Monday, May 18, 2009

Blues Attack reviewed by Harmonica Joe

Blues Attack
Shirley Johnson
Delmark Records
14 tracks

Shirley Johnson's new disc, "Blues Attack", released by Delmark Records, is well worth the wait! Her last CD was Killer Diller, released in 2002, also was a great project. "Blues Attack is a great combination of 14 tunes with a good mix of blues, soul, funk and gospel. All but two of the tunes, "Unchain My Heart" and "634-5789", are originals for this project.

Shirley Johnson is a hard working awesome blues vocalist. Her voice is just a treat to listen to. She can be very powerful one moment and the very next she can be just soft and subtle. One never has to strain to hear the clarity of the lyrics as Shirley sings with every word with emotion and meaning. The lyrics are very important to her and she is sure to bring them out as intended.

On "Blues Attack", Shirley has surrounded herself with a fine band. If you are a piano/keyboard person, you are treated to the skillful playing of Roosevelt Purifoy.His presence is well placed thoughout the cd. This is good stuff! Luke Pytel is on lead guitar playing very tasteful riffs and doing awesome solos. The presence of a really good horn section is another plus for "Blues Attack". You can check out Lawrence Fields and Hank Ford on tenor sax, Willie Henderson on baritone sax and Kenny Anderson on trumpet. Bringing up the bass line is Lovely "JR" Fuller and Cordell Teague is on drums.

The title song, "Blues Attack", is a catchy, funky tune. The lyrics, "I've got the blues, ain't nothing wrong with that", is a great line. This tune in itself is a "Blues Attack". Luke Pytel does one awesome guitar solo during this track.

"You Shouldn't Have Been There", is one of my favorite tunes on the cd. This is a great blues tune with awesome lyrics. Shirley's interpretation and feeling for the story in the song really comes out on this one. The guitar work and subtle presence of the organ make this a standout to me.

"Blues Attack' has tunes for everyone's music likes. I was really impressed with "Selfish Kind Of Gal". This track has great lyrics, an awesome keyboard solo, and very nice guitar licks. "Let It Rain" is also a standout tune for me. One can really get that blues feeling with this one. Shirley Johnson controls this song with her great vocals and feelings for the lyrics.

Shirley Johnson's "Blues Attack" CD from Delmark Records is just one really good project. There is something in it for all blues lovers and also not a bad tune in it

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