The blues have never had a particularly large presence in Brazil… The tropicalistas such as Caetano Veloso dabbled in them a bit; various rockers have played a riff here and a riff there, but for the most part, the style never seemed to strike the fancy of Brazilian audiences. That makes this a *very* unusual album — an accomplished, hard-edged, houserocking blues blast, led by Sao Paulo pianist Ari Borger. He’s got the goods: this is a punchy, well-produced set… superior, even, to most of the blues coming out in the United States these days. Vocalist Ivone Williams, who fronts the band on most of these songs, also has serious blues chops, wailing away in a Koko Taylor-y, Francine Reed-like fashion. The only trouble, though, is that most of the songs are sung in English, rather than Portuguese, which makes this merely a good blues album, rather than a rare and amazing cultural artifact. Still, this is worth checking out if you want to hear a completely different kind of Brazilian pop.