Saturday, September 11, 2010
Lemonace reviewed by Rick Davis
Cathy Lemons and Johnny Ace
Vizztone Label Group
Cathy Lemons started at the age of 23 working with groups like Anson Funderburg and Stevie Ray Vaughan. She worked briefly with Mark Hummel, Paris Slim, and toured with John Lee Hooker's Coast to Coast Band in 1987. After headlining her own bands, and working with the Bay Area's finest guitarists, she teamed up with veteran bass player and singer Johnny Ace in 1995. Johnny is a very well respected blues bass player and stellar performer. He has worked with stars like Otis Rush, John Lee Hooker, Victoria Spivey, Eddie “Clean Head” Vinson, Roscoe Gordon, Charlie Musselwhite, Boz Scaggs and Elvin Bishop.
Cathy Lemons and Johnny Ace with their new CD "Lemonace" have created a soulful blues master piece. They are supported by talented musicians Pierre Le Corre on guitar and Artie "Styx" Chavez on drums. They open with a heavy rhythm guitar tune "Brand New Day" creating a perfect vocal duo. "Love Like a Fire" delivers a deep soul tune with a haunting slide guitar background from Pierre Le Corre and leads from Kid Andersen who has performed with Rick Estran. The third cut "Used To These Blues" opens with Johnny's bass, a funky rhythm guitar from Le Corre, and piercing lead guitar coming from Tommy Castro. Lemons adds vocals that will penetrate your soul.
They return to a funky R&B number and blends well vocally with the tune "Sink Or Swim." "Shoot To Kill" introduces the lead slide guitar of Ron Thompson. "When Bad Luck Looks Good" features Tommy Castro once again on lead guitar, David Maxwell on piano and Cathy delivering great vocals once again. "Gimme a Penny", a slow blues tune, opens with Johnny on bass, Kid Anderson on rhythm guitar, Maxwell on piano, and Paul Oscher on harmonica. Le Corre once again takes the lead guitar duties on the funky tune "I Got It", the slow blues tune "Stay", and the hard-driving number "I'm Not The Woman I Used To Be". Kid Anderson returns with his incredible lead guitar work in a John Lee Hooker style tune entitled "Get This Thing Off'a My Back". The cd concludes with "Move On", a fast paced road story told by Johnny Ace and Cathy Lemons like they were delivering a sermon.
Andy Grigg of Real Blues Magazine says of the effort, "If Cathy Lemons and Johnny Ace don’t become Blues ‘Stars' because of this disc then there ain’t no hope for the future of Mankind.... I declare this to be the greatest thing I’ve heard so far in 2010!"