Wednesday, 6 May 2009

CD Review - Gypsy Soul by The Sue Menhart Band

Gypsy Soul is the second release by The Sue Menhart Band; the follow up to their impressive debut full length album Torn last year. This time we get a 4 song EP format.

We kick off with the title track Gypsy Soul - the intro is a Spanish style noodle by guitarist JJ that lulls you into thinking this will be some gentle laid back jazzy number. Oh no - the band kick in with a toe tapping stomper that is a solid foundation for Sue's great blues/rock chic gravely vocal delivery. This lady has an infectious voice that just guides you in. The lyrics are ideal for those of us in the "greying rocker" fraternity, i.e. those of us who didn't drop out and/or make the grade in rock school 20/30 years ago and so do the 9 to 5 thing through the day but have our hidden side in the nighttime... This is a common theme in Ms Menharts lyrics and that is no bad thing.

The band are tight as hell! JJ executes a neat and effective solo, the Hammond organ wails just as it should (Procul Harum memories here) and the rhythm section hold it all down with fine effect.

Coming Home is the second track a happy time sing along that is dedicated to all the serving officers in the USA armed forces and captured I think the spirit of troops who have had to serve overseas in recent years and this is a uplifting song from that point of view of someone looking forward to returning.

Why You Love Me - hang on was this written in the late 60s? This track has a whole jazzy/funk vibe going on a bit Stax vs English Blues/Rock to my ears. Again great playing from all with a tasteful solo and guitar bits and then one of the best keyboard solos I've heard in a long time... i.e. melodic, thoughtful and fitting.

Lastly The Choice is a love song - and what a song that Sue dedicates to her husband. Call me an old soft romantic but this one brings goosebumps on the neck and a lump to the throat, brilliant lyrics and a soulful rendition that can't hide the true feelings. The sort of song a talent show winner would over do the vibrato and over do the dynamics where here with Sue's slow vibrato and quieter delivery makes for a much more emotional performance. If this was a X Factor/American Idol finalist this would be no 1 in a instant. Sadly though the likes of Sue are overlooked by the business.

So very well worth checking out. This is a great example of bunch of more mature rockers who have broken out from the 9 - 5 rut and show the rest of us what can be done. Production is excellent as well. Just going to say it again - The Choice is just a stunning song and performance.

Go here now and check them out. If you are close to them in Connecticut you can't go wrong getting to one of their shows.

Hey !!! Just found I can post their widget player thingy on the side bar... so EYES RIGHT.... :-)

2 comments:

  1. I will check it out. I love me some blues, any blues..Have you ever heard of Rick Russell? I saw him perform at the House of Blues a few years back and been a big fan ever since.

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  2. I will check out for sure. Thanks for highlighting them!

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