Sena Ehrhardt review…March 27, 2013…

SENA EHRHARDT

ALL IN

BLIND PIG CD  BPCD  5151

BURIED ALIVE–CRY TO ME–ALL IN–I WANT TO GET YOU BACK–COLD COLD FEELING–LIVE AND LEARN–MAN UP–STORM’S COMING–BABY VALENTINE–SO EXCITED–DREAMIN’ OR DYIN’

Sena Ehrhardt burst on the contemporary blues scene with her Blind Pig debut, “Leave The Light On,” which garnered her a nomination for Best New Artist of 2012.  Add to that her growing reputation as one of the most exciting performers on any stage, anywhere, and it’s no surprise she’s headed for blues stardom.

Which brings us to her sophomore release for Blind Pig, entitled “All In.”  This one found Sena, her father Ed on lead guitar, Harold Smith on rhythm guitar, Dave Smith on bass, and Steve Potts on drums, all journeying to the solitude of southwestern Tennessee to the Bessie Blue Studios to work with legendary producer Jim Gaines.  As has become the norm, the quiet surroundings of our fair state brought out not only their  creative juices, but eleven fiery performances that show Sena’s growing confidence and maturity as a writer and performer.  There are eight originals, co-written by Sena and her father, and three choice covers.

The set starts with an interesting look at a pair of lovers who try to keep it “just friends,” but end up consumed by love and a feeling of being “Buried Alive.”  Dad gets in some great wah-wah licks as blistering punctuation, too.  Sena bares her claws in a story of all-out revenge on a no-good lover in “I Want To Get You Back,” then rides the roadhouse boogie shuffle of “Man Up,” trying to get a waffling lover to make a choice.  She gives a very sultry slash-and-slow-burnin’ read of “Cold Cold Feeling,” which includes sweet call-and-response interplay between her vocals and Ed’s leads.  And, the set closes with a powerful ballad showing Sena’s most tender side, “Dreamin’ Or Dyin.”

Our two favorites both dealt with a hot-button topic that Sena was unafraid to tackle headfirst.  “Baby Valentine” and “Storm’s Coming” each deal with alcohol addictions and the consequences that those addicted must deal with in regard to the ones who love them.

Sena Ehrhardt has everything–excellent vocal chops, a budding maturity as a writer and performer, and drop-dead-gorgeous good looks.  “All In” is indeed the mark of a young star on the rise!   Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.

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