Press Quotes

At times, I’m too busy to praise myself. These ladies and gentlemen were kind enough to do it for me:

[This first section is praise for the 2020 Delmark Records album “JOHNNY IGUANA’S CHICAGO SPECTACULAR!,” which made the Top Albums of 2020 lists of Blues Blast magazine,, WXPN (Philadelphia), Blues Breakers/WXRT (Chicago, IL), Soul Bag magazine (France), Clave de Rock (Murcia, Spain), WGMC (Rochester, NY), Historias Del Blues (Bogota, Colombia), Bill Kopp (Musoscribe), All About Blues Music, Radio Z on WBEZ (Chicago NPR), Blues & Roots Radio (UK), KDHX (St. Louis, MO), KWIT (Sioux City, IA), KUNM (Albuquerque, NM), WLUW (Chicago, IL), Friday Blues Fix, CHIRP Radio (Chicago) and more!!]

“The fingers of Johnny Iguana point the blues towards its future, comfort with his craft allowing tradition and innovation space in the same song….A celebration of the style, showcasing the best of Chicago piano blues and cruising towards a future for the genre via the innovations of the man sitting at the piano”–The Alternate Root

“His understanding of Chicago blues is deep and finely textured….He’s grounded in punk, jazz, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll as well….His rollicking piano work is deeply expressive, and he coaxes an astounding swath of variety out of the acoustic instrument….He rocks the daylights out of the thing….’Chicago Spectacular!’ defies easy classification….It’s a testament to Iguana’s taste, eclecticism and superb musicianship that all of the pieces selected and/or written for the album hang together as a cohesive and splendidly satisfying whole.”–Bill Kopp, Living Blues


“As the title Chicago Spectacular suggests, it’s a riotous celebration of the Windy City…an album that shows how vibrant Chicago blues can be….Iguana finds a sweet spot between jumping piano R&B and gutbucket blues, placing the rhythm in the forefront and keeping things lively and swinging throughout. The result is a blast, an album that celebrates Chicago traditions while tweaking them with a big grin.”–Stephen Thomas Erlewine, (four stars)

“Johnny conjures a massive sound from the ivories…the Raymond Scott connection, the punk thrust, and that eternally smooth operator Mose Allison; it’s all worth mentioning to drive home the range of influence on display here, but really, the greater achievement is the cohesiveness of these originals and how they enhance and elevate ‘CHICAGO SPECTACULAR!’ beyond the realms of a mere tribute project…The strongest thread of appreciation throughout ‘CHICAGO SPECTACULAR!’ is how Iguana isn’t a style copyist and that he never takes the sophisto route. Instead, he’s a righteous pounder and a passionate fan of the blues, which in combination, is a truly splendid thing. Grade: A-“–The Vinyl District

“He has become a performer like no other, a totally unique pianist who is recognizable in everything he does….Exquisite self-composed instrumentals are served…rock hard blues piano of the highest quality….This is definitely one of this year’s best albums for me. There is tradition and innovation in beautiful union. Recommended without reservation. BBBBBB (highest rating: Six out of six B’s)”–Tor E. Bekken, Blues News (Norway)

“Whether your a fan of the Golden Age of Chicago blues, or the newer incarnations thereof, you’re gonna love ‘Johnny Iguana’s CHICAGO SPECTACULAR!’….There is a myriad of key hammering, ivory tickling, piano blues in its most unique form…simply magnificent…it doesn’t get more Chicago than that…Hang on to your hats!”–American Blues Scene

“A blues album like no other, being traditional yet utterly contemporary.”–Big City Blues Magazine

“That exclamation point is no throwaway. The dynamic pianist and Claudettes co-founder brings rockabilly verve to our hometown blues, and challenges an A-list of guest players to keep pace.”–New City, Chicago


“A remarkably refreshing approach and one that should earn him a spot with Sunnyland, Maceo, Roosevelt Sykes, Barrelhouse Chuck and Henry Gray for piano blues integrity…. Iguana’s pounding piano is true to the heritage of the songs…a breathtaking…and inspired…celebration of Windy City blues piano.”–Michael Kinsman, Blues Music Magazine

“A toe-tapping odyssey of how Chicago blues should be played, with a focus on Johnny’s amazing piano playing…a rollicking roller coaster of eclectic Chicago blues tunes to savor.”–Colin Campbell, Blues Matters magazine (UK)

