"We never had a hit single, but we became a cult band with an almost fanatical following,'' says Dennis.
"I thought we were the only people playing blues, but when we got on the circuit I discovered there were other bands out there," Dennis remembers. "There was Red Beans And Rice, The Blues Band, The Little Roosters, The Inmates, Dr Feelgood – it was quite a big thing."
''I thought, this is great, who is it? I got out my phone, which has the app SHAZAM, and found out it was Señor Soul, a band that would soon become War. War were famous for a track called Low Rider and featured the harmonica player Lee Oscar. I thought, this is a perfect start to a new project: Best of the Blues by Nine Below Zero taking in all the shades the blues offers. The next move was to start a playlist on Spotify and to share it with the band. So began 13 Shades of Blue."
"She sang Stormy Monday and the whole place stopped in their tracks, blown away by her performance," says Dennis.
Throughout the album, the sound of the four-piece band is augmented by the addition of a horn section, keyboards, violin and backing vocalists to create a new NBZ Big Band sound.
Speaking about how the Big Band idea came about, Dennis says: ''It was at a warm-up gig for Universal's back-catalogue release at The Blues Kitchen. In the audience was a good friend of the band and Universal's catalogue man, Johnny Chandler, who was responsible for putting out the deluxe versions of Live At The Marquee, Don't Point Your Finger and Third Degree. Having seen our show at The Blues Kitchen he said, 'you should do a Best Of album'. By this, he meant go through the full spectrum of the blues, picking rare songs in the style of R'n'B, Soul, Funk, Blues and Cajun and record them in our own NBZ style. So with the help of Johnny's vast knowledge, having been a DJ, and my use of Spotify, YouTube and my vinyl collection, we started to compile a play-list together. We then formed a Big Band, made up of friends and local musicians, to help us bring the songs to life. The fruits of this labour is 13 Shades of Blue."