Thursday, September 06, 2012

Lisa Biales' Just Like Honey

Ohio native Lisa Biales is a singer, guitarist and songwriter who blends blues, country, folk, traditional jazz and other roots music. She has recently released Just Like Honey on Big Song Music, a disc produced by EG Kight and Paul Hornsby which presents a number of original songs, classic books and other songs that cross genres. 

The title is not only one of the songs here but also a fair description of her genuine, sweet and tangy vocals. Things start off with a nice reworking of a lesser known Memphis Minnie number, Call the Fire Wagon, which includes some jazzy clarinet and old time fiddle. More of a blues-infused rock is heard on the title track with some strong electric guitar. E.G. Kight’s Sugar is a blues-inflected number with a definite country feel provided by the crisp dobro playing and the fine harmonica. Then there is a rollicking rendition of Candye Kane’s Gifted in the Ways of Love, with Paul Hornsby’s piano standing out although the electric guitar gets a bit over the top. Kight’s ballad When You Were Mine, is a lovely performance with some excellent piano under her vocal. 

A classic Ma Rainey recording, Yonder Comes the Blues, has unusual instrumentation with slide guitar, harmonica and tuba behind her fine singing here. A nice mambo groove marks her collaboration with Kight, Gypsy Woman Blues, with Tommy Talton playing a nice slide guitar solo followed by a cover of Damn Your Eyes, that was part of Etta James’ repertoire. Come To Me is a lovely Biales original performed acoustically and followed by Peaches where she deftly incorporates lines from 1920s recordings by Trixie Smith and William Harris on a delightful country-flavored blues. 

Other songs here include a rocking Bonnie Raitt cover and a delightful duet with Kight on the Delmore Brothers old-time country classic, Blues Stay Away From Me. Tommy Tallon’s Watch Out Baby Don’t Cry is a hot country rocker while Biales’ contributes a soulful vocal on Kight’s Through the Eyes of a Child. Its a marvelous performance of a wonderful song with some marvelous harmonica from Pat Bergeson that concludes this very ingratiating album of blues and roots on a high note. 

I received my review copy from a  publicist. Here Lisa and E.G. Kight perform "Angel From Montgomery."

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