october 2008

thumbJoe Louis Walker, WITNESS TO THE BLUES
On Witness to the Blues, Joe Louis Walker has topped himself, and that's saying something. With an able assistant from producer/guitarist Duke Robillard, Walker fashions an invigorating jaunt into blues country, working that Memphis-Muscle Shoals-Clarksdale axis for all it's worth with a horn-bolstered band, a variety of guitars at his disposal and a stirring collection of songs, more than half of which he penned, ranging from mean woman blues to gospel-rooted pleas.

mandevilleLiz Mandeville, RED TOP
Proving that a Liz by any other name is formidable, Chicago-based blues babe Liz Mandeville, now using her family name after recording three albums as Liz Mandville Greeson, is making a run at the big time on this assured, richly textured collection of 15 original tunes, nine of which she produced and recorded on her own, with another six steered in the studio by Earwig CEO Michael Robert Frank. No slouch on guitar, she shows a deft, expressive touch taking the lead on three numbers, with her subtle dynamics on the double-entendre gem "Scratch the Kitty" being most impressive. But Red Top is really a showcase for her ever more mature vocalizing, which is nothing short of captivating throughout.

deveauxAngela Desveaux, THE MIGHTY SHIP
On her new album, Angela Desveaux casts a sharp on an unsettled age. Live with The Mighty Ship for awhile, get your sea legs, and it becomes a powerful, memorable journey begging repeat visits.

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