Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Try Me reviewed by Denny Barker

Try Me
Meena Cryle

Twenty years ago Meena Cryle, Austrian born and raised, formed her first group, a psychedelic rock band, at the age of 15. During the ensuing years she traveled to Mozambique, throughout Europe, northern USA( Chicago ), and back to Europe, all the time honing her vocal skills. After returning to Europe she experimented with different types of music until she was signed by Thomas RUF Records. RUF flew Meena and her guitarist, Chris Fillmore who is featured on several tracks, to Memphis where together with producer Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Walter Trout, Santana, The Steve Miller Band to name a few) they recorded her first official CD "Try Me".

The CD opens and closes with 2 great covers, the title track "Try Me" that made James Brown a star fifty some years ago, and the closer "Just As I Am" a Luther Allison tune. Meena's well done renditions of both of these tunes are complimented by guest artist Joanne Shaw Taylor, guitarist on "Try Me", and guitarist Coco Montoya with vocalist Shakura S'aida on "Just As I Am". A third cover "I'd Rather Go Blind", a blues classic first recorded by Etta James, has guest artist Donna Grantis on guitar. The remaining 9 tracks were all written or cowritten by Meena.

Although this CD has an impressive list of guest artists, including Eric Sardinas and Erja Lyytinen, the standout performance on all 12 tracks is Meena' s classic voice, a voice with power, range, style, emotion and intensity, a voice that fits perfectly with American Blues. She does such a great job on all 12 tracks it is difficult to choose standouts, some are bluesy, some are rockers, all are well done. I can't wait to see Meena on stage in person, but for now I've got "Try Me". Do yourself a favor and give Meena a try.

Reviewed by Dennis Barker

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