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Ghalia And Mama’s Boys review…January 1, 2018….

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GHALIA AND MAMA’S BOYS

LET THE DEMONS OUT

RUF RECORDS  RUF 1250

4AM FRIED CHICKEN–LET THE DEMONS OUT–PRESS THAT TRIGGER–HAVE YOU SEEN MY WOMAN–HOODOO EVIL MAN–ADDICTION–ALL THE GOOD THINGS–I’M SHAKIN–WAITING–SEE THAT MAN ALONE–HEY LITTLE BABY–HICCUP BOOGIE

The grit and determination of Belgian-born Ghalia Vauthier is the stuff dreams are made of.  Starting out with her guitar in hand by busking on the streets of Brussels, she soon realized there were other worlds to conquer.  When she got stateside,  she rolled thru Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, and Mississippi, but it wasn’t until she got to New Orleans that her mojo really started workin’.  There, she met up with Johnny Mastro And Mama’s Boys, and those guys fit right in with her hi-octane, R & B-fueled, boogie-woogie blues.  She ended up drafting the band to back her on her Ruf Records debut, “Let The Demons Out.”  Twelve tunes that showcase what she absorbed on her tour thru the Midwest and South, one cannot help but be drawn in to her modern spin on traditional blues themes.  Ghalia has a playful, soulful vocal style with that sexy Belgian brogue, backed by her killer guitar instincts.  Along for the ride is Johnny Mastro on guitar and harp, Smokehouse Brown on guitar, and a rhythm section of Dean Zucchero on bass and Rob Lee on drums.

The set blasts off like a Saturn V with our heroine diggin’ that “finger-lickin’ good, 4AM Fried Chicken,” with Johnny blowin’ like Hell in the background.  The title cut is a pounding, swampy exercise in spiritual cleansing thru music, while “Press That Trigger” teems with youthfully-unbridled lust.

Johnny’s harp drives Ghalia’s tale of the juju bein’ spread around by that “Hoodoo Evil Man,” and the band rides that endless boogie groove on the juke-joint rock of “All The Good Things,” and the set-closer, which finds Ghalia playing the coquettish lass who’s imbibed one too many, “The Hiccup Boogie!”

We had two favorites, too.  The ghost of Elmore James guides Johnny and Ghalia in the houserockin’ boogie duet of “Waiting, way down South,” while Ghalia turns “Have You Seen My Woman” into an amped-up, testifyin’ visit to Blues Church!

Obviously a young woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to grab the bull by the horns, Ghalia, along with Johnny and Mama’s Boys, have their eyes on the future of the blues.  “Let The Demons Out” is one hip-shakin’, killer debut!  Until next time…Sheryl And Don Crow.

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