Sunday, October 23, 2011

Girls With Guitars Rock On

The Ruf Records website describes it succinctly: “The name says it all. ‘Girls with Guitars - the 2011 Ruf Records Blues Caravan Tour - presents three of the scene's hottest young female guitar slingers on a single stage.” The website further talks about the Blues Caravan series leading successful tours throughout Europe and the US and “This unique triple bill revue has helped introduce bright new stars” citing Ana Popovic and Joanne Shaw Taylor and refers to the new disc and tour as introducing “a trio of dynamic, up-and-coming blues talents: Dani Wilde, Cassie Taylor and Samantha Fish.” I am familiar with Cassie Taylor from her playing bass with her father Otis and Dani has been associated with Candye Kane. I did not know she was from England and unfamiliar with Samantha who is from Kansas City.

For an album spotlighting upcoming blues talents, one might expect some blues but between the opening cover of the Rolling Stones’ Bitch and the Paul Pena penned Steve Miller Band classic, Jet Airliner, the trio contribute ten performances that certainly one can’t complain if one labeled them rock tunes, with different levels of blues tinges. This is not to comment on the quality of the performances, but to observe that the fact some songs are blues-tinged and the performers are influenced by the blues doesn’t mean that recording is a blues album. I do not buy that playing music derivative of blues-rock and blues-influenced blues is extending the blues. It is simply rebadging rock as blues.

Dani Wilde’s Reason to Stay, a solo performance backed by her dobro, is a folk-blues performance and showcases her vocals as much as her dobro. Also outstanding out is Samantha Fish’s shuffle, Wait a Minute, with her best vocal here and strong guitar. But that tune is followed by the pounding rhythms of the trio’s topical Get Back, on which Mike Zito provides a heavy rock guitar solo, Fish’s playing on her own Come On Home has her heartfelt vocal on the wistful lyric of turning blue with a melody that has a Dylan-esque feel and nice guitar. Fish plays some nice atmospheric slide guitar behind Cassie Taylor’s aching vocal on Leaving Chicago, but the folk-blues edges of the song contrast with the heavy rock guitar of Fish on Taylor’s Move On.

I would say that Move On, along with Get Back, are the tracks with the least appeal to me, as I did enjoy the music on this although I would not rate it highly as a blues recording. All three are quite talented both vocally and instrumentally (I am more partial to Taylor and Wilde as vocalists, but that is a matter of subjective taste) and this is a very enjoyable collection of blues-influenced rock.

I received this from a publicist.

No comments: