Lauren Mitchell review…April 3, 2017…

LAUREN MITCHELL

DESIRE

SELF-RELEASED

I DON’T NEED NOBODY–SOUL MUSIC–DESIRE–JUMP INTO MY FIRE–GOOD TO ME AS I AM TO YOU–FEELS SO GOOD–STAND UP LIKE A MAN–TODAY–I AIN’T BEEN LICKED YET–ANTI-LOVE SONG–BRIDGE OF MY DREAMS–LEAD ME ON–BROWN LIQUOR

The year 2016 was a life-changer for one of our favorite singers on the scene today, Lauren Mitchell.  Her marriage dissolved, as did her relationship with her band.  But, Lauren is a true believer in the healing power of the blues, and she’s got the vocal chops to back it up.  She’s taken a batch of sour lemons and turned it into the sweetest musical lemonade you could ever hope to drink from.  “Desire” lets her mighty voice ring true on thirteen cuts of originals mixed with covers from her favorite artists and writers.  Oh–the backing band is no slouch, either—Lauren spent ten days in Los Angeles with producer Tony Braunagel, who also drums on the set, and they are joined by Tony’s group of “usual suspects”—Johnny Lee Schell, Josh Sklair, and Jose Ramirez on guitars, Jim Pugh on keys, Reggie McBride on bass, and Steve Fister on slide guitar.

Lauren pulls off the gloves with the defiance of the opener, a bouncy, horn-fed soul gem, “I Don’t Need Nobody to tell me how to treat my man!”  A breezy original spins the tale of a love affair fueled by that good ‘ol “Soul Music–just like my daddy used to play.”  A deep, Southern-soul, testifyin’ groove defines Lauren’s read of  Lady Soul’s “Good To Me As I Am To You,” while the wah-wah gets a workout over her vocal of  a lover who’s down but never out, Ashford and Simpson’s “I Ain’t Ben Licked Yet,” featuring Jim’s killer piano.  The set closes on an upbeat note, the funk-filled finale that finds Lauren dodging past mistakes, most of ’em fueled by that “Brown Liquor–let’s have another round!”

Our favorite was the title cut.  Sounding more like a Delta classic than a song cut in L. A., “Desire” is sparsely-arranged, letting Lauren’s vocal carry the message that you’ll “rise up from those ashes and believe in your Desire.”

Tony coaxed Lauren Mitchell into a career-defining “statement” album with “Desire.”  She healed her pain by singing the blues, and offers this set for us to do the same!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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