Gina Sicilia review…May 27, 2017….

GINA SICILIA

TUG OF WAR

BLUE ELAN RECORDS  BER 1023

I DON’T WANT TO BE IN LOVE–DAMAGING ME–HE CALLED ME BABY–I’LL STAND UP–NEVER GONNA END-I CRIED–THEY NEVER PAY ME–ABANDONED–TELL HIM–ALL MY LOVING–HEAVEN

We’ve been fans of Gina Sicilia since her 2007 debut, “Allow Me To Confess,” which garnered her a Blues Award nomination for Best New Artist.  She’s been a Nashville resident for a while now, and, after a well-received EP in 2016, “Sunset Avenue,” she is back with a long-awaited full-length set, “Tug Of War.”  Eight originals and three unique covers make this a sweet listen from a brilliant songstress, indeed.  Gina has that kind of a voice that, like the proverbial Siren, draws you in at first note, and, over these originals, plays the heroine eternally caught in the tog of war between good and bad, drawing on her inner strength to overcome all obstacles.

Starting off is her ode to the difficulty of a relationship that always seems to have one foot on a banana peel, “I Don’t Want To Be In Love–haven’t I cried enough?”  Dave Darling, (co-producer, along with Glenn Barratt), adds the guitar.  “Never Gonna End” deals with two lovers at odds, “growing angrier” toward each other, feeling as if they are heading over the cliff.  Ron Jennings is on the guitar here, over a sweetly-soulful, Dusty Springfield groove.

Being a strong woman in a male-dominated business brought out Gina’s fightin’ side, in the form of a plea for not only monetary gain, but, perhaps more importantly, the respect she deserves, “They Never Pay Me.”  She closes the set with a solid shot of Sunday-morning sweetness, t

he upbeat “Heaven, do you hear me calling your name,” a personal plea for salvation and “how to cross over into your land.”

We had two favorites, too. “I Cried” follows that gospel-themed fervor of “going down to the river” to cry away “the fear on my shoulders and the worry on my mind.”  And, she adds just the perfect touch of forlorn and heartfelt soul to one of Harlan Howard’s finest, “He Called Me Baby, baby, all night long.”

Gina Sicilia remains motivated by her inner desire to create good music–whether on paper, in the studio, on stage, or anywhere she can.  She is touring extensively over the remainder of this year in support of “Tug Of War,” full of her honest, emotion-packed songs of love and life.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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