Lisa Cee - My Turn
The inaugural release for this blues, rock, roots and soul singing woman is a good one. Hailing from Southern California, Lisa Cee has led the house band at the Gibson and Fender Guitar Lodge at the Sundance Film Festival and now has worked with Rip Cat to release her first album. Interestingly, it features an old picture of Lisa on the cover in a gogo cage in a zebra striped outfit and fishnets, so I was not sure what was going to be inside.
Lisa wrote nine of the songs for this CD. There is an interesting mix of new and old here and the covers are slick, eclectic and pretty cool. “White Rabbit” has Cee taking it to a new place; she replaced the guitar lead with horns and gives a great vocal performance. “Good-Bye Baby” gets re-vamped quote sweetly in a boogie woogie style. “I’ll Take You There” features an acoustic guitar intro and lead with a sultry performance by Cee. 60’s soul tune “What Good Am I” (Mickey Champion) opens the CD as a jumping blues tune with a great vocal performance.
Cee notes that she is on a journey to ex-press herself with her songs here. It’s not like some of her live sets where she comes our with six shooters blazing. Cee is working to blend her vocals and backing into a whole and I’d hae to say she did a good job. The first we get to here is “Fire In The Sky,” where she blends her voice with some cool guitar licks by he r band mate BR Million. Blues ballads like “Lost You” show her emotions and the pain of grief and loss of friends. “Fire” funks it up with a great groove and horn solo by Ron Dziubla. She takes a rootsy, country turn with “My Turn” while “Right Man” featured producer Johnny Mastro with some wicked harp work and Cee belting out about how her “right man” treats her so well. “Stop Tryin’” features Cee soulfully wailing while “Cold Hearted Woman” has Cee telling us to stay away or we’ll get burned. “Evil Mind is another funk tune where Cee shows her stuff. She closes with an acoustic number, Already Free.” More great lyrics and some cello make this even more poignant and haunting
I’m sold– I liked this CD. Not having seen her live, I have nothing to contrast her studio performance with, but suffice it to say there is a lot of depth, meaning and feeling in her work. I was impressed with the songs, her performances and the cast of characters supporting her. Mike Hightower and Albert Treagnier Jr. are the bass and drum backline and those who stop in for a song of two also do a great job. A very nice first effort by this California blues woman!
Reviewer Steve Jones is president of the Crossroads Blues Society and is a long standing blues lover. He is a retired Navy commander who served his entire career in nuclear submarines. In addition to working in his civilian career since 1996, he writes for and publishes the bi-monthly newsletter for Crossroads, chairs their music festival and work with their Blues In The Schools program. He resides in Byron, IL.