Val Starr And The Blues Rocket review….October 4, 2017….

VAL STARR

AND THE BLUES ROCKET

I ALWAYS TURN THE BLUES ON

SANDWICH FACTORY RECORDS

HIGH TIME TO GO–I ALWAYS TURN THE BLUES ON–WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT (NOTHIN GOOD)–WHETHER BLUES–YOU BETTER STOP–PLEASE DON’T GO AWAY MAD–BAD LUCK AND THE BLUES–OUT WITH THE OLD–THE BABY MAMA SONG–BLIND EYE–BYE BYE–IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHIN’

Sacramento-based woman of the blues, Val Starr, has one of those special, easy-on-the-ears voices, tailor-made for the twelve original cuts that comprise her latest album with her band, The Blues Rocket, “I Always Turn The Blues On,” for Sandwich Factory Records.   On this set, Val is on lead vocals and plays the  rhythm guitar parts.  The other members of The Blues Rocket are John Ellis on bass, Frankie Soul on lead guitar, and Paul Farman on drums.  The songs, all written by Val, deal with some of life’s trickiest situations–falling in love, and then knowing when to get out, with everything that happens in between.

A great man once told us you gotta know when to fold ’em,  and that’s the theme of the leadoff shuffle, “it’s High Time for that man To Go!”  Special guest Todd Morgan adds a jazzy piano, and Tim Barron’s harp sweetens the ambience of the title cut,    as “there ain’t no other music that makes my body whole.”  A funked-up number written for her teenagers might well serve some of us older folks, as we all know, “What Happens After Midnight ain’t Nothin Good!”  Val bumps and grinds her way thru a story about her seemingly-endless hard times, as “there’s nothing bothering me except Bad Luck And The Blues.”   She closes the set on a similar note with the Chicago-styled romp reminding us that from a flat tire to just plain forgetting important stuff, “It’s Always Somethin’ to screw up your day!”

We had two favorites, too.  Val gets in a playful mood as she’s got that “one thing” on her mind, wanting to “lock the doors and turn out the lights” with “The Baby Mama Song.”  And,  given the recent events in the news, she offers up a poignant ode to today’s  totally messed up society.  “Whether Blues”—“whether you’re black, whether you’re white,” or whatever your lot in life,  Val uses this song as a clarion call for the insanity to stop.

We like to think that we follow Val’s sage advice with the cuts on this album.  “I Always Turn The Blues On” to get uplifted, and, so will you when you give this one a spin!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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