Michelle Malone review…January 27, 2018….

MICHELLE MALONE

SLINGS AND ARROWS

SBS RECORDS 20016

JUST GETTING STARTED–LOVE YOURSELF–SUGAR ON MY TONGUE–BEAST’S BOOGIE–I’VE BEEN LOVING YOU TOO LONG (WITH SHAWN MULLINS)–FOX AND THE HOUND–CIVIL WAR–MATADOR–THE FLAME–BOXING GLOVES

Atlanta native Michelle Malone is no stranger to success in the Americana genre,’ with fifteen albums and several TV and movie soundtracks to her credit.  For her latest, “Slings And Arrows,” on her own SBS Records,  she wanted it known that this is a “definite Georgia record,” as all the musicians, studios, and others associated with the project are all Georgians.  The songs all have that good ‘ol Southern-rock vibe, full of blues, fire, and passion.

There were many highlights for us.  The set starts and ends with a couple of solid anthems of empowerment.  First up, Michelle uses Moses and MLK as symbols for us all to know that, whatever your cause, “We’re Just Getting Started.”  It’s punctuated by her piercing slide and Hellhound vocals.  She closes with the similarly-themed cut of standing one’s ground, where, “I took off my Boxing Gloves, and I found that I was stronger.”

“Love Yourself” preaches “doing unto others, even tho we don’t see eye to eye,”  and you can’t resist the quirky percussion and Little Feat-ish groove .  “Beast’s Boogie” has a droning, Mississippi Hill Country beat and Michelle on harp in the stompin’ tale of her mother’s lover, indeed the “Sonny to her Cher.”

We had two favorites, too.  Michelle and duet partner Shawn Mullins make the Otis Redding/Jerry Butler classic, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” a smoldering, sexy, tour-de-force.  And, domestic abusers are called to task in the powerful and poignant “Civil War,” where “the bullet’s in the barrel–don’t make me bring the hammer down.”

Michelle Malone knows that it’s always all about the songs.  The material in “Slings And Arrows” strikes a personal chord with her, looking at life’s hardships and triumphs, and conveying them with fire and conviction.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow,  The Nashville Blues Society.

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