Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cathy Lemons and Johnny Ace "Lemonace"

This is a perfect cd for a late night road trip. At least that's the way I first heard it, and the other night when I was making another late-night trip down the country two lane roads of South Georgia this cd was the first thing I packed for the trip. Johnny Ace plays the bass like it amplifies his heartbeat, and his heart has a lot to say. Cathy Lemons is one of those women singers who can sing anything and make it compelling. Pierre Le Corre plays great guitar all over this disc, with a little help here and there from Kid Andersen and Tommy Castro. The drum chair is ably filled by Artie "Stix" Chavez. Guests include David Maxwell, who contributes terrific piano work on "When Bad Luck Looks Good" and "Gimme A Penny", Paul Oscher, who contributes a great harp turn on "Gimme A Penny," and Ron Thompson, who contributes a typically understated sweet slide guitar solo on "Shoot To Kill."

When I first fell for the blues back thirty-five-plus years ago, this was the kind of music that hooked the teenage me--great vocals over a rich deep bed of bass and drums, with slinky great guitar and harp work weaving through everything and tying everything together. I remember the first time I heard the Butterfield Blues band as if it was just yesterday. Those guys knew the formula--they had listened to and played with everybody who was anybody in Chicago--and they brought the music to rich throbbing LIFE. It was new and yet it wasn't, and they didn't give a damn if you liked it or if you didn't. Well, this cd captures a bunch of that same feel. It's hard and deep and rich.

Tommy Castro writes the liner notes, and he calls this "a strong and soulful effort." He's right.

This cd is on Vizztone Records.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

From Cathy Lemons--Just wanted to thank you for this interesting an insiteful review on our CD "Lemonace" and let you know that I admire your writing. Good reviewers like blues promoters are becoming quite rare. I really dug the way you got what we are trying to do musically and where it's coming from! Thanks and "Keep the Faith!"