Saturday, February 17, 2007

Allow Me to Confess- Gina Sicilia reviewed by Steve Jones

Allow Me to Confess
Gina Sicilia
Swingnation Records
11 tracks/42:51

Mark Thompson and I were discussing the upcoming Dave Gross show at Big Cities when he said to me, “You have to hear this CD I got from Dave’s label.” So we popped “Allow Me to Confess” into the stereo and went though all 11 tracks. I sat there listening, reading the liner notes and I was very impressed. Hell, I was more than impressed. Here was a 21 girl from Philadelphia, profoundly singing with a superb voice and the conviction of a much older woman. Here was a 21 year old songwriter who penned 8 great tunes with really touching lyrics. Here was an immensely talented young woman who is going to make a huge impact on the blues world.

Every year the blues world seems to focus on the next young guitar whiz. How often do we hear, “He’ll be the next Stevie Ray Vaughn” at festivals and shows? I usually laugh a bit and just shake my head. Well, here with Gina I found myself saying, “Here we have the next generation of Etta James and Ruth Brown.” She’s that good.

So one has to ask why a nice Italian girl from the City of Brotherly Love is singing the blues. She grew up listening to 50’s and 60’s doo wop and at 14 Gina heard Bobby Bland where she became fixated on the blues. She perfected her style in area clubs and has been writing songs for a few years that culminated in this debut CD. Her style is uniquely her own; she comes across as both relevant and sincere. The topics she writes and sings about are timely and timeless. From the young girl struggling with self esteem and other emotions of youth in “One of Many” and the title track to passionate tunes like “Try Me” and “You Set My Heart On Fire,” Gina delivers the goods. Her voice ranges from low and sultry tones to some downright power where she can belt it out with the best of them. You will be thoroughly amazed and entertained by this CD from the opening bars of “That’s a Pretty Good Love” to the final cut “When My Ship Comes In.”

Backing her up on guitar is 2007 Blues Music Award nominee Dave Gross, who also produced the album. Dave’s band members Scot Hornick (upright bass) and Mike Bram (drums) also provide a clean backdrop for the CD. I strongly urge you to go out and invest in this fine CD by a great new artist– you won’t be sorry you did!

No comments: