Vanessa Collier review…February 25, 2017….

VANESSA COLLIER

MEETING MY SHADOW

RUF RECORDS  1239

POISONED THE WELL–DIG A LITTLE DEEPER–WHEN IT DON’T COME EASY–TWO PARTS SUGAR, ONE PART LIME–WHEN LOVE COMES TO TOWN–YOU’RE GONNA MAKE ME CRY–WHISKEY AND WOMEN–MEET ME WHERE I’M AT–CRY OUT–UP ABOVE MY HEAD, I HEAR MUSIC IN THE AIR–DEVIL’S ON THE DOWNSLIDE

Maryland singer/songwriter/sax player Vanessa Collier went to school at Berklee in Boston, but got her “honorary degree” in the blues with several years of touring with iconic West Coast bluesman Joe Louis Walker.  Her sophomore release is titled “Meeting My Shadow,” and it’s the set her fans have been clamoring for.  She brings he free-spirited vocals and that horn ‘o’ plenty to the table for eight originals and three classic covers that showcase her maturing talents as a writer and  major player on the contemporary scene today.

These cuts will empower you, lift your spirits, and make you wanna get up and dance.  She writes songs that everyone can relate to.  Leading off is Vanessa’s ode to those who would let you down, but, in the end, you stand strong and overcome whenever someone “Poisoned The Well.”  It has a foreboding groove, accentuated by her ghostly flute in the background.  “Dig A Little Deeper” follows a similar theme, but this one is set over a funky, danceable groove, as she can’t be hurt on he surface any more, and is “tired of people who don’t celebrate you!”  She turns in a high-spirited, uplifting version of Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Up Above My Head,” featuring a dazzling sax break, and closes the set with a bit of “barroom preachin,” down at “Snake And Jake’s Bar” on the human condition with “Devil’s On The Downslide.”  She adds her own Wurlitzer on this one, too.

We had two favorites, too.  “Two Parts Sugar, One Part Lime”  is an all-out juke joint rocker, while Josh Roberts’ slide guitar ramps up the vibe on Vanessa’s version of the BB/U2 classic, “When Love Comes To Town.”

Vanessa Collier has paid her dues on the road with JLW, and steps to the fore with a set that shows what a rising star she is.  Enjoy the sax-infused blues of “Meeting My Shadow!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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