Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

LIZ MANDEVILLE

HEART 'O' CHICAGO

2014-09-28

With this new disc, Liz Mandeville takes her place amongst the royalty of the Chicago blues scene. With 11 self-penned tracks and a red hot band in tow, including special guests Charlie Love on harp, guitar and vocals, Billy Branch on harp and Eddie Shaw on saxophone, Mandeville takes on everything from soul blues, "Cloud of Love", to duets that recall Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, "Don't Doubt My Love", to funk, "So Called Best Friend", straight out blues shuffles, "Party At the End of Time", and plenty of R & B fire, "These Blues" and "Why Would A Woman Sing the Blues". This mixed musical offering serves as a backdrop for tales of modern betrayal, "Quit Me On Voice Mail", where Eddie Shaw's urgent saxophone emphasizes each of Mandeville's cries of anguish, lessons taken from times where the heart (or lust) betrays the head, "Smart Woman Foolish Choices", where the horn section mocks the protests of Mandeville and duet partner Charlie Love that they are just meeting for drinks, the observation that every silver lining has a black cloud to go with it, "Silver Lining", and the water drip torture of the clock while your loved one is gone that isn't cured by phone calls, Skype or even reassurance that they will be home soon, "Tic Tok". With a rich, expressive voice that is by turns sexy, sly, powerful and laden with honest emotion, like a younger Tina Turner, Mandeville makes each of these songs ring true. The horns and keyboards that grace each of the tracks add a smart sophistication that elevates this release above the typical guitar driven Chicago blues. Look for this release to make an appearance in lots of year end top ten lists. SMITTY

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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