What's on the WMBS Jukebox

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Lisa Cee

My Turn

Rip Cat, 2013

Lisa Cee is a southern California based blues belter who, among other things, has fronted the house band in the Gibson and Fender Guitar Lodge at the Sundance Film Festival. This disc marks her debut as a recording artist. While she proclaims in the press kit that the disc reveals the softer side of her vocals and writing, one would be hard pressed to find anything remotely frilly with her tough as nails voice and self assured approach to the fourteen cuts collected here which span the range from blues to soul to funk to rock. The disc gets off to a strong start with What Good Am I where Cee compares her worth without her lover to a match that won't burn or a sky without blue over a chugging rock groove. On Good-Bye Baby she shifts into boogie mode while Fire gets much of its heat from its deep bass and sax funk grooves. Funk also makes an appearance on the old Staple Singer's classic, Hi Take You There which is reminiscent of the Doobie Brothers circa Living on the Fault Line with its staccato guitar lead and rich background vocals. Grinding blues accompany her aching vocals on Lost You where she laments getting lost in the bottle as she agonizes over a profound loss. Right Man is another blues number with Johnny Mastro's fine harmonica work propelling her lustful vocals about how her man keeps her happy. My Turn is a light, acoustic number that builds a head of steam as it progresses with Cee channeling Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes with a slow drawl that perfectly complements the musical backdrop. Stop Tryin' benefits from BR Millon's slashing lead guitar while Bright Shiny World gets as much heat from Edo Guidotti's B3 work as Cee's vocals. Her bluesed up version of the Jefferson Airplane classic White Rabbit expands on the magic of the original with smoky saxophone pushing it to new psychedelic heights. Overall, a pretty fine listen.

© Mark Smith, 2013