Annika Chambers review…January 27, 2014….

ANNIKA CHAMBERS

AND THE HOUSTON ALL-STARS

MAKING MY MARK

MONTROSE RECORDS

MOVE–BARNYARD BLUES–JEALOUS KIND–LICK ‘ER–TRUST ME–DOWN SOUTH–THAT FEEL GOOD–PUT IT WHERE YOU WANT IT–GUITAR BOY–LOVE’S SWEET SENSATION–IT HURTS ME TO MY HEART–LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS

Houston-based Annika Chambers is a tremendously-gifted singer that is poised for stardom in the blues world.  She served an eight-year stint in the US Army, with deployments to both Iraq and Kosovo, and has attained the rank of sergeant.  However, her desire to utilize her God-given talents to spread her love for music is the reason her military career is now on hiatus.  Her debut album, “Making My Mark,” is the result of her work with bassist Larry Fulcher and Montrose Records label head Richard Cagle.

Such was their faith in her talent, they surrounded her with an A-list team of Houston’s best musicians and arrangers, most of ’em with “Grammy winner” preceding their names.  Annika lends her amazing voice to originals penned with Dominique Fulcher and other band members, and tackles some scintillating covers.  A slow, funky tempo with plenty of wah-wah guitar plays over Annika’a biography of sorts, urging you to “use the music to Move.”  “Way Down South” is a gospel-rooted plea for help, and allows her to show off her outstanding vocal range.  She goes into a sweet, New Orleans-styled Irma Thomas groove with the stop-time tale of telling a lover she’s in love with someone else, “It Hurts Me To My Heart,” while she closes the set with the sassy strut of B. B.’s “Let’s Get Down To Business.”

We had three favorites, too.  One of Annika’s originals has her comparing herself to various kinds of booze, telling her lover “I got what Jack ain’t got,” and “I wanna be your Lick ‘Er!”  She epitomizes southern soul at its best with her read of the classic “Jealous Kind,” then teaches us all a lesson with the slightly-naughty “Barnyard Blues,”  when “the hens get quiet when the cock comes around!”

Annika Chambers has not only the vocal chops to succeed, but also that deep passion for entertaining and spreading her love of music to everyone she touches.  She is “Making My Mark”  in the music business, much to the delight of blues lovers everywhere!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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