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Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame 2009 "Supportive of the Blues"|
The Blues Foundation's 1999 "Keeping the Blues Alive Award"
(Wildchild Davis Records, 2005)
Review Date: November 2009
by Norman Darwen
‘Daydreamin’ ‘Bout You’, track two on this CD, has “Georgia soul” written large right through it – and it follows on from ‘Heartless’ the excellent, loping blues number that opens the CD. Only a couple of tracks in and I’m well and truly hooked!
In 2006 this release was one of the final four in the ‘Best self produced CD’ category of the Blues Foundation awards. It deserves that accolade too (though maybe it should have won!). Heaven may have come to the blues late – she had years of singing R&B, funk and pop before she became a blues singer in the early nineties, and she still likes to mix it up – but her versatile singing style (from sweet to sassy to gritty – sometimes in the same song!) is showcased to great effect on this programme of witty blues (‘Sell My Jewelry’), risqué, low-down items such as the title track, seventies flavoured soul (‘Regrets’ recalls Gladys Knight at her best), bluesy southern soul in classic fashion (‘Let Me Lay You Down’), and funk (‘Snake Dance’). There are some inventively-structured blues numbers such as ‘Tappin’ On My Window Pane’ and ‘Nobody Knows’, alongside a traditional-sounding blues-ballad in ‘When The Deal Goes Down’ or the fine steaming southern soul-blues of ‘I’m Somebody’s Wife’. Heaven’s accompanying musicians and the frequently employed backing singers – hand-picked for each individual number - are well up to the task in hand throughout what is a very impressive modern blues album.
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