Ms. Jean to be a captivating and exciting singer who puts a lot of soul into her music. She goes from jump blues, Be Glad into soft and poignant ballads. Her jump blues reminds one of a style related to the Lindy. Most of her work is not the traditional "down home, back in the woods type" yet thereís a powerful, in-your-face message that she presents well. Please Stop Seeing that Girl is a heart-wrenching song with a Janis Joplin flavor. Keith Staffordís banjo like guitar brings just the right amount of pain to the piece. When Cathy Jean sings, "please stop seeing that girl you donít know what itís doing to me," one can understand the hurt and anger. Yet you also know sheís been replaced, not happy about it and doesnít want to let go.
A most interesting cut is Unfinished Business. Itís a song of anger in a humorous style. Sheís mad about the treatment of her girlfriends. When she sings, AINíT NO WOMAN GOING TO TREAT ME LIKE THIS. It points out the problems of having a woman friend if you have a lover. Sheís direct in her actions about this, "when I see you backstabber iím gonna knock you right off your barstool." Love it. "See You Tomorrow" is a jazz flavored cut and one of the best. It is a song dedicated to, her grandmother and Lenny, people who have died. Listening to this reminds one to enjoy the pleasures of those while theyíre living. One is not promised a tomorrow. Itís a quiet piece with a powerful message. It showcases her phenomenal talent. "Blues Singing Alcoholic" is a funny song with very country western feel. The quiet guitar of Keith Stafford brings it home. Listening to it one wonders how anyone could drink as much liquor as she mentions and still be living. Itís cute and proves the blues is not all sad. Play this cut and laugh.
Now if you want a song with the traditional blues feel "Suffer" is definitely it. It has the raunchy feel of some of the blues women of old. It is the longest cut on the CD and yet I wish it had been longer. For me it was the best song because it followed the traditional with a deep bass sound coming from the organ of Benji Porecki and the guitar of Stafford. Written by Ms. Jean (as most are) this song tells a story as powerful as a hurricane. She puts this guys business all in the street. Heís a leech and a dog and she really makes you understand what a dog he really is.
The final cut on this CD is really sweet. Just Cathy Jean and a haunting saxophone played by Jerry Queen. Itís just too, too short. It also has a jazz feel but it reminds one of the songs supposedly heard by field hands or chain gang workers. Blues Psalm is a lament for the power, strength and talent to sing the blues. Itís cry out in pain for the ability to do what she does well. This is a rich cut which shows her range and depth of feeling.
This is an album with style. Itís a tremendous production. Cathy Jeanís take on relationships and life are funny and raging at times but very topical. She says the things many want to say. Itís a womanís album since most of the men described are dogs yet men can listen to it to understand the rage women feel.
Web site: www.cathyjean.com
This review is copyright © 2001 by Lujira Cooper, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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