“Iguana moves the tradition forward with his own spectacular playing that brims with energy and inventiveness…phenomenal performances anywhere the needle drops…a one-of-a-kind masterpiece…you simply have to own this if you’re a self-respecting blues fan.”–Holler (blues magazine of the Colorado Blues Society)

“It’s good to be reminded how expressive a blues instrument the piano can be with the right pianist at the helm. And in case you’re wondering, Johnny Iguana is the right pianist….Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular! earns its titular exclamation point with rousing and energetic blues anthems that echo the very best of the genre’s piano pioneers…combing jazz and the blues with a maturity you may have forgotten was possible in the blues….It’s hard to imagine anyone getting a better introduction (or re-introduction) to the amazing sounds of blues piano at its best. A truly memorable effort.”–All About Blues Music

“Iguana moves the tradition forward with his own spectacular playing that brims with energy and inventiveness…phenomenal performances…a one-of-a-kind masterpiece….Whereas many reviews pan or give a thumbs’ up to a particular recording, the bottom line here is you simply have to own this if you’re a self-respecting blues fan.”–Holler (the magazine of the Colorado Blues Society)

“As far as these ears go, any release by Johnny Iguana has always been a barrel of fun…His instantly recognizable piano work also propels the endlessly creative band the Claudettes….If you’re a blues fan, especially a Chicago blues fan, and most especially a fan of piano blues, you NEED ‘Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular!’ in your collection. Johnny Iguana is proudly carrying on the tradition of the great Windy City piano men and he’s also carrying it to the next level with his own adventurous playing.”–Blues Bytes

“JOHNNY IGUANA’S CHICAGO SPECTACULAR! is just that….Cat can play. His artistry knows no boundaries. His creativity is through the roof….This thing’s a party. And it never has to end.”–Goldmine Magazine

“A living testament to all the great stuff that has come before, this set will be a revelation for anyone that thought they couldn’t be into traditional, post war electric blues. Killer stuff.”–Midwest Record

“The term ‘rollicking’ is overused to describe heavy-duty piano-driven music. Not so here. This rollicking is tough and tenaciously blues that just happens to keep your body and soul rocking.”–

“Johnny’s first time at the helm further cements his place as one of the brightest artists in today’s fertile blues scene (score: 9 out of 10).”–Take Effect Reviews

“The fingers of Johnny Iguana point the Blues towards its future, comfort with his craft allowing tradition and innovation space in the same song…a celebration of the style, showcasing the best of Chicago piano blues and cruising towards a future for the genre via the innovations of the man sitting at the piano.”–The Alternate Root

“Keyboard player Johnny Iguana is a rare talent in the world of modern blues….The results are nothing short of spectacular, as the title suggests….Johnny’s modern approach rises to the surface through his powerful chordal attack….“Motorhome” barrels down the highway, careening between lanes as Iguana fires on all cylinders….cooks throughout….A treat awaits!”–Marty Gunther, Chicago Blues Guide

“Boogie-woogie and barrelhouse players proved long ago that a properly operated piano was all that was necessary to rock a joint. Gloriously, Johnny has brought that deep growl and rumble into the 21st century.”–Microwave Dave Gallaher (Legendary Alabama musician, radio host and Keeping the Blues Alive award winner)

“His playing is packed with originality and at the same time sustains the definition of the Chicago blues sound…contemporary and daring…a unique pianist who honors his Chicago blues heroes while leaving his own mark…(5 out of 5 stars)”–Keys and Chords (The Netherlands)

“Skillfully blends classic Chicago blues from the 1950s with a freer, jazzier approach a la Ramsey Lewis, with breakaway original instrumental compositions…Thanks to the recording’s innovative approach, catch phrases can’t be used to describe this disc that breathes renewed life into its cover material…This album rises to the occasion and needs to be recognized, especially one as invigorating as this….(4 out of 5 stars)”–Soul Bag, France

“There are quite a few people walking around who think blues are always the same, or at least too much of the same. After forty minutes, anyone who listens to this CD will have no choice but to agree that this perception is completely wrong.”–Rootstime (Belgium)

