SQUEEZE PLAY/VIZZTONE VTCL-01
I’M A GOOD WOMAN–AIN’T GONNA DO IT–BLACK CROW–HIP CHECK MAN–YOU’RE IN MY TOWN NOW–IT ALL WENT DOWN THE DRAIN–THE BIG PAYBACK–I’M GOING TO TRY–TEXAS SHUFFLE–THE DEVIL HAS BLUE EYES
We had the great pleasure to review Cathy Lemons’ last album, a killer collabo with bluesman Johnny Ace from a few years back, the aptly-titled “LemonAce,” so we were familiar with what a sultry, soulful singer she is. She’s back with her solo Vizztone debut, “Black Crow,” blending soul, blues, funk, and a touch of the Delta over the course of ten cuts, six of which are originals.
On this set, the Texas native also plays the part of several women in her quest for love and happiness. The set starts with her extolling her own virtues, “I’m A Good Woman ready to treat you like a king,” as she’s ready to do some serious back-scratchin’, set over a a swampy, Excello-fied beat. She becomes the strong, defiant woman who vows never to give in to her worries in “Ain’t Gonna Do It,” with Steve Gurr’s guitar playing tastefully behind her. That same defiance shows again in the slow-blues warning of “You’re In My Town Now, and if you mess with me, that’s the last thing you’ll ever do!” And, she seeks “a little revenge” on the man-stealer in a seriously-funky take on James Brown’s “The Big Payback.”
Cathy has a rockin’ side, too. Sometimes, all she needs is a good time, and she calls on the “Hip Check Man,” a sweet shuffle featuring Steve Gurr also on harp. And, “Texas Shuffle” rocks the joint down, with Volker Strifler on guitar.
We had two favorites, too, both of the Delta blues variety. The haunting title cut is the tale of the age-old struggle between good and evil, while the set closes with only Cathy’s vocal over Steve’s harp and acoustic leads, “The Devil Has Blue Eyes,” which will take you right down to the Crossroads,
Cathy Lemons has performed in the San Francisco area for over twenty-five years, and “Black Crow” is poised to bring her a world-wide legion of fans! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.