After opening shows for her father for several years, this young blues
diva has answered the call to record her first album and is now touring
the country to support her efforts. Turn The Heat Up is rich with tales
of passion, infidelity, lost love, and revenge. They come in the form of
brash, straightforward blues; Memphis soul; rhythm and blues; and gospel
blues. Michael Hill took a brief break from his Blues Mob to play guitar
on "I Always Get My Man", Joe Louis Walker does the same on "My Tun
Baby", and Monster Mike Welch stepped in for the axe duties on "Ghetto
Child." However it is Jimmy Vivino who handles the guitar playing on the
rest of the album. Vivino is a well-known, well-respected New York
guitarist and is musical director of the Conan O'Brian Show. He is fast
yet manages to keep the "feeling" intact. The UPTOWN HORNS are also
featured on three songs.
For my money, the strongest track on the CD is the slow heartbreaker
"Salt in My Wounds." Shemekia nearly knocks you off your feet as she
powerfully relates her pain. In contrast, "Your Mama's Talking"
challenges even the most reserved listeners to keep their feet still.
Shemekia has been regularly touring the East Coast but is now on a
national tour that includes some major summer festivals. With any luck,
she will work the twin cities into her schedule. This wouldn't be a show
This review is copyright © 1998 by Ann Wickstrom, all rights reserved.
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