Sweet Mama Music
The opening track to Thornetta Davis' "Honest Woman" is a recitation from her sister on how her sister makes her feel "When My Sister Sings the Blues." Listening to "I Gotta Sing the Blues," one easily appreciates why this powerhouse vocalist is Detroit's Queen of the Blues. It certainly does not hurt that she has a fine band that includes on many tracks guitarist Brett Lucas, bassist James Simonson, keyboardist Philip J. Hale and drummer Todd Glass or that Kim Wilson adds harmonica who also shares the vocal.
Then she rocks things a bit as she tells her man that the things he does to make up for his cheating ways, as she tells him "That Don't Appease Me," as she sings that his sorry does not work and get on out of here. The music on this incorporates a riff from "You Don't Love Me," that complements her sassy, take no nonsense vocal.
Guitarist Larry McCray, brother Steve on drums and Kerry Clark along with the keyboards of Chris Codfish back her soulful singing on the gospel blues "Set Me Free," which is followed by a strong soulful ballad "Am I Just A Shadow." After the rollicking New Orleans groove of "I Need A Whole Lotta Lovin' (To Satisfy Me)," she takes her down in the alley with a superb slow blues "I'd Rather Be Alone," with a vocal that builds in intensity until it explodes.
Other tracks include uptempo rocker about recovering after her lying ex, "I Believe (Everything Gonna Be Alright)," while on "Get Up And Dance Away Your Blues" she shouts with joy for the listener to get up on this jump blues swinger. Then there is another terrific slow blues "Can We Do It Again," with the backing (including the marvelous horn arrangement) evokes some of the classic blues-funk of Johnny 'Guitar' Watson from the seventies. Like "I'd Rather Be Alone," this track stands out among a very impressive recording with a choice Lucas guitar solo in addition to Davis' compelling vocal.
The title track is a wonderful soul number followed by another rocking gospel blues "Feels Like Religion," that closes this recording. It is an impressive recording with Thornetta Davis' impressive singing and fine backing and production.
I received my review copy from a publicist. This review appeared in the March-April 2017 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 371). Here is Thornetta in performance.