Ali Handal review…September 9, 2017….

ALI HANDAL

THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

RED PARLOR RECORDS  RDP 1706

YOU GET WHAT YOU SETTLE FOR–SMOKE MORE POT–THE WORLD DON’T OWE YOU A THING–LET GO–I LOVE MY PUSSYCAT–WHAT IS AND WHAT SHOULD NEVER BE–ENOUGH FOR ME–THANK GOD FOR BIRTH CONTROL–NOT A PRETTY GIRL–EVERYBODY’S SO NAKED–BETTER MAN–LAST LULLABY

Women in blues and rock have always had a certain degree of what we like to refer to as “badassery”—a combination of talent, wit, wisdom, and swagger that serves them well in a predominantly male-dominated biz.  Memphis Minnie and Etta James had it, Bonnie Raitt, Kacey Musgraves and Samantha Fish all have it, and you can add Ali Handal to the list.  A buzz-worthy guitarist, her writing is geared so that it almost seems like she’s conversing with the listener.  You’ll find that out as you listen to her latest release for Red Parlor Records with the too-cool-for-school title of “That’s What She Said.”   There are twelve cuts encompassed by ten originals either written wholly or in part by Ali, and two unique covers.

Ali was gonna be a pianist in her formative years, that is until she got a load of Plant and Page.  She punted the 88’s and grabbed a guitar and never ever looked back, and that passion in both her playing and composing is what makes this set so entertaining.  There are songs of love, lust, and loss, with an underlying thread of hope throughout, as Ali is a cancer survivor, and uses this music as much to heal and empower as to entertain.

Up first is a slide-heavy story of relationships, where “you complain about him endlessly, but you call him back for more,” and, in the end, “You Get What You Settle For.”  Her life-long adoration of felines is documented in the sly-and-ultra-sexy, “I Love My Pussy.Cat!”  Another touch of humor comes thru in the pitfalls and pratfalls of parenthood spelled out in “Thank God For Birth Control.”  This one has a jazzy groove, and you can hear Steve Aguilar bangin’ away on a toy piano!  Ali waxes philosophical as she ponders life without a serious relationship, “what if I’m Enough For Me?”

We had three favorites.  Her Plant-Page tribute is a soulfully-bluesy read of “What Is And What Never Should Be.”  Another shot of humor aimed at “breakin’ all my Mama’s rules” is her secret wish to “join an all-girl band” and just “Smoke More Pot!”  The set’s tour de force, tho, is her powerful ode to persevering in the face of cancer, realizing that, when you get “hit by a sucker punch,” sometimes you just gotta “Let Go of the things that just don’t matter.”

Ali Handal has had songs featured on “Sex And The City,” “I Carly” and other shows, and her fans love her soulfulness, sass, and strength in her songcrafting.  “That’s What She Said” is the voice of a brilliant and talented young artist!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: