Barbara Blue review…September 3, 2018…..

BARBARA BLUE

FISH IN DIRTY H2O

BIG BLUE RECORDS  11-BBR-018

MY HEART BELONGS TO THE BLUES–JOHNNY LEE–ACCIDENTAL THEFT–DR JESUS–MEET ME IN MEMPHIS–FISH IN DIRTY H2O–WALK AWAY–BBQ MAN–WILD WOMEN–GRAVY TRAIN–THAT’S WORKING FOR ME–SLOW BURN–COME ON IN MY KITCHEN

You ain’t been to Memphis until you’ve been down on the heart of Beale Street most any night of the week at Silky O’Sullivan’s whenever Barbara Blue is holding court.  We’ve known Barbara for some twenty years now, and she never fails to put on a powerful, fun-filled show.  Most nights at Silky’s it’s just Barbara and piano man Nat Kerr, but, for her latest album for Big Blue Records, “Fish In Dirty H2O,” she’s got a full band featuring some of the best players on the planet.  Jim Gaines produced the set, on which Barbara wrote or co-wrote six new songs.  On drums is the venerable Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, Dave Smith on bass, Lester Snell on keys, and Will MacFarlane on guitar. There is also a true “mother lode” of special guests!

The set begins with a minor-key cut that might well serve as Barbara’s autobiography, “My Heart Belongs To The Blues,” with a gritty solo from Will at the bridge.  Sometimes, too, Barbara leads her Silky’s “congregation” down to Blues Church, ’cause with “Dr. Jesus,  you don’t need no copay,” while Mark Narmore positively testifies on “Gravy Train,” where we are urged to “live every moment as if it’s your last day!”

Barbara has a way with classic soul, too.  She gets in touch with her inner Dorothy Moore on the poignant tale of having to let go in a love affair, and just “Walk Away.”  And, no matter if you use matches or gasoline, “Memories Burn Slow.”

We had several favorites, too.  “Johnny Lee” is every woman’s dream, and is a cool, Fifties-inspired cut, with—you guessed it—old friend Johnny Lee Schell on guitar!  The title cut was originally done by Koko Taylor, but Barbara and guest Al Kapone (who offers a cool rap break at the bridge!), turns this song into a searing, sultry ode to those legendary lovers.  And, with its references to “the banks of the Mississippi” and “the land where soul was born,” the Memphis Chamber Of Commerce oughta make “Meet Me In Memphis” the city’s official song!

If you have plans to motor west, do yourself a favor and stop by Silky O’ Sullivan’s and get the reigning Queen Of Beale Street to sing “Bobby McGee” for you, because you ain’t been busted flat in Baton Rouge until Barbara Blue sings it to you! And, be sure to pick up a copy of what is definitely her best work to date, “Fish In Dirty H2O!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Walt Pischke on October 15, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Barbara,this is Linda’s neighbor Walt. Thanks for the copy of your new cd.I just got done listening to it & really enjoyed it.”My heart belongs to the blues” Thanks again

    Reply

  2. My pleasure Walt!! So VERY glad to hear you dig my new CD …. I LOVE it ALL!!! Take Care & ALL THE BEST!!!

    Reply

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