Barbara Carr review September 2 2012…

BARBARA CARR

KEEP THE FIRE BURNING

CATFOOD RECORDS  CFR-16

 

HANGING BY A THREAD–COME ON HOME–WE HAVE THE KEY–I GOT THE BLUES–KEEP THE FIRE BURNING–MOMENT OF WEAKNESS–BACK TOGETHER AGAIN–HOLD ON TO WHAT YOU GOT–YOU GIVE ME THE BLUES–WHAT YOU GONNA DO–SWEET TALKING SNAKE

 

Barbara Carr began singing in her hometown church choir in St. Louis, later turning to secular music and being hired by local legend Oliver Sain.  She held the lead vocal spot in his band until 1972, even recording a few sides for Chess.  Disillusioned when they did not move particularly well, she stopped performing for a time to raise a family.

 

Luckily for blues fans, Barbara returned to recording in the late Eighties, and has just teamed with labelmate Johnny Rawls and Catfood Records owner Bob Trenchard to release “Keep The Fire Burning,” eleven cuts that showcase her soulful vocal style that hearkens back to the halcyon days of classic R & B.  Backed by the Catfood Records “house band,” they help give all these cuts that vintage “old school” sound.  The songs deal with the highs and lows of love and life, and Barbara’s delivery carries them beautifully and sensually.  The leadoff “Hanging By A Thread” finds Barbara pleading for a sign from a seemingly indifferent lover.  At the other end of the spectrum, “We Have The Key” shows that true love is aleays within one’s grasp.  The sultry title cut has her spelling out in no uncertain terms just what she needs in a man.  And, she does not suffer chumps in the least, especially the no-good characters that lurk around in “You Give Me The Blues” and the set-closing “Sweet Talking Snake.”  Now, Barbara is not without her faults, and she begs her lover for forgiveness for that one temporary “Moment Of Weakness,” but realizes that “there is a price to pay” for her transgressions.

 

We had three favorites, too.  She name-checks her influences, Little Milton and Albert King, growing up in St. Louis in what could well serve as her biography, “I Got The Blues.”  Two long-lost lovers who had it all ‘back in the day” are reunited in the uptown swing of “Back Together Again.’  And, she recalls the glory days of classic soul duets with her sizzling take on “Hold On To What You Got,” featuring Johnny Rawls taking the male lead.

 

Barbara Carr falls into that special category of “they just don’t make ’em like her any more”‘ as far as singers go.  Blues fans can rejoice and enjoy “Keep The Fire Burning!”   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

 

 

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