ALEXIS P. SUTER
LOVE THE WAY YOU ROLL
AMERICAN SHOWPLACE MUSIC ASM 4008
NUTHIN’ IN THE WORLD–25 YEARS–ANYTHING–BIG MAMA–LOVE THE WAY YOU ROLL–GONNA LOVE YOU–WAITING–YOU DON’T MOVE ME NO MORE–IT AIN’T OVER–HANG ON–THEM DAYS–SHAKE YOUR HIPS
Ol’ Elwood Blues himself has anointed Alexis P. Suter as the top contender for that mythical title of “Queen Of The Blues,” and with a voice as big and brassy, bold and sassy as hers, who are we to argue? She brings those huge vocal chops to the table on her latest album, “Love The Way You Roll” on the American Showplace label. On this set, there are ten band originals and two covers that show to everyone the immense talents of Alexis and her band, something that fans in the Woodstock, NY, area, and, especially those fans of the legendary Levon Helm’s Midnight Rambles, have known for some time.
Joining Alexis herein is Ray Grappone on drums, Jimmy Bennett on guitars, Peter Bennett on bass, and Vicki Bell on background vocals. Also of note is the keyboard wizardry of our good friend John Ginty on several cuts.
Up first is an ode to a special lover, as Alexis sings that “I’ve had some lovin’, but not like you,” in “Nuthin’ In The World I wouldn’t do for you!” There’s a lotta great slide guitar from Mr. Bennett throughout this set, too, adding to the overall “down home” feel of the set, especially backing Alexis’ powerhouse vocals. Check it out in “Big Mama,” where Alexis exhorts that “we’re gonna dance all night long and moan the blues.” She turns in a great “voodoo queen” read in the brooding, swampy title cut, boldly telling a lover that “I need a log for my fire, baby, don’t you let it get cold,” before closing with a cool segue’ into Muddy’s “Rollin’ And Tumblin.” The set closes with the boogie-fied stomp of Slim Harpo, as Alexis calls on her lover to just “Shake Your Hips, baby.”
We had three favorites, too. She does a fantastic job on a Big Mama Thornton cut, giving a no-good man his walkin’ papers, as, frankly, “You Don’t Move Me No More!” And, another lover is told right off who’s the boss, as Alexis says this affair “Ain’t Over til’ the fat lady sings!” On perhaps the set’s most powerful cut, Alexis gives a truly soulful performance of an anthem to true love, “Anything,” that has a strong gospel-ish, “testifyin” feel, thanks to keyboard work from Mr. Ginty.
Comparisons to Koko Taylor are inevitable, but Alexis P. Suter is her own woman with her own style. Grab a copy and give a listen to “Love The Way You Roll” and see for yourself! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.