Published Mar 04, 2014Ohio-based blues singer Lisa Biales is certainly no novice; she released seven albums before gaining wider attention with 2012's album Just Like Honey. It was co-produced by EG Kight (herself a noted blues singer/songwriter) and Paul Hornsby (Wet Willie, the Marshall Tucker Band), and that team is reunited on this strong effort.
Kight wrote or co-wrote seven cuts here, and joins Biales in a duet on Memphis Minnie tune "In My Girlish Days," an album highlight. "Black and White Blues" is a tribute to Bessie Smith, a sign that Biales has great taste in her influences. Biales' clear and strong voice lacks a little of the grit of the original blues mamas, but her phrasing and delivery are impeccable, as on the sweetly tender "Baby Won't You Please Come Home." There's a nice range to the material here, from the Southern soul inflection of "Sad Sad Sunday" to the boisterous bravado of "Trouble With A Capital 'T.'"
Helping the cause is an A-list band that includes fluent guitarist Tommy Talton (Greg Allman) on acoustic, slide and dobro, Randall Bramblett (Steve Winwood), Bill Stewart and Hornsby. The sobriquet Belle of the Blues may be a stretch, but Biales has certainly delivered une belle disque here. (Big Song Music)