Nicole Hart and Anni Piper review…December 7, 2013…

NICOLE HART AND ANNI PIPER

SPLIT SECOND

BLUES LEAF RECORDS  BL 9850

CAN’T LET YOU GO–CLAP YOUR HANDS–AIN’T NOBODY WATCHIN’–DREAM BABY–YOU CAN’T MAKE SOMEBODY LOVE YOU–WHY SHOULD I FEEL SO BAD?–BAD SIDE BABY–WHAT WILL LATER ON BE LIKE?–ONE GOOD MAN–WALK RIGHT BACK–TWELVE BAR BLUES–LISTEN TO THE RAIN FALL

Nicole Hart, from Florida, and Anni Piper, from waaay Down Under in Australia, were paired together by Blues Leaf Records label boss Joe Morabia, because he felt a chemistry between them and their harmonies.  He packed everyone up to Showplace Studios in Dover, New Jersey, and the result is “Split Second, a true labor of love from talented players who really enjoy bringing their sound to music fans everywhere.

Joining the ladies on this set are Ron Rauso and Juke Joint Jonny on guitars, Sandy Mack on harp, John Ginty on keys, and Sam Cain on drums.  Versatile Anni adds bass along with her vocals.

This is a playful, fun album, and everyone is having a good time, and that vibe translates in the music.  They kick things off with “Can’t Let You Go,” set over a rockin’ rhumba beat.  The frenetic pace of “Clap Your Hands” sounds right out of the old “Shindig!” TV show, while the ladies make some sweer harmony in a couple of other Fifties-themed tunes, “Walk Right Back,” and “Dream Baby.”

There’s plenty of blues to go around, too.  John Ginty’s organ spices up the Sugar Ray Norcia cut, “Why Should I Feel So Bad?”, while Sandy Mack’s harp augments the ladies’ vocals on the Chicago blues of “Bad Side Baby.”  The set closes with the somber, reverb-drenched tale of lost love, “Listen To The Rain Fall.”

We had two favorites, too.  “One Good Man” is presented as a deep, slow-burning blueser, and “Ain’t Nobody Watchin” is beyond words.  It is one of Anni’s original songs, and is a sexually-charged tale of a lover with an admitted “dark side,” and the vocals are as sultry as they are erotic.

Check out the album cover–in their vintage Chevy, scarves and shades, they are a musical version of Thelma and Louise.  And, “Split Second” takes the listener right over that cliff and lands them smack dab in the middle of a blues lover’s paradise!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow  Nashville Blues Society.

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