Janiva Magness review…June 7, 2017….

JANIVA MAGNESS

BLUE AGAIN

BLUE ELAN/FATHEAD RECORDS  BER 1045

I CAN TELL–I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU’LL EVER KNOW–IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU–TIRED OF WALKING–BUCK–PACK IT UP

Janiva Magness is one of the most dynamic singers on the contemporary scene in any genre’, and the blues is most fortunate to have her within its ranks.  She has just released her thirteenth album overall, “Blue Again,” for Blue Elan’/Fathead Records.  Janiva intended for this EP to be a return to her roots, and it consists of six tunes from her favorite singers, from Freddie King to Nina Simone.  On board behind her are Zach Zunis and Garrett Deloian on guitars, Gary Davenport on bass, Arlan Schierbaum on keys, and Matt Tecu on drums.  They capture the sound and the feel she was looking for on each song.

Want a blues-beltin’ mama?  Janiva fills that bill with the leadoff strut of Bo Diddley’s “I Can Tell–you don’t love me no more,” with that tremolo guitar courtesy of David “Kid” Ramos.  She closes the set in the same manner, this time thru Freddie King’s “Pack It Up,” vowing to put a no-good lover “right outta my mind.”

She gets into her “torch” mode on the heart-on-her-sleeve tale of forever love, “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know,” then turns playful on the straight-up sexy “Buck,” made famous by Nina Simone, and featuring harp from T. J. Norton.  That sexy vibe runs thru our favorite, a cool reboot of a classic Chess duet from Etta James and Harvey Fuqua, “I don’t want nobody If I Can’t Have You,” with Sugaray Rayford as Janiva’s duet partner.

This set indeed takes the listener back to where Janiva Magness came from, musically.  Her voice is both powerful and playful, easily breathing a bluesy life into these favorites of hers that comprise “Blue Again.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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