2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Having seen Shemekia live a couple of times I've always been a bit disappointed with her previous albums which although OK didn't really deliver like the live show. I'm happy to report that this new album definitely does, producer Oliver Wood has moved Shemekia away from her previous soul/blues to a more rock/blues sound and for me it works wonderfully.
We get off to a great start with the opener "Lemon pie", an uptempo commentry on the US economic situation, then it's an electric take on Lucinda Williams' "Can't let go", followed by the tough slow blues "Ain't gonna be your tatoo" with Buddy Guy guesting on guitar. The rocking "Somebody Else's Jesus" sounds like the Stones, I loved JJ Grey's original of "A Woman" but Shemekia's version (with great pedal steel guitar from Charlie Starr) is now the definitive version. "I Sing the Blues" has great electric harp from Jon Liebman, "Mississippi mud" is very catchy and features a duet with J.J. Grey, "One More Time" is a nice jazzy blues by her father Johnny and "Ain't That Good News" is the old Sam Cooke gospel stomper. "Hangin' Up" is a restrained melodic soul blues and the album finishes with a laid back version of Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" with more soulful pedal steel.
There was never any doubt that Shemikia had both the blues heritage and a powerful blues-belting voice but she now sounds much more relaxed and has more vocal control - although she can still crank it out when needed. I think that this is easily the best record she has made, her singing is superb throughout and the band (including long-time guitarist Arthur Nielson) are with her all the way - this must be a nailed-on contender for blues album of the year!