Bonita And The Blues Shacks review…June 20, 2019….

BONITA AND THE BLUES SHACKS

SWEET THING

RHYTHM BOMB RECORDS

HE MADE A WOMAN OUT OF ME–MOMMA’S GOIN’ DANCIN’–SWEET THING–TOO MUCH MYSTERY–WHO’S THAT GUY–ME AND THE ONE THAT I LOVE–SINGING A NEW SONG–HOTTEST WINGS IN TOWN–SO CLOSE–THAT’S MY BABY–MAKE ME YOURS–SOUTHERN GIRL, NORTHERN BOY–WHERE’S THE MONEY HONEY–SUNNY DAY–SINGING CADILLAC SONG–YOU CAN’T HIDE

Songstress Bonita Niessen hails from Capetown, South Africa, and she is also the lead singer for one of the hottest bands in contemporary blues and R & B today.  She’s equal parts Etta, Anna Mae (not far from us down in Nutbush City!), Betty Wright, and Sharon Jones, and their latest release is a cool combination of old-school soul and jumpin’ blues, entitled “Sweet Thing,” for Rhythm Bomb Records.

The brainchild of Michael and Andreas Arlt, Michael appears on harp, and as Bonita’s duet partner on several cuts.  There are ten covers and six originals, all done up old-school style, with nods to vintage Stax and Chess.

It was really difficult to choose favorites in this robust collection, for it is brilliantly-conceived from start to finish.  Bonita sings all the material in the sense and spirit in which it was written, and the backing musicians are stellar as well.  Bonita leads off with a song from our youth by Bobbie Gentry which was later covered by Bettye Lavette, the coming-of-age, powerfully done, “He Made A Woman Out Of Me.”  “Sweet Thing” channels classic B. B. King, and she brings a bouncy, breezy element to a couple of Nashville legends, Ted Jarrett and Freddie Waters’ best-known compositions, “Singin’ A New Song.”  The culinary cool of “Hottest Wings In Town” has a Johnny Guitar Watson strut, while, biracial bias be damned, that “Southern Girl, Northern Boy” are sho’ nuff in love!

Bonita And The Blues Shacks, with “Sweet Thing,” make us wish there were more albums like this on today’s scene.  This is your perfect summer soundtrack, so put the top down and dig this excellent set!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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