“When Johnny Iguana takes a stroll down a piano keyboard, all manner of critters jump up to greet him. Although rooted in blues, Iguana has a wild streak that sends him romping off into the woods to frolic with beasties who don’t normally associate with one anther in nature. But normal is an abstract concept for Iguana, whose avant-garde 88-key meanderings have been the foundation of his band The Claudettes since their inception.”–Grant Britt,

“The adventurous, chameleon-like, affable Chicago pianist Johnny Iguana is finally making his blues debut as a leader…Iguana is a veritable Jerry Lee Lewis and more on the piano…barreling down the highway at highly dangerous speed…This has all the hallmarks of a down-home, sweaty session.”–Glide Magazine

“Iguana combines his reverence for the past blues piano masters with his own adventurous passion on this enlightening Chicago blues outing, as he takes his rightful place among the master class.”–Making a Scene

“Johnny Iguana is, today, one of the best pianists in Chicago blues….A modern approach to the blues, although it has touches that are reminiscent of the old glories of the boogie-woogie….it’s spectacular, it’s risky…a piano album like no other.”–Historia Del Blues, Bogota, Colombia

“Johnny Iguana is both crazier than a shithouse rat and one finest blues piano players in the world….JOHNNY IGUANA’S CHICAGO SPECTACULAR! pays homage to his musical heroes and, at the same time, blazes new trails in blues piano….He pours heart and soul into everything he does.  I enjoyed this one immensely and think you will too.”–Bill Wilson, Reflections in Blue

“Genuine South Side-style Chicago blues in a contemporary, bold and dynamic album”–Blues & Monk (Madrid)

[This next section is selected praise for the 2020 Forty Below Records album “High Times in the Dark” by the Claudettes. Johnny is the founder, songwriter and piano player for the Claudettes/

“Chicago’s original recipe band…The Claudettes’ sonic playing field is the blues and everything after, all tastefully and artfully blended together….Perhaps the band’s greatest super power: songwriting…The Claudettes showcase the band’s range of motion, setting a lingering mood with ‘The Sun Will Fool You’ as Ulseth’s ethereal voice and Iguana’s piano sweetly sing a sad ballad that would not be out of place in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.”–NPR Music

“If you like NRBQ, Medeski Martin and Wood, or any combination of amped up piano soul, then you’ll like theClaudettes.”–Mountain Stage, NPR

“It nods from diverse influences to piano blues and rockabilly to roots, jazz and soul. They’ve cultivated a sound that’s equally clamorous and shimmering–hence the term ‘garage cabaret’…a sense of bravado, both vocally and instrumentally.”–American Songwriter

“What the Claudettes do is truly special: their music can’t be described in a few words, and it’s so damn good that one doesn’t even want to try. Let the music speak for itself…You’ll hear echoes of blues, R&B, punk and postwar jazz…and it all rocks with an undeniably sophisticated, sexy swagger.”—Bill Kopp, Musoscribe

“Based in Chicago, this group is delightfully difficult to pin down. Johnny Iguana’s Barrelhouse piano is at the center of the group’s music, but there’s so much to love that the music requires multiple listens to even begin to absorb it all. Their assets include wit, verve and thrilling instrumental work. I’ve followed the band’s progress and count myself as a major fan.”–Bill Kopp, Musoscribe

“Their challenging, exhilarating sound profits substantially from the piano work and adventurous compositions of Johnny Iguana. But their biggest asset is singer Berit Ulseth, whose captivating vocals variously recall artists as diverse as Julie London, Ruby & the Romantics and Blondie’s Deborah Harry. This inventive fifth album, which finds her singing largely about love, lust, and heartbreak, is arguably their best.”—Jeff Burger, Blog Critics

“The most intriguing and the most difficult to describe of this bunch…hard-driving New Orleans-inspired piano anchors a wall-of-sound approach…Berit Ulseth’s vocals sometimes simmer, sometimes soar, marking this as an ambitious, elegant record, the likes of which are in short supply…what these four have done is no small feat…if (it) doesn’t grab you, then I don’t know what will.”—Amos Perrine, No Depression

“Chicago’s baffling, delightful, and utterly unique band…its crowning achievement, “High Times in the Dark” is packed with memorable melodies, stunning performances, and stories that are witty and wise, as well as touching and timely…a sophisticated, satisfying, and quixotically cohesive sound. The Claudettes are grand champions leading a genre of precisely one band.”—Jeff Elbel, Illinois Entertainer

