What is it about Detroit's Music Menu Café that attracts the city's blues creme de la creme? Perhaps its the club's southern menu or its live music featured 7 nights a week? For months Thornetta Davis has reigned supreme there on Wednesday nights as attested to on this new disc which was recorded live on October 18, 2000. It is self-produced and her first release since 1996. Since then the Detroit native has returned whole hearted to her gospel, R&B and blues roots which she has belted out for over 12 years. She picked 10 covers plus one original from her hefty repertoire for this disc. Throughout the 50 minute CD, Lady T's voice is strong, sweet and as beautiful as a choir of angels. No wonder her trophy case is overflowing with music awards.
Davis backs herself with musicians as powerful as her pipes. Her driving rhythm section consists of Gary Jiblian (bass) and Todd Glass (drums). Phil Hale's excellent organ solo is jazzy and sassy on "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water". Guitarist Brett Lucas' "That's A Pretty Good Love" is pure ass-kicking, thundering, roots rock with a dancing groove to it. On the track (and throughout the CD), he lets it rip with enough energy to power the People Mover. The tune contains all the energy you expect from a Davis live performance. Effective lyrics like: 'I ain't much to look at and I won't win a prize but when it comes to lovin, I'll open your eyes' are convincingly delivered. Chills will run down your spine when you experience the stamina of the notes that Lady T hits with her dynamic voice on "Please Send Me Someone To Love". Lucas plays slide guitar ala Duane Allman on the funkin' groove "Wild Women Never Get The Blues". Thornetta surprises with her graceful version of "Hound Dog" which is nothing like Big Mama Thornton's. Davis uses her well trained voice to deliver the lyrics with silk that is sharp enough to cut through a Firestone tire.
"Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On" is a song this princess of the blues has been performing for years. The pace here isn't at its usual houserockin' speed but its still full of audience interaction and excitement. The Motown Mama covers another classic on "Rock Me A Little While" and its a scorcher. The tune is sure to leave you breathless.
Lucas and Hale get plenty of opportunity to strut their stuff on the CD. If you like hot rocking guitar and a smoking organ supporting a smooth, commanding voice then check this one out. This collection of covers will attract people to the force of Thornetta's sweet voice. After hearing the disc, you will long to see her live. All that will be required to keep the audience is a follow-up release of originals that is as strong.
For CDs, booking and information, contact: Sweet Mama Music, PO Box 14112, Detroit, MI 48214 USA E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist website: www.thornettadavis.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.