Blues Bytes

Singer Cathy Lemons is regarded as a blues legend in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she has enthralled audiences for over 25 years with her distinctive and soulful vocals and the ease with which she moves from blues to soul and R&B to gospel. The Dallas native has worked with such notables as Anson Funderburgh, Tommy Castro, John Lee Hooker, Kid Andersen, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Her latest release is Black Crow (Squeeze Play/Vizztone), and it demonstrates her musical style and range very effectively.

Lemons penned six of the ten tracks on Black Crow, including the stunning title track, the boogie rocker “Hip Check Man,” “You’re In My Town Now” and “I’m Going To Try” a pair of slow blues ballads, the self-descriptive “Texas Shuffle,” and the spooky acoustic closer, “The Devil Has Blue Eyes.” She ably covers four tunes, including Kim Wilson’s “I’m A Good Woman,” the O’Kanes’ “Ain’t Gonna Do It,” and funky remakes of Earl King’s “It All Went Down The Drain” and James Brown’s “The Big Payback.”

Kid Andersen produced the disc, giving it a raw and earthy feel, allowing plenty of room for Lemons’ vocals to stand out. Backing Lemons is guitarists Stevie Gurr and Volker Strifler, drummers/percussionists D’Mar and Robbie Bean, keyboardists Kevin Zuffi, sax man Doug “Mr. Low” James, and bassist Paul Olguin.

With Black Crow, Cathy Lemons should receive some much-deserved attention far beyond the Bay Area. She’s a talented and honest vocalist that doesn’t have to shout and scream to get her point across, a welcome variation from what is often perceived as the norm these days.

GRHAM CLARKE
http://www.bluenight.com/BluesBytes/wn0414.html