“This high-octane piano rocker boasts a ton of swagger, especially from vocalist Berit Ulseth. She gives the most tasteful rejections imaginable, each beginning with ‘Dear Sir.”–NPR Music: Station Breaks (The Best New Songs from NPR Member Stations)

“A particularly potent batch of compositions that highlight the quartet’s undeniable chemistry. Johnny Iguana’s piano remains a driving force within the group while Berit Ulseth’s inimitable vocal style remains front-and-center. The Claudettes have stepped comfortably into their finest moment yet via ‘High Times in the Dark.’ The new single is ’24/5,’ which spotlights the group’s ability to marry humor with uncompromising musical ferocity.”–Pop Matters

“The band refers to their sound as “garage cabaret” and that fits beautifully…’High Times in the Dark’ is Chicago band The Claudettes’ fifth album, and it’s an absolute gem. The key is the punk-blues piano of Johnny Iguana blended with the gorgeous vocals of future breakout star Berit Ulseth…The band is composed of super talented musicians…But damn, Ulseth’s voice…her work here is captivating…There’s no filler here…enthralling…It’s a record that ends and you want to hit ‘play’ again. Don’t resist.”–Brett Callwood, LA Weekly (Album of the Week)

“Like a modern version of Blondie…Iguana’s piano give a touch to Billy Joel…and a dash of Dr. John…the team sounds big and bold…a delicate echoed piano/vocal duet on ‘The Sun Will Fool You’ (is) the most moving of the collection.”–Jazz Weekly

“Eleven prime fresh cuts of glorious attitude-packed musicianship, with vocals delivered by an angel…Berit’s voice is somehow simultaneously formidable and serene & heavenly…superb…achingly beautiful…will have you reaching for the repeat button.”–Neil Hodge, Louder Than War (UK)

“This may well be a coming-out party for vocalist Berit Ulseth…it’s blues-jazz-soul with a vocalist that sings rather than shouts…the Claudettes keep it full-throttle…this recording will send echoes from Julie London to Allen Toussaint to garage rockers like the Detroit Cobras and the Black Keys…exceptionally strong and musically rich…’High Times in the Dark’ is the band’s fifth release and by far the best yet.”–Jim Hynes, Glide Magazine

“There’s a lot going on with this album, and it’s all good. The multi-talented and genre-defying Claudettes have a sound that’s steeped in American roots and they present it in an intoxicating and seductive style that is fresh and expansive. The ’60s sound is certainly evident and the top-flight vocals of Berit Ulseth blend in perfectly with the energetic and skillful musical talents of Johnny Iguana, Zach Verdoorn and Michael Caskey. Producer Ted Hutt has done a sterling effort mixing it all together and has captured the essence of their eclectic sounds with poetic perfection.”–The Blues and Roots Music Blog (Australia)

“‘Creeper Weed’ features Iguana banging away like Jerry Lee and Ulseth warbling frenetically over the top like a chanteuse on Ritalin…’24/5′ is metal-clad boogie-woogie laid over a relentless head-banging rhythm section…’Declined’ is a rattly rocker barely restrained from kicking out the jams by Ulseth’s velvety delivery….Always unpredictable, deliciously abnormal, ‘High Times in the Dark’ is a happy hour you’ll hang around for till last call.”–Grant Britt, No Depression

“‘High Times in the Dark’ is filled with clever, soulful rock & roll that’s rooted in blues, jazz, and R&B but veers toward classic pop: music that’s designed to be played in the heart of the night but is snappy and catchy enough to shine brightly during the day….Iguana has tightened his writing, a refinement that helps Ulseth command attention with her lithe vocals. She plays with her phrasing like a jazz singer but keeps her focus on the stories of the songs, sounding as convincing on the MeToo takedown ‘Declined’ as she does on the sly rocker ‘Grandkids, Wave Bye-Bye.’ It all adds up to a vibrant listening experience, one that feels fresh even as it flirts with the past.”–Stephen Thomas Erlewine, (four stars, Editor’s Choice)

“This female-fronted Chicago band…can come out and surprise you with beautifully airy ’70s-cruising pop when you least expect it (“I Swear to God I Will” melts in the ears like chocolate mousse)…Amanda Palmer without the over-amped melodrama, or maybe Carole King with a quicker pulse.”–Eric W. Saeger, Hippo Press (New Hampshire) (Grade: A)

