Been So Long -
The Toni Lynn Washington Band



All Music Guide
I'm pleased to report that All Music Guide has assigned a 4 1/2 Star rating to Toni Lynn Washingtons "Been So Long". The disc has also been designated an "AMG Pick".

Best regards,

Real Blues Magazine
2003 Best Blues Release (Canadian Label/U.S. Artist)
3 Way Tie: Toni Lynn Washington: Been So Long (Northern Blues)
Ronnie Earl (Stony Plain)
Snooky Pryor (Electro Fi)

2003 Best Blues Artist (Female Artist)
Toni Lynn Washington: Been So Long (Northern Blues)

Best Regards,
Cheri Wilhelm
Real Blues magazine


"Been So Long" by Toni Lynn Washington 
Kind of sounds like:
 Your grandmother (if she were Shug Avery from The Color Purple).
Why you should buy her CD: Hearing the blues should never be this much fun.
Best listened to: While playing spades.

Essence Magazine
CD Picks, October 2003

Toni Lynn Washington does herself proud with another sterling effort, this time co-produced by Duke Robillard. He and Bruce Bears (Washington's pianist and music director) bring out enough soulful style to render comparisons to one of Washington’s idols, Ruth Brown. Washington shows great range, moving from the piquant jazz of the Little Jimmy Scott-identified "Angel Eyes" to the steamy boogie-woogie of "It's Been a Long Time (Been So Long)”, with Bears kicking it to life on the ivories. The dizzying range feels seamless, though, whether it’s a sweet cover of "Willow Weep for Me" (learned from a Nina Simone record) or the more modern swamp-rock of the Cate Brothers' "Are You Happy Now?" or the funky rock of "Shake Me", penned for her by Jon Pousette-Dart, former leader of Bostons Pousette-Dart Band.
-- Steve Morse for The Boston Globe, August 1, 2003

Trying to analytically explain why this CD ("Been So Long") is so wonderful is like trying to explain why God is God, or why water is wet. You are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go and get this album, now.”
-- P. Kellach Waddle for BluesWax

Take a seasoned veteran, give her one of the best producers, the best musicians, release it on a brand new label, and you have another W.C. Handy Award nomination. Duke Robillard is the guitarist/producer, Bruce Bears is the keyboardist/co-producer, and Scott Aruda, Gordon Beadle, Chuck Langford and Doug James are the horn section, add Kevin Belz on guitar, Jesse Williams and Lou Ulrich on bass, and Mark Texeira , Dave Jamrog, and Warren Grant on drums, and you have an instant classic. If you were never a fan of this woman, you will be. This is one for eternity.
-- New York Blues and Jazz 

“The good times continue on Toni Lynn Washington’s NorthernBlues debut project that brilliantly teams her up with ace guitar slinger Duke Robillard and his hip-bumping, horn-studded band, singing a slew of covers on her bluesiest outing to date, especially on shouters such as Bessie Smiths rousing "Back Water Blues", the devilishly stomping Gamble-Huff title tune and deep-soulers "Are You Happy Now" (great distraught guitar), Earl King's forlorn "Three Can Play the Game" and Ruth Brown's ballsy "Its Love Baby (24 Hours of the Day)." More modern efforts like "Take Me to the Basement" and a Washingtonian interpretation of the smooth soul classic "Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday" are also impressive.

Recorded live at a pair of New England locales - the notorious Duke's Mood Room in Pawtucket, RI and Sudbury, MA, the laid back Club 39. Produced by Robillard and versatile keyboard player Bruce Bears with track-by-track commentaries from Washington. An impressive outing."

-- Gary von Tersch, Big City Blues (August/September 2003)

“Toni Lynn Washington, "Been So Long" (NorthernBlues Music) - Slide the furniture to one side of the room and get ready to do some slippin and slidin in your sock feet. Big-band, bar-room blues hasnt sounded this sweet in a long time.”
- By Michael Miller for The State - daily paper of Columbia, SC

“Just wanted to drop you a line and tell you that we got the Toni Lynn Washington-Been So Long release in our current rotation and its just great! We love it here at the station and were doing all we can to promote it and spinning it heavy. Anyhow, hope you have a great summer and keep up the good work at NorthernBlues!”
-- Leroy Alvarez for WNMC 90.7

“I’ve been listening to "Been So Long". Bruce, You and the backing band are awesome! I’m one of the few non-guitar folks, can take it or leave it. But, as for keys (and sax), that’s my cup of tea and you . . . over-filled my cup!”

-- Gypsy at

I remember reading something about the Toni Lynn Washington CD (Been so Long) on Blues-L, so I just now put it on and the band backing Toni is KILLER!!! Pull out the liner notes and that tasty, tasty keyboard is Zeller Bruce Bears! Hey, nicely done Bruce. This is a really good CD!! I can hardly wait to dive into some of the others now.
-- Terry Odom for BLUES-L