“Hey Hey” (SOULOSOUND RECORDS) is a debut album by Nashville based chanteuse, Markey Blue, with vocalist Jeanette Markey and guitarist Ric Latina. They are supported with by some of Nashville’s top musicians on an album that attempts to recall the glories of the classic Memphis and Muscle Shoals soul. Markey herself helped pen all the 12 originals that comprise this release.
This is a solid and brassy recording starting with the driving opening track “When Love Comes Along (Hey Hey)” that lends the disc its title. “Something's Wrong” is an outstanding track with the studio band hitting that groove. It showcases Markey’s strengths as a singer including a bit of raspy grit and an unforced delivery that evokes classic soul singers such as Ann Peebles. The Peebles comparison might be most evident on “Feeling Blue,” a heartfelt performance that hints of, “Feel Like Breaking Up Someone’s Home,” with its punchy horns, backing vocals and crisp guitar break.
Former Allman Brothers guitarist Jack Pearson co-wrote “Play Me” with Markey and he takes a solo while Markey really pours everything into with vocal. She also tears into the lyric of “Another Lover” as she sings good-bye and that she’s gonna find the best man she can. Next is a tender soul ballad “With You” where Latina’s guitar solo here may be his best on the album. The trebly swamp-blues infused “Voodoo Do” sports Markey’s at her most sensual. “By My Side” is another solid ballad performance with solid rhythm and crisp horns that evoke classic Stax recordings.
“Hey Hey” concludes on a most impressive fashion with a funky lament, “Baby I’m Cryin’”, which Steve Cropper produced the vocals for. There is so much to enjoy about this release from the strong backing, good original songs and Ms. Markey’s heartfelt, persuasive vocals. Markey Blue will make fans of blues and soul take note.
I received a review copy from Delta Groove Promotions who were also doing publicity for this. Markey Blue is currently crowdfunding a new album on Go Fund Me. Here is a video of this Nashville-based band in performance.