“A beautifully bastardized child of cabaret, pop, punk and rock, ‘High Times in the Dark’ is the band’s strongest offering to date…’You Drummers Keep Breaking My Heart’ is easily one of the best song yet dedicated to those who sat behind a kit….Over the course of five records, the Claudettes have managed to find their niche and perfect a sound that is both impressively broad and wildly fun. ‘High Times in the Dark’ is just further proof that the band deserves a much bigger stage.”–John B. Moore, NeuFutur Magazine

“Johnny Iguana’s piano adds colorful melodic lift, and the dynamics of the production are filled with energy and enthusiasm. But the rich vocals of Berit Ulseth are the real personality charm of the band…Berit really asserts herself on each song as the LP goes deeper….The beauty of the rolling piano notes drive ‘You Drummers Keep Breaking My Heart’…its superbly recorded vocals are a stunner. If I had to give stars, this LP gets 5.”–John Apice, Americana Highways

“The Claudettes draw enthusiastically on a variety of classic forms and styles….Johnny Iguana dominates with some marvelous barrel-house New Orleans piano, while the silky vocals of Berit Ulseth wind their way in and out in a soulful manner over a sharp rhythm section of Zach Verdoorn and Michael Caskey…veering at times between Bo Diddley and Sade….The album brings together a variety of styles in a sharply performed manner and it’s a fine taster for the live arena, where the dynamics of the band’s sound will surely excel. Hopefully it won’t be too long before they make these shores for me to find out!”–The Rocking Magpie (UK)

“‘High Times in the Dark’ sees Chicago-based outfit the Claudettes return with a moody noir sound….Johnny Iguana’s keyboard skills on the record are sublime. Heavy pounding chord runs are mixed with subtle fills to hint at a style that lands somewhere between the works of Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. Add in the cabaret-punk vocal of Berit Ulseth to the mix alongside the booming drums of founding member, Michael Caskey, and the bass and guitar of Zach Verdoorn and the unique sound of The Claudettes really finds its feet….‘High Times in the Dark’ is a classic noir-infused rock-and-roll record that is full of eccentricity and emotion.”–Folk/Tumble (Ireland)

“GIMME THAT CLAUDETTES ALBUM! PLEASE!…By the time the band starts their third song “I Swear To God I Will” you know you are in love with the singer. What a voice! She seduces, she entrances….their fifth album…is their best ever.”–Scene Point Blank (9 out of 10 stars)

“Wild-eyed and thoroughly fun, the Claudettes cook up an eclectic brew of brash pop and moody cabaret on the vastly entertaining “High Times in the Dark”….Ulseth plays the smoky cocktail chanteuse or the brassy blues shouter with equal authority….This smart, snappy album will make bad times a little easier to bear and turn future good times into a party.”
–Big Takeover Magazine

“Berit Ulseth has a set of pipes to die for….’Creeper Weed’ sounds like Iguana has metal fingers…Caskey on drums and bassist Zach Verdoorn keep the whole thing from going off the rails…they work together really well as a unit…they’ve put together another really, really fine record here.”–Dagger Zine

“Gypsy accents…majestic theatrics…soul-saving boogie…carnival cabaret…’High Times in the Dark’ sets up as main stage, big tent, taking the audience away from the troubles of day-to-day life with the merry melodrama of the Claudettes….The band put the bomp into pomp…(A) beautiful mash-up of coordinated chaos.”–The Alternate Root

“So fun and lively and energetic…(a) wonderful blend of musical genres that gives the Claudettes such a distinctive sound…we love the album.”–Ditty TV

“Garage cabaret at its best….Chicago blues/punk quartet release their most stirring album yet.”–Rock & Roll Globe

“If this Chicago bluesy rock band offered a high-school confidential with their 2018 album, its follow-up is a riff-filled rocker that never flags in energy. Lead singer Berit Ulseth has never sounded more sultry, like a good-natured Lana Del Rey out to own the juke joint. Even if certain tracks like ‘Declined’ stand out, the album in its entirety is a party-starter, perfect for the days when parties can be started again.”–Colorado Springs Indy

“The band pulls off the difficult feat of being clearly roots cognizant while never sounding like a dusted-off relic….’High Times in the Dark’ is not a bit hackneyed, which is an absence worth celebrating….a sound that smartly puts Ulseth’s skills up front….she brings appealing soul music verve to the proceedings….As this set unwinds there’s considerable pop savvy on display, and in spots the LP is kinda like a 21 century version of what Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and the Dixie Flyers were doing.”–The Vinyl District

