Vaneese Thomas review…June 14, 2014…

VANEESE THOMAS

BLUES FOR MY FATHER

SEGUE RECORDS  SRVT 2014

SOUTHERN CENTRAL BLUES–10 X THE MAN YOU ARE–WRONG TURN (DUET WITH CARLA THOMAS)–WRAP YOUR ARMS AROUND ME–CORNER OF HEARTACHE AND PAIN–CAN’T EVER LET YOU GO (DUET WITH RUFUS THOMAS)–WHEN MY BABY GETS HOME–LOVE ‘EM AND LEAVE ‘EM BEHIND–SOUTHERN GIRL–LONELY ME–THE OLD MAN DOWN THE ROAD–BLUE RIDGE BLUES

Vaneese Thomas is the youngest daughter of blues and R & B icon Rufus Thomas, and sister to Carla and Marvell, all of whom recorded for Stax during its Sixties-Seventies heyday.  Vaneese has made a name for herself not only as a singer (with four albums already to her credit) but as a writer, arranger, and producer for the likes of Melba Moore, Patti Austin, and Diana Ross, to name just a few.  On her latest album for Segue Records, “Blues For My Father,” there are ten originals and two covers that pull together Vaneese’s recent studies of blues in particular, and her father’s early works, which were decidedly blues-related, in specific.

Vaneese’s vocals are incredibly spot-on, and literally letter-perfect throughout this set.  She leads things off with a nod to that mystical “Mystery Train” of Sun Records fame, as she begs those tracks to “bring my baby back” on “Southern Central Blues,” featuring some fine slide work from Tash Neal for ambience.  She gives an old lover the boot in the form of a struttin’, swagger-filled vocal that paints her new lover as “10 X The Man You Are!”  She cleanses herslf of another lover’s cheating ways thru the minor-key, deep blues of “Corner Of Heartache And Pain,” while she takes the opposite approach on the crunching, horn-fueled stomp of “When My Baby Gets Home,” because by then she’ll have packed up her “ebony Benz” and will be long gone!  The set closes with one of the most powerful vocals on the set.  On the country-blues feel of “Blue Ridge Blues,” Vaneese is the woman whose moment of indiscretion has cost her the love of her life.  Her chilling vocal pleas for his return are augmented perfectly by the equally-haunting acoustic guitar work of Rob Mathes.

We had two favorites, too.  She recalls the glory days of 926 E. McLemore on a cool duet with sister Carla, as both women tell a potential suitor  that “I made a Wrong Turn when I left you!”  And, the set’s most heart-rending moment is a product of modern technology.  Through the efforts of Vaneese’s husband and the set’s producer, Wayne Warnecke, her vocals are intertwined with those of her late father, Rufus, on a bittersweet duet on one of Rufus’ early Stax hits, “Can’t Ever Let You Go.”

Vaneese Thomas has given blues fans and fans of Rufus Thomas reason to celebrate with the release of “Blues For My Father.”  Her vocals are meticulously done, as are the arrangements that accurately trace the history of the music that will forever bind her and her family together.   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: