Big City Blues magazine calls her the hottest hen in the Rooster Blues barnyard. This former backing singer for Frank Zappa, Sly and the Family Stone and Van Morrison shows why on her second release. Singer/pianist/songwriter Lady Bianca was born in Kansas City Missouri and moved to the Bay Area at age four. Her formal training was at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she earned a scholarship to study music theory, composition, and opera. Informally she learned the down home sound from her father. She puts them together creating a warm, soulful approach to R&B known as the mighty Oakland sound. All 12 tracks on the hour long disc were written, arranged and produced by Lady B and her partner Stanley Lippitt. She says, 'Stanley is one of the few male songwriters that are sensitive to the feelings of women.'
The high energy blues guitar of Carl Lockett occasionally emerges but this isn't a guitar disc. Bianca's smooth and electrifying vocals are front and centre right from the opening track "Blues Fonk". Here, she lets the listener know what they are in for when she sings: 'its gonna be funky, gonna be sassy, little bit nasty, little bit hot'. The songs predominant theme is one of relationships. As in the typical stuff that most relationships encounter such as bad love and cheating. Plenty of the titles give away what the songs are about like: "You Slept With My Man Last Night", "Lookin' At My Man" and "Keep My Baby Outta Your Eyes". On "Lyin To Me" she pleads with her lover to tell her that he still loves her even if it means lyin' to her.
"Easy Lovin'" has enticing lyrics that are as seductive as the melody. Things get funky on "Sexy Bones" where you would be hard pressed to guess Lady Bianca's gospel music roots. "Spendin' Money" is a rich groove with lyrics that describe the stereotypical favourite pastime of women. The heavy, funky bass of Tony Saunders will shake any spare change from your pockets. Additional musicians add congas and backing vocals to "Daddy Blues Was A Witness". "Can You Slip Away Again Tonight" is Latin inspired and comes with a few Spanish words.
She feels her sophomore effort is more rhythmic and funky than her debut release.
Every song has a touch of sass and deal with real-life experiences set to rhythms that can't be ignored even if they are more common in R&B as opposed to blues. Lady Bianca has the knack for songwriting but her voice isn't overly powerful. By far she excels with her piano skills which are magnificent throughout the recording.
For CDs, booking and information, contact: Rooster Blues Records, 255 Mill Street, Greenwich, CT 06830 USA website: www.roosterblues.com Artist website: www.ladybianca.com
This review is copyright © 2001 by Tim Holek, 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.