Mickey Champion is a Louisiana-born transplant to Los Angeles who is reportedly one of the West Coast's best kept blues secrets. Discovered by musical legend Johnny Otis at a 1950's talent show, Champion has opened for or performed with some big time acts in both jazz and blues including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Albert King, Ruth Brown and Johnny Adams.
Mickey Champion is definitely "old school" blues and that is clearly reflected in her dbut recording on TONDEF Records, What You Want. In today's modern blues world where Stevie Ray clones are billed as the "next big thing" and every young guitar slinger is hyped to death, Mickey Champion stands directly behind her talents as a vocalist, open and clear for all to see. On What You Want, Champion offers the listener some straight ahead old style blues, reflecting a time when the vocals were the most important part of a well-crafted song, not the slash and burn guitar, screaming harp or blistering piano. Champion demonstrates her versatility throughout the recording, showing that she can grind out the funk with the best of them, while showing her stuff as a torch singer, a swing vocalist and an elegant mistress of smooth sound.
What You Want offers covers that range from the Memphis-style blues of B. B. King ("Woke Up This Morning"), to Percy Mayfield's R+B ("Please Send Me Someone To Love"),Aretha Franklin soul ("Dr. Feelgood") and even a Lieber & Stoller nugget ("Lovin' Jim"). Also of note is the fine version of Big Mama Thorton's, "Ball and Chain," characterized by its stark simplicity. The CD opens with her own composition, "I'm A Woman," with an autobiographical feel and includes three other previously unrecorded tunes by Producer, Jonathan Hodges ("What You Want") and/or Kevin Moore (yes, Keb' Mo')("My Little Boy Blue") and/or Jon & Sally Tiven ("All You Got To Do"). The back-up musicians are solid and unobtrusive throughout What You Want, allowing Champion to maintain center stage throughout the recording. As an added bonus, Keb' Mo' sits in on "My Little Boy Blue," offering up some nice slide guitar.
If you like classic style blues from an age when the vocalist was the center of attention for listeners, pick up a copy of What You Want. To learn more about Mickey Champion, visit her website at www.mickeychampion.com.
Your purchase through this Amazon.com link helps to support this website.
Simply click on the cover at left or the Amazon buy button (if there is one) to order this CD NOW!
"This review is copyright © 2003 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without permission."
Copyright reuse notice: If you would like to reprint or use this review please include the above copyright notice, contained within the quotation marks, PLUS this statement: "Used with permission." Then send an email to Ray at: email@example.com indicating how you are using the review or the website page address it will be appearing on. Thanks!
You can help support this blues website by making a contribution (click on the banner below for details).
Or mail a donation to: Ray Stiles % Blues On Stage, PO Box 582983, Mpls, MN 55458. Thanks!
Web Design SPECIAL, get your own website for just $50.
Web Hosting & Design:
Web Hosting & Design.
Most affordable web hosting and design services available.
Find out how you can host your current site at Blues On Stage, or how I can help you design your own website!
If you would like your CD reviewed, please send TWO (2) copies, along with promotional material to:
Blues On Stage
PO Box 582983
Minneapolis, MN 55458-2983
E-mail Ray Stiles @ firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.