Willa review…July 10, 2017….

WILLA

BETTER DAYS

BUILDING RECORDS

LOVE LOOKS GOOD ON ME–STOP, DROP, AND ROLL–HOOKED ON YOU–HEY LITTLE SISTER–BETTER DAYS–CAROLINE–LOOK WHAT WE’VE DONE–MAMA NEEDS SOME COMPANY–CRAZY MAN–SAY WHAT–OPPOSITE OF LONELY–DEMONS

Willa (Vincitore) may be recognized by some of our readers as a vocalist in the Chris O’Leary band.  She is a veteran of the Hudson Valley (NY) blues scene, and her long-anticipated debut of all-original material, “Better Days,” is finally here!  Willa’s vocals have been compared to Bonnie Raitt and Shemekia Copeland, and we’ll add one more to that list–our neighbor who lives one block over from us,  Etta Britt.  Willa’s compositions are an equal mix of soul, blues, and a bit of pop, with that stellar voice bringing it all home.  Backing her are Lee Falco on drums, Brandon Morrison on bass, Chris Vitarello on guitars, (with Petey Hop on flat-top), Scott Milici on keys,  Mr. O’Leary himself on harp, and a horn section of Jay Collins and Reggie Pittman.

Willa wastes no time in gettin’ down to bizness, with the leadoff strut of a lady whose wardrobe may not exactly be Fifth Avenue style,  but, indeed, “Love Looks Good On Me.”  This one morphs into a shoutin’, ‘ sanctified, and testifyin’ “saw the light” climax, too!  She visits the classic Stax sound with the smooth groove of “Hooked On You,” with a cool sax break from Jay, and again with the sweet balladry of the title cut, where, love-wise, anyways, Willa’s looking for those “Better Days.”

We had three favorites, too.  A funky groove rides over  Willa’s witty story of a no-good dog of a lover with a roving eye, and needs to “Stop, Drop, And Roll!”  She gets down with her lusty, busty, bad self on the slyly-sexy, slide-filled story of a cougar on the prowl, “Mama Needs Some Company!”  The set closes with arguably the most powerful cut on the album.  It features only Willa’s vocal over Chris’ National steel,  and her voice rises right up outta the Delta night as if being chased by that mythical Hell hound as she sings of another loser lover and the “Demons” that plague their lives.

Willa gives fans a little bit of everything in “Better Days.”  She showcases her original works with an excellent crew of musicians, and a voice that simply cannot be denied.  More, please!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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