Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|The Blue Diamonds and Grana Louise|
Hit the Big Time
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock
A must have for any blues fan!
Shawn T. Wallin | Minneapolis, MN USA | 11/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The sweet soulful sounds of Grana' Louise mixed with the hip shakin' music of Joel Johnson. I thought peanut butter and jelly was a good combination. This CD starts of with the toe tapin' song "Hit The Big Time" featuring a wonderful Chicago style beat. When the vocals kick in you it answers your question to what the rest of the CD will be like. This CD is impeccably produced and should set standards in the quality of locally recorded CDs. You can tell that the band spent time and effort to make sure that a quality recording had been produced. 'Blue Diamonds' is a sad tale about how a woman had been mistreated and left with nothing but 'blue diamonds to take to the pawn.' Joel Johnson takes over the vocal duties on 'Ain't Good Lookin' with a sound reminiscent of an old Muddy Waters song. John Franken picks some mean slide guitar that would put a smile on some blues masters past. Joel's vocals on this song actually remind me a bit of the great Mojo Buford. One of my favorite songs has to be "Raunchy Rita", a song warning women to "leave old dirty red alone." The lyrics are very comical and leaves me to wonder if Joel's wife had any writing credits for it. For listeners to the KFAI blues show, you may recognize the instrumental 'Messin' written by John Franken. This song is a jumpy little number that features some very tasty guitar playing. Things are turned up a notch with the Nina Simone jazz standard "Sugar In My Bowl." Grana' Louise vocals are so sultry and seductive that your body will ache for more. She sings each word with an incredible flavor and style. I can only imagine what power and control she holds during a live show. "I Want My Money Back" marches to a different beat than the other songs on this CD. It has a solid driving beat with a repeating chorus of comical lyrics. Musically this song will leaving you humming away a day long with its Koko Taylor appeal. Once again the heat is turned up with 'Hip Shakin Woman', a bar room blues number that will have strippers across the country shakin' their hips. If this song doesn't leave you with the image of a smoky bar, cheap whiskey, and fast woman... I don't know what would. The talent is put to the test with the second instrumental "Jug or Not." The song has such a great swing feel to it that I find myself tapping my feet to the beat every time I listen to it. This songs gives a chance for the harmonica and saxophone to carry the beat with its lively feel. To close out the CD, Grana' and Joel share the vocal duties with 'Won't Somebody Tell Me." Tom Burns really has some nice harmonica playing on this song with a tone that many players strive for. If you have not figured this out yet... the Twin Cities is filled with a lot of talented musicians of all types. It appears that in the blues scene there is a upper echelon of talented musicians. Musicians who stick true to their art, who don't compromise their goals. The majority of these musicians seem to stick together and play together. I consider this band to be at the top of the talent list. I have said this a lot about my artist picks, but I consider this CD a "must have" for any blues fan. It is a timestamp on just what Minnesota music has to offer... pure talent. This CD will hold its history long after the members have passed."