may 2012
beyond the blue

bondDEBBIE BOND, Hearts Are Wild-- Backed by an impressive band led by her personal and professional partner Rick Asherson and also including a terrific three-man horn section, Alabama’s Debbie Bond sashays, swaggers and smolders her way through 11 original songs of varying moods and textures plus a lowdown, sultry reading of Aretha Franklin’s “Baby I Love You.” This being a blues album, Ms. Bond naturally investigates the various manifestations of love, but she’s not about strictly bemoaning men who done her wrong.

brittETTA BRITT, Out of the Shadows-- When approaching Etta Britt’s powerful Out of the Shadows album, it’s best you prepare both for a compelling blue-eyed soul-blues experience and for an emotional ride strictly of the emotional roller-coaster variety. Ms. Britt’s husky, sensuous voice is at its expressive best on a fine collection of tunes, some of the best being her original, intensely personal reflections on life passages.

mary flowerMARY FLOWER, Misery Loves Company-- On Misery Loves Company the exceptional roots singer-songwriter-guitarist has returned to more austere settings, sometimes featuring only her expressive fingerpicked or slide acoustic guitar, at other times a lone partner adding interesting textures to a collection of vintage and original blues of a certain downcast nature--the album title is more literal than ironic or self-referential.

mariaTANIA MARIA, Tempo-- It’s been almost five years since we’ve heard new music from the formidable Brazilian vocalist/pianist Tania Maria, but the subdued elegance of Tempo makes those years fall away and reminds us what an invaluable voice she is on the contemporary music scene.


hoodoo man bluesJUNIOR WELLS’ CHICAGO BLUES BAND with BUDDY GUY, Hoodoo Man Blues-- In case anyone missed this when it was reissued this past August, Junior Wells’ classic 1965 album Hoodoo Man Blues belongs in any serious blues collection. Since its release credible critics have proclaimed it one of the best, if not the best, blues album of all time; even if you suggest this or that alternative for the honor, Hoodoo Man Blues is an undisputed classic that both honors the raw, unvarnished blues of Chicago’s South Side and suggest the blues-rock fusion that lay ahead, from Paul Butterfield to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

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