THE LONG JOURNEY HOME
SEGUE RECORDS SRVT 2016
SWEET TALK ME–LONELY NO MORE–SAT’DAY NIGHT ON THE RIVER–MYSTIFIED–COUNTRY FUNK–THE MORE THINGS CHANGE–PRINCE OF FOOLS–I GOT A MAN IN TN–ROCKIN’ AWAY THE BLUES–REVELATION–MEAN WORLD–THE CHAIN
To paraphrase her legendary father, Rufus—“Hey everybody–Vaneese Thomas is back–she’s got another set we know you’re gonna like!” It’s entitled “The Long Journey Home,” for Segue Records, a very eclectic collection of blues, soul, and funk that shows off not only her vocal prowess, but her songwriting also , which draws from the deep wellspring of things she was exposed to while growing up as part of Memphis music royalty!
Kicking things off is the soulfully-strutting story of that one special over who’s “wearin’ me down, when you Sweet Talk me!” Paul Mariconda’s piano is as sweet as honey in the rock on this one, too. “Lonely No More” is set over a “walkin’-down-Beale” beat as Vaneese’s new lover makes her feel exactly that way, while the “Prince Of Fools” does her wrong for the last time, in this classic-soul, minor-key gem.
There were so many more highlights, we favorited them all. She touches on topical social issues in the gospel-themed “Mean World,” while she name-checks Sam Cooke and her iconic father in “The More Things Change, the more they stay the same,” ’cause we all know that “the world is round, but it’s crooked just the same!”
Other lovers might try, but Vaneese gives ’em all the message that “I Got A Man In Tennessee” who does the job just fine! And, a cut that jumps just like Daddy used to do it is the stone party anthem of “Sat’Day Night On The River!” “Country Funk” uses acoustic dobro and even a banjo and fiddle to convey the story of using music to wash all your troubles away! The set closes on a powerful note, as Vaneese gives a chilling performance of Stevie Nicks’ tale of the woebegone heroine of “The Chain!”
Lawd, what it must have been like growing up in the Thomas house. You had brother Marvell on the keys, with sisters Carla and Vaneese harmonizing, and Daddy watching over it all. With “The Long Journey Home,” Vaneese continues the family heritage of bringing the best in Memphis blues to the fans! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.