Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
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This is the Swamp Boogie Queen at her mightiest
Tim Holek | 06/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
Alligator ALCD 4803
Per the Alligator website, Katie Webster's "Barrelhouse boogie-woogie, New Orleans R&B, Gulf Coast swamp-pop, deep bayou blues and Southern gospel-flavored soul placed her among the most in-demand blues artists". On "No Foolin'!" she delivers brisk songwriting, sassy vocals, savory piano, and thick organ. Her sturdy backing band is lead by Vasti Jackson (guitar and songwriting) who also was Johnnie Taylor's band leader, and is now considered one of the best and busiest Mississippi blues guitarists. The CD's prodigious 45-minutes may be considered short by today's 70-minute standard. Unlike those longer discs, you will listen to this disc from start to finish.
Webster has written and selected songs whose lyrics give advice. Sometimes its about the hard work required for good love, "No Deposit, No Return", and other times, "It's Mighty Hard", it is about combating the loneliness that comes without having someone to love. On the latter, a melancholic mood is established on organ, while pain is sensed in her bayou vocals. The disc's tantalizing music is as pure as the white lace that adorns her brawny frame on the cover. Throughout, the former Otis Redding band member tells it like it is. She talks about sex on "A Little Meat On The Side". Without being crude, she lets it be known that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. With class and dignity, her message is communicated like a respected member of society. Her powerful vocals growl and roar on "I'm Bad" where she distinguishes that she is bad, but not like Michael Jackson! "Those Lonely, Lonely Nights" is one of the best blues duets ever. Guest Lonnie Brooks contributes flashy vocals and innovative guitar. Webster pounds the keys like Fats Domino on a song that sounds from his era. Together, they banter and bicker like an old married couple. It makes me chuckle, every time I hear the song. The disc's most touching number "Zydeco Shoes And California Blues" contains a strong sense of Louisiana due to C.J. Chenier's accordion. The song conjures an image of a down home Cajun/Creole party.
You can convert your friends to this hybrid style of contemporary blues because it is not threatening, nor boring. It is purely entertaining. The vocals are warm and as inviting as a great body. Webster's self-confidant keyboards rule over the kingdom of her royal music. They are the CD's highlight, and will have piano fans drooling. This is the Swamp Boogie Queen at her mightiest. There will never be another Katie Webster.
--- Tim Holek