Reneé hit the stage in full force opening for Corey Stevens with her powerful, expressive voice with great quivering vocal hooks on "Little Bit of Texas" from her first CD, Dancing with Mr. Blue. She can really finish off a song, as she did here with a great vocal flourish at the end as her tight band played softly behind her. Reneé came right back with the pleasing, catchy Delta Blues of "Catfish Woman." She demonstrated again her incredible vocal range, power, voice control, and emotional expression she can bring to a song. Temporary guitarist Lonnie Knight, a talented veteran, played a strong, expressive slide guitar that pushed the song forward and gave it that authentic Delta Blues feel.
Reneé and her talented band gave the crowd a mix of songs from her first CD and new ones that will be on her new one, Sweet Talk, due out in September. Dressed in a patterned sundress and straw cowgirl hat, Reneé danced, moved, smiled and fueled the energy of the crowd with her spirit and enthusiasm as well as her vocal performances. On "Unraveling," which will be on the new CD, she played solid keyboards while singing in her beautifully expressive voice, rich with throaty vibrato. The torchy, retro-feeling "Fool Moon" allowed Reneé to display all of her range from low, sultry, and passionate to high, soaring, piercing notes that went right to the crowd's heart. This beautiful original by Reneé will be featured on the new CD. She closed out her tight, dynamic set with the up-tempo, dance-friendly swing song, "Swang." All the dancers in the crowd jammed the dance floor to move to the music and appreciate Reneé's vocal talents up close. The crowd loved the show, clamoring for more as they cheered and clapped their approval. Rounding out Reneé's band were three talented veterans who all add vocals: Tim Wick on keyboards and B-3, Marc Bohn on drums, and Chris Johnson on bass.
Corey wastes little time between songs, briefly greeting his fans, making a comment here or there, but otherwise all business with his music, going from one song right into the next like he wants to cram as much music into his show as he can. His fast, hard cover of "Cross Cut Saw" was energetic and unique, Corey going from fast strumming to held, penetrating guitar notes to powerfully stinging licks. He achieved some great sounds, as with "My Love for You Has Died." While Corey played some wicked slide guitar, with a country blues feel, his rhythm section had a powerful, heavy sound that served as a counterpoint. Corey's slow, expressive vocals, stretched out with passion, kept reaching higher and higher. He approached the hypnotic, Mississippi Hill Country sound that reminds you of R.L. Burnside. Corey featured a number of songs from his new CD, Bring on the Blues. "Triple Jack" is heavy, rocking blues with Corey's guitar going form low and growling to strident, piercing licks. This song rolls a pleasing mix of rock, blues and country together for a solid sound. "You're Gonna Miss Me" is a slower to mid-tempo blues number where Corey's alternately growling and wailing guitar is nicely complemented by his strong, expressive vocals.
The crowd loved his older songs, especially the powerful, rocking blues sound of "Blue Drops of Rain." Corey's band really rocked on this one, serving as a solid foundation for his great guitar and passionate, rising vocals. The heavy bass and drums were made richer by Paul's powerful, grinding B-3. On "I Been Gone Too Long" Corey played some heavy, repeating guitar licks while again featuring his expressive, rising vocals. After several minutes of loud, enthusiastic clapping and cheering, the band came out for a short encore. Corey gave his fans a passionate version of "It's Over," taking his guitar from slow, sublte and beautiful riffs to fast, growling, penetrating licks. Corey's big, emotional vocals blended well with his talented guitar playing. This aptly titled, well-crafted song, delivered with powerful feeling, served as a strong climax to a great night of blues.
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