“Great bands often lurk in between the cracks of more popular tastes….The Claudettes mix and meld their sound into something not quite conventional yet soulful, bluesy and at times even jazzy….fronted by the sultry and sweet vocals of Berit Ulseth….Ulseth’s singing has an easy charm, with a vibrant falsetto….(Iguana’s) keyboard work is fantastic everywhere on the record; his immaculate flourishes and lead melody lines really inform everything….The opening track, ‘Bad Babe, Losin’ Touch,’ is a near perfect pop song with an ensemble kick that Ulseth rides above.”–Winnipeg Free Press (4 out of 5 stars)

“Rich with jazz and blues stylings paired with alt-rock attitude….Berit Ulseth is a steadfast crooner with a mesmerizingly clear voice….gritty go-go…bracing storytelling…4 out of 5 stars”–Chuck Campbell, Knoxville News Sentinel

“‘High times in the Dark’ makes you feel as if you’re in a cabaret in the middle of the last century with an unusual touch of modernity….Berit Ulseth’s work is phenomenal throughout the album, without a doubt it is the perfect complement for the great musicians”–Review Mexico (translated from Spanish)

“An engaging mix of blues, rock and pop….The songs are excellent, varied and exciting, and the playing is inspired, playful, relaxed and cool. Berit Ulseth is a true find–super cool in her expression, with style and attitude…highly recommended….It is like a blues/rock/pop/punk cabaret….unpredictable, and highly entertaining.”–Blues News (Norway) (5 out of 6 “B”s) (translated from Norwegian by the reviewer, Tor E Bekken)

“This Chicago quartet blends jazz, blues and indie rock for a sound they call ‘garage cabaret’ featuring the streamlined match of sultry Berit Ulseth’s lead vocals and Johnny Iguana’s adventurous keyboard work….They run the gamut from smooth to gritty to soulful….Ulseth’s take on the ballad ‘The Sun Will Fool You’ is worth the price of admission.”(9 out of 10)
-Eric Harabadian, Music Connection

“A rollicking piano fueled adventure…Berit Ulseth’s vocals soar…charms with piano acrobatics amid a timeless energy…Grammy winner Ted Hutt produced the effort, and it sounds as great as you’d imagine as he captured their vintage appeal perfectly, clearly illustrating that their blues, jazz, R&B, pop, and rock ’n’ roll hybrid has never sounded better. 9/10”–Tom Haugen, Take Effect Reviews

“The latest, wittiest outing from the rollicking post-lounge, acid-cabaret, piano-driven alt-boogie ensemble (and if you’ve got a better descriptor, let’s hear it).”–New City, Chicago (Music Top 5, May 2020)

“Piano-centric blues is one of several facets in their music, along with soul, rock and even bits of punk and jazz. And on ‘High Times in the Dark,’ the Claudettes carve out a unique space in roots music…both grand and edgy….The Claudettes clearly know how to rock….With both Ulseth and Iguana sounding like major talents, ‘High Times in the Dark’ strongly suggests the Claudettes have a bright future.”–The Morning Call, Lehigh Valley, PA

“While ‘High Times in the Dark’ is a showcase for (Ulseth’s) vocal work, the album is far from a one-person effort. Johnny Iguana’s piano sets a mood on cuts like ’24/5′ and Zach Verdoorn reels off sassy guitar riffs on the soulful rock of ‘Grandkids, Wave Bye-Bye,’ and the band, rounded out with drummer Michael Caskey, creates perfect soundscapes for Ulseth throughout….Drawing from many genres, the Claudettes do indeed offer up high times here on this nice set of rootsy pop.”–antiMUSIC

“A pretty voice and lots of piano don’t seem like a natural combination for blues-inspired rock and roll but the Claudettes rock hard using both….Iguana’s keyboard work deftly slips in and out of genres, often before you have time to process what he’s doing. Mostly because you’re distracted by Ulseth’s voice, which is breathy and flirty, but also intimidating…an impressively strong set of music…11 songs that merge ’50s rock, disco, classical, and pop…8.5 out of 10.”–Blues Rock Review

