sassy mama who can really sing the Blues and in fact anything else if she so desired. She possesses one of those very special voices that only occasionally come along that instantly grab your attention and have you saying "wow l love her voice' and add to that her impeccable phrasing then you have a match made in heaven. Yeah she's got it! There is a definite synchronicity about this album as all of the sum parts come together in the best possible way and l think it is a combination of the best singer meets the best songs meets the best band meets the best producer. You have to have that come together and here the stars have aligned and the band, well the band are amazing so let's look at who they are. Let's start with the genius that is Ralph Carter, Guitars, Bass, Slide Guitar, Drums, Piano, Keyboards, Organ, Wurltzer, Resonator Guitar, Hammond B3, Acoustic Guitar and Ukulele. I'm exhausted by the list of instruments but in awe of the man also. John "JT" Thomas Hammond B3, Wurlitzer and Piano. Gary Mallaber Drums. Brian Calway Harmonica. Rj Mischo Harmonica. Frank Goldwasser Guitar. Chad Smith Drums. Bill Bixler Saxophones. This combination provided the absolute best in music on this album bar none. Each song is a major offering and a stand alone hit song that could be released as a single which in my opinion this album will feature high on the Roots Music charts. This definitely is an album for a lover of the very best in Blues music and a lover of the very best in female led vocals. Trust me it has it all and all you have to do is purchase a copy and l guarantee you wont stop playing it!


Betsie Brown

Blind Raccoon LLC


PO Box 40045, Memphis TN 38174

Review in Malibu Surfside:

Bixler finds new voice with ‘We Don’t Own the Blues’

Leslie Bixler, of Malibu, will have a Sept. 29 album release party for “We Don’t Own the Blues,” at Casa 


Barbara Burke, Freelance Reporter

10:50 am PDT September 12, 2017

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“I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the North, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness,” wrote Frederick Douglass in “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.” “It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears.” 

All of us evolve over a lifetime, perhaps in a vocation, an avocation, one’s personality, or in all other dimensions that blend to define a person’s journey.

Malibu’s eclectic and electrifying Leslie Bixler has been writing, recording, performing and evolving as a talented, cutting-edge artist since her early 20s. Her works range from smooth jazz, to rock and roll, to charming children’s records, to the blues — her current fascination and focus.

Bixler’s newest album, “We Don’t Own the Blues,” created under the moniker “Miss Bix,” is a soulful, sultry, sensuous collection of Mississippi Delta songs written by Bixler and produced by Ralph Carter (musical director for Eddie Money and co-writer of the hit “Shakin,” composed and produced music for “Dancing with the Stars,” and Kidthing). The pair, who have collaborated on some of Bixler’s other albums, including “Moon Food,” added many multifaceted musicians on the album, including guitarist Franck Goldwasser, JT Thomas (touring with Bruce Hornsby) on B3 and keyboards, Gary Mallaber (drummer for Van Morrison and Steve Miller) on drums, RJ Mischo, a stellar harmonica player, Bill Bixler playing saxophone, and Brian Calway on harmonica. The album also features Chad Smith (drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) who makes a guest appearance on drums. 

The multi-faceted Carter played guitar, acoustic guitar, ukulele, keys, piano and bass.

Malibu Surfside News sat down with the Bixler and Carter to talk about the creative process, the synergy and the soul that combined to make the pair’s latest album.

“Both Leslie and I got a re-exposure to the blues through the workshops that we worked at together in Clarksdale, Mississippi. I saw Leslie light on fire,” Carter said. “The spirit of the blues hangs very heavily there and you can feel the depth of the culture.  

“ ... [Leslie] embraced it and her background – she’s an incredibly versatile musician as a songwriter and musician – combined with the soulfulness of the blues, that deep feeling of the blues, created a magical combination. She let it take her where it was meant to go.”

For her part, Bixler says she and Carter have great synergy.

“We have complementary skills,” she said. “I’m darting and outgoing. He’s a plodder. He knows how to take what I’ve done and bring the best out.”

Bixler connects with the Deep South and the blues that evoke the struggles of slaves, the disenfranchised, people paralyzed by poverty, and especially women, who are restrained by stereotypes and who desperately want to break free and find their voice.

“I dedicate this collection of songs to women everywhere who have been silenced, trivialized, shamed, or excluded,” the album cover states. “Keep holding on. A change is gonna come.”

The collaboration between Bixler and Carter has resulted in a phenomenal, emotive, evocative album that beckons one to feel the music, to dance rhythmically to it, and to literally immerse oneself in its rawness.

The album speaks of love, love lost, eternal yearning, elusive justice, angst, and of yearning to be free. 

Bixler’s voice, vibes and volume are sensual and evocative.

The gritty, gutsy sequences and interludes of the album mesmerize the listener. One feels they are entrenched in the emotions, the hurts, the haunts, the sometimes aching hollowness at the bottom of the human soul. And yet, the album excites and invigorates the listener.

“I want every song to feel good — to have that groove where you want to move to it,” Bixler said. “The pocket is where the beat is laid back enough that you’re grounded in your body. The rhythm is so important. The best players really understand that is where you put your vocals to the back of the beat where the listener is so relaxed. A lot of the delivery is phrasing as well – you come in late to the phrase. I strive for the back beat. It gets your attention like you’re speaking to someone.”

The blend of Bixler’s resonant voice, voluminous and voluptuous, with the instrumentals makes for a great listen.

“I really think I’m at home in the blues even though I’m not a classical blues musician,” Bixler said. “In this album, I stretch out a little singing simple blues melodies.”

Dick Van Dyke, with whom Bixler has collaborated in creating children’s albums (“Moon Food” and “Rhythm Train”), has seen Bixler evolve as an artist. He knows a cutting-edge body of work when he hears it.

“Leslie and I have collaborated on the children’s albums where she wrote the very best children’s songs,” Van Dyke said. “In this work, it’s all brand new blues. The songs have got all that soul.” 

Somewhere between jamming and conversing about the songs, Bixler and Carter realized they had a wonderful, creative success. Their biggest challenge was finalizing the album production.

“We started making sketches of songs in one session and then layered on parts, drums or some sort of percussion, bass, or a couple of guitar parts,” Carter said. “At one point, Leslie turned around and said ‘I’ve got an album here.’ Then, we turned around and let ourselves be creative. 

“Leslie can think outside of the box and we allowed ourselves to be experimental and followed our gut. We’d work on a song for a session or two and then put it away and come back to it and decorate it the way we wanted it. We had a huge amount of creativity going on. The tough part was choosing what songs to put on the album. Our sketches survived and there are songs for the next album.”

“We Don’t Own the Blues” is an intense, passionate body of work.

“I’ve worked with a lot of performers and it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Leslie because she knows how to work with others and deliver it,” Carter said. “You can open your mouth and sing on pitch, but to know how to deliver the feeling about what you’re doing — that’s what separates the real artists from the amateurs.”

B.B. King once said “The blues are three L’s, and that would be living, loving, and, hopefully, laughing.” 

None of us may own the blues. 

However, when Bixler sings a blues song, she owns one’s admiration, and all who listen feel her sense of lessons learned while living, loving and laughing.

Fans new and old are invited to Bixler’s album release party at Casa Escobar at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. The event, which is free, will feature Bixler, Carter, Montgomery Pollack and Pete Gallagher.

Article In Malibu Surfside 9/12/17