Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

MARY LANE

TRAVELIN' WOMAN

2019-03-21

At the age of 83 when most people are content to bask in the accomplishments of their past, blues singer Mary Lane has waxed 10 new songs on a brand- new label. Backed by a solid crew of first call musicians such as Billy Branch, Corky Siegel, Eddie Shaw, Colin Linden Gene (Daddy G) Barge and Dave Specter, Lane lays down old school blues straight from the West Side of Chicago where she honed her craft with the likes of Elmore James, Magic Sam, Junior Wells and Howlin’ Wolf. Lane called on her long-life to craft lyrics on the spot as she heard the music unfold. Most of the cuts focus on romance or the lack of it. On "Some People Say I’m Crazy" she calls her man back home even though the wisdom of that isn’t apparent to everyone else. On "Raining In My Heart" she finds herself befuddled at the mate who loved her in the morning but never said goodbye, a sentiment repeated on" Ain’t Gonna Cry No More" but with a resolve to get over him. On " Ain’t Nobody Else" she tries to stop the loving and leaving process by promising happiness even though her scoundrel treats her badly. " Leave That Wine Alone" finds her laying down the law and requiring a choice between her and booze with the wrong choice resulting in her throwing him out as opposed to him choosing to leave. On the slow, soulful" Let Me Into Your Heart" she channels Etta James and implores the target of her affections to return the favor. While love and loss is her go-to topic Lane also gives a bit of a history lesson. The hot-wired title cut is an auto-biographical tale about her journey into the blues and" Blues Give Me a Feeling" recounts how the blues carried her over the years and are the cornerstone of what gets her through the day. That sentiment is reversed on the shuffle "Bad Luck and Trouble" where she can’t help but notice that the two run hand in hand. The real change up is "Make Up Your Mind" where Lane abandons the comfort of a big band back up and lays down her vocals over Colin Linden’s haunting acoustic slide dobro. This track reveals just how strong and nuanced her vocals remain despite her years shouting over the blast of electric Chicago blues. Not that there’s anything wrong with electric Chicago blues as revealed by the solid work of the crew collected for this release. A top notch disc from beginning to end. Smitty

review by Mark

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.