Reviews of new releases by two of my favorite women blues singers--Sweet Suzi Smith & Nicole Hart. These women are great! These reviews were sent to me by Rick Lusher. Thanks Rick.
Unbroken-Sweet Suzi and the Blues Experience
Suzi’s short maternity break has left her hyperkinetic, supercharged and raring to go. Chrispy Chicken has produced and horned with big muscular lines and driving speed, albeit being mixed too hot. The band is a steamroller of rhythmic mayhem and melodic manpower. The material is fresh and new yet there are enough old Suzi favs that the disk is like an old friend. The songs are rich, high calorie phat busters with the aforementioned horns, Chrispy’s keys and John Anderson’s tearing ass guitar. From the opening note, rhythm a la Foschino and Pelligrino are Schwartzenegger tough and they make it clear that they’re back! “Does Your Wife Know?” shows the real Suzi, driving her band like a naughty stepchild. “Unbroken” is lowdown blue with hints of desperation. A cover of Roger Troy’s “Shadows” is funky and hot, only to plunge to the depths on Sam Taylor’s “Mama.” “Your Mama’s Talkin’” rocks with Memphis intensity. I like Suzi’s version better that Shemekia’s. “I’d Rather Go Blind” shows madame’s deepest soul. Her gift is rare and precious and few can express emotion this purely and intensely. Just listen to her heart tearing take on Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child.” The disk ends with 2 houserockers. Denise LaSalle’s Slippin’ Out, Slippin’ In” is raw, unpolished power and “The Weight” comes out as funk raver. Unbroken has the heat, the power, the thrust and the blues. Let’s see how this baby pulls the strings on the streets.
Nicole Hart & The NRG Band - Live NRG
Record label scouts take note: Nicole Hart & The NRG Band gots chops! The independently-released "Live NRG" (***) is a splendid showcase for frontwoman Hart and the trusty NRG Band. Though recorded live the sound is crystal clear and mixed right. They slip into a tight groove on the Jazzy Blues original "I Heard", written by keyboardist Lang Ong allowing Gil Parris (David Sanborn) to flex his guitar digits. Guitarist Rich Cohen is also impressive on the instrumental cover of The Allman Brothers "Hot'Lanta" which also has Ong unleashing layers of icy organ and funky drums by Joe Piteo. A great take! Also noteworthy is the version of Koko Taylor's "Voodoo Woman" with Hart delivering a particularly confident vocal. Visit www.thenrgband.com to learn more.
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Posted by rickny at 8:28 AM