“For their fifth album, the Claudettes are having some ‘High Times In The Dark,’ for it is here where this eccentric eclectic Chicago band elevates its lead singer into diva territory. Berit Ulseth is that good. So is the Jerry Lee Lewis/Memphis Slim piano of band founder Johnny Iguana….Rooted in a kind of mix’n’match rootsy 1960s hippiedom…the songs come totally alive. Ulseth is a great communicator. You believe her….and the desire that permeates her soul…in track after track. She emotes. And I don’t remember them ever being this good!”–Mike Greenblatt, Goldmine Magazine

“The musical talent of the Claudettes is impressive, and never more so than in ‘High Times in the Dark,’ in particular that of keyboardist Johnny Iguana….Lead vocalist Berit Ulseth then steps in and the music is taken to another level….Ulseth’s almost jazz-like delivery of the lyrics pair flawlessly with the incredible piano performance of Iguana….Altogether, the album is a fresh and unique update on the sounds of the past.” (4 out of 5 stars) Spill Magazine (Toronto)

“Stylistically, the music of The Claudettes is all over the map. That’s a good thing….The Claudettes effortlessly offer a smorgasbord of sounds…Berit’s elastic style lands somewhere between Teutonic chanteuse Ute Lemper and the willowy grace of Sundays front-woman, Harriet Wheeler. Johnny’s inventive keyboard prowess anchors each song, mercurial one minute and tranquil the next. Ultimately, High Times In The Dark is a rollicking good time.”–Coachella Valley Weekly

“A rather idiosyncratic mix is what the Claudettes from the USA present here: cabaret, sixties, chanson, folk indie rock, jazz, punk blues, rockabilly, piano strumming–all of this can be found in the song ‘I Swear To God, I Will'”–from song feature on Tonspion (biggest music blog in Germany)

“The Claudettes’ sound is at once magically familiar and decidedly new, with the quartet’s sound somehow weaving roots rock, New Orleans rhythm and blues, and Memphis rock ‘n’ soul together with a post-punk attitude….On the troupe’s brilliant new album ‘High Times in the Dark,’ Johnny Iguana’s astounding piano playing and singer Berit Ulseth’s marvelous voice vie for attention in all the right ways.”–Rock ‘n’ Roll Truth

“A summer breeze of vibrancy….There is a honky-tonk saloon sound, New Orleans jazz vibe, blaring guitars and slam-dunk drummer. Added to the honey is a remarkable piano player Johnny Iguana. The emotional core is the thoughtful lyrics and vocals of the sadder but wiser lead singer Berit Ulseth. Truly three ‘rah-rah-rah’ cheers go out for The Claudettes.”–Rage Monthly

“A band that really has a lot to teach to the myriad blues bands that too often are content to follow the twelve bars without too much originality….A series of songs where frenzied rhythms and pianos with Jerry Lee Lewis in the engine punch with melodic structures swinging and caressing. A union that works, and indeed avoids the affectation that has often infected the swing revival…making the Claudettes, despite all their retro mania, a group that manages to stand out from the crowd.”–Roots Highway, Italy

“They affect the heart directly with a good dose of vitality amphetamine…five discs into their career, the Claudettes play with a conviction never reached before and with a renewed sense of harmony!”–Disco Club Parma (Italy)

“A kind of catharsis…with much love and humor…’High Times in the Dark’ is an unpredictable album…based on Chicago blues but it has many New Orleans touches…it moves through rock, jazz, R&B and punk, without establishing a boundary between them…a very fresh sound that likes to flirt with the past.”–Diego Luis Martinez, Historia Del Blues, Bogota, Colombia

“The Claudettes have a sound and sensibility all their own…frenetic, fun, fascinating….the riveting vocals of Berit Ulseth lift the band to tremendous heights…crackles with drama…expect the unexpected….Enjoy ‘High Times in the Dark.’ It’s eclectic, exciting and extraordinary.”–Pop Culture Classics

“The Claudettes surprise with a wonderfully varied mix of blues,soul, R&B, rockabilly and jazz…especially the inimitable vocals of singer Berit Ulseth.”–InMusic (Germany)

“A touch of Dusty Springfield or Dionne Warwick…lively soul…Southern blues with the cynicism of Randy Newman…the quartet from Chicago covers many styles and yet always sounds like one piece…every song is a surprise.”–Westfaelischer Anzeiger (Germany)