Amy Black

The Muscle Shoals Sessions

2015-09-07

Kicking things off with the Sam Cooke classic "Bring It on Home" singer-songwriter Amy Black reconnects with her early roots in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where she often visited her grandparents. From there she lays down a set of glorious covers by the likes of the Black Keys, "Tighten Up", Bob Dylan, "Gotta Serve Somebody", Don Covey, "Watch Dog", Arthur Alexander, "You Better Move On", Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham, "Uptight, Good Man" and the traditional "You Gotta Move". Along with Ann and Regina McCrary on vocals and a top notch band including Will Kimbrough on guitar, Spooner Oldham on organ and a wailing horn section she infuses these songs with soulful exuberance, R & B grit and plenty of the swampy funk that is the calling card of the Muscle Shoal sound. "You Gotta Move" is a hard-edged postcard from the past with bare boned yet razor sharp guitar lines while Dan Penn’s "You Left the Water Running" is a buoyant horn-driven homage to 60’s girl groups. More important than her well-hued covers, she brings a number of terrific originals to the party. "Get to Me" is a slinky gem while "Woman On Fire" is a roof-raising party anthem that cautions unsuspecting men of a woman so hot she could end up as pile of ashes in a party dress. Black strikes a different tone on "Please Don’t Give Up On Me" where she seeks another chance following misguided behavior. Her aching vocals leave little doubt of her intent to honor her promises of improvement. A strong follow up to her 2014 release This is Home, look for Black to continue her climb into the upper echelons of the blues world. SMITTY

review by Mark

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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