"Keeping the Blues Alive Award" Achievement for Blues on the Internet Presented by The Blues Foundation
This CD release by Canadian singer-guitarist Rita Chiarelli came out in 2001and if this is any indication of what she is capable of, I can't wait to hear her next recording. "Breakfast At Midnight" is thoroughly enjoyable. Rita has a strong distinctive voice. She writes songs with lyrics that are easy to relate to. Looking at the liner notes Ms. Chiarelli also wrote all the music and even plays some acoustic guitar. She has an under known but highly competent backing band.
This CD has 11 tracks lasting 47:50 in length. Rita Chiarelli composed every song musically and lyrically. They run the gamut from blues ballads, jazzy interludes, power rock and even a taste of Louisiana zydeco.
The lyrics are clever without being coy. My favorite is the song which has the chorus: "Your love's a game of bad intention, you're so bad I can hardly mention, You say you love me, won't you set me free, Lovin' you is killing me."
The quality of her voice is very soulful and heartfelt. She sings these words like she's lived them. If I had to make a comparison to other female singers, I'd put her as a cross between Bonnie Bramlett and Pat Benetar.
Her backing players on this CD are quite competent without being overbearing. This is not one of those recordings with a lot of long-winded solos. The longest song is just over 5 minutes. This is about crafting a song and playing what's needed. The only players I was familiar with were Colin Linden (guitars), Carlos del Junco (harmonica) and Richard Bell (keyboards and accordion). I suspect because they're Canadian, the players aren't well known to Americans. The only gripe I have is that all the CD photos show Ms. Chiarelli with an electric guitar over her shoulder. This gives you the idea that she is a guitar-slinger. She may well be in concert but she leaves the electric guitar playing on this CD to others.
This CD is as good as many other female blues singers. It certainly deserves more plays than many others I hear nowadays. I'll be anxious to hear her next recording. The over sound give me the impression that she is no "one hit wonder". I think the problem is that the Canadians haven't gotten a fair shake with blues lovers. This CD should serve notice that the Canadian blues players have arrived. More so that Rita Chiarelli is here now.
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