This is a change in pace for her as nine of the ten songs on this are interpretations of vintage material in contrast to her originals. Biales interprets songs associated with Blu Lu Barker, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sippie Wallace and others. Opening is her straight cover of Barker’s peppy A Little Bird Told Me, followed by her rendition of Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s Strange Things Happening Every Day, likely the most familiar song here.
Biales roots includes country as well as blues as indicated by the lovely bluegrass-infused rendition of Mississippi John Hurt’s Let the Mermaid’s Flirt With Me, with fiddle and mandolin in the backing. Hey country-based singing also lends a nice flavor to Sippie Wallace’s bawdy You Got To Know How. Magic Garden is the only original here and her honey-sounding performance benefits from Doug Hamilton’s violin and Bill Littleford’s guitar. A lovely reading of Careless Love is followed by an evocative I Only Have Eyes For You (modeled on The Flamingo’s hit) with Nye and Stelmaszack playing tastefully behind her. Biales has played Patsy Cline onstage and Write Me In Care of the Blues, was a song she uncovered researching the part, and she certainly does wonderfully on this traditional country gem. The recording closes with the title track, another Sister Rosetta Tharpe composition, that Lisa and the band provide a crisp reading.
Lisa Biales is an appealing singer who brings a mix of roots influences to Singing My Soul, a delightful, if not earthshaking recording of old school country, swing and blues.
I received my review copy from a publicist. Here is a video of Lisa performing Magic Garden.