Ms. Zeno review…November 16, 2018…..

MS ZENO

THE MOJO QUEEN

BACK IN LOVE

BLUE LOTUS RECORDS  BL-05

BACK IN LOVE–IN MY SHOES–THAT’S HOW I KNOW–WILLIE BROWN–MOJO QUEEN–RISE UP–LOVE IS LIKE A FLOWER–CALL MY NAME–GOTTA GET PAID–MISTRESS–HOT SAUCE–FATHER TIME

Ms. Zeno The Mojo Queen was discovered by Little Milton himself in her home city of Natchitoches, LA, and soon joined his backing singers, The Angels. That gig led to her eventual move to Memphis, where she held court on Beale Street for over 25 years.  Blue Lotus Records in St. Louis is proud to release her latest, “Back In Love,” produced by Ms. Zeno, Kevin O’Connor, and label head Paul Niehaus IV, who plays multiple instruments over these twelve cuts.

Ms. Zeno is a dynamite performer, and wrote the originals herein based on her life’s experiences, being a nightly performer down on Beale.  She’s backed by a full band on most of these cuts, giving the whole thing a good ol’ down-home feel.  Leading off is the title cut, where Ms. Zeno lets everybody know that she’s back in the game, “on cloud nine,” and “Back In Love again!”  She plays the cheated-upon lover to the hilt, confronting the dirty dog with the slow-burn of “what would you do if you were In My Shoes?”  The string section adds a feeling of soulful authenticity to another cut, as our heroine finds the high heel is on the other foot, as she realizes, sadly and much too late, that “I’m just a Mistress to you.”  A cool zydeco groove drives Ms. Zeno’s autobiography , our “Mojo Queen,” who’ll “love you up, and love you down,” as long as you don’t mess around!  This one features Tom Martin on the accordion.  She closes the set with some sage advice that we all have to heed, “no one–not no one, can beat old Father Time!”

Our favorite was decidedly different from the other cuts.  It’s acoustic, and as deep down in the Delta as you can go, as Ms. Zeno sings a love song to ol’ “Willie Brown,” this one featuring Brandon Santini on harp, and our old friend Little G Weevil on guitar.

We have had the great pleasure to have seen Ms. Zeno at B. B.’s club down on Beale, and we can sho’ nuff tell you that she’s classy, brassy, bold, and sassy, and “Back In Love” is as close to one of her live shows as you can get!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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