Lady "A" Blues Band offers up "Blues Train" for their Florida renditions of their favorite blues tunes. The album consists of mostly standards which cover very little new turf. The band consists of Lady "A" featured on vocals and harmonica, Ric Arra on guitar, Willie Jackson on bass and Jim McGuirl playing drums. The album is independently produced by Arra and Lady "A".
The two cuts that were penned by Arra were refreshing as the overall material lacks originality to compete in the national arena. One of these is a rockin' number featuring solos by Lady "A" on harmonica and Arra's version of rockin' blues southern style. The better of the two; however, is the shuffle "Don't Blame Me" which suited the vocals of Lady "A" and the energy of the band was best captured. It also featured an nice guitar solo from Arra who shows on several cuts that he is able.
The classic "As the Years Go Passing By" was done tastefully with Lady "A" handling the vocal work. Arra again showed some tastefully crafted guitar work. The final cut "It's Too Late" is the best attempt at harmonica by Lady "A". This number by Walter Jacobs injects the groove that blues is all about and the band obviously dug the tune.
In summary, the rhythm section of McGuirl and Jackson remains solid throughout laying the pocket for Lady "A" and Ric Arra to demonstrate their talents. There some bright spots for each that show talent is present. Arra's guitar was thin at times; however, on the tracks that were fattened up he definitely shows he can play. Lady "A" demonstrates on this outing that she has the ability to sing. The harmonica work was at time adequate, but somewhat inconsistent. The choice of material featuring so many standard covers detracts from the contribution. Not likely to make national headway with this outing; however, those in their local region should get to know this group.
This review is copyright © 1999 by Wightman Harris, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.