Zora Young and Little Mike review…October 21, 2015…

ZORA YOUNG AND

LITTLE MIKE AND THE TORNADOES

FRIDAY NIGHT

ELROB RECORDS

I’VE BEEN A FOOL TO LONG–A FOOL’S LAMENT–44 BLUES–TRUE LOVE IS HARD TO FIND–I LOVE CHICAGO–FRIDAY NIGHT–CHAINS OF LOVE–JUST YOUR FOOL–COUNTRY GIRL–I’M GOOD–SPANN’S BOOGIE

Little Mike and the Tornadoes are a griity, seasoned band of blues veterans that have recorded with Pinetop, Jimmy Rogers, Hubert Sumlin, and many others back in the Eighties, as well as releasing material under their own name.  Zora Young has been a stalwart on the Chicago blues scene for quite some time, too.  She is a direct relative of Howlin’ Wolf, and grew up singing in her Baptist church choir in West Point, MS.  Her family moved to Chicago when she was seven, and when she got old enough, she started singing blues in neighborhood taverns.  Thus, it is a part of the natural order of things that Zora and Little Mike would record, and “Friday Night” is the outstanding result!  It is a Chicago-blues-lover’s dream, as Zora lays down some of her favorite cuts interspersed with some fine band originals.

First up is “I’ve Been A Fool to Long,” one of Mike’s originals, where Zora sings that “I’m wastin’ my time” with an unfaithful lover. Mike’s harp takes on a country-blues feel over Zora’s pleading vocal in “A Fool’s Lament,” where she tells a lover that “I’d rather be lying with you than to you!”

“Friday Night” is a struttin’, funky piece that is full of good times “down at the juke joint,” with Mike’s harp blasting away at the solo.  She lets all the fellows know right off that “I’m Good–so good that I can knock on wood.”  And, Zora pays tribute to one of her early mentors, Lucille Spann, the wife of Chicago blues piano legend Otis Spann, with her rendition of sure-fire ways to get and keep a man, “Country Girl,” with fine piano courtesy of Jim McKaba.

We had two favorites, too.  You can’t mistake that instantly-recognizable riff of the Wolf’s “44 Blues,” as Zora is sho’ nuff on the lookout for a “no-good, alimony-and-child-support-duckin’ man!”  And, Zora simply nails a beautiful, slow-blues read as the forlorn lover in “Chains Of Love, tie my heart to you!”

Zora Young proudly sings “I Love Chicago, and Chicago is my home, the home of the blues” as she recounts her career as one of the Windy City’s best women of the blues.  Backed by Little Mike and the Tornadoes, “Friday Night” is nothin’ but fun from start to finish!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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